Meditation: A FRACTION of Magick

Introduction and Evidence:

To master your body, you must first master your mind. On Earth there are various religious and cultural beliefs tied to absolute control of your body through meditative practices. On Elyria only the lucky few get full access to the secrets of their soul, for one life time. However meditation gives mastery over your mind, body and soul.

An example: Wim Hof appeared on "Stan Lees' Superhumans", a show searching for the outliers in our world with abilities that are extraordinary. Wim Hof explaining it through his own words how he is able to increase his own body heat at will to survive better in the extreme cold:

Wim Hof youtube video link

Theres also a documentary done by Vice about him.

Japanese Kuji Kiri:

Handsigns tied to the kind of meditation seen above from Wim Hof. Connecting two things such as a physical handsign to a mental 'way of thinking', increases the ability for your brain to retrieve that 'way of thinking', a meditative trance. This is the same logic behind how habits form or how a particular song or smell can bring back a vivid memory. Same applies to Shaolin monks control of 'Chi' and other similar practices around the world. Bottom line; benefits of meditation are real.

Applying it to Elyria:

It should in no way be as strong as magick!

These meditations would only allow you to control your body, NOT bring down a meteor strike on New Haven or spew fire out of your hands!.

You have to spend time meditating while holding a handsign to actually be able to use handsigns, the more you meditate the stronger the hand signs becomes; as you increase the neural connectivity of your physical handsign to your mental 'trance' like meditative state (a way of thinking). You can use the hand signs quickly, they dont require you to meditate while using them.

meditation = Practice

Handsigns = Techniques

School of Skill = Willpower & focus

(Each use needs a different handsign) Uses:

  • Accelerate the natural healing process

  • Widen your pupils to see better in the dark

  • Focus your consciousness on your sense of smell (Tracking)

  • Willingly controlling the thermostat in your body: Surviving in extreme cold. (Wim Hof)

  • Reducing your heart beat to stay submerged under water for hours.(google: free divers)

I have a feeling Alchemy in the game would provide similar effects to things mentioned above. In addition to the obvious differences such as: being able to sell your potions and make a living/just buy the potion instead of practicing meditation... the real divergence between meditation and alchemy and the advantages of meditation becomes clear at the expert** level and above as mentioned below.

Role-play & Further advanced uses:

  • Once you attain Journeyman level you can meditate instead of sleep. Journeyman implies you need to travel to learn further advance techniques.

  • At the Expert level you're not only one with your body and soul, you are also one with nature and therefore wont get hungry or thirsty while meditating and wild animals wont attack you during it and may even defend you - (would make it harder to seek out trainers),

  • The more skilled you become at meditation the more aware of your surroundings you are: you will also be alerted/interrupted if another player is in your vicinity while meditating because of this you're forced to meditate away from civilisation/players as you master meditation (This makes it harder to access and learn from expert meditators while also sneakily encouraging RP).

  • At the Artisan/Master level that ability mentioned previously to be alerted to another player in your vicinity will be able to be used as a hand sign and with it you would be able to track down any player in your vicinity more easily without just relying on increasing your sense of smell.

The Lore & Playstyles

The lore related to the skill of meditation could be that every soul has magic in it but only the lucky few, who once in a several lifetimes due to the alignment of the stars, get granted access to it. The rest can only taste a fraction of that power by learning to control your own body and soul through meditation.

So in conclusion this skill would support play-styles such as: constant travellers/vagabonds/religious monks and the 'lone-wolves' because you would never run out of those hand signs unlike potions. You would be able to meditate instead of sleep and the disadvantages tied to the populated areas.

It would only attract few players due to not being able to meditate (at advance levels) in populated areas and the fact that you don't need any skill to just buy alchemy potions... which means the actual benefits/advantages of learning meditation lies in after you become an expert at it but being an expert at it is hard, because finding those experts to teach you will be hard as they wont live in populated areas. Catch 22 :D. All this means that if you are dedicated enough and want it bad enough, you can get a very small taste of a fraction of the power of Magick.

alt text

5/27/2018 5:25:57 AM #1

All i can think of is naruto with those hand signs.

5/27/2018 5:35:35 AM #2

Posted By Vucar at 10:55 AM - Sun May 27 2018

All i can think of is naruto with those hand signs.

Oh heck no! If it was something like Naruto it would really cheapen the realism of the world... This is more in line with actual meditation.

alt text

5/27/2018 6:43:24 AM #3

Actually, at least some of those hand signs and possibly others were historically used in real ninjutsu for meditation and focusing the mind.

Whether it was placebo or actually helped in someway I can't say, thus mentioning Naruto, ironically, is not as unrealistic as you may think.

Alchemy and potions on the other hand... well it depends on which branch of Alchemy you are talking about, but THAT is pretty much fiction.

5/27/2018 7:26:32 AM #4

@Hajimesaito: Correct me if I'm wrong but 'placebo' implies that your brain has the power to control your body if I'm not mistaken, tricking the patient to believing that he/she has undergone the necessary treatment to heal. So wouldn't the 'meditation' I talked about be a form of doing that but at your own will? And if it is done at will can it really be called placebo?

Anyway on that youtube video that I linked, from 'stan lees superhumans', Wim Hofs actually increases his body temperature to survive in the cold at will.

alt text

5/27/2018 8:42:27 AM #5

Hey Herblord, forgive my long winded explanation but here goes.

oh for the record, yes, some people are able to extraordinary things with their body, that as yet defy explanation. I have seen a young teen mess with the nursing staff by voluntarily and willfully slowing his heart rate to make the monitors alarm and bring the nurses running.... He thought it was hilarious, much to the annoyance of the nursing staff....

How did he do it? f'ed if I know, but he did.

So with a placebo, a person indeed believes that something, anything such as an action like meditation, a substance or chemical that may be ingested, injected, snorted etc, even a word or phrase spoken allowed (can be really anything) HAS produced a specific, real and physical affect on their body; however, no such effect has ACTUALLY happened... it is merely a belief.

Sometimes absolutely nothing has actually happened, but the person's belief that something has happened is so strong, that they convince themselves that it has.

Other times it may be that an effect has actually occurred, but it is not the specifically desired one and is simply mistaken for it due to the illusion of the desired effect.

Often the effect that has been produced is either a generalised feeling or sensation (such as calming, sedating, happiness, euphoria or simply a general sense of wellness), that is not actually linked to the desired effect, but because a person feels better, feels good or feels generally well, there is the belief that a specific illness is corrected or a specific effect has been produced.

Sometimes the effect which is produces may mimic the desired outcome, but through a different means, again making it seem like the desired effect has been produces or the desired illness has been cured.

Some analogies to illustrate my point.

Using a nerve block to numb a broken bone..... Sure the patient no longer feels pain, but the bone is still broken. An effect was produced that got rid of the pain, but it did not solve the underlying problem!

A brain tumour: Person experiences, nausea, dizziness and pain. Person takes medication to stop the nausea, dizziness and pain and feels better..... sure the person feels better, and the symptoms are temporarily gone, but unfortunately they are not cured of the tumour which is causing the symptoms in the first place.

Lastly, and I know lots of people will hate this example and refuse to believe it, but:

"Liver cleanses and detoxes", I hate to say, but this is simply an unscrupulous companies cash grab from people, who may even be legitimately ill and desperate for a cure, such as with hepatitis or hepatocellular carcinoma (one type of liver cancer).

Firstly let me say that the liver does not store toxins under normal conditions.... Can it? Sure, but you'd be sick and need real medical attention... You certainly wouldn't just be feeling a little run down and tired (though it may start that way) and there would usually be other, really obvious signs and symptoms to go with it.

The liver itself detoxifies and metabolises.... well practically everything it can so that it no longer causes an effect and can be eliminated from the body, therefore no "assistance" to detoxify substances or cleanse the body is required, else if the liver was not doing its job, it can only be because it is seriously damaged or not function which would mean you are very very very very sick..

What is believed to happen with detox diets and why people actually feel good after one.... yes, people will, most likely actually feel good (but for a bad reason)... is because the resulting starvation of carbohydrates that usually accompanies these diets, along with high protein and good fats results in a a biochemical process known as ketosis which primarily uses A) fat as an energy source and secondarily uses B) protein as an energy source...

The results in the breakdown of fat and protein causing some potential weight loss (there are positives to this diet) but may also break down muscle (and some negatives) which the body interprets as an injury and releases the naturally occurring "morphine" like substances called endorphins to "balance" the system...

This is a similar effect to what "gym junkies feel" because as they work out, they actually cause minute amounts of muscle injury, tears etc, which help to simulate muscle regeneration and growth. This damage causes the muscle aches and pains, but the "high" that "gym junkies" get from regular exercise is associated with the release of endorphins that accompanies the small amount of muscle damage associated with their strenuous exertion.

have you ever had morphine? you feel pretty good don't you! but it doesn't mean you are "detoxing or cleansing anything".

Ok, I will hop down off my soap box now :)

5/27/2018 9:06:07 AM #6

@HajimeSaito. In my response I am only addressing the portion of your post in regards to liver detoxes and cleanses. I won't even bother touching the rest of it. I won't take the thousands of hours it would take to list all of the scientific, main stream medical and holistically backed sources and information I have personally studied (which of course are a drop in the bucket compared with what is out there) of why liver cleanses and detoxes (and the same for the rest of the bodies organs) are actually a thing. But I will waste a bit of my time to say that yes, some of what you say is true, some of what you say is truth mixed with untruth and some is flat untruth. Sadly most of what you point out is virtually all related to the scams and cons out there, but just because there are liars and scammers doesn't mean there aren't actual cleanses and detoxes....and pointing out the scams and only a tiny part of the science related to livers as a reason that the real thing does not exist...that does not make it so.

-The largest cause of war is selfishness. The hardest thing to achieve in life is mutual selflessness.

Friend Code CD4DE7

5/27/2018 9:29:23 AM #7

With all due respect Dariusacmar, everything I said, is 100% true and backed by primary literature of the highest quality. I also have multiple higher degrees to support that I know what I am talking about.

No matter how politely you may say it, calling me a liar is libelous!!

Listing BS references means nothing.

There is a difference between some quack publishing a paper, that is riddled with design flaws, biases, suspect analysis and interpretation of spurious results, then calling it "evidence" than REAL scientific evidence which has been critically appraised and peer reviewed, with the highest standard methodology.

Main stream medical DOES NOT support liver detoxes, at least not in my country (Australia).

You are free to believe whatever you want, but the last time I checked, pretending to be qualified and providing unsubstantiated health advice and information was a crime, so unless you have the appropriate qualifications, training and evidence to back up your BS claims, I suggest you watch what you say and stop pretending to actually know what you are talking about.

5/27/2018 9:42:23 AM #8

The easiest way to do this, guys is to set out your references in an academically rigorous manner.

Anyone can shout, I'm a doctor or I'm a lawyer on the internet but neither of you have supplied your sources.

I accept Harvard style referencing out of preference but feel free to use APA or Chicago styles.

Coming Soon(tm)

5/27/2018 9:44:23 AM #9

With all due respect huh, lol, in the same post and telling me I am pretending to be qualified. Hmmm, well, I have a Bachelors in Nutrition from BSU, an equivalent in Massage, Nutrition and advanced infant massage and sports injury recovery from UCMT and of course the many associated certificates and general degrees that come from practicing natural healing and medicine over 20 years in running my own business. So yes, I and the many qualified doctors, natural health care practitioners and what you like to call quacks, that actually get the 100% results (not the actual quacks that are just scamming) to back up their papers that are "riddled with design flaws, biases, suspect analysis and interpretation of spurious results", which of course are no such thing, but rather catch phrase justification insults which narrow minded practitioners like throwing around to back up their need to keep people coming back to the communal medical trough for the rest of their life and making them trillions of dollars.

So yeah...keep up the good work.

Edit: A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. My apologies for starting an unrelated debate and hijacking this thread. I will cease to do so as I have also been mildly derogatory and should not have been.

-The largest cause of war is selfishness. The hardest thing to achieve in life is mutual selflessness.

Friend Code CD4DE7

5/27/2018 9:50:10 AM #10

I can understand where you are coming from Chipla; however, as I have eluded to, not all "evidence" is real evidence and even real evidence comes with different strengths of the evidence it produces..

This is a problem because the vast majority of people don't know or understand this. They can't critically appraise the literature themselves to say, "well that article was rubbish" or biased or whatever. Most people know nothing about methodology, sample sizes, biases, statistical analysis or anything to do with scientific research and there are many frauds out there that pray on this naivety in order to take advantage of peoples unfounded trusting nature in some areas and distrust of others.

if it were as simple as presenting the best evidence, sure, but alas, if there is is NO credible good quality evidence to substantiate a claim, but plenty of biased and flawed "evidence" (I use the term loosely) for it, people will simply go for quantity over quality

One of the many dilemmas facing healthcare!!

I appreciate your sentiment, but it just wont' work

edit not all degrees are created equal either, alas, many people would not know this either

5/27/2018 9:56:01 AM #11

Thank you for the in depth answer to my questions Hajimesaito, much appreciated :)

alt text

5/27/2018 9:57:07 AM #12

Your welcome Herblord.

6/4/2019 2:34:49 AM #13

After all of this I feel it is necessary to point out that Placebo IS in fact effective. It has to be factored in to trials on a regular basis and it can cause real physiological changes to some extent. Placebo is unlikely to cure somebodies cancer or anything because in the end, at maximum, it can promote the body to do what the body can do, or particularly the mind. Things like raising/lowering body heat, inflammatory responses, pain and sensation. I wouldn't expect it to heal a broken leg but it could certainly help with the pain and maybe help fight off infections.

6/4/2019 4:50:06 AM #14

Posted By Metaldragonslayer777 at 10:34 AM - Tue Jun 04 2019

After all of this I feel it is necessary to point out that Placebo IS in fact effective. It has to be factored in to trials on a regular basis and it can cause real physiological changes to some extent. Placebo is unlikely to cure somebodies cancer or anything because in the end, at maximum, it can promote the body to do what the body can do, or particularly the mind. Things like raising/lowering body heat, inflammatory responses, pain and sensation. I wouldn't expect it to heal a broken leg but it could certainly help with the pain and maybe help fight off infections.

I am afraid you are mistaken. A placebo produces no physiological effect and certainly won't fight an infection, which is why a placebo is used in randomized double blinded placebo controlled trials to simulate but NOT actually give patients anything medicinally useful, that way they can eliminate biases associated with belief that they are taking something that will work and other biases and compare the results from the test group with the placebo group to determine the magnitude of therapeutic effect for a given substance. This however doesn't not confirm superiority of effect over other substances as that requires head to head type studies.

Randomized double blinded placebo controlled trials are the highest form of medical/scientific evidence we have, unless you are combining multiple trials in to a single statistical analysis such as a systematic review or meta-analysis which hold more weighting.

Do you know what they use as placebo? it is often sugar pills... just plain sugar (often, not always). that certainly won't help with an infection.

If a person has any legitimate illness or disease, a placebo will do nothing to help, other than potentially making them feel better, even though they won't be any better at all

This I know, but I also know that people will believe what ever they want to believe.

6/9/2019 4:46:55 AM #15

Hi, 1st post on the forums. Reading the 1st post this sounds like an excellent addition to the system. It adds more depth to an already expansive skill system and opens many roadways for story building.

As far as all the posts that followed which seem to derail the original post and direction. I recommend reading the well written and documented articles from Harvard Health, UCSF, and John Hopkins. The placebo effect is in fact a real thing and while largely not understood, has had both positive psychological/physiological outcomes. I'm pretty sure back in 2014 or 2015 Harvard Health even put out a very detailed article on the subject citing very reputable sources. It won't cure serious infections and/or genetic diseases, but it does surprisingly work for other things.

So with all that being said, and resuming topic, what are some of the issues where a system like this could be abused? As I think that might be the road block. Would something like this become mandatory or provide such an advantage it becomes a requirement for all adventurers to have some level of? Does it restrict the system?

Log in to post