On the Nature of the Aether

1The Anahat Shabd, the "soundless sound", is the subtlest element of all. It is the etheric essence, finer than earth, air, water, or fire, beyond the speed of Light, all pervasive, the source of cohesion, of electricity, of magnetism and gravitation, of all that exists.

The modern physicist E.C.G. Sudarshan has described the etheric essence of the Anahat Shabd in scientific terms as follows:
"The ether as superfluid is consistent with relativity and quantum theory. It is the support of all light, in it all bodies exist, it is attached to none, it is ever present beyond the limitations of time and space. It has no inertial qualities, no interactions, yet it is the very substance of illumination."
— E.C.G. Sudarshan (pre-print, University of Texas, 1974)

Such is the Eastern view of the aether, in the west it has been given the following definition:

  1. An imaginary substance regarded by ancients as filling all space and making up the stars, etc.
  2. In physics, as a hypothetical, invisible substance, postulated as pervading space and serving as the medium for the transmission of light and other energies.

This Aether has been theorized and expounded upon by metaphysists for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years (I have so far been unable to find the true source of the idea). Back in the 1600 there were several Aethers, but around 1638, Rene' Descartes postulated a single Aether that was "all-pervasive".

As recently as a hundred years ago this idea was quite popular, though now it is dismissed by science, or at least most of science. There are now several physicists who are beginning to develop theories about the universe that look for all the world like theories of the Aether, though, they are using different names for the very ideas that the ancient metaphysists proposed.

Consider these two exerts from papers written by modern physicists. They are going to describe two "fields" that exist in their theories, and are in all likelihood what the ancients called; the Aether.

2Space is filled with an energy field, the energy concentration of which is extremely large (for the layman, the energy field in this lecture room could correspond to the energy of several bombs.)

This energy field has little to do with light energy or solar energy, and instead is called the graviton field, tachyon field or neutrino field.

There are two essential models of imagination for this field and the tachyon. We are either dealing with extremely short waves which possess very high energy electromagnetic radiation, or we are dealing with very small energy units which display a pulsating behavior which, in turn, determines their energy.

The majority of them (tachyons) may remain relatively stationary (these are called bradyons) and because of their oscillatory behavior (Prof. Seike calls it "trembling motion" [Zitterbewegung]), they have a great amount of energy.

This means that all matter is immersed in an extremely dense energy field which we cannot perceive.

Vangard Note: Think of the Bradyon field in its continuous jiggle as having a composition similar to syrup. Rapidly moving Tachyons can be thought of as water or gas.

Comparison of the flow speed of the two fields shows how the Bradyon field could "sustain" the holographic (3D) image of the universe in a matrix of living energy.

This opens up very interesting concepts relating to Sheldrake's Morphogenetic Fields and Burrs' Electrodynamic Fields of Life.

Quantum Magick: Reality as Described by Quantum Mechanics

In quantum mechanics, reality is described by waves defining the probabilities of different outcomes from the same interactions. These waves manifest as what we have been taught to call matter, energy, particles, and/or waves when observed.

These probability waves overlap and continue forever. The interactions between different entities constitute a single structure of linked wave patterns, so that the entire universe can be thought of as an unbroken whole. The waves form a matrix, with all parts of the system affecting all other parts. Non-local relationships exist between parts of the system that are distant from each other. It is impossible to distinguish two particles of the same type in a region of space in which they may be found simultaneously. Particles loose their individual identity in such regions. Thus, the physical universe is fundamentally unified.

Scientific Theory

Mr. Walker's ideas and equations would only be hypotheses if it weren't for the fact that they have been tested experimentally and found to predict the results of experiments with reasonable accuracy4. The evidence meets the usual rules of proof for scientific theory, and this makes Walker's equations legitimate scientific theory.

The non-local underlying wave patterns beneath manifestations of matter and energy that we hold in common with our surroundings allow us to influence reality and to obtain information about it using the power of the mind. This underlying interconnecting pattern is the very stuff of consciousness and manifests, not only as matter & energy, but also as psychokinesis, precognition and other phenomenon that are only now beginning to be recognized and embraced by some theories of modern physics.

Whatever the subtle level of reality underlying matter and energy, we are that (including our consciousness). If hidden variables exist, we are the hidden variables. It has been theorized that consciousness is an inseparable aspect of this underlying reality. When our awareness connects with the deepest layer of reality interconnecting everything, we may experience the level of consciousness beyond time and form reported by many mystics. It is this non local structure that we share with nature that makes it possible to "attune to nature," to psychically participate in nature, and to live in accordance with it.

What we are usually aware of (normal waking consciousness) is a relatively superficial movement in the order of things. Behind the things we are aware of in waking consciousness are a vast array of less strongly linked phenomena. This latter realm is commonly called the unconscious (and parts of it the subconscious). The unconscious is not very accurate, since it forms a kind of ground of consciousness. Our awareness can link with this ground of consciousness to gain information and to influence events.

As may be seen from the two quotations above modern science is developing theories that are harmonious with the Thelemic concept of the Universe. True they are using different names for the particles and fields, but they are none the less the same.

It should be noticed in the above that one writer talks about a particle field, while the other writes about probability waves. These should not be confused — it is entirely likely that these are one in the same — much like the photon, which is alternately thought of as a particle and a wave — yet it is still our mundane light.

This Tachyon field is in all likelihood a field of Hadits — after all Hadit is omnipresent. At any rate this does seem to fit into the current Thelemic and Enochian theories of that which underlies reality, and even in the worst case science is describing a field of Ra-Hoor-Khuits. This goes a long way to explaining, in modern scientific terms, why and how Magick works.

It is Descartes' All-pervasive Aether or field of infinitely small particles that is becoming known as the Tachyon or neutrino field by modern science.

In the Enochian theories, the universe is filled with a virtually infinite number of 'infinitely small' points of consciousness, these are known as the 'Monad'. These Monads are the very stuff of which all things are made, and are in all likelihood the 'fundamental particle' of modern science. These monads then would also be the 'unit' particles which make up what the ancients called the aether, since at this level they would be indistinguishable from energy. They would also form a great 'matrix' which would fill the material universe.

Since these particles are not only infinitely small, but are infinitely close together, any action on one given particle would have an effect on all others. As was noted above; these particles are 'points' of consciousness. This brings to mind statements made by Hermes; The all is mind (or something to that effect). If these infinitely small particles are indeed consciousness, then it would follow that the All or the Universe is mind. The universe would indeed be a living 'thinking' creature in itself — this idea is consistent with the theories of Enochian Physics.

But I think I digress. As is pointed out above, modern physics is beginning to formulate theories that there is an 'all-pervasive' field or structure that includes and penetrates all things. This idea is harmonious with the ancient idea of the aether. Science postulates that this 'field' underlies all manifestation, the two exerts above seem to agree on this point, as do the ideas of the aether. It seem to follow that the 'waves' that Mr. Cornett speaks of are what 'cause' what we call "physical manifestation", and that these waves are caused by mind (did the universe literally 'think' itself into existence?). These waves could also be caused by aggregates of monads acting as a unit (the manifestation of an intelligent creature).

The possibilities are endless, and all equally valid. So what does all this have to do with the price of tea in China? Just this:

  1. It goes a long way in proving the Thelemic Cosmology, though we Thelemites would use different nomenclature. The Ideas of Nuit (infinite space) and Hadit (the infinitely small particle which fills and manifests Nuit) are beginning to be accepted by modern physics. The conjunction of these infinites, Ra-Hoor-Khuit, any and all events occurring within Nuit and Hadit, is therefore a 'given'.
  2. It shows the mechanics of Magick. Since it can be observed that one consciousness affects another, it follows that one may affect the entire universe by simply 'fixing' an idea in their consciousness. This may seem a bit over-simplified, it is! The process is not an easy one, however, the rituals and processes that have been given us by the ancients do begin to make some sense in the light of modern physics. It is these ancient mechanisms that allow us to put our mundane minds into the proper 'frame' and therefore 'excite' our consciousness, thus allowing us to have a 'physical' effect on or environment.


  1. S.S. Guruka Singh Khalsa, Research Associate Department of High Energy Physics Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio December 13, 1987
  2. The Symposium on Energy Technology in Hannover November 27 and 28, 1980 Topic of the Symposium (Tachyon Field) Dr. Hans A. Nieper
  3. Amaranth Vol. E.1.1: Quantum Magic an Electronic Zine by Larry Cornett 8/22/88
  4. Evan Harris Walker: Scientist and author. Worked for US Army Ballistic Research Labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. He is the author on several papers and book concerning psychic and other paranormal phenomenon.
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