January 11th, 2005


Country charts for Long-Term Horoscope (astro.com)

Country charts for Long-Term Horoscope
Copyright Astrodienst AG 2003. All rights are reserved. 28-Apr-2003

The national chart of Argentina

Argentina formally declared its independence as a nation state in 1816, under the sensitive, intuitive sign of Cancer. This country was born under a full Moon, and therefore whatever changes take place in the fabric of the nation tend to occur with drama, intensity, and whole- hearted emotional commitment. An inherent tension between Argentina's need for global involvement and a naturally inward-looking, conservative and self-sufficient quality in the people themselves leads to a constantly changing society which always seeks new and better ways of living and interacting. Uranus, transiting through Aquarius over the next few years, will move across Saturn in the Argentinian chart, and Pluto, transiting through Sagittarius, will move across Neptune - both transits suggesting that challenges in the economic and financial structures of the country will require a rethinking of the use of natural resources and an increased effort at establishing greater openness in political and financial dealings both within the country and with Argentina's neighbours. The movements of these two outer planets may be reflected in a certain amount of economic difficulty for a time, but the meaning and end result are likely to be extremely positive and involve a more realistic and flexible spirit which can help to improve the material and social conditions of everyone living within the country's borders. A little later, when Uranus moves into Pisces, it will form a happy and dynamic aspect to Argentina's Sun, suggesting that the period of difficulty and readjustment will be followed by a time of optimism, buoyancy, and creative inspiration. Argentina's Sun forms a dynamic aspect to Pluto in the country's birth chart, suggesting that this nation has been through many incarnations and will have many more, always rising from its internal crises to renew its strength and surprise the world yet again. The next few years are likely to reflect such a period of tension and rebirth.

(Data used: 9 July 1816, 12.00 pm LMT, Tucuman)



Bekenstein Bound

Bekenstein Bound via Corpus Mmothra

One piece of evidence that nature is discrete is something called the holographic principle. This leads some of us physicists to use the word information even when we don't really know what we're talking about but it is interesting and worth exposing. It comes from an idea called the Bekenstein Bound, a conjecture of Jacob Bekenstein that there is more and more theoretical evidence for. The Bekenstein Bound says that if I have a surface and I'm making observations on that surface —that surface could be my retina, or it could be some screen in front of me — I observe the world through the screen, at any one moment there's a limitation to the amount of information that could be observed on that screen. [Lee Smolin...]

Jacob David Bekenstein (born May 1, 1947) has contributed to the foundation of black hole thermodynamics and to other aspects of the connections between information and gravitation. Bekenstein was born in Mexico City. He is Polak Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and a recipient of the Rothschild Prize. —Wikipedia

Elephants' odd shrieks preceded tsunami via darknews

Jongkrit now believes the elephants, which for centuries thrived in this region, have a sense of the sea that shouldn't be ignored. Some scientists think that elephants, as well as other animals, can tune in low- frequency vibrations that might precede a tsunami. Five minutes before the tsunami hit the coast, the elephants, secured by chains around their front ankles, began screaming again. One of them broke free and ran uphill. Another one carrying tourists on its back also bolted. [Denver Post...]

So who is conscious and who isn't? via the cabal

Here's a thought that some may find interesting. In the study of emergence, complex adaptive systems combine the work of relatively simple agents to organize themselves into something greater than the some of its parts. As examples in his book "Emergence: the Connected Lives of Ants, brains, cities and software," Steven Johnson discusses how the ant colony is smarter than any ant, how people organize themselves into cities and software into systems.

What features do all these systems share? In the simplest terms, they solve problems by drawing on masses of relatively stupid elements, rather than a single, intelligent "executive branch." They get their smarts from below. In a more technical language, they are complex adaptive systems that display emergent behavior. In these systems, agents residing on one scale start producing behavior that lies one scale above them: ants create colonies; urbanites create neighborhoods, simple pattern recognition software learns how to recommend new books. The movement from low-level rules to higher-level sophistication is what we call emergence.

The question I am posing here is what do you think will emerge from the connecting together of billions of brains over something like the internet? Will we even be aware of it? Think of the individual ant that doesn't understand the complexity of the colony it lives in. How will we even know when something like a world brain emerges and what kind of consciousness, or something greater than consciousness, takes over the global population?

The Moral Centre Doesn't Count by undercurrent

This is our problem. We are unable to submit ourselves to currency, believing it to be an empty and vacuous form of exchange (rather than the endlessly convoluting and fascinating numerical game that it obviously is). Rather than submitting to its magical power to elevate and ruin people and to create and dissolve bonds by purely arithmetical means, we invent this ironical dimension of interiority to save our souls.

Universal upper bound on the entropy-to-energy ratio for bounded systems

Gravitational entropy is one of the most intriguing concepts that have emerged from much recent work on quantum fields in curved space-time and quantum gravity. Its most striking manifestation occurs in Hawking’s radiation process by black holes, in which it is connected with the area of the event horizon. Even though this area behaves very much like entropy, two obstacles have stood in the way of attempts to understand the still mysterious connection between area, a geometrical quantity, and entropy, a thermodynamic one. First, since its very inception, black-hole entropy has seemed to be numerically much larger than the entropy of any ordinary system of like mass. Thus, a solar-mass black hole has black-hole entropy 1020 times the sun’s thermal entropy. Is it not preposterous to think there is a common denominator in two quantities so unlike in size? Second, even if the two entropies are of like origin, how can one hope to express black-hole entropy in statistical terms (the logarithm of a number of interior states or configurations) when that task evidently demands a full accounting of all that could possibly happen inside the hole?

In this paper we address only the first difficulty, We point out that it arises from the insistence in comparing black holes with nonrelativistic systems. When compared to relativistic systems of massless particles, black holes do not have inordinately large entropy. Rather, black-hole entropy is revealed as matching the maximal entropy for a given mass of more ordinary systems:

There is no gap in magnitude between black-hole entropy and ordinary entropy. This comes about because of the existence of a hitherto unnoticed upper bound to the entropy-to-energy ratio of non-black-hole systems of given effective radius R (see Sec. II for definition): {formula}. Making this bound plausible is our main task in this paper.


Autonomous Agents

reactive agents via k-punk

An agent is an autonomous entity with an ontological commitment and agenda of its own. The term originated in philosophy. Each agent possesses the ability to act autonomously; this is an important distinction because a simple act of obedience to a command does not qualify an entity as an agent. Nevertheless in business and in law an agent is often acting on a principal's behalf and has a legal duty to act in that person's best interest. An agent may interact or negotiate with its environment and/or with other agents. It may make decisions, such as whether to trust and whether to cooperate with others. —Agent, Wikipedia

In computer science, a software agent is a piece of autonomous, or semi-autonomous proactive and reactive, computer software. Many individual communicative software agents may form a multi-agent system. —Software agent, Wikipedia

In computer science, a multi-agent system (MAS) is a system composed of several agents, capable of mutual interaction. The interaction can be in the form of message passing or producing changes in their common environment. The agents can be autonomous entities, such as software agents or robots. MAS can include human agents as well. Human organizations and society in general can be considered an example of a multi-agent system. Multi-agent systems can manifest self-organization and complex behaviors even when the individual strategies of all their agents are simple. Topics of research in MAS include: (i) beliefs, desires, and intentions (BDI), (ii) cooperation and coordination, (iii) communication, (iv) distributed problem solving, (v) multi-agent learning. —Multi-agent system, Wikipedia

[@ Multi-Agent Systems]

Introduction to Multi-Agent Systems

A multi-agent system can be thought of as a group of interacting agents working together to achieve a set of goals. To maximize the efficiency of the system, each agent must be able to reason about other agents' actions in addition to its own. A dynamic and unpredictable environment creates a need for an agent to employ flexible strategies. The more flexible the strategies however, the more difficult it becomes to predict what the other agents are going to do. For this reason, coordination mechanisms have been developed to help the agents interact when performing complex actions requiring teamwork. These mechanisms must ensure that the plans of individual agents do not conflict, while guiding the agents in pursuit of the goals of the system.

Agents themselves have traditionally been categorized into one of the following types:

  • Deliberative </i>
  • Reactive
  • Hybrid

Deliberative Agents

The key component of a deliberative agent is a central reasoning system that constitutes the intelligence of the agent. Deliberative agents generate plans to accomplish their goals. A world model may be used in a deliberative agent, increasing the agent's ability to generate a plan that is successful in achieving its goals even in unforeseen situations. This ability to adapt is desirable in a dynamic environment.

The main problem with a purely deliberative agent when dealing with real-time systems is reaction time. For simple, well known situations, reasoning may not be required at all. In some real-time domains, such as robotic soccer, minimizing the latency between changes in world state and reactions is important.

Reactive Agents

Reactive agents maintain no internal model of how to predict future states of the world. They choose actions by using the current world state as an index into a table of actions, where the indexing function's purpose is to map known situations to appropriate actions. These types of agents are sufficient for limited environments where every possible situation can be mapped to an action or set of actions.

The purely reactive agent's major drawback is its lack of adaptability. This type of agent cannot generate an appropriate plan if the current world state was not considered a priori. In domains that cannot be completely mapped, using reactive agents can be too restrictive.

Hybrid Agents

Hybrid agents, when designed correctly, use both approaches to get the best properties of each. Specifically, hybrid agents aim to have the quick response time of reactive agents for well known situations, yet also have the ability to generate new plans for unforeseen situations.

We propose to have a hierarchy of agents spanning a continuum of deliberative and reactive components. At the root of the hierarchy are agents that are mostly deliberative, while at the leaf nodes are agents that are completely reactive.


O Great Internet Oracle ... what the fuck is TrackBack?

o thou wormy livejournal usereth, here you go...

A Beginner's Guide to TrackBack

What Is TrackBack?

In a nutshell, TrackBack was designed to provide a method of notification between websites: it is a method of person A saying to person B, "This is something you may be interested in." To do that, person A sends a TrackBack ping to person B.

In a nutshell, TrackBack was designed to provide a method of notification between websites: it is a method of person A saying to person B, "This is something you may be interested in." To do that, person A sends a TrackBack ping to person B.

And why would person B be interested in what person A has to say?

::raising hand:: i know i know!!

Person A has written a post on his own weblog that comments on a post in Person B's weblog. This is a form of remote comments--rather than posting the comment directly on Person B's weblog, Person A posts it on his own weblog, then sends a TrackBack ping to notify Person B.

Person A has written a post on a topic that a group of people are interested in. This is a form of content aggregation--by sending a TrackBack ping to a central server, visitors can read all posts about that topic.

don't think this works on lj

gematria agents

right now, cross-checking one big list of words against, oh, 7 gematria systems. silly me ... invented three! after awhile, using the nummy thingy, began to see distinction between singular gematria, multi-gematria and collective gematria. singular gematria: one person creates a word list using one gematria system. multi-gematria: one persons uses multiple word lists and multiple gematria systems. collective singular gematria: several people use one word list and one gematria system. collective multi-gematria: two or more people create multiple word lists using multiple gematria systems.

think the current nummy word list is free-form: doesn't follow defined structure, theme (discursive?). using a database-driven gematria system made me realize that there were words i wouldn't ever consider entering, and that another person may phrase something differently—different pov.

word lists can be generated for a particular subject. ie, computer terminology word list. it may not be a good idea to blend together a computer term list with ::thinking:: car terminology. would a current meme list (world events, talking tv tubbies, etc) work with a computer terminology list? prolly, can generate a (what? goal-oriented?) word list using a multi-agent system schema.

the study of gematria provides another layer of information not readily available. the new information may invite a call to action. it can provide instructions. maybe a collective gematria system can allow (provide, instruct, inform) autonomous agents a mechanism to (a) integrate movement, (b) anticipate future events, (c) input real time data, (d) yadda.


The Hyperstitional Bacon

IX ~ Francis Bacon 'Under the Shadow of Jehova's Wings'

...from, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, by Frances A. Yates

last night, read page 120. decided to type out entire Bacon chapter. coincides with ideas bubbling in my brain currently. purchased book late 80s, early 90s. same time period when i was reading about complexity theory. Yates provided an introduction to John Dee (chp III - need to type this one out too! Dee's connection to the Rosicrucian movement, the influence of his "Monas Hieroglyphica", the cabalist-alchemical-mathematical combo of disciplines, the role of numerology, etc) that is, perhaps, the foundation of my thinking on magic, magicians, science ... philosophy.

The great Rosicrucian furore seemed to arouse little or no public attention in Britain. No floods of pamphlets addressed to the R.C. Brothers poured from the printing presses, as in Germany from 1614 to 1620. No Invisibles put up placards, arousing frantic interest and storms of abuse, as in Paris in the 1620s. The trumpet sounds of the Fama, announcing a new era and vast new advances in knowledge impending for mankind, seem to have been muffled in these islands.

There were, however, other trumpet sounds, making a striking announcement, not with the Rosicrucian wild excitement but in measured and reasonable terms. These were the manifestos concerning the advancement of learning issued by Francis Bacon. These manifestos were dedicated to James I, the same monarch as he to whom the Rosicrucian movement in Germany so vainly pinned its hopes.

The Advancement of Learning, published in 1605, is a sober survey of the present state of knowledge, drawing attention to those ares of learning which are deficient, where more might be known if men would give their minds to research and experiment, particularly in natural philosophy which Bacon finds deplorably deficient. Such improved knowledge of nature could and should be used for the relief of man's estate, the betterment of his position in this world. Bacon demands that there should be a fraternity or brotherhood in learning, through which learned men might exchange knowledge and help one another. The universities do not at present promote such exchange, for there is not sufficient mutual intelligence between the universities of Europe. The brotherhood of learning should transcend national boundaries.

Surely as nature createth brotherhood in families, and arts mechanical contract brotherhoods in communities, and the anointment of God superinduceth a brotherhood in kings and bishops, so in learning there cannot but be a fraternity in learning and illumination, relating to that paternity which is attributed to God, who is called the father of illuminations or lights.

In reading this passage, after our explorations in this book, one is struck by the fact that Bacon here thinks of learning as 'illumination', light descending from the Father of Lights, and that the brotherhood in learning which he desires would be a 'fraternity in learning and illumination'. These expressions should not be passed over as pious rhetoric; they are significant in the context of the times.

Nine years later, in Germany, the Rosicrucian Fama was to present the Brothers R.C. as a fraternity of illuminati, as a band of learned men joined together in brotherly love; it was to urge that learned magicians and Cabalists should communicate their knowlege to one another; and it was to proclaim that the time was at hand of a great advance in knowledge of nature. This parallel may suggest that comparison of the Baconian movement with the Rosicrucian movement might be revealing for both, and particularly, perhaps, for Bacon.

Recent scholarship has made it abundantly clear that the old view of Bacon as a modern scientific observer and experimentalist emerging out of a superstitious past is no longer valid. In his book on Bacon, Paolo Rossi has shown that it was out of the Hermetic tradition that Bacon emerged, out of the Magia and Cabala of the Renaissance as it had reached him via the natural magicians. Bacon's view of the future of science was not that of progress in a straight line. His 'great instauration' of science was directed towards a return to the state of Adam before the Fall, a state of pure and sinless contact with nature and knowledge of her powers. This was the view of scientific progress, a progress back towards Adam, held by Cornelius Agrippa, the author of the influential Renaissance textbook on occult philosophy. And Bacon's science is still, in part, occult science. Amongst the subjects which he reviews in his survey of learning are natural magic, astrology, of which he seeks a reformed version, alchemy, by which he was profoundly influenced, fascination, the tool of the magician, and other themes which those interested in drawing out the modern side of Bacon have set aside as unimportant.

The German Rosicrucian writers hold similar views about the return to the wisdom of Adam and the millennial character of the advance in knowledge which they prophesy. After study of their writings in comparison with those of Bacon, one has the strong impression—when the fantastic Rosencreutz myth is set aside as a ludibrium [mockery; laughingstock]—that both these movements are concerned with magico-scientific advance, with illumination in the sense of enlightenment.

Nevertheless, though one can see both these movements as belonging naturally to the same times, both ultimately products of the Renaissance Hermetic-Cabalist tradition, both leading out of Renaissance into seventeeth-century advance, there are profound differences between them. Bacon is anxious to emphasize his disapproval of the pride and presumption of the Renaissance magus. He warns particularly against Paracelsus, who, as we have seen, was a prophet for the German Rosicrucian movement. Bacon had studied the system of Paracelsus 'reduced into a harmony by Severinus the Dane', and had decided that 'the ancient opinion that man was microcosmus, and abstract of model of the world hath been fantastically strained by Paracelsus and the alchemists'. This attacks the macrocosm-microcosm philosophy, so basic for Fludd and the Rosicrucian theories of world harmony.

Another great difference in outlook between Baconian and Rosicrucian schools of thought is Bacon's deprecation of secrecy in scientific matters, his attack on the long tradition of the alchemists of concealing their processes in incomprehensible symbols. Though the Rosicrucian manifestos advise, as does Bacon, an exchange of knowledge between learned men, they are themselves couched in mystifications, such as the story of the cave in which Rosencreutz's body was found, and which was full of geometrical symbols. That symbolism may conceal abstruse mathematical studies by members of a group, leading in advanced directions, but, if so, such studies are not announced but concealed in language which whets the appetite to know more of the mathematical or scientific secrets hidden in the Rosicrucian cave. This atmosphere is the opposite of that in which the Baconian manifestos move, and it is precisely his abandonment of magico-mystical mystification technique which makes Bacon's writings sound modern.

The Advancement of Learning was published in 1605. The Novum Organum*, which Bacon wrote in Latin to facilitate its diffusion in Europe and which he regarded as the most important statement of his philosophy and programme, was published in 1620. The De augmentis, the Latin translation and revision of the Advancement, was published in 1623. Thus the Baconian philosophy had begun to appear several years before the first Rosicrucian manifesto; its major statement was published in the year of destiny, the year of the brief reign in Bohemia of the Winter King and Queen; the Latin translation of the Advancement appeared at the time of the Rosicrucian scare in Paris. It is important to realize that the Rosicrucian movement is contemporary with the Baconian philosophy, that the strange Rosicrucian excitements were going on in Europe during the years in which the works of Bacon were appearing in England.

* Novum Organum. Aphorisms concerning The Interpretation of Nature and the Kingdom of Man. III. Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. LV. There is one principal and as it were radical distinction between different minds, in respect of philosophy and the sciences; which is this: that some minds are stronger and apter to mark the differences of things, others to mark their resemblances. The steady and acute mind can fix its contemplations and dwell and fasten on the subtlest distinctions: the lofty and discursive mind recognises and puts together the finest and most general resemblances. Both kinds however easily err in excess, by catching the one at gradations the other at shadows.

There are, I believe, undoubtedly connections between the two movements, though these are difficult to trace and to analyse. On the one hand, the close connections between England and the Palatinate would have facilitated a Baconian influence on the German Rosicrucian movement. On the other hand the differences between Rosicrucianism and Baconianism have to be carefully considered.

The reign of a daughter of the King of Great Britain in the Palatinate made communications easy between England and that part of Germany and led to an influx of English influences, amongst which should be included an influence from Bacon's Advancement. We may speculate on how the influence may have been imported. Both Frederick and Elizabeth were readers and interested in intellectual movements. That they had books from England with them is proved by the fact that they took a copy of Raleigh's History of the World with them to Prague, where it fell into the hands of the conquerors, but eventually found its way back to London and the British Museum, where it now reposes. They are therefore likely to have had works by Bacon with them at Heidelberg. We know that in later life Elizabeth was interested in the works of Bacon; in her early life before her marriage she would have known Bacon in England; he composed one of the entertainments for her wedding. Perhaps another transmitter of Baconian influence might have been Michael Maier who was in close contact with England during the reign of Frederick and Elizabeth in the Palatinate. Maier transmitted works by early English alchemical writers to the German alchemical movement, and he may well have also carried books by Bacon to Germany. Maier was deeply interested in philosophical interpretation of mythology and that side of Bacon's thought, expressed in his philosophical interpretation of myth in The Wisdom of the Ancients (1609), may well have had a fascination for Maier and his school. That his alchemical philosophy was hidden in the ancient myths was a basic tenet for Maier, and Bacon, too, had sought for his own natural philosophy in the mythology. However we need not particularize too much as to what the points of contact may have been. It will suffice to say that the Anglophil movement in the Palatinate and surrounding Protestant states at the time when so much was hoped for from James I would have included an interest in the great philosopher of the Jacobean age, Francis Bacon.

There are, however, as already mentioned, obviously basic differences between Baconianism and German Rosicrucianism. The latter is more profoundly Hermetic, more deeply magical than Bacon's more sober-seeming outlook. We have detected in the German movement a strong undercurrent of influences from Giordano Bruno and, above all, from John Dee. We have seen that Dee's Monas hieroglyphica, the symbol in which he summed up his philosophy, recurs in the Rosicrucian literature. Bacon nowhere mentions Dee, and nowhere cites his famous Monas hieroglyphica.

It has been a well-known objection to Bacon's claim to be an important figure in the history of science that he did not place sufficient emphasis on the all-important mathematical sciences in his programme for the advancement of learning, and that he showed his ignorance of these sciences by his rejection of the Copernican theory and of William Gilbert's theory of the magnet. In an article published in 1968 I argued that Bacon's avoidance of such topics might have been due to a desire to keep his programme as free as possible from implications of magic. Dee had been heavily suspected as a magician and 'conjuror'; Giordano Bruno, the Hermetic Magus, had associated the Copernican theory, in a work published in England, with a forthcoming return of 'Egyptian' or magical religion; William Gilbert was obviously influenced by Bruno in his work on the magnet. I suggested that Bacon's avoidance of mathematics and the Copernican theory might have been because he regarded mathematics as too closely assocated with Dee and his 'conjuring', and Copernicus as too closely associated with Bruno and his extreme 'Egyptian' and magical religion. This hypothesis is now worth recalling because it suggests a possible reason for a major difference between German Rosicrucianism and Baconianism. In the former Dee and his mathematics are not feared, but Bacon avoids them; in the former Bruno is an influence but is rejected by Bacon. In both cases Bacon may have been evading what seemed to him dangerous subjects in order to protect his programme from witch-hunters, from the cry of 'sorcery' which, as Naudé said, could pursue a mathematician in the early seventeenth century.

In thinking about Bacon's attitude to science, and his way of advocating scientific advancement, we ought always to remember the character and outlook of the monarch whom Bacon had to try to propitiate and to interest in his programme for the advance of learning. In this he was not successful; as D. H. Wilson has pointed out James "did not understand or appreciate Bacon's great plan", nor did he respond with any offer to help Bacon's projects for scientific institutions. When he was sent the Novum Organum in 1620 he was heard to remark that this work was like the peace of God which passeth all understanding.

It has never, I think, been suggested that James's doubtful attitude towards Baconian science might be connected with his very deep interest in, and dread of, magic and witchcraft. These subjects had a fascination for him which was tied up with neuroses about some experiences in his early life. In his Demonology (1597) James advocated the death penalty for all witches, though he urges care in the examination of cases. The subject was for him a most serious one, a branch of theology. Obviously James was not the right person to examine the—always rather difficult—problem of when Renaissance Magia and Cabala were valuable movements, leading to science, and when they verged on sorcery, the problem of defining the difference between good magic and bad magic. James was not interested in science and would react with fear from any sort of magic.

It is not surprising that when old John Dee appealed to James for help in clearing his reputation from charges of conjuring devils, James would have nothing to do with him. Dee's fruitless appeal to James was made in June 1604. The old man to whose learning the Elizabethan age was so infinitely indebted was disgraced in the reign of James and died in great povery in 1608. Bacon must have taken good note of James's attitude to Dee, and he must also have noted that survivors from the Elizabethan age of mathematics and magic, of navigational boldness and anti-Spanish exploits, were not sure of encouragement under James, as they had been under Elizabeth. Northumberland and Raleigh pursued their studies in prison in the Tower under James, working at mathematics and alchemy with their learned associate, Thomas Hariot.

Obviously, Bacon would have been careful to avoid, in works intended to interest James, anything savouring of Dee and his suspicous mathematics. Even so, Bacon did not succeed in allaying James's suspicions of scientific advancement, however carefully presented.

And even more obviously, it was not the way to influence James in favour of his son-in-law's plans and projects in the Palatinate and Bohemia to associate him with a movement which wrapped its designs in enchanted vaults and invisible R.C. Brothers, who could easily be turned into sorcerers by witch-hunters. Among the many mistakes made by the friends of the unfortunate Elector Palatine, the Rosicrucian manifestos may have been one of the worst. If any rumour of them came to James's ears, and any rumour of their being associated with Frederick, this would certainly have done more than anything else to turn him against Frederick, and to destroy any hope that he would countenance his projects.

Thus Francis Bacon as he propagated advancement of learning, and particularly of scientific learning, during the reign of James I was moving amongst pitfalls. The old Elizabethan scientific tradition was not in favour, and some of its major surviving representatives were shunned or in prison. The late Queen Elizabeth had asked John Dee to explain his Monas hieroglyphica to her; King James would have nothing to do with its author. Bacon, when he published The Advancement of Learning in 1605, would have been aware that James had repulsed Dee in the preceding year. And moreover the exported Elizabethan traditions, which had gone over to the Palatinate with James's daughter and her husband, were not in favour either. Francis Bacon was one of those who regretted James's foreign policy and urged support of the Elector Palatine. Here, too, the writer of English manifestos for the advancement of learning would have to walk warily, lest he might seem too much implicated in movements in the Palatinate.

Bacon had to steer a cautious course through many difficulties and dangers as he pleaded for advancement of scientific learning in those years of the early seventeenth century when the witchcraft hysteria was mounting throughout Europe.

We too have been moving cautiously through this chapter, struck by the idea that there might be a certain parallelism between the Rosicrucian and the Baconian movements, that these might be, so to speak, differently developing halves of the same problem, that it might be illuminating for both to study them together. Up to now we have had no evidence to give the reader as to what Bacon himself may have thought about the Rosicrucian manifestos. But now comes evidence of a most striking kind, from the New Atlantis.

Bacon died in 1626. In 1627 there was published from his papers an unfinished and undated work in which he set forth his Utopia, his dream of an ideal religious and scientific society. It takes the form of an allegory, about the discovery by storm-tossed mariners of a new land, the New Atlantis. The inhabitants of the New Atlantis had built there the perfect society, though remaining entirely unknown to the rest of the world. They were Christians; Christianity had been brought to them in early times, an evangelical Christianity which emphasized brotherly love. They were also in an advanced state of scientific knowledge. In their great college, called Salomon's House, an order of priest-scientists pursued researches in all the arts and sciences, the results of which they knew how to apply for the benefit of men. This fiction sums up the work and aims of Bacon's whole life, the advancement of learning to be applied for the use and benefit of mankind.

This fiction, parable, or ludibrium, reflects at several points themes from the Rosicrucian manifestos in such a way as to make it certain that Bacon knew the Rosencreutz story.

Before the travellers landed they were handed a scroll of instructions by an official from New Atlantis. "This scroll was signed with a stamp of cherubin's wings, not spread, but hanging downwards, and by them a cross". So was the Rosicrucian Fama sealed at the end with the motto Under the shadow of Jehova's wings, and the wings, as we have seen, often appear as characteristic emblems in other Rosicrucian literature.

On the following day the travellers were conducted with great kindness to the Strangers' House and here their sick were cared for. The travellers offered payment for these services but this was refused. The Fama, it will be remembered, lays it down as a rule for the R.C. Brothers that they are to heal the sick gratis.

A few days later, another official of New Atlantis came to visit the strangers in the Strangers' House. He wore a white turban "with a small red cross on the top", further proof that Bacon's shipwrecked travellers had come to the land of the R.C. Brothers.

On a following day a governor of the country called on them and kindly explained to them all that they asked to know about the history and customs of the country, how Christianity was brought to it, and about the "house or college" of Salomon's House with its staff of wise men. The travellers were permitted to ask questions about any matter which might still puzzle them. Whereupon they said that what surprised them most was that the inhabitants of New Atlantis knew all the languages of Europe, and seemed also to know all about the affairs of the outside world and the state of knowledge in it, yet they themselves were quite unknown and unheard of outside their own coutnry:

that they should have knowledge of the languages, books, affairs, of those that lie such a distance from them, it was a thing we could not tell what to make of; for that it seemed to us a condition and propriety of divine powers and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet to have others open, and as in a light to them.
   At this speech the governor gave a gracious smile and said that we did well to ask pardon for this question we now asked, for that it imported, as if we thought this land a land of magicians, that sent forth spirits of the air into all parts, to bring them news and intelligence of other countries. It was answered by us all, in all possible humbleness, but yet with a countenance taking knowledge, that we knew that he spake it but merrily. That we were apt enough to think there was somewhat supernatural in this island, but yet rather as angelical than magical.

Further on, it is explained how it was that the wise men of New Atlantis knew all that went on in the outside world though themselves remaining invisible to it. It was because travellers were sent out from New Atlantis to collect information; they dressed in the dress of the countries they visitied and adopted their habits, and so passed unperceived. In terms of a Rosicrucian manifesto, this means that they followed one of the rules of the R.C. Brothers, to wear no special habit or distinguishing mark but to conform in dress and appearance with the inhabitants of whatever country they were visiting. The ordinance laid down in New Atlantis was that every twelve years "three of the fellows or brethren of Salomon's House" should go forth on a mission to collect knowledge of the state of arts and sciences, to bring back books, instruments and news. This trade, it was explained, was not a commerce in ordinary material commodities, but only a seeking "for God's first creature, which was light; to have light, I say, of the growth of all the parts of the world".

Thus, though the name Rose Cross is nowhere mentioned by Bacon in the New Atlantis, it is abundantly clear that he knew the Rose Cross fiction and was adapting it to his own parable. New Atlantis was governed by R.C. Brothers, invisibly travelling as merchants of light in the outside world from their invisible college or centre, now called Salomon's house, and following the rules of the R.C. Fraternity, to heal the sick free of charge, to wear no special dress. Moreover the "chreubin's wings' seal the scroll brought from New Atlantis, as they seal the Fama. The island had something angelical about it, rather than magical, and its offical wore a red cross in his turban.

Modern students of Bacon are not familiar with Rosicrucian literature, which has not been included in their studies nor recognized as a legitimate branch of history of thought or science. But those who read the New Atlantis before the Fama and the Confessio were forgotten would have immediately recognized the R.C. Brothers and their Invisible College in the denizens of New Atlantis. One such reader recorded his recognition. This was John Heydon whose Holy Guide, published in 1662, is largely based on adaption of the New Atlantis. When the man in the white turban with the red cross on it comes to visit the sick, Heydon quotes this as follows: "I am by Office Governour of this House of Strangers, and by vocation I am a Christian priest, and of the Order of the Rosie Cross". When Bacon speaks of one of the wise men of the House of Salomon, Heydon quotes this as, "one of the wise Men of the Society of the Rosicrucians". Heydon speaks explicitly of the House of Salomon in New Atlantis as the same as the "Temple of the Rosie Cross". There are many other points at which Heydon associates New Atlantis with the Fama; in fact he is reading Bacon's work as practically the same as the Rosicrucian manifesto.

Heydon's significant Rosicrucian interpolations into New Atlantis should be studied in more detail than is possible here, but one other of his points must be mentioned. When Bacon says that they have some of the lost works of Solomon in New Atlantis, Heydon expands this into a statement that they have "the book M", which was written by Solomon, in New Atlantis. The book M was one of the sacred objects found in the tomb of Christian Rosencreutz, according to the Fama.

The fact that Bacon's New Atlantis shows knowledge of the Fama, and that Heydon confirms the parallel, is most certainly not a proof that Bacon belonged to some Rosicrucian or masonic secret society. The historical evidence is spoiled and distorted if it is used to support unverifiable claims of this kind. It is perhaps justifiable reaction against such fanciful theories which has prevented serious historians from taking proper note of the fact that there are undeniably influences from the Fama in the New Atlantis.

This fact will have to be studied very seriously in the future by historians of thought, and studied in connection with the German Rosicrucian movement. The religion of New Atlantis has much in common with that of the Rosicrucian manifestos. It is intensely Christian in spirit, though not doctrinal, interpreting the Christian spirit in terms of practical benevolence, like the R.C. Brothers. It is profoundly influenced by Hebraic-Christian mysticism, as in Christian Cabala. The inhabitants of New Atlantis respect the Jews; they call their college after Solomon and seek for God in nature. The Hermetic-Cabalist tradition has borne fruit in their great college devoted to scientific enquiry. There is an unearthly quality in the world of New Atlantis. Though it may be prophetic of the advent of the scientific revolution, this prophecy is made, not in a modern spirit, but within other terms of reference. The inhabitants of New Atlantis would appear to have achieved the great instauration of learning and have therefore returned to the state of Adam in Paradise before the Fall—the objective of advancement both for Bacon and for the authors of the Rosicrucian manifestos. One of the most revealing moments in New Atlantis is when the travellers wonder whether they are not in the presence of divine powers and beings, whether the invisibility of the Brothers (whom we now know to have been R.C. Brothers) may not have in it something supernatural, yet rather angelical than magical. Though the Governor treats this doubt "merrily" (or as a ludibrium), and gives rational reason for their invisibility, yet the New Atlantis is poised on a knife edge, depending for its favourable reception by the reader on whether that reader accepts the scientific influences in it as almost angelical, or as diabolically inspired. For the latter kind of interpretation we need only remember the "Horrible Pacts" published a few years before in Paris.

....end of chapter


...magic is science "in posse"

Because current science has no plausible explanation for claims of telepathic phenomena, "telepathy" resides in the realm of metaphysics, and cannot itself technically be called a theory of telepathy since the varied explanations have various unbridgeable gaps to current science. The term "extrasensory communication" has had some use for describing telepathy, as using senses other than the 5 basic human senses, though because of the apparent logical paradox that a claimed "sense" may have no organ for its sensing, the term is often dismissed as misnomer. —Telepathy, Wikipedia

The compiler of The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts is not only the most ponderously platitudinous and priggishly prosaic of pretentiously pompous pork butchers of the language, but the most voluminously voluble. I cannot dig over the dreary deserts of his drivel in search of the passage which made me write to him. But it was an oracular obscurity which hinted that he knew of a Hidden Church withdrawn from the world in whose sanctuaries were preserved the true mysteries of initiation. This was one better than the Celtic Church; I immediately asked him for an introduction. He replied kindly and intelligibly, suggesting that I should read The Cloud upon the Sanctuary by Councillor von Eckartshausen. With this book I retired to Wastdale Head for the Easter vacation of 1898. —Chapter 14, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley

If it had not been for Waite, I doubt if, humanly speaking, I should ever have got in touch with the Great Order. —Aleister Crowley

 The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary, Letter I

ISBN: 0-89254-084-2

Karl von Eckartshausen

Absolute truth does not exist for sensuous man; it exists only for interior and spiritual man who possesses a suitable sensorium; or, to speak more correctly, who possesses an interior organ to receive the absolute truth of the transcendental world, a spiritual faculty which cognises spiritual objects as objectively and naturally as the exterior senses perceive external phenomena.

This interior faculty of the man spiritual, this sensorium for the metaphysical world, is unfortunately not yet known to those who cognise only on the external, for it is a mystery of the kingdom of God.

The current incredulity towards everything which is not cognised objectively by our senses the current misconception of truths which are, of all, most important to man.

But how can this be otherwise? In order to see one must have eyes, to hear one must have ears. Every apparent object requires its appropriate senses. So also transcendental objects require their sensorium—and it is this sensorium which is closed in most men. Hence they judge the metaphysical world through the intelligence of their senses, even as the blind imagine colours and the deaf judge tones—without suitable senses.

There is an objective and substantial ground of reason, an objective and substantial motive for the will. These two together form the new principle of life, and morality is there essentially inherent. This pure substance of reason and will, re-uniting in us the Divine and the human, is Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who must enter into direct relationship with us, to be really recognised.

This real knowledge is actual faith, in which everything takes place in spirit and in truth.

We must therefore have a sensorium fitted for such communication, an organised and spiritual sensorium, a spiritual and interior faculty able to receive this light; but it is closed—as I have said—to most men by the incrustation of the senses.

Such an interior organ is the intuitive sense of the transcendental world, and until this intuitive sense is effective in us we can have no certainty of more lofty truths. This organism has been naturally inactive since the Fall, which regulated man to the world of physical sense. The gross matter which envelops the interior sensorium is a film which veils the internal eye, and prevents the exterior eye from seeing into spiritual realms. This same matter muffles our internal hearing, so that we are deaf to the sounds of the metaphysical world; it so paralyses our spiritual speech that we can scarcely stammer words of sacred import, words which we pronounced formerly, and by virtue of which we held authority over the elements and the external world.

The opening of this spiritual sensorium is the mystery of the New Man—the mystery of Regeneration, and of the vital union between God and man—it is the noblest object of religion on earth, of that religion whose sublime goal is none other than to unite men with God in Spirit and in Truth.

The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary, Letter II

IT IS NECESSARY, my dear brothers in the Lord, to give you a clear idea of the interior Church; of that illuminated Community of God which is scattered throughout the world, but which is governed by one truth and united in one spirit.

This enlightened community has existed since the first day of the world's creation, and its duration will be to the last day of time.

This community possesses a School, in which all who thirst for knowledge are instructed by the Spirit of Wisdom itself; and all the mysteries of God and of nature are preserved in this School for the children of light. . . . Perfect knowledge of God, of nature, and of humanity are the objects of instruction in this school. It is from her that all truths penetrate into the world, she is the School of Prophets, and of all who search for wisdom, and it is in this community alone that truth and the explanation of all mystery is to be found. It is the most hidden of communities yet possesses members from many circles; of such is this School. From all time there has been an exterior school based on the interior one, of which it is but the outer expression. From all time, therefore, there has been a hidden assembly, a society of the Elect, of those who sought for and had capacity for light, and this interior society was called the interior Sanctuary or Church. All that the external Church possesses in symbol, ceremony or rite is the letter expressive outwardly of the spirit of truth residing in the interior Sanctuary. (continue...)

Liber XXII An Account of A.·. A.·.

IT is necessary, my dear brothers, to give you a clear idea of the interior Order; of that illuminated community which is scattered throughout the world, but which is governed by one truth and united in one spirit.

This community possesses a School, in which all who thirst for knowledge are instructed by the Spirit of Wisdom itself; and all the mysteries of nature are preserved in this school for the children of light. Perfect knowledge of nature and of humanity is taught in this school. It is from her that all truths penetrate into the world; she is the school of all who search for wisdom, and it is in this community alone that truth and the explantation of all mystery are to be found. It is the most hidden of communities, yet it contains members from many circles; nor is there any Centre of Thought whose activity is not due to the presence of one of ourselves. From all time there has been an exterior school based on the interior one, of which it is but the outer expression. From all time, therefore, there has been a hidden assembly, a society of the Elect, of those who sought for and had capacity for light, and this interior society was the Axle of the R.O.T.A. All that any external order possesses in symbol, ceremony, or rite is the letter expressive outwardly of that spirit of truth which dwelleth in the interior Sanctuary. Nor is the contradiction of the exterior any bar to the harmony of the interior. (continue...)

Links: Mystica | Skeptics Dictionary | Catholic Encyclopedia | Crystal Links

 William Burroughs

WSB Much more then that. "Nothing is true but everything is permitted", were his last words. Now this of course means that at a certain point everything is perceived as illusion and therefore everything is permitted. Also, the whole Assassination method was unique. You see he'd have someone planted; like there was a general about to organise a campaign against Hassan i Sabbah. An old gardener who worked in the garden for 10 years killed him with a scythe. One of Hassan i Sabbah's men. How he got the word to him nobody knows, but he did. Some sort of telepathy perhaps. Well I found the whole concept of Assassination on that basis very much er, very congenial. In other words to get out of this mess you've got to kill. Remove obstacles. (continue...)

Tentative and Incomplete Bulletin: "Emphatically we do not oppose telepathic research. In fact, telepathy properly used and understood could be the ultimate defense against any form of organized coercion or tyranny on the part of pressure groups or individual control addicts. We oppose, as we oppose atomic war, the use of such knowledge to control, coerce, debase, exploit or annihilate the individuality of another living creature. Telepathy is not, by its nature, a one-way process. To attempt to set up a one-way telepathic broadcast must be regarded as an unqualified evil...." (continue...)

MALANGA: Is ESP something that has helped you in your writing?

BURROUGHS: Yes, I think all writers are actually dealing in this area. If you're not to some extent telepathic, then you can't be a writer, at least not a novelist where you have to be able to get into someone else's mind and see experience and what that person feels. I think that telepathy, far from being a special ability confined to a few psychics is quite widespread and used every day in all walks of life. Watch two horse traders. You can see the figures taking shape . . . "Won't go above . . . won't go below." Card players pride themselves on the ability to block telepathy, the "poker face." Anybody who is good at anything uses ESP. (continue...)

The totalitarian party of the left is the Senders, whose members attempt to control everyone through mental telepathy, the greatest evil of all according to Burroughs. Again, Sending must lead to only one man in control of a brainwashed subhuman population. The ultimate Sender or villain of the myth is Salvador Hassan O'Leary, who plays all the villainous roles in the novel under various aliases. Senders are associated with addiction, the totalitarian Mayan civilization, the downward metamorphosis of man to insect, and the use of science for evil purposes--some of Burroughs's major themes. In fact, the Senders are identified as the ultimate enemy, and Sending seems to underlie all the evils of control. Sending is called an addiction (NL, P. 168), a cancer (NL, P. 155), and is finally identified as the Human Virus (NL, p. 168). (continue...)

(Caveat: If you dislike science, ethics, intellectual vomit and introductions of ideas that aren't wrapped up into nice logical conclusions, skip this entry.) (continue...)