Stopping the World

     Metaphysical exercises appear hum-drum and commonplace to persons who are so obsessed with ordinary reality that they have no interest in moving beyond to other dimensions.

     The object we'll work with in this exercise has the reality of a visual illusion. This is similar to don Juan's concept of not-doing: proceed with something as if it were far beyond an ordinary object or event, changing it into a power object or a power event. In this way the flow in interpretation, which ordinarily runs uninterruptedly, is stopped by the experience of a non-ordinary object alien to that flow.

     We begin this exercise by holding two fingers together as shown in the image to the right (or you may want to hold all your fingers together). Hold your fingers together in front of you so that you are looking at the inside of your palms.

     Place the tips of your fingers together so they are barely touching.

     Concentrate on the area where the tips of the fingers touch. Allow your eyes to move out of focus so that in between the two tips of your fingers you see an illusory image composed of the ends of the two finger tips.

     Concentrate on that illusory object between the two tips of the fingers. This is similar to the practice of don Juan in which the student responds to the perceptual solicitations of a world outside the description he has learned to call reality.

     The non-ordinary object (which looks something like a small Vienna sausage) appears to have only the "reality" of a visual illusion (or is there something more?). As you focus on the non-ordinary object, reflect on its being so real that you can see it, but at the same time so "unreal" that you can make it disappear simply by refocusing your eyes.

     Use this non-ordinary object to understand just how delusory all our sense impressions are: caused by sensory inputs that are then constructed into objects and events. As you concentrate on this non-ordinary object, reflect on the non-ordinary world in which it resides. This non-ordinary object that you see between the tips of your fingers is so real that it blocks out other so-called genuinely real objects in back of it.

     This non-ordinary object has several extraordinary characteristics:
  • it is something which you create

  • it is not the result of some difficult, esoteric practice but of ordinary perception

  • it can be manipulated by you in many ways
    • closer
    • larger
    • more to one side or the other
    • containing space between it and your finger tips
    • taking on different shapes as you move your finger tips

     Use this non-ordinary object and the world in which it resides to ponder the contrived quality of ordinary reality.

"Something out there is affecting our senses. This is the part that is real. The unreal part is what our senses tell us is there.  . . . Our senses perceive the way they do because a specific feature of our awareness forces them to do so."

Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within

Stopping the World With Ordinary Objects

cant even remember her name between a rock and a hard place      You can also use "ordinary" objects or events and through mental prestidigitation make them non-ordinary objects or events:

Stopping the World With Humor

For correct answers to Rorschach tests, visit
Teacher: "Every event - including this statement-event - is a metaphysical Rorschach test in which you reveal yourself by your response."

Student: "That statement sounds batty to me."

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand. (Stephen Wright)