Psionics Pedagogy Fireside

Instructor: Wayfarer
Date: January 5, 2019 (Saturday)

Seminar: Topic: Psionics Pedagogy Fireside – Saturday, 5 January 2019 at 6:30pm/1830hr New York Time — text format in the PSC #lecture room (Discord) — Instructor: Wayfarer — Search LECTURE56 Happy New Year!

Rainsong: We seem to be at the bottom of the hour.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to another seminar here at the Social Club.
Wayfarer will be discussing Psionics Pedagogy in fireside chat mode.
bows to Wayfarer The floor is yours

Wayfarer: Mmmmmmmmmmmyesssssss good eeeeveninggggg everyone. Weeeelcome. I suppose before we begin anything I would like to know if anyone is here? You can be fake here because of the late European hour and that’s fine but this is very much a reversal of norms: I actually want to know what you think about things. I will still do some chatting though about why I’m asking the questions I’ll be asking.

Wayfarer: So…is anyone actually here tonight?

Chirotractor: Hi there

Wayfarer: Hmmm, yes, I see. Still getting over the new year hump I see. It’s been an exhausting beginning to 2018 2, so that makes sense.

Wayfarer: So, as many of you know, I’ve spent the last year of my life doing graduate studies in transpersonal psychology and specifically focusing on parapsychology and even more specifically focusing on teaching psionics, psychic ability, whatever we want to call it.

Scelana: I’m kinda here I guess, been sick lately. Atm I am eating though, and for some reason feeling a little shy hehe

Wayfarer: The simple fact of the matter is that while a lot of research has been done on teaching and learning skills generally, not a lot has been done on how we teach and develop psychic abilities.

Wayfarer: Well, hopefully the shyness doesn’t get in the way. Largely I am now looking to pivot off of conventional research to market research as I look to actualize and effect the results of my studies.

Wayfarer: So, what did I learn? Well – quite a bit. I started teaching psionics as an idiot child, and later continued as an idiot adult. Now I remain an idiot adult, but I’m still at it out of pure stubborn persistence.

Wayfarer: The main thing I have taken away is a need to incorporate intuition development into psi curricula. Before we can actually learn and develop specific skills, we need to create conditions conducive to that skill development. There’s generally been a lot of focus on how certain skills are performed, but in general the teachers (and I am as guilty of this as any) has taken for granted that by using the same methods he or she uses, the students can achieve the same results. I think that this is a narrow approach and that we need to instead look on creating a situation where the student can actually begin having and noticing psi experiences generally before we can move on to developing specific skills.

Wayfarer: If I want to teach someone to do clairvoyance, for example, I can teach techniques and methods, but if a person isn’t attentive to and hasn’t cultivated any kind of psychic faculty, there isn’t likely to be a good result, no matter how perfectly they follow the techniques.

Wayfarer: Other issues I’ve run into are those of how we conceive of and assess psychic abilities in different disciplines. Particularly in parapsychology, we’re very interested in quantifiable statistical evidence. But the issue with this is that it fosters a goal oriented approach that doesn’t look at the processes by which results are achieved. We want a “hit” on a telepathy task, and we don’t want a “miss,” but simply collecting hits and misses doesn’t actually improve our telepathic ability. If you throw a basketball a thousand times, you generally improve, but this is because the body basically knows what it’s doing and it corrects its own technique to improve skill.

Wayfarer: We don’t have that advantage with psychic “stuff,” because we don’t know how it works exactly and we don’t have conscious or unconscious feedback. So what happens is we get more misses than hits and we become discouraged and think “I don’t have natural ability, so this is impossible,” and all the while we are never looking at the process of telepathy. And that seems insurmountable, because we don’t know how telepathy works (nobody does!). But it is not insurmountable. We can instead create conditions where telepathy is more likely to be noticed, more likely to function. We can start living a magical life and go from there.

Wayfarer: So, that’s a lot of preamble, and I know a lot of it is kind of vaguely interesting but not particularly pertinent. Where are we now?

Wayfarer: Well, I want to develop this into a program, and in fact the curriculum was my final project for my master’s. I have the outline done and it’s time to start writing and producing what I hope will be a program that addresses deficiencies in both new age and parapsychological approaches to psi development. Why I’m talking about this now is because I would like to hear what kinds of formats people would be interested in.

Wayfarer: My first question is, imagine you are enrolling in a program lasting somewhere from three months to one year. What would you want this to look like? Other courses use, for example, weekly mailed lessons. That’s one option, but it strikes me as a bit dated and not very engaging. Another option would be something like an online classroom, with readings and exercises organized by weeks or topics and with topic driven discussions.

Rainsong: I’m interested from an instructional-design perspective, but I don’t think I’m you’re target audience. :/

Wayfarer: lmao we’ll be talking plenty over time I think but if you have questions I’m happy to answer. I do want some answers on what people see when they imagine this product because form and function play together while I’m writing this.

Rainsong: How ambitious are you feeling?
You’d been considering a video component, I think?

Wayfarer: Pretty ambitious. Yes, that is actually the next question, which is whether people prefer video, text, or a combination of the two. It will probably be a combination of the two regardless, but I’d like to know what people favor haha

ceahhettan: I am half here. Will be more here in about 90 miles.

Rainsong: Hi, Ceah

Chirotractor: I’m a bad person to talk to about this
but a course I took recently had weekly hour long communal activities along with quizzes and another hour of seperate prerecorded lecture

Wayfarer: In my head, we have modules that have written material and video lectures pre-recorded on those topics. Most likely the educational material is written and the practical material is video with written support. Then students also have a seminar style class they can attend where I riff for an hour or so a few days a week with as many as can attend to help address people’s concerns and so on.

ceahhettan: Important to keep in mind if you do go with video– captioning or transcripts being available.

Rainsong: It’s very important, yes

Wayfarer: Okay, interesting. Why are you a bad person to ask, and what was that course and what subject, if you don’t mind sharing? This is straight up unabashed capitalism I’m doing here by the way – I am developing a commercial product and this is basically me doing market research. Full disclosure etc.

Rainsong: Auto-caption isn’t really an option, because they make a stew of even normal vocabulary

ceahhettan: For instance, even though I can do phone calls and in person voice shit fine these days, video tends to be a complete loss because I can’t ask the person. to repeat it at a different pitch or reword. And typically with off screen narration I can’t lip read either.

ceahhettan: My work has videos in the e-trainers and I’m just usually good enough at test taking to guess the correct answers for the quizzes after even though I didn’t understand 90% of the video.

Chirotractor: Not many opinions on the subject

ceahhettan: So I tend to vastly prefer written materials. That’s my twenty cents, and now I’m going to go back to driving.

Chirotractor: the course was an intro psych thing

Wayfarer: Gotcha, okay.

Rainsong: Sae travels, Ceah

Wayfarer: And yes, I would caption. Autocaption works inasmuch as you can edit the autocaption and save a lot of time vs. manual captioning but right. Largely I’m not trying to focus on details that specific at this stage. I am ready to start writing material, but I’m trying to settle on the format of presentation. Weekly emails would be written with a different tone than a permanent “online classroom” or so on.

Wayfarer: My inclination is to use Moodle and set up a digital classroom, but I am not sure if that would be bewildering. I am also interested in fostering a community because having a learning community for these things is important. Being from a psi-accepting / believing community is the single biggest factor in reported psi experiences. Since we can’t change where someone’s from or what their culture is like, we need to substitute a supportive community. It’s not just about “it’s 2019 and we need communities” – it’s actually important for learning successfully.

Flux: I’ll agree with having a community or at least a small group.
Obviously it’s not important in all cases, but I do think it helps, especially if you can keep it moderated.
Sorry, just read up. Was doing some house chores that were time sensitive.
If I were going to take a course like this, I would like a focus on activities. Given that, I’d like an easy was to equivalently LFG in said community.

Rose Cinderfall: just read up as well, was a skim/global read though, so i didn’t catch everything, but considering the lecture is still progressing..
I would prefer a video classroom as well
especially for psi practice. Why? Because verification over text is a lot harder than over video..

Rose Cinderfall: If you do something with psi, with someone, to someone, and they tell you you’ve succeeded – how are you supposed to know they are telling the truth?
On video, you can see the results
along with the voice, where you can hear things
plus, it’s a more personal form of contact than text, in my opinion

Flux: Oh yes, video + written is nice. Also, as you mentioned, some kind of regular community meetup.

Wayfarer: Fair. In a lot of cases that would be up to students and what they’re comfortable with. I also spend a not insignificant amount of time in this program de-emphasizing a need for external validation. We want to develop the skills to be able to tell “hits” from “misses” directly, and we want to remove the results oriented focus. At the same time, we don’t want to encourage self-fraud or delusion. But we need a degree of confidence and realistic expectations before we move into techniques that emphasize statistical results.

Wayfarer: We also move a little out of the strictly concrete space. So much of this is abstract/psychological and we need to work within psychological reality. We’re primarily dealing with perception, as much as sensation, and so treating things like they are concrete isn’t necessarily appropriate. It’s the problem of “how do we know your red and my red look the same?” but more so because we’re using ad hoc perceptual maps rather than sense organs doing what they do.

Wayfarer: But okay. What do you do to get your material? What are you thinking of in that regard? Do you log into a website? Do you open an email? Something else?

Rainsong: Delivery owl? 😉

Flux: I like logging into a website.
I think an email reminder is nice.
But I’m looking for a central location to do all my stuff.

Wayfarer: Okay.

Flux: Ideally everything would be in person, but that’s crazy.

Wayfarer: Yeah, that’s not viable.

Flux: Nope.
Are you planning on making things where people have to keep up with things on a timeline?
Or is it gonna be more work at your own pace?

Wayfarer: There are certain advanced subjects that in the future I can teach and which would generally require people to be in person – but that is not something in development right now and would likely resemble week long practical training courses in hotels.

Flux: That sounds fun to me.

Wayfarer: My goal is to provide the material roughly on a timeline but there are actually two components to the course. There is a practical component that is “do a thing,” an there is an educational component which is likely to be about the equivalent to a few college courses. The practical component would be presented on a timeline and uses laddering to develop skills, but that is only half of “the product,” so that I can ensure that people don’t “fall behind” too far and also so that I can guarantee people something for their money, regardless of whether or not they are successful.

Flux: Also, just wanted to comment that I’ve found deemphasizing external results to be helpful too. I think it’s also good to try to find a way to find a positive in the result. Encouragement seems to work well for me at least.

Flux: I like the idea of having some kind of laddering for skills. How is that gonna work?

Wayfarer: Everyone has psychic ability and potential, but I obviously can’t guarantee to “make someone psychic in 12 easy exercises” or something like this, so since I’d be charging money for this product/service I am providing a substantial educational component to make sure people get something regardless. Additionally, if you’re enrolling in the course you’re “in” and if you take longer than others, that’s fine, because continued access is part of it.

Flux: I think the parapsychology education thing is also on brand for you.

Wayfarer: Fundamentally the question of psi ability learning is a question of skills acquisition. The curriculum outline uses a number of approaches and relates back to them. As an example, Emily Sadowski identified three common elements in all “new age” intuition development courses: attention exercises, imaginative play, and meditation. You can use meditation to facilitate attention exercises and imaginative play. So the program starts with meditation, and progresses along by the 2nd module to introduce attention exercises and then imaginative play. But visualization exercises are a form of imaginative play, and attention exercises create conditions necessary for learning perception skills, so we first develop the habits of meditation, attention, and imagination play, and then we use those things to build subsequent skills later.

Flux: I like it!

Wayfarer: If someone is following the program in sequence, the introduction of, say, energetic imprinting, will relate back to a somewhat unrelated practice they’ve been doing for some weeks already. The introduction of psychometry will relate back to attention exercises.

Wayfarer: To be a little more specific, attention exercises in this case include learning to attend to our body and how we feel. Frequently “checking in” with ourselves and journaling how we feel about things. Field trips to different locations and meditation there to recognize contrasts and similarities between different places, atmospheres, etc. Once we develop meditative skill that lets us know how we feel “normally,” we can start introducing different psychic experiences, such as constructs, spirits, and so on. Because we’ve been learning to attend to our bodies, we can start recognizing how the presence of those things makes us “feel,” and can describe it because they have been journaling sensations to develop a vocabulary. The student has effectively already learned psychometry before psychometry was even introduced.

Flux: I really like how everything is broken down.

Wayfarer: Because almost all psychic experiences take place outside a laboratory environment and very few reported psychic experiences include exact detailed information, focusing on developing those skills is very narrow and doesn’t really help us develop the kind of telepathic capacity most people are looking for. Reading Zener cards is a parlor trick, knowing when someone is coming to your door is a lifestyle advantage. One is easier to demonstrate in the lab than the other, but the latter actually affects our lives and this is, to me, what we’re actually after if we’re trying to develop psychic ability.

Flux: I would agree.
There’s also the cool factor though.
Psychic powers and phenomenon break people out of their day-to-day lives.
Brings mystery and such.

Wayfarer: If you look at Ian Stephenson’s case studies in telepathy, for example, we see that most of these experiences are “just knowing” about an event that is taking place with someone somewhere else. Those are experiences that are undeniably “psychic” but which don’t occur in labs. What we want to cultivate in learning psychic ability isn’t actually high scores in lab tasks, but a frequency of occurrence of those “hey, that was weird” psychic experiences that is so great that it can’t be denied. Once we’ve achieved that, pivoting into lab tasks becomes easier because we can already recognize an distinguish psychic information from guesses.

Flux: Yes! Thank you! Many agreements.

Wayfarer: So yeah, the timing of the course is fixed mainly because I don’t want to create an atmosphere where people are trying to “rush” to demonstrate ability so they can skip to the end, but I also don’t want people left behind if, for example, they struggle with meditation, or with psychometry, or so on. If you’re paying me money for the product, I want to deliver the product on a timeline that is agreed on at purchase. One of the side effects of charging money is that I take on obligations as a teacher and this is important for quality control. It’s also important because if a student has invested in they’ll be more likely to follow through. But that’s neither here nor there.

Flux: True. Given unlimited time, people will often wait until the last minute.

Wayfarer: So, something like a Moodle online classroom and an accompanying forum might be what I’m looking at here.

Flux: I know not this moodle.

Wayfarer: Yeah, and I mean I’ve been a volunteer teacher of this stuff for a long time and without obligations it’s very easy to just go “meh”

Flux: Looks interesting, but I graduated from college before online learning took off.

Wayfarer: Moodle’s an open source classroom environment. It lets you build courses that people enroll in, do quizzes (though those aren’t a thing here) and submit written assignments (maybe a thing, probably not – basically letting students be accountable to themselves I think is important), and have discussion boards (important if and only if I use a cohort system, otherwise I’ll deploy a vbulletin in parallel with modules having links to appropriate boards for discussion).

Flux: Is there some kind of intrasite messaging? Is it handled by the board portion of the software?

ShadowRain: (you’d be surprised how many people skim information and jump to trying to do it and then wonder why it doesn’t work… so having some kind of test/quiz just to make sure that they actually did understand what they thought they did might be helpful)

Wayfarer: I wouldn’t be surprised by that at all, I do it all the time 😛

Rose Cinderfall: oops, i am wrapped up in way too many conversations at once right now
catching up again…

Flux: Okay, just checked it out. There’s messaging.

Wayfarer: I wouldn’t do tests largely because I’m not interested in grading them and I’m not issuing any kind of credit other than a certificate that means effectively nothing. Making people take tests is mindless busy work and I’d be testing on educational content, not practical content. The tests for practical content are actually doing the stuff 😛

Flux: You can just have summary pages or something like that.
Make sure you get these main points! (Link to more info.)

Rose Cinderfall: :14 AM] Wayfarer: But okay. What do you do to get your material? What are you thinking of in that regard? Do you log into a website? Do you open an email? Something else? ^ Well, without getting into the details of that yet, have you ever used It’s essentially a website version of Skype/Discord video calls. I’ve been in one of those where there was about 20 people all with their webcams on. Surprisingly, it worked. Even though it was so many people, it worked, it flowed like a conversation would between 20 people in real life. That format might work? It is a little chaotic, but it is a nice way to communicate.

Flux: If I were taking the course, I’d just skip to that part…

Rose Cinderfall: Then as for log in… yes, that might be necessary, especially if you make this a paid thing… So that you’d only get the login if you pay for the “subscription”

Wayfarer: Yeah, there is messaging and message forums. It’s a pretty robust solution and I’d probably be stripping it down a lot, but it lets me basically issue accounts to students who subscribe and then set it up so that people have different module accesses over time within courses, and maybe split the program itself up into 3 courses. A huge advantage is that as I add courses and programs there’s already a solution in place. But I wanted to make sure there would be some kind of interest in that sort of program. A lot of people are very used to “I want to go on a website and read a thing”

Wayfarer: Right, same. And a group video chatroom would be something I could look at including, but it’s not something that I actually provide per se because I’m looking at the presentation of the course material itself at this point. If I’m writing it for Moodle for example it takes on a different tone. We’re a bit far off from the details of how group sessions might be conducted. Video lecture would probably be done via Zoom Conference or something like this, and then I’d take questions from the chat and so on. I use a greenscreen and live stream for nerd shit regularly so I think I can put together fairly sharp presentations for classes.

Flux: Ooh, there are badges too.
You stream?
Sorry, just saw the bit about green screens and nerd shit. Video games, model building, math? What kind of nerd shit we talking?

Wayfarer: I’m a managing editor for an Eve Online media concern :v

Flux: XD
That’s some nerd shit. Video games and math then.

Wayfarer: So I talk about dumb spaceship games on twitch fairly often.
lmao yes, spreadsheets online.

Flux: Well, that’s a handy skill to have.
The video related stuff.

Wayfarer: I’m a longtime poster on Something is Awful dot Com, a dead gay comedy forum, and so mostly I don’t actually play Eve because lmao who does that. But yes, it’s been great for real life skills development.

Chirotractor: How about a test that’s more of a ‘have you done the test?’

Wayfarer: lmao I don’t know what purpose it would serve but Moodle does allow for that capability.

Chirotractor: just being tested on something makes it more likely too sink in

Wayfarer: Okay, that’s about my time for this evening I think. Flux you’ve been very helpful and I’m going to keep monitoring this channel over the next week and so if other people want to way in with feedback I would appreciate it. If there are questions about teaching psionics stuff I can also field those though I may be vague to avoid ~trade secrets~~.

Wayfarer: That’s fair, and I would consider having the option there as a “test your knowledge” thing since some people do learn like that.

Flux: Oooh, trade secrets…
Well I’m excited to see this thing launch.

Wayfarer: I would also probably use the features for creating notebooks and such for people who wanted to keep their journal assignments and so on in one place. There’s a lot I can do with it, but I have been exploring different presentations basically.

Wayfarer: And the form and function have to be related.
That’s very important I think for online based teaching.

Flux: I’m off to cut an onion for dinner. Looking forward to hearing more.

Wayfarer: Good luck with the onion! Shed no tears. Alright that’s my piece, I’ll keep checking in here though.

Rainsong: Interesting stuff

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