The Apophenion (Review)
by Peter J Carroll
isbn 978-1869928-650 / £10.99 / $22
Reviewed by Julian Vayne
Framed as the outpouring of insight generated by the novel Goddess 'Apophenia', Pete Carroll's new work is a real gem. Coming from a science background, this is his attempt to create a falisfiable model of why the universe looks the way it does, and just why magick can operate successfully.
In the inimitable Carrollian style we have come to know and love, our author sets out to demolish the edifices of being, consciousness, causality, the big-bang and more. In toppling these ontological Titans Pete discovers a universe of panpsychism and intense meaning. If nothing else this agrees with my own views and is therefore a Good Thing. Pursuing this process through the scientific style of exploration means that quantum physics, special relativity et al show up pretty frequently in the text. If you buy this book expecting lists of planetary correspondence and ritual-by-numbers instructions you're going to be disappointed. However this doesn't mean that this is all physics and no esoterica. Rather the point is that the reading of the universe that the author presents is suffused with magick. (Nevertheless there are some reassuring illustrations of occult entities and one explicit ritual – a rather lovely evocation of the Goddess Apophenia herself).
My reaction in reading this book was one of excitement. The suggestions that Pete advances tickle the mind delightfully. Certainly this isn't Liber Null. It's not a manual of techniques but instead concentrates on theory, yet that doesn't make for a dull read. The theorisation presented here can light the touch paper of a hundred disciplines: cosmology and magick for sure but also Fortean studies, ethnography and especially neuro-biology.
Algebra explodes across the appendices of the book scattering the non-mathematicians towards the Epilogue where things are nicely rounded off in laypersons terms. The truth may well be that we live in vorticitating hypersphere with three dimensional time that, as the author beautifully asserts, "...invites us to become apprentice gods." The very fact that I can now say 'vorticitating hypersphere' and know what that means is a testament to the authors explicatory powers.
The final and perhaps most wonderful thing about The Apophenian is how it demonstrates the development and maturation of Pete Carroll's earlier writing. If nothing else this stands as a testament to the work of an individual (or perhaps conspiracy of selves!) who's magick really does seem to work.
Eight chaospheres out of a possible eight!