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 Real Ultimate Power, A Magical Flowchart
Vilhjalmr
post Nov 26 2009, 06:18 PM
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Vilhjalmr
post Nov 26 2009, 06:40 PM
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This is something I see repeated over and over.

I remember my first foray into the occult/paranormal was at PsiPog. I asked, and I observed many, many, many people ask, what sort of things were possible with psychic powers. Most of the responses dealt with intangibles, like psi-balls or manipulating coincidence or auras. I don't mean to denigrate any magical or psychic practice that's involved with these things; it's just not what a lot of people are looking for.

A lot of responses also mentioned that physical things were possible, but the poster did not have the talent or experience to do them. These posts often came with a referral to one of the few members who did claim to have produced results. These members were always inundated with requests for advice, and to their credit they usually gave it. But no one would ever come back and say "thanks - it worked!" Instead, there was usually a long list of people wondering why they couldn't get the same results. Peebrain had some sort of question-and-answer service at the time, and literally hundreds of questions were exactly the same: I did everything right, I've been trying for years, why won't it work?

Not to single out PsiPog. The same thing can be observed on any forum, Tomekeeper's Library of Knowledge being my other most disappointing example. If they say you can produce a physical result, then they are almost always referring to someone else's experience; and if they're not, then no one can duplicate it.

Even worse, the people who reply that no you can't do anything tangible... are always the ones who type correctly, write well, and appear most knowledgeable. To be successful in magic, it seems, you must resign yourself to abilities much less impressive than those you might have first hoped for. (I'm not hoping for fireballs here... just to move a bit of fluff with my mind would be enough.)

This isn't intended to be an attack of any sort. It's just frustration with the state of affairs as I see it. The reason I haven't given up is that if magic is a discipline that requires dedication and hard work to succeed at, then it's only natural that most people give up before they can accomplish anything. Still, the noticeable vacuum of well-spoken(-written) people who claim physical results is... disheartening. Imperial Arts has given me hope, if nothing else (although again - no one can duplicate it!).


Edit: I forgot to include something in my chart. If I see one more "wit" reply with something like "if you want to start a fire, use a match!" I may be forced to stuff their words right down their throat. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif)

This post has been edited by Vilhjalmr: Nov 26 2009, 07:23 PM


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esoterica
post Nov 28 2009, 09:32 AM
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what is 'physical' anyway?

lolololololololololololololololol

what you believe, i mean truly believe, is what you'll get - doubt is belief too

so you can do all these wonderful things in your dreams, but then when you wake up (and stop dreaming), something suddenly stops you from doing them - what is that something? - did you really do them in your dreams?

of course siddhi isn't real, is it?


edit: i had to look up psipog and who cares, but psipong? - ooo! - interesting, thanks!! - look for psi sports coming to the telepathic party! - who wants to be the ball?!?!

This post has been edited by esoterica: Nov 28 2009, 09:40 AM


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ron stafford
post Nov 28 2009, 03:41 PM
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If you do not think that magic works,Why are you here? If you think that it can not kill you/save you/help you/hinder your foe ,go get religion.Then you can ignore reality and give the credit of your applied will to some irrelevant god.OK so I just Quit smoking,But the facts are that I have no time for anything that does not work as a matter of routine.If you think I am lying come and kill me and prove me wrong.Yes I know I have issues.

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Kath
post Nov 29 2009, 01:44 AM
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the flowchart seems pretty biased in it's wording and assumptions, to me anyway.


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esoterica
post Nov 29 2009, 07:53 AM
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>>are always the ones who type correctly, write well, and appear most knowledgeable

spellcheck or die

have patience or die

dying is great experience

the problem i see is that you are talking to physical people not entities

practice self-hypgnosis, then pick someone special from history that sounds nice, then make them an honor gift and have a chat

and stop worrying about how great a magician you are and trying to impress people, especially yourself


and of course here comes stephano:

Stefano Looks For Fireworks
By Esoterica
[email protected]
©2009 by Esoterica
Free to distribute with author's name included.

Stefano was searching for something big.
He was young and inexperienced, and afraid of 'getting in with the wrong crowd', but he was looking for something more than just everyday living, mainly because he could sense it being there somehow.
He tried meditating, but he couldn't quiet his mind for more than a few seconds, as his mind was hyperactive and jumping from thing to thing like a flea on a hot skillet.
He looked through the internet, searching for the instant results he craved, wanting to be able to do fireworks from his fingers, just like they did in the movies and tv, and he found so much stuff about the occult that he would never get through it all!
There were people who sold books on how to do things just like he wanted to do it, and he spent his birthday money on them, but they either didn't come or didn't make sense when they did.
Nobody would tell him what to do to get the 'it' he needed, the power to do whatever he wanted to do, and right then in that instant, with the effects right there for all to see!
He knew there was that power out there, but his parents warned him of bad people on the internet, and he didn't like the things some people said, and some of the people on the forums were awful and mean, or just wanted to argue.
He needed someone to show him how to get what he wanted in the here and now, not to debate the ancient meanings of occult things!
He wanted basic, do­able, helpful information, packaged in a way he could understand, and something that didn't take a long time to learn.
He had no money for special occult tools, or more useless books, or even time to study beyond some few hours he could spend on the internet, and he didn't want to work with bad things, but to embrace only the light and the good.
Then, one day, he found a place where they suggested that beginners could use deities, since they have the power that the beginners hadn't achieved yet.
It rang a bell in his mind, almost like a prayer was answered!
He had played around with Wicca, but didn't like the feel of it, or the fact that they said he should let go of his pride.
His pride was what he was, he wanted everyone to be proud, and even a little afraid, of him, and his belief in himself was what he was looking to build up, just like they said in school for him to always do.
On the forum they had said to choose an entity from a particular timeframe, and give the deity a gift that they liked, and the deity, in return, would give him the power he craved, or something like that.
He had read it too fast and didn't really digest it, but he wanted the power to stop bullies and bullets, and save the planet, and just be a really powerful magician.
It was something he had not really planned, but he wanted the super­abilities like he saw on the movies and tv shows and read about in books and even heard in his music, and right now, since it had to be something that would let him be able to do stuff quickly too, since he had no time to devote to it.
These deities would give him the power, and wouldn't his mom be so proud of him when he could fly, and the bullies at school would be afraid of him enough to leave him alone, at least after he taught them a lesson or two.
Following the instructions given on the internet, he looked through the lists of ancient Gods and Goddesses, but none really rang a bell with him, and some were actually left a bad taste in his mouth after reading about them.
He though that the God he had learned about in Sunday School was cool, and the Commandment to 'have no other Gods before me' struck home, and he wondered if he could follow the same instructions to get the power from his 'Real God' as opposed to those ancient ones?
The internet had said to choose the God or Goddess, and then to give them a gift that they wanted, and then to watch for their influence, or voice, working through their symbol, which would just be feelings and stuff that appeared inside his head, always if his God worked the same way as the other Gods and Goddesses did, then that should be easy!
First he had been instructed to give the God or Goddess of his choice a gift, and for his God, that, according to what his Mom said was in the Bible, would be a House for God with an Altar.
It was pretty easy to setup an Altar to God in a Christian house like his, and he found a lot of pictures of Altars on the internet, but what was the symbol for God?
His religion said that God was un­formed, kind of like a gas as opposed to a solid like they had learned in chemistry class, and he suddenly understood somehow that anything solidified into a physical form would contain errors, since nothing physical was perfect, except for maybe the son of God, and that must be what Original Sin must be!
He did more research on the internet and decided that the Cross was the perfect symbol for God, but one site on the internet said the Cross had nothing to do with the Crucifiction of Jesus, but the pouring down of power on the individual, which was just what he wanted!
He could even see a Cross himself if he went outside and squinted at the sun like the website said to do!
The Solar Cross was the symbol of the Word, the Power, coming down on him!
Finding the one Cross he liked, one that looked something like what was the image he saw when he squinted at the sun, took a long time, but he got one at last and put it on his bedside table.
His mom approved highly and patted his head, and he smiled under her love, as she was like the earth and their home and everything that made him smile.
He even included a small image of Jesus and a Bible on his new Altar in this new House for God, and he did just like they did in Church, giving it a gift of some bread and a few drops of wine he got from his mom's empty glass, of course in Church they gave it to the people, not to the symbols of the deity.
He started dreaming about things he had never thought about before, things like flying really fast to strange places where he would try to fix things he didn't understand, and took instruction on it from a teacher, and he noticed he was having feelings about people and places and things, almost a gut reaction to them.
Sometimes people even made him physically sick feeling and he wanted to get away from them when they were cussing, and other things made him feel good and made him smile, almost from the inside, like when he read something good about God
He had eagerly started to almost run to Church, seeing as he had always held back before when he was made to go, but some things the preacher said didn't make much sense, but when the preacher talked about God, Stefano listened intently.
Again, some of what he heard turned his stomach and actually made him queasy or nauseous.
Surely this was not his perfect and infallable and omnipotemt God that the preacher was talking about!
He didn't understand where these feelings were coming from and why he was having them, and he was getting very tired of waiting for his super­powers to show up since he had done all the things the people had said do, including giving almost everything he had to the Church.
He still couldn't control lightning, or levitate and fly around, or stop cars in their tracks, so he dumped the Cross in the rash and quit trying.
It was all a lie and there was no such thing as magic, no matter what anybody said.
The End

©2009 by Esoterica
[email protected]
This story is by Esoterica and is free to distribute with the author's name included.

This post has been edited by esoterica: Nov 29 2009, 08:03 AM


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Vagrant Dreamer
post Nov 29 2009, 11:14 PM
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"Oh but ignoring his gut feelings was something a mister bungle would do; and he didn't want to be a mister bungle! So instead billy studied his occult sciences diligently before watching cartoons."

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Vilhjalmr
post Nov 30 2009, 01:21 AM
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QUOTE(esoterica @ Nov 28 2009, 09:32 AM) *

what is 'physical' anyway?

I was thinking of you, esoterica.

QUOTE
what you believe, i mean truly believe, is what you'll get - doubt is belief too

so you can do all these wonderful things in your dreams, but then when you wake up (and stop dreaming), something suddenly stops you from doing them - what is that something? - did you really do them in your dreams?

of course siddhi isn't real, is it?
edit: i had to look up psipog and who cares, but psipong? - ooo! - interesting, thanks!! - look for psi sports coming to the telepathic party! - who wants to be the ball?!?!

Maybe you're right and it's just my belief holding me back; the problem is, it's difficult to believe without results.

Psipong sounds way better than Psipog!

QUOTE(ron stafford @ Nov 28 2009, 03:41 PM) *

If you do not think that magic works,Why are you here? If you think that it can not kill you/save you/help you/hinder your foe ,go get religion.Then you can ignore reality and give the credit of your applied will to some irrelevant god.OK so I just Quit smoking,But the facts are that I have no time for anything that does not work as a matter of routine.If you think I am lying come and kill me and prove me wrong.Yes I know I have issues.

I didn't say I didn't think magic works, exactly. I'm here because I'm hoping to practice for myself. You seem pretty sure of magic's power; now I'm curious. What sort of physical results have you seen from your practice?

QUOTE(Kath @ Nov 29 2009, 01:44 AM) *

the flowchart seems pretty biased in it's wording and assumptions, to me anyway.

How so? Honest question. I only intended to write what I've seen over a few years of lurking around on occult forums. The quotes are, as well as I can remember, paraphrases of actual statements I've seen here/Veritas/LoK/Psipog.

QUOTE(esoterica @ Nov 29 2009, 07:53 AM) *
the problem i see is that you are talking to physical people not entities

practice self-hypgnosis, then pick someone special from history that sounds nice, then make them an honor gift and have a chat

and stop worrying about how great a magician you are and trying to impress people, especially yourself

Who doesn't want to impress people? (Don't answer that. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif)) I'll give it a try. Nice story, by the way.

The study and practice of magic has given me many psychological benefits (not least of which is a rewarding outlet for OCD). Throughout history and continuing to the present day, though, people have claimed exterior benefits to the practice of magic as well. If magic is only a psychological tool, I feel it should be stated outright - it would drastically affect its application and theory, I think. Moreover, as I'm something of a materialist, evidence of magic being something other than a mere ("mere"?) psychological tool would be extremely interesting. Not to mention the material benefits, especially as I do many things already for mental and philosophical benefit. I work on getting my mind under control; now I'd also like to work on getting the exterior world under control.

Writing something on a piece of paper, doing the requisite calculations and research, obtaining the necessary materials, and doing the required procedure to result in the thing you desired... to see it happen in front of your eyes, an arcane textual process brought to life, the will of the universe expressed through you and yours through it - now that's magic. And I'm talking about chemistry. I'd like to see the same happen with "bell, book, and candle".


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esoterica
post Nov 30 2009, 08:50 AM
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>>If magic is only a psychological tool, I feel it should be stated outright - it would drastically affect its application and theory, I think.

why would it change anything about magic either way? - it may change people's *perception* of magic, but not magic itself as it never changes - magic is exactly the same today as it was at the beginning of time - the problem may lie in your belief in (and definition of) what magic actually is and does

again, what you believe, truly subconsciously believe, is what you would observe (to use a phrase from quantum physics)

keeping it very, very simple, supposing i light a candle to protect someone who is in danger (simple enough, say a soldier getting shot at in battle), and back it with intent (carve symbols in the candle, say a simple spell over it as i'm setting it up or lighting it, whatever), and they come to no harm although they were surrounded by danger and should have come to harm statistically, then that is proof enough for me and i am satisfied that magic, as i define it, exists

and if i enchant an object (via spirit) to produce something (via spirit or whatever means), and even the tiniest portion of what i meant for it to produce (bring to me) falls out of it just once, then that is proof enough for me that magic exists as i define it

and if i have a telepathic conversation with an invisible entity (either evoked or casual contact), then that is proof enough for me that magic exists (and also invisible entities) as i define it (and them)

and absolutely none of it is enough physical proof to satisfy wither you (or the amazing randi, who is offering 1 million dollars for inconvertible proof that magic exists)


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Vilhjalmr
post Nov 30 2009, 01:28 PM
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QUOTE(esoterica @ Nov 30 2009, 08:50 AM) *

why would it change anything about magic either way? - it may change people's *perception* of magic, but not magic itself as it never changes - magic is exactly the same today as it was at the beginning of time - the problem may lie in your belief in (and definition of) what magic actually is and does

Perception is reality, right? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif)

But personally: if magic doesn't have physical effects, I wouldn't bother with, say, Kobok's psi course, or spending thousands of dollars on the exactly correct tools for Goetiac work. Instead, I would meditate and devise rituals that satisfy me for less money. There are thousands of systems and techniques specifically for producing physical effects, which I think few would bother with unless they believed they worked.

QUOTE
again, what you believe, truly subconsciously believe, is what you would observe (to use a phrase from quantum physics)

keeping it very, very simple, supposing i light a candle to protect someone who is in danger (simple enough, say a soldier getting shot at in battle), and back it with intent (carve symbols in the candle, say a simple spell over it as i'm setting it up or lighting it, whatever), and they come to no harm although they were surrounded by danger and should have come to harm statistically, then that is proof enough for me and i am satisfied that magic, as i define it, exists

You can look at it that way, yes. Or you can look at it as you wasted time doing the candle stuff, in terms of providing actual protection. Of course, if it helps and satisfies you anyway, that's great and not a waste of time. That's how I look at the magic I do now: if it's working, awesome. If not, at least I did everything in my power. I would just prefer to have some irrefutable (as I define irrefutable) evidence, for various reasons (encouragement, awesomeness, etc).

QUOTE
and if i enchant an object (via spirit) to produce something (via spirit or whatever means), and even the tiniest portion of what i meant for it to produce (bring to me) falls out of it just once, then that is proof enough for me that magic exists as i define it

and if i have a telepathic conversation with an invisible entity (either evoked or casual contact), then that is proof enough for me that magic exists (and also invisible entities) as i define it (and them)

and absolutely none of it is enough physical proof to satisfy wither you (or the amazing randi, who is offering 1 million dollars for inconvertible proof that magic exists)

We seem to have similar views, really (except re: invisible entities - I've never been able to have such a conversation, although I haven't really tried). There's just this lingering suspicion I have that perhaps magic, as well as working in the way we're defining it, can also do the sort of things Randi wants. I must know!

This post has been edited by Vilhjalmr: Nov 30 2009, 01:29 PM


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post Dec 1 2009, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE(Vilhjalmr @ Nov 30 2009, 02:28 PM) *

Perception is reality, right? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif)

But personally: if magic doesn't have physical effects, I wouldn't bother with, say, Kobok's psi course, or spending thousands of dollars on the exactly correct tools for Goetiac work. Instead, I would meditate and devise rituals that satisfy me for less money. There are thousands of systems and techniques specifically for producing physical effects, which I think few would bother with unless they believed they worked.
You can look at it that way, yes. Or you can look at it as you wasted time doing the candle stuff, in terms of providing actual protection. Of course, if it helps and satisfies you anyway, that's great and not a waste of time. That's how I look at the magic I do now: if it's working, awesome. If not, at least I did everything in my power. I would just prefer to have some irrefutable (as I define irrefutable) evidence, for various reasons (encouragement, awesomeness, etc).


And what if you do the same procedure a dozen times with the same results? A hundred? What if in a harsh economy, every business you used magic to help thrived anyway, without exception? What if your magic always produced results, depsite apparent obstacles that any reasoning person would expect to create some fluctuation? How much consistency does it require for you to not be able to see it as pure chance? If you knew it wasn't chance, but the requirements were still somewhat expensive, would it be worth it to you to spend the money?

QUOTE

We seem to have similar views, really (except re: invisible entities - I've never been able to have such a conversation, although I haven't really tried). There's just this lingering suspicion I have that perhaps magic, as well as working in the way we're defining it, can also do the sort of things Randi wants. I must know!


If someone had these kinds of results that you wanted, but they were he result of such hard work, would you fly out to see them? If they could tell you what it took - and it was years and years of constant and grueling work, would you be able to do it? What if they didn't want tons of attention, or to confront Randi's challenge because of the bothersome elements it would bring into their everyday lives? Do we imagine that Randi's not going to make his money back by selling the story to the media if he got some kind of incontrovertible evidence? In my opinion Imperial arts is very brave to make his claims so openly - I would not want that sort of attention drawn to me. Not that this is CNN or anything, but it's still a lot of potential for publicity. Then again, maybe that's his bag - and maybe there's a reason his claims are so overlooked by public scrutiny.

The cheapest route I could think of is probably goetia if you want to ultimately manifest some physical result quickly. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on the tools, although you may have to spread it out - it's taken me the better part of a year to collect my own tools, and I still haven't got a place to execute the ritual. And then, you may have to practice. Although Imperial Arts seems to have stated that fulfilling the 'contract' laid out in the grimoire is all that is necessary to produce results from it, this is counter-intuitive to my own instincts. However, so are lots of other things that have worked, so maybe it is as simple as that. However, my suggestion would be that if you don't get a physical manifestation first time around, keep trying.

My suggestion is to keep looking. If it's something you want to find, then find a way to find it. This is not a lost ideal, I think, even if you never find proof. I understand that no one wants to play the fool in the face of 'common sense'. But you are trusting an instinct that stands for more than just 'physical results in magic' - it represents a basic sense that all is not as it seems, and that this world is more interesting than it appears to be. That instinct will lead to you wonderful places if you do more than just wonder. But you don't want to waste your money (so that you can have it in the after life, I presume), like most others who want to do more than wonder but never do. It's a big wild world - maybe go somewhere where people don't even question whether magic can do these things or not.

peace


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Kath
post Dec 1 2009, 04:43 AM
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QUOTE(esoterica @ Nov 30 2009, 08:50 AM) *

>>If magic is only a psychological tool, I feel it should be stated outright - it would drastically affect its application and theory, I think.

keeping it very, very simple, supposing i light a candle to protect someone who is in danger (simple enough, say a soldier getting shot at in battle), and back it with intent (carve symbols in the candle, say a simple spell over it as i'm setting it up or lighting it, whatever), and they come to no harm although they were surrounded by danger and should have come to harm statistically, then that is proof enough for me and i am satisfied that magic, as i define it, exists


actually I'll disagree. Not that your proof shouldn't be enough for you, just that it wouldn't be enough for me. I am a lover of scientific process and rationality and "openminded cynicism". And what you describe would not, in and of itself offer any proof by my standards. Which is NOT to say that it isn't magick or that it didn't work! not saying that. just saying I wouldn't use it as an example of 'proof'.

I try to limit 'proof' to things like garnering very detailed & specific information which could not be known any other way than metaphysical, or causing an outcome 'repeatedly', reliably, in violation of statistical chance. for example, if you could call heads or tails on a coin toss 'reliably' above 50% accuracy, that's actual evidence of something. I myself actually do about 60-65% on coin tosses. If you can directly modify another's behavior in a very detailed & specific way, without outwardly communicating with them, that's excellent proof. there are many examples. but just surviving a war where say 75% of people died? that's not a strong item of evidence, in and of itself. If you did this for 1,000 soldiers and almost ALL of them survived while 75% of the general soldier population died? that would be some very compelling evidence. For a single event to be 'strong evidence' by itself, I find that it has to contain some wildly unlikely references. For example, if you feel that you have read your friend's mind, and believe based on that that their dog has died in an unexpected accident, and it turns out to be 100% correct, and you don't think a hundred such things every day hoping for one to actually pan out or anything like that... well that's pretty sound evidence in and of itself in a single event. If you were to realize in a precognitive episode that a crash was about to occur down the street (without any actual visual clues to suggest such a thing), and you pull over to avoid harm. And a few moments later a semi truck runs the light and smashes into cars in the intersection... well that's very sound proof, particularly if it all went down very much like you imagined it would in the precognitive perception.

so Vilhjalmr, the issue I think, is that you're kinda asking for proof in the form of shooting fireballs from your eyes... you want to see something 'hollywood'... as does james randi. that has not been my experience with magick. I have seen things occur which could be viewed as hollywood-style impressive, such as moving objects or causing a person to fall unconscious, but not frequently or reliably. Subtlety is much more the norm for magick.

Also, the ultimate goal of magick is not in my opinion just about 'power'. What is power exactly? the effectual capacity of your Will? and what is your will exactly? I would say that magick is as much about fostering an understanding of your true will as much as it is about empowering it. there is no magick, in my opinion, which is greater than spiritual self transformation/evolution. Which is pretty much an 'internal' magick form, and not particularly 'hollywood'.

Also, to be fair, there are a lot of charlatans out there. To approach magick with skepticism is an entirely valid, and even admirable, stance. I don't think you can even become a particularly skilled magick practicioner *without* a healthy sense of skepticism. It's simply necessary to cut through the BS and get to the meat & potatos of one's art. However, skepticism itself is only one half of the equation. I'd like to quote Carl Sagan on this matter:

QUOTE
It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas … If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
Carl Sagan, "The Burden of Skepticism"


Skepticism and openmindedness must, if one is to grow in knowledge, be wielded carefully as two tools which are useless without each other.

Also, an interesting aside, in magick, it can be very difficult to achieve an actual magical result without 'absolute belief'. Towards this goal, it is very useful to be able to temporarily suspend all disbelief, and work with total focus, unified will, and absolute confidence. Afterwards, you can re-sort your psychological makeup to allow skepticism to critique what you have or have not accomplished. But during the magick, you can't be your own skeptic and expect to actually 'do' much of anything.

This post has been edited by Kath: Dec 1 2009, 04:53 AM


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Vilhjalmr
post Dec 2 2009, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Dec 1 2009, 12:43 AM) *

And what if you do the same procedure a dozen times with the same results? A hundred? What if in a harsh economy, every business you used magic to help thrived anyway, without exception? What if your magic always produced results, depsite apparent obstacles that any reasoning person would expect to create some fluctuation? How much consistency does it require for you to not be able to see it as pure chance?

Theoretically, any statistically significant deviation from the results expected from pure chance would be enough. Even if it was just in coin flipping. The reason I'm not looking very hard at the sort of magic that works on chance - as opposed to, say, fireballs - is that I'm not entirely sure how to determine statistical significance, it would require many trials in a row, and many situations (such as businesses thriving) are too complex to calculate whether or not they "should" have gone the way they did. I feel that it is very easy to fool yourself with that sort of thing.

I experimented for a while with some online applets that let you attempt to influence the output of a random number generator, but was never able to produce any deviation from pure chance. I didn't try for more than a week or two, though.

QUOTE
If you knew it wasn't chance, but the requirements were still somewhat expensive, would it be worth it to you to spend the money?
If someone had these kinds of results that you wanted, but they were he result of such hard work, would you fly out to see them? If they could tell you what it took - and it was years and years of constant and grueling work, would you be able to do it? What if they didn't want tons of attention, or to confront Randi's challenge because of the bothersome elements it would bring into their everyday lives? Do we imagine that Randi's not going to make his money back by selling the story to the media if he got some kind of incontrovertible evidence? In my opinion Imperial arts is very brave to make his claims so openly - I would not want that sort of attention drawn to me. Not that this is CNN or anything, but it's still a lot of potential for publicity. Then again, maybe that's his bag - and maybe there's a reason his claims are so overlooked by public scrutiny.

If I knew it was not chance - yes, I would be willing to spend even enough for a lion pelt! I would also dearly love to witness someone perform a genuine magical feat, if that's what you mean by seeing the results.

I think it would have to take years upon years of grueling work... otherwise, everyone would be doing it, right? :-) I am able to put in the required effort, I think. I don't know how much would be required, so I hesitate to say I am definitely able; but I can't imagine ever stopping or giving up.

Randi's challenge confused me at first: if magic was real, why had no one stepped forward and proved it? But I quickly realized that I personally would not be willing to, even if I had the powers required. They would be their own reward. I understand that others might feel the same way.

QUOTE
The cheapest route I could think of is probably goetia if you want to ultimately manifest some physical result quickly. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on the tools, although you may have to spread it out - it's taken me the better part of a year to collect my own tools, and I still haven't got a place to execute the ritual. And then, you may have to practice. Although Imperial Arts seems to have stated that fulfilling the 'contract' laid out in the grimoire is all that is necessary to produce results from it, this is counter-intuitive to my own instincts. However, so are lots of other things that have worked, so maybe it is as simple as that. However, my suggestion would be that if you don't get a physical manifestation first time around, keep trying.

I appreciate the advice. I was hoping you would see this thread. I'm also very interested in the Goetia, but I too wondered if maybe some sort of magical strength on the part of the practitioner was required. Or perhaps the rituals in the book contain blinds or missing instructions that are only obvious to the experienced...? At the moment I'm reading through Initiation Into Hermetics, anyway, and hope to be able to get through Agrippa's Three Books as well.

QUOTE
My suggestion is to keep looking. If it's something you want to find, then find a way to find it. This is not a lost ideal, I think, even if you never find proof. I understand that no one wants to play the fool in the face of 'common sense'. But you are trusting an instinct that stands for more than just 'physical results in magic' - it represents a basic sense that all is not as it seems, and that this world is more interesting than it appears to be. That instinct will lead to you wonderful places if you do more than just wonder. But you don't want to waste your money (so that you can have it in the after life, I presume), like most others who want to do more than wonder but never do. It's a big wild world - maybe go somewhere where people don't even question whether magic can do these things or not.

I hope it does lead me to wonderful places. I don't see myself giving up any time soon, in any case. Thanks for the encouraging words and helpful advice.

(Maybe all those who saved their money will be laughing at us when it turns out there's an entry fee for the afterlife... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif))

QUOTE(Kath @ Dec 1 2009, 04:43 AM) *

I try to limit 'proof' to things like garnering very detailed & specific information which could not be known any other way than metaphysical, or causing an outcome 'repeatedly', reliably, in violation of statistical chance. for example, if you could call heads or tails on a coin toss 'reliably' above 50% accuracy, that's actual evidence of something. I myself actually do about 60-65% on coin tosses.

Tell me more about this, please. How do you attempt to influence the coin toss? How many coin tosses have you done?

QUOTE
If you can directly modify another's behavior in a very detailed & specific way, without outwardly communicating with them, that's excellent proof. there are many examples. but just surviving a war where say 75% of people died? that's not a strong item of evidence, in and of itself. If you did this for 1,000 soldiers and almost ALL of them survived while 75% of the general soldier population died? that would be some very compelling evidence. For a single event to be 'strong evidence' by itself, I find that it has to contain some wildly unlikely references. For example, if you feel that you have read your friend's mind, and believe based on that that their dog has died in an unexpected accident, and it turns out to be 100% correct, and you don't think a hundred such things every day hoping for one to actually pan out or anything like that... well that's pretty sound evidence in and of itself in a single event. If you were to realize in a precognitive episode that a crash was about to occur down the street (without any actual visual clues to suggest such a thing), and you pull over to avoid harm. And a few moments later a semi truck runs the light and smashes into cars in the intersection... well that's very sound proof, particularly if it all went down very much like you imagined it would in the precognitive perception.

I agree with all of this. Either a lot of mildly unlikely events, or one extremely unlikely event - both would be enough for me!

QUOTE
so Vilhjalmr, the issue I think, is that you're kinda asking for proof in the form of shooting fireballs from your eyes... you want to see something 'hollywood'... as does james randi. that has not been my experience with magick. I have seen things occur which could be viewed as hollywood-style impressive, such as moving objects or causing a person to fall unconscious, but not frequently or reliably. Subtlety is much more the norm for magick.

The problem with subtlety is that subtle effects are very easy to misinterpret, in both directions. I don't necessarily want fireballs - just something very obviously not normal.

QUOTE
I'd like to quote Carl Sagan on this matter:
Skepticism and openmindedness must, if one is to grow in knowledge, be wielded carefully as two tools which are useless without each other.

Also, an interesting aside, in magick, it can be very difficult to achieve an actual magical result without 'absolute belief'. Towards this goal, it is very useful to be able to temporarily suspend all disbelief, and work with total focus, unified will, and absolute confidence. Afterwards, you can re-sort your psychological makeup to allow skepticism to critique what you have or have not accomplished. But during the magick, you can't be your own skeptic and expect to actually 'do' much of anything.

Great quote. As for belief - I think I'm good at doing this. It's the reason I'm still doing magic despite being, theoretically, a skeptic and materialist. It's just becoming harder to do as I encounter dead ends... but I'm not even close to giving up quite yet!


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Kath
post Dec 3 2009, 05:50 AM
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One i didn't mention in my examples, but which is a pretty compelling bit of evidence, is when communicating with spirits/entities, and they relate detailed information to you which turns out to be highly or completely accurate upon physical inquiry. For example, the being I most frequently interact with (whom I often publicly call my mentor or patron as a matter of expedience) has related future events to me in extremely explicit detail, even the timing. Also, portions of what she's taught me overlaps into scientific fields like neuroscience, and upon double checking, her input has always ranged from accepted fact to revolutionary theory, but always substantiated by actual science on the matter. Also, she has on rare occasion caused things to happen, explicit things, in an explicit timeframe. All of which rather strongly leads me away from trying to interact with her as merely a part of my subconscious, or anything along those lines.

Anyway, she's not the only entity i've interacted with and garnered 'confirm-able' information from, just the most frequent, mainly due to the fact that I spend a hugely disproportionate amount of my OBE time in her company.

also, an example which evades all attempts by me to consciously cause it, but I have several times observed obvious telekinetic phenomenon. Which while it is frustrating that I have had no success at actually 'doing' such a thing, just the fact that i've seen it occur does lend itself very strongly as evidence for the validity of metaphysical phenomenon.

There have been times in my life, many years ago, when I felt very very cynical, and during those times, the evidence which I found most durable against my inner 'Ockham's-Razor-like' desires for a simpler skeptical universe, were the things I had very concretely *physically* seen. These included telekinetic phenomenon, and vision-like deja vu perceptions of the future which ended up occurring *exactly* as foreseen. Both of which were not just visually, physically, 'vivid', but are also two items which in and of themselves violate half a dozen basic physics concepts, and glaringly demand a more complex scientific model than we have at present in order to adequately explain them.

I don't, by the way, think of mysticism and science as being at odds with each other, I love both myself. Some people let our current scientific advancement give them a bit of a big head, and start to make sweeping statements about what is or is not possible based on their 'faith' in the completeness and infallible accuracy of their normalized scientific model. If they've never observed anything which violates this, then they are simply being rational based on the information they have, and I can't critisize anything except their overconfidence in their own paradigm. Many however, have actually experienced things which seem to violate their own scientific model, but go to great lengths to sweep their own perceptions & experiences under the table, so as not to gum up such an elegant and seemingly complete scientific model. I understand why one would want to do this, psychologically and sociologically, but it is hypocritical and rather unscientific, not to mention irrational. Basically I myself fall into this latter category, except that I am not willing to sweep anything under the rug to fit some sort of "scientific paradigm turned religious faith". I guess you could call me a "failed cynic" in a way. If I weren't an occultist, I woulda been a scientist.

One of the biggest challenges in the scientific inquiry of metaphysics & mysticism is that the scientific method itself is a bit ill suited to much of the content. What I mean by that is that much in magick is 'experiential', lets say you have a vision of your mother dropping by wearing a new blue sweater with a little bow on it. and then it happens... you can't really put that experience into the scientific method and prove it out. you can't repeat the event in a controlled environment, collect data, etc.

For example, think of something you did yesterday, like a conversation you had with someone. Now try to prove that conversation 'scientifically'... it's kinda hard to repeat Wednesday's conversation in a controlled environment, collect data, etc. It doesn't even rationally fit into a scientific method at all. And even on a 'scientific evidence' basis, there's no fingerprints or smoking gun or DNA or anything else to even suggest that your conversation even existed. All you have is 2 eyewitness testimonies, which are strictly speaking not 'scientifically' valid at all. Of course there's the "legal-evidential" standard which is much more practical in the real world than trying to require 'scientific' proof. Most people can't prove 99% of everything about their life "scientifically" (depending on exactly what scientific standard you use). And if the conversation was lengthy at all, the testimonies would probably conflict on some of the details, rendering them 'questionable' even by a legal-evidential standard.
So did you have the conversation?
Can you prove it?
Here you see the single greatest flaw in the james randi sort of mentality, "lack of proof =/= disproof". its a common logical fallacy to assume that it does equal disproof. Which is why "devout atheism" is every bit as much of a belief system as any religion. Since pure logic and rationality could only ever really support "skeptical agnosticism".

Personally there is plenty in mysticism which I am myself skeptical of. And religions? I tend to view those as sociological paradigm viruses. I am wary of anything that there is an obvious temptation to belief, or an obvious temptation to disbelieve, both seem like likely places to fail in one's inner rationality. I don't necessarily "believe" that there is anything peaceful or pleasant in an 'afterlife', so I'm not trying to form a paradigm to rationalize a fear of mortality or anything. There's a lot of 'maybe's and "i think so"s and even some "I really think so"s, as well as some "I don't think so"s and "I really don't think so"s and a handful of "I know"s thrown in for spice. I'm very very careful about what makes it into an "I know" bracket, there's no particular rush in putting anything in that category, there's nothing wrong with an idea sitting in "I really think so" for the rest of my life, ya know?

Anyway, where i am in my experiences & beliefs, is pretty far down a road away from more common paradigms. I think this is a common thing for any long term dedicated occultist. When I saw things that 'didn't make sense' in classic accepted interpretations of the universe, instead of being repulsed, I was insatiably curious, and wanted to know more. Decades later, here I am. Where am I on the wierdo-meter these days? I'm in a deeply intimate relationship with an incorporeal being whom I have known & conversed with for 8 years... that probably sums things up pretty well. Bit of a long way from the days when I was struggling with explaining a few events in my life while trying to make it all work in a simple, 'explained', scientifically elegant paradigm.

If you've never seen magick work, particularly never seen it work dramatically... then yeah, it makes a LOT of sense to say "hey maybe this isn't real". I disagree completely, but I'd totally support your rationality in coming to such a conclusion. There are people I know who are complete skeptics, whom I intellectually have a great deal more respect for than people who agree with me about any number of mystical ideas, but are habitually gullible by nature, lacking evidence or rationality for their beliefs. I guess I'm a bit weird that way, I hold "how a person arrived at their belief" to be as important as whether or not I agree with them.

What do you believe? or more to the point what *should* you believe? That's really up to your experiences, and where they lead you to explore and seek further experiences, as well as your application of logic & interpretation of experiences. I can't really just "share" my paradigm, since things I have seen and known, when shared, become just wacky sounding testimony from some lady on the internet. So I mean its all pretty much up to you. My only advice is to be very very wary of anything & everything you "want to believe", comforting truths are rarely true. That applies to wanting to believe you're a magician, that you're special, have a gift, or have some sense of personal power in your life, etc. just as it equally applies to how nice & simple it would be to just go with the flow follow the herd and ignore some things which you *know* you have perceived or experienced. Both are completely invalid reasons to believe or disbelieve anything. Stick to what you most sincerely believe to be "true" and/or "likely" (absolute truth is a rarity at best), and you can at least always say that your paradigm is rational and realistic and 'sound', based on the events of your life.

One thing kinda related to all this... I notice that there is a tendency towards "timid" magical practice in many occult circles. A tendency to avoid doing 'big magick'. Either its unethical, or it's dangerous, or it requires more experience, or whatever other excuse... but we tend to avoid magick which could be viewed as really potent. Honestly I feel that what we are avoiding is doing magick which is less "vague", as though we are afraid to do something which either clearly worked or clearly didn't work. Stealing an example from church... people pray for healing, but rarely do they just walk up and say "you're gonna be healed, now". Why? because to do the latter brings the actual efficacy of one's magick under direct objective scrutiny. And I think a lot of us lack real deep down confidence in our magick. In a way, your thread is more introspective and openly honest than a lot of people's thoughts which are more protective of their beliefs rather than holding them up to the crucible of validity. Of course yes, 'subtle, prolonged effect, based magick' is much easier to pull off, much like microtelekinesis is much easier than regular telekinesis, I'm not saying magick has to go BOOM to be valid. But in many cases I do feel that people cop out of anything which holds a lens of scrutiny up to their magick.

Personally I lean the other way, I'll even take risks or tread morally thin ice, just to see what there is to see, If it goes boom, i wanna see, if it fizzles I wanna see, if it does nothing at all, i wanna see it, touch it, feel it, understand it. Big magick is infinitely more 'fun' I think, and if you have 'some' success, and you 'know' rather than needing to create & maintain a sense of conficence/belief, then it's a lot less threatening. but the only way to 'know' is by doing, and experiencing, and exploring, and seeing what there is to see. It's a bit of a leap, but I'd rather try than protectively harbor false beliefs. And even if it works wonderfully, I wanna know how, why, etc. I want to know if it actually works for the reasons I think it works, so I dissect & experiment on my magick constantly.

But the phrases "its dangerous", "its unethical", "only with great experience..." and "you should first study" are phrases which people *constantly* say to themselves and others, and most of the time it only serves to put a damper on their magical experiences and ability. There is, after all, only one way to acquire said 'experience', and being a 'seasoned' magi is just another way of saying you've screwed up well and often. Once in a blue moon I will actually think "oh, that really is dangerous"... in which case I'll say "hey, be careful k?" but I really loathe to tell anyone to actually curb their ambition in magick... I think that's a slippery slope towards becoming one of the caution-mongers. I've done things, occult things, which landed me in the emergency room. One could say 'oh thats dangerous, don't do that' but frankly I wouldn't un-do it if i could. It was a valued learning experience, and an instrumental part of my magical education. I'm *glad* I had the daring to do what I did. I am also glad I didn't get killed... but risk is a part of life. if you don't like risk, then live in a padded bomb shelter, and absolutely never drive a car. Which is actually the sort of extreme standard a lot of people apply to their magick. There's a great lack of daring out there. It's interesting though, that oftentimes the same people who say not to do things because they're 'dangerous' will also say that nothing can really hurt you... makes ya wonder what on earth their unconscious thoughts are playing at. I say hey, yeah, some things are actually 'physically' dangerous, but if you want omelets, go break some eggs. You remember the first time you ever broke open a raw egg? and you're thinking about what a mess it will be if you do it wrong? but then you do it, and it's not as hard as you thought, and you do it a few more times, and you get the hang of it... but I digress.

Anyway, I thought that might be of some relevance to your dilemma. Since the trend of people handling their magick like their walking on eggshells would tend to suggest an undercurrent of invalidity. I think more than anything it actually reflects a lack of confidence though.

This post has been edited by Kath: Dec 3 2009, 06:07 AM


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Vilhjalmr
post Feb 24 2010, 09:28 PM
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post Apr 13 2010, 08:20 PM
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Its a failure loop. Input the question 'Can you produce a physical result with science?' you still fail.

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Vilhjalmr
post Jun 16 2010, 01:42 AM
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QUOTE(plainsight @ Apr 13 2010, 09:20 PM) *

Its a failure loop. Input the question 'Can you produce a physical result with science?' you still fail.

Actually, you don't. The difference between my not insignificant magical experience and my significant practical chemistry experience is that when the directions on a synthesis are followed, they almost always produce the substance predicted. This is why I've been mostly absent from this forum of late - my chemical (and to some extent, alchemical) endeavors have just been so much more fruitful.

Once you get to "Yes, I can and do --> Simply follow these instructions" is where science and magic seem to diverge for me.

Kath, I wrote a reply for you a while ago but forgot to post it. I'll see if I can find it.

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post Jun 16 2010, 01:53 AM
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QUOTE(Kath @ Dec 3 2009, 05:50 AM) *

One i didn't mention in my examples, but which is a pretty compelling bit of evidence, is when communicating with spirits/entities, and they relate detailed information to you which turns out to be highly or completely accurate upon physical inquiry. For example, the being I most frequently interact with (whom I often publicly call my mentor or patron as a matter of expedience) has related future events to me in extremely explicit detail, even the timing. Also, portions of what she's taught me overlaps into scientific fields like neuroscience, and upon double checking, her input has always ranged from accepted fact to revolutionary theory, but always substantiated by actual science on the matter. Also, she has on rare occasion caused things to happen, explicit things, in an explicit timeframe. All of which rather strongly leads me away from trying to interact with her as merely a part of my subconscious, or anything along those lines.

That's pretty neat. I love neuroscience. Out of curiosity, what sorts of things has she related in terms of new/revolutionary science?

QUOTE
also, an example which evades all attempts by me to consciously cause it, but I have several times observed obvious telekinetic phenomenon. Which while it is frustrating that I have had no success at actually 'doing' such a thing, just the fact that i've seen it occur does lend itself very strongly as evidence for the validity of metaphysical phenomenon.

There have been times in my life, many years ago, when I felt very very cynical, and during those times, the evidence which I found most durable against my inner 'Ockham's-Razor-like' desires for a simpler skeptical universe, were the things I had very concretely *physically* seen. These included telekinetic phenomenon, and vision-like deja vu perceptions of the future which ended up occurring *exactly* as foreseen. Both of which were not just visually, physically, 'vivid', but are also two items which in and of themselves violate half a dozen basic physics concepts, and glaringly demand a more complex scientific model than we have at present in order to adequately explain them.

Exactly! Anything like that is what I'm looking for. Of course, best of all would be conscious control of telekinesis (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)... but the first step is verifying that it can actually happen.

QUOTE
I don't, by the way, think of mysticism and science as being at odds with each other, I love both myself. Some people let our current scientific advancement give them a bit of a big head, and start to make sweeping statements about what is or is not possible based on their 'faith' in the completeness and infallible accuracy of their normalized scientific model. If they've never observed anything which violates this, then they are simply being rational based on the information they have, and I can't critisize anything except their overconfidence in their own paradigm. Many however, have actually experienced things which seem to violate their own scientific model, but go to great lengths to sweep their own perceptions & experiences under the table, so as not to gum up such an elegant and seemingly complete scientific model. I understand why one would want to do this, psychologically and sociologically, but it is hypocritical and rather unscientific, not to mention irrational. Basically I myself fall into this latter category, except that I am not willing to sweep anything under the rug to fit some sort of "scientific paradigm turned religious faith". I guess you could call me a "failed cynic" in a way. If I weren't an occultist, I woulda been a scientist.

This is great to hear. I think too many people fall prey to a sort of "us vs. them" mentality, and end up rejecting everything ascribed to one side or another. It seems like accepting one sort of knowledge almost always leads to rejection of the other, possibly due to unpleasant encounters with believers of the "enemy" system.

It's interesting you would mention people who have never observed anything that violates conventional wisdom - I was going to say above that I had, unfortunately or fortunately depending on mood, never seen or heard about anything I couldn't satisfactorily explain with the "standard model". I would probably concentrate less on physical results if I knew beforehand they were there.

QUOTE
One of the biggest challenges in the scientific inquiry of metaphysics & mysticism is that the scientific method itself is a bit ill suited to much of the content. What I mean by that is that much in magick is 'experiential', lets say you have a vision of your mother dropping by wearing a new blue sweater with a little bow on it. and then it happens... you can't really put that experience into the scientific method and prove it out. you can't repeat the event in a controlled environment, collect data, etc.

For example, think of something you did yesterday, like a conversation you had with someone. Now try to prove that conversation 'scientifically'... it's kinda hard to repeat Wednesday's conversation in a controlled environment, collect data, etc. It doesn't even rationally fit into a scientific method at all. And even on a 'scientific evidence' basis, there's no fingerprints or smoking gun or DNA or anything else to even suggest that your conversation even existed. All you have is 2 eyewitness testimonies, which are strictly speaking not 'scientifically' valid at all. Of course there's the "legal-evidential" standard which is much more practical in the real world than trying to require 'scientific' proof. Most people can't prove 99% of everything about their life "scientifically" (depending on exactly what scientific standard you use). And if the conversation was lengthy at all, the testimonies would probably conflict on some of the details, rendering them 'questionable' even by a legal-evidential standard.
So did you have the conversation?
Can you prove it?
Here you see the single greatest flaw in the james randi sort of mentality, "lack of proof =/= disproof". its a common logical fallacy to assume that it does equal disproof. Which is why "devout atheism" is every bit as much of a belief system as any religion. Since pure logic and rationality could only ever really support "skeptical agnosticism".

Here I disagree a little (emphasis on little). You are correct that you cannot prove something like yesterday's conversation to a scientific standard, but you can prove general facts about conversations in general if you observed a large number of them and other people could replicate your results. Even in science, you cannot prove Researcher A made Observation X (unless it was recorded, which is why it often is) - but you can do his experiments yourself. Perhaps more importantly, conversations are regularly observed and documented; they require no special attention, whereas claims that are more improbable based on observed evidence would consequently require more evidence.

So, to use your example about visions, if it was recorded beforehand you had the vision, and verified that the vision had correctly predicted the future... and you had a semi-large number of visions this way... you could easily provide a scientific proof of the phenomenon. Only to yourself, of course, unless you recorded or had observed large portions of your life.

The only part I really disagree with is lack of proof not equaling disproof. In many cases, absence of evidence is the same thing as evidence of absence - in cases where one would otherwise expect evidence, for instance. Like if I claimed to be typing in flaming letters, but you only saw normal letters. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

QUOTE
I guess I'm a bit weird that way, I hold "how a person arrived at their belief" to be as important as whether or not I agree with them.

Me too!

QUOTE
What do you believe? or more to the point what *should* you believe? That's really up to your experiences, and where they lead you to explore and seek further experiences, as well as your application of logic & interpretation of experiences. I can't really just "share" my paradigm, since things I have seen and known, when shared, become just wacky sounding testimony from some lady on the internet. So I mean its all pretty much up to you. My only advice is to be very very wary of anything & everything you "want to believe", comforting truths are rarely true. That applies to wanting to believe you're a magician, that you're special, have a gift, or have some sense of personal power in your life, etc. just as it equally applies to how nice & simple it would be to just go with the flow follow the herd and ignore some things which you *know* you have perceived or experienced. Both are completely invalid reasons to believe or disbelieve anything. Stick to what you most sincerely believe to be "true" and/or "likely" (absolute truth is a rarity at best), and you can at least always say that your paradigm is rational and realistic and 'sound', based on the events of your life.

Agreed.

QUOTE
One thing kinda related to all this... I notice that there is a tendency towards "timid" magical practice in many occult circles. A tendency to avoid doing 'big magick'. Either its unethical, or it's dangerous, or it requires more experience, or whatever other excuse... but we tend to avoid magick which could be viewed as really potent. Honestly I feel that what we are avoiding is doing magick which is less "vague", as though we are afraid to do something which either clearly worked or clearly didn't work. Stealing an example from church... people pray for healing, but rarely do they just walk up and say "you're gonna be healed, now". Why? because to do the latter brings the actual efficacy of one's magick under direct objective scrutiny. And I think a lot of us lack real deep down confidence in our magick. In a way, your thread is more introspective and openly honest than a lot of people's thoughts which are more protective of their beliefs rather than holding them up to the crucible of validity. Of course yes, 'subtle, prolonged effect, based magick' is much easier to pull off, much like microtelekinesis is much easier than regular telekinesis, I'm not saying magick has to go BOOM to be valid. But in many cases I do feel that people cop out of anything which holds a lens of scrutiny up to their magick.

I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels this way. Most of my magical career has actually been a search for spells, people, or magical systems that are not "timid", as you aptly put it; it's been harder to actually find such things than it has been to actually try a ritual or meditation.

QUOTE
But the phrases "its dangerous", "its unethical", "only with great experience..." and "you should first study" are phrases which people *constantly* say to themselves and others, and most of the time it only serves to put a damper on their magical experiences and ability. There is, after all, only one way to acquire said 'experience', and being a 'seasoned' magi is just another way of saying you've screwed up well and often. Once in a blue moon I will actually think "oh, that really is dangerous"... in which case I'll say "hey, be careful k?" but I really loathe to tell anyone to actually curb their ambition in magick... I think that's a slippery slope towards becoming one of the caution-mongers.

I've seen those phrases all too often. I think they often hold people back; I advanced more in a few months of actual experimentation than I did in years of study. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but still - the fear that I would be unable to accomplish something and thus dismiss it too early has kept me from doing many things.

And someone related... No offense is intended to these fine folks, but I cannot believe people seriously warn others of the dangers of ouija boards. Of course, I may possibly be possessed by a demon, and I've played with one, so there you go.

QUOTE
I've done things, occult things, which landed me in the emergency room. One could say 'oh thats dangerous, don't do that' but frankly I wouldn't un-do it if i could. It was a valued learning experience, and an instrumental part of my magical education. I'm *glad* I had the daring to do what I did. I am also glad I didn't get killed... but risk is a part of life.

What did you do, if you don't mind me asking? (And I really hope you don't! ^^)

QUOTE
if you don't like risk, then live in a padded bomb shelter, and absolutely never drive a car.

Well... I do, or as best I can, heh. My dwelling lacks fortification only because I lack funds, and I hate driving unless I absolutely have to. But I digress...

QUOTE
Which is actually the sort of extreme standard a lot of people apply to their magick. There's a great lack of daring out there. It's interesting though, that oftentimes the same people who say not to do things because they're 'dangerous' will also say that nothing can really hurt you... makes ya wonder what on earth their unconscious thoughts are playing at.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif) Ha, very true!

QUOTE
Anyway, I thought that might be of some relevance to your dilemma. Since the trend of people handling their magick like their walking on eggshells would tend to suggest an undercurrent of invalidity. I think more than anything it actually reflects a lack of confidence though.

You've got at the heart of the matter exactly. An undercurrent of invalidity is what I fear, but a lack of confidence would explain it as well. Your reply is appreciated, and please excuse the long delay in this one!


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plainsight
post Aug 11 2010, 05:14 PM
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Once you get to "Yes, I can and do --> Simply follow these instructions" is where science and magic seem to diverge for me.


No, once you "simply follow the instuctions" you have to go to the the next step just like a computer program. Your output is a fail.

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Vilhjalmr
post Aug 12 2010, 02:16 AM
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I think I understand the problem. The chart is tongue-in-cheek; it's charting the course of most of my questionings of magical practitioners, and their responses. If it were about science, the replies after "Simply follow these instructions" would not be variations of "it didn't work!", but "I did the procedure correctly and got the results I wanted". I have not, however, often seen this result in magical discourses. If I were attempting to make a serious chart, there would have course be a similar option for magic.


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kaboom13
post Aug 12 2010, 07:06 AM
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Its kind of funny, you sort of just do follow the instructions, the problem is that you're not supposed to listen to the instructions given by other sentients.

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Waterfall
post Dec 1 2010, 05:55 PM
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Something simple, something that can be done by anyone, something repeatable. For that we'll have to use statistics.

Get a coin which you will only use for this experiment while you're doing it. A place where you won't be disturbed for a few minutes a day. Paper and pen.

Examine the coin carefully until both sides feel familiar. Pick one side. Now see that side in your mind's eye as what you will see when you flip the coin. Important: not "I want it" but "I will see it when I flip it".

Now flip the coin. Do an honest flip, letting the coin hit a hard surface. When you see the side you chose feel good about it. Give yourself a few seconds to enjoy the feeling. When you see the other side don't express any emotion, just continue. Do five flips, then STOP. Nothing magickal about five, just keep the number small.

Write down your result. Date, heads, tails. Also write down a quick description of your general condition or feeling that day. Do this every day with the same coin in the same place for the same number of times. Make sure you give yourself a little bit of good feeling every time you see the side you chose. Keep this up for a month or two.

What you're doing is setting up a habit pattern. The universe would normally tend toward equal distribution of both sides, but you're training your unconscious, via positive feedback, to use a some personal energy to bias the actions of a small portion of the universe toward the result that you have decided on. Do this repeatedly and you establish a habit in that small portion of the universe different from the normal.

Don't push it. Especially don't obsess about "want" or "will". Don't do long sessions; the unconscious has the attention span of a child and can quickly become uninterested. Take your time; like most experiments this is a slow, careful process.

Now look at your results. Is there a bias toward your choice? Did it increase with time? Did it vary with your level of feeling?

My original experiments were with dice. Results were obviously not according to chance. I'd be interested in what results you get.

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Vilhjalmr
post Dec 2 2010, 11:10 PM
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Nice - a clear and reasonable experiment I can attempt without spending undue effort or money. I shall return in a few months' time and let you know.


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Waterfall
post Feb 5 2011, 04:56 PM
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So what were your results?

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Vilhjalmr
post Feb 5 2011, 11:15 PM
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I have not yet attempted it... to be expected, honestly, since I am one of the most masterful procrastinators I know of. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/13.gif) My apologies if you were curious about the results... I still intend to do it (starting tomorrow, of course).


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Kath
post Aug 7 2012, 11:29 AM
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This is a very belated response to Vilhjalmr:
QUOTE
That's pretty neat. I love neuroscience. Out of curiosity, what sorts of things has she related in terms of new/revolutionary science?

Mostly what I'd find more revolutionary is that she approaches it as an applied science, rather than just as research (the norm with neuroscience).
In simplest possible terms, adjusting the way consciousness & sentience function. The hardware is what it is, but that's not to say one can't benefit from firmware updates.

Human consciousness is not "just how consciousness is", it's a particular flavor of consciousness & abstract awareness. There is warping of perspective, and lack of objectivity, both inseparably inherent to the species-centric form of sentience which we tend to view as the "normal" form of sentience. If you imagine a person from a small isolated tribe in a remote part of the world, and imagine their "world view". Human sentience is similarly small in scope, and unavoidably affected by the context of our own form of existence, our own forms of communication, our own forms of thought which are instinctual and/or learned through modeling behavior.

In her own words, "Humans are a semi-sentient species.", or in my words, 'we are consciousness in it's infancy'. I don't want to come off all 'holier than thou' with this sentiment. I have learned and understand enough to understand what she means, and to have sufficient frame of reference with which to aspire to something greater. But that's mingled with a sense of scale in which I am very small. I guess it is a sentiment of combined humility regarding my state of being, mixed with ambition towards something 'more'.

At any rate, the biggest single item on the cognitive process re-programing has been to move the internal self-awareness, or the focus of the inner self, out of the internal dialog (which is where we verbally or visually say or represent things to ourselves, essentially codifying our thoughts, and then repeating them back to ourselves, where we often are first "consciously" aware of them). And instead move that focus of inner awareness deeper into the thought process mechanism, where "raw" thought processes occur, in a nonrepresentational, purely conceptual form. Not where we repeat thoughts back to ourselves, but where thoughts originate. And this goes hand in hand with a related push towards un-repression of the subconscious mind. On these two goals, I am certainly not yet finished. But I've made substantial progress. And I do consider it very significant to my spiritual goals, to optimize the limited hardware we are born with, as much as possible. I guess you could call it an attempt towards achieving "whole mind", in which nothing is mysterious or surprising, and the internal consciousness is a unified whole (instead of a fragmented mess full of dichotomy, conflict, repression, and imagining that the small bit sitting under the spotlight of our perceived 'simple' self awareness is the whole enchilada. In freudian terms, I seek to raise the whole iceberg above the water line.

QUOTE
Exactly! Anything like that is what I'm looking for. Of course, best of all would be conscious control of telekinesis laugh.gif... but the first step is verifying that it can actually happen.

I have only observed telekinetic effects in extreme emotional states which I could not honestly replicate voluntarily. And never as something intentional, or related to any sort of willful intent. More like "incidental". I guess you've seen fictional representations of situations where someone is in emotional distress and things move around them as a side effect. Kinda like that, but very minor and insanely super-rare. And to be fair, in all but one such occurrence, I had the very explicit sense of incorporeal beings being present. I can't say whether we're talking about something that happened because of me, or something else present. It would be neat to be able to consciously do something like telekinesis. But I haven't the foggiest idea how. I have dabbled with a variety of approaches, but nothing has 'clicked' for me yet. Then again, I can't say that it's actually all that important to me. It would be a fun distraction, but it's not related to my goals, and myself I don't need to experience or control anything like that in order to bolster my sense of the reality of mystical things. And frankly, convincing other people (of anything at all) is not part of my path.

QUOTE
This is great to hear. I think too many people fall prey to a sort of "us vs. them" mentality, and end up rejecting everything ascribed to one side or another. It seems like accepting one sort of knowledge almost always leads to rejection of the other, possibly due to unpleasant encounters with believers of the "enemy" system.

It's interesting you would mention people who have never observed anything that violates conventional wisdom - I was going to say above that I had, unfortunately or fortunately depending on mood, never seen or heard about anything I couldn't satisfactorily explain with the "standard model". I would probably concentrate less on physical results if I knew beforehand they were there.

People are very 'us vs them', not just about this topic, but most topics. One must remember that the scientific movement, as the birthchild of the renaissance, was always at odds with the christian church, and while things are limited to bitter arguments these days, in the past there was no small amount of blood spilling. In that whole "science vs. dogma" war, I would gladly take up arms on the side of science. Science in it's purest form, is the pursuit of truth, truth substantiated by evidence and reason, instead of dogma. Science and the scientific movement of the past half dozen centuries holds a very special place in my heart. And frankly, is a substantial part of why I think we could even be called "semi-sentient" (instead of "non-sentient"). But in this struggle against "superstition", those who champion science have become understandably polarized. I sympathize with their absolute skepticism, even if I do not share it.

If something moves in a way which does not make any rational sense in relation to gravity or inertia or newtonian physics... or if a mind, being presumably entirely contained within a 4-D relative universe, experiences explicit foreknowledge... considering how foundational such concepts are to the normalized scientific models, what does that mean? I don't think it means they are bad models, they "usually" work just fine. But, I think it suggests that there are very significant variables at play outside of the accepted models. If you imagine an ant, exploring a tree, imagining that the tree is the whole of all that exists, the universe entire, and everything that happens on the tree can be explained by the observed principals upon which the tree functions... but really it's much more complex, involving synergies and a reality much broader than the ant's conception. And there's nothing at all wrong with the ant's "tree science", save for the mistaken belief in it's infallibility and all-encompassing scope.

But then there's a stark difference between knee-jerk-reaction hard nosed skeptics, and a good scientist.

QUOTE
Here I disagree a little (emphasis on little). You are correct that you cannot prove something like yesterday's conversation to a scientific standard, but you can prove general facts about conversations in general if you observed a large number of them and other people could replicate your results. Even in science, you cannot prove Researcher A made Observation X (unless it was recorded, which is why it often is) - but you can do his experiments yourself. Perhaps more importantly, conversations are regularly observed and documented; they require no special attention, whereas claims that are more improbable based on observed evidence would consequently require more evidence.

So, to use your example about visions, if it was recorded beforehand you had the vision, and verified that the vision had correctly predicted the future... and you had a semi-large number of visions this way... you could easily provide a scientific proof of the phenomenon. Only to yourself, of course, unless you recorded or had observed large portions of your life.

The only part I really disagree with is lack of proof not equaling disproof. In many cases, absence of evidence is the same thing as evidence of absence - in cases where one would otherwise expect evidence, for instance. Like if I claimed to be typing in flaming letters, but you only saw normal letters.

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. It's not "proof" of absence though, but it's often treated that way. that was my only point on that.

And then there's the whole issue of being taken seriously. If there's a pre-jaded attitude about various ideas, within the scientific community (born out of a centuries-old struggle against religion and superstition), then you can present evidence, and then it's scoffed at, and not considered "real" evidence... generally more because of the subject matter than any genuine methodology issues.

Still, there have been some scientific inquiries which were more "results focused", within the US and USSR during the cold war. Run by people who cared little for the "us vs them" game in the science/religion circles, only caring about their own "us vs them" game, in which any potential advantage over a formidable enemy must be exploited if possible. Only two explicit conclusions I have found from the US's interests in these areas: 1) remote viewing "works", just not "reliably". In other words, it functionally proves itself beyond the possibility of randomly lucky guesses, but it doesn't provide routinely dependable results. As a result of not being able to refine the results to be more dependable (militarily useful) after 25 years of research, that program was canceled. The other being that they proved that "intuition" involving purely unknown variables does prove itself out to give our 'gut' impulses a greater chance of being correct than purely random chance would allow for. And further, that the capacity to guess better than random chance allows for, can be trained and improved upon with practice. As a result, they created a handheld video game device which included a true random number generator in it's coding (most computers just look at the milliseconds on the computer clock to grab a random number, which isn't truly random). The idea behind the device was to help people to train 'intuition' and improve their capacity to make a correct guess despite being uninformed. These were made available for free to ranking officers (privates don't make many battlefield decisions). And they made at least 3 generations of the device that I am aware of. Whether it actually improves battlefield intuition or not is anyone's guess (pun intended), but you could "get better" at the game, even though you shouldn't be able to, so your 'intuition' could empirically be substantiated, at least within the game.

Regarding proofing out visions... in my own experience, I have never been aware of precognitive episodes until the sequence of time involved actually starts. In other words, if you've ever thought "hey deja vu", that's how it starts. If you imagine deja vu referencing a minute of time though, instead of only a second or two... then it becomes long enough to work with and examine more closely. As an adult I have not had an episode of deja vu lasting more than 15 seconds at most, and far more commonly it's just a second or two. But in adolescence, I had them last as long as 2 minutes at the longest. The start of the experience is the sudden recognition "hey, i've seen this before", even though you're looking at your own kitchen table, so obviously you've seen it before... but i mean, seeing that exact moment in time before, with all the reciepts and coins and assorted whatnot in all the exact positions, with sunlight coming through the window in just such a way, leaves blowing in the wind making the shadows play across the wall in just *exactly* a certain way, the neighbor's dog barking in just *exactly* such a way, at just *exactly* such a moment in relation to everything else. It's a moment of daily life which feels like a re-run. Deja vu which lasts only a moment is common, something like 65% of people have experienced it. Longer episodes are not so common. I have only met one other person who's had them last as long as mine did in adolescence, and unfortunately, he didn't study it nearly as carefully as I did. Even as a child, I instinctively knew there was something askew about the experience in relation to physics. I was a little afraid of it, afraid that if i didn't just kinda flow through my predestined motions, that I might somehow damage time itself. I kinda assumed that someone, somewhere had some advanced physics which explained it all... but i was very curious, so i tried to find out, and got myself into theoretical physics books while at school they were teaching long division and that hot air rises (yes, school bored me to tears). It turns out, there wasn't any clear explanation which satisfies the circumstance of a conscious mind, which is presumably entirely contained within a universe, experiencing time... being able to experience foreknowledge. It flat out violates causality. And that only leaves some explanations which make mind and consciousness very very not-simple, scientifically speaking. Anyway, eventually I assumed that others must experience it, even if rare, and so surely others had changed their behavior within the time-snippet, and so far as i knew, none of them ended up looking like an amotivational poster about dividing by zero... so i took the plunge and started changing my behavior within the short forseen time frames. Bear in mind, that I couldn't change my behavior from what it's normally going to be within a flowing time motion, without being able to see it, as a frame of reference, to know 'how' to be different. So in sum total, only perhaps a half hour of my life, have I done anything other than what an "all-variables" causality would predict. Anyway, violating one's own script within such a precognitive episode is informative. I especially liked it if others were around when it happened, because that gave opportunity to study it's relationship with others' motion through time, as well as opportunity to substantiate the experience. I had several experiences where I was able to accurately substantiate my perceptions with 3rd parties. Unfortunately this earned me the nickname 'freak-girl'. small price to pay to make sure you're not just crazy and imagining things. Also, people tend to just flow through the motions unless you really jar them out of it. It's best to physically grab them and move them slightly, literally breaking their scripted timeline reality by force, to make sure they actually pay attention properly. Otherwise, they may just look confused for a moment, and then carry on with their script, pretending you didn't do or say anything that requires a response. There's a definite 'current' to the regular flow of time. Anyway, none of this has ANYTHING to do with spirituality, except insomuch as it raises questions about the nature of mind and being, which is related somewhat to spiritual matters. In other words, I'm talking about precognition as a non-spiritual topic, an empirical event, without any mystical context. But it does blow one's ability to "keep things simple" within a normalized scientific world view, to bits.

QUOTE
I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels this way. Most of my magical career has actually been a search for spells, people, or magical systems that are not "timid", as you aptly put it; it's been harder to actually find such things than it has been to actually try a ritual or meditation.

Within the spirituality/mysticism subculture, there are a great many people who simply fall into the category of "I want to believe" like that poster from Mulder's office in the x-files. The desire for special knowledge or personal fancies or just to have faith in something... I dunno, I can't really explain it very well, because it's really not my thing. Lets just say that I'm more mentally in the vein of agent Scully.

In my vocabulary "faith" is a dirty word. A dirty rotten word used to try to twist wishful thinking into some kind of belief system that denies rationality. I think i accurately paraphrase even my deity's attitude by saying that "faith is stupid". Mind you, once upon a time, faith used to refer to being loyal, or to a belief in another's loyalty. But the modern word has been twisted by religion to mean "its good when you believe things you have no evidence for", which is, well, stupid.

But I digress. the point is, there are many people who "believe" in this or that... without any real substantiating evidence beyond that it makes them feel good. I did mention semi-sentient right? technically I wasn't thinking of this particular aspect of human mental tendencies when I said that, hehe. anyway, so people are protective of their fantasy realities. As a result, they don't want to do anything to put those fantasies in danger. And putting their fantasies into a situation where they could be disproven? well, you get the idea. So... they keep their magick to low key, unspecific, insubstantial efforts which can't be easily substantiated or unsubstantiated, either way.

Myself, I want to fail spectacularly, and learn from it. I want to try the impossible, and see what happens. I want to be reckless, and foolhearty, and magnificently bold, and rail against the boundaries of this reality, and see what shakes loose. If I think I understand something about the arcane underpinnings of our reality, I don't want to defend my belief, I want to smash it with a hammer and see if it can take it. I don't want to give refuge to any beliefs which can't take some punishment and come out unscathed.

I don't shy away from trying to shoot magic fireballs because i'm afraid of disproving magic fireballs. I shy away from them because I've never gotten anything like that to work, and i've never seen anyone else do it either. So far the only physical effect I've been able to work out, is microtelekinesis. Microtelekinesis being something like trying to influence a dice roll or coin toss, over time, with much repetition, and reliably achieving a result higher than averages would suggest (mind you, you need to try for the same number or side of the coin every time. otherwise microtelekinesis wouldn't be distinguishable from intuition). Unless you count mental influence as a physical effect (since people can do physical things as a result of their mental state), I'd tend not to think of that as 'directly' physical magic though.

QUOTE
I've seen those phrases all too often. I think they often hold people back; I advanced more in a few months of actual experimentation than I did in years of study. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but still - the fear that I would be unable to accomplish something and thus dismiss it too early has kept me from doing many things.

And someone related... No offense is intended to these fine folks, but I cannot believe people seriously warn others of the dangers of ouija boards. Of course, I may possibly be possessed by a demon, and I've played with one, so there you go.

experience > theorizing > hearsay > study > dogma
I have learned in mere minutes of experience more than weeks or months of study or theory-crafting. The only thing I would put on par with experience, is direct training/teaching from my mentor, which is *usually* done in a sort of hands-on live-practice approach anyway (ie experience focused). Plus, you know how people are prone to bull**** right? I mean, go read youtube comments sections... see? prone to bull****. So, it's always a good idea to "see for yourself", and draw your own conclusions. Experience is several orders of magnitude greater than any other input.



On the topic of spells & rituals. Those are "tools". Frameworks within which magick may or may not be done. Just having a hammer and flailing it around some, does not result in things being built. And just going through the motions of any ritual/ceremonial system, by itself, doesn't really do anything either. The window dressing is not the important bit. Unfortunately, the important bit is slightly on the ineffable side. And that's where people start recommending things like meditation. The idea being, that an introspective study of the various states and aspects of one's own consciousness, can result in finding mental states or capacities which lend themselves to effective magical practice. Unless you can match your ritual method with some actual traction upon some aspect of some subtle layer of reality, you're just spinning your wheels.

I rarely use ritual methods. I like observing them though. I find it interesting how people attempt to create synergies between symbolism and intent. It's also kinda interesting seeing how modern people relate to some ancient ritual methods. Sometimes it seems like some parts of ritual method transcend culture and time, while other parts lose their meaning entirely. And sometimes it works anyway, since the practicioner's sense of meaning is more important than a historically accurate understanding of the symbolic details of their work. Of course historical inaccuracy isn't just a modern problem, often the historical methods themselves are butcheries of older histories. For example, the contents of the pseudomonarchia daemonum (and it's various offspring such as the goetia), are, historically speaking, rubbish. But they're quite usable as a 'working model'. Much like some of the content of the necronomicon, which is a work of fiction, but is still workable.

When I do use ritual, it's generally of my own design. I try to incorporate as many magic-working principals as possible when i do, from meditation, to NLP, to musical trance, to gnosis, to psychological transubstantiation, candle magic, sigils, blood, etc. I know how to put together a tour de force of the sorts of ritual trappings which are likely to help make some rubber meet the road, and represent all of the main models of magical practice at once.

But ritual/ceremony is honestly not my usual approach. I'm far to fascinated with the ineffable, barely tangible, unseen forces at play, what some would call 'direct magic'. And with working directly with those threads. I guess in terms of fictional archetypes, I'm kinda a blend of sorceress-psion-summoner, who enjoys being out of her body more than in it. I'm not really into alchemy (except the alchemy of the soul, ie the great work), solomon's keys, astrology, ceremonial practice, or spells, or incantations. And although I have the intimate ear of a being I would call a genuine deity (as apposed to a religious icon/egregore), I don't "pray at her", or treat her like santa claus. That would greatly belittle our relationship. So, yeah, not much one for divine magic either. I've dabbled in 'most' sorts of magic, and the variety out there is really interesting to me, but there's just some sorts I think of as 'home'. And I don't prefer methods which leave me feeling a disconnect between method and intent, wondering how the method actually relates to the intended effect. Or even if i do know how, if it's too obscure or lacks a sense of a firm chain of events, i just don't prefer it. I just like it "hands on", I like to feel it, feel a menage a trois between intent, will, and potency, grasp what it would grasp, and bend it. And what's wrong with a power trip? power only makes you more of whatever you really are.


QUOTE
What did you do, if you don't mind me asking? (And I really hope you don't! ^^)

to end up in the hospital? I picked a fight with an entity, mostly just to show off and look cool.
There was a daemon who was tormenting someone. And I said I could fix it. And I did fix it, technically.
The thing is, I didn't do it to be noble or something, for all I knew, the human had it coming. I was just playing super hero.
I was used to relatively weak simpleminded entities, so I was expecting to just dominate. that one wasn't weak though, nor simpleminded.
I worked my way through it's defenses, and I hurt it. And I thought that would send a message, and settle things.
But it did not. After licking it's wounds a while, it came back at me, and hurt me back; physically hurt me that is.
It yanked me out of my body (didn't know that was possible till then), and attacked my body with me not in it. I can only assume this was part of a process that allowed him(it?) to better inflict harm.
I was pulled back into my body by very intense pain. I needed an ambulance, because the pain was too great to drive. Officially, I had a kidney stone. I don't know if the entity manifested it, or just managed to knock it loose from the kidney so it would lodge in the plumbing at that time. But either way the timing simply could not be coincidental.
I assume it's possible that the entity could have attempted to kill me, or my body anyway. But instead it chose to just cause great pain, and some uninsured medical expense. Considering that, and the fact that I was kinda being a douche, I decided to call things even and move on.
Frankly the experience really took the wind out of my sails for about 6 months to a year. It put a dent in my indomitable will and self confidence. temporarily anyway.
ultimately it was a very positive experience, as it inspired my mentor/deity to take steps to keep me safe, which in the long run ended up being very formative and helpful to my development, both in terms of maturity and understanding, as well as instilling the value of diplomacy and temperance, and also further deepening my relationship with her.
so, in the end I'd call it a win.
As Nietzsche said "anything that doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger" and he is my favorite philosopher, despite his sexism and syphilis addled brain in the end (the two issues likely being related).



oh, about the chart... a flowchart that points unavoidably to negative results, is just an overly complex way of saying you don't think something works. it's hardly a meaningful depiction beyond expressing that opinion. The added complexity doesn't do anything, it just undermines being concise. I should know, i'm terrible at being concise (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


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☞Tomber☜
post Aug 8 2012, 09:04 AM
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Human consciousness is defined by its relationship to other consciousnesses, with measurable qualities, not by whatever worldviews someone might have. This opinion is a hodgepodge of ambiguous buzz words.

Also absence of evidence can't just be assumed universally to be evidence of absence. Reality isn't Plato's version of philosopher's heaven (that's not sarcasm I'm being literal).

Despite your self proclaimed hatred for faith, you seem to base most of your arguments on just that. From what I have read, I see you are not practicing magic, you are playing with it. I don't want to write out long winded explanations because I want to emphasize that main point. If you were you serious about magic you would try to overcome the issues of using structures and being concise. Being aware and joking about faults doesn't make those faults okay to leave alone.

I'm sorry, but the rubber will never meet the road unless you become serious. It's like when people talk about working out or running every day but never do. Well when the rubber meets the road they sure don't get very far or lift very much, but they sure will be happy to tell everyone how to improve their form or do better! That's what you're doing here with magic and philosophy and science.

Finally, science is not the pursuit of truth, that's what philosophy is. (And philosophy is in between religion and science, as Bertrand Russell said.) Science deals with physical reality. If it's not measurable then it's not science and noone can measure "truth" in quantifiable terms.


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QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Jan 30 2013, 02:19 AM) *
Expect nothing, or you will get caught up in the future and not pay attention to the present. Just do the practice diligently, do it because you enjoy it, do it because you believe in it. Don't wait for results, don't wait for it to happen.

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Kath
post Nov 8 2012, 11:50 AM
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QUOTE(☞Tomber☜ @ Aug 8 2012, 09:04 AM) *

Human consciousness is defined by its relationship to other consciousnesses, with measurable qualities, not by whatever worldviews someone might have.

I don't disagree with the first part of your comment, but I don't see the sharp conflict you seem to add at the end. Human consciousness can be defined by arbitrarily describing any of myriad axis which make up a very complex whole, ill suited to being encapsulated in a single sentence.

But besides that, I think you completely missed the tidbit that my bringing up a "world view" in that paragraph, was entirely within a metaphor. A metaphor can be anything. What does an pepperoni pizza have to do consciousness? Anything you want it to, if it's just a metaphor.

My point about consciousness is that when we think of consciousness, we think of a particular sort of consciousness which is uniquely human in a variety of ways. And we are largely ignorant of the broader possibilities for the scope of what could be called consciousness in the multiverse.

QUOTE
This opinion is a hodgepodge of ambiguous buzz words.

no, no, tell me what you really think.
well I don't have to worry about you being a kiss ass, eh?
that's actually kind of a compliment. backhanded, but still.

There are a great many things which I think about and ponder and study, which are challenging to quantify. I often struggle to find even halfway serviceable terms. If the particular words I fell upon while trying to quantify some ideas, were 'buzzing' too much for your tastes... erf. you know, I'm just not feeling the whole 'sarcastic sparing' thing right now. It's been kind of a long day.

QUOTE
Also absence of evidence can't just be assumed universally to be evidence of absence.

it is 'evidence' of absence. it's not conclusive, at all, not even remotely close. in some cases it's very weak evidence indeed. but it is 'evidence', strictly speaking.
there are an infinite number of things for which we have no evidence, which are true.

if you were to testify in court that you went to a particular place on a particular day, and I was there that day for 5 minutes, and I didn't see you. That would be (extremely inconclusive) evidence that you may not have been there. But if I were there 12 hours, it's still not proof, but it's evidence. if there were a million people there and none of them saw you, or if i were there all day watching for you and never saw you, then the absence of evidence would mount into a more conclusive evidence of absence. without a specified place and time frame, absence of evidence can never be conclusive. but it's still evidence, technically. I really think this is a semantics argument though.

QUOTE
Reality isn't Plato's version of philosopher's heaven (that's not sarcasm I'm being literal).

well, we're on the same page there.
If I strike you as an idealist, then I guess I'd reply: were you blind, and were you to touch an elephant's tusk, would you assume that elephants entire, are hard bony things?
or without the parable reference: you're assuming an awful lot about me I think.

QUOTE
Despite your self proclaimed hatred for faith, you seem to base most of your arguments on just that.

ok, this sentence doesn't go with the others that were with it below... I'm genuinely interested in what you mean by this.
a little bit incredulous, but curious.

QUOTE
From what I have read, I see you are not practicing magic, you are playing with it.

I do usually enjoy a certain playfulness in my approach to life the universe and everything.
we all have our curses to bear.

QUOTE
I don't want to write out long winded explanations because I want to emphasize that main point.

blah, go ahead and be long winded. just underline the key bits. I'll read it all.
If you like, we can skip witty jabs and grandstanding though. And I do mean "we", I'm not trying to sound parental there. I'm 'doing it back' obviously (you did peg me as being kinda playful).
but my main point, is that you clearly have ideas about what I expressed, and I am curious about some of your thoughts. moreso preferably without the rhetoric.

QUOTE
If you were you serious about magic you would try to overcome the issues of using structures and being concise.

"if you were serious about magic..." that part kinda nukes the whole sentence. You have no idea what you're talking about with that phrase. Look, I'll take the blame, I'm communicating to the forum with these posts above, and many others on the forum, etc. and if I strike you as someone who's not serious about magick, then I'm really failing miserably as a communicator.

Now, when you say "using structures" are you referring to dedication to study in a regimented ceremonial magick system? I'd like to make sure I clearly understand what you mean, before responding to that bit. I don't want to read assumptions into anything, i think that may be part of the cause of some of your discontent with my posts in this thread.

QUOTE
Being aware and joking about faults doesn't make those faults okay to leave alone.

depends on the fault.
some faults are rather charming.
and sometimes "fault" is in the eye of the beholder. perhaps always. We may have a somewhat different view of 'faults'.
anyway I don't see any overt need to be a concise writer in my spiritual path, that's just not one of the stops on my route.

QUOTE
I'm sorry, but the rubber will never meet the road unless you become serious. It's like when people talk about working out or running every day but never do. Well when the rubber meets the road they sure don't get very far or lift very much, but they sure will be happy to tell everyone how to improve their form or do better! That's what you're doing here with magic and philosophy and science.

I don't think you're actually sorry about my rubber...
but again, I have perhaps failed miserably to communicate.

This thread's discussion has focused a fair amount on verifiability, and/or on the idea of tangible results (a la "fireballs").
I've spent a lot of time talking about some content from my spiritual path going back as far as early childhood, as well as a lot of precursory meanderings in science and philosophy. Some of what I've talked about is very basic stuff, or even kinda naive early thoughts on topics, because they are closer to an entry-level rationally verifiable basis for the somewhat cynical layman.

I am sharing bits of my occult background in a selective manner, suited to the discourse in this thread.
book, cover, etc.

My spiritual path didn't really come into it's stride until around 2001. And it's progressed at a speed I am humbly appreciative of, with very few plateaus. I'm not going to brag, I haven't achieved my ultimate spiritual goals yet, and I don't like to focus on accomplishments when there's still shit to be done. besides, bragging is petty. suffice to say, I am not at all unhappy with my progress, especially given the ambitiousness of my goals. And I am quietly optimistic for my spiritual future.

I would swallow my pride, and ask you how you think I could improve my spiritual path... in spite of your tone, I would eat crow and ask, if I had actually shared a meaningful chunk of it for you to have any basis for speculating. And if you made good sense, it would brighten my day, and I'd feel more like verbally sparring with you (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sport_boxing.gif) . I just don't see how my posts in this thread could be remotely informative towards the overarching whole, and trajectory, of my spiritual path. Everything I've said here is just bits and pieces tailored to the cynical novice. As I was a cynical novice once, a very long time ago.

I assure you, I am deadly serious about my magick, and my spiritual evolution. Deadly. Serious.
I don't openly discuss just how serious, because it's not socially constructive to seem like a crazy zealot. and that wouldn't have made for a constructive conversation in this thread I don't think.

QUOTE
Finally, science is not the pursuit of truth, that's what philosophy is. (And philosophy is in between religion and science, as Bertrand Russell said.) Science deals with physical reality. If it's not measurable then it's not science and noone can measure "truth" in quantifiable terms.

Science deals with "reality", nothing explicit about 'physical' (*cough*math*cough*psychology*cough*theoreticalphysics*cough*)
It is my belief that where science sheds light on that which we understand, the unknown stands within reality just out of science's reach, and the arcane represents the portions of reality which are further beyond science's current ability to make sound conjecture or hypothesis, or perhaps even beyond science's imagination.

But if something exists, whether you can see it and touch it, or it's etheric and hard to quantify... then it's all part of 'reality'. and even if it's on the arcane end of the spectrum, it's on the same continuum with science, and it is (or should be) science's interest.

Science is concerned with truth. they may call it 'fact', but you're really just drawing a semantic distinction. when philosophy discusses truth, it's usually a subject of relativism and ideology. when science is looking for the truth of something, they're using a far more plainspoken version of the word.

is philosophy halfway between science and religion?
eh, considering organized religion is largely a hybrid between a collective mythos, a social control structure, a paradigm virus, and a super egregore... I'm not sure I'd want to compare it with anything else.
don't worry, it's ok to disagree with Bertrand Russel, i've disagreed with numerous famous people in the past (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)




I get the idea that something I said in my posts really kinda peed in your cheerios. I'm not sure what thing I said did that, but sorry about your cheerios k?


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Bb3
post May 23 2013, 06:06 AM
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Kath I would honestly appreciate you more if you could respond to a comment with something half-way funny.

FYI this letter is a letter, hardly close to the rule.

This post has been edited by Bb3: May 23 2013, 06:07 AM


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