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Friday, 16 September 2011 21:28

Arcanorium

As you may know, I hold the chair in The Department of Sorcery and Alternative Science at Arcanorium College, www.arcanoriumcollege.comand also act as the Chancellor of the college.

Thus on behalf of the Staff,  I proudly announce the program for the forthcoming first semester of our 6th year. Membership of the College entitles participants to access to all courses, the common rooms and bar, and the extensive library, plus our ever more vast archives. If you want to participate in the creation of magic in the 21st century and to find out where it came from and where it may go, you have come to the right place.

 

Arcanorium College Year 6, 2011 - 2012.

Semester 1, September 19th - October 28th.

Lecturer: Hyperritual, Course: Automagica Theoretica.

In this six-week course we will consider a theory of automagic devices from the perspective of automatic machines. There will be reading assignments and much reflection and discussion. We will attempt to sort out some models by which we can construct automagic devices either individually or as part of future courses (Automagica Practica) in the Dept of Magical Computing / Magical Computer Lab.



Lecturer: Al, Course: Seventeenth Century Magic.

This course takes an in-depth look at the 17thC magical worldview and its principles and practitioners and their magical workings, and it will involve practical work with various forms of Geomancy both traditional and modern.

Friday, 09 September 2011 21:27

Another review

Reviews by Shade Oroboros

The Apophenion: A Chaos Magic Paradigm by Peter J. Carroll,
Mandrake 2008, 160 pages, illustrated,
footnoted and indexed.


 In the wide wonderful world of Chaos Magick, it is kind of a big event when Peter Carroll writes a new book. This one does of course have many magical elements, but it is actually devoted to addressing profoundly fundamental issues: the nature of existence, time and space, the structure of the universe and the (un?)reality of the Self. The man has clearly been thinking vary hard about stuff, specifically Relativity, Quantum Theory and Chaos. On the way he discards the very notion of ‘being’ in favor of Panpsychism, trashes the concept of any individual ‘consciousness’ by redefining ‘mind’ as a verb rather than a noun, proposes a new personal pantheism, reexamines causality in magical terms, and completely blows off the current theories of the Big Bang theory of the universe in favor of a new physics model of Vorticitating Hyperspherical Spacetime.


 I am nowhere near doing justice to his thesis, and definitely lack the math skills to grok his appended equations. But as far as I can follow his thought, it seems to make more sense than many other theories, largely works for me, and is well worth some very serious consideration. I have the lurking feeling this all this is important.


 Apophenia, by the way, is the goddess of finding unsuspected meaning, patterns and connections.

Thursday, 08 September 2011 21:27

More bits...

Back to school and college for many of us now that we get to the end of the holiday season, you can almost feel the psychic groan, not that we have had much of a summer in the UK, mainly cool and wet due to the climate disruption methinks.

 

The global financial mess will hopefully depress some of the excess economic activity which gives rise to this

 

I’ve spent a lot of time walking and surfing and reading in Wales and composing more poetry (it will appear here after Eisteddfod use).

 

Gaddhafi still isn’t dead; some considered it a bit extreme to call for that, but after what we have now seen of the inside of his regime it seems like an even better idea, and the sooner the better.

 

Arcanorium College now tools up for Semester 1 of its 6th glorious year.

 

As I explained long ago I didn’t set up the PJ Carroll facebook page, nor do I know who did, nor can I anymore interact with it because I’m refusing to give them a mobile number to confirm my existence.

 

Nevertheless I’ve transferred a couple of questions from it to here as they caught my interest: -

 

Xara Allen

 

peter can i ask what your thoughts are on kundalini and chakras. ive resisted that belief system so far having discounted it as just another model and not one that im asthetically or culturally attracted to so why bother with it... but ive been reading a fair bit of S Mace as he seems to ascribe some objective physiological basis to it....wondered wat your thoughts were tis all....?

The various oriental systems of chackras and meridians contradict each other in detail and you won’t find much corresponding to any of them on dissection. ‘Fake’ acupuncture, where the therapist puts the needles in at arbitrary points has equally beneficial effects to ‘real’ acupuncture apparently.

 Some modern methods of sports training urge the trainee to put all their mental attention into the muscle groups used in their particular event. Similar practices occur in martial arts where the practitioner visualizes ‘chi’ flowing to the striking or defending parts, or even outside the body entirely.

I tend to take the view that all such systems depend on simply drawing the attention of the practitioner or recipient to the areas of the body requiring attention and that the attention itself has a real and sometimes magical effect. Thus any system of representing the body in the mind by some sort of analogy will probably work, including such patently novel systems such as the kabbalistic middle pillar exercises. For simplicities sake I tend to prefer the Gnostic Pentagram or Gnostic Chaosphere practices which use just 5 ‘chackras’ with a simple vowel sound vibrated to each

Baron Feather

I've a question regarding Apophenion, p. 82. You write in the first paragraph "This strongly suggests that when enchanting a future perception on 'memory' of it having occured, rather than visualising a chain of events leading to its occurence." - Isn't this contradictory to what you write in the first chapters about "being" and "doing" (pp. 18-). I understand on p. 82 the suggestion to put a state into your spell rather than a process. I know, here it isn't the point, but in the whole of your book, especially when regarding the first chapters with this passage, it seems contradictory. Would you be so kind to explain?

Firstly let me say that I find no evidence of ‘being’ anywhere in reality except in our imaginations. Everything moves, everything changes from moment to moment even if our sluggish perception suggests otherwise.

If we assume from the quantum perspective that many possible futures exist in some sort of shadowy wavelike form then forming an image of one future favored version now may well encourage the future to manifest in that form eventually. You might merely call that making a plan or a wish, however some experiments indicate that the observer’s choice of what to observe has a tendency to make reality follow suit.

 Pete.

Sunday, 21 August 2011 21:26

Looting

The British riots have come and gone for the moment, and at last the politicians and the media have tired of punditry and explanationism and blame assignment. Finally now that the punitive sentencing process has gone into well publicized overdrive we get the one statistic they dared not release in the immediate aftermath of the event and which I’ve eagerly awaited, - an estimate of the numbers involved.

Scotland Yard puts it at 30,000. One must balance that figure against the natural tendency of the police to want to both understate the extent of a breakdown of the law and order they get paid to maintain and perhaps a tendency to overstate it in the face of proposed police spending cuts. Nevertheless in the context of several thousand arrests it sounds like a reasonable lower estimate. I had guessed about 50,000, although I saw nothing of it directly whilst on holiday in Wales.

Compared to the poll tax riot which seems to have involved about 250,000 this seems like peanuts, yet its effect seems to have disturbed the national psyche far more, and I think it has done so because of the lack any easily understandable political motive for the riots.

However, as someone once said of the French Revolution, ‘there’s nothing more political than the price of a loaf of bread’, and to pretend that anything that happens in society lacks a political dimension or a power relationship of some sort seems naïve.

I suspect that a great many people fairly well understand the causes of these riots but keep the guilty secret to themselves because they would personally rather remain enmeshed in the problem rather than consider the alternatives.

The crisis in the financial systems and the riots share a common cause, the failure of the policy of economic growth and consumerism.

Yes, I have just committed the ultimate blasphemy, I don’t think our society should strive for more economic growth or more consumption, despite what just about all politicians say.

The majority of people now have about twice as much stuff as they had 40 years ago, yet they seem no happier or more content at all, in fact one could argue that the relentless pursuit of ever more consumables has led to a drop in the quality of life. Some sociologists argue that quality of life peaked in the UK around the mid seventies.

For the last few decades we have imported debt and manufactures and labor from abroad to maintain a growth in consumerism. This has had the grim effects of creating an unsustainable debt mountain, an unwanted underclass of unskilled people with no work in basic manufacturing, and arguably a far less cohesive society riven by multicultural, multi-identity, and wealth ghetto-isation. What does it mean to be British these days? It seems to mean having a long and glorious past which we are increasingly taught to feel ashamed of; and no vision for the future beyond an even larger TV screen, at an ever cheaper price. Most of the people who stole televisions had access to at least one already; they merely obeyed social norms in obtaining another as cheaply as possible. The underclass may have started the riots but the middle classes seem to have joined in the looting, the rich have already got richer these last few decades by more subtle forms of looting.

The solution seems simple, cease striving for growth, stop working for consumables we don’t really need, put our own people back to work making the stuff we do need even if that makes it a bit more expensive. Share out what we do have a bit more equitably, and concentrate more on quality of life and leisure pursuits.

Hopefully this will also lead to less looting of this planet’s rapidly diminishing resources.

Thursday, 04 August 2011 21:25

Further thoughts

Well that stirred up a reply or two, herewith my response....

There are perhaps 100m people on this planet in various conflict zones who could reasonably claim asylum here, and there are perhaps 1bn who would like to move here as economic migrants given the chance.


 These small islands already have one of the highest population densities on the planet. We cannot feed ourselves from the available land and I see massive encroachment and building work in progress on much of our remaining green spaces and farmland. I also notice massive soil erosion in many of our heritage sites and we have apparently such insurmountable waste disposal problems now that we have to ship it abroad.


I cannot therefore support further immigration. I have no racist or ethnic agenda, I just don't think we should let anymore people in, from any category, on a permanent basis, although I'm not opposed to a certain amount of tourism and some short -term work permits, plus immigration of partners in the case of genuine marriage or civil partnership. It would seem humanitarian to let political refugees in, but we simply don't have the facilities, rather we should consider arming them and giving them all affordable possible fire support to democratise their homelands.


I do not agree with the principle that we may need some 'indespensible' specialists, surely we can fill any conceivable vacancy from our existing 67 odd million, if not we should adjust our education system and our ridiculous benefits system accordingly. We already have substantial unemployment. Plus imported labour tends to depress real wages, to the capitalist's delight.


Further importation of skilled people will only exacerbate skill shortages and inequalities in developing nations. Poland for example has in the last decade lost 1m of its most dynamic people, who are predicted never to return.


As a small scale entreprenneur let me assure you that the free movement of capital is largely illusory, no significant amount of capital ever moves internationally without political approval, the same applies to labour, try getting a job in France, friends of mine have tried and failed.
I think the current EU financial crisis demonstrates that you cannot 'Globalise' divergent systems sucessfully even on a European wide basis.

Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:25

Afterthought

On returning from my weeks surfing trip and family holiday I note that the previous post on Knights of Chaos seems to have attracted a lot of attention, almost as much as the Designer Religion article of some time ago. I wonder if this has arisen partly because of the activities of that nutter in Norway who claimed alleigance to some sort of Knights Templar organisation?

I have to say that his actions seem insane to me. If you feel intensely about immigration or population growth elsewhere, why massacre your 'own' people to make your point known?

I met a  of facinating historian and a political scientists whilst away. The historian, with the crusades as her speciality, opined that the Templars almost certainly had no serious or interesting heresies, the Pope and the French king merely needed the wealth of an order which had ceased to have any real function after the failure of the crusading effort. It would seem that the mere innuendo of heresy has given them an attractive glamour for many anti-catholic groups including occultists and fringe freemasons. However it seems that the Templars themselves remained devout and pious dupes till the grim end.

The political scientist opined that in the UK and many other places immigration and population remain 'The Elephants in the Room' which no mainstream politicial will address. The centre left does not want to appear racist, the centre right continues to want to stimulate capitalism with cheap labour and population growth, and neither side wants to risk the unpopularity of saying to people limit your family because the planet cannot support a whole lot more people, or much more consumption and economic growth either.

Since debate on these subjects has become a concensus taboo for mainstream politicians, it comes as no surprise that extreem opinions ferment on the sidelines, unmoderated by engagement in mainstream debate.

Personally, I'd describe the UK as full to capacity already and I don't think we should allow any more permanent residents, whatever their creed, ethnicity, or supposedly indispensible skills. Sixty seven million seems more than enough for this pocket handkerchief sized little group of islands, another ten or twenty million will not make anything better in the long run, and sucking in capable people from elsewhere just denudes their country of origin of its skill base.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 21:24

Knights

With reference to the previous post, it all gets worse and worse for Rupert, one wonders how much he will have to pay Rebecca to keep himself out of jail?

Anyway, to more important matters; THE KNIGHTS OF CHAOS.

Rapacious short term interests despoil our planet, we have massacred the fish and filled the oceans with filth, we have cut down the forests and degraded the land, we have exterminated many thousands of species; we have embarked on a massive combustion of fossil fuels that threatens a fatal climatic catastrophe for the remaining species, including ours.

Whilst a broad scientific consensus accepts that current policies will lead to planet-wide ecological disaster later in this century, most people choose to turn a blind eye, whilst short term vested interests in politico-economic; commercial-industrial; and religious organizations continue to promote ever more indiscriminate growth in consumption and population

Many pagan, esoteric, new-age and alternativist  organizations have now committed to the cause of saving this planet’s biosphere from the ravages of climate catastrophe, overpopulation, overconsumption, , and the general degradation of the environment, which will lead inexorably to the collapse of the biosphere and the end of civilization during this current century if humanity does not change its ways. Some work with publicity and persuasion, some work with other forms of information warfare, some work with consciousness raising or prayer.  We applaud all their efforts.

However one niche in the resistance array seems neglected. The world’s Wizards and Sorcerers have yet to make a coherent contribution to the cause of saving the biosphere and civilization. Perhaps they feel a bit embarrassed about this because their Magician forebears largely initiated the whole scientific revolution; the technological offshoots of which have provided humanity with so many opportunities to act with such power and myopic stupidity.

Nevertheless, it now seems imperative for us to act. History shows that a small handful of Wizards has often had an effect out of all proportion to their numbers; we can change the future if we want to. Never underestimate the power of metaphysics and parapsychology, for all cultural paradigms and beliefs and ideals, and all thoughts and ideas depend on them.

We thus extend a planet-wide invitation to anyone with magical abilities or the suspicion that they might have them, (we all do actually, most people just don’t realize this) to join us in the next campaign of The Knights of Chaos (First Earth Batallion). We will use direct psi-attack on a number of political, corporate, and religious targets for the purposes of neutralization or behavior change, doing nothing illegal (or indeed believable), by the standards of westernized societies.

We have in place a Grimoire resuming a suitable god-form and an array of eight servitors with groundsleves from previous preliminary campaigns, plus a number of ‘kills’ in the bag from those campaigns, but we need to do much more. The primary techniques employed come from the traditions of Chaos Magic, i.e. gloves off, believe in what works on a practical level, nothing sacred, everything possible…….

The Knights and Dames of Chaos and Applicants to the Order will commence another campaign at www.arcanoriumcollege.comstarting on 26th July 2011. (This site levies a small registration fee to maintain itself and to discourage frivolous activity and dilettantes.)

Now seems a good time for all Wizards, Sorcerers, and Magicians of the world to come down from their Ivory Towers and cease conjuring for personal wealth and power or arcane knowledge and interesting incubi or succubi, or you may not have much of a planet left on which to enjoy them.

We have naught to offer in the short term but blood, sweat, and tears, severe a challenge to your skills, a sense of comradeship, the satisfaction of knowing that you did your bit, and maybe a few titles and medals*. 

Alternatively just wait till you’re sitting in the ruins of civilization contemplating the last tin of canned food whilst your kids ask ‘Why didn’t you do something back then!?’

Stokastikos 127, The Acting Marshall, Knights of Chaos.

(*Above see a Battle Honour Ring of the Knights forged by our Adeptus Mechanicus)

Friday, 08 July 2011 21:24

News of the Screws

 

I note with great joy the enormously deserved death of the News of the World 'newspaper'.

Gerald Suster (he was a friend and colleague) thou art avenged at last, see:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/gerald-suster-728836.html

This disgracefull arse-rag of a paper has, with its constant mixture of lies, traductions, set ups, invasions of privacy and hypocritical purience, provided a stain on the traditions of journalism and an insult to the intelligence of the British public for far too long, may it, and all the scum who have knowingly colluded in its lies, rot in hell for eternity, good riddance.

Pete.

Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:23

Another Octavo Review

The Octavo comes hot on the heels of The Apophenion and represents another salvo in Pete Carroll’s assault on the unenchanted reality of modern physics. The Octavo is a new map for the new aeon (or Pandaemonium as Carroll terms it). The logic runs that in the old days magicians built maps of reality based on simple cosmological architecture; you had your 9 worlds of the Germanic sorcerers, your 10 worlds of the Qabalist, your 12 signs of the astrologers and so forth. In The Octavo the author seeks to create a full blown model of reality that both describes and supports the practise of magick. Enter some fairly simple, though at first daunting, equations and some humorous parallels that are drawn between the way reality appears to be in Terry Practett's Discworld and our universe (aka 'Roundworld' – hence the subtitle) .The cartography of the magickal map in the modern age requires us to understand and describe the basic forces (rather than plotting territories or regions) that hold reality together. Carroll does an excellent job of this in ways that may even be amenable to scientific testing. More importantly for me (as an occultist) he shows what this map could mean for the use of practical magick.
 
Those who have been following Pete’s oeuvre will not be surprised. In the Octavo we see the distillation and indeed computation of many of the ideas sketched out in The Apophenion. Once more we invited to explore the model of a universe that exists as a vorticulating hypersphere and not as the (increasingly unlikely looking) big bang/big crunch conjecture of the Standard Model. Panpsychism, magical links and more are discussed. Also important in this work are the conjectures about the limits to magick, where the author analyses how and why magickal effects can be very tiny and/or capricious.
 
Don’t read this book if you want a list of how-to instructions about casting sigils or whatever, but if you want to see the work of someone who’s really trying to examine the wiring under the board of how and why esoteric techniques work, then this book is a must. Personally I feel Pete’s analysis could do with a dash more psychology or phenomenology. After all magick isn’t just a science it’s also an art and that requires a different, though complimentary language to describe it. However all magicians should strive to be technicians of the sacred and with The Octavo they may finally have the first-steps towards a manual for the operating system of the universe.
 
Julian Vayne
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 21:23

Thoughts

A brief essay on the origins of some contemporary esoteric ideas.

 

Over a recent lunch, Professor Ronald Hutton surmised to me that H.P. Lovecraft’s idea of the Necronomicon probably arises from the Arabic Gayat al Hakim manuscript which later appeared in Latin as the Picatrix Grimoire.

The Gayat al Hakim/Picatrix itself shows the strong influence of Egyptian magic and Neo-Platonic and Hermetic magic and leads to conceptions of Planetary Theurgy, which later appear explicitly in the medieval and renaissance grimoires.

 

The whole idea of a dread grimoire having as its author ‘Abdul Alhazred, the Mad Arab’, fits in rather well with the Gayat or its derivatives having inspired H.P.Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos stories, or at least his idea of the Necronomicon.

 

Planetary magic or at least planetary religion seems to have begun in Hellenic classical cultures when the ancient Greeks and Romans identified some of their gods and goddesses with the planets of the solar system, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon, although the beginnings of this idea appear in the Babylonian culture.

 

As the classical religions fell to creeping monotheism, the idea of planetary powers or spirits survived in Gnosticism, reappearing as Archons, entities attributed to the various planets which the aspiring Gnostic had to master to achieve spiritual progress. Some Gnostics viewed the Archons as malignant or obstructive spirits standing in the way of the ascent of the adept back to godhood. In the medieval grimoires we also see the idea of some of the planetary intelligences and spirits having malignant characteristics, and such ideas may well have also fed into the Necronomicon mythos, after all the title itself implies a book of ‘dead names’, or at least those of long forgotten gods.

 

Eventually, ideas from Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism, Classical Paganism, Late Classical ‘Pagan Monotheism’, and Gnosticism, The Medieval and Renaissance Grimoires and a late form of Kabala, (together with a dash of spiritualism and colonial orientalism), all come together in the late 19th century to form a grand synthesis that we could call “The Standard Model of Magic’ forged by the adepts of the Golden Dawn (mainly MacGregor Mathers it seems).

 

From this synthesis comes most of the magical theory and technology on which various people built such traditions as Thelema, Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Neo-Druidry, Chaos Magic, and indeed most of the esoteric components of the New-Age movement, in the second ‘occult revival’ beginning in the last three decades of the 20th century.

 

In contra-distinction to the prevailing but declining monotheism and the increasingly dominant mechanistic-materialistic scientific world views of the late 19th and 20th centuries, this new esoterics began to view its ‘deities’ not as almighty cosmic creators but as archetypal ‘god-forms’ representing human scale abilities and aspirations, and ‘spirits’ as fundamentally arising from the activities of ourselves and living organisms and natural phenomena, rather than as the authors of such phenomena. Thus magic became again the art and science of theurgy; making ‘spirits’ and ‘godforms’, (or your own subconscious archetypes and parapsychological abilities), perform on demand.

 

Thus Invocation, Evocation, Divination, Enchantment, and planned Illumination came to replace the religious practices of worshipful prayer or prayerful supplication, and semi-mechanistic parapsychological models of apparently magical phenomena came to augment the developing ‘hard’ scientific paradigm.

 

The basic techniques came down to ritual enactment, the drawing of various mystical signs and symbols, incantation, visualization, and altered states of consciousness by various physiological means, to which Crowley of course added sex and drugs.

Chaos Magic then added an additional battery of consciousness altering techniques from many sources, and the theory that sacredness, sanctity, and meaning depend entirely on operator choice, rather than on historical or spiritual precedent, thus defining belief as a tool rather than as an end in itself.

 

Perhaps the most significant development of the second magical revival lay in the realization that you could use any symbolism you liked, ancient or modern or imaginary, and write your own rituals and incantations, and that these would have magical effects so long as you used the appropriate practical techniques, altered states of consciousness, and sleights of mind. This development lay implied in the great synthesis that the adepts of the Golden Dawn created, although they attempted to disguise the fact by attributing their creations to certain ‘secret chiefs’. It became fully explicit only in the second magical revival under the aegis of Chaos Magic where practical techniques assumed primary importance and the symbolic representations of antiquity became regarded as mere window dressings of choice.

 

Rather than adopt any particular ancient or antique pantheon Chaos Magic built a simple color coded psychocosm based on magical intent;

 

Blue for works of wealth and power. (~Jupiter)

Orange for works of intellect and quickness. (~Mercury)

Green for works of love and friendship. (~Venus)

Red for works of vitality and aggression. (~Mars)

Black for works of death. (~Saturn)

Silver or Purple for works of Sex. (~Moon)

Yellow for works of Ego and Extraversion (~Sun)

Octarine for works of Pure Magic Research & Quest. (~Uranus)

 

This scheme functions rather like the modified tree of life kabala that the GD originated except that the spheres do not lie in an hierarchy, but rather in a round table of equality with the possibility of combining archetypes for less straightforward entities, for example the newly revived goddess Eris might appear as having Red-Purple characteristics which we can use to structure an Invocation. Odin for another example; does not equate well with any single sphere derived from classical-kabalistic considerations.

 

At Arcanorium College, www.arcanoriumcollege.com, an international internet based adventure; we have an ongoing project to create what we have provisionally called The Portals of Chaos, a graphic grimoire. This will consist of a set of CG images on moveable cards which the magician can use for Invocation, Evocation, Enchantment and Illumination as well as just for Divination.

It will bear little resemblance to a conventional Tarot for it will have the above 8 major god forms and their associated planetary ‘spirits’ and intelligences’ as well as 28 god and goddess forms representing ‘mixed’ attributes corresponding to various personality types, assorted deities from many pagan pantheons, and various magical intents.

Plus it will probably have a number of ‘random’ event cards for the anticipation of such in divination or the imposition of such in enchantment.

Also we have chosen the big five entities from the Necronomicon; Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth to represent various cosmic scale phenomena such as panspsychic panspermia, higher dimensionality, eldritch knowledge from morphic fields, and so on.

 

So, if we aim to create A Worke of Magical Arte, with useful practical applications, then perhaps we continue in a very ancient tradition. All Grimoires then appear as objectively 'fake' including the imaginary ones like the fabled Necronomicon, because the deities and monsters in them derive from cobbled together bits of our own psychology and mythology, which nevertheless can have a real psychological and parapsychological power for us.

Perhaps then we should regard Grimoires in general as 'workes of arte', as convenient analogical impositions, rather than as objective maps of the incredible complexity of the cartography of our own psychology.

 

In the composition of The Portals we aim to give it all we have got, including superb computer assisted graphic design, in the hope that it will actually improve upon the Picatrix and the Necronomicon ideas, whilst acknowledging them as precursors in an historical tradition of artistic magical thinking........

Plus also magical cup Mk 2. After a fortnight's intense metaphysical struggle it came to me that a Magical Cup should function as a device to stimulate the imagination, rather than to impose a structure on perception, thus its new stochastic design.

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