If there’s one signature exercise amongst the Illuminates of Thanateros it’s Motionlessness/No Thought – MNT. In itself it’s unassuming and dull yet difficult and That Chore Which Must Be Done if you’re a Novice. It lurks among the Mind Control exercises of the Illuminates of Thanateros Novice training program, the ‘studentship syllabus,’ called Liber MMM, like the black sheep at the wedding reception.
Where did it come from? In the seminal chaos magic book Liber Null, Peter J. Carroll adapted the Yoga exercises of Aleister Crowley’s Book 4: Mysticism (part 1) for his adaptation within Liber MMM. This in turn was appropriated from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
More than anything else, MNT forges and storm-proofs the magician. When one of those ‘there’s something out there and it’s in here!’ moments occurs, if you’re going to look a god in its one massive bloodshot eye without shitting yourself, your Proper Prior Preparation and Practice of MNT helps you stand as The Magician In The Moment. When synchronicities turn your life into a shitstorm, you need the inner composure that meditation offers.
And all this starts from just sitting still.
Motionlessness is about not shifting weight, not scratching those inevitable little itches, and so forth. It’s not about torso movements when you breathe or tics or involuntary eye movements or blinking (if those bother you, shut your eyes). Pick a posture and stick to it. Since you don’t want to be shifting for comfort, pick a posture that’s comfortable in the first place. I did know someone who started off by doing his MNT in the Dragon Posture, but he doesn’t recommend it. Don’t try to be hardcore: leave your ego outside the Temple door.
If you gaze at a random spot on the wall you’ll very soon notice a slight tunnel vision. This is you entering a very light trance. Relax into it and your breathing will slow, swallowing and blinking are inhibited and the itches will become ignorable.
Breathing: pranayama. There’s a simple technique. In — out. And so forth. Fancy breathing techniques can wait, unless you already have mastery of them.
No-Thought is an unceasing business. Begin by just watching thoughts arise and pass away. Do nothing about them. When you catch yourself fixating on a thought, just drop it.
As you become aware of ‘space’ as it were in your consciousness where no thoughts are, as thoughts arise then deliberately ignore them and attend instead to that empty space. From time to time you get some blessed peace, when there are no thoughts to ignore. You’ll probably notice this moment of peace only when it’s over.
It’s not so much about that moment as the abilities, manifested over time, to drop easily into inhibitory trance states, to close down unhelpful streams of thought while under pressure and to concentrate on what is currently important. The concentration you’re looking for is not the fierce fixed frown and furious glare; it’s the relaxed absorption of a child at play. You are ‘in neutral,’ as it were. From this state you will learn to put yourself in gear by paying attention to something and there the magic starts.
Start with about 15 minutes and after a few days of practice add five minutes, and so forth until you’ve got 30 minutes’ practice time. It is totally worth it. This is why to this day the Illuminates of Thanateros still champion this practice and require our Novices to practice it daily.