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Topics - idgo

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Vampyrism / What do your Vampyric traditions say about over-feeding?
« on: April 05, 2020, 04:48:52 am »
If an excess of energy is offered, is anything expected to go wrong? If a whole bunch of energy is "gifted" or provided without being knowingly requested, in ways that one is nevertheless receptive to being empowered or "fed" by, what is expected to happen?

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General LHP Discussion / A question for those who practice numerology
« on: January 24, 2020, 05:59:49 pm »
How extensively have you studied the art of intentionally hiding numeric meanings in mundane phenomena, compared to the effort you've put into the art of looking for those meanings assumed to be hidden by other forces?

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General LHP Discussion / Actual impact of secrecy during projects?
« on: December 30, 2019, 05:09:57 pm »
There seems to be a thread of tradition or recommendation in our sort of works, which says "keep your projects secret. Don't discuss them with even trustworthy listeners until they're complete". I've encountered it both externally, in writings about how to practice various traditions, and internally, as a reflexive reaction to making an incomplete new observation.

This seems vaguely consistent with modern psychological research, such as that synthesized in https://www.inc.com/melissa-chu/announcing-your-goals-makes-you-less-likely-to-ach.html, though with the field's repeatability issues I'm not sure how much weight such studies really carry. And there are plenty of other sources that will go on about the social accountability and support benefits of discussing goals.

However, esoteric workings differ from ordinary goal setting in both their structure and their presumed mechanisms of action. So I'd like to increase the sample size of anecdotes that I'm aware of by inquiring: How have others on this forum found secrecy or its absence to impact the efficacy of their esoteric projects?

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General LHP Discussion / Contemplating will vs habit
« on: December 23, 2019, 08:27:21 pm »
The topic of free will happened to cross a conversation that I had lately, and my friend offered a take on it that I found thought-provoking. To paraphrase:

Quote
After working in a restaurant, I stopped believing that people have nearly as much free will as they think they do. I observe a lot of people all ordering the same thing on the same day, each thinking they freely chose what to order. I think people generally underrate the importance of external factors, many of which are shared with many other nearby people, in their decision making.

I think this model, of will usually manifesting as a choice between a relatively small set of options determined by one's circumstances and prior decisions, looks quite useful for mundane practice.

This seems to invite a bifurcation of the very concept of "will" itself: On the one hand, the magic/kal, greater, "true" will as the ability to choose any imaginable outcome and create it... and on the other, the everyday, "what shall I order for lunch?" will as the capacity to select the best of a limited set of choices as presented.

I, like everyone else I know who reaps the benefits of participating in society, seem to usually make their choices with the luncheon-will, and only rarely with the magic-will. Why might that be? The hypothesis that I find myself gathering the least experience to contradict on this matter pertains to how each of those ends of the spectrum of Will relates to the influence of novel experience on subjective time.

For me and for others I've discussed it with, time does not always subjectively appear to flow at the same rate. Instead, clock or calendar intervals during which we're participating in stimulating or novel activity appear to "stretch" time: when traveling and visiting a novel location every morning and every afternoon, a few days can feel like a week or more. During the interval of being engrossed in the interesting new activity, one can forget to note the time and be surprised by how much has passed, but upon synthesis of the memory afterward, the clock interval appears to have contained more than its usual share of moments.

Conversely, familiar activities appear to "compress" time. If one has an identical routine every day, one's time-sense may become disoriented during that interval of monotony (with time seeming to pass slower), but upon synthesis of the memory, it can be difficult to tell if the interval took days, weeks, or even months.

These extremes would be consistent with modeling the mind's compression of memory as analogous to a computer's compression of data: It takes far less space to save the knowledge and memory of "three days each exactly so" than "the first day like this, the second day like that, the third day differing in these ways".

What does that have to do with contrasting the magical will against the luncheon-will? If the luncheon-will is the act of selection between a small set of pre-ordained options, then the most distinct characterization of the magical will is the creation and selection of an additional option which was not previously available at all. In this way, we can model the two extremes of will as the ends of a spectrum. Near the magical end, more and more change must be wrought upon the world to make available the selected choice.

(Is there another axis to that spectrum, wherein one utilizes powers glossed as "magic" to create additional options to choose from, and yet ultimately selects an outcome that was available without the "magical" intervention? It's probably there, but I can't see any usefulness of exploring it from where I am right now.)

Anyways, if we agree that time is stretched by making novel choices even with the luncheon-will, it seems to follow that a more-novel choice might stretch time even further. In other words, it takes more thought to process a new arrangement of familiar things than a familiar one, and more thought still to make sense of a previously unknown item or experience. If there's an upper bound on the amount of such thought that a brain can process in a given interval of clock time, this would combine with the known upper bound on the body's participation in calendar time, and suggest a maximum to how far from familiar thought a human could get within their lifetime.

It's not really so grim as all that, of course, due to the tendency of novelty to wear off, a phenomenon perhaps best known from the "hedonic treadmill" effect. So rather than a linear bound on how far from the mundane one can get, it looks rather exponential: Create circumstances as far from mundane as can be tolerated, acclimate to them till one's standards shift to make the new standards ordinary, repeat.

Just like a rule of mathematics doesn't answer any arithmetical question on its own, this model doesn't seem to do anything interesting till I ask it to. What kinds of questions might it do anything useful on? It seems to readily suggest a calculus of travel between one "ordinary" and another, by stopping and acclimating or establishing other "ordinaries" along the way. Such calculation would probably be optimizing for something; my best guess from here is that it would seek to minimize the amount of calendar time spent on the process, as the limit on bodily lifespan seems the most challenging to arbitrarily alter. Many novices seem to turn to extra-scientific pursuits like our own in an attempt to minimize effort expended in pursuit of a particular goal, though... perhaps this system could be used, with smaller changes and longer acclimation stops, to create an equivalent change with a lower perception of effort.

I'd personally prefer it to spit out insights about why I get such a neurochemical reward for the experience of insight/surprise, but there are many as-yet-undone steps to use it to build a system that'd offer such specific answers as all that.

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Science / Approachable synthesis of recent research on time
« on: December 09, 2019, 09:59:48 pm »
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191203-what-we-get-wrong-about-time

 Ties in somewhat to some of the discussion in the Sorcerer's Lie thread.

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Science / The mathematical difficulty of "ancient, distinct families"
« on: October 24, 2019, 05:52:07 pm »
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/we-are-all-princes-paupers-and-part-of-the-human-family, and more usefully its own citations https://www.nature.com/articles/nature02842 and  others, remind me of a conversation I had here at one point. They aren't new, but they're a nicely digestible formulation of ordinary facts about biology that can often be challenging to grasp due to their sheer magnitude and scale.

Essentially, a forum member was discussing certain discrete "ruling families" with some sort of special powers. These articles, plus the basic facts of inbreeding causing problems to anything which sexually reproduces and can have problems with recessive genes, suggest that such families in the literal, genetic sense are likely implausible.

I'll happily accept that "families" in the sense of patterns of knowledge and tradition passed from one generation to another could function in the way that folks claim the literal, genetic families might. I just don't see the premise of a specific set of genes, held by some people but not by others, and passed down consistently with neither dilution from interbreeding nor accumulation of recessive traits from inbreeding, as being more likely than many other possible explanations for how the world works.

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Entertainment / Good Omens
« on: September 11, 2019, 04:45:44 pm »
Anybody else enjoying the mini-series that Amazon made out of Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens? Both authors' individual works have shaped my primary interpretation of deity personifications as bound to individual cultures in a form that Chaos Magic/k practitioners might describe as a sophisticated egregore.

The portrayal of the differences between the main characters and their "employers" feels to me like anti-brainwashing material of similar potency to what I imagine modern Satanism had against Christianity in its original context.

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Lounge / Thank you for fixing the like button
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:14:34 pm »
Somebody behind the scenes seems to have won a quiet but intense battle against a software versioning conflict. I notice that our beloved like button is back in working order. Thank you for investing the energy in completing those repairs.

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...what question would you find most useful to ask of it?

I'm particularly curious as to whether "list what this system believes to be true" or "list what this system believes to be false" would be more useful for characterizing and categorizing diverse perspectives.

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Entertainment / What do you leave out of your personal library?
« on: April 09, 2019, 05:26:17 pm »
Or, how does your personal collection of resources and literature, whether that's physical or digital, differ from a hypothetical "perfectly complete" collection? And how does that reflect your interests and values?

A friend who recently perused my home library's titles got me thinking about this, by pointing out how vast a majority of my books are under 500 years old. This got me reflecting on the way that I place relatively little faith in the ability of a single translation to accurately convey the underlying insights of an archaic piece, so when I do choose to engage with something ancient (and thus necessarily of a different language), it's a major undertaking wherein I consult several translations in parallel, and I almost always prefer to engage with translations online instead of on paper.

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Introductions / Idgo
« on: April 03, 2019, 05:32:15 pm »
I suppose this differs from a journal in that the creation of this thread invites others to comment or question within it, so I might as well have one.

I was brought up without formally structured religious belief, though others more fond of labeling things have termed my family "natural pagans". My childhood would have been quite ordinary had it happened 100 years beforehand -- wood heat, coal-oil and candle light, farm chores, books aplenty, and none of the insidious tick and hum of a house full of electrical appliances.

I perceive my need for religious beliefs and practices to ebb and flow, usually on a timeline measured in months to years. Its tide rises through Discordianism, through Chaos Magic/k, through Western LHP (carving a different path through the many Satanisms and Vampyrisms each time), and erodes a little of the esoteric RHP dike each time before receding.

In the mundane world, I have arranged to get paid more than I likely earn for mucking about in the guts of various computer systems. I live on some tens of acres of woods on the western side of North America.

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Lounge / Who here has done National Novel Writing Month?
« on: January 17, 2019, 01:04:41 am »
I was just reading up on hypersigils and realized... I did basically that, without having a clue what I was doing, when I did NaNoWriMo.

I've "won" it, but the pile of energy and inspiration to do so came from my identification with the characters of what I was attempting to write. I've also failed it a couple times by attempting things that I thought were a good idea but fundamentally didn't care enough about, because of the lack of that close identification.

Even the branding and marketing for the project have the hypersigil-esque "it's a self change project because you're a Novel Author afterwards" spin onto them.

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Science / Placebo effect getting stronger over time
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:22:12 pm »
...Or perhaps we're getting better at detecting it. It's great to watch professionals who pride themselves on being scientific discover the ways in which they've been doing magic all along.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26307858 (found it linked from https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/7/15792188/placebo-effect-explained)

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