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Sigh Balls PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

You say you don't believe in the power of Psi? That's P-S-I, not P-S-Y. Psi is defined as "supposed parapsychological or psychic faculties or phenomen" by the Apple Dictionary, and while the entry thankfully says "supposed," others say there's a simple demonstration that can make you a believer.

Swift reader Austin wrote to ask what I thought about psiballs. Psiballs are balls of energy that you create between your hands with the power of your mind. With practice, it's reported that you can program these balls to do "complex tasks," but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

According to WikiHow, here's one way to make one of your very own:

1. Gather your energy. This could be from your own body or from another source. You could visualize the energy entering and filling every part of your body from the Earth through your feet, or from the sky and the sun through your crown chakra. Some people imagine energy coming into the body on the in-breath and out through the hands on the out-breath.

2. Hold your hands steady. When you feel like you have enough energy hold out your hands. You can either hold them like you hold a basketball, you can cup them like you are holding a baseball, or you can even hold out one hand. Do whatever feels natural to you.

3. Picture a hole appearing in your hand. Picture a trapdoor cover opening and letting the energy flow out. Imagine a hose in each of your palms slowly emitting psi. It doesn't have to be very fast, or have very much pressure, it just has to naturally flow. Don't let it out of your hands.

* At this point you should be able to sense the psi. It could feel like heat, pressure or tingling. When you feel this, move your hands closer together a bit - if there is resistance (even a little) you will know you're sensing it.

Austin has created one, he believes, and he said "it was like taking two powerful magnets positive side up, resting them in the palm of your hand and trying to force your hands together."

I've actually done that with two very large neodymium magnets, and if he's truly feeling something THAT strong, I'd find it interesting.

YouTube has many videos of people attempting to produce this phenomenon, and some claim to even produce light as well as just a force. Here are three typical ones that you might want to look at:

  • Simple Psiball Lesson

    I'm wondering if this short video is a prelude to a terrorist of attack of some sort. If terrorists are resorting to psiball attacks, I say we encourage them.


    Chi Psiball Tutorial

  • This one claims it feels like "heat" and comes from your second chakra. From the video, my guess would be that it draws energy from the spelling chakra, because his is clearly depleted.


    Psiball with Blue Light

  • It appears that the poor lighting and low resolution has caused some video artifacts that the creator thinks is "blue sparks," but even this is hard to see.

So what's my take on this? I'm going to follow the instructions and try to make one now. Here goes.

Well, I felt something. Yep, there was the definite sensation of a "force" of some kind, but I believe what I was feeling was tension in my hands as I put pressure on them to maintain their cupped position. More than that, I think a stronger correlary of skepticism is at play here, and that is: believing is seeing. Or in this case, feeling.

Pattern seeking creatures that we are, we can form an idea in our minds and then scour our environment for it. If we focus on something small and discrete long enough, the sensory pathways start to fatigue and noise is introduced into the system. Our brains detect this noise, and try to make sense of it. And the sense that it's all too easy to make is that the searched for phenomenon is occurring.

In the case of psiballs, I think people are so desperate to have this ability, that they're interpreting the tension in their hands as an object. If there was an actual object there, it should have an effect on its surroundings. What would happen if you made a psiball in a glass of beer or over a moving candle? I'll bet people testing this over a candle would only reinforce their belief as candle flames are anything but stable, and their movement could be interpreted as the effect of the psiball. Add to that that they also give off heat, and you have the perfect recipe for a false confirmation.

So how could you accurately detect an actual psiball? We're talking about a ball of energy that is invisible, but can be felt. How else could it be reliably detected? I think you'll find the answer to that more illusory than it may first appear. Feel free to comment if you have a concrete idea though. This could come up for a challenge application.

In the meantime, there was one video that actualy DID show something interesting. If you didn't watch any of the others, I urge you to watch this one, and I guarantee you'll actually see something.

 

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Sounds familiar...
written by stifenlaso, March 06, 2009
Too much Dragonball, it seems...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRXY6De0KjU
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written by Squid, March 06, 2009
Hmmm... okay, let's start with "It can be felt." Felt how? As pressure against the skin? Or temperature?

If it's pressure then there must be something there to exert the pressure against the skin. How about putting their hands inside a sealed, airtight clear box? The box contains a sensitive air pressure gage. If an invisible object or field was truly being created, then that object must be pushing against the air with enough force to "push" the skin, creating a feeling of pressure. This should be detectable by the gage.

Temperature? Similar setup with the box, but this time put in a thermometer that will hang inbetween their hands. Once their hands are in the box, but before they start their "psiball," they must allow the thermometer to reach a steady temp. Their hands should already be cupped around the thermometer while it is doing this, but they should not be creating the ball. Once the temp has settled, they should try and create the ball. Their hands cannot move out of position, neither closer or farther away. If their hands do move, the test is reset to it's starting state.

It's a start, if nothing else.

Squid
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I tried it ...
written by MadScientist, March 06, 2009
and it seemed to work. I think I must have been concentrating on the wrong chakra though; a light more brilliant than a thousand suns burst out of my butt and I still can't sit down because of the burning sensation. Then again maybe I put too many hot peppers in my beef vindaloo. I do love taking foreign recipes and using sacred animals rather than the traditional animals used in the recipe.
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written by shanek, March 07, 2009
I've been doing these for years. It's a great way to relax. And yes, you really do feel something.

What's actually going on? I'm not sure, but I think it may be a combination of things: There's our old friend the Ideomotor Effect. There's muscle memory (stand in a doorway with your arms at your sides, push against the sides with the backs of your hands for 30 seconds, and step out; your arms naturally want to rise at your sides even when relaxed). And then, of course, there's just good old imagination.

There also might be a conflict of some kind going on in the brain. Your hands are trying to hold the "ball" in place, while your arms try to squeeze or pull on it. The muscles (or two different parts of the brain) may end up fighting each other.

Whatever the reason, I still find it useful now and then when I need to relax and collect my thoughts.
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What are they scared of?
written by trawnajim, March 07, 2009
Why is it that you can never make out facial features in any of the videos? Are they afraid that they might be recognised by someone and made a fool of in public? One guy even has a scarf over half of his face!
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written by bosshog, March 07, 2009
"Pattern seeking creatures". This tells the whole story of human folly in three words.

PS: As Bender of Futurama once exclaimed: "These balls are making me testy!"
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written by LovleAnjel, March 07, 2009
The greatest use of the psiball is, of course, on the dance floor. Me and my fellow grad students would "play" with our invisible balls, changing their size, and toss them back and forth to one another at the bar.
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I use PSIballs almost every day.
written by bigjohn756, March 07, 2009
In the morning, when I prepare my breakfast, I take full advantage of my psiball powers. I make my coffee and put bread in the toaster. Then, comes the psi. I soon become impatient with the toaster, so, I hold my hand above it and concentrate. Before long, I can feel the heat of the psiball build up between my hand and the toaster. Lo and behold, before long the toast pops up! Another successful application of psiball powers!
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I used to sort of believe in this junk
written by fluffy, March 07, 2009
When I was an impressionable college student, someone taught me how to make these things, and because I felt them so clearly, I knew they must be real. I "made" them regularly for a few weeks, and thought I was doing something interesting.

But I did have a bit of skepticism about it, and did ask several questions, like what else could they do other than "focus my energy," how much energy output they required, and so on. I tried measuring them with a simple voltmeter setup (one probe between my hands where I thought the "psiball" was, one probe attached to my skin) and couldn't measure anything, and I asked the person who taught me about it, who said that measuring them makes them "not work." So I just filed it away as a curiosity, as a mental trick which is okay for relaxation but without any actual physical basis.

Several years later I thought about them again when I saw someone else talking about how wonderful they are on some Internet forum, and I decided to actually try testing the false condition.

First, I tried the "making a psiball" bit without the "focus your energy" bit, and I felt it between my hands.

Next, I tried the "making a psiball bit" but didn't have my hands next to each other. I still felt the tension and "pressure," and just didn't feel the temperature increase, which was obviously due to my hands warming up the air between them.

At that point I realized that this was just a simple isotonic exercise, and that visualizing something between my hands led to something like the ideomotor effect. I should have actually realized this right away, since long before I learned about psiballs, my dad taught me a simple isotonic exercise where you visualize/pretend that you're squeezing a large rock between your hands - and as part of that visualization I could "feel" the rock, in the exact same way that I could "feel" these psiballs.

Sadly, I've related this story to "true believers" of psiballs and they discount it as me "not doing it right."
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written by BillyJoe, March 07, 2009
believing is seeing. Or in this case, feeling.

For Believers, believing is feeling, even though you cannot even believe what you actually see.

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written by Willy K, March 07, 2009
FLUFFY said...
I asked the person who taught me about it, who said that measuring them makes them "not work."


This is known as the Heisenberg CertainlyBS Principle. Moe Heisenberg, not Werner.

Or maybe it's the Pauli Delusion Principle. Shemp Pauli, not Wolfgang.smilies/wink.gif
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written by Elexina, March 07, 2009
I have done this. I created such energy balls in my Wicca 101 class several years ago. My teacher said that she could see the ball and several classmates said they could feel it. What more proof do you want? (insert sarcastic eyeroll here)
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written by Demian, March 07, 2009
I was especially impressed by the "Rubber Ducky" psiball in the video. This must have come from the Ernie Chakra?
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written by Kuroyume, March 07, 2009
BillyJoe, an even better way to show that people use discretionary vision based upon assumption in the image shown: Take the image into Photoshop (or similar) and use the Eyedropper Tool on the "squares" marked 'A' and 'B'. Definitive. Both are RGB 120,120,120. smilies/smiley.gif Computers don't lie (because they aren't wired or programmed for it in most cases).

To go astray here, people forget that computers started as computational machines (calculating artillery and bomb trajectories for the military) and then moved into more mathematical calculation regimes. They were initially picked up by business for 'accounting' and record keeping (IBM = International Business Machines) but were soon used heavily in science, especially by NASA and in universities (from which governmentally funded initiatives such as DARPA sprouted). Computers might be thought of as 'media centers' and great for emailing, chat, and porn today. But, their greatest attribute is as complex calculators which can do simulations, solve problems, and show data in ways that was never possible before. Computers can be nice toy devices. But they are powerful tools as well.

Back to your regularly scheduled discussion of 'psiballs'. smilies/smiley.gif
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written by BillyJoe, March 07, 2009
BillyJoe, an even better way to show that people use discretionary vision based upon assumption in the image shown:

I'm not sure what you mean.
I's an optical illusion.
There are no assumptions here.

(But I don't recognise the term "discretionary vision" so maybe you mean something else)

BJ
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written by Squid, March 08, 2009
Okay, I think I'm missing the point of the picture. Exactly what am I supposed to be looking for? From the discussion, I get the idea that the squares A & B are exactly the same shade. To my eyes, they're not, close, but not the same shade.

If that's the point of the pic, what causes the two squares to be the same shade but look different? Questioning minds want to know...

Squid
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written by fluffy, March 08, 2009
Context. Perception is all based on relatives, not absolutes.
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written by BillyJoe, March 08, 2009
I get the idea that the squares A & B are exactly the same shade. To my eyes, they're not, close, but not the same shade.

Youi must have the brightness on your monitor turned down!
They are dramatically different.

what causes the two squares to be the same shade but look different?

I think fluffy has the answer.

The brain does not form a picture within it that duplicates the picture on the screen. Instead different parts of the brain deal with different aspects of of that picture. One part of the brain deals with contrasts in shade. From an evolutionary point of view, there was survival value in being able to distinguish predators from background, and one way was to amplify contrasting shade.
In the checkerboard example, the square labelled 'A' is darker than the surrounding squares and the brain exaggerates this difference making square 'A' look even darker than it actually is. And the square labelled 'B' is lighter than the surrounding squares and the brain exaggerates this difference making square 'B' look even lighter than it actually is. The result is that, although squares 'A' and 'B' are actually the same shade, they look totally different.

BJ
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Here's one that exaggerates movement.
written by BillyJoe, March 08, 2009


If you stare directly at one spot on the picture (or even outside the picture) there is no apparent movement. Now move your eyes around and see the effect. Moving your eyes is effectively the same as the object itself moving. There is a module within the brain that deals with movement and it tends to exaggerate movement. Again, from the point of view of evolution, there was survival value in distinguishing objects that move from objects that are stationary and hence there was survival value in exaggerating movement.

(To be fair, there are alternative explanations for the effect seen here)

BJ
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Gathering my energy!
written by DrMatt, March 08, 2009
Gather your energy? I got some energy in liquid form when I refueled my car, but it's not easy to press that into a ball. Hm, how about using that to hold together some saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal? But I'm not foolish enough to use my own hands to press that into a ball. Nonetheless, such a ball will easily be able to do complex tasks, such as demolishing things, and... well, demolishing things, mainly.

The "Real psi ball" video will be more effective if both hands are constantly shown scrunched in a fist as if that were your default way of showing your hands--and if the hands are shown in the same closed, scrunched position scrunching air as scrunching other things. And when only one hand is shown, keep it in a fist as well, and pretend to pass its contents to the other hand while actually doing the opposite. Well, okay, I laughed at it...
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written by Kuroyume, March 08, 2009
Psychodelic, BJ. smilies/wink.gif

To your previous reply: Not sure of the actual term. I just mean that vision isn't a camera. It is a filtering system 'at the brain's or conscious discretion' for what is at focus. But I think that the other description given by yourself. smilies/cheesy.gif
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written by Kuroyume, March 08, 2009
...is clear enough. (oops)

BTW: you can see where the illusion in the psychodelic image is lost by scrolling the image partially off 'screen' to certain degress. About one third loses the illusion completely. Just short of half way and the illusion is there but diminished. Basically, the more of the image, the more pronounced. Interesting (to me anyway).
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written by BillyJoe, March 08, 2009
...yeah, same if you make it smaller by moving away from the screen.
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