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Author Topic: 'Valid' experiences  (Read 2966 times)

carillion

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'Valid' experiences
« on: September 15, 2014, 03:43:45 pm »
And by that I mean, the experiences we have and share (or learn not to share). I was thinking about this when reading the thread by Ejay 'Anyone having feelings of immanent change? ' in the Faith in everyday life' section.

I responded because lately myself and a number of people I know (which takes it out of just my own personal experiences) have had a similar 'feeling' and also, having odd experiences out of the reasonable expectations of everyday events.

Now it's true it could mean absolutely nothing or, as I mentioned in my response, it could be picking up on someone somewhere in the world where such a change is most certainly about to happen ( a village in Syria, Ebola creeping across some African countries and etc.). Who knows?

Yet the 'feeling' is strong and can be very disturbing.Trying to find it's 'source' becomes important.

Now some people suggested that it was just a personal abberation of feeling , perhaps related to anxiety and to find some distraction. That put me in mind of Shrike from 'Miss Lonelyhearts' who always suggested answering even the most heinous of life questions with " Have you considered Art?". :p

And for sure, if someone has some 'feeling' of something impending, the mundane answer is probably the most sensible.

But the most sensible answers are the ones that I , at least, go through first. I'm skeptical, non-deistic and not given to the vapours. I kind of forsaw what answers if any would be made to such a post but because I and some (very) different friends and associates have been experiencing the same thing,I responded. Out of curiosity. Out of a carking worry. Out of wondering if anyone could suggest what or how such a 'feeling' could arise.

And one poster made very good suggestions but more importantly, did not dismiss the feelings I (and people around me) and the O.P. have been experiencing out of hand.

Which led me to wonder how people 'parse' the experiences of others.

I have seen many posts of people who have expereinced something which they may feel is related to one or more deities and very rarely do people respond with the suggestion that it is nothing more than personal mistranslation of mundane events. Or suggest the person may just be anxious about something and in need of a hobby.

No, people tend to take such things most seriously and (more importantly) strive to find possible answers or ways of addressing the situation and identifying the precipitating event. To be fair this does not always happen, something people seem genuinely disturbed and appear to be using attribution rather than self examination and people *do* suggest this. But more often than not the experience is taken seriously, examined and explored.

Which leads me to the H.C.E. : the heiracrchy of credible experiences. Is there one?

What makes people take some unexplained phenomenon or feelings seriously and slot others into the simple artifacts or life or that someone is just imagining something?

I will say that the experiences I and others have been going through were enough to make me ask if there was an explanation.And in fairness, the answer , except from one person, was no, there is no explanation so forget it: your 'feelings' do not constitute a 'creditable experience'.

The only effect that has is to make one stop asking and sharing their personal experiences with others. Which is fine. But unsatisfactory somehow and not a little discouraging. Especailly when one is worried.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 03:44:24 pm by carillion »

Faemon

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2014, 04:56:41 pm »
Quote from: carillion;159039
What makes people take some unexplained phenomenon or feelings seriously and slot others into the simple artifacts or life or that someone is just imagining something?

Frankly, I think that depends on whether the person who's sharing their experiences have earned the respect and/or trust of the readers and listeners.

Usually that's through experiences, interpretations, and/or ideology shared with the readers and listeners. Not "sharing" it only by telling, usually not if the teller hasn't shared a more well-rounded persona of themselves, and especially not if the paranormality of a related experience seems to be particularly precious to the teller.

The first time I achieved an out-of-body experience, I saw something that seemed very much like the demon wall at the tomb of Raithwall in Final Fantasy XII, except that it wasn't a wall and I wouldn't call it a demon. Since that was my first time out of body, and I wasn't into the online astral projecting communities during years of trying, I up and joined and told and went, "What do you think?"

The reaction I got was, "Ugh, you play too many video games. No one's here for that. Get out!" Well, excuuuse me for reporting exactly what I saw, and wasn't this a community for astral projectors? Why didn't they believe me? This same community had a Jedi who would relate their experiences with light saber training on the astral plane and get comments that seemed unconditionally supportive, so I did the whole movie Scott Pilgrim whinging, "Double standards!"

But, you know, I get it now. I was a newbie, and that was the first thing I had to say to them? I hadn't gotten vetted, basically. If I'd gone to, say, a lucid dreaming community that desired very much to dissociate lucid dreaming from woo-woo, then I might have gotten a much harsher response. If I'd gone to an atheist activist community, or Catholic exorcism community, I might have gotten a very much harsher response. If I'd gone to an otherkin community saying, "I'm human, witch, but most of you are basically living as nonhuman astrals, right? What do you think of this nonhuman astral that I, a human astral, saw?" Then I might have gotten a much more supportive response.

Which treatment would I have deserved? What group would truly have given me the reality check? Which would have only led me astray? Only hindsight and context of that hindsight would tell, I think.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 05:01:07 pm by Faemon »
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carillion

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2014, 05:21:35 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;159042
Frankly, I think that depends on whether the person who's sharing their experiences have earned the respect and/or trust of the readers and listeners.

Usually that's through experiences, interpretations, and/or ideology shared with the readers and listeners. Not "sharing" it only by telling, usually not if the teller hasn't shared a more well-rounded persona of themselves, and especially not if the paranormality of a related experience seems to be particularly precious to the teller.


Which treatment would I have deserved? What group would truly have given me the reality check? Which would have only led me astray? Only hindsight and context of that hindsight would tell, I think.


That seems reasonable. So basically it's the reporter of the experience, not the experience itself?

Yet I still can't quite get over that ...gap. It also seems to depend on *what* the experience is. I will qualify this by acknowledging that some of the " OMG I met Hecate surrounded by flaming hounds and she asked me to...." do seem to be off the wall on first aquaintance .  But 'deity' experiences, if seeming to be expressed calmly. are not as likely to garner a doubting response,even from newbies. I've been here long enough to see that.

So I guess the answer is to hang around some length of time and not seem to be given to transports metaphysical and then people are more likely to take one seriously. Hang out in the non-contentious areas. Contribute mundane stuff until trust is built. I suppose that just mirrors life though 'faking it until you make it' can be wearying .It's like going to a club for people with a shared interest but you don't get to talk until you've reached the second velvet rope section. And trouble is, how will people get to gauge one if one is afraid to write about non-mundane things?

Oh well.

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2014, 05:39:12 pm »
Quote from: carillion;159039
Now some people suggested that it was just a personal abberation of feeling , perhaps related to anxiety and to find some distraction.


Actually, when I related the feeling to my anxiety, it was simply because I feel that way often. All of the suggestions I use to deal with it, and which I suggested to the OP, were practical things to do when feeling a sense of impending doom: supplies and protection, of different varieties. Warding and putting aside canned goods is not a hobby, it's just good sense.

(And, in fact, when Jenett suggested basically the same things in her admittedly more educational manner, you thought it was helpful.)

Quote
Which leads me to the H.C.E. : the heiracrchy of credible experiences. Is there one?

What makes people take some unexplained phenomenon or feelings seriously and slot others into the simple artifacts or life or that someone is just imagining something?

 
In general, I tend to attribute things to personal/internal experience more than I do to external change. This is because huge internal shifts happen for individuals far more often than world-shaking societal shifts happen in the Western world. The individual world ends more often than the shared world.

If I know someone and have a good sense of their internal landscape and benchmarks, I am likely to take that into account when reading their experiences. If I know someone is in therapy, for example, there's little point in suggesting they might try therapy. If they're generally hands-on with their health and I know they look for mundane answers first, I'm not going to ask if they've talked to their doctor.

Also, I have a sense of patterns. The OP in this case was very reasonable about being open to mundane explanations. I've seen probably dozens of message board, mailing list and LJ posts over the years about vague feelings that the world's gonna end or the veil's gonna fall or some horrible thing is coming.

Even if it is, though, we're not magical girls and we can't stop the Dark Kingdom, so the other thing I tend to do is stick to practical solutions. Even if the world ends, we still have to keep on, right?

I've known a number of people who felt they had to Go Out And Fight The Evil Forces. I dated more than one. I consider myself retired from Astral War. I'm too old for that shit. I have a kid to look after. If the Evil Forces show up on my doorstep I will defend what's mine but I feel like that's a rabbit hole that one is better off not climbing down, so if people ask my opinion I will always advise them away from it.
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carillion

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2014, 06:00:39 pm »
Quote from: Jack;159051
Actually, when I related the feeling to my anxiety, it was simply because I feel that way often. All of the suggestions I use to deal with it, and which I suggested to the OP, were practical things to do when feeling a sense of impending doom: supplies and protection, of different varieties. Warding and putting aside canned goods is not a hobby, it's just good sense.

(And, in fact, when Jenett suggested basically the same things in her admittedly more educational manner, you thought it was helpful.)


 
In general, I tend to attribute things to personal/internal experience more than I do to external change. This is because huge internal shifts happen for individuals far more often than world-shaking societal shifts happen in the Western world. The individual world ends more often than the shared world.

If I know someone and have a good sense of their internal landscape and benchmarks, I am likely to take that into account when reading their experiences. If I know someone is in therapy, for example, there's little point in suggesting they might try therapy. If they're generally hands-on with their health and I know they look for mundane answers first, I'm not going to ask if they've talked to their doctor.

Also, I have a sense of patterns. The OP in this case was very reasonable about being open to mundane explanations. I've seen probably dozens of message board, mailing list and LJ posts over the years about vague feelings that the world's gonna end or the veil's gonna fall or some horrible thing is coming.

Even if it is, though, we're not magical girls and we can't stop the Dark Kingdom, so the other thing I tend to do is stick to practical solutions. Even if the world ends, we still have to keep on, right?

I've known a number of people who felt they had to Go Out And Fight The Evil Forces. I dated more than one. I consider myself retired from Astral War. I'm too old for that shit. I have a kid to look after. If the Evil Forces show up on my doorstep I will defend what's mine but I feel like that's a rabbit hole that one is better off not climbing down, so if people ask my opinion I will always advise them away from it.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. And yes, I can see what you meant. I remember times in my life of high axiety when the air seemed thick with 'signs and portents' and because of the high vigilence that anxiety creates, one feels they have to examine every one for possible 'meaning'.

But I am a 'solid' person not given to fancies . My profession requires that I be in charge of other people's lives - not something to take lightly. But you have no way of knowing that, it's true.

Perhaps these things could be phrased differently? For example " all these weird things are happening to myself and friends, people of different beliefs and life styles are reporting the same kinds of things as well, what could cause these (A,B.C) particular events/feelings?

That way leaves the door open to possible answers from the mundane to exploring not very well understood phenomena.

One of the most disturbing things about these periods is the not knowing what *could* cause the events/feelings. Also, I have learned not to ignore incoming information, though I have learned to seriously vet it. So when I experience something outside the realms of my everyday experiences, I like to investigate it if only so that I can ignore it as random nothing. And at best,stop it from happening again if it's nothing but random noise around me.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 06:01:29 pm by carillion »

Aranel

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2014, 06:16:39 pm »
Quote from: carillion;159054


Perhaps these things could be phrased differently? For example " all these weird things are happening to myself and friends, people of different beliefs and life styles are reporting the same kinds of things as well, what could cause these (A,B.C) particular events/feelings?

That way leaves the door open to possible answers from the mundane to exploring not very well understood phenomena.


 
I'm getting a feeling from this post that you and I have read something quite different in EJay's posts in that thread.

I know I having reading comprehension issues (dyslexia) but I've gone over that thread several times and I can't see anything that would suggest that EJay didn't want mundane answers (in fact, they've thanked posters who gave mundane answers) so I'm not entirely sure why you appear to be suggesting that they should have phrased their posts differently.

carillion

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2014, 06:22:33 pm »
Quote from: Aranel;159057
I'm getting a feeling from this post that you and I have read something quite different in EJay's posts in that thread.

I know I having reading comprehension issues (dyslexia) but I've gone over that thread several times and I can't see anything that would suggest that EJay didn't want mundane answers (in fact, they've thanked posters who gave mundane answers) so I'm not entirely sure why you appear to be suggesting that they should have phrased their posts differently.


I also thanked someone for a mundane reply. However, you will see that the EJay's and my experiences agreed with one another in quality if not in kind.

And this particular question still stands aside from that thread.

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2014, 06:39:39 pm »
Quote from: carillion;159039

Which leads me to the H.C.E. : the heiracrchy of credible experiences. Is there one?


I think it's something each person has to sort out for themselves. That said, I think most people who have been around Pagan forums for a while (a year or two, anyway) do see this kind of thing come around quite regularly. (And as Jack and Darkhawk have pointed out in the other thread, the world has not yet ended, or if it has, we haven't noticed.)

I do think it's worth people developing a guideline for evaluating things, so here, have Jenett's Opinionated Guide to Evaluating Subjective Experiences

1) One point is not a line.
Let's apply a little basic science to this. You can't tell *anything* from a single data point. Other than that you have that data point.

To figure out much, you're going to need some more information. If you're talking about *your* subjective experience, and what you think you're feeling, you might try tracking when you feel a certain thing (and what's going on for you), or dreams, or what happens during meditation or ritual or divination.

You might try talking to friends though there's a problem here that you can mutually reinforce each other. I know of magical and ritual groups that get around this by having everyone write down what they've been sensing/feeling/wondering about (in the past week, etc.) on slips of paper, and sealing them up, and then having one person open them, see if there's similarities or not.

There's also just acknowledging it, making a note of it, and then moving on, unless and until you get some more information from another source. If the world *is* going to end, and some power is trying to get your attention, they're going to try more than once, you know?

(And as I said in the other thread, it's not like it's a *bad* idea to make sure you've taken care of the basic mundane details in case there's an emergency. Bad storms, sudden hospital trips, etc. can affect anyone.)

2) How is this data different than other things you read/learn/experience in your life?
I view the data I get from random points to be sort of like the data I get from working through my RSS reader on the computer (which has a bunch of things that produce questions/commentary on totally random topics.)

In other words, there's a lot of stuff that goes past my eyes (and through my brain) that is interesting and maybe informative, but that I am not going to be relying on any time soon. And that's as it should be - it's a big world. Not everything is about me, or my experience, or something I need to do anything about. Just because someone somewhere is having a bad experience doesn't mean I can fix it.

(Obviously, improving the world is a good goal, but I can't do it all myself. Big world out there. Still.)

3) What's going on in your life?
This weekend, I woke up from an epic dream that involved a library laid out by different historical eras, me getting lost in the Roman marketplace c. Augustus section, not being able to find the person who was supposed to take me out to dinner, and then not being able to fit in the car and standing around in 2 inches of rapidly falling snow.

Now, this could Mean Something (it was a *very* vivid dream.)

Or I could do what I did, which is to wake up, say "Jen, that was a very vivid dream, but you are going later this week via some really complicated travel for a day and a half interview at a job across the country, clearly your brain is worked up." and write it down (because that's what I do with dreams I remember) and get on with life, reminding myself that it is very unlikely to be snowing where I'm going, and that I'm pretty sure their library is not that big, and if they *do* leave me alone and I get lost,  I have a cell phone and can call someone to come find me.

Brains and bodies are really weird. Even if you're not normally prone to anxiety reactions, they can get you (and if you know they happen to you, they can creep up on you in unexpected ways.) Looking at what's really going on in your life, being self-aware about stressors and things you're trying to process won't hurt and might well help.

Keeping data will definitely help (one of the things that helped me identify a health issue a few years ago was that I'd been having a substantial increase in anxiety dreams and nebulous feelings of dread compared to my usual baseline.) But that doesn't mean you need to focus heavily on any given single experience.

4) What have you been feeding your subconscious recently?
Some people have nebulous feelings of dread after watching Doctor Who episodes. Or Jurassic Park (true fact: only movie that's ever given me nightmares). Or they've been reading or watching something that hits a particular sore spot in their personal history or experience or recent life.

Again, this is much easier to track down with more than one data point. But sometimes you can tell that your brain's just gotten hooked on something, even if you're not sure what.  

5) What can I do about it?
My basic answer to most nebulous feelings is to check HALT (am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired?) If any of those things are true, I fix that, and then see how I feel. (For most nebulous feelings, I give it at least a night's decent sleep.)

Have I centered, grounded, and checked my shielding? Have I done a solid basic energetic cleansing ritual? Is there a chance I'm being affected by something in my environment? (I've worked at a school or college almost my entire working life: there are times of year when there's a huge amount of emotional ambient energy around that can affect me, and at some times, I may not realise that's what's going on.

And then I go to the practical things. Checking my emergency supplies are in good shape won't hurt anything, and is reassuring. Being more rigorous about psychic self-care won't hurt. Keeping good notes won't hurt. (I keep the 'this is useful to check' list to things that don't take more than a few minutes, or are already in my budget, naturally.)

Spending tons more energy on it if it's just a nebulous feeling probably isn't going to do much good - after all, what *can* I do without more data? (except frett. Fretting, not generally productive.) If I feel really strongly, I might explore some ritual methods (meditation, divination, etc.) but even then, I don't want to spend hours and hours working myself up. That does no one any good.

6) What am I expecting other people could do about this?
Before I talk to other people about something like this, I want to be really clear in my own head why I want to do that.

Do I want sympathy? Someone to think through implications with? Emotional support? For those things, I am probably better going to a friend or two, people who know me well, who I have good history with. (For one thing, they probably can tell me if it might be something in my current life that's having an impact. Random people on a forum don't have that background.)

Do I want information? What information do I want? How can I ask in a way that's going to get me meaningful data? If I want information, am I asking people who might provide that information?

"I have nebulous feelings of something coming." is not terribly helpful without more info. Lots of people have nebulous feelings. Nebulous feelings with a location, or a kind of event or something else might be a lot more helpful. Or anything else that might narrow it down.

Asking people questions in a way that doesn't feed their likely answers is a useful life skill, though tricky to do in an asynchronous mode like a forum. Also be aware of how people talking together can feed into each other's reactions - this is often not actually helpful, even if it can be emotionally reassuring.
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carillion

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2014, 07:20:21 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;159061
I think it's something each person has to sort out for themselves. That said, I think most people who have been around Pagan forums for a while (a year or two, anyway) do see this kind of thing come around quite regularly. (And as Jack and Darkhawk have pointed out in the other thread, the world has not yet ended, or if it has, we haven't noticed.)

I do think it's worth people developing a guideline for evaluating things, so here, have Jenett's Opinionated Guide to Evaluating Subjective Experiences

1) One point is not a line.
Let's apply a little basic science to this. You can't tell *anything* from a single data point. Other than that you have that data point.

To figure out much, you're going to need some more information. If you're talking about *your* subjective experience, and what you think you're feeling, you might try tracking when you feel a certain thing (and what's going on for you), or dreams, or what happens during meditation or ritual or divination.

You might try talking to friends though there's a problem here that you can mutually reinforce each other. I know of magical and ritual groups that get around this by having everyone write down what they've been sensing/feeling/wondering about (in the past week, etc.) on slips of paper, and sealing them up, and then having one person open them, see if there's similarities or not.

There's also just acknowledging it, making a note of it, and then moving on, unless and until you get some more information from another source. If the world *is* going to end, and some power is trying to get your attention, they're going to try more than once, you know?

(And as I said in the other thread, it's not like it's a *bad* idea to make sure you've taken care of the basic mundane details in case there's an emergency. Bad storms, sudden hospital trips, etc. can affect anyone.)

2) How is this data different than other things you read/learn/experience in your life?
I view the data I get from random points to be sort of like the data I get from working through my RSS reader on the computer (which has a bunch of things that produce questions/commentary on totally random topics.)

In other words, there's a lot of stuff that goes past my eyes (and through my brain) that is interesting and maybe informative, but that I am not going to be relying on any time soon. And that's as it should be - it's a big world. Not everything is about me, or my experience, or something I need to do anything about. Just because someone somewhere is having a bad experience doesn't mean I can fix it.

(Obviously, improving the world is a good goal, but I can't do it all myself. Big world out there. Still.)

3) What's going on in your life?
This weekend, I woke up from an epic dream that involved a library laid out by different historical eras, me getting lost in the Roman marketplace c. Augustus section, not being able to find the person who was supposed to take me out to dinner, and then not being able to fit in the car and standing around in 2 inches of rapidly falling snow.

Now, this could Mean Something (it was a *very* vivid dream.)

Or I could do what I did, which is to wake up, say "Jen, that was a very vivid dream, but you are going later this week via some really complicated travel for a day and a half interview at a job across the country, clearly your brain is worked up." and write it down (because that's what I do with dreams I remember) and get on with life, reminding myself that it is very unlikely to be snowing where I'm going, and that I'm pretty sure their library is not that big, and if they *do* leave me alone and I get lost,  I have a cell phone and can call someone to come find me.

Brains and bodies are really weird. Even if you're not normally prone to anxiety reactions, they can get you (and if you know they happen to you, they can creep up on you in unexpected ways.) Looking at what's really going on in your life, being self-aware about stressors and things you're trying to process won't hurt and might well help.

Keeping data will definitely help (one of the things that helped me identify a health issue a few years ago was that I'd been having a substantial increase in anxiety dreams and nebulous feelings of dread compared to my usual baseline.) But that doesn't mean you need to focus heavily on any given single experience.

4) What have you been feeding your subconscious recently?
Some people have nebulous feelings of dread after watching Doctor Who episodes. Or Jurassic Park (true fact: only movie that's ever given me nightmares). Or they've been reading or watching something that hits a particular sore spot in their personal history or experience or recent life.

Again, this is much easier to track down with more than one data point. But sometimes you can tell that your brain's just gotten hooked on something, even if you're not sure what.  

5) What can I do about it?
My basic answer to most nebulous feelings is to check HALT (am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired?) If any of those things are true, I fix that, and then see how I feel. (For most nebulous feelings, I give it at least a night's decent sleep.)

Have I centered, grounded, and checked my shielding? Have I done a solid basic energetic cleansing ritual? Is there a chance I'm being affected by something in my environment? (I've worked at a school or college almost my entire working life: there are times of year when there's a huge amount of emotional ambient energy around that can affect me, and at some times, I may not realise that's what's going on.

And then I go to the practical things. Checking my emergency supplies are in good shape won't hurt anything, and is reassuring. Being more rigorous about psychic self-care won't hurt. Keeping good notes won't hurt. (I keep the 'this is useful to check' list to things that don't take more than a few minutes, or are already in my budget, naturally.)

Spending tons more energy on it if it's just a nebulous feeling probably isn't going to do much good - after all, what *can* I do without more data? (except frett. Fretting, not generally productive.) If I feel really strongly, I might explore some ritual methods (meditation, divination, etc.) but even then, I don't want to spend hours and hours working myself up. That does no one any good.

6) What am I expecting other people could do about this?
Before I talk to other people about something like this, I want to be really clear in my own head why I want to do that.

Do I want sympathy? Someone to think through implications with? Emotional support? For those things, I am probably better going to a friend or two, people who know me well, who I have good history with. (For one thing, they probably can tell me if it might be something in my current life that's having an impact. Random people on a forum don't have that background.)

Do I want information? What information do I want? How can I ask in a way that's going to get me meaningful data? If I want information, am I asking people who might provide that information?

"I have nebulous feelings of something coming." is not terribly helpful without more info. Lots of people have nebulous feelings. Nebulous feelings with a location, or a kind of event or something else might be a lot more helpful. Or anything else that might narrow it down.

Asking people questions in a way that doesn't feed their likely answers is a useful life skill, though tricky to do in an asynchronous mode like a forum. Also be aware of how people talking together can feed into each other's reactions - this is often not actually helpful, even if it can be emotionally reassuring.


Excellent checklist. And very familar:). It's my job to help people sort out feelings so that is the first tool kit I go to " what would I tell someone who just told me this?". One of the things I am always repeating is the thousands of things which impinge on our subconscious that don't always make it to the executive 'sorting' room for conscious perusal yet still effect us.

And I'm afraid all I've been feeding my brain lately is a Ishiguro, Doctorow and long walks to look at fall foliage ( went to a chrysanthamum show on the 'strange' day) so hardly the stuff to over-excite the cortex:D:

And I hear you on the 'contagious' nature of such things. There was an old joke people used to do when I was a kid. You'd invite someone over for dinner but say " Don't mind my mom, she's a little strange - just try not to notice it". Of course even though there was nothing wrong with your mom, people would come away saying " Wow, your mom *is* a little strange!". Classic example of priming the perception pump.

Having said that, these last few weeks have been out of the ordinary - lots of vivid dreams, unexpected poltergiest-y activity ( or some would call it that, I'm pretty skeptical myself but had to admit the improbabilty of some of the events) , coincidences that stretch credulity and that kind of thing. On the strange day we even had something turn up in a photograph which we tried to replicaet (on the spot) over 30 times and just couldn't do it. And this kind of thing keeps happening.

Frankly, I'll be glad when it stops. No,I don't think it is announcing impending world doom or anything that dramatic. But certainly, these are days way out of the ordinary.

I don't get hung up on it as the world keeps turning - work to go to, laundry to do, dinner to cook etc., etc.

But I had just been talking to my friend who had shared the 'strange' day and just saying " well that was another day of the unexpected, what was all that about?" when I read the post about feeling something changing. And it hit a note for me. Usually I don't mention these things .

So I will go on keeping such things to myself but take note. I still find it interesting and wonder what, if anything, such things can mean or if it's just randomness out having fun.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 07:22:08 pm by carillion »

Jenett

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2014, 07:34:45 pm »
Quote from: carillion;159066

Having said that, these last few weeks have been out of the ordinary - lots of vivid dreams, unexpected poltergiest-y activity ( or some would call it that, I'm pretty skeptical myself but had to admit the improbabilty of some of the events) , coincidences that stretch credulity and that kind of thing. On the strange day we even had something turn up in a photograph which we tried to replicaet (on the spot) over 30 times and just couldn't do it. And this kind of thing keeps happening.


Some of that's time of year, maybe. A number of people notice an uptick in 'weird stuff' from sometime in late August until Hallowe'en - whether that's 'this is rut season for your local large mammals like deer and moose' or 'we are moving toward the time when the veil thins' or what.

(I tend to think people being highly focused on 9/11 as a date has made that season edge earlier, that sense of heightened senses and odd things happening, but that's just opinion. There's also lots of other strong ambient feelings in the air for a lot of people. The schools going back in session can raise a lot of emotions, even for people who aren't in school or living with someone who is, and some of them can be very complex.)
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Earthworm

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2014, 02:39:26 pm »
Quote from: carillion;159039


I will say that the experiences I and others have been going through were enough to make me ask if there was an explanation.And in fairness, the answer , except from one person, was no, there is no explanation so forget it: your 'feelings' do not constitute a 'creditable experience'.

The only effect that has is to make one stop asking and sharing their personal experiences with others. Which is fine. But unsatisfactory somehow and not a little discouraging. Especailly when one is worried.

 
I think it's most helpful to provide both perspectives when people are looking for others' thoughts on their experiences. I usually try to assume the person has already checked themselves in some way, but just in case that didn't cross their mind, I think it's good to throw in a little caveat if no one else has. I think it's best to try to help people from their own point of view, though. If someone's convinced a creature is out to get them or what have you, if the creature is really trying to harm them then a charm against it will help. If it's a product of anxiety or imagination then the charm will hopefully reassure them enough that they're able to calm down and assess their feelings and the situation.

I can think of one time when I jumped straight to a mundane psychological conclusion, and it was because the person's experience was so similar to my own (feelings of intense dread and impending doom- mine was during a period when I was extremely depressed and hadn't quite noticed it yet). I told her what I thought, but I included a phrase to let her know that the last thing I wanted to do was discount her feelings and the way she was experiencing them. Mostly I just wanted to encourage her to check herself, just in case she was experiencing the same thing I had before. The way I like to do that is to acknowledge that it could be either psychological or supernatural, and let the individual determine for themselves. I agree that when others try to judge that for someone else, it can lead that person to just close themselves off.
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EJay

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 02:00:22 am »
Quote from: Earthworm;159139
I think it's most helpful to provide both perspectives when people are looking for others' thoughts on their experiences. I usually try to assume the person has already checked themselves in some way, but just in case that didn't cross their mind, I think it's good to throw in a little caveat if no one else has.


For me, it was this.  I'd gone over so many things about this darn "feeling," but nothing I came up with fit.  I was feeling like a fly at the window, so I wanted to start again and start eliminating things and ask for others' experiences.

Folks here have shared their experiences and insights and I think that's what we need to be here for.  I got so much from the other thread.

I so get, however, the idea of knowing the posters.  I've been in and out of this forum for almost as long as it's been here, under different names.  Here I come on, an unknown, and post something that sounds doomsday and apocalyptic.  Folks on this forum see this stuff all the time, many times as whacked as what mine sounded like--that's why I was so happy I got the helpful responses I did.

I talked with "intuitive" people that I know.  They didn't have any answers for me, but they didn't dismiss my question because they know me.  That's when I came here.

Words are powerful and I believe how one uses them with stuff like this is so important, especially when talking about experiences that can't be empirically verified.  I walked on eggshells and prepared for the blowback.

On the other thread, I still have not come to a completely satisfactory conclusion, but I think I'm close, thanks in part to those here.  However, I've learned that folks here are more than willing to help depending on how they're approached.  I re-read my original post and rolled my eyes myself.

My conclusion is that experiences and feelings are like dreams.  They're very personal and most often are just that--very personal.  I think people's "feelings" and trying to find the sources of those are very important, but after these last couple of days, I've re-realized that it still just comes back to me.

Dammit.

Carillion, I'll see you back on the other thread.  I've got a couple more thoughts.
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Earthworm

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2014, 09:34:50 am »
Quote from: EJay;159178


...

My conclusion is that experiences and feelings are like dreams.  They're very personal and most often are just that--very personal.  I think people's "feelings" and trying to find the sources of those are very important, but after these last couple of days, I've re-realized that it still just comes back to me.

Dammit.
...



You have reminded me of something I did not grasp specifically when I was responding before: I think an experience is not invalid if it is relevant only for the individual, it's just a different type of experience. And since really only one person can experience anything a particular way, there's no concrete way for anyone else to make judgements about it, which comes back to it being something one has to figure out for oneself.

I try really hard to believe each person creates their own reality through their perceptions, so I try not to assume individuals are lying or exaggerating. I try to believe they actually experienced things that way so they were that way(sometimes it's hard for me to believe, which is why I say "try"). But anyway, that's why I try to approach that sort of thing from a stance of trust and respect. Granted, it is a thing I sometimes fail to do.
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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2014, 02:25:50 pm »
Quote from: Earthworm;159206
You have reminded me of something I did not grasp specifically when I was responding before: I think an experience is not invalid if it is relevant only for the individual, it's just a different type of experience.

 
Thank you for providing a place I could hang one of my standard critical-thinking comments:

"Is this valid?" is not a question that makes sense, unless you have context for "valid as what".  And, in general, if people are using different standards of validity, things get messed up.  (This is obvious in so many places: my driver's license is not a valid concert ticket; my concert ticket is not a valid demonstration that I can legally buy alcohol.  But when people are talking about esoteric experiences, essentially nobody actually has a clear sense of the "as what" part of "valid", and so it is very hard to have a coherent conversation.)

I mean, that famous dude who is well-known for posting giant screeds about how the Morrighan is a peaceful mother goddess and all that war and death stuff is bad press created by the patriarchy (I'm not going to post his name, he egosurfs) might well be having a valid experience with some Power or another, but as far as I'm concerned no fucking way he's having a valid experience of the Morrighan.  (In more direct eCauldron lore, the person who claimed to be the reincarnation of Isis (didn't know She was dead, man) did not get the respect she wanted.)

Trivially speaking, the only possible answer to "is this a valid feeling?" is "are you feeling it?"  More than that requires more specificity.  "Is this a valid experience of this particular Power?" can be checked against lore and other experiences of that Power, and people will still disagree.  "Is this a valid bit of guidance for what I should do next?" can be plausibility-checked, tested for whether or not the actions involved are acceptable even if the guidance is wrong, and so on, and people will still disagree.  "Is this a valid premonition of the end of the world?" can be, well.  Wait and see if it ends, I guess.

But you have to know what something is supposed to be valid as, to answer the question.  Otherwise it's like trying to buy beer with a valid parking lot ticket stub.
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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Re: 'Valid' experiences
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2014, 02:30:18 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;159213
Trivially speaking, the only possible answer to "is this a valid feeling?" is "are you feeling it?"  More than that requires more specificity.  "Is this a valid experience of this particular Power?" can be checked against lore and other experiences of that Power, and people will still disagree.  "Is this a valid bit of guidance for what I should do next?" can be plausibility-checked, tested for whether or not the actions involved are acceptable even if the guidance is wrong, and so on, and people will still disagree.  "Is this a valid premonition of the end of the world?" can be, well.  Wait and see if it ends, I guess.

 
And, you know, in my minor skirmish back in the War On The Astral or whatever it was - which, in retrospect, I still wonder how much of it was in some way real and how much of it was some kind of complicated contagious shared hallucination - even when I don't know whether I was right, I do know that what I experienced was what I experienced at the time.  Even with the stuff that was likely fictional embellishment.  There's something there, but what it was actually?  Dunno.

I validly did a thing.  Whether that thing was what I thought I was doing?  Heh.  No idea.
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