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In the materialist paradigm the universe is believed to consist fundamentally and entirely of
matter. Energy is but a form of matter and together they subtend space and time within which
change occurs strictly on the basis of cause and effect. Human behavior is reducible to biology,
biology is reducible to chemistry, chemistry is reducible to physics and physics is reducible to
mathematics. Mind and consciousness are thus merely electrochemical events in the brain and
spirit is a word without objective content. The causes of some events are likely to remain obscure
perhaps Indefinitely, but there is an underlying faith that sufficient material cause must exist
for any event. All human acts can be categorized as serving some biological need or as expressions
of previously applied conditioning or merely as malfunctions. The goal of the materialist who eschews suicide is the pursuit of personal satisfaction including altruistic satisfactions if desired.
Materialist time is linear but unbounded. Ideally it can be extended arbitrarily far in either direction from the present. To the strict materialist it is self-evidently futile to speculate about a beginning or an end to time. Similarly the materialist
is contemptuous of any speculations about any forms of personal existence before birth or after death. The materialist may well fear painful or premature death but can have no fears about
Of the three views of self the purely materialistic one is the most problematical. If mind is an extension of matter it must obey material laws,and the resulting deterministic view conflicts with the subjective experience of free will. On the other
hand, if mind and consciousness are assumed to be qualitatively different from matter, then the self is incomprehensible to itself in material terms. Worse still perhaps. the materialist self must regard itself as a phenomenon of only temporary
duraltion in contradiction of the subjective expectation
of continuity of consciousness. Because purely materialist view of self is so austere few are prepared to confront such naked existentialism. Consequently materialist cultures exhibit a
frantic appetite for sensation, identification and more or less disposable irrational beliefs. Anything that will make the self seem less insubstantial.
Each of the the views of self has something derogatory to say about the other two. From the standpoint of the transcendental self, the materialist self has become prey to pride of Intellect.
the demon Hubris, while the magical view of self is considered to be entirely demonic. The materialist self views the transcendentalist as obsessed with assumptions having no basis in fact. and the magical self as being childlike and incoherent.
From the standpoint of the magical view, the assorted selves of the transcendentalist have ascribed a grossly exaggerated importance to one or a few of the selves which they call God or
gods. while the materialist has attempted to make all selves subordinate to the self that does the rational thinking. Ultimately it's a matter of faith and taste. The transcendentalist has faith in a god self, the materialist has faith in a reasoning self and the selves of the magician have faith in each other. Naturally, all these forms of faith are
subject to periods of doubt.
The philosophies of humanism, communism, and capitalism also have their roots in the material transcendentalism of
this aeon. Atheism is prone to decay into nihilism as the rationalist aeon progresses. Transcendentalism becomes progressively less sustainable as a worldview while the explanatory and technical power of materialism grows. As the materialist paradigm peaks, it becomes sterile and tyrannical in its attempt to quantify all things in material terms. At the time of writing, many of the world's current problems are due to large segments of the dominant Western culture entering their nihilist phase. The initial optimism of capitalism, science,and socialism is fading as faith in the products of these systems diminishes and no alternatives seem to present themselves as we accelerate into global ecological squalor. Magic and transcendentalism exist in opposition to the dominant materialist paradigm and often become confused with each other for this reason. much as magic and science were often confused with each other in their opposition to monotheism in the religious aeon. Magical theories tend to proliferate partly in response to the tyranny of materialism and partly because although materialism is self-evidently incomplete, the holes cannot be patched with a transcendentalism that is tinged with increasing absurdity. Thus in opposition to nihilistic materialism we find the remains of a monotheistic transcendentalism which is on the way out and a purely magical
view, manifesting for example in the growth of parapsychology, which is on the increase. Strange admixtures of magic and transcendentalism in various proportions arise at this time. Neo-paganism,witchcraft and white light occultism are characteristic rebel philosophies during the cultural dominance of nihilism. Charismatic revival movements on the fringes of a decaying monotheism attempt to perceive and invoke the supposed
magical powers of their deities in an immediate way to bolster a transcendentalism which is inexorably fading into obscurity.
From the standpoint of the popular rational materialism which dominates the nihilist phase., it
may appear absurd that the philosophy of magic will arise first to complement and then surpass
that of science and materialism However the most advanced scientific theories are already beginning to exhibit magical features in their new descriptions of reality. Both in particle physics and cosmogenesis a fundamental acausality, indeterminacy, and observer dependence is now ascribed to reality. These are, property speaking, magical theories, not material ones. It also appears that in biology. psychology and medicine, theories of strict causality must give ground to some form of emergent vitalism for organisms which are evidently more than the sum of their parts. This co-emergent vital principle or morphic field is equivalent to the intrinsic power or mana of magical theory.
The prevailing orthodoxy of the coming Chaoist age will represent something of a truce between magic and science; although the magical aspects may take on heavy scientific camouflage at first to make them more acceptable. Transcendental theories will virtually disappear and magical phenomena will no longer be acknowledged as proof of anything spiritual. The word “God “ will be both objectively and subjectively meaningless except to a few cliques and cranks; although towards the end of the Pandemonaeon new forms of magical transcendentalism will arise, but it would be premature to speculate on their precise manifestation. The model does not predict the nature of the characteristic post-industrial technology of the impending aeon. The decline of materialistic theories throughout the aeon does not in itself imply the loss of advanced technology. As technology becomes progressively more complex and less comprehensible there is a tendency to conceive of it and use it as though it were a magical phenomenon. Devices incorporating quantum mechanical or direct psi-interactive components may well make any distinction between magical and material systems meaningless in any case. So the impending Pandemonaeon may be characterized by an extremely complex yet rationally incomprehensible high technology. Alternatively the model will equally well accommodate a post-catastrophe technology sufficient to support a new hunter-gatherer tribalized society
resembling the first shamanic aeon when the relative strengths of the paradigms were similar. At the time of writing it is too early to speculate on the character of the second phase of the Pandemonaeon, which has been left nameless. It remains to be seen whether humanity will spend this phase out amongst the stars or squabbling over tinned food in the smoking ruins. Yet any credible form of stellar travel will have to be based on principles more akin to those currently under investigation in magic than in science. Some form of machine-enhanced teleportation might suffice, reaction-thrust vehicles plainly will not.
Dangerous times lie ahead. Millennial apocalyptic beliefs present in monotheism may still yet
trigger disaster during the death spasms of transcendentalism. A fierce rearguard action may be expected from materialist philosophies as they slide further into a nihilism whose adherents will, for a while, demand ever more of what is not working . ever more luxury and sensationalism in an ecology unable to support it.
The birth of the Pandemonaeon as a generally accepted paradigm could be a long and bloody business. If things go badly it could be preceded by a catastrophe which precipitates us into a new stone age rather than an interstellar age. Although there will be important niches for magicians in either situation, I would prefer my descendants to perform their sorceries among the stars rather than huddled in the ruins.