Wednesday, April 23, 2014

clairvoyance, spiritual gifts, and the perils of analytic overlay

A pic that came up when I Googled "clairvoyance."
The word "clairvoyance" means "clear-seeing." To me, it means seeing things as they really are, enjoying the gift of prophecy and discernment. Seeing, or rather, almost visually discerning, spiritual things more literally than metaphorically.

Surprisingly, it took me a long time of experiencing clairvoyance, clear-seeing, discernment, before I bothered to Google about it. I have no idea why. Usually if anything comes up in my life at all, the first thing that happens is I Google it. Anyway.

From here.
When I finally did start poking around on the Internet for answers, I was troubled because there didn't seem to be a lot that came up from an LDS perspective. At the time I did not fully understand that my experiences were actually gifts of the spirit (see 1 Cor. 12:9-10, Moroni 10:8-18), signs that follow faith in Jesus Christ (see Mark 16:17-18, Mormon 9:24, D&C 84:65-70). Even though they are literally listed in my personal scriptures. By which I mean patriarchal blessing. Well, let's just say I am not always as smart as I think I am! Ha!

And let's just say, we tend not to talk very much about experiencing the full range of the gift of discernment at church. We tend to focus on... I'm not sure what, really. I always thought the gift of discernment was about being able to know if a person was bad or good. But it actually can be so much more than that--so much more than that--if a person is open to it and ready for it.

And when we talk about gifts of healing in church, it seems fairly limited to the laying on of hands in a priesthood sense, rather than in the sense of--someone with the gift of healing can actually lay their hands you. And watch you get better right away. Even if they have not been ordained to the priesthood. Even if they're a girl. (Don't tell Ordain Women!)

(I kid.)

(Okay, only kind of. Maybe someone should tell them, actually.)

(I am totally blogging about this spiritual gifts/Ordain Women thing later.)

When I began searching online though, for more information about what was happening to me, up came a website about Mormon remote viewing. It blew my mind and was awesome. I ordered the author's book on the government's remote viewing program. It was a fascinating read and very helpful to me personally in understanding what was happening with my brain from a technical and spiritual perspective. Note: it is a history of the military psychic espionage program, not a spiritual text or something like that. All people with an interest in any type of parapsychology (or "psi"), regardless of spiritual background, would find it interesting and very possibly enlightening. For me, it just happened to resound spiritually at times.

One thing that really stood out to me from the book was Smith's discussion of "AOL," or "analytic overlay." This is what happens when the left brain, the logical side, tries to analyze what the right brain is perceiving.

In remote viewing, it presents like this: you focus your mind on your coordinates, and you see
something red... round... shiny. "An apple!" you assume, thanks to analytic overlay, AOL.

Now perhaps your assumption that what you've seen is an apple will affect your interpretation of the rest of the scene. You see a bunch of green things... leaves. Must be leaves. Tree leaves. Apple leaves, even. It's harder to stick to the facts, the raw data, because you've already decided on the context.

Even if the context is wrong.

This can result in embarrassing mistakes. Yes, using every adjective in the book to describe the apple-like object besides the word "apple" might be a pain, but the fact remains: when it comes to things seen with second sight, with the gift of discernment, an apple is not always an apple. Sometimes it's just something red and round and shiny and about the size of a fist and found in a kitchen. Sometimes it's actually a tomato. And sometimes the green leaves are lettuce.

Sometimes when you think you're seeing an apple on a tree, it's really just a salad. Same data: bad logic.

I've have had a number of experiences already with analytic overlay and I don't love them. But they've been teaching me a lot.

Recently, I had an experience in theta where a person's Higher Self gave me a holy book and requested me to integrate it into the Lower Self's heart chakra. I did at first, then undid it because Lower Self didn't know that I'd done it and it felt wrong to do that. Then I had occasion to go back into theta and have a conversation with God about it all, and since the answers He gave me were basically in scriptural format, I left the conversation assuming I knew which holy book it was. Turns out I was incorrect. But that was the information I passed on, thanks to my unintentional analytic overlay. Thankfully the other party involved was in tune enough with her two selves, Lower and Higher, to figure out what holy book was actually in play here. But my AOL threw an accidental wrench into the works, without me even realizing that was the case at the time.

As another example, I was working on another person for a random problem, and while I was attempting to fix the physical problem, I had a vision of the person's cerebrospinal chakra system and the translation of what each chakra's formation meant--well, or a partial translation. I saw the basics. I saw the people involved, the events that had transpired, and the spiritual effects of an accidental choice that had gotten way out of control--an event that had eventually played a part in the physical injury I was working to heal.

Later, I passed on the information I had seen to the client's parents, who I thought deserved to know. It was only afterwards that I realized that perhaps I had couched some of the things I had seen in terms that were not entirely accurate to the images I had viewed. Looking back, I was mostly accurate. I would have changed a single word in my explanation. But a single word can make all the difference. Apple, tomato. At the time, I thought I was being accurate.
Optic nerve.

And there is the problem! That pesky thinking!

A final example--there's a guy I interact with a lot whose eye area, behind the eye, looked very, very intensely dark to me. To the point I was privately concerned it was a cancer of the optic nerve. I would pester this guy to go see an eye doctor already. This was over the course of weeks, that I pestered him... and then one day, he came to me and announced, "I scheduled an appointment with the eye doctor!"

And I looked at him, and realized: I didn't see the darkness anymore. Weird. It had been so bad I had seriously thought it was cancerous. It had gotten to the point where looking at this guy's face was almost unbearable for me because the darkness was so distracting. And yet now there was nothing. And I thought: Well, maybe my second sight is taking the day off. Surely the darkness is still there. And I said nothing.

Well, lo and behold, he went to the eye doctor, and nothing was wrong. And then I just was kicking myself over it all, for not saying the 100% truth as I saw it, instead of as I thought it.

Everybody have a logical time.
What I have been discovering is that the left brain can be quite insidious. The tendency to logically analyze is innate, and in our culture, it is more than just innate, it is encouraged--while we are taught to distrust emotional things that comes up in our lives. If it's not logical, it can't be trusted. And the non-logical is practically reviled. It is so bad that this year, when I decided to make this my Year of Yin and embrace the right brain 100%, I couldn't even bring myself to state that I planned to embrace the illogical thoughts that would come up in my brain. To me, the word "illogical" seems almost morally wrong in connotation. Thus I have so far used the word "non-logical" instead. Somehow, it seems less wrong to be non-logical than illogical.

The hardest part, and the kindest part, to realize is that AOL happens to the best of us. It's the kind of problem that takes professional, government-employed remote viewers many, many hours of practice to eliminate. And further, it's a problem that can happen to someone even with good intentions. I would never intentionally lead a person astray with my interpretations of my discernment; but somehow, that left brain just creeps in and overlays things.

I love that term, by the way. Analytic overlay. It just has this wonderful implication of undue logical analysis just lying on top of what you're actually seeing. It takes away that horrible sense of choosing--that horrible sense that you've sinned in accidentally analyzing when in reality, your choices had almost nothing to do with the overlay. It was just something that happened.

Of course, that is only true if your overlay is actually accidental. So far, mine invariably have been. There are, however, cases Paul H. Smith outlined in his book of remote viewers choosing to use the left brain to evaluate the right brain. (It always ends badly.)

Still, it's not always a conscious choice to misunderstand what is seen. It's actually the natural state of things. The natural man, if you will (link to 1 Cor. 2:14). The natural man is too busy forcing everything he senses to fit into his limited understanding of the world to realize-- 

Ah, so you already understand the whole universe? OK!!

the world is far vaster than he can possibly imagine. 

And what do you do when you see something that you don't know the word for?

What do you do when your sight, your discernment, exceeds your vocabulary?

It is the natural thing to do to make it make sense. To use words you know to describe something you cannot know. It is something our minds do without our permission and without our direction.

It is understandable, it is natural, it is normal. But I'm still tired of it.

Here's to me renewing my commitment to avoiding AOL. Man cannot always make sense of the things of God. We just need to trust that He knows more than we do and resist forcing our visions into frames that just don't fit.
Our frames are not God's frame. The end.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative, as always! I hope the guy who went to the eye doctor was understandable about the whole situation. I guess it's always better to be safe than sorry. If I were him, that's how I'd look at it. I wonder what the dark area was that was behind his eye...