The Technocracy gives little heed to the nonsense spouted by Dreamspeakers, Hermetics, and other Reality Deviants about the Umbra. Tychoides, the founder of the modern Void Engineers, formulated a comprehensive theory of the universe that would explain the spiritual dimensions in the terms of Enlightened Science.
In 1701, Tychoides formulated the theorem that would serve as the cornerstone of his later cosmological works: Any perfect description of an object is the object itself, relegated to the order of things by divine providence. Modern Technocrats use a slightly modified version of it: The universe instantiates all computable models to the extent of their completeness.
According to Tychoidian cosmology, the cosmos acts as a "hypercomputer": a phenomenon able to exceed the limits of Turing machines and generate infinite, continuous processing. Physical laws behave like cellular automata and generate further “input” for cosmological processing. These functions are handled by the smallest possible unit of physical information, which is called the Prime Element.
Once these processes produce sentient beings capable of generating their own reality models, the universe instantiates the results just like any other computable input. The input varies with the complexity of lifeforms: Simple organisms merely model their own sense data, and cannot model what passes for their imaginations with enough fidelity to generate physical manifestations. Sapient beings, however, can instinctually produce perfect mathematical models of imagined objects. Modern Technocrats compare the brain to a quantum computer that can process more power than anatomical studies would suggest.
This gives birth to the Enlightened Anthropic Principle: Borrowing the theory of the Anthropic Principle, which states that the world is exactly as it is so that humans could evolve and perceive it, Technocrats know that the Masses create the conditions they need to survive collectively (in what Tradition mages call the Consensus). Any models produced by an individual human that do not fit into the Enlightened Anthropic Principle are relegated to side dimensions. Enlightened individuals are able to withstand the collective Anthropic Principle and create their own (his paradigma), allowing them in turn to influence the Enlightened Anthropic Principle directly via the models produced by their own brainpower (what a superstitionist would call magic).
Technocrats explain the multitude of spiritual realms that seem to emanate from Earth by posing a hierarchy of laws that are generated via the Enlightened Anthropic Principle. The cosmos instantiates all mathematically coherent phenomena, including contradictions, in a manner determined by its sophistication and viability – natural laws, objects, and energies compete, much as living things do. The winners remain in the conventional universe; losers fall into other dimensions.
Conventional Space (also named Formatted Space by Iteration X): The place perceivable by the masses and regular science, it encompasses the mundane reality of the Consensus. Conventional Space is limited by the Spatial Horizon (also called the First Horizon), which stretches up to the Asteroid Belt.
From Conventional Space, several side-dimensions branch that store dispensable phenomena outside the Consensus. Void Engineers call these dimensions Umbrae, as they represent "mathematical shadows" of accepted aspects of reality. However, being disconnected from Conventional Space for too long can cause Void Adaption, which turns the afflicted into an ephemeral creature.
Known Umbrae are:
- Biospheric Space: Biospheric Space (called the Middle Umbra by the Traditions) contains reality models instantiated by non-sapient thought, including certain human instinctual responses. Naive notions of objects being alive generate alien intelligences known as Umbrood. Biospheric Space is limited by the Biospheric Horizon, which contains it to the planet's biosphere.
- Ensemble Space: Ensemble Space (also called the High Umbra) contain objects generated by human minds that lack the characteristics required to instantiate in material reality, like platonic forms of concepts. Similar data clusters into spatial distortions referred to as Epiphanies by Traditionalists.
- Entropic Space: Entropic Space (also known as the Dark Umbra or the Underworld) contains the generated models of destroyed objects and people (referred to as Post-Life Entities by the Void Engineers). Since the disastrous experiment of Xerxes Jones, most Void Engineers stay away from it.
- Digital Web: A recent phenomenon, the Digital Web arises around dense artificial data structures, but fails to manifest itself in Conventional Space.
- Subspace: Subspace (formerly called Etherspace) is the space between the Biospheric Horizon and the Spatial Horizon. It is also home to the first observable Quantum Dimensions (Shard Realms) that map over the known planets of the solar system.
- Deep Universe: The Deep Universe (also named Deep Umbra) is a place where the Enlightened Anthropic Principle expires, right behind the Spatial Horizon. Home to dangerous laws, humans require the use of advanced Dimensional Science in order to survive here.
- Everett Volumes: An Everett Volume is an alternate dimension of every other space, stretching from the Conventional Space up to the Deep Universe. Traditionalists call these places Zones.
In 1999, the Dimensional Anomaly made Umbral travel extremely dangerous and resulted in the severance from the Copernicus Research Center, the most advanced outpost of the Void Engineers. By teaming up with the Euthanatoi, the Engineers were able to research the Anomaly to a certain extent, but only to confirm that sometimes, entities from the Deep Universe still managed to breach it and reach Conventional Space.