“The one great fault in current magickal theory lies in its inability to postulate a mechanism for such ‘acausal’ effects as omens and the results of successful conjurations. To call omens instances of ‘synchronicity’ only hands a different name on them, and to say that a spirit makes a conjuration work only begs the question: so we do conjure a spirit; how does it cause the desired event?
To begin to treat this question of mechanism we will examine two very different events — one that almost defines synchronicity, the other a creature of that most modern of sciences, quantum physics. And yet in a way the actors in one event behave very much like those in the other, as if they both operate on the same principle, though on separate bands of the spectrum of manifestation. I would suggest that we can find this principle at work beneath all aspects of manifestation, if only we can see behind the surface interactions — those that behave according to the established notions of cause and effect. I would suggest that ‘occult’ or ‘acausal’ manifestations like omens and the results of successful conjurations occur due to a filling of latent forms, unseen patterns that lie at the root of our world, yet which never show themselves and so must be inferred if they are to be manipulated. These forms operate without reference to physical bodies or events. Rather, they give shape to the bodies and events, and make possible both the fantastic diversity and the innate unity of the physical universe. We could call these patterns God’s blueprints for creation. I would that we could exploit them.
To keep it simple, let us confine our example to just two electrons, the pointlike carriers of negative charge. Let us imagine them as part of the solar wind — beta particles, as it were — streaming out from the sun at thousands of miles a second. Say these two come close enough that their negative charges interact, causing them to repel one another. How do they accomplish this change in momentum?
According to quantum electrodynamics, they do it by exchanging a ‘virtual’ photon. One electron spawns it, the other absorbs it, and so do they repel one another. Physicists call such photons ‘virtual’ because no outside observer can detect them since the reaction contains them entirely. But they act actual enough, and the electromagnetic interaction operates through their emission and absorption.
I would here especially emphasize just where the photon comes from. It does not come out of one electron and lodge in the other like a bullet fired from one rock into another. The electrons themselves do not get changed, only their momenta. Rather, the tension caused by the charged interaction creates the photons out of nothing. According to current theory, when the two electrons approach the phases of their Schrodinger wave equations interact, either either canceling out or reinforcing one another. But even though these waveforms describe the distribution of event rather than any physical characteristic, they still relate directly to physical characteristics like electric charge, and so we could expect the charges on the two electrons to vary. But electron charge does not vary; it remains forever at 1.602 x 10^(-19) coulombs. Instead the virtual photons appear out of the vacuum and act to readjust the system. The inability of the electrons to make the necessary change in electric charge creates a stress that spawns the photos ex nihilo, and by their action do they adjust the system to resolve that stress.”
– Stephen Mace, Sorcery as Virtual Mechanics
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