There is much truth behind jokes. The joke of the divine trickster is that he’s serious.
We believe what we experience. We either control or are controlled by our experience. Which do you prefer?
I prefer to control my experience. Do you know how to control your experience?
I only watch movies at home. I never go to the theatre anymore.
You are controlled by the experience of holding your new born child, or at least it feels like you are controlled.
The core concept behind belief control is gnosis, our capacity and tendency to identify with things we experience. Even originally, gnosis was the belief that knowledge of the self or soul and knowledge of god are the same thing. In gnostic mechanics you use that instrumentally. Anything that you would seek to create or become, you first identify with, identify as.
Now most systems of magick come heavily burdened with values and philosophies that ideally make their techniques make sense, but very often just foist a load of moralistic baggage on the student that has no genuine connection to magickal practice. It gives you magickal insight with a useless side of social and emotional baggage, locking you into a belief system that very often differs little from the universal consensus.
In the practice of chaos magick, you may come across values shaping experiences in your experimentation, but they are personal and not a part of the magickal practice itself. You learn about yourself by learning about what you are not. In chaos magick, the observation is that in order to work magick you must become what you are not, identify with all the things that you are not, and in the process of doing so you achieve an understanding that what you are has no single object, and perhaps no object at all.
There are two ways to achieve the state of gnosis in practice, some say three. I personally acknowledge three.
The first is the excitatory mode. You push yourself to an experiential limit through whatever method works for you, but when you hit this limit you lose the habitual processes and behaviours that keep you anchored in your habitual beliefs and experience. If you have a really good orgasm, for a brief while you are disoriented, lost in a space in our own being, and it can take a little while to reconnect, to come back down to your normal brain state. This can be achieved through pain, fear, intense exertion. Many paths leading to the same state of mind, and do you doubt anything that lead you to experience those things?
No. You don’t have much time to doubt.
If I stomp your foot, do you have to do anything special to make yourself believe it hurts?
The second mode is inhibitory. Through meditation, sleep, exhaustion, barbiturates, even a heavy meal, your mind is brought (if only monetarily) to a stand still. Do you doubt anything in your dreams or your moments when you are more or less completely unfocused?
Ah, so that’s why torture is so effective. They are trying to get you to that disorienting mode, not necessarily trying to cause you pain. Indeed. This is also why the tortured come to believe in or identify with their torturers. Stockholm syndrome, I think they call it.
I promise you have indeed been tortured. Consensus reality could not persist if it didn’t cause pain, at least the consensus as we know it now. Even the Buddha observed this, that the origin of suffering is attachment. Attachment being another word for belief, not the same as experience. You can experience pleasure at a sensation, but you won’t suffer until you become invested in that pleasure, addicted to seeking it, believing that you are lessened by not experiencing it, that you are at a loss in some way, impoverished.
Anticipation can be just as much fun but I guess there is a limit.
Pretty much every form of punishment is a form of torture intended to brainwash you into behaving the way they want. Actually, they don’t care how you behave. They care how you believe. It’s even being proven in science now.
Pain therefore fear? You are right. Pain leads to fear, and fear is belief. You cannot behave outside of your beliefs. It’s impossible. Some claim that they do, but that’s self delusion either about what they supposedly believe, or about the structure or impact of their behaviour. The two go hand in hand inevitably.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.