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    Thread: On The Nature of Shared Dreaming

    1. #126
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      Quote Originally Posted by Venryx View Post
      Your response is intriguing, shadowofwind.By the way, I've always been kinda curious why some (eg. you, zenith, and many others) are not interested in "proving" things like this as much as I am. For me, one of the most important things to do, before you spend a lot of time on something, is to obtain clear evidence that it is real so you can convince the wider world. Why? Because if you can convince the wider world, you can increase the amount of research that gets done on it.

      I mean, imagine if the world woke up tomorrow, and 80% of scientists were convinced shared dreaming is real. Can you imagine how quickly our knowledge of the subject would advance? So I can understand why it might not be interesting personally to someone to obtain clear evidence, but aren't you guys at least interested in it because of what it would mean for expanding how much research is done on the subject?

      Anyway, looking forward to our eventual SD attempt! (As well as the email interaction you mentioned -- that should be fun to read, even if not conclusive )

      I just need to think of what question to use as the target now...
      I did strongly want personal evidence for a long time, but there are multiple reasons why I'm not so keen on rushing to prove SD to the world. For one, it would be quite difficult, as I was barely able to prove it to myself, and don't have a reliable way to experiment with SD.

      More importantly, caution seems wise here. I've dedicated the vast majority of my life to my greatest obsession of exploring and pushing against the boundaries of what can possibly be done within a dream. Have made many breakthroughs throughout the years and if you could witness some of what I've experienced then perhaps you would also consider approaching SD with caution. I see it as a missing puzzle piece that could potentially unleash a sort of pandora's box upon the world.

      For the sake of exploration and experimentation, I'd be willing to help produce subjective evidence intended for those involved, but I'm not currently looking to prove SD to the world.


      On another note, I got pretty heavy into psi training for a few years, way back in my early to mid teens. Worked with things like psiwheel, shielding, advanced constructs, programming, etc, but not much to show for it this side of reality. Never did get the wheel to spin under glass, and psi always felt super light, no where near dense enough to interact with solid matter in any meaningful way, at least for me. Anyways, I excelled with constructs and programming, and got the most use from my training with psi by implementing it into my dream control toolbox. I took what I found useful and then dropped trying to attain irl usefulness. Don't really want to dedicate 30+ years of training just to maybe come out the other end finally able make a psiwheel spin.

      I can also understand why some people would dismiss claims coming from psionics without looking deeply into it. I don't know how things are now, but back when i was researching psi there was a lot of fluff to sift through.

      I only vaguely recall hearing of RNG manipulation, but that sounds like some first earth battalion type stuff. I'm curious as to how it works, and what could be done with it. Are you manipulating the generator itself, manipulating some sort of quantum potential, somehow piloting to a world line where the desired outcome was achieved, or something else? Could you manipulate RNG in a pokemon game to achieve a high rate of shiny encounters?

    2. #127
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      Venryx,

      I had a couple of related dreams which I can post after you tell me that you're ready, that you selected a topic and dreamed already. I don't think it matters very much that I dreamed before you selected your topic, because your topic selection will tend to be tied in with the same intuitions anyway.

      I think that if we drag this out very long it will get harder to demonstrate anything, because our dreams will get increasingly contaminated by our external interactions, and the novelty of having met a new person will wear off. I'll see what I dream tomorrow night also, then I think that's it for me.

    3. #128
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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Venryx,

      I had a couple of related dreams which I can post after you tell me that you're ready, that you selected a topic and dreamed already. I don't think it matters very much that I dreamed before you selected your topic, because your topic selection will tend to be tied in with the same intuitions anyway.

      I think that if we drag this out very long it will get harder to demonstrate anything, because our dreams will get increasingly contaminated by our external interactions, and the novelty of having met a new person will wear off. I'll see what I dream tomorrow night also, then I think that's it for me.
      Oh my. I'd prefer to not have to be rushed, but since your subconscious has already started, I suppose I'll have to try. ^_^

      Deciding on a topic now, and turning on my try-hard-to-remember-my-upcoming-dreams mode... (we'll see if it works)

      EDIT: Okay, I've decided on my topic and written it down. Now just need to have a dream about it.
      Last edited by Venryx; 09-25-2019 at 04:35 PM.

    4. #129
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      Venryx,

      I don't have time to read everything carefully right now, but briefly on the subject of why I'm not more enthusiastic about 'proving' shared dreaming.

      Let's suppose I find someone in a psychology department somewhere who is potentially interested in working on this. We can try to get funding, or do it unfunded. If we try to get public funding, the first priority of any potential grant source is ass-covering: they have to be able to justify their decision to their higher-ups, who are worried about negative fallout if some other party publicly demands to know why they spent money on this. A second problem is that SBIR or STTR grants from agencies like NIH or NSF need some justification of potential business benefit, advancing science isn't enough. There are other grant types, but they're much harder to get. The ass-covering issue probably sinks us all by itself though. If we go to a private source of funds, ass-covering is again an issue, unless we're talking directly to Mr. Billionaire, and lack of a way to monetize it is again a problem. The way that Mr. Billionaire got to be one is by making decisions based on money. Even the ostensibly altruistic activities of most rich people are investments that benefit companies they own, if you look at the details. I've met wealthy people who believe in paranormal phenomena who have not the slightest bit of interest in funding such research.

      But lets suppose we find an exception. Or lets suppose we do the work unfunded, even though that's very difficult because most people in 'respectable' research positions have other research obligations and families to take care of. (I'm neglecting other things just to write this message.) Suppose we successfully produce evidence that some kind of dream telepathy is real. How do people know we didn't cheat? We need a referee. How do external critics know that the referee wasn't in on the cheat? That will be alleged, and it can't be disproved. Why would any potential referee want to put their reputation and risk like that? Would it even be right for us to ask them to? And how am I going to get subsequent grants on other respectable subjects after gaining notoriety as a pseudo-scientist? I need to continue to earn a living. Likewise for other people who I collaborate with on other research. It is a huge can of worms. With other research, other researchers can reproduce the results if they do it correctly. The whole scientific approach depends on that. Here, I'm not even sure I can reproduce it myself, there's an essential element that I'm not in control of. If the research is successful, other people will need to follow up, and many or all of them will get negative results. How to answer that? My experience from conversations is that other potential researchers also have a very poor intuitive grasp of what we're trying to accomplish, and will not set up their experiments or interpret their results in an appropriate manner. They imagine we're trying to send a hidden signal between two people. We're not, it doesn't work that way. And there will be some subjectivity or metaphor that needs to be grappled with when interpreting the results. Researchers are generally not equipped to deal with that either. The a-temporal and action-at-a-distance nature of the interaction also makes the experiment very hard to isolate. We need to involve multiple people, with many dreams, and everything leaks into everything else. It makes it extremely difficult to have any kind of control group, or to make anything like a 'measurement'.

      Having said all of that, I'll ask around again and see if I can find any interest, but it looks to me like a doomed undertaking, and the risks are probably too high for it to be worth trying.

    5. #130
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      Venryx,

      I've now read the rest of your post.

      I'm going to go ahead and post my last night's dreams in the Dream Interpretation section. So don't go there if you're not ready to read them yet.

      If you don't dream, that doesn't kill our experiment, because your thoughts would show up in my dreams as easily as mine would show up in yours. I don't dream anywhere near as vividly as I did a few years ago, but maybe its enough.

      A potential flaw in your software experiment is if the start and stop of the random number generation isn't completely isolated from the software execution. Your mouse use will subtly affect the run time. If your software triggers the hardware, then that seems to me to be a problem. Or if the software polls the hardware, that's a problem. But if the software has a buffer that stores the hardware output, so that the buffer content has nothing to do with the software timing, then that works. I guess you already thought of all that, but I couldn't tell from your description.

      In any case, I know I can affect 'random' events, so I'm not surprised for you to find this result. It would not surprise me if you fail to reproduce it though. The reason for a failure to reproduce, is the effect the experimental outcome has on your life is not the same for subsequent experiments as it was for the first experiment. The later outcomes don't "matter" as much because they don't affect your belief in psi as much, which affects choices you make which affect a lot of other things. I doubt your subconscious actually knows how to manipulate the random number generator, I don't think the manipulation is direct like that. What your subconscious does know how to do is select possible future life conditions out of a larger set of potential conditions and make them 'real' by making them more concrete at some level. The 'random' events that lead up to those conditions then fall into place as necessary, without any direct intervention. So for instance if you have a box that contains a superposition of a dead cat and a live cat, you have some way of selecting which one you want to become manifest when you open it, without needed to understand any of the complex interactions inside the box that led to those two states.

      (Some people assume that quantum superposition exists only for coherent states, and collapses the moment that particles interact with a mass of other particles. In that view, the 'measurement' has already occurred inside the box before it is opened. I think that's wrong though, and that's the entire point of the cat thought experiment. The cat is not a metaphor for a system described by a single wavefunction, it is supposed to be an actual cat, both alive and dead.)

      Given that it is somehow possible for you to affect 'random' outcomes, and assuming that this ability isn't limited by physical distance, then it seems to me that what I call 'shared dreaming' follows as a necessary consequence.

      When I said that I think you didn't "directly" manipulate the random number generator, that's a little bit misleading, because how 'direct' the manipulation is depends on the scope or granularity of your concern. If the general, long term determination of outcomes is possible, then it is also possible to narrow the focus of that. But I think its a lot easier to work at the 'big picture' level.

      As I mentioned earlier, I think a key is to tie something into the experiment that you're really interested in at an emotional level. I read about one psi experiment where people were anticipating the appearance of random pornographic images in a sequence of images. That seems to me to be a lot more sensible than having people trying to guess numbers, for instance.

      If the kind of mechanism that I propose is right, where you somehow subconsciously grab one possibility out of a large set of possibilities and make it more concrete, then there's also another reason for your results to degrade as you lengthen the experiment. The overwhelming majority of random number 'histories' look pretty random, and the longer the sequence gets, the larger the grab bag of useless results gets. If you were really affecting the outcome moment by moment, as if you had a little demon putting particles back in a box, then if might be more easy to extend that, like hitting free throws over and over if you're good at free throws. But if your makes and misses are inherently 'random' except for some rough capability of finding and materializing a future global state among several, then your skill doesn't increase the number of 'makes' in the bundle of potential histories, and it might be a lot harder to skew the long-term statistics.

      So I think I predict a disappointing future for your random number generator experiment. I think the results are going to dwindle, notwithstanding that I believe your initial results were 'real'.

      On the upside, I think that this subtle power to affect outcomes works very easily over long distances and timescales. If a series of coincidences needs to happen years ago in order for something to happen, and I can't even know what those coincidences are because calculating the complex causal interactions leading up to the desired future state would be pretty much impossible, somehow that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. It just happens.

      For clarification, I should say that I don't believe that the past is more real than the future is. I think its a fog of possibilities, and that all histories which lead to the present state are equally real. I think that its also possible for the "present state" to drift or jump around, so that different incompatible histories lead up to it. But there's no way to prove that objectively provided that everything drifts or jumps consistently, since the historical record is part of the present. A reason I believe this is because I think that the 'jumps' don't have to be entirely consistent, I think that contradictions are possible. To the limited extent that I understand quantum theory, contradictions aren't prohibited by any of the math, they're just assumed not to occur. In other words, as different independent observers open up the box and observe different mutually exclusive states, those multiple results get reconciled in a consistent way when the observers communicate with each other. Its boxes inside of boxes, and nature prefers consistency as communication 'collapses' everything into a global state. But consistency isn't absolutely required, and sometimes it gets trumped if a particular outcome is inconsistent but is strongly favored for other reasons. I believe this based on personal experiences. I think that manipulating this sort of thing isn't essentially different from what makes your software experiment work.

      Going back to your fading software result, what I'm suggesting is that if you designed it so success depended in part on past events that seem to be completely out of your control, the experiment would still work, provided that nothing else depends on those past events that's more substantial than your experiment. And it would also still work if it depended in part on future events, though off-hand I don't know how you would design that in, since there's no precognitive element to your setup.

      I've had a very large number of clear premonitions that aren't plausibly due to 'coincidence', externally self-fulfilling prophecy, confirmation bias, subjectivity in interpretation, or extrapolation from past experience. If my sense of how this works is at least vaguely correct, then these experiences must make some kind of long term difference, at least to myself. That might lend hope to the possibility of 'proving' some of it in the future. If proving it were impossible, maybe I wouldn't have bothered to waste a non-trivial portion of my life on this sort of thing. Or maybe I'm just having my humility strengthened through unfortunate events and farcical behavior. I'm quite confident in my belief in psychic phenomena, I think I've approached it with enough intelligence and skepticism and proved it to myself far beyond any reasonable doubt. The potentially farcical part is what to do with it, what it all amounts to in the end besides vanity.

      I could give you a lot of examples that you might find compelling, but I'd rather not if we can skip it. I have a lot of other things going on that I need to deal with.
      Sageous likes this.

    6. #131
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      I was relatively lucid while asleep last night, but my dreams were notably bereft of content.

      There was an image of meeting friends to go diving in a flooded cave, but not diving because the water was cold.

      There was a scene in an apartment that I've been in before in dreams, but not in real life. This time there were children's toys on shelves along one wall, which I don't remember from previously. Often my dreams have a soundtrack. This time it was a song that was sort of a hybrid of a Def Leppard ballad and the song Empire by Queensryche. "East side meets west side downtown, no time, no line, the walls fall down. Can't you hear it calling...."

      There was a scene of waiting outside of a shop or cafe that had a publicly accessible restroom. Some kid came out and offered to give me a key code, but I declined, and it wasn't locked anyway.

      There was a scene where I was lamenting something distubing that happened in a dream a few years ago that came true in real life.

      For the last two nights there wasn't any notable sense of any personal presence in my dreams besides myself. Sometimes in the past I can clearly feel someone else.

      For much of the night I was lucid but not really dreaming. One of the new Tool songs was playing much of that time: "pneuma, reach out beyond, wake up remember". So I guess that image was the main content.

      One of my first quasi-shared dreaming experiences, about 8 years ago, was bare like this. Every single night in that period I would have a very lucid, highly scripted parable-like dream. On one night, I was lucid as usual but there was no dream. That night my sister had a dream which began with an image of a mouse biting her finger. In her dream it was raining, and the explanation for the rain was "anisotropic acidity". The dream made no sense to her. The world anisotropic acidity was in her vocabulary because of her biology background.

      The previous day I had read a story that began with a mouse biting the talon of a white owl. After that I had mentally critiqued a theosophical assertion about 'finer states of matter' which violated my understanding of physics. I interpreted my sister's dream as suggesting that the different levels of 'activity' attributed to the different Greek 'elements' are more akin to reactivity than kinetic energy. (Rain is a transition from one 'state of matter' to another. Part of my critique had been that matter doesn't have states. The states are statistical properties related to kinetic energy and entropy that have no meaning for individual atoms. For me the words anisotropic acidity also allude to an etch in semiconductor manufacturing. I think that the process by which fate become manifest is analogous to an etch, in the sense of things becoming concrete because other possibilities are being removed.)

      There was also some simple sound or image in my 'blank' dream that alluded to her dream, but I've forgotten what it was.

      In my mind a white owl is a metaphor for the dream muse.

      Anyway, my last night's experience was mostly blank like that also.

      Most of my past 5 years have been largely blank, but also not very lucid. I think that boredom has been a primary cause of the lack of lucidity. So I guess that nothing is implied by the blankness in this case, unlike with the owl dream.

      Read my post in the dream-interpretation forum for my previous night's dreams.

    7. #132
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      Quote Originally Posted by ZenithofThings View Post
      More importantly, caution seems wise here. I've dedicated the vast majority of my life to my greatest obsession of exploring and pushing against the boundaries of what can possibly be done within a dream. Have made many breakthroughs throughout the years and if you could witness some of what I've experienced then perhaps you would also consider approaching SD with caution. I see it as a missing puzzle piece that could potentially unleash a sort of pandora's box upon the world.
      That's certainly an interesting thought. The way you talk about it makes it sound like you've managed to achieve consistency in your dreams that reveals a sort of structure behind dreaming. That's not been my experience, so that might explain part of our difference in caution. For me, dreams vary so much from time to time that I don't get perceptions of some sort of "ruleset" behind the dreams. Can you give some examples of what you're speaking of?

      Quote Originally Posted by ZenithofThings View Post
      Don't really want to dedicate 30+ years of training just to maybe come out the other end finally able make a psiwheel spin.

      I can also understand why some people would dismiss claims coming from psionics without looking deeply into it. I don't know how things are now, but back when i was researching psi there was a lot of fluff to sift through.
      Yeah, that makes sense to not spend too much time on psi, since even if one were to prove it to themselves and perhaps even add to the global experiment set, it probably won't "develop into everyday changes" within our lifetimes (well, unless one found a way to prove psi so conclusively that it become accepted worldwide, but I suspect it will take decades until we get to that point).

      Regarding the quality of the research: it varies. Some studies are indeed lax on setting up careful isolation between, say, sender and receiver in telepathy or "knowing when stared at" experiments. However, there are also many studies which are done carefully and with strict isolation, have control groups, are performed multiple times, and obtain statistically significant results, but which critics still ignore because they've already made up their minds on the subject. (they pass off these remaining studies as selective reporting, fabrication, or various mistakes, usually, without actually doing the homework on how much selective reporting would have had to occur, or carefully evaluating whether the mistakes they assumed to have happened actually occurred, given the details of the researchers' methodology)

      Quote Originally Posted by ZenithofThings View Post
      I only vaguely recall hearing of RNG manipulation, but that sounds like some first earth battalion type stuff. I'm curious as to how it works, and what could be done with it. Are you manipulating the generator itself, manipulating some sort of quantum potential, somehow piloting to a world line where the desired outcome was achieved, or something else? Could you manipulate RNG in a pokemon game to achieve a high rate of shiny encounters?
      Yeah, RNG manipulation is certainly an interesting variant of psi! That's actually why I chose it, over other alternatives like telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. (some of the alternatives are also harder to test, for example telepathy where you need to have someone else invest time each attempt as well)

      I'm also very curious about what sort of mechanism is working behind the scenes to make it work. This is just my personal guess, but I'm partial to the idea that our expectations/intents are somehow "shifting the probabilities" of the target event itself, rather than learning the details of how to manipulate each physical system. This is because, from the reading of other research I've seen, it seems that psi is able to interact with a large variety of "random" processes, with little or no "learning curve". In other words, it seems to be able to function regardless of what filters, reprocessings, etc. that occur within the system.

      Regarding the possibility of, say, manipulating RNGs within online games to achieve better rewards: I think the effect will be weaker there because almost all online games use pseudo-random number generators rather than "true random" hardware-based number generators. The difference is that pseudo-random number generators are actually deterministic sequences based on the start-time of when the server or number-generation started. Thus, once you have a given "start seed" for the generator, all the numbers after that are predetermined based on the algorithm used.

      That said, there might still be some interaction with psi, since psi could "shift the probabilities" of events occurring that would delay the choosing of the generator "start seed", until just the point where it would select a seed that yields the results desired/expected/intended. That said, I think the effect will be a lot weaker, because there's only so far that the "start seed"'s time/conditions could be shifted before it starts majorly impacting other precedents/expectations. (I think the more a "psi attempt" violates other expectations, the weaker the effect will be. For example, I think violating a "rock-solid" expectation like gravity would be harder than violating statistical trends in systems like a random number-generator; random number generators already have a lot of chaos and unpredictability, so there's more "room" for psi to function there without having to break wider expectations.)
      Last edited by Venryx; 09-30-2019 at 02:54 AM.

    8. #133
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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      But lets suppose we find an exception. Or lets suppose we do the work unfunded, even though that's very difficult because most people in 'respectable' research positions have other research obligations and families to take care of. (I'm neglecting other things just to write this message.) Suppose we successfully produce evidence that some kind of dream telepathy is real. How do people know we didn't cheat? We need a referee. How do external critics know that the referee wasn't in on the cheat? That will be alleged, and it can't be disproved. Why would any potential referee want to put their reputation and risk like that? Would it even be right for us to ask them to? And how am I going to get subsequent grants on other respectable subjects after gaining notoriety as a pseudo-scientist? I need to continue to earn a living. Likewise for other people who I collaborate with on other research. It is a huge can of worms.
      I agree that those are problems if one takes the traditional route of trying to prove it through self-initiated academic research. The problem is that even if you obtain significant results -- a single study or even set of studies -- most people will not treat it very highly due to it being just a single group. The idea is that if it's done by a single group, the researchers involved might be fabricating results, doing many attempts and only reporting the successes, making a mistake that they keep doing each time, etc.

      That's why, if I decide to pursue this further over the years, I have a different plan: Create a self-contained "psi experimentation" system, which anyone can obtain for themselves using "off the shelf" components (commercially available hardware random-number generator, open-source experiment software that can run on personal computers, and a public database storing the data for anyone to view).

      Because everything about the experiment is open, critics can examine the source-code for themselves to make sure there are no mistakes in it. This resolves the issue of people alleging mistakes that the researchers just didn't know about.

      Regarding the concern of result fabrication: critics can try it for themselves in their own home. It's true that there's always been that option for people for some experiment types (eg. zener-card telepathy), however, this situation is more compelling because there is a global database using the exact provided software which backs up the claims of statistical significance. In other words, you can provide actual numbers to the critic, showing, say, "80% of people obtain statistically significant results for this experiment, on their first try. If you're earnest about evaluating psi's existence, you can't just ignore an experiment that has this much success, and that you can try for yourself in your own home, adding to the global database."

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      With other research, other researchers can reproduce the results if they do it correctly. The whole scientific approach depends on that. Here, I'm not even sure I can reproduce it myself, there's an essential element that I'm not in control of. If the research is successful, other people will need to follow up, and many or all of them will get negative results. How to answer that?
      What you're getting at here (I think) is the goal of 100% replicability. You say that "the whole scientific approach depends on that". I only halfway agree.

      While 100% replicability is indeed the gold standard of experimental verification, I disagree with the idea that anything lower than 100% replicability is useless to scientists. If that were true, there are huge portions of our scientific knowledge which we would have to just be rejecting or ignoring at this point. In fact, from what I can tell the majority of scientific research is not about 100% replicability; instead, it's about collecting evidence in favor of a theory, based on what we can observe and see from careful research. Those conclusions may certainly be supported by 100% replicable experiments (for some of its underlying assumptions), but for the conclusions themselves, most are not directly evaluable in a 100% replicable way.

      For example, almost everything we know about the world from prehistoric times isn't directly evaluable. We know about dinosaurs not because we have a 100% replicable experiment that proves a dinosaur can be created; rather, we rely on evidence in the fossil record. We think systems like the grand canyon were formed from a flowing river over millions of years, but this reasonable theory isn't directly evaluable; instead, it's based on inference from what we see in the terrain, carbon dating of contents lodged in the different layers, and calculations we make about whether the conditions of the system over the year were stable and substantial enough to yield the results we see over the given timeframe. These are all reasonable considerations, but they're based on evaluation processes other than direct, in-lab, 100% replicable experiments.

      Another example branch of scientific inquiry that doesn't rely on 100% replicability is medical research. Many drugs do not have a 100% success-rate, and yet are still prescribed to patients, and well accepted as being of assistance for the condition. This is based on statistical analysis of the effects of the drug on lab subjects. For example, a drug may improve the survival rate of patients from 20% to 30%. That's a substantial improvement, but it's far from the gold standard of 100% replicability.

      It's not just that it doesn't increase survival to 100%, it's that sometimes a study actually finds the survival rate was lower for the treated group than the untreated group. This doesn't prove the drug doesn't work, however, because the sample size in each study is too small to rule out random fluctuation. Instead, you have to base your evaluation based on meta-studies that take into account the average effect of the drug among all the performed studies. This is exactly the approach researchers of psi make use of -- metastudies that look at what the average effect size of psi is, among all the lab studies we have on it. (Now this does open up concerns of, say, selective reporting, but that's something you have to deal with regardless of the subject, if you're dealing with <100% reliable phenomenon. And there are established methods to attempt to estimate how much selective reporting has occurred, and calculating how much selective reporting would have had to occur to yield the given results. For some types of psi experiments, the number of "missing studies" that would have had to have been concealed is too much to be reasonable -- for example, 1000+ "hidden failed studies" per single published successful one.)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      My experience from conversations is that other potential researchers also have a very poor intuitive grasp of what we're trying to accomplish, and will not set up their experiments or interpret their results in an appropriate manner.
      So far I've been responding to your points with psi as the subject in question. For the most part, evaluation of shared dreaming will have the same considerations as evaluation of psi (with one difference being that psi is a bit more streamlined to study since it doesn't rely on people needing to wait for dreaming + remembering their dreams). The following section is where they diverge some.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      They imagine we're trying to send a hidden signal between two people. We're not, it doesn't work that way.
      Well, that is one way they could evaluate it, right? It's not the only way, but certainly if you found you could send a signal between two people through dreams, then that would greatly support the idea of shared dreaming. (basically, that would be evaluating psi in the context of dreaming)

      I guess you're skeptical that that would succeed often enough to be statistically demonstrated in a reasonable time-frame, though. (whereas more personal evaluation methods can be based on less rigid constraints, and therefore reveal effects without having to wait for those distinct/predefined hits)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      And there will be some subjectivity or metaphor that needs to be grappled with when interpreting the results. Researchers are generally not equipped to deal with that either.
      Agreed. If trying to evaluate less rigid/defined matches, it's hard for researchers to do this since they don't know the details of the person's experiences, so if something greatly matches something going on in their minds the last few months, it's hard for them to know how intimately they match, without being concerned about the person just exaggerating.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      The a-temporal and action-at-a-distance nature of the interaction also makes the experiment very hard to isolate. We need to involve multiple people, with many dreams, and everything leaks into everything else. It makes it extremely difficult to have any kind of control group, or to make anything like a 'measurement'.
      I agree it makes things much harder. I don't think it utterly fails the effort, but it means you have to collect a lot more data to be able to reach statistical significance for any conclusions. (for example, control groups may have some level of unintentional shared dreaming; however, the hope is that as long as the control group has less shared dreaming, eventually this will be discernible in the statistical data)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Having said all of that, I'll ask around again and see if I can find any interest, but it looks to me like a doomed undertaking, and the risks are probably too high for it to be worth trying.
      Because the effort is admittedly difficult, I agree it's not something we need to be rushing to implement. I'm just saying it's something we should look to further as a society over the years (this applies to both psi research and shared dreaming research). Because psi research is "easier" (can be done in the daytime), it's probably what I'll be looking into mostly personally, but someone could attempt something similar for shared dreaming. (I'm building a lucid dreaming website, so I might implement some sort of "shared dreaming experiment" section there, but probably not for several years since there are lots of higher-priority features I have planned.)

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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      If you don't dream, that doesn't kill our experiment, because your thoughts would show up in my dreams as easily as mine would show up in yours. I don't dream anywhere near as vividly as I did a few years ago, but maybe its enough.
      I did have my first substantial dream this morning since beginning my attempts. The issue is that it doesn't have that much to do with the question/topic I set for myself. That said, it's been enough days that I think I'll just post that dream anyway. I suspect it won't have much overlap with yours (since it seemed pretty run of the mill for my dreaming), but I guess it'll have to do for this attempt. (I'll post it in my dream journal later then link to it; then I'll go and read your first dream account)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      A potential flaw in your software experiment is if the start and stop of the random number generation isn't completely isolated from the software execution. Your mouse use will subtly affect the run time. If your software triggers the hardware, then that seems to me to be a problem. Or if the software polls the hardware, that's a problem. But if the software has a buffer that stores the hardware output, so that the buffer content has nothing to do with the software timing, then that works. I guess you already thought of all that, but I couldn't tell from your description.
      Yes, that possibility did definitely come to mind; even if the code path that runs one section is separate from another, they're still running on the same CPU, so it could cause micro-delays in the running of other instructions.

      That said, I think the chance of such micro-delays causing significant effects is very small. There are a couple of reasons:
      1) The software does, as you mention, have a buffer that stores the hardware output. More specifically, my experiment program launches another process which starts the device's generation, and begins receiving its output. Every couple seconds, that program outputs the new contents of that buffer to its "standard output", which my program then reads and uses as the new contents for its own buffer (a "currentCycle_unusedSamples" array). Whenever the timer in my experiment needs the next number, it then accesses the latest unused-value in that "unusedSamples" array.
      2) The values from the device are "processed" in such a way that it greatly mitigates the potential for exploitation, even if the mouse movements were substantially disrupting the number generation. As mentioned earlier, this is the process used: "simplify each from-device 0-255 number to just a 1 or 0 (based on an alternating >=128/<128 mapping), sum it with 199 other such 1s/0s, and use the result as your actual number". What this means is that, even if you found a way to make the device start outputting only high numbers (>128), this would not cause the experiment to start receiving high values for use by the live experiment. This is because the filter used alternates between considering a >128 number to be a "1" or "0", and the results of 200 of these "simplify to 1 or 0, with alternating mapping" operations are then summed into a single output number, so that each individual 1/0 only contributes 1/200th of the final value of a number. (And if someone counters, "maybe you subconsciously managed to alternate your mouse movements so it makes it generate high then low then high to get past the alternating mappings", then they're not understanding how frequently these operations are occurring. We're talking about thousands of raw 0-255 numbers from the device per second. There's no way my hand muscles, not to mention my brain, are anywhere near fine-tuned enough to be able to synchronize with operations occurring thousands of times per second.)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      In any case, I know I can affect 'random' events, so I'm not surprised for you to find this result. It would not surprise me if you fail to reproduce it though. The reason for a failure to reproduce, is the effect the experimental outcome has on your life is not the same for subsequent experiments as it was for the first experiment. The later outcomes don't "matter" as much because they don't affect your belief in psi as much, which affects choices you make which affect a lot of other things. I doubt your subconscious actually knows how to manipulate the random number generator, I don't think the manipulation is direct like that. What your subconscious does know how to do is select possible future life conditions out of a larger set of potential conditions and make them 'real' by making them more concrete at some level. The 'random' events that lead up to those conditions then fall into place as necessary, without any direct intervention. So for instance if you have a box that contains a superposition of a dead cat and a live cat, you have some way of selecting which one you want to become manifest when you open it, without needed to understand any of the complex interactions inside the box that led to those two states.

      (Some people assume that quantum superposition exists only for coherent states, and collapses the moment that particles interact with a mass of other particles. In that view, the 'measurement' has already occurred inside the box before it is opened. I think that's wrong though, and that's the entire point of the cat thought experiment. The cat is not a metaphor for a system described by a single wavefunction, it is supposed to be an actual cat, both alive and dead.)
      I also would not be surprised to find that my next attempt had weaker results, for a similar reason that you do. Based both on what I've read from the field, as well as my own experiences while doing the experiments, it seems that the "effectiveness of psi" varies depending on the state of mind of the experimenter. Because my second attempt will be less significant to me (since I already think psi is real now), the psychological/emotional investment I place in it will be a lot lower. (By the way, because of this consideration, I did my best during the experiments to keep a curious and upbeat psychological state -- having some of my favorite new music playing, and skipping the experiment on some days when I was feeling down or unmotivated.)

      That said, I still will probably do additional experiments in the future. This is for a few reasons:
      1) I'm curious to see how much this "weakening" effect occurs. It will be somewhat annoying, since then skeptics will jump upon it and assumes that means they're then justified in discarding previous data on the subject (if it doesn't work the second time, that proves the first time was a fluke, even if it reached a rarity-by-chance of 1 in 32,000, right?), but ultimately I care more about obtaining more data for those who are actually serious about investigating the subject than I do about "limiting the surface area" for dis-earnest criticisms.
      2) I plan to expand the experiment to attempt to discern further findings. For example, I plan to try different numbers of targets, different number-generation speeds, with and without the mouse visualization, with and without performing the experiment from another room using a video feed, on days when I feel good vs days I feel bad, and perhaps most importantly, having the experiment be performed by other people on other computers and with other copies of the hardware number-generator device to see how much variation there is based on test subject.
      3) I suspect that while later successes will on average be less intense, there will still be further successes -- particularly when I start variations of the experiment which I find fresh and interesting. This is helpful, because although overall it will reduce the average intensity of successes, it will still help ease concerns from some readers that my belief in psi is based on only one experiment. I'd argue that "only one experiment" is still a valid justification if that experiment is done correctly, and achieves highly significant results (and anyway, my belief is based on many others' experiments, not just my own) -- but nonetheless obtaining further successes would be helpful, if for no other reason that some people just don't seem to appreciate what a "rarity by chance of 1 in 32,000" means. (it means that, if there were no mechanism causing the intent and results to correlate (ie. if it were just due to random fluctuation), a correlation with the intensity obtained would only occur one out of 32,000 attempts)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Given that it is somehow possible for you to affect 'random' outcomes, and assuming that this ability isn't limited by physical distance, then it seems to me that what I call 'shared dreaming' follows as a necessary consequence.
      I agree that shared dreaming becomes highly likely, if psi is real. However, the question is, how often would shared dreaming occur? Would it occur only when specifically intended, or would it also happen accidentally? And perhaps more importantly, how substantial would the correlations within those shared dreams be? For example, is the content-sharing significant enough that friends could discover major struggles someone is going through without even being told of it? Or does it only have minor correlations, like one person having a pleasant dream, and the other thereby becoming more likely to have a pleasant dream -- but with majorly different and unrelated content?

      I'm of the opinion that both are plausible possibilities; I don't have enough data as of yet for thinking shared dreaming happens in a common/unintentional/substantial way, but I also don't have much data against it either.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      When I said that I think you didn't "directly" manipulate the random number generator, that's a little bit misleading, because how 'direct' the manipulation is depends on the scope or granularity of your concern. If the general, long term determination of outcomes is possible, then it is also possible to narrow the focus of that. But I think its a lot easier to work at the 'big picture' level.

      As I mentioned earlier, I think a key is to tie something into the experiment that you're really interested in at an emotional level. I read about one psi experiment where people were anticipating the appearance of random pornographic images in a sequence of images. That seems to me to be a lot more sensible than having people trying to guess numbers, for instance.
      I agree that tying the experiments in with people's emotions increases the potential for psi to occur. There's quite a bit I've read on the idea, but I won't go into it due to time constraints (someone could talk about these things for hours, if they had the time -- sometimes I make time, but I'm already spending quite a bit on the other points, so not today ).

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      If you were really affecting the outcome moment by moment, as if you had a little demon putting particles back in a box, then if might be more easy to extend that, like hitting free throws over and over if you're good at free throws. But if your makes and misses are inherently 'random' except for some rough capability of finding and materializing a future global state among several, then your skill doesn't increase the number of 'makes' in the bundle of potential histories, and it might be a lot harder to skew the long-term statistics.
      I agree. And I think this is actually a counter-argument to one of the criticisms some might make about my experiment: "You don't have perfect isolation between your physical body and the number generation; you might have just learned subconsciously how to impact the experiment through normal, physical means." If in fact I had learned subconsciously how to do this, you would expect the results to just continue to climb indefinitely, as I get better and better at it. Instead, you see a massive jump during the first two days (already past the traditional bar of significance), followed by a "doldrums" period, which slowly ramps up -- eventually reaching a peak of 1 in 32,258, at which point I feel emotional release at having finally surpassed the 1 in 10,000 mark (I'd gotten close but not quite made it the previous four runs), and the effectiveness then begins to subside.

      By the way, an interesting side-note about that moment where it surpassed 1 in 32,000 deviance: While that session was occurring (just prior to the one marked in the last screenshot on this page), I specifically remember watching the number of hits rise and rise, and having a surreal moment where I felt like "This is it, this is the big one; it's staying so long around the target. How high will it go!?" In the end it reached a whopping 98 positive hits (the average was about 20), and only three negative hits (the average was about 16). That was the session just before the highest peak (which raised the total 1 further), which was exactly the 555th session, and the 15th session of that 30-session run. That's the point where it reached the 1 in 32,258 rarity (having a deviation percentile of 99.9969%; meaning that out of the one million Monte-Carlo simulations, exactly 30 of them reached that deviance or higher [and I confirmed this in the raw data files]). Does that mean anything? Perhaps not; I know people can find all sorts of things if they go fishing for patterns. But nonetheless I found it kinda cool.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      So I think I predict a disappointing future for your random number generator experiment. I think the results are going to dwindle, notwithstanding that I believe your initial results were 'real'.
      I'm glad at least someone believes the effect was real! Showing my friends as I went along, some of them already believed in psi, but the three who definitely didn't -- well they were certainly surprised by the results, but I don't think it actually converted any of them.

      I'd asked what probability two of them gave it before starting (specifically, the ability for someone to influence a hardware random number generator just mentally), and one said "about 1%", while the other said, "less than 1%". I didn't ask them afterward what their new estimate was, I guess because I expect them to have the typical skeptic response of refusing to budge in their opinions, and it's kinda depressing to see that lack of open-mindedness when the work you've spent dozens of hours on, and actually had success with, is the subject. (to be fair, they were more open-minded and willing to listen than many others)

      I will say that at least it did give them pause (I remember asking one what his opinion was, as the rarity values started exceeding 1 in 1000, and all he said was "It's interesting...", followed by a long pause), which is more than most discussions on the topic yield. They know me well enough to know I'm not lying or intentionally mishandling things (avoiding the deception criticism), and they know I don't have a backlog of many failed experiments (just the one experiment prior to it, as mentioned earlier, and various much-smaller-scales ones, like one where I lucid-dreamed to try to guess the color of some multi-colored balls I hid -- which by the way had six colors, and I got it right the first two times, but then got misses for the next two, which maybe you don't find surprising ), avoiding the selective reporting criticism. With those criticisms not being applicable, the main concern one had is just that I made a mistake somewhere, either in my code implementation or in the method used to determine the rarity-by-chance values (which, fair enough, are possibilities -- though I'm pretty sure I did get them right). Another was concerned that there wasn't 100% airtight separation between my physical presence and the number-generation device; but as explained above, I consider the possibility of that being subconsciously exploited very low.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      On the upside, I think that this subtle power to affect outcomes works very easily over long distances and timescales. If a series of coincidences needs to happen years ago in order for something to happen, and I can't even know what those coincidences are because calculating the complex causal interactions leading up to the desired future state would be pretty much impossible, somehow that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. It just happens.
      It's certainly expanded my ideas of what's possible, concerning how the world works behind the scenes. The idea is: If thoughts can influence real-world events at a distance, what actually is the basis of grounding for our world? Is it non-personal mechanistic objects operating apart from our thoughts and desires? (that seems kinda hard to fit with some of the experiment results) Or is it somehow intricately linked with our minds? Are our collective minds somehow the ground of all external objects rather than the other way around? Anyway, I'm not all that decided now on how I think the world is fundamentally structured, though I have some theories I'm more partial to than others.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      For clarification, I should say that I don't believe that the past is more real than the future is. I think its a fog of possibilities, and that all histories which lead to the present state are equally real. I think that its also possible for the "present state" to drift or jump around, so that different incompatible histories lead up to it. But there's no way to prove that objectively provided that everything drifts or jumps consistently, since the historical record is part of the present. A reason I believe this is because I think that the 'jumps' don't have to be entirely consistent, I think that contradictions are possible. To the limited extent that I understand quantum theory, contradictions aren't prohibited by any of the math, they're just assumed not to occur. In other words, as different independent observers open up the box and observe different mutually exclusive states, those multiple results get reconciled in a consistent way when the observers communicate with each other. Its boxes inside of boxes, and nature prefers consistency as communication 'collapses' everything into a global state. But consistency isn't absolutely required, and sometimes it gets trumped if a particular outcome is inconsistent but is strongly favored for other reasons. I believe this based on personal experiences. I think that manipulating this sort of thing isn't essentially different from what makes your software experiment work.
      That's a very intriguing view of the world, and it would, if true, explain a number of bizarre mismatches in first-hand accounts of some things (where both seem completely earnest, and have no ulterior motive or history of hallucinating or the like). It's also true that it's "slippery", in the sense that it's difficult to both verify and counter-verify (as you mention). That said, I don't take the view some take that if a theory is "slippery", then one ought to regard it as if it were completely false. Rather, I think one should take caution about how strongly they adhere to it, but I still view those theories as worth talking and thinking about, because even if they're hard to verify, and even if in the end some portions of it turn out overzealous, other parts may well still have truth to them. (and some have a lot of "subtle pointers" to them that are likely to go underappreciated, unless one is attuned to really taking note of how elegantly some things end up fitting)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Going back to your fading software result, what I'm suggesting is that if you designed it so success depended in part on past events that seem to be completely out of your control, the experiment would still work, provided that nothing else depends on those past events that's more substantial than your experiment. And it would also still work if it depended in part on future events, though off-hand I don't know how you would design that in, since there's no precognitive element to your setup.
      I believe I understand what you are saying, and that's an interesting idea. It also fits with plenty of experimental results which I found during my reading. You might not be that motivated to look for them since you already believe in that model, but there are several very interesting results that have been obtained toward that end. (I won't list names here since then I have to defend them from people who will undoubtedly start looking for criticisms for the individual groups. ^_^ I believe their research is sound, but it takes a lot of time to explain why I think the criticisms lack weight.)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      I've had a very large number of clear premonitions that aren't plausibly due to 'coincidence', externally self-fulfilling prophecy, confirmation bias, subjectivity in interpretation, or extrapolation from past experience. If my sense of how this works is at least vaguely correct, then these experiences must make some kind of long term difference, at least to myself. That might lend hope to the possibility of 'proving' some of it in the future. If proving it were impossible, maybe I wouldn't have bothered to waste a non-trivial portion of my life on this sort of thing. Or maybe I'm just having my humility strengthened through unfortunate events and farcical behavior.
      Most people won't, but I believe you. It's probably not of the nature that is easily demonstrable to other readers, but from the thoughtfulness of what you've written so far (combined with my already believing psi is a thing now), I believe the examples you're thinking of (well, some of them) were indeed an application of the same system behind psi, and that you're not just engaging in statistical naivety, wishful thinking, etc.

      Regarding proving it at some point in the future: I believe someday we will, and it will be widely accepted by society as just a matter of fact (however, I think it'll happen multiple decades if not centuries from now). I also think that it will be considered the next revolution in scientific knowledge and inquiry, and people will become more open-minded from that point, as we realize how much more connected the physical world is to our minds. I believe this will also cause an increase in life satisfaction, as it weakens the link between the certainty of bodily death and the end of one's mind/consciousness. (if the mind is the ground of being rather than the physical world, as is made more plausible by phenomenon of this sort, the mind may just end up reconstituting itself in some other form past the death of its linked physical avatar)

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      I'm quite confident in my belief in psychic phenomena, I think I've approached it with enough intelligence and skepticism and proved it to myself far beyond any reasonable doubt. The potentially farcical part is what to do with it, what it all amounts to in the end besides vanity.
      What to do with it? For me, the biggest benefit is what I mentioned above: it means our physical bodies are much less certain to be our ultimate grounding, greatly increasing the probability of life past death. That's a world-changing perspective shift for many people, and is one of the main reasons I'm interested in potentially collecting more evidence for it.

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      I could give you a lot of examples that you might find compelling, but I'd rather not if we can skip it. I have a lot of other things going on that I need to deal with.
      I understand; it can be a lot of work to provide the background for a story, explain the event itself, and then go through the various criticisms that people are going to have (along with their evaluations).

      So I won't ask you for a long list of events you've had that support it. What I do ask is just that one case you mentioned earlier, about the "I have some e-mail evidence that I know I didn't fake". Email evidence is particularly interesting to me, because of how "distinct" it is. In other words, the email I'll be able to see is the *exact* email that the person received himself, meaning that -- although I lack some of the background -- at least the event content itself is clearly discernible. It's up to you how much background you want to add of course, but that's the one thing I'd really like to see.
      Last edited by Venryx; 09-30-2019 at 04:37 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Venryx View Post
      Regarding the possibility of, say, manipulating RNGs within online games to achieve better rewards: I think the effect will be weaker there because almost all online games use pseudo-random number generators rather than "true random" hardware-based number generators. The difference is that pseudo-random number generators are actually deterministic sequences based on the start-time of when the server or number-generation started. Thus, once you have a given "start seed" for the generator, all the numbers after that are predetermined based on the algorithm used.
      Is "true random" number generation a thing?

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      Quote Originally Posted by ZenithofThings View Post
      Is "true random" number generation a thing?
      Perhaps not. But we at least don't know that they're deterministic -- unlike pseudo-random number generators. (specifically, the devices are designed to amplify the effects of microscopic, unpredictable events like quantum tunneling)

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      Before you guys fully give up your test (if you haven't already), I thought I might make a suggestion:

      Instead of attempting to somehow wind up in a random shared dream with a stranger (I assume you are relative strangers), which seems to me a fairly impossible, even magical, thing to achieve, why not try something a little different?

      I suggest that maybe all you need to do is pay attention. I think I mentioned in my OP (it's been a long time!) that we may all be sharing our dreams all the time, and actually sharing with a specific person results not from somehow finding each other across time & space (neither of which, perhaps ironically, exist in dreams) but from opening yourself up to the presence of the person with whom you wish to meet, and allowing that presence -- which was always there -- to fully manifest in your dream.

      Hmm. I'm not sure that made any sense. Look at it this way: If we are all "sharing" our dreams at all times, then at any given moment in a dream there are billions of other dreamers -- and their dreams -- present in your dream; perhaps even more, given that dreams might not care much about time. Given that many dreams, their combined presence, I would imagine, might exist as unseen background noise in your dream -- unseen or heard background noise, perhaps around you all the time, or perhaps making up distant, plain, imagery that goes otherwise unnoticed in your dream (i.e., the sky, or perhaps shadowy horizons; I really don't know). But, even though you can't see or hear their presence, all other dreamers are there, all the time.

      So, to connect with another dreamer you might only need to open yourself up to allowing the presence of your dreaming partner into your dream. If you know your partner well, or have at least established some sort of shared bond -- like the desire to visit, say, a specific dreamscape together --you might just find an image of him, or something you clearly know is him, after just a few moments... and vise-verse.

      Here's the catch, though: you need to get together first and spend some time learning about each other. You can't be open to an abstract, I don't think; you really must know the person with whom you want to share your dream, or at least something very specific about them. I think Shadowofwind mentioned that this might invalidate the experiment, and you are right; it probably will. But who is this experimenter for? If you are trying to prove to yourselves that shared dreaming can work, and don't care if some empiricist debunks you, then you will still be succeeding at something... right?

      Again if I can remember correctly, Sivason exhibited how to do this on Debra Jane's (S'cuse me; EbbTide000) Dream Remote viewing Experiment thread a while back... I think it was toward the end of the thread; you might want to check it out.

      I'm not sure any of this was clear, but I hope it'll be something you consider before throwing in the towel.
      sivason and Lang like this.

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      Sageous,

      I don't know anyone who knows me who would want to get that close to me. Sadly, there's nothing that I have or am that they would want.

      The thing that makes my approach with strangers occasionally work is the potential to share some understanding that hasn't been shared yet. Once I know someone, its not merely that the knowledge confuses the experiment, it diffuses it entirely. The 'sharing' isn't something that I do, it happens by itself because of the potential. This is why 'finding' someone whom I don't know isn't a problem. I don't make any effort at all to find them. Its the impact that the exchange will have on us that causes the connection. This is like what I said about Venryx's software experiment. I doubt that his subconscious knows how to manipulate the random number generator. The manipulation occurs because its the only path that leads to an outcome that has been determined according to some other principle. Some interactions in physics can be understood in this kind of way also, such as light minimizing the time it takes to travel through layers of refractive media. The light doesn't understand how to do that, but it happens anyway. In one way of describing this, the light actually takes all possible paths, including slower paths, but the phases add destructively and cancel out everywhere except for the 'short' path, where they add constructively. Similarly, most of the innumerable experiences where we don't share information in dreams get lost, and a few of the ones where we do share something remain.

      None of that invalidates what you said about being open to being aware of what's already there. I'm just trying to explain the dynamic with strangers better.

      Another reason I prefer the 'answer a philosophical question' way of choosing a topic, aside from it being something that I care about and like to do, is it tends to restrict the interaction to something that I'm comfortable with. I don't really want to do a full mind meld with anyone, whether I know them or not, and increased experience with other people has made me less rather than more open in that way. Philosophical questions are also an area where I might occasionally have something that someone else wants.

      Another reason to try telepathetic experiences with strangers, though this point is very similar to my first one, most people are not interested in shared dreaming. Anyone who wants to prove it to themselves may have to seek out strangers who are also interested, because there isn't anyone else. I think it isn't merely a matter of opening oneself to be aware of people who are already there, because the interaction is two-way. Consent of the other person is necessary, otherwise it violates their privacy. But for people who have such consent, then I agree with you and think you have made a valuable suggestion.

      I think this 'shared dreaming' stuff is essentially a matter of true empathy. So that is a reasonable way to think about and approach it.

      One last comment....Any time two people have thoughts that have some intersection or point in common, such as might lead to any kind of human interaction, a person can 'find' the other person through the connection between the thoughts. Everyone has a unique feel to them, distinct from everyone else. Its true that the interaction is limited by the nature of the thoughts, so that the experience a person gets is not anything like the full extent of the other person's being. But there's still a fairly clear impression. I don't think that's much different for me with new acquaintances in comparison to people I know well. Its like how I don't need to know someone well to be able to see their face. If I needed to get to know someone well externally before I could know what to recognize in a shared dream, that almost presupposes that I'm not able to do any of the direct contact of the kind that would make the shared dream possible. All real knowledge of other people is direct in that way in my opinion, even though it is assisted by other more 'outward' experience.
      Venryx, Lang and ufoseer like this.

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      Further up in the thread on 9/26/19 I posted an anecdote about one of my first pseudo-shared dreams with my sister. Part of my interpretation of the experience is that the thought behind the dream wants to be communicated, or we want it to be communicated. So it plays out in whichever person's mind has the best vocabulary and images ready to express it, provided that its likely that the dream will then be communicated to whoever the main target is.

      At the center of my suggested 'ask a philosophical question' ploy is my trust that fate will try to answer the question, so I don't need to do anything to try to create the dream.

      Anyway, my sister had another dream last week but she didn't bother to send it to me until today. I don't want to post it because its not my dream but I'll send it to Venryx in a private message.
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      Numerous researchers/psych students are conducting tests pertaining to paranormal studies and psychic phenomena. On unexplained mysteries website. Under psychology/philosophy. Different colleges. I'm not entirely sure but most of it looks legit (I think the universities have history working w site) if anyone's interested.

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      Hi all,

      I find the idea of sharing dreams fascinating, although now isn’t a good time for me to participate in an experiment. Honestly, I’m not sure there ever will be a good time. But it’s still something I’ve thought about, especially in connection with certain experiences of my own which suggested future directions to take if I were to try something of the sort.

      One of these actually happened on Dreamviews, and so it might be of interest to you guys. It wasn’t a shared dreaming experiment but a remote viewing one – here on this thread. I wasn’t participating in the experiment, but I do like to keep an eye on these things (although somehow, I managed to miss this one until my recent post on chess dreams).

      So the gist of what happened was: OP printed a photo, placed it in a particular physical location, and people tried to figure out what the picture showed. The experiment started Nov. 9 and ended Nov. 16, when the picture was revealed: the façade of a blue building in Dresden, equipped with a silver-colored, artistically-designed drain system that makes music when rain falls.

      On the night of Nov. 8-9, I had a couple interesting dreams, which I posted in my DV journal on the 12th. One of them contained a strong visual impression that resembled the revealed picture in a few key ways. My post is #10 on the thread, and I posted the relevant excerpt from my dream:

      It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this house a mansion, but the room I now find myself in wouldn’t be out of place in a palace. It’s richly decorated, 18th-century style, in blue and silver. There’s another doorway on the other end, and one of the longer walls, to my left, is covered with shelves, all of which are lined with ornate silver music boxes.

      The color scheme is right on target, and the presence of mechanical devices that produce music is a very strong connection. The fact that the location of the building in the picture is apparently a passage, or series of courtyards, and so a kind of interior area even though outside, may also be relevant – and certainly, it resembles the area in the dream, which was a series of connected rooms.

      This is all there on the thread – but when I got to thinking about what happened later, and about why I might have picked up on something I wasn’t looking for, I found there were other connections as well. I don’t have any strong connections to present-day Dresden—I’ve been through it by train, but never actually set foot in the city itself. But it was an important center for classical music back in the 18th century because it was the location of an important court full of people who were patrons for it. Even now, the city is full of baroque architecture from this era.

      That’s probably my closest connection to the city – through its musical history. And while I didn’t actually use the word ‘baroque’ in the dream to describe the decor, I easily could have. And the fact that my current music teacher actually appears in the dream before the scene with the music boxes is also a connection to that history.

      So my guess as to what happened is that I was primed to pick up on the image—in spite of not trying pick up on anything—in a way that I apparently wasn’t for the subsequent pictures in the experiment, since this didn’t happen again. But what I saw was filtered through my own associations, reconstructed through the meaningful images I had on hand (so to speak) that were closest to being the right shape. And for all I know, this happened for the actual participants as well, only it was filtered in a more extreme way.


      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Part of my interpretation of the experience is that the thought behind the dream wants to be communicated, or we want it to be communicated. So it plays out in whichever person's mind has the best vocabulary and images ready to express it, provided that its likely that the dream will then be communicated to whoever the main target is.
      I haven’t had the time to read the whole thread, but this does sound a lot like what I experienced.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ZenithofThings View Post
      On another note, I got pretty heavy into psi training for a few years, way back in my early to mid teens. Worked with things like psiwheel, shielding, advanced constructs, programming, etc, but not much to show for it this side of reality. Never did get the wheel to spin under glass, and psi always felt super light, no where near dense enough to interact with solid matter in any meaningful way, at least for me. Anyways, I excelled with constructs and programming, and got the most use from my training with psi by implementing it into my dream control toolbox. I took what I found useful and then dropped trying to attain irl usefulness. Don't really want to dedicate 30+ years of training just to maybe come out the other end finally able make a psiwheel spin.

      I can also understand why some people would dismiss claims coming from psionics without looking deeply into it. I don't know how things are now, but back when i was researching psi there was a lot of fluff to sift through.
      Totally unrelated to this thread but you weren’t by any chance the author of a website from several years ago called something like psyorg or something like that? I was just thinking about that website today and wondering where I had stored all my print-outs and wondering whether or not chi, ki or psi energy really was a real thing. There is so little useful information about it all on the internet.

    18. #143
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      Quote Originally Posted by cece23 View Post
      and wondering whether or not chi, ki or psi energy really was a real thing. There is so little useful information about it all on the internet.
      Oh yes, totally real. However, it is an advanced yogic skill like being really good at lucid dreaming. Much of the world doubted lucid dreaming was real. Many practice for months with only a few seconds of lucidity if any. Same with the energy. It is so subtle a skill and takes so much discipline and focus most will not get even enough to prove to themselves it is real. The best system for learning it (all those words refer to the same thing) is from India and called Kundalini. My word probably means nothing to you, just like someone telling you they can do such and such in their dreams. I assure you that decades into the study it is a very real thing as profound as the sense of balance or kinesthesia. Not as obvious as sight or sound, but certainly equal in it realness as those two senses mentioned.

      To clarify, I do not believe humans can move objects with there mind in the telekinetic sense, or even reliably hear the thoughts of other people, but who knows. What can you do with it? That is not so important as learning to experience the sense involved. Having an entire new sense is amazing. It is useful in things like effecting probability, or perhaps calming an angry crowd, or effecting the weather. Someone with huge levels of energy can have astounding almost miraculous levels of coincidence happen. In my case I just had a mysterious string of extremely improbable things save my life from 100% certain death. The string of events was so improbable that everyone I know except my atheist sister (she is on the edge seeing a miracle but not wanting to believe) say you could not even figure odds as nothing but a miracle fits.

      I also believe that to take it to that level of power you will need a spiritual aspect to the training much like a cleric in D and D is different from a magic user. That is because you can learn to harness crazy amounts of this energy, but with out spiritual assistance you are ineffective at knowing where to direct the energy. I did not know I needed saving, but generated the energy which was directed by something beyond me spiritually.
      Last edited by sivason; 02-06-2020 at 04:15 AM.
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      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    19. #144
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      Sivason,

      So revisiting a question I've expressed many times before that I still haven't found a satisfactory answer for....

      The experience of kinethesia is largely imagined, its a mental simulation. All the senses are like that, internal cartoons that represent something, not direct contact with the things they represent. As such, if you have a lot of control over your imagination you can realistically hallucinate almost anything.

      The fact that objectively verifiable miracles are possible proves that these forces or energies are in some sense real. But it doesn't very much prove or validate the experiences of how they work. People I've known who believe in paranormal or 'astral' stuff rarely if ever seem to grasp this. Even when they seem to understand the idea intellectually, as a matter of reflex and faith they still interpret their higher experiences as being 'real' at face value. And these experiences tend to be highly influenced by their theories about what is going on. Most if not all of the time it seems to me that they're thinking in terms of metaphors that aren't internally consistent and which they don't really understand or recognize as metaphors, notwithstanding that they may have some degree of real psychic power.

      Most of the traditional teachings that I'm aware of hold that personal vitality is squandered through sexual activity. Other teachings, particularly more modern ones, hold that its not. They say that the energy isn't actually lost because it gets absorbed by your partner's vital body, particularly in a healthy 'love' relationship. The first, ascetic argument seems to me to be accepted by people largely because it resonates with their instinct for not wasting their procreative power. But it seems to me that the 'energy' is largely a felt metaphor for all the work they'll have to do to raise the kids the produce, and to some extent a metaphor for the actual physical reproductive capability. How much actual vital energy is at stake, I don't know. The more sex-friendly dogma seems to me to be contrived to validate people's desires and lifestyle choices, I don't think it makes much sense at all. But that doesn't confirm the ascetic view either.

      A related consideration is that any activity a person engages in tends to train or condition their mind, and that affects their ability to control and express psychic power. This I have no doubt about, I both experience it and understand it to a significant degree. But then I wonder, to what extent is the idea of vital energy a metaphor for that fact? I wonder the same thing about Conscious Light, such as is mentally directed in Secret of Golden Flower. I question whether these things are actually conserved like physical matter, and gained or lost like money. I wonder if people are trying to think about these as if they are physical quantities, like an invisible fluid, when in reality they are not.

      By the way, when I say "I wonder", I don't mean that as a passive-aggressive way of saying "I think you're wrong if you think that". I mean I ask the question but I don't think I know.

      People clearly have the ability to influence luck, and some people can do it in more overt ways than others. I think that the people with the more overtly miraculous power aren't necessarily the strongest ones though, there are different ways of expressing power. I think that as a group, martial artists are actually weaker in important ways than people that are capable of inventing and organizing technological societies, for example. And those Enlightened materialists are weak also, in their own away. In terms of my ability to manipulate events, I seem to be far weaker than I was five years ago, but I'm doubting that I'm actually weaker, I think I've learned to express it differently.

      It seems plausible to me that my psychic power, which I wield almost entirely subconsciously, works the same way as your Kundalini energy. The way I experience it is very different however. And I have to suspect that the systems that teach about it are largely wrong, just because every system of thought that I've encountered has started to break down a bit under sustained scrutiny, and I've been through that enough times that it seems unlikely to me that there are exceptions. (Raja yoga is the closest teaching that I can converse about by the way, if you're looking for a common vocabulary, I've never been interested in the more physical disciplines.)

      I think that a primary reason why people do not recognize the flaws in the systems they subscribe to, is that faith in the system gives them a degree of access to the power that's common to other adherents of the system. If they step outside of it to question it, they lose that power. They can feel that loss of power, and it makes them feel empty and exposed, so they recoil from that, and keep drinking the cool-aid until such a time that they may be ready to transition to some other large basin of power.

      My nature has been to go against the grain on everything. Part of the reason for that is I dislike the loss of mental sobriety and freedom that attends being psychically a part of a group-think. Part of it is I don't really fit anyway. Part of it is I rebel against what I see to be false or corrupt authority, and I think that every religious tradition is corrupt. Partially I think I'm ignorant and reckless, and suspect that some annoyed god will squash me like a bug someday. I get away with it for now because I'm too irrelevant to bother squashing. Also, the gods are perfectly patient, and are just as happy to squash me later as now.

      Anyway, most of that was context for two questions. One is I want to know whether or not sexual activity wastes psychic power, if you can to some degree separate the truth of the matter from what you've read or been told or want to be true. Personally I can't tell one way or another, either possibility seems plausible to me, though the explanations mostly seem implausible. I do think that people are far more sexually promiscuous and addicted than would be the norm in a healthier world. And I think that continence is far easier than most people realize if your mind is in the right place for it. Biology is nowhere near as hardwired in that regard as is commonly assumed. At the same time, I also think that there's a lot to be said for being true to one's present inner condition, and that trying to emulate an ideal norm of thought or behavior without fully understanding the spiritual implications isn't always very useful. And I distrust most of what I've read about energy.

      My other question is more general, I'm fishing for insight about the nature of spiritual power that helps me find it more clearly for myself. I've read and heard so much quasi-Vedic and quasi-New Age half-bullshit that I think I stopped discovering anything new that way 20 years ago. I'm looking for something direct and personal that extends a bit outside of what is in those expressions.

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      I'm clearly being immature but I did get a laugh out of reading ten paragraphs about spiritual skepticism only to find out they were only just context for THE question: is sexual activity draining me?

      Thank you for that.

      Before you get your educated answer, I will give my two cents to excuse my interruption: I think sexual activity, because it is an activity, uses energy... but nothing dramatic... Just like preparing and cooking food costs energy. Plus, you are fulfilling a physical need. Is it draining you? You'll feel it if you are doing too much of it. Your body will ache (maybe use lube) and you will feel bad you are sacrificing other things. If you are busy and tend to the things waiting for your attention, I think sexual activity will most likely be a healthy release of energy. After all, we all need to pay our energy taxes

      Now, my answers reminded me of teachings I received from ISKCON about karma. I was told when cooking food, to do it for Krishna, and the highest relationship with Krishna is marital, perhaps sexual. This way, you do not gain more terrestrial karma and instead bring yourself closer to Krishna. In words that make sense to me, I think it's a suggestion to direct our energy toward our "bigger whole." You will be more connected to this whole. Even if you drain minimal energy through sexual activity, it can still be productive, connecting you to a greater Whole.... a god, other people, yourself...
      Last edited by Occipitalred; 02-06-2020 at 08:46 AM.

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      Sivason, here's another illustration of my question about energy. When playing chess, it is possible to feel the 'power' of the pieces. I doubt that the experience of this is essentially different from how anyone feels the chi power of their own body. And yet, I also have a hard time believing that the pieces actually have invisible power, it seems to me it must be a projection. At the same time, I think that its possible to feel the potential moves and their implications in a direct and supernatural way, a kind of precognition, but of possibilities. And maybe that's what people are doing when they're describing things to themselves in terms of 'energy'. I think that any description of what this life energy is has to explain how it relates to the chess piece energy, and what's going on there.

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      Quote Originally Posted by shadowofwind View Post
      Sivason,
      One is I want to know whether or not sexual activity wastes psychic power, if you can to some degree separate the truth of the matter from what you've read or been told or want to be true.

      My other question is more general, I'm fishing for insight about the nature of spiritual power that helps me find it more clearly for myself. I've read and heard so much quasi-Vedic and quasi-New Age half-bullshit that I think I stopped discovering anything new that way 20 years ago. I'm looking for something direct and personal that extends a bit outside of what is in those expressions.

      1) I have long since stopped paying attention to what books or traditions teach, as I have been actively, first hand exploring far beyond what they talk about. Besides, I am sure you will agree trusting the words of others is nothing compared to doing the experiment yourself and seeing the results. Straight to the point: The idea that physical orgasm depletes this energy is total F-ing nonsense. It likely comes from religious hang ups about celibacy and how morally strict the Hindu culture is supposed to be. The energy sense has nothing to do with any bodily reality I can find. I suspect it may not even have a sensory organ involved. How could the physical release of dopamine and such change how developed one of your senses is? This matches my first hand experiences. I can do exactly the same amount with energy before or after orgasm. I notice no difference at all.
      In fact it is possible to learn to transform energy into other frequencies (think of red light changing to blue light, same energy different parameters) through practices involving sex. Now I will say that other aspects of your sexual reality may effect your energy. If you spend most of your focus and intent on sex you are not spending it on other things. Eventually one may have so much energy flow that conservation is no issue, but for most people so little energy is flowing that spending it on chasing sex might be limiting. On the other hand this sense is something that can be strengthened and that is done by using it. My first teacher told me that the idea of storing up energy is ridiculous. You need the energy to be flowing so the amount which flows will increase. there is no limit to the energy, their is a limit to how much you can get to respond to your intent. The amount increases like muscles increase, by using it. So in that sense using it unconsciously to chase sex is still using it and better than not using it. Very importantly, bad effects happen if you attempt to use your own energy flow to harm others, so trying to magically seduce a women would be a horrible idea.

      2) Fine. Lets cut out all the religious and Vedic thought. I will try to make it clear in basic terms. There are two things creating what you perceive as you. One is obvious and that is the physical construct of matter. Even most sensory experience is simply part of this. That is the human as animal. The other part is something sort of spherical that is composed of a different type of matter. Think in terms similar to dark matter, as in a real thing but not measurable by normal matter. This thing has three aspects that can be used to describe it. First it has volume, as in it can increase in how much of this other matter it contains, it could be a low mass or high mass object. Second it can be more or less orderly. Think of a ball of yarn vs the same ball after a cat has messed it up. Third it is in motion. It is not a thing that stays in the same state. Think how a glass of water will have some kind of convection current happening due to temperature variation.
      What is this somewhat spherical thing? I am no one to tell you it is the soul or it is the astral body. I can only say it is part of what forms your conscious experience and that it can become something you are fully aware of like a true sense.
      Based on the three observable aspects 1:volume 2: lack of chaos/order 3: motion/ convection we can work on improving this object that is part of us and influences our conscious experience. You can add volume like weight training, you can reduce chaos like we can learn physical skills (create better neural paths) and we can learn to create an intense convection current including directing the pattern of flow. But first we must develop the sense involved.
      How can you do this effectively? Well here is the problem, we have not consciously noticed this thing so in no way have exercised enough to feel anything. Say you had been paralyzed your whole life and then were cured. People can tell you how to lift your arm but nothing happens when you try. If you stop there you will never lift the arm. Perhaps you do not feel anything and do not believe that you are no longer paralyzed. It is important to keep trying because the trying is building the neural path needed and the muscular development needed. Someday you see a twitch and feel some tension in a muscle. Now you start to grasp that this is something real. Eventually you can actually use the muscles and perhaps become an athlete.
      Now we look at energy with that in mind. In the beginning the channels that this stuff moves through are minimized (atrophy) and the volume/pressure of flow is reduced by its pathway being atrophied.
      Conclusion: the first step is stay on the task of getting energy to flow down any of the pathways in any volume, despite the fact that you may not feel anything or what you feel may be faint enough that it seems like imagination. Here is the exercise I give students first. Picture you are effecting some kind of force and making it move. You will use senses you do understand to visualize this. Picture the feeling you get when the sun is on your back and creating a pleasant warmth. Also picture warm liquid is being poured on your shoulder and as liquid does it naturally responds to gravity, thus flowing down your arm and finally dripping off your fingers. Even if you can not feel this it will develop the pathway to handle more energy. this is the stage where the freshly healed paralytic attempts to move, the attempt builds the pathway until something is actually happening with enough volume that you can sense it. It is a new sense, not touch or kinestesia. I can not describe it, you just keep trying until enough flow happens that you experience "something." The next exercise is flow it down both arms (no need to develop both sides, it is not in your arm, you have developed one pathway that is not physical so can be used for many things, it could be visualized as flowing out your nose for that matter. You did the work to develop the path not your arm.) Flow it down both arm but have the two flows run into each other when leaving your hand. This creates an eddy. Visualize something like the warm fluid gathering into a spinning ball. This also is developing a new pathway that is different than the first. It may take time of visualizing with no result before you feel something new. The best way to describe it is that it is similar to holding two positive magnets near each other. There is a subtle interaction between the two colliding flows. Eventually a very perceivable something/force is felt. You can work on manipulating how they interact through conscious intent. One pattern is a stable eddy that builds in volume. This puts enough of this other matter in one place that you can more easily perceive this new sense.
      So here is the direct and personal side. Do not worry how it is explainable, as I believe it is not physics of ordinary matter. It is matter of a different natural and must have its own physics. There is no point in complex spiritual thought or complex meditation until you ACTUAL can sense the stuff and your own ability to have an effect on it through focused intent. Do this by sticking to intent based simple exercises with no complex thought. Just develop the sense. Once you do remember it has three obvious traits. It can be increased in concentration/volume. It can be made orderly with intent. It can be increased in flow by developing the paths.
      When you can cause it to move in a high enough volume that you can feel it, you work on forming a simple flow pattern (order and flow together) and increasing the volume you can handle. After that you can explore endlessly on your own, plus feel free to check in with me if questions come up.

      What do I think it is? I perceive an endless expanse of energy. For visualization picture a sheet of finely woven cotton bed sheet. Now picture taking something that can grab a single thread such as a pair of tweezers and start twisting that thread around that fixed point (the spinning tweezers). Doing this causes the sheet to form in to a ball. The blank expanse of sheet now has an item that is only composed of the same sheet but now has three traits. It can get bigger. It can be twisted nicely or randomly. And it is twisting in relation to the rest of sheet at a rate (flow). This energy is infinite like space is in the regular matter. Things in our physical world may be attached to one of these balls or may be part of one of them. These balls can contain patterns which give them identity and can include extremely complex patterns (think of binary code). Conscious beings often are attached to a ball that has formed a sense of self just like the physical construct of an animal has a sense of self. What we see as ourselves is the perception of the physical animal combined with the awareness of the ball (entity in my jargon). I think of it as the soul, but just because I like the word. On death of the physical matter this entity still exists and can do other things including attach itself to a new animal body (reincarnation). On the practical side (lets call it the energy body for generic sake, not referring to any Vedic concept) the energy body can be developed and taught skills like the physical can. The skills are involving interacting with all the other patterns that have formed of that short of matter. This is where we get magical seeming effects. The part of us that is this energy body can interact with the rest of the universe as expressed by other patterns in the energy field (sheet). The types of interaction are in no way tied to location in the physical matter. How much can be achieved through mastery of this?. Certainly miracle level coincidences such as it raining everywhere in the valley, but mysteriously the clouds part on only your city block so you are looking at stars in the middle of a storm. Certainly rarely having to wait to cross busy traffic. Precog, aura sense, low grade esp and such.
      Last edited by sivason; 02-08-2020 at 07:50 AM.
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      The way you describe the ball is somewhat reminiscent of Carlos Castaneda's writings. I wonder how his writings hold up for you so long after reading his work?

      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      I have long since stopped paying attention to what books or traditions teach, as I have been actively, first hand exploring far beyond what they talk about.
      Are there a few books that you find still hold up or you found influential in your beginnings?

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      Thanks Sivason.

      If I think about my capacity to feel, I can create a sort of cascading avalanche of feeling from the top of my skull to my toes. (I haven't done this more than a couple of times, more than 20 years ago, because it seems pointless, but presumably I still can if I want to.) Any relationship to your yarn ball? Totally irrelevant?

      You say that "the types of interaction are in no way tied to location in the physical matter". That being the case, in what sense does the yarn ball have a size and location in relation to the physical matter? Does it have size and location, or is size and location how you think about its power and its relationship to your own mind, which is presumably connected to structures in your brain?

      You describe this yarn ball as being a personal snarl in a universal yarn sheet. That being the case, it seems to me that its yours in the sense that your personality that is related to your body is interacting with it, but it also belongs to everyone else.

      I think my means of controlling my own body through its nerves is the same means I use to contact things remotely. My human body is an instrument that's designed to be usefully manipulated that way, but I think that in other regards the interaction is the same as I'd have with an 'inanimate' object. This is why oracles like Tarot decks or the I Ching work, for instance. There's a spirit connected with the oracle which is related to what it can express, and what it has expressed and will express for everyone else who has used it, but I think that everything else is that way also. So, to illustrate the idea, if scientists ever figure out the right neural network for a truly intelligent machine, it will have a soul automatically. And the ancestors of such machines already have souls in somewhat the same sense that a fetus does, though less directly.

      Suppose for a minute that the universe extends infinitely beyond the event horizon. Or suppose that parallel universes exist, not physically connected to ours. I think these are equivalent. The magical body ought to allow a person to contact other worlds that are very, very much like the one we're in, but not quite the same. Is that what is going on with precognition? Or are we interacting with other potential worlds that in some sense are not as physically real as our is? I don't think we're contacting "the future" when doing this kind of thinking. I think we're exploring possible futures somehow, and choosing among them. I don't think its based on extrapolation using a mental model of the world, I think its direct, and does not involve reasoning in that sense. Are the people in those other worlds real?

      Your statement that there is no loss of energy with sex seems plausible to me. I think however that in regards to psychic power, the primary impact of sex is however not a matter of where one is spending one's time and attention. Your magical inner body puts you in contact with everything. Sexual thinking conditions you to feel or desire in certain ways to certain stimuli. Sexuality seems essential to me in the sense that its a part of you and you can't be aware and alive psychically if you're not at ease with yourself. At the same time, it seems to be to be incompatible with the self control that is necessary to achieve a much greater degree of psychic power or awareness. It is a paradox in this regard. Even love of justice is like that. Or hatred of injustice anyway. It seems to me that other influences can provoke and manipulate you by foisting images on you and using your emotional reaction as an opportunity to run off with a little bit of your cache of the cosmic yarn ball.

      I'm not making an argument for detachment by the way. I think that detachment comes with its own considerable downsides, and I view excessive idealization of it as a mistake. I think its OK for people to be limited psychically, and its a kind of greed or gigantism to try to acquire too much.

      Anyway, thanks for your time in writing that, I'll keep thinking about it. I can find it if I can relate it to something I'm already aware of. One possible area would be a person's ability to wander or explore with their sense of identity, which is the same ability that makes 'telepathy' possible. Another area would have to do with luck, and choosing between possible futures, even to the point of altering the present by altering the past. Both of these things seem real to me, but I can't relate them to your energy body yet.
      Occipitalred likes this.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      The way you describe the ball is somewhat reminiscent of Carlos Castaneda's writings. I wonder how his writings hold up for you so long after reading his work?



      Are there a few books that you find still hold up or you found influential in your beginnings?
      Carlos Castinada clearly either had developed this sense or talked with people who had. I think nothing he or I say about what we have found should be taken as gospel. That is why I tried to stick to the 3 basic aspects I think everyone agrees on. Those aspects are not very mysterious and do not explain too much. The problem is after describing the basics of interacting with the energy body, he still had to write books. Most of his work was proven to be fictitious as far as the story parts. I also feel most of the energy stuff that he talks about are subject to experience and perhaps spun bigger and more complex to sell books. I think The Serpent Power by Sir Arthor Avalon is the best source material for a scholarly study of many years, but is of very little use to most people. Probably any book on ReiKi or Kundalini is worth reading. Just be aware that details like what color energy is or where a chakra is found is simply a person trying to explain a news sense in the words of an old sense. People are to quick to take these things as what they also will experience. I think we will all find commonality in the quest, such as that the stuff moves best in spirals or that its flow seems similar to fluid dynamics.
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      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



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