Saturday, July 16, 2011

Qabalah and the Bardo

"People don't believe me when I say this to them ... what I'm trying to do with my music is conquer Death. " - Ornette Coleman in a private conversation at his apartment. I'm actually one of the few people that this makes sense to.

Listening to Coleman's music, Free Jazz, Science Fiction, Skies of America, and much else describes one way of gaining an appreciation and aptitude for navigating unfamiliar territory and new spaces, skills essential and invaluable for surviving in the bardo, for conquering death. Coleman formed his musical approach and explorations into a system which he called Harmolodics. The idea of harmony corresponds with Tiphareth.

Using music as a doorway for the exploration of new spaces has points of similarity with using the connecting pathways on the Tree of Life as meditational focal points, doorways into different worlds of perception. Sometimes called "Pathworkings," this also works by using Tarot Cards as focal points/doorways into alternate realities, different chambers of cognition.

Keith Richard's comments on songwriting from his book Life seem very related to the qabalistic approach I'm suggesting. Though a much different kind of music than Coleman's free jazz experiments, the essential nature of his songs as he describes it appears very connected to surviving in the bardo:

That's the great thing about songwriting, its not an intellectual experience. One might have to apply the brain here and there, but basically, it's capturing the moment.

What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way, you want to stretch yourself into other people's hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance. Where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you're playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases, a thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heart strings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.

There are several ways Qabalah can be useful for the purpose of bardo training. Awareness of Qabalah enables one to become "maze bright." Learning to move about and function in the bardo seems like learning to solve a maze, making your way through a labyrinth. Functioning well in life to the point of having the liberty and will to carry out your life's work also seems like navigating a labyrinth. Learning to solve mazes and puzzles implants and encourages skills for negotiating more difficult labyrinths.

Bardo training is not only preparation for Death, it also results in a dramatically increased quality, perception, and experience of Life. To "die" before you die, a Sufi strategy, makes this apparent.

Bardo training appears synonymous Magick: the Science and Art of causing change to occur in accordance with Will. Many of Crowley's exercises and experiments clearly and obviously constitute bardo training of one kind or another. I say obvious meaning that it doesn't need qabalistic decoding to see this, although it will greatly help. I'll expand on this later.

The death/rebirth archetype describes a classic method for causing change to occur. You "die" to old habits or behavior, reprogram yourself in the bardo - that space in-between "death" and "rebirth" - and take "rebirth" (if all goes well) along the lines of whatever aim has been set.

Of course, this isn't as easy as it sounds. Sometimes repeated efforts need doing over a length of time to bring about permanent change. Elaboration and demonstration of this technique appears in Cosmic Trigger Volume I, by Robert Anton Wilson.

The most explicit and detailed information regarding this process is in the American Book of the Dead and related works by E.J. Gold. Here he mentions Qabalah in connection with rebirth.

As the components of consciousness reform, one seems to experience rebirth, although in fact it is not re-entry into the world, but a new construct-reality which is taking place. Once crystallized, the newly formed consciousness cannot be altered except by a breakdown process such as voyaging in the macrodimensional domains of the labyrinth. Sometimes the reformed consciousness is even more securely programmed than the previous one, and the ego is strengthened rather than broken.

This continuous process of subjective change is the only change there is. A good subjective notation of subjective consciousness alteration is the I-Ching. Another of these "living" notebooks of plasma configuration is the Kabbalah. The 99 Names of God, Mudra, Yantra, Prime-Time Programming, and the Lesser Key of Solomon are further examples of change-notations in the reality spectrum.

p. 45, American Book of the Dead.

Furthermore, regarding rebirth:

The idea of getting into rebirth in an undesirable or miserable lower dimension is the cause of this desperation to find a safe space in which to hide. If I don't panic, I won't get rebirth in a lower dimension.

On the other hand if I become desperate, I may try to squeeze in between some rocks or buildings, and in fact none of the safe spaces I'm seeing are actually as they appear to be. Those are wombs in various dimensions. They're color-coded; I can look carefully at their color and I'll be able to tell which dimension I'm being attracted to.

p. 146, American Book of the Dead., Twenty-Fourth Chamber.

Perhaps womb door openings are coded in other ways, too?

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Ornette tunes function like nanorobots, healing our mind/body system.