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Today’s post is about the algorithm I created to speed up yesterday’s enlightenment technique. (If you haven’t read that post, read it before this one.)
Here’s the idea: I have roughly 100 semi-conscious areas to integrate. Doing each one is not too difficult, but doing all 100 will take a while. So, instead of consciously stepping through the process 100 times, I want to create a recipe, tell my mental muscles what to do, and let them do integrate those areas faster than my conscious mind can handle. As a computer programmer, I call this recipe an “algorithm.”
Also: This is technical, advanced magick. If that’s not your thing, come back tomorrow to read about how it feels to use this technique, and how it changed my thought patterns.
Algorithms and Magick
Algorithms are detailed instructions. They step you through a task, telling you what to do at each step.
Take cooking, for example. If a recipe says, “Stir at 1 rotation per second for 2 minutes, then pour into a 2x8x8 pan and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes,” that’s an algorithm. It’s detailed, and you can follow the instructions precisely. If it says, “Stir until ready, then bake until golden brown,” that’s not an algorithm. It leaves a ton of decisions to the chef, and as someone terrible in the kitchen, I’d surely end up with lumpy brownies, burned on the outside and runny on the inside.
My background is in computer science, so I’m good with algorithms. For years, those skills seemed fairly useless for magick, because there’s no need for automation when you always direct every step consciously. Then last year, I started reprogramming ethereal software, and developed better solutions by applying standard computer algorithms. Then I found that, by awakening my mental muscles more thoroughly, they can learn algorithms quickly and execute them faster than I can consciously track the action. And so, in the past couple of years, my computer background has become fairly useful. Sometimes, spirits even ask for help to improve their procedures, too.
Automating the Integration
Yesterday, I told you about a technique with an incredibly vague step 3:
Once all those paths are active, you update all those semi-conscious areas to be consistent with one another. Yes, this step is quite vague. It was actually his area of focus when we talked. He gave me a few pieces of advice:
- Your conscious mind should stay mostly the same.
- Semi-conscious areas that are already integrated with your conscious mind should stay mostly unchanged as you update other areas.
- If an area won’t integrate easily, use conscious reasoning to resolve the conflict (and possibly get help from a mentor).
The problem is, how do you know where to start? Which of the 100-or-so semi-conscious areas should you integrate first? How do you avoid painting yourself into a corner, where you’ve grabbed all the easy-to-integrate areas, and you’re just left with a bunch of hard-to-integrate ones? In all, his technique was closer to “Cook until golden brown” than “Cook at 300 for 20 minutes.”
I went through a few revisions, and ultimately came up with this algorithm. (For the computer scientists in the audience, it’s recursive, more or less.)
- Start with your conscious mind. Since we’re integrating all the areas with the conscious mind, we’ll consider the conscious mind to be integrated already when we start.
- Find all the semi-conscious areas that connect to the already-integrated part of your mind. (For the first iteration, this is simply the areas connecting directly to your conscious mind.)
- Integrate all of those areas, using the normal consciousness integration technique: Support your conscious mind, then integrate each area one at a time. Support semi-conscious areas that are already integrated, too, but support them slightly less than conscious mind. (The farther they are from conscious mind, the less support they get.)
- If two integrated areas are ever in conflict, stop and notify me. If any areas require significant changes to synchronize them with the rest of my mind, stop and notify me. (Neither problem came up when I ran my integration.)
- Now that you have more areas integrated, you have a larger “already-integrated part of your mind.” Repeat from step 2, finding the areas that connect to this larger “already-integrated part of your mind.”
- When you stop finding new areas to integrate, you’re done.
(I knew the algorithm would terminate because I’d already found all the areas I wanted to integrate, so I knew it was a finite, not-hugely-large amount.)
That’s the algorithm. You can follow each step, and if you do, you wind up with the desired result. No judgement calls along the way, just a concrete procedure.
I went to the mental muscle that does magick on thinking mind, stepped it through the algorithm, and told it to integrate everything. Now that it had an algorithm to follow, it ran faster than I could consciously watch. I became slightly tired and distracted, so I couldn’t work, but I was able to reply to emails and watch a movie. Once I created the algorithm, running the integration only took a few hours.
Later, we also used the algorithm in another technique to consciously trigger updates to your mind. It worked well there, too. (I’ll tell you about that coming up.)
And, most excitingly for me, the ascended spirit liked the algorithm and added it to his official technique when he teaches it.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some of the changes I’ve noticed in my own thinking as a result of this work.Other posts in this series:
- Enlightenment and Modern Psychology (August 13, 2012)
- Direct Magick for Enlightenment (July 30, 2012)
- Western-Secular-Style Enlightenment (July 30, 2012)
- My Main Technique for Enlightenment (August 1, 2012)
- Enlightenment and Ascention (August 2, 2012)
- From Psychology to Enlightenment (August 3, 2012)
- Enlightenment: A Systematic Model (August 4, 2012)
- An Advanced Technique for Enlightenment (August 6, 2012)
- Algorithms for Consciousness Integration (August 7, 2012)
- Why Enlightenment Improves Your Magick (August 10, 2012)
- 3 Results from the Enlightenment Technique (August 8, 2012)
- Rewiring Unconscious Thoughts (August 9, 2012)
One of the things you’ll realize after working with this sort of method is that it’s simpler than you make it sound here. The reason? As it turns out, there are only three main functional areas of your mind that you need to integrate, and one of these is the “thinking system” that is pretty much your “conscious mind” by definition. The other two are the “feeling system” that processes emotions and the “conditioning system” that processes classical and operant conditioning loops. All of this has been confirmed by modern neuroscience research. So in order to integrate the mind as a whole you have six main connections to work with (because they run both ways): thinking-feeling, feeling-thinking, thinking-conditioning, conditioning-thinking, feeling-conditioning, and conditioning-feeling. When you break it down like that you’ll find that the whole thing generalizes and simplifies.
One of the key things to remember about the systems is that while you can use magick to personify portions of these systems and interact with them, this is a completely artificial technique – that is, outside the realm of the conscious mind the systems don’t naturally have goals or thoughts or anything resembling a coherent mind unless your thinking system consciously organizes them. They essentially correspond to older and more primitive areas of the brain that don’t really “think” in a meaningful way. This finding is radically different than what the psychoanalytic school contends, but unlike psychoanalysis it’s supported by actual scientific research. I’ve written about that a number of times on my blog, and I think it needs to be taken into account by any method that purports to integrate the personality.
You’re definitely on the right track here, though, especially for beginning students. If, when you do magick, the three systems align and work together instead of hindering each other you get much better practical results, and enlightenment or metanoia or gnosis or whatever you want to call it pretty much requires a high degree of coherence between them. First you integrate, then you move on to expansion.
I don’t know about that. Not disagreeing with the neuroscience, but I’m not sure it directly translates to magick techniques. In particular, I’d guess that the size of the areas I’m integrating are smaller than the 3 regions you’re talking about. That is, my regions are the building blocks of your regions. Just speculation, since my fMRI budget hasn’t come in yet :) but it’s my best guess.
Can you tell us about the magick you’ve done in this regard, or the techniques you’ve come up with based on this 3-areas model?
First off, you remember this, right? You told me that you enjoyed it in the comments, and it’s quite a bit longer than anything I would want to write as a comment.
To elaborate in relation to your post here, it’s not that there are three individual items that you need to integrate, but rather three classes of items. The conditioning system runs many different loops based on your past experience, but I’ve found that they all can be dealt with roughly similarly. So, in effect, you need two basic algorithms. In fact, I would argue that you really only need one. The main portion of the mind that behaves anything like “the unconscious” of psychoanalysis is the conditioning system. From moment to moment you’re aware of what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling all the time – all you have to do there is train yourself to pay attention by practicing meditation and so forth, and the key to getting those systems to work together is no more difficult than “trusting your instincts” or whatever similar common-sense dictum you prefer.
Most of the mental turmoil we experience and work to overcome as magical practitioners is based on the conditioning system firing in a maladaptive way. The conditioning system is completely unintelligent – a human acquires conditioning just like a rat or even a sea slug. Behaviorists have identified a handful of basic rules that govern how it works and it is no smarter than a simple computer. What Freud identified as “childhood trauma” is more properly childhood conditioning – if a certain behavior has been reinforced for whatever reason, the conditioning system will pressure you to replicate it in any similar situation. Since our lives change as we get older, conditioned behaviors from our youth often wind up causing problems when we act on them as adults.
The key to reconditioning a behavior is as follows: (1) place yourself in a situation that activates a conditioning loop, (2) pay attention to the “pressure” to perform the conditioned action as it builds, (3) initiate the behavior you want the loop to evoke in the future, and (4) immediately reinforce the new behavior. It won’t necessarily “take” the first time, because conditioning loops are persistant. If you keep at it, though, it’s remarkably effective. If I understand what you’re doing here properly, I imagine that you could put together some sort of a magical algorithm along these lines that would work to automatically undo conditioning loops as they arise in the course of daily life based on (2), (3), and (4) with (1) corresponding to your moment-to-moment situation. At least, as a fellow programmer that’s how I would code it on a computer.
I can’t say that I’ve experimented with that exact idea – I tend to take the “direct magick” route and work through those four steps deliberately and mindfully. But if you could come up with an automatic way of doing it that genuinely works I imagine it might be able to go faster without direct conscious intervention, as it sounds like you’re looking at trying to do for integrating the areas described in the post.
Thanks, Ananael. This lead to the last post in the series, here: https://magickofthought.com/2012/08/enlightenment-and-modern-psychology/