You have no items in your bag. get the Epoch
I hope that you have all acquired, and started to read twice, and thoroughly study MYOMT by Lionel Snell as mentioned in the previous blog. Nobody henceforth gets into the Illuminati without having done so.
Finally, the season turns, the first toads have come to the pond at Chateaux Chaos and laid their astonishingly long strings of potential successors, and a solitary newt has appeared awaiting a mate. In the greenhouse, the three Greek Autumnalis Mandrakes have produced their best ever foliage but it will not last much longer and they have not yet flowered in their first five years. Thus, the plan to reintroduce them to the wild in the entire southwest of England will plainly take a century or two unless I resort to some genetic engineering.
The Spring Equinox Druidical Neo-Pagan Easter/Ostara ritual went off delightfully. I could see no point in celebrating the season of fertility by some ghastly sacrificial crucifixion of the son of some Middle Eastern deity who got promoted to monotheistic position around 700BC. Therefore, we made eggshells full of wishes and spells and affirmations (mainly in chocolate) and invoked the god of the sun and the goddess of spring in many guises, and superbly personified by some of our members, to consecrate our ‘plantings’ for harvest at autumn.
The arse end of winter seemed dominated for me by the dislocation of my shoulder a few weeks ago, occasioned by the over exuberance of our dopey giant sheepdog tugging me down a flight of slimy stone steps in the churchyard. The pain and shock seemed quite astonishing, for a moment, I felt a sort of ‘out of body experience’, a sort of superposition of the experience of standing at the top of the stone steps, lying at the bottom of it, and leaping up again shouting F*** innumerable times. My eldest up in Scotland caught a twinge of it at the exact moment according to a later call.
A neurophysiologist at grove later explained this as a peculiarity of the fight-flight-freeze sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, but I dunno, it seemed very weird at the time. I can well appreciate why the inquisition used dislocation via the rack or the strapado as a method of torture.
At A&E they asked me to evaluate my agony on a scale of 1-10. I could still imagine blowtorches and molten lead as more painful so I opted for 8, probably a mistake, but nevertheless four medics eventually knocked me out in the end and wrenched it back in. On the bright side, I have partially mastered the awkward arts of left hand pickaxe, mattock, shovel, and sledgehammer, without too much collateral damage, round at the Memsahib’s community garden construction project. Yet at 64 this comes as an intimation of mortality and human frailness. I shall avoid surfing until at least midsummer. Whilst drowning reportedly seems a good way to go, I still have another 2 books to write, a further 3? grandchildren to welcome, New Zealand to visit, and a Michelangelo grade sculpture to make.
Meanwhile on Arcanorium College we explore the experimental belief that extra-terrestrial intelligences may know stuff that we don’t yet quite understand.
As Robert Anton Wilson said, ‘Magic is what you use when you have exhausted the possibilities of common sense’.
Thus we scroll through all human knowledge on various topics such as consciousness, biology, ontology/epistemology, philosophy, spacetime cosmology, and quantum physics and then ask the Lovecraftian Necronomicon Mythos Elder Gods for the next bits, on the justifiable assumption that something in the universe probably already knows. Whilst I have historically taken a dim view of ‘channelling’ this does seem to have generated some very provocative feedback.
Scotland has seen an export boom in the wake of the post-Brexit currency correction. The policy of the Loch Ness Sturgeon and the SNP of quitting Britain and joining the EU looks increasingly like an absurd posture. Scotland would implode economically without UK handouts and they know it, and they know they won’t get them from the EU now. The Scots just want a bit more autonomy and more subsidies.
Jean Claude Junker threatens Brexit Britain with the sort of spiteful punishing EU exit conditions that surely confirm that no country in its right mind would have ever contemplated joining this failed synarchic superstate if it had known its real agenda. Only fear holds it together now.
I recommend that we threaten to use the RAF and our missile arsenal to completely flatten the corrupt shite-hole of Brussels (having of course given a humanitarian warning to evacuate it first).
Only the French have the capacity to retaliate but I suspect they would like to see the end of it too. Only the Germans and the Euro-Political class have profited from the EU.
‘Belgium’ remains a term of vilest abuse in most of the civilised cultures of the galaxy according to Douglas Adams, one can now see why.
My Years of Magical Thinking by Lionel Snell.
If you look up ‘Magical Thinking’ on the internet, the first several dozen entries take a uniformly negative view of it. Scientists, psychologists, and anthropologists tend to regard Magical Thinking as something foolish, childish, or primitive, whilst religious commentators tend to regard it rather negatively as some misguided precursor to proper religion.
However Lionel makes a very strong case for Magical Thinking as a very necessary way of understanding the world and of interacting with it. He also demonstrates that we all use the magical style of thinking, and use it effectively, far more often than we realise, although we do tend to call it by other names, and shy away from fully exploiting it.
Until the advent of this book nobody had managed to properly and inclusively define Magical Thinking. ‘Magical Thinking’ seemed like something you sort of hopefully acquired by osmosis through studying and practicing magic. Unlike ‘Scientific Methods & Principles’ which we can state and teach explicitly, the magical style of thinking remained ill-defined until this seminal book.
So many magical books seem unsatisfactory and this book shows us why. So many of the older and newer magical books failed to encompass real magical thinking and ended up as confusing and confused tomes of either bad science or poor religion or dodgy art, or mixtures thereof.
Perhaps only a thinker such as Lionel, fluent in science, art, magic and religion, and with the keen analytical mind of a mathematician, could have precisely identified what ‘Magical Method & Principles’ actually consist of, precisely how they differ from the methods and principles of science, art, and religion, and how they provide a distinctive and powerful way of interacting with reality.
I had gradually come to assimilate and appreciate some of the methods and principles of magic over the course of a career but to see the whole lot and more, the entire philosophy of it, all in one place, came as a revelation.
I refuse to try and summarise the book here, you must read it yourself, preferably at least twice. Lionel’s exposition of the relationships between art, religion, science, and magic has tremendous depth and subtlety and explanatory power. Most fascinatingly he argues that magical thinking naturally follows on from scientific thinking in a cyclic fashion, rather than acting as some distant precursor for it.
Nobody should attempt to write another book of magic or about magic, until they have thoroughly studied and understood this one.
This book looks like a game-changer.
After buying up the entire split keyring stock of the local hardware shop and breaking several fingernails before turning to pliers I managed to make a selection of Hopf Fibration models. This instructive and aesthetically pleasing excercise creates a three dimensional representation of the four dimensional hypersphere and supplies an intuitively useful topological model of the simplest hypersphere, (the 3-sphere or 4-ball). Topologically we can consider a hypersphere to consist of an unlimited number of circles which all link with every other circle. If I had kept going and added a much larger number of rings these fibrations would have formed increasingly spherical objects, however the finite thickness of the split rings used makes this increasingly difficult in practise. Note that two forms of the fibration exist, the top left one and the lower larger one both exhibit a left hand twist whilst the upper right one has a right hand twist. The topology of this universe almost certainly corresponds to the left hand version as this universe exhibits a fair bit of assymetry towards the left at various scales and the simplest fundamental particles within it, the neutrinos, all come in left handed versions only (antineutrinos all exhibit right handedness only, but they represent particles going backwards around the fibrations)
The Vorticitation of the Hypersphere as posited in Hypersphere Cosmology on this site means that the circles of the fibration represent the TRAJECTORIES of material 'orbiting' within the hypersphere, and material here means everything from galaxies to light and other radiation
.Now although a fibration with just a limited number of circles will tend to fall into a torus when placed on a flat surface the full fibration would look more like a sphere as shown above in which material can 'orbit' around a circle orientated in any plane so long as some part of that orbit lies within the orbit of all the other circles (because of the gravity/spacetime curvature which constrains it). Thus such a hypersphere has no actual centre or edge in 3-dimensional space. An actual gravitational hypersphere corresponding to the size shown here would have to have the mass of a large planet. However because for any hypersphere m/l =c2/G, very large hyperspheres can have a much lower density, indeed our own universe only has about one particle per cubic metre on average, its practically a vacuum, but that proves enough to close it as a hypersphere about 13.8 billion light years across on the 'inside', from the 'outside' it would appear a bit smaller but of course we cannot get outside to see that.
Hyperspheres also seem theoretically possible down at the fundamental particle end of the cosmic scale, below the Planck length, and the currernt reasearch project involves attempting to model the properties of fundamental particles not as dimensionless points but as arising from extreemly small hyperspheres in which fibrations represent spacetime curvatures corresponding to electric, nuclear, and generational 'charges'.
Finally a clearer shot of the larger Hopf Fibration Hypersphere, it struck me as very suggestive of a Druidical(?) Celtic Torc with a single twist in it and the ends soldered together, it serves as such as a pendant on a thong now.
2017 seems to have begun with Visions and with fading Visions.
Perhaps we should speak of Imaginations rather than Visions, because Inspirations do not necessarily come in visual form.
My esoteric year began on Stokastimass, January 8th with an Invocation to The Morrigan, Goddess of Love, War, and Death, (Venus, Mars, Saturn) the Celtic equivalent of Ishtar/Eris. Does she really exist? WELL SHE DOES NOW! (Subject of course to suitable results from the various spells cast by the 15 participants physically present at the rite.)
In terms of the EPOCH chaobala scheme it would seem that many of the polytheistic deities outside of the traditional Greco-Roman pantheon actually correspond to tri-planetary aspects (or more) of the human psychocosm, and that does imply a rather large number of them. Indeed, it can probably accommodate just about any deity/goddess/god form in a way that traditional neo-platonistic kabala, hermeticism or gnosticsm cannot easily do. If I had another lifetime to spare, I would attempt to adumbrate the whole lot. Celtic, Mayan, Polynesian, etc., etc., etc.
An Invocation of Nyarlathotep coordinated via internet by participants on several continents via Arcanorium College on January 21st produced some astonishing results. For me the insight that Imagination not Will shall prevail in the pandaemonaeon of post-truth, para-rational politics, and information overload in religions, sciences, arts, and esoterics, came to the fore. Other participants received inspirations about where contemporary magi should direct their imaginations next.
We have just seen a newly re-visioned Tungsten Theresa launch herself and her nation, Elizabeth the First Style, against the insipid tyranny of the EU. I hope it works. The EU never really had a strong positive vision of itself. It failed to forge a European identity that captured its people’s imaginations. We just got a vast bureaucracy that works lousily and a malfunctioning currency. Thus, regional identities, idiosyncrasies and economic needs have reasserted themselves; the Germans will probably end up with an EU consisting of just East Germany and West Germany. The grandiose project to resuscitate the Holy Roman Empire seems doomed for the nth time.
Theresa May has the awesomely good fortune to have Jeremy Corbyn as her main domestic opponent. Corbyn has failed to grasp that the British appreciation of fairness depends on reciprocity rather than equality, and thus he remains mired in a vision of faux 1970’s student Marxism. The British do not actually mind if people become rich, so long as they spread it around and pay taxes. Nobody knows what vision the Illiberal Dimocrats have, and neither do they. UKIP at least had visions of what it vehemently did not want, blue UKIP did not want loss of sovereignty, and red UKIP did not want uncontrolled immigration and the outsourcing of manufacturing. Whilst I worked for them, I considered myself Purple UKIP, a bit of both. They have probably done their job now. Give Nigel Farage an Hereditary Peerage. Pelt Nicola Sturgeon with crap in the stocks for treason, her position makes no sense beyond faux tartan sectarian troublemaking.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic Donald Trump has assumed the office of POTUS with a visionary acceptance speech. Instinctively (as a businessperson) I tend to trust businesspeople over politicians because businesspeople always calculate costs, whereas with politicians, ideological insanity so often prevails.
Although Trump obviously belongs to the American financial elite, he can see clearly that current policies have screwed the less elite, who form his customer and employee and supporter base, and like any sensible businessperson, he wishes to redress the balance. As Henry Ford once observed, you need to enable your staff to buy your own products. Your average American now has to buy cheap imports from China. This does not seem sustainable.
Of course, all the privileged Hollywood luvvies and rich liberals have predictably come out against Trump yet it seems likely that Trump will only roll back those items of the ‘Liberal Agenda’ that have begun to fail socially and economically: -
The neo-liberal economics of uncontrolled free trade need questioning.
The neo-con-liberal idea that a western style democracy must fit all sizes and that we must therefore use military might to impose it seems in severe need of a cost-benefit analysis.
The liberal social agenda of rights rather than responsibilities needs a rethink.
The big-government politically correct health and safety nanny state, and the hyper-regulation that seem in danger of infantilising whole populations needs sweeping away.
The economic migration, which fuelled developing economies, now needs reconsideration.
The so-called positive discrimination in favour of minorities and multiculturalism need re-examination.
Culturalism needs reasserting. The liberal idea that we should respect other people’s beliefs and cultures has become perfidious, particularly when those others exhibit either no respect or envious hatred of ours. Any multiculturalism that supports the suppression of women or the primacy of theocratic principles does not deserve any respect or toleration.
Worldwide we seem to progress towards a fresh model of CAPITALIST NATIONALISM with variable degrees of mixed economy. In this, States encourage indigenous private enterprise, provide varying degrees of social security, and ‘negotiate’ bilateral economic, security, and dominance arrangements with other States. Both Russia and China belatedly came to successfully pursue this policy just as Europe and America had mistakenly relaxed it and opened their borders to uncontrolled capital, manufacturing, and population movements.
A new western world order seems in the making and it seems appropriate that Britain as the most senior of modern democracies should have led the way towards a new settlement. In Britain, we have, after centuries of struggle, pragmatically cobbled together a peculiarly sophisticated yet largely unwritten constitutional arrangement. In this we have evolved a stable balance between monarchy, parliamentary democracy, judiciary, labour and capital, that allows us to change our rulers and our political direction with minimal casualties. In Britain the membership and influence of extreme right and extreme left political groups remains negligible. On the continent things begin to look nasty.
The EU tried to impose a polity upon Europe using an insipid ideology and a mega-bureaucracy, and it looks like it will now go down very messily and perhaps bloodily into history’s wastepaper basket.
Jake Stratton Kent has unfortunately written yet another book on magic for the aeonically challenged. He began his career with so-called English Kabala, supposing that the letters of the English alphabet and their modern ordering somehow embodied intrinsic thelemic esoteric secrets rather than just representing an accidental historic mash up that has evolved from many roots. Sure, you can submit any alphabet to Kabbalistic procedures to create a bit of lateral thinking and apophenia, however random kabbalas work just as well as supposedly sacred ones in this respect.
After English Kabala failed to provoke enlightenment, JSK reinvented himself as the UKs Grimoire-ologist in chief, and the results seem similarly weak. Our understanding of magic has moved on from the late medieval and early modern periods and thus a regurgitation of ideas from those times in ‘Pandemonium: A Discordant Concordance of Diverse Spirit Catalogues by Jake Stratton-Kent’ adds nothing to our understanding of magic in theory or practice, although it will look suitably gothic to the gullible on a bookshelf.
I wish JSK a long life, hopefully within decades he may stumble upon late 20th century magic and then perhaps 21st century magic some decades after that, and perhaps eventually he will write ‘Pandaemonaeon, a Chaobala for Modern Times’, which may well regurgitate The EPOCH, a mere century after its publication.
The Hopf Fibration probably represents the trajectories of material within a vorticitating hypersphere such as this universe, and it possibly relates to the modes of fundamental particle behaviour.
This means I shall now probably have to master quaternion and perhaps octonion algebra, groan. However, on the bright side another mathematician has joined me in the quest.
New Year’s Address 2017
1) Penumbra Livros have just published Liber Null and Psychonaut in Brazil in Portuguese. My hardback sample copies arrived as a surprise present on xmas eve, it all looks very well done with the diagrams beautifully reproduced. Although I cannot read the text, the emails I’ve had from the translators indicate their fluency in English, so I guess the translation will have come out equally well done.
2) I have just read the latest draft of ‘My Years of Magical Thinking’ by Lionel Balgrave Snell, aka Ramsey Dukes, aka Dr Wunlita Suzuki (and no end of other aliases) who must surely rank as the finest metamagical theoretician currently, or perhaps ever, incarnate. In this masterly summary and exposition of a lifetime of magical thought, Lionel muses deeply on the relationships between art, science, magic, and religion. You may not find much of immediate practical use in this tome but it certainly expands and contextualises the magical way of thinking as a distinct and increasingly relevant way of relating to perceived reality. Lionel told me he had tried to write about magic for the general reader in this latest book. He may achieve that, in places he digresses into magical thinking strategies in the dark arts of politics and marketing, yet I will always regard him as ‘The Thinking Magician’s Magician’, the wizard who looks into the ideas behind the ideas, and as such he may well go down in history as the 20th & 21st century’s version of Paracelsus.
I found his idea of the symmetry between scientific ‘falsifiability’ and religious ‘non-believability’ stimulating, and wondered if that symmetry might extend to ‘improbability’ in magic and ‘dislikability’ in art. Each discipline need to find the appropriate level of such things and ‘modern’ art seems to have tried to enhance its exclusivity by going heavy on the dislikability.
Hopefully Lionel will publish MYOMT sometime in this coming year.
3) A Robert Anton Wilson Biography by Gabriel Kennedy may perhaps appear this year. http://www.rawillumination.net/2016/04/propanon-man-behind-new-raw-bio.html
I have passed on a few reminiscences from my meetings with Bob; and some contacts to those who knew him for the project. RAW had a very seminal impact on the lineage of ideas from which much of Chaos Magic took its inspiration. RAW did apparently join the IOT Pact along with William Burroughs and Dr Richard Alan Miller towards the end of their lives but I understand that in Bob’s case this probably meant a largely honorary position.
The ancients happily invoked various gods and goddesses for technical and political advice, how to catch game, when or whether to wage war and son on.
In the dreary monotheist aeons, humanity seems to have scaled back its expectations and merely contented itself with creating deities to advise on quotidian matters of personal and social morality and emotional wellbeing.
All this will change this coming months when psychonauts from Arcanorium College get down to the serious business of invoking the Elder Gods of the Necronomicon Mythos to ask some questions of a more serious nature concerning technical matters about life, the universe, and everything.
On Wednesday I shall present a challenge to the assembled philosophers and metaphysicians of The Salon in this city: - the idea that Neoplatonism perhaps needs replacing as the default spiritual/metaphysical idea of the west.
2017 shapes up to become the year when neo-liberal economics and social liberalism go into reverse. The neo-liberal economics forged in the Thatcher-Reagan years seem to have eventually delivered economic decadence. Free-trade has hollowed out the manufacturing capacity of developed nations and left their economies dependent on service industries and property investment. Only the very rich in developed economies and some of the poor in developing economies have really prospered from this.
In developed nations, social liberalism has similarly promoted social decadence. Multiculturalism and minority ‘rights’ have eroded social cohesion. The nanny states have increasingly replaced responsibilities with ‘rights’, and the inevitable backlash approaches.
‘Globalisation’ has failed rather badly because uncontrolled market forces act mainly to the benefit of those few people able to exploit them. The EU has failed to benefit the majority of its citizens and this coming year will probably see it unravel further.
A Europe predicated upon the exclusion of Russia has never made much sense anyway. Donald Trump’s desire to seek a rapprochement with Russia could well show Europe the way. All three blocs have far more to worry about in the shape of Chinese geo-political ambitions and Islamic militancy.
Of the four major blocs in the world, Europe seems the weakest player as this year’s round opens. Whilst it still has a large but sluggish economy it remains militarily weak and unwilling. The EU experiment has failed miserably and needs replacing with practical trade and defence treaties because the attempt to impose political union by mega-bureaucracy has failed.
Global warming becomes ever more alarming. Despite what they say, the world’s politicians seem determined to avoid an economic downturn by reducing fossil fuel use, and instead they have pinned their hopes on technical solutions evolving without enormous investments.
That seems like a huge gamble, we desperately need massive improvements in renewable energy technologies, efficient solar plants, massive wind and tidal power projects, better battery storage facilities and so on.
Hypersphere Mechanics proceeds apace; if it doesn’t get falsified then a book explaining the behaviour of both the entire universe and fundamental particles using the same principle may eventually emerge.
See the latest here http://vixra.org/abs/1612.0069 at the home of rebel scientific publication.
Every quantum has a spinning hypersphere in its heart.
I don’t know where this will all lead; it began with a youthful intuition, when looking up at the stars having just learned about atoms. Hermes Trismegistus’ assertion of ‘As Above, So Below’ added encouragement when I started to read Hermetics.
So far it has generated the result that the universe has no temporal boundaries, merely a temporal horizon, so it must have already spawned almost unimaginably advanced intelligences of almost unimaginable age. Quantum effects may permit communication….. and they may also explain the strange and erratic phenomena of magic.
A caterpillar inflicted moderate damage to the middle sized of the three mandrakes; I wonder if it got stoned whilst doing so, I repositioned it outside in the garden, having a moral rule against destroying higher life forms to save lower ones. Slugs and snails go into adjoining woodland. This rule of course allows me to eat anything.
When someone said that “90% of science fiction was crap” the Science Fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon replied “90% of everything is crap”. This has become known as ‘Sturgeon’s Law’. It seems generally true, just look at most architecture, most books, most music, most of what appears on television, most of the things politicians say, most of the uninhabitable planets in the galaxy.
However it also seems a pretty hard law to live up to as it means achieving an average of two hours and twenty four minutes of personal excellence every day, a tough call.
Review. The Dr Strange film.
I had both eagerly awaited this and dreaded what Hollywood might do with it. The Dr Strange comics played some part stimulating my youthful interest in magic. As expected the film uses a vast amount of CGI to depict the effects of magic but these occur mainly in astral and mirror worlds or the dark dimension, so ordinary reality does not get too non-believably distorted. The ‘Energy Paradigm’, as they call it in magical circles, remains hotly disputed with many including myself preferring the ‘Information Paradigm’ in which magical ‘energy’ appears only as an imaginative metaphor for effects which do not actually depend on ‘energy’ at all.
The scriptwriting and storyline seemed both sufficiently similar yet interestingly different enough to the Marvel Comic stories to prove engaging, look out for some Lovecraftian touches to the plot. Plus it looked pretty damn good in 3D.
I don’t know why the Eye of Agamotto appeared as green though.
P.S. For the wizard in your life get the Esotericon and Portals of Chaos, order soon for xmas. http://www.esotericon.org/
By the grace of Azathoth and partly thanks to a wearying dose of flu that left me idly playing with algebra under the duvet, something coherent seems to have come through on the Quantum Hypersphere front. See it here http://vixra.org/abs/1611.0133 at the home of rebel scientific publishing.
Basically it shows that we can recover the basic fundamental equation of quantum physics by treating quanta as hyperspheres, (‘magnified’ by the Uncertainty/Indeterminacy Principle), that ‘rotate’ in exactly the same way as the entire vorticitating hyperspherical universe, thus revealing a deep and unsuspected* symmetry between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Everything spins. Spin and Spacetime mutually uphold each other, and matter and energy arise from their interaction.
(*Well actually I intuited that at age 14 having learned about atoms and then staring at the stars. Now half a century down the line some maths finally emerges.)
At Arcanorium College www.arcanoriumcollege.com we prepare for a second expedition into the Necronomicon realm of the Elder Gods to seek the Gods of the Future and whatever eldritch secrets they may choose to impart. The preparations will take a month or so; so time to build instruments and amass sanity points ready for January. Courageous Psychonauts may apply.
A family holiday in Crete in October proved fascinating. The island probably inspired Plato to write of Atlantis. The Minoans seem to have had a very agreeable bronze age culture, they worshipped a goddess whose name we do not know and who probably didn’t hold a pair of snakes (it seems that the British archaeologist Arthur Evans reconstructed 2 figurines doing that because he thought they looked more pagan that way, but all the other goddess statues have outstretched arms) The Minoan culture seemed fairly peaceful, the cities didn’t have walls and we haven’t found much weaponry. There doesn’t seem much evidence of sacrifice except votive offerings of cute little bronze and pottery animals. Cretan ‘bullfighting’ didn’t involve killing the bull, just a display of bravery by getting yourself tossed over its back. Bronze axeheads feature everywhere as both ceremonial and actual tools but these look far more like tree felling axes than battleaxes and tree felling must have featured as a very significant activity for an agricultural society on a heavily wooded island. Minoan culture, like the mythical culture of Atlantis, came to an abrupt end ~1,240BC, probably due to catastrophic earthquakes and/or the explosion of the Santorini volcano and subsequent tsunami.
The three Mandragora Autumnalis that came as seeds from a wizard in Greece have sprouted on cue at Samhain again for their 4th year. They don’t seem to like the British climate, they grow only very slowly and now resemble small parsnips, and they haven’t flowered yet, but this year they have a space in the greenhouse rather than the kitchen window.
Happy new POTUS to all my American correspondents. A Clinton victory would have meant more of the same which doesn’t work. The parallels with the Brexit result seem worth noting, both phenomena depended heavily on the issue of Globalisation. We haven’t managed Globalisation at all well, and now the furious people have elected politicians who say that they will manage it. The religious right have inconsequential influence in the UK but they can hardly claim a victory in the person of Trump. Sovereignty proved a significant issue in Britain; we didn’t want to become swallowed up in the failing superstate of the EU. However as Archdruid Greer USA points out, the sovereignty of the states in the face of an overbearing and out of touch federal government played a part in Trump’s victory too.
I don’t imagine that as a businessman Trump will start any wars that do not have a good expectation of making a profit. An alliance with the Russians against the common enemy of civilisation in the Middle East seems like a good idea. If I held the presidency of Mexico I’d build that wall myself to prevent the vast exchange of drugs for guns that has so badly scarred my own society.
Trump’s climate change policies do however give cause for alarm.
Nevertheless he likes Britain and he has already bought parts of Scotland, and he likes our dear old Nigel Farage.
The autumnal solstice passes, the best weather seems over for the year, the days get shorter and gloomier and a chill invades the air. Somehow, personal spring equinox resolutions to eat a protein only diet and to exercise furiously seem to fade now, slobbery and warmth beckon. As a species we have not given ourselves the luxury of fattening up and hibernating till the climate improves, the bills still need paying. Still, at least we have midwinter socialisation and feasting and commerce to look forward to.
Yet we do now have artificial lighting and spectacles, and stored carbohydrates seem to stimulate the brain, do the best discoveries occur in the dismal darkness of winter?
A number of interesting developments have occurred: -
Turdcrete, a composite sculptural material of my own devising consisting of roughly equal volumes of Portland cement and sieved fibrous compost, plus a small amount of water (handle it with rubber gloves) has proved an excellent craftworking material, see above examples. It handles like clay and sets like weak concrete and it looks like baked earth. I gave an autumnal course in its use to local enthusiasts and the professional potter amongst them became very enthusiastic about its possibilities.
Both pieces contain soft iron scrap wire. The Giacometti style figure also has a lump of lead in the base as well. The cauldron piece got stolen from the semi-public workspace. How thrilling, I have never offered artwork for sale but someone has actually stolen a piece (easily replaced), validated as an artist at last!
According to Weiser’s recent royalty statements, Liber Null and Liber Kaos have together clocked up sales of over sixty thousand, although as Gordon kindly points out these act as primers for the more difficult and challenging aficionado material in The Apophenion and The Octavo and The EPOCH.
Since rather publicly disowning the shambles that the Ineffectualists Of Transgression* have descended into since my retirement from them, I have received an invitation from apparently the next level of the Illuminati, well they seem to have an awesome amount of academic and intellectual firepower going for them. They say that if you search long and hard enough for the Illuminati you will eventually find yourself in it.
(*Contrary to the impression that some may have gained from the recent crop of Blog of Baphomet blogs, real magic barely concerns itself with the trivial phenomena of XI0 and chemognosis.)
The quest to understand the microcosm, has taken an interesting turn;
Perhaps we can unite the Azathothian quantum Gnosis with the Yog-Sothian cosmological Gnosis; -
If fundamental particles do have the same hyperspherical nature as the universe itself on the macro scale, then the Borsuk-Ulam theorem may have much to offer. If mapping from n to n-1 dimensions creates the apparent phenomenon of quantum entanglement and superposition then we can probably do a lot with the idea of fundamental particles as quantum hyperspheres (as both 3-spheres in space and 3-spheres in time), despite the illusion that we inhabit a mere 3D space and 1D time metric on casual inspection, (and which can appear gravitationally/geometrically flat if you accept the crazy phlogiston riddled expansion hypothesis).
Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
Whatever is below is similar to that which is above. Through this the marvels of the work of one thing are procured and perfected.
As Hermes Trismegistus wrote on the Emerald Tablet
We might just get some tech or magic out of this eventually.
Lastly, I remain provisionally impressed with our new UK Prime Minister. Britain has usually done well under Queens; Elizabeth 1, Victoria, and Thatcher all left this Sceptered Isle a better place than they found it. Will Theresa May prove our new Gloriana? These days all political careers tend to end in failure, but she has made a sensible and resolute start.
Two young men both tried to move scraps of paper with their minds, one failed, he became a notable physicist and a bit of a philosopher and he became harshly dismissive of parapsychology, although he did develop a fondness for the utterly bizarre Everett-Wheeler (10500+) multiple universe hypothesis. The other one felt an unexpected breeze suddenly move his scrap of paper, ‘that will do’ he decided, he became a notable wizard and a bit of a philosopher but he became too sceptical to become an acceptable scientist. Oddly they shared a surname.
Emergent phenomena arise when systems exhibit properties and behaviours that their component parts do not seem to exhibit on their own. ‘Weakly Emergent’ phenomena like the bulk behaviour of many solids do seem in principle reducible to the properties of the atoms which compose them.
However ‘Strongly Emergent’ phenomena like living organisms, the weather, and economic behaviour do not seem similarly reducible, epistemologically or ontologically, to the behaviour of their component parts at lower levels. Something about the complexity of these systems allows them to exhibit properties that do not seem to come from anywhere except from the very complexity of their structures.
Even if we eventually discover a ‘theory of everything’ consisting of a small handful of equations which describe all the fundamental processes of the universe, the existence of grasshoppers or the Mona-Lisa would probably not appear as inevitable consequence of them.
At the time of writing we do have a Core Theory, see picture above, most of the symbols in it act as shorthand for rather more complicated entire equations. It can tell us precisely what a wave/particle will probably do under certain circumstances. However it offers no clue as to which way time will flow, the reasons for the vales of fundamental constants, or much of a clue as to what forms of complexity could emerge from it, rather like the hypothesis of causality it has far better explanatory power when used backwards. Plus it only works in weak gravity situations and the Higgs part of it looks a bit dodgy. The supreme achievement of the Core Theory lies in its revelation of the enormity of what we didn’t even realise we don’t know, it has massively expanded our awareness of our ignorance.
According to Science, consciousness arises as an emergent phenomenon from matter. As biological complexity and the processing power of nervous systems becomes selected for, then the process of ‘consciousness’ gradually develops. Even if we cannot precisely specify what we mean by ‘consciousness’ we can appreciate some kind of a quantitative and probably a qualitative difference between the behaviour of ourselves and our fellows and say, rocks for example. Dogs and many other animals quite plainly exhibit something of what we recognise as consciousness as well.
A phenomenon such as consciousness plainly resists a complete reduction to the functions of the component parts of the systems which give rise to it, such as the nerve cells, the chemistry of those cells, and the particle physics underlying the chemistry. Rather the incredibly complicated arrangement of matter in a brain supports behaviour which does not seem present in its component parts.
Or does it? The philosophy of Panpsychism attempts to explain the existence of consciousness by describing it as a fundamental attribute of all matter. Thus even individual subatomic particles must have it to some degree. Well individual particles do exhibit indeterminate and thus unpredictable behaviour and they seem capable of simple communication with each other by quantum entanglement, and emergent properties arise all the way up the scale, the properties of water for example do not seem entirely defined by those of its constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms, but they at least have the freedom to exhibit such behaviour.
The tired debate about Free Will versus Determinism usually becomes bogged down by the assumptions that matter can only behave deterministically or randomly, neither of which satisfies any criterion of free will, and so free will must either arise from something immaterial or ‘spiritual’, or prove illusory. However if consciousness arises as an emergent property of matter, then so can free will. Beyond a certain level of complexity an organism (and perhaps even a machine) will start to self-generate behaviour that does not always causally depend on its component parts, or on its inputs, or on pure randomness either.
According to many Religions, matter arises as an emergent phenomenon from consciousness. Thus some immaterial but conscious deity or other simply wishes or imagines the material universe into manifestation. Just how such deities achieved consciousness in the first place they do not say. However the material universe then seems to exhibit emergent properties and to manifest phenomena not apparently intended by deities, creating multiple failures of omnipotence and omniscience, and awkward questions about theodicy (deities permitting bad stuff).
Some religions (like many of those of the classical civilisations) had the fallible gods co-evolve with matter from a more primeval chaotic state and then muck around with it or fight over it for a while before humans appeared or got created.
The superiority of ‘mind’ over matter really seems to have taken metaphysical hold with the advent of Platonism and Neo-Platonism. The late classical thinkers became so obsessed with the very idea of ideas that they came to regard them as more fundamental than the phenomena they related to. From this point on, the interface of late classical thinking and Hebraic monotheism led to the doctrines of Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and Kabala, in which ‘The Prime Consciousness’ or something of that ilk, gives rise to a series of descending thoughts and emanations which eventually result in this miserable flawed material world. Such doctrines have formed a strong thread in religion and mysticism ever since.
Today the old Pagan view appears somewhat more realistic than the top-down Monotheist view. Matter plainly tends to evolve complexity and to manifest emergent properties, and these emergent properties act rather like gods, controlling the very substances from which they emerged, to create waves and turbulence in water, to make forests out of dirt, water, air, and sunlight, and to make animals and self-aware creatures out of bits chewed off plants and/or bits chewed off other animals.
Some theorists suspect that once an emergent behaviour has developed it may set some sort of a pattern for similar behaviour to emerge in similar systems. Here we enter controversial and occult but potentially testable territory populated with ideas about Morphic Fields and the possible weak quantum entanglement of all similar phenomena and/or the ontological rather than the epistemological reality of wave-functions as in the PBR theorem.
In an odd way such ideas about Morphic Fields and the non-local effects of information begin to resemble the old Neo-Platonic ideas about discarnate Ideals or ‘Forms’, but with a crucial difference: - In the modern information theory, matter and information co-evolve, information requires embodiment, it requires matter to process it, to emit it, to receive it, and to decode it.
This implies both limitations and extensions to our ideas about the esoteric possibilities of information. Completely discarnate sentient ‘Spirits’ of deities, or of the deceased, or of events which have ceased to exist seem unlikely within the new paradigm. On the other hand, information about such things can persist in living minds (and evolve there) and possibly have effects beyond them if information can have the sort of non-local effects suggested by quantum and morphic field theories.
Non-locality in space either effectively means ‘instantaneously’ regardless of distance and lightspeed, or it means the effective cancellation of distance by the exchange of information backwards in time.
Non-locality in time does seem to occur in some quantum experiments; the present can seemingly modify the past and seemingly modify the future without actually ‘touching’ it in the classical sense. Of course the annals of the magical and the occult lie littered with such claims, most of them dubious and/or explained in terms of an antique ‘spirit’ hypothesis.
Nevertheless temporal non-locality leads to the opening of a very large can of worms which could include retroactive enchantment and divination of the future on a probabilistic basis, and maybe ‘talking’ not with the dead but maybe with the previously alive. Plus the correction to the gravity part of the Core Theory for high gravity as suggested by Hypersphere Cosmology leads to the intriguing speculation that a positively curved vorticitating universe finite and unbounded in both space and time ‘always’ has consciousness in it.
If something like a Core Theory Equation does govern the basic mechanics of the universe then the magic lies in the Emergence of improbable events yet it will always give the appearance of having happened naturally, if somewhat improbably. That will do.
Yes, I have just read this https://www.amazon.com/Big-Picture-Origins-Meaning-Universe/dp/0525954821
It contains much to stimulate and to argue with.
Finally, let us hope that Comrade Jeremy Corbyn wins the UK Labour party leadership resoundingly. He would make a splendid leader of the opposition, a proper democratic government needs a lunatic opposition from which it can borrow the very occasional sensible idea.
And, post-finally, Grammar Schools, I had the good fortune to go to one from an upper working class home, later I taught in one and in quite a number of secondary modern schools during 5 years at the chalkface. If you want a comprehensive school to have mixed sexes and mixed ability and a wide range of academic and vocational subjects then it has to become pretty large. The largeness usually screws it up, the staff don't know each other personally, the staff don't know the pupils personally, instead of an educational community you get a dysfunctional educational factory. Inevitably the kids get heavily streamed anyway within the school. Because large schools don't work very well we should concentrate on making them smaller, to allow this they would need to become more selective. To allow for social mobility we should have much more mobility between schools that have specialisms but a smaller size. I never worked in a school with more than 4-form entry that didn't seem like a mediocre shambles blighted by disruptive behaviour.