Franz Bardon Body Training

Franz Bardons Method and the Importance of Body Training

Welcome, this post is mainly focused on those working the Franz Bardon system but I feel also is of importance for anyone working with the elements and various energies as someone who wants to be self-reliant i.e being able to create all of these energies yourself rather than relying on an external source.

Introduction to Body Training

Franz Bardons work begins with Initiation into Hermetics (IIH) and is what he is most known for. His other books include The Practice of Magical Evocation (PME) and The Key to the True Kabbalah (KTQ) and should be pursued once you can meet the requirements in the first book.

You will see from looking at that first book very little mention of the body. Despite the intention being to provide a balanced development the fact that the mental training takes you all the way to the God Head and the Astral Training takes you to Franz Bardons very specific method of Astral Body separation, but the Body training does not really develop too far other than establishing basics. This is not what I would call balanced and in fact leaves out one of the things that could radically change your experience of the exercises.

Why is it not in the book if it is needed?

Well it is not needed it is just in my and others opinion far more efficient with body training than without. It is a bit like someone hanging onto Henry Fords idea of the car, because it is pure and traditional rather than getting in the latest Ford. They both take you from A to B but utilizing other people’s experience and decades of training can make for a better experience, it can set you up to go further.

If you are in the world you need a vehicle through which to interact with the world and for your magic to flow through. Your body, so without any mention of other Franz Bardon specific body training just keeping the body fit, healthy, strong and flexible is surely a good idea and if balance is the aim between the three bodies as presented in IIH then the aim should be to develop our physical body with equal motivation as our astral and mental training.

Why is it not in the book? Well who knows really. All I can do is speculate as to what might be the case. For starters IIH was the best that could be presented at the time in written form, it needed to be something people could get hold of and practice. To provide additional physical training requires additional details and creatres more risk that people will do themselves damage. Just like with Yoga, that it seems from Franz Bardons library he was very aware of the benefits; it is powerful because done right it can improve the physical vessel but done wrong it can weaken it. The same with the internal arts such Xingyi Quan, Bagua Zhang, Tai Ji Quan, Ziranmen etc. The Waigong, Neigong all have powerful effects, with the right order of training the kua opens up, daang arch force (an upward force as seen in the arch of a bridge – this is a quality that should be seen in 马步 Mabu = Horse Stance) is understood and the body becomes a unit, wrongly trained without supervision then hip injuries can occur and with no daang the knees are going to feel it soon too. So, in short and I repeat I am speculating, he probably thought better safe than sorry, so kept any training that he may have been aware of out of the book, keeping it very focused on the necessary astral and mental exercises as he would be unable to ensure people were safely training the physical methods. But also, if we are to believe some of what is said, he was aware of the limited time he had on this earth so perhaps he may have known the value but did not have the luxury of time. Who knows!

If you are interested in the Internal Arts then be sure to check the interview I did with Alex Kozma.

What are the Benefits?

Well there are some specific benefits which will get to but firstly lets talk about this generally. For example some people have a lot of trouble with the elements (The Four Elements is the means used in IIH, Fire, Air, Water and Earth) they have trouble strongly feeling the potency of the sensation. Sensation is the name of the game when it comes to these exercises in IIH. The more potent the sensation the more potent the quality you can create. So if you are someone who has never felt like you were getting it, or it does not feel potent despite the number of breaths you are taking then it might require a change of approach. Why not upgrade lines of force in your body and improve your ability to perceive sensations. This may then surprise you with how potent these forces can become. Add to this practicing the elements as Kabbalah (tri polar, in this case sensation, image and sound) will get you working with elements in the way that you will be required to in later stages of your training.

Just working out will have an effect on the potency of the sensation and if you work directly with the electric lines and magnetic lines of force in the body you can add another layer of potency to these sensations. So for very little effort you can get a huge return. This beats repeating the same exercise for years in the hope things will improve. All you end up doing is creating a huge expectation of failure in the subconscious.

Finally a very specific benefit and a reason as to why you might want to investigate this side of the training is because to bring magick down into the physical you need power and potency. It is a bit like being an Electrical Engineer, you need the correct equipment to be able to handle the power, if the hardware is not up to scratch then at best it will fail, simply incapable and at worse it will explode. So, our body is the hardware, our tendons, fascial lines are the pipelines to take these forces from where they are and to bring them into the here and now. This is really the only way that I personally know to ensure that the powers we work with in the physical are experientially real and nots simply make believe.

I remember Bob from Sixty Skills said the following:

Why should someone do this? The lines of force act as conduits for the movement of subtle energy in the body. Strengthening these conduits by making the ligaments, and tendons, stronger and more integrated improves the movement of subtle energy. This works both in terms of bringing energy into the physical and in refining the more tangible energies into the more subtle.

A good place to start with this kind of training is to apply it to the vital force. I remember when I first met with Sifu Mark Rasmus back in 2012. Already back then he as well as a number of his students were training with the vital force while working with increasing weighted resistance, in some cases huge resistance. This meant that their ability to utilize these energies in the real world was potent and fairly effortless.

How Train the Body

There are many approaches that can be taken to train the body with the goal of increasing the potency of the sensation. If you want to keep things simple and free then just start something like Calisthenics, working on slow and steady training. Allowing the body to move through range of motion, sensing the end point of the movement and being aware of the journey from point A to B. So think of press ups, it is embarrassing to see what are called press ups, so first learn from a good source like Strong First to ensure you are actually doing correct basics. Speed is the enemy if quality when it comes to calisthenics, save your speed for Tabata days. You can also get your self a book like Convict Conditioning as it has good progressions (ignore the back story to the book). Just working a program for 3 months will already bring new potency to your sensation training.

Simple approach using weights as described by Sifu Mark Rasmus in the following video, he gives some big tips here. Add these tips to your bodyweight training and you are on the way.

Important Details

You can make what you are doing all the more efficient by addressing both the hardware – your body AND the software – your awareness/perception of your body. So something I was taught way back when I first started but something that has been so useful is simple body scanning. There are various ways to approach it, but lets look at a way that originally came to my teacher from Bruce Frantzis. So from a standing position you will move your mind through the entire body from the feet to the head. You need to feel the location first, then feel this location dissolve from ice to water and then finally to gas. It is of course just a tool to build increased awareness and sensitivity. Each part should take at least 30 seconds to a minute.

You may ask why? Well if you ask many people to feel a point on their back they are stuck with a large area. Very vague, top, bottom etc they cannot feel a specific vertebrae, why not? How can we be serious about perceiving from the depth point of an object yet cannot feel the various parts of our own body? So this exercise allows us to work through the body, you can do it in 15 mins if you want as it is tiring when done properly. We used to have to do this for an hour, I used to dread it. As we would be dripping in sweat. You will find after you can feel the physical you start feel other things and this can actually release things trapped in the body. It is a good thing as though we are building the quality of our hardware through physical training; this awareness work cleans the pipes of debris. If you need more assistance with this exercise let me know in the comments. There are other things to be aware of but this is a good start.

Work with a Teacher

The best way to train the body specifically for the work of Franz Bardons training manuals is to work with a teacher who has already achieved what you hope to develop. I myself learned most of these with Sifu Mark Rasmus back in 2012. This was wonderful but I also did not know what I had or just how important they were. I actually applied a lot of it to my Silat system, which comes with its own body training, but it still was not quite as focused as I wanted it to be. So then along comes Bob from Sixty Skills. Bob has done a great job of not just presenting the material but also tying it into a progressive curriculum to get you where you need to be efficiently.

So I would say if you want to start working with the body in order to bring new potency and power to your work in the Franz Bardon tradition then there are 3 specific courses that would get you moving in the right direction and that would help you understand very quickly why these methods are beneficial.

You can read more about these courses at the following links:

Electric & Magnetic Lines of Force
Resistance Training for Magicians
Electric and Magnetic Lines of Force with Movement

Conclusion

The bottom line is that for the work to be truly balanced then the physical must be addressed more than just some simple stretches. It should be developed along equal lines as the Astral and Mental bodies. Just get strong and see the difference. Increase your awareness OF the body and see the difference. Learn how to train the lines of Electric and Magnetic force and again see your results compound.


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