Written by Wayfarer – December 1, 2018
Note: Adapted from his explanation on PSC’s discord server.
The thing is that a lot of that shit happens in conceptual spaces around chatrooms and things like that that you can just not be a part of, but because many people on the Weird Psychic Internet are in a place where they’re trying to validate their own experiences for themselves or otherwise are seeking confirmatory experiences to reinforce to them that it’s real, they do things that deliberately open them up to those experiences.
So like, you can just not participate in the Discord telepathic conceptual energy mesh thing by just not reaching out telepathically/energetically to everyone you talk to; but the natural tendency is to reach out and touch people you talk to, and not everyone wants to go through the (minimal) effort to not do that because they low-key want those experiences because they validate or confirm that “it’s real.”
A lot of the little dramas OEC people engage in is because they want experiences and so when those experiences aren’t happening in their real lives they kind of unconsciously fabricate them. They’re “real” but they’re also artificial inasmuch as they could just not. Add to that the complication that there are people who are just making things up because they can’t distinguish the actual happenings from consensus LARP and you end up with the situation we’ve got.
I’ve talked before about the problem of the affirmation bias we get in the OEC. The problem is that if I tell a story about a thing that happens to me, there’s a social pressure for everyone to agree and affirm that it’s real and they sense it too; because if they don’t reaffirm and verify it, then other people won’t reaffirm and validate them later. Person A says “wow I’m being attacked by like, 80 astral tentacles, can anyone scan that” and then everyone who scans goes “oh wow there are like, 80 goddamn tentacles this is craaAAaaAaaAaazy” because they don’t want to be called out as not sensitive enough to scan in that way – and also because they don’t want to be “left out” later. It’s a problem of social affirmation that’s also common in, for example, small narrativist cults.
Saying “nah, I don’t sense that” becomes a bad thing, and reputation is based on consensus because of the absence of actual real metrics of ability. So you end up with occasionally poisoned communities where everyone is just agreeing with the people on top. You end up with the central figures in the community effectively gatekeeping by dictating a narrative that everyone has to agree with and next thing you know Psion Guild is waging wars with gods.
Once a community circles around people with abilities, those people end up as gatekeepers and you get shitty uncomfortable cults of personality built around them and because these communities are largely trending very young a lot of people can’t handle the social pressure that comes from the responsibility of gatekeeping psychic accomplishment through “scanning” or whatnot. It’s not a new problem, Rudolf Steiner talks about this exact thing in anthroposophy.
In his system, the teacher basically does not talk to the student at all about what the student is feeling or experiencing, because he wants the recognition of accomplishment to come from the teacher genuinely clairvoyantly observing the changes in chakras and so on and not being persuaded by a student who talks a good game. But that has its own huge problems including that it’s really hard to get a student to actually continue with practices without getting any real feedback that they can observe or confirm.
A teacher in that scenario has to be already capable of clairvoyance, essentially, and that’s inherently impossible for the student, who is not clairvoyant, to verify. After all, it’s assumed they’re not already accomplished at clairvoyance, that’s why they need a teacher. And that’s a problem as old as religion: how do we test people in authority outside accrediting bodies and so on? Religions have solved this problem by organizing into hierarchies of lineage and recognition. But that is also a problem, and in the OEC, again, full of largely young people with something to prove and a vested psychological interest in being respected and feeling powerful, you end up with these kinds of unspoken mutual arrangements of recognizing one another as powerful to maintain a web of trust based on nothing.
“Kin scans,” yeah, or “affinity scans,” or just “scan my energy ball” in general, all fall into that trap.
A new person comes into the community and says “hey scan this construct I made” or “I’m sending you my tulpa” and it’s a test, at that point, not of psychic ability, but rather of “is this person going to play along?” If they do play along, then they can be sorted into the community – if they don’t, then they get bounced out, either with the story of “they aren’t psychic enough~~~” or with the story of “they were here to attack everyone oh gosh wowsies”
Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution to the problem that people who participate in online psychic communities are, well, people, with psychological needs and wants and weaknesses.
Another problem is that of mindset, because people with fixed mindsets are discouraged from practicing or demonstrating their abilities due to a fear of being wrong. Once we get the validation of “oh this person is a good psychic” then we don’t want to risk it by having a bad session. This is what happened to me, and it’s something I’m addressing by doing remote viewing sessions over the next couple weeks of classes. But it’s a pernicious problem that leads to the people in charge of these communities often falling out of practice entirely for fear of not wanting to be shown to be frauds – not because they are frauds, but because of the issues involved in mindset when talking about psychic phenomena altogether.
Because if you’re a chess player, losing a game of chess doesn’t mean you are bad at chess, it means you lost a game. It takes more than one game to show that you’re bad. But if you lose a game of chess, it doesn’t mean your entire life experience is false and delusional and chess doesn’t exist. But the stakes are much higher with psychic ability, because it’s already something that most people are very self-conscious about. There’s a tremendous amount of performance anxiety because if you have a bad session and get a miss, there’s the possibility that psychic abilities aren’t real and I am actually insane compounding the already present anxiety that “I’m maybe not good at psychic abilities.”
Fixed versus growth mindset is a real problem in psychic ability pedagogy, basically, and everyone should read Carol Dweck and work to break the fixed mindset that plagues many of us, particularly in the West, where we’re pressured towards results rather than process oriented training and practice.