Category Archives: Mysticism

Get Real: Training Involution 106

Late to the party?  This month’s focuses are Wrestling and The Hourglass.

Get Real: Training Involution #106

  • Wrestling Conditioner #4.  Set timer for 10 mins.  Shin Ride your heavy bag and strike x10, mount and strike x10, roll to bottom position and up-strike x10, then bridge, knee boost, or hip escape from under the bag, and repeat as many times as you can before the timer beeps.  Strike full power and take as few 12-count breaks as possible in order to finish.
  • Jump rope for 10 mins, as fast as you are able.  Take as few 12-count breaks as possible in order to finish.
  • Have you memorized the Emerald Tablet yet?  Yes?  Good job!  No?  This is Cabal Fang, it’s only 250 words, and its required.  “Chop-chop — I’m waiting,” I say.  “But why?” you reply.  Because The Emerald Tablet is a 1,000+ year-old piece of wisdom literature that describes “reality” as a conversation between consciousnesses — and so does this 20-minute TED talk by Donald Hoffman, which tackles the idea that consciousness is prime, not matter.

Judgment Day: Training Involution #103

This is the last weekly T.I. in the month with internal concentration The Book (a.k.a. the Tarot) and external concentration Basic Self-Defense.  I guess you could say it’s judgment day.

Judgment Day: Training Involution #103

  • Are you ready for Judgment Day?  Three questions: (1) If there’s a natural disaster or your employer goes belly up and you’re unemployed for a few weeks, it’s a good idea to have some back-up resources.  Check your pantry.  Do you have at least 1 month of food and water on hand?  (2) If you get lost and there’s no gas station around you’ll be sorry if you’re driving on fumes.  Go check your vehicle.  Do you have at least a quarter tank of gas in the tank?  (3) You’re going to feel pretty dumb if your vehicle breaks down and you haven’t been maintaining it. Have you had your oil changed and any other scheduled maintenance done?  Count your “No” answers and hike 1 mile for each.  Beginners use a #10 pack, intermediate #25, advanced #40+.
  • Tarot meditation on XX: Judgement.  Why do Tarot card manufacturers seem to like the British spelling that includes the letter “e” in the middle?  Oh well.  Set up the card (or a printed photo or your tablet) so that it’s at eye level when you’re in your meditative posture of choice.  Set a timer for 3 to 5 mins.  Regulate your breathing as you look at the card.  Imagine that you are stepping into the card, that you are becoming one of the characters in the scene.  Imagine all of the sights, sounds, tastes and sensations of the scene.  When the timer beeps, watch the video below.  Record your thoughts and realizations in your training journal.



||Log”os (?), n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? the word or form which expresses a thought, also, the thought, fr. ? to speak.]

1. A word; reason; speech.

2. The divine Word; Christ

Number 1 in the above definition, which is from the 1913 Websters, comes by way of ancient Greek which predates Christianity.  Number 2 is an interpretation of the Bible verse John 1:1 – “In the beginning there was the word; and the word was with God, and the word was God.”

Why did the author of John 1:1 choose this word “logos?”  And why does this word appear over a hundred times elsewhere in the New Testament?

The divine Logos is an idea that runs like a vein of gold through the whole of Western philosophy, starting with the mystery traditions of old Egypt, passing into Socrates, up through Plato, onward through the Stoics, and flowing into New Testament Christology.

It’s a deeply mystical thing to perceive the Logos, to tap into the energy of that golden vein. It’s mystical because, like the Tao, of which Laotse said “the Tao which can be described is not the Tao,” the Logos can be felt and perceived with persistent and devoted effort, but it steadfastly defies attempts to be defined.  To my way of thinking, the definition of Logos sits somewhere near the intersection of consciousness, truth, order and speech.

Maybe though, the Logos is just too sacred to say much more about.  Maybe, rather than talking about it, we should sanctify it by living it out in the way we think, act, feel and believe.

Exploring the idea of Logos I drew some ambigrams and other sketches. I hope you enjoy them and that these words and scribbles in some small way reveal a place to start digging for your own relationship with this ancient and divine force.


The Next (Final) Emerald Lamp Video?

Vol. 1 Episode 4 of the Emerald Lamp Video Series is now live.  Patreon supporters got access a month ago.  And yesterday they also got access to a private video on the subject of body toughening (conditioning and callousing of the body to better deliver and accept blows).  For as little as $1/month you can click here, become a supporter, and get access to all kinds of patron-only content — as well as early access to just about everything I produce.

Neither the Emerald Lamp series nor the Holy Communion series is really taking off the way I anticipated.  Episode 4 of the Emerald Lamp and Episode 12 of Holy Communion might mark the end of both series.  If you like either of them I suggest sharing them to your social media profiles, tweeting, posting and sharing like a madman.  These are the most labor intensive videos I make in terms of planning and writing.  If nobody’s watching, I could really stand to put those hours back into my training!

So if you like either series, show your love by sharing the videos.  And, in the comments below, please tell me which of my videos you like most and least and why.

Run for Your Life: Training Involution #101

Here at Cabal Fang HQ our monthly focuses are Basic Self-Defense and The Book (chapters 16 and 20 in the Cabal Fang Study Guide). From now on the Training Involution of the Week is going to be based around the monthly theme at HQ. I think that will go a long way toward creating a feeling of community within the Cabal Fang family, don’t you?

Run for Your Life: Training Involution #101

  • Are you paying attention to detail? (1) What was your spouse or significant wearing last time you saw him or her? (2) What is the color, make, model, year and license plate number of his or her vehicle? (3) Get up right now and check: are all your doors and windows locked? Imagine how guilty you’d feel if your spouse or significant other turned up missing and you couldn’t help the police with the most basic information. Imagine how you’d feel if someone invaded your home and you didn’t have it buttoned up. If you didn’t get at least two out of three right, complete 100 Squats and then review your preparedness and prevention drills on pages 224 – 226 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.
  • Do you know your numbers? If you are going to use Tarot as a psychological and spiritual tool you need to know your number symbolism. What are astrological associations for the numbers 1 through 10? If you can’t name at least of 5 of them, do 50 Push-ups and then go study the chart on page 168 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.
  • Conditioning Run. CR15P Tabata-styled. Run AFAYC for 20 seconds, walk 10 seconds, repeat for 30 rounds. That’s 15 mins total.

The Big 100: Training Involution #100

“It is said that Master Yagyu once remarked, ‘I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself.’ Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.”  ~Hagakure (1716)

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo is one of Cabal Fang’s 50 Most Influential Books.  If you haven’t read it, you don’t know what you’re missing.

And now, well, we’ve reached 100 hundred weekly training blog posts and that’s a milestone for sure.  What do you say — should we make this one a real doozie?

The Big 100: Training Involution #100

  • 100 strikes/min (heavy bag for speed).  Set timer for 3 rounds of 3:00/1:00.  Strike heavy bag with hands and feet as fast as you can.  Count strikes in the final round.  If you don’t break 300 strikes (100 strikes/min.) try again tomorrow.  Tip: count your strikes in sets of 10.
  • 100 grappling moves.  If you have a partner, pick one grappling move — maybe Single Leg, Ankle Pick, Drop Duck-under, Slip-by to take down, you name it — and do it 50 times each.  If training solo do it 100 times.  Either way, if you aren’t done in under 8 mins., you’re going way too slow.  Try again tomorrow.
  • 100 Calisthenics Half Pyramid.  Squats, Jumping Jacks and Push-ups (beginners do Half Squats and/or Push-ups on knees, advanced folks, do Jump Squats and/or Clap Push-ups).  Climb odd numbers only up to 19 for a total of 100 each (1 of each, then 3 of each, then 5,7,9,11,13,15,17 and 19).  Get it done in under 13 mins or try again tomorrow.
  • Journal review.  Are you keeping up with your training journal?  Are you logging all training sessions?  Making regular diary entries?  Noting your mood and any milestones?  Establishing goals based on your progress?  Spend a 10 minutes reading backwards in your journal.  Are you satisfied with the frequency and quality of your entries?  Are you happy with your progress in all four major dimensions — intellectually, emotionally, martially and spiritually?  Record your thoughts and answers to these questions in your journal!


How to Meditate

How to Meditate*

(Note: Most people call this “meditation” so I’m using that term.  But this is actually what I call contemplation, not meditation.  For a full explanation of the differences between meditation, contemplation and prayer — their definitions, how they work and how to use them — see Cabal Fang: Complete Study Guide from Querent to Elder.)

The best thing about meditation is that there is no goal, there are no achievements to mark off, there’s no way to measure progress and no need to do so.  You just do it.  And that is enough.

1. Sit down.  Choose your pose — lotus, half-lotus, cross-legged, or my personal favorite, seiza.  You can hold your hands any way you like.  I personally like hands on thighs, but it’s your call.  Eyes open or closed is fine, but when you first start out, it might be better to stare at a blank wall to avoid distractions.

2. Be quiet.  Still your thoughts, allowing them to dissipate like ripples in a pond.  The more you struggle against your thoughts the more ripples you will make.  Don’t resist.  Just allow your mind to approach stillness.

3. Breathe. Inhale, hold, exhale, hold, each in roughly the same measure (somewhere in the 4 to 8 second range is fine).  Keep airways open during the hold phase — never clamp down on your breath.

4. Practice daily.  Ten to forty minutes is perfect, but as little as 3 minutes will be beneficial.  I meditate about 10 minutes per day with one long session per week.

* Russ, this is for you brother!