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Author Topic: visualization training study  (Read 1545 times)

sushi

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visualization training study
« on: November 27, 2014, 01:31:55 pm »
I'm sure everybody here already knows the value of visualization in magic. I've been conducting a sort of study on how to train visualization ability, and I'd like assistance from anyone here who would like to assist. All you have to do is take a test, do whatever you want for a month or so, and then take the test again, and it will help us to learn how to train visualization so that people new to magic know the best way to start.

I'm especially looking for people who want to improve their visualization ability, and are going to be working with a specific method for at least five minutes a day for a month. That method can be whatever you want. I know there are lots of guides on visualization on the internet (a few good ones on this site, which is why I'm coming here with this), but you don't need to work with a guide. Just drawing a picture, or meditating on a mandala, or performing rituals, or visualizing your lover's face will work. Ideally you'd do at least five minutes of this every day, but even if you don't, I'm interested in hearing from you.

I'm interested in results from everyone, and all of it tells us something. For example, so far I haven't heard from anyone who is already very good at visualization, so I don't have any pros to compare the newbies to.

I would also like more information from people who don't want to train visualization. So, for example, if your practice is astrology, or tarot, and you're not doing any visualization at all, I'd still like to hear from you.

The test is completely anonymous. You'll be asked to enter a name, but it's only so I can match your results from the end of the month to your results from the beginning of the month, so any name at all works, as long as you remember it.

You're also asked to time yourself for eight questions of the test. It's no big deal if you take a long time, or if you answer questions poorly, so please don't stress out about that or anything. But have a stopwatch, or a cell phone, or online-stopwatch.com ready for when you get to that part of the test.

This is the test:


And so far, I've been posting results here:
https://community.tulpa.info/thread-would-you-like-to-be-better-at-visualization-then-i-want-your-help

Thanks for your help, and I'll be checking back with this thread to answer any questions anyone might have.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 02:46:34 pm by SunflowerP »

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 01:57:27 pm »
Quote from: sushi;166224
I'll be checking back with this thread to answer any questions anyone might have.

 
Questions that spring to mind immediately:
  • Who are you and what are your affiliations? That is to say, are you with a group or institution that is sponsoring this research or are you doing this on your own?
  • For what purpose are you conducting this research?
  • And last but not least - Do you have the hosts' blessing to use this forum for soliciting research data?
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Faemon

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 02:11:59 pm »
Quote from: sushi;166224
I'm sure everybody here already knows the value of visualization in magic. I've been conducting a sort of study on how to train visualization ability, and I'd like assistance from anyone here who would like to assist. All you have to do is take a test, do whatever you want for a month or so, and then take the test again, and it will help us to learn how to train visualization so that people new to magic know the best way to start.

I'm especially looking for people who want to improve their visualization ability, and are going to be working with a specific method for at least five minutes a day for a month. That method can be whatever you want.

 
Whoops! I misunderstood that bolded part and thought that you had a method of your own that you wanted people to try out and get back later with how well it worked for them, sorry.

I consider myself pretty good at visualization in that they're vivid, but I'm not always dominant with it--and that's not as dangerous as it sounds (I hope.) So, I have gained a roster of imaginary friends, and mindscapes that I can modify. When it comes to "top-down" tulpa design, though, it just doesn't work for me. It isn't just that it's difficult, it just feels to me wrong and bad to overreach the negotiations of what I believe is subconsciously generated.

My comment in the survey was that there was no distinction between what is projected in the experience of the world that we default to, and what is constructed in a paracosm.

So, the question of imagining my friend--I imagined her in the room with me, rather than pulling a memory of us walking around the mall the other day.

When it came to weather, because I am indoors, I sort of necessarily had to make a paracosm (although it occurred to me that maybe some people can go halfway with that, too, visualizing the ceiling of their room disappearing or something.)

I answered that I could imagine the weather phenomena clearly because the weather in my own experience is generally a large and acceptably off-focus thing, but clear vision is going to be more of a feeling than biological fact because those who can see actually have blind spots and loss of color in the periphery field of vision--and we just don't usually notice that because the brain fills in the details. So, there would be accounting for something...hyperreal, in visualization.

While visualization is so dominant in magic, too, I actually fell out of practices that associated them so tightly because visualization was such a mundane thing for me. I could do it so easily that I couldn't believe that it had any effects beyond itself, and I still don't believe that visualization can have effects beyond itself (by itself...although, I guess, it can sometimes happen to be an indicator of some numinous effect maybe?)
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sushi

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 03:08:52 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;166226
Questions that spring to mind immediately:


I am not affiliated with anyone. I'm doing this completely on my own for the moment, just to find out how to learn visualization, for myself and for others.

I read the rules of the site, and I did notice non-commercial advertising in there, but I wasn't sure if this would qualify, as I'm not trying to promote any group, community, or product. I'm just trying to find out how to train visualization, and of course any results will be shared with this community. I hope I didn't make that assumption in error.

Quote from: Faemon;166228
I misunderstood that bolded part and thought that you had a method of your own that you wanted people to try out and get back later with how well it worked for them, sorry.


I reread what I said, and I can see how it can be interpreted in another way. I'm sorry I wasn't more clear.

Your response interests me though. You say you're not dominant with it. I take that to mean that visualization tends to happen on its own without your conscious control?

About projection vs. paracosms, it sounds like you are far more skilled in this area than myself or anyone who has responded so far. I wasn't thinking of either one. To me, projection suggests something seemingly external to the mind, whereas paracosms suggest something long-lasting. What I was thinking was something more like the way I imagine scenes and characters when I read a book. Though I suppose that might be a different experience for you than it is for me. For me, it's somewhat airy and temporary, with no precise location. Does that make sense? I should probably have a better way of describing it.

I was interested in how you mentioned tulpas, mindscapes, paracosms, and so on, and I wonder if you have any sources on any of this that you might recommend.

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 03:48:09 pm »
Quote from: sushi;166231
I am not affiliated with anyone. I'm doing this completely on my own for the moment, just to find out how to learn visualization, for myself and for others.

In that case, can you clarify who the 'us' in the quote from your original post refers to?

Quote
All you have to do is take a test, do whatever you want for a month or so, and then take the test again, and it will help us to learn how to train visualization so that people new to magic know the best way to start.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 03:48:48 pm by Aisling »
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Faemon

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2014, 04:17:32 pm »
Quote from: sushi;166231
You say you're not dominant with it. I take that to mean that visualization tends to happen on its own without your conscious control?

I can be temporarily dominant. Like, how am I supposed to spell "temporarily"? That was a visualization right there. "Temporerily" just looks off, I knew that before typing it because I could visualize. Where did I leave my phone that had the timer? Another visualization right there.

But: What would Sarah Gadon look like in a gown designed by Eduardo Castro, and can she take up firearms against the monsters under my bed? Nope. The monsters under my bed are more real. So is the dragon taking up literal fire-arms as in wings made out of fire, so that serves the same purpose, but did it have to look like a dragon? Proper dragons are supposed to breathe fire, like out of their mouths--not fly with fire; but that's not changing even if I force it, and Sarah Gadon in my head doesn't last no matter how pretty she is that I wish she would stay a little longer in my head.

So, that's my tulpa-forcing fail. I took that to mean that my mind just works better when it's negotiating what visualizations tend to happen without my conscious control, or that what feels like conscious control is really half a hallucination because total conscious control doesn't have any sort of notions or "mind-stuff" that I can work with.


Quote
About projection vs. paracosms, it sounds like you are far more skilled in this area than myself or anyone who has responded so far. I wasn't thinking of either one.

To me, projection suggests something seemingly external to the mind, whereas paracosms suggest something long-lasting.

Just to clarify:

By projection, I meant that the brain acts like a film projector, and the imagination is the film. The silver screen is the reality external to the mind. So, the experience of being in my room while typing this is an experience that I default to, not imagine. My friend walking around is something that I imagine, but I imagine her walking around in my room.

By paracosm, I meant... yes, like you said,

Quote
more like the way I imagine scenes and characters when I read a book ... it's somewhat airy and temporary, with no precise location.

Although I guess that, in books that really do capture the imagination, a paracosm can become more vivid, and longer-lasting, with more consistent geography.

Quote
I was interested in how you mentioned tulpas, mindscapes, paracosms, and so on, and I wonder if you have any sources on any of this that you might recommend.

I first read about French explorer Alexandra David-Neel's adventures with the Tibetan Buddhist meditations to create a tulpa. She wrote a memoir about it.

Paracosms, I read about in a Newsweek article about creativity. (My memory keeps insisting that it was a Time magazine article, though, so I don't know if this linked one is the one.)

Mindscape is just a cute turn of phrase that I picked up from somewhere that I'm pretty sure means the same as paracosm.

Adam Gopnik's article Bumping into Mr. Ravioli was his study of his 3-year-old daughter's imaginary friend, if I recall that also mentioned a paracosm. When I read on sites like Tulpa.info something like, "A tulpa is like an imaginary friend, except that it appears to be outside of your head and in the same room with you." I got kind of confused because I thought that imaginary friends already did appear that way; and then I read about Wonderlands and guessed that they don't for everyone.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 04:20:15 pm by Faemon »
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sushi

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2014, 04:40:08 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;166232
In that case, can you clarify who the 'us' in the quote from your original post refers to?

 
Myself and anyone else interested in results. I suppose I used that word because I don't like to take credit for things. If I learn anything from this study, it will be because a multitude of other people have assisted by submitting their own results. So it's not my data to claim -- all of it comes from other people, and I'll I've done is compile it.

I am sharing this with a few other communities, but the idea for doing this was mine alone, and nobody else is working with me.

Quote from: Faemon;166235
Just to clarify:

 
Thanks for the information. I've read Alexandra David-Neel before, but the two articles are new to me.

I understand what you're saying about visualization. I guess what I'm saying is that when I visualize something, it doesn't exist in a place. If someone says to me, "Picture a polar bear in a top hat." I can do it, but there's no location for it, unless they say "Now put the polar bear in a white room." or something like that. Until then, the polar bear is just sort of floating in an indistinct void. Is that unusual?

Faemon

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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2014, 05:55:10 pm »
Quote from: sushi;166237
I guess what I'm saying is that when I visualize something, it doesn't exist in a place. If someone says to me, "Picture a polar bear in a top hat." I can do it, but there's no location for it, unless they say "Now put the polar bear in a white room." or something like that. Until then, the polar bear is just sort of floating in an indistinct void. Is that unusual?

Ahh...I guess that's like where I imagine numbers and the spellings of words, then. They're not on a piece of paper, they're not even exactly scrawled on the dark behind my eyelids, or in a white room. They're probably in the no-location that you imagine.

If someone told me, "Picture a polar bear in a top hat," though, I'd imagine it in front of my eyes in the room that I'm in, or in some characterized location like a theater because it has a top hat, or a circus because it's implied to be a performing bear, or an arctic wasteland because polar bear.

I don't know if that's unusual, but I wouldn't be surprised it it were individual.

When I'm reading a book, it's like watching a movie in my mind. I did often wonder how people in the olden days experienced the story of the book that they were reading, before cinema gave a new sort of visual vocabulary. Did they imagine stageplays or puppet shows? I guess those were possible, or readers experienced the story as if they were present in real life to watch it but nobody in the scene could see them, or they imagined the story unfolding in Indistinct Void mindscapes. I suppose that also happens to me if a scene in a book isn't written with too much detail.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 05:56:30 pm by Faemon »
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Re: visualization training study
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2014, 02:40:59 pm »
Quote from: sushi;166231
I read the rules of the site, and I did notice non-commercial advertising in there, but I wasn't sure if this would qualify, as I'm not trying to promote any group, community, or product. I'm just trying to find out how to train visualization, and of course any results will be shared with this community. I hope I didn't make that assumption in error.

 
*** MOD HAT ON ***
Sushi,

It looks like you read the main page of the rules, but not any of the pages on rules for specific things. Some of those are linked in the text of the main rules, but not all - where you should have looked is in the upper left-hand corner of the rules page, at the dropdown menu where it says 'More Rules'. The one you want is not the advertising guidelines (since this is not advertising) but the research guidelines (that link will take you directly to them), since you are conducting a study/survey.

I am not closing the thread, since there is discussion of the topic occurring separately from the survey, and there's no reason why that cannot continue. But you will need to email our host, Randall, to obtain permission for the study itself, as soon as possible; I am removing the links from your OP until such time as you have done so.

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