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I’m writing an article, and I need your help. I have to quickly explain that ethereal software drives the changes in ritual magick, in a somewhat-compelling way. I don’t need to convince the skeptical, but I do need to walk readers through my logic, which I’m realizing I haven’t done properly yet.
For me, the key to writing a 3-line explanation is writing 1000+ words. Then I know exactly what I want to say. So that’s what I’m doing today.
How can you help? Tell me where I lose you, or where I’m not convincing. I’d really appreciate it.
So, here are the 3 steps to seeing that ethereal software must be there, and 2 follow-on considerations.
Influencing Events is Complex
To influence events in a useful way, whatever drives manifesting needs to do three complex things:
It needs to distinguish desirable situation from undesirable ones. A person might ask, “Bring me money,” and whatever drives manifesting has to look at a potential situation and figure out if that’s good or bad. I don’t mean recognizing a respectable income from an illegal one, but at a more fundamental level: What’s money? What configuration of atoms means a person has money? Especially when money is really just numbers in a computer, this is pretty complex.
Second, it has to find a sequence of events that leads to that outcome. We discussed the computational complexity recently. There’s an unimaginably huge number of potential paths. Somewhere between trillions (with 12 zeros) and a number with 100s of zeros. In other words, more paths than will fit in your head, or in any computer.
Third, it has to guide you (and possibly other people) to make the decisions that lead to that outcome. This usually means giving you a good feeling when you consider actions that will help, and giving you a bad feeling when you consider actions you should avoid. Same for anyone else it’s influencing. When you break that effect down, it involves reading minds and influencing emotions at exactly the right time.
Couldn’t it also work by directly altering the physical world, say, to make the lottery numbers come up matching the ticket you already bought? Sure, it could, but (1) that’s even harder, and (2) in my experience, manifesting mostly works by influencing decisions. Though I’d be happy to hear from other mages doing testing.
So, to summarize: Whatever drives manifesting has to distinguish good from bad situations, explore an unimaginably large number of possible sequences of events to find a good one, and interact with peoples’ brains at the right time to influence their decisions. Pretty complex stuff.
Complex Behavior Requires Complex Drivers
You don’t get complexity for free. It requires something at least as complex to drive it.
“Hold on,” you say. “I can make a stamp with a really complex pattern, and it can make that complex pattern all day. Are you saying the stamp is complex?”
No. The stamp can only make one pattern. That pattern was made by you. You are complex. The stamp is not.
Imagine a stamp that could print out any pattern you described. It takes instructions and outputs a shape. The stamp is a lot closer to creating the complex thing, and it’s also a lot more complex itself: It’s a computer printer.
Now imagine something that could design those complex patterns: You say “I want an illustration of the organs in the human body, suitable for high-school students,” and it does it. You just exceeded what computers can do, and described a human illustrator.
Making decisions is complex. And manifesting requires making a lot of decisions. So something complex must be behind it.
You Aren’t Driving the Complexity
This, I think, is the step I miss. I think most mages agree that manifesting is complex, and that complex actions would require complex drivers, but they put that complexity in the human mind, possibly in the unconscious.
Please tell me if I’m wrong about any of that.
But tackling something complex — like figuring out the right path — feels like playing chess, or planning a business, or writing a book, or any of the dozens of other complex tasks we do every day. You might not be aware of exactly why one path feels right and the other feels wrong, but you’re aware of the paths.
When I do manifesting, I’m not aware of the possible paths. I’m focused on my end-goal. Which I think is the standard way to do it.
Let’s go back to the complexity: To do manifesting, we’d need to evaluate trillions of paths for every hour in the future, then influence peoples’ decisions at exactly the right second. (Send the “I should do this” feeling a second late, and the person might be thinking about a whole different idea.) That’s just not realistic for a human. It’s too big, and too fast, and too much to do. We can’t do that any more than we can visualize trillions of chess moves or catch a speeding bullet.
The Complexity Must Come From an External Force
So, we are doing something complex, which means we need a complex driver, but our minds can’t / aren’t doing that driving. That means it must be an external force, right?
Really, I haven’t thought that much about this step. It just seems obvious to me. If you see some other option, or just don’t think it’s a reasonable step, please tell me. That would be really helpful in writing this article.
Sending Out a Probability Wave
Ananael recently explained his model of magick (which I think is focused on manifesting):
Once you have [your goal] fully in mind, you then transfer the probability wave pattern of that state directly to the target by means of the magical link.
That’s definitely how it feels. You focus on your goal, send something out, and let it happen. And I’d imagine a lot of mages believe something like he describes, because it matches how manifesting feels.
But there’s a piece missing in that probability wave model: The thing making all those complex decisions. Because, remember, (1) you’re not doing it, and (2) the driver needs to be at least as complex as the effect it produces.
Waves usually carry data. Radio waves carry data that your radio turns into music. Sound waves are air vibrations, and carry sounds that your brain turns into words. The waves themselves are just data, and only take on meaning when the complex machine (the radio, your brain) receives and interprets them.
Which is what I think is going on here: You send out your goal, visualizing it as a wave or a letter or whatever speaks to you. The force that drives manifesting picks up that message, much like a radio picks up a radio wave. Then it does something incredibly complex to turn that request into actual changes in the world. And, if it all works right, you get manifesting.
Attracting Events Like a Magnet
I was writing my article, and came to another idea: What if someone imagines that, by sending out a probability wave, the event that they target attracts other events like a magnet?
The problem is, the only things that attract like magnets are, well, magnets. And this is the danger of metaphors. Saying that it attracts events “like a magnet” sounds like you’re proposing a model, except… Well, except that it’s not at all clear how an event would attract other events like a magnet.
Magnets are simple. They attract metal, and other magnets. Or repel magnets. But that’s it. No intelligence there.
But attracting events is, well, complex. Which events would they attract? Does an event somehow know what events would lead to it? How? How would it influence them?
The problem is, we’re not proposing that future events attract events like a magnet. We’re proposing they attract other events like a complex, intelligent, powerful force. Because, remember, you can’t get that complexity for free.
Now all I have to do is boil these 1000+ words down into 3 lines.
What do you think? Does this seem more plausible / understandable than before you read this?If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.