Swifts, Agnostic Disjunction, Accelerationist issues.

It is a testament to the situation that I feel embarrassed writing this. However part of my writing has always been anecdotal as I feel this helps it hook [the theory] to experience. My wife was raising swiftlings that had fallen from nests. This task is somewhat harrowing as they have to be ready to go before the other swifts leave -swifts are here in the UK for 12 weeks approx. There were three; after some weeks of nurture one swift successfully took off, but the other two looked weren’t looking hopeful. One kept trying to fly but just couldn’t, it would flutter and drop to the ground whilst the other would make no attempt to leave. All the swifts left the sky bar two, that clearly would leave any day now. Things looked desperate and I felt for both wife and swifts (as they have to be put to sleep if they wouldn’t fly). Such situations like all those of a degree of despair call for requests from transcendent powers. In organised religion it’s called prayer, otherwise it’s magick/sorcery -whatever you will (no pun intended).

I did nothing elaborate but retrospectively I can see it ticks the chaos magickal boxes. As I lay in bed before sleep I went with my quite poor visualization skills to see the swift God[dess] to ask for help in encouraging it’s children to take flight. Frankly I can’t remember a lot of what happened. In truth all I know is that I woke up in the morning and had completely forgotten about it. Fairly early I must have driven off to do some early morning task. As I returned up my street I met the aforementioned wife walking up it towards me looking around as she went. I pulled up and she told me that both the swifts had gone and flown down this road. She was extremely surprised at this as one (the fluttering one) had been deemed hopeless from suspected damaged air sacks and the other was still extremely timid only yesterday. However on the first attempt to release them both had flown straight away. She was now checking the gardens down the street in case they had crashed, but could not see them anywhere.

It was only at this point that I actually remembered my previous night’s supplication. The wave of excited shock is one I have had before but so far for me it is scarcely less strange each time. Maybe there is some inuring that comes with the possibility being accepted at all, but otherwise the reality rupture affect (yes I mean affect) is still is quite profound.

This is the moment. This is the same sensation that all of this is about. The point is not to tell you that the swift spirit is real and can help your injured swiftlings or indeed any spirit is ‘real’. The message is the same: existence shows itself in such a way that it can appear that informational actions (what I call pneuminous) can affect the restraint of the everyday world (the umbratic). It is completely understood that the above anecdote can represent nothing more than chance. The swifts were due to leave, maybe they were pushed to action by their own innate knowledge that it was time to go. However, in order to be certain that it was chance I must know the how things are with apodicticity (as opposed to apodidaeity (swift joke)).  If I do not know this then in asserting chance as the truth, I beg the question by helping myself to the assumption of a materialist ontology in order to deny the possibility of magick.

This moment is the same one that discloses manifestationism, not as a meta-philosophy as such (though it is one) but more as the very nature of our relation to how we accept what things are. Ontologies compete for our attention. As agents we work for various ontologies. Agnostic disjunction means that we have to choose in order to act, though the choice is only by virtue of what ontology (accretion) we work for. Philosophy in this sense shatters the naivety of being and agent of the truth. Of course many NARPs believe they exactly are that i.e. that they are working for the true ontology. Without the agnostic disjunctive/manifestationist insight anyone can end up as a dogmatic agent of an ontology. Laruelle achieves something similar with the notion of ‘philosophical decision’ but somehow seems to close ontology down non-philosophically. Non-philosophy is not a meta-philosophy, manifestationism in part definitely is -though it is an immanent one. Philosophy (this philosophy) means recognising the agnostic disjunction wherever it pops up so you may ask ‘why am I an agent for this choice?’

Paranormal phenomena are special because the nature of these events perpetually keeps the manifestationist agenda open. Paranormality can only be drawn into science as legitimate, it cannot be defeated by it. Any attempt by a ruling ontology to define away such events, results in the same question begging problem outlined above, this psychologically manifests in mistrust of authority -a similar pattern is found in competing political ontologies, where dominant democratic capitalist accretions become doubted by their agents (and begin to lose them). Post truth is one such consequence.

I want to say there is something wrong with certain accelerationist trends that overly fetishise and glorify technology but I can’t really. Not without committing myself as an agent of an untenable naturalism. I can feel though the power of that accretion in its appeal, Srnicek and Williams call it ‘folk politics’ and find it as untenable as I do. What I do think though is that there is some kind of tendency created by the fetishised techno-accelerationist coolness to reject common natural aesthetic beauty. Obviously ‘natural’ is a difficult , what I mean by it though is something maybe approaching the term biophilia. This too is inadequate as I feel what I mean would also encompass the stones and the weather and not just the fauna and flora. There has to be a way to not overly romanticise and yet learn from the romantics. Heidegger was close to this. A magickally open ontology that can harmonise the technological/accelerationist aura (in Benjamin’s sense) and simultaneously permit the NARP’s engagement with ‘nature’ is required.

A suitable accretion that harmonises these two tendencies is of course, the swift.

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