Framed as the outpouring of insight generated by the novel Goddess 'Apophenia', Pete Carroll's new work is a real gem. Coming from a science background, this is his attempt to create a falisfiable model of why the universe looks the way it does, and just why magick can operate successfully.
In the inimitable Carrollian style we have come to know and love, our author sets out to demolish the edifices of being, consciousness, causality, the big-bang and more. In toppling these ontological Titans Pete discovers a universe of panpsychism and intense meaning. If nothing else this agrees with my own views and is therefore a Good Thing. Pursuing this process through the scientific style of exploration means that quantum physics, special relativity et al show up pretty frequently in the text. If you buy this book expecting lists of planetary correspondence and ritual-by-numbers instructions you're going to be disappointed. However this doesn't mean that this is all physics and no esoterica. Rather the point is that the reading of the universe that the author presents is suffused with magick. (Nevertheless there are some reassuring illustrations of occult entities and one explicit ritual - a rather lovely evocation of the Goddess Apophenia herself).
My reaction in reading this book was one of excitement. The suggestions that Pete advances tickle the mind delightfully. Certainly this isn't Liber Null. It's not a manual of techniques but instead concentrates on theory, yet that doesn't make for a dull read. The theorisation presented here can light the touch paper of a hundred disciplines: cosmology and magick for sure but also Fortean studies, ethnography and especially neuro-biology.Read more ›
Since I read this book last month I have recommended it to a number of friends as it has to go down as the most useful, contextualised and informative book about applied magic across which I have ever had the good fortune to stumble. I have no formal background in the study of particle physics, and consequently my understanding of such things has been entirely dependent upon that which has been made available to me by such authors as have in the service of illustrating something profound and cosmic, made accessible to me that which might otherwise have appeared to be permanently out of my reach. I literally had no idea that so much was specifically understood about the interplay of forces on a microcosmic and macrocosmic scale which constitute the underlying structure of the universe, our experience of space-time, and the scientific viability of magic. Interdisciplinary works such as this are of particular interest to me as no matter how open minded we become, and regardless of what the more enlightened part of us may know to be the case beyond the need for proof, coming from a Western European background there will perhaps always be a part of me that is reassured to see the subtler processes of nature described in such a way as would present even the most pragmatic scientist with no alternative but to update their understanding of the subject in hand.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
vintage Carroll10 Dec. 2008
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Peter Carroll was the first author I read who made magic magical and one of the few whose writings have repaid close repeated reading. Carroll is to be congratulated for writing this book and Mandrake for publishing it. The Apophenion is a gold mine of Carrollisms, and I could cite a score or more, even if few of the insights are original and some have been phrased more elegantly. That said, their power is undiminished and their application to magical working as timely as ever. No one with the slightest interest in magical theory should miss this book.
Much of the work is a description of Carrollian physics. I know barely enough physics to keep my tires inflated and not a whit more, so any attempt by me to evaluate "the maths" would be idiocy in its most literal sense. Indeed, I can barely even picture the simplest of Peter's demonstrations and I suspect I have a great deal of company. If you figure yourself among the numerically disabled, be warned. It may well be that Peter Carroll is the Giordano Bruno of our era and that he has demonstrated the elusive physics of magic, and if so, I am exuberantly pleased if ultimately quite unenlightened in spite of it. I'm just saying...
The artwork: first rate cover and the Muses (pg 112) are suitable for framing.
Two quibbles: either the proof reading of the book or the software used to compose it is deplorable. There are there are annoying repetitions of repetitions of words and the punctuation occasionally appears derived from an alien-as-in-not-of-this-world grammar.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Birth of a Goddess8 Aug. 2012
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Apophenia is the seeing of connection between event that others fail to see. In this small but intense book Peter J.Carrol one of Chaos Magick's supreme mages gives forth to the reader a philosophy that is much different then that offered by any other other magical system. It is totally non theistic in it's own way, challenges assumptions and throws in a whole bunch of science. Chaos philosophy views magic as a technique and regards religion as important only so far as it helps the practitioner reach their goal.
Pan psychism is the author's philosophy. It is a philosophy which tackle first the concept of identity. Things like stones, physical matter and ourselves are not this mass of inert matter. Rather we are doing constantly. In a state of action. The atoms and molecule that comprise the stone or human are in constant motion. So are we. To stop doing means to stop being. There is no state of being on a state of doing. Everything also has a mind and consciousness of sorts. Whether it be tea cups, rocks trees or human beings. The mind or consciousness is tied solely to the body and cannot exist independently of the body. Free will or the illusion of the ability to choose is nothing more than a combination of predetermined factors and randomness. Identity is another factor that needs to be examined. Exactly who are we? Our some total of personality is comprised of influences derived from other personalities that we see in the news, media, parents and friends. All are equally real in our subconscious mind. In effect there is not one self but many selves housed within the physical carcass of our body. To get through life the different selves have to compromise with each other.
Chaos magick has a very do it yourself philosophy and that include making a do it your self religion. This making of a new religion is called neo pantheism. Neo-Pantheism has eight component parts of it's philospophy. 1) Nothing is true and everything is permitted. 2) Belief and intent create reality. 3)Alchemy 4)Female perspective 5) Psy or sky faeries 6) synchronicity and meaning . 7) personal mythos and narratives and 8) Cosmic holism and transcendence.
The author believes deeply in deeply in Quantum theory. In Quantum theory an object can be in more than one place at the same time. Things are made up of particles and waves and while it is not possible to catch a wave it is possible to catch a particle. Time is three dimensional which means that it does not go just forward and backward but that it can move sideways as well. This ultimately that means that while there is one present there can be a numerous possibilities of the past and numerous various of the future. One can change the future by changing the past but only so long as it does not alter the present. Get your mind around that if you can. The author posits that the universe is four dimensional which is why it is able to hold itself together.
The author give the reader his theory on the universe which is based upon physicist theories. The universe is in the shape of a hypersphere which at it's furthest point is antipodal. All points of the universe touch the antipodal point at one time. This movement could be compared to the kneading of dough. The universe is 11 billion years in diameter.
The author does believe that there is life on other planets and that there are superior life forms. The thing is would they care one wit about life on Earth? The author tends to think not. We are too insignificant. If we made progress and evolved instead if destroying ourselves the author thinks that maybe they would be interested.
The Goddess Apophenia was born May 26,2005. She was birthed along with her twin. To find out about her twin you will just have to read the book. The book comes complete with a ritual devoted to Apophenia and the required tools. Enjoy your journey into the profound yet practical world of Chaos Magic.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Stokastikos Delivers Yet Again31 Oct. 2008
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As co-founder of the chaos magic movement, any new book by Peter Carroll would complement a serious chaote's library by default. However, his new book, "The Apophenion," need not rely on any of that, and would serve as the basis for his reputation if he did not already have one.
In "The Apophenion," Carroll takes his over a decade's worth of scientific exploration and seamlessly weaves it into the application of magic so that it becomes a workable theory by scientific standards.
All that said, the book has a number of typos. They don't detract from its immense worth, but I will keep my fingers crossed and my eyes out for an updated edition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
IA! IA! CHAOS!!! IA! IA!23 April 2015
Thomas S. Ingle
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One of the very best "new" works to be put out by Carroll. An excellent system unto itself, but one that allows for picking and choosing as well (well what did you expect? It's Chaos Magick, after all!). This fellow is certainly on top of things.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Sacrament of Chaos16 Jan. 2009
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Pete's power lies in originating powerful idea's.
In his work one can encounter a rare uniqueness of authenticity, integrity and directness,that is mindblowing.
The reader can be assured, this book is a Sacrament of Chaos. Dripping from the mind of a magician, that has ripened with time and as good wine has become more flavored.
A must read for Chaos Magicians and those who are interested.