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 umbratic is a curious intersection of different ideas. It is necessary and unnecessary. Its necessity is derived from the fact the idea cannot be removed. It’s lack of necessity from the fact it is technically not needed.

What is it? The umbratic is the idea of the unseen. It is the incoherent phantasy of being outside of perception. It is the wood where no one is watching or listening. The idea emerges out of sceptical thought that attempts to answer the question: is being that is perceived identical to being that is not perceived? The resultant inability to answer this question leaves the agnostic disjunctive appearance over the answer: we cannot say if there is a difference or not. The phenomena that point to there being a difference are again the occult ones. The point being that in synchronistic/magickal phenomena reality has shifted somehow outside of our perceptual sphere -we mean this specifically to the exclusion of the manifestation of spirits/immediately visible/audible phenomena (these invoke different kinds of concepts). That is, we do not see the mechanism by which magick/synchronicity has occurred. There is simply an uncanny rearrangement of things that has the appearance of some kind of agency being involved. This appearance is suggestive of a radical reality rearrangement that was only possible outside of perception, hence the invocation of the umbratic as a space in which the rearrangement was possible. Of course this doesn’t entail that magick/synchronicity could not still be functional in a metaphysical sense without umbratic rearrangement. Such possibilities exist as attractor models: the reality alteration is brought about metaphysically in some way by bringing certain things towards the protagonist without literal finger clicking alteration (such models also entail accretive type entities). However, the fact that the sudden alteration model exists is enough to give the umbratic life.

One can think on the impossibility of the umbratic, on how a space that isn’t perceived is not possible, on how there maybe always something there to detect, to perceive. But the impossibility of the umbratic is not enough to defeat it. It is a strongly incoherent concept that thrives on that impossible sensation of attempting to think what it is to imagine a space that is not being perceived. From here it derives a lot of its power.

The umbratic is related to the thing in itself. It is similar to a perfect scientific object. Something without any observer bias. This is part of its phantasy. But all prostheses act with our consciousness, there are no reports back from the umbratic.

We can try to do away with it. In the pneuminous theory we can imagine that there is only the pneuma, only the conceptual stuff. The umbratic, as mentioned, becomes unnecessary. But the appearance of the beyond the pneuma, beyond the vector field is still there, the phantasy of the outside, the absolute beyond the human security system. So a pure idealism always generates the idea of its beyond which it can never ascertain the validity of.

The umbratic gives the idea of structure. In the Tractatus this is how it is often mentioned. This association is related to the pure idealist issue. The appearance of the idea that there must be something behind the image invokes the notion that this part is what does the holding together. This is reinforced by the way in which the pneuminous level of concepts seems so easily detachable from the vectors. The pneuminous accretions can be unbound from the vectors and clearly perceived in the mind (a field of pure pneuma).

Does this mean the vector field and the umbratic are the same thing? No. Because it is possible to catch a kind of glimpse of the vector field. Phenomenological stripping down achieves something like this. But the vector field is still perceived being. It is like being without any accretions attached, or at least as best as we can achieve. However we can never be sure that there are not inbuilt structuring forces that mean the vector field itself is perceived as a limit, that is there is some kind of Kantian aesthetic holding things together even at this level.

The umbratic is darkness, literally. Darkness is where we cannot perceive so again the notion of the unperceived reemerges. This creates the curious identity between the space behind you and the space in the shadows. Seeing the shadow is the closest one can get to perceiving the umbratic. Of course a certain aspect of the shadow accretion means that it is totalised, that we simply understand it. But the ontological shadow is different from this. The ontological shadow reveals darkness to be the space in which the regular accretions of that shadow space are more prone to being taken over by different ones. That is, the umbratic is presupposed to be a structuring power that lies beneath the vector field. The accretions, the concepts, plug into the vectors, this unity makes our world of things. But the accretions exist unbound also and operate on their own unbidden by our conscious minds. The accretion has the power under rare circumstance to alter the umbratic. To do this is must alter an existing vector-accretion arrangement. In perception as it is happening, the feedback of the realness of the world enables the perpetuity of the solidity itself. But outside of perception it is different, outside the accretions imprinted on the vectors are in some sense still there, yet immediately there is a loosening. This loosening is what makes magick/synchronicity possible. This loosening happens in the darkness because ontologically the lack of perceptual ability facilitates the loosening of the solidity and interference from rogue accretions.

There is power in the shadow.

 

  1. Manifestationism
  2. Incoherence
  3. Phantasy
  4. Pneuma
  5. Accretive theory itself
  6. Design a god.
  7. Significance/Insignificance
  8. Designation
  9. Vector theory
  10. The Umbratic
  11. The Double
  12. The zone
  13. The numbers/the system
  14. NARP

This is the first in a series of posts which will all interlock. Each one covers a key area of what I’m trying to say. When finished each post will feature links to its counterparts making the whole thing easier to understand. Hopefully this will also help me synthesise the whole thing further.

 

  1. Synchronicity as Generative of the Agnostic Disjunction Argument.

The agnostic disjunction argument says that there exist certain kinds of choice which transcendentally cannot be reconciled. The decision on such a disjunction may be made on what seem to be good grounds, however the ground can be shown to be quite unstable. The agnostic disjunction relevant here is the one demonstrated by synchronicity like phenomena. The synchronicity appears as a rupture into the everyday order, this is why it has that arresting feeling. The agnostic disjunctive choice is between whether the phenomena actually obtains in a metaphysically meaningful sense or whether it is simply a psychological projection of significance upon a statistically possible event. It has its transcendental status because in order to deny the phenomena its strong (metaphysically meaningful) status one would have to know the nature of reality with enough certainty to be able to do this. However the synchronicity itself is phenomenological evidence that such ruptures exist, that is, the synchronicity occurring is what it would look like if such things were metaphysically real. This means in order to deny the reality of the phenomena with certainty one must beg the question by presupposing the nature of reality (its solid non-magickal nature) in order to deny the metaphysical existence of the phenomena i.e. because reality is not compatible with synchronicity, synchronicity is not possible. But as the synchronicity called the nature of reality into question we cannot make such a claim. The appearance of the phenomena is agnostic disjunctive at the metaphysical level.

Units

  1. Manifestationism
  2. Incoherence
  3. Phantasy
  4. Pneuma
  5. Accretive theory itself
  6. Design a god.
  7. Significance/Insignificance
  8. Designation
  9. Vector theory
  10. The Umbratic
  11. The Double
  12. The zone
  13. The numbers/the system
  14. NARP
  15. Phantasy
  16. Coherence/Incoherence