The Pull of Confusion and Seven Pitfalls to Avoid on the Path
A week or so ago I posted a few things for readers, not as comprehensive articles but rather as insight into the current media situation. The first – “Hypnosis, Deep State, and a Quote from The Exorcist (You Knew That Was Coming)” – addressed the current overall confusion many people have been reporting in relation to their media exposure. A quote from that post:
If you are feeling confused, even anxious, that’s good. It means you are in a light trance and highly vulnerable to suggestibility. Well, maybe it’s not good for you, but it is good for somebody. It means that you are susceptible to anything (and with that, anyone) who will bring stability to your mind and focus it on one thing, rather than allowing it to remain in a state of desperation, unable to select from the barrage of messages you are experiencing and which are making you feel confused. Confusion is a wonderful technique used in hypnosis and brought to a high art by Milton Erickson, one of the co-developers of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Together with John Grinder and Richard Bandler, they specialized in “transformational grammar” or using language as “an agent of change.”
The art of modern mind control (post 1945 – “propaganda,” as it was called in the old days) involves partial truths wedded to distortions, redirection (aka “spin”), and even the not-so-occasional lie. The best way to avoid this is to disconnect. Do not engage the Beast; simply focus on your own awakening. Presume to know nothing, seeking only to “know thyself” (of which the fruit is “you will know the gods”). To engage the agents of confusion in debate is to enter into the well-laid trap of distraction – a trap so well described by Father Merrin to Father Karras in the book and movie The Exorcist.
Father Merrin: “Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen.”
Remember also: the attack is always psychological. As we said before, the so-called “Deep State” and its hydra-headed expression is demonic. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that its methods reflect those of classical demonology, because it seeks the same thing: the control of your mind and body, the suppression of your individuality. As they say, “As above, so below; as below, so above” – it just isn’t always clear which above and below is being referred to.
This was followed up by a reference to the alchemical language, the “Language of the Birds”:
[As explained by Milton Erickson:] “The Confusion Technique [in hypnosis] is based upon plays on words, an involved example of which can be readily understood by the reader but not by the listener, such as ‘write, right, right, not wright, or write.’ Spoken to an attentive listener with complete earnestness, a burden of constructing a meaning is placed upon him and, before he can reject it, another statement can be made to hold his attention. …The next item in the Confusion Technique is the employment of irrelevancies and non sequiturs, each of which taken out of context [emphasis in original] appears to be a sound and sensible communication. Taken in context, they are confusing, distracting, and inhibiting, and progressively lead to the subjects’ earnest desire for an actual need to receive some communication which, in their increasing state of frustration, they can readily comprehend and to which they can easily make a response. It is in many ways an adaptation of common everyday behavior, particularly seen in the field of humor, a form of humor the author has enjoyed since childhood.”
The technique also utilizes what is well known to alchemists and Hermeticists as “the Green Language” or the “Language of the Birds,” explained by Fulcanelli as a “phonetic cabbala,” wherein emphasis is placed on similarities in sounds and train of thought connections rather than linear point-to-point communication or well-defined meanings. The Confusion Technique is more often utilized in a directed manner for a breakthrough into greater awareness, or within the mind of the alchemist to reveal such in a dream, as it bypasses the so-called “Guardian of the Threshold” and directs the mind into connections it had previously not made. It is in fact the method of dreams, and the reason why upon awakening we find it difficult to decipher what went on in our own mind just minutes or hours earlier, despite that – at the time of its occurrence – it seems so relevant and important.
In the domain of advertising or politics these connections are clearly aimed at getting the individual to purchase products and services or to support policies and candidates.
Now where does all of this play into your personal path? Well: right smack in the center of it! This is what Jean Dubuis often stated was the “pull of Yesod,” the unconscious forces that surround and dominate the psychic and material life on earth. In a cosmological sense, we first had to enter and pass through this powerful sphere of influence so that we could become more or less immune to its often negative influences. These influences are “negative” because Yesod reflects the collective or total synthesis of the whole, just as our subconscious is the total synthesis of our feelings, ideas, and sense of self. By passing through this often dark and shadowy region (one that need not always be that way), we can then choose a path.
Often the next path is that of intellectual enhancement and development. A path of artistic expression is, alternatively, available, or one of direct (one could even say mystical) realization. However, it is important to be well-rounded; all three should be encountered in time. To make proper and healthy decisions we need a healthy, flexible, and well-trained mind, even [perhaps especially! –Ed.] if we choose an artistic path. Unfortunately, mind training – as classical schools of esotericism engaged in with the Trivium and Quadrivium – is no longer done. Freemasonry mentions these in its degrees, but few members avail themselves of the direction being pointed out. If one is fortunate, they will have received the essence of the Trivium and Quadrivium in their formal public education. This means they will have learned Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric (the “three ways” of the Trivium) followed by Mathematics, Geometry, Music, and Cosmology (the “four ways” of the Quadrivium). Now, these are important because they form the foundation of everything we will do in life. I encourage you to revisit these and other mind-enhancing studies, as they will be very beneficial to you in your life path. (See below for some further reading on this.) An obvious example can be found in the most “painfully boring” of all of the topics presented: Logic.
But Logic does not need to be boring – nor does ANYTHING for that matter. It is not the subject that is boring, but how it is taught, and how we understand (or rather misunderstand) its application to our life. For example, in his book Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception, Jacques Vallée lists seven pitfalls of UFO and paranormal research. It would be easy to dismiss these as particular to this peculiar area of study, but in fact they are directly applicable to every area of life wherein we are dependent on external sources of information, and for our spiritual path in especially. Below you will find the pitfalls listed along with examples of how they may be experienced on the spiritual path.
Transivity of Strangeness
A is stated, and B is stated in the context of A. B is demonstrated, A is not demonstrated. A is accepted as TRUE even though it is not demonstrated to be true, to actually have come from B or to be related to it.
Example: Transitivity of Strangeness in spiritual practice is the phenomena of the miraculous icon or object. Here an icon may weep incense or a statue fragrant rose perfume (B), but because it does this does not mean that the phenomena is directly related to Divine preference, intervention, or demonstrates a validity of doctrine. The phenomena exist, but there may be other physical or even metaphysical reasons for it.
The Ratchet Effect
A rumor takes on a life of its own, and even when proven false, people who believe it do not return to “a baseline of normal belief.”
Example: As demonstration of the Ratchet Effect, consider the “Angelic Army of Mons,” wherein an army of angels was said to have appeared on the battlefield of France during the First World War. This belief was the result of an article that had been written and not clearly delineated as fiction. Soldiers even reported seeing strange phenomena, but all investigations of sightings of “angels” showed the reports to be second- and third-hand. Despite this, the “Angelic Army of Mons” continued to find its way into various “accounts of the paranormal” for decades.
Spurious Data Sequencing
Very emotional, once-fooled individuals will continue to be fascinated by revelations they know to be false. They are afflicted by their belief in “a source of adventure and privileged information” and often afraid that offenses against the source will cut them off from the data stream.
Example: This is easily seen in contemporary Tibetan Buddhism wherein the teachings of the Lama are demonstrated to be “traditional” but do not match recorded history. The Lama, however, is never questioned about this, lest the student fall out of favor or appear to be less “devoted” than others.
The Law of the Physical
Promises of evidence are given, yet the “evidence” is never revealed and always out of reach.
Example: This is self-explanatory. Here we are told that there is evidence of “communication with the dead” but it is never provided for us to read, watch, or listen to.
The Coconut Fallacy
How can we know it if we cannot test it?
Example: Like the above, we are told there is evidence of communicating with the dead, but we are never shown the evidence, nor given the means by which it was attained so that we may test it ourselves. The so-called “Mandala Effect” would also be an example.
Events A and B take place close together in time and space, so we merge them into a single mystery.
The Magnification of Secrecy
Secrecy often covers what we do not know, rather than what we do. There are many reasons for secrecy, not all of them nefarious. Sometimes they are simply bureaucratic.
Example: In some teaching organizations, such as semi-secret and initiatic groups, instruction is handed out over years in a very piecemeal fashion. It is often believed that near or at the end of the instruction (if it has an end) the best and most important material is reserved for the truly dedicated, the believers, the elite. In fact it may be that there is nothing new or vital there. The existence of higher degrees may be little more than a means of maintaining membership and cash flow. Refusal to answer questions because “that is covered in the higher degrees” does not mean the answer is special, only that your continued membership is assured. Other times it is simply a way of avoiding answering questions to which the leadership may not have an answer.
I am sure that upon reading the above examples you found yourself remembering an experience where you may have encountered more than one – if not all of them – in your own life. Take some time this week to reflect on your life and see where you have encountered or fallen into one or more of these pitfalls. Pay attention to what led up to it and how you could have avoided it. A strong mind is the foundation of the path and, in relation to our opening statements, it is harder to confuse and thereby manipulate and control. But it is up to you to learn about and exercise the power of your mind; if not, you run the risk of someone doing that for – and by that we mean against – you.
Nothing can make the mind stronger than an appreciation of the Seven Classical Liberal Arts of the Trivium and Quadrivium. For a gentle introduction, see: Trivium: The Classical Liberal Arts of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric and Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, and Cosmology by Wooden Books, Ltd. (published by Bloomsbury).
When combined with meditative practices, artistic expression (such as in ritual), and a direct perception of one’s very self, the Trivium and Quadrivium provide a foundation stone upon which the true path of spirituality is easily revealed, understood, and experienced – a path we can then walk alone in courage, strength, and joy.
Addendum: After editing this week’s article, Alfred DeStefano (III), sent this along as a commentary on how to approach the study of these and other important topics. Alfred has shared important insights on the importance of attitude and tempo as the basis for the learning process. We suggest you read it several times as it has a great deal of information packed into a few paragraphs on how to get the most out of your learning experiences, and thereby, make the most of yourself and your life.
A good start leading to a system of self-study covering the Trivium is available in two books by Sister Miriam Joseph: The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric and Shakespeare’s Use of the Arts of Language (a detailed demonstration of every possible rhetorical device, with examples from the complete works of William Shakespeare). One outstanding text which teaches the general techniques of logical thinking in the context of a simple game is Symbolic Logic by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll).
The key with any course of study is to keep it simple. If the text suddenly stops “making sense,” it is not an indication of your inability to understand it; rather, it is usually a reminder to pay attention while you study, which can only be done if you are relaxed while you study, which is in general the opposite of the modern world’s methodology in these matters. (“Relaxed,” incidentally, does not mean “tired” – I hope we all understand that. It means “at ease.”) Go back to the last part you understood clearly, and start from there again, carefully, as if you were constructing the rigging of a model sailing ship. There is only one speed to learn at: your own (again, precisely contrary to the failed hypotheses of modern school systems).
Keep in mind that you are not in competition with anyone when you are learning. That mindset is for after you’ve learned something, if you choose to indulge in it. Don’t concern yourself with test scores or any of that nonsense until after you have truly given learning the material your best shot – and I do mean your best shot! This requires a degree of self-honesty that is unfortunately rather difficult to find amongst the many modern students who are unaware that there is no “monopoly on learning” by schools and colleges. If you want or need to learn something, and you have time to study, but you watch TV instead, you must remind yourself that you were responsible for choosing to do something other than what would get you the result you want. This is analogous to trying to make your garden grow by driving your car all over town: the two activities are unrelated, period. They will not connect profitably, no matter what “justification” one has for it.
Not being clear with yourself about this will result in the delusion that you are “mysteriously incapable” of “getting it.” Nonsense, of course – but you must refuse to give in to the expedient palliative provided by “acceptable” excuses and justifications. No excuses are acceptable if you are serious about what you want.
That said, getting an “F” in a class that you never attended means nothing in reality; in the eldritch world of our current school system, however, it functions as an hypnotic agent whose purpose is to attempt to enforce obedience to rules by assuming their importance and “punishing” you within their context. If you truly wish to ignore such things as “grades,” don’t get involved in a game that directly employs them as its rule of measure. (Yes, I just suggested that most people not go to college until they are ready. I know that this heresy will “set me back” with many groups; on the bright side, though, these groups will thereby identify themselves to me so that I may avoid them more entirely.) If you are in the unfortunate position of one who – by virtue of “insufficient” age, e.g., itself a concept resulting from ignorant assumptions – is pushed back or pulled forward at the “wrong” pace, I offer my condolences and the following advice: be honest. Ignorance is a temporary limiting condition, if you take action to stay and reverse its course. Everything occurs within a context, and the context implies a potential organizing factor: often, this is simply temporal. That is, learn this BEFORE you learn this. The number of times I have seen this particular error is astronomical, and typically resolves everything in a short while when detected. As I mentioned above, go back to the part you understood, the one just before you got confused. Make sure you “really get” that part. Then move forward very carefully, at your own pace, and try to note each and every detail along with its contextual relevance to the matter at hand. Like a wave of intelligence, you will naturally overtake the new material; also like a wave, you may have to perform this process a few times to fully saturate the area of concern.
Ask questions. Put your teacher to work: he or she is getting paid to teach you; thus, you may freely assume that he or she possesses the capability of doing so. If something does not make sense to you, think about it, play around with the ideas involved, and sleep on it once or twice. If it still doesn’t make sense, write up a list of questions exactly as you’re thinking them which seem to you to encompass your inability to “get it.” This in itself may solve the problem; if it doesn’t, present the list to your teacher, or some person competent to handle answering them.
If at that point you are rebuffed, I suggest you do what all great persons have done since time immemorial: keep quiet while you secretly build sources of power that enhance your strengths and “hope for the best” with school. Remember to be compassionate with teachers and other people who require badges and labels to ensure their “authority”; they are often unaware that the system which “educated” them did not actually do anything. Trying to bring this to their attention will often result in a complicated defensive adjustment that will, in short, screw you in the short term and deepen their hypnosis in the long term.
Better to let them sleep it off!
Pathology of the Sublime – Problems & Solutions on the Spiritual Journey