Work in Progress: Hands and Letters Vase and Flowers

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I've been reading about automatic writing (popularized in the late 1800s to early 1900s), the ideomotor effect and its relationship to a game that was popular when I was a kid, Ouija. It's well established that any so-called messages that are obtained through Ouija are attributable to the players, consciously or unconsciously, moving the planchette around the board and not any outside agents or "spirits." If the participants aren't actually looking at the board and where the planchette is being pushed to, the messages end up being gobbledy-gook. Still, it's a fascinating subject.

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Many artists and poets have used automatic writing--and even the Ouija board--to free up their minds, get their creative juices flowing, and come up with all kinds of things they might not have had they not consciously given themselves permission to let whatever came into their minds come out on the page. The ideomotor effect and automatic writing used in this way allows people as close as uncensored flow of thought as humanly possible (without drugs or alcohol). It's pretty wild what the human mind can come up with when tricked into letting down its guard. Musicians, artists, even athletes talk about being "in the zone"; that's what moving the planchette does for Ouija users. It allows players to detach from conscious thought and let their imaginations flow.

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People like to give themselves a jump now and then (like watching a horror film or reading a scary book). Some believe in magic and miracles without applying critical thinking to the situations in which those things occur. I, personally, have a soft spot for magic, since my dad was an amateur magician. I also know some people consider Ouija to be more than a game, more than just two, three or four people pushing a planchette around a board. They attribute Ouija to some unknown entity and, therefore, have (or create) negative experiences around its use.

I encourage people to move beyond their emotional reaction to Ouija and really look into the science behind what really makes the planchette move across the board and "messages" appear. Science might not be able to explain everything, but it has solved the question of where Ouija messages come from. It's closer to hand than you think.