The Umbra and Non-information.

The thorns of this thicket are well known to philosophers (and non-philosophers). The umbra is said to be the phantasy of the remainder. That is, when beings which are aware of their apparent externality (like Narps) are removed what remains is the umbra. As such of course whilst being a pneuminous accretion it is a paradoxical one that tends towards articulating the impossibility of pneuma. As we have mentioned elsewhere, the umbra is not the in itself, since any in itself must take into account the relation between any aware beings and the putative externality.

This immediately raises the problem as to whether or not pneuma is just a phenomenon for Narps, a path well trodden in OOO. In OOO the implication seems to be that obviously pneuminous relations hold between accretions external to Narps, which in turn seems to assume reality is, with various temporal and spatial relativities accepted, the same kind of container that Narps exist in. It seems reasonable, this is the ‘speculative’ part in ‘speculative realism’.

Pneuma is information, of course there must be informational exchanges between the different kinds of regions surely? But of course it isn’t this simple. Firstly there is a heuristic difference between pneuma and pneuminous accretions. Pebble pneuminous relations do not accrete (at least if we allow ourselves the same speculation as OOO) other than in the damage to the pebble, there is no pebble image of the other pebble that smashed into it, there is no word ‘pebble’ for the pneuma to accrete around. There is information (pneuma) but no accretion. Secondly the condition for the possibility of informational exchange in a meaningful way is discretion. There must be things and they must be in a sense external to Narps continue to be discrete from one another in order for meaningful pneuminous exchanges to continue. It doesn’t seem to me that this has any necessity to it. Discretion could in a Kantian (Schopenhaurian) manner be entirely a product of the Narp-field. Why would we say such a thing?

The answer once again turns on the agnostic disjunction concerning the problem of magick. The agnostic disjunction has to decide in favour of magick not obtaining in order to gain any traction with discretion continuing outside of the Narp-field. But this disjunction cannot be resolved (not with current Narp epistemic restrictions). Magickal phenomena, specifically those which suggest pneuminous interference (perceived effectivity of spells or synchronicity)  in ‘reality’, suggest the whole thing can alter just like ‘that’. The ‘magick obtains’ side of the disjunction precisely looks like discretion (at least in the continual spatial sense ordinarily presupposed) may be exactly what is not going on. This is where we’ve drawn a small amount of inspiration from Laruelle’s  phrase non-philosophy, to coin non-information. That is, the umbra is speculatively non-informational. Whatever it is, and like Laruelle’s ‘the one’ it is also indifferent to predicating existence of it, it is potentially of an informational order that cannot be considered information in the way we understand it (as Brassier points out non-philosophy can said to be not so much its negation as more like the ‘non’ in non-Euclidean geometry). The non-informational umbra is not posited as a necessity but rather a necessity only given certain agnostic disjunctive options. In response to the possibility of magick the non-informational umbra is posited as radically and paradoxically empty. The notion is somewhat reminiscent of Meillasoux’s hyper-chaos. The umbra which in its restraint of the pneuma looks so powerful, is suddenly [apparently] altered in an incomprehensible manner. This happens at the level of the accretion -the symbol manifests in poignancy, hence the phrase used elsewhere ‘the pneuma affects the umbra’. The supposed structure of the umbra was suddenly nothing. The information that was thought to be in-it was suddenly shown to be only pneuminous. Yet the concomitant perpetuity of the solidity re-continues to suggest that the event was actually illusion and that there was no rupture and the agnostic disjunction swings back in favour of the solid outside and the umbratic (as-real) reasserts its dominance.


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