Fear, Paranoia and Psychosis

What I just described is a spectrum.

fear-paranoia-psychosis

Fear is a generalized signal of alertness. It can be modelled as “noise in the system”, which I’ll be explaining shortly.

As an animal, your automatic response to the fear signal is to immediately locate a source. Awareness is supposed to rush to the senses:

Ears prick up, eyes open wide, body becomes erect and ready. After a period of time, if no source is found, the signal subsides and the body relaxes again:

Meerkat Relaxed

Mammals however also have pattern-matching. This means some of the fear signal is diverted into brain areas associated with memory to see if the current situation’s sensory input (from the immediate environment) “matches” a past encounter stored in memory, to better tailor the response based on past experience. This is the basis of all learning.

The end result is that one’s awareness contains sensory input from the environment plus any matched patterns from memory which are “inserted” into awareness, in varying degrees of vividness depending upon 1) accuracy of match (0%–99%) and 2) emotional intensity of the stored pattern (an intense experience which is only a 40% match for example will nevertheless be inserted vividly into awareness). In my book I call these inserted pattern-matches “overlays”.

Here are the problems you face with this, as a human:

  1. You have a vast number of patterns because you live so long AND because we live complex lives where lots of patterns are absorbed. You will also have invalid patterns such as things you saw on the news which do not apply to your current situation in realistic terms but which you have nevertheless absorbed and integrated. So, seeing a Muslim at an airport automatically matches that you are about to be blown up.
  2. You have language, which is the ability to place patterns in set orders to arrive at an end pattern. This is known as logic, despite it frequently arriving at an irrational conclusion.
  3. You are trained out of sensory awareness and into your head (cognitive awareness) from a very early age, first via language and then heavily reinforced by the academic system (“problem-solving” and absorption of vast arrays of patterns non-applicable to everyday life).

The result of these factors is that, instead of defaulting to the sensory awareness check and allowing the fear signal to resolve upon finding no rational source, one tends instead to consult one’s concepts and place them in logical chains, often ending in irrational results. The fear signal is activating cognition more than it is sensory awareness. This is paranoia.

When the process is made fully cognitive, i.e. sensory awareness is almost entirely ignored in favour of concepts, this is psychosis. Remember: the patterns you invoke needn’t ever have happened to you: it might have been something you saw on the news or an outcome you determined as a result of faulty logic.

The lower areas of the brain cannot tell the difference between sensory input and internally-generated patterns.

This leads us to positive feedback loops.

Positive Feedback Loops

Because the lower brain areas cannot distinguish between external and internal patterns, internal patterns feed back into the fear signal, amplifying it, and feeding back into cognition (then patterns then fear again) in a loop. In engineering this kind of loop is known as positive feedback, where the signal grows with each iteration. In terms of your experience, it means that an initial seed of fear, by invoking past terrifying experiences via pattern-matching, can quickly grow into terror.

Positive feedback seems to govern much of human experience in all areas, and I intend to write a full article on it at some point for the Principles section. In the context of this article, the point is, fear begets more fear.

Anxiety

Anxiety does not appear in this chain because it is a slightly different process. With anxiety, a fear signal is felt, but the sensory check is inhibited and the fear signal is brought downwards into the body for rumination as opposed to spreading out to the senses.

Social anxiety is perhaps the best example of this.

Let’s say you’re in a crowd of people (= alertness signal). The sensory check would have your awareness spread fully into your senses (refer back to the erect meerkat, eyes and ears fully open to absorb sensory data to identify any potential sources of fear). Upon finding none, the alertness signal would at some point give way to relaxation.

However, to you it feels socially unacceptable to walk around in this high state of alert (like a wide-eyed maniac), so you instead inhibit that sensory check by lowering your head (“keep your head down”). The fear signal moves into the abdomen where it ruminates as an ongoing tension, inhibiting breathing and natural movement and keeping the body on high alert with no resolution until withdrawal.

I have noticed that anxiety correlates directly with bad posture, as the body contracts into a defensive form. Fear on the other hand gives good upright posture and full breathing as awareness spreads outwards to the senses — an “alert” pose. You can test this now by intentionally making your eyes wide — your body will instinctively lift upwards.

The Take-Home Lesson

The take-home lesson from this article is that fear is best experienced at the sensory check stage. Whenever you feel a fear signal, for whatever reason (often you won’t really know the reason), allow awareness to spread entirely into the senses. Become wide-eyed, erect, and listen out. Within a few moments, or minutes depending on the strength of the fear signal, your lower brains will be satisfied there is no “source” and will send a relax signal.

You will also find that your posture automatically improves while wide-eyed.

The alternative is rumination (anxiety) or pattern-chaining (paranoia).

I checked myself in the mirror and the wide-eyed look is not actually particularly noticeable. There is no point letting social self-image inhibit your ability to process fear organically and therefore have it resolve quickly.

Baseline Fear Level

The strength of your baseline fear signal (which is really just an alertness signal) is a result of your genetics, epigenetics, current neurochemistry (whether organic or altered via substances) and all your life experiences so far (the patterns and their perceived outcomes (also patterns!) you have acquired up till this point, and to which you refer back reflexively when processing external stimuli).

If most of your patterns have resulted in a negative outcome thus far, you will be more inclined towards fear (alertness). If they have mostly resulted in a positive outcome, you will be more inclined towards relaxation.

This is the difference between someone who loves, say, going to a nightclub or riding a roller coaster, and someone whose fear spikes quickly in those situations (or in advance of them, just by thinking about them!).

The good news is that, the more sensory checks which are “passed” (no fear source determined -> relax) in the more situations, the lower the fear baseline becomes over time.

The take-home lesson, again, is to default to your senses in any “alertness” situation.

In fact, default to your senses as much as possible in all life situations (outside specific cognitive tasks such as problem-solving). This idea is known in Eckhart Tolle’s work as presence.

The Noise Model

This is my pet theory of schizophrenia and other mental conditions which invoke paranoia and/or psychosis, such as bipolar disorder.

I was inspired to write this after my friend described to me recently her breaks with reality as a result of her bipolar:

Sometimes I have complete mania, to the point I don’t think I’m me, or need to scrape skin off to make sure I have bones, or believing the upstairs is going to collapse on me.

“Believing the upstairs is going to collapse on me” is a psychotic delusion. It begins with generalized fear. The search for a source then begins. No source is found in the senses, so internal concepts and patterns are invoked to attribute as the source. In other words, in lieu of an external source found via the senses, one is simply assigned internally — often arbitrarily and having no bearing on the “real” source of the fear signal!

Why the senses are not checked, or why they are not believed if they are checked, is something I need to dedicate more time towards understanding. For now, I will explain the fear signal and how it activates different brain areas (and, obviously in this case, the wrong ones) via my noise model.

Do you see anything in this picture?

What about now?

You can now see a very faint smiley face. All I’ve done is add 5% noise over the whole image. (The noise is uniform and monochromatic. You can play around with this idea yourself in Photoshop.)

Now look back at the first image. You will now be able to see the smiley face quite easily. What’s happened?

The noise in the second image boosted the pattern (even though it also boosted the “nothingness” by the same amount — the brain is geared to find patterns). Then the pattern was stored in your brain, and you could easily “pattern-match” it to the first image (which you will likely have perceived as blank before), and see the smiley face! You “learned” to see the pattern by experiencing it just once in the second image and then expecting to find it when you looked back to the first image!!

The same phenomenon of pattern-matching to noise can easily be seen in action when you look at clouds and they start to resemble objects.

Fear, Noise and the Right Amygdala

In my model, a generalized fear (alertness) signal can be modelled as noise flooding the brain, causing different areas to pattern-match more readily. Just as with clouds, this can also make you see things which aren’t there.

I believe the source of the “noise” of fear is the right amygdala.

This is particularly important when looking at paranoia, psychosis and delusion. We can model schizophrenic delusion as different brain areas pattern-matching noise in different ways. Auditory hallucinations are the most common form of delusion in schizophrenia. This can be modelled as the left brain hemisphere pattern-matching noise from the right amygdala to language. So a general fear signal becomes voices. In visual hallucinations, noise is pattern-matched to people and objects.

Remember, the first response to fear is to attribute a source. The senses are supposed to be the first port of call. The senses appear to be skipped in schizophrenics, however, moving right along to pattern-matching internal concepts and past experiences.

I have observed schizophrenics going about their business and the first and most obvious characteristic I have noticed is their apparent detachment from “reality”, which should really be referred to as detachment from their senses. They tend to walk along in straight lines, head down, staring at a single point, muttering to themselves. Their awareness is internal. I believe they are mainly pattern-matching right-amygdala noise to verbal processing in the left hemisphere. They chain concepts together with fearful outcomes which are then fed back to the right amygdala boosting the noise, and a feedback loop is formed.

Calming the Amygdala

The standard treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotics. I believe these work by reducing the overall amount of “noise” in the brain, system-wide.

The two most effective types of drug which more directly calm the right amygdala appear to me, from my own experience and research (I am not schizophrenic but have had severe anxiety), to be opioids and GABAergics. These types of drugs are frequently used in self-medication by people with fear/anxiety problems, in the form of opiates (pain pills, heroin etc.) and GABA drugs such as alcohol and benzodiazepines (valium etc.). The problem with these routes however is rapid tolerance. Additionally, alcohol in particular has such a wide range of activating effects that it can cause more problems than it solves (alcohol is a “dirty” drug which binds to a huge array of nerve cell receptor types, with unpredictable effects).

SSRIs have also been shown to directly and quickly reduce activity in the right amygdala, which is likely why they can be effective for treating anxiety in some people.

Ultimately any treatment plan needs to include cognitive-behavioural techniques for bringing the locus of awareness back to the senses (where no danger will be found), in addition to drugs if required. In my opinion, mindfulness meditation is a good catch-all method, as it also induces relaxation (and thus a reduction in systemic “noise”). GABA has been shown to be higher in meditators.

In my bipolar post, I alluded to the possibility that ancestral ketogenic diets (e.g. paleo) may have a calming effect on the amygdala via producing a ketone, BHB, which is GABAergic.

I also believe the relatively thin corpus callosum in humans might be partly responsible for the communications problems which cause emotional signals to be incorrectly pattern-matched by other brain regions.

Ultimately, until these mechanisms are better understood, there will not be a “one size fits all” method for treating disorders such as schizophrenia and anxiety problems. I believe however it will one day be possible, and hope to be involved in its creation.

Until then, it is my hope that I have given food for thought to any researchers out there who may be able to use these ideas to take steps forward in this field.

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31 Responses

  1. AJM says:

    The “noise” images don’t show on my iPad at least. Otherwise great article!

    • Illuminatus says:

      You may have to turn your brightness down. The images are intentionally extremely faint.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. AJM says:

    Even with brightness way down can’t see them. There seems to be an image which I can open in a separate tab, but even then can’t see anything. Might have something to do with iOS and Safari.

  3. dwayne08 says:

    great article!

    what’s your take on dealing with the “signal” whenever you take a drug or a supplement that is a stimulant? i usually just try to ride it out.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Stims are usually dopaminergic which, in my model, activates a second signal, the couterpart to the fear signal, which is the “anticipation of reward / motivation” signal. Source: left amygdala.

      Loosely, at this stage in my research and model-building, norepinephrine is the chief right amygdala “alertness” neurotransmitter, and dopamine is the chief left amygdala “alertness” neurotransmitter — both are alertness, but seeking different things (right: danger; left: reward).

      Turning on reward has the direct effect of lowering the focus placed on fear. That’s why people comfort-eat and do other reward behaviours when anxious.

      A stim is usually dopamine and norepinephrine (and many are serotonin too) — the reward signal from the increased dopamine tends to wins out over the fear signal, but yeah there is often a jittery “rush” after first taking a stim until the pleasure signal stabilizes.

      Serotonin’s main effect appears to be a lowering of activity in the system overall. It also has a pleasure component — but this can be seen as “satisfaction” (lowering activity of reward signal following reward behaviours — relief — e.g. satisfaction felt after a large meal = lowered activity of reward circuit). Serotonin might also be “satisfaction” in the form of relief after escaping danger (lowering activity in the fear signal). So a decrease in either signal can be perceived pleasurably, and this might be serotonin’s role. I am not completely clear on serotonin at this point. It seems to do a lot of “things”.

      I was going to write a post called “Pleasure, craving and grandeur” which was going to be the exact opposite of this post but for the reward signal, but you can figure it out yourself by simply substituting every fear word in the above post with a pleasure word, ranging from sensory to cognitive. So the spectrum is sensory pleasure –> partial sensory, partial cognitive pleasure (craving and scheming) –> full cognitive pleasure (delusions of grandeur; “master plans”; magical thinking; Messiah complexes; any internally-generated pleasure not grounded in the senses).

      • dwayne08 says:

        interesting. i usually get anxious when i take stuff like ephedrine/yohimbine/caffeine. would you suggest dealing with that in the same way as you stated in this post?

        • Illuminatus says:

          Yes. And also examine what you are trying to get from them, and whether the pros outweigh the cons.

  4. x2 says:

    Brilliant article man, I’ve been considering it the past few days and it is very in sight full. Thanks!

    However, I would say that going wide-eyed is quite noticeable in public or in private. My experience suggests that it is a very strong social communication signal. Almost like it draws attention to the fact that, at the end of the day, we are all fearful of something. Truly wide-eyed pupils remind me of a full moon. However, that is not to say that one shouldn’t go wide-eyed, it just means that doing so necessarily opens one up to the unexpected. In that same vein, I would propose that the reason why the human nervous system is so resistant to “sensing” itself as you note is that “losing the mind and coming to the senses” exposes an individual to a void of a lack of belief so daunting that makes the prospect of certain suffering feel like a relief.

    Thanks again, hope that helps.

  5. x2 says:

    Fuck dude I’m hearing all kinds of buzzing and banging. Am I causing it? We should talk again soon.

  6. Illuminatus says:

    The power is that doing this in X situation motherfucking “deflags” that situation next time. The alleviation is like 90%. Then you get another 90% off the next time.

    But then the tech which REALLY rounds this off is vagus nerve self-stimulation — possibly my greatest ever tech. And simplest. I’ll write it up soon. I was going to email you about this, actually.

    I’ll write it up briefly now so as not to be a cocktease. Vagus nerve lowers heart rate and is directly responsible for the parasympathetic “relaxation” response. It is inhibited in anxious people, probably as an adaptation to early childhood trauma, giving persistent teetering on the edge of fight-or-flight. You can locate it and send a pulse down it manually. Imagine a line running down the back of your neck, along the FRONT of the spine but behind the heart. So a line between heart and spine. Send a pulse down there all the way down to the stomach. Instant relaxation. Watch for anxiety triggers in all life situations. Immediately intervene with this method. Becomes autopilot AND deflags that situation.

    I already taught this to one hyperanxious person and cured them in like 1 day. My techs from the last few months are pure gold. They’ve literally transformed me as a person.

  7. Illuminatus says:

    Addendum to address your point re the fear response:

    1) It is slightly noticeable, the wide eyes, but nowhere near as bad as you would tend to assume, in my opinion. Humans are SO self-image–orientated that they freak out about the slightest thing. This is NOT a big deal. But you should be practising it while out the house on your own anyway, so as not to have to field any annoying questions from friends. I developed this at a busy airport, for example, when I was freaking out about my flight and the crowds of people. (The night before the flight was when I figured out the entire above post re psychosis, as my fear of flying turned into sensory “noise” including voices which, when listened to with full attention, went away within moments, and I was able to sleep very quickly shortly thereafter — the first time I have slept before a flight EVER. So I knew this was the real deal).

    Additionally, frame the response (e.g. the wide eyes) as “alertness” not fear. In reality fear is the negative name we give to alertness. If you are ALERT you won’t feel like a weirdo.

    2) Going through an experience with full sensory response “deflags” it significantly for next time. It’s like you’re absorbing all the juice out of a situation.

    “it just means that doing so necessarily opens one up to the unexpected. In that same vein, I would propose that the reason why the human nervous system is so resistant to “sensing” itself as you note is that “losing the mind and coming to the senses” exposes an individual to a void of a lack of belief so daunting that makes the prospect of certain suffering feel like a relief.”

    That’s right. But (in my model) uncertainty is the DIRECT gateway to opening up the “reality cloud”/”expectation grid”. E.g. I’m moving house and possibly taking up a new career soon. Once I embraced that uncertainty, suddenly synchronicities started happening all over the place. And not just related to the change in circumstance — but related to EVERYTHING. And suddenly I’m getting “good luck” again. Whether you explain that via materialistic or metaphysical modes, the result is the same: embracing uncertainty is the key to the door marked “New Possibilities!” and is essential for personal growth. People should aim to be embracing uncertainty in all areas at least once a week, else you’re just living the same fucking week each time and wasting your life.

    The “belief” you speak of is comforting but it’s also a prison. Embracing uncertainty is your escape out of that.

  8. x2 says:

    Amen on embracing uncertainty as escape. You seem to go about it in a much more serene/healing kind of way though. What I have been doing upon recognizing the perpetual fear feedback loop intellectually has been to then willingly going as far into it as possible. For example, reading grotesque horror stories at night and completely admitting agnosticism to myself as to whether they were true or not. Willingly feeding pure fear into the (nervous) system without integrating it as alertness seems to make my baseline energy levels much higher overall throughout the rest of the day, possibly even forming a new template for baseline arousal potential.

    Dude crazy synchronicities with me as well! I’m not even going to post them though since they would sound so farfetched. I feel like fact and metaphor are literally inverting themselves before my eyes, i.e. I no longer hear what people are saying, but rather what they are trying to hide (circuit VI?).

    For example, the notion of the “kundalini” serpent force is connected with the snake in the garden of eden. Eastern philosophies assert that the kundalini force, i.e. the serpent-like “duck face” that confident girls exhibit during the seduction process, needs to be “conquered” or “mastered” in the practice of tantra. In practical terms this means mirroring her body language, and the male needs to be circuit one “safe” enough to mirror this “serpent” body language and still have a low enough level of tension in his lips and tongue to metaphorically exhibit satiety (consumption, merging) in his embrace with the lover and so two become one. The fact that the West has the paradigm of “slaying” the dragon to reach the “helpless” princess is then, therefore, a direct negation of the innate unity of the masculine and the feminine. Monotheistic thought paradigms use this allegory to prevent men from experiencing the innate beauty of women since they have to “slay” the dragon, and so women become masculine and gross as proliferates western culture, and simultaneously men become either [nihilistic and immoral] or [weak and pathetic]. Witnessing true beauty directly makes men too strong to desire to abide by the process of CONSTANT reinfantilization pushed by western culture (middle school, then high school, then college, then each new job, etc).

    Feminism as it is currently practiced merely encourages women to abdicate the innate power of their beauty in service to the “collective,” i.e. putting their efforts in the service of our corporate overlords. Serfs no longer need to be breed, there are enough of us. Democracy in this way is the best form of feudalism ever invented; it masculinizes everybody in the system by demonizing beauty and makes “justifiable” the practice of persistent and unrelenting violence of “all against all,” which used to happen more overtly (slavery, WWI, WWII) but now happens at the super-ego level. “Where lived the super-ego now lives the ego.” This is especially bad in the U.S., but what else could you expect from a country that was originally founded upon “liberty and justice for all” while simultaneously overtly enslaving 1/6th of the population? P.C. culture is so nonsensical because it was founded on the “Orwellian” hypocritical double-speak that has characterized all human behavior since humans were first convinced that they had “free will.” Which, of course, is patently false bar an alarmingly small subset of enlightened geniuses; childhood and adolescent experiences serve as paradigms of behavior that the organism seeks out to “relive” and then retroactively rationalizes these happenstantial occurrences as necessary events for its own survival. This process is commonly called “morality” or “culture,” but in more pragmatic terms it means taking pride in your own limiting beliefs and outdated behavior scripts.

    Dude, I think if we destroy monotheistic thought paradigms, we can change human behavior as we know it. No need to fight the snake; the original sin is the original lie, man was meant to bite into the apple (bosom) of the goddess that is our DNA! Prohibiting this practice merely formalizes the process of turning mankind into a weak and sickly herd animal, divorced from the ideal of beauty that is so necessary as the source of meaning in life. Jesus, Moses, and Mohammed were the original liars. When all beauty dies, then so does man, and you get the abomination that is ISIS in the middle east. My proposed solution is to acknowledge that both men and women are divine! Let the goddess roam free! Rid mankind of the infantile hysteria that results when such patently absurd notions as

    I have heard philosophers propose that Buddhism is the religion of a culture on the decline, and I think you and I will soon move past the stage where this kind of body self-psychotherapy will be necessary as we continue along the path of self-overcoming. Thoughts?

  9. x2 says:

    Also I totally vibes with both your previous posts, I was just trying to build off of them.

  10. x2 says:

    “patently absurd notions as immaculate conception plague our ideals what it means to fall in love with one another” is what that last part was meant to say

  11. x2 says:

    “our ideals regarding what it means” haha

  12. Illuminatus says:

    My internal flagging system is telling me you may have something here, but it’s nascent and fuzzy at the moment — you need to bring it more into focus through the lens of experience before it’s something I can look at more. There’s potential for retrograde steps, for me, if I bite a chunk off that apple right now. 🙂

    Re the blurring between fact and metaphor. I’ve had a crazy week. My visualizations were coming true with astounding clarity literally the day after doing them. On Wed I visualized the perfect golf swing for nearly 2 hours. More than that, though — I visualized total calm and the experience of no pressure from my golf partner’s presence. I played my best ever game. I birdied the first hole, putting the ball from 5 yards off the green on the second shot.

    I then had all my socializing/night out visualizations come true at the weekend.

    The key is that, in the new visualizations, I remove all psychological limitations (but not laws-of-physics limitations). This seems to be the ultimate “golden key” to visualization. It is actually incredibly difficult to remove psychological limitations, even in a self-rendered visualization. But, it’s inside your own head, so you get unlimited practice runs! Yes, this means when visualizing approaching a woman for a example, you begin by having the exact same psychological blocks/limitations/”approach anxiety” you would in real life. You spot that, stop, rewind, and play it again, holding off the limitation.

    The result is the exact headspace you are in when in a dream. In a dream, you have no concept of what is about to come next. You are not “predicting”. You are straddling the line between the familiar and the uncertain. New experience is necessarily uncertain. It is the prediction that causes the old result to stand forward from the “probability cloud”. If you predict struggle, you get struggle. And people do that unconsciously in line with their own existing limiting beliefs. In fact, I would regularly fall asleep during these visualizations and be able to work through them literally in a dream. Their manifestation times after these were extremely short — i.e. next day.

    The result after just 4 days of this is that my dreams now resemble reality to a point whereby I am now often finding them indistinguishable. I wake up and, for the next hour or so, consider with full emotionality the waking experience to be merely an extension of the dream — albeit with more limitations, largely self-imposed from past experience. The limitations slowly reassert themselves over the next hour and I return to full “normal waking state”. I literally see my thoughts changing to re-conform to “established protocol”.

    And, yes, according to your description of free will, I believe this is how one actually achieves it:

    ” childhood and adolescent experiences serve as paradigms of behavior that the organism seeks out to “relive” and then retroactively rationalizes these happenstantial occurrences as necessary events for its own survival.”

    Removing the limitations in the visualization is how one breaks those pre-established tracks and can go down new paths. If that is not free will, what is? I believe this all falls under Circuit VI – Metaprogramming.

  13. x2 says:

    What you say totally makes perfect sense to me except where you say that “Removing the limitations in the visualization IS how one breaks those pre-established tracks and can go down new paths.” The way I go about it is to focus on “nothing” and then stick with that for long enough, at which point a repressed memory comes up and I experience it fully and then subsequently feel incrementally more free by “attacking” the tension in my body that the surfaced memory created.

    I would say that I’d be willing to give your way a try except that I don’t think I will need this same kind of stuff for much longer. I’ve been feeling eternally now for the past few weeks, haha…

    Perhaps you are close too?

    • Illuminatus says:

      I do general meditation which serves the purpose you just described.

      With the visualization, though, I’m specifically going for intention-manifestation. I want to figure out how this “dream” works.

      I also want things. I want to enjoy my life. Being spiritually clear is one thing. But having money to live well, having friends and women, activities I like doing, and generally testing the boundaries of what’s possible, has all gone up in priority since I figured out I could be happy just in my bedroom (what’s the point? There’s stuff outside).

      Also, changing my internal narrative THIS way (by changing it internally then having the effects immediately fed back to me from “out there”) has had the effect of attacking myriad limiting beliefs simultaneously. Meditation is more like a drip-feed. This is more like just picking up a new book and saying, “This is me today!”

  14. Vick says:

    When you visualize, are you doing it in first or third person?
    I’ve been visualizing women giving me looks and smiling at me both in first and third person.
    When I do it in third person I then visualize myself entering that me that experiences it.
    It’s been over a week and I didnt get results yet, some seem to actively avoid my EC.
    Also the image is not vivid clear and detailed, maybe it will come with practice.

    My guess is its my vibe or something, but I feel calm and relaxed with good posture.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “When you visualize, are you doing it in first or third person?”

      First person only!!! You are preparing what YOU want to experience, not some outside observer.

      “I’ve been visualizing women giving me looks and smiling at me both in first and third person.”

      Visualize YOUR action, not theirs. Visualize approaching with total calm and happiness. Respect the laws of physics — so don’t make yourself a mind control master who has them approach without doing anything. In reality, as you get better, they will approach from time to time, but don’t depend on it. Focus on your own positive action — your actions within the simulation we call “life”.

      “It’s been over a week and I didnt get results yet, some seem to actively avoid my EC.”

      Give it time and let the real-life experiences trickle in, which strengthens the visualization and decreases the manifestation time in future.

      “Also the image is not vivid clear and detailed, maybe it will come with practice.”

      Practise making it so. Also, put a fair amount of detail in the scene. So imagine other people being there, and seeing you approach. How does that make you feel? If it gives you anxiety or any sort of “stop” signal, rewind and redo that part, without the negative emotion (takes practice, because you are rewiring your default responses). In the end it should be extremely clear and you should be able to run through the simulation without hesitance or negative emotions of any kind, as though it were a holodeck or dream. Make the girl a generic girl of the type you like (no one specific). Make the scene a familiar place, e.g. a bar you go to regularly, in order to get the detail as vivid as possible. You can do generic scenes later once you have the experience.

      • Illuminatus says:

        Also imagine familiar scenes where you would like to feel more calm, and imagine walking through them with total calmness. Fill them with generic people doing generic things they do in that situation. Imagine it like a holodeck where you KNOW they are just computer-generated characters. Any anxiety or negative feelings, rewind and do that bit again without the feelings. This often takes a LOT of practice, even to just get 2 seconds of one scene right, because you are literally de-anchoring your pre-programmed responses to that situation, within the simulation facility of your mind. Practise, practise, practise.

  15. Vick says:

    Yes first person visualizations make more sense, I’ll put more effort in the details from now on, I usually neglect them.
    Yeah lots of effort and focus just to get a short scene right is what I experience as well.

    Isnt it helpful to visualize myself starting a conversation and the women respond well with a smile?
    Or should I go through the 3 possible reactions and visualize myself staying calm and escalating anyway? at least on neutrals and positives.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “Isnt it helpful to visualize myself starting a conversation and the women respond well with a smile?”

      Smile is good, definitely. Positive emotional response is good.

      “Or should I go through the 3 possible reactions and visualize myself staying calm and escalating anyway? at least on neutrals and positives.”

      Definitely not, only practise the positive reaction. You are visualizing what you WANT.

      Any time what you DON’T want flashes up, rewind and replay that bit without that.

  16. Vick says:

    Go it, Thank you!

    • Illuminatus says:

      I’m going to write this all up properly in a post in a couple of weeks once I’ve got more examples of it working. Your questions are very helpful for me to cover all the bases in that post!

      I will make the most important point now, however.

      I know why you wanted to introduce the contingency plans of neutral or negative responses into your visualization: you consider this a “practice run” and want to cover all your bases, so all possible variances or “paths” in the situation can be handled. But that is NOT the principle behind visualization. The visualization should ONLY contain what you WANT.

      In reality, you will get neutral or negative responses from time to time. Sometimes a girl will not be interested. In most cases if that happens you should simply move on to the next girl, and have faith that your visualization will come true on one of the next ones. Many cases can simply NOT be converted to a desired outcome. Moving on is always preferable. Experience will tell you when you should stay however.

      The visualization is to get your focus on the good situations, and away from the bad. If you are practising handling bad situations in your mind, well guess what, you are going to bring more bad situations into your reality!

      That does not mean you should not adapt following bad outcomes. An example is from my Friday night. I approached the first girl and my positive visualization came true immediately. I stayed with her for about an hour. Another guy had better game in terms of knowing how to take her focus away from me incrementally, and went home with her. This was simply a matter of me not having enough experience of that situation.

      So I’ve now practised a new visualization just for that contingency. In the new visualization I am not rude; I do not try to “AMOG” him. I simply say in her ear, “Let’s go an get a drink 🙂 ” and take her away. I talked to a more experienced friend and he offered me advice, which I made into a new visualization just for that contingency. I ONLY practised that visualization following feedback from experience. That is how you adapt. Don’t assume problems in advance; that just encourages them to appear.

      However, that contingency will NOT change my “main visualization”, which is the visualization of comfortably meeting new women we have been discussing so far. I’m not going to start putting contingencies into my main visualization, because I don’t want them to start appearing. Yet, I’ve practised that “mini-visualization” for the contingency a few times so my mind is at rest; I have faith I will be able to handle it next time.

      Notice how I JUST put what I WANT even in the mini contingency visualization. Just a positive moving forward. Positive direction of energy in the direction I want. No brick walls or problems were visualized even in that contingency. An analogy for golf would be messing up your first shot then visualizing a contingency of beautifully pitching your ball out of the rough onto the green. Don’t get mad; just channel the flow of energy positively forward towards what you WANT. 🙂

      • Illuminatus says:

        Experience will also tell you how to make slightly different visualizations for different situations. E.g. my super-relaxed approach that works great in bars does not work so well in a nightclub. So I’ve practised a separate, more high-energy visualization for nightclub (outside area) and a completely different visualization for dance floor (just walk up and notice the ones looking at me, and just walk up and let them start kissing me haha, which is how dance floor tends to operate). Three different approaches, three different visualizations for three different situations. EXPERIENCE told me how to make those new visualizations. That’s how to adapt. What they all have in common however is that they only contain what I WANT (albeit different methods of “getting” that).

        Start off with a “general visualization”, test it, then let experience tell you how to make new visualizations for the different situations. You don’t know situations are different till you’ve experienced them; if you have low experience, guessing is not going to help you because you will put in contingencies that probably will never happen. Those contingencies come from your fears, past experiences, and social conditioning. That’s why I’m always saying, rewind and replay the visualization without any negative emotions.

        • Vick says:

          So basically its:

          Always first person
          As detailed as possible, provide the whole environment for the specific situation and include as many senses as possible
          Only visualize the positive things I want to happen
          If it doesnt go right or there are negative feelings rewind until it feels right
          Adjust visualizations according to real life experience
          No mind control, only visualize my action and a positive reaction
          Enjoy life 😀

          Btw did you ever experience face tension? mostly in the nose area?
          At first I thought it was caffeine and I stopped drinking coffee completely, it helped but theres still tension there.
          I try to relax, massage, flex so it will shake but it doesnt go away.
          Its even there through meditation when I’m completely relaxed.

          • Illuminatus says:

            Yep, you got it spot-on 🙂

            Re the face tension, there are many things you can try.

            First is “breathing into” the tense area. So when you breathe in, imagine the air actually going into that area.

            Second, you could try a FuzzBlock (imagine electrical static/noise/”fuzz” in the tense area).

            Third, practise a “genuine smile”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_Action_Coding_System
            AU 6 (cheek raiser) + 12 (lip corner puller) induced a rapid happiness state in me. I also noticed torso muscles, e.g. chest, which resisted the happiness and attempted to “pull it back down”. I believe this is where the vernacular “having a heavy heart” comes from. Relaxing these allowed the state to persist.

            Facial tension reflects a persistent two-way link between body and mind (muscle tension in response to emotions/concepts, and emotions/concepts also being invoked BY persistent muscle tension — they cause each other, and should be dealt with at the same time by addressing both; so relax/stretch/correct the muscles WHILE looking at the negative emotion/concept with equanimity so it dissipates).

            How you learn to consciously relax certain muscles is something you learn yourself via trying various things. It’s an internal skill you figure out using your intuition and creativity. I’ve given you some pointers there but it’s up to you now. 🙂 Ultimately, doing the opposite action — so feeling calm and SMILING — is often the best way to replace the negative tension with something else.

          • Vick says:

            Smiling seems to work best, when I try the fuzzblock or breathing in there I put attention on that area and that causes tension, maybe i’m doing it wrong, I’ll practice a bit more and see if there are any results.

            You are right the tension there causes negative emotions, feels like bitterness\dissatisfaction – best way I can describe it (Maybe explains why there no EC\smiling from girls, probably fucks up my vibe). Smiling makes it go away and causes good feelings, but I cant walk around with a smile all the time (or can I? 🙂 ).

            One more thing about visualization

            Should I visualize the verbal part of the conversation? – What I say to people, what they say back.
            Or just a quick Hi from me and others to me all with a smile and positive vibe?

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