Manifestationism: General Notes

These really are notes. I’m totally aware that most of the interest herein is for the paranormal related writings, I would point out however that unless one accepts a magickal ontology blindly, then something like manifestationism follows as a wider picture. It does sound like more regular (meta)philosophy but that’s because that’s what it is. The whole point of this project is that magick taken seriously has wide epistemological implications.

  1. Manifestationism is empirically driven insofar as it pays attention to the fact that no given ontology has been able to totalise the territory. Of course there are many relatively stable knowledge claims. The chief empirical realm for manifestationism is philosophy -which is notorious for failing to establish anything. The manifestationist claim would probably be that other kinds of epistemic claims are not immune to the problem of philosophy, they are just less prone to them.
  2. Manifestationism must in this sense presuppose an ontology of concepts with permeable borders. It is in this sense self defeating. It begs the question insofar as it presupposes that knowledge is of a certain nature in order to show the consequence of this. This is a legitimate criticism, however manifestationism can still go through under this presupposition as it represents an ironically extremely stable notion. This notion is that of incoherence. A notion that natural language concepts are well defined would deny a strong version of manifestationism. This too is of course a manifestation. We might want to say that no one would believe such a thing, that no one could be an agent for such an idea, yet we know this is possible. This creates a further irony: Manifestationism is founded on the idea that theories cannot agree and cannot remove each other (to a greater and lesser degree) because concepts are incoherent in their nature. The problem with it is that is possible to have a manifestation that denies manifestationism. Such a manifestation denies the ground on which it is founded. Such a manifestation is necessarily only a competitor for the nature of concepts. Yet by its existence it shows manifestationism failure of self grounding, subjecting it to its own problem. The irony is in the fact that it is a manifestation of stability that destabilizes the picture.
  3. Manifestationism proposes that the answer to any form of enquiry is a competing ontology (manifestation) amongst others. Sometimes this dominance is quite extreme.

Horizons on which phenomena are interpreted:

  • Scientific horizon:  Certainty in one register is altered in others e.g. element behaviour in different atmospheric conditions (water boils at different temperatures at different pressures. This is generally the most stable epistemic arena.
  • Linguistic horizon: When one uses a word, we don’t know what kinds of vector might fulfil the use meaning in the future.
  • Metaphysical horizon: No propositions of any grammatical certainty exist in this realm. All such phenomena are agnostic disjunctive. Keeping ADs open requires that the phenomena not be closed down easily by rational competing ontologies. Powerful paranormal experiences need very convincing rational reductive explanations to remove them (the classic contention here being that at least for synchronicity this is not possible). Is ‘metaphysical’ sufficient for a catch all phenomena in this bracket? Are there grounds to differentiate theological issues from paranormal ones. Theological issues in some sense arise from pure faith, however they often presuppose historical paranormal phenomena that act as grounding events for the faith. There is a kind of difference that maybe warrants a subdivision system: Metaphysical: I) Theological II) Paranormal. Even though in practice the difference is minimal. Extreme putative reality altering can result in extreme manifestations taking over. Psychotropic substances can provide criteria for accepting various metaphysical ontologies.
  • Social horizon: What happened in day to day events? Who took the cheese? There is a temporal horizon for such phenomena insofar as whatever has happened recedes. We consider these problems as operating under regular reality criteria -circumstances must be extreme for us to start to consider a ghost took the cheese.
  • Awareness horizon: What is the status of being that is not within our awareness? Is being in the dark different to being in the light? Two different but related problems that show the connectedness of darkness and the umbratic. That is, light can still be out of our awareness.
  • Trust horizon: Naarps trust the accounts each other give of phenomena. This occurs in all spheres. Direct perception is a special case that pertains to the general issue of magick insofar as they believe they should not readily doubt their own experience. The problem is that their own experience is already governed by various occupying manifestations. What do they mean when they say they trust themselves?

In the site we call the Naarp, how is it determined which manifestations successfully occupy the territory? Is it possible to say anything about this without ascribing an ontology to the self?

Some basic manifestations of the self are:

  • the  soul which contingently occupies the body
  • the soul which necessarily occupies the body
  • the self which is formed by empirical relation to the body and experience (broadly nuture)
  • the self which is determined largely by the body (broadly nature)
  • the self which is in roughly equal parts bodily determined and experientially so
  • the epiphenomenal self which is not real as such but just an appearance of a controlling self
  • no self, multiplicity of powers occupying a region
  • cogent self as a power competing amongst others in a region

Manifestationism cannot solve the problem of the self or any problem of positive epistemology. This is not its purpose.

The temptation is to forge a quasi manifestationist philosophy that allows a number of presuppositions e.g. the incoherence thesis and the accretive thesis. These accepted the pneuminous accretive theory is a cogent manifestation of all phenomena. It does then though become dicatorial in paranormal acceptance. This seems wrong and dogmatic which returns the manifestationist agenda by the agnostic disjunctive door. That is any acceptance of paranormality must also face the possibility of its not obtaining (alternative explanations).


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