Posts Tagged ‘Models’

What I Mean By “Energy”

Friday, July 26th, 2013

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John asks:

I’m curious about something. It’s something that really bugged me about the Energy + Spirit Model before I moved on to the Psychological + Information Model I currently use.

I want to know; what are the properties of Subtle Energy?

I always heard buzz-words like “frequency”, “vibration”, “power” and so forth. But I never really heard a consistent, reliable explanation of what those properties mean, how they affect each other, how they interact with the physical world, etc.

Good question.

When I talk about “energy,” I mean, “That thing that makes you feel tingles.” Yes, that’s not a tight definition, but hopefully it gives you a basic idea what I’m talking about.

Now, John had asked this before my previous post, when I discussed how I don’t follow any of the four standard models. I think he was probably thrown by the Energy Model of magick, which basically says, “Build energy, imbue it with your intent, and send it out to make that intent happen.” I can see where this would be confusing: Sometimes, energy is presented as a simple thing that just makes you feel tingles, and other times, energy becomes this complex, more-or-less intelligent thing that takes broad instructions like “Help me find a good job.” It’s almost like they’re looking at two separate phenomena, and calling both of them “energy.”

In fact, that’s my best guess: To me, it sounds like the Energy Model is describing some things to think about when you talk to ethereal software. You build energy (the simple thing that makes you feel tingles) to get into a magickal frame of mind, then focus on sending your intent to ethereal software (which is what handles complex instructions like “help me find a job”). But the Energy Model doesn’t have a concept for “ethereal software,” so its practitioners can’t think about sending their intent to the software. So instead, they focus on the energy, and their unconscious mind fills in the gaps.)

When I talk about “energy,” I only mean the simple thing that makes you feel tingles. As far as I know, it has two properties: Signature and pressure. (You can also talk about quantity or location of energy, but those aren’t exactly properties of the energy itself.)

The first property is signature. That’s the type of energy. If you want to reduce inflamation in tendons, you need the right signature to do that.

Signature is intricate: There are many signatures, with subtle differences between them. So, you can talk about one signature for tendon inflammation, and a different signature for muscle inflammation.

Signature is not intellectually complex. It can trigger complex actions, like making nerves more or less sensitive (useful for erotic energy and energy healing), but there’s no signature for “Find me a job” or “Make my love life successful.” Complex instructions like that are concepts that human brains and ethereal software can understand. They’re not signatures of energy.

(Well, communication is implemented with energy. As your brain thinks the message, it goes through different signatures. You can capture and transmit those signatures, and if the software or mage or spirit who receives the signatures knows what to do, they can read your message. It’s similar to turning voice into electrical signals, which the right equipment can interpret — electricity carries the message, but we wouldn’t say the electricity “knows” what the person wants, and we wouldn’t say the energy “knows” what message it holds or how to act on it.)

Energy’s seciond property is pressure: How much will the energy affect structures it comes into contact with? Will it activate it a little, or a lot? How much will it shift the structure’s signature to match the energy’s signature? You can think of it like temperature: How hot is the energy, and how much will it heat the things around it?

That’s basically it. More advanced direct magick adds some details to signature: How there are multiple scales of signature, and how, no matter what scale you look at, signatures basically look the same — that is, signatures are fractal. I also make a distinction between energy and activation: Energy is like hot water, and activation is like heat: Not something you can hold in a cup, but rather, a property of energy or structure that makes it active. But, if you just want the basics, energy has a signature, which determines which structures it interacts with, and it has pressure, which determines how strongly it interacts with them.

What about “frequency” and “vibration”? They usually mean “type of energy,” so I figure those terms correspond to the same phenomenon I call “signature.”

Got a question? Leave a comment or send me an email.

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My Take on the 4 Standard Models of Magick

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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This post is about the “Four Standard Models of Magick,” and how they relate to direct magick. I used to think of those models as attempts to describe an underlying mechanism of magick, and found them rather incomplete. But lately, I’ve come to think of them as methods of communicating with your unconscious, which seems useful. We’ll get into all that soon.

You’ve probably heard of the four standard models before: Spirit, energy, psychological and information. You can use any of those models and get decent results, and the idea is to categorize the range of ways people explain magick. They’re popular with the chaos magick crowd — temporarily believe this or that model to make your magick work.

When I think of them as attempts to explain the underlying mechanism of magick, they felt rather incomplete. Sure, I use spirits and energy and my mind and information, but (1) you need all of them to really describe the inner-workings of magick, and (2) none of the models seem to really grapple with magick’s complexity. (Details below.) So I familiarized myself with them to be literate, then ignored them.

But recently, readers have been asking me which model I subscribe to, and if my energy matches the standard model’s energy, and if ethereal muscles map to the psychological model, and so on. (Short answers: “None of them, no, and no.”)

Developing longer answers to those questions made me realize there’s a fundamental difference between my model of direct magick and the four standard models of magick. They’re trying to do different things, and even the word “model” seems to mean something different. But I’m not sure how to explain that. So, that’s what this post is about.

(Not familiar with the 4 models? This post (from chaos matrix) explains them. Or scroll down this page for my explanation.)

What Makes Models Good?

Here’s what I mean by “model”:

  • There is some actual mechanism occurring in the external world. (Probably just one, but it could be several.)
  • A model should describe that mechanism. The more of that mechanism it describes, the better. And it has to offer enough detail that you can imagine how each part works and predict what will happen if you try something new — simply saying “my magick goes out and does it” is correct, but not useful.
  • We determine how closely a model matches the actual mechanism by seeing if it accurately predicts new, non-obvious results. That’s key: Any story can “predict” things we already knew, but if a model really matches the underlying mechanism, it should give you new insights to predict new results you haven’t seen before. For me, those predictions are usually new, effective techniques I wouldn’t have found without the model.

That’s more or less the scientific worldview. It’s what I strive for in my models. But I’m realizing, it’s not really the goal of the standard models of magick.

I can’t just say that, though. It wasn’t obvious to me until I thought through the shortcomings of the four standard models as scientific models, and thought about them in relation to direct magick, which is my best attempt at building a scientific model of magick’s underlying mechanisms. So, let’s start there: Taking the four standard models literally, as attempted explanations of the underlying mechanism of magick, before we discuss what they really are.

The 4 Models Explained with Direct Magick

I’m going to explain each of the four standard models — spirit, energy, psychological, and information — in terms of Direct Magick. Yes, I’m assuming my model is accurate because, well, my blog, my rules. This will help everyone get on the same page, whether you know the four standard models (but not direct magick), or you know direct magick (but not the four models).

Again, I don’t actually use these four models, so I’m mostly drawing from this post. Sorry if I get something wrong.

The Spirit Model

Quick summary: Spirits are awesome. They can do powerful magick. So ask them for what you want, and let them handle the details.

In Direct Magick: Yes, I often ask spirits for assistance. I’d count ethereal software as a spirit in this discussion, too. So that’s a large portion of what I do.

But… Imagine this conversation:

Jane: I’m a great cook.

Bob: Awesome. I love pizza. Can you cook pizza?

Jane: Sure, I make a great pizza.

Bob: Tell me about your recipe.

Jane: My recipe is simple: I pick up the phone, call Luigi’s, and ask for whatever I want. Like I said, I’m a great cook.

Every time someone says they use the spirit model, I want to ask, “Aren’t you curious about how it actually works?” Also, what if the spirit’s technique isn’t optimal? What if it isn’t even effective? And what if those building blocks could also build a new solution to some unsolved problem? Unless you dig into how the spirit implements your request, you’ll never know.

The Energy Model

Quick summary: Everything has magickal energy in it. Change that energy to change the world. Often, you’ll build energy, tell it your intent, and hope the ball of energy can make that intent happen (I think).

In Direct Magick: I use energy, too. It’s part of energy healing, and with part of communication — I collect the signatures that my mind enters as I think my message, and while those signatures aren’t exactly energy, the concept is reasonably close.

But energy — the thing that makes you feel tingles — is simple. Dumb, even. You can build energy in a particular signature, and use it to shift the signature of other magickal stuff, but that’s about it. You can’t tell it, “Cause me to find a good job.” You send messages like that to ethereal software, which you could think of as a spirit, but most definitely isn’t energy.

And for energy healing, you have to know the right signature to use — just knowing your goal won’t work, unless your ethereal software already knows how to implement that goal. And, again, we’re now involving ethereal software, which the energy model doesn’t have.

It seems to me that the energy model is describing what the mage should think about to send their intent to their ethereal muscles / software, rather than describing how the ethereal muscles / software actually do the magick. We’ll come back to that idea later.

The Psychological Model

Quick summary: Your unconscious knows how to do magick. So ask for what you want, and let it handle the details.

In Direct Magick: When most people start magick, their ethereal muscles are unconscious. Since your main goal as a beginning mage is to get your intent to your ethereal muscles, it makes sense to work on getting your intent to your unconscious mind.

But why stop there? Like the spirit model, you’re ordering your magick from something you don’t understand. Don’t you want to know what your unconscious does so you can debug your magick and build on it?

That’s why, fairly early in direct magick training, we make your ethereal muscles conscious. Then you can see how they work and start understanding what happens after you send them your intent.

Also, I make a distinction between ethereal muscles and my ordinary unconscious mind. It’s useful for distinguishing ordinary intuitions from psychic intuitions, for example, and also for learning techniques to awaken ethereal muscles. Calling everything “unconscious” seems to make that distinction harder.

The Information model

Quick summary: To change X — an infection, lottery balls, your job search — send your goals (the information) to that thing, or simply out into the universe.

(The article I linked to wasn’t great on this model. I found this post helpful.)

In Direct Magick: I send requests to ethereal software all the time. Information matters.

But like the spirit model, this reduces magick to asking for what you want. Aren’t we interested in the thing that receives those requests? How does it act on them? What algorithms does it use, and how can they be improved?

Also, there are better ways to transmit information to ethereal software, but that requires working with the energy of your brain — getting down into how ethereal muscles / software store and transmit information, in the same way that a computer engineer digs into how computers store and transmit information to build a new, better internet protocol. I can’t see how to do this if your fundamental unit of magick is “information.”

(I’ve also heard some folks suggest that you’re telling the infected cells themselves to get better. I don’t buy that — cells communicate using chemical messengers, not words and ideas. That’s why I send instructions to ethereal software, which does communicate in ideas, and is programmed to turn those ideas into specific changes in the world.)

What the 4 Models Really Do

For years, that’s where my thinking began and ended on these models: They’re incomplete over-simplifications. They give the feel that you’ve answered, “How does magick work?” without actually addressing the underlying mechanics — that is, they’re curiosity-stoppers, stories that let you calm your curiosity without really answering the question. And I like my curiosity, so I didn’t spend much time on those models.

But preparing for this post, I realized: These four models aren’t trying to explain the underlying mechanism. They aren’t trying to be scientific models. That’s not their goal.

These models give you common, reliable ways to communicate your intent to your unconscious, things you can imagine and focus on to achieve magick. Spirits, energy, just going into trance and assigning meaning to a symbol, or just focusing on the information — they’re not trying to explain how magick works, they’re just trying to give you a procedure for doing magick. They’re an operator’s manual, not an engineer’s handbook.

I don’t know if that’s how practitioners who use those models view them, but I suspect it may be, because of the “meta-model,” which basically says, “Feel free to use any of these models any time. You don’t have to commit to one.” That sentiment seems odd if you believe the model actually describes how magick works, but it makes a lot of sense if you know you’re just describing standard procedures for doing magick — of course you should feel free to pick any standard procedure you like, then pick a different one tomorrow.

Which makes me think, I should build a standard procedure for direct magick. Something simplified, focused on ease of use rather than accuracy, to give beginners something to focus on to get their magick working. It would quickly explain how to do direct magick, without going into details, and be accurate enough that it won’t confuse you when we go into the underlying mechanisms later.

And this is where you come in, dear readers. Those of you who use the standard models, is this roughly your understanding? Does my explanation resonate? And for everyone, would a simplified direct magick procedure be useful?

Thanks for the feedback!

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What Turns Intent into Change in the World?

Monday, July 8th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

As a boy, I had a crystal radio. It was a kit — you solder a diode and some speakers onto a circuit board, it sort of plays music. The point was to understand how a radio works: The diode picks up radio waves, the circuit board selects one station’s signal, and the speaker turns that signal into sound. I liked how you could see all the parts, and how, in principle, I could have studied diodes and transistors and speakers and truly understood how the radio functioned.

That’s the kind of understanding I’m seeking in magick: All the steps between the mage’s intent and the end result. Let me give you an example:

Imagine you want to find a better job. That’s your intent, like your intent with a radio might be to hear some blues.

You do a ritual. That’s your action, like turning the knobs on the radio. It’s not trivial — you have to know what ritual to do, like you have to know what station to tune to. And you have to do the ritual properly, which isn’t easy, either.

But we’re not done. The radio’s knob doesn’t itself play music, it just tells the diode and circuit board and speakers what to do, and they handle the rest. And the ritual doesn’t itself cause the change in the world — I simply refuse to believe there’s a special case of physics for a homo sapiens drawing lines in chalk and saying words in Latin. Like the radio, there’s some series of steps between your ritual and the desired change in the world, in a different time and place. What are those steps?

Let’s assume your job-hunting magick causes the HR person to be in a good mood when they read your resume. That’s the sort of coincidence we expect from magick, right? To do that, it has to know which HR rep to influence. It has to know how to nudge the atoms in the world to produce that result. And it has to time it right, so they favor your resume, not someone else’s.

I’ve heard mages say their thoughts “go out and act on the world,” similar to how radio waves “go out and deliver music to people.” But radio waves aren’t themselves music, they’re instructions for a complex tool (the radio), and your intent isn’t itself change in the world, it’s an instruction for some complex tool that figures out the details and causes those changes. Radio waves are important, and we’ll explore what it means to transmit your intent soon, but for now I want to know, what’s magick’s radio?

Maybe every object in the world has a spirit attached to it, responding to my thoughts, but I doubt it. First, why would the spirit corresponding to the nerves in Mary Johnson’s brain respond to my thoughts at all? Second, how would my thoughts — which are, after all, just electricity and neurotransmitters in my brain — get to that spirit? Is every spirit reading my mind, waiting for me to send it an instruction? And how would the spirit know quite what to do, when even I don’t know how my intent should manifest? I can’t prove that model is wrong, but the more I think about it, the less right it feels.

I also don’t think these decisions happen in the mage’s brain. When I do magick, I don’t suddenly know that Mary Johnson in HR will be viewing my resume at 11:47AM, and I don’t suddenly know which nerves should get an increase in serotonin to put her in the right mood. Even if I did, I don’t think my brain could conceive of the trillions of possible paths my magick might take, or figure out which ones are worth pursuing.

That scale and precision are beyond what a human could handle. I believe we can understand it, like we can understand how a radio works, or even a computer. But to actually do the magick — to select one option from trillions, figure out the specific atoms to nudge, and time it just right? I’m certainly not doing that when I do magick. There has to be something outside the mage handling those details.

My term for that something is ethereal software. We’ll discuss it soon, how to work with it, and how to do some magick without it. But for now, I want to share some questions I’m still wondering about:

  • How does the ethereal software determine which path your magick should take? Can algorithms from modern computer science help?
  • How does it influence the atoms to bring about that result? What unknown mechanisms of physics can this help us uncover?
  • What are the building blocks of ethereal software — the equivalent of the diode, circuit board, and speakers? And just like you can build a computer from the same transistors as a radio, what else could we build from magick’s building blocks?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. But they certainly seem worth exploring.

Next, the third guiding question behind direct magick. Then we’ll start on my answers.

Next Chapter

Table of Contents

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Why I’m Surprised that Different Systems Produce Similar Results

Friday, May 24th, 2013

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I’m writing a chapter for my book, exploring the first big question that lead me to direct magick:

“Different systems of magick have different, conflicting explanations of how magick works and how to do it, but most systems produce similar results. Why?”

I want to explain why this is surprising, and why it matters. And yet, it’s obvious to me why this is surprising, and it’s probably obvious to some of you, so I want to explain it quickly. But it’s just not coming out right.

So, I’m going to explore this for a post, and at the end of it, hopefully I’ll have my one-paragraph explanation.

First, why this is surprising.

If the world actually were how people say the world is — if people who say they’re asking a God for help actually were getting help from a God, and people who said they were channeling a universal energy actually were, and people who say you need a gold ring to do this ritual and a silver ring to do that ritual were actually right — we’d expect all those styles to produce radically different results. We’d expect that healing from a God would work differently than healing techniques from a person, and that the person building energy and sending out their intent (but not wearing the right type of ring) would produce different results than someone doing the ritual.

And yet, that’s the wrong approach to take for my book. First, because some of those styles actually do produce different results — in the 90s, everyone tried rituals to Superman and other culturally-popular archetypes, found they didn’t work as well as traditional rituals, and realized that magick isn’t actually about channeling popular memes. So, different styles do produce different results, just not in the way we’d expect them to if the explanations provided by any particular style were the way the world actually works. But that’s a much longer chain of logic to follow.

But second, and more importantly, because the real point is that there must be some singular, underlying set of mechanics that all these styles draw on. At a fundamental level, all this magick must be doing the same thing. That’s the step that’s obvious to me, but that I feel I should walk readers through.

If magick worked by many mechanisms — if Gods did fundamentally different magick than people, and if doing a ritual with the proper implements invoked fundamentally different forces than simply building energy and focusing on your intent — we’d expect those fundamentally different mechanisms to produce fundamentally different results.

And if any of the existing explanations for magick were accurate, we’d expect the other approaches to either fail, or turn out to be doing the same thing with different terms. But neither of those is the case.

When many different inputs produce the same output, that tells me that they’re all doing the same thing under the hood. And that mechanism is probably not what any of the inputs say it is, otherwise that one true approach would produce significantly better results, and before long, everyone would be using it.

Back to writing the book, I think those last three paragraphs serve as a good first draft for this idea. Thoughts?

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4 Techniques for Grounding: Conclusion

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

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Looking back on this series, three ideas stand out. First, there is no simple magick. Second, writing helps me learn magick. And third, developing techniques is the main way to test models.

There is No Simple Magick

I thought grounding was simple. It’s one of the first things we teach beginners, and we explain it simply: You just built energy, excess energy gives you a headache,  so release it into the ground.

Now I’m realizing, no magick is simple when you get into how it really works. Grounding is less complex than energy healing, or manifesting, or shielding, or most of the other things we do with magick. But understanding grounding still requires understanding energy signatures, how they mix, how to subtract one signature from another, and how to build energy that, when added to other energy, produces your normal energy signature.

None of that is simple, because at its heart, magick is complex. That’s the price we pay for accuracy.

Writing Helps Me Learn Magick

I developed two techniques in the course of writing this series.

Technique #4 (grounding by building more energy) came to me on the train. It was the morning after seeing my friend use technique #3 (grounding via ethereal software), and the only reason I was thinking deeply about grounding was to prepare for this series. If it weren’t for this blog, I wouldn’t have thought hard enough to see the technique.

And the good version of technique #1, energy flushing? I thought of it as I wrote that post. I was testing the basic, release-your-energy version of grounding, and realized that building energy as I released it would probably flush the unhealthy signature out. That technique, which is now my preferred grounding method for beginners, came from writing that post.

To anyone considering starting a blog: Writing forces you to revisit old problems, and re-solve them with the tools and skills you have today. It helps me learn magick, and it will probably help yours, too.

Test Models by Developing Techniques

The testing in this series is how I generally test new models of magick: I find a technique that the new model says should work, and the old model says should fail, (like building more energy to ground), and I try it. When it works, I figure the new model is on to something, and I start using it.

I also look for techniques the new model says should work particularly well, that the old model wouldn’t single out as anything special, like building more energy as you ground. The standard model doesn’t necessarily suggest it would fail, but it definitely doesn’t predict the technique will work better than just releasing your energy. And when the new model is right again, I become more confident in it.

I build confidence in the new model by using it, by seeing it accurately predict more non-obvious techniques. (“Non-obvious” meaning that the old model either said it would fail, or didn’t consider it particularly special.) There’s never one single test that makes me say the new model is correct, but the more I use it, and the more it’s right, the more confident I become. Until eventually, it’s just easier to speak as though the new model is correct, at least, until a better model comes along.

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Intent and Implementation: Manifesting

Monday, February 11th, 2013

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Imagine doing magick for wealth, or love, or to find a job. You focus on your intent and send it out. Maybe you imagine your intent as a ball, forming in front of your face, flying off to cause a manager to decide to hire you, or surrounding a ping pong ball with a lottery number written on it, causing it to be selected.

That’s manifesting. (One visualization for it.) And roughly everyone who talks about manifesting talks about, “sending out your intent.” The phrase is so common, so repeated, that it seems almost silly to ask, “What does it mean to send out your intent?”

But, seriously, what does it mean to “send out your intent?” I mean, your intent is nerve signals in your brain, not some external entity you can order around. And if there is some external entity, well, it seems worth exploring how that entity works, and how to use it better, doesn’t it?

And just like that, we’re back into magick’s implementation, asking what actually happens when we “send out our intent.”

If you’ve been with me for a bit, you already know my answer: The mage focuses on their intent, and some ethereal software reads their thoughts and acts on those instructions. But I don’t want to re-hash that model today. Instead, I want to disuss the three parts of manifesting that any model has to explain, in as general a way as possible.

Those three parts are: Sending out your intent, planning events, and acting on that plan.

Sending Out Your Intent

Intent is nerve signals in your brain. That’s not exactly the sort of thing you can send anywhere. Even if you had a super-MRI and could map each nerve’s signal, when we talk about “sending out your intent,” we don’t exactly mean, “Email the MRI recording of your neural activity as you thought about the job you want.”

In other words, we need a bridge between neural activity and magickal messages, which will probably be some form of energy or magickal structure.

I focused on this problem in 2012, working on communication techniques for psychic intuitions. The techniques involve grabbing the energy signatures my brain enters as I think a sentence, packaging those signatures up, and sending them to the ethereal software.

By the way, if you want to focus on one of these steps, I’d focus here. Sending out your intent is the only step the mage needs to be involved in — by default, the ethereal software handles the other two for you.

Planning Events

Say you manifest for a good job. We might metaphorically say that it’s like your intent went out, found a job, and acted like a magnet, drawing you toward it. Except that a job isn’t a physical object you can grab, and magnets don’t affect the decisions of hiring managers.

In other words, “manifesting = magnet” is a great way to explain what manifesting does in layman’s terms, but probably has nothing to do with how it does it.

Whatever drives manifesting, it has to be able to figure out which jobs are good ones for you, and what events and decisions need to happen to result in such a job. Which turns out to be incredibly complex.

One thought on this: Maybe manifesting does not, in fact, plan out a series of events. Maybe it simply influences events, one at a time, based on which seems more likely to produce a favorable outcome. Given a few weeks, it will tend to get lucky. I’m not saying this is how it works, but the idea occured to me as I was writing this post, so I’m sharing it.

Acting on that Plan

Whatever drives the manifesting needs to act on that plan, actually influencing the physical world. And, just like implementing energy healing, you can’t simply send an instruction to a cell, or a lottery ball, or the brain of a hiring manager.

(The hiring manager, of course, understands English. But we’re not sending messages in words, we’re using magick on the manager’s brain. And the nerve cells in their brain don’t understand English any more than the cells of their muscles or skin do.)

Summary & Future Work

Those three steps — sending your intent, planning events, and acting on that plan — are what I think of when I think of manifesting’s implementation. So far, I’ve only really dug into sending your intent. And that’s intentional: I already have ethereal software that handles the rest with a reasonable level of compotence. It only makes sense to implement the part I have to do, before I implement parts that are already handled.

But my experience suggests that anytime there’s a large, unexplored part of magick’s implementation, there are improvements to be made there. And so, in the future, I intend to explore what happens to a manifesting request after my intent goes out.

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Intent and Implementation: Energy Healing

Monday, February 4th, 2013

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Imagine you’re developing a healing technique for someone with a complex condition. Chronic hives, for example. You research the disease, and find out it’s caused by an overactive immune system attacking the person’s own skin. You want their immune system to realize their skin isn’t a threat. That’s your intent.

It’s natural to want to send that intent out, to create some ritual or visualization or something centered around the idea of, “Tell her immune system to stop attacking her skin.” After all, that’s how most people do magick: To find a job, you focus on your intent, maybe do some ritual, and send it out. For a healing session around inflammation, you focus on your intent, visualize a healing light going from your hands to that person, and let the magick work. So, you want to send out the intent to “Tell her immune system to stop.”

Of course, we all know that cells don’t speak English, that you can’t actually tell that to her cells. But… Intent feels like so much more than words, particularly if you’ve done successful magick based on your intent before. So you send it out, and see what happens, hoping the instruction somehow makes its way to her cells, and that her cells listen.

In other words, you’re trying to send information (in the form of an instruction) to her cells.

Here’s the rub: Information isn’t a single thing. Information is a way that some physical object is organized. In your computer, information is electricity and magnetic charges. In your brain, information is neurotransmitters and nerves. Your voice is information, too, but that information exists in vibrations in the air. And in cells, information is stored in hormones and proteins and other biological molecules.

It’s extremely complex to convert information from one medium — electrons, vibrations, proteins — into another medium. To move information from a hard drive to your brain, for example, requires a computer, programmed to read the hard drive, interpret those 0s and 1s as text, and display the text on a screen. Just because you can express the intent in your brain doesn’t mean you can translate that intent into something your white blood cells can understand.

Back to the magick. For energy healing, we need to find energy that changes cellular behavior in the intended way. Which means we need to convert that intent from brain-storage into energy-storage.

Most of the time, we use ethereal software to do that conversion. We ask it to send healing energy, and it figures out what energy signatures will help. That is, the software figures out how to implement your intent. The whole reason that focusing on your intent does anything useful is because the ethereal software picks up the intent and converts it into energy in the right signature (or whatever else is required.)

Except that sometimes, the software doesn’t know how to implement that intent. It doesn’t know the right signatures to use. That’s what happened to me with the hives, and with a few problems since then. There’s a gap between what you want and what your tools know how to do.

How do you bridge that gap? By working out the implementation yourself. By figuring out which energy signatures, delivered to what spot, will cause the desired change at a cellular level. It requires both magick and medicine, a few attempts, a lot of patience, and a fair bit of luck. It’s hard, but it’s the only way I know of to create magick techniques that your ethereal software doesn’t already know — the only way to push through a problem that intent alone can’t solve.

How do you do that? I’d like to tell you it’s about building energy while focusing really hard on your intent, but that’s just not how it works. Your brain wasn’t born knowing the right energy signatures to heal hives, any more than your brain was born knowing how to read the magnetic charges on a hard drive. No, the solution is a lot of hard work, training yourself to recognize different signatures in different tissues. It’ll take me several books to get us there. But it’s worth it.

Why’s it worth it? Because building new techniques — new implementations, not just new ways to send out your intent — is how we can solve new problems, and how we can build a better, more capable, more useful magick. (Then we’ll program those techniques into ethereal software, so everyone else can use them, too.)

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Intent and Implementation

Monday, January 28th, 2013

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I want to convey an idea that’s key to developing a new style of magick, or really, to developing any new technique. But I’m not sure how. So I’m going to write, and hope I figure it out by the end of this post.

The idea is the difference between intent and implementation.

(Previously, I’d talked about “interface vs implementation,” borrowing a phrase from computer programming. But I think “intent” makes more sense here.)

Most magick focuses on intent. You intend to send a person healing energy, imagine them recovering, and channel some sort of energy. You intend to find a job, do some ritual to focus that intent, then send out your intent. You intend to move energy around, so you imagine it moving, and let whatever happens to actually move it just happen unconsciously.

Intent, intent, intent, followed by an image or ritual to convey that intent to your unconscious mind. And it works great, so long as you have a tool to turn that intent into actual change.

But I’m about to step ahead too quickly. So, let me back up, and ask you: What is intent? At the simplest level, intent, like every other tought, is the subjective experience of nerves firing in our brains. Nothing more, nothing less. Nerves releasing chemicals, sending electrical impulses through the world’s most complex information processing device.

Which is amazing. I’m not trying to be reductive, to say that intent is “just” neural impulses. There’s no “just” about it. Neural impulses in a human brain are pretty amazing, and the way they create all of these subjective experiences is pretty amazing, too. My goal is to explain, not explain away.

But here’s the rub: If intent = neural impulses, how does intent affect the outside world? How does that pattern of neural firing cause external change? What does it even mean to “send out your intent”?

And now, you’ve moved from intent to implementation. Simply asking how that happens, simply realizing that the standard explanation doesn’t really explain anything — that “sending out your neural impulses” doesn’t really make sense — has moved you into exploring magick’s implementation.

It’s a tough nut to crack. If you’ve been with me for more than a few weeks, you’ve already run into mental muscles, ethereal software, possibly thought layer and thinking mind, and other components of my model. But my goal right now isn’t to provide an answer, it’s to provide a question: What happens to connect neural firing to change in the world?

This is as much as I can write today, and as much as I think I’d want to read in one chunk if I were you. I made some progress, but still don’t really know how to explain this. Next post, we’ll make it concrete, and talk about intent vs implementation in energy healing. I hope to have a concise answer by the end of the week.

Also, I’m still making progress on the book. The intro is done, I’m starting on Part 1. I’ll post chapters next time I’m consulting and don’t have time for new writing.

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Demons and Germs

Friday, January 25th, 2013

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Imagine you’re transported back to 1600s Europe. You know that bacteria can be killed with mold from a certain type of bread, and that taking fluids from a milkmaid infected with cowpox can immunize people against smallpox.

But everyone else thinks disease is caused by demons.

You talk to doctors, saying, “Diseases are caused by germs, tiny living cells we can’t see, that attack the body.” You explain bacteria and viruses in layman’s terms as well as you can.

The medieval doctors think, “Demons are things we can’t see. Like angels dancing on the head of a pin, they can be tiny. And we know they attack the body. So this chap is just inventing new words, and germs = demons.”

Mapping their model onto yours lets you talk, at least a bit. You can discuss infection rates, how diseases spread, and so on. But every time you say “germs,” they hear “demons.” When you start talking about penicillin and vaccines, the discussion falls apart. And then you try to collaborate on research: You’re want to create an inactive virus to vaccinate people, and they start researching which prayers to which saints will knock a demon unconscious.

Then you realize that you weren’t ever thinking the same concepts, and you have to revisit every conversation you’ve had to see if you ever agreed about anything. And in the end, you’d be further along if you’d just done the work up front to create a new model in your listener’s minds, rather than letting them map their model onto yours.

I run into this a lot with magick. Not that I’m modern medicine and everyone else is demons — it’s just hard to find an analogy that readers from all backgrounds will recognize. But when I’m talking about ethereal software, and it’s similar to egregores, or I’m talking about seeing a connection, and it’s similar to visualizing a connection, it’s easy to give listeners the impression that I’m just using different words, rather than different concepts.

The challenge as the listener is to suppress your reflex to map new terms to old concepts. And the challenge as the speaker is to present new concepts as new, to explain them from first principles, instead of saying, “it’s like X except…”

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Energy vs Heat

Monday, January 14th, 2013

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I want to share some techniques for sex magick, along with some testing I’ve done. But before I can do that, we need to introduce another concept into our model of energy: Activation.

I think of energy like hot water, flowing through pipes, heating the pipe and whatever’s around it. (The pipes are the connections and pathways that energy flows through.)

But sometimes, you don’t want hot water. You want a hot something else: A hot car engine, or a hot mental muscle, or a hot… some other structure. And sometimes, you just want to talk about heat.

I call that heat “activation.” Like heat, you can’t have a gallon of activation, but you can have hot matter, and activated magickal structure. Activation makes the difference between active and inactive structures, and the particular signature of the activation determines how that structure behaves.

Energy is a a flow of hot / activated particles. But you can also have other hot / active structures, like a highly-activated connection. And that activated connection will transmit the activation to whatever it touches, similar to how a hot wire would transmit heat. You can create and send activation with only connections and other structures, without using energy.

Why would you want to do such a thing? And why bother adding this additional concept to my model? Why bother even making that distinction? Because it’s useful for techniques I’ll share later this week. And because it impacts shielding, and the “impure junk” Yvonne asked about, and a bunch of other techniques I won’t even get to for months.

For now, just think about activation: The heat transmitted by magickal energy.

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