Complexity Isn’t Free

by Mike Sententia on February 29, 2012

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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.

Comments

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dark Arckana February 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

This is a pretty good article. You didn’t lose me anywhere, but here’s what I see can be said: “Just like you can simplify what you want to say in 3 lines by writing 1,000 words, you can simplify your Magikal application by writing out all of the considerations for a working and using it as a reference to simplify how you plan to go about practice. One general consideration can account for a myriad of complexities, so being specific in your techniques and choosing a specific target for, let’s say a money spell to use as an avenue can narrow down the countless number of possibilities into one avenue of manifestation. In order to ensure that the Magik will choose the best possibilities to manifest, make sure that you as a person are ready for that change internally and externally.”

As far as whether you drive the Magik or not, you do. But that doesn’t mean that you are the do-all and end-all of your Magik, it means that you are the common denominator in your Magikal practice. Magik interacts with both the Microcosm and the Macrocosm. It’s not just one or the other.

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mike March 2, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Any chance of you sharing some ethereal software with us so that we can try to replicate your results — This would go a long was as to researching what works and how to learn your brand of magick.

An aside — I was reading an ebook on theta healing and the author’s healing modality is similar to your direct magick, as in she connects to a spirit (God, creator of all, the universe) and commands it in plain english to perform a specific task as in heal my kidney, and she watches as the process happens. She speaks of actually seeing the process happen on a microscopic level. She goes on to say that she was able to relay this information to a medical doctor who conforms that what she was seeing was medically correct. There’s a lot of controversy around this method, but some parts of it parallels your method. Also it’s called theta healing because practitioners have to get their brain into the theta wave state to connect with the spirit/universe/God/? she uses —

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Mike Sententia March 2, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Sorry. The ethereal software I use is not beginner-friendly. You have to be able to communicate in words and make connections to specific physical tissues or it won’t work. I’ve been coaching Lisa, and she still has a hard time with it.

Beyond that, the ethereal software I use isn’t mine to share. It belongs to the spirits who made it, and it’s their choice who gets to use it. I’ll see about working with them to write a guide about contacting them. But they’re also not for novices. Right now, they want you to know sensory connections, communicating with words, and a few more skills before contacting them. That’s the level they consider a “serious beginner,” and it’s why their ethereal software is designed to be a bit hard to use.

There’s other ethereal software that will serve you better for now. I’ll help you find it. I’ll think about the best approach — use an established style like Reiki, or ask the spirits I work with to make a “for anyone” version, or something else. That will be part of my book, which I’ll start writing later this month, once I finish this article I’m working on. And I’ll post things as I work on each section, so you’ll get it before the book comes out.

And theta healing is a great example that there’s other ethereal software out there worth working with. Since she calls it “God,” I’m guessing she hasn’t re-programmed it, so it must already know how to do a variety of healings, and how to handle the communication for her. That’s a much better setup for most mages, at least at first.

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