When trying to describe the possibility that information stuck together (a pneuminous accretion) might exert an effect upon the substrate that it is attached to, one easily becomes misunderstood. The chief confusion comes in conflating a kind of physical level of ‘real’ informational imprint with the pneuminous one. The problem for pneuminous theory though comes in actually separating these one from another.
The classic example is any given, often human object, like a mug. The mug of course bares the wear and tear of its physical existence. Every minute particle of mouth residue that hasn’t been washed off, every tea stain, every abrasive encounter all exist as what we would call physical traces. No supernatural power is required for a forensics expert to draw certain conclusions about the mug and the last interactions it had. These traces are the traces of particular encounters but they are not the encounters themselves. What does that even mean? It must be something like, that the mug bears the damage from its encounter with the spoon and even maybe molecules of metal but it does not bear the incident of when it was hit by it, the event is not present.
An explanation is something like this: mug is a concept, an accretion, as is spoon. These two concepts were in this instance applied to two vectors capable of sustaining them, designed even, to sustain them. So when the spoon strikes the mug in some sense this is just two vectors, one striking the other. This in itself is contingent on an interpretation of the nature of things. If the NAARP field is what discloses individuation then ‘strikes’ too is essentially a NAARP contingent concept. What it means is that spoon strikes mug is an occurence on a conceptual (pneuminous) level that cannot really be commented on outside of that without presupposing the metaphysical nature of reality outside of the NAARP. Of course this is a straightforward correlationist move, I don’t however have a problem of it as it is just speculation to stray outside of it. Yes of course it is also speculation to say the NAARP field is individuating the stuff, however since the phenomenology of magick presupposes that, this is the angle we must investigate here.
‘Spoon strikes mug’ as a NAARP event doesn’t entail anything about particle traces except to a specialist. It has a quotidian sense that raises nothing more than that is happened. This having-happened is the pneuminous event. It might have no traces measurable as physical vectors. If there were no trauma to either, it would still have occurred. This event whether there were physical traces or not is the pneuminous accretive one. The contention is that because NAARPs are accretion creators, it is the NAARP that would have made the accretion of ‘spoon strikes mug’.
Hopefully this gives some sense of the way in which pneuminous structures are separate -in a self reliant way- from the vectors and the umbratic underneath. They are formed, from the NAARP relation to the vector field, but once conceptually articulated they become autonomous pneuminous accretions that are reapplied back to the vector field as a kind of tautological spell (this is what Johns calls tautology). Use becomes concept, ready-to-hand becomes present-at-hand.
So now we arrive at our common description of magick: the application of an accretion to a vector that would not ordinarily sustain it. Pneuminous accretions in their normal functioning just attach to the fitting vector. Vectors that can function as chairs can take the chair accretion etc. In the case of magick, a NAARP chooses to try to attach an accretion to a vector that would not in ordinary take it. This may be done for any number of reasons and these are unimportant here. Strong pneuminous theory would say that applying this accretion to its unwilling host may actually alter the vector in some way. Experience teaches us these alterations are always ambiguous with a rational explanation e.g. hallucination, coincidence. This is the ‘agnostic disjunction’ or at least one of its applications. We cannot of course decide the agnostic disjunction, but what we can do is comment upon the situation if the AD were decided in favour of the magickal arm.
The question then is, if this occurs to what extent can the pneuminous accretion alter the underlying vector/umbratic-being? We noted that the phenomena are always ambiguous. In a sense this is obviously true, for if the phenomena were not ambiguous they would be clear examples of anomaly and as such easily sucked into scientific investigation. The ambiguous characterization of the phenomena means that they are never appear so powerfully as to warrant this. Of course many NAARPs do report powerful magickal phenomena, however the ambiguity often lies along a temporal axis and not a spatial one. When the event has occurred and will not repeat then no matter how powerful the report, rationality will try to assert alternative explanations. Pneuminous interactions therefore must be necessarily fairly restricted by the force of the umbratic controlled vectors. The umbratic in this way can be likened to the concept of the ‘real’ in Lacan or Laruelle. The difference being that whilst in these ‘real’ will always win out, in this instance the ‘real’ also can be bent. It cannot be said how this occurs, only that it does. If we accept that it does occur, when an accretion successfully imposes its structure in some small way upon a vector the occurrences do not happen like regular reality morphic changes. Sometimes the change is instantaneous (something seems to appear that was not previously there (Peter Carroll’s keys e.g.), sometimes it occurs as a sequence of events with an uncanny appearance of conforming to the accretion (the Monkey’s Paw). This suggests the possibility of a spatial and temporal axis to these phenomena i.e. immediacy occurring as a spatial rupture and event manipulation as a temporal rupture.