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I guess the "our enduring lack of comprehension of the basic nature of these phenomena" is the key here. We don't know how these things work. We don't even seem to have much in the way of theories as to how these things work, what is the underlying structure here.

And as long as things remain at this stage we are just collecting data. Designing anything which would conclusively prove something is impossible because in order to do that you'd need to have a theory which gets at least something right of that underlying structure. Now, if we collect enough data maybe some hints of that structure will start to show, and then lead to a situation where we can start doing real tests. But it seems we aren't quite there yet.

And it might take quite a while before we get there. I'm not holding my breath. And I rather suspect the relevant data might in the end come from some completely different branch of research. Physics, maybe. PSI research seems to hint that we have not yet managed to dig all that deep when it comes to understanding the actual structure of our universe. What we have are bits and pieces, not the whole, probably not even a particularly large part of that whole.

J.E., I love your focus on trying to understand psi from a spiritual perspective. I agree that any approach to psi that neglects that part of the picture, misses the heart of the matter.

You ask the crucial question "what does psi do?" Your stimulating essay got me thinking about the equally important matter of what psi *is*, and I'd like to ramble a bit on that subject.

As I see it, we are spiritual beings who come here from another dimension of reality. What we've created here in the material universe is a specialized environment that allows us to have a certain kind of experience that simultaneously pleases us, and drives us crazy.

Why? Because such an experience is *interesting* -- sort of like food that is both sweet and sour. It's a wonderful change of pace from the perpetual peace and bliss we enjoy "back home," and to which we know we'll be returning.

Now, when we were spiritual beings living in our native (pre-earth) environment, we enjoyed abilities such as communicating telepathically, and being able to see the future. But in coming here, we decided to temporarily leave those abilities behind, because we knew that by doing so, we would face certain challenges that we might benefit from and even enjoy.

The funny part is that here in the earth environment, we've managed to hide those spiritual gifts so well, that many of us are convinced they don't even exist. But occasionally they turn up in ways that amaze and delight us, even if we don't fully grasp what is happening.

And we call those functions -- native to us but temporarily surrendered at the door, so to speak -- psi.

So in that sense, asking the purpose of psi is like asking why birds fly or fish swim: birds *are* flight, fish *are* swimming, and we *are* psi. We're just pretending, for the moment, that we're not.

Coming to earth is a bit like putting on a mask to play blind man's bluff.

Anyway, J.E., you've got me thinking. Welcome to our forum, even if your stay is only a brief one!

Psi may be similar to the Force of Star Wars: a jedi fails if he / she attempt to rationalize or actively use the Force, however he / she will succeed if gets carried passively by the Force. So it may be impossible for people guide psi, but rather psi guide people, although the Force is much more robust than psi to have practical applications.

"However, if psi is a principle of nature for inspiring non-material spirituality, then the optimal effects would be sometimes strong, but defiantly erratic when attempts are made to control and subdue psi for potential self-serving material purposes."

On the surface the above quote sounds right except that it puts demonstrations of psi back in a materialistic mechanistic mode and suggests an anthropomorphic ‘intent’ to ‘inspire’ spirituality. However, if psi is a principle of consciousness rather than nature---and assuming that consciousness is prime--- then it is futile to appeal to ‘nature’ and thereby materialism to demonstrate psi phenomena. Another paradigm is required.-AOD

Please note: In the quote from Robert Jahn, my spell checker changed the word "undismissable" to "inadmissible," radically altering the meaning. J.E. Kennedy pointed this out to me, and I have now changed it back.

BTW, my travel was delayed, so I will be able to approve comments as usual today.

Great thoughts from J.K. and from the commenteriate.

Bruce Siegel and I have a long standing disagreement as to the question of "why are we here". I think it is less of seeking a fun/interesting ride and more about karmic compulsion. That is to say that, as spiritual beings, our thoughts, emotions, instincts and energies create a specific gravity that matches up with that of the material plane. Therefore we end up here due to spiritual laws; just as a rock, if placed on the surface of the water, ends up at the bottom of the pond (whereas a feather floats).

Some us are less dense (to continue the analogy) and therefore we have a tendency to "float" a little from time to time (i.e. have psi experiences - psi being the way spiritual beings naturally communicate and being the result of being an integral part of a multiverse where time and space do not exist as we understand them to from a purely physical real perspective).

One can be trained to "float" more through meditation, psychedelics and other practices/ experiences that de-emphasize the focus on the physical and the resultant historical (i.e. ego) personality.)

"On the surface the above quote sounds right except that it puts demonstrations of psi back in a materialistic mechanistic mode and suggests an anthropomorphic ‘intent’ to ‘inspire’ spirituality. "

I hear you, but regarding that latter part of the quote, isn't it possible that the intent to inspire comes from higher selves?

I think this post by JEK is better than his "overview" that I critiqued in the other thread, but I think he gets some stuff wrong (and of course right) here. Some comments:

||The field of parapsychology has become divided into two relatively distinct camps. One group believes that the current research strategies in experimental parapsychology are making progress. According to this view, the skepticism of most scientists is based on irrational biases and ignorance of the research, and should be overcome with continuation of the same type of research. Carter’s book is based on this position.||

Regardless of whether this approach will eventually be successful, I think it's true that scientists dismiss the research because of ideology.


||This perspective sees the rate of success in experiments and the acceptance of the field today as not noticeably different than in the 1940s.||

As I've pointed out before on this blog, in the West psi research pleases neither the Christians nor the atheists. It's lucky to have gotten as much traction as it has. It doesn't surprise me that people want to close their eyes and not see it.

||Experimental parapsychology is based on the attempt to control psi and ultimately develop practical applications.||

I think this is off-track in an important way. I should think the *primary* purpose of experimental parapsychology is to prove that the phenomena exist and achieve a consensus about this fact in society.

Look at the work of medical researchers in the 1700s. Their work in anatomy and identifying diseases is pretty amazing--but they couldn't do virtually nothing practical with that knowledge because the technologies that would make surgery and internal medicine feasible were 100 years or more away. Yet the foundation they established was crucial to the medical progress made in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It would be nice at this juncture to get universal recognition that psi exists, but we're not there culturally yet.

||But, if the primary function of psi is to inspire non-material spirituality, then the attempts to use psi for business and military dominance severely conflict with the basic nature of psi. If psi becomes another technology for making money, it will lose the mysterious properties that make it inspire spirituality.||

I find this perspective quite odd. If there is a purpose, then there would be a purposer, correct? And who or what is that? It does not seem that JEK has a working model for this purpose/purposer. At least not one that makes sense:

||However, if psi is a principle of nature for inspiring non-material spirituality, then the optimal effects would be sometimes strong, but defiantly erratic when attempts are made to control and subdue psi for potential self-serving material purposes.||

Why would a "principle of nature" exist to inspire? Normally we would talk about a God or other spiritual entity at this point, since regulating the degree and frequency of such inspiration, including making sure that it didn't work *too* well when used for greedy or nefarious purposes, would require some type of intelligence.

This is rather like supposing, absent a true understanding of the circulatory system, that the purpose of the heart is to be activated by Cupid so as to indicate true love by beating harder in the presence of an attractive person. It sounds inorganic and invites Occam's razor.

I think the origin of psi in nature is pretty obvious and comes from evolution. Psi developed to allow us to see microseconds into the future and also give us an enhanced understanding of our immediate environment and body in real time. The purpose is survival. It probably is what allows animals to communicate with each other (birds in flocks moving in unison, etc.).

Humans have the advantage of consciousness and can note their thoughts and other internal states. Thus, we can note spikes in psi (seeing further into the future or father afield than normal), and we can also seek to develop this faculty, much like doing reps in the gym to increase muscle mass and tone. As Michael pointed out, there is a bell curve, and some people are better at it than others.

Thus, I don't think the model requires any kind of top-down Inspiration Agency sending people psi tokens at opportune times.

I also think JEK conflates psi with spiritual experience. For example, a spiritual entity *could* communicate a particular message via psi phenomena without that implying that psi phenomena in general have such a top-down mechanism.

Another example: NDEs are spiritual experiences, but I would say they are *not* psi phenomena. The reason is that the information is not acquired via psi but by the actual consciousness itself shifting between this dimension and the Afterlife.

||I’ll end with a couple of quotes from psi researchers. Russell Targ, physicist and co-developer of remote viewing at SRI, developed a remote viewing application to predict the commodities market. The first experiment produced 9 out of 9 hits, and it is reported that someone actually invested in this case and made $120,000. A second experiment produced 8 out of 9 hits. Then a third experiment was done. As Targ later described it: “I then sought for replication to take advantage of this mechanical psi machine we had created and I got eight out of nine failures. That has really stopped my personal psi investigation for a couple of years while I have tried to meditate on what the problem is here.”||

Yes, and I have seen this decline effect noted in a Japanese source as well, so it's not just a Western thing. The implication is that *something* or *someone* is throttling the use of psi for non-spiritual ends. Our frequent commenter no one has also mentioned decline effects of late.

I don't think I can put the puzzle together completely, but let me speculate a bit.

There is another phenomenon we haven't talked about yet that doesn't sound modern and scientific but which definitely exists: magic. Magic is nothing more than externalized, ritualized intention, and it *does* produce effects. I think the placebo effect is basically magic by a different name.

I think it's quite likely that some of the big hits experimenters have achieved such as the one above come from a combination of magic and psi. Running the experiment itself is the ritual.

I don't think a decline effect is found in base-level psi. My evidence for this is my experiences with my psychic friends. We are able to generate a certain level of psi consistently. Sometimes there are bigger hits than others, but psi is a variable thing.

But magic definitely manifests a strong decline effect. One could almost think of it as a fundamental aspect of the phenomenon. The same ritual ("spell") does not keep producing over and over without new inputs, and perhaps not even then. Note that mages typically go for small, beneficial effects that mostly flow with consensus reality instead of violently against it ("white magic"). And they typically add new inputs (energy put into rituals, materials like incense, etc.) to achieve these.

An experiment used to beat the commodities market is gray magic at best and alters reality in a more or less violent way. I can see why that would not be repeatable over time.

Next, we get into the issue of dimensionality of thought, which I am prone to blab about here. Advanced psi in humans is associated with the 4th dimension, the Astral, which for reasons as yet unclear is an unstable dimension of thoughtforms. Thus, 4D psi is likely to be unstable and unrepeatable. 5D psi, however, is different in nature and more likely to be stable. It works at a higher vibration and would not be conducive for being used for business or military applications (i.e., you could use it for that, but if it were morally degrading, you could fall in vibration and no longer be able to use the psi at that level).

Thus, I think JEK is missing several things in his model, and that's why he is running into issues.

The last sentence in my previous comment should read:

"Coming to earth is a bit like putting on a blindfold to play blind man's bluff."

I said "mask" originally, and we do, in fact, hide our true identity when we come into a body. But when you put on a mask you can still see, and what I wanted to stress was that incarnating entails giving up precious abilities (like sight, in this analogy) for the purpose of playing a game.

'Why would a "principle of nature" exist to inspire? Normally we would talk about a God or other spiritual entity at this point ...'

This is the same problem I've run into with George Hansen's theory of the trickster. His book The Trickster and the Paranormal is extensively researched, highly provocative, and well worth reading, but I could never quite figure out just what the trickster is supposed to be. A principle of nature? An actual spiritual entity? Or is the ambiguity part of the point?

FYI, and not to distract attention from J.E. Kennedy's remarks, but Chris Carter's comments are now up in a separate post. I must admit that the back-and-forth arguments about statistical analysis are beyond me. *All* the arguments, pro and con, sound sensible to me, which merely proves that I don't know enough to have a coherent opinion.

"*All* the arguments, pro and con, sound sensible to me, which merely proves that I don't know enough to have a coherent opinion."

Or maybe the Trickster is playing you like a fiddle.

"Bruce Siegel and I have a long standing disagreement as to the question of "why are we here". I think it is less of seeking a fun/interesting ride and more about karmic compulsion."

I hear what you're saying, no one. But I like to look at the *big* picture. And when I do, I see choice rather than victimhood.

"....I think this is off-track in an important way. I should think the *primary* purpose of experimental parapsychology is to prove that the phenomena exist and achieve a consensus about this fact in society."

That would be nice, Matt. However, that is just not the way things work when money, power and politics are involved - as you know.

Here's the thing, the primary source of funding for the type of experiments you call for would be, either directly or indirectly, the government. But the government already knows that psi exists. They know it's a real power that has some real applications, but is too unreliable to harness for things the government likes to do - control others, spy and eliminate rivals. So it's on other R&D.

As far as funding research to prove to the public that psi is real, why would the government want to do that? 1. It diverts $s from other R&D. 2. Could disrupt the social order. 3. Could be perceived by segments of the population that the government has gone goofy. 4. Could cause a backlash from both the religious and the materialists constituency. There's just no obvious upside and a lot of possible downside.

"I find this perspective quite odd. If there is a purpose, then there would be a purposer, correct?"

My opinion is that the psi effects do have a purpose and the purposer is ourselves - our "higher" selves; or at least that part of ourselves that is aware of innate abilities that our conscious mind usually is not. The term "higher" seems to me to not be the right one because it connotes a more spiritual benevolent aspect. In fact, that psi able part of us can, in some cases/some individuals, be malevolent.

Now, as for "magic", that is a terminology with which I am not familiar. However, I do understand what you are talking about for the most part. I think you are precisely correct when you speak of the experimental procedures as being the ritual that enables the expression of the intent. I further agree that when such rituals become simply routine that the "spirit" of the thing dies out and the Magic doesn't work. I think Kennedy is basically saying something very similar - or at least pointing towards it. A simple example of how this decline effect feels is you listen to a recorded song that really moves you. Then, as soon as it ends, you listen to it again and then again and again. By the time you into your 10th playing of the song it no longer does anything for you. Psi, magic, whatever you call it is often like that. Again, Kennedy and people in his camp are saying something along those lines. At least that's what I read. I like your thinking, though, Matt.

Michael,

||This is the same problem I've run into with George Hansen's theory of the trickster. His book The Trickster and the Paranormal is extensively researched, highly provocative, and well worth reading, but I could never quite figure out just what the trickster is supposed to be. A principle of nature? An actual spiritual entity? Or is the ambiguity part of the point? ||

Yes, I am finishing up the last chapters of the book right now (actually, not quite the last, as I read it out of order). Hansen's book is extremely important, but he also fails to build a model of what is going on as well. Similar to Kennedy, he seems to despair of ever getting a grip on what psi is or how it works, since psi is fundamentally marginal and trickster-y. I don't agree.

My thought on the trickster is this: any reality we organize is but one of a multitude of possibilities (some might say one of infinite possible organizational schemes). The trickster is simply the recognition - inserting itself capriciously - that whatever we think is the true ultimate reality, isn't.

Hansen, like Kennedy, points in that direction without quite recognizing the ultimate truth; the ultimate truth being that is that there is no ultimate truth that can be arrived at intellectually nor no final paradigm that can be assembled through the operation of the senses. Reality is always bigger than your biggest thought and more complex than your most clever design.

When I read Matt's comments about the decline effect I was also thinking about a discussion we had here last year about mediums and how one of our regulars had a very evidentiary sitting, then in a short period of time, went back and had a luke warm one and then a third that was a complete flop. All with a medium that greatly impressed myself as well as some others here based on a single sitting.

no one,

||That would be nice, Matt. However, that is just not the way things work when money, power and politics are involved - as you know.

Here's the thing, the primary source of funding for the type of experiments you call for would be, either directly or indirectly, the government.||

I wasn't being clear enough: I meant to comment on the *original purpose* of parapsychology experiments, which I think was to establish that the phenomena exist. That would have been the first step, right? I didn't mean to say that there were never other motives involved along the way or that, going forward, the motives would not in large part be business- and military-oriented.

I think the body of experiments performed to date have more than adequately proven that psi exists. Unfortunately, they were performed in an era in which our culture was not ready to accept the results. Performing new experiments at this time will probably not have the effect of "pushing it over." We are going to have to cycle through both Christianity and atheism a bit more.

I don't think parapsychology experiments need to be funded by the government or business. Look at psychology departments in academe. They are constantly running experiments on the students, finding small effects. Parapsychology *could* be done the same way--but it won't, for the aforementioned cultural reasons.

||But the government already knows that psi exists. They know it's a real power that has some real applications, but is too unreliable to harness for things the government likes to do - control others, spy and eliminate rivals. So it's on other R&D.||

I don't think the government is a unitary entity that can "know." It really comes down to what individuals *believe.* If the military were smart, I think they would have a brain trust of psychics on hand to consult about matters. They needn't be 100% accurate all the time. They could be valuable if they provided significant clues and advice on a regular basis. But, again for cultural reasons, they aren't going to do that (or maybe they do access psychics but keep it secret).

||As far as funding research to prove to the public that psi is real, why would the government want to do that? 1. It diverts $s from other R&D. 2. Could disrupt the social order. 3. Could be perceived by segments of the population that the government has gone goofy. 4. Could cause a backlash from both the religious and the materialists constituency. There's just no obvious upside and a lot of possible downside.||

I agree. I would add that, since psi is already proven via experiments, it would be more along the lines of increasing the penetration of this fact in society (although new research could play a role), and no one in the governmental-corporate power structure has any motive to do this.

||My opinion is that the psi effects do have a purpose and the purposer is ourselves - our "higher" selves; or at least that part of ourselves that is aware of innate abilities that our conscious mind usually is not. The term "higher" seems to me to not be the right one because it connotes a more spiritual benevolent aspect. In fact, that psi able part of us can, in some cases/some individuals, be malevolent.||

In such cases, however, I ask: "What is the limiting factor?" If psi is *dosed out* to do this and that, then why is it not dosed out more? That is why I am suspicious of any top-down explanation of psi.

||Now, as for "magic", that is a terminology with which I am not familiar. However, I do understand what you are talking about for the most part. I think you are precisely correct when you speak of the experimental procedures as being the ritual that enables the expression of the intent. I further agree that when such rituals become simply routine that the "spirit" of the thing dies out and the Magic doesn't work. I think Kennedy is basically saying something very similar - or at least pointing towards it.||

I don't think he has integrated it yet. That's the next step.

||A simple example of how this decline effect feels is you listen to a recorded song that really moves you. Then, as soon as it ends, you listen to it again and then again and again. By the time you into your 10th playing of the song it no longer does anything for you. Psi, magic, whatever you call it is often like that. Again, Kennedy and people in his camp are saying something along those lines. At least that's what I read. I like your thinking, though, Matt.||

I don't think there is a specific "decline effect," though it is not *wrong* per se to put it that way; it's just a missed opportunity to put it in a bigger framework. I think it is clearly a part of Yang/Yin--arcing up, arcing down. A new thing, a new ritual goes up the Yang arc, and it can't stay up there forever.

But it is possible to find "balance" across Yang/Yin over time. Thus, when my psychic friends and I are reading for each other, though we may be more "on" at some times than others, there is a baseline of ability we can access. There is no "decline effect" by which our abilities totally disappear.

no one,

||Hansen, like Kennedy, points in that direction without quite recognizing the ultimate truth; the ultimate truth being that is that there is no ultimate truth that can be arrived at intellectually nor no final paradigm that can be assembled through the operation of the senses. Reality is always bigger than your biggest thought and more complex than your most clever design.||

Bravo! I think you nailed it. The Trickster can be seen as the manifestation of the fact that no system can ever be both complete and non-contradictory (per Godel).

@Matt Rouge

"I don't think there is a specific "decline effect, though it is not *wrong* per se to put it that way; it's just a missed opportunity to put it in a bigger framework. I think it is clearly a part of "Yang/Yin--arcing up, arcing down. A new thing, a new ritual goes up the Yang arc, and it can't stay up there forever.

But it is possible to find "balance" across Yang/Yin over time. Thus, when my psychic friends and I are reading for each other, though we may be more "on" at some times than others, there is a baseline of ability we can access. There is no "decline effect" by which our abilities totally disappear."

I cannot resist saying more about my research since the concept of balance has been brought up.

My research using EEG is uncovering a similar result in preliminary data - by running psi in the opposite direction, decline effects are reversed. Anyways, I'll have to run more research to confirm the result and publish... but I do think the decline effect represents throwing something(?) out of balance when psi is pushed too hard in one direction. In another analogy, my current thinking is that parapsychology researchers are running down their psi batteries but neglect the fact that they need to be recharged. You cannot keep taking money out of your bank account without putting any in.

Matt,
"Bravo! I think you nailed it. The Trickster can be seen as the manifestation of the fact that no system can ever be both complete and non-contradictory (per Godel)."

I like the way you said it better, but yeah, that's what the Tricksters is. The crack in the paradigm we assembled that we weren't consciously noticing (see below).

"I think it is clearly a part of Yang/Yin--arcing up, arcing down. A new thing, a new ritual goes up the Yang arc, and it can't stay up there forever."

I agree to that. I understand the terminology. My "formal" training and formational experiences with psi, which were among certain Native American people (who I sought out after these things spontaneously began happening to me as result of chi raising through traditional Chinese martial arts) says that it is all, at bottom, a matter of personal energy (or chi/qi if you're from the orient). When the energy runs out, the magic stops working. You have to renew the energy somehow. Another simple example of how it feels - You go to a party with friends and cool people you hadn't met before. Everyone's having fun, laughing, joking, things are flowing freely, but sooner or later it's not happening any more and it's time to go home. I know Carlos Castaneda is a discredited source. However, his/his mentor's lectures on the importance of personal energy in accomplishing "sorcery" ring very true to me based on my own experiences.

"In such cases, however, I ask: "What is the limiting factor?" If psi is *dosed out* to do this and that, then why is it not dosed out more? That is why I am suspicious of any top-down explanation of psi."

There is no limiting factor other than 1. personal energy 2. to a much lesser degree, ambient environmental energy 3. focus, which is closely related to energy - most of the time we are using our energy to the maximum to maintain focus on every day matters in the physical world. Once in a while we have sufficient energy reserves and our focus drifts (or we deliberately make it drift) from the every day focus. That is when psi happens, or when the tricksters emerges.

This is important: Unlike you, I do not think psi is an evolutionary adaptation. Rather, I think it is our natural way of communicating as spiritual beings and as beings who are, at the root, One. It is how we communicated before we entered the physical and it is how we will communicate once we leave the physical. As physical beings, way out on the branches, we have to use most of our energy to maintain our physical ego existence and, as a result, our being becomes somewhat distorted; to include the loss of fully functional psi.

So nothing is doling out psi units. Psi was always there and we experience it when we are able to stop doling out energy to ego and paradigm maintenance.


" If the military were smart, I think they would have a brain trust of psychics on hand to consult about matters."

They have and they still do.

Stephen,

||My research using EEG is uncovering a similar result in preliminary data - by running psi in the opposite direction, decline effects are reversed.||

Interesting. What do you mean by running psi in the opposite direction? I'd be curious to learn more.

||Anyways, I'll have to run more research to confirm the result and publish... but I do think the decline effect represents throwing something(?) out of balance when psi is pushed too hard in one direction. In another analogy, my current thinking is that parapsychology researchers are running down their psi batteries but neglect the fact that they need to be recharged. You cannot keep taking money out of your bank account without putting any in.||

Right. As a mediocre psychic myself, I can attest that using psi takes *effort* and uses energy. To some people, just using it a little bit is extremely draining. On the other hand, if one is in a groove, it can also feel energizing (just as a cardio workout can feel energizing but nevertheless uses energy).

no one,

||This is important: Unlike you, I do not think psi is an evolutionary adaptation.||

This gets rather complicated! I don't think psi is an evolutionary adaptation, either. I don't think psi is actually a *thing* at all. In our animal lives, psi is merely a mode of knowing/perception/cognition that noticeably contrasts with modes that are more comprehensible to us. That said, I don't think these modes are disparate in origin but connected. I think, at base, psi is an ability to access the Akashic Records (i.e., the Information Plenum) without use of the senses. I think our normal memory does this too (i.e., we do not store memories per se in our brains but merely pathways to sense impressions, thoughts, etc., that we "uploaded" to the Plenum), but in the case of psi, we do not follow pathways that we personally experienced but instead ones that we did not (or in the case of precognition, either those of ourselves or others out of temporal order). To draw a broader conclusion, the use of psi is very similar to and could even be considered a sub-mode of our memory function. It could perhaps be considered "memories for which we have no ordinary explanation, or which seem to violate our daily understanding of temporality."

That said, use of these modes is ipso facto an evolutionary adaptation in that our biological selves are the product of evolution. But psi itself is not something "created" by evolution, that is true.

||Rather, I think it is our natural way of communicating as spiritual beings and as beings who are, at the root, One.||

Telepathy is clearly how communicate as spiritual beings. People don't talk in dreams or NDEs but instead just think thoughts at each other.

||It is how we communicated before we entered the physical and it is how we will communicate once we leave the physical. As physical beings, way out on the branches, we have to use most of our energy to maintain our physical ego existence and, as a result, our being becomes somewhat distorted; to include the loss of fully functional psi.||

I don't think this model works because it gets the throttling in the wrong direction. Per your model, there is this huge dam with psi water behind it, and occasionally a *smallish* hole gets opened up and some water comes through, and we have a paranormal experience. Yet, if it were really like that, and we were holding back *all* that psi water, we would expect much *bigger* holes to get poked through and people to have truly mind-blowing experiences.

That's really not how it seems to work. That's not how it *feels* in my view. We are not physically constructed to push psi back or away. Rather, we need to pull ourselves *into* or *up to* psi in order to experience it. In other words, it is not a matter of throttling psi but tuning into psi, like a receiver.

And I think this model better accommodates the drug experiences, too. Taking drugs detunes retunes the receiver so that you can tune into vastly different regions of the Information Plenum. If the dam/water metaphor were to be used, then drugs would poke a hole, the water would flood in, and then why would the hole close back up? (Which can also be asked about psi experiences not arising from the use of drugs.)

BUT, that's still not the whole story, since we have a dual nature as limited physical beings AND beings of pure information. During dreaming, we are much closer to the latter, and during NDEs we definitely are the latter, so in that case, we simply are in the psi water. This could lead us to embrace the dam/water metaphor, but in that case it is a dimensional shift that occurs, not an increasing of the aperture in the physical form.

no one,

||They have and they still do.||

Would not surprise me!

Matt, "I don't think this model works because it gets the throttling in the wrong direction. Per your model, there is this huge dam with psi water behind it, and occasionally a *smallish* hole gets opened up and some water comes through, and we have a paranormal experience."

I didn't mean to suggest anything of the sort. Now that you made the metaphor, I don't think it is entirely off base, but agreed, it is not totally correct either.

I was working from the good old radio receiver model. I am saying that the natural state of the dial on the receiver is to float about freely or, perhaps, as needed. It takes energy to keep the dial stuck on the same station; which is what physical beings have a tendency to do because they have to attend to the physical. The energy is burned up in maintaining the focus. The focus involved the internal dialogue most of us are constantly having that tells us how we and the world are; albeit often this dialogue is subliminal. Also, as social creatures, we are subject to the focus that others impose on us. It's almost hypnotic. It's how we arrive at and then maintain a consensus reality. Psi happens when there is enough free energy (or through injury/illness, certain drugs, etc.) that the the "spell" is broken and the dial - the focus - can shift.

I would think that psi experiments with the senders and receivers undergoing some kind of treatment that disrupts the internal dialogue, be it sensory deprivation, psychedelics, rhythmic chanting at the right frequency, should increase the hit rate substantially. I think I've read this is so. Not sure though. I know it works for me. I can self induce a powerful bout of psi by taking a day or two and doing something like, say, staying to myself only looking at the shadows of things instead of the thing itself - just turning the normal assemblage of perception inside for a brief period. It breaks the positioning of the receiver.

I forgot to add that the focus/dial can shift more easily when we are around people that a) agree it can and b) have enough free energy to make it happen. This is because the consensus reality is now different than what the normal one. I reiterate that we are constantly creating our reality out of a sea of possibilities. When we work too hard at it, we expend energy. When we go with the flow we preserve energy (chi) and psi happens. I am convinced that this is how it is.

"This is important: Unlike you, I do not think psi is an evolutionary adaptation. Rather, I think it is our natural way of communicating as spiritual beings and as beings who are, at the root, One."

Glad we agree on this, no one! And since, as you say, we are essentially one being, psi is simply knowing oneself. If you and I are one at the core, then of course I can read your mind.

"As physical beings, way out on the branches, we have to use most of our energy to maintain our physical ego existence and, as a result, our being becomes somewhat distorted; to include the loss of fully functional psi."

This is where our attitude may differ (as you pointed out earlier.) You seem to see the loss of psi as an accidental byproduct of incarnating, whereas I see it as a *choice* made by Spirit to enable it to experience certain challenges and adventures.

"there is no ultimate truth that can be arrived at intellectually nor no final paradigm that can be assembled through the operation of the senses. Reality is always bigger than your biggest thought and more complex than your most clever design."

Excellent. It's the Flatlander dilemma -- how can a two-dimensional being understand a three-dimensional matrix?

Another way of saying it is to point out the silliness of thinking that a human mind can grasp the wisdom of the aggregate mind -- the mind of the One. The only occasion on which this sort of downloading of information *seems* to happen is in an NDE or other profound mystical experience. But what's really occurring in those situations is that the individual temporarily *becomes* the One, and sees, thinks, and feels as the One does.

And to tie all this in to Hansen's concept: as I see it, the Trickster is one way of talking about the techniques the One uses to keep itself from remembering its fundamental unity. Without the Trickster, the One would be unable to partition itself into you and me.

As you can see, no one, I've been emboldened to talk about the "One." And that's because you spoke of it yourself. I'm glad you did!

no one,

||I was working from the good old radio receiver model. I am saying that the natural state of the dial on the receiver is to float about freely or, perhaps, as needed. It takes energy to keep the dial stuck on the same station; which is what physical beings have a tendency to do because they have to attend to the physical.||

Yet here is the same "wrong direction" problem. Energy is keeping the dial on the "right" station; therefore, a lack of energy would presumably throw the tuning off. Humans experience a lack of energy all the time, such as during fatigue, illness, etc., but these states do not induce big spiritual experiences or "trips." I don't think the metaphor is totally off, however, as the tuning can be clearly altered by drugs.

I think it's pretty clear that the mind is "designed" by evolution to serve the animal. Thus, it has a certain tuning "baked in." It stays on the same station because that's where survival is. But yes, that tuning can be altered via drugs, meditation, etc. (I would say that dreaming is not changing the tuning of the brain per say but is a memory of ourselves outside the physical.)

I agree with the rest of your comments!

Bruce,

||Glad we agree on this, no one! And since, as you say, we are essentially one being, psi is simply knowing oneself. If you and I are one at the core, then of course I can read your mind.||

I think this is basically true. Psi involves deriving information from the Information Plenum, and since all is information, it is the One. Yet, I think we should be careful here, since it is also pretty clear that psi *for the most part* follows relevant pathways. It follows meaning, and that meaning is *mostly* personal. But there are plenty of exceptions! For example, most of the time, I use psi to see things about people and things with which I am in contact; I am following particular informational paths. On the other hand, sometimes I get mind-blowing "downloads" out of nowhere.

||This is where our attitude may differ (as you pointed out earlier.) You seem to see the loss of psi as an accidental byproduct of incarnating, whereas I see it as a *choice* made by Spirit to enable it to experience certain challenges and adventures.||

Aren't they both true at once? :)

||Another way of saying it is to point out the silliness of thinking that a human mind can grasp the wisdom of the aggregate mind -- the mind of the One. The only occasion on which this sort of downloading of information *seems* to happen is in an NDE or other profound mystical experience. But what's really occurring in those situations is that the individual temporarily *becomes* the One, and sees, thinks, and feels as the One does.||

I think this is basically true, but one needn't necessarily go "up" to that level in order to have a big download. For example, one could get a download from the 5th dimension and not go all the way to Infinity.

||And to tie all this in to Hansen's concept: as I see it, the Trickster is one way of talking about the techniques the One uses to keep itself from remembering its fundamental unity. Without the Trickster, the One would be unable to partition itself into you and me.||

Insightful!

"On the other hand, sometimes I get mind-blowing "downloads" out of nowhere."

The point I was making is that since nothing exists but the One -- my largest self -- *all* information comes from other parts of myself. So "nowhere" can be misleading -- it suggests that there are aspects of reality that lie outside the One.
----
I said: "You seem to see the loss of psi as an accidental byproduct of incarnating, whereas I see it as a *choice* made by Spirit to enable it to experience certain challenges and adventures."

You said: "Aren't they both true at once?"

I tend to see choice more than accident. I think no one has the opposite impression.

"I think this is basically true, but one needn't necessarily go "up" to that level in order to have a big download."

Yes, I'm sure there are various levels or degrees of revelation.

Matt, I'm enjoying your conversation with Jim Kennedy, and looking forward to his response to your objections!

Bruce,

||The point I was making is that since nothing exists but the One -- my largest self -- *all* information comes from other parts of myself.||

That is true!

||So "nowhere" can be misleading -- it suggests that there are aspects of reality that lie outside the One.||

By "nowhere" I merely meant that there is no obvious logical or emotional connection at that time; the download seems to come spontaneously.

||You said: "Aren't they both true at once?"

I tend to see choice more than accident. I think no one has the opposite impression.||

Perhaps the One transcends choice/non-choice?

Anyhow, we mostly agree!

"Yet here is the same "wrong direction" problem. Energy is keeping the dial on the "right" station; therefore, a lack of energy would presumably throw the tuning off. Humans experience a lack of energy all the time, such as during fatigue, illness, etc., but these states do not induce big spiritual experiences or "trips." "

Matt, I think the model holds up pretty well. The psychologically and psychically healthy way to move the dial is to save up energy band then use it, intentionally, for that purpose.

However, being extremely run down can move the dial too; albeit in a deleterious manner. If you become ill with a fever you may hallucinate. If you become totally exhausted you will hallucinate and perhaps have a nervous breakdown.

Mostly, when people become fatigued, they go to sleep. What happens when we sleep? The dial moves about freely as we dream. With the obsessive hold on the standard tuning broken for a while, we wake up refreshed.

"I tend to see choice more than accident. I think no one has the opposite impression."

If you choose to incarnate you must accept the ramifications, one of which is that most likely your focus of attention will become almost totally immersed in the physical and your natural psi state will be at a minimum. It is what you trade for whatever it is you think you want, need or will gain by coming here. I do not believe there is any lesson component to the issue at all. And, the fact is, that many children do recall both past lives and the between life state as well.

Losing psi is a natural byproduct of having to focus on the physical. Nothing more/nothing less. Full stop. End. Unless we save up chi, in which case we can experience all kinds of psi and be what? Some kind of cosmic outlaws breaking God's commandment to "forget" and ruining our incarnation?

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