Philosophy and the King’s Watch

I wrote the King’s Watch books as entertainment, pure and simple. However, as Oscar Wilde might have said, entertainment is rarely pure and never simple.

It takes a lot of thought to create an alternate universe with magick, Dwarves and giant moles. If you’re going to do the job properly, you need to be consistent. I tried to be consistent by making the magick in Conrad’s world tied to quantum mechanics, in a loose sort of way. So where does the philosophy come in?

As it happens, I don’t believe in one Almighty God. I don’t believe in the automatic survival of the immortal soul. Whether or not I believe in Odin is another matter, and not relevant. What is relevant is that I do, most strongly, believe in human free will, exercised by human consciousness. More than language, music or mathematics, free will and consciousness are for me the defining quality of humans.

But how can free will be compatible with science? Why do many scientists reject consciousness as an illusion?

This whole topic is far too big for one blog post, but I wanted to nail my colours to the mast and say that free will exists. Consciousness is not an illusion. So how do they work?

Well, how does the universe work? Talk to an astrophysicist, and sooner or later the conversation will turn to Dark Matter. What is Dark Matter? It’s the stuff they invented to make their calculations work. One day, it will be discovered.

How does free will work? Dark Matter of the Soul. One day, like the Dark Matter of physics, it will be discovered.

In the interim, I re-named it ‘Lux’ and made it a key feature of the King’s Watch books. It’s the mediating force of magick in those books, and does double duty with consciousness.

One day, I’ll complete my PhD thesis on Dark Matter of the Soul. Until then, you’ll have to make do with this. If you’re moved to comment, click on the Contact button at the top of the page!

Thanks for listening,