Is the number 846 necessary or possible?
The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter
As I understand it the reality of interlaced fractal dream worlds described by Otherwise is there in the first place because of the necessary paradox of the finite and the infinite. This paradox is expressed by time itself, there is no beginning, it happens ''within'' the paradox, and consciousness derives from the processes necessary to express that time. Different forms of consciousness are different crystallizations of time*.
Practicing magic for an extended period of time does make it seem like you are living in a dreamworld and that reality obeys the same logic as dreams. Although we can joke about wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff what we are saying, if we are monists, is that there is no such thing as metaphysics, in the sense of beyond or after physics, only an extended physics**. In this sense then we should be attempting to explore, experiment, map and ultimately think more critically and improve our options. We need terms, the devil is in the details and I think Otherwise is clearly moving in the right direction.
I think it is obvious that we don't need tools persay but a) some would argue that they need them to train the mind, like stabilizer wheels on a bike and b) giving up tools would really hurt the economy of the Occulture which is semi-based on hawking talismans, amulets, wands etc. In Book 4 Aleister Crowley states that the tools of the temple are representing the universe, the mind, the will, etc. I agree with some of his physiological associations like the cup is the brain pan, the wand the spinal column, etc and I go further than this in Cellular Consciousness - the outer membrane being the temple, the pantacle being my chromosomes or ''fixed karma''. In Theurgy and the Soul, Gregory Shaw lays out three different levels of work in Iamblichus - the material, the linguistic/intermediate, the noetic/mathematical - tools were considered the material, most basic and most easily accessible to the illiterate or lay population; start talking about high end maths and the Occulture switches off.
A ''multiverse'' of infinite possibilities can exist within the space of one universe. Each individual soul could be trapped within their own Hubble Bubble meaning there could be more than one me but just permanently out of range of perception because of the observational limit set by the speed of light. I don't think we have to go this far to be honest, I think the notion of ''me'' is massively overrated and there are a bunch of ''mes'' that never really meet, all within the space of a few city blocks. I think this is due to cellular differentiation, ''I'' am only needed at a certain ratio blended with other cellular personalities in order to complete the Metabolism of Time. I sometimes pass me in the street, and if we do meet socially then events or personality clashes conspire to maintain the distance. Without a truly original me I think a lot of the possibilities for my type can be played out easily in one universe and together we do not have to necessitate many universes at all, maybe not even more than one galaxy...
I agree that the universe is panpsychic and I would argue that although it seems to build from the ground up and its basis is a very simple form of ''atomic consciousness'' that you can liken to a mirror, that it is in fact in a form of cycle (gilaglim), with what we call mind and matter simply axial ends of the same thing. This is tied up in the Mysteries of Daath and the Kings of Edom, the worlds of smashed ideas that were necessary to get us far enough away from the mirror that the universe doesn't collapse. Within this cycle the more sophisticated forms of consciousness that build up are increasingly capable of comprehending this paradox. As more sophisticated forms of consciousness name other areas of consciousness, the naming gives them existence, knowing the name grants power***. We can possibly avoid the question of who named first by denying there ever was a beginning and that naming is fundamental and is actually a form of mathematical underpinning in the universe. Although I believe in the specific power of particular sounds which goes into the essence of the naming (the intermediate/linguistic level of Iamblichean Theurgy) I think the essence of how the Qabalah works is that the only proper nouns are the prime numbers and these have an independent existence. The ''name of 4'' is 2 squared etc.
The notion of the dividual ties well with the eukaryotic cell, i.e. that this is the original community - a chloroplast, a nucleus etc that had independent existences before coming together to work in a group, i.e. a plant cell. Consciousness is not rooted in specific chunks of matter, it is the information in the DNA that continuously recycles matter through a pattern. Therefore I see no reason why consciousness cannot be independent of our classical understanding of matter, existing in a ''cloud'', but I don't think consciousness can exist independent of information (Daath - our panpsychic understanding of matter) - as it would collapse back into non-being which is impossible.
Guildenstern - You can't not be on a boat.
Rosencrantz - I've frequently not been on boats.
Guildenstern - No, no, what you've been is not on boats.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard
I also err on the side of compassion (Rachamim-Tifereth), and I see medicine as the main task of the magician and that it should have way more importance in Occulture than it currently does. As the Martian aspects of my initiation continue to play themselves out I have some reservations about a simplistic understanding of compassion though. Analysis and destruction are necessary in the universe, necessary for the Metabolism of Time. Dissimilarity is built into the universe and therefore this necessitates immunity/violence/conflict. Compassionate destruction exists with surgical amputation, metaphorical or otherwise and a default ''nice'' compassion sometimes fails to see this. Also dominant-submissive and/or sado-masochistic relationships, the enjoyment of power and pain, for the individuals that are into this it would be uncompassionate to deny them their story. A truly rectified (global/integrated) compassion has to sit at the centre of a larger network of competing needs, as Tifereth does, but compassion alone doesn't cut it - I know this from experience.
I am increasingly sure that free will does not exist at this 3d level - we all kind of assume it does and it provides illusory meaning to our endeavours whether it be fighting the evil conspiracy, waking up and freeing ourselves from the dream, spreading the love, conjuring spirits to get money, etc. Through the guidance of Raziel I have been moving away from free will alone and into a compatibilist viewpoint and I find as I am giving up on the notion of free will in 3d I am rapidly gaining a different kind of free will in the astral and/or 4th dimension****.
I completely agree with you about ''why magic?'' - I have said before its not a how to means unto itself, in the sense of a Faustian material gratification, it has to be a gateway drug into the who, where and why of understanding the universe and yes, a higher purpose of waking up and providing medicine to those who still slumber in fever. When I am in a free will state of mind, healing is what supplies meaning for me, when compatabilist I see that this story has doctors***** in it, I cannot not play my role and my actions supply meaning to it.
McCann - What about the Albigensenist heresy?
Goldberg - Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?
McCann - What about the blessed Oliver Plunkett?
Goldberg - Speak up Webber! Why did the chicken cross the road?
Stanley - He wanted to... He wanted to... He wanted to...
McCann - He doesn't know. He doesn't know which came first.
Goldberg - Which came first?
McCann - Chicken? Egg? Which came first?
Goldberg and McCann - Which came first? Which came first? Which came first?
The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter
*There is form of consciousness associated with the altered future, the experience of the moment, the contemplation of the moment, forgetting, remembering etc. The universal organism cell's differentiate according to their role in the Metabolism of Time.
**Science is your friend. Occulture really needs to get its shit together about the terrible attitude it has towards science.
***Naming might work like the heat in a lava lamp if we want some kind of 3d representation. We are still very much in the early phases of new Gods which is why the Old Ones work better as noted by Chaos magicians everywhere. The more naming that is done the more new forms will globulate and rise out of the unconscious mind. Also check Theurgy and the Soul for the preeminence of mathematical objects in the noetic stages of Theurgy.
****When you realise what you really only have is perspective/opinion it becomes much easier to shift it...
*****By doctor I mean tinctures, physiognomy + logotherapy and other alchemical quackery plus a healthy dash of hocus pocus although my degrees are in Biochem, Genetics and Environmental Science. I am beating doctors on curing persistent infections, autoimmune disease and neuroses, not doing so well on surgery.