An Update for the Old Pack

OK, this one will not mean a lot to a lot of people. It is meant for the core group of the old somafera Pack, who were into exploring the advanced elements of the gangr. Though the Pack is scattered to the four winds, still do I owe my old kin an update on important discoveries.

Brothers and sisters, I believe I have at long last found the key to the zero wod elevation technique we sought. As most of you know, the problem with elevation rituals is twofold:

  • They use a LOT of energy.
  • They involve false thoughts, or thoughts that are discriminatory (this and not that). Such thoughts are always approximations, thus they always generate errors that end the gangr state, and worse.

I had long believed that any deliberate attempt to raise or control wod would result in false thoughts, so I searched for a zero wod elevation technique. Many of us suspected that the right combination of thoughts could effortlessly result in effortless and instantaneous gangr, without all the ritual and revving up. Several of us experienced states in which some great power came to us unbidden, while some other force seemed to control our physical actions. Not unlike when a car suddenly swerves into your lane, and you suddenly drive with much more skill than ever before, and Something Else seems to move you. We suspected this was the result of hitting some of the right thoughts for a zero wod state.

Yet such states were random, and did not last long. Also, they tended to ultimately achieve less than a good focused ritual could.

Of course, we said, the last time we discussed this matter. It takes a lot more to go from zero to sixty, as the zero wod thing requires. A ritual is more like shifting slowly up through the gears.

I believe recent experiences of mine have shown a way past this paradigm. The key to the zero wod elevation is in the following sequence of steps, I believe:

  • Get VERY familiar with an elevation technique. Use it all the time, for everything. Become very, very good with it. This takes years and years.
  • Once you reach the point where you have spontaneous elevation responses on a daily basis, for long periods of time, with no effort or intent, stop using the ritual. Forever.
  • The key here is to use an obscure technique some of you know: canned meditation, as some of us called it. If you perform a meditation ritual, and leave out a key element, and DO NOT REACT TO THE RITUAL IN ANY WAY, then you have left a certain potential energy in your memory, your subconscious mind. Later, by performing the missing element, you get in an instant something like the benefit of the whole prolonged meditation. I used this technique to great benefit in the tournament. So, by experiencing spontaneous gangr flashes, and doing things like listening to music that kicks in the elevation response, if you get into a deep meditative calm and do not react to it, you will have “canned the meditation” for later use.
  • Doing this constantly, until it becomes reflex, should eventually solve the zero to sixty problem. Your natural habit of thought will then generate tons of potential mental and emotional energy that, when you need to elevate, can be tapped by reflex, without effort. Zero to sixty in an instant. Zero wod elevation. No ritual, full strength.

The benefit of this is that none of this will be the result of false thoughts. No errors generated = no limit to the time you can stay elevated? At any rate, it’s the most credible path forward, and past The Wall, that I have found in years of research. I hope you are all well, my siblings.

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enhancing healing

As many berserkers in training soon discover, the berserker path necessitates a lot of healing. The same kind of enhancement that works for strength will work for healing. Just elevating will speed up the healing process, as long as you keep yourself well fed.

But we can do better than that.

The key is gestaltic visualization. Visualize the location of the injury. Concentrate on the feel of the injury. Try to picture the parts of your body that actually do the healing. Picture your body as a whole, coursing with power. Picture your elevated self. Picture yourself free of injury. Visualize every detail of the injured parts of your body from as many perspectives as possible. Visualize healing runes. Visualize them on your injury. Visualize yourself inhaling healing energy from the world around you, and directing it to the wound.

Keep switching from one image to another. Concentrate powerfully on each, but linger on none.

You are aiming to build up a powerful, complex, detailed image of your injury and your healing, one far more complex than you can manage just by concentrating on one thing. This will recruit and focus FAR more of your mind into the healing effort, and the speed with which you heal should improve.

More Meditation Advice

I have given meditation instructions for beginners elsewhere on this blog, as well as instructions for people with ADHD to use to meditate. It has been brought to my attention, though, that there are other questions that people new to meditation need answered, such as how often to do it, and how long to do it for.

Pushing yourself to the point where you are just going through the motions is bad. It is better to stop before this. Not doing enough is also bad. If you have little experience with meditation, try five minutes meditating, then ten minutes off, then five minutes meditating, then ten minutes off, then another five minutes. During the time off, listen to music and relax. Over time, shrink the rest periods until you can do fifteen minutes straight. Eventually, you want to be able to do a solid half hour. You need that much ability and focus before you can really learn to berserk deliberately.
Again, pushing too hard is bad, though.
There is also the matter of silence. Silence is best for many people. It is not good for all people. Experiment, and see what works for you best. Don’t be afraid to change it up, and try different things. It is all part of the process.

Practicing Huvardka

Huvardka is the state of mind in which certain lines of thought and feeling are subconsciously followed by reflex, instead of others. Specifically, it the way in which somaferans keep their minds from committing any of the many errors that can ruin a somaferan altered state. There are two components to it: experience and meditation. In a somaferan state the mind is furiously fixed on a specific focus. There is nothing of the mind for it to use to be aware of itself, and such awareness would ruin a somafera state anyway. Therefore, mistakes can only be avoided by either being in a deep, pure meditative state of unusual strength or by having sufficient practice in thinking the right things, so that your mind instinctively and reflexively thinks those things. Huvardka is a balance of meditation and training that permits this to occur.

There are three things to do in order to learn good huvardka skills. The first is practicing meditation, daily. The second is practicing, while in a calm, clear, meditative state of mind, thinking the things you want to think. Envision the circumstances in which you want this to be your reaction, such as when trying to enter a gangr, with as much detail and clarity as possible. The third is to keep track of your thoughts and words throughout each day, possibly with a journal. Make note of anything that you think that contradicts or distracts you from the desired line of thought and feeling. Learn to eliminate such toughts and words from your life. Keep doing these three things and you will get the hang of it.

Meditation for the ADHD Mind

One of the things that I learned in my years running the somafera forum was that many somaferans, especially the berserker type, have ADHD. This can present something of a problem when it comes to meditation. After all, meditation is a matter of calming and quieting the mind. It is necessary for all types of somaferans, at least those who want to deliberately trigger any of the somafera states. Several ADHD somaferans and I designed a method for entering meditative states that seemed to work for them. I present it here in the hope that it can help others as well.

Many Buddhist traditions have developed a wide range of techniques for inducing meditative trances. One common method is the koan. A koan is a riddle or problem with no logical solution. It does not offer any deep meaning or hidden revelation, its value lies in attempting to solve it. Because there is no rational solution, sustained focus on solving it ties up more and more of the brain, until an overload point is reached and the conscious part of the brain shuts down. Once this happens, the brain is dumped into a meditative state.

The key to achieving meditative states for ADHD minds follows this principle. You won’t easily be able to quiet or still your mind directly if you have ADHD, but you can use a more “judo” approach, and use your mind’s noise against itself. The key is to overload your mind by giving it too much to focus on at once. Use a meditative mantra. Use three. Keep moving your attention from one thing to another. Look at different things around you. Study them intently. Allow memories and other thoughts to arise unbidden, from free association. Hop from one to another randomly. Try to hold all of them in your mind at once.

Eventually, you will hit a breakover point where your mind, overwhelmed, starts shutting things down in order to try to regain control. One of the first things to go will be the conscious mind, putting you directly into a meditative trance.

This method works well even for deep, abiding, high quality trances. I have known berserkers with ADHD who used this technique to go all the way to full elevation. All it takes is a little practice.

So What Do I Do With All This?

If you have recently realized that you have a somaferan nature, you may be at a loss of what to do with it. There are a number of options. Firstly, you can try to ignore it. Secondly, you can try to come to terms with it enough for it to be useful on occasion, and to avoid the problems that can sometimes come with a somaferan nature. Thirdly, you can embrace it, and learn the skills necessary to gain some measure of control over it.

Ignoring it is generally a bad idea. If you don’t know what the warning signs are for an oncoming berserk fit, then you will be prone to losing control, and that isn’t good for anybody. Repressing it only works in the short term. Over the long term, it actually makes dangerous, sudden berserker fits much more likely.

Coming to terms with it means mostly psychological work. Embracing and developing it means psychological work and a whole lot more. Both of these approaches, however, start with the same thing: meditation. You need to learn to meditate for three reasons. Firstly, it quiets your conscious mind so that ideas and feelings from your subconscious parts can float to the surface and be heard. This includes the voice of your alter, and the attitudes and ideas you have toward your somaferan side. Secondly, it helps keep you mentally and spiritually balanced. This makes you less likely to lose control, and more likely to stay on top of things. Thirdly, once you develop some meditative skills, you can use it to unlearn bad habits and learn new good habits faster than you normally could.

This is about all you need to do in order to come to terms with it, though a few other practices will help as well. Letting your alter out to play in safe circumstances helps. Prayer helps, if you are religiously inclined. Maybe some form of artistic expression would do good as well. This is as much as the vast majority of somaferans will ever need. For most, experiencing the occasional spontaneous state and staying safe is enough.

Some, however, wish to experience more and develop the skills that go along with a somaferan nature. If you choose to embrace this, you need to do some major meditative and psychological work. This is going to be true no matter what the reason you are embracing it. Your normal mundane self and your somaferan alter are rather distinct personas, and each operates with your physiology in a distinctly different state. To be able to recall things from one state to the next, and to be able to exert some form of control, is no small feat. You will need a deep meditative state and extensive hypnotic priming.

In all likelihood, you are going to need an initiation ritual. The ancients used them. We modern somaferans have found them to be necessary for deep control in more than 9 out of 10 cases. You can break somaferan initiation rituals down into three types, generally speaking:

  • Madspace Breakthrough: if your somaferan nature inclines more toward spiritual experiences and mental enhancement then you can benefit greatly from one of these. Essentially, it involves achieving maximum mental stress that leads to a mental breakdown and rebuilding, a metanoia that creates a new mental state optimized for solving problems. It results in an extended eureka state. It is difficult to achieve the incredible mental and emotional stress needed for metanoia of this type, so this ritual requires incredible mental focus and self discipline. This type of initiation will generally not confer any control or expression of berserker-type somaferan states, though there have been exceptions.
  • Trial by Combat: one of the most common styles of berserker initiation. In modern times this means stepping into the ring with a more experienced, stronger fighter and fighting in a no holds barred mixed martial arts style. The experienced fighter must continually push the initiate’s limits, hurting and terrifying the initiate enough to trigger the berserker breakthrough. The experienced fighter must not knock out or exhaust the initiate, but instead play with him or her as long as possible. The incredible pain, fear, and stress of this method is easily able to trigger a true gangr in almost any natural berserker who has prepared properly. However, for some reason that we do not as yet understand, this method is prone to a high degree of failure and backsliding. That is to say that many initiates who succeed at this initiation do not subsequently learn any control over the gangr, or soon lose the control that they do gain. However, this is the ideal method to use for the vast majority of somaferans looking for an initiation. It has an element of danger to it without risking anything very serious, other than pain. It is an excellent compromise between the genuinely risky ancient methods and modern safety concerns.
  • Trial by Fire: the gold standard, as far as deep control goes. This kind of initiation uses fire walking or a similar ancient fire handling ritual. This is possible to do safely under the right circumstances largely due to the enhanced heat removal capacity of the blood when the pulse and blood pressure are as insanely high as they are in a berserker state. Much like putting a paper cup of water in a fire, the paper will not burn while there is water in it. A berserker initiate can deliberately trigger the gangr, in a deep, deep meditative state, by using the pain, fear, stress, and need to avoid being badly injured that contact with fire or hot coals brings.

Please keep in mind that the very idea of this is insane. This approach is ONLY for advanced spirit workers with a lot of experience. This is not for amateurs, or noobs. The point at which the fire resistant state comes, if it comes at all, it the tiniest moment before your flesh burns. If you fail to enter the state, YOU WILL BURN. The majority of the people who have tried this method have suffered at least blistering burns. Only three, myself included, have ever escaped entirely unburned. One berserker I know was SERIOUSLY burned, requiring multiple surgeries and leaving him with permanent disfigurement.

The only reason that anyone goes this route is that if it does succeed, the control that it gives seems to be permanent. None who have succeeded at this ritual have failed to gain control, and few have ever backslid.

It is likely that a true vision quest style of ritual, with the extended fasting, might also work, but I know of none who have tried. Whichever method you choose, you need to spend MONTHS preparing. That means extensive daily meditations, hypnotic primings, readings, and ritual tool making. The ritual itself must be complex, and utilize certain techniques. If you are new to meditation, your preparation will need to take years. You cannot rush this. If you do not have the patience to prepare for this ritual properly, then you do not have the willpower to break through.

Whichever path you choose, take your time and think about it. A somaferan nature is just like any other inborn talent or skill, such as race car driving or painting. It is a part and parcel of who you are. It will still be there later.

Meditation Basics

Even for born somaferans who have had a number of accidental elevation experiences, it can be very difficult to learn how to elevate deliberately. The first step on this path is learning to meditate.

You see, the somafera state, even the wild and frothing form of it known as the berserkergang, is an advanced form of meditative state. To develop the skills you need to reliably enter the somafera state, you need to put in a lot of practice at meditation first. There are two places to start from:

1) Calm-through-focus. This is the beginning stage, where some kind of object of focus such as a mantra or symbol is used to entrain the mind. As the attention focuses on the object, it loosens everywhere else. While the parts of mind involved in focusing on the object are active, the rest of the mind calms down and the incessant chatter stops a bit. When this happens, brief messages from the subconscious mind can rise to the top.

2) Emptiness. This is an intermediate stage. No object of focus is used. Instead, the experience gained with the previous stage allows you to simply stop the activity of the mind easily and naturally, without effort. In this state of meditation the messages received from the subconscious tend to be louder, longer, and sometimes more important.

The first kind of meditation is a lot easier to learn. The second kind is a much stronger meditative state, that will ultimately take you a lot farther. The usual way to learn is to start with the first form of meditation and learn to transform it into the second form. One way to do this is by focusing on the image of a smooth white wall. Keep your breathing deep and even, and focus on the wall. Stare intently at one part of it in your mind’s eye. That’s all there is to it, at first. Keep practicing this sort of meditation until you feel yourself getting calm and open every time you meditate. Once you are used to this meditation, take away the wall. It will not be such a big leap for your mind to go from imagining something that looks like nothing to actual nothing. Once you can do this, you will be practicing emptiness meditation.