Postulating there is no deity setting actual rules for existence (other than deities which are themselves vast hoary accretions, or potentially powerful pneuminous beings not of our creation, either of which would not be an ultimate being) what can we say about the ethical status of the accretions? Does this question even make any sense?

We believe there is some kind of commentary can be made on this topic, though it is difficult given that all human existence is a priori accretive (if we accept the theory). All the ideas in your ‘mind’, all the stuff you can see and hear, even yourself are all accretions of the same conceptual substance -pneuma. The commentary requires a kind of wondering. The wondering is something like this: is it possible that attaching too many accretions to the self (the neurotic accretion or NA) is in some sense negative? Again this is tricky because of the issue of value. In an ethical void, whether we exist as pneuminous beings bound up with endless threads to endless other accretions or whether we minimise the lines of connection seems to matter little. However there is the matter of the functionality of the organism. Is it possible then that weighing the NA down with endless accretive layers impairs its functionality?  This doesn’t really seem unreasonable.

Using our the recently developed D&G plug-in we can say that extra accretions are formed through intensities. Emotional attachments, patterns of behaviour, these are how it happens. Keeping things, holding onto feelings, being fixed in routine. If accretive theory is correct then these kinds of actions are creating actual accretions of pneuma that themselves accrete to the NA. Some kind of affect, some kind of will makes this happen.

It is easy to note systems like Buddhism eschew attachment (many religions touch on this kind of aspect) and in that sense encourage forming as few a lines as possible. What we find interesting is the tension between the poles of maximum and minimum accretive attachment. A truly minimal engagement with excessive accretions is often the aim of occult systems. The notion is that the accretions encumber the ‘energy body’ and thus reduce its capacity to be effective. This, in its harshest form, could involve separating oneself from even other persons in order to free oneself from the bonds both of our attachment to them and of their ability to pneuminously restrain us through their perception. At the other end of the spectrum is the pneuminous hoarder. Some NAs don’t know how to let go of anything , either emotionally or physically. Pneuminously these are near identical. A physical thing is just pneuma attached to a vector, it is the pneuma we are in contact with, not the vector. ‘Physical thing’ is just one more concept (accretion) itself, admittedly a deep grammatical one. Unbound pneuma (the contents of the mind) is just that, pneuma unbound to the vector field plane that gives rise to physical grammar. Emotionally charged accretions, either bound or unbound can be astonishingly powerful and the NA may feel it cannot separate itself from them. Artifacts, memories, places all can be accretively bound by intensity. Extreme cases of being wedded to endless accretive structures can be reasonably said to impair the well-being of the organism.

But in the middle of this spectrum, isn’t this where ordinary human existence lies? Accretive formations are a regular part of existence that humans generally manage to negotiate without lapsing into the hoarding pole -the other pole is generally perceived as less problematic and certainly not something one is likely to lapse into. What is interesting to speculate about in this regard is the role of capitalism in relation to our accretive relations. Mass production, endless improvement and easy replacement arguably have a negative impact on what could be seen as positive accretive relations.  Whilst it can be seen as unhealthy to be excessively attached to appliances, furniture etc, it is possibly better to have some kind of intensity attachment to such things as opposed to viewing them as purely disposable. Disposable is fine if the disposability can be dealt with, however we can see that this has not really worked out.

The point is that a certain kind of keeping things is not unhealthy attachment even if it can resemble it. Disposable and/or mass produced things mirror each other in their encouragement of the non-special. The keeping of and passing on things imbued with intensity is an important part of being-human. By this I again refer to something like the notion of Heidegger’s human. The human of the disposable is the post-human. The fantasy of freeing oneself from stuff (unless one is embarking on an occult path) is largely exactly that. You free yourself from stuff in order to passively accept the disposability of stuff. You cannot give someone a phone and expect it to be particularly meaningful. No one will keep it to pass it on.  But things like vases, plates, cutlery, rooms, tables these should be allowed to grow old (for humans to be humans -if they want to be humans) and be passed on.

In this sense capitalism gives the worst of both worlds. It generates attachment to stuff, desire for stuff. The accretive attachment becomes to ‘buying’ itself and the ephemeral status/feeling the stuff may bring. Capitalism gives no freedom from attachment to accretions like the sorcerer requires, attachment is still horribly present. But equally, valuing the stuff is lacking, for there is so much more where it came from. The attachment of affect at the level of what I have called being-human is missing.

Viewing things through the eyes of accretive theory can help to redeem some of the capitalist dehumanising. This is so because accretive theory says that the things gather what happened to them. Not just in their cracks and knocks but at the pneuminous level. Things accrete like we (NAs) do, it is a double process. Just as I become attached to it so it does to me and when I am gone my interactions with the thing are still there accreted to it. Disposability/mass production helps to develop the attitude that the things are all the same. Each thing has embedded in it its story in the pneuma.

None of this says what anyone should do. It merely describes certain relations under various conditions.

 

Accretive theory seems to have a similar feel to Deleuze and Guattari’s work. The way I see it is that accretive theory has very little to disagree with in what D&G say except that accretive theory has a strong sense of having something overtly correlate like about it, whereas D&G’s work does not. The pneuminous accretions are a correlate, they are all we have access to. Every description of non-human existence is mediated by human created accretive structures. These pneuminous structures are formed by humans but they not bound only to them. In accretive theory, the conceptual stuff (pneuma) is attached first to a layer called the vector field (unconceptualised perceived existence) and through this to the umbratic -that which is outside of perception.

In D&G language an accretion is largely a molar entity. Why? Because there need to be actual entities that can be named, that can be designated. Why? Because the appearance of magick is ineradicable (see agnostic disjunction). Wittgenstein’s later work is almost flawless. You can fill in more details but the premise is pretty cast iron. This is the click that people get and become Wittgensteinians: ‘meaning is use’. This pithy phrase provides all the machinery you need to understand in principle what’s going on in language. A word can only mean what it means in its use context. There is no designation as such. Words meaning objects is an illusion that confuses us endlessly.

This is perfectly fine unless you introduce something like magick into the picture. If the agnostic disjunctive argument works then the grammar of magick cannot be ignored and magick needs designation in the strongest sense possible. If I want to interfere with some individual, magick is expected to be capable of making this interference by possibly using only their name. Of course systems sometimes require body matter e.g. hair, but the name should be really sufficient. How can magickal acts tell who we mean? If this occurs then it must travel from the operator through the name (as part of that accretion) to the individual (vector) by the sheer fact that the operator knows who they mean by that name. It might not be the name, it might just be a mental image of likeness, yet still the connection is necessarily still their just by virtue of the fact that the operator knows who they mean. Image in this instance is also part of the accretion, to see such an image is as real a connection as if the person were right there because it is all the same accretion. Accretions mean designation is metaphysically real and that in  a sense objects really are certain objects. Of course it is possible to start using an object as something else, this process layers the pneuma of the new concept over the old one, yet it will not eradicate it, the pneuma of the old concept is still there: a saucer now ashtray, still has the saucer accretion hiding in there.

D&G also provide the useful term intensity. This can be used in relation recent ruminations on the will to give a way of describing why a magickal act does something where an idle thought does not. Magickal acts bring about a certain intensity. This intensity is the power the operator seeks in order to impose a new accretion onto a vector -as this is what magick is, the imposition of new concepts onto vector regions which may already be inhabited by more original accretions.

Now just because accretions behave like molar entities does not mean that the magickal thesis has eradicated meaning as use. It has not. The meaning as use relation is still always in operation and represents the ground from which the accretions form. Use relations reify into fixed accretions. Use relations are more akin to molecular becomings as opposed to the accretive molar. This relation is reflected in the epistemological characterisation of things as either incoherently coherent (accretion as molar entity) and upon analysis coherently incoherent (the bleeding edge of becoming).

Magick creates opportunities to create strange becomings in a very literal sense. It may be that D&G already acknowledge occult interaction however this conclusion seems far from clear -there are differing interpretations to their occult references. Pneuminous accretive theory says that all conceptual attachments to vectors are essentially magickal. Regular objects are accretions attached to vectors that perfectly fit the rules for their use. Hard things of various sizes made of certain substances (more accretions) take the concept stone. The stone accretion is applied to the vector and reflects back onto it making the vector in a minute way more like the accretion. This is just the regular action of the accretion upon the vector.

Magick occurs when an accretion is applied to a vector that would not normally take it. Intensity draws a pneuminous line (of flight) from one accretion and attaches it to the alien vector forming something new, not just in the mind of the operator but literally at the pneuminous level (which is partially independant from the operator). Their must be an intensity or the pneuminous line will not be drawn out. In this way I may have an umbrella purely and for the fun of it want to attach the concept of octopus to the umbrella. In this strange instance I must use some form of repetition of ritual to attach the octopus accretion to the umbrella. Now clearly the becoming-octopus of the umbrella is not in a sense in which the umbrella can participate by intensity itself, however their will be some interaction and the greater I try to forge the line of connection the more the umbrella will be (incoherently) wedded to the octopus accretion. Likely results will be some form of synchronicity regarding cephalopods around the umbrella but the actual nature of the whole assemblage of myself, the octopus-umbrella and its usage is really impossible to determine.

As confessed maybe this possibility is already inherent in D&G’s work. If it is though it certainly isn’t unambiguous. Accretive theory though is explicit that pneuminous lines of attachment are not simply psychological but represent points of actual connection between accretions, these in turn may alter what we call physical reality.

In the Tractatus Pneumatologico Philosophicus there is a small section entitled ‘Mystery’.

It reads:

“Mystery is the manifestation of existence as incoherence. Mystery gives rise to
phantasy; if existence were not inherently mysterious phantasy would not arise.
Reality too emerges out of mystery as the phantasy we decide is not phantasy. This
is reality. Mystery is incoherence, hence all phenomena are mysterious. They submit
to the accretion of the pneuma to be rendered incoherently coherent.”

This small term has received no other treatment so far, however now it seems that it presses for a greater expansion of its use. What does the above passage mean? The term phantasy is a precursor to the more recently developed manifestationism -the competing of plural ontologies. A phantasy is a viable reality (it has criteria to support it) that is not the dominant one. The way the Tractatus expresses it is that the solid world of consistent being is reality, where ‘reality’ just means the dominant model. A phantasy could be the dominant model, it is not out and out lunacy (a fantasy). A phantasy is on an agnostic disjunctive par with the current reality, it is just that certain forces currently hold this one model in power (as reality) rather than another.

Incoherence is a reference to the notion within TPP that all concepts reveal themselves in two manners: incoherent coherence and coherent incoherence. A concept in its regular being-encountered is the former, that is we take the concept as coherent without questioning it. Any analysis of any concept will show its edge of collapse and we are capable of knowing this, hence the concept then becomes coherently incoherent.

Mystery is different insofar as it is pure incoherence. Mystery here is posited as the ground that renders the agnostic disjunction possible. If phenomena were not able to be understood through many different ontologies there would be no mystery, just the comprehension of things in the way they actually are. As such mystery has a transcendental quality to it.

Mystery is not just a theoretical description. Mystery is an exhortation to remind ourselves that we potentially know very little about what is going on in this world. This is at least in part Heidegger’s issue. Pure facticity insofar as such a thing is possible reveals the astonishing presence of the world. No matter how convincing science and technology become we need to try to keep the mystery in sight. This at least is Heidegger’s point. This returns me to a theoretical place that I frequently find myself. The human as the dweller in the world responds to the mystery. Heidegger means that this creature, this dweller could be lost and what will remain will be still biologically human but will not be such a dweller. In this instance mystery, whilst not utterly lost, will be essentially lost. The layers will be so great that it will not be possible to contact it. Everything will have its explanation. The choice is whether we want to retain this dweller who has access to mystery or become what lies beyond it?

The philosophy here is less gloomy about the possibility of loss insofar as the agnostic disjunction in relation to encountering phenomena like synchronicity mean it is always going to be possible to interpret certain phenomena as mystery. What is probably true is that it may become harder to sustain the interpretation, to choose the ‘other corridor’ of the AD.

There is it would seem an alliance between ‘mystery’ and occult interpretation of phenomenon. This is confusing insofar as mystery seems to be intended as a phenomenon that enables the agnostic disjunction rather than one that is actively on one side of it. However when faced with an occult event we can either rationalise it (suck it back into the regular world) or accept that the world is much much stranger than we took it to be. The former side plugs into the explanation world that strives towards coherence, the latter acknowledges immediately the pure incoherence of the world. Of course occult ontologies exist, but they always bring the incoherence to the fore. Explanation through metaphysics, as Kant noted, is not really explanation, it’s just speculation.

What of accretive theory then? Isn’t it an explanation? Yes it is. It tries to be the best rational fit for accepting the agnostic disjunctive second arm. One might say in this respect it tries to remove mystery. It might provide some illumination, but the acceptance of accretive theory just does exactly what any occult ontology does (except without the dogma): it brings the incoherence to the fore. All accretive theory says is that if the synchronicity can be said to be ‘real’ then the concept (the pneuminous accretion) has been capable of altering the normal solidity (the umbratic). It’s easy to write this but to try to process what it must be for this to be the case does indeed bring the incoherence to the fore. Accretive theory cannot tell you and does not try to tell you how this happens, only that it does.

The problem of animism (as previously discussed) suggests the kind of problematic situation in relation to mystery. If the world is capable of responding in the manner like accretive theory suggests, then to get it to animistically respond one would likely need to invest in it in an active way in order for it to do so. If one continues to treat it rationally like ‘stuff’ it will not respond. The stuff perception is so strong that of course one does not want to treat the wind and rocks as if they are alive but of course as soon as someone is experimentally brave enough to do so they then face a second problem as soon as they feel the animistic world interacting with them. That is, they then encounter the agnostic disjunction in relation to the interaction. The sense that ‘this is just madness’ is almost overpowering and for good reason. They may well be right. But the safety net of rationality is never strong enough to absolutely dismiss the possibility.

The ‘what is it?’ is mystery and mystery is the ally of occult ‘explanation’. ‘Reality’ is surrounded.

 

 

 

This  note forms part of an ongoing discussion at the CEO regarding a number of issues regarding accretive ontology. One such issue involves the possibility of an accretive typology of sorts. No doubt there will be more on this in the future, this whole discussion though seems to have unearthed a general movement towards recognising pluralities within the system.

What seems interesting as a possibility is to try to push the occult descriptions much further than the usual synchronicity area to see if anything can be gained from doing so. Let us consider animism with a serious eye. Animism fits well with accretive theory. The concepts of being alive are accreted to the various things such that they do indeed respond in certain ways. We cannot say what ways such things would be. What we do hit upon here is the modality of attaching significance to plant, stone, river etc behaviour as if it has volition. Such a belief requires connecting phenomena together in certain ways e.g. considering the swaying of plants in the wind to be part of their movement and stronger still than that, that such movement might be discernible as communication or some other kind of action. The wind itself could be viewed in such a way, the wind as a being with a volition.

Such perceptions are only possible under choosing the first arm of the agnostic disjunction ‘magick is real’ or ‘magick isn’t real’. However this choice is not as simple as the synchronicity option. In the case of the synchronicity the phenomena is overtly there as something strange. The event itself raises the issue. After the event we will decide whether reality can really do that in the strong sense (pneuminous accretive intervention) or if really it is just coincidence.

In the case of such animistic interpretations we do not have the same strong reason to make such a choice. There is nothing to prompt any upheaval of our regular interpretation of the inert unresponsive nature of things. To make the choice to do so seems insane and yet we have to be aware that the same issue with reality holds sway. Since we do not have an absolute understanding of reality we cannot say that inanimate things definitely cannot respond in some way. This of course isn’t really much good, it might be true but we have no grounds on which to believe it. The grounds however can come if one makes an experiment to treat the things around as if they were in some sense animate. Such a belief needs something like accretive theory to keep it from descending into indefensible nonsense. Accretive theory at least can give good grounds why anything can be imbued with some form agency if we attribute it to it. If then, we make an experiment of seriousness to treat things as if they had an, albeit incoherent, sense of life, then likely enough we will get some kind of synchronicitous or other like phenomena that seem quite remarkable.

At this point the agnostic disjunction can kick in with greater force to suggest that maybe there is something to animism (or accretive theory at least) because now we have an interference level phenomenon to substantiate it. Of it is a disjunction, we can still opt out. But now the appearance will be such that the strange phenomenon (whatever it was) may well be exactly what it would look like if animism were real, hence the appearance of the regular world and the newly discovered animistic one become equal. The discovery is something like a conditional proof in which we had to assume the truth of animism in order to make its possibility visible. Of course as soon as we do make any kind of acceptance then many ontological problems kick in. Given our habituation e.g. how it that wind and plants are not just contingently connected? How did the lake make the fish leap out at the correct moment to our talking to it in way that seemed beyond chance?

For these things to be actually strange and not just psychological projection we again need something like an accretive theory. This does not tell us the mechanics of how things work, for it is only a phenomenology, but it does say that a reversal occurs in such instances. That is, where normally the concept is determined by the vector, in these circumstances, the concept  (pneuminous accretion) manages to reach into the umbratic and alter it such that at the level of perception the (ambiguous) incredible is perceived.

Make no mistake this does unambiguously assume reality is much stranger than it seems. Such an acceptance seems to imply local reality fluctuations are perfectly reasonable that are often totally undetectable to others.  It also has the infuriating implication that many strange phenomena will not display themselves unless engaged with. This of course would seal the sceptics opinion as it would be literally impossible for them to enter such a world.

Note, none of this is an endorsement of animism or any other stance for that matter. All it says is that the appearance of the phenomena generate ambiguities which are not often impossible to close down (agnostic disjunctions). Animism is interesting because it does not suggest itself in the same way that synchronicity can appear as spontaneous rupture. Few would infer animism from synchronicity, but probably synchronistic phenomena would occur as a result of engaging with animism.

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.