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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Xerek Files: Entry Number Eight – [Psionic Scholars]

With the existence of people with extraordinary traits and abilities, there are those who become fascinated with such individuals.  As a result, they begin to study and follow them.  However, most of these people tend to see individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities more as curiosities than anything else, and when these individuals conduct their research, it tends to lack any formal structure to it.  They tend to just read up on them from any source they come across without engaging in any type of critical thinking or scrutiny.  If they come across something that they find interesting, these individuals will tend to accept it without question and to further build upon it, causing them to stray even further from the original source material.  And the more fantastical the ability appears, the more interest it tends to draw.  And if they come across something that is counter to or discredits their position and claims, it will either get discarded or forgotten.

One such group of individuals is known as Psionic Scholars and they focus their time and energy upon individuals with psionic abilities.  For these individuals, psionics possess a level of mysticism that isn’t present in other individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities.  This is due in part to the fact that the human brain isn’t fully understood by science and is even less understood by people who aren’t neurologists, neuroscientists, or have otherwise spent time understanding the brain or how it works, like psychiatrists or psychologists.  For the Psionic Scholar, psionic abilities come from deep within each individual that possesses it and is powered from some force that is beyond each individual psionic.  They claim that their abilities have to be powered by some outside or otherworldly source.

For the Psionic Scholar, the true source that empowers psionics is the fundamental power that exists and comes from another realm; a realm that is of pure thought.  And it is some form of connection with this other realm, that they consider another plane, as the means of empowerment for the psionic.  Some psionics even believe this to be true.  This is due to the fact that they find the arguments of Psionic Scholars to be persuasive, don’t fully understand their ability, or think that it can be the only explanation available to describe how their abilities work.

According to Psionic Scholars, this realm of pure thought comes out of, and is somewhat dependent upon, the mind of every single sentient being from across the universe.  This ranges from far-flung species from other galaxies to species found on Earth, including chimps and dolphins.  Claims have even been made that ant colonies and bee hives are also a part of this larger picture as well.  Some even claim that this sentience existed with the creation of the universe and intelligent, sentient creatures, like human beings, came forth from this.  But regardless of the situation, proponents believe that it is from this realm which psionics draw from in order to power their abilities.  As a result, psionics possess a greater level of sentience then other human beings.  And because of this greater sentience, according to the Psionic Scholars, is why psionics are more prone to having more vivid dreams.  It is from this position that the realm of pure thought is also known as the Plane of Dreams.  But according to proper research, the possible reason why psionics have more vivid dreams than the average person is due to how their brains are wired and not because of some supernatural realm or force.

According to believers, since this realm consists of pure thought, it is a realm where pure reason is able to reside, allowing for intellect and logic to manifest itself utterly unmanned by emotion.  It is from this absence of emotion, accompanied by the fact that this plane is formed from pure reason, is where Psionic Scholars claim that psionic abilities come from and that it is from this realm that the underlying force and principle for psionic powers reside.  And within this realm, creatures reside and can have a direct effect upon the universe.  It is through these beings that allow the force to be channeled and allow a connection to actually be formed.  Some people even claim that they are able to directly communicate with these creatures from the realm of pure reason.  But because they are of pure reason and thought, ordinary people are unable to communicate or otherwise connect with these beings.  Only those who possess psionic abilities can do so.  And according to these claims, the word psionic is used very loosely and encompasses individuals who actually possess psionic abilities, psionics, and those who just think that they do, psychics.  And according to claims, since these beings consist of pure thought, they cannot be perceived in their true form.  This is because individuals from our plane can’t comprehend such beings when we “visit” their realm.  According to claims, when we perceive these beings, they appear as forms of perfect geometric shapes.

On the other hand, other Psionic Scholars counter that instead of pure thought, this is a realm of utter madness.  For these individuals, they call this plane of existence the Far Realm and psionics are the denizens of this plane.  They believe that psionics are aberrant creatures consisting of nightmares that have been given physical form upon visiting the mortal realm.  As a result of this claim, psionics are an active threat to other creatures and possibly to existence itself.  If you believe that nightmares have been given form, wouldn’t you perceive them as a threat as well?  It is from this perception that leads people to hold hostilities toward individuals with psionic abilities.

Most of these claims regarding individuals with psionic abilities hold to the traditional idea that their power comes from another plane of existence that is outside of our universe.  But there are those who break from this tradition and say that this plane doesn’t exist outside of the cosmos but actually exists within it.  According to this claim, this plane of existence is twisted and deformed.  This is because it has to fit within the universe itself and is also a byproduct of simply coming into existence.  And since it exists within our universe, it resembles the universe that we perceive around us in a lot of similar ways.  Because of this, they call it the Echo Plane.  This position has caused a lot of controversy within the Psionic Scholar community because it is perceived as breaking from what they think of as the norm.

But irrelevant of this fact, each side of this debate is wrong.  As stated earlier, these “scholars” don’t perform any kind of rigorous or controlled study.  Their research consists of nothing more than confirmation bias on their part.  They start off with the conclusion and work their way backwards from there instead of the other way around.  As a result, they manufacture and manipulate the evidence as they see fit in order to reach the conclusion that they want to reach.  This is due in part to the fact that they believe that their position is the only right one and and anything to the contrary is nothing more than a conspiracy and their detractors are just trying to bring them down.  And the truth of the matter is simple; despite their claims and assertions, their research isn’t systematic and their methodology is flawed.  And no matter how much they want it to be true or how badly they want to be correct, A + B doesn’t equal Z.  If they truly want to be taken seriously, then they need to approach and conduct their research properly.  And if they truly are correct, then they should be able to play by the rules of evidence based science and still be correct.  Until they do, their claims are nothing more than pseudoscience and not to be considered accurate.

 

Bibliography

Schwalb, Robert J.  Psionic Power: A 4th Edition D&D Supplement.  Wizards of the Coast, Renton, WA, August 17, 2010

 

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Xerek Files

 

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Xerek Files: Entry Number Seven – [The Hidden Mind]

As far as we know, Homo sapiens are the only species to exist that has the capability of deep thought and being able to seek a deeper meaning to the world in which we find ourselves.  We suspect that other species are capable of engaging in similar activities as well, but we can’t be entirely sure on this matter and it currently resides in the realm of speculation.  Because of our capability of deep thought and our ability to seek a deeper meaning to our existence, it leads us to believe that life and existence has a deeper meaning to it than it actually possesses as well as possessing an interconnectedness that doesn’t strictly exist.  We also assign value to things where such value isn’t necessarily warranted.  This is because we are a pattern seeking species and we would like our lives to have more meaning then they actually possess.  It is from here that the idea of the Hidden Mind comes from.

The Hidden Mind is what the proponents of this idea see as the interconnectedness of existence.  They see it as the reality that exists just behind the world that we perceive on a regular basis and that all conscious minds are able to tap into given the opportunity.  For the average human being, they can only tap into this hidden realm of existence when they go into sleep.  This realm of existence expands and contracts in accordance with people who enter and exit a state of sleep.  Even when people take naps, according to the proponents, they have an effect upon this hidden realm.  Only when people enter into REM sleep, however, can people actually tap into the Hidden Mind.  It is through this medium, when an individual actually dreams, that allows people to experience the memories and experiences of other people; past, present, and future.  It is through this interconnected dream state that led people to also call the Hidden Mind the Sleeper Mind, the Sleeping Mind, or simply Sleeper.  On occasion, it’s simply known as the Other.  For proponents of this idea, the interconnectedness of the Hidden Mind is what allows people to remember past events which they had no connection to or to experience the memories of historical individuals.

But since the average human being can only enter and exit the Hidden Mind through sleep, they can only have fleeting moments with it.  However, according to the proponents, since those with extraordinary traits and abilities are fundamentally different than the average human being, they are able to actively tap into the Hidden Mind on a conscious or semiconscious level.  But regardless of the exact details, believers claim that only those with extraordinary traits and abilities can tap into the Hidden Mind while in a conscious or otherwise non-sleeping state.  For the proponents of the Hidden Mind, people with extraordinary traits and abilities blur the line between the realms and to actually connect the two.  Because of the connection that is created by these individuals, the “energy” that flows between the realms, either from the Hidden Mind into our realm or vice versa, it has a direct, measurable effect upon the individual in question.  This measurable effect manifests itself in the form of extraordinary traits and abilities.  And depending upon the individual in question, the extraordinary trait or ability that manifests will be dependent upon the individual, causing the extraordinary trait or ability to manifest in its own unique way.  This is why we are able to see such a variety of different extraordinary traits and abilities and in a variety of different combinations.

According to proponents of this claim, those who have the greatest ability to tap into the Hidden Mind are psionics.  This is because, according to the claim, the Hidden Mind is created by the collective consciousness of every person alive and by all of those who came before.  Proponents of the claim state that, when a person dies, a part of that person’s consciousness remains within the realm of the Hidden Mind and has left their unique mark upon it.  They also claim that the Hidden Mind was first created with the birth of consciousness itself.  And since consciousness resides in and comes forth from the brain, and psionic abilities are essentially the powers of the brain, the Hidden Mind has the greatest influence upon psionics.  In addition to this, they have the greatest influence upon the Hidden Mind and are seen as the earthly representation of humanities underlying connectedness and the collective consciousness that exists within us all.  Proponents’ of this claim also state that since the Hidden Mind is essentially the manifestation of humanities consciousness, psionics possess a greater sense of consciousness then that of the average human being.

Because of all the claims that proponents attribute to the Hidden Mind, they also believe that psionics also possess a greater range of abilities then they can actually possess.  Examples of this are with precognition and being able to channel the dead.  However, these claims, as well as all other claims associated with the Hidden Mind, are without fact and can be best described as nothing more than superstition and belong in the realm of legend, folklore, and being the product of an overactive imagination.  This is because if the Hidden Mind actually existed, it would be able to be measured by science through the scientific method.  If something has a direct effect upon the world around us, then it should be able to be directly measured with these measurements being able to be replicated quite readily.  However, the Hidden Mind isn’t able to be reliably measured with any kind of consistency.  And science has reached the point where if the Hidden Mind does actually exist, it would have been detected and known, as well as how such a thing would operate.  But since it hasn’t been verified by the rigors of modern, evidence-based science, it can safely be concluded that the Hidden Mind doesn’t actually exist.  It was something that was created by the mind of pre-scientific people to help explain the world around them as well as the events that they experienced.  It was also used to create a sense of community between members of a particular group and to bring them closer together.  But since a better explanation has been developed to explain the situation which the Hidden Mind was meant to describe, it’s time that the idea of the Hidden Mind be retired for explaining reality and left in the realm of lore and folktales where it rightfully belongs.

 

Bibliography

Schwalb, Robert J.  Psionic Power: A 4th Edition D&D Supplement.  Wizards of the Coast, Renton, WA, August 17, 2010

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Xerek Files

 

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