Atoms! (A Hypothesis of Magick)
The belief in magic has been present in every culture that has ever existed on our planet. It seems to be a basic belief that is somehow ingrained into our biology either as a natural tendency like tool-making or a natural reaction to the world around us like fear. To me, it’s pretty obvious that magic, the belief that humans have within their ability the power to alter the material world or manipulate beings who can alter the material world, is integral to our species. Since the dawn of time, people every where have believed that they can either affect changes in the world or affect changes through interactions with other beings (animals, plants, spirits, gods, etc). Magic has been studied and practiced for as long as we’ve existed and throughout such a long period, we’ve come up with many different perceptions and definitions of magic.
Today, the most common understanding of magic within the Western communities of the so-called `magically-inclined` have been epitomized by a famous Ceremonial magician. Magic, Aleister Crowley writes, “is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” This is well understood and discussed by many, but what I have found to be less discussed is the mechanics behind that definition. If magick is the science and art, what are the natural laws that govern its use? If magic is the ability to cause change that reflects our Will, what is the process by which one’s science and art affect that change in the manifest universe? Furthermore, what are the limits of magic? What is the scope and range of magick? Is there anything that magick cannot do?
I’ve been wondering about this for quite some time. I know what magic is as per Crowley’s definition, but how does it work? I know what I do ritually, symbolically, microcosmically is causative action in the aether to effect a result in the literal, the macrocosm. But how and why? Why should anything I do symbolically effect a change literally?
I think it’s because, in reality, there are no symbols. You may use a poppet of your stalker to banish him and you might think it a symbol of your target, but is it really? What is the difference between your poppet and your human stalker? Is it the special combination of cells? But cells are nothing more than molecules, so is it the special combination of molecules? Molecules are constructs of atoms, so is it the unique and distinguished aggregation of atoms? Well, atoms, themselves, consist of protons, electrons, and neutrons, which are, in turn, subatomic particles, and so on and so on until we arrive to the point of no further reduction where matter is nothing more than highly organized systems of energy. Everything in the Universe–all that was, all that is, and all that will be–is composed of energy and that energy started as a single “thing”: the singular point in space and time before the Big Bang.
And that’s the most important fact: everything was one.
So, if your poppet and your stalker are made of the same exact thing and were actually, indeed, one whole “body”, what’s the difference now? Physical space? Your stalker’s energy does not exist where the poppet’s does? So what? Being whole, that is, the perception that a thing occupies a specifically solid and wholly integrated space in the Universe is an err. The atoms of your stalker’s cells do not even touch one another. Indeed, the atoms of his cells are separated by some distance because of the repellent charges of his electrons. The problem of seeing ourselves as solid, unified structures of space is even more complicated when we consider the vast distances between the nuclei of atoms and their electrons. If a proton of an atom were the size of a baseball, its electron would be ten miles away. Relatively, there’s probably less space between you and your stalker than there is between the protons and electrons in his body. So, then, we are left with the inevitable conclusion to the question of the difference between a poppet and its intended target:
Nothing but your own perception.
Therefore, if there is no difference between a poppet–a symbol–and that which you perceive to be the actual thing you want to influence, what you do to one can be done to the other.