Oracle Level Correspondence
This document explains the concepts and ideas from the Virtual Adept point of view - that of the Correspondence point. As such, most of this discourse will have a Correspondence Point slant to them. I have tried my best to state them as objectively as possible, but after a point the objectivity gets in the way of expression. Please realise that these concepts can be re-applied and re-worked into other situations with a generous amount of thought and creativity.
As well, a number of points will be expressed and re-expressed. This is not a case of me running on at the fingers (OK, not completely the case;>), but is an attempt to impress the important concepts upon the reader by re-iteration.
Lastly, it would seem to me that an Oracle has surpassed the level of systems of metaphysics, and as such this document is not meant to be the be-all and end-all to Oracle level Correspondence; just an example of one 'system' that can be applied.
Oracle-level Correspondence hinges on the idea that the Theory of Correspondence is correct, but limited in scope. The Correspondence point is not unique, and is in fact recursive. This arises from the fact that the Master of Correspondence, when co-locating two areas of space, 'superimposes' objects, but these objects don't actually interact. In the 'Co-location' effect listed on page 189 of First Edition MtA, the rock and chair are 'superimposed', but do not affect each other directly. You can lift the chair 'out' of the rock, but then they will no longer superimpose - they resume their consensual correspondece to one another. In essence, both the patterns have a correspondence to one another that does not allow them to exist at the same 'place', using the illusion of 3-d space, thanks to the consensual view of Correspondence.
The Oracle of Correspondence realizes that the patterns contained 'within' a correspondence point THEMSELVES have internal correspondence points, which have dimensionality with respect to themselves. The Master of Correspondence could not have the chair 'be' at the same 'place' as the rock due to two reasons -
i> The correspondence point that the rock and chair exist in was not versatile enough to have two objects 'existing' at the same point in itself, due to the consensual view of correspondence not allowing two objects existing 'in' the same 'area' of 'space'.
ii> The rocks' internal correspondence (as well as the chairs') could not accomodate the chair's existance, due to the static view of correspondence in which they were formed not allowing two objects to share the same correspondence to the rest of the world - each object must have distinct correspondences.
If you could affect the correspondence point of the rock, you could enhance it's internal correspondence to allow for multiple objects existing 'in' it's internal correspondence point. Conversely, if you could affect the correspondence point that the rock is 'in', you could enhance that 'area' of 'space' to allow for multiple objects 'existing' at that spot.
So, in order to give two patterns from two seperate points (Say, a car on Fifth Avenue and a Spirit in the Umbra) correspondence, you'd have to have some way bridge the two points. So in order to shift the Spirit 'into' the car, you'd have to find the Spirit's 'position' with respect to the Umbras' correspondence point, then 'overlap' the Umbra's correspondence point with the Earth's correspondence point. The Spirit would still exist in the Umbra's point, but would now also have correspondence with the Earths' correspondence point. Effectively, a co-location bridging correspondence points.
The most fundamental concept involved in Oracle-level correspondence is the idea of 'recursive space'. Recursion, as used in this document, is a term used in Computer Science to mean that something is defined within itself. The other fundamental concept in this document is the notion that any entities that have correspondence to other entities have individual, or 'internal' correspondence points. For example - the Disciple of Correspondence can gauge the distance between a life pattern and a wall that it is standing beside. Can, however, they gauge the distance between the Life pattern's heart and lung? No, just as the Adept of Correspondence cannot shift the liver out of the Life Pattern. They cannot affect the internal correspondence of the pattern. Why is this? They have only taken the first steps in understanding the fundamental structure of correspondence. They can sense 'The' Correspondence point in it's pure form, regardless of the illusion of 3 dimensions. 'The' Correspondence point, however, is not the be-all and end-all of Correspondence. It is limited in scope, and only encompasses a limited portion of reality. These other correspondence points fill in the gaps that eluded the Disciple and Adept. The internal correspondence of the Life pattern was unavailable to the Disciple and Adept because it, in itself, has it's own correspondence point. As does the wall, as does the Mage, as does anything that has 'correspondence' to another seperate entity.
The Laws of Correspondence
Each internal correspondence point has its own native geography, which manifests as a set of 'rules of correspondence'. These rules define the nature of correspondence relationships, as well as how they can form. In the case of the native Correspondence point of Gaia, which the Adept and Disciple thought was the whole of correspondence, there is a 3-dimensional set of correspondence rules. Now, in the case of correspondence points being recursive, it means that there are correspondence points defined within correspondence points. This does not mean that there are really small correspondence points inside other correspondence point - the term 'inside' implies a 3-dimensional spatial arrangement. One of the first steps is to once and for all TRUELY abandon the illusion of 3-dimensional space. It is a crutch which must be discarded. Correspondence is about relationships between entities, be they physical, intellectual, metaphysickal, whatever. If an entity has a relationship to more than one entity, they have correspondence.
As you know, 3 dimensional space is just the way humans percieve dimensionality and correspondence, which is why I used the term 'recursive' instead of 'in'. When I say that correspondence points are defined within one another, I want the reader to stop paying attention to 3-dimensional space and view correspondence in terms of correspondence ITSELF, and not the perception of correspondence (3d space). Picture the correspondence relationships as being 'bridges' or 'pointers' to other correspondence points. They are the manifestations of correspondence, and define how things like 'movement' and 'travel' occur in a non-magickal, static fashion. The meaning of correspondence 'recursion' is that points exist 'within' correspondence points, but not in the 3-dimensional meaning of the word.
The Structure of Correspondence
The manifestation of reality can be divided up into an infinite number of 'things' - Your house, the planet Jupiter, your mother's lung, The Umbra, you - these are all seperate entities, but are connected to each other on a very fundamental level - they have Correspondence to one another. Some correspondence relationships are simple (You are above the chair you are sitting on), and others are heinously abstract (Yesterday is 'behind' today). But what is important to understand that these relationships are what defines Correspondence points and correspondence. The relationship as it occurs in a point is only the manifestation of Correspondence, not the Correspondence itself.
This exercise which will hopefully illustrate the recursive nature of correspondence.
First picture reality SOLELY in terms of correspondence points. Pick your favorite geometric shape(I will be using the Sphere) and have each sphere indicate a seperate correspondence point; Ignore whatever they're defining, and, to start with, imagine them as completely seperate. Now, in the example in the First Edition MtA we have 3 correspondence points - the Earths', the chairs' and the rocks'. In Magickal terms, they are completely seperate entities. Now, if you take two of the points and 'join' them, you could have any number of interpretations about the nature and repercussions of this joining(in the case of 3D, 'above', 'below','beside', etc) but fundamentally, you have taken two correspondence points and given them a relationship to one another. They are still unique entities, they are just 'linked' together by a correspondence relationship.
The 3D relationship between these two points would have to be that one of them is either
a> 'inside' the other(defined within it), or
b> 'outside' the other(both existing within a third correspondence point)
In the above example, the three correspondence points had this kind of relationship. Two of them were defined 'inside' the third, and these two were 'beside' each other 'inside' the third. The chairs' point and the rocks' point were 'inside' the Earths' point, as well as being 'beside' each other.
Now, in the above example, the chair and the rock were forced to exist at the same point in space due to the magickal effect. The chair and the rock 'overlapped' each other(still using 3D space), but they weren't supposed to be able to. Reality had to 'improvise' a relationship between the two, as the rules of 3D space do not allow 2 correspondence points to exist at the same place 'inside' a third. So reality removed all relationships between the two of them, which left them strictly with a relationship to the corr. point they were both defined within. As long as the two offending correspondence points 'overlapped', 3D space would 'ignore' any relationship between them.
Shape and 3D space
Each object has a 'shape'. This 'shape' is defined by the correspondence point of the object, and manifests by having this definition applied to the rules of the points' rules of correspondence. The chair has a shape, and the rock has a shape. The shape each corr. point defines defines 'where' it exists within the 3D point. This shape is what is used to determine the precise and final relationship each point has to other points. The rock has a height of 2 feet, and is round. The chair has a height of 3 feet, and is shaped like a chair. You can put the chair on top of the rock, which would make the base of the chair be 2 feet above the base of the rock. Now, afterthe magickal effect that 'superimposed' the chair onto the rock, they were forced to each exist at the same point, but their 'shape' would have someone looking at them see the top 1 foot of the chair sticking out of the top of the rock. The rock is wider than the chair, so light would impact with it first for the lower 2 feet. Above that, the rock is not defined, but the chair is (using 3D space), so light impacts with the chair. If you were to go over to the chair and 'lift' it up, it would raise off the ground, as all relationships between the chair and the rock have been removed due to Paradox destroying their relationship, due to their violation of the laws of 3D space. If you were to lift the chair out of the rock completely, they would no longer violating the laws of 3D space, and would then resume their normal correspondence to one another.
Now, the i> and ii> point explanation of the rock/chair relationship does seem to be describing the same thing. That is true, but they are describing the effect from the perspective of all correspondence points involved in the effect. To simply state point i> by itself would imply that the earth's correspondence point is the only relationship that exists. That is not true - the rock has a correspondence relationship to the chair as well. Remember that there are *3* points here, each of which are equally important. i> and ii> explains the paradox of co-existance from two perspectives - i> from the earth, in which the two offending objects are defined within, and ii> from the object itself, *WHICH HAS ITS OWN CORRESPONDENCE RELATIONSHIPS SEPERATE FROM THE EARTHS*. You would be correct in stating that both points describe the same paradox, but they describe the paradox from two different perspectives.
With this new view of correspondence, shifting objects 'inside' of patterns could be made possible. Say, for example, you wanted to shift a rock into a person. Under consensual correspondence, this is not possible, as that would be two patterns 'occupying' the same 'space'. If you could 'enhance' the persons' internal laws of correspondence to accomodate other patterns 'internally' corresponding with it, the rock could be be shifted 'into' the pattern. The safety and nature of this correspondence would be at the discretion of the mage manipulating the point.
The nature of this 'enhancement' needs further defining. For the sake of simplicity, 3-dimensional space will be used as the frame of reference.
Under 3-dimensional space,
1. Objects have 3 'types' of correspondence - up/down,left/right and forwards/backwards. All 'movement' in 3-d space can be defined in terms of these three types (forward-and-to-the-left, up-and-back, etc..).
2. Objects must have distinct correspondences IE two objects cannot occupy the same area of space.
'Enhancing' a correspondence point would come down to changing one of the rules of consensual correspondence via a magickal effect. The rock/person example previously used involved using Correspondence magick to alter rule 2. Initially, the rock had correspondence with the life pattern as a whole, but had no internal correspondence with it. The life pattern was constructed in a 3D point, and could not 'share' the same correspondence as the rock. The magickal 'enhancement' would involve changing the life patterns' second rule to allow the rock's pattern to 'share' correspondence. After the effect is successfully created and the life patterns' second rule is amended, the rock can co-exist with the life pattern(Paradox notwithstanding).
Note, however, that initially each object defined within a correspondence point has a unique relationship to the correspondence point. This is what gives objects distinct correspondences to one another. Should this relationship be altered or changed, this new relationship must be considered. After the rock is allowed to correspond internally with the life pattern, Paradox will consider them to be the same object. The rock is now a 'part' of the life pattern's correspondence point, not the Earths'. These issues of scope are vital, and should not be overlooked when utilizing Oracle-level correspondence effects.
In essence, the mage has simply re-defined the relationship between the rock and the person. Initially, the relationship between the two was defined by the rules of 3-dimensional space - they were 'beside' each other. In terms of Correspondence Magick (ignoring 3D space), the two correspondence points exist seperate to another, but have a relationship. Because both of them are defined within the earth's point, and the Earth's point conforms to the laws of 3-D space, this relationship between them is that they are 'beside' each other. When the Oracle re-defines the relationship between the rock and the person, they can make it possible for the two of them to co-exist by changing either the rocks' rules of correspondence, or the persons' laws of correspondence. Note that after the co-existance effect has been case, according to the laws of 3D space, they would effectively be considered the same object. As soon as the rock leaves the earth's Correspondence Point and enters the persons' correspondence point, it is out of the earth's 'jurisdiction', and the rock now conforms to the laws of correspondence as defined within the person's correspondence point. The mage is not touching the global laws of 3-dimensional space(the earth's correspondence point), it is changing the person's internal correspondence laws to allow for the rock to exist within it.
Now, the person's internal correspondence point has it's own laws, but because it was created within the earth's correspondence point, it's internal laws 'default' to those of the point it was created in(3D space). So blood does not pass through the walls of the vien because the laws of the life patterns' correspondence point does not allow for blood and tissue to co-exist. The rock, were it to be placed inside a vein, would cause a blockage as the internal laws of the life patterns' correspondence point do not allow for blood to pass through it. If the life pattern's internal correspondence laws were re-written to allow for the rock to exist inside it, but not have any relationship to anything WITHIN the life pattern, the rock could be put 'inside' the life pattern, and it wouldn't do anything but exist inside the rock. BUT, if the mage did not change any of the life pattern's internal correspondence laws, you would have the same situation as what occured when you shifted the rock and chair to the same place - paradox would remove any correspondence between them to preserve reality. (note that this shifting itself was not possible with pre-oracle magick as the mage did not have any knowledge of internal correspondence points. They thought the earth's correspondence point was the be-all and end-all. When they went to other correspondence points, there would only be confusion if the new point had different laws than the laws of 3D space. For example, a Horizon realm with the Extradimensional Merit(BoC) does not conform to the laws of correspondence, so they would have to use Correspondence 1 to 'circumvent' their perception's way of percieving correspondence relationships(3D), and see it in terms of Correspondence laws SOLELY).
Now, if the mage changed the life patterns' rules of correspondence so that the rock could co-exist with tissue and bone, but not blood, problems could arise. There would be blockages as the rock stopped the flow of blood, but would pass right through tissue. Now, if you were to throw the rock at the life pattern after this was done, the rock would pass through the skin and bone, but collide with the blood. The blood's life pattern manifests as a liquid, so the rock would push the blood as it passed through it. While the rock was inside a vein, it would push the blood to one side, and the blood would move the tissue as the rock pushed the blood against the walls of the vein, which would move under the pressure of the rock. Inside the life pattern, the force of gravity is still felt (such is the relationship between the life pattern and the Force of gravity), so the rock would move towards the earth while it was inside the life pattern. If you were to 'anchor' the rock to an aspect of the life pattern's correspondence point (a la the 'Anchor' rote.. i can't remember where it comes from, but in case you're not familiar with it, it's a conjunctional Pattern Magick/Correspondence rote that 'attaches' a pattern's correspondence aspect to the correspondence point,preventing it from moving), while keeping the blood-rock relationship as described above, the rock would block the passage of blood through the veins of the life pattern, and cause big problems..
Finally, to sum it all up, here's what I figure to be the nature of the correspondence relationship between two areas very near and dear to Humanity's heart - The Earth(Gaia) and the Umbra(Gaia:)).
The Umbra and it's physical manifestaion, the Earth, can be essentially called the same thing. But, in terms of correspondence, they are seperate entities - You cannot, under the rules of 3-dimensional space, 'travel' from the Earth to the Umbra, nor vice versa. This would illustrate them to be two seperate Correspondence points, even though they are the same thing. A paradox? Evidently not, as Paradox doesn't seem to mind. So there must be a relationship between the two that allows them to both be the same, and seperate. This relationship would have to be the only way to travel between the two points - the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet *IS* the correspondence relationship between the Umbra and the Earth.
Before the Gauntlet was around, the Earth and the Umbra *WERE* the same correspondence point. From the perspective of now-3-Dimensional Earth, the Umbra was a 4th 'dimension' which could be travelled to no problemo. The reverse is also true - from the Umbra's perspective, the Earth used to be another 'dimension' which could be travelled to without violating it's rules of correspondence. However, when the Gauntlet was formed, it 'wedged' itself in between the two worlds, seperating them from one another. Whatever force that did this took the previous Earth+Umbra correspondence point and 'split' it into two seperate points. The earth and the Umbra lost their extra 'dimension', so that the laws of correspondence in each were changed to that they no longer incorporate each other. Note, however, that they did not COMPLETELY seperate the two - there is still a Spiritual relationship between them - the Gauntlet. The two of them are becoming seperate points, but are not completely seperate yet - the Spirit still joins them. So, in terms of game mechanics, they could either be considered the same Point, with the Gauntlet being a 'barrier' between the two 'parts', or you could have them be seperate points, with the Gauntlet being the relationship between them.
Sphere Levels six through ten
The mage realises the correspondence point is not unique, and is recursive. They can now sense the correspondence of other points, and send their perceptions to these other points. Example - correspondence 6 on a life pattern would give you the exact distance between the organs, would give you the dimensions of it, and more detailed relativities with more successes. You could also shift your perceptions to the near Umbra from the Earth. The number of 'levels' a mage could shift their senses 'up' or 'down' a recursive level would depend on the number of successes also(See the 'range' section at the end of this document).
If you consider all the patterns inside a point an 'aspect' of that point, and Pierce Space(Corr. 3) lets you change a pattern's 'aspect' within it's current point, then this level lets the mage shift an aspect from one point to another point. The mage could, for example, shift from the Earth to the Near Umbra, or further depending on the number of successes rolled. They could also, after reducing their size considerably and taking appropriate safety precautions, shift themselves inside a person, or a machine, or anything else.
Allows the mage to modify the correspondence rules of a point to suit whatever they wish. The laws of three dimensional space are now a list of suggestions easily thrown away for a more productive set. Note that the mage cannot add or remove dimensionality - only modify the laws as they are.
[Maccabeus' note: I found level 8 to be rather opaque. Therefore I contacted Gil and found out from him what he meant by this. What he said was that the "correspondence rules" are, in essence, the directions of a realm, the way of getting from one place to another. As an example, the campus where I am currently living has the residential areas and the educational buildings completely separate from one another. Paradox discounted, a Master of Correspondence could increase the distance between them, or decrease it, but he could not easily intermingle the buildings. If he managed to do so, the distortions of space he produced would tangle the roads and pathways in such a way that each would still lead to the same place (if they could be followed). An Oracle at this level, by contrast, could switch locations around in such a way that the path that once led from my apartment to the cafeteria might go to the science building instead, and without any obvious distorting effects on other places. Or he could apply the rules of the High Umbra to the campus so that thinking about biology brought me to the science building, while thinking about socializing brought me to the student center. If I'm wrong, Gil, feel free to call me down and explain it better.]
The mage can do Co-location affects over multiple points, so they can co-join a nose with a brick wall, or a spirit from the umbra with their living room, or their living room into a spirit, or both (give both the spirit and the living room internal correspondence to one another - See next point). They can also give two points two-way internal correspondence with one another, effectively 'assimilating' the two points. The resulting point is a mish-mash of the two points, with both point's dimensionality and correspondence being a combination of both points. The mage can choose which aspects are brought into the new point, which ones are not, and how the new aspects interact with one another. They cannot, however, add totally new aspects or dimensions - they can only work with the dimensionality of the two points being used.
This level allows the mage to alter the dimensionality of a point. Dimensions could be added, removed, changed, etc. Any new dimension added has the rules as defined by the mage.
Example - Earth has 3 directional dimensions. A 4th directional dimension could make 'movement' along this 'axis' occur on other increments other than the 'quantum' increments normally associated with movement along one of the 3 consensual axes. If movement along this 4th 'axis' would entail a ratio roughly approximate to 1 consensual inch : 100 consensual inches, then for every inch moved along the new axis, 100 inches are actually travelled.
Also, the mage can now assimilate as many points as they generate successes with, using the Oracle correspondence 'range' chart. The rules governing the generation of the resulting point are defined by the mage with this level, as it is the same level in which the mage is allowed to alter a point's dimensionality.
Neat trick : If time exists as a 'stream', it has 'before' and 'after' (sounds like 1 dimensional to me). It's natural state is to move in a forwards motion (Time doesn't flow backwards, dummy!). That's half-a-dimension. How boring! Why not use a time-correspondence rote that gives your pattern's correspondence point another way to interact with this boring .5-dimensional time correspondence point? Why not expand the relationship between your correspondence point and the time-stream's correspondence point so that your pattern can move forwards, and backwards? Hell, give it a whole 2d point so you can 'jump' time streams? Fun for the whole family.