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Library: The Living Psionics

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Author: Meltan
Date:Sep 14 1998

   All that comes from the mind

         it is based on the mind,

               it is fashioned by the mind.

                     - the Pali Canon

IS PSIONICS MAGICAL?

   Many people assume that psionics is just another type of magic. It is a
unfortunate misinform,since psionics is not magic. Magic is the ability to
shape, control, harness, and utilize natural forces that infuse the world and
surround all beings. It is based on the principle that, through the use of
words, gestures, and catalyzing materials of unique power, these external
energies can be controlled.

   The key element to that statement is external energy. Magical effects are
produced externally by manipulating outside forces. The power does not come
from inside the mage or priest but from somewhere else.

   Psionics is the complete opposite of this. The psionicist shapes, controls,
harnesses, and utilizes natural forces that infuse his own being. His effort
is focused inward rather than outward. He must be completely in touch with and
aware of even the tiniest workings of his body and mind.

   This type of knowledge comes from long and intense meditation coupled with
physical extremes. The psionicist finds enlightenment in both complete
exhaustion and complete relaxation, in both pain and pleasure. The mind and
body are only parts of a much greater unity. Indeed, discussing one without
the other, as so many people do, seems nonsensical to a psionicist since they
cannot be separated. They body produces energy and vitality, the mind gives it
shape and reality.

   Psionicist is self-contained. Unlike a tank and thief, he needs no weapons
or tools to practice his art. Unlike the mage, he relies on no outside
energies. His power comes from within, and he alone gives it shape.

   The psionicist strives to unite every aspect of his self into a single,
powerful whole. He looks inward to the essence of his own being, and gains
control of his subconscious. Through extraordinary discipline, contemplation,
and self-awareness, he unlocks the full potential of his mind. Wisdom and
intelligence - the measures of enlightenent, willpower, reason and knowledge -
is  indeed crucial to the psionicist. However, the essence of the psionic
ability is the  understanding and mastery of the inner self.

   Although psionic powers are centered in the mind, acquiring and controlling
those powers demands physical fitness. Meditative study places tremendous
physical strain on the psionicist, not to mention the sheer drain of
projecting psychic energy out of one's body.    Discipline is the foundation
of all psionic power.

PSIONICS AND MAGIC

   Psionics and magic are completely separate forces. Some of their effects
overlap, as might be expected, since some effects are so useful that everyone
who can get them probably will try. For example, both psionicists and mages
have a means of becoming invisible, traveling instantaneously, and controlling
other people or creatures. But in their basic makeup, magic and psionics are
like oil and water - they do not mix. The essences of magic and psionics are
wholly different. A mage or a priest who can detect magic will never detect
psionics. Nor will a psionicist who scans for psionic activity ever detect
spell-casting. This holds true even if the effect of a particular magical or
psionic skill is identical, or nearly identical. For example, a mage can use
several spells to prevent access to certain places. In his own way, using
psychokinetic powers as the force dome, so can a psionicist. If a psionicist
is preventing access to i.e. some pathway, and a wizard casts detect magic to
see if there is any magic present, the mage will find nothing unusual about
it.

THE LIVING PSIONICS

   Psionics - the harnessing and shaping of personal, internal energies - is a
unique experience. Much like Zen, its essence cannot be described, it must be
felt. At the heart of psionics is a tautology: only understanding brings
understanding. Still, for only the curious, what follows is an attempt to
describe the psionic experience.

   The first thing a psionicist learns is how to recognize internal energy.
Everyone is filled with it, but most people are completely unaware of it. It
suffuses our being 24 hours a day, building up during times of exertion or
stress. The psionicist learns to turn his awareness inward and search for this
energy. Gradually, he gathers it together, drawing it toward some spot. The
notion of drawing is key, because this energy cannot be pushed or forced - it
must be enticed to accumulate. An experienced psionicist can gather his
energies continuously and unconsciously. For a beginner, however, this is the
first and most important breaktrough. Once an amount of energy has been
gathered, the psionicst can begin shaping it. The closest description for this
bundle of energy is a "warm spot" at the gathering point. Initially, warm
spots are easiest to form at the front of the brain. As the budding psionicist
practices, he learns to move it around. Eventually, he can gather energy
anywhere: his head, his hand, his shoulder, his back. The precise location is
important when using some powers, but not all.

   And remember, only understanding brings understanding. The energy is not
shaped in the normal sense of that word. Instead, primed may be a better
label. The psionicist visualizes the effect he wants. The stronger the
visualization, the more likely it is to succeed. When the gathering reaches
its peak, the energy is usually realized in a single, explosive release. Many
psionicists describe this release as an instantaneous increase in the apparent
temperature of the warm spot, accompanied by a "beat" sensation - as if the
warm spot had fired spikes of energy in a radial pattern through the
psionicist's body. This sensation is strongest when the psionicist is
directing energy outward in an aggressive fashion - when moving an object, for
example. If the power being used is directional, the spikes are strongest in
that direction, and very minor in others. If power's effects continue for more
than a few moments, the beat also continues, but at much lower intensity.

   Contacting another mind, the most basic and vital skill, has another
physical manifestation. Rather than a warm spot, subjects describe the
sensation of contact as a "thick spot" or a "heavy spot" somewhere in the
mind. They usually have trouble locating it precisely (front, back, left,
right), but feel nonetheless that it is a definite place. Forcible contact (as
in a telepathic struggle) is similar, but much more extreme. Each tangent
arrives "like a gallstone in the mind," according to Meltan Elventree, a
prominent psionicist. When the contact finally comes, he adds, it feels "like
a tiger has unsheathed its claws in your head."

   Clairvoyant powers tend to operate one of two ways. Either the power simply
layers over the psionicist's normal senses (mental watch) or brings
information in snatches and bursts of insight (mental glance). Non-psionicists
often imagine that a telepath can "eavesdrop" on their thoughts. That's not
quite true. If a psionicist uses telepathy, the target's thoughts do not flood
into his mind, masquerading as his own thoughts, or interfering with them.
Instead, the thoughts come forth as a simple knowledge. The psionicist knows
what the target is thinking, as if someone had told him hours before and he
just now remembered.

     - Meltan Elventree, a member of the Brotherhood of the Silent Oath


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