OEITH #207 Concentration in Meditation, Magick, and the Mainstream
Let's focus in on concentration, exploring: the arms of Baphomet; solve et coagula as "analysis and concentration"; how the mainstream lauds concentration; the prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder; the union of dissolving and coalescing; Buddhist meditation; vipassana(insight) as solve, versus shamatha (concentration) as coagula; the nature and aims of shamatha practice; coagula and shamathapractice in relation to magick, sorcery, and ritual; belief-shifting and confirmation bias; the cultivation of psychic powers through concentration; solve, insight, and mysticism; undoing the duality between shamatha and vipassana; how insight requires concentration and concentration requires insight; some advice on how to approach shamatha practice; the importance of allowing some space for reflection in shamatha; Leigh Brasington on mindfulness of breathing; the psychological approach to concentration in contrast to concentration itself; the factors of concentration; rapture and happiness; concentration not a means to an end, but the connection with the object itself; the absurdity of the mainstream view; parallels with magick, ritual, and being in love; how there can only be concentration upon something that brings rapture and happiness; personal experience of difficulties during concentration retreats; panic attacks and depression; the mistake of trying to analyse one's way out of issues surfacing from concentration practice; the fruits of concentration practice as mental bodybuilding; concentration retreats as psychedelic voyages, calling for surrender and opening rather than analysis; the similarities of my mistake to the mainstream view of concentration; the role of my character in my mistake; concentration and "productivity"; manifestation as productivity or connection; action versus connection; obstacles to connection; how our relationship to our own mind might impede concentration; Winnicott on "primitive agony"; the mind's terror of itself; personal experiences of this; how retreats can provoke terrors, but perhaps also expose them to understanding; Dan Latner's account of his experiences; overcoming primitive agonies as a realisation of not what we cannot do, but perhaps what we are not doing; spirituality and occultism as discourses in which it is more possible to encounter concentration itself.
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Leigh Brasington (2017). Entering the jhanas, https://tinyurl.com/y63jfvtr (lionsroar.com). Accessed January 2022.
Dan Latner (2021). 1. Episode Zero: The Dang Lantern Podcast, https://tinyurl.com/3h6ze2f2 (spotify.com). Accessed January 2022.
Éliphas Lévi (1856). Baphomet, or the Sabbatic Goat, https://tinyurl.com/3mfpbya3 (wikimedia.org). Accessed January 2022.
Donald Woods Winnicott (1974). Fear of breakdown. International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 1 (1-2): 103–107.