Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What happens when figments of my imagination get bored

The following is a collection of notes written about various subjects by Zuru, current maintainer and researcher of the library in “Killovania”.

The statements herein are based on my own opinion and research primarily conducted with the books within this library which maybe unreliable as they are actually manifestations of knowledge accumulated in the mind of the entity known as “Killo Zapit” and as such may be unreliable, however a good portion is actually partial text of other work and is, if unreliable, at least interesting and worthy of study (I would not advice browsing if you are easily offended or disturbed however).

About Other Worlds:

Often other worlds can be strange places, filled with exotic creatures or strange objects, but also just as often filled with things that are familiar, or even outright identical. Traveling between worlds or just observing them though magical means can be quite confusing for people who don't exactly understand what other worlds actually are and why they behave like they do.

As a mage, I am used to using the term “world” informally, as magic users often do, to refer to a number of things. As magic is often used to transcend dimensional barriers as often as to cross physical space, often without being able to tell the difference, the use of the word “world” to refer only to a planet in space as people from universes without magic or equivalent technology often do strikes me as slightly odd, but on the other hand I realized the precise meaning of the terms are often unclear.

Magic users and mystics can refer to other planets in space, other universes, nearby planes, alternate realities, and even states of being as different “worlds”. Thus the term “world” can be thought of as any sort of distinct space, physical, mental or even, rarely, in time, for which a stark boundary exists. For example the “spirit world”, while often occupying the same physical space as another world, is none the less distinct from it because of the class of beings that inhabit it, or the rules that govern it, and there is definitely a sort of barrier between them.

Thus a world is not the same as a “planet”. A “planet” refers only to a physical mass of matter. Though all planets are also worlds, not all worlds are planets. Also there can be more then one world on a given planet. Some people think of a planet requiring a particular shape and size to really count. Usually they need to be round balls, or in some universes, flat circles or squares. Also small rocks, and even some large ones, don't seem to count. There are also “stars” which, at least in most universes, are basically balls of fire and fuel, but they mostly don't count as real matter in magical terms. Of course in terms of science, they actually do count as matter, but are sill not counted as planets. In any case, in some magical systems, planets are thought of as a warped vision of an infinite plane, or a goodly realm, which is really flat but only appears as a circle. Similarity “stars” are similar or actual holes in a massive sphere surrounding the universe, or sometimes even spirits of the dead. It is sometimes hard to tell, without visiting or observing them close up, if this is literally true in exotic magical universes or if this is just a folk explanation.

The term “universe” is much more technical, but shares much of the same ideas as a “world”. The difference is scope and particulars. A “universe” can basically be described as a world that is physically closed, or in other words, there is no way to plot a path from it to another universe. A “plane” is similar accept that planes can “touch” in certain places and in certain conditions. When planes touch at a point, both planes share that point and things can pass between them. Alternate timelines can act this way, as well as planes that serve as an afterlife. Magically, universes are often travailed simply by a process of “connection” where if some aspect of a universe is shared with another, they are in theory connected, but this doesn't always works the way people might expect. Often only projection is possible this way, and limited projection at that. Planer travel works more directly, but if two universes shares a plane, it may be considered one universe by some schools of thought, but it is also thought that if universes to share planes moving though a plane to another universe doesn't count as directly moving from one to the other directly. A system of such indirect links can be known as a “multiverse”. Some schools of thought even discard the concept of planes and just use universes in it's place with a multiverse being like a universe. It usually simply depends on how easy it is to travel between different planes either people consider planes part of their universe or other universes all together.
All of these different types of worlds follow a hierarchy of sorts, from closer to farther, but this isn't a measure of distance so much as a measure of connection. Two planets for example can be quite different, but often follow the same physical and magical laws, unless something about the planet it's self alters those laws. Different planes however, don't often follow all same laws, but usually follow at least some of the same ones, or a general set of them that is slightly different in the details. Other universes don't have to follow the same laws at all, although they can, and there does seem to be a few that repeatedly crop up. For other multiverses, if such a term is applicable, all bets are off. But even then, there is usually one thing that connects everything. Well maybe two or three... it's hard to tell. But what I am talking about is “magic”.

About Reality, Science, Magic:

If there is one thing any true scholar of magic has to deal with eventually, it's the notions of what is real and what is not. Depending on how magic works or is thought to work in any given world, this may not seem like a problem. If all magic comes from a god, or from the planet, or such, people have at least one thing they can latch on to as real. But one might ask: Where does a gods power come from? Where did the planet's power come from? Then people might realize, that they don't really know for sure. This is probably the reason powerful magic users tend to go mad. At least on my world, it was a real possibility and even the sane ones could be... eccentric.

That is one reason why we are often taught, along with magic, philosophy and mental discipline. In order to resist the implications of a power that can change reality as if it were words on paper that can be erased or rewritten. The analogy is apt, because in some ways thats exactly what we are. Possibly in all ways. Of course that is not to say that nothing is ever real, just that it isn't that simple. There are many worlds where there is thought to be no magic. This isn't quite as it appears however. Magic can take many forms, even forms that appear at first glance to be pure science.

But first, I should explain exactly what “magic” and “science” are. Most people I think, have a general idea of what magic is. Magic is, basically, attempting to find the underlining force that controls reality to observe and manipulate it. Science is, in some ways, the complete opposite: Attempting to observe and manipulate things in order to find their underlining source. There is actually a fair bit of hostility between people who practice them despite the fact they are ultimately attempting almost the same thing. One wise may once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. The usefulness of one over the other is not really fixed. Sometimes, magic is more powerful, and sometimes science is. It all depends on how responsive this underlining source is to direct contact.

Sometimes, people can change reality just by thinking, and sometimes, they never can, except by using things already in their reality. The problem is, if you can change anything just by thinking, nothing really lasts or has substance. Things become unstable and fade or pop into existence only to vanish. Such is the world of human thoughts and dreams. On the other hand when you never can change anything, things become almost completely unable to be changed at all. No progress or real change is possible except by what already exists. In the worst case, time and matter don't really exist at all. There is just nothingness and no way anything can ever be. Luckily most worlds are between the two extremes. Things can change but not without effort.

In my personal experience with magic and other worlds, I came face to face with the possibility that I, and my world, were nothing more then a story written by a being from a “real world” beyond my grasp. It is a disturbing notion but an inevitable one for someone who bends reality and pushes the boundaries of knowledge. It was a possibility my magic training had long prepared me for though. Some people simply reject such a possibility. But such is just denial. I decided instead to look into it.

First, I have to acknowledge that, indeed, this “real world” in fact exists and indeed, I am part of something written about there. But does that mean that I don't have my own existence too? Killo, the one who's library I use for my research at least thinks a valid argument can be made that I exist at least as an idea, and there is no way to tell if that alone is not enough to exist. An interesting idea, but a little unsatisfactory. As an idea, I too may vanish as one who only exist in a mind or dream. However, Killo also thinks if we world to write down a record of my thoughts, this idea can become something a bit more real. This seems to be the way new worlds are born. The one called Muse seems to think so.

As Killo also points out, even in this “real world” there is a element of “magic” that seems intertwined with it. Besides the ideas which have trickled down into written word and other worlds, some seeming almost as real as this “real world”, such things such as the possible spotting of ghosts, strange spiritual beliefs, and even some elements of it's science such as quantum mechanics, point to a world that is at least somewhat unreal.

This “real world” may be simply the base of a world tree of ideas, branching upward and outward into worlds that while less real, still exist in their own way. However I wonder if Killo is making excuses for his own existence as much as mine. In any case, my thought must come from somewhere even if it is from someone's head (who, by the way, is also typing this document, so any topographical errors can be blamed on him). In any case, I have a headache from thinking about it, so I think I will drop this line of thought for now (though a figment getting a headache is interesting in it's self).

(If you got though all that, try clicking on the pictograph)

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