So, after being (ahem) kicked out of a certain occult school, I've been revisiting IIH as an option for self-study. This is because I have met extremely capable magicians who have worked through Franz Bardon's books.
However, I have some personal resistance to his works. I am currently ignoring these things and taking the exercises as they are, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on them.
* I find his books to be preachy. He may not be criticizing specific things, but there is an overall tone of criticism. My feelings may be less to do with Bardon, and more to do with the other occult school I was recently kicked out of (ahem), in that among I was told is that I am too "emotionally unstable" to do magic, and as an initiate I should have already learned to correct my inner defects (as he tells the student to do in his soul mirror). So I may be taking it more personally than I should.
* That said, I am not yet convinced of the need for emotionlessness. I see why it is important not to be emotionally manipulated by entities, or to be an emotional feeding ground for parasites, or why it is important not to be rash and throw curses everywhere... I just haven't been convinced of the need to remove emotion from one's self or work, since emotions can also be positive and useful.
(Emotionlessness was also a big principle of the occult school that I was, ahem, kicked out of. No emotion involved when kicking me out, of course. None at all!)
* Some of this preachiness extends to spiritual practices. For instance, he criticizes spiritualist mediums and possession practices, and what he calls "sorcery" (in translation obviously). I think these things are fine, when done responsibly. (I also admit he knew more than me and could be completely right in his criticisms.)
* I have never done well with a strict, disciplined, rigorously scheduled life (for instance, waking early, meditating, doing morning exercises then dumping cold water over me).
Don't get me wrong - I 100% agree you have to be committed and disciplined to progress in magic, in terms of studying and doing the work. However, I don't necessarily do well with that sort of rigid life schedule. My household situation also isn't currently conductive to that; I do things when I am least likely to be disturbed, generally when others are sleeping. For instance, I meditate daily, but I don't usually do it early in the morning. The only thing I have a strict schedule for is planetary hours and other things which are time-specific for reasons beyond personal discipline.
(The same for my day job - I do my work, but it tends to be a more holistic "what needs doing now", and not "at 8 am we do this, then at 8:30 we do that. Insofar as I'm reasonably well respected professionally, I guess it's been going ok. I am sure I could have accomplished more and maybe scheduling would have helped).
This may be a cultural matter as I have heard that the German cultural influence prioritizes scheduling and discipline. (
* I'm not drawn to the language he uses in his theoretical discussions. For instance, "magnets" and "magnetism", "positive and negative", etc. I am not sure if the language is outdated, it is a matter of translation, or he is intentionally being vague (Rawn's commentary suggested it is intentional), but in any case it doesn't really appeal to me.
* I also feel discouraged at having to start at Step 1 again. Of course, time passes anyway, and better to start than not start. Just saying it's discouraging.
On the other hand, I can see that his teachings have worked very well for some people. I don't intend disrespect to him - I acknowledge his knowledge and influence in the subject area. I'm just saying that these are some of my inner obstacles.