Note-keeping for Psionic Practice & How to Ask Useful Questions

Instructor: Rainsong
Date: May 12, 2018 (Saturday)

Topic – Note-Keeping for Psionic Practice (“how to keep useful journals and notes for psionic practice of different things–like what to record in a general journal that helps track things, what to write down for a practice session of different skills and how to interpret results, dream journals, all the fun solar weather stuff… etc” – suggested by ShadowRain) Also, how to ask useful questions such that you can actually use the answers – Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 6:30pm/1830hr New York Time — text format in the PSC #lecture room (Discord) — Instructor: Rainsong — Search LECTURE23

Azarea – can we post preliminary questions, or do you prefer to first say your part and we bring questions afterwards?

Rose – i don’t want to miss this one

Rainsong – Azarea: Please feel free to post questions in advance.

Rainsong – Hi, Rose

Rose – hi Rainsong ^^

Azarea – so amongst discussions and lectures on psionics, occult and in particular anything corresponding to energy manipulation, you keep meeting constructs somebody made to solve some problem or showcast some energy. How does one best store these? For sigils it’s easy, just save the sigil, and for energy links I’ve..kind of? found workarounds that involve screenshotting the links, ideally with a descriptive filename, but all of these are kind of suboptimal for a larger library. I’ve seen people do the whole thing astrally and somehow be able to keep track of dozens of tastes like this, I don’t know how and it’s very difficult to communicate. Are there best practices here? And separate but kind of related, is there any halfway sane categorization scheme/axes other than topical associations?

Rainsong – To make sure you and I are talking about the same thing, what are you meaning by “topical associations” in this context?

Azarea – uhh actually it doesn’t really matter

ShadowRain – Are you looking for a physical way of remembering or is it something you’d be ok handing off to your subconscious/inner/file clerk dude/etc? Because once you can make it once, technically it can remember how to make it again

Silkysky – For me it is kind of a natural ability that if I scan something I have a mental file on it that I can remember whenever I want just by recalling which instance I want. Best way for that I would say is just to scan what you want and trust yourself to recall it from remembering the instance and just practice scanning everything and everyone until it is ingrained. If you want a physical aid you can make a sigil for each thing to store a sort of memory/impression of it or serve as a mental trigger. Probably not going to be speaking much. Got brief moment now and then.

ShadowRain – Sigils work well as pointers, labeled sigils are even better though

Mori – You can fairly easily attach sigs to various items, sigils, or other physical aids, but personally I just like, run off my subconscious. It’s weird to describe, but you like, “step back” in your own head, and just pull what you want to use. You could physically label them if you want to, but like was stated, it gets kinda clunky after a while. It is nice for sharing, though

Mori – I’ve noticed several book authors who do this in their published books, attach spells,signatures, or other things to the various diagrams or descriptions they have. Whether consciously or unconsciously i guess depends on the author in question

Rainsong – Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Rainsong – Welcome to another psionics seminar here at the social club.

Rainsong – Our topic for the evening is “taking notes and asking questions that result in useful answers”

Rainsong – It’ll be geared to psionics, but you’ll probably notice that the basics apply to all sorts of situations.

Rainsong – Azarea has kindly added some questions already (and several folks have started to answer them, too 😀 )

Rainsong – Are there any other questions or comments before we dive into this?

Rose – actually… yes

Rose – you’ve seen my simplenote databank, where i store logs of useful information many of you tell me. it turned out not to work so well, it’s not very different from just reading articles online. And i didn’t have the space to do that at the time i was making the notes, which is the reason i noted it all down in the first place, instead of immediately putting into practice what I was told (which works best for me) what makes my notes so inefficient?

Carl – They’re not notes, they’re logs.

Rainsong – That’s basically true, yes. Excellent question, though. We will come back to it a little later in the class

Rose – alright!

Rainsong – We’ll also be coming back to Azarea’s questions.

Rainsong – This is simply because I decided to start out with the “question” side, rather than the “note” side of tonight’s topic.

Rainsong – By way of context, I’ve tutored a wide assortment of subjects for about thirty years now. And I’ve worked as front-line support for an IT helpdesk.

Rainsong – Asking questions is a great way to get information, but you’re more likely to get information you can actually use (and maybe even avoid annoying people, thus encouraging them to answer more questions later), if you compose your questions carefully.

Rainsong – “I’ve been trying to do pk and it doesn’t work” is a pretty common complaint. As is “I’ve been trying to make constructs and it isn’t working.”

Rainsong – Grammatically, those aren’t even questions. But the implied question is “What do I do to fix it?” More or less.

Rainsong – Assuming that the person being asked understands and is willing to respond to the implied question, there’s still a problem with how this is set up, yea?

Rose – yes, because there are no details about the problem?

Rainsong – Brava! Exactly so.

Rose – 😀

Rainsong – In either of these cases, a much more productive approach is to say something like, “I’m been trying PK using NI’s article from Pog, and I’ve been practicing about five minutes at a time a few times a week since October, with a fork balanced on a glass tumbler. So far, the fork has only wiggled up and down a little, and I’m not even sure if that’s because of a draft from the air conditioning unit. Last summer, I got my psiwheel to turn a half-turn a few times, but that’s all. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?”

Rainsong – Or, in the case of the constructs: “So, yea, I read everything I could find on the website, and I’m working through Sunora ‘s links… And last week I decided to try starting to make psiballs. I think I’ve got the movement through my field happening okay, but I don’t feel anything at all once I send the stuff through my palms into where the psiball should be. I’m starting to wonder if 35 seconds at a time might be too short. Do I need to push stuff into the psi-ball longer than that?”

Rainsong – So, in these off-the-cuff examples, our fictional noob describes or references the approximate method they’re using and roughly what they’ve done so far.

Rainsong – The more details, the better. And these are even too vague.

Rainsong – So, if I were the one answering, I’d still be wanting to know exactly which way the psi-ball guy was trying to move the oomph, for example.

Rainsong – Rose? I could see some typing happening…

Rose – i knew it. i knew you would hook into that

Rose – okay. what i wanted to say, was:

Rose – yes, but that’s enough details for the person answering the question to dig into further details. it’s a good start and from there all the missing pieces can be asked to the one posing the question

Rose – i didn’t want to interrupt the lecture, so i stopped typing :sweat_smile:

Rainsong – Fair enough 😀

Rainsong – When I did IT helldesk things, at least once a week I’d get an email that said only “ur website suxxxors”. Not much I could do with that, other than to thank them for their advice and request further details to send along to our webpeople.

Rose – LOL

Rose – the complete opposite of constructive feedback

Rose – “your art sucks”

Rose – oh? why do you think that? what’s wrong with it? what should i improve?

Rose – “it just sucks”

Rose – okay thanks

Rainsong – Exactly, although with the website complaints, I had no emotional attachment at all, because I didn’t actually have anything to do with the website or its maintenance.

Rainsong – Sometimes, a short description isn’t the best approach, even when it’s completely accurate. For example, there was one time when out doing turtle research, one of the other researchers called across to ask how a particular turtle was progressing in her egg-laying. I replied, “She stopped moving a while ago.”

Rainsong – I should have said, instead, something like, “I think the temperature dipped too low tonight, because she stopped digging and is just dozing on her half-dug nest for the past hour.”

Rainsong – The more senior researcher who’d asked the question paddled across to the beach I was on, only to discover that indeed, the turtle was not moving at all.

Rainsong – Details are good.

Rainsong – Explaining what you’ve read or referred to in order to try whatever you’re trying to do is helpful for two reasons:

Rainsong – 1) It gives the other person a clearer idea of exactly what you’ve been attempting, and (probably) how – that helps the person who is trying to answer

Rainsong – 2) It tells the person that you’ve actually made some kind of effort on your own behalf – that helps you because that other person is more likely to be inclined to help

Rainsong – Azarea?

Azarea – @ShadowRain @Silkysky @Mori thanks for the answers. In my case I really prefer physical/conscious databasing, because I use a “mixing” style of magic a lot where it is helpful to be able to browse available ingredient energies, and also because being able to share it is actually really important.

Kate Embers – Just thanking you already, gonna have to go to bed from now, will use this message as a marker to jump back to tomorrow morning. Good night everybody ^^

Rose – goodnight Kate, sleep well 😀

Rainsong – Good night, Kate. Be well

Scelana – Sleep well Kate Embers

Rainsong – Alright, so, for useful questions: Explain what you’re trying to do, what you’ve tried – which might well be a series of things –, and what the “issue” is (for example: And now all my flared constructs are this really ugly shade of magenta, when I was trying for green).

Rainsong – Questions and/or commentary, before we nip over to the note side of the topic?

Scelana – None so far

Rose – Some people instead dislike long-winded questions and comments..

Rose – just something i wanted to mention

Rose – you can run into that and then your whole detailed question was for nothing

Rose – or actually repels them from answering it. the TL;DR principle

Rose – but i don’t think that happens here a lot…

Rainsong – Hmmm. If you’re approaching someone that’s likely to be an issue for, you could introduce the question with something like: “I’ve got a problem with my purple dinosaur constructs. Would you be willing to give me a hand, and if so how much information do you want about what I’ve tried already?”

Rainsong – But, no, it’s not really likely to be a problem around here.

Rose – i run into that often though. In those cases these people get annoyed you’re giving them so many details before they’ve even said they wanted to answer

Carl – I’ll just come out and say it. If you encounter someone that wants limited information to help solve a problem they don’t know how to solve the problem.

Azarea – Asking whether you can ask never leads to less text and usually doesn’t help

Carl – With limited information it’s easy to pull something out of your ass. With details it’s harder to do so and make it sound legit.

Rainsong – More data is always useful in troubleshooting.

Rainsong – Of course, if someone’s answering the same question from the same person, repeatedly, with very little difference in the data presented, they are likely to get annoyed

Rose – have i done that a lot?

Carl – Constantly.

Rose – >.<

Azarea – The thing is just your question should be clear before reading the piles of data. Abstracts etc so I can judge whether I can answer the question or not before having to read through diet information

Azarea – People who complain about tldr for questions usually mean that

Rainsong – Good point

Rose – Rainsong, have i done that a lot?

Rose – because i feel like i may have, and i wouldn’t be surprised

Rainsong – There are some questions you ask fairly frequently, with very little change, yes. And apparently to the same people. And when you do so, it seems like you don’t realise you’ve asked before or encountered the answer before. It’s a bit strange.

Rose – yes, indeed, it’s a pattern i’m aware of and yet i’m not aware that it happens when it happens. To me, the questions are entirely different but others often point out that it’s the same question, reformulated into different words

Azarea – Time for excel sheet; rows are questions, columns people :OSsloth:

Rainsong – As another example, another person on a different server asked me approximately a dozen times in one weekend if I could teach him an easier way to do (a specific thing) (Spoiler alert: I’m not aware of an easier method for the specific thing)

Rose – Azarea: I’m not sure if that would help. When I ask a reformulated question i haven’t identified it as the same one and think it’s an entirely different one

Rose – even if i compare it to an older question

Rose – i don’t know why that happens but it’s always been a thing for me and it’s also often annoyed people…

Azarea – If you don’t recognise that it’s the same question then there’s unresolved confusion around it which means some question is justified

Rose – indeed, and usually when the missing pieces are solved, that question doesn’t pop up anymore in any form

Rose – i don’t ask a reformulated question about something i already fully know the answer to…

Rose – it’s usually to clear up some details or worries that weren’t covered when i first asked in another way

Rainsong – In that case, once you’ve got the fundamentals sorted out – and some of the more “mundane” issues are sorted, too – it will likely happen less often

Azarea – Mention said details then

Azarea – Automatically becomes different question

Rose – they tend to be things i forgot to ask initially

Rainsong – Also, sorting out the note-taking might help this.

Rose – but… when i ask a question like that, and it’s actually a reformulated older question, i’m not aware of this and i think it’s seperate and an entirely new question

Rose – although sometimes i’m aware it’s to clarify some details, but not always

Rose – it’s weird. and since i usually don’t recognise it… i also don’t have many examples for this

Rainsongnods I’ll watch for it in future, and we’ll see if we can get it sorted, you and I, okay?

Rose – yes please!

Rainsong – Alright then… On to note-taking.

Rainsong – I’ll be going at this from a rather old-fashioned view, as I use the old technology for my notes: pen and paper. I’ll try to also transfer the appropriate bits to electronic equivalents.

Rainsong – First of all, some of the reasons for taking notes: to be able reproduce results (or allow other people to reproduce results), and to be able to look back on your progress

Rainsong – In some ways, it’s not very different from a lab report in a school science course.

Rainsong – Always include the date. Preferably, also include the time, the weather, and your location (the town is close enough… whether you include the building and room is up to you)

Rainsong – Also make a note of anything that might be interfering with your concentration: hungry? tired? sick/cramping/bleeding heavily/not breathing? If the latter two, you probably ought to seek medical help, by the way…

Rainsong – Roommate practicing the drum-kit, neighbours having a screaming fit, Carnival parade on your street…. Or that one mosquito buzzing just out of reach….

Rainsong – In other words, if there’s a distraction you’re aware of, write it down or type it in

Rainsong – Obviously, write/type what you’re doing

Nevyn – one time I was trying to stop bleeding but the distraction was that I was bleeding heavily 😉

Rose – lol

Rainsong – Well…. It would be a distraction. (And yes, it’s probably connected to why some healing modalities are easier to do on someone other than yourself)

Rainsong – If you happen to think of a question that you’ll want to ask someone later, or to look up, or whatever: add it to your notes. It’s useful to jot down exactly what you ask and whom, for future reference, too. You might want to have separate pages/documents for such questions.

Rainsong – The other stuff to keep note of? If you’re trying a number of approaches to do something, keep track of both the approach used and the results, each time. If you’re following someone else’s instructions, or if you have detailed instructions for the approach in question, you can simply cross-reference to the page or website or book in question. Eg: “Carole’s card-guessing exercise. Fun with Cards, 1976, page 21325”

Rainsong – If you’re going to use abbreviations, you’ll want to have a “legend” or glossary of the abbreviations so that, six months hence, you won’t be looking back at it and wondering “What the fluff language did I type that in?!”

Rainsong – Speaking of cad-guessing, abbreviations are useful for that. You can save space for results by doing something like: H4-H6, C7-C7, C5-SA, etc (translated as “Guessed 4-of-Hearts, Actual 6-of-Hearts; Guessed 7-of-Clubs, Actual 7-of-Clubs; Guessed 5-of-Clubs, Actual Ace-of-Spades)

Rainsong – If you’re doing constructs…

Rainsong – … Make note of the purpose of the construct, and how you are assembling it. What sort of programming, both in terms of “how you programmed it” and “what the programming is made up of”….

Rainsong – … “Purpose: blue psiball to ease headache. Programmed by packing the stuff together like a snowball between my hands, while imagining it bright sky blue and imagining it being cold like an ice-pack…. intention to hold together in a ball-shape and numb the headache where the psiball is held against”

Rainsong – Something like that.

Rainsong – Then, later, make note of whether it worked and how well. “Construct seemed to hold together pretty well, and headache eased noticeably a few seconds after pushing the psiball against the side of head”

Rainsong – More complicated constructs might require several pages of details, and possibly sketches of both the shape and whatever you anchored it to, if it’s anchored. Include its name and sigil, if it has either or both

Rainsong – In the case of spontaneous psychic stuff, such as (possibly) precognitive dreams, get the details of the dream down as soon as possible. You’ll lose most of the information within the first three minutes or so, for the most part, even when it seems like something so vivid you’ll never forget it.

Rainsong – Trust me on this.

Rainsong – Add the other stuff (time, date, location, weather, etc) later.

Rainsong – Solar weather and sidereal time are interesting to make note of, along with moon phase, and so on. However, all of those can be calculated later, if you have the time, date, and location.

Rainsong – Questions or comments on the “what to record” part, so far?

Nevyn – voice recorder next to bed is good if you have dreams like that often, then transcribe it later. often in transcribing you end up remembering other odd little details as well

Rainsong – Good plan.

Rainsong – Writing in a notebook without the light on tends not to do great things for one’s penmanship.

RainsongAzarea – Today at 7:00 PM so amongst discussions and lectures on psionics, occult and in particular anything corresponding to energy manipulation, you keep meeting constructs somebody made to solve some problem or showcast some energy. How does one best store these? For sigils it’s easy, just save the sigil, and for energy links I’ve..kind of? found workarounds that involve screenshotting the links, ideally with a descriptive filename, but all of these are kind of suboptimal for a larger library. I’ve seen people do the whole thing astrally and somehow be able to keep track of dozens of tastes like this, I don’t know how and it’s very difficult to communicate. Are there best practices here? And separate but kind of related, is there any halfway sane categorization scheme/axes other than topical associations?

Rainsong – Question from earlier

Rainsong – When you say “store”, I presume you don’t mean the constructs themselves, but rather the details about how to reproduce them?

Carson – Hmm

Rainsong – And earlier, Rose also asked about improving the usefulness of her note-keeping.

Carson – Yes, I agree.

Carson – I find when I don’t jot the dream down.

Carson – I forget within 10 minutes.

Carson – Unless it’s very memorable.

Carson – Tis why I always keep a journal or a laptop close by.

Rainsong – And even for a memorable one, a lot of the details go missing. It has to do with how memory works, across different states of consciousness

Carson – True

Carson – I’ve had those clear as day dreams

Carson – I love em

Carson – unfortunately

Carson – I think its been wiped

Carson – since my iphone well

Carson – I traded it in

Carson – Fuck.

Carson – that sucks

Carson – but I will always know what it was about

Rainsongnods You might to want to jot it down, anyway…

Carson – true

Carson – I’ll write what I still remember after all this time.

Carson – only a few months

Carson – Luckily, i believe the android app is far more developed than the old iphone one.

Carson – Good, good.

Rainsong – For Rose’s question: I think you might need some “short version” reminders, in addition to the longer forms. Example: When feeling like about to black out, ground and centre

quigon991 – Strangely I remember my entire dream from last night. Oddly it was a live-action anime (yes I know that’s a contridiction”

Wayfarer – @Carson just use GoogleDocs from the phone.

Rainsong – There are various ways to arrange your notes, whether hard copy or electronic.

Carson – yeah

Carson – I could but problems can arise

Carson – shitty connection

Carson – but usually its ok

Rainsong – Categories such as “Dreams” can be chronological.

Rainsong – Or, in cases such as constructs, you’ll probably want to group them together by type (purpose, probably… or magical type, for magic-users with broader interests)

Rainsong – Or possibly by anchoring or programming method: all the sigils in one section, all the ones programmed in C# in another, Ruby on Rails in a different section…?

Rainsong – If you do stuff by taste or scent, it can be more difficult to record verbally. Compare to more common tastes and smells, perhaps. “A bit like strawberry, with a touch of ghost chili”

Rainsong – For anything not strictly chronological, you’ll want something that you can add pages to. Hard copy? Index cards or looseleaf binders or the like. Electronic? Folders are probably your best bet,… with a page for indexing and/or naming convention notes. I’d suggest a naming convention within the folders that allows for short names but decent amount of detail.

Rainsong – For example, Folder: “Healing Constructs” (in the sense of “constructs used for healing purposes”). Files in such a folder? Headache_BluPsiball1, Headache_BluePsiball2, BoneKnit_Short 1, etc

Rainsong – Questions? Commentary?

rowinha – I’ve had good results with using a personal discord group for notes. You can paste in pictures, pdfs, text, audio. And everything is chronological by category and searchable.

rowinha – Also, pins, to mark things I need to get back to.

Rainsong – Sounds like a plan. I presume there’s a way to reliably back it up? (“Save early, save often…”)

rowinha – Same ways you back up normal groups.

Rainsong – Thanks for the suggestion 😀

rowinha – :thumbsup:

Rainsong – Thanks for participating, everyone.

Rainsong – Cheers

Scelana – Thxies for the lecture Rainsong, sorry I wasn’t too active during it. I’ll make sure to look over it later

Rainsong – Thanks, Scelana. An advantage of text format, eh?

Scelana – Yep hehe

Rose – oh no! i fell asleep during the lecture…

Rose – but it looks like i got the most important parts. Thanks for the lecture ^^

Rose – and sorry for falling asleep >.< seems like i suddenly fell asleep very quickly, I don’t remember when. last thing i remember was that i was still watching the lecture..

Rose – @Rainsong can i ask a question about your suggestion to write down short versions?

ShadowRain – go ahead and ask, she can answer later if she wants/when she has time–as long as it’s related to the lecture, questions in here are fine.

Rose – okay. Rainsong: what would be a good (preferably digital) place to write those kinds of short reminders down? something that’s always in your face? instead of something you have to actively open to see your reminders?..

Kate Embers – Not Rainsong, but sticky Notes maybe? They’re always on your Desktop.

ShadowRain – Or paper ones around your apartment

Nevyn – tattoos

ShadowRain – I mean writing ground and center on your arm with pen every day might eventually help you remember

Rainsong – @Rose Yea, it’s best to use the @ thing so I notice the question when I’m back at the computer, but you don’t need to ask permission to ask me questions

Rainsong – I’d favour the post-it notes and markers approach, myself… But electronic? Ummm, set alarms that make sounds to remind you? My computer has “Cortana” so I could ask her to pop up with a reminder to do stuff, if I wanted to. I don’t know what software you have

Wayfarer – If you don’t care about indiscriminate corporate surveillance, Google Notes can be set with times that pop up.

Rainsong – The grounding and centering stuff is becoming common enough that the corporate overlord types probably wouldn’t care about it

Azarea – @Rainsong [2:09 AM] Rainsong: When you say “store”, I presume you don’t mean the constructs themselves, but rather the details about how to reproduce them?
I don’t really distinguish between the two

Rainsong – Anka and some other folks apparently store them in jars (glass or ceramic storage containers designed for food).

Rainsong – If you use smell for your constructs, I’d suggest developing a fairly broad repertoire/vocabulary of scents, the way perfume designers and (wine) sommeliers do, so you can jot descriptions when it seems like a good idea to do so.

Rainsong – I personally tend to just list them by purpose and describe the programming in either index cards or notebooks. I don’t know if there is a “best practice” as such, but this approach (or spreadsheets / databases) seem to be the standard for those of us who tend toward radionics.

Rainsong – Probably because radionicists have a pretty typically dry-and-pragmatic way of looking at things… in a different pragmatic way than that of, for example, ceremonialists

Rainsong – Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ceremonial magic, but I personally only ever use it in the context of religious activities, because the style and approach don’t suit me personally.

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