My short volume ‘Tractatus Pneumatologico Philosophicus’ is now available for purchase through the CEO books page for £6.99. The book attempts to deal with the appearance of various paranormal phenomena, though in fairness it focuses largely on synchronicity. The word appearance is very deliberate for the Tractatus is a phenomenology. By couching it in this way I mean to emphasise that despite the fact it does describe a kind of metaphysical system, this metaphysical system is utterly implicit if we accept two interpretive levels of the experience.
That is, it wholly accepts that one must make certain interpretations for it to come to life. It is not a dogmatic system, it is a rational ontological appearance given the acceptance of two stages:
1) Since we cannot actually differentiate the synchronicity as paranormality from the synchronicity as coincidence we are justified in treating seriously the paranormal appearance -as much as we are the coincidence appearance.
2) If the paranormal case is investigated we have again only two possibilities. Predetermined harmony or that conceptual stuff (pneuma) can interfere with putative actuality. If we bracket off predetermined harmony then the pneuminous theory is perfectly sound and only needs filling out.
This pneuminous theory is a largely a chaos magickal ontology. Its birth comes my own experience with synchronicity numbers (23, 47) and other synchronistic phenomena. It is my belief that when one finally gives up thinking that these phenomena are ‘special’ in themselves and yet still feels that there was something very strange about the experience, then this (pneuminous) theory remains as the implicit appearance.
The book concerns itself in two basic directions. One is the pneuminous theory of (chaos) magick itself (its necessary metaphysical structure) and the implications this has for regular philosophy. Whilst the other is the consideration of the implications of the choices made to accept the theory. That is, since the the choice between coincidence and synchronicity is in a sense arbitrary, what is going on in general when we choose one ontology over another? What governs the choice between one ontology and another? This kind of theory is known in the book as ‘manifestationism’ where ‘manifestations’ are the appearances of ontologies. More work on this topic is ongoing, though there are more writings to be released in the forthcoming collected writings of the CEO vol 1.
The title of course has a clue to the influence behind the general method. Wittgenstein has for a long time been the biggest philosophical influence on me (though I of course acknowledge the Spinozarian origin of the title). Despite this title it is the later Wittgenstein whom I truly believe got it largely correct. The doctrine ‘meaning is use’ is a clue that we can use to understand lots of philosophy. Of course what it doesn’t tell us is exactly when a word has actually transgressed its possibility of meaning. This inability to disambiguate is part of the continual problem. What it can guide us in though is the search for grammar by which to talk about such things. The paranormal is not a Wittgensteinian grammatical error, it can be cogently talked about, whether it is ‘real’ or not. The book constantly wants to point out that there is a grammar of weird. Because the appearances of these phenomena are transcendental, their grammar is cogent and hence the metaphysical postulation can go through (with the caveat of the two previously mentioned disjunctive levels that have to accepted). To this extent, the system is within reason.
Chaos magick is chosen as the way to go, simply because if you allow the appearance to suggest magick/synchronicity actually occurs then a system that does not allow any one of the world’s occult systems (religions included) to be ‘the truth’ seems rationally to be the way to go. I hope some of you will choose to buy my little book and I hope you might read it and engage/argue with the ideas I propose.