Understanding Psychic Energy



After watching the new Beyond the Physical DVD I had to write some of my thoughts for this forum. Systema is so simple, yet at the same time so complex. Certain aspects of systema could be labeled as simple because the techniques can really be learned in a relatively short period of time, the time it takes to rapidly produce special forces elite commandos who need to be deployed at a moments notice and don't have many years or even hours to train. The complexity of systema is understanding the underlying philosophy/principles and the psychological underpinnings that make it work so effectively. We as human beings created by God are comlex creatures. Even the comparison to super computers is not adequate to describe how sophisticated our minds work. Psychologists, however, acknoweldge the existence of an unconscious mind. We can never be consciously aware of every process going on in our bodies (our heart pumping, hormones excreting, etc.) All this is being taken cared of by our unconcious. The same unconscious that using our peripheral vision wants our knee to avoid hitting that chair or our head hitting that low lying branch. Our minds are programmed to stop at stop signs, red lights, etc. Our minds are also programmed to tell us that "full" fist can hurt so I better get out of the way. Even the way that our minds communicate with each other through non-verbal cues is not completely fully understood. Why do we unconsciously do what NLP calls "matching and mirroring?" This occurs when we establish rapport with others subconsciously. When they are depressed, we also feel depressed even mimicing their vocal intonations and patterns. You can see this also at work in the Beyond the Physical Video/DVD especially when Mikhail takes away Scott's breath. Scott can't help it. It's his unconscious at work. This isn't fake nor is it magic, but an amazing understanding of how the mind works and as Mikhail stated "You don't have to know how it works, but that it works."
nice post rommel. I remember when i watched the beyond the physical tape. Very intresting stuff.

the DVD doesn't have any new stuff on it does it?
I recall one doctor who said that if a computer could do everything the human brain can do, it'd be the size of New Hampshire. Even with micro-chips.

And that doesn't include the subconscious which records everything you've ever experienced and never forgets anything.
I'd trust an electronics architect over a doctor on that figure, any day of the week :D. Although general consensus seems to be that silicon technology is fundamentally *incapable* of developing a human-like understanding.

It is very interesting stuff, the whole consciousness thing, and leads to some very interesting demonstrations. I've seen (and felt) similar things from some Chinese internalists; they explain it as 'chi', I explained it as hypnotic suggestion.

I haven't seen the tape, Rommel; I know that in the UK we had several fairly blunt questions about whether the Russian stuff was all about 'flying chi bolts'. Ah, the fine martial artist's sense of tact... Since there is no 'psychic energy work' in ROSS, it saved a lot of explaining. :) I freely admit I'm sceptical, though.

Do you feel that the psychic energy demonstrated could be reliably used in a confrontation to control (or otherwise disadvantage) an aggressive opponent? If so, why, and if not what benefits does it provide?

Honestly curious, not flaming.
Psychic Energy... Oh, theres that term again oh how it haunts us. Language is a funny thing, its meant to enable communication, but when used too casually it often hinders that process. One of my mentors use to always tell me the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. Unfortunately, Ive seen much to much debate over Systemas Psychic Energy with out the least attempt by people to first define the term.

The word psychic derives from the term psyche and refers to something that is of or from the psyche. Psyche refers to the mind, self or soul. The term Psychic is often used in modern conversation to refer to the supernatural. However, like many words it has more than one definition. The definition closest to its etymological origins, is also closest to the way its meant in Systema.

In Systema we consider there to be 3 parts of the human that manifest in Systema application: the physical, the psychological and the psychic. We consider them to be parts of an inseparable whole. When one is present they are all present and interacting.

The physical is pretty much self explanatory. The psychological refers to what goes on in the reasoned and semi-reasoned brain. If I look over your shoulder, youll likely consider the possibility that I may have an accomplice over there. Even if you dont look, the thought is now there and it is interfering with your concentration. This is an example of psychologically based tactic. The premise is fairly obvious and the ploy is usually recognized by the reasoning mind.

If your opponent was beat up and terrorized after school everyday by a schoolmate who wore too much Brut aftershave then the coincidence that you are wearing Brut at the time might affect him psychologically. Possibly creating a heightened sense of anxiety and a proclivity to being more easily manipulated by the yet to be discussed psychic. This type of psychological effect is not usually processed in the opponents reasoning part of the brain but it clearly affects him psychologically.

The psychic component refers to the deep seated reflexes we have ingrained in our core. It refers to the things we do with out thought, because its an inherent part of our species. If I flick my fingers quickly at your eyes, youll likely blink. This is a self preservation reflex that is hardwired into your system. Granted you might attempt to use your psychological facilities to try to over power the reflex, and in a safe environment youll likely be successful. Most people can quickly learn not to blink in a predefined situation. However, when they are in danger, or even if they lack control of their own balance, the reflex normally comes back.

The brain does not really make a decision as to whether you should blink. Blinking has the pre-established, ever present green light. Something flicks at your eyes blink first ask questions later. This is the heart of the difference between the Systema idea between psychological and psychic. The psychological is interpreted before action is allowed to take place that interpretation may happen on the conscious or unconscious level, but it happens before the result takes place. The psychic is processed before it is interpreted. No decision, no evaluation, just immediate action.

The psychological interacts the psychic reacts. If we return to our definition of psyche: mind, self, soul its interesting to see how those three terms if combined , in essence reference the idea of a non-interactive mental process.

When all three of these components are combined properly and at the right time, you can achieve some remarkable effects. You can get people to fall down without touching them, you get their punches to miss without moving the target, you can convince them they cant stand back up, and many other seemingly amazing things. However its not magical, mystical or otherworldly, its just well applied combined science.

Of course the parlor trick effects arent really the important thing. What is important is understanding that the more you capitalize on one of the 3 realms, the more susceptible the opponent is to the others.

Of course I could bewrong.

Great explanation Arthur!!!See you in May.:)
Great post Arthur. I sent it off to several folks who will find as much value in it as myself. Thanks.

Wow, great post, Arthur. It certainly clears up a lot of points. So, fundamentally, psychic manipulation is concerned with provoking reflex response?

I think the confusion on my part arises more from the word 'energy' than 'psychic'; martial arts is rarely known for precise accuracy where terms are concerned, especially since most terms are translations. But the term 'energy' seems to suggest a driving force, some sort of projection or transfer.

It's only the 'force at a distance' concept I have any beef with; this was, unfortunately, touted by a Systema practicioner in the UK. However, your definition clears a lot of that up. Many thanks.
Originally posted by Rich_
I think the confusion on my part arises more from the word 'energy' than 'psychic'; martial arts is rarely known for precise accuracy where terms are concerned, especially since most terms are translations. But the term 'energy' seems to suggest a driving force, some sort of projection or transfer.

I hear you Rich, confusion of definitions can create lots of misunderstandings. However, in this case I think energy fits perfectly. From what you said above I take it that you are thinking that the energy is projected from the Systema person to the attacker. This I believe is false and not the meaning or context meant in physic energy. Think of the energy or energy potential in the attacker. This is the energy we are manipulating through the psyche, not project our own. When most folks hear the phrase 'pyshic energy' they perceive one person using their mental power to impose their energy on another, when really they have the context all wrong. Psychic energy work, imo, refers to ones ability to manipulate another persons psyche thereby directing that persons energy (motion) as desired. Both the psyche and the energy are the other persons, I simply use my knowledge to direct them.

I agree wholeheartedly with Arthur's post...but I also want to remind that although our use of 'psychic energy' can be defined as such...there is still a component beyond the normally explainable. At a 'psy' seminar in NJ, Vlad demonstrated the ability to move a person (from behind, no contact, from a distance) in a particular direction by using visualization and projection of energy (manipulating the 'strings' of energy - long subject). A good number of us were doing it in different degrees by seminar's end.
This seems so unusual, as does so much of the 'work' until you experience it. (Bujinkan Nin-Po does something similar).
We will be haunted by that 'psychic' term because there are so many different layers to it, even those that defy the rational present-day analysis. Maybe 'unusual energy' is more encompassing. No matter what we call it - its there, its a viable skill/tool and it works.
Mark - I hear what you're saying; in a similar sense to judoka/wrestlers manipulating their opponents' physical energy, you're using the implicit reactions to control or guide their movement. I do think it would stand testing against a highly-charged opponent; I'm consistently humbled by how much I forget once someone's face is two inches from mine and they're going purple, screaming obscenities... It's a useful training tip, too; no matter how much you know you're training, there are subconscious psychic responses of one's own to deal with!

NYC - I don't disbelieve what you saw, but I shall remain tactfully sceptical of the interpretations applied. Details can be found under 'Sifu Richard Mooney' :). Similarly, I agree it's a useful tool, but I would disagree as to its use as a skill. However, a discussion board won't reconcile either of us to the other's views, I'm sure!

I do not believe that anything is beyond rational explanation, although we may not know what that explanation is.

If Vlad can do something, then it follows that either Vlad has special abilities, or anyone can do them. The fact that VV had to learn stuff from another human being leads me to believe that whatever he does is within the realm of human capability. Thus, I'll just have to take his and MR's word that it's all mundane.

As an example:

In Moscow they had us face away from someone, maybe 10 - 15 yards away. The person we faced away from was to advance towards us as silently as possible at his/her own pace. We were to listen to any changes we felt inside us, and raise our hands. I consistentlly raised my hand when my partner was about 7 feet away. Yet, I do not think I read any minds. What I felt was a small 'butterfly' in my stomache. VV has said this is related to our sense of personal space - when somone crosses tha threshold, the body reacts. What could tip me off that someone was in my personal space? Subliminal stimuli? noises too soft for me to notice on a conscious level? Air disturbances? change in temperature of the air around me? There are myriad possible explanations, all of them rational, that could be explored (maybe by doing the experiments and monitoring brain activity?) before Occam's razor must let us down, and we resort to invoking forces beyond our current ken.

BTW, the spetsnaz people who had us do the drill (this was on the spetsnaz military base) told us that they used this drill to cultivate awareness of snipers. Does it always work? Well, MR has been hit by a sniper. But they swear it helps.

VV and MR do not claim to be doctors or physicists. They simply 'do it', as they were in their turn taught to 'do it'. The mechanisms are not so important to them - it's just another tool. At the end of the day, for me at least, what matters most is function. VV once told me to just do the work, and rest will come in it's own time. It is true that every now and then, in the midst of sparring, I will make someone offbalance and sometimes fall without touching, or make a gesture that makes them break form. Sometimes people sneak up on me and I catch them. IMO, getting too analytical over this admittedly intriguing aspect of systema won't help you do it any faster. It has to be spontaneous, not forced.

As you might infer from my previous post, but which I feel I should emphasize - it's all rooted in practical experience. Part of systema is not force anything, or 'make' things work. If it worked, use it, if it didn't, do something else.

I have some old footage of MR, and as the years go by, you can see the PE creeping into his work - there is no sudden transition. Nor does he rely on the PE working - he does whatever is needed at the time.
I remember that exercise - in the Bujinkan, it is done with a circle of 'stalkers' - all at about 20ft around you. Eyes closed, you sense the direction you feel the attack coming from. The attacker is to mentally project a violent attack on the reciever. After a few rounds - the stalker is to think of pleasent thoughts.
Time and again it was shown that the ones who recieved best were friends of their stalker...they sensed the approach very early when violence was projected and sensed approach poorly when thoughts were pleasent.
Prehaps my use of the word 'rational' was too strong and replace it with 'easy' explanation.
I agree that the psy work VV and MR do is someting that we will have a degree of ability in, we are doing some already.
I have used a few simple ones already against that 'serious oponent' at work. The side step/curved punch that is a basic movement has served in a number of confrontations - one time, the attacker fell back and to the side to avoid it. On another occasion, the guy just moved into my fist...kinda punching himself, and he fell back and to the side afterward. I did not intend to use anything 'psy' - it just happened as part of the movement away from their right rear 'haymaker' type of punch.
The whole 'psy' subject is one that is best solved by demonstration, as I was one of the skeptical...until VV 'worked' me with it...and now I demonstrate the beginning of this 'understanding' of this myself.
No magic, no mindreading, just some unusual work.

No easy explanation - I can gree with that. Also best solution is to do it - I agree with that, too.

Unless you've had the VV/MR experience, well, a lot of people just don't know what's out there, that's all I can say.
Great explanation Aurthur..Although I think Brut has that effect on many people.

regarding physic energy etc..a book I read after a recommendation on the RMA board was 'into the light' by Jacques Lussyeard and the accompanying book 'what one sees without eyes' Jacques was blinded at age eight but rather then be hindered discovered that all objects animate and inanimate vibrate and have a density which can be felt. We choose to rely upon our eyes as they are freely available and easy to interpret but by doing so we miss out on feeling the pressure exert by objects and those around us. having read both books twice though and also working in a photographic darkroom alot, I have tried the principals out and think I am starting to be able to feel the pressure of things around me...

Both books are worth a read.. IMHO I think we have lost more skills as we apparently advance in civilization then we have gained, these abilities are latent within us all but they need training and attuning ..just like learning to talk and walk.

well thats my Friday nite ramble over!!

Maybe we have some kind of latent sonar ability almost like bats and dolphins. Perhaps this is why the bat is on the systema logo. We are learning to become batmen.:D
ok but I aint wearing my underwear on the outside of my trousers!!!
Hmm. Anyone here ever watch Derren Brown? (channel4.co.uk/science)
Taking advantage of reflexes and predictable behaviour I can accept but psychic energy? A thing to remember when discussing those demos is that the people at them generally want them to work and will subconsiously change what they are thinking/doing so that something amazing seems to be happening. It's like stage hypnotism, the volunteers don't want to show up the hypnotist and have a crap evening so they convince themselves that it is working. But you can't hypnotise someone to rob a bank for you. I would be very sceptical of these techniques working in a real world situation.

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