Four Steps from User to Programmer

by Mike Sententia on January 12, 2012

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Once you understand the forces behind your magick, you can re-program them for better results.

When you do a ritual to influence events, or do energy healing with a visualization, how do your symbolic actions cause change in the world?

Don’t tell me “Natural Laws.” That’s just an impressive-sounding phrase* that means “this ritual is associated with these changes.” It’s a statement about correlation, not a mechanism.

*Impressive-sounding phrases can quiet your curiosity if you let them. Which feels comfortable, but it keeps you from exploring, slowing your growth.

So, what’s the mechanism? There has to be something at work, right? To talk about it, we need a name. These days, I’m calling the mechanism behind the scenes “ethereal software.”

Let’s think about what ethereal software does. It’s triggered by your rituals and thoughts. (If you’ve ever laid out the details of magick by focusing on your intent or visualizing your goal, the ethereal software was responding to your thoughts). And in response to those triggers, ethereal software influences events, influences cells for energy healing, and does other complex work in the physical world.

Think about that for a minute. This ethereal software influences events. It changes cellular behavior. It changes the physical world. And not in some hap-hazard, random way, either. In an intelligent, predictable, useful way. Think about how amazing that is.

The commands are about what you want to happen, not how to implement it. Rituals don’t say anything about how to go about influencing probabilities. (Specifying which probabilities to influence? Sure. How to implement “influence this probability”? Nope.) Visualizing an injury healing doesn’t specify what energy to use. (“Healing energy” doesn’t specify how healing works any more than “Healing medicine” tells the pharmacy what to give you). Psychic queries don’t include the algorithm for predicting the future.

That complexity has to be somewhere. And if it’s not in your command, it has to be in the thing that responds to that command: The ethereal software.

Now here’s the real question: Which of these things seems most interesting / worthwhile?

  • Triggering pre-programmed commands in ethereal software. (“Heal this person”).
  • Specifying complex commands, like “Increase neurotransmitter reuptake in nerves signalling itching.”
  • Programming ethereal software, to create new commands.
  • Doing what the ethereal software does, yourself, without outside help.

For me, those are in order of increasing interesting-ness. Also increasing difficulty. Which often go hand in hand.

Lost? Just think of ethereal software like regular computer software. Photoshop, say. At the simplest end, you can click a button to trigger pre-programmed behaviors, like smoothing an image.

Getting a bit more involved, you can configure the software’s actions. Instead of clicking a button, you type in numbers for changing the hue, use the lasso to draw the outline of a person, and so on. More interactive than one button-click.

As you get more advanced, you can write a small program that uses the lasso to outline a person automatically. (This is the “magic wand” feature in the more recent versions). The programmers automated a complex function, turning it into a one-button-click.

And at the very high end, you understand how Photoshop actually modifies the pixels in the image so well that you could program it yourself, or do it manually if you wanted. Which means that you can improve the algorithm and make a better version of the software*.

*Assuming it’s open-source software. Which most ethereal software is, in my experience.

I’m not saying to skip learning to issue commands, and go straight to implementing magick yourself.

I’m just saying, don’t let issuing commands be the end of your magick. Once you learn that, learn to command ethereal software with words. Then learn to program it. Then figure out how it works, and how to do magick without it. Becuase that’s where the really interesting stuff happens.

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