Assimilation or Accretion

What is the difference between Charlie John’s concept ‘assimilation’ and my own notion of ‘accretion’? In the past I have considered that assimilation is almost the process face of accretion. Almost as if accretion represents a static necessary way in which we experience solid objects (and stable ideas) whereas the assimilation is our being plugged into it on a use level.

Recently I rethought the notion -though I must confess I haven’t checked it with him yet, though to some extent of course that scarcely matters. l have been liable to attribute assimilation to one more manifestation, a competing ontology in the general mix that can work with the accretive pneuminous theory of magickal cogency. However it occurs to me that this may not be the intention and assimilation may be more capable of adopting a meta-status than I have given credit for. Assimilation on this reading is non-ontologically specific and as such would be closer to a manifestation than an accretion. A manifestation like transcendental idealism is also an assimilation. Possibly after it is disclosed i.e. by Kant as a manifestation is might make more sense to say that then it becomes part of the Kant assimilation but the difference is slight. Accretion is not unable to do a similar thing insofar as once the idea is formed it accretes. We plug into the transcendental idealism accretion and create more of it in the process. Accretion though specifies either psychological or magickal information (makes use of this substrate) that is accreted whereas assimilation makes no such need of this ontology. Accretions and assimilations can both function as manifestations though assimilation has a more groundless feel. Everything becomes a series of layered overlapping assimilations. Every activity I’m involved in is just my switching assimilation for assimilation. Like accretion, assimilation seems to need the concept -the assimilations are all named. Assimilation is not ontologically judgemental just descriptive of our being endlessly plugged into some nameable activity. If I am assimilated by the magick-obtains side of the agnostic disjunction I just am.

Johns’ Response:

I feel as though your comment describes the becoming aware of the double-use of assimilation. At first it is a competing manifestation of an ontology; being is assimilated, and assimilation is a process philosophy of reality. Although I adhere to this there is also a more immanent critical characteristic to assimilation;  bracketing off any ontological claim, assimilation is simply the situation of making a decision about what reality ‘is’: if one believes they are an idealist then one has to be aware of an assimilation taking place. Regardless of whatever ontological criteria one decides, they are still being assimilated as such hence the status of assimilation is meta.

Accretions for me are simply assimilations that have gained substantiality or consistency through the activity of minds (or concepts or information if you will). Assimilations that have been assimilated tend to gain credible status as they are being used over and over again. Similar to the magickal aspect, power will accrue if something is nominated as being X and if the assimilation has been consented to this nomination then it will almost always tend to assimilate even more (like mass media and conformism, if enough people choose to assimilate X as such then this X can take on an extremely powerful, deterministic form).  The subject is such a powerful socio-historical assimilation.

One of the key points to assimilation is that interacting with accretions is not a static, neutral phenomenology; when you interact with accretions you are also further assimilating and hence slight alternatives can occur (it takes a human being to keep assimilation up/to keep them charged with meaning).

In this sense accretions are always modifying hence it makes more sense to call them further assimilations as accretions connote (at least in my understanding) an identifiable pseudo-static status.


This seems to be it. There is a link between the meta status of manifestations and accretions. A magickal decision is too far. This is a manifestation choice. But accretion and assimilation seem to be categories that occur in any manifestation. The denial of being in an assimilation holds under any circumstance. We are always plugged in to different levels of wider systems. Likewise accretion is hard to deny without refusing to accept that information sticks together in awareness -this is the only claim you need, though further claims about physical objects and accretion are possible on a materialist level. Accretion then is just the description of any means by which phenomena become stuck together from either a wider social picture (the shared sense of a building (even though this too will have particulars)) or a personal object that specific information attached to it.

The meta status of either turns on their refusing to accept any further ontological structures -a magickal universe, a materialist universe etc. These are the manifestations that compete below the assimilative/accretive machinery.

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