The primary type of power is physical power, which is to say the power to affect physical interactions in the objective world, which consists of concrete things. All other types of power are based on it and therefore its subtypes.

Drawing from my own experience, I have 2 dogs, and by the time I’ve gotten the second one as a puppy the first one was already grown. The first dog asserted itself over the second dog while the latter was still young and physically weaker. Later on, even when the second dog grew to be physically stronger, it was still submissive to the first dog. The type of power the 1st dog exerts over the 2nd is psychological power, the secondary main type of power. It is initially dependent upon physical power to establish itself, but almost becomes a power in and of itself afterwards, possibly independent of further proof of physical superiority.

A type of psychological power is social power, it involves at least 2 organisms and works only on other living beings with the ability to, to some extent, perceive patterns and store them as memory. This is one of the reasons it is inferior to raw physical power - it is more dependent and thus applies in a fewer number of scenarios (only in interactions with other organisms, not the non-organic world). Aside from that, raw physical power is always guaranteed to work, while the psychological may not. An intelligent organism that is psychologically dominated but physically superior , may eventually become aware of the physical weakness of the one psychologically dominating them, and realize that they do not have to be dominated at all. For example, if the 2nd dog I have realized it was stronger than the 1st, it could easily physically dominate it. But typically only more intelligent organisms - humans, can break free from psychological domination. And then, only the more intelligent of humans.

Political, economic, religious, etc. powers are all types of social power and appeal to different parts of the human psyche, so some are more inclined to be persuaded by political, others by economic, others again by religious power.

By the way, when I speak of raw physical power, I don’t necessarily mean only bodily strength. Neanderthal A may be less strong than neanderthal B, but if A is intelligent enough to realize that picking up a club increases its power, and B is not, then A may end up being physically more powerful despite having less bodily strength. So intelligence is also a type of power.

I consider intelligence to be the core psychological power. It can be applied in social contexts too, but it is also useful outside of social contexts, which differentiates it from social power.

The physical realm is where all power necessarily must manifest. Intelligence, psychological power, social power, economic power, etc… all ultimately based on their ability to affect the physical realm. Politicians are politically (socially) powerful because they have police and military backing them by fulfilling the role of mercenaries, of physical enforcers. In addition to physical power, politicians, as well as other authorities, also use psychological power (brainwashing, indoctrination), but it is less reliable, and generally only possible on those who have already been physically submitted, or the weak-minded. Intelligence too is only useful if it ultimately improves the performance of an organism concerning its interactions in physical reality. If one specimen is stronger and the other more intelligent, then the more intelligent one must find alternate ways of dealing with and overcoming the sheer bodily strength of the former. Perhaps it will use its superior intelligence to find/construct a weapon, or to form social bonds with other organisms and find power in numbers (social power), or it will simply strive to improve other aspects of its physicality, such as learning martial arts to counter strength with technique. All then use their strengths and weaknesses and participate in natural selection, which determines which types of power are more powerful, and which ones less so.

All forms of power are therefore ultimately tested in their ability to affect the physical. I do not consider this as reducing and diminishing the value of intelligence and other forms of power, rather, that all powers must manifest in the physical serves to connect and ground them firmly to the earth by providing a way to objectively measure such powers. It prevents the abstractions from floating away and becoming “skyhooks” and by doing that it also prevents every imbecile from just calling themselves “intelligent” and “powerful” without having anything to show for it, and it discredits their excuse of “it’s all subjective”.

And if I am not mistaken, it is also consistent with my idea of Objectivism, and with the scientific principle of bottom/earth->up/sky reasoning, which is to say, empiricism, and with evolution.

Flower = Power

I don’t think humans have triumphed as much as we have because of physical power. Spiritual/Psychological power is far greater. The ability to command speech, command body language, and command ones glare can move whole nations.

Our material bodies are nothing compared to the depths of our soul. Our bodies are very useful instruments, but they’re just that, instruments.

Psychic power is still physical power.

Words are also physical power, reprogramming a robot is physical power. The words are physical, sound waves or visual waves.

Physical power is the only real kind of genuine power. Social or psychological power can’t exist on its own like physical power can without some kind of manipulative deception propping itself up. Social or psychological powers to me are lesser forms of power overall.

How do you know this? How do you know that physical power can exist without psychological power? We are aware beings. We can only know that physical power is real because we have the power of awareness. There is no proof that without awareness there is objective reality.

To be physical is to affect. To affect is to express power. Power cannot exist without inherently being physical. And if anything expresses power, it is inherently physical. Being physical is being with power. They are the same thing.


Are psychic abilities physical?

Only the ones that have physical affect. :sunglasses:

Mmm-hmm, now define physical for yours truly :sunglasses: JSS. Where are emotions felt? Might as well specify that while you’re at it.

The physical is that which is changing.

They are “felt” just at and beneath the surface of the conscious.



Go ahead and play your reindeer games, 'tis the season. No serious specifics.

To You
… the “specifics” are boring … not worth typing.

Yes. Instead of "lesser forms of power“ one could also use the wording “hierarchically more determined by those that are less determined”, or the wording “carried or borne by more strata or levels”.

According to Nicolai Hartmann there are four main strata or levels of being or reality:

[b]| _____ (4) Geistiges _____ |

| _______ (3) Seelisches _______|

| _________ (2) Organisches _________|

| ____________ (1) Anorganisches ____________ |[/b]

Schichtenlehre lt. N. Hartmann.

This four levels of reality are characterized by the fact that the respective higher (and lighter) level/s are carried or borne by the respective lower (and heavier) level/s and “free” towards the respective lower (and heavier) level/s - insofar as their “freedom” is not restricted by the fact that they are carreid or borne -, especially because they show new properties or characteristics against the respective lower level/s.

The (1) first, lowest, haeviest one is the inorganic level; the (2) second, second-lowest (and third highest), second-haeviest (and third-lightest) one is the organic level; the (3) third, third-lowest (and second-highest), third-heaviest (and second-lightest) one is the level of “Seelisches”, which means properties or characteristics of soul, psyche, emotion; the (4) fourth, highest, lightest one is the level of “Geistiges”, which means properties or characteristics of spirit, thinking, intellectuality, imagery.

So, for example, the inorganic level (1) is carried or borne by no other level, whereas the level of “Geistiges” (4) is carried or borne by all other levels.

Inorganic beings (1) do not need an organic body (2), do not need “Seelisches” (3), do not need “Geistiges” (4), whereas even the highest spirit of all times (4) needs “Seelisches” (3), needs an organic body (2), needs inorganic beings (1).

The fourth level is not capable of existing without the other three levels, because it is carried or borne by them. The third level is not capable of existing without the second and the first level, because it is carried or borne by them. The second level is not capable of existing without the first level, because it is carried or borne by it. Only the first level is capable of existing without the other three levels, because it is not carried or borne by them. The first level is unfree because of its type of determination: causality. The second level is relatively free in the sense that it is categorially free towards the first level. The third level is relatively free in the sense that it is categorially free towards the second and the first level. The fourth level is relatively free in the sense that it is most categorially free (but not 100% free), which means categorially free towards the three other levels.

100%-freedom is not possible: the fact that the lower and heavier levels carry the higher and lighter levels means that the higher and lighter levels depend on the lower and heavier levels, although the higher and lighter levels are relatively free towards the lower and heavier levels; and the lowest and heaviest level (1) is not free because of its type of determination: causality. Note: “relatively free” means here “categorially free”; each level has its own categories.

Hartmann postulated four laws that apply to the levels of reality:

- The law of recurrence: Lower categories recur in the higher levels as a subaspect of higher categories, but never vice versa.
- The law of modification: The categorial elements modify in their recurrence in the higher levels (they are shaped by the characteristics of the higher levels).
- The law of the novum: The higher category is composed of a diversity of lower elements, but it is a specific novum that is not included in the lower levels.
- The law of distance between levels: Since the different levels do not develop continuously but in leaps, they can be clearly distinguished.

The first and the second level are spatial, the third and the fourth level are not spatial.

The first level (which is pretty similar to what you called “physical power”) is in fact the most powerful one, has in fact the strongest power in the sense that the other three levels are carried or borne by the first level and that the categories of the first level recur in the higher levels (and never vice versa) as a subaspect of higher categories.

An example:

You hit a man and this hit causes something physically (=> (1) matter, causality). Maybe you hit that man bcause he has threatened you; so you just want to save your own life (=> (2) life, urge). Maybe you groundlessly hate that man and therefore you hit him (=> (3) Seele, motif). Maybe your hate is not reasonless, and you hit that man because of a reason (=> (4) Geist, reason).

| _ (4) _| __ Geist __| _______ Reason _______ |
| _ (3) _| __ Seele __| ________ Motif ________|
| _ (2) _| ___ Life __ | ________ Urge ________|
| _ (1) _| _ Matter _ | _______ Causality ______|

[tab]If one looks at the connection of levels and categories, many world views contain for Hartmann the basic mistake of the fundamental one-sidedness.

  • The materialism tries to derive organic (2), emotional (3) and spiritual (4) phenomena from physical processes (1) and overlooks the more complicated structures at the respective higher level.
  • Alike the biologism tries to found emotional (3) and spiritual (4) phenomena on the life (2) principles and overlooks the laws of the novelty and the freedom.
  • The vitalism tries an explanation of life (2) with the principle of the finality, although this is a category of the Geistiges (4).
  • In the idealism occurs an explanation of the world (1 and 2) in the principle of the subject, although the subject is to be assigned to the level of the Geistiges (4).

Nicolai Hartmann:

More like …the “specifics” are wrong…

Along the Way, I don’t think you’ve read my 2 posts. All powers are necessarily physical, for the measurement of how powerful they are is ultimately their ability to affect the physical realm (reality). Physical power =/= bodily strength, I pointed this out in my OP, and this also applies to HaHaHa’s post as well.

There are 2 additional divisions of power -

  1. Genuine, independent power. This power flows from self and does not depend, or depends less on otherness to be effective.
  2. Empowerment, dependent power. This power is based to some extent on self, but in order to be realized it is dependent on the presence of some otherness. This is why it is sometimes considered inferior, although it can overpower 1) in certain contexts, but not in the long run. All types of social power belong in this category.

Arminius, I can’t say I agree entirely but this Hartmann sounds like he’s worth reading.

Nicolai Hartmann is worth reading - in any case -, yes.

Well they would not be called psychic if they were although I tend not to
accept something as true unless it can actually be demonstrated to be so

So what of an example of a delusional cult leader (like Heaven’s Gate for example) who believes he’s a prophet or messiah, or whatever, and whose delusions eventually lead to mass suicides? Let’s assume he’s truly insane too, and really believes what he’s saying, himself (no conscious manipulation involved). That would be an example of fantasy (“non-physical”) affecting events in physical world. Or what about suicide bombers who think they’re just earning a place in the afterlife by blowing themselves up and causing damage in physical world? Let’s say people are not even targets of insane visions. It could be animals or natural landscapes. Power or force is manifested in the physical world, but it comes from a mental delusion.