I am forced to ask myself if the philosophy I partially advocate is compatible with panpsychism or not? I say partially because I still have not satisfactorily overcome the problem of manifestationism as raised by the agnostic disjunction. Agnostic disjunction simply points to the way in which metaphysical options are just choices that are bolstered (or not) by criteria in the ‘reality’ we currently occupy. Hence according to this rather paralyzing meta-epistemology, panpsychism is one metaphysical option, it has agents that fight its corner and it has enemies that seek to denounce it. Neither position can triumph over the other without the philosophy transforming into some kind of physics that in some way settles the matter (and even then the enemy agents will always be there).

Rather like occult phenomena though -to which panpsychism is easily related, even if panpsychists would like this not to be the case- panpsychism can only be shown to be true, strong evidence to its untruth will not eradicate the suspicion that it might be true.  Consciousness might be clearly demonstrated as an emergent property of a level of complexity and some people would still wonder if being in general was  in some sense conscious too. Materialism doesn’t get a similar similar treatment, in many ways, owing to the continual solidity of things, materialism looks a fair bet, yet it is this default like status that renders it so vulnerable. Materialism can never do enough, because the anomalies and metaphysical possibilities only need science to back them up a little bit to show that something is clearly seriously awry with it. The reverse doesn’t seem to be true. This is because panpsychism can only be the major ontology by being demonstrably true -in the modern world. And if it’s demonstrably true then materialism isn’t going to be considered seriously, because presumably in this panpsychic dominated world, we can clearly show how to interact with/demonstrate consciousness at large in existence. I think this is something to do with the fact that panpsychism is additive but materialism is subtractive. That is, if you can show things are together then this is just the state of affairs (panpsychism) and it can be accepted, but if you wish to subtract something (consciousness) then you be perpetually gnawed at by the possibility that the two things may well be connected -it is an effort to keep them apart. But this is an aside.

The actual philosophy that I wish to consider as and ally of panpsychism or not is the CEO’s own brand of chaos magick friendly ontology: pneuminous accretive theory. This states something like the following.

i) All experiences are formed of a conceptual substance ‘pneuma’. All images, sounds, smells, sensations are pneuminous.

ii) Because everyday experiences suggest structure -solidity, repetitive possibility-, there is the minimum of the idea of restraint upon the pneuma -we do not live in a perpetually mutating dream world (only an occasionally mutating one). That which restrains what the pneuma appears as is the umbra -at least in the case of physical objects.

iii) Memory forming capacity accretes pneuma. Concepts and all the psychological baggage that is attached to them are such accretions.

iv) Concepts are not inert structures contained in minds in bodies, rather they are pneuminous accretions that exist out there in the pneuma, that organisms create and plug into.

v) Concepts as pneuminous accretions are literally attached to the umbratic structure that restrains them.

vi) Pneuminous accretions can, under certain circumstances, affect the restraining umbra. This is experienced as magick/synchronicity/various paranormal anomaly.

vii) All scientific investigations are within the pneuma, there is literally no exit from this, for the umbratic, if real, is necessarily without concept.

viii) The umbratic is not necessarily real but it is a necessarily real idea.

I could go on with these, but this seems sufficient for an outline. What they deliberately don’t contain is an explicit theory for how consciousness comes about. The question as to whether pneuma has always been there or not is not answered either. This is because I have tried not to stray into speculative metaphysics. You might laugh there, noting that clearly that is exactly what I have done. This is true but, as far as I can see these metaphysics are just the logical consequence of accepting something like chaos magick to be ontologically true and not just psychologically true.  The basic condition being that conceptual information must be capable of altering the putatively solid. You could have a pure idealism and not need the umbratic, yet the phenomenology of our experience continually yields the umbratic as concept -the thing in itself being a good example- hence it is inserts itself as kind of necessary agnostic disjunction. As a phenomenology of magickal types of experience, accounting for the cosmological nature of things doesn’t come into it, though clearly there are implications. However as soon as one tries to follow them the agnostic disjunctions begin to proliferate.

So is pneuma conscious? Pneuma is conceptual potential, but that doesn’t make it conscious. Everything you are experiencing is an accretion of some size or another -whether purely mental or physical perception. The chaos magickal compatibility part of the theory says that we can create conscious entities by intent. Essentially by treating something as conscious, so it begins to acquire some form of this possibility. These interactions are magickal and as such temperamental. This is what is known as applying a concept to a vector that will not normally take it. Rocks are not normal vectors that have the concept consciouness ascribed to them. So if I want to talk to a rock I must talk to the rock as if it would respond -ascribe consciousness to it. This will create an pneuminous interface of consciousness sufficient to generate some of kind interaction with the rock. The interface will make an unstable interaction, not a regular kind of conversation.

This commits any physical thing thing we can conceptually describe as being capable of some form of consciousness -of course this is also true of certain kinds of non-physical thing too, but these are often intentionally constructed e.g. egregores. This does not entail that everything is conscious. Certainly in such an ontology, making the pneuma into God would be fairly logical, yet it still remains the case that this does not seem necessarily the case. Nothing about it entails consciousness is everywhere. What it does entail though is that consciousness can escape its home.

If we hypothesize that the appearance of organisms results in the simple binding of pneuma. Evolution of these organisms increases the complexity of the accretions that are formed. Time binding organisms create more and more complex accretive structures. In the history of animism a key question would be whether or not the ascription of consciousness to non-living (to our modern selves) things is the application of concept to unwilling vector or whether it is a primordial appearance that appears alongside the recognition of ourselves and other creatures as sentient. The latter seems quite reasonable, yet of course the actual answer is agnostic disjunctive. If it were the latter, this would mean there was a feedback of primordial ascription of agency (consciousness) towards non-living being, which would in turn -by the magickal thesis- cause the world to respond in a quasi sentient manner. The post hoc version does not have much of a different result, it is simply that the agency ascription is not equiprimordial to agency ascription of other living creatures. It would in this sense represent a kind of primordial ontology -everything is alive. Such an ontology of course would not be doubted, it would be just how things are, it would though be slightly secondary to the recognition of each other as conscious agents. This primordial ontology of animism would indeed render everything as conscious. Yet this consciousness would not be necessary, it would be contingent. Contingent upon there being such a being as possesses the accretion forming ability such that the projection of consciousness upon existence at large was possible.

There is a side issue that we might touch on here. The usual presupposition is that of course animals recognise other creatures as such -different kinds of indices. We do however always presuppose that animals perceive other creatures as different from the general environment. We might consider the possibility that animals consider environment and each other as a far more homogeneous continuum than we have previously considered.

The answer then as to whether pneuminous theory entails panpsychism, seems to be possibly. This contingency may have a kind of historical necessity to it insofar as human history may have entailed a world view of an alive world. If it were true that any being that emerges into self consciousness necessarily views the world as alive in its earlier stages, then the theory would be have to say that some form of panpsychism is necessarily true -though it would be one that entails animism- yet equally it would posit a time in which it was not true -prior to the feedback occurring.

If conceptual potential can be identified with consciousness then panpsychism could more strongly be inferred from the theory. This however would not eradicate the problem of the umbratic. This is as follows: we believe we can conceive of Being without any organism present, yet we must be agnostic about the nature of this unperceived reality. From a pneuminous perspective the impossible beyond pneuma (the umbratic) is an idea we cannot remove. A thoroughgoing panpsychism would not need an umbratic, existence would be self-perceiving in some fundamental way. Having said that the umbratic is a necessary idea, not a necessary truth. So maybe the notion of pneuma as conceptual accretive potential working intimately alongside more regular physical forces is sufficient to reconcile the two? This though would stretch the metaphysical speculation beyond the phenomenology. The phenomenology suggests that consciousness can be said to be true of everything in our reality -contingently. But it would also point out that the umbratic possibility of absolute ineffability lurks literally, just out of sight.

The concept of hypostition is simple to bring about, one simply has to ask the question ‘what is the opposite of a hypersition?’. I am aware there are a couple of takes on this term available on line. These notes concern my interpretation -or grab for the vector.

Hyperstitions are incursions from fiction into reality. A hyperstitional entity may be deliberately created to blur the lines, e.g. the CCRU’s now famous D.C. Barker. Upon coming across this name, the unknowing will start trying to track down who on earth Barker was -to little or no avail. In a world rife with paranoia and conspiracy, the various hints of possible reality that one can come across regarding Barker only exacerbate the confusion -which is of course the point. Even when you do sort of know the actual nature of it, you can still end up wondering if there is some grain of actuality to these kinds of phenomena. As I have pointed out elsewhere, receding time plays a powerful role in increasing hyperstitional potential. Something, created at one point in time very clearly intended as a playful fictional device, can later look even more like it might have actually been real and passed off as a fictional device to hide the ‘terrible truth’.

For a hyperstition to qualify as one, it must blur the reality/fiction lines sufficiently such that it is capable of exerting force in reality (I’m using this term rather loosely in a rather non-philosophical sense of our everyday solidity). Classic examples are ‘Great Cthulhu’ and the activities of economic traders. Cthulhu is now sufficiently real that various occultists can and do try to invoke it, contact it, and who knows maybe even sacrifice to it. The economic example is more banal but no less powerful (indeed more so in a sense). It is simply the ability of a trader to create fictional economic information in order to manipulate the market. Rumors about the status of company’s health, erroneous hints at shadowy takeovers imminent etc. can all have a profound effect on the actual economic situation.

The term ‘fiction into fact’ is clearly too strong for a precise description of a hyperstition, but it gives an idea of the direction in which it acts. It moves from something that would be generally accepted as not true, towards a level of actually obtaining. This direction gives us the way in which we may attempt to unfold its opposite: the hypostition. A hypostition necessarily moves from fact towards fiction (or untruth). This seems kind of intuitively correct momentarily  e.g. as a concept to think about post-truth activities. However the picture is far muddier than this simplicity suggests, for in order to consider a hypostition we must consider what counts as something that is actually true in the first place.

I’m not going to be able to unravel the problem of truth here or at any other time for that matter. But like any philosopher I can make my suggestion to this issue in hand. I consider that the stuff of all kinds (what we call mental or physical) can be broken into post hoc vectors (where by vector I mean a region that has become a carrier for a concept). We must consider them as post hoc or transcendental vectors as they are discoverable as the condition for the applicability of the concept. A given vectors can take different concepts but cannot (unless maybe God) take all concepts. So a tree stump vector can take the concept tree stump and seat but it cannot take the concept mouse. In this way all vectors have differing abilities to house different concepts. I believe we can use the same notion in a non-physical realm also, different vector regions exist in the physical feeling, emotional and cognitive realms that we give concepts to. These maybe more inflexible at housing multiples, though of course the regions can be broken down in different ways across different cultures -colour being a classic example.

So if we can use a concept to describe a vector we can communicate it, if it doesn’t fit the vector in any meaningful way then communication will not be possible e.g. if every time I ask for the spanner you pass me a mouse, the garage will not function, despite your desire to use spanner concept on the vector usually called mouse no meaningful result will be possible -except possibly for a pet mouse called spanner. So this means If we try to use a concept that does not fit the vector it always will not work, right? Wrong. This is an unclear issue for two reasons. One is the problem of magick, which as an embedded possibility in our consciousness is not removable and magick is precisely the possibility that we can apply a concept to a vector that would not ordinarily take it and it will still exert some effect upon the vector. Two is that there are of course many phenomena where we do not have a concept that can be applied to a vector region with any kind of agreement. The human relation to climate change is a particularly relevant example. Even if consensus is growing on there being a relation, people are still quite capable of perceiving the climate change as not related to fossil fuels etc. There is no everyday acceptance of this as something unequivocally certain.

Wherever there is even slight ambiguity potential in the vector field, some humans will be agents for the cracks. Flat earth is a good example of this; the everyday reasonableness of the earth’s spherical nature can be challenged with recourse the first person ‘obvious’ data and some extensive paranoia about the scientific world. The ground of truth is itself already a battleground of hypostitional emergence. Science as a field involved in falsification is awash with agents attempting to hypostitionalise various established positions. To speak in such way suggests we must split the hypostition into at least two forms: i) the practice of showing to be untrue previously held claims in a scientific context ii) the active practice outside of science of something reasonably accepted being deliberately rendered as fictional or untrue.

We need to include (i) just because to exclude seems mistaken as it does in a sense fit the description/direction -we would need to untangle fiction and untrue in order to be able to refine the distinction. However the sense of hypostition that rings as most appropriate is of course (ii). (ii) means that an accepted claim that is perfectly embedded in (many people’s) everyday reality is deliberately and knowingly replaced by a version that has few criteria for its truth (the vector does not obviously fit the new concept) and yet can use the overlapping wriggle room of receding time/not yet occurred time, slight ambiguities/possible doubts and non-first person presence to state the plausibility of the alternative. Holocaust denial seems a good hypostition. The fading into history of the event coupled with what seem like outrageous claims (to sane people) about WW2 footage enable the hypostition. I italicised the word ‘possible’ in an almost Cartesian doubt type level. Hypostitions of this kind are genuinely asking for you to doubt historical footage and of course as we enter an age of increasingly capable computer graphics, such doubts can be made more cogent to believers of the hypostition.

Two further notes. Firstly just to increase the paranoic levels involved here, we also need to recognise that it is possible there are strictly no hypostitions, as the hypostition definition (ii) presupposed the vector invasion was knowingly untrue -the hypostitional agents sought to deliberately alter something they new to be true. It is possible that all perceived hypostitional incursions are in fact simply ‘honest’ attempts to reterritorialze ontological territory as these agents perceive it as true. In this sense then -whilst unlikely- it is possible that hypostition is only ever the paranoid projection of re-writing truth projected upon an enemy agent, when from the enemy agents point of view it is simply truth establishing. I find this last note unconvincing and yet it seems a necessary phenomenological footnote.

Secondly we can note that the difference between hypostition and hyperstition is possibly questionable. We must knowingly create an untruth and seek to apply it over a supposed truth, yet in doing so we have created a fictional entity and unleashed it -a hyperstition. By this logic the trading economical example could in fact be said to be hypostitional. The difference could be posed: 1)  Hyperstition: The creation of fictional entities whose physical vectors do not exist, yet are treated as if the vectors did obtain. As opposed to 2) Hypostition: The creation of fictional/untrue concepts for the purpose of replacing a set of concepts that currently occupy a vector or series of vectors.

The 3rd issue of our journal Parasol has all its submissions in and is being edited as we speak.

It includes the following papers:

 

The Mechanical Wizard.

On the Xenopoetics of Alchemical Theater as an Affective Model for Ritual Hyperoccultation.

Aesthetic Study of Blackouts: An Essay on the Subject in Objectivity, Non-human in the Human, and Ghostly Demons.

A Brief History of General Numogramatics.

The Taint is a Liminal Space.

Beheading the transcendental God-Emperor, or A Prolegomena to Weaponized Magickal Thought

Parasol 5: Zones

We are now currently taking submissions for Parasol 5 on the topic of the ‘Zone’. The recent foray into zonetology was brought about by consideration of the Lynchean, Tarkovskean and Strugatskian zone, Ballard too makes common usage of the term. This is the area of zone usages that we are looking at in the issue, though these are not strict restrictions, anything in the same ballpark will be considered.

This has been written in response to reading Amy Ireland’s piece ‘Noise: An Ontology of the Avant-garde’. It does not deal with the entirety of the paper, we merely wish to point out that there are issues involved in such a picture that are potentially problematic for magickal ontologies. Amy’s paper explains how a Kantian epistemological picture, far from producing clarity, only results in a ‘distorted signal’ at least when we consider matters from the perspective of the outside. This picture is theoretically reasonable unless we actually consider magick to be a possibility.

What is magick? For our purposes let’s take it to be the ability to impose a concept (pneuminous accretion) upon a vector that would not ordinarily take it. Some unpacking there. Let us conceive of everything internally and externally, indeed the possibility of that distinction itself to be concepts imposed upon a pure undifferentiated field of what is. Concepts name regions of this vector field. We call it a vector field because it plays host to concepts and, in the strong magickal version, does so literally -the concept goes outside into the vector. Normally concepts have grown with vector regions and they work together as they have evolved. We call this vector ‘hammer’ because it fulfils this grammar successfully. We call this vector ‘sad’ because it too makes sense to us in consistently applied rules. Pneuma is just the term I use for a hypothetical but magickally transcendental stuff that forms concepts.

Magick says that you can take a concept (pneuminous accretion) out of one place and apply it to another and it will actually do something. That is, it will alter the vector region to be closer to the concept you desire it to be rather than the one it actually is. The love spell is a classic example. A wishes B to love him/her but B does not do so. This is the vector region which has the concept applied to it, B’s not loving A. A uses various magickal means to apply the concept ‘B loves A’ upon the vector region. If successful the pneuminous restructuring takes place which alters the vector field so that now B does in fact love A. This you will notice all takes place with a human or Narp field, even the vector field is still sort of empirically accessible -even only in a phenomenological fleeting sense. There also necessarily something else in play, this is the umbratic. The umbratic is the idea of the beyond -the outside. The umbratic may or may not be identical to what is discovered in the pneuminous realm. It shows itself as the idea of the thing in itself. Being outside of pneuma. The umbratic supplies restraint upon the pneuma. However what magick suggests is that under certain circumstances, the restraint can be breached and the pneuma can alter the umbra.

If you negate magick as a possibility then the Ireland/Land picture goes through perfectly reasonably. If however you entertain the possibility of magickal interaction then you have to rethink it. This is because under this possibility the pneuminous accretion (concept) is not some passive function, rather it is an active process that is plugged directly into the outside such that it actually can alter it. There are a two consequences to this that are worth going through. i) You have a version of Crowley’s ‘Every act…’ in that passive conceptuality is essentially still magickal, it is simply that the concept applied to the vector is perfectly appropriate to it. Hence by this logic, the hammer is actually made curiously more hammer like by the feedback of accretion onto vector (and hence into the umbratic). ii) The signal is primarily distorted by the Narp’s production of the vector field but active magick (conscious and unconscious -synchronicity) is reaching directly into the outside and restructuring the umbra with subsequent consequences for vector field -it will alter it. That is, you cannot think of the picture as being either a pure distortion of an outside signal (because even the outside is infected with the pneuminous inside) or a clarity -because it is also true that the umbratic is sufficiently alien that the signal -the vector field- can always yield novelty of a potentially terrifying nature.

Negating magick makes it a one way process in which we, as cut adrift lonely organic processors struggle to conceptually assimilate an awesome vastness. The possibility of magick does not entirely obviate this, but it does mean that whatever is going on, we are more directly plugged into an umbratic/outside than the strong insignificance picture suggests. Magickal type activity is still possible in the pure distorted signal model, however by making the outside utterly indifferent to our will, one ends up committed an essentially scientific magick. Under this mode, chaos magick is a futile activity that may only hit the mark occasionally by pure chance. Effective magick would be the realm of actual magickal geometry/symbols/sounds that genuinely activated parts of the outside in ineffable ways -a kind of Neoplatonism.

This does not sit particularly well with certain related aspects of this theory set. The numogram for instance is purely accretive or hyperstitional if you will. This makes good sense if you accept chaos magick and strong hyperstition (by implication). On this front the pneuminous accretion of the (p)numogram can exert ontological effects -synchronicity etc. However if we adopt the cut of from the outside model, then all such hyperstitions (unless you want to say they are the real ones as found in a scientific magick) are only of the weak type -effective at a psychological but not ontological level. Chaos magick and strong insignificance are not good bedfellows even though on the surface they look compatible. Chaos magick actually entails the possibility of weak significance -significance propped up by ourselves yet also external to us -a diy God. Strong insignificance can have a Spinoza like God but this renders all chaos magickal adventures in numerological like play utterly ineffective (apart from psychologically) and utterly pointless.

 

The pneuminous accretive theory in its strong sense gives the following picture regarding physical objects. The contents the ‘visible’ field are thought of as a vector field, where vector rather means the possibility of being a carrier (as in diseases). Regions of this thin pneuminous field are picked up and receive usage by Narps, either handled or described. This process accretes pneuma (concept stuff) on the vector regions. This accretive process is not at all at odds with the seemingly external nature of the vector, for the concept has been formed by the vector’s suitability for this purpose. This is the basic physical pneuminous accretion: a vector region inhabited by layers of pneuma. The vector field is of course not purely physical (indeed physical is a pneuminous form attached to a certain  region of the vector field at large) but also covers any region of existence. Emotions exist as part of a vector region and may be identified as recurrent patterns and receive pneuminous structuration -fear, joy etc. The strong (magickal) version of the theory states that there is a essentially a feedback from the accretion as abstracted from the vector which is then reapplied to the vector -which in turn is plug in to the umbratic beneath. This feedback is a weak kind of magick the purely tries to make the vector more like the accretion that gave birth to it. It is as harmonious a relation as can be had in this situation.

What occurs in the case of finance? In one sense the question is easy to answer. In a given social milieu there exist regions of the vector field that we call ‘money’. As we grow older from being children we learn the rules for these regions. The ‘value accretion’ is attached to these vector regions -in the strong theory, this is literally true. This however is an insufficient picture for what occurs. If value were located only in the financial tokens then these would be interchangeable only with each other. This means that value in the financial sense must be attached to the various accretions. This however is also insufficient since the value accretion in the financial sense is not the primordial one. Instead rather there exists value as what we might call value-in-itself or transcendental value. This kind of value can be easily understood to apply to things like food, clothing, tools etc. Even without a financial token system, these will accrete the ‘valuable’ concept. When financial tokens emerge, this lower level is obscured giving them impression that financial value is immediate. Once financial value is established this monetary value accretion seeks to attach itself to whatever it can, that is, it escapes the vectors appropriate for transcendental value and attempts to attach to other vectors.

Capitalism exemplifies this process, as here the financial value accretion perpetually sends pneuminous threads out seeking to increase its territory. To do this it must be able to create value, but not transcendental value as this will have already been a priori converted. Narps are necessarily (in most of the modern world) plugged into the token value accretion. Indeed the financial token system uses Narps’ various desires to proliferate, whilst Narps need the financial token system to survive in the pneuminous structuration that is the world -the system is reciprocal. Here we get a glimpse of the vast phantom worlds we inhabit. Strong pneuminous theory indicates not that we live in a pure idealism, but it does say that the umbratic underneath (beyond the vector field) is shifted (to varying degrees) by the pneuminous accretive attachment. It is too simplistic to say that money isn’t real, the implication is that rather money is very real (because pneuma is not inert like it appears to be).

The feedback of the existence of the tokens makes them more self-identical. The dizzying abstracted nature of some aspects of the financial world is suggestive of its non-reality (such is the accusation often). Strong magickal pneuminous theory says this kind of statement is in error. The pneuminous form of token value is perfectly real and exerts conversion-desire to some extent or other in most Narps. This is the point at which to emphasise that this does not mean simply the hyperstitional manner in which false financial information deftly fed into the system can produce a result. Rather this is the stronger claim that, whilst plugged into Narps in general, the finance token accretion is also independent of them. It exists as a (literally) god like potential coursing through the veins of the pneuminous structures that we all live in.