Kin inspired by Insectivores dancing around Anuket


On The M

Magic — to which altered states of consciousness are the key — has real effects because reality is not separate from consciousness, nature is not separate from mind. Which leads me to two assumptions…

‎(1) The degree to which we can satisfactorily describe a system as separated from an observer (Kordeš; cf. Von Foerster’s trivialization) corresponds precisely to the degree to which magic cannot influence reality. This gives rise to such notions as magic cannot violate the laws of physics.

(2) The corollary that the more an observer is required to satisfactorily describe a system, the more amenable is that system to magical influence. This gives rise to such notions as magic has something to do with quantum mechanics such as wave-particle duality.

This is the basis of my synthesis of magic and cybernetics: that magic describes the (means to) altered states of consciousness required for desired effects, and cybernetics describes the non-trivial relationship between the observer and the observed whereby altering my state of consciousness alters the world I am conscious of. -Joshua Madara

Y0u, Budi Mulyo, Taylor Ellwood & 2 m0ar p33pz <3 7h15

Which leads to a third assumption, from my end: we are already cybernetic and our capacity to alter that cybernetic form is currently increasing. -Kyle Milliken
Gee whilikers, Josh. That is rigorously and clearly stated. Elegantly, even. I think I’ll be quoting it. -Jeff Howard
Magic *could* violate the laws of physics, but it remains to me seen whether it actually happens outside of my mind. -Neko Special
@Jeff Thank you. I have been looking for years for a concise expression of my synthesis of cybernetics and magic; this is the best I have come up with. Next is to formalize it symbolically. 😉

@Neko I would respond to that by saying that the laws of physics are not outside of your mind although they may appear that way to others who are not inside your mind. -Joshua Madara

Perhaps a better way to have put it would be, “magic *could* violate the laws of physics, but it remains to be seen whether other minds can see it when my mind does.”

If all observers witness the same thing, does it matter if it’s a hallucination or not? If everybody agrees to it, it becomes “reality”. -Neko Special

‎@Neko I suppose that depends on whether you are considering the laws of physics trivially or non-trivially. There is a sense in which they are non-consensual (from _consent_); a gale blows you down whether you like it or not, whether you believe in it or not. But there is also a sense in which they are only consensual, they emerge as laws through our consensual (from _con-sense_, to sense together with) interactions with others. Non-consensual physics are mechanical; consensual physics are social. As Carroll said, science describes how apples fall from trees, and magic is a way of asking trees to drop apples when we need them to. Both descriptions require observation, but we can imagine that apples fall regardless of who watches them, yet the second scenario has a special relationship to an observer through her desire for something to happen in a place at a time. -Joshua Madara
If everyone agreed that magic violated the laws of physics, then in a sense, that would be the case. But do their observations corroborate their claims? Did the sun move about the earth until we changed our minds about it? In a sense no, and in another sense, yes. -Joshua Madara
I’m reminded of that story about the Native American tribe who couldn’t see the ship floating out at sea, until the shaman of the tribe noticed it. At that point, everybody in the tribe could see it. -Neko Special
I have heard many versions of that story; I am not sure how true any of them are. Cf. Steven Pinker’s rejection of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. What I do know is that my everyday experience tells me that reality does not simply conform to my expectations of it, and also that I do not notice things until I notice them. -Joshua Madara
I was also reminded of a Warren Ellis comic, in which the world of the characters saved themselves from Armegeddon by consensus. The majority of people took it upon themselves to believe they’ll be okay, and crisis was adverted. Their morphogenetic fields combined to create a new branch in reality. -Neko Special
There seems to be a lot of truth to this, but how would you explain it interfering with chance in ways that aren’t obviously connected to any system? – John S. Madziarczyk
‎@John I wouldn’t. Not exactly. Magic is magic *because* two things are not obviously connected — they have “opaque causal mediation” (Sørensen). To describe magic as manipulating probability is to trivialize it, which has its uses but starts us down the path of searching for a linear, causal mechanism which we will not find — at least, not apropos of magic. -Joshua Madara

15 Books

This is a response to Seani Fool over at who wrote a blog listing his 15 books that most shaped who he is today.  Amongst others, he has asked me to share the 15 that most influence me currently.

1. The Apophenion: A Chaos Magic Paradigm by Peter J Carroll.  I’m only half way through this book so I’m not sure if I should count it yet, but since this is about what is influencing me right now, and through my current action of reading it and enjoying it, it is occupying a lot of my thoughts.  So far I think this is Carroll’s best book to date.  It seems to expand a lot upon some of the concepts hinted at in PsyberMagick, and present them in a much more lucid and coherent arguement.  It also ties various threads together in a way that appeals to the way I think.

2. Promethea by Alan Moore.  I don’t care if it is a graphic novel (or more a series of graphic novels), it continues to inspire.

3. The Invisibles by Grant Morrison.  Same applies to this one.  I don’t care if Grant and Alan apparently don’t care much for each other, I’ve never met either of them, so its just about appreciating their respective creations.

4. Visual Magick and Seidways by Jan Fries.  Okay, I know that’s two so I’m cheating a bit.  But I think these two books compliment each other so well that I think they could be combined into one big volume.  Possibly an even bigger one with Hellrunar thrown in for good measure.  Reading both these books changed the way I performed and thought about magick forever, and helped liberate me from thinking of myself exclusively as a Chaos Magician.

5. PsyberMagick by Peter J Carroll.  If I hadn’t read this book, I probably wouldn’t have signed up to the Illuminates of Thanateros all those years ago.  As a result, reading it shaped the pretty much all the path of magic I have tread ever since, including the formation of KIA.  It was the first Peter Carroll book I read to, didn’t read the others until after I was in the IoT.  I loved the humour in it, and enjoyed the format even though I was yet to read Crowley’s Book of Lies at the time.

6. BLAST your way to MegaBuck$ with my SECRET sex power formula! and other reflections upon the spiritual path by Ramsey Dukes.  This book was my introduction to Duke’s theories, including Johnstone’s Paradox.  My life would never be the same again.  I still think every so often about recreating an old command line program I made for doing magick by hacking into the computer that controls our universe.  It worked a bloody treat.

7. Paradoxical Emblems of D A Freher.  Reading this book caused me to make a choice.  That choice changed my life and freed me from certain bad decisions I’d made in the past and certain undesirable associations I’d made.  But not in the way that it made me think about those things.  No.  In the way that reading that book is an act of magick and the choice you make when reading it plants a seed.

8. Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson.  Doesn’t guarantee you won’t get brainwashed again, but makes it a lot harder for someone to do so over a sustained length of time.  See through the bullshit of those who would control you.  Whoever they are.

9. The Devil and the Goddess by Gyrus.  Proving that a book doesn’t need to have many pages to be brilliant.  This book combined with Seidways by Jan Fries to really inspire me thoughts on the importance of serpent imagery in magick.

10. Anarchism, arguments for and against by Albert Meltzer.  Another little booklet that has greatly inspired.

11. Spectacular Times.  A series of booklets.  About seeing through the lies and propaganda.

12. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes.  Not the definition of consciousness I feel comfortable, but other than getting into an arguement about what consciousness ‘is’, a damn good hypothesis about the way certain mind phenomena came to be.

13. Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.  A virtual reality internet, a hacker hero with deadly martial arts skills, futuristic skaters that harpoon cars to hitch rides and a bad guy who has a nuclear warhead in the sidecar of his motorbike.  Strange religious cults, babalonian mythology, glossolalia, the Mafia and an America so taken over by corporations the state barely exists.  Could a be kick arse movie if they did a good job of it.  A rollercoaster of a read.  Damn good author.

14. Principlia Discordia.  Fnord.

15. The Way of the Sacred by Francis Huxley.  The common currents and themes of the worlds religions and mystery traditions exposed.  Another book with a lot to say about serpents in symbolic, mystical and mythological senses.