In Tibetan Buddhism, it’s taught that sentient beings trapped in samsara can be divided into six classes. Each of these six classes corresponds to an unwholesome inner state which characterizes that class. The six classes and their corresponding inner states are as follows.
Guest post by Virgil
- Demons Anger
- Hungry ghosts Miserliness
- Animals Stupidity
- Humans Desire
- Demigods Envy
- Gods Pride
These six classes provide a useful way of categorizing Bardonists as well as sentient beings. Keep in mind, although the path of Tibetan Buddhism and the path of Bardon’s Hermetics are two different paths, there are many areas of overlap. If you observe the Bardon community, you are bound to find demon Bardonists, hungry ghost Bardonists, animal Bardonists, human Bardonists, demigod Bardonists, and god Bardonists. You yourself may even fall into one of these six categories.
Have you ever gotten angry while arguing with another Bardonist about whether or not the use of psychedelics is compatible with IIH, or about how the four elements of Hermetics correspond to the five elements of Taoism, or about how much of Frabato the Magician was really written by Bardon? If so, you were a demon Bardonist. Arguments occur all the time in the online occult world. They occur less often in Bardon forums, but they still occur periodically, and that’s when the demon Bardonists reveal themselves.
Have you ever gained an insight into some aspect of magical training and been reluctant to share that insight with others? If so, you were a hungry ghost Bardonist. There are such Bardonists out there. A few years ago, I reached out to various Bardonist acquaintances of mine and asked them if they’d be willing to write a short article about elemental equilibrium so that an anthology could be created. That anthology was published under the title Equipoise, and it can be purchased here. I remember one acquaintance I reached out to said something along the lines of “I do have a lot of insights into elemental equilibrium, but I consider these insights very precious, so I am reluctant to share them. Therefore, I don’t want to write something for the anthology.” That showed me he was a hungry ghost Bardonist.
Have you ever read the section in KTQ where Bardon warns against practicing J.B. Kerning’s letter exercises and then thought to yourself “Since Bardon mentions Kerning’s letter exercises, I think it would be a good idea to learn these exercises and practice them”? If so, you were an animal Bardonist. That’s pretty stupid. Sometimes, Bardonists with anger issues will try to accumulate the fire element before they have eliminated their anger issues by using conscious eating, conscious breathing, and autosuggestion to cultivate patience. That’s also pretty stupid, so those Bardonists are animal Bardonists as well as demon Bardonists.
Have you ever had free time with which you could meditate or introspect, but instead listened to pop music or binged on junk food because you desired to do so? If so, you were a human Bardonist. When human Bardonists message me, they often ask me questions like “This thing that I desire is obstructing my progress through IIH. How do I continue indulging my desire for this thing but still manage to make progress through IIH?” When I tell them the best thing to do is to stop indulging their desire for pop music, drugs, refined sugar, coffee, or whatever… well, let’s just say they rarely like that answer.
Have you ever found yourself envious of a particular adept because of their advanced attainments? If so, you were a demigod Bardonist. Do your best to rid yourself of that envy. Then, one day, without that unwholesome envy holding you back, you too may advance to adepthood and attain great things.
Have you ever found yourself becoming prideful because of some perceived advancements you made along the magical path? If so, you were a god Bardonist. Sometimes, a Bardonist will see flashing lights while meditating, or they will have a dream that Bardon visited them and think that Bardon actually visited them, or they will experience weird sensations in their body while practicing vital force exercises and mistakenly believe that they are undergoing a kundalini awakening. When this happens, they may become prideful. Keep in mind that we advance faster along the magical path the more we are supported by God’s grace, and “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
Rather than being a demon Bardonist, a hungry ghost Bardonist, an animal Bardonist, a human Bardonist, a demigod Bardonist, or a god Bardonist, I encourage you to strive to become a buddha Bardonist. A buddha is free from anger, miserliness, stupidity, desire, envy, pride, and all other unwholesome inner states. Therefore, a buddha is not trapped in samsara and forced to incarnate in one of the six realms.
So, how do you become a buddha Bardonist? A thorough answer to this question would require at least a whole book, so I won’t even try to give a thorough answer for now. However, I will share with you a passage from the first chapter Thich Nhat Hanh’s valuable book You Are Here that contains an important hint.
When the energy of mindfulness is dwelling in you, Buddha is dwelling in you. The energy of mindfulness is the energy of Buddha. It is the equivalent of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is, there is also understanding, life, healing, and compassion. Where mindfulness is, true life, solidity, freedom, and healing also manifest.
The practice of mindfulness is an important part of the process of becoming a buddha Bardonist. This practice is mentioned twice in IIH. The first time is in the mental section of Step 1; mindfulness is the second exercise taught in that section. The second time is in Step 8, where Bardon mentions the practice of mindfulness while discussing the Great Now. That discussion of the Great Now reveals what a truly profound exercise mindfulness really is. It might seem basic and simple, and in some sense it is, but in another sense mindfulness is enlightenment itself. This is why Thich Nhat Hanh says the energy of mindfulness is the energy of Buddha. Through the benefits of mindfulness, one will be greatly supported in one’s endeavor to work through IIH and attain adepthood.