Category Archives: Mysticism

A Weekend of Making and Doing

I spent the weekend making and doing all sorts of things I’ve been meaning to make and do.

First I made a 30/60/90 triangle out of 2×10 and painted it white. Why? Inclined bench press. I also installed a sump pump under the house, put a coat of paint on my all-wood-DIY can crusher, and for the martial arts club I made and painted a sign and put together a new membership scroll.  Pictures of everything except the sump pump below.

The way I see it, on my death bed I am not going to be lying there wishing I had spent more time watching TV. I am going to be wishing I did more, created more, shared more, gave more, and inspired more.

New roadside sign for the martial arts club.

Here’s the sign installed.

The new membership scroll.

Here’s the detail of the studs that attach the leather cover to the paper roll.  There’s one stud for each of the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang.

Closed view of the new membership scroll.

Closeup of the scroll’s knobs.

Close-up of the metal closure of the scroll.

Here’s the add-on I made for my weight bench so that I can do incline bench presses. It’s made from 2×10 stud wood and assembled with 3″ construction screws. The angle is 30 degrees.

My DIY can crusher. This thing works like a charm! It’s actually more of a can folder than a can crusher. Only problem is, it’s 100% wood, which means it needs to get a fresh coat of paint as soon as it starts so wear down.

Holy Communion Series #14

I haven’t talked about this video series in quite a while.  It occurs to me that some of you loyal readers who aren’t YouTube subscribers may not even know about it.

Every Sunday I undertake a Bible reading and then I take Holy Communion.  Some Sundays I have realizations that are profound enough to share.  When that happens I make a video.

Here’s #14 in the series…

500 Reps and a Trip to Oz: Training Involution #114

Training Involution #114

This week’s training involution is a two-parter.  Start with the 500-rep All-in Conditioner (video at the bottom of the post) then move on to a Cross of Light exercise.

500 Rep All-In Martial Arts Conditioner

  • Warm-up with 8 minutes of light cardio.  Then, at 50% power, complete 10 to 20 reps of each exercise to make sure you’re fully warmed up and ready to go all out.
  • Perform every exercise with maximum power and precision. Take as few 12-count rest breaks as you must in order to finish — see video below.
  • 100 Paces of Press Walks.  I used two #25 dumbbells but you can substitute a sandbag or another heavy object.
  • 100 max power strikes vs. upright heavy bag.
  • 50 Push-ups.
  • 50 Circles vs. floor heavy bag.
  • 100 mounted strikes vs. floor heavy bag.
  • 50 reverses from bottom position.
  • 50 pop-ups to shin ride position.

A Cross of Light Exercise

When we try to orient ourselves we instinctively think of four directions.

In Cabal Fang we orient ourselves with the Hermetic Quaternary: To Know, To Will, To Dare — To Keep Silent.  But there are tons of other things that map onto this — like the Four Heavenly Creatures, the four classical elements, and rather significantly, the Four Evangelists.  I’m convinced that’s why there are four gospels in the New Testament — because it instinctively makes sense that there should be four different versions of Christ’s story, each one from one of four different angles.

Me in the role of the Scarecrow at the Land of Oz Theme Park in Beech Mountain, NC

What else maps onto the Cross of Light?

The Four Characters from the Wizard of Oz Film

Just the other day I noticed that the four characters in the Wizard of Oz film fit perfectly in place on this diagram.

  • The Cowardly Lion goes in the East — he’s in search of courage or daring.
  • The Tin Woodsman is in the West.  Water made him frozen and silent, and he’s after a heart which equates to the water of tears of joy, sadness, sympathy, etc.).
  • Dorothy belongs in the South because she is human, and her defining characteristic is her will to go home.
  • And lastly, Scarecrow maps to North because he’s searching for knowledge — but his quest doesn’t begin until he’s cut down and he falls to earth.

See what else you can map onto the compass.  Here are some ideas: The Fantastic Four, The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, the Four Horsemen, the four fixed signs of the Zodiac, the four ways of seeing, the Four Alchemical Elements, Plato’s four qualities.  Sketch a cross and start mapping.  Then, when you’re done, perform the Cross of Light ritual from Chapter 17 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.

 

Happy Independence Day and Why it Matters

Happy July 4th to all my friends in the USA and around the world!

In our busy lives it’s easy to lose sight of America’s greatness and to forget why we shook the world in the first place.

This July 4th let’s remember that the United States of America was the first time since the rise of feudalism that people could own their own land and govern themselves.

That’s a big deal.

Sure, there had long been parliaments and senates and such, but kings, queens, emperors and empresses had really been in charge.  Right up until 1776, the British Crown could force you to board troops, could levy taxes against you without recording your vote, and even put you in irons without a hearing or seize your stuff.  Escheatment still survives to this day, a vestigial organ reminding us that unclaimed property reverts to the ownership of the state because, in the past, everything really belonged to the Crown anyway.

Yes, the United States of America is a really big deal, a remarkable experiment that continues to this day.  There are still plenty of places in the world that are controlled by absolute rulers, sultans, kings, despots, communist parties, and so on.  And while the USA is no utopia, there are reasons why everyone wants to get in.

You’re a grand old flag.  Forever in peace may you wave.

Memorization: How and Why

There is a memorization requirement in the Cabal Fang Hermit Path Distance Learning Program.  People sometimes ask me what it’s for, kind of the way kids ask their teachers why they have to learn about history when they can just google it.  So I made the video below.

By the way, my Patreon supporters got it 30 days ago.  If you’d like access to my stuff when it’s hot off the presses, consider sponsoring me for as little as $1/month.

Polls, Goals, and Folderol: Training Involution #111

Take the Poll

We really want to the temple to be attractive to the general public.  So go straight to the bottom of this page and vote in the temple paint job poll.  You made time to take the “Which Jedi are you?” poll on Facebook, right?  So make time for ours, willya?

Set a goal

Stop futzing around — do you want to get somewhere or not?  Get yourself a planner, set some goals, and start making a plan to achieve them.  Need help?  Become a Patreon supporter and you’ll get access to my organizational method — a 20 -minute how-two video, a action plan worksheet, and detailed instructions.  Click here.  Why should you care about my method?  It’s been perfected over 30 years and it’s what’s allowed me to get so much done.  My resume here.

Ditch the folderol

There are only so many hours in the day.  Keep your martial arts training focused.  The Master says, “To find water, dig one well.”

This gets even more important with age.  The older you get, the shorter, more intense, and more focused your training needs to become.  As recovery times slow, trade volume for intensity to maintain performance.  Work harder and rest more.

As the 60+ bike riding phenom Ned Overend says, “Training with an emphasis on high-intensity intervals has been my preferred method of preparing for races throughout my career.  I’ve learned that by reducing volume, I’m more rested for high-intensity sessions, and by being rested I can push myself harder during the intervals.” (read more here)

And with all this in mind…

Training Involution #111

Tune up.  Remember doubling down?  I still recommend that once in a while.  But today, do the opposite.  Instead of doubling a lackluster training session to break through a plateau or stretch a limit, pick something you crushed — something that seemed rather easy — and make it harder by removing the dead wood or increasing the intensity.  Don’t lengthen it, tighten it.  Put it in a pressure cooker.  Example One: Let’s say this month’s constitutional is easy for you.  Try this — drop the two easiest exercises and see if you can cut your time by at least 33%.  Example Two: Let’s say you did Wrestling Conditioner #4 and just wasn’t that hard.  Try adding a #10 weighted vest.

Poll: Which Temple Paint Job is Best?

Update 7/2/18:  A Teaching Moment Regarding Sacred Symbolism  

I decided the cathedral front was a horrible idea.  What would it mean symbolically for the temple to have a fake front?  Wow.  Catastrophically bad idea, right?  So let’s talk about symbolism…

Andrew posted what he thinks are the best symbolic colors for the temple in the comments section below which I will summarize now and add some additional correspondences.  He suggests red walls, yellow trim around the windows, blue trim around the doors, and purple eaves or overhangs.

  • Red symbolizes the planet Mars (named after the god of war), strength, Geburah, and the number 5 — as in the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang.  Also red is a warning that dangerous things are inside.  It screams to wake up and pay attention.
  • The yellow trim around the windows symbolizes the solar light that emerges from within.  Enlightenment is sought, and realizations are apprehended, inside these walls and its light shines outward.
  • The blue trim around the door suggests that one must enter forthrightly being mindful of justice and mercy — blue is the color of Chesed, associated with the planet Jupiter.
  • And the purple eaves or overhangs suggest that psychic gifts of the higher mind overshadow all of the work that goes on within.  Purple is the color of nobility, of carrying oneself in a manner others can look up to.  Purple is the color of Yesod, and suggests therefore that we should be good communicators between the higher realms of the ideal and physical practical realm.
  • We aren’t redoing the inside at this time, but Andrew mentions that, although black and white checkerboard is the obvious flooring choice, geometric patterns can interfere with natural movement.  The last thing you’d want in a temple of martial arts would be something that encourages movement to a grid instead of movement to the situation.

Symbolism matters.  Even when people don’t intellectually know the planetary and Qabalistic associations they still react to colors viscerally.  There is a subconscious effect.  Don’t believe me?  What would it mean if we painted the temple red, white and blue?  What if we painted it all grey?  All black?  Catch my drift?

Based on the above, I’d like to do an artists rendering.  But right now I have to go out to the Temple and train.  More to come…

Update 6/24/18:  A Cathedral Front?  A friend of mine has some very insightful thoughts about which colors would be perfect for the temple, and he’ll be posting in the comments soon.  In addition, I came up with this completely insane idea: what if, instead of just a coat of paint, we added a false front and a cupola to the temple and made it look like a mini-cathedral?  It would one heck of a project, but the temple would be beautiful.  And beautiful things are inspiring.

So I did this little before and after sketch.  What do you think?


Original post from 6/20/18

The Cabal Fang Temple needs a paint job, and we’d like your input.  Please vote in the poll below!