This intended to be a quick note, so I don’t forget. I am sharing this idea because a goal of this blog was that I would supplement the mechanics I talk about with how I personally use them.
This is a thought that just occurred to me while playing one of my favorite games of all time, Chrono Trigger. I am actually at the part of the game where you end up in the magical kingdom of Zeal. That part of the game and the musical score is actually my favorite. I love the musical score for Schala, Magus (Janus), and Zeal. I love fantasy landscapes, “fantasy” musical scores, and that part of the game hits all of that with a hint of nostalgia for me. This particular thought happened in conjunction with in where I was in the game; the city of Enhasa in the Magical Kingdom of Zeal. While in Enhasa, you can open up books that contain elemental magic in a certain order to unlock a secret door to fight Nu’s. For those confused, check out the below video.
In the back of my mind, how to explain constructs and complex constructs was rattling around. I thought about using something like a skill tree from Skyrim, or any other game, to explain the idea around complex constructs. Isn’t that fantasy, though? Yes, and no. Skyrim’s perk tree system creates a unique constellation for each skill. In reality, this is a form of a directed graph via a type of ranking system. Each node in the directed graph represents an augmented attribute that does something where, collectively, it is a complex construct with many different types of branching behavior. As it is a video game magic and skill system, it is arbitrary, so the idea can be presented abstractly without being anchored to a particular real-world tradition. Cool, right? Not really, because only people who have played the game, or RPG’s with a similar system, would have an intuitive grasps of this concept, but most people have read a book.
A book, itself, can be thought of as a construct where a book that is divided into chapters has branching behaviors. In a conventional book, you have ordered parts I.e enumerated pages partitioned into ordered modules i.e. ordered chapters albeit it is not necessary for the parts of a book to be ordered in any way. If you read a book from start to finish in an ordered sequence of pages and an ordered sequence of chapters, you get something like the ranking system in Skyrim and an intuitive example of a complex construct.
All of these ideas are going on in the background of my mind as I am playing Chrono Trigger. My creativity kicked in due to the funny way my intuition works, and a connection was formed between me journeying into writing science fiction and fantasy (I have been toying around with this for a while), my magical practices, and a way to tie them all together. What if for a collection of my seals, I structured each chapter around the broader archetype of the seal where the seal adjourns the illustration for that particular chapter? I could introduce an archetype for the seal into the events of the chapter itself (like having the characters use it for example), or I could make the chapters a loose allegory. Maybe both?
I can’t speak for others, but the aesthetic that underpins my particular form of magical practice is desire. Desire is the realm of fantasy and dreams, essentially, and my particular vehicle is books that speak of a desire that I have. Writing about things that I desire that could be fuel a lot of my practices. It is something that resonates with me on a deep level. If you ascribe to Western occultism, you could say I work in the mental sphere; however, an interesting attribute of consciousness I heard scientists speak about is the ability to conceive of things “counter-factual”, or it is the ability to conceive of “non-reality” or speculate about other states and worlds. If that is the sphere I work in, what is the difference between that and the realm of dreams? The dream realm seems more aesthetically appealing than the “mental sphere” to me.