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Topics - Steve

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1
Psionics / Methods of developing telepathy
« on: August 21, 2016, 06:21:28 PM »
Simple list, nothing complicated. As I've claimed before, I've developed telepathy from different methods, so here is a list of those methods, for anyone who's ever been curious. Ask questions, add your own, or debate anything I've said. I put it under Psionics because most people consider telepathy to be psionic, as opposed to magical or body energy arts.

1. Focal meditation. Continue learning how to focus until you can make it feel like you're able to push your focus outside of your head. Try a variety of things until you find something that works for you; I tried shouting at another person, "throwing" thoughts at them, and finally ended up building a firm mental tunnel from my head to theirs in order to push thoughts from my head to theirs.

Drawbacks: This develops sending telepathy but not receiving telepathy.

2. Void meditation. Just plain continue. At some point your mind will be quiet enough and you'll have paid enough attention to your mind that you should start subtly picking up on the thoughts of other people. There will be no "aha!" moment and will instead be a lot of "wait, why am i thinking of that?" and "wow, I was just thinking of that before they said that", which will eventually turn into "hmm, that popped into my head just before they started talking about it...". If you stop censoring your mouth, and instead start blurting out random thoughts that come to mind, then at some point other people should start saying "Wow, I was just thinking that" *a lot*.

Drawbacks: Takes a long time, progress towards telepathy is actually a side-effect and may never develop. Receptive telepathy only.

3. Pushing aside the Veil. Requires development of some sort of visual psychic perception. Reach out with the mind past your own veil, then simply brush aside the veil that hangs over others.

Drawbacks: Requires that you have already developed psychic ability/abilities, which means you've probably already done this naturally and didn't even need it listed.

Fake telepathy
4. Energy gathering. Continue energy gathering techniques until you can pull in enough that it feels like it is filling you to the brim, to the point where it feels like you are overfilling a balloon with air and the energy wants out. Pull it up into your head and keep pulling energy upward, holding it there. Do this for several sessions, getting a feel for the delimiting "edges" of your "psyche", and then push outward against the edges of the psyche even as you continue pulling upward from below.

Drawbacks: This is in bad taste as it attempts to force the energy. There will also be many other sensations, purely physical, purely metaphysical, and hard to tell between them: none of those other sensations *matter*, but some of them will likely be caused by (I'm guessing here) a blood rush in your head and increased nervous system activity (both of which are natural side-effects of focusing intensely on/near your own head). Try to adjust your practices as you go so that you do not hurt yourself.

5. Psychic Knowledge. Rather than developing telepathy itself, developing the ability to perceive "truth" in it's purest form allows for "fact checking" your own thoughts; this means that as you consider something, you psychically "fact check" it and receive psychic feedback as to whether it is correct or not (close ended answers). Pushing it to the next level, you learn how to receive open ended answers. Direct it towards another person and ponder "Is this person thinking <x>?" for the close ended questions, and "What is this person thinking?" for the open ended questions. A much more versatile skill than mere telepathy as you can use it for nearly anything, restricted of course by your level of development (especially useful for knowing when to shut the fuck up and go research a topic before talking about it).

Drawbacks: Temptation to stop using real world fact checking methods by looking information up properly. Not real telepathy so you do not perceive thoughts in real time. Receptive telepathy only.

6. Existing within the "Mental Plane", or whatever you want to call it. At some point along your practices, if you keep going far enough, you should come upon the psychic perception of partially existing on a pseudo level of reality that is "somewhat" (subjective term, others will have their own ideas on levels of intensity) skewed from physical reality. Probably most easily developed by either practicing over the internet, or with eyes closed. I would argue that this it not "real" telepathy in that it is not "strictly" telepathy, but since thoughts exist upon the Mental Plane it could also be argued that this is the purest form of telepathy.

Drawbacks: I know of no specific techniques for how to develop this ability in itself (others might know specific techniques). Can easily be confused with mere imagination if you do not properly confirm it.

~Steve
Edited to put energy gathering technique under fake telepathy. I hadn't originally intended to create the fake telepathy group, and I had written up the energy one first.

2
Dreams / Hyper Realistic dream
« on: August 12, 2016, 06:04:03 PM »
Hyper realistic dream - dream was from August 12th (the same day as writing this). I woke up at about 2pm (5 hours ago, as verified by the time stamp on text messages I received and replied to shortly after waking up). I wrote this down at about 6:30 to 7pm, as evidenced by me looking at the clock when I started and right now.

I woke up at the home I grew up in, in a bed I grew up sleeping in, but the top bunk of the bed was gone and was replaced with a clear, thick plastic covering (like you'd see at a loading dock, meant to control temperature while still letting people pass). I immediately recognized that this was a dream and that I was lucid dreaming, which I haven't done in a long time. The dream itself seemed very "off" in some manner, as though it was formed at the responsibility of someone else, though I did not get a sense of purpose or meaningfulness. All of the visual details mentioned below were as real as being awake; from seeing the walls and floors and furniture, to seeing the faces of people. The dream did still move like a dream, though, in that I did not take each and every step like I do in the real world, but instead merely "go" in a direction and at times just kind of smoothly "teleport" from one location to another (as the location itself melds itself from the current into the next).

While I laid in the bed, someone was trying to get into the bed beside me, rolling up a blanket or something and then putting it beside me as I sat up and made room. I didn't know who it was so I stood up and grabbed them, asking who they were; turns out it was one of my brothers. I left the room and went upstairs (from the basement) to the main floor.

I stopped in at the kitchen briefly, then went up the stairs to the second level of the house. Four doors along a thin hallway on this level, all doors closed; three doors lead to bedrooms and one leads to the bathroom. I skipped the first bed room, and I went in the room that my parents had lived in while I grew up, though I do not remember the layout. I then went across the hall to a bedroom that I had spent some time sleeping in after I graduated post-secondary; the room was messy and laid out like it was when I used it, and I distinctly thought to myself some sarcastic comment about how my room (or maybe "I") never changed/changes. I exited this room and went back down the stairs towards the main floor.

While still on the stairs, at the bend, several people were now on the stairs, and other people that I recognized as family members were going in and out of the front door that is located right at the bottom of these stairs; one of my sisters was sitting at the top of the group on the stairs and I sat down beside her. The next two people below us were people I did not recognize, one male and one female, both middle to older aged. There were also two very young children playing on the steps under the supervision of the adults. I focused on the female as though she was the one responsible for the dream, and asked her who she was. She replied with an answer that I do not remember, but I do remember it satisfying me in the dream. I asked the man the same question, and he answered but I did not care about his answer. For some reason, I also put my hand on the head of the woman after talking with her.

I then finished going down the stairs and walked towards the back of the house where our living room was. The room was several feet larger in one dimension than it was in real life, which is notable as I noted that in the dream, and because all other dimensions of the house were actually fairly spot on. While still dreaming, I considered the possibilities that the house had undergone some renovations to extend the living room, or perhaps it was just an anomoly of the dream.

Everyone was wearing new clothing, and the entirety of the house was decorated in new materials, from wallpaper to carpets to chairs and beds. It seemed very much like I had won the lottery and split the money with my family, bought the house I grew up in and renovated the whole thing. I also got the impression that this was a few years into the future.

At this point in the dream, I felt the dream start to fall apart. The visual details started fading towards vagueness. I started trying to go through the house again at this point, to try and relive a sense of nostalgia, but the dream ended quickly and I woke up. It has now been about 4 hours since that happened, and I recognize that I have forgotten some of the more minor details that happened in the dream (as mentioned above, during the dream). For instance, upon immediately waking up, I still remembered what the woman had said, and it was only after being awake for a while that I forgot it (for anyone who isn't aware of how to remember details about things that were "forgotten", I started using "metadata" extensively on my thoughts when I was still a teenager. The information that I artificially "tag on to thoughts" stays far more solid over the years than the thoughts themselves tend to).

I am writing this dream down because it was so hyper realistic *and* because it seemed like it *might* be a psychic dream. This way, if it does happen in a few years and I get the deja vu feeling, I can search for this post and see how accurate it was. (This is purely me being selfish. This isn't for anyone else but me :P) In the interests of doing new things, I may start doing this with other dreams that seem psychic as well, as I have never really kept a dream journal before despite the number of times that I have gotten the sense that a dream or daydream may have been a psychic view into the future (I always just blew it off as a "yeah, but it would take soooo long to find out, that it's not really worth writing down to try and figure it out").

EDIT: For clarification to myself: I "woke up into" the dream with the explicit "realization"/thought that it seemed to be an "artificial" dream (ie, as though someone else was creating the environment and I just happened to enter into it). There was a bit of confusion as my mind tried to process that thought, alongside the familiar view of my old room in such realistic detail, also alongside the recent memory of another dream that I had within the past few days where I woke up into the same bed (but that one seemed a perfectly normal dream). It only took a few seconds for the confusion to die off, and I was immediately lucid dreaming, right from the get go, and it strongly seemed/felt like the lucid dreaming was not from my own efforts/capacity.

For anyone else who might be wondering: Yes, I am entirely aware of the possible psychological evaluations of all of this, in being able to say "it was all just a dream" with very real-world explanations for the variety of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Lecture for the sake of telling other people, or for the practice of getting your own thoughts in order, if you will, but please do not lecture for me :) I have written this not because I have decided that this is a psychic dream, but to determine if it was, which will be decided in the future based on whether this event occurs or not.

~Steve

3
Body Energy Arts / Fundamental High Level Energy Work
« on: April 15, 2016, 05:29:05 PM »
With many systems around the world, certain fundamental concepts are dealt with very simply at the beginner level, often times giving a lessened version of the complete skill that can be attained through long, dilligent practice. This concept has stuck with me ever since high school when one of the science teachers told us (to paraphrase, as it was a long time ago) "what I'm about to tell you is actually wrong, but you have to understand it this way in order to understand the other topics around it. We'll correct it later on." An example when practicing martial arts, certain basic stances are given very simply to a beginner, yet those basic stances have incredible potential, and it is expected that as the student grows in their balance, coordination, and control, that they will be able to better fill out the same stance at a higher level of skill than they could hope to achieve as a new student.

The same thing is true in energy work. There are a lot of systems out there that gloss over a simple, fundamental aspect of energy work and instead replace it with a different practice. The systems do this in order to speed up initial development and not lose students to something so potentially complex, but since many people here at Veritas are hardly newbies, I want to get this out there as well. I also recognize that a lot of people already know this; that's fine. It's more for the people who haven't realized it yet.

The simple practice is well known already, and it's that "energy is extremely malleable, and thus energy can be imbued with any quality or concept in order to modify the energy to fit the Willful desire". This practice tends to be replaced in many systems with "associate concepts to other simpler symbols, and then work with the symbols". As a disclaimer, I'm not talking about certain energies that are inherent to the natural world; instead I'm just pointing out that generic energy can be directly imbued with any quality. For example, even if/though there is a natural "Fire Energy", you don't need to work with it in order to imbue the basic quality of "Heat" to energy and work with it.

Systems like Elementalism ascribe various qualities to the various elements. Different ideologies have different numbers of elements, whether 3, 4, 5, 7, or 12 being some of the major systems, and different systems associate the qualities to different elements. There is no major consensus.
http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/china-five-elements-philosophy.htm
http://www.friesian.com/elements.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element
As anyone can see by looking over the various systems, associations between elements and qualities are largely arbitrary. The associations are reinforced within the system in order to get new students to simply accept them, establish the mental associations, and then get on to working with them. Which is well and fine.

Various qualities/concepts associated to various elements: dry, hot, dense, active, mobile, blunt, cheerful, impassive, various colour schemes, various foods, various times of days or months, cultivating, various shapes, etc etc etc. It takes a while to memorize which concepts are associated with which elements in any specific system (and that's not even counting the associations of qualities to planets and zodiacs and gods!).

Fundamentally, however, a very basic concept can be seen from this: energy can be given any quality. You don't need to associate "expansion" with "fire", for instance. You don't need to associate "electric fluid" with "fire element", for instance. You can, and there are good reasons to do so, which is why the systems do so. But as you reach higher levels of skill and ability, you can start to put away the associations between a concept and a symbol, and instead work towards the purity of imbuing energy with a single quality, whether simple or complex. All you're doing is taking out the middle step.

In many systems here at Veritas, there is a strong emphasis on focal and void meditations. In Western history, there is another form of meditation that is often times overlooked, and which is necessary to incorporate the non-associative energy work: the original form of meditation, which also goes by the name of contemplation. To meditate on something, by original use of the term, was merely the practice of sitting down and dedicating time to thinking about a topic. The benefits of incorporating this into metaphysical practices, and even perfectly mundane life, should be easily apparent, but it is so often times overlooked because of how much of our precious time it "eats away". Yet the time spent thinking about various topics in life is some of the best spent time a person can have, as it allows our brains to map new neural connections between various concepts and strengthen connections that matter most. It allows our minds to more deeply and broadly understand how various aspects of the world interact with one another, and can help us figure out better solutions to our problems, often times without ever needing to touch upon magic to assist us.

As an example of the difference, I don't need to associate the concept of "wealth" to an element, whether earth, wood, lightning, etc, and then work with that element. I can more difficultly take the time to contemplate what "wealth" is to me, and what nuanced aspects of it I want to emphasis at the current time, and then imbue it in the energy and work it towards whatever ends I want to achieve with it. I say "more difficultly" because this bypasses the simplicity of enforced association; instead the practitioner must now contemplate the concept in strong detail, rather than quickly associating it with an element and then invoking the element in the desired manner.

The benefits of working without arbitrary associations are a vastly widened repetoire of potential uses for imbued energy, with far greater nuanced results, as you work much more closely towards just plain Will Working; you also tend to understand more of the world as you are forced to contemplate so much more. The benefits of associative systems like Elementalism are the ease and speed of it; working with water for concept X is just as simple as working with water for concept Y, and if you've already spent 50 hours working with the water element then you should be able to invoke it fairly easily regardless of which sub-quality you want to use it for. The downside of of working without arbitrary associations is how much time it takes in order to understand each distinct concept that you want to work with. The downside of associative systems is that you don't necessarily understand the various concepts of life even as you attempt to work with them, and you have to force your mind to arbitrarily associate concepts that may be completely unrelated in any manner other than the manner where you're forcing the connection.

This form of practice is not required, and does not replace more complex manipulations of specific types of energies within various systems. This post is not meant to be any sort of "treastise" or "complete knowledge of the topic". Just a simple topic that some people might have missed or not yet realized.

~Steve

4
Other / Random thoughts/notes
« on: March 22, 2016, 11:24:42 PM »
I tend to write out a number of things on random topics in notepad in order to help get some thoughts in order, and then just delete them. So I thought why not try putting them down somewhere for others to read (or ignore), in case it helps someone else figure something out (or maybe to help me figure something out in the future, as I come back to the topic). Not everything below is going to make sense, and nor was it written in the order that it appears. Go ahead and comment on stuff and discuss it if you want.

Today I've been thinking about the processes of training, as part of my job requires me to train other people and I know I need to improve myself at this.

   The process of Processes, for implementing standardised processes (requires training for individuals to perform)
1. Figure out goal: Try to figure out if there is a simple basic process that covers all manners of processes. Not for training, but for implementation
1a. contemplate and refine goal until it is what you want, rather than what you think you want
2. Figure out where you currently are
3. Figure out how to get from where you are, to goal: aka, the Plan
3a. Be realistic. You can't fly to the moon just by wishing it so, nor can you utilize technology that doesn't exist
4. Start working towards the goal (aka, start implementing the Plan)
4a. As obstacles and unknowns emerge, modify Plan by going back to step 3
4b. Be aware that goal itself might change under certain circumstances; if so, perform step 6 and then restart at step 1
5a. Goal achieved
5b. Obstacles become insurmountable; Goal not achieved
5b1. Figure out whether goal is still desirable and achievable, and what went wrong
5b2. If goal is still desirable and achievable, take a break/vacation then go back to step 1a, implementing analysis from 5b1 and putting more effort into step 3
5b3. If setting new goal, go back to step 1
6. Analyze series of events to determine how to better one's self, others, the processes involved
6a. Implement results of analysis and better yourself at least

-Not all processes have a clear idea of where each individual is in step 2
--modify step 2 when training en masse, by making assumption of most base level of knowledge required past general knowledge
--list out all pre-requisite general knowledge things needed; ie, to work a POS till, a person must be able to read


  Process of fulfilling needs
Initiate conversation.
Determine other person's needs.
Analyze whether their needs can be met via limitations of current policies and procedures
-if not, analyze whether current policies and procedures can be permanently modified or temporarily modified
-negotiate with other person, if some needs can be met within limitations
-if cannot fulfill their needs, analyze to determine what it would take for them to fulfill their needs; ie outside assistance from others.
Begin fulfilling their needs.


  Personalized In-Depth Training - this is all very unnatural to the human psyche of "monkey see, monkey do"
Determine goal of training. What will student be learning.
Communicate to student what the goal is.
Communicate to student why goal is important to know/learn/do.
Converse: Determine list of student's current abilities and limitations pertaining to goal.
Determine roadmap to improving student so that student can achieve goal.
-list of required abilities to reach goal, list of student's current abilities, list of abilities student must learn
Communicate to student where student currently is: required abilities to reach goal, what student already knows, what they must learn.
Communicate to student roadmap to improving.
Walkthrough: Show student how to achieve goal, focus on things student must learn.
Have student visualize the walkthrough, especially noting the things they did not learn.
Converse: Determine what student learned versus what they are still lacking.
Communicate to student what they have learned versus what they are still lacking.
Redo the walkthrough.
Converse: Determine what student learned versus what they are still lacking.
Communicate to student what they have learned versus what they are still lacking.
Have student lead a walkthrough. Student must explain what they are doing as they do it.
Converse: Determine what student learned versus what they are still lacking.
Communicate to student what they have learned versus what they are still lacking.
Have the student visualize the walkthrough.
Converse: Determine what student learned versus what they are still lacking.
Communicate to student what they have learned versus what they are still lacking.
Communicate: Reiterate to student the list of required abilities to reach goal.
Allow student to do their own walkthrough without supervision.
Allow student time for introspection and self-improvement.
Converse: Determine what student learned versus what they are still lacking.
Converse: Ask student what method would be best used to help student learn that which they are still lacking.


  Monkey see, monkey do training
Show student what you want them to do
Have them do it while you watch
Refine
Give suggestions and feedback
Ask if they have questions
Have them do it again
Let them do it a few times without supervision
Have them do it again while you watch
Refine
Give suggestions and feedback
Ask if they have questions
Repeat as necessary


  En Masse teaching
Determine subject to teach
Determine basic pre-requisites for students to know (or be capable of) before they can learn the subject
Determine format for broadcasting the teachings
Provide assignments, for student to learn by practice
Determine format for students providing feedback, if allowed
Determine format for evaluation of student learning, if bothering
Determine format for providing feedback to students, if performed an evaluation
Provide follow up teaching with more personalization for those who were unable to learn from the en masse teaching


   Onus
  Student
Learn
Determine own shortcomings and work towards bypassing/reducing/translating them
-Translate weak teaching/learning method to a strong one
--if teacher is teaching a method that the student is weak at, the student must learn how to translate it to a method that the student is strong at
Constantly better themself at life
Remove any sense of entitlement in yourself (ie, "the teacher *has* to teach me")
  Teacher
Teach
Ask student what they have learned and what they are struggling with
Provide methods of teaching that the student can learn
Constantly better themself at life
Constantly better themself at teaching
Analyze whether student cares. If not, ask student why they don't care
If student refuses to care, put less effort into teaching them and find a better student instead
  Both
Be honest with yourself
Be mature
Do not assume the other person is solely responsible: you are working together, as a team

~Steve

5
Body Energy Arts / Amount of energy - discussion
« on: March 18, 2016, 06:58:51 PM »
This thread is pulling from the original posts found here http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,23717.msg225581/ I didn't want to clutter Akenu's thread.

Topic is regarding "amount" to energy. "Energy" among metaphysicsts come by split ideals: some think that it is a metaphor, others a real thing. I say it's a real thing based on my experiences.

Quote from: Kemetin
Interesting - I've never come across anyone with that perspective before. But maybe I've just spent too much time talking to Daoists who love getting into pissing contests over which system cultivates the most Chi/best Chi/etc etc:p
I've come across a few. As above, the thing about metaphors. Mostly, though, it's people who don't work with energy who seem to say that it can't/doesn't have an amount.

Quote
I'm trying to think about how a perspective like that would work - it seems implicit in more or less all energetic systems I've encountered that energy is something quantifiable (at least theoretically or subjectively, I've never heard of any attempt to quantify it objectively). Thus cultivating, accumulating, condensing, etc.
Some of the ways I've seen it described (not exact quotes): "It's just *there*. It's infinite and literally *everywhere*. There is no amount. That would be silly.", "Qi doesn't refer to a real substance. It refers to your stance work, to the way that you move. (from martial artists)", or "it's useless to talk about it in amounts. You have it, you use it. 'More' and 'less' don't really matter because they don't make a difference. Using 'more' energy doesn't bring about 'more' results. (the idea that it is qualitative, not quantitative)"

From the perspective of it being qualitative, for instance, the concept of "accumulating" would them be semi-self delusional, as you're not really "drawing in more energy", but are instead using psychological trickery to make yourself change how you feel, and how your energy feels or is charged/impregnated/whatever. Condensing would then further be a concept of changing the quality that is imbued in the energy, but not by literally concentrating/compressing/making-more-dense anything. So for instance, exactly what you said with "although this could possible tie back to what was being said earlier about presuppositions influencing energetic phenomena - it could be that we structure our experiences with our expectations to a greater degree than we suspect" and other such things.

Quote
And like you, this has definitely been my experience with these practices
Good to have feedback from people.

~Steve

6
The Cafeteria / Happy 12th VBDay, Kobok!
« on: March 14, 2016, 08:40:23 AM »
I was just stalking your profile and noticed that your registration date was Mar 10 2004. So Happy Veritas Birthday  :santa:

May your cows be ever-beefy and your bleaer be ever-filled with whatever the hell bleaer is.

~Steve

7
Other / Overflow for Steve and Rayn
« on: February 16, 2016, 08:05:34 AM »
Just going to go ahead and create a thread for overflow discussions, mostly between Rayn and I, so that we can just throw our stuff here whenever we start derailing a thread (sorry to everyone we've done this to). If any mod has free time and ever wants to go through any threads and merge our off-topic stuff to this one in order to clean up other threads, that would be fine with me.

And if other people who are arguing with either Rayn or myself about off-topic-to-that-thread stuff, and want to shunt the discussion over to this thread, that would be fine too.

______________

Latest is from here: http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22957.60.html

Some of these things might be quoted slightly differently because I started responding before the post was edited, and I have no idea what was edited, whether a lot or just one little thing. I'm also skipping the first large paragraph because, as I said, it doesn't really add much to the discussion. You talk about informational theories, but still fall back upon the assumption that psi follows the manipulation of information. Ie...
Quote from: Rayn
psi seems to follow something that is analogous to the path of least resistance where this likely means that psychokinesis is merely manipulating information etc
Like that. Thank you for finally using language that indicates that such a concept is not an established fact. This is your paradigm. Your viewpoint from which extends your practices. Your set of limitations. It's the same set of crutches that are found in other paradigms.

Here, let me give you an example by saying something similar but from a qi perspective:
"however, 'qi' seems to follow something that is analogous to the path of "yi/mind directs qi/energy" where this likely means that psychokinesis is merely manipulating 'energy already present in the object' which 'directs' where energy will be in such a way that energy that already exists is manipulated unless otherwise specified which leads into the materialization aspect of psychokinesis."

I changed three things and the concepts are now incredibly similar. Also take into account other similar concepts, that are just phrased differently, that are spread across metaphysical paradigms, such as: "mental instructions are encapsulated within the energy, as the energy is the vessel that transmits the instructions to the universe" or "you impregnate the energy with your desires, and the energy delivers your desires to the destination". These are very intuitive or basic concepts to explain a fairly similar idea to what you're portraying; you're just getting way more into one specific theoretical (or would this be an appropriate place to use hypothetical instead?) concept's minute level of detail.

Here's another example of paradigm shifting:
"For example, biochemistry in a living being is already moving around, so all that needs to be done is to just shift and direct it via 'sending energy at' aspects of those reactions 'and then manipulating the energy to make the reactions do what you're focusing on'." I'm sure it makes you cringe with how primitive the terms are compared to proper modern science, but remember many of these concepts developed over thousands of years without the benefit of modern science and are still pretty damn on-point, so that's pretty amazing in and of itself. 5000 years of practice that continually improved itself, and suddenly a few hundred years of modern science shows up and barely devotes an inkling of a thought to the concept of psi (compared to how many scientists/experiments/learning is done in the other fields), and even then only begrudgingly so (the "parapsychologists" are super enthusiastic, but the main core of the scientific community is not so much, especially with all the accusations of fraud and ineptitude and whatnot); don't discourage the efforts of the sheer volume of people who've done what they could through practice just because a new child has popped up and become daddy's favourite.

You've provided a couple of names for me to research, Helmut Schmidt and Eric Michelsen, so depending on how much free time I have, and how I feel, I *might* read some stuff of that (but don't bet on it. And yes, I understand how frustrating this kind of statement is to others). More likely I'll wait for more conclusive stuff to come out before I start reading the research again because I don't want to waste my time reading one set of theories after another and then trying to figure out the differences and similarities between them, and the assumptions they make and whether those assumptions are valid or potentially breaking, or whether evidence actually fits, etc etc etc. That's all stuff that I feel is currently better left to the people actually doing the stuff, and I'll keep doing what I do for the time being (and what I do is a mix of what I'm currently doing, plus attempting new things in order to branch out and see what else can be done).

>>>>> These group of responses are all along the same concept, so I group them together.
Quote from: Rayn
This usage of Qi is not falsifiable
(Actually it is falsifiable, by attempting to determine what qi is, and then using tests to seperate out intention alone versus intention+qi, but this first paragraph is going in a different direction) I, as a layperson, don't need it to be falsifiable. I, as a layperson, need to confirm that it's real (and I've strongly done that for myself). I don't need my food to be falsifiable; I need it to be real. We didn't need to test our eyeballs to confirm they were falsifiable before we accepted that we have them; we just needed to perceive them. We, as a race, didn't believe that we would fall back to the planet every time we jumped only after gravitation was proposed and tested. There are certain things in life that can be taken for granted fairly easily, and other things that can be taken for granted with a bit of self testing. Modern science, with it's need for falsifiability, has been present in merely 1/10th of the existance of recorded human history, and yet of the 7 wonders of the world, all 7 of them were done prior to modern science. Give humanity some credit for not being completely retarded. We're not going to suddenly disbelieve in something that many people have used for more years than you've been alive just because some upstart comes along and is like "WAIT! We have modern science now, and we need to prove everything before we can properly believe in it! So... start disbelieving in everything you've been doing up till now, and then we'll let you believe in it again as soon as we get around to proving the facts of the matter... whenever that might be. Maybe in another 100 years."

Remember, my response was largely in response to yours, ie when you said this: "however, there is not really any testable way we can know qi exists", which would kind of be like saying this: "however, there is not really any testable way we can know psi exists", which is obviously incorrect as scientists have devised and performed tests to verify that psi exists. I think what you meant to say is that currently no test has been devised to confirm that qi exists apart from other (also potentially false) explanations. However, another potential explanation is that qi is not directly tied to metaphysical phenomenon but is indirectly tied to it; like a user interface that people can use rather than having to deal with the mechanics directly. Until such a thing is proven, however, there's really not much point in going around saying "science doesn't believe in qi, so stop using it because it's unscientific". Because, you know, you've provided nothing to back up your claim that qigong has been disproven by science except the vague reference to the idea that you theoretically have access to information that the rest of us don't, and that's not good enough for most of us.

The other problem with claiming that qi can't be falsified "as a mechanic of psi" is that we don't have any evidence pointing towards any proper mechanic of psi; the information manipulation model doesn't seem to propose an actual mechanic, and simply glosses over the need for a mechanic by saying "nah, quantum physics proves non-locality so we'll just go with that. The 'cause' is that someone thinks something, and the 'effect' is that something happens. No need to show direct causality because we just employ a probability model. Trust us, it's fine." Sounds a lot like "We don't need to look at an engine. Someone pushes the gas pedal, the car goes. That's good enough for us!", and to one extent that is good enough to prove a certain level of causality, but refusing to look at anything deeper is not a valid reason to start discluding other explanations.

Quote from: Rayn
There is no scientific evidence to propose that qi is a causal mechanism for psi.
Is that because the science has proven there isn't, or because (as I mentioned above) there just hasn't been much science done on the topic? Espeically considering that the majority of research into psi has specifically attempted to distance itself from established cultural paradigms in order to avoid pitfalls of analytical overlay (and other things) that is assumed to potentially be fairly strong amongst the practitioners? 5000 years worth of qi gong has naturally built up some of those very belief structures that would get in the way.

What you said is also a hypocritical standard, by the way. The scientific study of psi purposefully avoids as much cultural belief and ideas as possible in order to avoid shoe-horning the study of psi, and to avoid cognitive biases and analytical overlay. So if science barely does any testing on a subject, then it's not justified to demand scientific evidence for anything to do with it. So if you want scientific evidence relating to qi, produce a significant volume of scientific study of qi so that we can deduce things about it. Otherwise, reasoning about something with barely anything to go on is barely justified. To be more clear on this, given what I've said already, there are 5000 years worth of non-modern-scientific study into qigong, so there is TONS of information for non-modern-scientists to reason about non-modern-scientifically, but if you want to narrow the subject specifically down to modern-scientific understandings and beliefs and statements and whatnot then we're in very shallow water because there is barely any modern-scientific study relating to qi.

Quote from: Rayn
Furthermore, the persistence of a belief is not evidence for whether or not that belief is justified.
You're right, exceeeept that I didn't specify the perpetuance of the belief. I specified the sheer number of people who (claimed to) perceive the qi directly, and the perpetuance of a system that evolved with practice and results. The difference is easily seen in religion, where I grew up with people who just continued dictating beliefs to others because that's what they believed; there was neither internal nor external evidence (for the majority), there were no practices to verify their beliefs (or rather, to base their beliefs upon), there was no upgrading the beliefs with better reasoning and understanding, and when someone challenged the belief the person didn't bother listening and just continued reasserting "the old ways" as justification. All of those traps are avoided in practice-based systems like qigong.

Quote from: Rayn
The same arguments you are using in favor of qi can be used in favor of <insert deity>; however, it does not constitute scientific evidence(many people will say they have experienced their gods where their experiences will sync up). Also, that, at the moment, is not testable.
That's absolutely true. People will tend to believe in their own personal experiences, even if those experiences can't be thrown under a microscope to be examined scientifically. But on the other hand, the inability for science to throw something under the microscope does not invalidate the potential for it to be a real thing; it just causes the situation of "lack of testability" or merely "lack of tests, currently". People living in 100AD weren't able to scientifically test gravity, so would you say they were fools to believe that they'd come back down to the earth each time they jumped?

There are lay experiments and experiences that don't need to be thrown under a microscope to be validly believed in. And others that are better off being thrown under a microscope, when they can be, and when a group of scientists get around to it (remember, there's a lot of things to test in the world. Lack of scientific knowledge of something is sometimes simply because there hasn't been a lot of good testing, not to be confused with basic or preliminary testing, done on it).
<<<<<

Quote from: Rayn
Considering the teleological nature of psi, for an intention to say improve health via killing off an infection, you likely would be dealing with that to organize physiological processes more so than creating the energy from scratch.
Hey, that once again sounds like something you'd hear in qigong. You use qi primarily to boost what's already there; in other words, strengthen the immune system and kick the body into working its own "magic".

Quote from: Rayn
The law of conservation of energy is bent via the violation of the second law of thermodynamics, and this does not negate the universe being physically a closed system in that physically matter is not entering or leaving this universe.
Perhaps. or perhaps nothing is violated and something else is also going on that accounts for the seeming violation. Lack of evidence doesn't necessitate that nothing is occuring.

Quote from: Rayn
I already answered this, and I am not repeating myself because it can be read in my response above this one.
...
The issue, though, is that it is an inference, and that is what you seem to not like.
It's not that I dislike inference. It's useful in many ways, but not when we're attempting to talk about factual explanations. If we're talking about possible explanations, then it's perfectly fine, so long as it's not taken beyond a certain point and into just plain assumptions and guessworks yet still portrayed as being properly scientific (I don't care that inferences are a part of science. inferences are also a part of laypeople society). It's especially inappropriate to try and discourage one set of explanations yet favour another while trying to convince people that the difference is due to scientific stuff yet in reality isn't. Your preference for the information based ideology doesn't negate the qigong based practices and understandings.

Quote from: Rayn
Here is the thing about science; it is inductive(except for maybe experimentation to test a hypothesis). In being inductive, science deals with what is probably true and not with what is necessarily true. In other words, if I interpret an experiment statistically, I am inferring that what the statistical analysis of that experiment indicates is probably true where there is a strong case for this; however, it is not necessarily true.
Thank you for acknowledging all this. The way you normally talk about psi and your experiences/viewpoint is one of absolute surity. The words you use make you seem to absolutely believe that psi is a matter of informational manipulation (whereas kobok, whom you quoted, notes that it's "one reasonable interpretation", and that we "might" have the ability to do this).

Quote from: Rayn
You are saying we cannot directly observe this; rather, we are merely inferring something based on an interpretation, but most of science is predicated on this, so if you reject what I said for this reason, you pretty much reject science or you reject the scientific study of psi.
I was asking what your level of observation was. As I noted, if someone asks me how I "observe" the qi that I use, they'd expect a better answer than "well, the person/object moves in response to my intentions".

By specifying your own level of observation, and how far detached it is from the actual event, you can assign proper levels of sureness (stronger probability of it being correct). So me directly watching someone else's fist contact someone else's face, I can be 100% sure that the contact happened. If I look away for a split second just as the fist is heading towards the face, and then see the face moving rapidly backwards afterwards, I'm strongly sure that the contact happened. If I see one person walking towards another, then look away to deal with something else, then look back and see one person lying on the ground with a bloody nose, then I'm less sure of what happened but I can still make lay assumptions that contact happened; if this event went to court, the case would hinge on factors other than my witnessing of the event. If I walk around a corner to see someone lying on the ground and someone else standing over then, then I have no proper surity of what happened, yet because human nature is what it is, my mind will start making a variety of inferences based upon a lot of mental ideas (including unfair biases) and I will subconsciously (or perhaps even consciously) come up with at least one assumption about what happened, and those inferences will fluidly alter based upon the next several things that happen or that I get information about (such as the two people's reactions to one another, their reactions to me, etc).

So I am about 95% sure that qi exists as a real thing, with the last 5% being healthy skepticism combined with several potentially alternative explanations (for instance, it is entirely possible that I am doing the exact same psi that you are doing, but that I both suck at it and that I include a lot of limitations that you don't have and that I include delusions about things like energy that aren't really happening. But I assign that as a very low possibility because of the sheer number of personal experiments I've done where I've tried altering lots of different factors). I am 100% sure that metaphysical abilities in general are real. I am anywhere from 30% sure to 80% sure that there are multiple different actual sets of mechanics involved in different paradigms, depending on factors such as how broadly I'd specify a set of mechanics (ie, all martial arts use the same overall mechanics of kinetics and biology, but we can still divide martial arts according to strong categories such as "hard and soft" as some martial arts focus on subsets of kinetics to the point of being plainly distinct from others that focus on other subsets, ie mostly muscle based motions in karate versus mostly centripetal forces in capoeira).

Furthermore, science is not predicated on inference. Science is predicated on the study of the world towards gathering evidence that provides knowledge of the world. Inference just narrows down the direction of the next thing to study, but evidence > inference. I know that a lot of science is done in the absence of evidence because it is based upon inference, but the search for evidence is not dropped just because an inference is strongly accepted. Another point I'd like to point out is that inferences are a double-edged sword, as they require the use of assumption; proper scientists attempt to reduce the number of assumptions to a reasonable level, and attempt to base their assumptions as strongly as possible on arguments from evidence, as much as possible, yet I've still read papers from people with PhDs in the hard sciences who make leaps of logic from assertions or assumptions to other assertions or assumptions, from time to time; because they have PhDs I generally give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that there are reasons for that leap and they simply did not specify what those reasons were, but I give that benefit less and less for people who have fewer and lower credentials.

Quote from: Rayn
Those arguments are deductive, tautological, and tend to not be scientific because they result in tautological statements that are necessarily true.
Can you quote me a simple example? I do acknowledge that I make a number of statements that I portray as fact because I can guarantee from my own life that they are about as factual as me falling back to earth when I jump.

Quote from: Rayn
It is much like Carl Sagon's dragon in the garage.
No, no no, no. No. It's not.

Carl Sagan's garage dragon was fabricated as a means of illustrating the absurd path that some people take in proposing explanation after explanation for why something can't be tested. Qi can be tested, just as psi can be tested. It's just a matter of figuring out how. A great starting point would, of course, be to hook up a bunch of sensors to people who claim to do qigong and who can produce strong effects that seem to defy other forms of explanations; and I'm pretty sure scientists have done this part, if I recall correctly, but then I don't recall hearing of anyone taking it much further.

Now, imagine instead of a completely "invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire", you have a "difficult to perceive, incorporeal, dragon who spits very real fire". Qi Gong practitioners can produce results ("very real fire"), much like psi practitioners who can produce results. Qi can be directly perceived by quite a number of people, though not everyone (this distinction is annoying to a scientist, sure, but it would be theoretically testable if you get multiple people who have demonstrated strong results, and see if they can perceive one another's qi. not the best test, but I'm sure if any good scientists got any real funding to properly test it, they could come up with much better); on the other hand, the scientific study of psi has not yet availed itself of the task of directly observing psi either, but instead observes psi by the results (the very real fire). It's still, as of yet, considered incorporeal because we haven't been able to pin down a corporeal form for it ("it" being qi or psi), and the dragon would then just be a metaphor for the qi/psi itself.

On the note of Sagan's dragon, however: "No - that's a tenant of materialism, and my practices are not materialistic." *cough*heatless fire*cough* >_> The dangers of the new rules of quantum mechanics is that it has broken the sense of requirement for scientists to show causality, and has firmly planted them towards the path of spiritism that they so desperately attempted to demolish when modern science first emerged a few hundred years ago.

Quote from: Rayn
You speak of Physics that does not exists
Hah, you mean psi and how it "shouldn't" exist?

Quote from: Rayn
I am interested in what you can plausibly give me based on a strong inferential link with empirically meaningful evidence.
So am I. If you can't tell me what kind of evidence will change your mind, then how can I even attempt to produce it, assuming such evidence even exists? What kind of evidence would you give to a person who doesn't believe in psi phenomenon, and who consistently produces excuses to disbelieve whenever you try ("oh well, that could have been slight of hand. oh, well that could have been a power fluctuation. oh, well that could have been your own mind tricking itself")?

Quote from: Rayn
You have admitted to me you are giving me an argument with no evidence.
And I also asked what evidence you would like to see, and you replied with a statement that you don't really know what you'd accept, and you're looking to me to figure that out. Your own friend once told you about your energy systems, that he perceived personally psychically, and you flat out disbelieved him. What kind of extreme evidence are you looking for that you're not just going to close your eyes to?

Quote from: Rayn
Saying that having sex saps qi is thus not a justifiable reason to abstain from sex. You have not scientifically proven it.
Two things: When you get shitloads of people who all have similar experiences, they can agree that abstaining from (or at least reducing) sex IS a justifiable expectation when practicing qigong. Secondly, I agree that no, it's not scientifically proven. I'm full on with the knowledge that the idea of sex having anything to do with qi is from anecdotal evidecne, though generally a lot of it for qigong stuff. And best of all, that doesn't matter anyway because when a person gets far enough in their practices, they could test it for themselves and determine for themselves whether it's a big deal or not. It may be normative, but it is not inviolable.

Quote from: Rayn
so I tend to resent practices that tell me what I have to or should do with them under the idea you have to subscribe to whatever to refine them
Then you should probably quit teaching people, because I'm 90% sure that you do exactly that to other people. Especially given how you argue here on these forums, and how you denounce other paradigms in favour of your own.

If a karate instructor tells you to tuck in your elbow when straight punching, would you listen? If another karate practitioner tells you to tuck in your elbow when you straight punch, would you listen? If a bunch of karate practitioners tell you to tuck in your elbow when you straight punch, would you listen? There's a reason for the tucking in of the elbow, but even if you don't know what it is, you still follow the instructions of a teacher of a specific art when they tell you to do certain things that are in the art; you went to learn that art, as opposed to your own eclectic beliefs and understandings, for a reason, after all.

It's better when someone is able to explain the "why" as well, and then you can of course make up your own mind about whether you want to listen or not, but it is bad form to automatically ignore something without even trying it simply because you don't "want to" subscribe to it.

Someone comes to qigong and asks what the practices are regarding sex and orgasms, they will generally get the same responses from a wide variety of other students and instructors: reduce or abstain, particularily in certain circumstances. This is a generic instruction to "the masses of people", and therefore by the laws in probability and biology, it won't apply to everyone equally.

And I don't need a lesson on normative instructions, the pros and cons, the when-to-listens and when-not-to-listens. I'm quite aware. There are times to listen, and times not to. Its one of the first things I figure out at every new job; which rules can I toe the line, which rules can I bend, which rules can I break, and which rules should I stay well within. (Another thing I do at a new job is find the most skilled/capable person, and learn from them).

On the topic of normative statements (I'm not sure if you include the connotation of morals in with normative statements, but morals don't have to be included): are you aware that the scientific community is also normative? "Use these methodologies in these circumstances, because reasons but also because we say so. Use these equations to do these things, for these reasons but also because we say so." Education in general is the same way, as is growing up from being a child; many people telling you what you "should" do for the first 18-ish years of your life. And even after we become adults, this doesn't stop, but the real question is whether we "should" just listen to others or whether we "should" just disregard it all and do our own thing, or whether we "should" do a mix of the two. Generally, when people tell you that you should or shouldn't do things, there's reasons for it, wether it's in science, qi gong, religion, or cooking. Normative statements, in and of themselves, are not the enemy; the expectation to follow the rules without being given any leeway to test whether the rules are valid, is the enemy. Someone asks "what does qigong say about this?" and someone answers; that's not something to scream and cry about. If you don't like the answer, there's nobody (no authentic authorities, rather) in qi gong who will punish you for having sex while also doing qigong; the assumption is that your own body and energy systems will provide you the answer for your specific situation, but that doesn't mean the instructor shouldn't warn you against something that's dangerous for a lot of people (kind of like a mum saying "don't put your hand on the stove when its red" and then you go ahead and do it anyway and have to learn the hard way that some normative instructions are quite valid). So just as in science, so as in life; normative statements will prove themselves valid or invalid "under circumstances" with testing.

nor·ma·tive
    establishing, relating to, or deriving from a standard or norm, especially of behavior.
    "negative sanctions to enforce normative behavior" <-- this is an example of the usage of the term, not part of the definition. just want to make that clear.

Quote from: Rayn
there are huge major flaws in the post I am referring to where it just is so tedious to go through it
Yes, the exact same thing applies your way. It is tedious, and I am glossing over certain things that I feel don't really matter (you relating fire to vapour, for instance), but I am also tedioiusly addressing a lot of things you're saying that I feel are incorrect. This is eating into my time as well. On the note of people being wrong about stuff, that's a normal thing for all humans: I am wrong sometimes, you are wrong sometimes, kobok is wrong sometimes, Einstein was wrong sometimes. This is a fact of life and doesn't need statements like "well, you were wrong about a bunch of stuff, but i'm not going to bother replying to them" because that's taken for granted. If you're not going to reply to it, then not much point in mentioning it.









Quote from: Rayn
No, it is not correct in that I do not place particular importance on my body etc etc
Thank you for the descriptions of what you go through. So long as you realize that what you've described hasn't been scientifically proven yet either, then that should give you a better understanding of where qigong is coming from (qigong is not coming from "assumptions to practices", but from "practices to assumptions").



Another point I'd like to make regarding qigong, as it should probably be said: the majority of philosophy intwined with qigong has less to do with the "parlour tricks" and more to do with the cultivation and development of the human being towards becoming a much better human being, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, culturally, and socially. The basic viewpoint is then one that points towards the betterment of the individual person through the various practices, and the abilities are seen as a side-effect of the process rather than the main reason for the practices. TCM takes a sharply different slant, though I won't speak on that at the moment.

My own personal viewpoint is merely one of simple-minded curiosity: what is this stuff, and how does it work?

~Steve

8
Other / Freedom and Free Will
« on: December 27, 2015, 09:50:47 AM »
As we've already started this conversation in a different thread, please see this thread for the back discussion:
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,23592.0.html

The main gist of this thread is for the discussion of human freedom, and free will, as opposed to human limitations and just plain will.

Background topics that have been brought up already include the idea that limitations don't remove free will entirely on one side while the other side has mentioned the idea that limitations to restrict free will such that will isn't free anymore; discussion about actualization; that there is magnitude to freedom; that it might have something to do with stochastic principles in the brain or something, as well as potentially other genetic/biochemical stuff; decisions themselves are not to be confused with the result of the decisions.

If anyone else wants to mention stuff that we've talked about and which I missed, go for it.



And I'm going to copy and paste something from my last post in the other thread, so as to get the ball rolling:

Here's some more simple descriptions of the efforts of actualization, written out for the sake of completeness. This way, if you have a problem with any specific ones, you can always point out the specific line you want to discuss.

Human decision to actualize X -> effort to actualize X -> X actualized.
Human decision to actualize X -> no effort to actualize X -> X not actualized.
No human decision to actualize X -> no effort to actualize X -> X not actualized.


Then, if you think any of the below situations are viable, you'd need to detail how they would come about. I'm sure there would be some circumstances where they just happen to happen, such as someone else entirely attempting to actualize it and you reaping the benefits, but those would be outliers and in a general sense the below don't make sense:

Human decision to actualize X -> no effort to actualize X -> X actualized?
No human decision to actualize X -> effort to actualize X? -> X actualized? (this is also the "Effort to actualize ?? -> ??" from my previous post)
No human decision to actualize X -> no effort to actualize X -> X actualized?


~Steve

9
Other / Ethics of Psychically Influencing Other People
« on: December 17, 2015, 08:32:11 PM »
So I suggested to Rayn that he start a new thread for discussing the moral/ethics of the project I'm going to be working on, but decided why not just start it myself?

A list of topics where this has already been covered, either more generally, or in a similar-but-different topic

http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,3791.msg49067.html Morals of Sugestive thoughts
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22512.msg217636.html The Ethics of Forced Love
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,16267.msg174640.html The ethics of Cursing
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,1069.msg14894.html Age and Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20655.msg204194.html Is this ethical?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20400.msg201843.html Is This Unethical?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22973.msg220185.html Ethics of a binding and banishing spell (This one might look familiar, Rayn ;))

And a couple on different-different topics, but still about morals/ethics (more topics found by searching for ethics than morals)
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19869.msg197625.html Medical ethics and brain regeneration
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19618.msg196176.html Ethics of Killing
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20481.msg202776.html A Discussion of Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,9314.msg103855.html Is there a Ethical Code for the Psionic Practice?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,18441.msg190182.html Dissolution of Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,14478.msg158230.html Ethics in Magick

There's been some discussions about ethics over the years. We don't crowd every single topic with the discussion of ethics because that would just mire *everything* down in the one branch of sociology.

But if anyone wants to start a new discussion, or just throw their 2 cents in, regarding the ethics of psychically working on or influencing people without their knowledge, especially if it ties back to my thread about the project I will be working on, be my guest.


As for me and my project: I do not consider it a breach of any major ethics due to a few simple but important considerations.
For purposes of cross-referencing, my project thread http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,23590.new.html

1) I already influence people purely in the mundane, through psychology, talking with people, body language, influencing lines of communications between people, pushing them to do or not do certain things, and in the sharing or retaining of secrets. However, it's not like I outright control people; I merely enjoy the place I'm currently working at and would like it to remain peaceful between people, so that is the result I strive for in all of the ways that I influence people.

2) I also already psychically influence people, for the same purpose as above. This will be little different except that it would be mostly automated through the use of constructs, and involve more people than I am currently already involving.

3) It's for a good cause, one that the company already sets out in their policy guidelines, so there is no friction there.

4) It will be restricted in it's use to a single set of workings. (In other words, it is not overly ambitious)

5) This is not forcing or even coercing; as I described before it would be more like a tickling of thoughts in the back of their mind with a set of answers to a question they themselves are asking.

~Steve

10
Psionics / Subconscious TP Construct Network idea
« on: December 15, 2015, 02:15:21 PM »
Preface: I'm not looking for a discussion about the ethics and morals, as those are the same for any other time that metaphysics are worked on unsuspecting individuals. What I am looking for is firstly people who have experience doing this, and secondly thoughts from other people who are capable of doing this to single people (even if they have never rolled it out en masse).

Background: I work at a place where some of the people don't always make the best decisions about work, preferring to do things by their own ideas rather than the company ideals. In immediate situations, these people can use more input from more experience or more senior coworkers in order to make better decisions.

The concept: Thus the idea to delve into the subconscious minds of my coworkers and set up constructs. The purpose of the constructs would be 1) to monitor the thoughts of the person it is attached to, 2) ignore anything not work related and only filter in thoughts pertaining to situations at work *where the person is unsure of how to proceed and needs immediate input from their coworkers*, 3) broadcast out the uncertainty to any other constructs embedded in the subconsciouses of other coworkers, 4) upon receiving such a broadcast, the construct would bounce the concept off the subconscious mind of the person that the receiving construct is attached to along with the question of "how would I proceed?", then collect the subconscious response from that person and broadcast the response back to the originator construct, 5) upon receiving the replies back, the originator construct would present the overall aggregate impression of the thoughts to the subconscious of the original person in order to give that person a better subconscious impression of the overall proper path they *should* take, in keeping more with company policies. Ideally, I would try to set it up so that people higher up the "chain of command" would have greater weight to their thoughts (because my boss's boss literally dictates the local policies and procedures, and his boss dictates higher company policies to him, etc), but I'm still pondering how best to balance that without it seeming too weak nor too overpowering.

This is *not* an attempt at subverting their free will, as the person will still be making the decision on how to proceed, but will be doing so with a subconscious impression made up from their coworkers thoughts. In other words, it gives them more information to go on. The impressions will not push themselves onto the person's conscious mind, ie pushing them towards one path or another; they will simply present themselves as a sort of "tickling" in the back of the brain for what seems like a good idea on how to proceed. This will also not touch upon peoples' personal lives at all, both because I don't care about those and because I don't need people to insert their personal views about one another into their responses (Ie, if one person thinks badly of another, I don't want that influencing the communication).

The reason: I work in the security field, and when a security guard is out and about interacting with the public on their own, and an important incident arises, a mild panic sets into the minds of many people and their mind starts wondering about what they should do to proceed. The purpose of training is to avoid or mitigate this panic and instill a reminder of the proper policies and procedures, but not all of my coworkers put a lot of effort into training themselves or reinforcing that training. We do have radios that we can communicate with, but we're also taught to act independantly a lot and not continually bother one another for simple things; but then work/social pressures push the line of "simple things" around, such that some people are dealing with situations alone when they really should be getting assistance. On the other hand, some people are already really good at handling these situations alone, which is why the stipulation on "when uncertainty arises" before the constructs activate.

If I were to set this up, I would still be vaguely monitoring the network in order to tweak it where it needs to be, or shut the whole thing down if something goes wrong, or interject if I really need to. I already keep a semisubconscious connection (well, semisubconscious on my end. fully subconscious on their end) with certain coworkers for handling these kinds of things anyway, so this would be expanding that to the use of constructs and the involvement of more people, and automating the process.

Extras:
-This would only be done for the long term coworkers. We get a lot of temporary guards, and I wouldn't bother setting it up for them.
-I'm not sure whether I should increase the complexity a little by bothering to putt in a criteria for a receiving person to be awake when their construct pings a concept off their subconscious, as it should be a weak enough ping that it shouldn't bother them while they're sleeping, and any "weirdness" in their response due to dreams should be overshadowed by the aggregate response anyway.
-I realize that if I'm doing this for groups of coworkers whose shifts I don't work on, I might be sleeping when these things are happening so I won't be able to monitor that activity. But the schedule set up is such that I'll always be awake *at some point* during each other shift's work schedule, so that I can monitor the general effectiveness of how it's working (and then assume it's working fairly similarily when I'm sleeping).
-As I said before, I will be monitoring, tweaking, fixing. It will be a mostly automated process, but not wholly just left to itself.
-The broadcasts will be (mostly) anonymous, as the overall aggregate reply doesn't really care who the originator is or who the responses are coming from; in other words, the responses should be the same regardless of whether I'm asking the question, or whether Billy-Bob is asking the question. The only break to this would be if I gave greater weight to the "higher ups"; they would still not be identified personally, but the grouping of them would obviously need to be identified as a category.
-I would restrict the network to only up to 3 levels higher than myself in the chain of command, as people who are beyond that are too distant from the workings of our department to give meaningful input into the immediate workings that this would be set up for. (Ie, the CEO would be the highest level of policy making in how the company should run, but his input isn't going to be helpful if someone's having a heart attack and we need to deal with it right now)

I think that should be everything for now. I wouldn't be going forward with this for at least a couple of months as I go over the concept more and more in order to make sure it's a rock solid good idea (and to solidify it more in my own mind), but I am seriously considering attempting to set this up.

~Steve

11
Main Hall / For the record, Vivi
« on: August 26, 2014, 09:50:02 AM »
Quote from: Silver_Archer
So, it has finally happened. Like so many others before him, Steve has finally joined the ranks of those who insist that Veritas is dying because it sucks and that someone else has/is going to replace it.

Prophecy was one part of a larger whole that was responsible for creating and sustaining this place. That he has more articles than anyone else here says nothing more or less than the fact that he wrote more articles for Veritas than anyone else. Magic does seem to quite abhor brevity and has seemingly infinite room for elaborate (and potentially unnecessary) complexity in its lore. It should not come as much of a surprise then that the magic ideologue on Veritas who had the longest run of activity should produce the most number of written articles. And should the TDS have transcended us in every which way; more power to them. I wish them all the best in the world. Given their transcendent status, I would hope that they would no longer need to nor choose to use the unworthy cesspool of ignorance that is The Veritas Society as a feeder mechanism for aspirants to their cause. Then, I am sure we would not see as many petulant voices on this insignificant has-been of a forum demonstrating the gall to raise their voice against their superiors.
That is not what I was saying. I was not saying that Veritas is dying, nor was I implying that Prophecy is transcendent, now was I implying that he is the smartest or most learned person here just because he has the most articles, etc.

I was saying that Prophecy has contributed a fuckton of material and personal time and space to members of this community, so it is completely unwarranted of another member to try and say that he's unimportant. Some people stand above the crowd because of what they are capable of or what they contribute: they should not be put on a pedestal to worship, but nor should people try to say that their contributions are worthless.

I am trying to give Prophecy the respect that is due him, that he has earned, without going overboard and being a fanboy.

~Steve

12
Main Hall / FREE ENERGY Machines!
« on: August 18, 2014, 04:57:28 PM »
That's right, I'm making a topic about free energy machines, machines that you use in your house that give you FREE ENERGY! Of course, I don't mean free in the sense of not paying money, but in the sense of getting more energy out of them than you put into them*.

Why am I making this post? Because I just had my mind blown by the realization that we already use a form of perpetual energy generators (not to be confused with perpetual motion machines, as energy generators need a net positive energy production, whereas motion machines only need net zero energy loss) in our homes and in commercial production. You can buy them off amazon.

So what are these free energy machines that I'm talking about? Primarily solar panels and wind turbines :) (we need a troll smilie face)

*And here's where the star comes in. Earlier, I said "in the sense of getting more energy out of them than you put into them". This is different than the normal perpetual energy generator challenge where you are expected to get more energy out of them than is put into them. So technically, while you aren't the one putting energy into solar panels and wind turbines, the universe is, and you're just harvesting this energy.

But then, isn't that what the FREE ENERGY machines and perpetual energy generators are supposed to do as well? Exploit the laws of physics in order to power your home without you having to do anything other than buy them and install them?

In that sense, humanity is also already using free/perpetual energy machines on a commercial scale. From hydroelectric dams to wind turbine farms to tidal power to geothermal heat and more, humanity has long been using energy production systems that give us far more energy out of them than we put into them. Looking at Earth from the point of view of "Earth is a closed system", we can say that all of these uses, with the exception of solar power, are a form of perpetual energy generator because all of the energy is produced from within the system and stays within the system. Instead of calling them "free energy machines" or "perpetual energy generators", however, we call them renewable energy.

I realized this as I was thinking about capillary action energy generators and my mind spontaneously made me think of a regular hydroelectric dam. I then realized that instead of using capillary action to get the energy to come up from the bottom to the top to repeat the cycle, the earth itself lets the river run into the ocean where water turns to clouds which fly over the land and rain water down upon the Earth again, and that water then flows back into the river on the "upper" side of the dam, thus continuing the cycle.

Heck, even if you turn to the idea of digging/drilling out coal and oil, such systems would be completely infeasible if we didn't get more energy out of them than we put into them. If all the oil that we get out of the ground went right back into the machines that get the oil out, there would be no industry for it. There has to be an increase in energy received compared to the energy used in order for the industry to be as booming as it is (and it is one of the world leading industries).

I've known for a while now that humans are doing pretty damn good for ourselves, it's still sinking in just how far along we are compared to where people tend to think we are. All of these "free energy machines" that people try to sell based on fuzzy concepts and pseudo-truths are only smoke screen for the truth that we already have fairly free energy machines that you can buy online or in store, today.


Yet, I've already looked at the feasibility of buying things like solar panels and wind turbines, and they're just not cost effective for our individual household as the best option (wind) would only produce ~37% of our monthly electricity usage if it operated at full rating 24/7 (which, they don't and aren't expected to, according to the manufacturers). But that's another issue.

~Steve

Primarily, I was going to make this thread as a parody to all the free energy spam out there, but then decided to play it straight instead. Not sure if it's going to generate any discussion or anything, but it's worth noting as "the other side of the story" for those people who constantly think about the free energy spam.

13
Other / Three sources of metaphysical "power".
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:22:53 PM »
So I decided to write this little list type thing mostly for the fun of it, and to clear up a couple of common misunderstandings about various things, ie whenever christians come on and denounce all forms of magic as satanic or demonic.

I'm writing it to the newbie-type audience, but this will hardly be an entire article. It will just list the 3 different types of metaphysical power that we use when we do metaphysical workings, give some descriptions that are by no means meant to cover the entire topics, and then I'll talk rituals at the end just because.

First source of Power: The Self.

The majority of metaphysicists of all paradigms will recognize this one inherently. We are the ones who do most, but not all, magic. We provide willpower, energy, focus, etc. There are paradigms that focus entirely upon using just this one source of power, and that's perfectly fine; it has been considered direct magic, psi, qi gong, etc.

The basic concept is that we, us humans, have a non-physical aspect to our identity and existence which can touch upon the non-physical aspects of reality, and also cause changes. To contradict myself, there are plenty enough people who consider this "non-physical" aspect to ourselves to actually be just another physical aspect to ourselves. We don't know which one it is yet, and most of us don't really care. I will continue to call it "non-physical" throughout this post.

The most popular names for this non-physical aspect of ourselves are the psyche, the mind, the soul, and the spirit. There are TONS of different descritions and lists and labels of various theoretical non-physical ... "locales", such as the astral plane, the conceptual domain, heaven and hell, purgatory, etc. God knows if any of them are real, but we treat them as though they are because many of us consider them to be the subtle dimensions that we "reach through" in order to enact our will upon the physical realm.

On the other hand, there are also plenty enough people disregard those places altogether and assume that the non-physical aspect to ourselves touches upon the physical realm fairly directly.

All in all, the concept of the Self is pretty simple. I do various exercises, such as visualizations, meditations, breathing, etc, and I control the ability to affect the world around me.


Second source of Power: Entities.

Entities are a big deal to many traditions, and they come in five generic flavours: Gods/deities, Spiritual beings of various natures, ghosts (as in the spirits of beings that were once alive but are now dead), embodiements of natural qualities, and constructs.

There are plenty of different theories about the nature, quality, and qualities of various entities, and different theories will include different types together (ie, some people consider the embodiements of fire to be constructs, while others consider fire elementals to be proper Spiritual beings. Some people consider ALL non-physical entities to be merely constructs). I don't have enough experience of my own to start categorizing and describing, so I won't.


Third source of Power: The Natural World itself.

As I said or indicated in another post somewhere, there are two aspects regarding the metaphysical uses of natural things: 1) the real world objects' actually discernable real properties and characteristics, 2) the energetic theory about what various objects relate to metaphysically.

The first one encompasses things like magnets: little magical rocks that fly through the air. It's amazing! Then science got ahold of it, studied the crap out of it, gave it a scientific name and now it's no longer magic but is instead science, according to the scientific community. Much of real characteristics of real world objects will fall into scientific research if and when scientists take the time to study them; prior to scientific study, they remain in the hands of the occultists. These are characteristics that are immutable to the objects themselves, they have nothing to do with peoples' beliefs about the object, and even complete unbelievers will be able to utilize the object's nature precisely because it is the object's nature. Anyone can write with a pencil or chalk, letting the material break away from it's original source and stick to the new surface that it was used upon. Anyone can set a stick on fire and watch the stick continue to burn. There are limitations and complex physical mechanics involved in all of this, but this just goes to show that metaphysics can be considered complex as well.

Of course, just as there are very definitive real characteristics to these things, there are also ascribed characteristics. Some people believe that various crystals have innate effects upon the human body; there is no scientific research that I'm aware of to back this claim up, yet the general idea is ancient and fairly wide spread. Some traditions believe that salt is a good substance to use as an energetic battery. Some traditions say that salt has cleansing properties.

There are a wide variety of traditions out there, and they can have incredibly wildly different beliefs between them. Unless something is just plain stupid, I'd have a hard time issuing a blanket statement about what kinds of things to believe and what kind of things to disbelieve, as most of these beliefs are based upon claims of experience. So trusting the sources of the claims becomes an argument of ethos. But then again, one can always test such claims for themselves; maybe you can't get the salt to work as an energetic battery while someone else can, but you can get it to work as a cleansing agent while they can't. Different people can have different experiences due to the complex nature of reality.

Even if they have no substantive effects, ascribed characteristics can still help metaphysically by doing things like focusing the mind, just like certain phrases can.

So objects have both innate characteristics and ascribed characteristics.



Next topic: Rituals.

That's right, what topic about the various sources of power would be complete without mentioning rituals, which are oftentimes utilized to ties different sources together.

Rituals come in many different shapes and sizes simply because they incorporate as many or as few different aspects of the three sources of power that anyone wants, and can be as formal or relaxed as a person wants to make it. Although, the actual definition of the term ritual is the concept of "a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order." (stolen from google)

I don't like invoking names here because this was so long ago and I don't have the reference with me, but I do recall Prophecy mentioning once that he walked a non-practitioner through the steps of a ritual and the non-practitioner was able to garner a significant outcome that caused him to realize that magic was real. I don't know what the ritual was or any of the components, but I just used it as an example to show that rituals don't "require" a person's own Self to be involved in order to get an effect out of them. If done properly, a ritual should be able to tap into either entities or inherent properties of real objects, or both, without the practitioner even needing to add anything from their own source of power.

Other forms of rituals could invoke various spiritual beings, use various herbs, incenses, random items that have are only connected due to subconscious associations, symbols of various planets/deities based on what they represent, and an inclusion of energy/willpower/whatever by the metaphysicist themself. Any or all of the above, or different things that weren't listed.

(It's getting late, I'm getting tired, and I never really thought about how to conclude this post anyway. So I'm going to end it rather abruptly. Add concepts or discuss things as you will)

~Steve

14
Main Hall / DBZers/Rad Ki-ers: Eat your heart out.
« on: September 04, 2013, 05:29:28 PM »
[EDIT] Nevermind. Don't bother with this hardware until they've updated the shitty software to work properly. Name is the MindWave by NeuroSky. [/EDIT]

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1544851629/throw-trucks-with-your-mind

I don't normally like to promote things, but holy shit guys (I saw the EEG on thinkgeek and then a link from there to the throwing truck game on kickstarter. If it were just on kickstarter I wouldn't have bothered)! I can't say what the website/video says/shows better than it can, so I'll just sum up a bit: a tiny EEG machine (like "non-bulky headphones" kind of tiny) reads your mental state, and translates that into an active part of the game that's being developed. The video shows that it's already partly working (I didn't read yet what he's trying to accomplish beyond what he already has).

oh right, disclaimer: this is just a video game... well, actually it's an input system that derives values based upon your mind, so it has the potential to be an input device for anything that can be programmed to accept the input. I think this has the potential to put the xbox kinect to shame. Or work with it. I can imagine two initial game-worlds that would be just awesome with this EEG input device coupled with an xbox kinect: star wars and dbz (yes I said it. don't pretend it wouldn't be fun :P). Also, Dungeons and Dragon's style magic.

Imagine if they could get it sensitive enough to read specific areas of the brain that you focus with. You would be able to focus with different parts of the brain to get different inputs, which could translate into different outputs. Ie, you focus with the front of your brain to throw fire balls, and with the back of your brain to speed up time or something.



However. More importantly than that (that had to go first because it drove my imagination into hyperdrive), the EEG machine itself could be used by ANY OF US while doing metaphysical pursuits in order to gather data on brain activity. We could then keep diaries/charts of brain activity alongside successes versus failures.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e9e5/ The EEG machine link, for those with interest and $80 (+shipping/handling) and a computer that meets the specifications on the website.

~Steve

15
Other / The Pillars of Basic Health
« on: August 17, 2013, 11:01:15 AM »
I thought about this as I was walking home and I passed a guy who was walking very slowly with a cane. He didn't seem old, but obviously he wasn't in the best of shape. I didn't stop to ask whether that was because he didn't take care of himself, or whether some other factor was crippling him (ie genetics, car accident, viral).

However, it did make me wonder, regardless of what caused the problem, what were some simple things he could do to try and increase his health to at least a baseline, to help him get over some of the problems and have a generally easier time of living? The four things below are what I thought of.

Each item has tons of things written about it, so this is by no means a full work and is instead simply a "slightly more than point form" listing of the four things that I can think of that would attribute to a generic person's basic health.


Breathing
Even simply taking some time to do some deep breathing for a few minutes. No pressure, no goals, just breathing.
A person does not have to take on any specific breathing patterns from any religious or metaphysical practices. Just taking the time to breath is good, especially if you can get out of a city area and into a large natural area (or even just a place with tons and tons of trees) as the closer you are to the source of the plants which produce oxygen, the better it is for the body.

Nutrition (and lots of water)
What we eat gives out body the materials to continue functioning. We need to eat a variety of foods for our bodies to have variety of different materials to keep us healthy.
We also need lots and lots of water. Bodies are X% water (colliquially stated at 70%, but wiki says it can vary anywhere from 45% to 75% depending on factors). With that much water in our systems, we must allow for stagnating liquids to be released and for purer liquids to refresh ourselves. This flow of refresh to release should not be too quick, ie you should not be drinking and urinating all the time, but it should happen a lot. If you take the time to try and feel yourself internally, then over a few weeks to months you should be able to feel the state of health with regards to how much healthy liquids are in your system and you can regulate yourself; especially if you pay attention for up to 30 minutes after the following events: 1) drinking clean/fresh enough water, 2) drinking caffiennated liquids, and 3) urinating.

Stretching
I would include basic exercise as well, except that I'm only talking about a basic level of health here. Weights and other things that put stresses on the body help us increase out health and wellness, but basic stretching is used to get us up to at least a basic level of health.
This means stretching all the muscles and ligaments so that you can remain flexible (nutrients and water from above are also needed to retain flexibility, as the muscles and ligaments will deteriorate without proper nutrition). The benefits of stretching start coming after a period of time, ie a week or two, of starting the process. Doing a single set of stretches will not make you healthy. Stretching should put a bit of pressure on the muscles, and no pressure on the ligaments. Take it slow, do what you can, and do not push your body past what it is capable of handling.

Recovery / Relaxation
Time out. Take a few deep breaths, relax the muscles and the brain. Take a hot shower. Drink a single beer or equivalent of hard alcohol (so long as you are still hydrated). Relax.
Relaxation and recovery are important because your body needs time to perform certain clean up and maintenance functions. This is why we generally have the 6 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Healthier peoples' systems work more efficiently and so they can do with less mandatory sleep.
Conscious relaxation can grant a huge boost to the body's natural rejuvination process. So "treat" yourself to a time out each day. How long is up to your choices and your needs and your capabilities. I used to do it in 5 to 15 minute blocks while at work (the length of a paid break), and I could do it the rest of the evening after work if I was sufficiently tired enough.


Add, subtract, discuss as you will. (Often times we consider health stuff to go under BEA or Martial Arts, but there's no E and no Martial Arts to the stuff above, which is why I stuck this in Other.)

~Steve

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