The Thoughtform Scale

Through trial and error, chaotes have found many ways to gift autonomy to the rogue ideas which swirl within their psyche, and just how powerful these pseudo-spirits will become mostly seems to depend upon the ingenuity of the magickian themselves.

6 months ago

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Those who work within the chaos meta-paradigm know that the physical and mental realms are equally mutable given enough skill.

Turning their attention to the very fabric of reality, these bleeding edge occultists see little difference between the external and internal worlds, tying them together through narrative and allegory to gain an advantage when navigating both.

Through trial and error, they have found many ways to gift autonomy to the rogue ideas which swirl within their psyche, and just how powerful these pseudo-spirits will become mostly seems to depend upon the ingenuity of the magickian themselves.

It can be argued that sigils are the most basic type of thoughtform, but only if it pleases the magickian to view the method by which they make their desire manifest as having a mind all of its own. The pictographic representation of the original intent dwells within the subconscious, mechanically working towards the stated goal with very little further input needed after the fact.

Unfortunately, while easy to use, such a simple methodology also limits what can be achieved, as it is impossible to encode enough information in a single sitting for anything but the most basic tasks.

Sigils can take on a life of their own should enough attention be directed at them, however.

That was the case with Fotamecus, a time compression spell that was fed the leftover energy collected by chaotes during a Metallica show in the mid 1990s, and eventually led them to experience a series of anomalous results during a Thanksgiving road trip later in the same year.

The viral version of that pseudo-spirit was released to the world before the turn of the century and has become a cornerstone of modern thoughtform lore in the decades since.

This type of complex single purpose creation is a fine example of a servitor, and neatly highlights the role that these slightly more advanced complexes of internalised meaning tend to undertake.

Requiring a greater initial outlay of energy and repeated applications of gnosis to construct, they are psychological processes capable of influencing reality independently of the magickian, but only within the boundaries of the initial intent.

Tulpas are the next most complex thoughtform variation.

Still internalised, they best resemble secondary personalities able to interact with the host on the mental plane. Those who share their mindscape with such pseudo-spirits claim to experience physical effects from their interactions, usually of a comforting or sexual nature.

While it is possible for others to occasionally see the created entity, such as with the Buddhist monk that Alexandra David-Néel claims to have conjured during her travels in 1920s Tibet, it is in general viewed as a purely psychological phenomenon not unlike an imaginary friend.

Recently a small but dedicated group of unknowing psychonauts have begun formalising this practice, and there are many blogs and essays online which go into greater depth about what they have come to call tulpamancy.

The similarities between the techniques discussed, and those used in general servitor creation, seem to hint at a common thread running through both disciplines, though few within that maligned internet movement would claim any knowledge of chaos magick as a whole.

For a more well rounded and even autonomous pseudo-spirit, such as the creation of an egregore, much greater effort must be spent.

Many hail the Philip experiment, wherein a group of parapsychologists in the early 1970s gave birth to an artificial ghost, as an example of egregore creation in action.

Though based on its marked reliance on their presence to manifest, as well as an inability to develop beyond the ridiculous backstory that the researchers had set for it, a demotion to some form of group servitor would be much more accurate.

True egregores are far more complex than the other examples listed so far and usually require the input of several people over a protracted timeline to become realised.

They are also the jumping off point whereby thoughtforms can exist outside of the magickian's own deep mind, becoming something of a social contagion in their own right.

Slenderman is an obvious result of this process, and even more interesting due to it forming naturally within the geographically dispersed online creepypasta subculture without input from either chaotes or tulpamancers.

While some of a more sceptical mindset may argue that real world sightings of the Slenderman or crimes of his followers result from hysteria and social contagion, they miss the point. Those are exactly the means by which this type of thoughtform spreads, as egregores are reliant on either the continued interest of their creators or the subsequent adoption by a subculture to remain whole.

In media, the original 1992 Candyman film stands as an accurate representation of this process, and the love held for the Cthulhu Mythos by both readers and magickians alike further strengthens the case.

Finally, we have the godforms, hugely powerful and most times unfathomably old egregores that have become so ingrained in the social structure over the centuries that their will forms the entire basis for culture.

Of the very few thoughtforms who could be considered having attained this status, only those within the big three Abrahamic religions remain as powerful today. This is mostly because of their followers fanatically seeking to erase all other deities from the social aggregate over the last 2000 years, and their efforts have disempowered most of these at one time locally ascendant pseudo-spirits on a global scale.

In truth, the chaos magickian's desire to create life, no matter how simple or artificial, could well be little more than a sign of rebellion against the boundaries of a reality otherwise dominated by a handful of bland father Gods and their equally conservative followers.

But when the realisation dawns that the universe can only ever be experienced as a perceptual construct dwelling within the individual psyche, it ultimately gives them free reign to populate their own waking dream with whatever companions they so choose.

Gavin Fox

Published 6 months ago


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