Monday, November 7, 2016

Orb Runners: Metaprogramming, Magick and Neuromancer

The metaprogramming world appears mostly blue and very watery.  To activate a different metaprogramming module in this world, to enter a new set of instructions into the Deep Self, one has to swim through a channel of cool clear water; the modules are connected through canals of water. Metaprogramming code doesn't get written on the surface, it gets written in the depths to be played out on the surface.  One has to dive deep into the depths,  a potentially hazardous activity, or bring the depths to the surface in order to reprogram the code; to make a significant change.  Metaprogramming - a computer programming term adapted by Dr. John Lilly for the purposes of self-induced, voluntary evolution.  It means  programming our programming, changing our habits and  ways of functioning, our automatic, reflexive responses, how we habitually see the world.  This is a post about a technology making possible conscious change in the depths and on the surface.

Orb Runners jack into the Virtual Reality (VR) of the Prosperity Path Orbs like Case jacking into the  cyberspace matrix in William Gibson's dystopian Sci-Fi thriller, Neuromancer.  The graphics in these orbs look primitive beside contemporary World of Warcraft-type computer video games, yet they're good enough to provide a doppleganger, a cybernetic body double, a vessel to place conscious attention into that allows the game runner to enter another world: jack into cyberspace.  Cyber originates from an ancient Greek word that means "to steer."  What does that mean, 'to steer space?' Who is driving?  This digs up a memory of the hilarious Abbott and Costello comedy sketch, "Who's on First?" We call it voyaging the Macrodimensions of the Labyrinth, in bardo terminology.  Ariadne's thread becomes the thread of consciousness; maintain the thread of consciousness.

We model orb running after Neuromancer for several obvious reasons.  Just read from the title to the first line in this pdf here  remembering that the metaprogramming world renders blue.  The first line of the book reads:  "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."  Tell your vision Mr. Gibson.  Or check out these initial descriptions of getting jacked in to cyberspace.  They correspond point for point with orb running:

"... jacked in to a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination of the matrix. A thief, he'd worked for other, wealthier thieves, employers who provided the exotic software required to penetrate the bright walls of corporate systems, opening windows into rich fields of data."  (p. 5)

"Corporate systems" = body.

Compare this to when Case (the protagonist) has his Fall (which happens right near the beginning just as in Finnegans Wake, another Book of the Dead):

"For Case, who lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall.  In the bars he frequented as a cowboy hotshot, the elite stance involved a certain relaxed contempt for the flesh.  The body was meat.  Case fell into the prison of his own flesh." (p. 6)

Gibson also has a character named Finn in Neuromancer; Another bardo writer, William Burroughs is another obvious influence as is, I suspect, Thomas Pynchon. On page 49 Case is asked if he's ever worked with the dead.  Then on p. 51 we get another direct connection to orb running:

"The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games," said the voice-over, "in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks."

In the audio world, a jack plug is a 1/4" connector.  A jack cable, as they call them in Europe, is a common guitar cable used to plug an electric guitar into an amplifier.  To jack in is to connect.  You jack into an orb with your attention. One thing it shares in common with Magick.

Gibson's brilliant writing and superb descriptive use of language communicates a palpable sense of alternate worlds and virtual realities.  The reader uses their imagination to enter the VR of the story and receives a taste of dimensions outside the consensual human one. In the same way, Orb Runners uses their various attentions - sight, sound, visualization of tactile and aromatic sensations etc. -  to get a full immersion into the Orb; to get an experience of that Virtual Reality and effect change in the process.

The virtual and the actual both seem real; virtual reality, actual reality, both real  The virtual in between the events of the actual = the bardo, the place of choice-points where metaprogramming can occur.  The virtual worlds of the Orbs are not only real and alive in their own way, practical application has shown they can influence and affect the actual world both implicitly and explicitly. Orb running = one kind of magick, ritual magick.  Don't take my word for it, experimentation will verify or refute these propositions.

Most of the orbs are intended to either increase the intensity of a quality that's lacking (eg. the Courage orb) or remove/reduce an excess of an undesireable quality (eg. the Worry, Obsession, Anger Detox orbs.), or perform a specific function (Chakra Cleanse, Karma Burn, Get Well Soon, Clear Light, etc) Some orbs are designed to impart or help strengthen a skill (eg. Astral Trainer) Running orbs becomes a service when the orb is run on behalf of someone or something else. To do this you press the "P" key on the keyboard upon opening the program which brings up a prompt to enter the name of the entity or entities you wish to run.  The benefits of the run still accrue to the proxy runner in the same way as a bardo reading benefits the reader along with the voyager who receives it.

The Orb Selection Portal divides the orbs into 8 categories.  The majority of orbs I run are in the Remedies or Cleansing categories.  The Get Well Soon orb, found in the Power category, has an obvious use for Healers.  One runner I know has recently been running this orb for the United States.  Other frequent fliers are found in the Specialty category: Peace, 6 Worlds, Metaprogramming and Stress Relief are some of those.  Many of the orbs have a similar structural form and/or shared aspects that cut across categories.  For instance the Panic and Find It worlds appear very similar with the main difference being that there are things to find in one of them.  I won't tell you which one.  The titles of the orbs don't necessarily determine the reason for running it.  You don't have to be in a panic to benefit from the Panic orb.  I run this one frequently not because of often getting subject to panic or anxiety attacks, but because it has a nice representation of the 4 Elements, Air, Water, Fire, Earth - good to use for balance.

Common features in the orbs may indicate how this brand of magick works.  Remember that all of the orbs were designed by E.J. Gold aided by his team of programmers.  E.J. Gold demonstrates expert familiarity with qabalah in his books so it behooves us to at least glance in that direction to help grok the orbs.

As soon as you - in the embodiment of your cyberspace avatar brought to life with your attentions - step into many of the orbs, a voice, sometimes female, sometimes male, says:

You are presently Out of Body. Proceed ahead for full HUD boost.

Just as Case "jacked in to a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination of the matrix." HUD stands for Heads Up Display. More explanation on these game details is found in an earlier post.  That post also fleshes out the transformational potential, the magick, of these orbs.

Several orbs have a black Cube with 9 discs on each of the 6 faces.  When you pick it up, the voice of a Guide says:

Your Matrix Attunement was successful, COUPLING FACTOR is in.

Matrix connects with Neuromancer while also suggesting the Matrix trilogy of films which also has much valuable information pertinent to voyaging in computer simulated worlds.   There appear several points of contact and overlap between Neuromancer and the Matrix trilogy.  The electronics definition of coupling factor is given in the earlier post linked to above.  Coupling factor can have several meanings.  I look at it as resonance that communicates energy.  Also see it as a coupling between the virtual reality of the video game and the actual reality of the human playing it.  This makes it possible for events in the game to affect the player playing it. Step into the white fountain spraying blue streams of water with its circular troughs collecting pools of water in the Stress Relief, Pain, Panic, Amy's Beauty Boost, or Find It orbs and experience the sensation of cooling off in the human operator.

We also see a coupling going on between the Sun and the Moon.  The six sides of the Cube indicate Tiphareth, the Sun, while the nine discs correspond with Yesod, The Moon.  In the Thoth tarot, the Nine of Wands portrays this solar/lunar connection; "this brings the Energy back into balance." (The Book of Thoth p.193).  Acquiring the Cube in the orb occultly activates the quality of balance.  The very first book in Aleister Crowley's school found at the beginning of the Equinox Volume I Number I is Liber Librae.  Librae = Libra = the scales of Justice = balance.  The first book Lon Milo Duquette assigned us to read in his online magick course was Liber Librae.  This Cube, found one way or another at the start of almost all the orbs, resonates the note of "balance" with the beginning of the Hermetic path as presented by Crowley and Duquette.  It's worth quoting the opening three verses of Liber Librae:
0. Learn first — Oh thou who aspirest unto our ancient Order! — that Equilibrium is the basis of the Work. If thou thyself hast not a sure foundation, whereon wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature 

1. Know then, that as man is born into this world amidst the Darkness of Matter, and the strife of contending forces; so must his first endeavor be to seek the Light through their reconciliation.   

2. Thou then, who hast trials and troubles, rejoice because of them, for in them is Strength, and by their means is a pathway opened unto that Light.

"Thou then, who has trials and troubles, rejoice because of them ..." - seems encouraging under almost any circumstances. "... a pathway opened unto that Light." literally describes many of the end runs in the Orbs - what I called the "light wash corridor" in the earlier post in the Color Radiation section. I recommend Orb Runners read the entire short text of Liber Librae.

We find a similar image in Neuromancer:

Lines of faint light began to form, verticals and horizontals sketching an open cube around the stage.  The restaurant's lights had come back up slightly, but the framework surrounding the stage might have been constructed by frozen moonbeams.  Head bowed, eyes closed, arms rigid at his sides, Riviera seemed to quiver with concentration."(p.139)

We identify two essential keys for effective magick running the Orbs.  Jacking in and endurance.  Jacking in means immersing as much as possible all of one's sensory and extra sensory attentions into the Orb environment.  You are not looking at graphics on a screen, rather you are in another world teeming with life just as much as the one you came from.  Feel the weather of the orb, the humidity or dryness of the air on the skin.  Get a sense of the texture of the walls.  Feel the cool stones on the feet in some orbs or the soft grass in others; the fog rising from the cobblestones when starting the Courage or Hero orbs  Scale down visual perceptions to the size of the avatar so that when you encounter huge Buddha or Star Goddess (Nuit) statues, etc. you get a sense of the awesomeness of their size; that same sense of an unexpected vista and grandiose feeling you might get the first time being inside the skyscraper canyons of New York City, seeing the Grand Canyon or a Redwood tree, possibly Niagara Falls; maybe boarding a gigantic ocean liner?  It's the sense of suddenly encountering something infinitely larger.

Just as ritual magick stimulates all the senses to align with the invocation or evocation, we use our imagination in all our senses to immerse our collected presence into the gaming orb.  Smell the sweet pea and vanilla fragrance of Wisteria or tangy lemony smell of Daphnes, or however you picture the flora and fauna in the Peace Orb or any of the other orbs with lush, verdant landscapes.

The music and sounds in these monads contribute a great deal to the magick.  E.J. Gold's flute playing turns up in several orbs especially the cleansing ones.  I wrote elsewhere of West African flautists who played their flutes over our bodies to psychically cleanse our energy fields. This kind of psychic cleansing gets highly recommended on a daily basis to any sensitive who regularly comes into contact with humans.

We get some help from Neuromancer for jacking into an Orb avatar.  This describes Case's awareness when it goes into another body:

The abrupt jolt into the other flesh.  Matrix gone, a wave of sound and color.....She was moving through a crowded street, past stalls vending discount software, prices feltpenned on sheets of plastic, fragments of music from countless speakers.  Smells of urine, free monomers, perfume, patties of frying krill.  For a few frightened seconds he fought hopelessly to control her body.  Then he willed himself into passivity, became the passenger behind her eyes. (p.56)

In the Remedy and Power orbs the player gets a selection of different avatars to choose from between various male, female or animal characters.  Trying on different bodies to run the orbs results in different perceptions and sensations.  It appears a practical way to get the sense of the shamanic practice called shapeshifting.  Ever wonder what it would feel like to travel as a fish?

The second key is endurance.  It seems that the longer a player is able to stay in the Prosperity Path Orbs, the stronger the effect becomes, the greater the magick.  This doesn't mean grimly holding on fighting back tears of boredom just to stay in one world.  Some of the orbs have things to do that encourage a longer stay.  The key to endurance is repetition; run the orbs on a frequent basis.  Repetition in the Deluezian sense where whatever repeats is different.  In other words, run the orbs frequently, but always slightly different.  One can stay interested, and thus attentive, after several thousand runs of any particular orb by noticing what is different about it, or running it in a different way; paying attention to and affirming difference.  For instance, notice the size difference of the Cube in the Anger, Guilt and Energy orbs as compared to others orbs like Stress Relief, Peace or Karma Wash.

Different orb runs can get stacked, played one after the other, to form a series.  I've had success combining the Courage and Hero orbs when preparing for excursions out of the country or even travel outside my zip code.

There exists a class of orbs that require only 1 - 3 minutes to run.  These all end with the colored light wash corridor leading into the Clear Light.  Before this corridor is an area I refer to as the middle antechamber as it denotes a space dividing the outer courtyard from the light wash end run.  Often, you'll see three Buddhas on either side, six in total to suggest Tiphareth.  The two sides appear symmetrical, but often it's possible to discern a subtle difference.  For instance, in Amy's Beauty Boost, the middle antechamber has two "lightfalls" - like waterfalls, but with light - on either side.  If you bring yourself (in the avatar) close to the lightfalls on the left side, she is able to sit at the edge whereas she has to stand when close on the right side.  If the middle antechamber = Tiphareth then the left side would be the Pillar of Mercy and the right side, the Pillar of Severity.  It's more severe to have to stand, merciful to sit.  Subtleties such as this, qabalistic or otherwise, abound through the orbs.

Another way to notice differences in orb run repetitions is to pay attention to the juxtaposition of spoken word statements ("You are now carrying a copy of the American Book of the Dead" etc.) with the musical and environmental soundtrack.  Sometimes you'll pick up something with its statement at the same time a flourish on the flute occurs as if accenting or affirming that event.  Through observation, the various series of sounds can form a disjunctive synthesis between each other determined, in part, by the chance operation of the run trajectory.  The whole soundfield then becomes perceived as a musical event. 

Metaprogramming - one of my favorite runs.  The Metaprogramming orb has seven modules, in common with the Law of Octaves, with the octave note appearing as the Clear Light at the finish.  Each module has qabalistic references - module 2 feels very much like Chokmah, module 3 like Binah, etc.  There are subtle lessons in qabalah in each of them.  Try running through module 6 with diffused vision and see what happens.  Some quite interesting visual effects can be created by going very close and into any of the crystals found in each module. It can encompass the whole screen and look like a completely different world. Or recall the passages in Neuromancer when Case is jacked into the matrix trying to navigate through the ice, the protective software of large cyberspace entities.

Metaprogramming requires death.  The Sufis say, die before you die. Ordinary programming, the so-called personality or ego, has to get temporarily suspended, in effect, die, before the new code can be imprinted.  Ego death seems necessary to reach the depths where metaprogramming becomes effective.  A gentler approach is to bring the depths closer to the surface where the attentive player can meet them halfway.  If this has the side effect of making the transition through physical death easier, then you'll just have to live with that.



  1. The link to the pdf above does not work. Please at least indicate what document it referred to - thank you.

  2. Thank-you, it's been fixed. It links to a pdf of Neuromancer.

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  4. Great write-up Oz. I have been running at least one Orb pretty much everyday since they were first released, and found what you wrote elucidating, right-on, deeply insightful, and encouraging and inspiring.

    For anyone who has not experimented with the Orbs, I highly recommend doing so. And whether you haven't or even if you have experimented a lot with them, another real good source for reading about them is the book Orbit by Kyle Fite. It is an excellent book. You can get it here or on Amazon. --Mark Roche