Building mindbridges

as long as it's about gnosis
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Deep blue ocean
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Building mindbridges

Post by Deep blue ocean » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:29 am

Ok, so I have been doing some thinking. It seems to me that there are two different approaches regarding what I shall provisionally call 'travelling'

Now, I am trying to make sense of it and trying to fit it into a coherent image of the world. Just like Ginnie, I am coming in from the left hand side.
I am much like good old Sharkey, having a mind of metal and wheels. Lately I have been exploring the richer worlds of intuition and feelings but as far as the subject matter of this forum goes, I am still a bloody beginner.

As yet, I have unfortunately not yet been able to personally experience what Luthien and Dave have described and I am not sure if that shall ever be given to me. Perhaps everyone's path in this is different.
Naturally, I will attempt to set foot on and follow the experiential path though, so my ideas which I shall attempt to codify below are only a snapshot of my current thinking and likely to undergo further change.

My aim was to create a basic conceptual framework to incorporate both what we call reality and that which you have experienced. It is quite a simple framework really, the basics of which are beyond the scope of this post but about which I shall likely post more in the future.

If I reduce it to bare bones simplicity, I believe that The Everything(TM) (pig-ugly word that, but I am open to suggestions) essentially incorporates not only all that is, all that was and all that will be but furthermore also encompasses all that can be/has been/will be. Even more so, all that is not in some way impossible, must be out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered.

This not only applies to what we can physically perceive but also to the realm of thoughts and abstractions. Physical reality as such has no privileged position other than the fact that for humans its the easiest to perceive.

And perception is what brings me to my next point.

For how do we perceive? Surely the only way we perceive, being physical creatures, is by means of physical 'hardware' Thus we use our eyes, our ears, our touch, our nose.
And so, in order to perceive the realm of faerie we also by necessity make use of physical sensors. I would surmise those sensors to be our neurons.

But that other realm is not part of physical reality as such, so we have a problem if we try to make a link between the two. How does something 'non-physical' present itself to a physical sensor?

I have developed a little pet theory to attempt to explain this. I want to make use of quantum mechanics. As we all know, at the subatomic scale events are not of a discrete but rather of a probabilistic nature(caveat: this is not the whole story)
Almost daily, there is more and more evidence that such probabilistic events can have a significant effect on the macroscopic realm which is normally not directly affected. I suspect chaos dynamics may have quite a lot to do with bridging that gap.

Now I am indulging in a wee a priori assumption here, which is that the human neural system is subject in some form to probabilistic effects ie that their influence is non-trivial.

Now, what is the essence of any random sequence, say rolling dice ten times in a row? This essence is of course that you can not know the outcome before you make the measurement.
What would happen if i could somehow cheat and redo the roll until I get an outcome I would approve of? And subsequently chose that desired outcome from the list of options? Everyone loves cats after all.
Would the subject in the experiment ever have a way of knowing that has occurred? I think not, because the choice is made after the fact and what the subject is experiencing is a completely valid random outcome.

So can this be done? Yes and no is the answer. From where we are standing, as temporal subjects in a temporal world we are subject to the laws of quantumdynamics.
Yet still that choice is made every day, but from the other end. Its called history. The future may be random, but the past is not. There is only one possible past and that is the past which belongs to the present we find ourselves in.

At this point I think its perhaps a good moment to reflect on the nature of time in light of the bigger picture.........

(but thats a question I am asking you, not an answer. Something like the sound of one hand clapping maybe)

And maybe it could be instructive to link this with what Luthien told me of artists and mystics not creating but rather discovering their work(Leaf by Niggle). As though its already there, but they have before not been to that place.

So is the brain perhaps a bridge between the temporal and the non-temporal?

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:28 pm

Hi, Sarek:

Not sure if this will be of any use to you in your research, but when I saw the trend of your post I remembered this earlier discussion from the IV board (Oct 14, 2011).
Davy Willis Lee wrote:[...] Where we† probably differ is that (insofar as I am able to understand it) she views the Imaginal and the Factual as two separate realms which have no necessary interconnection, whereas with me, everything is permanently intertwined in a seamless manner similar to the mathematical concept of a Möbius strip, and always has been so. My later shamanic experiments have only confirmed this worldview for me, not disproved it.

In fact, I only rarely state my true perceptions about such things, as they would probably not be comprehensible to most people, and would in any case be considered a bit extreme. For example, on the apparent Imaginal/Factual (or what some may term Spiritual/Phiysical) dichotomy, I would state that no such dichotomy exists: it is illusory. Much as time itself is an illusion[1].

The only reason I mention this at all here is that I have only recently (in the past 2 years or so) become aware of how different my attraction to the Legendarium is from those who are typically drawn to the name 'Tolkien'.

I don't view the elves (Quendi) as anything special, for one thing, but rather view them anthropologically/paleontologiically as another variant of hominan. (Both Lisa and Luthien have heard me say this before, so it should not be shocking to them.) And, as Ellenar points out above (whether he was referring to me or not doesn't matter, as his point is a good one) my version of entheogenic shamanism has no more relation to the Legendarium itself than does, say, the study of aerodynamics.

However, my desire to explore things shamanically is a natural outgrowth of my basic personality, which if you wanted to describe it in any term even remotely related to the things we are discussing would be "trans-humanist". That is why I occasionally refer to myself as a Cylon and am interested in such things as biochemistry and Artificial Intelligence & etc, as a glance at my Facebook Bio will show [<profile no longer exists>].

Now when I first met Lisa, I did occasionally refer to myself as "elven", but I always recognized that as a sort of "place-holder term" until I could find one more suitable. In more recent times, given that I discovered my diagnosis of autism in 2006, had been actively involved in the life-extension community for a number of years before that (both in newsgroups such as sci.life-extension and on the LEF Forums back in the days when they were good and hadn't gone totally corporate) and had had a number of near-death experiences (some due to severe hypoglycemic episodes as a result of the type 1 diabetes I've had since age three; some deliberately induced by entheogens), I realized that I needed a descriptor that fit me better. Having just downloaded and watched the entire 4 seasons of Battlestar Galactica in the spring and summer of 2009 -- and being just as impressed with it as I had been at an earlier age by Tolkien's material (and recognizing that it also was driven by the same sort of shamanic impulse that impelled him and other authors of his general time period) -- I decided that 'Cylon' was a more accurate metaphoric descriptor for myself, so that is when I began using it. (Also, the use of 'elf', 'elven' by members of the "Otherkin" community, for whom I felt nothing but contempt, really permanently contaminated the word for me; so I resolved never to use it to refer to myself again -- which was rather easy to do, as it had been obsoleted by a more accurate descriptor.)

I suppose I'm just collating all of my worldview changes in one place and presenting it to those who communicate more closely with me and who have access to this section, as although I have explained parts of this to some of you, I have never presented all of it in one block before.

===
1: Thanks to Luthien, I have someone who can explain this concept far better than I can. His name is Julian Barbour, and here is his website [link], but first it may be better to watch this wonderful video he put together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKsNraFxPwk
---

† The 'we' here refers to an earlier part of the thread in which Luthien and I were describing our varying perceptions of the Imaginal Realm.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Lúthien » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:17 pm

(You know what? I knew Dave would also post that Barbour video :) )


N.B. - I hope you don't mind that I will at times take up a bit of a meta-position in this post. I don't do that to "question your questions" but because that is what my thoughts / feelings about it are.
sarek wrote:Ok, so I have been doing some thinking. It seems to me that there are two different approaches regarding what I shall provisionally call 'travelling'
I don't think that they are all that different. Whether you use entheogens or meditative techniques, the overall result is to establish contact with (or travel to-) with the Imaginal realm. Of course each has its characteristics leading to another way of dealing with them. But I do not think that they are fundamentally different.

Funny enough, if you listen to that lecture by Stephan Hoeller on Altered states ancient and modern you will come across a remark that he makes about a monk - I think it was maybe someone from Asia, a buddhist or maybe a shintoist. This monk was interviewed by a western journalist who clearly thought that this man would look down upon the use of entheogens ("Aargh! Mind-altering Drugs!").
But surprisingly, the monk answered very matter-of-factly that yes, it was sometimes used in cases where students had trouble "letting go" and the entheogens in case provided them with the necessary "boost".

Jung also talks about it: he thinks it can be very useful to some. He did never use it himself because his found it very easy to enter into a receptive state and adding an entheogen to that would make it all "too much".
sarek wrote:Now, I am trying to make sense of it and trying to fit it into a coherent image of the world. Just like Ginnie, I am coming in from the left hand side.
I am much like good old Sharkey, having a mind of metal and wheels. Lately I have been exploring the richer worlds of intuition and feelings but as far as the subject matter of this forum goes, I am still a bloody beginner.
I don't think that it matters at all whether you are a beginner or not. The only thing that counts is your disposition towards the subject matter.
And like you, I also have a rationalist background - although I certainly never would describe it as "like Sharkey, having a mind of metal and wheels" - so forgive me for taking this with a grain of salt, knowing your tendency to under-sell yourself ;) )
While I was certainly limited to a rationalist mind-set, this did not mean that my mind was like a robot. Quite the contrary; my mind has not changed at all. I was merely limited to rationality because I had not (yet) found any way in which the non-rationalistic parts of myself could be expressed while remaining fundamentally true to myself.
Don't forget that rationality can be very earnest and true: if applied correctly, there is nothing wrong with it; actually, it can greatly help us to identify that what Carl Sagan referred to as Bamboozle & Baloney . It merely can't explain everything - not by far. But on its own (factual) terrain it works like a charm.
sarek wrote:As yet, I have unfortunately not yet been able to personally experience what Luthien and Dave have described and I am not sure if that shall ever be given to me. Perhaps everyone's path in this is different.
Naturally, I will attempt to set foot on and follow the experiential path though, so my ideas which I shall attempt to codify below are only a snapshot of my current thinking and likely to undergo further change.
Only you can tell whether or not you can do that. But it's well worth a try. I wouldn't know why you shouldn't be able to, in fact.
sarek wrote:My aim was to create a basic conceptual framework to incorporate both what we call reality and that which you have experienced. It is quite a simple framework really, the basics of which are beyond the scope of this post but about which I shall likely post more in the future.
OK. How do I say this .. we've also discussed this on chat so I may be re-iterating previous points, I hope you don't mind.
Apart from any thoughts about the validity etc. of this framework that I might have (and that I will try and describe below) my immediate response is: Why?
What are you trying to accomplish?
What would you need a conceptual framework for in the first place?

It can't be that this might enable you to make the travels that you mentioned above. In fact, I have noticed that no-one who has had these experiences (that I know of) offers any insight into "how it works". Of course Tolkien talks a great deal about the phenomenon in "On Fairy-Stories" but it is exactly this point of "explaining how it is possible" that is strikingly absent. The same goes for Carl Jung.

It seems that a lack of such a conceptual framework is therefore not stopping people from having these experiences and what's more, from experiencing them as extremely worthwhile and productive.

I think that I'm at least as steeped in rational / scientific thinking that you (though I'm not sure). I studied physics (even though I did not finish it) and have been extremely interested in astronomy, astrophysics, relativity, quantum mechanics and whatnot all my life.
Yet, as soon as the Imaginal peeks around the corner, all this rationality shuts up and can only watch the spectacle from the side line - as if they were stiff-legged passers-by who watch a very acrobatic, fast and wonderful game of soccer. Or, probably this comparison doesn't even cut it - a stiff legged person could still get some training and at least play a lousy game of soccer.
But whatever takes place in the Imaginal is completely and utterly beyond rationality.
Or to use one of the mathematical analogies that Dave likes: they are orthagonal and invariant: they cannot be projected upon one another.

Of course, rationality doesn't give up THAT easy. Although I must admit that it behaves a lot better than I would have held possible, it sputters, argues, mutters and occasionally tries to win back the monopoly position that it once held.

What I am trying to say is this (and maybe others don't agree with me - remember it's just how I feel it!): I can't for the life of me predict whether or not an approach like "creating a conceptual framework" would yield anything sensible at all. Maybe there is an underlying rational mechanism that underlies all this.
But I doubt whether you will ever be able to find it.

I'm not trying to discourage you. But I think that, pursuing this, could fall into a kind of labyrinth that knows no proper way out - and only ever leads you back to the beginning. That is because you can't approach the Imaginal with your rational faculty. If you ask your question in a rational context you will only ever get a rational answer: the imaginal and rational/factual cannot be understood in terms of each other.

It's possible that you can find a way to unify these two realms under the larger umbrella of transcendentance. But I know nothing about that. Not yet.

Meanwhile, I hope that you do realise that the only way to approach the Imaginal is via non-rational means.
I think that my concern is a bit that as long as you hold on to these essentially rational patterns, they will overshadow any imaginal clue or opening that might present itself.
This is exactly what people try to accomplish by posing students with those Koans such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" - to bring the rational train of thought to a halt, allowing that other part of reality to manifest itself.

OK, having said that, I can't resist also going into the content of what you wrote, of course :)
sarek wrote:If I reduce it to bare bones simplicity, I believe that The Everything(TM) (pig-ugly word that, but I am open to suggestions) essentially incorporates not only all that is, all that was and all that will be but furthermore also encompasses all that can be/has been/will be. Even more so, all that is not in some way impossible, must be out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered.
This is not a new idea; it is the essence of the Many Worlds "Kopenhagen" interpretation of quantum physics.
sarek wrote:This not only applies to what we can physically perceive but also to the realm of thoughts and abstractions. Physical reality as such has no privileged position other than the fact that for humans its the easiest to perceive.
This gets a bit thornier though - I think that that would depend on whether or not the imaginal is also part of this whole.
I have absolutely no idea whether that is so or not.
sarek wrote:And perception is what brings me to my next point.

For how do we perceive? Surely the only way we perceive, being physical creatures, is by means of physical 'hardware' Thus we use our eyes, our ears, our touch, our nose.
And so, in order to perceive the realm of faerie we also by necessity make use of physical sensors. I would surmise those sensors to be our neurons.

But that other realm is not part of physical reality as such, so we have a problem if we try to make a link between the two. How does something 'non-physical' present itself to a physical sensor?
That's rather a daring conclusion to make. I don't know if a statement to the effect of whether or not the Imaginal is also part of physical reality - ouch, I gladly declare myself unfit to answer this I'm afraid :)
sarek wrote:I have developed a little pet theory to attempt to explain this. I want to make use of quantum mechanics. As we all know, at the subatomic scale events are not of a discrete but rather of a probabilistic nature(caveat: this is not the whole story)
Almost daily, there is more and more evidence that such probabilistic events can have a significant effect on the macroscopic realm which is normally not directly affected. I suspect chaos dynamics may have quite a lot to do with bridging that gap.
Please take into consideration that this "quantum effects have macroscopic effects" is often misunderstood and misapplied.
It is one of the favourite theories to use as a catch-all; of course that does not invalidate any attempt to use it per se. But it must be thorougly understood before something like that can be tried. QM is a very formal theory after all.
sarek wrote:Now I am indulging in a wee a priori assumption here, which is that the human neural system is subject in some form to probabilistic effects ie that their influence is non-trivial.
Now, what is the essence of any random sequence, say rolling dice ten times in a row? This essence is of course that you can not know the outcome before you make the measurement.
What would happen if i could somehow cheat and redo the roll until I get an outcome I would approve of? And subsequently chose that desired outcome from the list of options? Everyone loves cats after all.
Would the subject in the experiment ever have a way of knowing that has occurred? I think not, because the choice is made after the fact and what the subject is experiencing is a completely valid random outcome.
You're referring to the Schrödinger Cat experiment?
But how can you do that ten times in a row with the same cat?
Of course you can repeat it until the outcome is favourable, but wouldn't the poor cat have kicked the bucket during the preceding try?
sarek wrote:So can this be done? Yes and no is the answer. From where we are standing, as temporal subjects in a temporal world we are subject to the laws of quantumdynamics.
Note that time itself is not necessary; it can be omitted from the wave function. This has, in fact, already been tried by a Julian Barbour, who wrote a book about it called The end of Time, about which VPRO's Noorderlicht once made a good documentary called Killing Time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKsNraFxPwk

sarek wrote:Yet still that choice is made every day, but from the other end. Its called history. The future may be random, but the past is not. There is only one possible past and that is the past which belongs to the present we find ourselves in.
But is it?
Couldn't it be that, if time indeed can be left out of the equation, that the past is just as free as the future - merely a matter of probabilities?
sarek wrote:At this point I think its perhaps a good moment to reflect on the nature of time in light of the bigger picture.........
(but thats a question I am asking you, not an answer. Something like the sound of one hand clapping maybe)
And maybe it could be instructive to link this with what Luthien told me of artists and mystics not creating but rather discovering their work(Leaf by Niggle). As though its already there, but they have before not been to that place.
So is the brain perhaps a bridge between the temporal and the non-temporal?
I think that we are indeed a kind of link between the Imaginal and Factual realms. But whether that is the same, or has indeed any relationship with a time-less or a time-ful universe, I don't know.

Anyhow, I hope you don't mind me being a bit of a wise-ass here :$ !
But I want to encourage you to look beyond rationality, explanations and conceptual frameworks.
They are mighty interesting, I admit. Also: please don't take my opinion as "true" - it is just my opinion. Maybe the others think very differently.

Anyhow; I think that, if you want to open the door to Faerie, you don't need a framework. You need magic - and that's not a frivolous, but a very serious statement.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:54 pm

Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:And perception is what brings me to my next point.

For how do we perceive? Surely the only way we perceive, being physical creatures, is by means of physical 'hardware' Thus we use our eyes, our ears, our touch, our nose.
And so, in order to perceive the realm of faerie we also by necessity make use of physical sensors. I would surmise those sensors to be our neurons.

But that other realm is not part of physical reality as such, so we have a problem if we try to make a link between the two. How does something 'non-physical' present itself to a physical sensor?
That's rather a daring conclusion to make. I don't know if a statement to the effect of whether or not the Imaginal is also part of physical reality - ouch, I gladly declare myself unfit to answer this I'm afraid :)
I am pressed for time, so this answer will be short: the only essential link between the Imaginal and the Factual is that they are both schemata running on a physical biological neural network (the brain) when one considers the existence of a sentient Observer and not just the existence of phenomena divorced from observation. This is a fact that I think most can agree upon.

However, in my worldview there are various points of intersection between the Imaginal n-space and the factual 3-space -- or if not intersections, "asymptotic regions" from which qualities from the Imaginal can be transferred to the Factual (and vice-versa). How is this possible, one may ask? I have no idea, but I have perceived it happening on many occasions.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Lúthien » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:50 am

Davy Willis Lee wrote:I am pressed for time, so this answer will be short: the only essential link between the Imaginal and the Factual is that they are both schemata running on a physical biological neural network (the brain) when one considers the existence of a sentient Observer and not just the existence of phenomena divorced from observation. This is a fact that I think most can agree upon..
Indeed.
However, if I think further about it, I'm not sure whether the part of me that interacts with the imaginal (what Jung calls the Soul, or animus/anima) is limited to that biological network. But here I immediately leave the area of rationality, so that I can't say anything else about it. At least not anything that tries to describe it or explain it (Cf. Tolkien's "It cannot be done.")
Davy Willis Lee wrote:However, in my worldview there are various points of intersection between the Imaginal n-space and the factual 3-space -- or if not intersections, "asymptotic regions" from which qualities from the Imaginal can be transferred to the Factual (and vice-versa). How is this possible, one may ask? I have no idea, but I have perceived it happening on many occasions.
That makes sense. And like you, I have no idea how this is possible. Or, if it is even possible at all to understand.


Sarek, I feel a bit uneasy about my previous post.
It's that I feel torn between my respect for you at one hand and an almost knee-jerk reaction to your "trying to find a conceptual framework".
Both impulses are true and honest. But in this post they drive me in opposite directions.

I still chose to write down what I thought about it because that is the only moral choice. But I hope that you don't feel bad about it, because I can see that your interest in also very earnest. To be short, I feel like a spoilsport :(

Of course, if you are really interested in this theorising, who am I to suggest that you shouldn't?
I certainly would not want to deny that to anyone.

However: I also know that you are truly interested in the imaginal realm and possible ways to get to know that.
Because I have witnessed not only my own bewilderment about the nature of the imaginal, but also know about Tolkien's and Jung's struggles to integrate this part into their lives, I know at least how difficult it can be to come to some form or internal settlement.

We are all born into a culture which bluntly denies the existence of this large part of reality. It can't completely make it disappear, so therefore it is consequently trivialised, marginalised or even demonised. The notion that Fantasy is not real literature; telling children to "Stop imagining things"; trivialising fairy-tales down to children's tales: they are just a few tell-tale signs of a process that has been going on for more than two-hundred years.
Since the Enlightenment, rationality has been phenomenologically successful. It's maybe an unavoidable side-effect of that success that the other half of ourselves has been completely overshadowed by that success which transformed the world via science and technology.

For us it has become almost impossible to imagine that this has not always been so: that there has been a time, not even that long ago, in which the imaginal did not have this marginalised subservient role. I'm definitely not saying that "those times were better": of course science and technology has brought us many good things. But it has come with a cost: like in the story of Faust, we have collectively payed for this advancement with the loss of our souls.
Sure, health care, universal justice, proper housing, hygiene and whatnot has improved the lives of many (at least in the first world). But most people have also lost a sense of leading a meaningful life. The planet as a whole is now experiencing serious problems because of unchecked industrial growth.

But I digress :) - what I wanted to say is that we are so used to a world where factual equals true that our minds find it terribly hard to realise that it ain't necessarily so:

In the beginning, you knew.
Then you pretended to forget.
Then you pretended to forget you forgot.
Then you forgot you pretended.

Remember?


We're so much used to it, that (in the words of someone quoted by Stephan Hoeller, forgot who it was atm) "even out spritituality has become materialistic".
Well, maybe I should replace "materialistic" with "factual" here, though there certainly are a lot of people out there for whom it is definitely materialistic. Take just that recent "spiritual" blockbuster called "The Secret" which was nothing but trying to recruit people's degenerate spiritual instincts in the services of corporate greediness.
But anyhow, I think that "factual" is more appropriate. Religion's supposed to be about real-world, historical events and factual wonders. No wonder the churches are being emptied by science, which does a much better job at producing factual wonders. And the same goes for magic, which has degenerated from the Great Work to wand-waving hocus-pocus trickery producing factual miracles (which suffers from the same unfair competition with science).

We're all influenced by it. You cannot deny the culture you grew up in, and it takes a damn lot of effort to even see that it ain't necessarily so.
I think that most people would be either offended or amused if someone would try to point out to them that the real magical "otherness" resides in the imagination.
Imagination! Go figure! Nursery-rhymes, fairy-tales and other such childish mumbo-jumbo? No, it has got to be something else, something more ... solid, more serious, more impressive, more .... whizz-bang, more - factual. Real. True. Surely not fantasy!

And so they remain trapped in the Great Artifact: our modern fabrication about a reality which only consists of facts.

Please believe me: I did not see it coming either, even though I was somewhat prepared when it hit me.
Imagination - and the imaginal world that it can enter into - isn't the trivial, un-true, not-to-be-taken-seriously, only-for-children trifle that our culture tries to tell you it is. It is vast beyond measure, maybe infinite. It holds everything we already know, and then a good deal more. It can be extremely dangerous. And above all: while it may not be factual, it is very, very real. In fact, everyone who has gone there will report that it feels much more solid, timeless / eternal and real than the vague, flimsy, transient display that almost everyone calls the real, factual world.

That is what I hope to be able to get across .. sorry if it's been a bit clumsy.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Ginnie » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:57 am

sarek wrote: As yet, I have unfortunately not yet been able to personally experience what Luthien and Dave have described and I am not sure if that shall ever be given to me. Perhaps everyone's path in this is different.
Naturally, I will attempt to set foot on and follow the experiential path though, so my ideas which I shall attempt to codify below are only a snapshot of my current thinking and likely to undergo further change.
This surprised me as we have been exploring the realm of myth together. Even if it is something as apparently mundane as recognition of archetypes we have begun exploring within an imaginal realm.
My aim was to create a basic conceptual framework to incorporate both what we call reality and that which you have experienced. It is quite a simple framework really, the basics of which are beyond the scope of this post but about which I shall likely post more in the future.

If I reduce it to bare bones simplicity, I believe that The Everything(TM) (pig-ugly word that, but I am open to suggestions) essentially incorporates not only all that is, all that was and all that will be but furthermore also encompasses all that can be/has been/will be. Even more so, all that is not in some way impossible, must be out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered.
You might find some use in these lectures which I'll caveat with read at your own risk. I have briefly scanned many of them and note that they seem to ok. Although "Hermetic" I'm not so sure about. You can find them Here
This not only applies to what we can physically perceive but also to the realm of thoughts and abstractions. Physical reality as such has no privileged position other than the fact that for humans its the easiest to perceive.


And perception is what brings me to my next point.

For how do we perceive? Surely the only way we perceive, being physical creatures, is by means of physical 'hardware' Thus we use our eyes, our ears, our touch, our nose.
And so, in order to perceive the realm of faerie we also by necessity make use of physical sensors. I would surmise those sensors to be our neurons.

But that other realm is not part of physical reality as such, so we have a problem if we try to make a link between the two. How does something 'non-physical' present itself to a physical sensor?
I've often thought about this given the idea that in most traditions what we perceive is called illusion. What I can verify is that our senses are filtered thru our conceptualizations surrounding whatever event is being sensed.

For instance, there is a tree in my front yard, I pass it daily. I am aware that when I pass it I label it 'tree' as if that is all there is to it. Yet, when I look at this tree, a living being that shares this earth with me, I see beyond this label, and look at it for what it is. When this 'shift' in perception occurs can I be said to be using my senses differently? I can only conclude that I do not know this tree, or any tree, what it is, is left to be discovered.

In this sense there is an entry to another realm of perception. One not so solid or confirmed as the illusion that we believe in.
And maybe it could be instructive to link this with what Luthien told me of artists and mystics not creating but rather discovering their work(Leaf by Niggle). As though its already there, but they have before not been to that place.

So is the brain perhaps a bridge between the temporal and the non-temporal?
Time is a paradox it in one moment exists and then the next does not. I liked that explanation of "Killing Time". It seems to me that the brain itself is a paradox at once hardware and software and a product of both exterior and interior influences such that it transcends itself. When I 'feel' my mind it originates just behind my eyes/forehead, I never feel my brain midbrain or at the back of my head. I've also had the experience of being removed from 'thoughts' where the mental chatter I think of as 'myself' floats off into the distance and has no relation to me, in those moments I am not the brain or the body, these are things i "have' and I appear to be nothing.

I don't know if the brain is a bridge or if there is some construction created out of sensitivities and frequencies.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Ginnie » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:20 pm

Lúthien wrote:
Davy Willis Lee wrote:I am pressed for time, so this answer will be short: the only essential link between the Imaginal and the Factual is that they are both schemata running on a physical biological neural network (the brain) when one considers the existence of a sentient Observer and not just the existence of phenomena divorced from observation. This is a fact that I think most can agree upon..
Indeed.
However, if I think further about it, I'm not sure whether the part of me that interacts with the imaginal (what Jung calls the Soul, or animus/anima) is limited to that biological network. But here I immediately leave the area of rationality, so that I can't say anything else about it. At least not anything that tries to describe it or explain it (Cf. Tolkien's "It cannot be done.")
Isn't it funny that we're both wondering this same thing.
Lúthien wrote:
Davy Willis Lee wrote:However, in my worldview there are various points of intersection between the Imaginal n-space and the factual 3-space -- or if not intersections, "asymptotic regions" from which qualities from the Imaginal can be transferred to the Factual (and vice-versa). How is this possible, one may ask? I have no idea, but I have perceived it happening on many occasions.
That makes sense. And like you, I have no idea how this is possible. Or, if it is even possible at all to understand.
I wish I could find the quote from Tolkien I read the other day about Faerie gold, turning to leaves upon return to our regular state of consciousness. Perhaps one of you know which one I am talking about. That passage struck me as such a big part of my experience, for when I have a profound insight, or discover some lost portion of my interior world, when I try to put it into words to communicate it with someone who isn't able to understand it's just as if this gold turns to dry leaves that become crushed and mangled in the telling and the slightest breath can blow them from me so that I am left without even the leaves as mad evidence.

However: I also know that you are truly interested in the imaginal realm and possible ways to get to know that.
Because I have witnessed not only my own bewilderment about the nature of the imaginal, but also know about Tolkien's and Jung's struggles to integrate this part into their lives, I know at least how difficult it can be to come to some form or internal settlement.

We are all born into a culture which bluntly denies the existence of this large part of reality. It can't completely make it disappear, so therefore it is consequently trivialised, marginalised or even demonised. The notion that Fantasy is not real literature; telling children to "Stop imagining things"; trivialising fairy-tales down to children's tales: they are just a few tell-tale signs of a process that has been going on for more than two-hundred years.
Since the Enlightenment, rationality has been phenomenologically successful. It's maybe an unavoidable side-effect of that success that the other half of ourselves has been completely overshadowed by that success which transformed the world via science and technology.

For us it has become almost impossible to imagine that this has not always been so: that there has been a time, not even that long ago, in which the imaginal did not have this marginalised subservient role. I'm definitely not saying that "those times were better": of course science and technology has brought us many good things. But it has come with a cost: like in the story of Faust, we have collectively payed for this advancement with the loss of our souls.
Sure, health care, universal justice, proper housing, hygiene and whatnot has improved the lives of many (at least in the first world). But most people have also lost a sense of leading a meaningful life. The planet as a whole is now experiencing serious problems because of unchecked industrial growth.

But I digress :) - what I wanted to say is that we are so used to a world where factual equals true that our minds find it terribly hard to realise that it ain't necessarily so:
I'm wondering if looking at the framework cannot be likened to finding art in the architecture. And I think it is this to which Sarek refers. I too have a back and forth movement with system frameworks and yet I find them useful as well. I think it's a matter of we in the industrialized west grow in a soil of facts and perhaps we have to honour this grond we stand on while we take our steps off of it.

In the beginning, you knew.
Then you pretended to forget.
Then you pretended to forget you forgot.
Then you forgot you pretended.

Remember?


And so they remain trapped in the Great Artifact: our modern fabrication about a reality which only consists of facts.

Beautifully stated.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Deep blue ocean » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:21 pm

Davy Willis Lee wrote: [...] Where we† probably differ is that (insofar as I am able to understand it) she views the Imaginal and the Factual as two separate realms which have no necessary interconnection, whereas with me, everything is permanently intertwined in a seamless manner similar to the mathematical concept of a Möbius strip, and always has been so. My later shamanic experiments have only confirmed this worldview for me, not disproved it.

In fact, I only rarely state my true perceptions about such things, as they would probably not be comprehensible to most people, and would in any case be considered a bit extreme. For example, on the apparent Imaginal/Factual (or what some may term Spiritual/Phiysical) dichotomy, I would state that no such dichotomy exists: it is illusory. Much as time itself is an illusion[1].
I think my point of view in this must be that I can not possibly conceive of anything at all being disconnected with anything else. After all, if that were really true, how could we be talking about the Imaginal at all? How would we obtain information?
Quantum mechanics tells us that if such a connection of information exists then there must be a systemic connection.

This agrees with my philosophy of omnitranscendentalism in which I see everything as connected with everything and contained within a greater whole. I keep coming back to the parable of the elephant, if there are separations it means we are not yet seeing the whole animal.

Davy Willis Lee wrote: The only reason I mention this at all here is that I have only recently (in the past 2 years or so) become aware of how different my attraction to the Legendarium is from those who are typically drawn to the name 'Tolkien'.

I don't view the elves (Quendi) as anything special, for one thing, but rather view them anthropologically/paleontologiically as another variant of hominan. (Both Lisa and Luthien have heard me say this before, so it should not be shocking to them.) And, as Ellenar points out above (whether he was referring to me or not doesn't matter, as his point is a good one) my version of entheogenic shamanism has no more relation to the Legendarium itself than does, say, the study of aerodynamics.

However, my desire to explore things shamanically is a natural outgrowth of my basic personality, which if you wanted to describe it in any term even remotely related to the things we are discussing would be "trans-humanist". That is why I occasionally refer to myself as a Cylon and am interested in such things as biochemistry and Artificial Intelligence & etc, as a glance at my Facebook Bio will show [<profile no longer exists>].

Now when I first met Lisa, I did occasionally refer to myself as "elven", but I always recognized that as a sort of "place-holder term" until I could find one more suitable. In more recent times, given that I discovered my diagnosis of autism in 2006, had been actively involved in the life-extension community for a number of years before that (both in newsgroups such as sci.life-extension and on the LEF Forums back in the days when they were good and hadn't gone totally corporate) and had had a number of near-death experiences (some due to severe hypoglycemic episodes as a result of the type 1 diabetes I've had since age three; some deliberately induced by entheogens), I realized that I needed a descriptor that fit me better. Having just downloaded and watched the entire 4 seasons of Battlestar Galactica in the spring and summer of 2009 -- and being just as impressed with it as I had been at an earlier age by Tolkien's material (and recognizing that it also was driven by the same sort of shamanic impulse that impelled him and other authors of his general time period) -- I decided that 'Cylon' was a more accurate metaphoric descriptor for myself, so that is when I began using it. (Also, the use of 'elf', 'elven' by members of the "Otherkin" community, for whom I felt nothing but contempt, really permanently contaminated the word for me; so I resolved never to use it to refer to myself again -- which was rather easy to do, as it had been obsoleted by a more accurate descriptor.)

I suppose I'm just collating all of my worldview changes in one place and presenting it to those who communicate more closely with me and who have access to this section, as although I have explained parts of this to some of you, I have never presented all of it in one block before.
I can not argue with direct experience of course, so I am open to empirical information that would require me to change my views, but I think we must not limit ourselves.
My worldview holds that everything that is not specifically impossible for some reason, must be found out there somewhere.
I have not the faintest clue how this possibilityspace can be limited in any way but perhaps it is so. One thing is certain for a fact, the laws of nature as we know them in realspace can not be a limiting factor because the very fact that its possible to imagine different ones, already means that they must exist and apply somewhere. And its just as easily conceivable that there may be places that do not even have laws of nature as we know them.

I think the kind of worldview changes that you have undergone are not unfamiliar to me although perhaps my process was weighed a bit more toward the endogenic rather than exogenic part of the scale.

I started my young life very much as a nerdy type of person, not socialising much at all unless it was with fellow aliens. I remember at the age of about 20 I was already telling people I was a minority of one.

My primary interests back then were mainly hardcore beta sciences like physics and astronomy. Its taken me ages to reach the point when the focus of my interest began to shift towards human interactions, feelings and intuitive matters.

This is reflected in my archetypical persona. My ideal self image is very much a mix of Sarek and Elrond. The Sarek reference has mainly to do with my deeply ingrained background in logic but also with his difficulties maintaining that control at a later age when he developed Bendii syndrome
The Elrond reference has to do with the massive weight of so many ages, which I often feel lying upon me. Sometimes I get the sense of many different persona finally rejoining and coming together in this lifetime although I do not have any real observational references, its more like an impression and a feeling.
Davy Willis Lee wrote: 1: Thanks to Luthien, I have someone who can explain this concept far better than I can. His name is Julian Barbour, and here is his website [link], but first it may be better to watch this wonderful video he put together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKsNraFxPwk
---

Serves me right for not watching Dutch television often enough. Yes, I think this guy ads a major building block to my thoughts on this matter.
It is fascinating to do away with time as a Ding an sich and look for something more fundamental. However, I have not yet figured out clearly how Barbour deals with the concept of causality within his framework. At some point he claims that his snapshots can be arranged in any random order, but in reality that is not the case because not only is there change, there is also a direction to that change.

My very first starting point for the notion that time may be merely an illusion was by thinking about Einstein's thought experiments. The essence of that is that a massless particle(read photon) moves forward in time relative to its environment at an infinite speed. Thus I thought, is there, from that point of view, really a difference between the ancient past and the remote future if it takes you 'no time at all' to move between any random points in time, no matter how far apart?

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Lúthien » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:22 pm

ginnie wrote:This surprised me as we have been exploring the realm of myth together. Even if it is something as apparently mundane as recognition of archetypes we have begun exploring within an imaginal realm.
Can't help but being mighty curious here :-)
ginnie wrote:You might find some use in these lectures which I'll caveat with read at your own risk. I have briefly scanned many of them and note that they seem to ok. Although "Hermetic" I'm not so sure about. You can find them Here
Wow, another source. Interesting, thanks!
ginnie wrote:For instance, there is a tree in my front yard, I pass it daily. I am aware that when I pass it I label it 'tree' as if that is all there is to it. Yet, when I look at this tree, a living being that shares this earth with me, I see beyond this label, and look at it for what it is. When this 'shift' in perception occurs can I be said to be using my senses differently? I can only conclude that I do not know this tree, or any tree, what it is, is left to be discovered.

In this sense there is an entry to another realm of perception. One not so solid or confirmed as the illusion that we believe in.
I could not help but think here of a passage in Mythopoeia which uses the same image:

You look at trees and label them just so,
(for trees are `trees', and growing is `to grow');

you walk the earth and tread with solemn pace
one of the many minor globes of Space:
a star's a star, some matter in a ball
compelled to courses mathematical
amid the regimented, cold, Inane,
where destined atoms are each moment slain.


(skipping a bit here ...)

Yet trees and not `trees', until so named and seen -
and never were so named, till those had been
who speech's involuted breath unfurled,
faint echo and dim picture of the world,
but neither record nor a photograph,
being divination, judgement, and a laugh,
response of those that felt astir within
by deep monition movements that were kin
to life and death of trees, of beasts, of stars:
free captives undermining shadowy bars,
digging the foreknown from experience
and panning the vein of spirit out of sense.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Lúthien » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:30 pm

ginnie wrote:I wish I could find the quote from Tolkien I read the other day about Faerie gold, turning to leaves upon return to our regular state of consciousness. Perhaps one of you know which one I am talking about. That passage struck me as such a big part of my experience, for when I have a profound insight, or discover some lost portion of my interior world, when I try to put it into words to communicate it with someone who isn't able to understand it's just as if this gold turns to dry leaves that become crushed and mangled in the telling and the slightest breath can blow them from me so that I am left without even the leaves as mad evidence.
It's understandable that you could not find it, because it is from the annotated edition of On Fairy-Stories (edited by Verilyn Flieger). You probably read the fragment on Lance Owen's lecture page here (because we talked about it):
– J.R.R. Tolkien, draft manuscript of On Fairy Stories wrote:The Land of Fairy Story is wide and deep and high.... In that land a man may (perhaps) count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very mystery and wealth make dumb the traveler who would report.... The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All that I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Lúthien » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:02 pm

Ginnie wrote:I'm wondering if looking at the framework cannot be likened to finding art in the architecture. And I think it is this to which Sarek refers. I too have a back and forth movement with system frameworks and yet I find them useful as well. I think it's a matter of we in the industrialized west grow in a soil of facts and perhaps we have to honour this grond we stand on while we take our steps off of it.
I think that in this case, I would rather liken it to finding the little imp inside your cameral that paints the picture if you take a photograph :hmm:
I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across .. I think that Sarek is trying to find a rationalistic explanation for something which lies by definition outside of rationality.
I think that this cannot be done.

Of course I do understand that you are trying to describe that transcendentalist "umbrella" framework. But for that goes a similar argument: because this transcendenting principle unifies the imaginal and the factual realms it must be "larger than rationality".
This, too, cannot described in rational terms alone. It's simply in the definitions.
I am concerned that as long as you do not recognise this and keep thinking in terms of rational frameworks, you are effectively blocking yourself from imaginal impulses.

If you insist that you can describe something like that using a rationalist approach; then the only conclusion can be that we disagree about the nature of the imaginal - that we're not talking about the same thing.
Sarek wrote:I think my point of view in this must be that I can not possibly conceive of anything at all being disconnected with anything else. After all, if that were really true, how could we be talking about the Imaginal at all? How would we obtain information?
I don't know. I only experience that something happens. I don't need to know how it works in order to experience that.
Sarek wrote:Quantum mechanics tells us that if such a connection of information exists then there must be a systemic connection.
Yes, as long as you are talking about rationally understandable, physical processes in the factual world.
Quantum mechanics does not describe the imaginal realm, nor our interactions with it.
Sarek wrote:This agrees with my philosophy of omnitranscendentalism in which I see everything as connected with everything and contained within a greater whole. I keep coming back to the parable of the elephant, if there are separations it means we are not yet seeing the whole animal.
Of course, this can be true. But that this particular elephant is not a factual beast, which can be understood in rational terms. It's something much stranger.

OK, I will stop beating this drum now before you start to think of me as an annoying smartypants. Or maybe you already do :s

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Ginnie » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:20 pm

Lúthien wrote:
ginnie wrote:I wish I could find the quote from Tolkien I read the other day about Faerie gold, turning to leaves upon return to our regular state of consciousness. Perhaps one of you know which one I am talking about. That passage struck me as such a big part of my experience, for when I have a profound insight, or discover some lost portion of my interior world, when I try to put it into words to communicate it with someone who isn't able to understand it's just as if this gold turns to dry leaves that become crushed and mangled in the telling and the slightest breath can blow them from me so that I am left without even the leaves as mad evidence.
It's understandable that you could not find it, because it is from the annotated edition of On Fairy-Stories (edited by Verilyn Flieger). You probably read the fragment on Lance Owen's lecture page here (because we talked about it):
– J.R.R. Tolkien, draft manuscript of On Fairy Stories wrote:The Land of Fairy Story is wide and deep and high.... In that land a man may (perhaps) count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very mystery and wealth make dumb the traveler who would report.... The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All that I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.

That's it! Thank you! Wow, I am in such rare company, what a privelage!

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Ginnie » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:33 pm

Lúthien wrote:
Ginnie wrote:I'm wondering if looking at the framework cannot be likened to finding art in the architecture. And I think it is this to which Sarek refers. I too have a back and forth movement with system frameworks and yet I find them useful as well. I think it's a matter of we in the industrialized west grow in a soil of facts and perhaps we have to honour this grond we stand on while we take our steps off of it.
I think that in this case, I would rather liken it to finding the little imp inside your cameral that paints the picture if you take a photograph :hmm:
I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across .. I think that Sarek is trying to find a rationalistic explanation for something which lies by definition outside of rationality.
I think that this cannot be done.

Of course I do understand that you are trying to describe that transcendentalist "umbrella" framework. But for that goes a similar argument: because this transcendenting principle unifies the imaginal and the factual realms it must be "larger than rationality".
This, too, cannot described in rational terms alone. It's simply in the definitions.
I am concerned that as long as you do not recognise this and keep thinking in terms of rational frameworks, you are effectively blocking yourself from imaginal impulses.

If you insist that you can describe something like that using a rationalist approach; then the only conclusion can be that we disagree about the nature of the imaginal - that we're not talking about the same thing.

I am looking at this as more of a 'world building' excercise, it is not that one can use tools from one world to mine another, because that doesn't appear to be the case yet each world has it's architecture and like the mobius strip analogy, it can be conceived of in symbol and perhaps flags can be placed where keys can be found and maps of portals shared even if they make no 'sense' and can only be desecrated and destroyed by the rational mind. It's a bit twisty I know, but I'm aware that such conscious art exists and that it allows for transmission to be made even millenia after the originator has long passed. Most people will then preserve the container never suspecting that there are contents.

A book, as one example.

Sarek wrote:I think my point of view in this must be that I can not possibly conceive of anything at all being disconnected with anything else. After all, if that were really true, how could we be talking about the Imaginal at all? How would we obtain information?
I don't know. I only experience that something happens. I don't need to know how it works in order to experience that.
I agree there can be no "how" because any attempt to nail a method down kills the intelligence within it and needed for it. I'm not so sure this is about a 'how' tho as much as it is about a discovery of process, which might be mistaken for 'how' yet the how is always individual whereas the process is not. Maybe that's not making sense. I'm scrambling for words. The map is not the territory? A map never tells the story.

I can't imagine anyone thinking you're an annoying smartypants, I think in one sense this is why we're here, there is a level of discomfort when trying to piece this together and arguing our terms etc.. I experience this too, and yet, that's what we're here for! :)

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Deep blue ocean » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:04 pm

Y'all write faster than I can read, but trying to keep up.
Lúthien wrote:(You know what? I knew Dave would also post that Barbour video :) )


N.B. - I hope you don't mind that I will at times take up a bit of a meta-position in this post. I don't do that to "question your questions" but because that is what my thoughts / feelings about it are.
sarek wrote:Ok, so I have been doing some thinking. It seems to me that there are two different approaches regarding what I shall provisionally call 'travelling'
I don't think that they are all that different. Whether you use entheogens or meditative techniques, the overall result is to establish contact with (or travel to-) with the Imaginal realm. Of course each has its characteristics leading to another way of dealing with them. But I do not think that they are fundamentally different.

Funny enough, if you listen to that lecture by Stephan Hoeller on Altered states ancient and modern you will come across a remark that he makes about a monk - I think it was maybe someone from Asia, a buddhist or maybe a shintoist. This monk was interviewed by a western journalist who clearly thought that this man would look down upon the use of entheogens ("Aargh! Mind-altering Drugs!").
But surprisingly, the monk answered very matter-of-factly that yes, it was sometimes used in cases where students had trouble "letting go" and the entheogens in case provided them with the necessary "boost".

Jung also talks about it: he thinks it can be very useful to some. He did never use it himself because his found it very easy to enter into a receptive state and adding an entheogen to that would make it all "too much".
You know what Lu? I will gladly take your word for it and will attempt both methods whatever works best for me. I have lots to learn anyway and will surely find my way with this
Lúthien wrote:
I don't think that it matters at all whether you are a beginner or not. The only thing that counts is your disposition towards the subject matter.
And like you, I also have a rationalist background - although I certainly never would describe it as "like Sharkey, having a mind of metal and wheels" - so forgive me for taking this with a grain of salt, knowing your tendency to under-sell yourself ;) )
I keep forgetting you are a people reader like myself. However there is also so such a thing as cheerful tongue in cheekishness which I tend to liberally inflict on myself
Lúthien wrote: While I was certainly limited to a rationalist mind-set, this did not mean that my mind was like a robot. Quite the contrary; my mind has not changed at all. I was merely limited to rationality because I had not (yet) found any way in which the non-rationalistic parts of myself could be expressed while remaining fundamentally true to myself.
Don't forget that rationality can be very earnest and true: if applied correctly, there is nothing wrong with it; actually, it can greatly help us to identify that what Carl Sagan referred to as Bamboozle & Baloney . It merely can't explain everything - not by far. But on its own (factual) terrain it works like a charm.
I can agree with that. Its been a progression for me as well. My liberation only well and truly started when I joined addforums back in 2008. That has been a huge catalyst that fired my hyperfocus and turned my attention to less 'linear' modes of existing.

But its not an or/or situation its more of an ever advancing integration. I am adding the new experience to the old and integrating them.
Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:As yet, I have unfortunately not yet been able to personally experience what Luthien and Dave have described and I am not sure if that shall ever be given to me. Perhaps everyone's path in this is different.
Naturally, I will attempt to set foot on and follow the experiential path though, so my ideas which I shall attempt to codify below are only a snapshot of my current thinking and likely to undergo further change.
Only you can tell whether or not you can do that. But it's well worth a try. I wouldn't know why you shouldn't be able to, in fact.
I will do that. It might be instructive if you could post a few basic methods which those who have not done this before can use.
Or maybe that is already there, hidden in the IV material.
Lúthien wrote:

OK. How do I say this .. we've also discussed this on chat so I may be re-iterating previous points, I hope you don't mind.
Apart from any thoughts about the validity etc. of this framework that I might have (and that I will try and describe below) my immediate response is: Why?
What are you trying to accomplish?
What would you need a conceptual framework for in the first place?

It can't be that this might enable you to make the travels that you mentioned above. In fact, I have noticed that no-one who has had these experiences (that I know of) offers any insight into "how it works". Of course Tolkien talks a great deal about the phenomenon in "On Fairy-Stories" but it is exactly this point of "explaining how it is possible" that is strikingly absent. The same goes for Carl Jung.

It seems that a lack of such a conceptual framework is therefore not stopping people from having these experiences and what's more, from experiencing them as extremely worthwhile and productive.

I think that I'm at least as steeped in rational / scientific thinking that you (though I'm not sure). I studied physics (even though I did not finish it) and have been extremely interested in astronomy, astrophysics, relativity, quantum mechanics and whatnot all my life.
Yet, as soon as the Imaginal peeks around the corner, all this rationality shuts up and can only watch the spectacle from the side line - as if they were stiff-legged passers-by who watch a very acrobatic, fast and wonderful game of soccer. Or, probably this comparison doesn't even cut it - a stiff legged person could still get some training and at least play a lousy game of soccer.
But whatever takes place in the Imaginal is completely and utterly beyond rationality.
Or to use one of the mathematical analogies that Dave likes: they are orthagonal and invariant: they cannot be projected upon one another.

Of course, rationality doesn't give up THAT easy. Although I must admit that it behaves a lot better than I would have held possible, it sputters, argues, mutters and occasionally tries to win back the monopoly position that it once held.

What I am trying to say is this (and maybe others don't agree with me - remember it's just how I feel it!): I can't for the life of me predict whether or not an approach like "creating a conceptual framework" would yield anything sensible at all. Maybe there is an underlying rational mechanism that underlies all this.
But I doubt whether you will ever be able to find it.

I'm not trying to discourage you. But I think that, pursuing this, could fall into a kind of labyrinth that knows no proper way out - and only ever leads you back to the beginning. That is because you can't approach the Imaginal with your rational faculty. If you ask your question in a rational context you will only ever get a rational answer: the imaginal and rational/factual cannot be understood in terms of each other.
I want that because that is who I am. I am an understander. I am someone who wants to encompass things, comprehend them. And once I do, go yet one step further. It is my driving force, my religion almost, as it were.

I have built my whole persona from the ground up, starting as a nerd and now functioning as a high sensitive intuitive feeler.

Traveling beyond, into the realm of the Imaginal is for me a natural continuation of my voyage of discovery both of that which lies within and outside of me.
Lúthien wrote: It's possible that you can find a way to unify these two realms under the larger umbrella of transcendentance. But I know nothing about that. Not yet.

Meanwhile, I hope that you do realise that the only way to approach the Imaginal is via non-rational means.
I think that my concern is a bit that as long as you hold on to these essentially rational patterns, they will overshadow any imaginal clue or opening that might present itself.
This is exactly what people try to accomplish by posing students with those Koans such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" - to bring the rational train of thought to a halt, allowing that other part of reality to manifest itself.

OK, having said that, I can't resist also going into the content of what you wrote, of course :)
I understand that, and agree
Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:If I reduce it to bare bones simplicity, I believe that The Everything(TM) (pig-ugly word that, but I am open to suggestions) essentially incorporates not only all that is, all that was and all that will be but furthermore also encompasses all that can be/has been/will be. Even more so, all that is not in some way impossible, must be out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered.
This is not a new idea; it is the essence of the Many Worlds "Kopenhagen" interpretation of quantum physics.
With the caveat that I am not only speaking of realspace but also of the much larger realm of possibilityspace.
Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:And perception is what brings me to my next point.

For how do we perceive? Surely the only way we perceive, being physical creatures, is by means of physical 'hardware' Thus we use our eyes, our ears, our touch, our nose.
And so, in order to perceive the realm of faerie we also by necessity make use of physical sensors. I would surmise those sensors to be our neurons.

But that other realm is not part of physical reality as such, so we have a problem if we try to make a link between the two. How does something 'non-physical' present itself to a physical sensor?
That's rather a daring conclusion to make. I don't know if a statement to the effect of whether or not the Imaginal is also part of physical reality - ouch, I gladly declare myself unfit to answer this I'm afraid :)
The Imaginal is not necessarily part of physical reality, that I agree with. Its is however part of possibilityspace which is a much more encompassing whole.
Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:I have developed a little pet theory to attempt to explain this. I want to make use of quantum mechanics. As we all know, at the subatomic scale events are not of a discrete but rather of a probabilistic nature(caveat: this is not the whole story)
Almost daily, there is more and more evidence that such probabilistic events can have a significant effect on the macroscopic realm which is normally not directly affected. I suspect chaos dynamics may have quite a lot to do with bridging that gap.
Please take into consideration that this "quantum effects have macroscopic effects" is often misunderstood and misapplied.
It is one of the favourite theories to use as a catch-all; of course that does not invalidate any attempt to use it per se. But it must be thorougly understood before something like that can be tried. QM is a very formal theory after all.
I understand the above and as yet science does AFAICT not yet have a conclusive answer whether or not this applies to the functioning of the brain.
My intuitive hint is that it does indeed apply, but I have no way of proving it.
Lúthien wrote: You're referring to the Schrödinger Cat experiment?
But how can you do that ten times in a row with the same cat?
Of course you can repeat it until the outcome is favourable, but wouldn't the poor cat have kicked the bucket during the preceding try?
What if my theoretical Grand Arbitrator(tongue in cheek TM) were to use the many worlds hypothesis as a way of performing the various experiments? All you need to do is retroactively pick a timeline. The inhabitants of that timeline would have no way to tell there was anything special going on with their timeline.
Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:So can this be done? Yes and no is the answer. From where we are standing, as temporal subjects in a temporal world we are subject to the laws of quantumdynamics.
Note that time itself is not necessary; it can be omitted from the wave function. This has, in fact, already been tried by a Julian Barbour
Yet causality remains.

Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:Yet still that choice is made every day, but from the other end. Its called history. The future may be random, but the past is not. There is only one possible past and that is the past which belongs to the present we find ourselves in.
But is it?
Couldn't it be that, if time indeed can be left out of the equation, that the past is just as free as the future - merely a matter of probabilities?
It could, if it were not again for that pesky creature called causality. Causality creates a link between events, regardless of whether there really is a timeline. I very much doubt if, looking back down any given causality line, there is any space for randomness at all.
Lúthien wrote:
sarek wrote:At this point I think its perhaps a good moment to reflect on the nature of time in light of the bigger picture.........
(but thats a question I am asking you, not an answer. Something like the sound of one hand clapping maybe)
And maybe it could be instructive to link this with what Luthien told me of artists and mystics not creating but rather discovering their work(Leaf by Niggle). As though its already there, but they have before not been to that place.
So is the brain perhaps a bridge between the temporal and the non-temporal?
I think that we are indeed a kind of link between the Imaginal and Factual realms. But whether that is the same, or has indeed any relationship with a time-less or a time-ful universe, I don't know.

Anyhow, I hope you don't mind me being a bit of a wise-ass here :$ !
But I want to encourage you to look beyond rationality, explanations and conceptual frameworks.
They are mighty interesting, I admit. Also: please don't take my opinion as "true" - it is just my opinion. Maybe the others think very differently.

Anyhow; I think that, if you want to open the door to Faerie, you don't need a framework. You need magic - and that's not a frivolous, but a very serious statement.
Point taken. That is why I am here.

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Re: Building mindbridges

Post by Lúthien » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:58 pm

EDIT - As I wrote this, Sarek posted his reply (see above) which takes away at least part of my worry that I didn't come across :)
ginnie wrote:I am looking at this as more of a 'world building' excercise, it is not that one can use tools from one world to mine another, because that doesn't appear to be the case yet each world has it's architecture and like the mobius strip analogy, it can be conceived of in symbol and perhaps flags can be placed where keys can be found and maps of portals shared even if they make no 'sense' and can only be desecrated and destroyed by the rational mind.
I think I understand what you're getting at.
However, I still think that this is not quite what I meant; not what causes my feeling of impedance mismatch.
Or maybe I'm not fully understanding you.

What you're describing here looks to me as an attempt to map how the realms relate to one another.
As I understand it, this is still an attempt to create a kind of understanding, indeed a "framework" if you will; how to fit all this into your existing world-view.
But I feel that this will not bring you one inch closer to experiencing the imaginal itself.
Gee, this is so hard to explain, it's frustrating :(
Understanding, even of the most intuitive and non-analytical sort, is not the same as experiencing.
As I said above: it requires a wholly different faculty.

Entering the Imaginal does not require any understanding or knowledge of concepts. On the contrary, these things often tend to get in the way.
Still, it is good to have a strong rational faculty and a healthy dose of skepticism. Not to help you reach Fearie, but rather to ensure that you get back in one piece or, indeed get back at all. Both Tolkien and Jung are very clear about this:
Tolkien, in Smith of Wootton-Major wrote:(...) for the star shone bright on his brow, and he was as safe as a mortal can be in that perilous country. The Lesser Evils avoided the star, and from the Greater Evils he was guarded. For that he was grateful, for he soon became wise and understood that the marvels of Faery cannot be approached without danger, and that many of the Evils cannot be challenged without weapons of power too great for any mortal to wield.
Of course the danger isn't that great that it's irresponsible to try and go there; but once you are there, it is a good to realise that Faerie isn't a children's game.
If you behave sensibly and use your skepticism, you'll be ok.

Darn, I'm digressing. Again. Where was I ...
OK - I was trying to give a sort of feel for what it takes to enter the imaginal realm. Theories, models, frameworks, maps, understanding, philosophy, portals and waypoints are all very nice, but they won't lead you there. If anything, they might be handy to find your way back home.

So what do you need to go there?
You must be willing to stop your rational mind getting in the way. At least for a long enough time.
You will need to let go, to stop relying on methods that have always served you well. They are of no avail here.
You will need to take a leap of faith.
You will need to suspend your disbelief.
You will need to take a step sideways into an unknown direction.

It is not that it is difficult in itself. What's possibly difficult is to stop all these rational mind habits from getting in the way.
It may be very difficult to accept how simple it actually is.
It may be very difficult to see something very obvious that is right before your eyes.
It may be very difficult to accept that something that most children are capable of, could possibly be the key to unlock this road.
The notion that something, which our culture has dismissed as irrelevant may actually be very important and profound, may feel preposterous.

I'm not talking about any idea or notion or understanding. I'm talking about what it takes to get there.
I am frantically trying to explain something which can indeed not be explained in words but at which I can only hint, sideways, in the hope that it will somehow get across. I can tell you what won't take you there (as I have abundantly tried here).
I can hand you a technique that might help you (as I have discussed with Sarek, last week).
But I cannot point at it directly. You really have to find this yourself, and my problem here is that when I read all these philosophical musings about conceptual frameworks and whatnot, consideration about a possible working mechanism involving quantum mechanics even - something inside me tugs at my shirt and says "no, that's not where you will find it ... tell them please!"

Please, please, please: do you understand what I mean??

Ginnie wrote:I can't imagine anyone thinking you're an annoying smartypants, I think in one sense this is why we're here, there is a level of discomfort when trying to piece this together and arguing our terms etc.. I experience this too, and yet, that's what we're here for! :)
Believe me, by now I really do feel like I'm a huge pair of smartypants!

It's also that I absolutely dislike writing like this. I'm trying to sell you something, and I hate that. Still, I feel that I must do it, because it would be such a waste if you do not see it because the mind keeps getting in the way.

Sigh.

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