Concerning Abusive Dynamics in Psi and Magic Communities

Instructor: Rainsong & Wayfarer
Date: February 15, 2020 (Saturday)

Seminar: Topic: Concerning Abusive Dynamics in Psi and Magic Communities (suggested by Patches… and bumping a review on oomph) — Saturday, 15 Februay, 2020 at 6:30pm/1830hr New York Time — text format in the PSC #lecture room (Discord) — Instructor: Rainsong — Search LECTURE116

Rainsong: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Rainsong: Welcome to another psionics seminar here at the social club

Rainsong: Our topic for the evening was suggested by Patches, and it bumped a review on the use of “oomph”

Rainsong: “Concerning Abusive Dynamics in Psi and Magic Communities”

Enigmatic Knight: Sounds good lol. We need this one

Rainsong: That seems to be the general consensus, yea.

Rainsong: I am not by any means an expert on the topic, but there’s a reason I periodically remind people that being able to do psionics – or any other magic – is not a sign of purity, selflessness, general goodness, or favour of a God or Goddess

ceahhettan: I mean we should come around to this every so often anyway, yeah.

Rainsong: That kind of belief is really common, and propogated deliberately by a) folks who want everyone else to believe their stuff works but is just being sabotaged at the moment by an impure thought, and b) wanna-be gurus who want to lure in unsuspecting victims

Wayfarer: Anyone who engages with any generally occult stuff for any period of time inevitably has to come around to it, such are the nature of these things.

ceahhettan: Indeed.

Rainsong: Quite a few of the “watch for these signs” articles I’ve read about cults includes “engages in or claims to have ‘special abilities'” and “engages in meditative techniques” in the lists of warnings, incidentally

Chirotractor: o/

Rainsong: And because psionicists engage in meditative techniques and supposedly ‘special powers’, I guess we’re just that much closer to being accused of being a cult

Rainsong: Likewise, any other magic community

ceahhettan: Wouldn’t be the first time.

Rainsong: What you really have to watch for are things like “not being allowed to question the ‘leader”s wisdom” and keeping your activities secret from family and friends… and avoiding any family and friends who aren’t part of the group

Rainsong: This is even more dangerous in groups where most of the members are kids. We allow kids here, so we have to be extra vigilent about this, too.

Rainsong: Also, in a community that practices stuff that can interfere with another person’s free will… well, it’s pretty obvious how fast that could tip down that slippery slope.

Rainsong: And, for good or ill, psionics can be used to interfere with people’s free will

Rainsong: As can some other kinds of magic

PatchesTheCoydog: Authoritarian dynamics definitely thing to watch out for in that regard and stuff like lodges with explicit hierarchy are especially prone to this being a potential danger. Another thing that needs to be noted is it’s dangerous to take a mindset of “I’m too much of a free thinker, no way I’d get sucked into a cult like those mindless sheep”. If you read about the people who LITERALLY drank the kool-aid at Jim Jones temple complex… they weren’t actually people prone to being mindless followers. They were in some cases at least arguably some of the better examples of humanity, people who really wanted to make the world a better place, were in some cases MORE free-thinking by some standards than average, etc.

Rainsong: Very true. Believing “It can’t happen to me” just makes you an easier target

Rainsong: Lots of cults present an outward face to the world that gives the impression of doing good, and trying to make the world a better place… and it can be hard to see the rot underneath before you’re already mired in it

Rainsong: Of course, if in their publically available literature, they openly tell you that you’ll be required to surrender your capacity to give or deny consent to anything, well, at least you have an idea of what you’re getting into, right?

Rainsong: Telepathic networks centered on one person are pretty risky business, too.

Chirotractor: That sounds unpleasant for everyone involved

Rainsong: Long-term close telepathic connections can cause your respective personalities to disintegrate, apart from any cult problems

Rainsong: hi, Chiro: Yea, it does

Rainsong: Be careful about groups that ask you to do a lot for them. Even more so if the things they want to do are uncomfortable for you or risky (including, but not limited to, eating up your bank account…)

ceahhettan: (Or excessive (read any especially at the beginning) material assistance like buying items for the leader)

Rainsong: Very true, Ceah

Rainsong: Frankly, some of the stuff we do here at PSC is a very deliberate attempt not to become a cult, in addition to simple academic honesty: pointing out that the methods taught here are just some, rather than “the only” or “the greatest”… having much of our information freely available to anyone who’s bored enough to read it (yea, I still don’t teach some of the dangerous healing stuff in open classes, but if you have enough of the basics to be able to do it, and passed A&P, you can figure it out yourself, anyway)

Rainsong: Patches? I’ve seen you typing there… Comments? Questions? Other verbage to add?

PatchesTheCoydog: Can definitely vouch for risk of long-term close telepathic connections. Also can be a form of genuine closeness that’s very nice but.. complicated at best and should be sure what getting into. I’ve had few relationships with that as a component and have ranged from people I’d do almost anything for to this day-and the things wouldn’t are those that cross line of closest values like giving up my magic, betraying other friends or violating someone elses free will- to big regrets that caused me some psychological damage(having someone who is doing mundane types of psychological abuse tactics also be IN your head and judging from things said having the stuff THEIR abusers told them that ring in their head also being in yours is uncomfortable). Even in better cases it’s always complicated and not recommended unless one of what is probably a very short list of circumstances.

Rainsong: nods

Rainsong: Something else to be aware of is being asked to provide oomph/chi/mana etc during any sort of initiation. Or pretty much anything that would make a good witness in a radionics box. Those can be used for retaliation, if the group or its leader gets ticked off at you… and generally, that’s precisely why those items are requested.

Rainsong: It’s pretty common practice in the “traditional” magic organizations of the past couple hundred years. Again… be aware of what you’re getting into

Rainsong: You can see why it’s important to be extra vigilent when considering whether to join a magic-related group, online or otherwise

Rainsong: If “otherwise”, take precautions of the more mundane sort, too. There are some groups who use magic as a lure to bring in new people for… entirely different reasons, often involving drugs, rape and trafficking.

Rainsong: Questions? Commentary?

ceahhettan: None here, although I might add a few things tomorrow.

ceahhettan: I’m starting to wind down for bed, so.

PatchesTheCoydog: http://www.religioustolerance.org/bonewits-cult-danger-evaluation-frame.htm relevant/potentially useful for evaluating a group concerned about though not perfect.

Rainsong: Sleep well, Ceah

Rainsong: Thanks, Patches.

PatchesTheCoydog: Something else to be aware of is being asked to provide oomph/chi/mana etc during any sort of initiation. ” Being pressured in ANY way to participate in initiations, systems work, specific types of healing, dropping barriers to being influenced, etc is thing to be concerned about. There’s a lot of trust involved in allowing people certain forms of access to oneself and that’s not a thing it’s OK to actually demand or try to force.

Rainsong: Great point, Patches.

Rainsong: Having rambled a rather lengthy general reminder to the proverbial choir, I think we’ll call it a night. As usual, commentary can be added during the week, like Ceah mentioned. It allows for folks who aren’t here during the seminar to make comments and ask questions, too.

ceahhettan: Goodnight! Thank you~

Rainsong: Thanks for participating, everyone; and thanks, Patches, for suggesting the topic

Rainsong: Goodnight 🙂

Wayfarer: I’ve got bits I’ll add in a few if I remember before I wander off again!

Rainsong: Cool 🙂

Wayfarer: All generally good takes. I would also say that while the watchword should be caution, it shouldn’t be paranoia. There are valid reasons to ask for magical contacts or to add energy or so on. Some of those valid reasons are… exactly what they have on the can. Like, “we want you to be tethered to the group via an unbreakable bond.” Like, that is a feature of some communities! Freemasonry, for example.

Wayfarer: A good rule of thumb is to see if the organization has been around for a while and what its general reputation is. Not the reputation from the fringe, but its normal, general reputation.

Wayfarer: If an organization is new and is asking you to become a brother in blood or something like that, and you’re not actively part of shaping that policy, because you’re part of the organization, and it’s new, then that’s a red flag, for sure.

Wayfarer: If the organization is, say, 300 years old, then probably it’s fine? lmao

Wayfarer: Just use some common sense out there and be a bit picky about who you contact to psychically. Remember that getting to know someone well, such as by learning personal private details about the, is one way to bypass the need for personal concerns (like having someone’s sock, for example) in some forms of magic or targeting or so on.

Wayfarer: The other bit I’d add is about gatekeeping in communities, and the kind of ‘soft hierarchies’ that can occur.

Wayfarer: It’s not always a clearly defined hierarchy and in fact it’s sometimes safer when it is clearly defined. That is, you know who is ultimately accountable when you know what the pecking order is and there are ranks and all that shit.

Wayfarer: Nobody wonders who the master of a Masonic Lodge is. It’s the guy whose title is “Master.”

Wayfarer: But soft hierarchies will often pop up in communities, usually if someone has chops or is perceived to have chops. Not even PSC is immune! PSC just happens to have Good People ™ in the “top” positions.

Wayfarer: In communities where the leadership are people who are perceived to be “good,” watch out if people are relying too much on that leadership verifying things for people. The soft power of group membership dynamics can go a long way towards poisoning a mind.

Wayfarer: If people are dependent on others for scans, if people are asking for verification on things, or especially if those people who are asking those things are also perceived as having chops, maybe be careful. A lot of times those communities are being run by people who are getting off on being in those positions of power and gatekeeping others or being the center of a thing. Personality cults are cults too!

Wayfarer: I am especially wary of people who claim to be teachers or leaders in communities who do it for love of knowledge or because of a personal mission. There are legitimate ones (our own people here, even, for the most part), but often people who do that do that because they want to be the center or head of a community. If they want to be the center or head of a community, that will unconsciously shape their actions and behaviors to keep themselves at the center of the community.

Wayfarer: That means they’ll unconsciously but intentionally be cultivating a cult-like community, a community that people don’t feel comfortable or safe leaving.

Wayfarer: We talked about it a little the other day as I defended my own thing, but I would much rather a teacher be motivated by money than by having followers. That teacher is gonna try to get your money, not your devotion. It can be both, but usually cults get your devotion first, then your money, not the other way around.

Wayfarer: (Unless they are corporate brands because capitalism is a cult :blackflag: )

Wayfarer: Oh! Another thing! Online communities are communities in 2020, this isn’t the 90s and your online life is your real life. Doxxing people is usually trivially easy because people put all their shit online on social media, even when they don’t, it was never true that we can compartmentalize our online and offline lives.

Wayfarer: The shit you do in online communities, you are actually doing. I might think that certain online groups are utterly bullshit and completely ineffective, but that doesn’t change the real psychological impact that they have on their members.

Wayfarer: You are not invalid if the cult or community that you’re being abused by is online or if abuse itself is online only. It’s extremely valid and real and you should actually take care of yourself and not associate with people who abuse you.

Kate Embers: > Telepathic networks centered on one person are pretty risky business, too. > can cause your respective personalities to disintegrate Can you elaborate on that a little bit, please? Genuinely curious about that given that I’m somewhat prone to empathy and given that I have more spoken conversations with spirits than I have spoken conversations with humans.

PatchesTheCoydog: Boundary dissolution issues are discussed in much of literature on transpersonal psychology, mysticism, psionics/parapsychology in the context of one reason for fear of psi. http://journals.sfu.ca/seemj/index.php/seemj/article/viewFile/177/142 fear of psi is discussed in this article and it’s thing to bring up in the context of abusive dynamics in psi/magic communities since relates to some ways. Empathic feedback loops where both feel the same thing and this becomes reinforced between each other are one example of something that can contribute to. In more general sense the patterns of emotions, identity and stuff merge and cancel out(doesn’t always work out to strengthening thing, if is that has to be prepared for some… after lots of leakage between links and the general patterns and specific habits sense of who one is can erode under foreign influence.

PatchesTheCoydog: (This is especially true if for one reason or another you actively embrace incoming patterns. Which also sort of thing that is useful for developing a few skills that I’m probably explaining very poorly)

Rainsong: @Kate Embers Doesn’t make any practical difference if the people involved have physical bodies or not. Back in the middle of the last century, some scientist dudes ran some experiments attempting to see if telepathy between two people could be enhanced by employing a technique called mutual hypnosis. Strictly speaking, I suppose you could say that it was successful in strengthening (and, in some cases, establishing) the telepathic bonds between the pairs of test subjects. But most of them also descended into madness… first not being able to determine whose thoughts were which, and eventually not being able to form or understand any thoughts at all.

Kate Embers: Yea uhm I might have that.

Kate Embers: Though I’m not 100% sure it’s telepathic.

Kate Embers: Might be though.

Rainsong: For these purposes, assume ‘psychic empathy’ and ‘telepathy’ are in the same category.

Kate Embers: I mean they’re not that far apart.

Rainsong: Yep

Rainsong: And they might be the same thing.

Kate Embers: Okay now I’m worried somebody is overwriting my mind :joy:

Rainsong: That’s also possible.

Rainsong: However, for what it’s worth, your written thought patterns have been more-or-less consistent in the time you’ve been here

Kate Embers: Well that’s something else than what is going on in my head

Kate Embers: Not ever single thought making it through my mind gets outside 100% unfiltered

Rainsong: If you’d experienced the kind of disintegration mentioned above, you wouldn’t be able to type anything coherent. It’d just be pounding on the keyboard a la pigeon

Rainsong: nods That makes sense

Kate Embers: How would I recognize the starts of that?

Rainsong: I’m not sure, beyond centering and possibly journalling to track your thought patterns over the long term? @Wayfarer probably has a more solid basis for answering that.

Wayfarer: Oh, hi. Yes. The main thing is recognizing your mental voice, and knowing how you tend to react to situations, and looking at why you’re not, if it’s different.

Wayfarer: Part of the Buddhist thing is that I don’t really think “my thoughts” or “their thoughts” are a meaningful distinction. It’s an arbitrary and useful distinction, but the separation between thoughts is kinda something we come up with and cling to. That said, telepathic/empathic people will adopt the ideas of people around them automatically. It’s kind of important to make sure you’re associating with people who aren’t going to fuck you up just by being around them, if you’re particularly attached to your views on a thing.

Wayfarer: As far as telepathy and empathy, I personally contend that this is an artificial distinction that people came up with before we had sufficient data to tell what was going on. I think they are the same process and it’s simply a matter of personal mental orientation that leads to a preference of how information is being interpreted.

Rainsong: I almost punched someone in the face at work, because my boss was pissed at her, once.

Wayfarer: There’s a reason, I think, that more women tend to be empaths and telepathy tends to be a more male thing, and it’s not “biotruths.” It’s just that women tend to be more emotionally attuned and men tend not to be as emotionally attuned through acculturation. Men are really pushed to be “rational” and so on and so we pick up on and interpret information through a “mental” rather than “emotional” lens. Women are more emotional and so tend to attend more to emotional content. Ultimately, it’s transmission of “raw information” that we are turning into something we can interact with meaningfully on a conscious level.

Rainsong: Was reading one of Ken Kress’s papers yesterday, and he mentioned that it was possible that all of the perceptive abilities might in fact be the same thing, only separated by what it’s being used for. Kind of like separating bowls of wheat flour according to what you’re going to use it for: this one’s for pie crust, and this one’s for dusting the counter, and this one’s for the bread…

Wayfarer: There’s actually a minor movement that wants to collapse it all under the umbrella of MMI, and this idea that everything is PK basically, in that it’s mind interaction with reality. I have sort of given up on any of the classifications as anything more than a tool for communicating what the result is we’re trying to achieve. They’re meaningless in discussing how it’s achieved.

Wayfarer: And even from a practical perspective, the actual process of “doing telepathy” or “doing empathy” or even “doing clairvoyance” are essentially the same.

Rainsong: Yep

Kate Embers: Thoughts only narrate and contemplate our experience. But if we stop thinking we don’t stop existing so our thoughts aren’t us or what makes us us. And there’s no such thing as a “persistant” mind and there shouldn’t be. And it gets even funnier with plural people having several thoughts at once. Some interesting philosophical rambling.

Kate Embers: Apart from that I just don’t want other spirits maliciously screwing up my thoughts through this.

Wayfarer: My official recommendation on it is to not worry about it too much unless you have a reason to worry about it too much. Thoughts arise out of habit, we can change how we think about things. Spirits can influence how we think about things, but they can’t just erase the habit. If you like popcorn, it takes more than a one time push of “I don’t like popcorn” to erase that.

Wayfarer: It’s why so many goofy people who try to magic away their bad habits fail. Sure, you can cast a spell to not want cigarettes, but you’re contending against possibly many years of habitual thought patterns. It’s simply not that easy. It takes time to unlearn a habit. A long time. And usually a lot of effort. A spirit would have to put in that time and effort to make a longterm change of something.

Kate Embers: Makes me wonder if you could make constructs to do that job for you but I’m about 99% sure the answer to that is a solid “yes”.

Kate Embers: The job being sending these telepathic messages.

Wayfarer: So you don’t need to worry too much unless there’s a pernicious spirit that is around a lot, and in that case you want to be mindful of that anyhow. But keep in mind too that you have a physical body that makes it significantly harder to influence “who you are” versus a spirit that, lacking a physical body, is only its consciousness. You are more dangerous to it than it is to you, if it comes down to attrition.

Wayfarer: The answer is “yes and no.”

Kate Embers: There are spirits around me, and some of them would absolutely be capable of that. I wouldn’t say they’re notorious for it but if they were doing it I’d probably hear a “well what did you expect”. Question is if they have a motive/reason to do it. :thinking:

Wayfarer: Making constructs is often treated like a magic bullet solution but they aren’t a substitute for effort. You can make a construct to do something but it’s going to take considerable effort to maintain it, especially if the construct is trying to overwrite something that gets continual reinforcement in a person. Like a “I don’t want to smoke” construct could pulse send that instruction twice a second forever but you’re working against a physical body that wants a cigarette, so if the person you’re trying to work like that is hanging out idle at the bus stop, it’s not likely to work.

Kate Embers: *nods*

Wayfarer: Plus that kind of information is something our brain is very good at filtering out – we filter white noise information all the time, like background smells, background noise, images around our periphery, and so on. We can filter out telepathic messages too.

Kate Embers: Without really being it I wonder how neurodiversity would play into that. But I’m going down philosophical-rambling-alley if I continue with that.

Wayfarer: “Do they have a reason or motive to do it” is a pretty good question, yes.

Rainsong: Usually, someone needs a reason or motivation of some kind to put forth effort in a project.

Rainsong: Again, whether or not the someone has a body

Wayfarer: I mean that philosophical rambling alley is fine. I’m not a huge fan of “neurodiversity” as a concept because I think that the norms themselves are invalid and that it’s a self-evident thing, and I also think it inclines people in some cases to become antisocial and confrontational to “neurotypical” people, which is not helpful to anyone involved. There’s a difference between, for example, “I have a right to exist” and “you have to rebuild society to accommodate the fact that I can’t direct attention volitionally, because I am neurodiverse” or so on.

Rainsong: Without a body, I’d speculate they’d need to work harder in this world

Kate Embers: This also raises the question about how certain types of spirits work.

Wayfarer: Yeah, it takes quite a bit more work. On a slightly less scientific, more theological level of psi stuff, the “reason” that people are useful to spirits at all is mainly that we have physical bodies and can accomplish stuff in the physical world easier. And that is useful because for all its impermanence and decay, the physical world is denser and stays together better than the spiritual world.

Wayfarer: “True names” and “pacts and bonds” are so meaningful and powerful with spirits because that is their identity. When a spirit makes a pact, that pact is part of who they are, because they are only the body of bundled consciousness-events like pacts and names. When we make a pact, it’s just a thing we do, because we have a physical form that our spiritual form is anchored to.

Wayfarer: Most spirits also have a “physical form” or shape or so on that eventually dies, as well, but it’s subtle, rather than dense. In Buddhism, Nagas, for example, are “human realm” spirits – that is, their consciousness is very similar to ours, and arises from the same causes and conditions, but they have subtle bodies rather than material bodies. They still have an eye and an eye consciousness, an ear and an ear consciousness, and so on, but the “eye” is energetic, not material.

Wayfarer: This is also why when I teach astral projection I emphasize projecting with a form and having that form be related to our own physical form. At the very least, it should have the same sense organs, or when we become conscious our brain doesn’t know what the fuck to do with the information and so it gets all weird.

Wayfarer: If we have an “energetic eye” when we astrally project, we can map that information into visual information and so when we go to remember it in waking consciousness our brain goes “what the fuck was that? Oh, right, visual information, okay soooooo” and reconstructs it.

Wayfarer: Because we’re reconstructing it, like any other memory, it’s not perfect, and subject to being corrupted by our own mental inputs, but at least it’s something.

Kate Embers: I’d love to comment further on this but I don’t have particularly much to add.

Rainsong: Not to worry, Kate. You’ve contributed much to this conversation 🙂

Wayfarer: The summary there is “don’t worry too much about getting worked on by spirits unless you’re getting worked on by spirits.” And also, knowing who “you are” can go a long way.

Wayfarer: And if you want to get into like, woo-ey gooey newage with it, centering to the solar plexus chakra in particular is good for asserting personal identity and “self.”

Kate Embers: It does make me wonder how far we can “stretch ourselves” though.

Kate Embers: How far can we change our astral stuff until we’re no longer able to have any meaningful interaction with it?

Kate Embers: How far can our mind expand beyond our conventional physical means?

Rainsong: Interesting questions. Reminds me of a quote from a Tom Clancy novel about the concept “pushing the envelope” and trying to see how far to the top and right of the graph you can get (for example, as a test pilot)…. but that’s where the stamp is cancelled.

Kate Embers: Would we be able to control a sixth finger or third arm? Most likely. Would we be able to amplify senses in a way we can’t amplify them physically? Would we be able to exist at two distinct spots at once?

Rainsong: There are people with six fingers, so yep.

Rainsong: Amplifying the senses to the point of toleration might be decidedly unpleasant, but can be done.

Rainsong: Bi-location is a thing…

Kate Embers: On a more theoretical level. There are things which our mind is not used to but can understand and work with if exposed to it. And there are probably things it can’t do. But where’s the (probably fuzzy) cut-off?

Rainsong: Unknown, so far. Insuffient data.

Kate Embers: Knowing how hard that will be to answer, but where’s that point where our mind just goes “no” and stops doing things.

Kate Embers: And could we even find out without eventually roasting our minds?

Rainsong: I think the only way to know for sure what the limits are is to face the consequences of going beyond them. The question is: Is that worth it?

Kate Embers: Probably not.

Kate Embers: Of what use is knowledge if your mind has devolved into a goo that can’t express itself in any meaningful manner.

Rainsong: There’s that, too

Kate Embers: There are so many philosophical questions/answers in that area that have rarely ever been addressed. It’s almost woderful. Living in a world where there are answers to countless things, where almost everything has been studied through and through to levels of detail that border absurdity. Yet stumble across fields that few people ever even talk about.

Wayfarer: So when we astrally project we don’t have any form at all unless we shape one. The shaped part of the energetic body hangs out with the physical body. You can project it using some wonky weirdness but it’s not what I’d teach to someone learning AP

Wayfarer: Because the astral is wibbly wobbly so you can pull different places of the astral to overlay the physical so your physical body is in the astral blah blah blah

Kate Embers: Also, looping back again a little to not drift too far off course. Identity is also a weird thing. What are we even. What makes you you and what makes me me? How distinct are people even? How much of us is truly us, what is social, what is magickal, what is even biological? So many questions and I wanna answer them all.

Wayfarer: But anyhow, your consciousness is just kind of a … sphere of experience, without a form. And you can take any ol’ form.

Kate Embers: Yea with the astral best just throw all laws of physics aboard they’re not gonna be of any help.

Wayfarer: And I suspect there are some uh otherkin folks that would be thrilled to bust in here and be like “well actually my astral form is a dragon” or whatever.

Wayfarer: But the thing is, the “you” that is projecting is a person with a physical human body and more importantly a brain that mediates conscious experience that is connected to that physical human body.

Wayfarer: So the further away your astral “form” is from your physical “form” the harder it is gonna be for your physical brain to relate the experiences in the astral to the physical in a way that lets you map your experiences meaningfully.

Wayfarer: There’s no hard limit on changes in form, the limit is on how flexible and adaptive your brain is in mapping parts to parts, and how comfortable you are in having experiences that don’t clearly map over to the physical.

Rainsong: For example, if you look through a dragonfly’s eyes, even in the really real world, you’re going to have a challenge mapping what you see: they sense a different range of colours in compound eyes

Wayfarer: You can be an octopus in the astral, but when you remember what happened, where is your brain gonna map those tentacles in reconstructing the memory of “what happened”

Rainsong: Especially when those tentacles all have their own sub-brains

Wayfarer: Yeah. And in that case it’s still visual information so your brain can do a pretty easily substitution to figure out what colors are what or to at least create placeholders of visual experience in the form of sight consciousness. But yeah, the tentacles are gonna be tough.

Wayfarer: And the problem is, of course, that you end up getting into the blurry zone between “reconstructing memory of non-physical experiences” and “imagination” and there’s a fuzzy overlap there because there’s a degree of imagination in any memory, astral or not.

Wayfarer: So the more you weirden your form, the more imagination it will take to reconstruct a memory. The more imagination that comes into play, the less “valid” the experience will be in an informational sense. The less “valid,” the less valuable, because it produces less meaningful information that can be used to interact with things other than imagination.

Kate Embers: I’ve seen people say that our astral form is by default a nearly-identical copy of our physical body and everything else is people messing up their perception through confirmation bias. I’ve always doubted that personally. Do they have a point (beyond the general tendency of physical humans having human astral bodies) or are they just against people not looking human astrally?

Wayfarer: For that reason I encourage beginners to create themselves an astral form that resembles their actual physical form, and for people in the more intermediate or advanced areas to just not deal with it and stay in the informational-consciousness space because they will be more familiar with that anyhow.

Kate Embers: What gets weird is when your astral and physical perception overlap and your mind answers the question “do I process physical or astral” with “why not both”.

Wayfarer: The astral form is by default a near copy of the physical body because that’s what our brain is used to projecting as its self image. The easiest way to map visual information correctly is through the (using Buddhist language again here) “eye consciousness.” So on for the other senses. When you go to make that “form” it tends to be just what we think of as our “self.”

Rainsong: No idea, but when I was involved in an experiment involving projection to a place in the really real world, witnesses in the projected-to location saw me as a corvid perched on a piece of furniture in the room

PatchesTheCoydog: https://www.nature.com/articles/news.2009.587 there is some plasticity involved in how the brain deals with. The effects of tool use on the brain are example of this somewhat(especially since changes subjective body mapping some which altered astral forms likely to be accommodated using similar means).

Wayfarer: They have a point, basically. There are some exceptions, I’d point again to the otherkin community, but that has to do largely with people’s self-perceptions and self-image and not with some kind of, you know, “innate spiritual nature.”

Rainsong: In my case, there’s a good chance it was connected to the method I chose to use to travel

Wayfarer: Yeah, that’s a good link their Patches. Basically your brain is pretty good at mapping things to things that aren’t its actual physical form. If you look at car drivers in India they will make impossibly close passes, like, with a centimeter of clearance, because they know the dimensions of their car implicitly. Their brain has adapted to incorporate information from beyond its physical parameters. The car is, mentally, an extension of the self. You see that with martial arts and weapons, too, for example.

Kate Embers: I’ve seen that advice in some movies before that you should see a sword as an extention of your arm.

Wayfarer: It’s certainly not impossible to be extremely shapeshifty Elsewhere, basically. I don’t tend to project as an accurate representation of my physical self in 2020, for example.

Wayfarer: I don’t know how good it is as advice for what you should do, that’s a better question for Rainsong or Aphanas or Jael, but it’s a thing that happens naturally anyhow.

Rainsong: We tend to learn a ‘movement’ or whatever unarmed, and then adapt it to a variety of weapons. Or, sometimes the reverse, starting with an armed form, and taking it through its paces with other weapons and unarmed

Rainsong: If you focus on the weapon as a separate thing, that’s a good way to get dead

Kate Embers: I’ve once gotten into that mindset where I saw every part of my physical body as its own individual unit interacting with other units. Like a machine basically. It was a weird experience even if it wasn’t even anything wrong or imagined or non-physical. I simply saw my arm as a bunch of bones, vessels, nerves, and skin attached to another bunch of bones, vessels, nerves, and skin. How my senses were simply sensors delivering raw data and so on.

Wayfarer: We tend to see ourselves as a unified whole and that’s a generally good thing to keep doing.

Kate Embers: Yea it wasn’t something I wanted to keep up for a long time. It’s kind of overwhelming if ever single hair is its own individual unit ^^

Wayfarer: It’s just also good to keep in mind, in a spiritual sense, that the line between “our parts” and “the outside world” is pretty much entirely arbitrary.

Wayfarer: So you have a bunch of parts but also literally everything you experience is being mediated through those parts and happening based on a relation to those parts, and those things are also like they are because of their relation to yet more parts, and so in the end it’s all just parts and there are no isolated wholes.

Rainsong: True. Otherwise, when phasing or teleporting, we’d lose our clothes and anything we’re carrying, yea?

Wayfarer: But that’s gettin’ into that spiritual woo that isn’t necessary at all to Do A Psychic, even an astral psychic.

Wayfarer: Yeah but it’s a good thing to bear in mind. Like, I don’t astral project naked, but why the hell am I wearing clothes as a ghost in the ghost dimension? lmao

Kate Embers: I’ve run into the issue of not taking things with me when teleporting. I think I know what you mean ^^

Kate Embers: *grabs astral object* *teleports* *doesn’t have astral object*

Rainsong: Briefly looping back to an earlier topic in the conversation, in case anyone’s wondering about my motivation for being involved in the community: I want usable information to be readily available to anyoen who wants it, while weeding out the stupid stuff. I don’t want there to be a monopoly on this stuff. Sure as hell I don’t want to be the only one known to be able to do a thing. (Speaking of interesting ways to get dead…) When I started teaching online, it was still hard to get useful information about how to do stuff, and –more importantly– how to get it under control if it just starts happening out of a clear blue sky, wihtout knowing what you were looking for, if you had access to a large-ish academic library. It’s been a bit disconcerting but hilarious to discover that people have heard of me in this context without being aware of the PSC community.

Kate Embers: Thanks for the interesting conversation on a side-note ^-^

Rainsong: We can resume the main discussion… I just wanted to put that out there. 🙂

Wayfarer: Yeah, I tried carefully to avoid an implication there while also realizing what I was doing. I started out with that motivation but have “gone professional” and as a result I generally charge for lessons and so on (check out learnpsi.com for an upcoming course! :v) but I do so because I think it’s important, perhaps essential, that there be professional quality information out there and putting that information together takes work, for which I deserve to be compensated. I didn’t mean it as a slight against my own teacher 🙂

Rainsong: No offense taken, and I agree it’s important to have professional quality information out there.

Wayfarer: Because without that information being around in the right place at the right time I’d probably not be around today. So I owe a debt there, but since no clauses have been evoked that I must repay that debt by continuing the tradition or whatnot, I charge money. But not always, obviously, since I’m at like $200 worth of man hours in lecture time in PSC over the last week lmao

Wayfarer: I also want to demonopolize the dotmil veterans on a lot of this stuff.

Wayfarer: Also, I need money to fund my cult.

Wayfarer: Wait, shit.

Kate Embers: I’d be torn between not wanting to charge for magickal knowledge and wanting to pay bills.

Kate Embers: “Oh I teach magickal as a job” wouldn’t pay my food ^^

Rainsong: I’ve taught professionally, in other topics, so I have no objection to charging for knowledge. I have my reasons (as stated) for doing things the way I do things, but I don’t expect anyone else to do the same.

Wayfarer: Well that’s more or less the problem, isn’t it? When that’s the situation, it means that the community is entirely in the hands of amateurs and hobbyists. We need professional information to be available, but professional work requires professional pay. I think Jason Miller has done a great job of starting a revolution in the sorcerous circles that have led to commercial courses that produce competent sorcerers, and I think it’s important that we have that for psionics as well.

Rainsong: I still regularly pay for instruction. In psionics.

Rainsong: I’ve considered taking his courses, too, but I have to prioritize my time.

Wayfarer: And even free courses like Quareia are free because they accept donations from individuals and importantly because they have an extremely wealthy patron, which is the only other way to do it, really.

Wayfarer: Jason’s stuff is good, I don’t know that I’d prioritize it. I’ve taken one of his courses mostly to see how they work and how they go, and I think it’s fine. I talked to him the other day and he encouraged me to get my shit together and get my course out rather than trying to nickel and dime as a service provider and he was hyped by my elevator pitch for my course exactly because apparently psychic stuff has a lot of clout and gravitas in the magic world but it’s so hard to find good information that isn’t complete nonsense.

Rainsong: Our site hosting is paid for by my book royalties. And I’ve hired some people to make some PK games that will be on the new site, when we move over to the new host.(I’m also making some games myself) in an attempt to replace what was lost when Psi-Arcade went down

Wayfarer: Like most people just don’t have the time to filter through all the Dragonball Z or whatever the hip current thing in energy work is lmao

Rainsong: Sifting through the heaps of shit takes a lot of time and effort. And if you don’t already have enough of a base in psionics to know what you’re looking at, you don’t have much of a way to sort out the good stuff

Rainsong: I imagine witches have much the same problem. There’s a lot of rubbish witchcraft instruction out there. (Just talking about the actual magic side of it, and not the religious parts. Some of the religious parts look suspect to me, too, but who am I to judge another person’s faith?)

Rainsong: (Still, Lady Kali as protector of bunny rabbits? Really?!)

Kate Embers: The witch’s side is maybe a little bit better because there’s a certain consensus on the basics.

Nevyn: it’s really not…

Kate Embers: Could be my intuition helped me or that I had a little bit of knowledge from what I’ve heard. Maybe I just had luck with the sources :sweatsmile:

Wayfarer: Certainly no real consensus on the basics in the witchcraft world but there’s a consensus on the basics in the bogus witchcraft world, if that makes sense.

Wayfarer: It’s like there’s a consensus on the basics of feng shui.

Wayfarer: It’s a bad consensus and a wrong consensus, but there’s a consensus.

Rainsong: (brb… please continue… I’ll catch up 🙂 )

Nevyn: that’s very accurate 😛

Wayfarer: Mirrors for example are very common in feng shui all over the place, and it’s a very consensus feng shui idea that you can put mirrors places and it’s always good, without understanding that mirrors as a remedy were used to bring metal energy because mirrors used to be made of metal, but now they are sort of useless since they’re mostly glass and dust.

Wayfarer: Like, “paint a room blue to bring water energy” is the weakest shit. Put in a water feature. Put in a fishtank. The best way to get water energy is with water, and it’s silly to suggest otherwise!

Kate Embers: If you turn your water tab clockwise thrice water will come to you ~

Wayfarer: My stairs lead out of my front door, which is not great (causes “rushing” energies down the stairs which carry it out the door) so there’s an actual real plant at the bottom of the stairs to slow that energy. Not “put a green doormat down.” But consensus feng shui is about making shit as easy as possible and not actually caring about the meaning behind actions.

Wayfarer: And so it is with the online witchy stuff. A lot of people repeating a lot of bad information until it becomes the only information. And you get shouted down and brigaded for suggesting otherwise.

Wayfarer: The new age equivalent is being told that you have too much dark energy and so on if you don’t agree with the consensus.

Wayfarer: But like, “don’t do curses because the threefold law…” like, lmao

Wayfarer: What threefold law

Wayfarer: Who is enforcing that?

Wayfarer: What is the mechanism for that?

Kate Embers: Yourself by believing in it

Nevyn: so don’t believe it and curse everyone!

Wayfarer: I’d even think that’s dicey, frankly. Karma is a thing but not like that. So anyhow yeah I think there’s a lot of garbage out there and it takes some discernment to get through.

Wayfarer: And there’s a lot of garbage about psi stuff. I mean, constructs are great but they are also not the be all and end all, and definitely at a certain point the OEC lost track of the idea that you can actually do psychic stuff because everything was just about constructs that intentionally only worked on the astral so that validating anything was impossible.

Wayfarer: Hot take on constructs: they’re the psychic equivalent of candle magic, and not even good candle magic, but casual candle magic like just kinda lighting a candle and not even bothering to put together a petition paper.

Kate Embers: The consensus I’ve seen in witchcraft, or rather what I witnessed, was along other lines. Maybe just what I was personally interested in at that time. Energy and the astral exist, nature is alive, spirits exist, the elements exist, certain items have certain properties, empathy, telepathy, energy can carry memory, and so forth. Maybe some more stuff. From there on it might get more difficult though. Especially regarding individual faith. Your random eclectic witch is gonna believe something different than a strictly celtic neopagan than some buddhist person than some witch who is a witch but is mostly dabbling in early 20th century British occultism.

Wayfarer: If you want physical effects in the physical world, a good idea is to do physical things in the physical world and not just do a construct. If you want to imprint an object with something, it actually does in fact help to be able to touch the object, or at least to have a meaningful connection to the object.

Kate Embers: Yea but reciting a spell and lighting a candle is easier than actually investing work ^^

Kate Embers: Psychology plays a big role there of course.

Wayfarer: Less work, less results, it’s the onefold law lmao

Wayfarer: Similarly like, yeah, you can make a construct that will pulse-send a suggestion at someone. That will be less effective than pulse-sending it yourself. That, in turn, will be less effective than pulse-sending it while rigged up to the radionics box tuned with a personal effect.

Kate Embers: It gets a little bit more tricky if we assume that a person can employ energies that aren’t their own and that maybe that energy has a certain amount of will on its own.

Kate Embers: Drawing power from the moon and your deity and the elements and nature and so forth.

Kate Embers: But that then again is entering the realm of religious belief.

Wayfarer: It doesn’t get tricky, that’s all something to keep in mind but also the amount of energy in a construct is not the main determining factor of its power. People in the early 2000s would put substantial amounts of energy into things and get chumped by better targeting. A ton of energy in a construct does not make a good construct. Constructs can’t think or adapt and even really advanced highly programmed constructs can’t account for everything, or, if they can, lmao why are you spending that much time building contingencies into a construct, you’re losing the efficiency!

Kate Embers: Some witches believe that (certain) energies have will of their own. Energy of nature in particular.

Wayfarer: I maintain constructs are good for simple things like cleaning rooms energetically, basic perimeter defenses like shields/wards, and so on, and really low investment, low yield for for example “influencing someone to do something.” I’m not saying don’t put the “buy some stuff” construct in your store, that’s a great idea, but I also wouldn’t count on it alone.

Wayfarer: Yeah of course, there’s a degree of animism to that. And at that point you’re kind of working with a spirit, you’re somewhat beyond a “construct” per se.

Rainsong: They’re also good for juggling and throwing at the wall when bored

Wayfarer: Like I can ask a familiar spirit to make or maintain a construct for me to influence someone, but from a strictly psionic perspective I’m now well outside the normal bounds, you know?

Rainsong: Seattle-Tacoma has sometimes ended up a little messy with long delays….

Kate Embers: It’s actually quite funny walking around the world and seeing traces of energy in places. What always makes me chuckle is fearful energy in auditoriums. But can be anything really.

Chirotractor: At that point your basically just imahining things though

Wayfarer: Reiki is a good example of an energy that has a will to do something, because it’s Medicine Buddha energy and so it wants to heal stuff and knows what to do with it. In the course, we’ll jailbreak reiki stuff, it’ll be very fun. Making a construct that lets a person channel reiki is pretty trivial. I would still personally rather tether that to a physical object just for durability purposes.

Kate Embers: Consciousness itself is also a highly interesting topic and not a philosophical debate I’m able to properly have right now beyond some educated guessing.

Wayfarer: Discord’s hot new “mouse over for reactions” UI is some hot garbage, tell you wot

PatchesTheCoydog: It’s possible to implement some variant of genuinely adaptive programming. Also lots of things that can be done with constructs depending on how do it and how exactly defining a construct(like, “everything is a construct” is a perfectly valid magical paradigm, arguably it’s a valid interpretation of Memphis theology with Ptah though that tact goes beyond typical construct stuff). “Artificial elementals” and complex servitor work is thing that exists too though not always with purely psychic constructs. Seems bit unfairly dunking on what is arguably a large area of magical work(your astral form mentioned above is from certain perspective a construct even depending as said on how broadly defining construct concept) based on using really rigid forms of programming and stability issues if don’t include some things like self-maintenance stuff(which can be helped as pointed out by giving a construct a ‘house’ but not only way and it’s still construct work).

Wayfarer: The astral form up above is absolutely a construct.

Wayfarer: I’m dunking on them as a be all and end all solution to all problems, because they aren’t that.

PatchesTheCoydog: Not the best one at least but nothing is that and going into different programming approaches and the like you can I think get a lot more versatility than is implied by some of your statements but… I love constructs and adaptive construct swarm stuff is one of my personal interests so shrugs

PatchesTheCoydog: Biased and fully admit the “not the absolute best solution to everything” thing.

Wayfarer: For example, you can absolutely make very sophisticated constructs like artificial elementals and even make constructs that are extremely resilient and difficult to dissipate long after the creator dies, but the effort put into making such constructs durable takes away from the energy being put towards serving the actual purpose, and often puts it well beyond the cost to performance ratio that makes sense. For the same effort you often can do a lot of other things that will be more effective.

Wayfarer: Yeah I’ve got no problem with it. I teach people to use constructs. I generally like to teach simple constructs with observable results that you don’t have to guess at if they’re there, at least at first, and you move onto more sophisticated stuff. I mean shit, my book has a whole appendix on working with elemental energies and their application in constructs, and I really like playing with the wuxing elements and their dynamics versus alchemical elements, for example, in construct work.

Wayfarer: But “make a construct to pulse send” is gonna get you very rapidly into the wrong side of the “amount of work necessary to accomplish the task” ratio. And the fundamental problem of constructs is fragility. You can have mentally operational constructs with a lot of resilience because they exist in the mind-space and so aren’t easily influenced by the outside world, but constructs that do a thing in the world are subject to being dissipated by something as simple as “someone walking through it”

Wayfarer: And of course you can do a lot of work to make them more resilient, but again, is that worth it? Sometimes, yeah, absolutely. Normally? Nah.

Wayfarer: Like for a shield, field, ward, or something meant to stay in a place and do a function, yeah it’s absolutely worth it to reinforce it so that it can endure being walked through.

Wayfarer: Provided it actually does its purpose, as well. I see a lot of people making shields that don’t do anything but are just there, not doing anything, but really stably.

Wayfarer: I’m sure @Nevyn can testify to the same, lmao

Nevyn: Yup

PatchesTheCoydog: Depends on what you’re going for. Like said, one of my ‘things’ is adaptive swarms of constructs that find a way to perform a task which is easy thing to fall into “of course everything is a nail, look at my love hammer” mindset regarding. Like, implementing krill swarm optimization algorithms in constructs and the like is fun and can get you some interesting results. One of my projects GOING to start is making a full ward system based on this that generally gets rid of negative conditions in life and promotes positive as an aid to and automatic upkeep to some of the intensive uncrossing type work been doing(and on the general original topic-even if you’re NOT explicitly cursed, one thing anyone who has been through anything relevant to abusive dynamics especially if magic stuff is involved is probably work to break up crossed conditions in some form)/to keep the b-d shit from affecting too much(though not directly influencing anyone, in fact “influence others directly as least as possible” is among optimization goals will be implementing). Will possibly bind into sigil for added stability as well.

PatchesTheCoydog: Feel free to say sound incredibly stupid or whatever.

Rainsong: You know enough to decide on what you’re doing and figure out any obvious bits to mitigate before making a swarm.

Rainsong: As for the feng shui bit, two of our doors face gardens, and the other one (to access the deck) faces the pond, a creek, some woods, and an ocean inlet

Kate Embers: Must be pretty ^^

Rainsong: Yea, it is. We were very lucky to get it

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