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                         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 only
           for my own Chaoism and Chaos Magic.
           However, if you want a one-line definition with which most Chaoists
           would probably not disagree, then I offer the following. Chaoists
           usually accept the meta-belief that belief is a tool for achieving
           effects; it is not an end in itself.
           It is easy to see how other people and cultures are the victims of
           their own beliefs. The horrors of Islam and the ghasty state of
           politics in sub-Saharan Africa, are obvious examples, but we rarely
           pause to consider the extent to which we are the victims of our own
           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 foundations
           of the contemporary world view. For about a millenia and a half the
           existence of "God" was an incontrovertible fact of life in
           Christendom. It was never questioned or thought to be questionable.
           Hideous wars and persecutions were conducted to support one
           interpretation of deity against another. Learned men wrote thousands
           of books of theoology debating points which seem utterly tedious and
           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 absentee
           "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 Renaissance
           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 live
           under a collective obsession which is even more powerful and will
           appear equally limiting and ridiculous to future historians.
           Since the eighteenth century European enlightment, a belief has grown
           to the point where it is now so all-pervasive, and so fundamental a
           part of the Western world view, that one is generally considered mad
           if one questions it. This is a belief that has proved so powerful
           and useful that virtually everyone in the Western world accept it
           without question. Even those who try to maintain a belief in "God"
           tend to place more actual faith in this new belief for most
           practical purposes.
                I  am about to  reveal what this  fundamental contemporary belief
           is.  Most  of you  will think it  is so  obvious a fact  that it  can,
           hardly be called a belief. That, however, is a meassure of its extror-
           dinary power over us.  Most of you will think me a madman or a fool to
           even question it. Few of you will be able to imagine what it would be
           like not to believe it, or that it would be possible to replace it
           with something else. Here it is: the dominant belief in all Western
           Cultures is that this universe runs on material causality and is
           thus comprehensible to reason. Virtually everyone also maintains a
           secondary belief that contradicts this - the belief that they have
           something called free will, although they are unable to specify what
           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 language,
           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 quest
           has always had a strongly antinomian and iconoclastic element, and I
           long ago decided to go for broke and attack the primary beliefs of
           our culture. Religion is too easy a target as it is already fatally
           disabled by our ancestors, the Renaissance sorcerers and scientists.
           Contemporary Satanists are waisting their efforts.
           Ideology is thankfully beeing gradually replaced with economics. The
           main thrust of my Chaoism is against the doctrine of material
           causality and secondarily against most of the nonsense that passes
           for modern psychology.
           Anyway, now I have to firstly try and convince you that there is
           something seriously wrong with material causality, and that there 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 material
           causality has been increasingly used in a haphazard fashion to form
           various ill-conceived metaphors such as "magical energy" or "magical
           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 this,
           but it is not a very effective description.
           Before attempting a frontal assault on material causality I shall
           backtrack a little to gather ammunition. Few people noticed that in
           the 1930`s a serious crack was discovered in the fabric of material
           causality which, on the grounds of faith alone, was supposed to
           cover everything. This crack was called Quantum Physics, and it was
           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 probabilistically
           not deterministically. This may sound tame at first, but the
           implications for our everyday view of the world and for our theories
           of magic are awesome. It brought to an end the era of the clockwork
           universe paradigm which began over two hundred years ago and which
           almost everyone still believes in their guts, even if they cannot
           formulate it precisely. I urge magicians everywhere to give thanks
           by drinking what is probably the best lager in the world, for it was
           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 use
           it they prefer not to think about the implications. Even Einstein,
           who started quantum physics going but made his major contribution in
           Relativity, felt repelled by its implications, on ground of
           scientific faith and residual Judaic belief, and wasted much of his
           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 is
           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 and a
           half of monotheism, but now, at their zenith, they have become
           tyranny. Relativity and the fundamental physics associated with it
           are probably close to a final refinement of the causal materialist
           paradigm, and as such they now seem a terrible prison. For all
           practical purposes they confine us to this planet forever and rule
           out magic from our lives. Quantum physics, which I believe currently
           to be basically an investigation of the magical phenomena underlying
           the reality most people have perceived as non-magical for the last
           two hundred years, shows us a way out.
                It may be some time before any significant portion of humanity
           learns to believe the new paradigm in their guts and live accordingly,
           but eventually they will. Until then it is bound to sound like discom-
           bobulating gobbledgegook or tarted-up intellectualism to most people.
                I would like to mention my other favourite iconoclasm in passing
           without  explanation. I  reject  the conventional  view of  post-mono-
           theistic  Western psychology  that  we are  individual unitary  beings
           possessing  free will. I prefer  the description that  we are colonial
           beings composed of  multiple personalities;  although generally  unaf-
           flicted  with  the selective  amnesia which  is  the hallmark  of this
           otherwise  omnipresent condition. And  that secondly there  is no such
           thing as free will; although we  have the capacity to act randomly, or
           perhaps one should say more precisely stochastically, and the  propen-
           sity to identify with whatever we find ourselves doing as a result.
           All the gods and goddesses are within us and non-materially about us
           as well, in the form of non-local information.
                I consider that all events occur basically by magic; the apparent
           causality investigated by classical science is merely the more
           statistically reliable end of a spectrum whose other end is complete
           Chaos. However, I would like to end with a few words about how my
           Chaoism affects my personal activity in what is ordinaryly called
                There are for me two main aspects of magic; the parapsychological
           and the psychological. In enchantment and divination I believe that
           the magician is attempting to interact with nature via non-material
           causality. He is basically exchanging information with his environment
           without  using his  physical faculties.  Austin Osman  Spare precisely
           identified the mental manoeuvres necessary to allow this to occur. The
           manoeuvres are startlingly  simple and once  you have understood  them
           you can invent an unlimited number of spells and  forms of divination.
           The  manoeuvres are  sacred  but the  forms  of their  expression  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 apparently
           sentient sources of knowledge, inspiration and parapsychological
           ability that used to be called spirits, gods, demons and elementals,
           he is tapping into the extraordinary resources that each of us
           already contains. When activated they may also receive some input
           via non-material causality from outside. Yet since we all contain
           such a rich multitude within our own unconscious or subconscious and
           can also receive congruent information from the collective
           unconsciousness as it were, then the possibilities are practically
           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 which must
           be adhered to strictly to get results, but beyond that it offers a
           freedom of expression and intent undreamt of in all previous forms
           of magic.

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