Okay, there it is. Year Of Our Lord, 2013, somewhere near the end, somewhere near the beginning. Floods here now, fires across the pond in Australia, America. I’m sitting here, nearly 50 (not quite (49)), in my parents basement, battling with all sorts of mild and inconsequential addictions, waiting for my laser-cutter to make the things that people bought from me off the internet, when I was asleep last night.
I’ve become interested in magic again… used to be into this when I was 14, now it’s back – except this time round I actually practice it, in my own idiosyncratic way. Art and Magic are the same thing. It’s about manipulating (for want of a better word) “habit”… it’s about sensitivity to latency, and the easiest angle into either of these is art.
(sensitivity to latency)
So I’m doing more art – and it has (more so than before) a specific intent. It’s basically sigil-magic made into something worth making whether the sigil magic works or not.
WTF? You may think. Nick’s lost the plot. He always was a bit suspect, but now he’s gone completely hatstand, LOL.
Well, maybe… my background is science. I have a BSc… my sympathies are with analysis, and intellectual checkability. I can’t bear flakey new-agers. They drive me mad. I don’t “believe” things – I have (instead) suspicions, doubts, theories. But I’m an artist too, in a half-arsed sort of way, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it works, but not the way I thought it would. Sometimes it’s a total failure, but at least you get a good story out of it.
If I had to nail magic down, I’d say that “Magic is a way of experiencing that which lies outside The Matrix”. And The Matrix is the internal reality-modelling system that our brains use to make sense of what comes in via our senses, the experience of “oneself” within which, is what we know as consciousness. Consciousness is not actually that big a deal.
That which lies beyond The Matrix however is. The glittering 11-dimensional, infinity of photons and quarks and bosons and morons etc. Fields and patterns. It’s tempting to picture it as random, but it clearly isn’t. Beyond/behind the mirror of art and psychedelics – call it what you like… if anything is magic, that’s it.
It’s big. Way too big for a word like magic (which has been trivialised by xtians et al), but for now magic will have to do. It is what it is.
And I suspect, that the manipulation of that which lies beyond the matrix, and art are the same thing. The nice thing about art and magic being the same thing, is that you can tell yourself “Well, if it doesn’t work, at least I’m left with a nice bit of art to hang up somewhere”. Trouble is, it does seem to work. So far.
Not everything that happens, falls within the scope of measurable repeatability. There are whole species of phenomena, which only happen once, and are highly immune to any kind of objective measurability. “The First Time You Fall In Love” for example. One of the most important things that will ever happen to you, and entirely outside the realm of science. The measurable aspects of this phenomena (that you can imagine university psychology departments attempting to get a handle on) are so anaemic compared to the felt experience of the actual event… it’s outside repeatable measurability, and it’s just one of many, many, extremely important phenomena.
But although immune to analysis via the scientific-method, these phenomena are still experienceble, describable, and manipulable. They have more to do with patterns of latency and probability than Cartesian/Newtonian cause-and-effect. And… IF there are such things as patterns of latency… fields of probability, that make themselves felt in areas where quantum indeterminacy is felt… then the giant leap is this: Maybe Cartesian/Newtonian cause-and-effect themselves are not separate sets of laws, but are themselves very very strong/deep patterns of latency.
“STFU you rudderless hippie. Why are you going on about this? Have you been smoking the curtains again? Where is the technology? Where are the Open Tabs?”
Well… that’s it. Open Tabs. I have accumulated a large number of Open Tabs of new tech developments, and the simple fact is, I can’t possibly keep up. When I started writing this blog about 5 years ago, every couple of days, something new and interesting would turn up. Now it’s almost too fast to count let alone write about. Dozens every day, and they’re just the things that cross my own, limited, subset-of-the-whole, radar.
Things are becoming complex. Human knowledge is expanding at a rate of exponentiality that is now beginning to resemble more of an explosion than a hill. True, very few of these miracles actually seem to hit the ground… ie: “become products”, but I’m increasingly getting this feeling that my current patterns of negotiating this landscape (ie: direct, cause-and-effect-based conscious control) are less suited to what is emerging, than the loose, open-minded drift that works best for negotiating an acid trip.
When there’s too much information, I try to go meta. Well… if you go meta far enough, then you find yourself standing outside science. Do with that, what thou wilt.
I’ll get back to the tabs later.