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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.
- 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:
- Renaming Energy & Signature (May 13, 2012)
- Renaming Energy & Signatures: How Energy Behaves (May 14, 2012)
- Renaming Energy, Signature & Structure with Manifesting (May 15, 2012)
- Renaming Signature: Wrap-Up (May 16, 2012)