Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soul Money

Not long ago, a determined cabal of MSPA readers, quite unsolicited, leapt from the shadows and accosted me. Brazen was their skulduggery, waged in plain daylight. These rowdy toughs were not armed with whirling chains or brass knuckles or snug leather vests or sporty kerchiefs or fishnet ANYTHINGS, primarily I guess because they were not male strippers. They WERE however armed with the most daring accoutrement of all: generosity.

They made a donation of $150 dollars American, a gift which came with a pretty firm stipulation. I was to use this money to hire a man to create my celestial soul portrait. In this way, I could have my soul properly beautified as well as immortalized. This would be accomplished by a guy named Erial Ali, who would surely have it on authority from the celestial deities themselves which way would be optimal to set my soul aflame with rainbows and random forehead lasers, and how many shitty space dolphins would be ideal to stick up in my grill.

But there was a catch, and no, that catch amazingly wasn't simply the 150 bucks it apparently requires to drop a few reduced-opacity rainbow gradations, mediocre masking effects and augmented saturation adjustments on a photo that your unemployed neighbor took of you in the back yard. The real catch was that Erial seems to demand to speak with you on the phone before he Photochops your bad high school portrait with resources mined from a Google Image Search of the Hubble Deep Field. I guess maybe to get to know your soul?

Either way, I knew this phone call was going to be intense. I actually got kind of psyched for it, for a while. I practiced a modified form of enthusiasm, the kind that was basically genuine enough to trick his soul-sweeping lasers that scour my aura for traces of irony. I was prepared to throw out a lot of buzz phrases in a really excited way, like I was really eager to see how he would "blitz my chakras". I was going to say "blitz my chakras" a lot. I'm serious about that. It was going to be my go-to line. Like, dude, just go apeshit on those chakras. I'm not paypalling you a Benjie and a half for a bunch of weaksauce chakras. I want a chakra you can hang your hat on, WHILE you fry an egg on it, and makes you HIGH just in the amount of time it takes you to go Google whatever the fuck a chakra IS.

But then I chickened out and just did the damn soul portrait myself.



In the end, it wasn't really about not wanting to have a weird conversation with some strange dude in a robe. Yeah that was a factor. But let's get real here. I can Photoshop that guy under the table. I mean literally, I can literally make it appear as if he is squatting under a table in Photoshop. By doing the soul portrait myself, I am simply delivering a superior product to my devoted followers. I don't know what sort of rubbish Erial would have made. The fact of the matter is it would have been a costly and tedious exercise in disappointment. You're welcome for me not putting you through that, everybody.

The bonus is I get to keep the cash. Well, I just sort of decided this. I didn't really ask. But I have a longstanding tradition of misappropriating funds donated to me by people for some really specific, peculiar purpose.

I refer to such funds as "Olive Garden Money".

I'm going to use all of this money to fund a series of trips to the Olive Garden, and I will document each visit carefully and report my findings to you. I will even let readers decide on my menu selection via polling.

I don't really like the Olive Garden that much, and my grave adherence to this franchise under these exceedingly precise circumstances doesn't make much sense. It's hard to explain. Maybe impossible. I have a chronicled history with the restaurant, or at least a history with TALKING about it, which is what makes this all so maddeningly stupid. But maddeningly stupidly WONDERFUL. And sometimes, just sometimes, truly wonderful things are just downright, ball-numbingly idiotic.

While you were reading that paragraph, awful Italian music started playing in the background.

But the bottom line is, this Olive Garden money was first soul money, so really my soul is financing this enterprise. My soul will be subsidising gargantuan mouthfuls of cheesy shell shaped noodles or some sort of tangy-sauced shellfish entre I wouldn't order in a billion years if left to my own devices, but I might have to if my hand is forced. I'll probably leave a signed copy of my soul portrait along with the tip. My soul is making this happen. When you think about it, where would be without my soul? All of us?

The answer is we'd all be so far up shit creek people would start naming bad smells after us.

130 comments:

AAAAAAAAAA42 said...

You're going to have them cook Byron, right?

I heard webcomic artists are delicious!

Kobra said...

Wow, yours is so much better than his. For real.

Matthew Stewart said...

Well, if nothing else, you overclocked your chakras so hard not even The Dalai Lama would be a match for you in spiritual combat. My only hope is that SoulForm Andrew Hussie makes an appearance in Homestuck at some point.

Veras Gunn said...

It takes that guy a month to make one of those horrible photoshops? Really? I find that hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

not cool! I wanted to see that guy paint your soul :(

Byrobot said...

WTF AA42. Not cool.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be rude, but has anyone ever told you that you look a little like something out of The Sims?

Anonymous said...

If you notice, the top of his head had been cropped off, hiding the big green diamond over his head.

And in the next room, his couch has been set on fire.

Anonymous said...

oh man that is pretty awesome I'd like to have you shop a soul picture of me. but i think we both can agree no phone calls. and i think we both can agree a good payment or services is 10 packs of Hostess Zingers.

Horus said...

But who are you taking to Olive Garden with you?

peterk said...

How can you eat in a place that uses the Papyrus font all over the place?

hehe said...

THE SIMS
THE SIMS

Marelo said...

@ the first anonymous comment:

Speaking as someone who actually donated for this: It is extraorinarily cool and a better outcome than we could have possibly hoped for.

It's almost like you've never read Andrew's blog before. More posts are a GOOD THING.

Anonymous said...

Let the fine staff at that wonderful bistro know this is your soul money. In fact, refuse to pay them the correct amount because that's your SOUL* on that card.

*One Soul Dollar = roughly 6.7 USD

srsly? said...

i guess you can't put a price on someone photoshopping your picture, andthen sending you a cd with the new picture... oh wait you can $150

Carson said...

I love you.

Anonymous said...

I desperately hope that that Erial guy's endeavors are completely ironic and that he is simply doing his duty to con stupid people out of sizable chunks of money. Like a celestial troll.


...INFERNAL TROLL PORTRAITS. This is a new thing which must promptly be incorporated into Homestuck/Hivebent.

Anonymous said...

oh god did anyone listen to his music


it's like getting BROADSIDE SCHOOL FED up the BONE BULGE by an entire ENSEMBLE of immaculate synthesized angels who don't know how to make words or melodies so they just kinda hum chords absently

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. ^_^ '=
In fact, i think the 'buy Andrew nifty crap Fund' is a great idea, and wish to donate money to this mad-crazy fucktastically wicked-rad endeavor.

Anonymous said...

It's kinda funny, but still, kind of a dick move.

Anonymous said...

@Second Anonymous: He obviously was so awesome that THE SIMS decided they needed to make all their SIMS based off of Andrew. This is only logical and can be proven through a series of mathematical equations.

Now for my own opinion. Not only is the ironic terribleness a contributing factor to this ALMOST being as awesome as the Steed with puppet hair fighting the pigskin throwing brute, it's accuracy astounds me. If you look at the circles inside of the S0ul Huss13, those are actually where the chakras are supposedly linked.
Kudos. Erial can go screw himself. You're better.

Bone-bulge for your soul said...

Andrew, I see one of your chakras is apparently inhabiting that coffee mug. HAVE YOU SPLIT YOUR SOUL TO ACHIEVE PRETERNATURAL POWERS?!?!?!

Marelo said...

"It's kinda funny, but still, kind of a dick move."

So did you donate to this? Because if you didn't you don't really have a leg to stand on. The (visible) reaction from people who donated has been overwhelmingly positive and/or understanding.

In other words, chill out. It's all cool. Remember that he didn't even ASK for this money.

Nick said...

AH is so amazing that he drinks rainbow singularities in SoulForm, even though they have too many DENSTy and MAS.

Anonymous said...

@marelo just because apparently most of the visible reaction was positive doesn't mean there wasn't a silent disgruntled majority. Or even people merely saying they're happy because folks like you come through and made them feel bad about having gotten lied to.

Anonymous said...

"Andrew, I see one of your chakras is apparently inhabiting that coffee mug."

What? No.

That's not coffee in that mug.

How do you think he survives? Food is just a formality for him. That's a mug of souls.

Gotta keep his mind fueled somehow, y'know.

Echidnapi said...

Even in rainbow chakra land, all I can see is that banana.

You have to get on that. By which I mean eat it or make bread. Or maybe monkey milk.

Phantos said...

I am formally inviting anyone who was not satisfied with this outcome, who donated to Andrew in good faith and feel as if that faith were somehow tarnished, to come forth and receive 150 dollars so you will shut the fuck up.

Depending on how much you contributed, you may make a lot of money off of this indignation.

Yes, I am 100% serious about this. You know where to find me

CosmosSavant said...

"@marelo just because apparently most of the visible reaction was positive doesn't mean there wasn't a silent disgruntled majority. Or even people merely saying they're happy because folks like you come through and made them feel bad about having gotten lied to. "
He never lied to anyone. The fans took it upon themselves to do this. Besides, there is still a Soul Picture so no harm done.

Stij said...

Andrew should open his own rival soul portrait business. It's an untapped market, really.

Or maybe he could send his masterpiece to Erial. I'd love to see what he says about it...

Ghosty said...

Hold on, that's not Andrew--

It's GPI!!

Anonymous said...

"He never lied to anyone. The fans took it upon themselves to do this. Besides, there is still a Soul Picture so no harm done."

I agree, it's pretty kick ass.. but i gotta agree with complainy dude that if i was one of the contributors it's possible that my best laid intentions were not realized. most likely they were, vis a vis the kick assness of andrew's photoshop skills; but i don't know, as i was not a contributor.. nor was complainy guy.. nor was andrew.. nor you, good sir.

Master of Illusion said...

Man, reading andrews blogs is so much more dramatic listening to An Unbreakable Union...

Anonymous said...

I believe we now know who the final boss in HS is...

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that Andrew's picture is a hundred times better than anything that Eriel guy could've made, but ... The whole idea of having some weirdo in a robe paint your soul picture is just out of this world hilarious. The poor skill and horrible space dolphins is kind of what makes it awesome in the first place. Doing it yourself isn't really the same, imo. I'm not hatin', I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

I think the portrait is cool and all and maybe all the donors are happy with the decision, but it would have been really funny to see what this crazy dude would have produced.

Plus, based on Andrew's post, which is all we have to go on, it seems pretty clear that the 150 was not intended for Andrew to do a self-portrait but to have someone else produce a spontaneous, ridiculous image.

Oh well, this was certainly not a contract so there's no point in complaining. But it is a little disappointing--because now we're left with two "known" quantities: Olive Garden and AH's crazy psychedelic portraiture.

Anonymous said...

I'm as pleased with the portraiture as the next anon, to be sure. But while Andrew didn't directly solicit these funds, he did explicitly agree for what purpose he would use them.

But that's why we have good sports like Phantos, and good establishments like the Olive Garden.

At least Andrew is being totally up front about how he is misappropriating these dollars!

...and having read these comments now I can't stop noticing that banana either!

Lorinda said...

That guy is the Romeo Rose of art. Good God. I must confess to some curiosity about what it would have looked like had you actually fueled another of his drug trips. Sure, it would be considerably worse, but that's sort of the point. You can eat that endless pasta bowl for an eternity, Andrew, but now your soul shall never know.

Mr. orbotron said...

I would pay one hundred and fifty dollars for one of those portraits.
It seems like the stupidest shit ever and it's so crazy it got free pancakes everywhere.

GG Crono said...

I don't know what would be worse. If this guy is some kind of elaborate scam artist, or if he really and truly believes everything he's saying.


...no, wait, second one. Definitely.

Glyph, the Architect said...

I think my favorite part is the eyeball shooting rainbow lasers in the coffee cup.

Is it just me, or does he look super high in the original picture? Like he's just staring at that fruit saying in his head "Grapes, I command you to float to my mouth."

Dylan I said...

Hmm, if you think about it, Andrew's the most likely candidate for drawing his own soul picture anyway. I mean, think, does some person who talks to you on the phone for a couple of minutes (and is taking a large sum of money from you) really know your soul more than you yourself do? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Reading that website gave me a headache. When "everything" is "in inverted Commas" you know you're dealing with a guy who "lives on horseshit mountain"

joe said...

You should leave a different soul portrait as the tip each time you go there.

Kyle Towns said...

That site, I swear, is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever seen xD Couple of con-artists trying to come off as posessing some holier-than-thou spiritual bullshit. If they took it seriously, which I'm sure they probably don't, I'd be rolling on the floor laughing.

Floramei said...

x33 Way to have a much-more-epic Soul Picture than that guy could've ever made.

Though, after reading all comments, it does make me wonder wtf he would've done. xD; Not that $150 and a month's wait is worth it, even if the lulz WOULD have been epic. There are many more, freer lulz. Many thanks to sweet lady Liberty for that.

patrick said...

Your soul portrait is the greatest portrait. I am entranced by your obvious chakras and their blitz related activities, such as blitzing, blitzerating, or having been blitzed. At this point it is clear I have no idea what I'm talking about. Keep up the great work on Homestuck!

vennerBconstonks said...

Maaaaaaaan I JUST noticed the horses.

ALWAYS WITH THE HORSES, ANDREW. xD

goggleman64 said...

I can't help but feel that giving Erial Ali's enterprise $150 worth of support would somehow make the world significantly worse. This plan Andrew has come up with, I like it much much better.

Anonymous said...

I passed by a horse farm the other day... all I could think of was you....

bebarce said...

I'm kind of offended at Andrews belief that he can replicate Erials work.

I mean if you look at his own soul capture, he goes from having one staff, to having two staffs!
http://iasos.com/artists/erial/celestial-soul-portraits/

Surely the creator himself knew that if it were merely a trick of Photoshop, that might have held two staffs in the original, but no. It is his soul that dual wields staffs. You can't do that with filters. You can only do that by tapping the spiritual spunk juice of the cosmos.

Andrews a false prophet, an Anti-Erial. You don't see me saying "Hey I've got a pretty cool beard, what does this Jesus character have that I don't?"

So yeah to summarize my comments.
Believe in Jesus, for the rapture is coming.

Vincent said...

"Oh well, this was certainly not a contract so there's no point in complaining."

Well, that's not so certain. Certainly, a gift of money with strings attached can create a contract.

Andrew says, "They made a donation of $150 dollars American, a gift which came with a pretty firm stipulation." If the $150 was accepted with an implied or express agreement to the required use of the funds, then you can see the transfer as creating or contract, or just a conditional gift. In either case, when the requirement is not fulfilled, those who paid are entitled to restitution, at least.

However, it's as likely as not that Andrew is just being colorful in his language. The money may well have been gifted and accepted before anyone said anything to Andrew about how he was supposed to use it. There may still be an argument for return of the money at that point, but things become debatable, anyway.

In any case, I think we can all agree that this would be a hilarious case, and that everyone should begin suing Andrew Hussie immediately, and appeal whatever decision is made to the highest court in the land.

Vincent said...

I should have said, "In any event...."

Marelo said...

I can pretty much guarantee that the people who donated to this, most of whom are my friends, are not going to sue him for their money back.

The thought of doing so is ludicrous.

I would even go so far as to say that the disgruntled are the ones who didn't contribute.

That said, if anyone who DID donate has a problem with this, talk to Phantos. Problem solved. End of story.

Epilogue: You are being ridiculous if you actually are upset about this.

Vincent said...

Getting a politely offered refund is not nearly as amusing as waging a financially frivolous lawsuit.

Nick Kaine said...

I see you, and I see Him.

And it becomes quite clear.

How have you been Pickle Inspector?

:DDD said...

lol marelo ii2 2tupiid!

Patrick said...

Hey, Mr. Hussie, if I send you $150, will you blitz my chakras too? I think we can put this Eli Manning guy out of business or whatever his name is I have already forgotten it

Noumoansy said...

I put 30 dollars in for this. Very happy I did.

Considering this was kind of thrown at you, it's nice to see you've actually decided to do something cool with the picture and cash instead of give it to an ageing hippy psychopath with a predication for frightening strangers over the phone.

Alessandro La Porta said...

WTB SoulForm Ansrew

Wendell said...

That banana's all brown and junk. If you don't eat that thing soon it's going to go bad.

Anonymous said...

Rainbows, how do they work?

Targ Collective said...

Hmm. First, for the record, this guy who does soul pictures is for real and really *does* believe what he's saying. I'm not affiliated or anything, but I know this. The Chakra system has been well known all over the world and it is only over the past 500 to 1000 years or so that this idea has been forgotten here in the West. It is real and I do a lot of work from this system - others can choose what they want to believe, but I'm putting this on the table for consideration: This is real.

Secondly, if money is provided for a specific purpose in good faith and it is then re-purposed, that is breach of trust. It does not matter whether this trust was assumed or not. Trust was placed and it has been breached.

Thirdly, if these donators are involved with spirituality and the Chakra system and doing this work - what the hell happened guys? Don't you ever listen to your intuition? Follow Spirit. You should not take a step like this unless it feels 'right'. And next time you try this let the guy know that a further donation will be forthcoming dependent on the guy going ahead with it.

That's pretty much all I have to say here.

Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vincent said...

It makes me ashamed of my Native American ancestry that my people apparently forgot about chakras one thousand years ago. What were those jerks thinking?

On the other hand, I can understand their dilemma, what with chakras being so hard to distinguish from imaginary bullshit.

Targ Collective said...

God... Imaginary? I have been studying these systems for years, working on others', doing this on a global scale and *imaginary*?

No! All those years wasted!

Oh. Wait. Of course - you don't know what you're talking about and are just toeing the 'standard line'. Way to go for being open-minded and respectful, dude. :p

PV said...

And there, in this "targ collective" nitwit, is the best payoff of all.

This could not POSSIBLY have been more perfect.

Targ Collective said...

Hm. Maybe it would have been better to simply not comment, but... why? Chakras are real. It is a valid viewpoint, and one which - from my perspective - is supported by years' worth of evidence and actively working with them.

That you do not operate from a position of knowledge or acceptance of this does not however lead me to call you a 'nitwit' or similar. A little mutual respect would be useful here I feel.

Play nice, guys.

Anonymous said...

andrew's soul is so amazing that he made the light switch have a bigger soul just by being near it

Marelo said...

targ collective, I'm placing trust in you to stop talking and compensating you with a proposal to pay you twenty dollars.

If you breach my trust by talking I will need you to offer me twenty dollars in good faith.

Anonymous said...

@ Targ Collective
Year's worth of proof?
I'm gonna need some sources buddy.

PV said...

Keep making those delicious unsupported declarative statements, Mr. "Targ Collective".

Z.Q. Farnzy said...

Normally I'd be angry that a public figure of such magnitude as AH would misappropriate funds so... but then I actually looked up this guy's "soul portraits"... and personally, I don't blame him anymore. Awesome soul portrait, AH.

Vincent said...

Hey, hey, everybody. Let's settle down. No one said that chakras were imaginary bullshit. They're just indistinguishable from imaginary bullshit. I think we can all agree on that without anyone taking offense, right?

Targ Collective said...

Well, it would be fairer to say indistinguishable to *most* but yes, that is a fair comment.

I actually didn't expect my comments to gain such a lively response, I was expecting this to either be ignored or maybe, on the offchance that someone else browses here who know about this stuff, supported.

Oh well, negative interest is still interest and I guess there are a few unasked questions here that need answering, so here goes.

For those requesting sources, I'm not really prepared to type two pages of URLs and books that you're going to just ignore and be similarly negative towards. Do a Google search for Chakras, and you'll find all the information you need to get you started if you're serious about finding out more. If you're not serious about finding out more you're just gassing and will be completely ignored. :p

"Chakras are imaginary ********"

That's a statement, not a question.

"I think Chakras are imaginary ********, and you're wrong to question that."

Again, a statement, not a question, and an opinion which you have no right to reinforce on me. So I'll ignore that kind of statement too, where that is your message.

"How can you tell whether or not Chakras are imaginary ********?"

Now we're getting somewhere. This is the position I adopted before I knew for certain, and a good position to take. Problem: I can't feel my Chakras, or others', therefore they can't be real can they? Well... No, that's not exactly true. If you really are serious about getting this kind of sensitivity and knowing for sure one way or another whether this is real, then you have to let go of saying "Chakras are imaginary ********" and admit that the truth is "I don't know if Chakras are imaginary ******** but want to find out."

If this isn't the truth of it, and you just want to flame people who disagree with you, then don't waste time responding. Just don't, go do something you're comfortable with instead.

Once you adopt a position of wanting to find out you will gradually over time become aware of these energies that run through you and those around you. This is inevitable; in accepting that this *is* possible - if hard to believe - life will keep throwing stuff at you around this.

There is an exercise that will help your awareness if you wish to do this - in the centre of your body is the Heart Chakra. At this time every Heart Chakra on the planet acts as a portal to unlimited higher-dimensional energy (over time this Chakra will be predominant in accordance with the changes happening to the energy systems of everyone on the planet at this time). So, *think* opening your Heart Chakra and participating in that Heart Energy. I can guarantee that the changes will be immediate and profound, even if you don't have all the pieces to actually consciously experience this. You can also ask me to work on your energy if you *are* serious about finding out more.

Phantos said...

Like Naruto says, "BELIEVE IT!"

Time to build up an excess of body ki and destroy some saiyans with this shit.

Targ Collective said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Targ Collective said...

[Correction]

Careful Phantos. Overcharging can be just as bad as undercharging, but yeah. Martial artists tend to be really in tune with these energies! :D

PV said...

Having an open mind doesn't mean it should be so open that any remaining gray matter falls out.

If you're going to keep making unsupported and unsupportable statements in the forum for a silly comic strip (or even THE silly comic strip), expect to be laughed out the door, Mr. "Targ Collective".

Targ Collective said...

Right, but these comments are neither unsupported nor unsupportable. I'm not going to do your research for you here, let's just say that thousands of years of study and experience all over the world back up what I'm saying here against a comparatively small spate of scepticism here in the West.

My grey matter is fine, thank you, and there is no need for you to question that. :p

blastron said...

@Targ Collective:

The problem with spiritual beliefs of any sort is that they are heavily influenced by your own confirmation bias. For those unaware of the concept, confirmation bias refers to the psyche's inherent predilection towards bits of information that support existing beliefs. Information that contradicts things that you already know is immediately regarded with skepticism, if not immediately thrown out, while new evidence to confirm your views only makes your views stronger.

Let's make up a completely ridiculous example: suppose Bob thinks he has a superpower that lets him influence the state of traffic lights in his favor. When he's at a stop light, he gathers up his mental focus, thinks really hard about changing the lights, and then snaps his fingers.

The first time he does this, it works perfectly. Mere moments after he snaps his fingers, the light turns green and traffic moves forward. "Yes, I have a superpower!" thinks Bob. The second time, there's a gap of a few seconds between when he snaps his fingers and when the light turns green. "Maybe it took some more effort that time," rationalizes Bob, "or maybe my mental energies just take some time to travel." Bob drives off, comfortable in his newfound ability.

The third time, however, it doesn't work at all! Bob gets stuck at a long light in a busy intersection, and he thrusts out his mind and strikes at the traffic light... to no effect. "Curious," thinks Bob, "I must have missed." He tries again, yet nothing continues to happen. Bob concentrates even harder, thinking that he might need a bigger push for a longer light, and then releases it in a dazzling display of mental aptitude. After a few more seconds, the light finally turns green. "Victory!" exults Bob, driving off with a triumphant grin.

Of course, Bob's viewpoint could not be further from the truth. The first time was simple coincidence: he drove up to the tail end of the light, focused, and snapped his fingers within a second of when the light was going to change anyway. Bob ignores the tiny discrepancy and moves on. The second time, Bob stopped at a slightly longer light, then snapped his fingers within five seconds of the light's scheduled change. The third time, Bob stops at the very beginning of a long light, then tries multiple times to get the light to change. After three minutes of effort on Bob's part, the traffic light changes... right when it was supposed to, on its three-minute schedule.

This is confirmation bias at work. Bob wanted to believe that he was able to trigger changes in traffic lights, and so he drew (faulty) conclusions from existing observations that support his hypothesis. Plus, Bob's efforts are guaranteed to have seeming results: no matter how many times he snaps his fingers, the traffic light will eventually turn green. By rationalizing away every instance where his power didn't work exactly as he intended, Bob can provide himself with a limitless amount of faulty evidence in support of his belief.

blastron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Targ Collective said...

A good point Blastron. Except in my own case I have always been aware of this, completely, and during the initial phase of scepticism when I was first opening up to this it was a major concern for me.

The picture of reality I operate out of now has taken literally everything I can throw at it. I have been sceptical of these things in the past. But at this time I can focus on, say, my Third eye and *hear* it power up, *feel* that energy becoming more active in me. Then there is empathy... I can feel the emotions of others at will, wherever they are. Body language doesn't hold up if you're messaging someone who is in another country, and I do that a lot.

So, yeah, I have no doubts and was actually *creating* blocks all over the place as a part of proving this is real to myself. Now, I know this is real through a comprehensive series of tests and checks. I essentially applied the scientific method I use with everything else to spirituality... And I was surprised.

I still question every new idea that comes in, even now, even if it supports what I currently believe, and it is possible - if unlikely - that I could be operating from a fundamentally different system of understanding an a weeks' time. Being open minded works both ways, you see, it means being unafraid of entering into a constant state of flux. A lot of people find that very hard to do.

blastron said...

If you are so sure of your supernatural abilities, I highly recommend that you contact the James Randi Educational Foundation, which maintains a one million dollar prize for the first person who can prove, under proper observing conditions, that they have a supernatural ability.

Your claim to be able to sense the emotions of others regardless of location can, if true, be easily demonstrated under observation: the researcher could introduce you to a volunteer, who will then be taken into a separate room and have a strong emotional state induced with images and sound. If you could consistently determine the emotional state of the individual in the next room, your claim would be verifiably demonstrated and you would earn a million dollars for your efforts.

Targ Collective said...

Nah, I'll pass. I don't *want* the million dollars, and people with abilities like mine tend to attract unwanted attention. I'd *so* be able to win that though.

The thing about the scientific method is that you can't just say 'no' to an idea if you don't believe it - you have to disprove it first, and then say "This doesn't work"!

Well, according to those learned in these matters, if you say to your Higher Self, or Spirit, that you want to find out for sure whether or not Chakras are real - and *mean* it - then you will find out a great deal about this in a year or two so long as you don't give up on the experiment.

A difficult experiment to run as sincerity is a component that is required here. Belief in Chakras or Higher selves is not however required - the whole point of taking this mental stance is that you do not know and wish to find out for sure one way or another.

When I ran this experiment I had an *amazing* year. And this is one you can do at home. get back to me in a year or two after doing this maybe. ;)

blastron said...

You have a flawed understanding of how science works. The burden of proof does not lie on the shoulders of the skeptic, but instead on the person presenting the claim. A scientist can in fact say "no" to an idea if there is insufficient evidence to support it, and this happens all the time in the scientific community. If Bob from my earlier post publishes a paper in a respected journal on his stoplight-controlling superpowers, citing his friend who "totally saw him do it, man" as a reference, he'd be summarily rejected for failing to produce sufficient evidence to back up his claims. Similarly, this is why we don't convict criminals on a single eyewitness: the prosecutor must satisfy the burden of proof and present enough evidence to prove the defendant's guilt.

It's the "dragon in my garage" problem put forth by Carl Sagan. I could claim that I have real live dragon in my garage that happens to be completely undetectable. It is invisible to the naked eye, doesn't show up on thermal scanners, doesn't displace air, can dodge out of the way of paint thrown at it, and breathes invisible, heatless fire. According to all possible observation methods, the dragon doesn't exist, but I will list countless personal experiences interacting with the dragon. My friends have also seen this dragon and will tell you all about it (just ignore Jack, who says the dragon is red, not green like all the rest of us say), but of course you can't see it. Zack will even show you this wicked burn scar he got on his arm from when the dragon burned him, leaving the distinct mark of a barbeque vent!

Any rational person can immediately dismiss my claims that a dragon exists in my garage based on lack of evidence. Who would listen to a guy pointing at an empty garage and saying "look at the dragon"? It is, in fact, my responsibility to convince others of this dragon's existence. The burden of proof lies entirely on me to produce evidence that supports my otherwise ridiculous claim.

With your proposed experiment, you have stated that there is a dragon in your garage and invited us to take a look. If we do take a look and see that there is no dragon, you can say that we weren't sincere enough in our observation, no matter how sincere we might actually have been.

Targ Collective said...

Wherein lies the problem. Across all countries, in all times, however, this has always been a constant: the decision to develop spiritually must be taken by the individual. I could show you evidence of the reality of this - right now if you invited me to - but the decision to invite this awareness in must be a personal choice.

blastron said...

That sweeping generalization is in fact quite verifiably inaccurate, as I can think of several religions that force their spiritualities on others. Take the Mormons, for example, who will baptize the dead, no matter how outspoken they were against religion in general. What about the so-called Jesus Camps, whose sole purpose is to re-educate and bully kids into "finding God"? The religious teach their children that their religion is true from a very age, to the point where saying that the religion is false is an enormously difficult task. If you give such a person a token choice to accept your faith into their hearts after having taught them all their lives that that faith was true, are you really offering them a choice?

Regardless, I am curious as to what evidence you could possibly present to convince me of the existence of your invisible garage dragon. Go ahead, enlighten me.

Targ Collective said...

On it. Let me know if you feel any changes - as an energy worker I'm doing this through energy work. ;)

Targ Collective said...

While I'm working on you I might as well add that the organisations you mention attempt to dominate, control or brainwash others - I do not consider such activities in the least bit spiritual, quite the opposite in fact.

However, I was discussing spirituality and those who practice it, and the laws which govern what people like myself can do. These laws cannot be broken but an axe-murderer or Inquisitor can call himself 'spiritual' even when this is manifestly far from the truth. Worth bearing in mind.

blastron said...

Oh, good, that's what I thought you were going to try, so I didn't check my email for an hour or so to avoid solidifying the idea in my head that there were mystical energies coming at me. After all, not noticing any changes after being told to do so is like trying to actively not think about elephants. Saying things like "I am going to influence an emotional change in you" might cause the subject to attribute the next emotional change they experience to your influence, much like someone observing Bob the stoplight magician waving his fingers at a traffic light while chanting "Change! Change!" might attribute the stoplight's eventual change to Bob's doing.

But, as you are probably curious, I can't really say that I can think of any changes that occurred over the last hour. I did some work, ate dinner, read the news, and listened to some music, which is about typical for my Sunday afternoons. At no point did I feel any abrupt physical sensation, emotional shift, or other indicator of a supernatural force affecting my life.

Or, in other words, your garage appears to be empty, sir.

That said, I did spend the hour occasionally thinking of this discussion, wondering what evidence you might present, pondering my position, and otherwise keeping an open mind, as I am wont to do when taking a break from a discussion. I don't think I've done anything in particular that would count as closing myself off spiritually, unless you count salami and cheddar as a spiritually corrosive experience.

---

As for your second reply, spirituality is very much a term defined by the individual. A suicide bomber, convinced of the righteousness of his belief and the reward that awaits him for making the ultimate sacrifice for his cause, is a very spiritual person. It takes a lot of faith and spirituality to give up everything you are in a violent, painful manner for an unverifiable reward that you have been promised for the afterlife. Perhaps it is your spirituality in particular that cannot be forced on others, but claiming that spirituality is a peaceful, nonintrusive concept the world over is inaccurate.

Targ Collective said...

You're expecting an instant change blastron, and it doesn't work like that. But about five minutes after you posted that all that negativity just snapped into positivity, this even carries over into how you typed just now. It will take at least weeks, likely months before you start seeing changes, but see them you will in time.

blastron said...

Thanks Bob, I'll be sure to take note when the traffic light changes.

Targ Collective said...

Okaaay... I wasn't really going all-out to prove anything before, but that traffic-light comment incited my interest in really getting creative.

You should shortly come to realise that there is something in this, as I'm putting my all into it this time. In, oh, call it a couple of hours.

Vincent said...

"Similarly, this is why we don't convict criminals on a single eyewitness: the prosecutor must satisfy the burden of proof and present enough evidence to prove the defendant's guilt."

People are convicted on the testimony of a single witness on a daily basis. It's unfortunate, but, hey, it's not the most crooked thing to come out of our legal system.

But you can sit on my jury any time.

Nezune said...

Targ has killed blastron with his mind. Rest in peace, and beware of the chakras unbelievers!

too many relgiosn viws and sekptismsm

PV said...

Blastron is doing a fine job of countering this ninny, so I'm going to drop out of the conversation.

I will say though, that the Randi prize deflection was CLASSIC. It's exactly what a woo-woo head would say.

NotASenator said...

Blastron wins my monthly Skeptic of the Month award.

A very well put together dissemination of skeptical practice applied here, and in true traditional fashion, it has been completely misconstrued by the true believer.

BDR said...

Chakras are real in the same way speaking in tongues or hypnotism is real. If a person believes strongly enough that God is talking through them, they'll blabber like an idiot, and it will be a completely real experience for them. Or, if someone goes to a hypnotist expecting to be placed under hypnosis, it will work, and they'll be bawking like a chicken until Mysterio snaps his fingers. An outsider in either situation will be unaffected, assuming they don't believe.

So, if you've got two people that totally believe in chakras, one of them can say, "I'm focusing all my energy on your heart chakra; you should feel a calming sensation sweep through you." The other person will feel that sensation because they expect it to happen. I don't know whether this is just because of a state of mind or if there's something actually happening on the chemical level produced by the state of mind (I expect the latter).

A skeptic, at any level, won't be able to feel these sensations. Even if blastron were to open his mind to the best of his abilities, he'll still doubt the power of chakras on a deeper level, and thus it won't work on him. Total belief in the fiction does produce an effect, so, in a weird way, chakras are real, to a degree. But, they're really just a demonstration of the connection between the mind and the body. They aren't invisible energy streams. It's the burden of the intellectual to never experience these things, as one of the prerequisites is to be stupid enough to believe in them. The benefit of being an intellectual is that you don't fall for phishing scams or donate money to televangelists.

Anonymous said...

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...

into the future.

Vincent said...

To be fair, many of the most immensely intelligent people believe/d in all kinds of stupid crap. History's greatest minds mostly believed in mysticism, or bad political systems, or anti-Semitism or something.

Being skeptical about everything is a good way to avoid being taken, but that's not everyone's priority.

PV said...

Perhaps, but that doesn't make believing in magic spots on the body, or that you can manipulate these magic spots remotely, on people you've never met, have no idea where they are, or even what their name is ... any less stupid and delusional.

Read that sentence above. it makes the invisible man in the sky seem respectable by comparison.

Anonymous said...

It's rather amusing how many quotes are used on his website when describing his process.

Also the obvious UNITINU on his self portrait.

PV said...

I was looking at more of the iasos site, and there's these Pictures of crystals that are just BEGGING to have SCP journal entries written about them.

Michi said...

I think it's great if you are able to work with your Chakras, tc! I have a Chakra workbook I "borrowed" from a commune I was staying on, that I still haven't gotten around to investigating.

As for the skeptics, hey, that's cool too! :D Zillions of people have led normal, full, satisfied lives without bothering with a belief in chakras etc.

I like to think that whatever lets someone be a little bit happier in life or more comfortable with the world, that's awesome. No one is actually ever going to know what it's like to be someone else, or to experience what someone else experiences, so what's the point in telling someone their experiences are wrong or they're mistaken, if they're not doing anything or anyone harm?

I love the jewellery in the fruitbowl, beaded necklaces spilling over the side in a display of decadent richesse.

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that the photoshopping is better, but the composition is just terrible, and a few of Erial's had decent composition at least.

PV said...

'cause crappy clip-art dolphins and third-eye lasers just screams "good composition".

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including a double rainbow. IT'S SO INTENSE!

Anonymous said...

nom nom... agreed

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GG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GG said...

I'm a little confused as to why the argument between targ and blastron seems to assume that if chakras are real then crazy soul portrait guy must be serious and doing something worthwhile, and vice versa.

What crazy soul portrait guy is doing has little, if anything, to do with the ancient and perfectly valid spiritual belief systems which have a concept of chakras or similar points of energy in the body. Crazy soul portrait guy is not a good representative of such beliefs, assuming he holds them at all. He's just doing ridiculous and terrible photoshop edits.

mutecebu said...

I kept expecting something like this:
FUTURE targCollective [PCG] 413 HOURS FROM NOW responded to memo.
FTC: Right, but these comments are neither unsupported nor unsupportable. I'm not going to do your research for you here,
PCG: THINK A FUCKING GAIN.
PCG banned FTC from responding to memo.

(I mean no offense to anyone who participated in the argument, I just think internet arguments themselves are funny.)

Anonymous said...

You should have some sort of contest, the grand prize being a trip with Andrew Hussie to the OLIVE GARDEN!!! Well, I guess it's not really your style. I'm sure you don't want to put yourself in such a bind. You'll lets the people co-author your webcomics, but you don't want to be obligated to spend an evening with them and the oh so many breadsticks.

Anonymous said...

I think you are scared what you might see ANDREW

Anonymous said...

GM to MATT..we're going to BAT!
And GE NICE knows IT!
McCREA got the GUNS!
DI - NEWFOUNDLAND with BUNNS!
And ZETAS with GER..ON THE RUN...with ROSS!

Anonymous said...

MEL OUR BELL!
RINGING!- RINGING!
SA to YEMEN to DOT!
Ricky got BOO!
And so do JIm TOO!
And now DEPP to SLY " REHEARSING"!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

They are tying NICE to SYRIA like crazy and it has to do with PETWOOD!
LA's HOLLYWOOD is collapsing and Ted Turner to Rush , are " PEZZED"!

Anonymous said...

i get it, because Olive Garden is where lower middle class people who like Shrek go, and getting soul portraits is something they'd do, the rubes, they

am i correct in my estimation of the dynamics at play here

Anonymous said...

you should change the horses into centaurs

Anonymous said...

you should turn the smug quiet classism into a guy who looks like the top part of his head stopped aging when he turned 10 and then the rest of his face just slowly followed suit

assuming a continuous progression, his genitals will become immortal around the occasion of his 90th birthday

evr'ybody's got problems

moirailedLecher said...

Mr. Hussie, this isn't about Homestuck or or cooking and I'm sorry if that upsets you. This is a plea. Please, spread the word about ACTA. ACTA is a dangerous trade agreement negotiated in secret that, already in place in some countries, already threatens the freedoms of internet users everywhere. A lot of people read your comic and look up to you, so I beg you: please, urge people to sign petitions, tell others, do whatever they can to stop this while we still can. It goes into vote soon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=citzRjwk-sQ&list=FLfUjbaG8VVRoDeS3RQznXMA&index=2&feature=plpp_video http://www.avaaz.org/en/index.php

Anonymous said...

Your face in that picture somehow looks like it is placed upon a N64 3d head.

I have no idea why.

Anonymous said...

HEY! I know this has nothing to do with anything, but do you know about trollkin? They're people on tumblr who THINK THEY'RE TROLLS/HAVE TROLLS LIVING IN THEIR HEAD. Yes, trolls from Homestuck. Your comic. Check the trollkin and multiplicity tags, man. *shakes head*

Also, THANKS for inadvertently polluting the internet with even more annoying typing styles.

Snowskeeper said...

Nooooooot quite sure why I'm bothering to post this here, since it hasn't been updated in, uh, two years, buuuuuut... Yeah. I'll just... Post here. Because. *Coughcough* Hold on, I need to make this longer! This is not sufficient. Uhhhhhh... *Maybe if I just throw a lot of h's after my next uh...* Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... Damn, that wasn't-- Oh! Almost there, almost th-- YES! Okay, there's a scroll bar, I can stop.

...

Now I just have to put up with a captcha.

latula pyrope said...

ok in the next 4 years me and a couple of friends want to start our own cosplay business and we wanna make homestuck cosplay cause we love your comic and so do lots of other people but we want yer permission because your the creator and this is the only way i could think to contact you...

Indojabon said...

simple blog,,,

Brooke Alvarez said...

nice coffe mug andrew
whered you get it

the beyond section of bed bath and beyonsdDASGHFDSH?DHFGHDH

Brooke Alvarez said...

http://castlezzt.net/~nadir/Music/jester%20room.png