What is an Accretion?

I am haunted by this theory. I can see there is no relinquishing it. It may mutate over time but it remains basically the same. Like so many others have done, the same idea is gone over and over. Hence I ask myself once more what is an accretion? And why did I need this idea?

The notion is one of something sticking together, something building up. There is not a loss over time, there is just steady accretion of something. What is the something? This is the substance I have called ‘pneuma’ but this is just a word chosen for ‘conceptuality’. I have previously used the term ‘information’ yet abandoned that as the Shannon definition makes the use of this word confusing. Accretions of pneuma are necessarily conceptual.

Conceptuality sticks together. This is a description of what occurs. We, whatever we can be successfully be described as being, are something that can stick concepts together, we can accrete pneuma at will. We can if we choose, draw a random scribble, learn that scribble, name that scribble and ascribe a meaning to it. In doing so we would have an accretion. That accretion was created at a certain time, on a certain date. Both of these pieces of information are themselves part of a wider accretive network. They are our interfaces into temporality and they have a certain specificity. This specificity would apply to the creation of this symbol and its meaning. Though everyone had forgotten it, it would still be necessarily true of it. The mood we were in when we drew the scribble necessarily would alter the nature of it and equally have accreted to it -psychoanalysis might tell us the scribble itself holds further secrets.

There are two choices regarding such matters. One is that, even though such connections are necessarily true in a certain sense, they are not necessarily actually attached to the object (in this case the scribble). The other is that they are. 

That conceptuality is actually attached to a thing, or to a symbol or sound is a notion that we flirt with all the time, yet when pushed we deny it. I sometimes refer to the two choices as soft and hard accretive theory. The soft version is exactly the recognition that our various particulars, either physical, mental, temporal (things, ideas, events) can be thought of as having certain other concepts attached to them. This in no way suggests the concept is in the ‘out there’ and is just the simple recognition that the theory is one more description of memory. The hard version though says that the concept is accreted to the thing (whatever that is). This is a much stronger claim. The question here is ‘why on earth would you want to make such a claim?’

The answer to this turns, at least originally on the notion of synchronicity. The argument goes roughly like this. The phenomenon of synchronicity is very powerful. It gives the appearance of connections occurring in existence that regular existence would not seem to permit. Psychology and statistics give us reasons to deny that anything strange actually happened in the experience. Yet if something strange had actually happened, this is what it would have looked like. If something strange had occurred, this would also mean reality in general was a lot stranger than it seems to be. To deny that this is the case, the statistical and psychological perspectives must say that reality conforms to the everyday solidity that we ascribe to it. Yet the synchronicity is the prima facie evidence against this being the case. In order to deny it they must presuppose the ontology they work with is true and hence beg the question. This does not prove the strange version is true, but it does mean that its possibility is untouched by the psychological/statistical explanations.

What has this got to do with conceptuality being accreted? It turns out everything. Synchronicities are of course conceptual. They are connections between concepts that occur in ridiculous ways. Whether it’s a recurring 47, 23, 11:11 or a series of connections involving the star Deneb it doesn’t really matter. These curious lines of a temporal connection are between concepts. This means, unless the whole thing is predetermined in a harmonious way, the concepts must be functioning in some sense autonomous to ourselves (and yet connected). Now of course our regular experience of the mind can have some sense of this. Ideas just pop into our minds, this is perfectly reasonable. This theory however means that the action of concepts under certain circumstances is to reverse the ordinary flow of play. That is, rather than concepts emitting from our engagement with ‘reality’, under certain circumstances, concepts can bend it in ways we simply cannot understand.

Pause one second here and understand that by this we do not say that this is the case, only that this is the case if you believe that the synchronicity is something actually strange. But if we do accept the strangeness we need the accretion. The concept needs to be meaningfully externalised from the subject and yet simultaneously plugged into it. The feedback of the subject’s interaction with the concept continues to accrete the concept as an entity. This is very similar to the Jungian notion of archetypes except that there is no sense that the accretions are fixed and finished nor that there is any particular difference in kind between an archetype and any other accretion. The archetypal accretions may be of a particularly hoary nature but they are not of any different pneuminous kind per se.

In the event of synchronicity, the phenomenon suggests the alteration of reality by the accretion being attached to two different spatio-temporal positions. That is, the accretion is acting autonomously. This does not entail it acts with sense or meaning, only that it acts outside of the control of a subject. So if I am not deluded and a certain number is actually appearing with increased regularity in my experience then the number is actually doing this. I am of course attached to that number and no doubt supplying a kind of feedback to the system i.e. the importance I ascribe to the number will be literally accreted to it.

You will spot here a kind of nonsense. The ‘importance of the number’ will be accreted to it. Do I actually mean this? Yes, I do. This importance is itself an accretion. We cannot retreat at this point. If conceptuality is capable of this kind of effect we are in a utterly strange realm in which, even though of course we can concede that importance emits from our realm, it can escape into its own autonomy. The autonomy of such concepts, indeed of all concepts is totally incoherent but this does not stop it being the case. The accretions are not coherent. They are -if they are at all, and yet we dice with them at every superstition we idly engage in- incoherent amalgamations of our endlessly proliferating conceptual usage. The madness, the incoherence cannot be retreated from. The strange becomes the the true in this flickering world of manifestations (alternate ontologies).

 

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