Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Reality" and the Observation of Unseen Things

RO and I have been talking about people and their experience of the realm invisible.  He was explaining that one of the most common questions that he is asked is "how can I see spirits?"

Well, I think I'll start answering this question.  In the last couple of posts, I have stated that it is not a unique ability.  In fact, it's a practice, not an inherent skill.

So, first.

Why don't you ask yourself if you think you know what reality is.  I'm referring to something basic, something that we can all agree with.  Is there such a thing?

Lost because it wouldn't fit through the door of my new apartment was the Couch.  I was sad when the movers had to donate it to a good home, because that sofa had taught me something truly useful.  It was a giant brown couch.  Or a giant purple couch.  It's color actually depended upon the observer.  My son and many of his friends would swear on a stack of bibles (or at least their current favorite DM manual) that the sofa was purple.  To me, it was brown, brown like dark chocolate.

What color was it "really"?  It should come as no surprise that different people have different experiences of the external world, but I was certainly surprised that this effect extended to basic visual characteristics of things.  The discussion of whether this is a sensor problem or a processor problem is left to a future post.  The take-home lesson is that your world and my world are not the same.

This effect was initially tested by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris at the University of Illinois  with a movie that is a classic test of selective attention.  It proves that if you're focused upon one characteristic of a scene, you might (many people do) fail to see strange and amazing things in the scene that you HAVEN'T been told told to monitor.  The youtube link above contains this video clip.

So, I think that we can agree that we are unable to gather and process all the data presented to us, at least in part because of our focus.  We focus on our jobs, spouses, children, pets, hobbies.  This to us is "reality."  In order to experience the rest of the data that we collect, but are not aware of, we must change of focus.  This is not rocket science.  Depending upon how deeply we are engaged with what we consider to be physical reality, it may not be easy to change your focus, but it is SIMPLE.

I propose to start discussing the development of the ability to sense the invisible with a simple exercise.  

For an entire day, decide to experience every sound without a clear origin as being a message from a disincarnate entity.  Your rational mind will hate this, most likely, so be intentional about the way to talk about it to yourself.  "What if that sound means a spirit is trying to send me a message."  "That faint buzzing sound might be an angel appreciating these flowers in my temple."  Don't spend any time trying to convince yourself, just entertain the possibility.  Lightly, if possible.  Treat it as an experiment.

Like I was saying in a previous post, there's a huge spectrum of information that we're exposed to every day, some of which we can't sense (parts of the EM spectrum, for example) and some parts that we can process (only a small part of our experience is used to derive our notions of "reality").  This little experiment may help to un-glue you from whatever you're used to paying attention to, and open your senses to something a little different.  Some of you are doing this all the time, for others it could be the first step into a slightly enlarged world.

Blessed be thou.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Data comparison, occultist style

Last week, fellow occultist Brother MS honored me with a request to take part in a double blind experiment, the conjuration of a spirit he had recently encountered.  He sent me the sigil (below) and a brief description, and asked that I report back on my findings.

Daisos' sigil
The spirit was initially encountered during some Jupiter work during which Fr. MS asked Jove to send him a spirit to help him with his concerns, particularly in regards to managing finances and obtaining wealth. MS provided the following description of his experience: “As soon as he had asked, he sat up straight as though in trance and had a vision of the sigil and following it, a small putto appeared wearing a dalmatic and stole, carrying a spade and sliver of a lightning bolt. Around him, in Greek letters, appeared his name: Daisos (Δαισος).”  A short conversation ensued between MS and Daisos, and the day after, MS received a small loan and then later, came into a larger sum of money that enabled him to pay off some debts.  Daisos seemed to him like a good character to know, and few days later, RO and I got to work, amusingly enough, without firstly looking up the definition for the word “putto”.

Daisos was conjured using a modified Trithemian rite and Tzadqiel as an intermediary, in honor of the Jupiterian nature of his initial arrival.  I felt him first of all as a burst of heat.  We asked after his nature, and he was a little confused.  He settled on something like "catalysis that brings expansion" and "quickening," such as when a plant germinates.  As to appearance, he "rode" me more than I saw him, but both RO and I saw a triangular image in the crystal, a little foxy.  RO had the initial impression that Daisos was a terrestrial spirit of air.  The spirit said that he was more comfortable with plants than people or animals. Our experience was that of an agricultural/botanical spirit.  The spirit even made reference to the three blue-purple morning glories that were on the altar in honor of Jupiter.

Further, he didn’t seem explicitly masculine, although he did have an expansive feel about him.  Indeed, he had a strong childlike quality about him: RO asked him what his favorite flavor was.
He didn't understand this question at all, and began (as a way to sideline the question almost) talking about how things smell.  I interpreted it as a Shinto nature spirit type of entity.

Daisos had words explicitly directed to MS: "needs to have heat to bring wealth, the heat that quickens" and he showed me a seed.

MS's drawing of Daisos
Following the conjuration, we spoke with MS.  The amount of agreement between our experiences was quite remarkable.  He agreed that Daisos was very ruddy - that was his first impression.  MS stated with respect to the first contact  “it wasn't so much seeing but there was a heat and then a more concrete image of the putto.”  MS showed us an image of Daisos that he had drawn, below, in which the spirit is similar to a winged cherub.  When the three of us were talking about the experience, I had to confess that I hadn’t known ahead of time what a putto was.  MS described a putto: “They're nature spirits. Usually called 'cherubs' but that's another thing. They are basically classic, Romano-Hellenic angels.”

MS felt as though we had achieved a very good confirmation of the basic nature of Daisos.  We both felt the heat, the agricultural/botanic nature of the spirit, as witnessed first by the little shovel.  The mention of the seed appealed very much to MS, as he often works with plant spirits.  The image of the seed had been appearing recently in dreams, additionally.  He confirmed the innocent of the spirit, “He's very childlike in my interactions.”

It was an amazing experience, and has built a little confidence into my practice.  I’ll be looking for further comparison work like this.  Thanks to Brother MS, to RO and, naturally, to Daisos!

MS may well tell this story from his side in his blog, The Digital Enchiridion: