Taking a temporary break from the action to answer some questions I’ve been sent. They’re best encapsulated in a correspondence I’ve been having with Turmarion, who has graciously agreed to allow me to post his queries and my replies. So, without further ado, here’s his first communique:
My first question, which is all I’ll ask for now (I don’t want to clutter things up too much) is in regard to the names and practice in the Kimetikos. In some respects it reminds me of yogic clearing of chakras; in others, it is reminiscent of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s body scan technique. I realize that despite similarities, you say it’s best to look at the practice in itself.
So, just to clarify: what exactly is the idea? I’ve read the articles and have the basic idea, but I’m not completely clear. Are the Archons being invoked or evoked? Or exorcised? Or is the intonation more mantric (as in the association of mantras with specific chakras)? Obviously one is going to use prayers of protection afterwards (and maybe before); but I just don’t want any unsavory critters getting into the mix unnecessarily!
The goal of the whole Premiseless Imperative process is gnosis, which is ‘knowledge’ based on an awakening experience, plus the application of wisdom, plus a context into which both can be placed. What I’m trying to do is to map out a reasonable context (with a foundation of Gnostic philosophy), and provide some pointers regarding what I consider wise ways to explore self-knowledge, with some suggestions on how people have become ‘awakened’ in the past.
Regarding Kimetikos, I think one can look at the practice on two different levels (which I’ve touched upon briefly before). One way to view it would be psychologically. In this POV, the archons of the body are focal points, and doing the intonations/movements allows you to really get a concentrated self-knowledge of your physiology– similar to the ‘body scan’ technique, but within the context of the myth in the Secret Book of John. The names, in this case, could be seen as mantric; they give you an additional reference point for that particular place in your corpus, and an additional way in which you can become aware of it.
Or, one can look at it “hypostatically,” more literally, in which case we see the named archons as the literal “rulers” of the body. I wouldn’t consider them like “body thetans” or whatever– invisible beings who live in your body– but more like astrological decans; cosmological powers that exist within the scheme of the World of
Forms. You’re not invoking, evoking or summoning them, but basically notifying that you know that they exist, and you’re aware of their influence over the energy and material of your body, and you’re exercising as much control as you can over them, because you know their names. You can’t escape them completely, here in the World of Forms, but you can at least send up a few warning shots, letting them know you’re in on the joke.
Thing is, either approach works just as well; the wisdom comes in deciding which way you’re going to look at it (or even whether you consider your approach a combination of both). This is why I don’t make suggestions either way — it’s something each practitioner needs to decide for him/herself.
Boy howdy, do I loves me some questions! Path of Radical Inquiry and such…. Please send along any questions you have, at any time, via the contact page!