Notes on the Problem of the Will.

The will is a difficult issue in accretive theory insofar as when we consider magickal acts we associate them with the application of the will. Predetermined harmony/psychological reducibility concerns aside, the phenomenology of magick would seem to entail that the will seeks to alter events to its nature. Elsewhere we have used the definition: ‘to apply a concept to a vector that would not naturally take it’ to define magick. That is, there exists the status quo (a vector region (the how things are) with a description which suits it attached to it) which we are unhappy about. As a sorcerer we create a new concept (the idea of how we would like things to be), we then attempt to apply this concept to the vector region in order to try to replace the current situation with a description (concept) of our own.

The issue here is that in order to replace the current description we seem to need an extra element: will. The will is not what we want (though conceivably we could will to augment it itself), the will is how we want. The differentiation between magickal acts and regular ones is largely going to turn on the application of the will to alter the description. We may often dislike the description of the (a) situation but in regular life often either accept the unpleasantness or seeks to change the situation from within the regular rules of reality. For example, if I do not like the table being dirty I can change the description by cleaning it. In doing so I have used my will and my physicality.

In magickal acts we seek to ask the accretive powers to impose themselves upon a situation without our necessarily doing anything other than the magickal ritual itself. We might following such a request, notice a favourable circumstance arise which then requires our action to realise the full description alteration, but this too would (if we were in a mode that accepted this kind of thing as real) be taken as a response to the request.

The act of ritual is supposed to focus the will in order to connect with the possibility of altering the description. This is how magick shows itself. Something like the conceptual substrate (pneuma) postulated in a lot of the work on this site is necessary for any kind of chaos magickal picture. It may or may not have a further underneath (the umbratic), though the phenomenology would suggest there is such an extra. This picture seems to us sound, except that is for the will itself. Is the will then an extra element that emerges from beings of a certain complexity? Or can it be reconciled more obviously into the pneuma insofar as to see something as willed for is to add an extra conceptual layer to it i.e. when I see something I want, that I want it is part of the concept of that thing/situation.

There seems to be something to this latter account, except we driven to a certain kind of vector field explanation. In its simpler version the vector field is the transcendental realm of stuff behind perception. Different regions of it are given different names, objects, smells, etc. So there is a vector and concept or pneuminous accretion which is plugged directly into the vector. But here we are forced to recognise a different kind of vector region, a kind of affective vector region by which we would say of this feeling we call ‘anger’ ‘joy’ and so on. These affects are the regions, our culture gives us their names. Note that in accretive theory there is a feedback mechanism that makes the object more like the accretion (concept). Once formed, the accretion is attached to the vector. By means of a low level magickal effect, the attached accretion seeks to make the vector region more like itself pure ideal nature. The effect is negligible, but it is there. With respect to the affects, this will no doubt be in evidence and may be exemplified by the reification of the emotions. That is, the naming of the emotions, the attaching of accretions to these vector regions, will make them more like their ideal forms and reduce emotional variation in general.

But again the will is not so easily trapped. We look upon a thing as desired and to us that thing evokes this sense of longing for this thing. There is definitely an attachment going on there in such an instance. The desirableness is attached to the thing -not in ourselves, though it comes from us. But a kind of passive desire does not entail the will has been engaged to obtain said thing. Even on an ordinary level we might long for something and never act upon this desire. So desire is neither a necessary or sufficient condition for the engagement of the will (for I might desire something and not will it and I might will something yet not desire it).

This points to a certain sense of the will being, both in its magickal and non-magickal application a kind power that we may bring to bear to alter the description that is in some sense possible to abstract from the affects. This does not undermine the application of the vector notion to the affects but it does slightly undermine the relevance. The question then remains ‘what is the vector that the concept will is applied to?’ if it is not an affect. It would seem to be its own kind of force. An internal directedness that may manifest either as a call to a series of actions in regular reality that seek to bring something about, or the idea that the application of the will by means of a certain magickal concentration (for want of a better term) may bring about an alteration in the description of a situation that is more in line with with the one willed. Such a situation may well be desired and indeed often is, however it seems to us that there is a certain uncoupling of will and desire necessary to get at the grammatical sense we are after.

This revealing does indeed seem to indicate that as a component of a magickal phenomenology, whilst still a concept and as such an accretion, the will is a kind of special case of that which must be presupposed for active forms of magick. It is the means by which we tap the accretions when we seek to alter regular solid reality.

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