Posts Tagged ‘ReadersQuestions’

Speaking to Spirits: How Disembodied Voices Might Work

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

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If disembodied voices gave you useful information, what would you think? Spirits? Psychosis? And where would you go for help and guidance?

Ladonna Christy asks:

Dear Mike: I am a first time reader of your site. I have been interested being able to hear the spirit guardian who has been with me for over 9 years now. I noticed you mentioned that you will not hear them out loud. What do you think of what I call ( my aunt’s favorite name for it) a “behind the wall” voice? I can hear him at times like a voice behind a brick wall. It isn’t clear but seems to be out loud somewhat like a distant radio. The only thing is if he speaks full sentences, I only clearly pick up a word or two. Yes and no answers are easy but that doesn’t always happen. He is patient with me but sometimes gets annoyed when I just don’t get the message. I will try your technique. I will get back to you if I find I am hearing the whole sentences better and clearer. What is your take on “out loud”? I am not schizophrenic because he has proven himself time and time again. Also if I were schizophrenic I am sure I would hear out loud clearly all the time and the “voice” would be telling me destructive things or something like that, right?

One of the tragedies of the modern world is that we’ve medicalized mystical experiences. Last night, after I shared some of my energy healing experiences, a friend opened up about her mystical experiences, and we became much closer. Sharing these experiences used to be common and connective, but today no one shares them, so we believe we’re the only one with these experiences, and they become isolating. That’s a tragedy.

I’m not qualified to speak about schizophrenia, but I will say that, in many cultures throughout history, receiving useful information from disembodied voices would make you a shaman. I just googled “psychologist shaman” and got a bunch of results, including some PhD psychologists who are also practicing shamen. If you’re distressed, reach out to them — even if they don’t live near you, many psychologists offer sessions over the phone or skype. They can help rule out psychological issues, and also help you decide what direction you want to take with this.

You also ask some technical questions about talking with spirits. Those I can answer:

You mentioned that you will not hear [spirits] out loud. What do you think of what I call a “behind the wall” voice? I can hear him at times like a voice behind a brick wall. It isn’t clear but seems to be out loud somewhat like a distant radio.

I need to lay a little groundwork before I can answer that. I’m going to start with touch, then energy, then answer you on communication.

If you touch your leg, the nerves in your leg respond, sending a signal up your spine to your brain. I’ll call this a “direct sensation.”

If you instead close your eyes and imagine someone touching your leg, you’ll probably feel an odd tingle, different than touch but definitely a sensation. Try it so you know what I’m talking about. Maybe imagine looking at a hand touching your leg, or imagine it almost touching you, and really focus. Feel what I’m talking about? That’s entirely in your brain. It’s still a real phenomenon, a real sensation, but the cause is different. We’ll call this a “referred sensation,” borrowing from the term referred pain.

We can think about direct and referred sensations with energy, too. A directly felt energy would affect the nerves of my leg, producing a signal up my spine to my brain. A referred sensation of energy would mean that the ethereal muscles in my mind notice the energy in my leg and create a sensation in my brain, without involving the nerves in my leg or spine at all.

Based on testing, when I feel energy, it’s a referred sensation, and I suspect that’s true of others as well.

Aside: Why don’t non-energy-workers feel energy? Their ethereal muscles aren’t engaged, so there’s nothing to create that sensation in their brain. If we could do something with energy to activate the nerves in the leg and produce direct sensations, then everyone would probably feel that. Yes, this is part of my current research.

OK, now we’re ready for voices. All communication with spirits is like referred sensations: The person’s ethereal muscles create activation in their brain, transmitting the message. If the activation in the brain is in visual regions, we get visions, half-seen and half-imagined. If it’s in a region for thinking, we get ideas simply appearing in consciousness, feeling a bit different than one’s own thoughts. And if it’s in auditory regions, we get words, half-imagined and half-heard, perhaps like a distant radio.

That’s my best guess on the mechanism of what you’re experiencing.

And her second question:

The only thing is if he speaks full sentences, I only clearly pick up a word or two. Yes and no answers are easy but that doesn’t always happen. He is patient with me but sometimes gets annoyed when I just don’t get the message.

Ten or 15 years ago, I started learning a set of techniques for communication. These were based on how spirits communicate: How they read thoughts and write messages to the mind. I was learning to do those steps myself, to make it easier for the spirits, and just because I was curious. Instead of using energy to activate thoughts in my mind, the spirit would give me a message and I’d place it into my own mind. And rather than the spirit reading my brain activity, I’d gather the energy signatures created by my thoughts and send them to the spirit. By learning to handle the communication myself, I became able to communicate with more spirits, including ones who don’t work with humans often and aren’t great at reading thoughts or writing messages.

After I learned my first technique, I started verifying messages. I’d have the spirit send a message directly to my brain, then send the same message for me to read myself, to verify the new technique. I discovered that the new technique was much better, and that when the spirit would send the message to my brain I’d miss most of it. Often, I’d only receive a few words of each sentence, along with a general tone or overall intent. Those words and intent went into my unconscious, which created a full sentence and gave it to my conscious mind. That full sentence was what I thought of as the “message,” but most of the words were from me. So I guess I’m saying: Yes, that happened to me too, and I think it’s fairly common.

As you say, yes and no is much easier, because there is no precision to miss. The word isn’t even required, just the tone is sufficient. For a while, I’d confirm every message I got, “I think you said [whatever], is that correct?” Then wait for a yes or no.

A technique I didn’t have at the time, but have since figured out: If you can easily receive a yes / no, then communicate using tarot cards. Ask your question, deal the cards, and go through the various meanings for each. Pause at each meaning, and wait for a yes or a no. This turns an open-ended question into a series of yes / no questions, which is much easier for the spirit to communicate. I discuss that here and here, and I’ll be teaching a class on this soon in San Francisco, with an accompanying post on this blog.

Hope it helps. Good luck!

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Working with Spirits: The Only Offering I Use

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

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Darbe.jae asks:

can you tell me what you know about leaving offerings for the spirits that we work with?

I’m going to give you the Direct Magick answer, which is different than the Voodoo or Golden Dawn or other answers. It’s not that I’m right and they’re wrong, it’s that I’m coming to this with a different set of skills and goals, so I wind up at different answers. I’ll cover that too.

So here’s the deal with offerings in Direct Magick: I’ve tried offering energy. I’ve tried offering heartfelt thanks. Both are OK. But the only one that seems to really matter is knowledge.

By knowledge, I mean training the spirit in something they care about. The best is a technique, such as teaching them a better way to awaken ethereal muscles or some other aspect of magick. Human knowledge can be good too, such as medicine to computer algorithms, but it needs to come with an explanation of how to apply it to magick techniques the spirit uses. To anyone who wonders how I network with spirits, that’s how: Train them, and they’ll view you as a peer, and be eager to work with you.

But… That’s not easy to do. It took me nearly 20 years to get there. I had to learn:

  • Precise communication. When I started working with spirits, I would get a few concepts and unconsciously fill in the details. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I started learning better communication techniques. It kept me from communicating precisely (because I was mostly hearing my own unconscious expectations), which would keep me from sharing anything of value.
  • I also needed a technique to train the spirits in. This isn’t a favorite visualization or a phrase you chant or any other aspect of typical magick practice. Those are for getting your intent to your unconscious. Instead, it’s got to be something done the way spirits do it, by reaching out with connections and altering ethereal structures directly. I discuss the difference in this post on visualizing vs sensing.

I know good techniques for both communication and training, so the only offering I use is an exchange of knowledge. But what about before then, when I started working with spirits?

I’ve asked the spirits I work with today, “Why did you train me back then?” (I don’t work with all the same spirits, but I’ve kept in touch with some of them.)

Their answer is partly that it was easy to help, partly that they enjoy helping and seeing me learn, but mostly that some percentage of the people they train develop new techniques and help them in return.

(I get the impression that humans come up with ideas that spirits wouldn’t, which adds to the value. I can certainly say, the new techniques I’ve developed owe a lot to having a physical body, to looking at some aspects of energy healing and magick that spirits often ignore, and to drawing from cultural ideas that they don’t know. It’s not that I’m better than the spirits — I’m definitely not, they learn my new techniques almost instantly, while I struggle with half of what they teach me. It’s that anything new is valuable, and often leads to many other new ideas.)

But while they’re training you, before you can contribute new techniques, what offerings can you give? A simple “Thank you” is often sufficient. Focus on the feeling of gratitude while you say it, since most communication happens in concepts, not words, and they can feel your gratitude.

I suppose, in a way, saying “thank you” is an offering.

On other offerings: I view “valuable” offering (like a plate of food) as an elaborate way of saying “thank you.” The spirit doesn’t actually want your food, but the action helps focus your mind on the help and the gratitude. Can any practitioners of offering-based systems share insight here? (Perhaps a certain professor of religion?)

What about offering energy? Some spirits seem to like it, but I’ve never enjoyed working with them. They often drain more than you’d like, and the most skilled spirits seem uninterested in my energy. They have enough of their own, thank you very much.

So that’s my answer: Offer knowledge. And until you get there, offer thanks, and keep learning.

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Explaining Biofields to Skeptics

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

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George asks:

Question: What language would you use to describe to someone what a “biofield” is and how you work with it, if they weren’t well-versed in the topic (or even a little wary or dismissive about these things)?

(Also a great discussion of direct / indirect magick in that thread, worth reading from the start.)

To answer, I’ll imagine a potential client, curious but skeptical, is asking this. I’d start with case studies:

“Before explaining the biofield, let me explain why I care about it, why I work with it…” And then whatever case studies matter most, simply describing that person’s condition before the healing session and after.

Note: I like to let people draw their own conclusions on whether the results were from healing energy or placebo or coincidence. That way they don’t feel pressured. Also, it lets me avoid claiming more than I actually know, and also avoid legal issues with saying that a healing technique had specific medical results.

Why start with healing results? Because you can’t convince someone of the biofield by describing it. You need to start with the experimental evidence. You also want to share the impact, why it’s worthwhile to study and use this. For us, the experimental evidence and the impact are both our healing results.

(If they’re more skeptical, I’ll discuss peer-reviewed journal articles, particularly the recent studies done on cell cultures. It won’t convince an unreasonable skeptic, but if they want to believe and just need to know they’re not foolish for believing, journal articles can be great.)

Once they’re on board with this healing technique being awesome, I’d explain the biofield:

“The short answer is, no one really knows what the biofield is. It’s our current best explanation for how this phenomenon works. Our current thinking is, there’s there’s a field of energy around living tissue, probably emitted by the cells. By influencing the energy, we can affect the cells. Now, is this literally true, or is it just an explanation that happens to lead to useful healing techniques? I can’t say. But it’s our current best model.

“My current hypothesis is that the energy inhibits or promotes cellular processes, and by picking the right energy we can target the right cellular process. Healing techniques based on that model seem to work well. Is that literally true? Again, no one knows. At some point I’d like to do cell culture studies so we can advance our understanding further.”

The point is to be really honest about what we know and what we don’t, what we believe and why we believe it.

I continue that tone as we talk about their healing session, setting expectations that the first technique rarely works and that we’ll need to debug it. And clients tell me how other healers overpromise and underdeliver, and that they trust me more for admitting the limits of our knowledge and our current healing research.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

The Heart of Direct Magick: Love and Engineering

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

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Sonia asks:

Where is the heart in all this? This – like connecting to the software hehe ;-) – is all braintalk to me.

In all you have experimented. Have you noticed a difference between just bringing sort the idea of simple deep emotion of “love and light” to a cell then whatever technical precise command you give… ?

(Read her full comment here.)

You’re right, this is different than focusing on love and light. It’s a different way of doing energy healing and magick. It won’t feel easy or intuitive the first time, and it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s OK.

I want to share the heart of Direct Magick for me. Why I do this. Because this intellectual approach ultimately is in service of love.

Four years ago, one of the loves of my life, Lisa, had chronic hives. She’d had them for 9 months, seen doctors, was taking prescription antihistamines, and she was still getting worse. She told me, “If I knew I’d be like this for the rest of my life, I’d kill myself.” I don’t think that was hyperbole.

My first healing technique failed. So did my second. Hives is simply too complex of an illness to get much result by focusing on love. My unconscious didn’t know the right healing technique to use, so focusing on that intent wouldn’t get us anywhere — my unconscious would say, “Yeah, I get that you want to heal her. I want to heal her too, but I don’t know how.”

But we did succeed. She researched the medical science. I developed energies to target the specific tissues involved. After we got the right technique, her hives stopped literally overnight: We did the healing session after dinner, and the next morning she woke without hives for the first time in months.

I practice magick in this intellectual, problem-solving way because I care about solving problems. Not because that’s clever or cool, but because that’s how I help the people I love.

Another example: Today, a friend has relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. She has mild pain, numbness and odd sensations, but she’s mostly in remission and can live a normal life. But no one knows when it’ll relapse.

Like hives, MS is an autoimmune disorder. Like hives, it’s too complex to get much result just by wanting to, by focusing on intent and love and light. But maybe, if we’re smart and diligent and lucky, we can adapt the healing technique for hives to also help her. I’ve been working on that, on and off, for 8 months, and I’m going to keep at it until we get somewhere.

There are healing techniques I want to get out into the world. One for depression I developed for myself in 2013, which I need to adapt for others. Several for people with chronic joint pain, insomnia, and infections. And other healing techniques for people with pain from chemotherapy and advanced cancer.

Focusing on intent and love is great for communicating your intent to your unconscious. And if your unconscious knows how to solve that problem, then awesome, you’ll get good results. But all those things I just listed? My unconscious didn’t know how to do any of them. Solving those problems required intellect and engineering to develop the techniques.

So the heart of Direct Magick is this: Understand your magick. Research the problem you’re solving. Engineer a new technique. Then use it to help the people you love.

The purpose is love. But the path is science and engineering.

Also, a new front page. It’s been on my list, and writing this post finally showed me where to start.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Advice to a Teenage Energy Worker

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

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Tori, reading An Initiation into Direct Magick, asks:

I’ve been channeling energy since I was about 6 years old. Now, I’m almost 13 and I have never been able to actually make anything happen except stay warm at 0 degrees! What am I doing wrong?

When I was in high school, I had martial arts belts hanging from a pipe in my room, and I’d try sending energy to make them sway. I’d also flip a coin and try to make it come up heads. I very much wanted concrete results, and to know I was working with something real.

I’ll tell you what I’d tell myself: You’re not doing anything wrong. In fact, by looking for demonstrations of your energy, you’re doing something very much right. Testing yourself will take you far in life, wherever you go.

But you are expecting far too much of yourself. Professionals with decades of experience don’t get the kind of results I was looking for. It was an unfairly high bar, and there was no way I could pass it.

What do professional researchers find? Intuitions that are right more often than chance (but far from 100% reliable.) Biofield energy affecting cell cultures, which shows it can’t be placebo. Subtle results like that. (To find more, go to Google Scholar and search for “biofield energy.” Have it sort by date, and search everything, not just abstracts).

If they’re subtle, why do they matter? Because science advances through anomalies. Like epicycles lead to Newtonian physics and space flight, glass lenses lead to bacteria and modern medicine, and photon wave patterns lead to quantum physics, which gave us the transistors that power the modern world. When you find an anomaly, you rarely know where it leads, but it often leads to a miracle.

Biofield energy is one of today’s anomalies.

A short-term example: Studies suggest biofield energy can influence how nerves fire. Assume that’s accurate: What could we do if we harnessed that mechanism and guided it with modern neurology and other sciences? How could we help people with depression, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy?

Long-term? No idea where this leads. I just know I want to help get us there, and I hope you do too.

So, Tori, you’re not doing anything wrong. It sounds to me like you’re doing a lot right. Keep exploring, keep testing, keep having fun discovering the world.

Good luck!

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

A Common (But Useless) Safety Measure

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

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Prav asks:

I am using your sigil from here:

Help Beta Test My Ethereal Software

I have to know if the software has any name and what spirits it uses. I don’t work with things I don’t know about…

I’ve talked about safety before. Repeatedly. And not just defense, because sometimes a spirit won’t leave you alone until you bother it right back. What I’m saying is, I’m serious about safety.

But I haven’t discussed names. Why?

Before I answer that, let me share a story.

When I worked in India a few years ago, I got lots of safety advice. Wear mosquito repellent (they carry terrible diseases). Only drink bottled water, and check if the bottle has been re-sealed by melting it. Haggle for everything (it’s fun!)

One tip I didn’t get? “Only trust street vendors with friendly-sounding names like Deepak.”

Because a person’s name doesn’t tell you if they’re safe, right? Same with the names of spirits and ethereal software.

Names are for marketing. They’re the brand. They’re how we appeal to a particular audience. I could call the software Holy Light, made by the Holy Order. Or I could call it The Corruption Vault, made by Skarnax, Devourer of Worlds. Or The Universe, made by The Ancients.

Names don’t get you safety. Names are just words.

So if not names, what should we do? The same as you’d do in business or sales or relationships: Talk with the person (me, in this case, by reading my blog), see what you think of them, and decide if you think they know what they’re doing and if it’s important to them to keep you safe. (I do, and it is, but you shouldn’t take my word for it, you should read me over time and make up your own mind.)

And long term, follow those links and learn to protect yourself. If you know you can keep yourself safe even if the spirit is hostile, you can explore so much more.

That said, I should probably name my software and spirits for branding purposes. Thoughts? Leave a comment. Thanks!

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Do Wiccans Use Ethereal Software?

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

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Susie asks:

I love reading your blog. I have a question. Is your theories about magick can apply to all types of magick, like Witchcraft or casting spells?

Thank you! And good question.

I started developing Direct Magick in the mid-90s. At the time, Chaos Magick was influencing just about everyone. Chaos Magick starts with an excellent question: So many systems of magick, with different terminology and different explanations, produce essentially the same results. Why?

(Chaos Magick’s answer is that “belief is the tool,” that magick works however you believe it does. But if that were the case, then all those different systems with different explanations and different beliefs would produce different results. In other words, belief cannot be an answer to that question.)

Back to the story. Often, the question is more important than the answer, and I think that’s the case here. Because it’s a great question.

Why do all those different systems produce similar results?

Here’s my answer: When two different actions produce the same result, that’s usually because they both tap into the same phenomenon, and share the same underlying mechanism. They might call it different names — The Universe, Natural Laws, Ethereal Software — but they’re all referring to the same phenomenon, the same mechanism, the same object out in the world.

The question then becomes, “What’s the most precise / useful way to tap into that mechanism?” That’s the question behind most of Direct Magick.

(Another valid version is, “What’s the fastest / easiest-to-teach way to tap into that mechanism?” That would produce a totally-different-but-also-excellent system of magick.)

So, Susie, my answer is yes. All magick, from Witchcraft to spells to rituals to Reiki, probably shares one (or a few) mechanisms. And Direct Magick is my current-best attempt to explain and harness that mechanism.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Learning From Ancient Magick

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

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Can we learn ancient, powerful magick?

That depends: Was ancient magick powerful? More powerful than what we have today?

I doubt it. But that doesn’t mean we should entirely discard ancient magickal practices. Talking with a friend, she convinced me there’s something worth looking into.

Today, I’m revising my answer to last week’s question:

Can direct magick help me learn those ancient magick that was not pass down or lost in time??

Note: I added this answer to that post a few days ago, too.

My question is, why do you want to learn about ancient magick?

I see 3 possible answers. First, love of history. If you’re a historian looking for ancient Egyptian fertility rites, that sounds awesome, but sorry, Direct Magick doesn’t have that.

Second, you might hope to glean some clues from systems of healing developed over hundreds of years. After all, Western medicine has developed drugs by looking at traditional herbal medicine. (I think aspirin came from investigating herbal medicine, and it’s pretty great.) I see some potential here, and Direct Magick has some useful tools for separating the wheat from the chaff in these investigations.

Third, there’s a notion that ancient magick was more powerful, calling down plagues and reviving the dead, creating objects out of thing air, smiting your enemies. Most people who ask for ancient magick are after power.

Here’s the thing: In ancient times, they didn’t distinguish between biofield healing vs (herbal) drugs and placebo, or even slight of hand, and they didn’t understand confirmation bias — heck, much of ancient history was oral traditions, shifting and embellishing with each retelling. So those powerful lost ancient magicks? They were probably illusionists, herbs, and other non-magickal phenomena.

But if you’re after powerful magick, I do have a path for you: Understand the underlying mechanisms behind magick. Harness them to create better techniques that solve new problems. Build magick into a respected science, one with thousands of researchers worldwide, connected to medicine and physics and the rest of human knowledge. That’s the path to more powerful magick.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Spirits, Safety, & Reader Questions

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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Today, I’m answering questions I normally don’t consider from a reader new to Direct Magick:

1) What is the difference between spirits and ghost and is it safe to communicate with them?? because what if they are malevolent??

I work with spirits: Ethereal intelligences that never had a body. I think of them as an artificial intelligence, made of ethereal connections and energy, rather than transistors.

Ghosts are disembodied dead people. Or that’s the notion, anyway. Ghosts seem like a rather unlikely hypothesis to me.

To be fair, spirits are a rather unlikely hypothesis, too. But I include spirits in my work because they’ve repeatedly helped me develop effective techniques. In other words, I consider both unlikely, but I have evidence for spirits, while I have no evidence for ghosts.

(To everyone who has experiences with ghosts: I believe your experiences. I believe they are real, and outside contemporary science. I do energy healing that’s outside contemporary science, after all. I just think there’s an explanation that doesn’t involve a person’s mind floating through the world after their brain dies.)

On safety, I see people go to extremes. There’s the view that everything is safe, that nothing can affect you unless you give it permission. This seems like wishful thinking to me. “Permission” is a property of human minds, not of physics, and physics doesn’t distinguish between helpful and harmful events. Anything powerful enough to make a useful change can also harm.

The other extreme is: “Spirits are dangerous. Some are demons. They create madness and illness and misfortune. Be careful, learn the historically-trusted methods, and don’t go wandering in the woods.” It’s too far, and it reminds me of mistaking cynicism for maturity. (Although historically, it may come from poor models of disease, where we mistook bacteria and viruses for diseases.)

So, what’s my take? I’ve experienced many spirits who drain energy. Some drain it quite aggressively, resulting in headaches, disorientation, even nausea. These are unpleasant, and are worth learning to protect against, both defensively and offensively.

But remember: Those symptoms are on the order of a hangover. Unpleasant, not life-threatening. Worth avoiding, but not fretting about. Be aware, do magick responsibly (learn protection), and enjoy exploring.

(The worst attack I’ve seen caused nerve pain in a friend’s ear. It came from a (human) mage. Nothing to do with spirits, everything to do with human pettiness. I was glad for the protection experience I had, along with the healing techniques to fix it.)

2) Also what is the disadvantage of using direct magick if there is any??

Originally, Direct Magick was about using connections and energy directly, to do healing techniques without channeling ethereal software. That takes much longer to learn the channeling-based energy healing. It also didn’t include manifesting.

These days, I’ve added ethereal software to help you get started. I hope you’ll outgrow that software eventually. The point is still to do magick directly, using energy and connections yourself. But I wanted to offer a gentler start, which requires channeling.

Also, if you enjoy the theater of ritual, we don’t have any of that. Sorry.

3)Can direct magick help me learn those ancient magick that was not pass down or lost in time??

My question is, why do you want to learn about ancient magick?

I see 3 possible answers. First, love of history. If you’re a historian looking for ancient Egyptian fertility rites, that sounds awesome, but sorry, Direct Magick doesn’t have that.

Second, you might hope to glean some clues from systems of healing developed over hundreds of years. After all, Western medicine has developed drugs by looking at traditional herbal medicine. (I think aspirin came from investigating herbal medicine, and it’s pretty great.) I see some potential here, and Direct Magick has some useful tools for separating the wheat from the chaff in these investigations.

Third, there’s a notion that ancient magick was more powerful, calling down plagues and reviving the dead, creating objects out of thing air, smiting your enemies. Most people who ask for ancient magick are after power.

Here’s the thing: In ancient times, they didn’t distinguish between biofield healing vs (herbal) drugs and placebo, or even slight of hand, and they didn’t understand confirmation bias — heck, much of ancient history was oral traditions, shifting and embellishing with each retelling. So those powerful lost ancient magicks? They were probably illusionists, herbs, and other non-magickal phenomena.

But if you’re after powerful magick, I do have a path for you: Understand the underlying mechanisms behind magick. Harness them to create better techniques that solve new problems. Build magick into a respected science, one with thousands of researchers worldwide, connected to medicine and physics and the rest of human knowledge. That’s the path to more powerful magick.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Flying and Fireballs

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

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Could magick give us flight, fireballs, and other movie special effects?

Responding to an aside on the limits of magick (bottom of the post), George asks:

Might we get flying and fireballs eventually? What would the nature of the restrictions be – just that we don’t have the appropriate software in existence yet?

Most magick “breaks the law” to some extent – how far can it go, do you think? What stops us pushing it?

When I think about magick, I start with the mechanisms we already know about:

  • Energy seems to inhibit or promote cellular processes. We can target particular processes / tissues based on the signature of the energy.
  • Manifesting seems to have some way of tapping into future events.
  • I’ve seen manifesting operate by influencing my decisions.
  • Other mages also report manifesting that seems to operate by minor influences of physical objects. (I’m thinking about weather and lottery here.)

That last one is particularly interesting. It suggests that ethereal matter can exert a force on ordinary matter. If we could understand and harness that force, could we move large objects? Could we move our own bodies? I have no idea, but maybe.

A few risks to consider, though: What if you generated the 170-some lbs of force required to lift me, but you did it all in one square inch of my arm? What if you did it inside my heart, brain, or other vital organ? What if you distributed it throughout my body, but the forces didn’t all point in the same direction? There’s a lot that could go wrong. Still, it sounds plausible.

What about fireballs? I don’t see anything that makes me think ethereal matter combusts, or that we could control it. Even if it is possible, why bother? Guns work better than fireballs anyway.

(Fireballs are also inferior to any number of simpler magickal effects. We can already influence nerves, and I’m sure there are ways to hurt someone with that. Or, if you somehow created fire out of ethereal matter, just create fire inside your victim’s body. Really, the only reason to throw a fireball is because it looks awesome in movies.)

Also relevant to this topic: Privileging the hypothesis. That is, there’s no reason to focus on flight and fireballs instead of, say, producing light, air vibrations, gravity, or any number of other equally-hard things.

One more question I want to answer:

[Is it] just that we don’t have the appropriate software in existence yet?

At one level, this is correct: If we had ethereal software that could levitate a person, and we could command that software, then we could levitate a person.

But at another level, this misses the point of Direct Magick. See, that software doesn’t exist, because no one knows how to levitate a person. So it’s not just a matter of making the software. First, we have to figure out how to do the technique ourselves, using the basic forms of ethereal matter — energy and connections, basically. That’s hard. If you’ve been reading my weekly updates, you know what goes into building a simple technique (like creating sensations) from just energy and connections. Flight would be vastly more complex.

Creating those techniques is the real point of Direct Magick, by the way. That’s why we learn to do magick without ethereal software — so we can build new techniques from the basic forms of ethereal matter. That’s what it takes to push the limits of what magick can do.

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