Saturday, June 29, 2013

some praxis of assumption

If the title sounds strange to you, you probably want to skip this one. Please tolerate.

Why do I even post it at all? Someone sent an email to me this week asking why I always hold back SO MUCH.  Being under pressure, I replied briefly:
First, you are right that I usually do not tell the whole story on anything.
That pains me, and it is contrary to my instincts... and yet, like a
dog who frequently gets his nose hit by a newspaper, I still regularly
get hit in the nose by folks who object to
how much I do try to reveal, small as it is as a fraction of what is there.
Of course, from the NSF side, there are also restrictions on what I say
under the Privacy Act, which is pretty sancrosanct around here.

We live in a world where people have so many, many hot buttons.
Where more than half the challenge in developing any new idea is the
planning for the "antibodies" that come into effect as soon as one
gets so far as 1% in to the story (as in the movie Inception).

But, as the guy said, I am getting to an age and a situation where there is not as much to lose
in an obscure post, where I am not shoving things down anyone's throat.


But first, an annoying background. (It reminds me of a girl I knew long ago,
when I was a boy -- a girl  whom I might possibly have married -- who complained about
how her grandfather would have endless background stories within stories. But that grandfather
was one of the most important wealthy forces behind the scenes in those days, and not
all a stupid or frivolous person, quite the opposite... So I apologize for doing the same, but...)

A month or two ago, in the bar of a waterfront hotel in Singapore, I met up with good old Eshua of the House of David and Emmanuel ( a scholar loyal to the eastern Orthodox Church). A lot of the discussion involved some ancient texts in Aramaic and in Greek (predating the gross revisionism
of folks like Constantine) which they enjoyed talking about, as some folks enjoy talking about movies they saw when they were young. At one point, I said to Emmanuel something like,
"Oh, for myself, I'm really not into his believing stuff. I see what I see, and I learn what I learn
from what I see and from logic, but I don't believe stuff I can't justify from experience."
He wondered whether he should be shocked and offended (while Eshua just smiled)... until I said just a little bit about what I have seen and experienced.  But I have already posted a bit about those earlier things... so no need to reiterate the basics. Not here. If you think that such things are crazy, you'd be better off looking at earlier posts, not this one.

And by the way, if you are excited by what you think you could do to get your way by use of such things, you would also be better off going to earlier posts. This is what some folks call a "Heisenberg thing;" it can come back to bite the observer, if you play with it in the wrong way without a deep integration of what you really do want to do and so on.  I remember an old Taoist teacher
(with a great citation index and patent revenue) who told me long ago, in the Cosmos Club in DC:
"Of course, we know how to induce enlightenment in a very short time, maybe a day. But the lengthy training and discipline is necessary to reduce the chances that  the person just dies the next day."


Ok, so what is "praxis of assumption" already? Praxis is basically just a fancy work for practice,
for practical experience and how to do stuff. There is a whole lot of praxis here, and I don't intend to
discuss it all here and now. Just a few basic ideas and points.

But what is "assumption"? Well, it's a technical term, from the Western esoteric tradition. Again,
I give some citations to that in earlier posts, and even in (which I haven't updated in years; apologies; partly a function of glitches in cyberspace, and glitches in schedule).

There are many "paths up the mountain," but for some folks there is a progression from playing with
local physical energy ("a kind of qi"), to the Great Quest for Out of Body Experience (OOBE),
to assumption, to something vaguely called cosmic consciousness or transcending time or enlightenment or nirvana or whatnot.  And many associated things.

When I started playing with the OOBE stuff, a long long time ago, I did speak to some folks who had been teaching or playing with such stuff, from a variety of cultures, mainly folks who also had PhDs or MDs and a respected base, who also had learned how much one has to hold back in today's world.
(Bit of a problem, that.) One of the key guidelines -- don't let yourself get fixated on what you expect. If you do, you will never get there. Your preconceptions of what it is supposed to be like are a major block to it happening. And also -- for different people, different angles work for creating the kind of relaxation and correlation that it takes. If your preconceptions are TOO strong, you will even fall into hallucinations, and that can get really bad; constant testing is essential.

Maybe the first key point is that OOBE is not inherently a BINARY phenomenon. People get excited by the fantasy of flipping a switch, and instantly turning in to some kind of superman.  It can be gradual or quick (faster with experience and desire), but it's always a continuum. And it always builds on what one actually feels, requiring a probing of what one actually feels instead of what one imagines or what one hopes to feel. (Funny how this contrasts with psychokinetic visualization,
but that's not for today.) There is a DEGREE of projection of consciousness and attention, and paths for extending that. Also, the issue of maintaining a high level of consciousness and memory when projecting is important; I think back to stories by Ingo Swann, who never could quite get his numbers straight.


Oops, but what is "assumption" already? Next up after OOBE, and far more interesting and entertaining, really.

You could think of it as "uberempathy," something Eshua could really appreciate. Not just mirror neurons, the brain's way of generating empathy, but something much stronger. So much stronger
that in some way it's like "becoming" another person, assuming so much of their self....

For me... I think back to the 1970's, when I taught classes at the University of Maryland,
and, among other things, was following the exercises ("experiments") which came down via H. Spencer Lewis.  So one day, with great discipline and motivation, I tried the basic "here you are,
you are now prepared and ready, here's how you can do OOBE." (I had actually had a bit of that long before, by other means, but wanted a bit more control and discipline and integration.) So I did, upstairs in my study. I decided I would project to my own living room, downstairs, a reasonably safe place to begin.

But when I got to the key stage.. it seemed very odd indeed. There were other people in the room.
I didn't feel like a disembodied spirit at all... and in fact... I quickly withdrew in shock.

And then I remembered something from the day before. The day before, I had asked my graduate
seminar course on global survival problems (like sustianability) to meet in my living room.
At one point in the discussion, one intelligent and intense older student, sitting on my big
orange couch up against the inner wall of the room, suddenly and uncharacteristically looked
totally freaked out. We tried to get some explanation, but he was very reluctant to say anything,
and the moment passed. What I saw was exactly what he would have seen...

In sum, I believe it was assumption, not OOBE. People are more attractive to me than empty floors and sidewalks. And for a lot of normal stuff, a time shift of plus or minus two weeks was pretty much the routine thing to expect. But of course, it took many, many assumption events with evidence
to build up a picture....

In fact, until about a year ago,  for maybe about twenty years (maybe thirty), I would take care to get more than six hours of sleep (the amount needed to discharge my normal brain requirements),
to stay 8 or 9 hours -- and then, punctuated by period of ordinary consciousness, I would have astral projection and assumption "dreams" which at times were quite useful, and verifiable.
Though of course it is not always pleasant to see directly how other people see yourself...

(Lately, I am more into that cosmic consciousness kind of thing, another story.)


So... some bits of the praxis...

Assumption, like OOBE, is not such a binary thing as one might imagine. For folks who
build intelligent systems... well, no, this is much more a neural network world than a binary computer world.

Normally, there is a discrete aspect, in that there is one other person. But the DEGREE of assumption
is also variable.

At times, it can be very similar to OOBE, really, loosely orbiting around another person.

Most often, it would occur when someone WANTED someone else to come by and help somehow.

Literary associations -- Philip Dick, Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; Bruner, PLayers at the Game of People.  Nowhere near precise, but it sure sounds like someone else had some gross experience with this.

Another memory: a discussion time at the Rosicrucian Lodge of DC.  One woman recounts how
she was driving, her car got out of control, she knew it was beyond her skill to save the situation,
and she called to the cosmic to come and help, help especially to drive right. They guy she was talking to smiled, said he was in meditation at that moment, heard the call, came, and yes, there
was another mind moving her hands, controlling the wheel.  They correlated memories, etc.,
etc. I still remember that guy, a paragon of his community.

BUT... it is not binary. For example, I suspect he felt and moved her arms, but did not
transfer any sensations whatsoever form other parts of her body. The degree varies.
And of course, people's calls for help also vary.


So I must close this, without saying more, e.g. about the underlying machinery of all this.

Just... last night I had a qualitatively new experience with assumption deeper than before,
really oscillating between an assumption "dream" (what is the operational definition of "dream"?)
and cosmic consciousness kinds of stuff.. about ITAR regulation of space technology.
I tracked with someone else's thinking SO closely it took energy for me to see that
it was not truly my own thinking or memory... but he and I (working together)
remembered something he had written in a prior year on this subject, in technical detail,
with the kind of memory exploration and detail and analysis... probing HIS memory...
never quite did that before.  And in that area, we all do need help.

So maybe developing space technology can be a very enlightening exercise..
as some folks in India have been telling me...

But: last night's experience is an example where I need to think like a "proper Bayesian" --
attributing probabilities to more than one possibility, and adapting as new information comes in.
In my first person thinking.

I hurried to finish up because Luda offered me a chance to join her in a Saturday morning trip to Costco... We get to talk on the way, and when we got there I went to get a hot dog while she started on her list.  (Hey, $1.50 for  a big hot dog, plus a soda with refills.) When I got to our usual rendezvoous point, and I was waiting... without distractions... I decided I should relax and try to probe the memory from last night of working on ITAR... I had sensed that a certain key paragraph
was especially important, and I wanted to get whatever benefit I could from that memory. So
I started probing it, rght then and there in Costco...
And... my perspective changed. As I looked more closely, it was a draft on paragraph XV(a11)
of the Munitions List of ITAR. And... it seemed as if the feeling was right last night, when I
was vacillating, that it WAS my memory, not some nusual third party so much like me..
Last night, I looked at the evidence... because the memory was of having worked this
a couple of years before, I deduced that it couldn't be me... but I forgot the occasional time
slip, which can be greater when one is operating on another level. So this was a typical future thing.
Not assumption at all.

Oh, well. Of course, I don't remember whether we sorted out ITAR enough to save us all.
Maybe, maybe not. At that level, it would make sense to expect multiple parallel outcomes anyway..
but who knows?

Enough for one day.. other things to attend to...

Best of luck,



  1. Dream work
    Out of body
    Requires focus
    Before dreaming
    During dreaming
    And after especially
    Dreams are so fragile

    In my opinion out of body experience is mostly misunderstood.
    Just a short critique.
    Our body and our mind (brain whatever) usually go to sleep together
    and usually wake up together.
    However, sometimes and this can be learned; our body falls asleep first and we are still consciously awake.
    To say that our body has fallen asleep is to say that a drug has been release, a kind of curari that paralyses the body (i.e so we don't sleep walk).
    So with our body paralysed and our mind awake, where are we? In a lucid dream.
    Of course getting there is a bit of a jolt; I call it going through the wall; because literally it is like going through a brick wall (or being punched very hard in the chest). It can scare the hell out of you.
    At any rate that is what I call a lucid dream and can be misinterpreted as a out of body experience.
    Others claim something else, whell I've never experienced it.

    In the morning again we wake up and sometimes our mind wakes first before our body. This to is a terrifying experience, the first time. You can't open an eyelid, move a finger or roll over. Your body is still fully paralyzed. Usually, people are so scared, they fall back to sleep , forget the experience and then wake up normally. But if you are curious about how your mind works, you watch and learn. Your body does wake up. I've experience this but can not control it. It happens sometimes, mostly not.

    Most such paranormal psychic phenomenon I interpret as misunderstood psychological phenomenon. We can have dreams in dreams, most creative work is what I call waking dreaming. Talking to someone who is dead is wonderful if it is someone whom you loved and really knew well, e.g. Mom. But then I carry mom in my heart.

    But of course there is sometimes that rare totally unexplanable serendipity. At least for me it is rare.

    Mostly lucid dreaming is boring, the unconscious mind at work is so much more interesting than the contrived. So I set my mind a task and watch it play.

    As for the content of dreams, well that can only be interpreted by the dreamer. For sure a good friend can help. thus no comment on your content ITAR or otherwise. But I am sure your dream or OOBE or whatever you choose to call it was important, and well worth your effort to ponder, and try to understand.

  2. In relation to what you say about our bodies delaying waking which produces the feeling of sleep paralysis... I wonder have either of you experienced auditory and visual experiences immediately after waking... and could that be the dream state still being in effect after the physical body awakens? Interesting writing. Thank you again.