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By Peter J. Carroll
Samuel Weiser, Inc.Copyright © 1992 Peter J. Carroll
All rights reserved.
Principia Magica is in three parts. The first part, Fiat Nox, contains a brief explanation of relativity and quantum physics and then posits a theory of cosmogenesis constituting a quantum-based description of this universe and its origin, which argues that magic is both a necessary consequence of the structure of this universe and an essential component of it. The second part or stage, Quantum Metaphysics, describes the action of the magical component of reality and the principles by which the magician can manipulate its workings to his or her advantage. This section offers a radical reinterpretation of much traditional magical lore and explains a number of occult effects in terms of previously unrecognized mechanisms. It also suggests a new magical technique, "retroactive enchantment," whose existence has been only vaguely suspected until now. The third, and final aspect of this study, The Equations of Magic, presents three formulae which describe the necessary ingredients of any spell or ritual designed to have parapsychological effect. The equations describe how to do magic, and by implication how to reduce the chances of failure; they also give a precise indication of how effective an act of magic is likely to be.
Magicians without some knowledge of physics and mathematics may find parts of Principia Magica rather challenging. However perseverance is recommended, for this paradigm represents, probably for the first time, a self-consistent metaphysic which elevates magic from a rather hit and miss art, explained by vague ad-hoc hypotheses to a potentially objective and quantifiable discipline with its own formulae for probability engineering.
An understanding of Principia Magica is not a prerequisite for performing the practical magic in other sections of this book. However, a theoretical paradigm has two values in any system. It suggests possibilities to be explored and it implies limitations to be investigated and perhaps transcended. In short, it offers a way of organizing the way one thinks about what one is doing practically.
The two theories of relativity and quantum physics on which present scientific understanding of the universe is based appear to contradict each other. Although each theory has great explanatory power in various situations, the two theories resist integration and cannot be applied simultaneously. Relativity theory which is a refinement of the classical Newtonian description of a mechanical clockwork type of universe is based on particles and fields presumed to consist of yet smaller particles. These behave in a continuous, causal and deterministic fashion, no signal may propagate faster than light-speed and space, time, mass and energy are continuously subdividable.
Quantum theory describes the behavior of matter in terms of probability waves. It is difficult to visualize what this means, but to a rough approximation it can be said that in the quantum description reality can only be divided up into certain minimum-sized pieces or "quanta." These quanta exist not as discrete points in space and time but as waves of probability.
From the relativistic point of view, the wave functions represent the probability of finding a particle at a particular point in space and time. Thus, whereas in relativity theory matter and energy and space and time are presumed to be infinitely subdividable to account for causality, in quantum theory any further subdivision beyond the quantization level is achieved by probabilistic distribution of the particle itself. Thus in the quantum description a particle can be instantaneously everywhere although most of its existence is mainly concentrated at one small place in spacetime. Quantum theory describes a universe based not on causality and determinism but on probability and indeterminism, in which processes are discontinuous and instantaneous signals can be exchanged. Strange paradoxes arise if quantum and relativistic approaches are applied simultaneously. For example, a single quanta can be passed through a screen with holes in it. Relativistic measuring techniques can readily confirm that the quanta went through one hole or the other. However quantum measuring techniques will readily confirm that half the probability wave of the single quanta went through each hole, or rather that after having passed through the screen, the quanta seems to have two histories of equal probability and that both seem to have given rise to the final result!
The problem is that the wave functions are obviously not mere mathematical formalisms that specify a range of possible pasts or futures, they behave as though they are actually "things," of some kind which can have real effects. The problem is far from being an abstract conundrum limited to the realms of submicroscopic particle physics. All phenomena have a wave function, and such functions affect any fairly complex event on the macroscopic scale as well, as the section on Chaos Mathematics will show.
The CMT (Chaos Magic Theory) paradigm states that the wave functions are actually a mathematical description of etheric patterns and that this ether can be considered as a form of information exchange between material events operating over the minimum quantum of time, the Planck time, and furthermore that the etheric dimension should be considered as somehow orthogonal to the ordinary (pseudo) time dimension of classical relativistic descriptions. This is represented graphically in figure 1.
Thus quantum wave functions do not directly describe the actual behavior of classical relativistic mechanical events. They describe the probabilistic effects of ether patterns, which can be considered of as a kind of shadow substance, upon the progress of material events. Quantum and relativistic theories can be integrated at the small expense of assuming that if wave functions have an effect on particles then they must consist of something that is somehow real. Thus the CMT universe can be thought of as the intersection of two realms, the classical relativistic realm with its space, time, mass, and energy and the quantum realm consisting of probabilistic ether patterns in shadow time.
BOOTSTRAPPING THE SERPENT
As there are currently two physical descriptions of reality—the classical relativistic and the quantum—one might expect there to be two different descriptions of the cosmos on the grand scale. However, only the classical relativistic description has attracted much attention. This description is the familiar big bang scenario, in which all space, time, mass, and energy appears to have erupted from a single point called a singularity some fifteen billion years ago. If, as many theorists suspect, there is sufficient mass in the universe, it should eventually collapse back into a "big crunch," a scenario in which all space, time, mass, and energy will disappear—possibly in preparation for another big bang. This, however, is uncertain, for the physics which predicts such singularities completely breaks down the singularities themselves. Nevertheless, when classical relativistic calculations are applied to measurements of the large-scale appearance of this universe, it seems that if the mass is as large as is suspected, then both space and time are finite and bounded, which means that there is only a certain amount of each available and that they have a definite beginning and end; although they may be able to start again after some unimaginable catastrophe.
A quantum description would locate the origin of the universe in a vacuum fluctuation. It is possible for particles to appear spontaneously from the void, if certain criteria are obeyed. In particular, the bigger the mass and the energy of the particle, the smaller must be the time for which it can exist, and hence the space it can traverse. Very small particles can be observed popping out of the void and disappearing again quite easily. The phenomenization of an entire universe out of the void by a vacuum fluctuation must be an exceedingly remote event, but its probability of occurrence is non-zero. Now, the equations which govern the spontaneous manifestation of the universe from the void are:
[MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
where ΔE, ΔT, ΔM and ΔC represent the allowable energy, time, mass and lightspeed respectively, and h represents Planck's Constant, a very small number. (The size of the universe is then given by S = C T, light-speed multiplied by time.) The mass and energy of the universe must be exceedingly close to zero, if time and light-speed, and hence size, are to match the observable values. However, the apparently vast energy of this universe has two components; kinetic and potential, represented by the motion of the galaxies and the gravitational energies pulling them back. These must cancel to zero if the universe is closed in space and time.
Similarly, the two components of mass, the inertial and gravitational, must also cancel to zero. Thus there is no real conflict with observed or potentially observable values. The quantum description, however, paints a radically different picture of this universe in other respects. Quantum theory describes probabilistic wave functions, rather than the deterministic particle behaviors of the classical relativistic description. Thus, if an attempt is made to extrapolate backwards, using quantum formulae, to the supposed epoch of the big bang, it has an equal probability of having occurred at every point in space-time. Thus all possible points in space-time in the quantum description will have, from the point of view of observers at these points, identical amounts of space, time, mass and energy available. At all points, the overall temperature of this universe will appear to be the same, as the mass/energy ratio remains constant—and observers at all points of space-time will observe similar galactic red shifts and hubble constants, reflecting a uniform spacetime curvature.
In the quantum description, space and time are finite but unbounded and the singularities predicted by classical relativistic theory disappear as mere artifacts of that theory. Summarizing these results, observations and predictions in a table produces the information shown in Table 1.
Each of these descriptions can be partially visualized by considering this universe as a series of disks in time, rather than as spheres, by removing one of the spatial dimensions. In the relativistic description, this universe begins as a point which expands to form progressively larger disks until a maximum size is reached, and then the disks begin to get smaller, before disappearing into a single point as shown in figure 2 on page 12.
The disks can be arranged to create a diagram somewhat analogous to the terrestrial sphere, with the north and south poles representing the singularities of the big bang and the big crunch respectively. Now, on the terrestrial sphere there is nothing particularly odd about the north and south poles, they are merely geographical conventions which arise from our trying to draw straight lines on curved surfaces. There is no geometric peculiarity at the poles, we could have positioned them on the equator, but it is more convenient for international timekeeping to position them on the axis of rotation. The quantum description asserts that the positioning of the singularities in the universe is merely an artifact of classical relativistic theory, and that observers at any point in space-time will automatically be adjusting their measurements to position singularities the same distance away from themselves in space and time when using this theory.
The quantum description yields rather peculiar answers to the question of how and when did the universe begin. Both descriptions state that this universe is the inside of a black hole and that it is thus closed, as its escape velocity exceeds light-speed. The relativistic description states that this hole expanded from a point source and will eventually collapse back into one. The quantum description asserts that space and time are like serpents biting their own tails; they are closed loops whose ends we can never reach. In the quantum description the question of where in space-time did the vacuum fluctuation responsible for this universe occur, is meaningless, for this universe phenomenizes with the property that all points of space-time have the same apparent length of history of about fifteen billion years and a similar or greater apparent length of future ahead of them. From the classical relativistic standpoint one can say that the space-time-origin of this universe has simply become lost in the probabilistic predictions of the quantum model. However, from the quantum standpoint one must assert that the multiple probabilities are actually real and that this universe thus phenomenizes from the void at its present size, with the property that all points of space-time within it are surrounded by the same finite but unbounded vistas of time and space. In the quantum description, it is quite pointless to ask when did this universe begin, for it phenomenizes as a closed loop of time; there is no exterior linear timescale against which it can be measured, and the supposed linear timescale of the classical relativistic description is false. Asking when this universe began is as pointless as asking where it is, for outside of it there is a nontemporal, non-spatial, pre-geometric void.
Crazy as the big bang theory is, it is not crazy enough to be true. Its simplistic linear extrapolations lead to singularities which have never been observed and whose properties contradict the theory which generates them. We can observe vacuum fluctuations, albeit on a modest scale, any time. Quantum effects will almost certainly prevent singularity formation under any circumstances. Furthermore it is possible that all fundamental particles are very small black holes which are prevented from imploding into singularities by quantum effects, for there is a suspicious symmetry between the theoretically predicted properties of black holes and the measurable properties of fundamental particles, and quantum theory allows very small black holes to radiate energy as well as to absorb it. The quantum description accords much better with a magical view of the universe than does the relativistic description, which fits much better with religious scenarios. Religious myths invariably posit universes with definite beginnings and endings. Magical theories have usually considered time to be circular and reality to have an acausal basis, or at least to be based on some weird form of causality in which events are their own cause, as in the quantum model.
A quantum-magical universe can be mythically visualized as five serpents of space, time, mass, energy and ether biting their tails or giving birth to themselves out of their own mouth, the whole surrounded by the serpent of the Chaos-Void. The Ether serpent represents the non-local organizing force of this universe which keeps physical laws more or less uniform at all points of space and time and is also the medium of magic. The Ether serpent is analogous to the morphic field which selects and preserves negentropic forms. The serpents of mass and energy represent the old 0 = 2 equation of dualistic mysticism, which should be more accurately expressed as 0 = 1 - 1; thus the two vacuum fluctuation equations can both be represented numerically by the same 0 = 1 (1 - 1) equation.
As an afterthought, it is worth noting that the original phenomenization which occurs outside of time is technically a void fluctuation rather than a vacuum fluctuation, for the vacuum as we know it still possesses a space-time geometry. The void on the other hand is pre-geometric, and there is thus nowhere (and no when) that we could actually go outside of this universe. It may well be that there are other separate universes outside of our own, inside their own black holes. Such universes may have different natural light-speeds and sizes and their own sets of fundamental particles, forces and laws; although I would expect them to have something analogous to Planck's Constant. No form of communication with other such universes seems possible unless their ether serpents resemble ours sufficiently to allow some sort of morphic resonance which might possibly be induced to manifest, for example, as telepathy.
The very small-scale vacuum fluctuations we can observe going on everywhere in our own universe originate in fluctuations in the void underlying the vacuum of our familiar space-time. The probability of another smaller but still substantial universe phenomenizing within our own is exceedingly remote but nonzero. The ether serpent would probably resist the phenomenization of substances it did not recognize, but if there is ever an abrupt change in light-speed or a sudden occlusion of some galaxies then we will know what happened. We would be able to enter such sub-universes, but their inhabitants would be unable to leave. It is possible that our universe has phenomenized inside a much larger one; the same rules of one-way communication would apply, but any estimate of the phenomenization date of our universe communicated to us by the denizens of larger universes would not be meaningful to us.
Excerpted from LIBER KAOS by Peter J. Carroll. Copyright © 1992 Peter J. Carroll. Excerpted by permission of Samuel Weiser, Inc..
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