Right after my post yesterday, I was asked what the ether was, and if I could explain it more. When asked that question I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever explained it on here, even though I’ve used the term many times. To me, the ether is glue that bonds, the energy that powers, and the gateway to all that we know.
First, in my system of belief and interpretation, the ether is what holds the soul. Since there is no way to prove the soul exists, it really just comes down to processing the information that is available to you and choosing from there. The information could be from belief in ghosts, earlier religious teachings, or even just a hunch you have.
I am a believer in the soul with a true will, so that makes me one of the most difficult kinds of Atmanists out there. (Note: I hate it when people make up words. Atman(ist) is from the Liber Kaos p. 177) Having this belief does make some forms of what I do more difficult, but it’s who I am. As a part of this belief I find it necessary that the soul be something. If a soul can haunt someone, reincarnate, ‘cross over’, or whatever different ideas that people believe in, there must be some form of cohesive energy that binds its composition. What is this energy called? Who knows. The force? The holy spirit? Elmer’s glue? I can’t say what it is because I have no idea of how such a thing would work. So, I call it ether.
I don’t believe that it’s what makes up a soul; that it something entirely different. I just believe that the ether is a force like any other that can interact with things. For example: If you tried to trap a soul/demon/ghost in a shoebox (I’ve seen sillier) I don’t think you’d really want to reach out with the same energy that something was made of. What would happen? Would it get stronger? Be destroyed? Add or remove some unplanned electricity into one of our happy little electronic devices and see what happens. Now, grab it with a hand, a shoe, or let your cat smack it around for a while and it should survive the situation, even if it does have a couple of scratches. Ether is what lets us interact with things on the ‘other side’, but like electricity, it can also be used to power what we do.
Some groups pray to a single god-form, others pray to a few or all of a pantheon of deities, and all of these are possible with Chaos (Kaos, whatever). Some of us though can be deity-transient (using whichever god-form we find useful at the moment), create our own god-forms (Larry, god of the lawnmower), or be completely atheistic. As an atheistic Chaote, my practice is designed to work with the forces that make things happen. This, in my opinion, is controlled by the ether, the power source of magic. Ether is typically manipulated with the subconscious implanting of intent, but there are rare times when it can be worked with directly. They seem to happen more with time and practice, but it’s not always a sure thing when dealing with sorcery, shamanism, or ritualistic magic. The times where it happens more often than not is during astral magic.
When I first started to do astral magic it was really an interesting experience. It was a great compliment to the meditation I was already so fond of, so it came quite naturally to me. The problem was that sometimes I would have uninvited guests in my astral travels. Not another person travelling, or a Jehovah’s Witness banging on my astral door, but entities that can come in and out of things. I became curious as to where they came from, so I started to try to figure it out. Eventually I found the ether. The source of it all.
It’s very hard to describe. It’s like the energy and force that runs through all things wrapped up in a ubiquitous ball of powerful nothingness. I know. It makes no sense to me either. If reality is an illusion, ether keeps the illusion intact. If magic intervenes, ether is what guided it. The astral is nothing more than a subset of the ether. The ether itself breathes. It has a rhythm. It ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea. It contains both the sacred and profane who try to move to what lies beyond it.
When I first started understanding it felt enlightening and liberating, but now I realize that it has just caused more questions, more to learn, and the realization that I know less than I did before when compared to the overall magnitude of things. I can’t tell you how to get there, how to feel it, or how to experience it. It’s not because I’m a greedy ass, it’s just because my work slowly gave me information that I could use. Then connections were drawn, new hypotheses made and tested, etc. Combine that with a couple of fortuitous finds, and I have my current understanding of things.
That understanding has changed and it will again. It’s the nature of Chaos. Half of the stuff on this blog (especially the older stuff) is total crap and out of date. The experiences I had and the conclusions I drew were all accurate in my mind at the time of writing, but having grown and expanded my knowledge, I can see that a lot of it is very simple, rookie thinking about the entire situation. That’s part of learning, so I leave the information alone to chronicle the journey. The Servitors page (the most popular on the blog) may be an interesting read, but there is some information that is simply wrong (kind of). Which parts? I won’t tell unless I update it. It’s quite the paradigm shit to my existing one. If I do another, I will present it as an alternative and leave the original intact, as people seem to enjoy the simplicity that it offers.
So there is the ether completely unexplained in just over 1,000 words. There is no big takeaway from this one, only that it’s the name I use for a number of forces and concepts that all seem interrelated to me. As always, don’t believe it until you’ve tried it.