The physics of Magick
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your unguarded thoughts.” Buddha.
When I was first taught about the atom, the electron orbited around the nucleus, which is composed of protons and neutrons. However, this is not how it works. Now, we understand that the electron is not a tiny particle spinning around a solid ball of substance, but exist as a wave function, a cloud of possible position, or all positions, around the similar nucleus. When a measurement, or observation, is taken of the position of the electron, the wave function collapses, and one of the infinite positions of the electron is realized. This is an example of the dual aspect of matter. Matter exists both as a wave function with infinite possibilities of materializing at a particular point, and as a solid particle. This principle of matter is the crux of Magick, and in manipulating the above principle, the Magician, Pagan, or Wiccan, can cause change in their environment.
If any of the readers have watched, The Big Bang Theory, (which is my favorite sit-com) then you are quite familiar with an often referred to thought experiment entailing Schrodinger’s Cat. In this thought experiment, the cat is placed in a sealed box in which the release of a deadly poison is dependent on whether or not a single atom of a radioactive substance decays or not, (decay means that a particle materializes outside of the radioactive substance). Now, according to the particle-wave theory of Quantum mechanics, the atom is functioning as a wave, and thus all possibilities are poised to manifest, or collapse, when the atom is observed and only when the atom is observed. Before the observation, all possibilities can be realized. Thus, the cat, being dependent on the atom decaying or not, is in a state of limbo, with all possibilities present, and thus both dead and alive at the same time. Schrodinger used this experiment to show the absurdity of the phenomenon. (However, later scientist pointed out that the cat is such a large system of matter that it is still being observed by the universe, i.e., breathing and such). This will answer the question, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” According to the above, the answer is a big Yes!
To bring the point home, let me elaborate on the most famous of quantum experiments, The Double Slit Experiment. In this study, researchers direct a beam of light at a barrier with two vertical slits. Directly behind the barrier is a photographic plate, which records the results. One would expect to see two vertical lines on the photographic plate as the beam of light passes through. Yet, this is not what happens. The light passing through the slits creates an interference pattern. See figure one.
Figure 1-The interference pattern shown is a result of the physical proton, acting as a wave. When one photon of light is projected at the double-slit barrier, the photon registers as a single point. Yet, after cumulative photons are fired, the result is an interference pattern. The photons act as if they are interacting with each other, even though they are singly projected.
This interference pattern is a result of the photons, (particles of light that materialize from the electromagnetic field), acting as a wave function. The light and dark patterns are created when the peaks and troughs of the wave functions either add to each other or subtract. You may say, okay, big deal. But this also happens when a single photon is projected at the barrier. The single photon goes through both slits simultaneously, creating the same interference pattern, point by point, which insinuates that the single photons are interfering with themselves, even though projected one at a time. It gets even weirder. When the researchers attach a detector before the barrier in an attempt to observe the trajectory of a single photon to record which slit the photon enters, the wave function collapses, prior to the slits, and the results are what one would expect, two separate lines on the photographic plate. This clearly shows that the observation itself changes the results, i.e. either particle or wave. When the measurement is stopped, the wave function returns and the superposition of all possible trajectories is recorded on the photographic plate as the interference pattern. Superposition is the cumulative result of all wave functions and all possibilities, and like the electron cloud around the nucleus, supports all the possible positions of the appearance of the particle. Scientists use statistical probability to determine where the particle may materialization from the wave function, but have no idea as to why that particle comes into being at that particular location. The manifestation appears when observed, and is what scientist refers to as the wave function collapse. Superposition in the wave function implies that the particle is in all possible position simultaneously and only manifests when observed. However, the term observation does not mean with the physical eyes for large systems, as noted with Schrodinger’s cat, or a tree falling in the forest.
Additionally, there is a superposition of the superposition that is the basis for my argument and where Magick gets its power.
Physicist Chris Lee, in an article entitled, Physicists summon up their courage and go after the nature of reality.” Written for Ars Technica, wrote:
“Quantum mechanics may allow the wave function to represent a superposition of different states, (meaning all possible positions while in the wave form of the particle) with measurement results determined by probabilities. The statistical interpretation of the wave function implies that there can be a superposition of superposition states, which changes the relative probabilities of the measurement outcomes.” He continues, “A group of physicists and philosophers who don’t believe that quantum mechanics represents reality but that it was all we could see of some deeper, more fundamental theory. A subclass of these scientists believed that the randomness of quantum mechanics would eventually be explained by some non-random, deterministic property that we simply couldn’t directly observe (otherwise known as a hidden variable).” Many have theorized that this hidden variable is the human consciousness.
Having understood that the wave function contains all the possible paths of a particular particle, and that the inferior superposition contains an influencing superior superposition, the magician, during ritual or even focused thought, creates an emotional construct of the desired change. This emotional construct causes the superior superposition to influence the inferior superposition, beginning a cascade of materialized particles, which in the end, brings to fruition the change on a massive scale. This is how I believe a person, using magickal or meditative means, can cause change in their environment. Our consciousness can manipulate the superposition of the superposition.
To illustrate the idea further, Carl Jung, a Swiss Psychiatrist, believed that, just as events may be connected by causality, they may also be connected by meaning. Events connected by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of causality. This he termed, Synchronicity and indicated a deeper reality with he called the Unus mundus. Wikipedia defines the Unus mundus as, “Latin for ‘one world’, is the concept of an underlying unified reality from which everything emerges and to which everything returns. (This definition will become very important in the following paragraphs). Jung believed that the Unus mundus, or deeper order, and its appearance as a synchronicity, could lead a person to a spiritual awaking and bring the egocentric individual to thinking about the Oneness of the universe.
The term meaning can be considered to hold an emotional context, which for the magician is highly important. Just like the Zen master, who observes his life events as a spectator, so too must the magician. The directed emotion gives rise to the energy needed to cause a ripple in the underlying fabric of the universe. The magician sees his life as the Zen master does, watching events unfold, experiencing it passively. Yet, when the need arises, the magician brings forth his/her passion, directing his/her will, creating an emotional construct of the desired outcome.
Let me introduce the Chaos theory, also called the Butterfly Effect, which can further illustrate the effects of manipulating the superposition of the superposition. Wikipedia explains that the butterfly effect is “the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state can result in large differences in a later state.” This idea came from a man named Edward Lorenz and his study of hurricanes. He came to conclude that the initial conditions for the hurricane can be influenced by minor, and seemingly insignificant changes, in the character of the hurricane. He gave an example that the exact path and time of formation of a hurricane could be a result of a butterfly flapping its wings on the other side of the world, weeks earlier. Lorenz concluded that a small seemingly irrelevant change in the initial conditions of a system could become highly relevant and significantly change the outcome of a much larger system.
The influence of consciousness in the quantum theater regarding the physical manifestation of thought reflects the present state of the observer. If the observer is of a stature that lacks any form of spiritual insight or growth, that individual will be a slave to his/her subconscious thought. These subconscious thoughts created by the repetition of the conscious thoughts of the individual and by the collective unconsciousness of Earth’s population, of which Jung believed was a key element in the Unus mundus, would create an environment suitable to the person’s thought process. Without the intentional effort to eliminate the influences that lay just below the surface of the waking state, these subconscious thoughts, (Jung called them Archetypes and were responsible for creating complexes in people, and comprised of both the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious), are free to manipulate and contort the quantum probability wave, or superior superposition. This would create a higher probability of a specific event materializing, thus causing the independent consciousness, i.e., the person, to experience his/her thoughts. If that person is of an unevolved mind, it perpetuates an environment made up of possible unwanted attributes.
In contrast, the person who directs his/her will towards knowledge of his/her perfected personality, or the Higher Self, can suppress the malicious external influences of both the Earth’s collective unconscious, and their own, and directly and intentionally change the probability of a particular event happening. This occurs on the quantum level, and the mind of a trained magician or meditator can focus his/her directed and pinpointed will on a particular outcome and influence the superposition of the superposition. The basic or inferior superposition wave function will collapse in the direction of a person’s evolved subconscious makeup. The practitioner of the esoteric arts can directly manipulate the overlaying or superior superposition, effecting the collapse of the inferior superposition wave function, directed by the will.
In 2013, physicist, using the Large Hadron Collider (the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, built along the border of France and Sweden), discovered a particle called the Higgs Boson, or as the media called it, the God Particle. The discovery of the God Particle purports an underlying field, called the Higgs Field, which is the last unverified theory of the standard model of particle physics. The Higgs field was created at the Big Bang, permeates the entire universe and is said to be the energy of a vacuum. It is the medium that gives mass to the wave function by way of the Higgs Boson or God Particle. This particle manifests as an excitation, or ripple, in the Higgs field. (An excitation is defined as a point with greater energy from the ground state of a field). Now you can see how the particle got its nickname, for it creates matter where before there was only a vacuum.
This leads me to how I believe Magick works. The implements of Magick, such as a talisman, a wand, a candle, and so forth, help the practitioner’s willpower focus on the desired outcome, creating an emotional construct capable of influencing the superior superposition probability wave function in a particular trajectory or direction. (Additionally, as one becomes proficient, the thought alone will cause a change in the environment). The Magician intensely focuses the mind on a desired outcome, which in turn causes a ripple in the omnipotent void of pure potential, the Higgs field, where all possibilities are un-manifest, causing the God Particle to come into existence. The focused will of the magician, added to the emotional construct, creates an increase in the probability of a single particle manifesting along the chosen vector, or path, and like the Butterfly Effect, sets the emotional construct on a course towards full fruition.
Furthermore, all this happens in Yesod, which is called by Kabbalists, the foundation of the universe. It is the ninth Sephora, directly above the tenth, or Malkuth, which is deemed the Earth. (Yesod is situated directly below the six Sephora, Tipheria, and the seat of Christ Consciousness. This alignment of the Sephora on the Tree of Life glyph shows how Humanity can raise their consciousness, and evolve their thought pattern first to Yesod, having gained knowledge of the construct of the universe, and then to Tipheria, to understand the true meaning of being a child of God). In my earlier articles, I wrote that in order to cause change in one’s environment, you must change the astral plain, or Yesod. Yesod can now be likened to the Higgs field, or Jung’s, Unus mundus. It is the field that gives form to the universe and is created from both the individual unconscious and the collective unconscious.
Here we see the coupling of three distinct branches of science; physics, psychiatry, and the yet mostly uncharted, esoteric arts. These three different disciplines have come to the same conclusion, that the physical universe is given form by an unseen primordial field, created before the physical universe came into being, is comprised all possibilities realities, and can be manipulated by both collective and individual consciousness.
Of course, mindfulness comes into the equation. Mindfulness quiets the mind, suppressing random thoughts. It is these random unchecked thoughts that create a person’s environment, whether they are good or bad. Control your thoughts, and you control your environment. Change the way you think, and you will change the way you live.
Note to reader. I am by no means proficient in Quantum mechanics and do not claim to understand any of the math involved. Einstein said, “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)
Physicists summon up their courage and go after the nature of reality.
Quantum state may be a real thing. .). Retrieved from http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/07/quantum-state-may-be-a-real-thing.
By Chris Lee – Ars Technica
The insanely weird quantum wave function might be “real” after all.
By Chris Lee – Ars Technica
- G. Jung ed, Man and his Symbols (1978)
Synchronicity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity
Our Story – Positive Luxury. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.positiveluxury.com/about/story/