In a very early sense of pre-Zone Parasol type excitement we have compiled the early zonetology writings in to one handy pdf.
The document is available here and features such classics as:
In a very early sense of pre-Zone Parasol type excitement we have compiled the early zonetology writings in to one handy pdf.
The document is available here and features such classics as:
The attempt to describe the potential structure of beings that, from our perspective, are formed of pure non-physical being can present the appearance of relative simplicity. That is, a straightforward pneuminous interpretation involves saying that such things are formed of the conceptual substance: pneuma. Pneuma though has only ever been intended as a transcendental phenomenological category where it serves the function of enabling the possibility of magickal interactions. This is achieved by its definition being that it is capable of interaction with the hidden restraint of the umbratic. This is part of the pneuminous definition of magick: that the conceptual can affect the putatively solid.
So pneuma as transcendental condition does not make any statement about any variation that may be present in its ontological nature, it notes purely that it must be ‘what concepts are made of’ insofar as magick entails that they can interact with solidity as we experience it. This fits well with chaos magickal notions about the spirits, which seem to imply the relativistic nature of these entities depending on the cultural backdrop by which one accesses them. The conclusion being that these beings have no reality other than as accretions of pneuma formed by ourselves and yet are not less real for this. Such entities once set up are capable of entirely autonomous actions and do not in particular rely on the belief of a humans (e.g.) for their continuing existence.
This is a very rational position to take if one wants to accept the belief of such things. However in following the appearances of things we must be aware there are important appearances in play here that complicate this picture.
The most important of these is the appearance of such things as not purely relativistic structures. That is the older interpretations of such entities which treated them not as contingent formations of the human mind but rather as just entities that existed in another plane of existence e.g. upper world, lower world. Such beings however are not well known for their consistent accounts of things. This problem is exactly one of the threads that leads to the more post-modern interpretation of them as real but not real beings in themselves. Yet the rational description that reduces them to pneuminous accretions does not render the possibility of there being some beings that are existent in such realms as possible.
So there may be entities which are not accretions of pneuma formed by humans but still are so alien from our perspective that they alter their appearance and contact in relation to our engagement with them. This notion explains the contingent appearances and the incoherent messages. The problem (if one is trying to escape pneuma as a useful idea) with this idea is that one still has a non-physical being which is still capable of physically interacting with our solid world, this is still pneuma.
What this does suggest though is other possibilities beyond the narrow chaos magickal investigations so far. The appearance of such beings as not formed by human intent has three discrete possible pathways. The first is that such beings were constituted by other physical beings like ourselves either in an earlier or other time (insofar as time makes sense in this way) and potentially after their creators demise, continue to exist in the pneuma as free floating quasi conscious autonomous accretions. The second is that such beings are the consciousnesses of physical beings that have exited from physicality (of some kind) into a pure pneuminous state. Examples of this kind of exit certainly exist in our world, the Dzogchen tradition describes this possibility very clearly. Lastly there exists the possibility that the pneuma is itself home to beings of the kind that can exist in this realm; beings that have some kind of consciousness that was not constituted by ourselves or any other being that could be called physical. Such things could indeed be expected to behave very strangely as the experience of a world of unbound pneuma must be incredibly different from the solid continuity of the bound pneuminous world that we inhabit.
However thought these represent discrete paths, the possibility that comes with these possibilities is the chaotic possibility that all of them may in part be correct. That is, that there are human formed accretive spirits around, and there are also hoary strange accretions from time gone by (or adjacent to ours) and in addition to these there are beings of pure pneuma formed only in non-physical realms. The notion of the non-physically formed entity suggests another appearance also related to this picture. That is, we make frequent comment that the physical beings of bound consciousness may create pneuminous accretions of quasi conscious like natures -chaos magickal spirits- but no mention has so far been made to intimate an inverse process. That is, on the table must also be the process by which the beings that reside only in the pneuma themselves project (through their own intent) beings of physicality, a physicality which can nevertheless effect the pneuminous (from their perspective the inversion of the magickal speculation that the pneuma can alter the umbra).
This of course raises the well known notion that we are spiritual (pneuminous) beings incarnate with the twist that we could just be magickal egregroes of non-physical beings. The multiple possibilties thesis though entails not just this thesis but rather that there might be an endlessly confusing cross pollination going on. Physical beings with consciousness constituting non-physical accretive entities. Such entites in turn might constitute physical ones. Beings of pure pneuma that were not constituted by physicality may be constituting physical entities with consciousness which in turn may be creating more egregore like structures.
There might have been a beginning in either or both ends of the spectrum (physical exit into pure pneuminous and pure pneuminous exit into physical) but once the system has been up and running for a while the possibility of an incredibly complex and chaotic pattern of interactions between these two poles (with regard to conscious entities) seems entirely plausible and strangely more likely that simply the chaos magick model, which can sometimes look quite anthropocentric.
The recent post by Pseudo Heraclitus strongly reminded me of this (see below) fragment from the Seranoga collection ‘Hidden Cities’. It is unknown if the it is supposed to be part of larger work or not, though much of the contents of ‘Hidden Cities’ seems to unfinished works of one kind or another. The striking features about the fragment are of course the similarity of Irus to Yrus and the mention of walls of great thickness.
Seranoga also seems to intimate a sense of a hidden clergy, or dare we say it, a kind of rhizomatic clergy dispersed through the population in ways he could not understand in his visit. What the nature of this visit actually was of course, we can only speculate -hallucinatory, imagined, spiritual or physical.
My Encounter with the word pneuma goes back to Nietzsche. These two sections from ‘Human all Too Human’ seem relevant. The first because it includes the very encounter with the word and the second for the view it holds on the metaphysical world.
Pneumatological elucidation of nature. – Metaphysics elucidates the handwriting of nature as it were *pneumatologically, -as the church and its scholars formerly did the Bible. It requires a great deal of understanding to apply to nature the same kind of rigorous art of elucidation that philologists have now fashioned for all books: with the intention of comprehending what the text intends to say but without sensing, indeed presupposing, a second meaning. But as even with regard to books the bad art of elucidation has by no means been entirely overcome and one still continually encounters in the best educated circles remnants of allegorical and mystical interpretations: so it is also in respect to nature -where, indeed, it is even far worse.
Metaphysical world. – It is true, there could be a metaphysical world; the absolute possibility of it is hardly to be disputed. We behold all things through the human head and cannot cut off this head; while the question nonetheless remains what of the world would still be there if one had cut it off. This is a purely scientific problem and one not very well calculated to bother people overmuch; but all that has hitherto made metaphysical assumptions valuable, terrible, delightful to them, all that has begotten these assumptions, is passion, error and self-deception; the worst of all methods of acquiring knowledge, not the best of all, have taught belief in them. When one has disclosed these methods as the foundation of all extant religions and metaphysical systems, one has refuted them! Then that possibility still remains over; but one can do absolutely nothing with it, not to speak of letting happiness, salvation and life depend on the gossamer of such a possibility. For one could assert nothing at all of the metaphysical world except that it was a being-other, an inaccessible, incomprehensible being-other; it would be a thing with negative qualities. Even if the existence of such a world were never so well demonstrated, it is certain that knowledge of it would be the most useless of all knowledge: more useless even than knowledge of the chemical composition of water must be to the sailor in danger of shipwreck.
* pneumatologically: pneumatology is the ‘science’ of spirits and spiritual beings.
A lot of what it says here is relevant to what I try to say in my writings. I use the word pneuma because it does mean spirit, but also because it means air. Those with a cursory knowledge of the western magickal tradition will know that the air element is associated with the mind, the analytic swords of the tarot. It is this double meaning that makes it (to me) suitable as the concept I want.
What is pneuma in the accretive system? Pneuma is said to be the stuff that concepts are made of. Pneuma is sticky and can be made to accrete. The accretions of pneuma follow from the phenomenological lead of the world that is already interpreted. Everything is an accretion of pneuma. This is metaphysics, absolutely. The questions obviously arise: What do you need pneuma for? Why would you want to substantialise conceptuality?
The answer goes back to phenomenology of magick and the agnostic disjunction. Nietzsche thinks the possibility of the metaphysical world is worthless for life. Of course he says this specifically with Christianity in mind but equally seems fairly clear; any kind of spiritual world might be acknowledged yet leaves us with nothing positive to say about it. This is a very reasonable opinion, the problem I feel is that the manifestations of such a world cannot be put to bed. Spectres, UFOs, synchronicities continue to haunt the world and every time these phenomena occur they present to the individual with the agnostic disjunction i.e. was that real or not? The disjunctive question is agnostic because any answer of dismissal is only done on the question begging grounds that such things are not possible because this (solid) world does not admit of them. Equally though if one decides the phenomenon was real, then one must face the incoherent sense of trying to reconcile what it would mean for reality for this to be the case.
Pneuma and its accretions are what I believe to be the best answer for anyone who thinks that the ‘magick obtains’ arm of the disjunction is worth thinking about. It is true that pre-determined harmony of some kind is on the table and partially represents a competing force of the side of actual metaphysical connection. This investigation is for another time. Let’s be clear about pneuma though, on the side of the regular solid interpretation of the world in which these phenomena are coincidences and hallucinations there is no need for pneuma. Pneuma, the conceptual stuff only has work to do on the magick accepting side.
So what does it do? Pneuma is called a substance precisely because it can do things, it is no longer the regular sense of a concept that is just ‘how we understand something’. In the system there are essentially three layers. The pneuminous accretions, the vector field and the umbratic. The accretions are everything we perceive with any sense. Everything is understood as something even when that something is ‘the unknown’, this too is an accretion, a concept. This is pneuma bound into endless blobs, connected in myriad ways by pneuminous fibres: homonyms, metaphors, shared qualities, all these and many more are the ways in which the accretions connect to one another. Temporally they are altering, largely under the sway of the neurotic accretions of pneuma (ourselves) who are also nothing but accretions, yet ones with ability to restructure the pneuma into new forms or keep it stuck in old ones.
The vector field is the transcendental field that we must presuppose in order to say that the accretions are attached to something. The possible field of all perceptions of all kinds is the vector field. It can be glimpsed by imagination/phenomenological reduction as that ‘what things would be if we try to remove concepts’. The blur of stuff, smells, sounds. The vector field is pneuma, but it is pneuma unaccreted (other than as the vector field, or hyle etc.). Pneuma bound into a concepts (accretions) is attached to the regions of the vector field. It is called vector field because the different regions are capable of behaving like vectors for the higher up formed accretions. That is, they play host to them; a certain region plays host to the concept ‘curtains’, another to ‘duvet’ and so on and so on. In this way the concept is not simply in the mind of the neurotic accretion, rather it is in the the vector itself.
The umbratic is the phantasy of everything that cannot be perceived for whatever reason. The notion of the umbratic is generated by attempting to perceive existence when one’s head is cut off, as Nietzsche put it. A similar agnostic disjunctive issue concerns this region of correlationism as it has come to be known. Either science is perfectly good at telling us what existence is like independently of ourselves, or it still remains nothing but prosthetic extensions of our faculties that, whilst assuredly expansive still does not and cannot totalise the titanic otherness that lurks out there.
The inference in this phenomenology goes that, since this metaphysic accepts a kind of correlate, albeit one that is partially autonomous from us and since things remain solid and reliable most of the time then there must be some structure that maintains this solidity beyond this pneuminous interface. This restraint on the vector field is inferred to come from the umbratic, though its actual nature is unknowable (in these metaphysics). So the implication that comes from magickal phenomena is that conceptuality must be capable of altering the umbratic, or as it is phrased elsewhere ‘the pneuma can affect the umbra’.
Here then we see the point of having pneuma as not purely epiphenomenonal. Magick means that conceptuality alters things. The definition of magick we work with here is ‘a concept that is applied successfully to a vector region that would not ordinarily take it’. Synchronicity is often the appearance of objects, words, numbers, images in places that seem somehow pertinent to the individual. The explanation here is that unlike the ordinary state of affairs in which the regular array of the world (as determined by the umbratic) displays what is on offer, in this instance the autonomous action of the pneuminous accretions has somehow restructured the situation such that now physicality (the umbra) serves the pneuminous action. Magick is just a more active form of the same. If synchronicity is achieved by the accretions acting under their own steam, then magick is the manipulation of the umbratic through the actions of the neurotic accretion (self). The NA desires that a certain region of the vector field which is occupied by a certain accretion should not be occupied by another. For example, that I am poor is a concept applied to a region (myself and my lack of funds). The money hungry magician seeks apply the concept of himself being wealthy to the vector region instead. Magick is the process of trying to make the new accretion stick in such a way that the umbratic is forced to alter at the behest of the accretion.
We do not here, offer how this happens, such descriptions stray beyond the point of such a phenomenology. We only say that under this system, if we do not accept predetermined harmony or the non-existence of the phenomena, this is what somehow must be happening. Pneuma is the concept at the heart of all of this. It is the force required to make it functional.
Nietzsche maybe underestimates the power of the appearance of the metaphysical world. There is not necessity to its incurring notions of guilt. This only belongs to the metaphysical world that instantiates the judging god. The appearance of the metaphysical world of fluid but magickally potent conceptuality opens action up to all manner of magickal beseechings that may or may not be effective (agnostic disjunctive epistemology again). Drawing this conclusion about the metaphysical maybe enables it to be reapplied to life rather than shunning it in favour of physicality. The appearances of the metaphysical world in physical will not go away and our ability to decide upon their truth will not increase -unless it is favour of the metaphysical. Any conception of life needs to take these appearances into account without dogmatising them into a system.
The vector field is a transcendental plane or rather series of planes that act as an intermediary between the accretions and the umbratic. The vector field can be thought of as unaccreted pneuma. The physical vector field is that experience that phenomenologists often try to perceive as part of their systems: the Husserlian hyle, the pure sensation block that becomes differentiated into different things or as we will say with regard to the vector field, regions. It is that field[s] of existence that can be dimly be seen when try to pretend we don’t know that everything ‘is’ all the different things we see before us.
The most extreme visual vector field is the physical world as pure undifferentiated sensation, however the vector field has not entirely gone in effect on less abstract levels. True the spatio-temporal existence itself can be viewed as vector-field regions, however even when these are established, the effect is still present. When we enter a room and many of the devices in that room are unknown to us, these are now vector regions. They may have a broad scope accretion like ‘machines’ attached to them, but we may have no understanding of where one machine stops and where another ends. They exist in an unintelligible (incoherent) mass. Then the technician comes in and explains the machines, she gives me the names for the different regions and tells me what each one does. The concept (accretion) sticks to the vector. We say in this regard ‘this vector region was capable of taking this concept’ and mean that the word is appropriate to the thing.
The meaning of vector then is like that of a vector which carries a parasite, virus, bacterium. Vectors carry accretions and in the regular language of everyday life this is how language functions. Different regions of the vector field play host to different accretions. Many vector regions are capable of housing more than one accretion. A saucer is easily an ashtray. The vector region that takes the accretion ‘saucer’ easily also takes ‘ashtray’. Sometimes the vector region that takes the accretion ‘log’ can take the accretion ‘seat’. Found objects of unknown original usage still have their original accretion attached but it may then be covered over by a new accretion. The grammar of ‘really’ means ‘original’ but if the new accretion can be taken by the vector then it is just as equally this thing. This is all it means for something to be something.
Equally a different appearing object may house the same accretion. I might show someone an old device and ‘say this is a phone’ (this vector can house the phone accretion). They do not understand how this is true but then I show them that this is the case. They were trapped by the modern appearance of ‘phone’. Likewise the person from the past would not be able to respond to ‘pass me my phone please’ from an array of objects on the table. The black oblong lying next to my keys is a vector that they do not know is capable of taking the accretion ‘phone’. This highlights a feature of accretions in relation to vectors. In a given historical/cultural setting a given accretion is often attached to a vector region or range of similar vector regions that generate false essences. False essences are appearances that pretend to be what the object ‘really’ looks like. These contingent archetypes are often the way the accretion looks when one summons it to mind. Ideal forms like these are related to ‘incoherent coherence’, the apparent sense of definition which always masks the multiplicity of ways in which a thing might appear on three axes: the past, the future and the other (a different culture which might feature the same use-thing in a different form).
False essences as accretive images are the molar aspect of accretions as they struggle to maintain stasis against becoming. Furthermore as accretions exert a magickal effect upon the umbratic powers beneath the vector field, the act of trying to keep something in a particular form will have some effect. This is similar to the way in which false essences are related to the phenomenon of the double. The double is the way in which the accretion once attached to a vector, through the archetypal image (false essence) attempts to make the the vector more like the accretion than the original vector was. This is a process that necessarily goes on all the time.
Of course the vector field is not a purely visual/physical field. For this reason we can speak of the vector field having different planes that intersect, visual and physical being two such -as accretions might be visible without being physical and vice versa. The wind is a invisible region that is physical for example. Audible and olfactory can also be said to have their own planes. Some accretions cut across different planes, some exist on purely one. The planes themselves are of course also vector regions with accretions attached. The olfactory is an accretion that may be applied only to certain kinds of phenomena. However these vast accretions form planes by which a kind of heuristic may be employed. Smells can be learned. There are a myriad of smells in the world that we have often no knowledge of but could be understood. The undifferentiated or ill understood olfactory plane can have accretions applied to its regions. In sounds think of bird song, a twittering mass can be differentiated into individual refrains ‘does that sound take the accretion wood pigeon? No it is a collared dove’. The experiential world is filled with noises. The garbled noise of this plane too can receive greater accretive infestation. Vector regions can be analysed out and have accretions attached accordingly.
There is also the emotional plane. We have named the regions of the emotions. They can be named because the recur. There are rules for feeling and recognition. The regions are a fluctuating mass and their peaks and troughs are the accretions ‘happiness’ ‘anger’ ‘sadness’ etc. False essences occur here too, archetypal dominance is powerful and stasis of these natures encouraged. Small eddies of the emotional plane receive no accretion for their grammar is hard to capture. Sometimes we meet others who know these eddies and we name them together.
Possibly the most curious plane of the vector field is that of rationality. Does thought have a vector field plane? Of course ‘thought’ must have, for it is an accretion, it has a grammar. But the universal similarity of thought as accretion is even less reliable than the contents of the emotional plane, where at least physical displays are common as part of the attribution of the accretion to those regions (happy face, sad face). The action ‘I was thinking’ might be unspeakably different between different beings. But still there are operations of thought, logic for instance. Modus ponens as a concept, as an accretion is just one concatenation of thought that we do all the time. Incoherence does not destroy logic, it merely renders incoherent the concepts that fill in the Ps and Qs. There is an action we can make that either fulfils the criteria to be called modus ponens or not, hence some kind of vector region exist for it. All logical sequences can have this said of them. What about maths? What is ‘plus’? A rule, an accretion that fits a vector of a certain action. As we explore this area it feels as if there is a suggestion that these mental actions are echoes of the physical plane. They are unbound accretions whose home is solidity.
What is language itself? A word is an accretion attached to a vector. There are the noises we hear between us by which we communicate. Every single word is an accretion attached to a vector. Every letter is an accretion attached to a vector. Scribbles, lines on a page. This symbol says ‘A’. See the symbol as vector region. It is nothing but lines, it plays host to ‘A’.
Everywhere a vector region, everywhere a host, everywhere an accretion.