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The “Mind Machine” Experiments: Symbolic Machines

Paul Kiritsis - Friday, April 12, 2013

Introduction:             What is a symbol? Most would agree that it is an intelligible and elementary structure, pattern, or design that embodies a series of ideals or assumptions with cultural, psychological, and anthropological associations. The ideals to which they are linked may be multilayered and elaborate or simple and superficial; as a general rule of thumb, they adhere to the cosmological paradox where the simpler the form, the more complex and multidimensional the tapestry of meanings associated with them. Complex or rudimentary, what is certain is that none are monolithic in nature. As the first cogitations of our coming to consciousness, they transcend and predate our intimate involvement with a subjective experience delimited by time and space, geographical position, cultural context, and all other denominations belonging to left-brain thinking and the differentiating ego.

In Jungian terms, they could be described as the first intelligible utterances of a premature ego in the process of differentiating from the maternal uroboros, the collective unconscious. Differentiation, a sense of self as distinct from an ambient interactive background of fields, is a process concurrently paralleled by an obstinate pledge to establish order from chaos. Consciousness does this by seeking patterns that are bound to repeat under certain circumstances and in lawful ways that disregard the contingencies of chance. Once these enter the psyche as inherently felt truths about the cosmos, they are projected onto matter in a condensed conceptualized form which clears an obvious impasse and forms preliminary networks of communication between the inner world of subjective rumination and the outer world of things-in-themselves. Moreover, their holistic nature allows for qualitative intimation amongst physical objects, phenomena, ideas, and ontological levels, something that contemporary languages and words are unable to do. Owing to their primordial origins, there can be no correct or incorrect hermeneutic regarding their ontological position.      

The numinous power of symbols can be attributed to the fact that they become physical avatars of personal and collective property oozing fiery emotion and desirousness. Their ability to harness Martian energies is what makes them powerful and dangerous. Somebody possessed by an internal archetype invited into the prevailing conscious attitude through a symbol sees red and will stop at nothing to defend qualities and principles to which the latter is knotted. In individuals the red can manifest in such barbarous, abominable activities as temper tantrums, racist slurs, gang-bashing and raping, murders and hate-based crimes; when the same breed of red infects so many people as to form an egregore it results in socio-political upheavals and intolerance, the formation of indoctrinating machines like religious cults, civil wars, and in the worst case scenario world wars. Universally recognized symbols that have coagulated noxious, vaporous red like an incandescent stream of lava pouring itself into the sea include both the pentagram and hexagram, the cross, the crescent, the hammer and sickle, the swastika, and the double-headed eagle.

Giving a comprehensive account of the fundamental role that symbols have played in the evolutionary development of world civilization would fill a few tomes and falls outside the tapered scope of the current study. Hence I’ll have to settle for a severely truncated version. If we travelled all the way back to the sixteenth century BCE, we’d see that the animistic, matriarchal culture of Minoan Crete was epitomized by two powerful cosmopolitan symbols–the labyrinth and the labrys, the double-headed axe. In neighbouring Egypt and oriental Mesopotamia, coloured raised reliefs depicting the winged solar disc were a blatant reminder that the divine seed in the universe spontaneously willed itself to consciousness and would stand indestructible and eternal. The renowned Eye of Horus–a prototype of the Eye of Providence on the US one-dollar bill–was carved onto amulets and other ornaments by the Egyptians as an apotropaic against spiritual possession and oppression, illness, and a lamentable fate. The ancient Greeks did the same using the head of Medusa. During the classical era, sighting the Wand of Asclepius was a reminder of the regenerative and curative powers of sleeping within an Asclepian abaton in the company of snakes. Beginning during the Alexandrine period the ‘sciences’ of alchemy, astrology, theurgy, and natural magic shared a symbol system of esoteric correspondences betraying the underlying conviction that all had evolved from a prime substance or first matter (‘hen to pan’) Partitioners of magic have always utilized seals and signs to open up channels of communication with paraphysical spheres of being and subsequently call upon planetary and stellar intelligences to do his or her bidding.

Early Christians used the ICQUS symbol to recognize one another when orthodox Christianity was still in its infancy and rustic populations painted pentagrams, crosses, and other occult symbols on their doorframes during the Middle Ages to deter vampiric entities and other malevolent spirits from attempting a break in after dark. There are innumerable documented examples in history of symbols being used as apotropaic devices. In 626ce, the Marian relics were paraded around the walls of Constantinople in an attempt to drive back invading Persians, Avars, and Slavs. Joan of Arc repeated the ritual some eight centuries afterwards in an attempt to liberate France from English dispensation. By and large emblems painted onto flags have always accompanied men and women into battle. Secular civil and private factions as well as institutionalized religious groups also use symbols them to denote titles, ranks, and honours, and individuals to connote where their confidence and faith lies. (Just look at what sports fanatics do as soon as their football team edges out a weekend win; they attach the team’s flag either on the fender or near the window as an expression of pride.) Secret scripts and ciphers used for communication during wars and writing are also symbolic systems based on a spectrum of particularities that can be transliterated into meaningful utterances after passing through the medium of the supercomputer called the brain.

Having gained a brief overview of their rudimentary connection with consciousness and central importance to civilization, we shall now examine whether symbols and their field of influence can be transposed to the physical level.  

 

Aim:                Symbols are simple pictorial depictions formulated by the sentient mind, though for some reason they exert effects transcending the two-dimensional world in which they are initially confined. We know for a fact that they incur psychological and emotional effects that result in socio-political consequences. By musing over the historical numinosity of the Christian cross, the German swastika, and the double-headed eagle of the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empire, we understand the degree to which symbols have infiltrated consciousness and defined personal and collective identity. The present study wishes to address whether symbols operate as implements of causation in the phenomenal world; can acts of perception stirring the deepest and most sacral sentiments spill out onto the physiological arena? Can symbols incite somatic effects? Are symbols in a sense magical?

 

Hypothesis:                To see whether or not two symbols–a left-handed and a right-handed spiral–drawn onto a piece of paper can motivate changes in human physiology when held against the chest. If so, can a particular configuration of symbols amplify, dampen, or reverse these effects?        

       

Materials:                   To conduct this simple experiment you will need two small pieces of paper (dimensions are not significant), a pencil or pen, and a willing experimental subject that doesn’t mind suffering minor discomfort! 

Method:                      Before beginning the experiment you will need to create two spiral drawings; one should proceed in a clockwise direction and the other in an anticlockwise direction so that you end up with two images that mirror one another. You don’t need to mull over such specifications as symmetry, shape, and aesthetic appeal; past research has demonstrated that these will not hinder the outcome of the experiment. Once the drawings are completed, they should be placed in a location (i.e. on a table or chair) where they can be readily accessed. These will be needed soon!  

The subject and the experimenter (yourself) then come together to conduct what most people would instantaneously recognize as a muscle strength test. As the experimenter you should request that your candidate raise either their left or right arm to shoulder length level with the palm facing downwards and to resist the impending force to which it shall be subjected. Sidestepping so that the outstretched arm crosses your chest, place one hand on their shoulder and the other on their wrist. Indicate that you are about to use force. When both of you are ready push downwards, augmenting the strength until the arm muscles succumb and the limb drops back to its usual resting position. The total force necessitated to keep the arm suspended in a horizontal position should be carefully noted and retained by both the experimenter and his or her subject.  

Subsequently the same methodology should be recapitulated twice over with the only modification being that the subject now holds the left-handed spiral that proceeds in an anticlockwise direction or the right-handed spiral that proceeds in a clockwise direction alongside his or her chest region. For some strange reason that eludes all scientific explanation, the first will strengthen the muscles in the arm so that resisting the transmuting physical force becomes much easier whilst the second shall weaken it considerably. It’s probably best that all the muscle-force trials be reiterated multiple times and in jumbled order to preclude any probability that muscular exhaustion experienced by the subject is being accrued solely by the application of force on the subject’s arm. Repeating the experiment and using both arms for trials decreases the likelihood that other factors played a part in harnessing a particular trajectory of results; it authenticates the reality of what is being experienced; and it demonstrates beyond a shadow of any doubt that outcomes are repeatable on 99.9 percent of occasions.

In retrospect, an anticlockwise symbol held against the chest will divulge a positive effect by fortifying the arm muscles whereas a clockwise one shall do the inverse by deteriorating them. One assists and strengthens; the other burdens and weakens. Fascinating, right? An important thing to remember is that the experiment should conclude with trials involving the left-handed spiral moving in a clockwise direction to nullify the “psychosomatic” energy, paraphysical force, etheric residue, or whatever is weakening the arm muscles when the corresponding symbol makes contact with the subject’s chest.

Enjoy!

 

Results:                       A total of three random but willing subjects were chosen for the spiral symbol tests. All remained oblivious to the hypothetical position of the experimenter to constrain suggestibility and the likelihood of any subconscious “psychosomatic” effect.  The experimenter performed an arm displacement test on them to determine the strength of their shoulder muscles before going onto the right-handed and left-handed symbol tests. For each individual trial, all three were requested to grade the intensity of their resistance to the kinetic force on a scale of one to ten; the experimenter supplemented these perceptions with his own regarding the amount of physical force exerted in pushing the outstretched arm back to its resting position. Each person’s strength, capacity to rest, and pain threshold was noticeably different though these qualities in no way hampered powers of discernment when it came to detecting a weakening or strengthening of their own muscle strength. By coupling the distinct perceptions of experimenter and subject into corresponding pairs and examining them within the context of the entire experiment, the investigator was able to make a plausible assessment as to whether or not factors other than muscle fatigue played a part.

 

Subject One:              male, 24yrs, 76kgs, 180cm, green eyes, brown hair, atheist.

Subject Two:             male, 37yrs, 80kgs, 170cm, brown eyes, blonde hair, bodybuilder, atheist.

Subject Three:           male, 49yrs, 85kgs, 178cm, brown eyes, brown hair, average build, atheist.  

Table of Results:

The energy perceived as having been expended during the trial

Tests conducted

for first subject

Scale Rank (1-10)

Tests conducted

for second subject

Scale Rank

 (1-10)

Tests conducted

for third subject

Scale Rank

 (1-10)

Right arm displacement test (subject’s perception of force required to resist movement)

7

Right arm displacement test (subject’s perception of force required to resist movement)

8

Right arm displacement test (subject’s perception of force required to resist movement)

9

Right arm displacement test (experimenter’s perception of force required to create movement)

6

Right arm displacement test (experimenter’s perception of force required to create movement)

8

Right arm displacement test (experimenter’s perception of force required to create movement)

8

Right-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Right-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Right-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Right-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

5

Right-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

6

Right-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

7

Right-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

6

Right-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Right-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

9

Right-handed

anticlockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

8

Right-handed

anticlockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

10

Right-handed

anticlockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

10

Left arm displacement test (subject’s…)

7

Left arm displacement test (subject’s…)

9

Left arm displacement test (subject’s…)

8

Left arm displacement test (experimenter’s…)

6

Left arm displacement test (experimenter’s…)

7

Left arm displacement test (experimenter’s…)

7

Left-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Left-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

9

Left-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Left-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

6

Left-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

8

Left-handed clockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

6

Left-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

6

Left-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

8

Left-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (subject’s…)

9

Left-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

9

Left-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

10

Left-handed anticlockwise spiral symbol test (experimenter’s…)

10

Graph of Results:

The energy perceived as having been expended during the trial

(See Facebook fan page)

 

Discussion:                 Some very interesting things came up during the experimental trials. When the clockwise spiral symbol was held against their chest, the participants noted that the kinetic force being applied at the wrist multiplied considerably. After being debriefed at the conclusion of the experiment the first subject stated, quite frankly in fact, that, ‘Holding the clockwise spiral made it almost impossible to resist the force. For a second, I thought as if a giant boulder had just rolled onto my arm.’  The sentiments of the second and the third subjects authenticated these observations; one said that, ‘It were as if something had fallen from the ceiling and hit my arm,’ and the other that, ‘The arm just gave way.’ The truth of what they had experienced is replicated by the results table and graph, both of which demonstrate that the experimenter perceived the amount of force required to push the arm back to its resting position as being less when the subject clutched the clockwise spiral symbol to his or her chest. On most occasions the subjects confirmed this opinion by indicating that they had to expend much more energy to keep the outstretched arm in a horizontal position than what they had to do for the inaugurating arm displacement test. Naturally their excessive efforts proved fruitless anyway because the experimenter usually succeeded in moving the arm without as much as breaking a sweat!                            

The other significant observation concerned the anticlockwise spiral symbol. Subjects remarked that when the latter was in their grasp, the herculean task of expending energy to resist kinetic force along their arms dropped by a few decibels. Might this phenomenon be attributed to a miraculous strengthening of the arm muscles or was it simply the result of one fatiguing experimenter? The comments verbalized by the participants during these trials all engender a plausible case for the former; the second, for instance, jokingly professed that, ‘I feel as if I’ve just eaten a plate of spinach,’ whilst the third felt as if he’d, ‘Just been pumped full of anabolic steroids.’ As an experimenter, you learn to filter out and discount radical exaggerations and superfluities of this sort, but in this particular case the comments corresponded pretty well to the physiological responses and thus should not be discounted. In contradistinction to the trials with the clockwise spiral symbol, the experimenter now perceived the amount of force required to push the arm back to its resting place as being equivalent to that needed to roll a giant lithos (rock) up along the slopes of a precipitous mountain. It was hard! Looking at it from the opposite end (the subject’s perspective), the outstretched arm was experienced as a more formidable obstruction to overcome because it has been infused with a newfound repository of energy. These corresponding perceptions are corroborated by the mean, eliminating the statistical possibility that chance alone might have been responsible for the explicit outcomes.

What we can be sure of at this stage is that the sceptical thinkers who don’t like to peer beyond the four walls of their conditional cube would be most inclined to consign such deductions to the occult wastebasket. I, too, would have yielded to such an unnecessary sin had I not gone to all the trouble of finding and testing some willing candidates. Perhaps the best way of demonstrating that there is some hitherto unknown factor at work here is to conduct yet another series of trials which enforces more rigorous protocols and further restricts variables. The latter might comprise modifications whereby a human experimenter is replaced with a machine and the kinetic force measured using electronic equipment in order to jettison fallibilities consignable to human sensitivity and feeling-consciousness. Moreover, trials can be adapted to other muscles of the body such as the legs, arms, wrists, and abdominals to discern whether this symbol power is localized or not.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless so get to work!

 

Conclusion:                The results of the spiral symbol experiment definitely support a hypothetical contention holding that pictorial symbols exert real physiological effects on human beings when they are either placed on the human body or form an extension it. Moreover the direction of the spiral either augments or dampens the physiological effect, demonstrating that the particularities of emblematic representations also play a significant role in the nature and amplitude of whatever force, psychic energy, or factor is manipulating or being manipulated.

Whatever it may be, we know for a fact that it is prompted to materialization by an unwinding pattern and hindered by a winding one, and that a fundamental belief or disbelief in the phenomenon is causally unrelated to these repeatable responses and outcomes. The latter is deduced from the fact that all three subjects are staunch atheists, as distant from the metaphysical and paraphysical cosmogonies as what the remote celestial wonder, the galaxy MACS0647-JD, is from our planet Earth. Likewise tendencies to write off the physiological effect off as a by-product of mere suggestibility and hence “psychosomatic” is swiftly negated by the fastidious and controlled strategy utilized throughout the experimental trials; in actual fact, the chances of garnering such striking and dramatic results on account of the former is rendered incredulous on the grounds that subjects remained unacquainted with conjectural information about what the variant trials were supposed to demonstrate. There’s no way that implicit subliminal prompts can play a decisive role in experimental outcomes if they have not first penetrated the province of the personal unconscious. This much should be patently clear.

In hindsight the outcomes of the experiment do go against the grain of what we know to be true about the cosmos; why should a “symbolic machine” work when our accumulated scientific logic decrees that it shouldn’t? How can a simple illustration placed against the body spontaneously insulate or desiccate one’s physical strength? How? What lies at the heart of such a marvel?

I’m unsure as to what it is, there’s certainly something in this that demands further investigation and evokes the word magic….

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