Posts Tagged ‘ReadersQuestions’

The Key to Learning Energy

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

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“I tried using your ethereal software for manifesting, but how do I know if I’m doing it right?” Jill asked me.

(Ethereal software is my system’s term for the forces we channel. Other terms for those forces include egregores, matrices, and The Universe.)

Jill studies a system of energy healing that uses rituals to engage their forces. I’m teaching her to use ethereal software by sending messages directly, without the ritual. It’s faster and more flexible, but it takes some adjusting.

I had several answers for her:

First, it occurs to me that manifesting might not be the best skill to start with. Any single case is ambiguous — would that luck have happened anyway? And there’s a delay, often days or weeks, between requesting an event and having it materialize. The key to learning is immediate, clear feedback, and manifesting offers neither.

Second, we want to find some skill so useful that you want to use it every day, so you practice without needing to force yourself to practice. I’m realizing that, rather than asking someone what they want to learn, I should offer them a list of easy, useful energy techniques, and ask them which one they would use daily. For Jill, there’s an energy I’ve used to help her relax and focus that she likes, so I programmed that energy into the ethereal software and taught her to use that.

Healing techniques like this also give immediate feedback — she either feels more calm and focused, or she doesn’t.

At this point, Jill asked, “But how can I know that feeling is the result of energy, not placebo?”

That brings me to my third answer: It’s OK to trust how energy feels. Sure, there’s no way to be certain it’s not just your imagination, but that’s why once a month you come to Energy Geek and play energy games with other people, verify that they can locate your energy blindfolded, recognize the energy of different people without seeing or hearing them, and all the other games we play. That’s important, but it’s hard to do solo. So let your daily practice be based on feeling energy, and let those games be a special thing you do once a month.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just find some energy work you want to do daily, and do it. Feel the results. Do it for three months, get those 100 repetitions in, and then think about how to improve it. But get started. That’s the key.

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Beyond the Material? Why Energy is like Gravity and Magnetism

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

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Jill posted on Facebook: “How do you describe the beyond-material: Spiritual? Etheric? Metaphysical?”

I pondered for a day. I know what she’s asking, and the easy answer is, “energy and ethereal.” But there’s something deeper here.

Years ago, a physicist friend asked about my work. At the time, I was describing energy and connections as “non-physical stuff.”

“What does non-physical stuff mean? Your whole premise is that this is real and out there, right?” she asked.

Yes, I said, but you can’t reach out and touch it, it doesn’t interact with ordinary atom-based matter except in a few limited ways.

She explained, “Dark matter is the same, it only interacts in limited ways, through gravity but nothing else, but it’s still physical.”

She explained that, to a physicist, “physical” means “real,” out there in reality rather than an idea in the mind. Saying something was real but non-physical simply didn’t make sense. What I was describing was non-ordinary physical matter.

That conversation holds the deeper answer to Jill’s question:

Energy isn’t beyond material any more than gravity or magnetism are. None of those phenomena are solid, atom-based matter, but all three produce observable, measurable results.

“But gravity and magnetism are part of modern physics, and biofield energy isn’t (yet),” you might point out. And I think that’s part of the implicit distinction my friend’s question was making.

But here’s the thing: That’s a statement about human knowledge, not about the phenomenon itself. When Newton discovered gravity in 1665, that changed human knowledge, but it didn’t change gravity itself. When we say that a phenomenon is mysterious, we really mean that it’s mysterious to us, that it’s not understood by us yet. It’s a statement about us, not about the phenomenon.

So, what’s beyond-material? Imagination, social constructs like ownership and capitalism, and other things that exist only in human mind. But not energy. That’s part of material reality, just like magnetism and gravity, and it’s only a matter of time before we understand it.

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One Simple Reason Energy Healing Isn’t Mainstream

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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Colter asks:

Why [aren’t energy and] magick more prominent in our world?

I used to wonder about this myself. So much of what I do is tremendously useful, so why don’t more people work with energy?

I think the answer is simple: Obvious results are hard.

With manifesting, the whole point is to create luck, and a single result will be indistinguishable from luck. It requires multiple trials and statistics to show that something is going on.

With energy healing, a single result is indistinguishable from placebo. Again, we require multiple trials and statistics.

Statistics aren’t obvious. They don’t hit us at an emotional level. They require thought, and they’re easy to ignore.

Why would people want to ignore those results? I sometimes hear conspiracy theories, with a villain (politicians, the wealthy, the Illuminati) intentionally keeping people in the dark. But the answer is simpler: Historically, people claiming magickal abilities were almost universally frauds.

We, as practitioners, have to own this: Historically, people making these claims have turned out to be frauds. You know why? Because energy and magick are hard. It’s much easier to get obvious results with slight of hand or hypnosis or by having a friend bang on the cabinet during the seance.

People like James Randi aren’t trying to keep energy healing all to themselves. They genuinely believe that all of this is just placebo and fraud, and that they’re helping people by pointing that out. They are mistaken, but they aren’t sinister.

(Their reluctance to re-examine their beliefs isn’t sinister either. It’s just how humans are.)

Energy and magick aren’t practiced more widely because obvious results are hard, and a long history of fraud makes people reluctant to examine non-obvious results.

How do we solve this? Either with a mountain of data (researchers are already working on that), or by engineering obvious results, like energy techniques that reliably create sensations in most people. My focus is on that engineering.

And writing this post, I realized something: It’s easy to see skeptics as the enemy. But to change minds, we need to start with where we agree. And there’s actually quite a lot of agreement: We both want people to get meaningful help for health conditions, and not spend time and money on things that don’t work. We both want to understand the world, and separate accurate models from inaccurate ones. We disagree about the particulars, but we share many of the same goals.

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Feeling Worn Out? Here’s an Energy Healing Technique

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

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A reader asks:

I’m a psychotherapist and am sensitive to emotions and spirit. I feel like I not only counsel people with my words but also help the healing process by providing a “home” of positive or healing energy. I’m naturally energized and excited but sometimes get tired and drained. I’ve done some work with Qigong with sound and visualization but am still left wondering about protection and shielding from others (or spirits).

Let’s start with the scope of the question. I’m going to split “worn out” into roughly 3 types:

  • Tiredness caused by someone directly altering one’s energy, such as a spirit draining you. This would be rare with clients, but it’s possible.
  • Tiredness caused by normal work, that has an energetic component. For example, after doing computer consulting for a week, my body’s energy can get into an odd state, not because someone drained me, but just because I’ve been stressed and jet lagged and tired.
  • Tiredness caused by short-term exertion, such as a particularly complex task that took a lot of focus, or a hard workout.

It could be any or all of these, though my guess is it’s the second, normal tiredness that has caused your body to alter its own energy. But here’s what to do for the other options:

If someone is altering your energy, you want shielding. Here are some posts on shielding for beginners.

If it’s caused by short-term exertion, there’s not much to do with energy. Just get some food and rest a bit.

OK, now let’s talk about when your body gets stressed, produces energy in a stressed energy signature, and that energy is anchoring your body in that stressed or worn out state. This happened to me last week, after a 20-hour flight and a week of computer consulting. I was just worn out. And I felt much better after resetting my energy.

First: Shielding won’t help here, because the energy isn’t coming from outside, it’s coming from your own body.

What you want is grounding: Releasing the unhealthy energy in your body and returning your body’s energy to its normal healthy state. There are lots of visualizations for grounding, and you probably already have one you like. But most practices just release the energy, and it turns out there’s a much more effective technique. Let me explain:

Most people think of grounding as releasing the unhealthy energy, usually into the earth (which is where the term “grounding” comes from, as far as I know). It’s a nice idea: Get rid of the unhealthy energy, then replace it with healthy energy later. But you’re never going to get rid of 100% of the energy in your body, and you really don’t want to. So what winds up happening is that you get rid of half the unhealthy energy, and half of it stays in your body. Then when you build healthy energy, it combines with the remaining unhealthy energy, and you wind up with half-healthy energy. Not ideal.

Try this: Let your energy flow out of you, and while that’s happening, also build energy in a healthy state. It’ll mix with the unhealthy energy, and create half-healthy energy that will keep flowing out of you. Then the next bit of healthy energy will mix with that half-healthy energy, and you’ll wind up with 75% healthy energy, and so on. At the end of it, if you have 90%-healthy energy, that’s probably good enough, and it’s much better than the half-healthy energy you’ll get with normal grounding.

I discuss this technique more in this series, including some testing I did as I developed it.

Also, I want to mention: This will help with the portion of your tiredness caused by the energy. But if you’ve worked all day, some of your tiredness is just fatigue, and you’ll still need rest. But take some notes, gather some data, see how you feel and how quickly you recover using this grounding vs just resting. Be your own experiment, learn what works for you, then come back here and leave a comment so we can learn from your experience.

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Safety for Energy Healers: How to Avoid Absorbing Ailments

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

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Ruthie asks:

Good morning Mike. I’m a body worker and lately I have had a spirit wanting to take over and help. So occasionally I let him. The good is that he does a great job. The client is always happy. The bad is that ultimately I take on some of the clients ailments. How can I better protect myself?… Or is that possible?

The first step to solving a problem is understanding why it’s occurring. So I want to rephrase your question to just describe the experience, without guessing at why:

The good is that I do a great job when channeling this spirit. The client is always happy. The bad is that I feel lousy after, often with symptoms similar to the client’s.

Why did I rephrase it? Because illness isn’t like poison. You can’t suck it out, you can’t take it on yourself. If a person’s immune system is attacking their skin, you can’t absorb their immune system. And if a person has an infection, getting infected yourself doesn’t help them. It’s tempting to think of illness as a pool of black badness that you can drain, but that’s not how the body works. And having an accurate model of what’s going on is key to fixing it.

If you’re not actually taking on your client’s ailment, what’s going on? Here’s my best guess: The spirit may be sending the same healing energy to both you and your client, or through your body on the way to the client.

This sounds good, right? Who doesn’t want healing energy? But think of energy healing like mixing paint, trying to find a healthy green color. If your client’s energy is yellow, and you add blue, they’ll feel pretty good. But if your energy is already a healthy green, and you add that same blue, you’ll wind up feeling lousy.

But wouldn’t that suggest you’d feel the opposite symptoms? Why do your symptoms mirror your client’s? Because energy can target particular organs or systems of the body. For example, if the client has a stomach issue, you’ll be working with stomach-targeting energy, and your own stomach will wind up feeling pretty lousy. That’s how we get mirrored symptoms, even though the energy shift is more or less the opposite.

(Another possible explanation: The spirit might be draining your energy, a sort of fee for helping. But this would most likely have you just feel drained, and doesn’t match with the symptom mirroring.)

How to fix it? Talk with the spirit, without a client there. Explain what’s been happening, ask him if he knows why. Then suggest this as a possibility, see if it makes sense to him, and ask him to be more careful in targeting only the client with the healing energy. And after a session, try channeling him and asking him to reset your energy, so even if you pick up some healing energy it gets fixed right away.

And please report back and let us know how it turns out.

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How to Use the Sigil

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

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Christina, trained in Reiki and other systems, asks:

When I tested your first sigil [in 2012], the response was clear to me, at least the first time. After that, not so much. And this time, I missed the mark. Why could that be?

There are several possibilities.

I want to back up and say: When a scientist says, “There are several possibilities,” he’s really saying, “I don’t know, but here’s where I’d start looking.” And that’s what I’m saying: I don’t know why it didn’t work. (If I did, I probably would have fixed it.) But let’s talk about the moving parts, what might have gone wrong, and how you can start exploring this with me.

First, the moving parts:

  • A sigil, with ethereal software bound to it.
  • These forces need to notice when you look at the sigil.
  • They need to pick up your request and create the obvious connection.
  • You need to notice the connection.

What might go wrong?

If I didn’t bind the ethereal software to the sigil correctly, none of this will work. That’s certainly possible. But I tested it on myself and it seemed to work for me. Also, this isn’t something you can test with me. So let’s assume the ethereal software is bound correctly.

What about the forces noticing your gaze? Try this: You know how to connect to someone by looking at their picture, right? The sigil uses some of the same forces. So practice connecting to a person based on their picture a few times, then do the same thing when you look at the sigil.

What about picking up your request and creating the obvious connection? This requires a bit of background. People often use multiple pieces of ethereal software. As a Reiki practitioner, you already have the Reiki software (typically called “The Universe.”) If you practice other systems, you might have other software. (You might also have ethereal software not associated with a formal system, such as for natural psychic intuitions some people have.) So, multiple pieces of ethereal software.

Usually, that’s fine. Occasionally, the ethereal software conflicts with each other. I’ve seen software that wants to be the only one working with a person. I’ve seen software that interpreted the “obvious connection” as an attack, and protected the person. Sometimes, different ethereal softwares don’t get along.

Try this: Engage your normal ethereal software. Just think about doing your normal practice, building Reiki energy or asking for psychic intuitions or whatever else you do. Then send the message (the same way you’d send a request for information, energy, or anything else): “I’m about to connect to another force, I want you to allow it to connect and trust it.” Keep thinking that while you focus on the sigil.

Before asking for the obvious connection, tell your other forces, “I’m about to have the new ethereal software make some obvious connections. Allow them, even if it seems like an attack.” Then try the obvious connection.

Also, if you shield yourself against energy or connections, try opening your shielding before doing all this.

Will this work? I don’t know. We’re debugging this technique together, thinking about what might have gone wrong, testing it out, seeing what matters and what doesn’t. I’m excited to get your results, because this is how we all learn about ethereal software and sigils and the mechanisms behind our practice.

Thanks for exploring with me.

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Best Exercises for Learning Energy?

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

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I’m consulting in Singapore this month, and just had lunch with a reader. It was great connecting. Here are my answers to some of his questions:

Is magick dangerous?

When I first started magick, I’d often get headaches and feel like my energy was off. I think this is pretty common. Some of those experiences were probably from spirits draining me, some of them were from me messing up my own energy. But I definitely support people learning protection.

But is it dangerous? Not really. Side effects of magick are usually limited to headache, nausea, and mild disorientation — the same sort of issues as a night of drinking. So get out there, try stuff, but just accept that you might have a hangover the next day.

When trying to learn magick, which exercises are most effective? How should I focus my time?

We don’t know yet. That’s a great question to answer with scientific research, but we don’t have it yet. Here’s what we do know:

Feedback matters. Mastery doesn’t come from repeatedly doing the same thing. It comes from trying something, getting feedback, then adjusting before the next try. That’s the 10,000 hour rule: It’s 10,000 hours of practicing with feedback, not 10,000 hours of repetition. Or put another way, there’s a huge difference between one year of experience repeated 10 times, vs 10 years of experience.

So, when you practice, practice something with concrete results. Track if you get those results.

Really, my magick took off when I developed sensory connections, a set of techniques to watch ethereal structures move as I do magick. That’s the immediate feedback I needed.

Second response: Different exercises probably work best for different people. So share your experiences. Try different exercises, blog about them, let people know what worked for you and what didn’t. That’s a case study, and it’s the first step in developing a science around how to learn magick. We need your experiences.

Also: This stuff is hard. Don’t expect it to be easy. If it were easy to get concrete, obvious results, magick would be taught in schools and researched by mainstream scientists. If it were easy, it would have been done already. That’s why anything worth doing is hard.

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How Do Sigils Create Luck? And More Reader Questions

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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Sharon, a new reader, experienced psychic, and curious scientist, sent me some excellent questions. Today, I’m answering the second half of her email. (First half is here if you missed it.)

Once again, her text in italics.

5. What is the driving force, place, plain, thing, that sends me these messages in my mind? Why does it send me these intuitions?

Short answer: Ethereal software. Longer answer is below.

6. How do sigils change behaviour and events physically?

This was one of my initial driving questions. Even before I realized I was developing a new system of magick, I wanted to know how a symbolic action over here (like a ritual or a sigil) could cause a change over there. Also, borrowing a question from Chaos Magick, how is it that all these different systems, with different techniques and explanations and theories, all produced such similar results?

I didn’t have the language at the time, but looking back, those questions hinged on complexity. Creating luck is complex. It requires predicting events, evaluating many options, and understanding which specific states of the world will satisfy the request. Decisions that complex couldn’t happen in, say, a bird’s mind. And if they happened in my mind, I would probably be aware of all the options and paths my mind was evaluating, which simply wasn’t my experience. So I hypothesized that those complex decisions happened in the forces we channel — what I now call ethereal software.

I’m glad I wasn’t thinking about sigils back then, because that adds a few steps, and I don’t think I would have guessed them correctly. Let me explain:

If a person does a ritual, and they’re already connected to ethereal software, then it’s obvious that the software can respond to their ritual. And if a person touches a stone or jewelry or other object, connects their ethereal software to the object, then mails the object to someone else, it’s obvious that the recipient could touch the object and connect to the software. All of that just makes sense to me.

What about sigils? If you have a dozen stones, all with different software attached, you might want to label them. The label wouldn’t be magickally important, but it would help you grab the right stone. Similarly, if a person associates a sigil with a certain intent, seeing the sigil might keep their unconscious focused on that intent. (This is more or less A.O. Spare’s sigils.) So, sigils as labels and reminders, that was my model for years.

In 2008 or 2009, I tested it. Actually, I was experimenting with making connections based on pictures and voices and videos on youtube, looking into how that worked. I found that, after I focused on the picture but before I got the connection to the person, a specific piece of ethereal software connected to me, just for a second. I called this “lookup software,” because it was looking up the person associated with that picture.

A few months later, I was looking at a symbol for Golden Dawn or something similar, and found similar lookup software. Somehow, it detected that I was looking at the sigil and automatically connected me to that system’s ethereal software.

I still didn’t fully believe it. That result just seemed so odd. Where did that lookup software come from? How did it know when to connect? But then I wanted to distribute some ethereal software with my book, and I decided to test it. I made a sigil, contacted that sigil-detecting ethereal software, asked it to associate my book’s ethereal software with the sigil. Then I tested a sigil, online, with all of you. I really expected that test to fail, it just seemed so odd, so unlikely to be the way the world actually works. But now over 50 readers have tested it (thank you!!!) and it works. So, based on being able to use that sigil-recognizing software to bind a software of my choosing to a sigil, I’m fairly confident that’s how sigils work.

Your blog has helped me to get close to the answer to questions 5 and 6, so thank you very much for your help :-)
To answer no. 5, this blog gives ‘etheral software’. I would like a clarification of what this is, if possible. I’m the sort of person who is not able to do magik until they deeply understand all the parts involved, the same way that I don’t plan on eating a food till I know what every ingredient is e.g where it came from, what it is made of, who gathered it etc.

You’re absolutely correct, the name “ethereal software” isn’t an answer. It’s just a word. If a person doesn’t understand what that word refers to, then it’s only a curiosity stopper.

The best way to understand ethereal software really is to use it. That’s why my book starts by showing how to connect to it.

You receive psychic intuitions. So instead of connecting you to my ethereal software, let’s make you aware of your own. Try engaging your mind to ask for a psychic intuition, but instead of asking for luck, ask, “Give me your basic usage instructions.” That’s a common and useful command for most ethereal software.

Therefore, it is difficult for me to do magik if I do not know exactly what this software is. Is it in the sky? Is it outside of the universe?

Ethereal objects don’t have a location in the same way that your laptop or house do. That’s like asking, “Where is the internet?” It’s more accurate to ask what ordinary physical object the software is bound to.

And how does it affect the future?
How does my intent change it?

Ethereal software seems to work by connecting to the user’s mind and reading their thoughts. This is another idea that used to be a hypothesis, but now I’ve used it to help a friend get new software for new psychic intuitions, and to activate psychic intuitions for myself (with a lot of debugging), and some other techniques.

In terms of how it affects the future, I don’t know. I have some ideas. And I hope you’ll help us in answering that one day.

I have heard that magik works because it is you changing the brainwaves in your mind and charging your mind with those brain waves e.g. when a person laughs, they send out positive energy so you laugh to.
Therefore, different crystals and herbs give off different energies, wavelengths, frequencies etc. That have an effect on us. But this is easy, meaning I can charge a bag of crystals, carry them with me, and my intent will work out since the crystals give off the right frequencies to bring about change.

In my previous post (which wasn’t up when Sharon sent these questions), we talked about the difference between visualizations to engage the unconscious vs models of how magick actually works. Both the ideas you mention (broadcasting brainwaves and crystals carrying intent) seem like fun visualizations, but are probably not the real mechanism of magick.

How can we tell? Ask, “If the world really worked like that, what would we expect to see?” If smiling (and presumably other actions) really released waves that other people could easily, reliably pick up, we would expect to see psychic experiments producing dramatic, obvious successes — 90% accuracy, not slightly-higher-than-random accuracy. And if crystals were the key ingredient to creating luck, we would expect all the systems of magick that don’t use crystals to fail.

I struggle to comprehend how there is a system independent of all of us that we can tap into, tell what to do, and it does it for us AND at the time needed . How I can sit doing a ritual with the intention to get a job and this software does it for me at the exact time I need it in 3 days or even it may mean I miss that job interview and get an even better job. It sounds like an unnamed diety to me, and I’m an atheist :-( (who strongly beleives in ghosts and spirits, maybe even faeries)

Indeed. I think we do our best work when we face the true complexity of manifesting, when we realize the magnitude of decisions and knowledge and guidance it requires, and grapple with the forces involved in creating that. This is why answers like “crystals channel your intent” or “brainwaves transmit your intent” never sounded right to me — those are simple mechanisms, and a simple mechanism doesn’t create a complex behavior.

But ethereal software isn’t a deity. It’s a powerful tool, like your computer. It knows how to retrieve information that you, as a human, cannot easily access. And it can act on that information in ways that you, as a human, cannot easily do yourself. But it’s a tool, not a deity to be worshiped.

With all of this, I’d encourage you to explore. Try it yourself. Get some experience with ethereal software, the spirits that make it, and all the rest of magick. Then you’ll be able to trust your own experiences, instead of my words. Which is how it should be.

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Superman, Time Travel, and Why Science Matters

Monday, February 8th, 2016

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To do energy healing, or manifesting, or other magick, we need a visualization that engages the unconscious.

Keep that in mind: Engaging the unconscious. Because that’s a different goal than understanding how magick operates. Not a bad goal, just a different one. And confusing those two goals (engaging the unconscious vs understanding the mechanism) derails so many people, smart insightful people who could otherwise be helping us build a deeper understanding of energy healing and magick, and helping us create the better techniques that flow from that understanding.

A simple example: Chaos Magick is famous for rituals to Superman. The idea is to engage concepts of strength and justice in the mage’s unconscious, and to tap into those same virtues in a collective unconscious. When one does that ritual, it might be useful to pretend to believe that Superman is real.

“Superman will fly down and help me stand up to this bully” is a great visualization, but a terrible model for how manifesting actually works.

We’re about to discuss a not-so-obvious example. But first, I want to explain how we could figure out that Superman isn’t a good model, if we didn’t already know that.

Imagine a friend believes that magick actually works by Superman hearing your ritual and helping you out. You say, “That sounds amazing. Let’s do a ritual, I want to talk to him.” Your friend replies that Superman doesn’t stay around long enough to talk, and moves so fast you can’t even see him. “I have a high-speed camera.” Sorry, he’s too fast for even that. “I know, we’ll hang ribbons from the ceiling, and we won’t see Superman, but we’ll still see the ribbons swaying after he leaves.” Your friend thinks for a minute, then says that Superman will pause to stop each ribbon from swaying as he leaves.

For each experiment, your friend predicted the same result we’d see if Superman wasn’t real. If your friend really truly believed Superman was real, he would say, “Awesome, let’s run the experiment, I want to see those ribbons swaying too.” But deep down, he knows how the world really is, and he knows what experimental outcomes he’ll see even before doing the experiment.

(This is from Carl Sagan’s dragon in the garage.)

Now it’s time for the not-obvious example. Synchronicity asks:

What about retrocausality? Do you think it’s physically impossible or it’s possible but some ethereal softwares don’t know how to affect the past?

There’s a Chaos Magick book that talks about reverse-time manifesting, where you send out your intent and it travels to the past to arrange things for you in the near future. I think it was Phil Hine. (Anyone know the book? Leave a comment. Thanks!)

I think reverse time is like a ritual to Superman. Great visualization to engage your unconscious. Probably not how magick actually works.

(And keep in mind, Chaos Magick’s motto is, “Belief is the tool.” The goal was to temporarily believe things to get your mind to engage and do magick, not to accurately explain the underlying mechanisms of magick.)

But why? It’s easy to pretend to believe in Superman, then drop the belief after the ritual. But reverse-time isn’t obviously wrong. It’s a fun belief — who hasn’t wanted to go back in time and undo a mistake? And doesn’t quantum physics predict equally weird stuff?

I see this as an opportunity. Separating good mechanisms of magick from useful ways to engage the unconscious is an important skill. So let’s practice it.

Imagine you fully believe your magick can go into the past and change time. When I do that, I notice a mental flinch away from predictions that are obviously silly. Fight that flinch. Imagine we just made this discovery, it was a new technology, never used before. What could we do with it?

Here’s what I flinched away from. (That’s usually a sign that an idea is worth exploring):

Ananael has talked about manifesting to influence lottery results. If reverse-time manifesting worked — if we could somehow change the past — then he should be able to change last week’s lottery results.

And immediately, I start making excuses. “Ananael already knows the lottery numbers. Maybe this only works if he hasn’t seen them yet.”

OK, so I’ll look at the lottery numbers but not show them to him, then let him do the ritual…

I could come up with some excuse, but I’ve spent years training my mind not to create those excuses, and I actually don’t want to develop that excuse-making skill.

But try it. Ask, “What would the world look like, if the world actually worked that way?” And see how much you immediately have to explain away.

That’s how we know reverse-time is a good visualization, but not a good mechanism for magick.

Why bother with this? Why not just believe in whatever speaks to me, as wholeheartedly as I can?

Because when we take a good mechanism and ask, “What could I do if the world actually worked that way,” we don’t have to create excuses. Every idea it gives us is a useful, working technique for energy healing, or manifesting, or something else we care about. (And instead of excusing failures, we use them to refine our model, so next time it gives us even better techniques.)

Gather enough good mechanisms and we call it a scientific model. And that’s why science matters: Not because having the right answer is cool, but because a good model suggests good techniques that give better results.

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Why Does Manifesting Fail? And 2 More Reader Questions

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

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Sharon, a new reader, experienced psychic, and curious scientist, asks some excellent questions. I’ll put her text in italics, mine in normal.

Hello Mike :-)

I came to your blog to help me link my magik with science. I am a natural psychic (still developing) who is looking to find the reason why I just “know” things. I am also uncomfortable with the pagan community telling us to do things (e.g. use a white candle or x oil when looking to purify x) and not saying what difference these correspondences make.

Welcome! A phrase I like is, “I simply refuse to believe there’s a special case in the laws of physics for a human mouth forming specific words.” Same with candles, runes, etc: There has to be some deeper mechanism at work.

A common answer is that those things are symbols, and communicate intent to the unconscious mind. My next question is, “What happens next? How does the unconscious act on that intent?” Part of why I write is to get more people asking those questions.

My questions that I have answered:
(Please feel free to question/debunk/comment on these)
1. How does magik I do at home affect events that will happen outside of my house?

Like most areas of science, there are many levels of answers. Richard Feynman has a wonderful talk on this, explaining why a person slipped. You might say, “Because there was ice on the ground,” or you might go deeper and explain why ice is slippery, or even how friction and gravity work. All those answers are true, and different levels are better for different problems. The job of science is generally to find deeper and deeper answers, while the job of engineering is to select the right level to solve a specific problem. Anyway, go watch or read Feynman’s explanation, it’s excellent.

I’d say this question is similar. Magick affects events outside your house because you got your intent into your unconscious. Also, because your unconscious contacted external forces that know how to create luck. Also, because those external forces somehow influenced your decisions (or occasionally the decisions of others), and somehow knew which way to nudge those decisions to create that outcome.

Most of my work focuses on going deeper down that causal chain: How do those external forces nudge decisions? How do they know which direction to nudge? How can we improve them?

But as I write this, it occurs to me that there are also engineering problems: How can we become more aware of those nudges, and listen to them more? How should we phrase an intent to produce the desired outcome? These don’t necessarily need the deeper exploration of how that external force functions. And for beginners, learning to use these forces probably matters more than a deeper exploration of why they work.

Well, that wasn’t really your question, but I hope you found it interesting.

2. Why do some spells not work? (Your intent vs about 12 other people looking for a parking spot for example, your intent is outnumbered.)

I think this is a plausible scenario, but since so few people use magick, this is probably a rare cause of failures.

In my own work, as I’ve gotten better at communicating with ethereal software (and in particular at receiving messages back), I now get error messages. So if I ask for an event (“find a parking space on this block”) but there’s no path to that event (all the spaces are already taken), the software tells me it’s not possible. In general, I take this as a guide to broaden my request (“cause me to drive such that I find a parking spot,” which focuses on influencing my decisions rather than on forcing the world to be a certain way).

3. Why do I just “know” things? (The ethereal software tells me)
4. How do herbs, crystals, and tools help me to get my desired effects? (They emit different frequencies e.g. when you hold a magnet to a crystal it makes a different sound. Every herb, crystal, and colour has different atomic structures and properties that enable them to work for certain spells e.g rose quartz for a beauty spell).

When I see answers like this, I reflexively ask, “But how?” Not to put the person on the spot (I try to avoid saying it out loud except with friends). But whenever I get an answer, I try to imagine all the moving parts in my head, see how they fit together, and I notice that I don’t actually have enough information to make things fit.

Herbs and crystals emit different frequencies — are we talking about sound waves? Light? Magickal energy? (Note: I use the term energy signature rather than frequency, but they’re synonyms.)

Each herb and crystal has a different atomic structure — true, but also true of everything. It sounds sciency, but hasn’t told us anything. Why is ice slippery? Because of its atomic structure. Great, but what about the structure?

I’m not saying these to put you on the spot. I’m saying them because that’s where my mind immediately goes, and since you love science too, part of your mind probably wants to go there too. So consider this a friendly nudge.

My answers:

Herbs contain medically-active chemicals. Aspirin is found in willow bark, for example. This seems like a good explanation for everything I’ve seen done with herbs.

If you asked me about crystals a few years ago, I would have said they were just symbolic, like using a white candle. But a few years ago, readers asked about it, and I tested it.

Crystals seem to absorb energy, then emit that energy in a particular signature. So there’s one signature for quartz, and whatever energy you send into the quartz, it absorbs then re-emits that energy in the “quartz signature.” Interesting side-note: This is also how color works, with objects absorbing light then emitting photons only in specific frequencies. Maybe “frequency” would be a better term than “signature”…

What’s the significance of changing your energy to “quartz signature” energy? Well, the sensation of energy has more to do with the signature than the amount. Your body has a signature, and energy that’s similar to your body’s signature only produces a small sensation, while energy that’s dissimilar produces a large sensation. So, you send energy into the quartz, it comes out in a signature matching the quartz (and not matching your body), and that energy feels much stronger because of the more dissimilar signature.

This, by the way, is one of my favorite things about Direct Magick: I routinely test something, and find that it doesn’t work the way I expected. If that didn’t happen, well what’s the point of exploring? (Other systems do this too, by the way.)

That, by the way, is also the essence of science: Run the experiment, let nature tell you about the world. It means you can connect every finding, every belief, to something you can experience for yourself in the world. That’s what I love about science: The exploration and connection to the world. And everything in the modern world, from medicine to sky scrapers to cell phones, rests on the power of asking nature how the world works, then listening to the answer.

That’s about half of Sharon’s email. I’ll do the second half coming up.

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