Conclusion: Does Doubt Affect Manifesting?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

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Wow, that turned into a much longer series than I’d expected. Thanks for the great questions, everyone. At this point, I think we need a summary:

Doubt can color your intent, creating a different set of concepts in your mind for the ethereal software to read. If this happens, your doubt will probably affect your manifesting.

But if you can send unemotional instructions to the ethereal software, your doubt shouldn’t matter. And there are techniques for doing this.

One broader item on doubt: If you doubt that magick is real at all, this may interfere with your overall mental posture and prevent you from engaging the mental muscles you need to make magick work. But that’s a whole different post. I just want to mention that, in this series, I was discussing doubt at a particular manifesting outcome, not doubt in your general ability to contact ethereal software and send it messages.

Coming up: A series on how to actually learn these communication techniques I’ve been discussing. Also, more answers to your questions, an organized outline of my book, and a few other goodies. Thanks for reading.

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Making Manifesting Work For You

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

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Three things to do to make my manifesting techniques work for you.

Amonjin asks:

How do you view the language we use in terms to manifestation? Also is it universal like C++ or is the language unique to each practitioner? I would think it’s unique but I curious about your experiences.

I think there are two questions here:

  • If you and I both send the same word, how similar are our actual messages?
  • Will the command I use for manifesting work for you?

Short answer: Similar but not identical, and yes. Here are the long answers.

Are Our Messages Similar?

Communication is actually about concepts, not words. You wouldn’t have a problem sending the concept of “computer” to a modern Frenchman, but it would be incredibly difficult to send it to someone from the 1700s.

So, for concrete nouns and verbs, our words are pretty similar. For abstract ideas, they’re less similar — your idea of “fairness” might be slightly different than mine — but close enough to figure out basically what they sent. (Your “fairness” might get translated to “justice” in my head, but we could still have a conversation.) As long as our concepts are close enough that we could talk in person, the communication will basically work.

Where we run into trouble is when one person uses concepts that the other doesn’t know. For example, when I say “ethereal software,” I have a lot of experiences and ideas associated with that concept. For most of you, it’s probably something abstract, something you’ve discussed with me and maybe experienced yourself as a user, but not something you’ve programmed, hacked, built, etc. In other words, our experiences of the concept are pretty far apart. As a result, we might have trouble communicating “ethereal software” to one another.

I run into this all the time when I train with spirits. I’ll ask an expert at energy healing to explain what he’s doing, and he’ll make some distinction I haven’t seen before, and I won’t be able to read his concepts. I can feel the concept he sent, and feel as my mind is unable to grasp it, so I know what’s going on. I’ll ask him to explain it to me in smaller concepts, so I can understand the idea he’s trying to communicate, and build that concept in my mind. Once I understand the concept once, I’ll then be able to receive his message the next time. But I need that explanation. Just like you wouldn’t expect to divine the meaning of an unfamiliar word you saw written down, you need to be walked through the unfamiliar concept before you can understand it.

How does this apply to manifesting? If the ethereal software doesn’t understand something from the modern world, like email or cars, it won’t receive your question properly. At least, that’s what I found.

A few months ago, I was getting terrible manifesting results when asking about car maintenance. It turned out, the ethereal software didn’t understand my concept of “car.” Instead, it was hearing a similar, simpler concept, then answering that question it thought I asked. Not good.

Tip: Whenever you start manifesting about a new topic, verify that you’re getting accurate advice before you rely on the information you get.

I fixed the manifesting results in two ways:

  • Explained my concept of car, both in terms of parts (engine, tires, etc) and function (moves me around), so the ethereal software understood my question.
  • Changed a setting on the ethereal software so that, if it doesn’t understand a concept I send, it will ask me rather than using its best guess. Slightly slower, but I’m getting better results.

So, to answer Amonjin’s question: As long as our concepts are basically the same, our messages should be basically the same. But if one of us has a concept the other doesn’t, or knows that concept much more intimately, we’ll have some extra work to communicate it.

Will My Commands Work For You?

Yes, as long as two things are true:

  • The words make intuitive sense to you. Remember, you’re sending concepts, so you need to understand each word. Just saying a word you don’t understand doesn’t get you anywhere.
  • Your ethereal software is programmed like mine, and you have the same level of permissions with it that I do. This is the sticky wicket.

How similar is your ethereal software to mine? I don’t know. I just haven’t done a broad survey of them. I think most are similar for most situations, but I really don’t know.

But I’d expect something in the ballpark of my command to work for you. It might take a few tweaks to the syntax of the command, but really, making good commands is just a matter of precisely explaining what you want. So even if the exact command doesn’t work, seeing what I do in general should give you an idea of how to precisely phrase your requests.

To make it all work, though, you’ll need to learn how to send messages precisely and unemotionally. That’s coming up.

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Advanced Ideas in Communication

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

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This is the least sexy title I’ve given an article in a long time. I did it on purpose. Today, I just want to talk to my long-time readers and true fans, those of you willing to wrestle with hard ideas to go somewhere cool with me.

Last time I talked about communicating with words rather than intents, I oversimplified my magick. I thought it was just the normal simplifying everyone does when they explain an idea, but after talking with Ananael and writing this article, I’m realizing it truly was oversimplifying. Today I want to fix that, but it’s going to take some effort on both our parts to do it. Thus, the unsexy title.

On my post about doubt and manifesting, Ananael left some really excellent questions about manifesting and ethereal software. I’m going to answer them one at a time.

Here are two other posts to help new readers get up to speed on this topic. Note: The term “system” is an old synonym for what I now call “ethereal software.”

Ananael says:

The thing is, doubt does effect manifestation. It shows up in my own experiments and those of every other magician I’ve ever spoken with on the subject, with the possible exception of you.

Thank you for your honesty. It helps me know where I’m not connecting.

This is one of the things I’ve been trying to explain, though I haven’t quite gotten there. Direct magick isn’t just a different way of looking at the same things. It’s about seeing more of magick’s moving parts than other styles, and using those extra parts to solve problems that other styles simply cannot. I’m not at all surprised that other mages, working without the parts I use and the techniques I’ve developed, cannot produce the same results. But I feel pompous and arrogant saying so, and I probably won’t be this blunt in general.

Part of it is, a bold claim like that requires substantial evidence, and I simply haven’t written enough case studies yet to expect anyone to jump on board yet. That’s one of my projects for this year.

Ananael says:

That’s one of the things that makes me somewhat skeptical about your “ethereal software” model, because I agree that the way you formulate it implies that doubt should be a non-factor.

Whether doubt matters depends on what you send to the ethereal software. See, the transmission is imperfect, particularly if the software has to handle 100% of the communication — and unless you are doing specific techniques I’ll write about soon, that’s the default. If it’s reading your mind, it will pick up the gist of the entire contents, but not the details. It will receive doubt mixed with your goal, rather than a complex sentence like “I’m doubting this will work but I really want you to ignore that doubt.”

Also, doubt about magick or manifesting in general may interfere with your mental posture, preventing you from properly engaging your mental muscles. In this post, I’m talking about doubting your ability to do this specific manifesting, not magick or manifesting in general.

Some of my models are conjecture, and some are based on personal experience. This one is based on personal experience. As I learned to help spirits and ethereal software by doing some steps of the communication myself, I’ve seen how imprecise the messages were. One of my exercises was to have a spirit read my thoughts and then repeat them back to me. Now, this is tricky, because you know what the answer should be, so you can very easily just hear what you know you should be receiving. But if you quiet your thoughts and really listen to the message from the spirit, you can see how the precision of what they read improves as you handle more of the communication, and how bad it is when they handle everything.

So, in summary: By default, ethereal software will handle 100% of the communication, which means it imprecisely picks up the entire contents of your mind, including doubts and anger and other things you didn’t intend to send.

Does that help clarify why doubt matters, even with ethereal software reading your intent?

Ananael says:

Now as for your explanation that the ethereal software can read your mental state and somehow incorporates it into your magick regardless of your stated intent, doesn’t that fly completely in the face of your idea that you should program ethereal software with words? If the software is reading your mind anyway and incorporating your thoughts into whatever it’s manifesting, it would seem to me that the precision of your language would be pointless in terms of the end result. Or am I missing something in your explanation?

This is that oversimplification I talked about. Here’s the complex version.

When I talked about communicating in words, I wasn’t referring to the practice of writing down your intent, or speaking your goals out loud. I was talking about the difference between focusing on your overall intent — which forces the ethereal software to read that overall intent all at once — vs focusing on one concept at a time, and sending the message one concept at a time, as just the intellectual concept, separate from any emotions. (The words, rather than the emotion or overall intent).

“Concept” is a vague word, so I talked about communicating in words. But I think that was misleading, because the significant part is not words vs images vs some other way of thinking. The significant part is sending one concept to time vs sending the whole intent all at once, and controlling the message to remove unhelpful emotions. Even if you’ve written down your intent, unless you’re doing specific magick techniques to step through the message as you communicate, you’re probably relying on the ethereal software to handle 100% of the communication, and you wind up sending the message as a whole, emotions and all.

Let me explain the emotional connotations a bit. Just like a spoken word carries an emotional tone and facial expression in addition to the actual word you speak, the concept you send carries the state of your mind, including the signatures of the parts that feel emotions. When I receive a message from a spirit, I can tell whether they’re distracted, excited to hear from me, or worried about something, based just on how they say hello. I feel their emotion and mental state when I read their message, like a tone of voice in my mind. (I only noticed these details of the communication when I started handling more of the communication. I couldn’t receive the emotions when the spirit was handling 100% of the communication.)

So, if you send the concept “make me successful,” along with the emotion of doubting that you will be successful, the ethereal software will pick that up. But, if you send one concept at that time (“make me” “successful”), you can focus on that one concept and control what emotions get attached to it. For manifesting, I prefer sending flat, unemotional words. There is a technique to doing that, too, that goes beyond breaking your message into individual concepts. But sending individual concepts leads to controlling which parts of your mind get included in the message, which leads to controlling the emotions attached to the method. So it’s at least three steps removed from the normal communication that ethereal software does by default.

Having written that, I see that it’s quite complicated. I forget that sometimes. I’ll write more about how to learn these techniques as I write the book. Thanks for reading all this and helping me figure out how to explain it.

At this point, let me ask: Does this help clarify what I’m talking about? Do you see why I can use these techniques to get results that other mages don’t get? Am I on the right track in explaining all this? Thanks.

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Could Doubt be an Excuse?

Friday, March 30th, 2012

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Wednesday, I discussed how doubt affects your manifesting. But, to be honest, that’s all speculation. I don’t have experience with doubt affecting my manifesting, because I always use that other technique that’s unaffected by doubt. Is it possible the conventional wisdom is wrong, and doubt really doesn’t affect manifesting?

I don’t think so. In particular, Ananael says he’s collected data, and I believe him. But part of exploring magick is learning to be honest with yourself about what you know vs what you simply believe, and part of that is learning to generate alternative hypotheses.

So, today: What if doubt doesn’t affect manifesting? How would we get so many practitioners warning you to eliminate doubt, anger, and other thoughts from your mind?

To answer that, let me talk about an interesting post on Ananael’s blog, discussing the idea that magick can backfire:

I’m not a big believer in the idea that if you do a spell wrong, the result is some sort of “backfire” or “slingshot effect” or whatever it is folks feel like calling it on any particular day. In my experience the reality is that magick either works or it doesn’t, and when you make a mistake the most likely outcome is that nothing at all happens.

Here’s my take on it: By counting “I got the opposite of what I wanted” as evidence that magick is real, you can count up a lot more evidence that magick is real. Which is pleasant, particularly for beginners wanting reassurance that the art they’re learning actually, you know, exists.  I can see how that idea would catch on.

Similarly, blaming doubt might have started as a polite way of excusing failures: “It’s not that you haven’t learned to do manifesting effectively, it’s just that your doubt fouled up your otherwise-perfectly-good magick.” Then the idea catches on and becomes part of the collective wisdom we all repeat.

Personally, I think it’s more likely that doubt really does affect manifesting, particularly given Ananael’s testing. But not 100% certain. And I want to be honest with you, dear reader, about what I know vs what I simply believe, and to show you alternative hypotheses, so you can make up your own mind. Ultimately, I hope you learn to generate your own alternative hypotheses whenever a teacher makes a claim, so you’re always making up your own mind, even when you’re not being led to do it.

Tomorrow: Back to the main thread of this series, with an introduction to the technique I use that I know (though experience) works regardless of doubt.

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How Doubt Affects Manifesting

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

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Yvonne asks:

Question: is it best to remove any and all doubt when doing the manifesting? Does doubt sully the pure communication, or should one acknowledge doubt so as shrug to say, “screw it, I am in your hands.” I am asking about the optimal attitude for one to take with your technique.

The answer depends on how you do manifesting. So, let’s discuss how manifesting works, and explore some techniques.

Manifesting is fundamentally about sending instructions to ethereal software. The software then acts on those instructions to influence events. The main technique in manifesting is the method for sending your instructions. And, depending on which method you use, your doubts might affect the results you get, or might not.

Today, I’m going to explain how doubt affects manifesting in a normal, default technique. Tomorrow, we’ll take a detour and explore an alternate hypothesis — that maybe doubt doesn’t affect manifesting at all. Friday, we’ll return to magick techniques and discuss the method I use for manifesting, which I know from experience works regardless of doubt.

How Manifesting Works

Here’s Yvonne’s manifesting technique, from her blog:

[…] simply fuse our emotions with energy, then give the whole bundle form according to one’s intention. This is the simplest kind of New Age magick. First you get into the spiritual body (use the theta wave if you meditate), fuse your thought/intent with emotion (visualize it) then, pow – push that puppy out!

You can get fancier, with runes and candles and chants. That’s where most mages seem to focus: On the physical actions and conscious thoughts you have as you send out your intent. But regardless of those actions and thoughts, most of the magical action involves two things:

  • Which ethereal software you use, since different software will influence events in different ways.
  • How the ethereal software reads the instructions from your thoughts.

Once the ethereal software has your instructions, it handles the details. There is actually a lot you can do to influence how it does that, ranging from changing your phrasing, to changing your settings and preferences stored in the ethereal software, to using different ethereal software. But if you’re interested in doubt, you really want to focus on how the ethereal software reads your thoughts.

By default, most software will connect to your mind, read all of your thoughts, and try to figure out what you want. If you’re conflicted, or doubtful, or angry, or any number of other things that would influence how you, in this moment, would act on your intent, chances are* the ethereal software will pick that up, and include it as part of the magick you were asking for. Whether you just send your intent or add runes or rituals, the ethereal software will read your mind in essentially the same way.

*Saying “Chances are” = “This is speculation.” It’s possible that some software is programmed to distinguish between conscious and unconscious desires, and filter out unintended instructions.

Ona on A Little Death blog has a great description of how this might work:

Say, for example, that you want to find an apartment. Your will, cleanly stated, is to have a great apartment for a great price in the right location. If you try to do a magickal working for this purpose though, it is often the case that that your simple will is colored by endless thoughts such as: “I hope this works. I really wish I could find an apartment soon. I want to have an apartment in this neighborhood.” Hoping and wishing become part of the magickal intention and the result ends up being that indeed, you wish, you hope and you want, but no apartment comes into your hands.

This problem isn’t inherent to manifesting, though. It’s caused by relying on the ethereal software to handle 100% of the communication, which requires it to sort through all the different ideas in your mind to figure out what you really want. If, instead, you handle some of the magical communication yourself, you can select the thoughts that go to the ethereal software, and ensure that it only acts on the instructions you intend. We’ll discuss that Friday.

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