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Chaoism & Chaos Magic, A Personal View

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Subject: Chaoism & Chaos Magic, A Personal View
                                   by Pete Carroll

          As there are as many Chaos Magicians as there are Chaoists

          practising magic, I cannot speak for the subject in general but

          for my own Chaoism and Chaos Magic.

          However, if you want a one-line definition with which most Chaoi

          would probably not disagree, then I offer the following. Chaoist

          usually accept the meta-belief that belief is a tool for achievi

          effects; it is not an end in itself.

          It is easy to see how other people and cultures are the victims

          their own beliefs. The horrors of Islam and the ghasty state of

          politics in sub-Saharan Africa, are obvious examples, but we rar

          pause to consider the extent to which we are the victims of our

          beliefs, and the ability we have to modify them if we wish.

          It is perhaps worth considering the recent history of belief in

          Western cultures before mounting an attack on the very foundatio

          of the contemporary world view. For about a millenia and a half

          existence of "God" was an incontrovertible fact of life in

          Christendom. It was never questioned or thought to be questionab

          Hideous wars and persecutions were conducted to support one

          interpretation of deity against another. Learned men wrote thous

          of books of theoology debating points which seem utterly tedious

          idiotic to us now, but the central question of the existence of

          "God" was never considered. Yet now, the belief in "God" as the

          author of most of what goes on in the world has been almost

          competely abandoned, and belief in even the existence of an abse

          "God" is in most places fading. Satanism as an anti-religious

          gesture is now a waste of iconoclastic talent. The alchemists,


          sorcerers and scientists of the late Middle Ages and the Renaiss

          won a stupendous posthumous victory. Their questioning of the

          medieval world view started a rot that brought the whole edifice

          down eventually.

          We can laugh looking back on it now, but I assert that we now li

          under a collective obsession which is even more powerful and wil

          appear equally limiting and ridiculous to future historians.

          Since the eighteenth century European enlightment, a belief has

          to the point where it is now so all-pervasive, and so fundamenta
l a

          part of the Western world view, that one is generally considered

          if one questions it. This is a belief that has proved so powerfu

          and useful that virtually everyone in the Western world accept i

          without question. Even those who try to maintain a belief in "Go

          tend to place more actual faith in this new belief for most

          practical purposes.

               I  am about to  reveal what this  fundamental contemporary

          is.  Most  of you  will think it  is so  obvious a fact  that it

          hardly be called a belief. That, however, is a meassure of its e

          dinary power over us.  Most of you will think me a madman or a f
ool to

          even question it. Few of you will be able to imagine what it wou
ld be

          like not to believe it, or that it would be possible to replace

          with something else. Here it is: the dominant belief in all West

          Cultures is that this universe runs on material causality and is

          thus comprehensible to reason. Virtually everyone also maintains

          secondary belief that contradicts this - the belief that they ha

          something called free will, although they are unable to specify

          this is - but I will deal with that later.


          We spend billions every year indoctrinating our young with the

          primary belief in material causality in our schools. Our languag

          our logic, and most of our machines, are built largely upon this

          belief. We regard it as more reliable than "God".

          Now, it has been one of the functions of the Magician to try and

          break through to something beyond the normal. My own magical que

          has always had a strongly antinomian and iconoclastic element, a
nd I

          long ago decided to go for broke and attack the primary beliefs

          our culture. Religion is too easy a target as it is already fata

          disabled by our ancestors, the Renaissance sorcerers and scienti

          Contemporary Satanists are waisting their efforts.

          Ideology is thankfully beeing gradually replaced with economics.

          main thrust of my Chaoism is against the doctrine of material

          causality and secondarily against most of the nonsense that pass

          for modern psychology.

          Anyway, now I have to firstly try and convince you that there is

          something seriously wrong with material causality, and that ther
e is

          something that could supersede it as a belief. These are vitally

          important questions for magicians, for since the demise of

          essentially spiritual descriptions of magic, the belief in mater

          causality has been increasingly used in a haphazard fashion to f

          various ill-conceived metaphors such as "magical energy" or "mag

          force" which are tactily presumed to be something analogous to

          static electricity or radio waves. This is, I think, complete

          bullshit. Magic can sometimes be induced to behave a bit like th

          but it is not a very effective description.

          Before attempting a frontal assault on material causality I shal


          backtrack a little to gather ammunition. Few people noticed that

          the 1930`s a serious crack was discovered in the fabric of mater

          causality which, on the grounds of faith alone, was supposed to

          cover everything. This crack was called Quantum Physics, and it

          pre-eminently Niels Bohr who, with his Copenhagen Interpretation

          poked a finger into the crack and prised open a wrap to reveal a

          different reality.

               Basically Bohr showed that this reality is better modelled
by a

          description of non-material causality operating probabilisticall

          not deterministically. This may sound tame at first, but the

          implications for our everyday view of the world and for our theo

          of magic are awesome. It brought to an end the era of the clockw

          universe paradigm which began over two hundred years ago and whi

          almost everyone still believes in their guts, even if they canno

          formulate it precisely. I urge magicians everywhere to give than

          by drinking what is probably the best lager in the world, for it

          the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen that supported Bohr and his

          colleagues while they did the physics.

               The majority of straight scientists find quantum physics as

          distasteful as a priest would find witch-craft. If they have to

          it they prefer not to think about the implications. Even Einstei

          who started quantum physics going but made his major contributio
n in

          Relativity, felt repelled by its implications, on ground of

          scientific faith and residual Judaic belief, and wasted much of

          later life campaining fruitlessly against it.


               Quantum physics says to me that not only is magic possible
in a

          world that is infinitely Chaotic than we thought, but that magic

          central to the functioning of this universe. This is a magical

          universe not a clockwork one. Causal materialist beliefs were a

          liberating and refreshing breath of fresh air after a millenia a
nd a

          half of monotheism, but now, at their zenith, they have become

          tyranny. Relativity and the fundamental physics associated with

          are probably close to a final refinement of the causal materiali

          paradigm, and as such they now seem a terrible prison. For all

          practical purposes they confine us to this planet forever and ru

          out magic from our lives. Quantum physics, which I believe curre

          to be basically an investigation of the magical phenomena underl

          the reality most people have perceived as non-magical for the la

          two hundred years, shows us a way out.

               It may be some time before any significant portion of human

          learns to believe the new paradigm in their guts and live accord

          but eventually they will. Until then it is bound to sound like d

          bobulating gobbledgegook or tarted-up intellectualism to most pe

               I would like to mention my other favourite iconoclasm in pa

          without  explanation. I  reject  the conventional  view of  post

          theistic  Western psychology  that  we are  individual unitary

          possessing  free will. I prefer  the description that  we are co

          beings composed of  multiple personalities;  although generally

          flicted  with  the selective  amnesia which  is  the hallmark  o
f this

          otherwise  omnipresent condition. And  that secondly there  is n
o such

          thing as free will; although we  have the capacity to act random
ly, or

          perhaps one should say more precisely stochastically, and the  p

          sity to identify with whatever we find ourselves doing as a resu


          All the gods and goddesses are within us and non-materially abou
t us

          as well, in the form of non-local information.

               I consider that all events occur basically by magic; the ap

          causality investigated by classical science is merely the more

          statistically reliable end of a spectrum whose other end is comp

          Chaos. However, I would like to end with a few words about how m

          Chaoism affects my personal activity in what is ordinaryly calle


               There are for me two main aspects of magic; the parapsychol

          and the psychological. In enchantment and divination I believe t

          the magician is attempting to interact with nature via non-mater

          causality. He is basically exchanging information with his envir

          without  using his  physical faculties.  Austin Osman  Spare pre

          identified the mental manoeuvres necessary to allow this to occu
r. The

          manoeuvres are startlingly  simple and once  you have understood

          you can invent an unlimited number of spells and  forms of divin

          The  manoeuvres are  sacred  but the  forms  of their  expressio
n  are

          arbitrary; you  can use anything at random.  Bohr and Spare are
for me

          Saints of the Church of Chaos.


               I consider that when a magician interacts with those appare

          sentient sources of knowledge, inspiration and parapsychological

          ability that used to be called spirits, gods, demons and element

          he is tapping into the extraordinary resources that each of us

          already contains. When activated they may also receive some inpu

          via non-material causality from outside. Yet since we all contai

          such a rich multitude within our own unconscious or subconscious

          can also receive congruent information from the collective

          unconsciousness as it were, then the possibilities are practical

          limitless. Given the correct technique one can invoke or evoke

          anything, even things which did not exist before one thought of

          calling them. This may sound like complete Chaos, and I have to

          report that my own researches confirm that it is !

               Chaos Magic for me means a handful of basic techniques whic
h must

          be adhered to strictly to get results, but beyond that it offers

          freedom of expression and intent undreamt of in all previous for

          of magic.

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