Sorcery in the world of Eärwa is the use of language to forcibly influence reality. Or put another way, it is the practice of making the world conform to language, as opposed to philosophy, the practice of making language conform to the world.
Despite a tremendous amount of unresolvable controversy surrounding sorcery, there are several salient features that seem universal to its practice:
Practitioners must be able to apprehend the onta, the very fabric of what is, which is to say, they must possess the innate ability to see “Creation as created.”
Sorcery requires precise meanings. This is why incantations are always spoken in a non-native tongue: to prevent the semantic transformation of crucial terms due to the vagaries of daily usage.
All sorcerous incantations require the sorcerer to say and think two separate things simultaneously. The spoken segment of an incantation (what is often called the “utteral string”) must have its meaning “fixed” or focused with a silent segment (what is often called the “inutteral string”) that is simultaneously thought. The thought incantation sharpens the meaning of the spoken incantation the way the words of one person may be used to clarify the words of another.
There are many metaphysical interpretations of this structure, but the result in each case is the same: the world, which is otherwise utterly indifferent to the words of Men, listens, and sorcerous transformations of reality result.
“The Dûnyain have surrendered themselves to the Logos, to what you would call reason and intellect. We seek absolute awareness, the self-moving thought. The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before?”
The Second Apocalypse is a series of epic fantasy novels written by Canadian author R. Scott Bakker. It consists of three sub-series: The Prince of Nothing, The Aspect-Emperor, and a further series (either a duology or a third trilogy) not yet named. This Wiki contains information about all three series, in addition to the short stories set in the world of The Second Apocalypse.