Retrospection: What are we looking for in retrospection? Due to the mechanical life that he lives in, the intellectual animal forgets the Self. Thus, he falls into fascination. He goes around with his consciousness asleep, without remembering what he did at the moment of rising from his bed, without knowing the first thoughts of the day, his actions and the places he has been to.
The objective of retrospection is the acquisition of awareness of one’s behavior or actions of the past. When carrying out the retrospection, we should not put any objections to the mind; we will recall memories of past actions, from the moment of beginning the retrospection to the desired moment in our lives. We should study each memory without becoming identified with it.
-The Revolution of the Dialectic
When we learn to imagine, once we have a little stability, we learn to do a practice called retrospection in order to see all these elements in ourselves. To retrospect means to look back. This is not the same thing as dreaming about the past, or imagining our history, the events of our life. This means in the position of meditative stability, with a sense of separation from the image, we review our past. So if today we are going to meditate, and we have developed the capacity to concentrate, the first thing we do is we sit, we meditate, we begin to review our day like a movie. So with our closed eyes we project our day, just like we are watching television, we watch it like a film. We examine the events, just like a movie. And the proper way to do this is to do that with an awareness that whatever we are observing has us as an actor. We see ourselves, but we are separate from what we see. This is in order to help us not to become identified, to keep that sense of separation. We observe our day as an outside observer. You can also do it looking from within your own eyes, looking into your day, but it is tricky. You might even find you go back and forth.
The point is you need to be able to see within yourself the three brains the intellect, the emotion and action, to recognize how your own psyche is processing. And the only way to do that is if you have been observing yourself during the day. You will find that if you sit to meditate and you begin to do this retrospection, looking back over the course of the day there will be big gaps where you do not remember anything. You just learned something the gaps mark the time you were asleep. You were not paying attention. You were dreaming. Period. That is the work Recognize the periods of time when we are not paying attention and learn to pay attention during those times. Obviously, we must then look to find what was it that caused us to become distracted What caused us to lose our attention Do not rely on memory for the answer rely on the retrospection in meditative, observant, receptive visualization.
The other part of this picture that you are observing is that what you are seeing in yourself is your state and what you are seeing outside is an event. That distinction also must be clear. It is just a matter of perception. You do not have to think - I need to know my state. You do not have to think about what is the event. You just need to perceive it as having a sense of separation. There you are as a person with your psyche and the reactions that are manifesting in your psyche. Then there are the external circumstances. And those are separate things. There is a relationship, that is for sure. But you cannot see them as one package. You need to see them as separate. (For more on States and Events, study Revolutionary Psychology).
With this process of observation we observe our whole day, from the moment we got up to the moment we sat to meditate. And in that observation we find particular times where we know we became distracted, where we know an ego was manifesting itself through us, where we felt pain, anger, pride, envy, fear, resentment, despair, depression, arrogance. Any of those things. That moment then becomes your Meditation. So you first retrospect, you examine those events the whole day, you pick out certain photographs during the whole day. These are psychological photographs. And then you begin to observe that particular event.
Obviously, to succeed in this practice you must have meditative stability. If you are still struggling to develop the capacity to maintain the awareness that you are in Meditation, then wait to use this practice. This practice should be used once you have developed continuity of awareness in Meditation. Otherwise you are just going to be fighting the mind.
Here is the practice You sit to meditate, you begin to review the events of the day, you have the sense of separation. But then, as you are examining this picture, something begins to come into your awareness, a thought or a feeling. Let us just say for example you saw a person earlier that day that you use to be married to or you used to date and it brought something up for you a strong sense of pain, attachment, desire, resentment. And so that thought is hammering to get your attention. (In the beginning, of course, it will take over and we will forget that we are meditating; we will instead begin to dream). This memory becomes a distraction. All you have to do at this point is recognize it, separate yourself from it, and use that distraction as your new object of Meditation.
To repeat you began on the event, retrospecting your day. A distraction arises in your mind. It could be anything, it could literally be just a pain in your leg, it could be a worry about a bill, it could be a thought like, you heard on the radio some actor saying something. It could be just ridiculous. As soon as you see that you consciously shift your attention directly to that distraction. This is called Psychological Judo.
You are blocking the attempt of your own mind to distract you. All that surging chaos is the way your mind keeps you hypnotized. And if you can receive all those internal impressions consciously, you can wrestle your own mind to the ground. Samael said this practice is the real root of Jujitsu and Judo. Those physical movements are reflections of the internal movements of initiates who are conquering their own mind. Many initiates have astral experiences, or meditative experiences, and they see themselves fighting against their own mind.