These exercises should remind you of the Step One and Two astral exercises of introspection and self-analysis, combined with the Step Two and Three mental exercises with the single- and multiple-sense concentration. In point of fact, the mental exercises of Step Six replicate this work at a higher level.
What Bardon describes of the meditations upon one's own spirit or mental body is, in practice, no where near as simple as it may sound in print. Little more can be said about these meditations beyond what Bardon has written since we are each so different and unique. It is up to the student alone to penetrate to the true significance of this initial exercise.
The exercises which follow, regarding the accustoming of yourself to the three-part (mental, astral and physical, simultaneously) action, are straight forward in their nature and should pose no problem for the student who has progressed this far.
As with all of the previous exercises, these concerning the spirit or mental body, are essential to further progress. They are rudimentary to future work with ceremonial ritual, astral and mental wandering, evocation, kabbalah, and many, many other forms of magic.
Learning the three-part action changes the seat of your awareness and actively connects your three bodies. At a deeper level, these exercises relate to a subject I've raised before, vis a vis, the mechanisms of human perception. I hope the importance of this subject is now obvious to the reader.
As I said, these exercises are not as easy as they may sound and Bardon's warnings about feeling disoriented are sincere. The three part action requires a very different degree of self-awareness and this takes some getting used to.
Mastery of the Akasha is no easy matter. [Actually one does not "master" the Akasha, but one can master the techniques for working with the Akasha.] To begin with, you must first have attained to a very high degree of control over the Elements themselves. The Akasha will not allow you to do anything you are not already able to do by means of manipulating the Elements directly.
Furthermore, and of special significance here, the quality of your character, as reflected by the ethics you adhere to, will directly determine your success with the Akasha. The Akasha will not allow you to create effects within it if you do not possess a noble character. That is the plain and simple, completely undeniable, truth.
As Bardon explains the exercises with the Akasha, he states that you must "imagine that you are in an infinite space where you are at the center." I want you to think back to what was said regarding Archimedes' fulcrum and the "depth point" concentration. From this, you will see that Bardon means that you must begin this exercise by transferring your consciousness into the depth point of your own body.
You are then instructed to inhale the Akasha into your body using the same technique you've used for inhaling the vital energy, etc. As Bardon points out, the Akasha cannot be accumulated by virtue of its essential nature. What he doesn't say is that this is not actually an exercise where you take in the Akasha; rather, it is about placing yourself fully INTO the Akasha. This is accomplished in two phases. The first phase is the transferal of your consciousness into your depth point (i.e., where 'you' intersect with the Akasha). The second phase is one of merging your center of awareness with the infinite, non-centralized Akasha. Bardon accomplishes this through the inhalation of the Akasha (through its color and its feeling) until the internal Akasha matches the external Akasha. This is not an accumulation, per se -- it is a merging.
Bardon states, and quite truthfully, that you will be able to manifest any desire from within the Akasha. What he doesn't mention, and assumes you will realize, is that when you reach this stage of development, what you desire will look very differently than it does now. You will have no petty desires, and even if you did, you would not be able to manifest them through the Akasha. Please take heed of this if you are tempted to work with the Akasha before you are truly prepared, for you would only be wasting your time and you can easily cause yourself some pretty nasty karmic consequences. Remember, the fact that the Akasha is the realm of cause and effect is what gives it its power over the Elements -- and, it is also what makes it so dangerous for the unprepared dabbler.
With the sixth Step, Bardon leaves off on listing exercises that pertain directly to the physical body, although what he describes can be said to be physical in nature. Beginning with this Step, the physical schooling sections will be devoted to certain magical practices.
In Step Six, Bardon explains the magical creation of Elementals (not to be confused with Elementaries) and makes the student aware of other similar creatures, such as larvae, schemata and phantoms. The reader may find Bardon's analysis surprising, for it certainly does not seem like what others have written on this subject in the past. Bardon, in his usual manner, penetrates to the heart of the matter from an Hermetic perspective.
In order to create a truly effective Elemental, the student must possess a very high proficiency with plastic imagination. It is also necessary that the student have mastered the depth point exercises since it is from within the Akasha that an Elemental is formed and sent off to the appropriate realm.
The creation technique that Bardon describes concerns a very simple Elemental that will be effective upon the mental sphere. From there, its effect may reach down into the astral and later into the physical realm, if this is the desire of its creator, but its primary focus will be upon the mental realm itself. This sort of Elemental is the best place to start. Once success has been achieved with this simple method, then you will be better able to create more complex creatures.
Bardon provides several rules that must be adhered to in the creation of an Elemental -- the shape and color, the name, the purpose or task to be accomplished, and the duration of its effectiveness. Another important rule to follow is that you must completely disassociate your mind from involvement with the Elemental once it has been created. You must be able to release it and turn your mind firmly to other matters. If you do not, the Elemental will remain attached to your own sphere and not become fully effective (if at all) within the realm you wish to send it to. You may, periodically, recall your creation to your presence and recharge it, but you must again release it completely so that it may go about its business without your meddling. This may seem an easy matter to the passive reader but it actually requires great mental discipline to release something you have created.
Again, your moral development is at issue here. Take care that you don't create something to meet petty needs for it will most likely turn and bite you in the butt.