Renaming Energy, Signature & Structure with Manifesting

by Mike Sententia on May 15, 2012

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I’m still thinking about good metaphor-terms for energy, signature and structure. (Structure is my general term for stable magickal structures, like connections, mental muscles, ethereal software, etc.)

Last time, we explored the main attributes the metaphor should convey:

  • Energy activates structure.
  • There’s no inherent meaning, it’s just a matter of which signatures correspond to which structures, and which structures influence cells (and other things) in which ways.
  • Signature scale, and using it to work with different domains.

Today, I’m thinking about the metaphor. This will be an edited stream-of-consciousness, which may be interesting or dull, depending on how much you enjoy seeing me think through this problem. Feel free to skip it — I’ll write about the metaphor I wind up with in another post.

First, energy makes structures move, which actually feels pretty good as a metaphor. It feels roughly like what other things called “energy” do. Though I’d prefer something a bit more suggestive of electricity on a circuit board, in that the electricity isn’t where the complexity or intelligence lives, and the energy’s role is just to activate the complex circuits. But that’s not terribly important to bake into the terms.

The way energy activates structure — where the signatures have to match — reminds me of neurotransmitters. Serotonin only activates a nerve if that nerve has serotonin receptors; otherwise, it does nothing. Not sure how signature scale would fit in there, though.

In fact, what really does have scales in normal experience? I keep going back to the photo mosaic, where a picture of Abe Lincoln is made of smaller pictures of Abe Lincoln. But is there anything more… useful? Maybe visual recognition?

But scale really is the key insight I want to capture, because it’s a dramatic way that magick::energy isn’t like heat. (Heat heats everything — there’s no matching involved.) Maybe the wavelength of light and a photoreceptor?

Let’s think about signature some. Really, I want to capture that it feels like a Jackson Pollack painting: Intricate, lots of different bits, and each bit is made of something complex. Pattern, maybe? I like that. It lends itself to the idea of “matching the pattern” between energy and structure. It lends itself to scales, where a pattern is made of smaller patterns (fractals and the like). And it captures some of how the feeling is more complex than a single color.

For structure, I’ll talk about something like “atomic pattern,” to convey that the pattern matching isn’t in the overall shape of the structure (that is, the layout of the circuit board), but is rather in the type of material that makes up the structure: A circuit board requires electricity, a forge requires heat, a turbine requires wind, and so on.

That’s the key, I think: Magick::energy isn’t like electricity, or heat, or any one type of energy. It’s an overarching term that encompasses many signatures / patterns. And the energy that works with structures associated with the body is different than the energy for working with structures associated with the mind, with ethereal software, and with other things. Each needs their own energy, with a different small-scale signature, similar to how different tools need different types of power or energy (electricity, heat, kinetic energy, etc).

But you can start with one domain, then shift the signature to another domain. (Domain is my term for “the type of thing you’re working with,” like body vs mind vs spirits.) Shifting the signature is how you can connect to someone’s mind if you start with a connection to their body, for example. I do it all the time, and I wouldn’t want a metaphor that made that sound awkward.

Let’s explore structure. I want to convey that:

  • It is stable.
  • It ties to the physical world, but is not itself physical.
  • It requires energy with the right type / signature / pattern.

Stable is a nice word. I could explore there. But right now, I think I want some manifesting to guide me, like I did with the tagline.

Manifesting: Keep the term “energy.” It is fairly universal and well-understood, it will be an important hook for new readers.

“Signature” is better than most other options. “Pattern” is nice, but there are options better than the both. Let’s explore there.

Manifesting pushes ideas into my thoughts. I get the concept of a sculpture’s shape, and whether it’s angular or smooth. Manifesting says, “Look into art terms. You’ll find something useful there.” It seems to know that it will work better by telling me yes / no on my own ideas, rather than trying to send me exact words. I wish I understood the algorithm better so I could see why that is.

Anyway, back to the word search. Google turns up an art glossary. Manifesting flags some terms as I scroll down:

  • Analogous colors. (Could be useful for describing signatures that match up.)
  • Assemblage, where you build a sculpture from multiple parts. (Like how structures connect up.)
  • Binder, a substance in paint that makes the pigment particles stick together.
  • Etch.
  • Form — explore here for terms for structure.

At this point, I stop, and explore the concept of “form.”

Manifesting: Form is a better concept than structure, because it suggests a shape. You’ll be able to talk about physical forms and mental forms and spirit forms and it will sound natural, while replacing “form” with “structure” in those terms sounds weird.

You can keep the term “structure” as the stand-alone noun, when you’re just talking about “anything solid,” though “solid form” will be better.

Me: What about “stable form”?

Manifesting: That’s good too, though “solid form” is a better image.

I think about it some. It is. Solid form suggests a sculpture. Stable form suggests a building for a horse. So, we have “solid form” for an overarching “anything stable,” then “physical form” and so on for the particulars.

Manifesting: OK, now we need the thing that animates the form. That will be X energy, where X is the same term that goes before “form.” (So, physical form is animated by physical energy, and so on.)

(I take a break here, for anyone comparing my sessions to their own.)

Manifesting: Now for signature. Start with pattern, but explore a bit more. It will be the [something] pattern.

It pushes thoughts into my mind again. It’s an image, like you’re zooming in on a building and as you zoom in, you see all the steel girders and such. The idea of zooming in and seeing the component parts. I ask for the domain of the idea.

Manifesting: With electronics or large-scale objects. Not atoms, that’s the wrong metaphor, you’ll want to talk about atoms elsewhere. Don’t bake it into the pattern.

I go through a few words. Building block, recursive, etc. I get a nod on “constructive pattern.”

Manifesting: Yes. The idea that these small units build up to the larger unit. There’s a word for that.

I try scaling, repeating, recursive, fractal. Scaling is good, but fractal is the best. Manifesting gets excited*.

*Yes, I know this doesn’t match my model where ethereal software is like a computer and doesn’t have emotions. That’s why I wrote it down: Unexpected data is the most important kind of data.

Manifesting: Yes. Fractal pattern. Or just “fractal.” As in “the energy’s fractal.” It will totally capture the concept of a recursive shape, plus it has the right sciencey-sound to go with ethereal software. You’d talk about the form’s fractal, too.

(I end the manifesting session.)

So, in summary, we have:

  • Solid form, or for specific types, physical form, mental form, etc.
  • Energy, again with types, like physical energy, mental energy, etc.
  • Fractal for the type of energy / form, as in “you need to match the energy’s fractal to the form’s fractal,” or “the difference between physical form and mental form is a small-scale difference in the fractal.”

What do you think? (Remember, it’s entirely possible that I made errors in the question I asked, or in receiving the information. Manifesting is complex, and while the ideas are good, I wouldn’t want the manifesting to shut down the conversation.)

Other posts in this series: If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kol Drake May 15, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I liked the photo mosaic image and concept, however, I am used to the analogy of a laser hologram. Once created, you can shine a laser (of the same frequency) into the crystal and have the image project in 3D. Neat thing about the ‘captured image’ itself is – take a hammer to the crystal and smash it into bits small or large – each smashed bit can have that same laser shine on it and the entire image is still there (perhaps not as much ‘high def’ resolution but…) . Smash the smashed bit down to a grain and you would still get the full 3D image.

A couple of well respected scientists came up with a theory that reality, as we consciously experience it, is not real. One could point to many cultures and/or religions/philosophies which go back to ancient indigenous people who believed we exist in a dream or illusion. In our current timeline and thanks to some awesome movies and computers, we refer to “the Matrix”, grids, virtual reality, simulation and hologram. Today many physicists are researching the concept of the universe as a hologram.

Read “The Holographic Universe” by Michael Talbot (1991) and he puts forth the history and the idea that the universe is a consciousness hologram. Reality is projected illusion within the hologram. It is a virtual experiment created in linear time to study emotions. Our hologram is composed of grids created by a source consciousness brought into awareness by electromagnetic energy at the physical level. The hologram is created and linked through a web, or grid matrixes based on the patterns of Sacred Geometry. [What I suppose the hand wavey, semi scientist in me might point out as Sacred Geometry::fractals. Since Nature seems to be ‘built’ from fractals.]

Using the holographic theories of Bohm (holographic universe) and Pribram (holographic mind), one could come to a conclusion that lets ‘magick’ happen. If the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is “there” is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality?

Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion. We are really “receivers” floating through a kaleidoscopic sea of frequency, and what we extract from this sea and transmogrify into physical reality is but one channel from many extracted out of the superhologram.

In a universe in which individual brains are actually indivisible portions of the greater hologram and everything is infinitely interconnected, telepathy may merely be the accessing of the holographic level. Stanislov Grof postulated that, in a universe in which individual brains are actually indivisible portions of the greater hologram and everything is infinitely interconnected, telepathy may merely be the accessing of the holographic level.

So, using Mike’s concepts – if one learns to activate the proper ‘mental muscles’ and sense ‘subtle energies’, one might be able to ‘selectively tune in’ to specific “harmonics” of the holographic reality to ‘nudge’ a variance of reality to occur. Very much like ‘making magick’ to push reality toward a desired outcome?

From Scientific American, August 2003

“… As Grof recently noted, if the mind is actually part of a continuum, a labyrinth that is connected not only to every other mind that exists or has existed, but to every atom, organism, and region in the vastness of space and time itself, the fact that it is able to occasionally make forays into the labyrinth and have transpersonal experiences no longer seems so strange.

The holographic prardigm also has implications for so-called hard sciences like biology. Keith Floyd, a psychologist at Virginia Intermont College, has pointed out that if the concreteness of reality is but a holographic illusion, it would no longer be true to say the brain produces consciousness. Rather, it is consciousness that creates the appearance of the brain — as well as the body and everything else around us we interpret as physical.

Such a turnabout in the way we view biological structures has caused researchers to point out that medicine and our understanding of the healing process could also be transformed by the holographic paradigm. If the apparent physical structure of the body is but a holographic projection of consciousness, it becomes clear that each of us is much more responsible for our health than current medical wisdom allows. What we now view as miraculous remissions of disease may actually be due to changes in consciousness which in turn effect changes in the hologram of the body. Similarly, controversial new healing techniques such as visualization may work so well because in the holographic domain of thought images are ultimately as real as “reality”.

Even visions and experiences involving “non-ordinary” reality become explainable under the holographic paradigm. In his book “Gifts of Unknown Things,” biologist Lyall Watson discribes his encounter with an Indonesian shaman woman who, by performing a ritual dance, was able to make an entire grove of trees instantly vanish into thin air. Watson relates that as he and another astonished onlooker continued to watch the woman, she caused the trees to reappear, then “click” off again and on again several times in succession.

Although current scientific understanding is incapable of explaining such events, experiences like this become more tenable if “hard” reality is only a holographic projection. Perhaps we agree on what is “there” or “not there” because what we call consensus reality is formulated and ratified at the level of the human unconscious at which all minds are infinitely interconnected.

If this is true, it is the most profound implication of the holographic paradigm of all, for it means that experiences such as Watson’s are not commonplace only because we have not programmed our minds with the beliefs that would make them so. In a holographic universe there are no limits to the extent to which we can alter the fabric of reality.

What we perceive as reality is only a canvas waiting for us to draw upon it any picture we want. Anything is possible, from bending spoons with the power of the mind to the phantasmagoric events experienced by Castaneda during his encounters with the Yaqui brujo don Juan, for magic is our birthright, no more or less miraculous than our ability to compute the reality we want when we are in our dreams.

Indeed, even our most fundamental notions about reality become suspect, for in a holographic universe, as Pribram has pointed out, even random events would have to be seen as based on holographic principles and therefore determined. Synchronicities or meaningful coincidences suddenly makes sense, and everything in reality would have to be seen as a metaphor, for even the most haphazard events would express some underlying symmetry.

Whether Bohm and Pribram’s holographic paradigm becomes accepted in science or dies an ignoble death remains to be seen, but it is safe to say that it has already had an influence on the thinking of many scientists. And even if it is found that the holographic model does not provide the best explanation for the instantaneous communications that seem to be passing back and forth between subatomic particles, at the very least, as noted by Basil Hiley, a physicist at Birbeck College in London, Aspect’s findings “indicate that we must be prepared to consider radically new views of reality”. ”

Sorry this was so long….
But thought it might help toss out some things to chew on when coming up with ‘appropriate words and concepts’. (( and kind of linked in with his composite image and fractals ))


Mike Sententia May 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Hi Kol, I’m glad these terms resonate with you so strongly. And I’m glad that they made you think of a Scientific American article. That’s exactly the tone and excitement I’m going for. Thanks.


f3n1x_hvn732 May 16, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I don’t like the word form. Is only that is just too general. In my opinion structure is better, it describes the complexity and stability of those “magickal” or “mental” objects. About the term “signature” fractal seems good, but is incomplete. A fractal is the same thing independent of scale and the signature feels different on scale.

About your metaphor of “serotonin” is incorrect. Serotonin atomic structure fits in the protein receptor in the neuron activating a cascade of reactions that activates a ion pump responsible for the current of electricity in the cell. Although is similar not to energy but in the “energy signature”-“structure signature” relationship.

About the energy fitting the structure the event is similar to resonance or tuning. Or the relationship between a key and a lock. Or in cell signaling the relationship of receptor and ligand.


Mike Sententia May 16, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Thanks for the feedback. Do you have a word like fractal, but which doesn’t mean it’s the same at different scales?


f3n1x_hvn732 May 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

No. I don’t know. Maybe multilevel structures, but it feels incomplete somehow…


Kol Drake May 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

“The universe is in a drop of water or the world in a grain of sand” In other words, the whole picture and the including information is in its every point and dot. (( very much like a hologram)) The same basic forms repeat themselves in every scales to infinite.

In antiquity, man thought the Earth to be flat like a pancake. Later it was pointed out that it was like a ball. But neither one is right, as you can see just by looking out of the window. In human scale, the world and Nature is not a plane nor a ball, but something much more complicated. Fractal geometry is the answer to the problem. Everything is ‘bumpy’… even smooth surfaces. And, with the proper math, one can recreate just about any form using fractals.

HOWEVER — only in ‘pure’ mathematics does a fractal set go on ‘forever’ — infinite and endless. The fractals of Nature are always finite and at least in some amount irregular. For example, the branches of trees usually ramify, branch off at the most 7 times, and one can split a cauliflower to at the most 7 times smaller cauliflower and so on. The fractals of Nature are also always at least a little bit changing. heh… ‘irregular’ is the other meaning of the latin word fractus.

So, fractal is not bad AND is really closer to what Nature holds to — and even has irregularities when looked at ‘in scale’. Not sure if there is another ‘word’ which conveys the universality of what is a ‘fractal’ yet allows for variance and/or ‘changes’ at different levels of scale though.


Kol Drake May 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

There is an old quote, “Form follows Function”. Mostly attributed to the whole ‘modern architecture movement of the 20th Century. Biologically speaking, many argue the opposite — Function defines Form.

In an engineering context a *task* will normally be specified and that task will primarily define a *structure* and (in a design process) that structure will interact with its own *form*, within the available scope for variation, to give a final optimized structure and form. In exceptional cases, imposed boundaries may practically dictate a form, so that the form dominates in the optimization of form and structure.

In my head, ‘form’ has a ‘structure’ which then is used to perform a ‘task’… at least, as I **think** Mike is presenting it.


Mike Sententia May 16, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Thanks guys.

Kol: I’m not sure I’m making these fine-grain distinctions in choosing one term over another. Mostly, I’m thinking about the metaphors I’ll want to make, and the overall feel of the phrases (“mental form” vs “mental structure”). But it’s very cool to see my writing read that way, and informative too. Thanks!

I’m also reminded of an Asamov quote: “When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.” Not referring to anything in particular you said, but the talk about flat vs spherical earths made me think of it. And I think this is what I’m doing: Trying to move toward a less wrong model of reality.


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