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Here are the top comments of the past couple of weeks. Again, I’m focusing on comments that could almost be their own blog posts. And there were a lot to choose from, so I apologize if I missed yours. Enjoy.
Remember my post about how, if we lived 300 years ago and had to do physical labor every day, we wouldn’t have enough energy left over to learn magick? Simon (a new commenter) demolished my logic. I have never been so soundly refuted. You should all read it.
In my series on the Enochian spirits, Yvonne asked how talking to spirits feels, and what changes when you get the angelic visions they can project. I considered answering in a post, but instead answered in this comment.
Reviewing the past couple weeks’ comments, I also revisited the “talking to trees” series. I didn’t do a great job on explaining my reasoning in that series, and while it wasn’t fun to revisit, it was good for me as a writer to see where I need to improve. I think Simon hit the nail on the head with his comment here. Also, I want to highlight a discussion about the different versions of Occam’s Razor I had with Andrew — this isn’t the basics, this is for people already familiar with the concept.
And, since one of the joys of blogging is doing things better the second time, here’s a better discussion of where I am with tree spirits:
Before doing the testing, I more-or-less believed in tree spirits, because of two pieces of evidence: My own experiences as a teen, and the fact that shamen widely believe something along those lines. It wasn’t a belief I acted on, so I didn’t examine it that closely, but I expected to find spirits when I did the testing — I was wondering what type of spirit it was, not whether I’d find one or not.
Are there other reasons to believe in tree spirits? Maybe. This isn’t really my field, so my not knowing any other reasons doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
When I did the testing, I saw my error as a teen. And I saw how others could easily make the same error, especially if they live in a culture where people commonly talk about spirits in trees, fires, animals and the like. In other words, the testing broke both of my reasons for believing in tree spirits.
The testing also added one piece of evidence against tree spirits: I’m generally good at detecting spirits and their connections to physical objects, and I went looking for them but found zero tree spirits. Not definitive evidence, but enough to satisfy my curiosity. Could some tree somewhere have a spirit? Sure. But if it were common, I’d expect to have found one in 10 attempts across 4 cities on 2 continents.
For me, all of that was one logical step. I went from surprised (at not seeing a spirit) to revising my models in basically one breath, then did some more testing to confirm the observations, then posted. And like most people, I unconsciously assumed other people would think the same way I do, and reach the same conclusions in the same number of steps. For me, that’s one of the hardest things about writing: Understanding where my readers have different backgrounds, and where you need smaller steps to follow a path. It’s a skill I’m learning, but it’s hard.
OK, enough introspection for today. Coming up: An overview of the technique I used last month to become psychic, and more chapters of my book. Thanks for reading.Other posts in this series:
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (June 2) (June 2, 2012)
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (May 6) (May 6, 2012)
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (July 13) (July 13, 2012)
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (June 16) (June 16, 2012)
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (May 20) (May 20, 2012)
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (April 23) (April 23, 2012)
- Weekly Comments Round-Up (June 30) (June 30, 2012)