>> I have been practicing celibacy and experiencing occasional "nocturnal emissions" while dreaming. What are nocturnal emissions from the magical standpoint? I remember reading at some point in IIH that it was a "ghost" trying to feed itself. <<
I suggest that you re-read this section concerning larvae and phantoms. It's in Step Six, Magical Physical Training.
A larva is something you create yourself, subconsciously, out of your own astra-mental energy. As Bardon explained, we each create larvae constantly and they are constantly dying off and being created anew throughout our lives. Most larvae are very weak and short lived, but the stronger emotions, thoughts and desires, create longer lived and much stronger larvae called phantoms. A phantom has a strong will to survive and to do this, it must actively feed off its creator's astra-mental energy.
A sexual based larva (i.e., one built upon repressed or unsatisfied sexual desire) will definitely manifest itself during the dream state as an object of sexual desirability. A strong larva of this nature can, by manipulating the contents of the subconscious mind, bring its creator to ejaculation/orgasm and thereby harvest (i.e., feed upon) the vital energy within the male semen and upon the vital energy released during either a male or female orgasm.
The only cure for this is to destroy the larva. This is done by addressing the psychic issues (in this case, repressed sexual desire) which give strength to and feed the larva. In other words, larvae are destroyed by starving them or cutting off their supply of astra-mental energy.
Celibacy means more than just abstaining from sexual intercourse and masturbation. Since our sexuality is such an integral part of our humanness, the celibate must be very careful in how they manage their natural sexual inclinations, thoughts, desires, etc. These cannot be merely repressed and ignored if celibacy is to be a positive practice. Instead, they must be directly and honestly confronted and *transmuted* -- never repressed or ignored.
>> Is the energetic emission the same as with masturbation? <<
No, it isn't exactly the same because with masturbation you are *consciously* releasing your pent-up sexual energy; whereas, the dream experience occurs entirely within the realm of the subconscious psyche, even though it has physical consequences. In this case, there is no release of what has been pent-up and, in fact, it places those pent-up desires under greater pressure.
>> Are you depleted because of it? <<
Yes. You are depleted *more* than during *conscious* sexual release.
>> How to avoid it, if it is bad? I personally can sense the dream coming, but I can't awake, or I don't have any reason to awake until it's too late. I know that these dreams couldn't have come if I had good thoughts on my mind... <<
Here's the crux of the matter. Namely, your feeling that sexual thoughts are "bad" things. This is the downfall of many who practice sexual abstinence because this valuation goes against Nature. When it is what motivates abstinence, a schism occurs within the psyche between what Nature dictates and what the person thinks. A great pool of shame and self-disgust grows since sexual thoughts and desires naturally arise, even if the person *feels* that they are "bad" things. In the realm of the psyche, when one considers the Natural to be "bad", it increases the power that Nature exerts over the person and decreases the person's own sense of self-powerfulness.
The powerful "battery" of energy that this schism develops within the astral psyche, takes on a life of its own (the definition of larvae) and will emerge or manifest in a variety of ways, usually with a sexual theme. Your dreams are one example, but the results can also be very extreme -- the preponderance of sexual abuse by the supposedly "celibate" clergy of the Catholic Church, for example.
The amazing thing is however, that when this incorrect valuation is dealt with and transformed and sexual thoughts are then recognized as Natural and therefore *not* "bad", the intensity of those thoughts diminishes and their nature is transformed. That psychic battery of negative energy is diffused since the schism no longer exists and the larvae whither away.
It is *only* when sexual thoughts are diffused in this way and accepted as Natural, that the truly positive practice of celibacy is possible. *Only* when this schism is disabled is it possible to *transmute* the _mental_ energy that sexual thoughts represent.
The true celibate does not repress sexual thoughts; instead, they *transmute* them and employ that quanta of mental energy in other ways. They therefore never get the chance to become astral or physical sexual energies. In other words, true celibacy is not about diverting astral or physical energy -- it's about transmuting *mental* energy.
>> I'm not familiar with the equilibrium of elements, but I sense a decrease in my meditation abilities after it. <<
This is not at all surprising considering how much energy a larva can harvest from you. This depleting effect is compounded by the fact that with each feeding by the larva, the power of the schism itself increases and becomes more condensed, thus more radiant and more influential. Both the feeding by the larva and the increased condensation (i.e., pressurization) of the schism, contribute to the sense of mental, astral and physical depletion.
Very strong larvae can also be quite cleaver. For example, it could feed your powers of mental concentration out of its own resources, in order to make you forget about, or not care about, the low point after each time it feeds upon your astral and physical reserves. By making that low point insignificant to you in contrast to something personally significant about your "normal" state (for you it might be your "normal" facility with meditation), it can effectively hide itself from your day-to-day awareness, thereby assuring its survival and the continuation of the schism that empowers it. Remember -- a larva is a part of *you* that exists within your own psyche, so it knows you better than you might know yourself because *it* sees very clearly into every dark corner of your subconscious mind.
As Bardon wrote in Step Six:
"The magician will now realize, why there has been laid such a stress on the importance of introspection, control and mastering of the thoughts at the beginning of the practical part of this work."
In other words, the Soul Mirror work and mental discipline are the remedies when it comes to larvae and phantoms. Whether or not you continue to practice sexual abstinence, I suggest that you examine your *feelings* and *beliefs* about sexuality, sexual thoughts and desires, etc. Where do those valuations come from? Do they serve you well? Are they realistic? Do they agree with Nature? And so on.
Since Hermetics is the Path of Nature, I think it behooves every magician to examine their beliefs about something so fundamental to Nature as sexuality and see how well those beliefs reflect the Laws of Nature herself. A large part of attaining the Elemental Equilibrium involves the aligning of our beliefs about ourselves into harmony with Nature's Laws. While it is possible to weave those Laws in inventive and magical ways, it is *never* possible to violate them no matter how strongly we believe. :) When our beliefs, about ourselves in particular, are in harmony with Nature's Laws, then all that condensed energy we formerly spent upon internally defying Nature is released and freed up for better, more productive use -- such as weaving Laws in inventive and magical ways. :)
I've said all these things to you, not to dissuade you from your practice of abstinence, nor to criticize your choices in that regard; rather, I'm saying these things so that you might more fully understand the true nature of the path of celibacy. Furthermore, I think it's important that you understand the natural consequences of those choices and how to remedy their possible side-effects.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
17 Jun 2003