What is a circle? The Irreconcilable Nature of Spirit and Form

Alasdair Forsythe
3 min readMar 5, 2023

Here is my first and hopefully gentle introduction to a little bit Sorcery philosophy. Philosophy for me is a belief that goes full-circle, enabling you to try on multiple perspectives and opposing beliefs in order to see the underlying truth. That underlying truth is not captured by the philosophy, but following the philosophical trail is a way to reveal it.

One of the most significant misconceptions of mankind is in overlooking the distinction between spirit and form. The difference is irreconcilable. Yet the problem is not in their reconciliation, but that you must understand each one’s advantages and disadvantages and use them appropriately.

What is a circle?

I know what a circle is, and I know that you know what a circle is. However, neither of us have seen a circle because in the physical world, you can only approximate a circle. A circle exists in 2 dimensions, but the physical world is 3 dimensional. A circle cannot be perfectly drawn.

But does a circle exist? Well, you know what it is, so if you said it didn’t exist you’d be lying. It doesn’t exist physically but it does exist as an idea, and an idea exists in spirit.

Once you understand that spirit cannot be modeled or captured within the physical, and vice-versa, you will be able to logically let go of the idea that you could ever capture ‘truth’ from an idea or belief. A drawing of a circle is not a circle, it’s a picture of one. A circle is a concept.

Just as a circle in the physical is only a picture of a circle, an idea or belief is only a model of the physical.

Spirit is made of form, form is made of spirit

The characteristics of spirit are that it is undefined, i.e. it has no size nor shape, like a gas. Yet isn’t it curious that the defined perfect circle is made of spirit? And with form, which itself is defined, we can’t define anything perfectly, only approximately. Each produces the other.

This is because form and spirit work together and exist in layers. Spirit is made of form, and form is made of spirit. That is their relationship.

This is not only an idea, you can see it in the physical world. Take an ant colony for example: each ant is a distinct form, but the any colony itself is a spirit and has all the properties of spirit: represents an overall plan, can change shape and size, flows, has no distinct form.

Any group of form-entities constitutes a larger spirit-entity. Likewise all form-entities contain spirit, like a glass contains water.

It’s possible to put on the belief that everything is a form (spirit is a type of form), or that everything is a spirit (form is a type of spirit). Or that they are both aspects of something else, or neither exist at all, or there are 3 things, or everything is unique and cannot be classified together. Each of these different perspectives is a model — none of them are true, each gives one different perspective on the underlying truth.

The important thing is to see enough of that puzzle so that you can use this information for understanding which tool is for what job.

Learn more at Sorcery.org

★☆★ For more articles and books like this visit alasdair.com

If you enjoyed this article, you’d like my book “Pan’s Labyrinth”.

Pan’s Labyrinth deftly blends fantasy and philosophy, crafting a thought-provoking narrative that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned. It invites readers to question the nature of reality and explore the profound ideas woven throughout the story. Engaging and intellectually stimulating, this book promises a reading experience that is both entertaining and deeply meaningful.

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