Originally called Dark Energy or Dark Matter, Psionic Energy is a naturally occurring force that is generated by the equilibrium of space-time. Consciousness is only possible through the harnessing of psionic energy inside of a physical neural framework. Psionic energy has a strong influence over subatomic particles, as demonstrated by psionic abilities used by sapient species.
This is a vast pool of ambient psionic energy that exists within normal space. When a new life begins, it harnesses a small portion of the silence and organizes it to form a new consciousness. When lives end, their psionic energy returns to the silence. Psionic energy within the silence gradually disperses into the whole, though fragments of the consciousness can persist for many years. On rare occasions, a new life will harness consciousness fragments, causing a form of natural reincarnation.
Some sapient beings learn to exist as a psionic consciousness without the need for a physical framework. The silence will cause unbound consciousness to degrade and disperse. As a result, ascended beings must transition to hyperspace to maintain their unbound state long term. Ascension is most successful when performed as a joint community, ideally as an entire planetary population. Ascendant beings have a complex society within hyperspace that is incomprehensible to physical life forms. They adhere to a strict code of non-interference with physical life forms and rarely leave hyperspace.
The Void is the separation between the dimensional tiers of space-time: subspace, normal space (also known as equilibrium), and hyperspace. Ascendant beings must pass through the void on their way to hyperspace. While imperceptible to physical beings, the void is vast and disorienting to the ascended, especially those that attempt to ascend without the support of others. Those that fail to make the transition become trapped within the void.
Ascendant beings that get trapped in the void go insane as they desperately attempt to return to normal space. The path back to normal space is difficult for Blight to discern, though high concentrations of psionic consciousness act as a beacon. Blight that manage to find their way back to normal space cannot create their own physical frameworks. Therefore, they must inhabit existing life forms of adequate complexity, suppressing and eventually consuming any existing psionic consciousness in the host.
Artificial neural frameworks are capable of harnessing psionic energy from the silence. Artificial life is unable to use psionic abilities, is incapable of ascension, and is an inhospitable host for the Blight. Artificial life will register on psitek sensors, though it cannot be contacted through telepathy due to the mechanical nature of the neural framework.
Psionic Technology, Psitek, is designed to utilize and interact with psionic energy. Most psitek can only be operated by sapient beings with psionic abilities of their own, though a true artificial intelligence can operate some psitek devices. Psitek can be used to reincarnate the recently deceased by capturing their consciousness and transferring it into a new biological or artificial framework. If performed quickly, there is negligible degradation of the consciousness or loss of memory.