Ingo Swann (06Oct98)
One of the questions most frequently asked has to do with How Can One LEARN to be "psychic," or learn to manifest some particular aspect of Psi-Superpower phenomena.
This is the famous "How To" question. On its surface, it seems a perfectly logical one. And so in answer to it, people expect to be guided to some kind of tutorial studies that will present a learning process in some kind of organized, step-by-step fashion.
Thus, a Market for such kinds of tutorial studies comes into existence, with the result that entrepreneurs and opportunists design study and instruction programs that encourage people to variously invest time, effort and substance.
Types of the tutorial programs vary, but they range from rather long-term studies involving philosophic and metaphysical concepts to rather short-term efforts that might involve six easy steps.
The quality of the offerings ranges from quite high-minded sincerity down to and including some rather tawdry programs and not a few scumbaggy mishmashes.
As it is, then, beginning especially about the middle of the nineteenth century there has accumulated a large, multifaceted and continuous history regarding this kind of thing. However, that particular history is not recognized as existing by the mainstream, while the mainstream also does not recognize the real existence of the superfaculties involved.
In another sense, the history is also composed of variegated and eclectic factors. They range from proposed tutorial methodologies and approaches drawn from Western and Eastern mysticism, occultism, and spiritualism. Some are drawn from inspired and other-worldly sources, creativity and self-improvement studies, concepts established by esoteric and exoteric gurus, various cultic avenues, and so forth. Large portions of the history are quite complicated, while other portions consist of over-simplified pap.
Additionally, the whole is laced through and through by combinations of glamour, hope factors, charismatic sales pitches and high expectations, and it is not unusual to encounter pompous posturing and so forth. Thus, the history is quite dense and it is exceedingly difficult to work one's way through it and make any clear-cut evaluations.
But it is relatively safe to say that the number of such tutorial attempts that have COME along is equal to those that have GONE along -- and among the combined results of their coming and going is a somewhat obvious absence of achieved superpower activation.
This is almost the same as saying that a great number of efforts intended to produce positive results have only yielded something of an extended chain of empty ones.
The first and seemingly most logical interpretation of this is that the failure rate is high among various kinds of superpower tutorials -- because the fault is with the tutorials.
There can be no question that this is sometimes the case. But if one steps back from this accusative interpretation in an attempt to achieve a broader overview, it can begin to seem quite odd that ALL the tutorials seem mostly to demonstrate failure rates.
After all, why should all of them incorporate failure?
During the early 1960s, this writer was inspired to research the so-called "green thumb" phenomenon many demonstrate with regard to growing and nurturing plants. Although this phenomenon is usually considered beneath serious interest, it is none the less a quite remarkable one.
As it was, this green-thumb effort extended into a larger study of the intuitive aspects of farmers, and into the wisdom-lore of farming as well. Within that lore can be found the ancient axiom having to do with perfectly good seeds falling into inadequate or unprepared soil -- after which nothing will happen regarding any growing.
In this sense, the fault is not with the seeds, but rather with what they fall into.
By analogy, this ancient axiom can be transliterated with regard to all kinds of superpower tutorials. The tutorials can be likened to the seeds. It is expected that the tutorials will fall into "something" wherein they will "grow" and produce their products.
If the sense of this is grokked, then one might study How To configurations. But if the ground the configurations fall into is inadequate or unprepared, then nothing (or at least not much) will happen.
On average, most assume that merely learning about something will somehow result in a product. And if this does not transpire, then most also assume that the fault is with the learning.
But in better fact, learning has to fall into and interact with whatever it DOES fall into. If the desired result is not achieved, then the chances are quite good that the learning has fallen into grounds inadequate or unprepared -- fallen into grounds that cannot really accommodate or nourish the seeds.
One of the common traits found within Western concepts of the mind, as far as study is concerned, is that it accepts anything that can be presented to it in some kind of rote-learning, easy, step-by-step way.
In one way, there can be no doubt that this methodology is a proven process regarding many things. But in another way, it is like the process of painting a picture by the numbers -- and which processes may, but probably won't, awaken far more profound and powerful creativity that are known to exist in all specimens of our species.
In any event, the "mind-ground" that How-To tutorials are expected to fall into is an aspect hidden behind many kinds of tutorials and several learning myths, and often hidden behind the cognitive comprehension of the student as well.
To be sure, this is NOT at all to cast blame or criticism on this or that individual's mind-ground. Rather, it is to establish that a situation exists regarding superpower activation which has been left unexamined and unappreciated with regard to its actual importance.
The fact of the matter, though, is that this kind of situation is NOT all that unfamiliar. Indeed, many fields requiring operative functioning also require extensive preparation of the mind -- and only after which will the operative functioning begin to manifest.
If all of the foregoing is considered as calmly as possible, the question will ultimately arise regarding what a prepared mind actually might consist of.
For this, there is no easy How-To answer conveniently at hand. But it is quite easy to figure out how to make mind UNPREPARED for a great number of things, or to make it unprepared for anything at all.
In this sense, all one needs to do is figure out how to confuse mind, or to shape it so that it functions only in minimal ways -- especially with regard to those two composite cultural items sometimes referred to as "social norms" and "average intelligence."
Here we encounter a principal clue that probably has great relevance to the concept of preparing the mind to interact with the superpower faculties.
In examining the clue, it is important to admit that the concepts regarding social norms and average intelligence are of undeniable importance regarding most societal structures -- since the two combined incorporate the workhorses upon which the stability such structures depend.
But it can be demonstrated (as some of the better sociologists have done) that social norms and average intelligence are themselves incorporated upon or based in "smaller pictures" or "smaller realities."
Of course, one has to deal with and within smaller pictures all of the time. They exist, and so there is no shame in doing so.
But, smaller pictures can be socially engineered, as they sometimes are, so as to exclude, even to forbid, contact with bigger pictures or bigger realities.
The principal clue referred to above revolves around the idea that IF the superpower faculties belong within some kind of bigger picture context, then smaller picture contexts are too limiting and might act as unrealized cognitive barriers to their functioning.
If such would be the case, then minds prepared only with regard to smaller picture contexts might need to add bigger picture contexts in whose soil the seeds regarding the superpower faculties might better take hold and flourish.
The whole of this might at first seem slightly off the wall. But there is exemplary precedent for it, and which can easily be marshaled in support.
One of the longer-term knowledge fall-outs of parapsychology is that ESP, telepathy, etc., fail to robustly manifest in laboratory settings, but do manifest in real life situations.
Labs clearly constitute smaller-picture situations -- while real life situations almost always have some kind of larger-picture connotations.
The implication here is that while one might know a great deal about scientific methods in a laboratory, one might also not know much about real life phenomena. Therefore, examining real life phenomena might better prepare the mind to interact with them.
With regard to differences between smaller- and bigger-picture scenarios, there obviously would exist very many levels and strata between them. So, there are of course numerous complications that can arise in discussing them.
But as a general rule of thumb, in their first instance bigger-picture factors refer to whatever can be seen as universal to our species entire -- while most smaller-picture situations incorporate only what is local (non-universal) with regard to segmented parts within our species entire.
It has already been established in other essays that the superpowers of the human biomind are universal to our species. This understanding is based on direct and copious evidence that the superpower elements spontaneously manifest in all human civilizations, historic ages, and in all generations.
The superpower faculties therefore transcend all of the above, and in this sense they can do so only if they are universally inherent in our species itself.
IDEAS about the superpowers do form up in various cultures and societies, of course. But in the sense that the dynamic activities of the superpowers spontaneously manifest in ALL cultures and societies, well, this can only mean that the activities are downloading from the species-universal level.
If the above consideration holds water, then merely adapting one's mind-ground to local (and historically transient) socio-cultural ideas about them might not serve very well.
All one might end up with is some kind of understanding of the socio-cultural ideas, but perhaps very little by way of engineering activation based on any mix of the socio-cultural ideas. In any event, socio-cultural ideas about the superpowers come and go, and certainly do go if they don't bear fruit, so to speak.
If the foregoing is somewhat taken on board, one rather typical response might be to dissect and critique the socio-cultural ideas in order to discover what's wrong or amiss within them.
But the direction here is not to critique, but to suggest that on average smaller-picture understandings of the superpowers probably won't prepare the mind to integrate with phenomena essentially based in larger-picture perspectives.
The most probable solution here (or at least some full part of it) is to patiently identify and consider the bigger-picture perspectives themselves.
Otherwise, the mind prepared to interact only within smaller- picture realities will not become enabled to effect the catalysts and syntheses that are required to make dynamic transitions from smaller-to bigger-picture functioning.