FUTURERITUAL software for wetware by Philip H. Farber The following is adapted from a handout developed for the FUTURERITUAL workshop, which was presented in several locations in 1990. FUTURERITUAL was the first public presentation of ritual work designed for use with an electronic sound and light "brain machine." The most widely publicized of these events was held in Manhattan, in April of that year, in a loft off Canal Street. That event was opened by author Robert Anton Wilson, who spoke for about an hour on brain machines in general, their development and use. Following that, brain machine developers Stephen Barry and Nicholas Ross introduced the "Cosmic Octopus," the 30-person sound and light device to be used in the workshop. Then writer Philip H. Farber presented the ritual material, and led the group through the ritual. Rules for workshop participation: Within reasonable bounds, rules are pretty flexible. The reasonable bounds are: 1) not interfering with other's enjoyment, 2) Maintaining concentration on intent of ritual. And the rules are really only general guidelines -- there is great opportunity for individual choice. Ask questions at any time. Basic breathing exercises and self-hypnosis techniques are introduced and discussed. The handouts: FUTURERITUAL SOFTWARE developed by Philip H. Farber for interaction with a multiple-user brain machine in a group setting GENERATING INTENT Your intent determines what the content and direction of the ritual for you will be. What is it that you would like to gain from this work? The intent should be developed and written down (or remembered) in a clear, concise way so that it can be used in the ritual at the appropriate time. This intent can take the form of traditional magick (i.e., to invoke an elemental force or a deity such as Pan, Artemis, Hermes, etc.), or it may use a model of therapeutic or generative change, such as those described by NLP or similar systems. One possible question to ask is, "What is it that I lack, that I should like to gain?" You may choose something which you are currently working on in your life, or in whatever practice or discipline you are working in. ENTER RITUAL AREA BANISHING A traditional magical banishing performed by one person, followed by a more personal banishing which might consist of pot- banging, drum-thumping, yelling, etc., around the perimeter, outward. Each yell or noise should be envisioned and/or felt as an enduring presence which remains even without the magician's conscious concentration. If you are a traditional magician, you can use the sounds and energy to build up pentagrams at the cardinal points. Others can let the guardians take shape, position or quality intuitively, as may seem appropriate. The purpose of all this is to make sure that everything within the place of working is subservient to the single purpose of the ritual. The banishing prevents use of the space for anything but the one purpose. CONSECRATION Personal consecration: Silently aspiring as Hadit to Nuit, or to H.G.A. Or, for the verbally oriented, a mantra of sorts may be repeated, for instance, "I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body," or "God, I invite you to indwell the pure temple which I have prepared for you." Or some combination of all these techniques. As in all of this, the more sensory modes that you use, the more effective it will be. When you think that you have made some success with this, you can allow or imagine your body and mind to be infused or vibrating with the energy of the infinite. At least 5 minutes. Projection: Walk around in circle, using the sign of the enterer to project the energy of the infinite through the circle. Again, that energy may take any sensory form: sound, vision, feeling. TAKE YOUR SEAT Little circle: Mentally define a smaller circle around just you, a personal circle which excludes all others. Start with sign of silence, aura withdrawn, then, at whatever pace is comfortable, expand your aura to fill the little circle. Then draw the aura in as small as possible, to a single point if you can. Repeat this until the aura is quite dense. THE OATH AND INTENT with MEDITATION We go around the circle and each stands and states his name, his experience as a person, what he does in life, etc. Then make a statement of your intent in doing this ritual. What is the single purpose that you have chosen? If you so decide, you may do this silently. Please sit when you are done. While you wait your turn and/or wait for the next phase, you can practice the silent meditation or hypnosis technique of your choice. DON YOUR HEADGEAR Relax for a bit, perhaps continuing your meditation, or simply allowing yourself to become receptive to the frequency of the machine. When you are ready, move on to the invocation. INVOCATION Use whatever technique you have chosen, or whatever technique works, to invoke the quality of your intent. For instance, if you have chosen aspiration to the highest, you may use the state induced by the machine to "imagine" yourself doing a specific ritual that you might know, a specific meditation method, etc. If you have chosen therapeutic or generative intent, then you can use an appropriate hypnosis technique, or you can "imagine" yourself going through the process of acquiring the desired quality, finally possessing that quality and being in the future situation(s) where that quality will be most useful. Whatever your choice, strive to incorporate as many sensory modes as you comfortably can: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory. Note: This may require some effort of will, or it can simply happen with its own momentum. Be receptive to it, and flexible if it is appropriate. Continue this until it reaches its logical conclusion, or until you are exhausted, or until you feel the exaltation which you might associate with successful invocation. There is no set time for this: you decide when you are finished invoking. ABSORPTION OF ENERGY Spend some time allowing yourself to become completely receptive to the energies which have developed within the ritual area. Let them enter you from wherever they might, or from all points simultaneously. Allow these energies to fill you. Relax and experience whatever it is that you may experience at this point. Take whatever time seems appropriate, or until the machine stops (you should have plenty of time to enjoy this). CLOSING Remove your headgear, silently declare your operation completed and the energy invoked to be an asset to you for as long as it is appropriate. For instance, "My operation is complete, my circle closed, and the forces invoked always available as a tool for my True Will." GLOSSARY AND TECHNIQUES AURA: An energy field which theoretically surrounds the human body (and other animate and/or inanimate objects). According to various different expounders on the subject, this is electromagnetic in nature, or purely spiritual, or based on perception (through synesthesia) of subtle, non-verbal cues and patterns of communication. (My own theory is that it may partake, in some measure, of all of these.) Whether or not you actually believe in the physical existence of something called an aura, it is a useful concept within the context of ritual, meditation, and certain other practices. If you do not believe in the existence of an aura, you can simply imagine something with similar qualities surrounding your body. This is usually quite adequate and effective. BANISHING: A technique for, or an act of clearing a ritual setting of all thoughts, ideas, elements, etc., which do not relate to the purpose of the ceremony. A traditional one for Golden Dawn style magicians is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. BRAIN MACHINE: Generally, an electronic device used to induce specific brainwave frequencies. Some machines use an electromagnetic field, others, such as the Cosmic Octopus used in the FUTURERITUAL workshop, employ a combination of light and sound. CONSECRATION: The active dedication of a space or object to the single purpose of a ritual. HYPNOSIS: In general, the use of language or sensory modes to achieve a trance state in which the unconscious mind may have greater control of behavior than in "normal" states. Where meditation ends and hypnosis begins is difficult to say. Sample self-hypnosis: Sitting comfortably, with eyes open or closed, list (to yourself) 3 things which you can see, then 3 things which you can hear, then 3 things which you can feel (for example, "I see the color of the wall, I see the person opposite me, I see the color of her hair, I hear the sounds outside the room, I hear people moving about, I hear my own breathing, I feel the cushion underneath me, I feel the air on my skin, I feel my hands on my lap..."). Then narrow it down to a list of 2 things in each sensory mode, then 1 thing in each mode. Then count breaths backwards from 1 to 10 and enjoy the trance that you are drifting into. This works most powerfully when the verbal listing within your head is timed in a rhythm with your breathing (see PACING). MAGICK: "The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will," according to Aleister Crowley. Also, "The method of science, the aim of religion." In the Golden Dawn tradition, the ultimate goal of magick was the "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel." In the language of psychology, this might be defined as revelation from the unconscious or collective unconscious; in the language of mysticism, it is union with god. According to one definition, white magick is when the will and action are applied to this union, black magick is anything else (for instance, placing immediate comfort or greed in the place of the Holy Guardian Angel). There are many shades of gray. MEDITATION: In general, these are techniques to still the mind or, with conscious intent, to narrow the focus of the mind to a single thing. These techniques include: Mantra: repetition of a word, phrase or passage. Pranayama: attention to or control of the breath. This may be as simple as counting breaths (for instance, counting on each inbreathe, 1 to 10 and then down to 1 again). Or it may include yogic breathing (filling all 3 zones of the lungs) timed with counting or with a mantra (for instance, inhale for count of 5, hold breath for count of 5, exhale for count of 5, hold out for count of 5, repeat cycle). Visualization (dharana): fixing the attention on a single internal image (for instance, the elemental symbols of the Tatwas: blue circle, symbolizing air; silver crescent, water; red triangle, fire; yellow square, earth). For some people, however, other sensory modes may be more useful and visualization may be replaced or augmented by concentration on internal sound, feeling or smell. NLP: Neuro-linguistic programming. A synthesis of disciplines developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder which can provide a language to describe aspects of consciousness, communication and change. PACING (AND LEADING): Terms derived from the practice of hypnotherapy which describe a theory of a "following response". By matching aspects of a person's behavior, for instance: rate and depth of breathing, tone of voice, sensory modes used, gestures and mannerisms, etc., it can become possible to gain closer rapport and eventually "lead" the person into new behavior. This theory may account for the effectiveness of some brain machine programs which may began with a "normal level" of brainwave frequency, pace that frequency for a while, then lead into a different or "deeper" state. RITUAL: The set of tools including banishing, consecration, invocation, etc., which allow us to consciously apply our will to the art of life. A general form might include the preparation of an area in which all elements contribute to a single purpose, banishing of all contradictory elements, and the invocation or development of a single desired element or idea. These tools are common to all religious ceremony, practically all scientific technique and many actions in "everyday life." SENSORY MODES: Also called "representational systems" or, simply, "the senses". Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic (feeling), Olfactory/Gustatory (smell and taste). These can be subdivided into various catagories -- internal, external, recalled, created, loud, soft, bright, dim, strong, weak, etc. All of our knowledge of the world is gathered through impressions in these modes, and processed with thoughts in these modes. Categorizing impressions in this manner is often a useful way of understanding our perceptions and making use of them. It is possible that, for some people, additional sensory modes do exist, but the existence of synesthesias may make this difficult to determine. SIGNS: In the context of FUTURERITUAL, these are gestures and actions which represent some archetype or archetypal process. Sign of the Enterer: (or Sign of Horus) Right foot steps forward, both hands, placed palms together, are thrown forward. The magician actively imagines an energy, quality or idea projected from him. Sign of Silence: (or Sign of Harpocrates) Both feet together, left forefinger placed on the lips. The magician actively imagines his aura to be withdrawn, as small as possible within the heart. There are many other signs and gestures which can be learned, developed intuitively, and used for a variety of purposes. SYNESTHESIA: Combinations and crossovers between sensory modes. For instance, great music (auditory external) may produce strong emotional feelings (kinesthetic internal). Experimenters with altered states may sometimes experience unusual synesthesias, such as seeing music, feeling colors, etc.