Occam’s Razor and Remote Viewing

by Mike Sententia on January 3, 2014

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Remote viewing, according to a friend, is when you project your spirit into another room, and see what’s there. Over dinner, we discussed how this might function. My goal was to get her thinking about the underlying mechanics of magick, since you may have noticed, I think about them quite a bit.

First, here’s how remote viewing probably works: Psychic intuitions enter the person’s mind from some psychic ethereal software, similar to what I use for my own manifesting and psychic work. The person imagines whatever room they’re “projecting” into, and lets that psychic info guide their imagination.

Why do I think that’s what’s happening? Well, it fully explains the phenomenon using only parts of magick already in our model. That is, it doesn’t introduce anything new. That’s the proper form of Occam’s Razor: Not introducing new rules or building blocks into our understanding of the universe.

What if you want to take a literal approach? For example, when I asked my friend how she thought it worked, she said, “I go into trance, and my spirit leaves my body and wanders around.” And I see the appeal of that explanation: It’s easy to imagine a translucent version of you climbing out of your body, walking around, then re-entering your body again. We’ve all seen that special effect on TV. Sounds simple.

But let’s drill down. If you were building one of those, what would you need?

The spirit is a sentient version of you that exists separate from your brain, that’s capable of remembering goals, and carrying observations back into your brain. Not impossible, but not exactly simple.

This spirit isn’t visible — if it were, we’d have photos of them — so it doesn’t interact with light. Which means it cannot see anything with its “eyes.” So, it needs some non-photon-based way of looking around. Even if I could figure out how to do that, why would anything “look” like it looks normally? How could the “memories” of being in that room get the wallpaper the right color?

(Also, the spirit doesn’t interact with physical objects — again, we’d have photographs of a spatula floating if it did — but it needs to be able to move around, which seems rather difficult if its legs don’t interact with the floor or encounter friction. This one didn’t even occur to me during the conversation, though.)

Your spirit then needs to integrate its memories back into your brain once it reconnects with your brain. That’s… well, rather complicated. Again, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

This is what happens when you go from the special effects version of magick to the real how-do-you-build-that version: Things that are easy to imagine wind up being really complex to build.

That’s the essence of Occam’s Razor: Asking which is more likely, that this phenomenon is built out of parts we already believe exist, or that this phenomenon is built out of entirely new parts, each complex and difficult to build.

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