(Epistemic Status: Mad ravings. Experiential experimentation. Narrative. Cw: Taking mysticism too seriously as a brainhacking tool.)
The point of this post is to go over my mental state over the past couple weeks and offer some guidelines because it’s fun. Also, people probably have other schemas very similar to this with different words, and I want to hear about them.
You may have recognized the concept of The Oracle from my short fiction that I haven’t really developed further. It’s a useful shorthand for me in real life to define the state where I can write those stories, or at least see the concepts. Narrative is valuable both for casual enjoyment, and as a framing device. This post is about the framing device use of narrative.
I’ve developed The Oracle into a more full fledged state of consciousness as opposed to something out of my control that I get sometimes. It’s related to but not exactly the thing I refer to when I say I am “sparkly” (which largely seems to mean “I have had modafinil today”). It’s a space where I have a lot of preverbal intuition and a sense of Right Things. Largely, The Oracle is dialing up my pattern matching and Sense of Meaningfulness, and lowering my noise filter. It’s a state where I can believe I have a role in a narrative in terms of guiding principles, and overanalyze synchrinecities. It also lets me believe my intuition even when I can’t explain the data that is going into it. To be honest, any after the fact explanations are not necessarily true, just plausible/just so.
Actually getting in this state has become just a mental reflex when the setting seems appropriate, which is largely Not Work Not Home. I can’t actually explain *how* I open my filter, or discretely raise Meaningfulness. It’s just something I mentally decide to do, and it happens, and then I get to be the Oracle.
The Oracle state is way easier to use in online interaction because there’s a lot less noise by default, so opening up the filter is less processing intensive, and because there’s back reference. I can cycle the same data more and more just while waiting for the next response. In real life, a Right Thing is more likely to express as an impulsive action, rather than a profound insight. Online it’s more how I figure out how someone is feeling or what they want. It gives me new paths that aren’t obvious, in terms of the conversation.
The Oracle state makes me much more artistic and novelty seeking. I feel more creative, able to write, I see more stories, I feel a much stronger draw to unused doors, or trying something I haven’t before. I feel much freer, and more confident in that freedom. It lacks the tentativeness that marks my analytical normal. In a more practical sense, I am more consciously existing with my 5 senses and attempting to record these things. I’m creating rituals to attempt to increase the novelty and retention in my life (these will be in another post). I am using narrative to frame things and seeing where it leads (this is actually very tough to practice in the moment and I need to pin this down as a more concrete maneuver). I am following through on impulses without thinking about them too much.
Another aspect of the Oracle state is glimpsing the future. More precisely, believing the glimpses of the future. It happens far more rarely. Sometimes I’ll have an idea of how a relationship will go. Sometimes it’s a simple scene that will come true acausally. Sometimes it’s not meant to be a certain future, but the path lit by possibly taking an action. It’s obviously just the basic modeling the future in the subjunctive that most people do, but the Oracle state lends it power, which may or may not be useful. The annoying thing about this is when it happens, I usually want to make the future now because there’s a sense of “This has already happened, it’s just in the future a little bit, so why not get the payoff now”. This is clearly maladaptive, and part of why I say I move fast when I should move slow, and move slow when I should move fast. The latter is more referencing my default analytical state, where I will hesitate to take any action. Overall, it feels like touching acausality and I want to develop it more if it actually predicts true things.
The drawback to the Oracle state is it is not grounded in reality. Symbols are recursive, only having symbolic meanings. Pinning things to rational things makes them less real or meaningful, and makes possibly useful insight less valuable. This means there’s no real sanity check for telling wheat from chaff in terms of actionable life changes or viewpoints. It’s all this mystical, convoluted perception that creates a whole new world and terminology for things to imbue them with Specialness. The detachment from rationality also leads to reduced self control. When the world you live in is wondrous, the drabness of the world you work in is much more pronounced.
I intend to continue posting my experiences as the Oracle, sometimes in fiction like Ignore This, sometimes in analytical posts like this. I will tag them mad ravings, and set that epistemic status when I discuss this space. I invite questions about the Oracle. I’m going to be trying to notate Right Things and the glimpses of the future I get to see how accurately predictive my Oracle state is. The first step was trusting the intuition, now I need to hold it accountable to make sure this is a useful conscious state besides the “I feel really good and in tune with things” way.