FALCON BOOKS INTERVIEWS
EXPLORING ENLIGHTENED LIVING
THROUGH HERMETIC MEDITATION
With Matthew Blankenburg
Falcon Books is presenting a series of interviews with seasoned Hermetic practitioners and those who follow a spiritual discipline. The aim being to share the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of these seasoned practitioners with those just beginning the path and as an inspiration to us all. The focus of these discussions are guided towards the spiritual seeker.
Presenting today an interview with Matthew Blankenburg who is a Franz Bardon practitioner and is currently providing a great series of youtube videos on the IIH (Initiation into Hermetics) steps. You can also follow Matthew on his blog .
Hello, Matthew and a cordial welcome from Falcon Books. Thank you for sharing with us your time and wisdom along this journey.
- Falcon Books: Perhaps we could start with you telling us a bit about your background, when did you first take an interest in the esoteric path and what has been your approach to it?
Matthew Blankenburg: Thank you so very much ahead of time, for giving me this opportunity to do this interview! Let’s have some fun shall we? 😀 So anyway, yeah, I started out in LA, moved to Burlington, VT when I was 3 and turning 4, lived there for too long haha, and am now in CA once again, so I guess I’ve kind of gone full circle a little bit within the fool’s journey by now one might say, maybe. I grew up with what someone worded to be “spiritual parents”, and love them for it. They were never even visibly that spiritual on the outside, just really cool people, who showered me with love and used to talk about how all they did was “sit around all day and love Matthew”. I was super creative as a child and used to play with toys and action figures that were spilling out all over the floor from my toy chests so much that I could barely walk across my room without stepping on some. I totally pretended all of my toys and stuffed animals were real, and I think this really helped me out later in my more advanced stages of my magical childhood self-training. I was completely in my own fantasy world, and was pretty detached from everything, wondering why people were so mean in the world at a young age, but yeah, the point being, I had a pretty wildly developed imagination, and if I think my journals are interesting when I got into Bardon.
All I gotta do is turn back to one of my 1st-grade journals they had us do, and sit in amazement at how I was on a completely another level than I am now before being an adult happened. Even in High School, I wrote all the music in my band, so I stayed creative which is good, though I would say as a child I was doing heavy visual training, and with music, it is more of an astral or sensory exercise, and about the emotions or puberty. So it only made sense that when I got around to the Bardon training in my early 20’s, that I simultaneously got into working out, weight lifting, and doing Tai Chi. In other words, activities that stimulated my physical side: ).
- Falcon Books: How did you first come across Bardon’s IIH and what inspired to undertake this path?
Matthew Blankenburg: About a year before I found ‘Initiation Into Hermetics’ I got way into healing, started doing it for people because I loved it, and quickly was linked up with a “teacher” who considered herself a Witch and Shaman. I felt pretty stifled by this actually, because I felt like I was being slowed down in my development, and indeed, she told me things like taking “baby steps”, but it was too slow for me, or I started teething I guess, and kind of just naturally moved onto Bardon after a year of that. I found Franz in a book titled ‘The Spiritual Essence of Man’ by Choa Kok Sui, as I was studying Pranic Healing pretty heavy during that time. I looked into Bardon’s work further and ordered it immediately. When his first book came in the mail, it was all nice and shrink wrapped, and when I opened it up and stared at his picture, I just knew I was looking at an actual image along with all of the content inside of his first book. I knew I had finally found what I had been looking for in life, and treated it as such.
- Falcon Books: What has been the most challenging aspect of this path for you and how did you overcome it?
Matthew Blankenburg: Great question! I’m going to be careful with this one because I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about how my approach might work for them better than their own, or how what I got away with might be suitable for other people’s training habits, because it is all so personal and individual to each person. Really, the challenges are always changing in my opinion. As we work on ourselves, we get better at handling things, and then move onto new challenges, as the work is never over. One of my biggest challenges had been devoting so much time to the path that I was only about the path. I was told once that I looked like a ghost pretty early on in my training as a result of all the meditating I was doing.
So as you have seen more recently, I have opened up about it because I feel like it is a healthy thing to do, talking about this stuff, and in this day and age when all of this information is more or less already out there, and more easily accessible than ever with the internet. Yet, I also think it’s still a really good idea to keep silent about it, at least when starting out. Once someone gets good footing and has gone far with their training, then the exercises to me are like riding a bike, and it always stays with you, even if you are doing something completely unrelated to your practice that day. Some people say to students that they need to start over in their training from step one, but this is just a power trip in my opinion (or lack thereof), and a “pitfall” that I think people should really be aware of not to sink into if they would like to continue advancing in their *personal* development.
I have taken other mind training courses, studied plenty of different systems, and keep up with the work in my own development. So, this is the beauty of Bardon’s system being a Self-Initiation. One gets to decide at the end of the day how they would like to do things, and no one else gets to decide that for them, thankfully. Otherwise, I’d join orders, but I don’t have time for that, as I find it antiquated and out of touch with the current times we are living in, and actually like being solitary.
Falcon Books: I would be interested in your views regarding following a teacher/guru regarding the spiritual path What in your eyes are the pros and cons to this. Did you yourself go through IIH (Initiation into Hermetics) unaided in terms of not having a teacher?
Matthew Blankenburg: Ha! I keep answering the next questions at the end of what I wrote in the previous statements. Ok, fair enough. Well, I have had many teachers in life. I learn a lot from people in general and find it all valuable, but the pros of having a teacher is that you get their direct transmission of energy from simply being around them and in their presence. That being said, I haven’t really had any “traditional” teachers of the sort, with the exception of my Tai Chi teacher, who was a direct Yang family disciple, but he wasn’t into metaphysical stuff at all, which I found kind of discouraging, as he made fun of “throwing energy balls” in a class once. His student of 12 years mostly taught me and said he had never seen anyone learn the form as quickly as I had. Basically, after a few months, I had learned the long form, moved on, and continued to train alone. This is why I felt slowed down by that Witch/Shaman who wanted to teach me, and why I don’t do orders. People learn at a different pace. I find with teachers that it’s mostly people who have moved in and out of my life, knew something that they wanted to pass along to me, and then once that time was up we go our separate ways.
You get to learn from them by seeing the way they approach the world, and can even learn about yourself through the way they see you in their eyes, yet similar ends can be reached by hanging out with friends whose company you enjoy being around, as looking back, I consider all the people I’ve learned something from in my life who were there to teach me something to be my friends more or less. I have done quite a lot of corresponding with students over the internet. I would still consider one well known Bardon trained magician to have been my mentor for a little while because at the end of the day, even if 3 months had gone by, he was still going out of his way to answer my questions, no matter how long my emails were, no matter how many ridiculous questions I may have asked him, he always got back to me. I can’t even tell for sure how many messages I’ve exchanged with people or conversations I’ve had on forums over the years, but it all helped teach me something, even if some of the discussions seemed pointless.
Falcon Books: Often with Bardon’s steps, they appear to be more title headings and there is a need to dig deeper to truly go into and reap the benefit of each step. I wonder could you share your experience on this?
Matthew Blankenburg: That is quite the astute and accurate observation and assessment there on your part! For sure, it totally works that way, and the reasoning behind it in my opinion, is that Bardon offers the structure, and the mechanics behind how it all works, he gets to the very bones about it, yet leaves the student with how they would like to experience their world and universe. Sure, sometimes people make the argument that his work is lacking in certain areas, but it is *concise*, and I have been hard pressed to find almost anything out there even remotely comparable to what he did, even still today. People often say with occult authors that they use blinds, yet with Bardon, it’s more like he left things unsaid for the student to find. So he was kind of just not adding whatever he felt the student was meant to learn on their own, or put there in their own words, which of course, varies from student to student, yet also kind of stays the same within his system’s magical current, as his teachings are universal.
Falcon Books: Have there been any other influences in your life that have aided you in your spiritual path?
Matthew Blankenburg: So many! Like I said earlier, my parents, and every experience and person that has come into my life. My girlfriend (hey, I know you’re reading this 😀 ). Music has been a massive influence on me as well. My word, where do I begin? When I was a kid I played a lot of video games, but I don’t have time for it anymore. Regardless, it helped inspire me to walk this path. I do like to bring my creativity into what I do quite a lot and spend time drawing my ideas out on paper if I’m not writing them down. Again, there is just way too much I could say about this. My mind kind of blanks out with such a question over how endless the possibilities are because literally, anything could fit into this category for me.
Falcon Books: With working on the soul mirrors as stated in Bardon’s, how did you find the best way to approach this and what methods if any did you find useful in balancing and harmonising them?
Matthew Blankenburg: Working in and with the Akasha. If you’ve watched pretty much any of my YouTube videos on my IIH walkthrough so far, you’ll see by now that I felt like working with the Akasha could have come sooner in the training. In this particular case, it is where Bardon suggests going in order to create a ritual to claim mastery over the elements and in effect, becoming way more proficient in working with the elements.
When it comes to Auto-Suggesting with your soul mirror traits in step 2, one could enjoy this success faster because of the instantaneous rate that things manifest there. It is a neutralizer, the way it brings things into harmony like the accumulation of the 4 elemental regions of the body in the step 4 exercise. Introspection, earthing, meditation, physical activities, actually doing what you have your dreams set on so you are not left needlessly wanting for no reason. Taking action right now, or the Great NOW as Bardon phrased it, whether that comes out as practicing and focusing on the mirrors themselves, or creating new ways of implementing one’s ideas, by making the mirrors your own way, or how you haven’t seen other people do theirs. The most useful way to me is “taking inventory” as they sometimes call it, and then being really honest with yourself about what it is that you want, and then going and getting it.
The practices themselves in IIH are quite balancing and harmonizing as they are. So simply working the system will help a lot with this, as much of the work tends to bring peace and dissolve negative feelings or character traits one might have. As long as the student doesn’t completely have their feet in the clouds, and can come back to Earth every now and then to enjoy their experiences here, this will also lead to balance in the training, which of course carries into daily life and vice versa.
Falcon Books: Could you share with us how following Franz Bardon’s methods has affected your life and the benefits of following such a system?
Matthew Blankenburg: It’s like a non-stop roller coaster ride that just keeps getting better!
Falcon Books: Were there any steps or exercises that you ended up being completely different from your original idea? If so which steps, if any surprised you?
Matthew Blankenburg: When I opened the book up to step 5 and it said “Space Magic”, my reaction and fantasy to what this actually meant, I found later to essentially be the equivalent of doing the step 8 exercise of Mental Wandering in outer space, haha. So I think sometimes these ideas and concepts when presented can be taken so literally that they might be looked at as fantasy, until one does the training and sees just how literal our fantasies truly are, ultimately reshaping the way we look at things, and perceive reality and life. Really it’s way different than what I imagined it to be, and when it comes to that last part in step 5 mental section, of experiencing your own depth-point, I found it far more valuable to me than almost anything else in the training, as you are experiencing your own Divinity, along with it being the key to Akashic Trance. Floating around mentally in space was something I was doing as a child for fun, or exploring different realms and places in my thoughts, so I guess I learned that it was ok to be doing that all along through this training : ).
- Falcon Books: Is there anything further you would like to add?
Matthew Blankenburg: I regularly get a lot of questions from people online through social media. So I started offering skype sessions for those who wanted a more one on one session with their development. Other than that, I’ve been busy as always, working on projects. I plan to have my own grimoire out in public at some point as well too, and I suppose like Bardon, I will work to give the reader enough room to come up with their own ideas so they can one day create their own system and style of doing things, or make what they currently have even better! Thank you again for the delightful interview!
Falcon Books: Thank you, Matthew for the extensive interview and a pleasure to meet you.
To find out more about Matthew please visit his youtube channel, Heart Magic and his blog .