Science is EvolvingHomeArticlesQ&AArchiveMediaLinksSearch

Empathy Seminar

by Rainsong

Session Start: Thu Nov 20 20:34:03 2003
[20:38] <.RainTurtle> Good evening, all. The topic for this evening's seminar is "Empathy"
[20:39] <.RainTurtle> If you are not here for a class on rudimentary psionics, you might find that you've mistyped the chatroom name....This is not a gaming room, and we are not about to start an RPG :D
[20:40] <.RainTurtle> There are two basic meanings for the word "empathy", and several variants within each.
[20:41] <.RainTurtle> The first is a psychological phenomenon, reacting to the expressed or assumed situation of another person, "feeling for them",....very like "sympathy" in rough terms
[20:41] <.RainTurtle> Not being a Psychologist, I am not going to be lecturing on Psychological Empathy, tonight....
[20:43] <.RainTurtle> Instead, we come to the second meaning: "the telepathic perception of another person's emotions". Depending on the variant of the definition which you happen to favour, this may also extend to influencing the emotions of other people, in addition to sensing same
[20:44] <.RainTurtle> The first kind of empathy is a large part of what is "missing" in dangerous sociopathic folks....Those same sociopaths might have the second, while lacking the first. Lots of people have the first and "lack" the second
[20:46] <.RainTurtle> Some people consider Empathy to be separate from Telepathy, by the way. However, if Telepathy is defined simply as "communication between two minds" by psychical means, the Empathy is included.
[20:48] <.RainTurtle> Psychical empathy is one of the abilities most often reported, but, like dream precognition and dream clairvoyance --the other two biggies, in terms of reporting-- it is not among the psionic abilities that are most seriously investigated
[20:51] <.RainTurtle> It has a number of practical uses. On a small scale, being aware of another person's state of mind can be handy when discussing delicate matters. Affecting one person's emotions can calm anger or fear. On a large scale, it can be used for judging the state of a mod, for crowd control, and for advertising...
[20:52] <.RainTurtle> ...the kind of stuff associated with diplomats, salemen, and politicians
[20:54] <.RainTurtle> On the other side of the coin, being too open to Empathic input is not at all fun; experiencing the emotions of fifty or a thousand people all at once can be devastating...and if all of them are "good" emotions, and you are at the centre of attention (think "rock star on stage" here) you will be _very_ drunk very fast
[20:56] <Kelana> *nod* Never could go to concerts or such when I was in school for that reason.. Centering just doesn't cut it in a crowd that large :)
[20:56] <.RainTurtle> Of course, if you can calm a person, it stands to reason that you can induce other emotions as well: joy, sorrow, hatred, hopelessness.....
[20:57] <.RainTurtle> ....fear overlaying excitement and wild joy, mild disgust overlaying wariness and distrust....
[20:57] <.RainTurtle> Simple basic emotions are not your only option
[20:58] <.RainTurtle> And, you can also Send and Receive emotions to be interpreted but not felt, for communication purposes....the telepathic equivalent of a "smiley"
[20:58] <.RainTurtle> Questions, so far?
[20:58] * +Aphanas has questions...
[20:58] <.RainTurtle> Aphanas?
[20:58] * Kelana has one too
[20:59] <+Aphanas> Question #1: Why do some people consider empathy and telepathy separate things? I thought that they were the same skill, just communicating different types of information (feelings vs. thoughts).
[21:01] <.RainTurtle> Some people like to subdivide things a lot....A few people don't "believe" in any telepathy more precise than rough empathy. And some Empaths who do not pick up detailed information figure that it must be a separate mechanism. Then there are the Chakra people who say that telepathy is done with one chakra and empathy with another, and therefore they must be different things
[21:01] <+Aphanas> Hmmm... OK.
[21:01] * +Aphanas can wait for Kelana to ask hers before asking his second question...
[21:01] <Kelana> Okies :) Would an example of not feeling/only interpreting the sending and receiving of emotions, be the emotion often sent along with a Ping or other Telepathic transmission?
[21:02] <.RainTurtle> From the other side of the coin, people who mindspeak tend to choose to block out empathic input
[21:02] * Kelana thought of another one too..but I'll ask that after Aphanas :)
[21:02] <+Aphanas> Rain, why is that?
[21:02] <+Aphanas> *Please note: that was not Aphanas' second question* ;)
[21:03] <.RainTurtle> Aphanas: usually a matter of "too much information". Mindspeaking is already very intimate. Adding emotion to it makes it more so
[21:03] <+Aphanas> OK, that makes sense. Thanks.
[21:04] <.RainTurtle> Kelana: do you mean the emotion that is used to help "fuel" the transmission, to give it more oomph?
[21:04] <Kelana> Yes.
[21:04] <.RainTurtle> It is more often felt than interpreted, actually, when it is picked up at all
[21:05] <Kelana> Odd, I've usually found the opposite. Okay.
[21:05] <.RainTurtle> I did say "more often", not "always"
[21:06] * Kelana nods
[21:06] * +Aphanas is ready with his second question if this round is done... :)
[21:07] <.RainTurtle> If you have to think "hmm, I wonder what this emotion thing might be, that is coming in", it needs to be interpreted.
[21:07] <.RainTurtle> If you have to think "ooh, why am I feeling this way suddenly" it is felt
[21:07] <Kelana> Makes sense. Thanx :)
[21:07] <.RainTurtle> Aphanas?
[21:08] <+Aphanas> Actually, glad you mentioned that last part (that is a good clarification for me as well). My next question is...
[21:08] <+Aphanas> I presume that empathetic broacasting is often used unconsciously by people when performing music as well? It seems that there is a lot of empathetic broadcasting happening by musicians that genuinely "move" people (whether or not they can actually sing/perform all that well technically... ;).
[21:08] <.RainTurtle> This is so. And, some of us do it deliberately.
[21:09] <+Aphanas> OK, thanks. I've done the same, and had a devil of a time trying to describe what someone needed to do to "connect" to their audience. Thanks.
[21:10] <.RainTurtle> Kelana, you had another question?
[21:10] <Kelana> Question #2. I'm not a believer in chakras or such; however..I have noticed that large quantities of emotions or strong emotions, tend to feel like a punch in the stomach to me..or a slight "pain" almost. Telepathic/thought input on the other hand, tends to hit me in the head/create sensations there.
[21:10] <Kelana> *was typing* :)
[21:11] <Kelana> How would you explain that then? I've always thought it was likely there were different senses in various parts of the body, which pick up different 'types' of sendings easier than the other senses. Or something to that effect.
[21:11] <.RainTurtle> "Where" telepathic input appears to show up varies with the method of transmission, in my experience.
[21:12] <Kelana> Eg. if it's sent from the belly/sternum region, it will be felt there..or if it's sent from the head region, it will be detected there?
[21:12] <.RainTurtle> However, the common-ness of the area of where strong empathic signals, and several of the most common "thought" signals come in may well be the basis behind the beliefs of chakra involvement
[21:13] <Kelana> *nods*
[21:14] <.RainTurtle> It's a little more complicated than that, but close enough...Some of the "third eye" kinds of Sendings hit _hard_ in that part of the face....even if no third eye is there
[21:15] <Kelana> Mmk, thanks.
[21:15] <.RainTurtle> (Mammals don't have a real third eye...and the pineal gland is farther back than this is felt)
[21:15] <.RainTurtle> Any other questions?
[21:16] * +Mannen raises hand.
[21:16] <.RainTurtle> Mannen?
[21:16] <+Mannen> Because the telepathic information "hits" in the same spot it was sent from, is it important to know from where you are sending?
[21:18] <.RainTurtle> A perfectly reasonable question. However, it doesn't always work that way. And, it isn't really a serious issue anyway. No matter where the impact is felt --_if_ the impact is felt-- the important part is the clarity of the message
[21:19] <+Mannen> Okay, thanks.
[21:19] <.RainTurtle> Now to the meat of the matter, then...."How"
[21:20] <.RainTurtle> There are, of course, many entirely correct and workable methods both for Sending and Receiving
[21:20] <.RainTurtle> This, tonight, is not the "best", simply what works for me, and has worked for others
[21:21] <.RainTurtle> Starting with Sending:
[21:21] <.RainTurtle> 1) Decide what you want to Send. Pick an emotion.
[21:23] <.RainTurtle> 2) Notice whether or not you can call the feeling of that emotion to mind easily. Feel it without being overwhelmed by it. If not, choose a scene from your memory, from a book, from a movie or whatever, which evokes that emotion in you...
[21:23] <.RainTurtle> (cheating? Yep. So what?)
[21:24] <+Aphanas> Heh...
[21:24] <.RainTurtle> If you are likely to want to Send emotions a lot, for some reason, you might want to keep a variety of such scenes on hand for practice
[21:25] <.RainTurtle> 3) Evoke the emotion, calling it to mind as in #2.
[21:26] <.RainTurtle> 4) Push it outward with a nice puff of "psi" toward your target. Picturing the person's face is one of the easier ways to "navigate". Holding an object made or written (or typed!) by that person is another.
[21:27] <.RainTurtle> If all else fails, write the name or online nick of the person on a small piece of paper or cardstock, and doodle anything that comes to mind about that person...hold that paper in your hands and concentrate on the person while "puffing"
[21:28] <.RainTurtle> Repeated short puffs tend to be more efficient than a prolonged "stream". And the more intense the emotion, the more it will "carry"
[21:28] <.RainTurtle> Questions?
[21:28] * +Jael raises hand
[21:28] * Kelana does too
[21:28] <.RainTurtle> Jael?
[21:29] <+Jael> Can you set empathetic suggestion in wards? I'm thinking of things such as "Veggies are good to eat" in the kitchen.
[21:29] <.RainTurtle> Yes
[21:29] <.RainTurtle> No need to puff, then, just include the same program in the warding itself, set to "release" on contact
[21:30] <.RainTurtle> Kelana?
[21:30] <Kelana> How would you modify that technique, for "broadcasting" to a crowd/more than one person..instead of just sending to one person?
[21:31] <.RainTurtle> For a crowd, puff outward, without bothering to aim it. Basic broadcast. A really intense emotion will broadcast on its own if you simply stew on it enough
[21:31] * +Jael has another question :-)
[21:31] * +Aphanas raises hand too...
[21:31] <Kelana> *nods* okay
[21:32] <.RainTurtle> Picture the puff as a broadening cone, heading generally out in front of you (or to the side, or whereever) can help, too
[21:32] <.RainTurtle> Jael?
[21:32] <+Jael> Can you set the ward to work on one person or will the whole house start loving veggies (using the same example)?
[21:33] <.RainTurtle> With the basic program, it affects anyone who contacts the ward. You can format it to react with only certain people, or one specific individual, though
[21:33] * +Aphanas modifies his shields to ward off Jael's "veggie loving" programming... :p
[21:33] <Kelana> lol
[21:33] <+Jael> Rain: okay - thanks
[21:33] <+Jael> :-)
[21:33] <.RainTurtle> Easiest method for that is just to picture the intended target, and hold the intention to affect that specific person, while setting the other programming
[21:34] <.RainTurtle> Aphanas?
[21:34] <+Aphanas> How do you recommend holding a really intense emotion without it overwhelming you? Would you build it as strong as you could, but stay "distant" as if you were watching the emotion from the outside, or do you have to feel it very strongly?
[21:35] <.RainTurtle> This is going to sound fluffy, but....
[21:35] <.RainTurtle> Choose a character from a fictional work, who you associate with a particular scene in which that character would be feeling that emotion strongly....and "pretend" to be him/her
[21:36] <.RainTurtle> Any other questions on sending?
[21:36] <+Aphanas> OK, that makes sense. Keeps the distance through "play-acting" and you can then "step out of the role". Thanks.
[21:38] <.RainTurtle> Those of you familiar with the Psion Guild might know that Winged Wolf ran a series of classes the logs of which were posted on the Guild's site. Her method for Sending empathically, as explained there, also works well for some people
[21:38] <.RainTurtle> Now, Receiving....for some of you, this is the easy part
[21:38] <.RainTurtle> Method #1: brace yourself and lower your Shields....not usually recommended, for obvious reasons
[21:40] <.RainTurtle> Method #2: Extend a tendril of your field, or a semi-attached construct to feel the surface of the Sender's field, and mentally ask yourself, "What is (insert name) feeling/Sending?"
[21:40] <.RainTurtle> #3: Concentrate on the Sender, clear your mind, and ask as in #2
[21:42] <.RainTurtle> Brushing a tendril against someone's field, as in #2, can be felt, by the way. In fact, pretty much any kind of scan _can_ be felt, depending on the sensitivity of the person being scanned and the roughness of the scanner
[21:43] <.RainTurtle> Deliberately trying to determine what another person is feeling falls under the category of scanning.
[21:43] <.RainTurtle> Questions?
[21:43] * +Aphanas raises hand...
[21:44] <Kitsune> not here.
[21:44] <Kelana> heh, I have one as well.
[21:44] <.RainTurtle> Aphanas?
[21:44] <+Aphanas> Is the difference between methods #2 & #3 just how concrete of a visualization the person is using?
[21:45] <+Aphanas> Or is something different actually happening?
[21:45] <.RainTurtle> #2 appears to be more active. Actual mechanism of #3 is unknown
[21:46] <.RainTurtle> Kelana?
[21:46] <+Aphanas> OK, thanks. That gets me wondering about something I had thought of the
[21:46] <Kelana> Okay, that answers my question too. I was going to ask how you viewed #3 to work. Whether it would be extending energy without realising it; or simply extending mental awareness or..
[21:46] <+Aphanas> Bah... my bad (sorry).
[21:46] <.RainTurtle> I personally regard it as "simply extending mental awareness", but that doesn't really tell us what is happening, still
[21:47] <Kelana> *nods*
[21:48] * +Aphanas has a followup question that may be a bit off topic...
[21:48] <.RainTurtle> Go ahead
[21:48] <+Aphanas> Rain, can "simply extending mental awareness" go around shields - by not going through "normal" space and appearing *inside* of someone's shields?
[21:48] <+Aphanas> Not sure if that really made sense...
[21:49] <.RainTurtle> It's been done, so yes, it can. How easily it is done depends heavily on the setting of the Shield
[21:49] <Kelana> I've found it can within Psionics and Omnimancy; unless the shields are set to block that particular "mode", or the "program" it has.
[21:50] <+Aphanas> OK, thanks. I was wondering that after dealing with some odd constructs at one point....
[21:50] <.RainTurtle> Any other questions?
[21:51] <+Aphanas> No more here.
[21:52] <.RainTurtle> I guess that ends tonight's seminar, then. Sorry we went overtime. Thanks for recording, Spot. Have a good evening, all

Click here for printable version

Last Modified on November 21 2003