misstree why so many pentacles in jewelry? association? 030914
missgtee /me has been drinking spirtus, a polish grina andolgohol, which nake everclear look liek vodka

prsfdon typos
lc All kinds of corn! 030914
User24 two pentacles, two reasons:

firstly, I was briefly a satanist, and although I can now look back and identify it as a wrong turn, it introduced me to mysticism (sp?) and the other worlds, at a time when my own was falling apart, I like to reflect on it as a personal symbol of strength and power, and as a reminder of my past (ask more if you want, I talk freely)

secondly, I now consider myself a pagan in spirit, if not in practice; I like to take days off around samhain and beltaine, and feel that it is very important to be attuned to nature's force and immense wisdom.
User24 for those wondering if my name is really 'use24', see also: ask_user24 030916
misstree which was the original typo that made me spew the stream of them in apology.

polish grain alcohol is a dangerous thing, folks.

i am coming back to this, i've just been stalling in writing anything that requries me to use my brain until i get more than 4 1/2 hours of sleep.

may be a bit yet.
misstree likes to poke at brains with pointy stick so, as i've mentioned elsewhere, i know next to nothing about satanism; care to give a vague outline? (wish i could be more specific, but this is me and sleep dep going to the mat, and one of us ain't walkin' away) 030916
User24 to be honest, I can't really tell you, for if I did, I would be killed.

oh, ok then.


The Nine Satanic Statements

Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!

Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!

Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!

Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!

Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!

Satan represents man as just another animal; sometimes better, more often worse than those who walk on all fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!

Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!


as you can probally already tell, lavey was a little bit up his own arse (sorry, mate, but it's true, and you know it (he's dead))

again, copied from above website:

The Nine Satanic Sins

1) Stupidity--The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.

2) Pretentiousness--Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone's made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.

3) Solipsism--can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses, and sensibilities onto someone else who is probably far less attuned that you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy, and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as they do onto you." It's work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian viewpoint) we are from that point.

4) Self-Deceit--It's in the Nine Satanic Statement but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered is when it is fun, and with awareness. But then, it's not self-deceit!

5) Herd Conformity--That's obvious from a Satanic stance. It's all right to conform to a person's wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of many.

6) Lack of Perspective--Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, everyday. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit the things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. So not be swayed herd constraints--know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.

7) Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxy's--Be aware that this one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something as "new" and "different", when in reality it's something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.

8) Counterproductive Pride--The first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bath water. The rule of Satanism is if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow," then do it

9) Lack of Aesthetics--This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. It is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off it most of the tome so it is discouraged in a consumer society, but is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for magical effectiveness. It's not what's supposed to be pleasing--it's what is. Aesthetics is a highly personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.


there is more, but you can check out the site.

I didn't fully believe in it all, but there are some good morals there, not good morals for a perfect world, but good morals for the detestable world we are unfotunate enough to live in today;

sometimes, in fact, most of the time, it is right to be selfish, in this world, turning the other cheek gets you two black eyes and a lasting reputation for being weak.

as for devil-worship, I wouldn't know about that, lavey's satanism wasn't really anything to do with the forces of evil, it was more a backlash against the church and attitudes of the time (1960s) if you want dark beasties, better check out Crowley.

satanic magic and worship is all about harnessing the power within you, the fact that you do not need a deity or angel to help you is it's raison d'etre, it serves itself, making few, and carefully chosen, exceptions.

(you can see why it appealed at a time when I was failing at school, and was constantly being told I had so much potential that I'm wasting yada yada)

misstree okay, now i know which camp the satanists i haven't patted on the head and sent off with a cookie were coming from... i agree, a lot of good stuff there, a lot of threads i see among many of the miscellaneous religions these days--bits of objectivism here, chaos magic there, and most have the "you are only a sheep if you let yourself, be, so for (insert particulars here)'s sake, don't let yourself be. i bit more mercenary than i try to be, but that's the stinky hippy for you. pride, nonconformity, and indulgence. hmm. good thing eris has me by the balls. (kidding! kidding! ow! quit slapping me, Mom!)

so, where did you evolve from there? you mentioned miscellaneous paganism as well--what specific influences did you ride between there and here?
User24 funny you should mention chaos magic, actually..

I never had any results with satanic magic, so from there (probally via a few 'underground' websites that dealt with everything I loved; hacking, viri, drugs, bombs and extreme religion) I found my way to Peter Carroll, chaos magic, with a bit of quantum physics thrown in for fun [ever read Liber Kaos? ;)] I guess I needed more framework, so, while I understood that my workings only worked becuase of the power within me, I found something more with Chaos, I could see it around me, I could watch strange attractors with a sense of glee; that I actually knew (the basics of) how they worked, from there, I've taken a step down, I now would describe myself as having everything from Satanism to muster up against my adversaries, the pure hate, blind anger, and sheer destructiveness (you can get carried away with the weight of power, knowing that it doesn't matter what the Gods think of you, they only exist in your mind yada yada) I have the logical viewpoint of chaotic cause and effect, that allows me to deal with things in a nice and simple way; X happened because it was inevitable, the world was just right, at that moment in time, and that's why X happened (you can get carried away with the inevitability of the situtation; it doesn't matter what I do if it's all set out before me, right?) I have wisdom of philosophy and buddha behind me, recieving all knowledge gratefully, and discerning true from lies, and finally, I have Paganism, keeping me calm and in tune with the only truth; that trees will grow, and cliffs will crumble.
misstree very nice. i don't come across enough people these days who do a thorough patch job, taking the pieces from things that they're good for. example, i wouldn't try to dictate my morality with chaosmagic--it would take a lot of work just to dig out the proper structures, i think, and then you could go twenty different ways with it. i'm personally a blend of discordian, chaote, and bokononist, with some epicurianism and optimism frosted on top.

unfortunately haven't read liber kaos, the local bookstore closed down before i could snag it; first formal introduction was liber null/psychonaut, followed by quantum psychology by RAW (also first exposure to him, between that and the rest of life my brain was *seriously* bent). quantum psychology was/is an incredible study on the relationship of the principles of quantum physics to mental workings to perception & its relation to "reality"--higly recommended, if you haven't yet read it.

nod, i distinctly like the cause-effect directness of chaosmagic (apologies for continually slurring the two words, it's a side effect of me email addie), it's a very good structure to hang the rest of the useful bits off of, keeps the foma from melting in the sun. i've also had a very interesting time using it as a comparison point for a lot of the other mysicisms, especially those with purposeful workings (prayer, rituals, etc.)--it's the things in common that help define the truer whole, imho.

as far as getting carried away with the weight of power... yeah. that's one of the lessons that i learned early and hard, that there is always a bigger fish in the ocean, that there are things that you are just not equipped to fuck with.

okay, now 2 questions; how do you think this blend shapes how you approach every day life, and what's your take on what happens after we die?
User24 I just have to say that I've never read anything that corresponds so perfectly with my own beliefs as your reply.


answering this one first because it's easier:

what's your take on what happens after we die?

very simple, I die and get buried in a degradeable coffin type thing, my body and it's energy are absorbed, back into the earth, thereby, re-incarnating every part of me, and being enviro-friendly, and letting all the parts of the earth that I've borrowed for my short stay here, get back home.
User24 how do you think this blend shapes how you approach every day life?

I think it makes me a better person, I can use any of the skills I've learnt from one religion/belief set or another to help me from day to day, in any number of situations.

Slightly off topic:

I have a positive outlook, there's always a little doubt, but overall, I feel like I'm moving upwards, I hope I am (see, there's that doubt again!), my beliefs are strong and true, I know that, they hold me together sometimes.

I, haven't read either of those, however, I know a shop where I can definately get Liber Null, and probally the other, too, so I will try to get hold of them.

yeah, chaos magic does make a very good base, your conscious needs the structures of myths and magic, and your subconscious needs the logic and proof of the quantum psychology. with both fulfilled, you are given a great standing point that is both beautiful and functional. and it allows, in fact requires, your own adaptations.

agree very much on the lowest common denominator bit, couldn't have said it better meself.


ask more! ask more!
misstrees brain is throbbing in a happy way *grin* be my pleasure; i agree that we have very similar approaches so far, which makes me even more curious to find the differences, and to hear things coming out of a different brain with different words.

appears our only difference in opinoin of the afterlife is that i plan on being a crazy old lady with lots of cats, and being at least partially eaten by said cats, because it would amuse me to live on in such a manner in they and their kittens and such. also, any person who requests such within 1 year of my death is to recieve a small portion of my ashes, for them to do with as they deem fit.

i'm also occasionally astounded at how much each piece of patchwork keeps to itself--it seems intuitive that, if you have a bunch of different belief systems operating in one brain, they would occasionally conflict, but i rarely see that happen. at least, it hasn't happened since i gave up on both agnositcism and objectivism (the cult of ayn_rand). it may be the flexibility of the frameworks, combined with a good amount of examination of any belief before it's really integrated. conflicts, to me, tell me something is Wrong, and needs to be fixed.

don't trip over the carpet trying to get liber null, it's definitely a good read, and was wonderful for an introduction, but it's got a lot more, hrm, almost the ritual end of things, as much as chaos magic could have one; it goes into the different ways of achieving trances and what they're good for, different ritual activities that can be used to guide workings, the whywhathows of servitors (and quite a few cautions), and goes off about the wheel of desire and Kia and other concepts not neccesary to really grasp the whole. but interesting. for quantum psychology, though, push grannies in front of cars if they're in your way.

i think it might almost be the other way around, for me, with which part of my brain needs which; it's the conscious part that listened to too many atheists growing up, that's constantly saying, that's not supposed to happen. it needs a good platform to grip white-knuckled when things get Weird, because i still look at everything with a dose of skepticism. the theories of chaos magic are that platform. on the other hand, myths and faity tales and metaphors are the stew of the subconscious, it's how it speaks to the world; when i say hail eris i'm not so much hailing some old greek crone, but lifting a smile up to the universe in all its splendor, and expressing happiness that it plays well with others like me. dangit, i can't even explain it well without lapsing into metaphor. :P

dangit, two or three really good questions came to mind, but i was so busy babbling that i forgot what they were. *SIGH*

oh yeah, the one that i was originally intending to write; what's your take on spirits? i lump into this category everything from ghosts to dieties to servitors (created spirits, um, kind of) to totems to energies in objects and places. i'll go smoke a cig and see if i can remember the others. :D
User24 yeah, the inner conflicts of mixed morals, it doesn't happen a lot, probally because of the dynamic nature of my system, I'll add some bits on here and there (I'm just starting to beleive in the house elves who hide things from me) so because the system is in a constant state of flux, when a conflict does arise, I shift my weightings on the conflicting arguments, and decide based on that, I suppose there's an inner moral guiding it all (which I feel is my Pagan side, connecting to a deeper entity, etc)

Liber Kaos sounds quite similar to Liber Null & Psychonaut, a bit top heavy on rituals, as I remember.

I'm not too sure what I think of spirits, I was having this debate not too long ago, The chaote in me would say that if you create it in your mind, it is true, but I'm never too keen on accepting that as a full answer unless the whole world is just in my mind ( - not impossible)

I will never reject an argument entirely; as Einstein said, a hundred experiments could not prove I'm right, one experiment could prove me wrong, ie, I've lived for 20 years without seeing a ghost, that does not prove they don't exist, if I see one tomorrow, that one occurance has proved they do.
User24 as for other supernatural things; aura's, crystal healing, reiki, whatever, I believe in most things by default, and wait to be dis-proved (I've never stopped believing in something yet) 030916
User24 going to sleep, see you tomorrow
misstree kay, back from the club and kinda drunk, forgive the pletohora of typos i anticipate.

so, you've never had an experience with what you could consider another consciousness, or another entity? i'll withold stories of my own unil i probe a little deeper, as this is one fot he things that kicked my ass out of agnosticism,, and i don't expect you to be swayed by my anecdotes any more than i would be swayed by something i hadn't seen/felt/grokked wiht my own being.

okay, two questions in this, i think, take you

there is a wideheld belief in chaosmagic that in order for a Will to be accomplished, one must release the desire. that the desire itself, when held by the conscious mind, will thwart the kia's actions because of fear of success. do you believe this to be true? why?

second part of the question... it is not easy or intuitive to, when one wants something to happen, put that thought out of mind. often leads to obsession, which is imho giving your brain something to gnaw on until all you have are spit-covered bits and dog puke. unless you can draw something from it, like epicurean experience, or writing. *sigh* anyhow, so release of desire is not an easy thing; do you have any particular preference/stance for how it is best accomplished?

and, for that matter, okay, this'll take a second... don't remember, might ahve been quantum psych, but the subject of meta-thoughts came up... thinking about thoughts... in theory, there are an infinite number of meta-thouhts, thinking of thinking of thoughts and so on... for the suspension of disbelief often associated with both release of desire, but release of doubt, meta-thinking is often involved, but it gets into some conflict when you're always trying to use the next level of thinking about thought to nullify doubt... what are your thoughts on the difficulties involving willfull suspension of disbelief, whether or not you think it neccesary?

'kay. think i'm done, though don't be surprised if i have one more post before i pass out, something i forgot. again, apologies for any typos; been fascinated by watching my fingers on keyboard, they don't swim as bad as the monito. :P

good night, good night, be always kind and true, and failing that, be silent.
User24 I have experienced the supernatural a few times, some bad, most good, I think that anything can, and probally does happen

as usual, I'm answering backwards (in fact, haphazardly);

I've always had trouble with forgetting the object of desire, one way I've done it in the past is to write sheets and sheets of sigils, some silly random things mixed in with a few expressing my true desires, I then leave them for a week so as to forget which sigil is which, and then meditate on them over a period of days, it's bit of a compromise, but it's worked in the past. (one side effect is that all your A4 sheets of paper have weird symbols scrawled over them)

I think the important moral behind forgetting the object of desire is that you should never get hooked on fancies, whether it is needed for success or not is a tricky question, the maxim "nothing is true, everything is permitted" is useful here, remember that chaos is itself a system that only works because it does.

I know this is ask_use(r)24, but can I slip one in?

What sort of rituals, etc do you use? I've never felt comfortable with the whole robes and goblets stuff, I prefer a more casual approach, if I feel like it, I'll light a candle or some incense, I may even pray to some God or Goddess (or the hole bunch) but it's never in a "O Pan, thou art strong as the day itself" kind of way, it's more honest and personal, eg "Hey, Pan, I'm asking you to help me with xxxx, I don't know if you're the right guy to talk to, but..." (etc)

On the subject of thoughts, have you seen that article 'get with the meta program' on my website? very interesting..
I have a theory on thoughts, and how they work, your conscious mind needs to know something (eg, who sang 'bright eyes') as soon as you begin to wonder this, your subconscious sends messages out to little parts of your brain that are instructed to wonder about this, also. Then, the answers come back to your subconscious, which reasons upon which is more likely to be true, hence, you suddenly come across the answer, 2 weeks later, when you've forgotten you wanted to know, because one of the little parts of your brain has just found it, and has been looking all this time.

mm.. that was a convoluted way of saying it...
misstree hmm... i like that idea for releasing desire... what i might actually do is charge a sigil, then sneak it onto a page with a bunch of other symbols, then take those and doodle all over my arm in silver sharpie, so that the scattering is constantly visible, and also something to blank my mind on when it goes to gnaw on things. this is one of the biggest problems for me, because usually i'm flighty enough that it's just a matter of distraction, but i'm wrestling with a monster right now. it will work out in the end, that's all i know. :P and i defintely agree that the moral not to get hooked on fancies is the important bit. anyhow...

rituals, well, when i actually do a full-on ritual, it usually involves a couple of the same objects every time (a certain plaster skull, a tray i burn things on, a box that i put used components in), lighting some candles on an altar-like space to help focus, then some mediation, and conversations with whatever i happen to talk to; if i need information, i talk to the skull; if i'm trying to settle major changes in my life, i talk to Big Momma. if i need answers, i've found that busting out the tarot deck works well. i usually just set up things that i think might be helpful and then go with the flow; pretty informal, but trying to keep a quiet focus. when i'm doing works outside of ritual, it's usually when i personally am full of playfulness and some other emotion, be it anger, lust, joy, whatever. then i do visualizations (though it tends to be more tactile experiences, but i don't think tactilizatons is a word :P ), craft what i think the proper representation of what my goal is, and release. one example is a little birdie i've sent off to tell people that they should make their way to the place i was at--it was an energy ball thought-formed until i could "feel" wings shifting under my hands. hopefully there's an answer in there somewhere. :)

post your site again, i saw the fractals part but i didn't see the other, it prolly slipped my mind since i don't venture outside blather at work. in other words, no, i haven't seen that article, but it sounds really interesting. one other book that speaks about meta-thoughts and mental mapping is something like "godel, escher and bach, the golden braid" or something... it's got these weird cs lewis meets greek philosophy diagolgues, and from just flipping open randomly on occasion it flips all over patterning and meta thoughts and even stranger and harder to summarize schtuff.

no more questions right at the moment, let me wake up for a while and i'll think of some. :)
User24 :)
click user24, then 'theft'


I should really do some workings some time, I haven't for ages, though visualisation is great fun, whereever you are right now (and this applies to anyone reading) pretend you are sitting /standing / whatever next to you, it's quite easy, just shift your perspective, pretend that you're looking where you are looking, just a little to the left.

ok, now you're comfortable with that, let the 'fake' you turn and look at yourself, you should have an image you you, sideways, picture it, keep focus, now hold that thought, and picture the room around you when that 90 degree perspective, fancy a walk around? try zooming in and out, though walls, inside other people, high above your town, but be careful, there's a difference between visualisation and imagination, make sure the images in your head are as accurate as they can be, and don't just look, feel, feel the wind on your face as, in your room, your ghost steps outside into the street, look at the people, wander about, and have fun. most importantly, remember to come back, and remember that you are in control of it, if something's happening that you don't like, bend the rules a little.
misstree yum! a very interesting exercise... and also one that helps distract the brain, as it requires you to stop babbling at yourself. :)

i'll check out the site when i get home, i get nervous enough with just a bitty blue window.
User24 for me, (though I'm out of practice) it take a lot of concentration, it's something fun to do while on the bus to work, as well! 030917
imposter OK, User -- I have a question for you as a Brit. I was recently in London, and you crazy British seem to put vegetables (what you call 'salad') on everything! A meatball sandwhich with lettuce, tomatoes, and corn?! Corn on pizza! Corn on everything! What is with the corn???

Besides that, I LOVED the food there -- bangers 'n' mash, chicken and leek pie, mmm -- those were my favourite 'authentic' British foods. Wasn't so crazy about the fish 'n' chips, but the again. I don't so much like fish. The spotted dick was good too, just a strange name. And I absolutely loved Guinness.

Oh, and also -- does the no-selling-alcohol-after-11 thing apply everywhere in England or just in London itself?

You've got a great country going on over there, friend.
misstree excellent excellence with the article. yep, same school of thought (and even some terms) as quantum psychology. remind me to poke at you about metaprogramming and consciously changing preferences sometime when i have a few minutes, and maybe mumble something about how philosophies affect how magic is approached, w/ example of hedonism--tactile & energy work preferred.

just making notes to myself. look! it's elvis!

*runs off into the after-work world*
User24 re metaprogramming;

yeah, I thought so, too, I only discovered the article a few months ago, so I haven't got around to doing anything with it, i don't have much spare time, but look forward to setting some aside..

I could talk all day on how philosophies affect how magic is approached, but I'd need to know one thing;
approached as in, how it is percieved by the masses, or how one should approach it?

and as for hedonism, it depends what you mean by hedonism, the pursuit of pleasure, or the acknowledgement that all our actions are dictated by pleasure (but can be changed), there's a big difference.

and frankly, I don't know what you're talking about re tactile & energy work,

sorry, that sounds terribly rude, doesn't it? didn't mean it, I'm just a little abrupt sometimes (why beat_around_the_bush? (chances of that being a blathe...20%?))

explain more (or, as you -were- just taking notes, I'll let you off if you explain something else if you prefer..)

misstree i will explain more in due time, dahlink. confusion is what you get for reading what i wrote on the ask_you blathe before i was done procrastinating.

off to go get drunk. ta!
User24 imposter,

yeah, no alchohol after 11, except in some clubs, who can have their license extended to 2am.

the food is ok, but a little bland, I prefer italian.


no probs, have fun :)
oldephebe this is a pretty cool blathe page, i'm enjoying you and misstree's scintillating discourses, totally free flow and informal - not trying to inculcate or declaim or preach or anything - just open's fun to see sharp minds sharing with one another.. 030918
oldephebe's fun? how lame was that?'s blah always intriguing to passively observe keenly honed minds simply tleast i didn't say "fun" again.. 030918
oldephebe's fun? how lame was that?'s blah always intriguing to passively observe keenly honed minds simply tleast i didn't say "fun" again.. 030918
oldephebe's fun? how lame was that?'s blah always intriguing to passively observe keenly honed minds simply tleast i didn't say "fun" again.. 030918
relentless inner critic!! posting three times
now THAT was lame!!
User24 mm.. fun is a great word, it is as simple as what it represents. 030918
misstree hmm... i'd like to hear your thoughts on both, with the how philosophies affect magic. very different thing, perception by the masses or a single person's approach. proceed. (user24 versus next question. FIGHT! sorry. been playing oldsk00l fighting games as late.)

the reason i was mumbling to myself about tactile sensation and energy work was, as a narrow example, i tend to be a very tactile person with hedonistic tendencies (defined loosely as the belief that, ya, it pretty much boils down to pursuit of pleasure, that that's the core... whether or not this can be changed, well it really depends on how you believe the breakdown goes, why it occurs, and how you would define deviation from this tendency... there should be a question mark in there somewhere, but there's not and you have to answer it anyway so nyah. :P ), and thus i find myself using tactile visualizations, if you will, more often than it seems to my limited experience people use visual visualizations (ahem) or other things. to me, it just comes very naturally, and whether or not they are basically self-induced hallucinations, i actually think the ease in inducing said hallucination is a distinct benefit.

apologies, brain is sub-par today. but i think i buried a question or two in there.

indeed, fun is appropriate. simple, enjoyable, without undue weight, brain games on the big playground. i agree to fun. :)
minnesota_chris Piston Hurricane kicks my butt. If not him, ya got Bald Bull waiting in the wings 030918
User24 anyone remember 'exploding fist' ZX Spectrum 48k.. 030918
User24 sorry, mistree, I'm taking ages over this reply, can't seem to focus on it.. 030918
misstree that's quite alright, take your time. don't have much focus in me today, either. 030918
User24 well, as far as the masses go.. yeah, they don't really -have- a philosophy, at least not consciously (if that offends anyone; you obviously don't have the same 'masses' that I live next door to, and I apologise)

their morals seem to be closed minded and arrogant, though I do misjudge a lot of people, perhaps that's just their herd mentality, and personally they're a lot different, in general though, people are quite accepting of others' beliefs, though there are marked and severe exceptions.

In terms of how personal philosophies affect the effectiveness of a working, that's a hard one, as stated earlier, I've not got a huge amount of experience; I accept, know, and believe it, but have little need to apply it; let fate take it's course, with the knowledge that I can take control if needed.
Hence, the following is pure conjecture..

it could be that people can apply a wall of protection, both by conscious effort and by a kind of subliminal process, built by their strong will?

on the other hand, you could say that because of the way magic works, because you yourself, and the world in general, have forgotten the object of desire, the recipient of the magic has no warning, and therefore no line of defence?

And finally (for this bit) how does a person's philosophies affect the efficiency of their own working?

Personally, as stated, my philosophies and beliefs hang together quite well, as you say, if there's a conflict, something's obviously wrong, and while some people can settle for the closest match, or any kind of match, I strive for the absolute truth (*), as, I think, do you, any other attitude seems wasteful.
(* - coupled with the knowledge that nothing's -that- important, I'm happy to live with some minor discrepancies, they give me something interesting to think about..)

I hope that answers some questions, or even better provides more..

On to visualisation,

Visualisation I feel is key to the whole process, you are imposing your will upon your subconscious, and letting it do it's work while the world sleeps. Of course, you know all this, so swiftly on to tactile visualisation; agreed, most people use visual, and less use emotive or tactile, as you'll see from the excercise in OOBE's (Out Of Body Experience(s)) above, I tend to take visual first to start easy, and then when I'm comfortable with that, move in feeling things, etc, an interesting one is emotive visualisation, which, basically, is true acting; capture the emotion of someone perfectly and you have complete control, you can role play, yourself v another person, until your actions get the right re-action, then simply copy the right actions in real life.

oh, and I think that visualisation, in all forms is a self-induced, but more importantly self-controlled hallucination, which could go part way to explaining how the subconscious is so easily fooled; as the images/feelings/visualisations feel real, the subconscious is more happy to accept them, than a conscious want or need, which it has learnt to ignore?
User24 ok, maybe it was just because it was damn long that it took ages.. hmm...

I'll let you wade through that at your leisure.
misstree i've got some more questions and comments brewing, *but*, i'm theoretically leaving to go play in the woods all weekend tomorrow afternoon, and i don't have anything packed, and i have to saw a piece of pvc in half and do some repairs on garb and run errands and just generally freak out and then not get to be drunk all weekend (least, not drunk enough to be apparent). *huff puff* so you might have to wait until sunday or monday. :P

or i might think of something if my mind needs a break from freakingoutdom and wants to drop into coherent thought for a few minutes.

either way, that is obviously not now.

and don't you ever dare apologize to me for long posts.

in case you haven't noticed,
i love to ramble.
User24 [grin]
I just didn't realise how much I'd written :)

no problem, I've got to go to a wedding on saterday, and over to my parents on sunday, so I probally wouldn't get round to a reply till monday anyway (it'll give some time to mull over what we've said, anyhow)

have fun, speak later :)
blah-ze how do i stop procrastinating, and do some study?

also: why is it that i am completely incapable of falling asleep, even though i have given up my 12 cup a day coffee habit?

please, pontify at leisure. ignore if you feel like.
User24 ah..
I don't honestly know..

if I have any insights later, I'll post them, but until then.. sorry!
User24 not wanting to rush you or anything, but I did enjoy our brief discourse.

any more, Ms Tree?
misstree doesnt like thinking with a hangover drat. yes, most likely tomorrow i will continue feasting on your brain... what with a full weekend and then a strange tuesday and all that pot smoking and whatnot, it had slipped my mind (though this as been enjoyable indeed). but today, it's all i can do to stay conscious. so tomorrow. yep. 030924
User24 *beams*

as said, no rush, just wanted to know whether you were planning a response or not..

mm.. pot.. good idea..

misstree okay, going back to your post on 9/18 and commenting from there, because i don't want to work.

okay, philosophy of the masses... the cynical part of me wants to agree with the close-minded herd mentality, but i think that, especially as far as spiritual/religious matters go, people in general are more open-minded than most give them credit for... it's the belligerently close-minded ones that make all the noise... i think that most people realize that it's a very personal thing, and allow for variation without placing too much personal judgement on it. of course, this is also coming from the perspective of an "innocuous weirdo," so i get viewed more as a curiosity than an actual threat.

personal philosophy; agreed, that a wall of protection can be applied, built by will; i don't think that forgetting on the part of the sender makes the wall any less effective, though it may make the sending more effective. the most that it might do is fail to provide a line of retaliation from the sent to the sender, kind of like masking your ip.

and as far as how one should approach magic, i kind of agree, for the most part i just let the universe do what it will and only nudge when neccesary, but that's just as much from the knowledge that nudges don't always make things go the direction that you were intending. got a good taste of that just recently; won't elaborate more than warning anyone against using a rat/possum thing as a servitor.

i also, however, think that just by simply existing, each person is applying some amount of will, and for someone whose will is honed and directed, each breath is a minor magical work... that's part of why i'm so belligerent about my belief that the universe dances rather than stumbles... i think that there is a distinct range of gravity that works should be taken with... not everything should be a major ritual, carefully considered, but mistakes are easily made, and i've noticed that the people who actually know the most also tend to be rather modest with using it, because at some point or other everyone finds out that there are bigger fish than you out there, and even if you don't find one you can still fuck yourself up pretty bad if you're not careful.

i think i was trying to go somewhere else with that question, too, but i have no idea what it was. :P

interesting point about most people being sight-based with visualizations... it's something i've been dwelling on, and about the only answer i have for myself is "well, i'm weird"... it may be an extension of how i was introduced to things, with energy balls and auras more felt than seen... always been really shitty at seeing energy, though i can feel/"smell" things with relative ease...

which brings up an interesting question, what's your take on auras, what they indicate, how they're percieved, and how much those perceptions are tied in with just subconscious clues to a person's character or mind state?

...the emotive visualisation is an interesting concept, but i'm not sure if i'm grasping it quite... are you speaking of something akin to the little conversations people carry on in their head on occasion, like how you're going to answer question x at job interview? it keeps bumping up in my head to live action roleplaying (vampire larp is the most common), and the act of utterly immersing yourself in a foreign mode of thought, moreso than tabletop because there is very little narrative, and you are basically doing *everything*, including actions, speech patterns, facial expressions, and of course reactions, as your character would... yeah, clarify a bit, if you would be oh so kind. :)

interesting insights with the rest of visualization (tactilization, dangit!), and i wonder if castaneda wouldn't have something to say about its similarity to dream-states. unfortunately, i know very little about castaneda, and with the exception of one VERY strange occurance (see: questing_deep_into_the_grey_caves) and a few visits from a friend who once taught me how to fly, i'm pretty weak in the dreaming department. and another instance that i might relate on the grey caves blathe later, involving a halloween decoration named Nobody. so, there's another thing to poke at you with, dreams, dreams in general, dreams in specific, why they happen, what they're good for, what they can do to us and for us, how to work with them, all that stuff.

hey! you never pontificimacted upon hedonism. i demand a ramble!

and, another one to keep in your sock drawer until you're ready to put it on your head and run around saying "i'm a squid! i'm a squid!" (wait, that's pantyhose, not pontifications...) kind of ties in to meta thoughts... shifting major parts of personality, such as religious orientation, opinoins, tendencies, loves... the biggest reason i've seen for doing such is an exercise in freedom, realization of the transitory nature of things that are usually regarded as concrete, or an exercise in will, doing something difficult because it is difficult but within the range of possibility. thoughts?

wow. okay, i've made up for procrastinating for longer than i meant to, now it's your turn. :) take your time, and if you just want to get poked at by one thing at a time, that's entirely understandable and acceptable. heck, if you want to ignore all this and get poked at by something else entirely, that's okay too, i just demand rambles. :)

crap. i guess i should do some actual work now. been here 3.5 hours and gotten about 1 hour worth of work done, if that. *sigh*
User24 Agree that most people do turn out more open minded than I first give them credit for, as you say, it's the cynicism / elitism that says otherwise (and is most often proved wrong)

I liked the IP spoofing analogy, I often use technological metaphors when talking about psychology (don't know if you've read that 'Esquire' article with Phiber Optik, where one of the phreakers says that taking drugs is like hacking your brain? ( - I think it was that one anyhow..)

again, agree very much that people perform unintentional, random acts of magic all the time, I think the distinction between magic and life is simply a matter of mentality; perhaps it's only magic if you think it is?

auras are an intersting phenomenon, I think that it's quite possible that people's mental state can affect how they're percieved, whether it's just via a subtle form of body language, or whether there's literally a haze of 'aura particles' floating around them I don't know (though I'm more inclined to believe that it's partly subtle body language, and partly a psychic connection between them and you.

On to a tangent here; I think that people were once telepathic, but lost the skill when we started living in larger settlements; when we were nomadic, it was useful to be able to keep in touch across vast distances, perhaps not as in being able to talk with one another, but on a lower level, being able to sense one another..

do excuse me, I'm off on another compete and utter tangent here, I followed your link to questing_deep_into_the_grey_caves, read all of that, only pausing to read everything in 'salvia', too.. that then took me off the to look up more about salvia, which fascinates me by telling me that "At higher doses users report dramatic time distortion, vivid imagery, encounters with beings, travel to other places, planets or times, living years as the paint on a wall or experiencing the full life of another individual" ahem.. where was I?

oh right, yeah, emotive visualisation, yes LARP is a good example, I tend to use it as a way of predicting people; create a copy of them in me, and then let me and the copy of them chat, to see what the real them would think of something..

hmm.. that's confusing, example:

let's say I want to ask my boss for a pay rise, I create his personality within myself, and test out several approaches on this copy of him, whichever one works I use in real life.

yeah, I think that about explains it..

I'm really not the right person to ask, as explained on dream_diary, I don't usually remember my dreams (usually remember one / part of one less than once a month)

I think that dreams are such a varied thing, "sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar". of course, other times.... ;)

They can be the key to your life, someone else's life, the universe in general, or just random defragging of your brain. I take every dream individually, but usually just classify dreams as either cool, weird or scary, but don't read much into them (there are excpetions, such as dream_diary, which I'd love to know more about / have again)

coming soon: hedonism and meta (re)programming.

User24 btw, I don't know how coherent that was; for a change, I didn't re-read and edit it fourteen times. 030927
User24 ok hedonism.. The pursuit of pleasure is neccessary in order to gain satisfaction from life, there's no way it cannot be so; if you are satisfied, you have recieved pleasure (unless you don't enjoy feeling satisfied.. hmm. interesting one right there.)

personally, I get a lot of pleasure from helping, pleasing and teaching other people, so I guess that my apparent selflessness is actually driven by an inner selfishness, as usual, my opinion boils down to "if it harms none, do as you will" - what could be more natural than pursuit of pleasure?

As far as the boundaries of pleasure / pain.. well.. that's up to the individual; I don't think that anything is all bad, or all good, and the more extreme you get, the more of the opposite creeps in.


As I said, I've not had a chance to do any practicle experiments, but I do like the idea of deliberately changing my preferences, suddenly stop liking brown bread, for instance. (in fact, I made a conscious effort a few months ago to like red wine, and now I do, so in a way I've already started meta programming) I think that it sounds like a fun thing to try out, suddenly change the way you are; stop a habit, take on new ones, etc. I think it will be a useful skill for mind-over-matter situations, teach you brain to accept conscious persuasion "No, this is not painful", or "No, I am not cold" - that kind of skill would be very useful indeed. And yes, a good excercise in free_will and personal choice, to an unprecedented extent.
misstree okay, darlin', i didn't think i was in the mood to write right now, but that last piece makes me crack my knuckles and want to lean forward and light into a keyboard... i agree with you, for the most part, but this is an area i've always poked at with special interest, so, yeah.

i've tried to find arguments against the thought that the Meaning of Liff is the pursuit of pleasure... it really does all seem to boil down to this... but somehow i get a sense that it's not the answer, hrm, that it's almost to primal a philosophy to be true... it's like saying that grass is green, well, that's true, but that says nothing about varieties of grass or how root structures build... but maybe that is the proper level of simplification for such an overbearing question? each person's pleasures are diffrent, and rarely are people fulfilled solely by the obvious means that hedonism suggests (good food, comfy clothes, sex, wow! these are a few of my favorite things!)... being of a more complex mental makeup than, say, cats (the ultimate epicures), we require not only the variety that a cat does (food, warmth, people to stroke us incessantly, play, hunting, curiosity, procreation), we need to feed our sense of Self as well, feel pleased with our actions, feel we have bettered ourselves, interacted meaninfully with other human beings.

the mention of "selfless behavior" also deserves a thorough poking. (*warning!* though i personally think ayn_rand was a crotchety old bitch who needed to do some serious experimentation with altered mind states and lighten the hell up, i do retain bits and pieces of her philosophy, and this is a lot of where they come out. it tastes like bile to think that i have commonalities with objectivism, i hate it so, but that is a rant for another time.)

*ahem* "selfless behavior"... oh so lauded, to do something not for your own benefit... but again i say, isn't that what it really comes down to? it's like tipping the waitress an extra buck; it's worth that dollar to me to know that i have shown appreciation to her, that it caused her pleasure, and that in the future if i have that waitress she may remember me. take being a fireman. there's not a whole lot pleasent about running into a burning building, getting scorched and risking death, especially if it turns out it was an unneccesary act. but i would imagine that the pleasure that they get from helping others, in that meaningful interaction kind of way, and the knowledge that they have made a positive impact.

argh. i'm going to end that bit here, because my brain is getting muddled; poke at it if you will, or i may rant later, but i have more rambling to do. (*groans from the peanut gallery*) hey! shaddap! you can stop reading whenever you want! ;)

*cracks knuckles again* pleasure and pain... hrmmmm... let me begin by saying that unless i misunderstand you, i disagree that there is a neccesary increase proportional to intensity of the amount of its opposite contained in pleasure or pain. perhaps you should explain before i chew on that one.

personally, i think that pain is far more useful than pleasure, and can be pleasurable as well, sometimes due to cicumstance, and distinctly dependent on mindset.

pain teaches us. pain motivates us. pain tells us we're doing something wrong. pain says something needs to be fixed. pain can be cleansing. pain provides a focus. what does pleasure do, but provide comfort? pleasure makes us sleep; pain wakes us up.

there are circumstances when pain does cause pleasure; emotional endorphins, so to speak, can be very freeing after a painful episode. appreciating what you have, in a way.

the mindset in which pain is approached entirely determines its effect on us. the default mindset is that pain is bad, pain is to be avoided. personally, i value sensation in all forms; it's input that lets us know we're alive. if one had all senses removed, does life still reside? there may be inernal workings, but with no contact with the outside world, it would be a closed set, a being unable to learn or grow outside of the realm of previous experience. pain, as i said, is a wonderful teacher. the instinct to avoid it does not always result in the most valuable outcome.

and here is where meta-programming joins the dance. pain is a much more powerful sensation than pleasure, physically or emotionally. if one approaches pain as something desirable, truly experiences it as something desirable, does it not make it pleasurable, as you are recieving the object of your desire? if one's primary source of pleasure is recieving input and experiences, again does that not make pain pleasure? now, that desire does run contrary to the base instinct pain=bad; but this can be reprogrammed, temporarily or permanently, if one has enough will.

'course, meta-programming on this level is not at all easy; fortunately, from my own experiences, the overwhelming amount of experience at the time when this directive needs to be enforced provides a very strong focus, and a very unified reaction to shift.

meta-programming on other levels can be damn hard; the wine is a good example of one that's slow and steady, and pretty interesting. things like the random religion generator in liber_null (roll a die, look at the list, believe that religion with all your heart for a week. roll again.) are considerably more difficult, as it involves ingrained beliefs, thought patterns, behavior shifts. i would be a completely different person if i became a by-the-book christian for a week. (*shudder* christian i could do without much problem except for the swearing, but a fundamentalist... again i *shudder*) part of the reason that i poked at metaprogramming more is that i'm trying to shift some emotional areas about, sever some connections, rebalance some reaction levels, reprioritize some needs... and it's damn difficult. got some good pain going though, so that might help. :P

anyhow, need for food is setting in, and this is about a novel and a half. i'll comment on the previous post and poke at some more distinct areas at some indeterminate time in the future. forgive if i got a little preachy on this one, intensity does that to me, and again with the mindset thing. 'til later,
User24 hey, sorry I've taken so long to reply..


yeah, recognising that as we've said before, to get to the truth you have to take the common factors, and, well, basically get to the most basic parts of everything, hedonism is a pretty sound theory, I agree that it is a little un-glamorous, and yes, perhaps getting down to the absolute truth is akin to drinking vodka and grapejuice, and expecting wine.

if we take any given complex idea, by which I mean a stem belief set that evolved fully into a religion, eg Christianity, Hindu, etc, and cut out all the bits we can dis-prove, we are left with a schematic, but not the actual thing, a tree with no branches. (is it still a tree?)

What I'm getting at is the question of whether there is something more than logical, binary decisions, at the lowest level?

If there is something else, call it an emotion, then the universe is randomly driven, which means there is no predictability, no stability, if there isn't, then the universe isn't hackable; you can't beat the perfect system, where even rebellion is accounted for, even needed to keep balance.

I honestly don't know if there is or not, I don't think I can use logic to find out, as logic only works on logical systems, and if the universe is not logical, how can I work it out? and I don't think I can use emotion to find out, because any decision made on emotion is not guarunteed to be correct. I'd like there to be something else, merely from a romantic viewpoint, that the universe has some 'supernatural' element, there is beauty in the unknown, but more in the unknowable, but conversely, I'd like the universe to be pure, cold, logic - it's the way I work, and I can understand and even empathise with the universe that way..

Very interesting point about people's preferences, yes, you'd think we'd be a lot more similar, however my guess is that the basic hedonistic instinct is sitting quite quietly nudging in certain directions, in a subtle way, and then allowing all the other layers of reality to be applied in varying amounts before anything reaches your conscious mind, and unravelling that web of psuedo-reality is really what it's all about..

agreed, I don't think that the interchange of emotional opposites is made by default, but I do think that generally, extreme opposites share many of the same characteristics; you cry with both great sorrow and great joy, etc..

as to the usefullness of extreme emotions, yes, I find that the negative emotions are more powerful, but that's probally more my personal past than a typical case, and to lesser extents, it is, IMHO, more common for positive emotions to be experienced during negative emotions than vice versa, again, perhaps this is the brain compensating for lack of positive external stimuli, and producing it's own pleasure a la selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eek.. that brought back a section of my life I didn't want to remember... ahem)

yeah, sorry, that's enough pleasure/pain thought for me, I may return to this subject another day.. sorry..

I will say, though that I agree with what you're saying there re: pain being a positive and necessary force, it's a much stronger emotion, and once you've got past the initial aversion, it's a wild horse to ride.

indeed, when you've re-writing base emotions, you've got to be careful, I know that if I concentrated enough, I could stop my heart by mental effort (I can control my heart rate, it's a pretty cool excercise in concentration)

It all depends on how deeply you want to hack yourself, I can make myself relaxed or angry at will, I have very good control of my emotions, which doesn't mean restriction, I make a split second decision whether to indulge in the emotion that comes naturally to me, and then allow or deny it, I find it very easy to do either. Once i'm experiencing the emotion, I usuall let it do what it wants, but I sometimes heighten or soften it's impact.

It would be interesting to be able to create a new emotion, something unlike any other, imagine creating the feeling of pleasure, designing it, hmm, that'd be cool.

yeah, meta-programming on a small scale is fun, but misses the larger potential
impact; through meta-programming, we can choose our personality, even switch between personalities at a moment's notice, get to know people intimately, by replicating their emotions in ourselves; imagine a world where everyone understood you, you could even get it down to an art, people could pass their emotions to each other on a CD, so the other people understand, I'll email you my ideas, you could even stream information from one brain to another, artificial telepathy. yeah.. another tangent there, cybernetics, but it's all good.. back to meta-programming

mm.. on less grand scales, it's a useful skill for becoming who you want to be, I wonder if I could make myself become psychic through meta-programming? or give myself any other talents..

that about wraps it up, hope you enjoyed

PS; couldn't resist throwing this old one into the mix:

what do you think about morality; is there a universal right and wrong, or is it down to personal choice?

see ya.
misstree drat, i'd forgotten who'd gotten tagged to be "it" last. :) prolly try to respond tomorrow, but i wanted to ask while i was thinking of it; did you ever get around to smoking nutmeg? any insights into herbal intoxication? (or chemical, or ritualistic, or just getting high on life, i suppose...) 031001
misstree okay, first i have to tell you that the first real question you posed, whether there is something beyond binary logic, is still giving me brain cramps. my brain is also running around and chasing its own stem. luckily, shoving a tap into the thing and draining it of its vital jiuces is usually the way to stop it from doing that, and that just happens to involve me writing. so...

in the first part, i think that simplifying it to binary logic may be a mistake; i know less than i'd like of fuzzy logic systems, but they seem to be able to handle the more complex problems, and the universe is distinctly one big complex problem, if nothing else. (problem being more used in the mathematical sense at this point).

again, i *think* i know what you're getting at, but if i end up chasing the wrong bird correct me... and allow me to remind myself to poke at formal philosophy once the siezures stop...

okay, so you put forth the proposition that if the universe reacts solely to a binary logic set, then it's unhackable. i assume that you mean this to be the basic building blocks, matter and energy and all the weird and wacky (at least to us as yet) ways they interact. if i interpret this correctly, then even with allowance for fuzzy logic over binary, this is correct. this would furthermore imply that everything will happen exactly according to plan, that god is a giant supercomputer and we're just walking the predetermined path.

i went into this to a pretty good degree over at why_didn't_god_eradicate_all_the_sins_and_evils, and i would poke at the altered specifics of this discussion, but what it comes down to, is to me, it's unimportant. if someone were to offer me the answer to the question of whether there is something beyond logic, i don't know that i'd take it. it doesn't matter to me. if the answer is yes, there is something more, it just confirms what i convinced myself long ago. if the answer is no, well, that'll make it harder to keep clinging to that belief, now won't it? since i formed that belief knowing that the answer was both unknowable and unimportant, truth is not my primary motivator in this instance. what that belief could do for me is.

i know how much that answer sounds like a cop out, and in a way it is, but to me, many of the questions that traditional philosophy tackles are just downright unimportant. i have no care if god exists--i don't think the chances are very good for one of the "do this or burn!" type religions having it right, so how the world came to be, really, i don't need to recreate the trick, and it's an unanswerable question, so i move on to the ones that matter.

i apologize, this is a pretty lackluster response, my brain is really really sluggish this morning but i wanted to at least start on this, so i'm going to end this portion here. more will be forthcoming, and may actually be coherent.
misstree i am still chewing on the universal right and wrong question, haven't quite formulated my response, but i promise i'll come back to it... 031005
User24 ... and I promise I'll respond soon. 031006
User24 haha, you've not done your stalking very well, my dear, I have plenty of insights into herbal intoxication, for just about any purpose you can concieve (in fact, that's true of almost any subject)

ok, I'd love to believe that it's incredibly useful for my beliefs that I smoke weed, but unfortunately, I've yet to do any research, in theory, however, hmm,

glad you liked the question re binary logic; it had me scratching me head for a good while (and I still am, really)

Fuzzy logic systems, AFAIK, work on a higher level to the logic I'm talking about.. I think they work by making small binary decisions, and working up to large ones, it's a tough concept to explain, and I don't think I'm being very coherent here, in other words, I think that fuzzy logic systems use binary logic on lower levels, and amass those binary decisions to make to final, fuzzy decision, It's also very interesting to look at randomness; whether it actaully can be produced, or whether every number can, given enough starting information, be predicted (chaos and fractals would say yes.)

yes indeed, the universe is a massive problem, as Douglas Adams said, if anyone finally solved it, it would probally reboot itself.

well yes, that's the question, is god a computer? and if so, what impact does that fact have? is there a difference between simulated, nonrandom reality and random reality? (I want to stay away from computer analogies; too many connotations)

fair enough point about stopping the pursuit of truth

as far as religions go, it's the underlying belief set that's important, not the implementation of those core beliefs..

ok, I know you're still reeling from the last barrage, and that it's kinda turned into ask_misstree, (feel free to turn the tables back at any point .:) -- a 3 eyed smiley, cool.)

ok, lala, thinking..
right, human race, why is it that we're so damn solitary? When I was younger, I used to think that everyone knew each other, etc, why is this not true? I know it's my politics that screams out right now "Capitalism" but perhaps I'm just averted to saying that because I don't like saying things before I'm sure they're correct.. hmm

~Ancients of Mu-Mu~
misstree damn you! sure, you gotta throw all this interesting stuff at me *right* before i go to some sort of discordian meetup thing that i am in theory hostessing! :P

um, not gonna start, gotta fly in a moment, but, ya, *wags finger menacingly* you better watch out! 'cause soon i'm gonna type!
misstree 24, man, this is going to take me a few days to get to, my brain is just sizzled right now (see: misstree), but trust me that this is pretty damn high on the priority list. 031007
realistic optimist sorry to butt in like this, i just read this whole series today, and was struck by a few things. the first i will quote thusly:

What I'm getting at is the question of whether there is something more than logical, binary decisions, at the lowest level?

If there is something else, call it an emotion, then the universe is randomly driven, which means there is no predictability, no stability, if there isn't, then the universe isn't hackable; you can't beat the perfect system, where even rebellion is accounted for, even needed to keep balance.

perhaps i'm missing something here or perhaps i don't understand chaos theory very well. i was of the impression that a good model for how the universe worked was a set of formulae (at least 3) which, when combined, produce generally predictable but not specifically predictable data sets.

you brought up the idea of strange attractors earlier, user 24. (here comes a giant aside: when i read chaos: the making of a new science, i was also reading the celestine prophecies. it seemed to me that the celestine prophesies was talking about strange attractors when describing that person who just stands out to you, either they look like someone you know, or they stand out for a different reason. These people have something for you: a bit of knowledge, a nudge, a paradigm shift catalyst.) it seems that the strange attractors are the number 2 playing with the number 3. or less cryptically, but also less succinctly, they are the ordering force playing with the entropic. to me, that would mean that the universe is unhackable in terms of having a set system which could derive reality, however i don't believe it is unhackable.

allow me to explain.
no really.
well ok i'll just do the best i can.

i believe that people are quite similar. this whole pleasure/pain analogy is a decent metaphor for a binary system.

also, misstree, i would like to address your question about is there something other than logic. it is my belief that there is this logical component to man, and that there is the binary component, and for some intent and purpose in this aside, we will say they are the same.

i believe that there is also a separate process which exists in the universe and in man as well. it is the third formulae which allows unpredictability, which allows natural chaos. this separate process manifests in many ways: intuition, emotion, dream, syncronicity, sudden paradigm shift, and others. is it unknowable? perhaps misstree has the right of it, and that is not even a worthwhile question. is it simply a manifestation of the binary? in the same way that the pleasure/pain principle doesn't seem to completely encapsulate things, yet comes close enough to give it a great amount of validity, i feel that one can justify these things logically, bringing all of the pieces, yet still walk away with an unassembled puzzle.

all of this is to say that i believe that man can hone this Other process, and can hack the universe at times. predict the future, telepathically communicate, figure out the truth of a situation when there is not enough data to make an educated decision, empathize, and many other better and worse examples of such manifestations.
one can recognize a strange attractor and thus predict how the universe might bend around such a thing, but only because we also have that element of the chaotic in us.

now that i've blathered on about what i think and feel, what i really want to get down to is asking use24. am i mistaken in how i am perceiving chaos theory and its relation to your discussion involving the derivative universe? have i missed something here? it seemed that you were in conflict with yourself, but it was only because of me projecting myself onto the discussion complete with my own beliefs and ideas, so this is a call for you to break the binding spell i have cast on my understanding here.

and i'd like to hear your take on my take on chaos theory as it relates to mankind and the universe.

and i should put on some clothes. its cold in here.
realistic optimist user 24:

as for your question (can't you read the damn title of the blathe? ;))

i believe that we are so solitary because we require it. i also think that the realization of how alone we really are is one of the most scary and hellish realizations i have ever had, fully relished and experienced. (well i was tripping on LSD at the time, and was trying to break myself or see if i could have a bad trip and actually lose control... i couldn't.) but i think that capitalism does have something to do with it. i mean we are socially programmed and bombarded with messages from media and through others, and the only real truth at first is within ourselves. it is not until we attain this truth that we can boldly sumberse ourselves in "culture" and not drown.

i feel that we, as humanity, are in the early twenties. we are drinking and drugging and smoking cigarettes and fucking whores without condoms because we haven't owned up to our humanity or accepted responsibility for ourselves yet.

because of this, we need that solitude.
User24 realistic optimist, no problem with your butting in, you raise some good points, don't worry, I put on a good show, but most of what I'm saying above is conjecture and guessing; I don't understand chaos theory as thoroughly as I'd like..

As far as predictablility goes, I'm sure that if you know enough about the starting conditions, you can predict the end result; just like how a mandlebrot always looks the same given the same initial conditions; the real intrigue with chaos theory, for me, is that when you cahnge those inital starting conditions, by a miniscule amount, the end result is so vastly different, and yet, still predictable, if I enter those same starting parameters again, I'll come up with exactly the same fractal - all this would point to predictability, and purely binary logic. For more info, some stunning visuals and a great wayu to waste hours, search google for 'fractint'.

explain more about celestine prophecies, I've not heard anything about this before

As for strange attractors, I believe that everything is driven by the forces of chaos, from the way the human mind works, to continental drift, and beyond, in an all-encompassing system; a fractal of the universe, this is really the reason that I enjoy chaos so much, because I can understand it, it requires no faith (sorry for getting a little preachy there..)

Interesting theory, if I'm reading you correctly, about everything being guided by a predictable system, but left to chance lower down; "the ordering force playing with the entropic"

However we're not dealing with a closed system; everything interacts so well that I wonder if there is an all-encompassing equation, or if, much like the internet and ISO standards, everything is 'coded' differently, but interacts using a universal format; is the universe one perfect system, or is it an amalgamation or miniture perfect systems, imperfectly interacting? that would allow for my logical half to be placated; yes, there is binary logic, but instead of it being interspersed with randomness, something I just can't accept, it is flawed in some ways, like a badly written program, logical, but depending on undependable variables, thus producing erratic results (perhaps 'badly written' is the wrong term to use, instead, perhaps it designed this way, and therefore perfectly imperfect?)

Reducing the world to binary logic is a tough realisation to make, and I'd like to believe that there is some area that is un-antipatable, however my mind just can't accept that, given how perfect and beautiful nature is, there's any degree of chance.

I think that the so-called random aspects of human and universal nature are not as random as we'd like to believe, see the behaiviourist experiments (Watson and Rainer, BF Skinner, etc) and also to some degree, the cognitive approach; we are predictable to a fair degree, and the only reason, IMHO, that we are not 100% predictable is that there are so many influencing factors; it it were possible to know everything about a person, you'd be able to absorb them, become them, and perfectly predict everything (Of course, I'm talking theoretically here; the above simply is not practicle)

I like how you put the pleasure/pain similie; close enough to work with, but not quite spot on, and of course, we can never know the answers until we die; 100 experiments may prove me right, but 1 can prove me wrong, I think it's all we can do to assume everything is correct until proven wrong (which is why the truth is so important; I can't imagine hanging my beliefs on something which isn't true, which (again, getting preachy, sorry)is why chaos is good for me, as I can evaluate it myself, and don't have to rely on the instability of second hand knowledge, or faith))

I agree that the universe is hackable, through whichever means work ("nothing is true, everything is permitted")

realistic optimist, I'm always in conflict with myself, well spotted, I did feel I was backtracking a little in my earlier respsonses; it's what happens when I make my beliefs up on the spot. That's not to say they're not solid, just solidly dynamic.

If you have managed to inspire this length of response from me, then trust me, your understanding can't be that bad.

Well, I'm not sure if I've answered you; that's the trouble with open questions, hopefully I've answered and inspired, feel free to ask more, I'm sure you will.

As for the solitary nature of humanity; well, it's an interesting question, with answers that are complex and diverse. I'm not sure what my opinion on it is; I'd like to say that's it's not our nature to be solitary, any help in backing this view up?

Time's up, insert a dime for more.
Sorry about awful spleling and grammer.
mon broken_symmetry 031008
realistic optimist to address your initial comments regarding predictability, i must assert my belief that mathematical predictability does not translate to natural predictability, at least not perfectly.

the reason for this is that we dont live in a vacuum. there are a million tiny things (butterfly wings flapping) which can affect the outcome during the course of the actual playing out of the formula, many of which are not, in fact, predictable.

i'm sure you will argue the addition of one tiny three letter word (yet), but i sould disagree because some of these are dynamic systems which in themselves are subject to the same whims of interjecting variables. unless we somehow become omniscient (at which point i believe we would cease to be us walking around in our bodies, as Hegel believes would be the case upon attainment of what he calls Absolute Knowledge, but would have vibrated at such a level as to be more dispersed than light, actually becoming one with the universe in a non corporeal way, but i digress..), at which point we would not be predicting but would be being.

funny you should bring up psychological constructs such as behaviorism. i went to a highly behaviorist school for my undergrad psych study and the things i was taught made me want to puke. i think that for a building block understanding of human behavior, behaviorism is fine. or for understanding the structure of children's behaviour it is a decent model. however it clearly does not encompass higher order processes and breaks down when trying to explain concepts like faith and altruism. indeed, as soon as self consciousness and the ability for meta cognition occurs i believe the behaviorism model ceases to be apt. behaviorism runs on the principle that the pain and pleasure principle constitutes the whole of human experience. only that which can be measured is of significance. and if thats not post hoc i dunno what is.

the only thing that was prevalent which was not behaviorism was cognitive and the cognitive stuff is kind of a joke too. i mean i never went to my 300 level cognitive classs, did some of the reading and got all a's. why? because they were merely repackaging and selling common sense without really getting to the meat of the matter. it was a reaction to behaviorism, to be sure, and then spawned cognitive behaviorism which is fucking funny if not oxymoronic.

psychology is too young of a field to use as an example for how the world works. they are still busy in the classification stage of understanding. give it 50 years or so, and they might have something significant to say. (and i won't apologize for the preachiness, as we are all adults, and we all know that these are our opinions and will be taken as such.)

i would be interested to know what you think of free will, if you believe that knowing everything about a person would allow you to predict their behavior. especially a discordian ;)

celestine prophecies, eh? it was a poorly written book with a lot of great ideas. it talks about syncronicity and personality types and ways life gives you clues as to what you need to pay attention to, like what i was describing. when someone stands out to you, or they look like someone you know you need to go talk to them, and the conversation will naturally reveal what you need to know. i'm not sure what else to say about it, i can go on a whole tirade if you like, but i suggest you read it if you get a chance. much better that way ;)

the analogy of windows and solaris communicating imperfectly through unix is quite interesting. or perhaps peripherals communicating through imperfectly written drivers... ill let that one stew a bit.

why does unpredictable have to mean chance? just because you cant predict it, does that mean "god plays dice?" i dont know about that.also, why is chance imperfect, why is symmetry or circles or predictability or logic perfect? why was galileo wrong?

as far as whether it is our nature to be solitary... i believe it is in our nature to do what we must to survive. right now we are pushing toward more solitude because we are establishing ourselves as independents. perhaps its not really early twenties but merely late teens that i use for the analogy of humanity in terms of the life cycle and our behavior, because we here in teh great american experiment do not live with grandma and aunt matilda. we put gramma in a home and crazy aunt matilda lives in a cottage in the woods. we have no sense of family no matter how much we like to talk about family values. this, too, shall pass, but not until we hit our mid twenties and "rediscover" family, and society as worthwhile entities.

now on a less grand scale of course we will always like to have other people around because we can use them, and its not as morose as it sounds. perhaps more on that later i think i need to make some ramen.
User24 sure, we're not in a vacuum, which is why traditional physics won't work in the real world, just as pure mathematics and applied mathematics are two different things; however the difference with chaos is that it isn't designed as a potential scenario- it's a practical theory, which actaully wouldn't work as well in a vacuum, it depends on the flapping of butterfly wings, the only physical problem with it is that it is, practically speaking, impossible to allow for all the variables in a real-world equation, however, and now we cross over into pure theory, if you could allow for all the confounding variables, you would have a predictable system, it's quite simply that if you know everything about the system, you know everything about the system, however practically impossible it may be.

yes, the universe is a massive complex relationship to itself, and the relationships rely on each other, in a pseudo-random fashion, but we actually have a 'real-life' example of how such a complex system could be designed, if you look at fractals, you'd never believe that that level of complexity and inter-dependancy could be worked into an equation, predicted and regulated, but there it is.

Agree very much that we'd have to be omniscient in order to understand the inner workings of the universe, but if you take a more egocentric view, we are the known universe, and therefore are in a perfect place to understand it's infinite complexity.

again, the behaiviourist and cognitive apporaches, indeed, most modern science and philosophy, are inadequate constructs, but at the higher level of reality, by which I mean the less truthful layers, they work; it's only when you dig deeper into the program that those theories fall down.

Again, I agree that psychology is not fully explored and solidifed into a science, but that's no reason to ignore it completely, or discredit those theories that do make sense; just because we disagree with plato's world of ideas is no reason to throw out philosophy in general.

I had an intereting debate over at free_will, but I will expand on this within the current context of personality prediction; By 'knowing everything about a person' I don't just mean their memories, personality, life experience and mood, but absolutely everything, for instance, if you like drinking coke, I'd need to know everything about coke and it's ingredients, how that shipment of bottles got to your town, etc, and I'd need that level of understanding for each and every aspect of your life, past and present, which, ultimately, means I'd need to know everything there is to know. Of course, I'm talking theory again, so on a practical level, I'd need to know everything I could know about you -to a reasonable level-, this would enable me to predict your actions -to a reasonable level-.

For instance, even having written with you for a few days, I'm begining to get a picture of what you are, where you're coming from, with more research I could start predicting your answers to my questions and so forth, much like a game of chess, you have to know your opponent in order to beat them.

The more I think about the theory that the world is less like one application running smoothly, and more like several million applications, written at different times, all interacting theough the same protocols, with slightly different implementations of the standards, the more it seems reasonable, however, I'm reluctant to accept it as the end answer, as it's too similar to the current internet, while co-incidences can happen, I don't think we inadvertantly re-invented the universe in the 60's.

Perfection is not -neccessarily- a good thing; you're hanging on to preconceptions about the words I choose; perfect simply means that everything is accounted for, budgetted and expected; nothing is left to chance.

IMHO, perfection is 'better' than chance because chance involves risk, and risk involves potential failiure; if everything is accounted for, nothing can go wrong.
Nukemall I think I'm going to have a lie down. My brain hurts from all this philosophy and conjecture. Anyone have any demorol? Found you mon. Broken Rhythm. 031009
User24 misstree, what are your views on higher level implementation of magic(k)?

I'm talking about the way you actually perform rituals, etc, you mentioned a skull earlier, can you explain how this fits in to your overall belief set, the basic elements of your rituals, and so forth? I'm looking for some pointers, as I said earlier, I've been out of practice for some time, I think these conversations have sparked my interest again and would like some advice..

thanks in advance,
misstree very very yummy question, in depth answer asap, but i have some hard-core gossiping to do today, so it may take me a little bit. :) 031013
User24 grinz, take yer time
misstree i can either split this into 2 parts or post it all tomorrow... any preference? 031013
User24 may as well do it tomorrow, I'm going to bed soon, so I won't be able to read and repsond.

User24 repsond, yes, it's a form of meditation used mainly by korean monks. 031013
misstree so, i spent the better part of today and the better part of yesterday at work writing this out. it's long as hell. if i had managed not to ramble quite so meanderingly it would be a masterpiece, but to write that took some serious brain muscle relaxation so things could kind of ooze out. had to manage this while processing insurance claims, mind you, not the most conducive environment. i'm a bad technomage. (actually, that's when i get some of my longest and best writing done. nothing to distract me except work, so, nothing to distract me.)

but tree, you say, there is no megalithic post beneath this brief one. whyfor do you tease me so?

because the net access was down at work today, and my attempt to email it to myself failed. *sigh*

it could be worse. i could have done what i did to a 3 hour email the other day, closed it without sending. regardless, you're gonna have to wait. serves ya right, asking me a question that's basically, "so, tree, how 'bout them rituals? why don't you give me a dissertation on them, something about what you do and why, what kind of stuff you use and how, some theories... heck! throw in a bit about different types! that'd be fun."

okay, so you didn't really say that, but that's how i took it (which is a good thing, despite all my crabbing ;), and answering a question like that can't be done with any halfassery. so, yeah. fact remains, unless they get the servers to poop out my email before i go dancing, tough titikaka until tomorrow.

User24 no problem, m'dear, the forces of nature conspire against us; that is inevitable. 031015
misstree **still not 100% happy with this, there's still a lot missing, and it rambles all over the damn place, but here ya go, enjoy if you can. (mua ha ha) also, i realized that a lot of the technical equating things are not so present (like why things actually do the things that they do on a bit more basic level), but dammit, my fingers hurt.**

i'm going to explain this all from what i do because of how it fits into my paradigm, which is admittedly largely sourced off of a pack of lies, but i can't give as good of an asessment of other people's paradigms, so tough titties. [note from later: this is mostly focused on private, formal rituals, though i babble about Trinkets near the end. this says nothing about on-the-fly stuff, nor group rituals, nor daily or incidental rituals, nor impromptu rituals, but this is a novel already and you have to ask about those separately and insert another ten cents if you want more on those.] [also a note from later, i use the word "usually" a lot, because things change every time, but this is a general overview and i inserted a couple of examples where i could remember enough to make them informative.]

i'll start before the beginning. when i do ritual, i usually know that i need to do it 24-48 hours in advance. be it just a need for centering or actually enacting a work or trying to sort out information, i *know* it, and start mentally preparing myself for it, revving myself up or down as the case may be to strike a balance. my mood a few hours before hand is usually rather calm, still like the surface of an undisturbed pond, i think from me kind of subconsciously readying myself, the anticipation adding a little bit of energy but a calm kind. the first thing that i usually do as official preparation for a ritual is shower; i've found that showers are good for both general-purpose thinking and resetting mood, the whole washing away the day thing.

before i begin i have to collect my Things. Things are very important to me, they are very evocative and for the most part very specifically charged. (i'll get back to that.) i putter about my room, occasionally smoking cigarettes, rooting through my picnic basket that holds all my "magical" crap (candles, blades, Trinkets, pieces of bark, things to burn things on, a goodly number of nuts [the metal kind that go on screws, don't know why but i hoard them], other knicknacks). in a minute i'll list everything that i pretty much always have, but in this stage i'm also grabbing whatever calls to me, pretty rocks or pieces of ribbon or beads, as well as random tools, such as my burning pot or mortar and pestle or a fresh razor, all just as what feels right for the purpose at hand. i also, if i have anything laying about, will grab objects that are associated with the purpose of ritual, personal belongings of other's being the most common example.

well, while i'm mentally compiling my workspace, i might as well list and explain some of the regular players (and hope that they don't mind... if my house burns down tonight, y'all will know that one of them took offense. ;)

the skull that i mentioned earlier is a plaster skull of proportionate size, greyish-painted, that is meant to have candles put into a recess at the top. physically, i often use it to burn the primary candle if i'm using one (again, back to that), or to destroy components at the appropriate time (as it usually has fire within it), and if i'm using razors i'll rest them in its eyeholes, 'cause it's convenient and out of the way. within my paradigm, it is a semi-spirit, function gave base thought, though i lean away from it having any level of self-awareness. (really, i haven't asked it, and i don't particularly want to.) it is primarily focused towards being a container for fire and helping me seek out information, as it gave me the impression when it was given to me that it could see through distances. there's a square clay tray, about 5" by 8", that serves as a good center piece and place to put the small stuff, as well as a place to burn. no special spiritual significance to this one, if i don't list it for the others then it's not there. on this tray always goes a small treasure box (about 3" tall) that i put the debris from spells in (charred flowers or used razors or wax drippings or pieces of hair or jewelry or coins or all sorts of things)... it's quite neutral in itself, but it serves as a good Special place to put focal points once they've been used, and in putting things in there it resigns it to the past and seals it away. once in a great while i will fish things out, but for the most part things just fall out on their own over time, which is fine, because i have no awareness of it and it doesn't really impact anything. what else... there's a dark blue patterned velvet cloth that i keep everything on, it kind of helps define a sacred space for all my Things... there's a white dragon that's a protector of sorts, plus a stabilizing factor, and has lots of other significance that doesn't matter in this context, but it does tend to be a good focus for some of the talking to myself i inevitably do, as does the skull mentioned earlier. i also usually have at hand a vial of "ink" that's basically charred down remnants from other rituals, plus a few other things, that kind of sum up to Me in a burnt form. if a cutting is involved in ritual this gets rubbed into it, or sometimes it's just used as a smudge or a marker, or if there's any particularly important fluid i wish to save, a drop or two go in there.

among the objects that are always there but non-specific, i almost always have a glass of water or some other liquid, a few candles, matches if i have them and a lighter if i don't, a pen and paper, some sort of blade or another, and occasionally a packed hitter set to the side. incense comes and goes depending on availability. now, good pagans will recognize this as a common setup for wiccan rituals, and in fact those were the kind of rituals i first learned about, so it makes sense. (the chalice, the athame, the incense, and... well, then, i'm missing one, aren't i? ;) a lot of this is based in that camp but morphed over ten years or so.

so, this all gets piled in some sort of area while i get ready. i take my time, get all the lighting nixed, smoke a cigarette and contemplate what i need to do in the ritual i'm about to begin. once i finish the cigarette, i start arranging things. my main concern is balance, it's esthetically pleasing to me and Feels right. the clay tray always goes in the center for easy access, the blade to one side or another, the skull to the back and left. i just generally put things where i think they belong.

okay, so the ritual itself... all this i kind of view as part of the ritual, getting the proper mindset in place to get the proper mindset in place, if you follow. i don't think that any of these trappings are technically neccesary, and again i hold up the big sign that says "tree believes in a pack of lies!" and mutter under my breath "doesn't everyone?" this is just how *i personally* have evolved over the time that i've been doing some form of ritual, so it's what works for me.

i usually start with lighting candles about the table, the only source of light, occasionally calling the elements traditional to wiccan ritual, occasionally calling other things on whims, occasionally just lighting candles. (to be perfectly honest, i don't quite remember. been trying for two days to think of it, and i'm drawing a blank.) there's usually a candle at each of the four points, again that balance thing, and either one or two in the center. one is usually used as a foci for calling some form of divinity, which is usually a varied form of a more primal one, eris = verra = whatever name/incarnation seems appropriate. there have been occasions where there was a second candle, and a specific spirit invoked, but this is rare and i'm not going to talk about it right at the moment, because i'm already brushing my brain against enough weird stuff, i don't want that perking up as well. the lighting of that center candle is the sign that the ritual is officially beginning, to set myself about my business. i often spend a few moments talking to whatever i feel like talking to (usually looking at the dragon while addressing the air in the center, because the dragon looks back at me and air doesn't). um, now is when i think i need to delve into specifics to explain, because this is where each ritual gets different, but honestly my memory's pretty crappy so forgive if this is kinda vague.

okay, an example. one ritual that stands out in my mind happened when my journal in new orleans was in the posession of someone who had absented themselves. in this case i also had Nobody, who is a watchdog of sorts (see: *****), called in to be involved in the ritual. i had a couple of minor items from the gent who had my journal, probably not too special to him, but enough to get a good strong association going in my brain. (it was a plastic alien from a quarter machine and a dog collar, if you're interested.) i focused on these for a bit, just sitting there with them in my hand loosely held letting my mind roam over them, gently guiding it back when it wandered, letting little details about him and the overall sense of him kind of fill the moment. once i had him good and solid, i felt around for Nobody with a different part of my brain and shared the essence with him a little, like putting a hound on a scent. i took the pen and paper and worked up a sigil, garden variety done with letters morphing into eachother. i've never been overly fond of these, they don't mesh well with my brainset, i more often take a few symbols and toss them in a blender, but there you are. did alpha sigil, don't remember if i wrote it on something and burned it or traced it in the air or what, but it basically came down to "i want my journal back." after i'd focused on this as well as the essence i'd brought to mind for a bit, i got rid of where i'd written the sigil (or hid it away somewhere--like i said, i'm not sure) and sent Nobody off into the night, visualizing him going out the window and over the city. that one is kind of a crappy example, it feels like, but like i said it survives in my brain with the details mostly intact. (i did get my journal back two days later, though there's no way to determine what's random chance and what's me poking the right buttons.) other general patterns that i follow are pretty obvious, burning things to release this that or the other, knotting cords around trinkets for binding stuff, like i said i took a lot of the wiccan influence with me. weirder stuff shows up in other examples, but again i plead stoner memory.

another brief example would be a quest for information, as was the most recent ritual i did when i was trying to figure out why the universe was bending me over instead of the other way around. (heeeeheehe! sorry. ahem.) it started off rather ineffectually, and i was basically using ritual to gain access to the parts of my brain that wouldn't normally give response, most likely because i just didn't want to know the answers. lots of talking to nothing in that one, to the skull and the dragon and the golden apple on the altar and the styrofoam head over my window and Nobody, but i was getting absolutely none of the intuition that i had hoped for/expeted. it occurred to me that i'd laid my tarot deck off to the side as i was setting things up, and that Things' main purposes are rarely communicating information. busted out the tarot deck, and just a simple three-card spread with another three thrown down for clarification was dead accurate and did indeed speak volumes. improvisation is, for me, the biggest tool i use. it basically comes down to, have what you might need at hand, and do what feels proper.

after i do whatever is specific to the ritual i'm doing, i occasionally do a few things for closure... often there's some more talking, things like that, and on a few occasions (i'd say once out of every three times, so around once a year) there's a cutting at the end.

i need to stop and speak about this, because anyone reading this is also probably familiar with the standard practices of "cutters," and will thus be likely to either believe that they empathise or think i'm a sick fuck. i'll try to be brief. this is not done as some sort of punishment, a way of asserting control, or even in this case for the sensation. in ritual, it serves as a very powerful focal point which leads to a good blank mind set. it's a great way *for me* to build blank energy and release it. (see: ***cut** for a better description of what ritual cutting in this sense is to me). part of the reason that i rub the me-ink into ritual cuttings is to distinguish them, part to return some of what is expelled in the process, part a way of ensuring minor permanence (i usually end up with what looks like a light trace from a lead pencil). if you want i can go into the use of sensation to lead to altered mind state and magical workings at a later point, but i usually don't use that with ritual outside this case.

again i wish i could be less vague, but i usually just kind of know when i've exhausted my purposes and it's time to end the ritual. i sit back a bit, take a deep breath, and take a look over what's been moved, used, made or unmade; what i've done, basically. i adress any spirit or Thing or deific incarnation or general concept i may have adressed earlier, thank it for its help, and tell it to get the hell out. i also include a general, "thanks guys, see ya later" type thing. i cannot stress enough how important this is to do, as if you don't, there may be things hanging out that you're unaware of, and they may not be very friendly, and, yeah. from personal experience, it is very very important to send everything away, including just kind of dissipating the energies that you've gathered. pete carrol and a few others talk about using laughter for such a circumstance, and i can see validity in that, but for me usually just formally going "get out!", smoking a cigarette, and puttering around the room doing mundane shite does the trick. i usually leave the ritual area set up as it was for at least a day, until using things in everyday life or moving things for whatever reason starts to dissipate it, and then it gets put away the next time i clean my room.

okay, the whys and wherefores. this may come through as somewhat repetitive, but i think that this is the meat of what you wanted, so here it is in a can. (ritual spam! whee!)

i'll start with Things. most of the Things that deserve the capital have been in my life a goodly number of years, which is more than i can say about anything but a handful of friends. over time, Things become like friends to me, familiar and comforting, and each with their own personality. because i associate strong emotions with them, they gain power as tools and foci. even more minor things have something of this to them, such as associative trinkets, and Trinkets in general. hrm... i suppose i should define Trinkets. though i only do it in ritual setting such as above about half the time, i consider making Trinkets a ritual in itself. i would pass this off and try to answer this separately, but i know i'll never get around to it. a Trinket is an object, usually made for someone else, that is put together out of things of relative value; colored string, jingle bells, little doodads of memorabilia, pretty shiny things of all shapes and sizes. again with the examples; the last Trinket that i made... i was giving a boi a goodly amount of poetry i'd written him, so i printed it out landscaped and took a pair of scissors to the side of each, trimming it in semi-random ways, so that each poem covered the one below it. this took me a good hour or so to do, and my brain was thoroughly engaged in the doing. that, i think, is the key to making trinkets; it's engaging the mind in ways that don't produce conscious thought, and, i'm not sure exactly how do describe it, but in the