The structure that we attempted articulate seems to have some relation to the work of Laruelle, though in fairness this is more coincidence than inspiration. The early description of ‘manifestationism’ always struck us as similar to his work. However ‘manifestationism’ never pretended to be anything other than a meta-philosophy and was never developed beyond a certain point owing to a paradox type problem. This being that philosophers became agents of the ontologies, or at least this was the preferred tack. However in making this the case one had to align the meta-theory with a particular ontological bias -something definite has to be asserted about the nature of the subject/agent, in this case, that the ontology is essentially of a higher order than the agent that works for it (the philosopher). The problem then is that manifestationism cannot ground itself without lapsing into a particular manifestation. We find there is still something attractive about the notion of philosophers as agents of ontologies and may well pursue this line of thought again.

Current considerations of Laruelle and Castaneda have somewhat reinvigorated this idea, or at least complemented it. For Laruelle, what I have called the manifestations are the philosophies that arise out of the one but are determined by it in the last instance, meaning the impenetrable one calls the shots on them but the converse is not true. Manifestationism had no transcendental one. The endlessly proliferating philosophies were caused by the agnostic disjunctive incoherence between them all. They did not require a transcendental extra, rather they formed a closed system which was basically kept going by scepticism about each other.

Castaneda’s (or Don Juan’s) insistence on mystery, emphasis on the occurrence of seemingly impossible things and resistance to any kind of theorising suggests something similar to the region that we wish to disclose. In making such a move though we stray even closer to Laruelle, for now we have a region closed off to theory from which all theory springs, which is of course very similar to the Laruellian one. The structure here though whilst similar is also different, for here we seek to feed paranormality back into the system without discussing it in any ontological sense, whilst the Laruellian project is more interested in showing the contingent nature of philosophical practice as a practice though arguably still retains the same hidden presupposition of materiality that most of the standard philosophical canon does.

An attempt at the level of ‘what is before’ has two potential strands to it. One is more akin to a Laruellian one insofar as it exists in a pseudo phenomenological space and operates as a transcendental to all possible philosophies. The other would involve reflections akin to those found in Lewis-Williams ‘The Mind in the Cave’. In this book cave paintings are theorised as being the nailing down of hypnagogic like imagery that may have appeared spontaneously to early humans spending time in cave recesses where darkness was absolute. Notions such as this point out a whole realm of experiences which the western theoretical mind will dismiss as not ‘real’ owing to this word’s near synonymity with the solid and continuous. This is not to be dismissive of such reasoning, of course this kind of thought has very good reason for thinking (to the point of assuming) this. The physical world does indeed appear to be solid and continuous. From this perspective of the before then, it is what we call now call the illusions, possibly also the marvellous sights (rainbows, light reflected through water onto rocks, glowing mists etc), powerful displays (thunderstorms, winds e.g.), hallucinations of any sense (for the sake of argument these would include the paranormalities: ghosts etc) and serendipities. If we strip these of our understanding of them then we can allow ourselves a glimpse of the prior. These experiences would all form a continuum with the solid and continuous.

Another example of thinking similar to this is found in Jaynes book on the origin of consciousness. The argument there is that the internal dialogue was previously experienced as an auditory hallucinogenic command voice. This bicameral mind, as he calls it mind was slowly superseded by modern consciousness which integrated the internal voice into its own understanding by the process of learning metaphorical language. We do not say (unlike with optical illusions e.g.) we now have excellent theories about nature of the internal dialogue, our best notions still turn on the theories of Vygotsky, however Jaynes argument is a related claim to our own insofar as it draws attention to possible ways in which phenomena which just ‘are’ were previously taken to be very different in a very fundamental way.

Of all of these what we come back to again and again are the issues surrounding the serendipities or synchronicities and how to conceive these in this more fundamental way. These are taken to be of maximal importance because these are the phenomena the most represent the possibility of reality at large altering itself in relation to the perceiving being. Even the most sceptical of us can experience a certain jolt when we are struck by a synchronicity (or coincidence if you prefer). If we quickly annul it with our agnostic disjunctive choice then we proceed with passive interest at the curiosity but not with the sense that something exceptional has happened. There is good reason for this of course. The alternatives don’t look appealing to many, there is either a kind of predetermined harmony, psychic awareness or reality altering itself around us to choose from.

In the prior there is no such theorising, there is no choice of ontologies. This state shows all these possibilities in a unified way. What we believe we have here is a world inhabited by powers that would be later classified as spirits but here are so continuous with it as to be unremarkable. The synchronicities themselves would be also nothing but normality, an expression possibly of the powers’ state towards the experiencing beings. And it is here we run into difficulties in this heuristic. Statements like the above seem to drag us dangerously close to a primordial theorising of spirits being linked to fortune. The emphasis we feel has to be on the ineffable fluctuating sense of reality that seems possible here, that makes possible the more ridiculed possibilities of psychic awareness or reality altering. The primordial experience that makes these now largely discarded possibilities has them in its living unity. This means there is a kind of push pull action embedded in it between the appearance of the solid continuity and the fluctuating reality of interplay between extended awareness, powers and actual alteration.

Manhorcan or ‘Into Restless Light’ is a work by the poet Seranoga. The text seems to speak of a kind of double world and a connecting point between them. The word Manhorcan seems to be of his own invention and from its use elsewhere we can be fairly sure it refers to a triangular like formation that occurs naturally in the branches of trees. The text also intimates something of the passing of beings between these worlds and suggests three ways in which this occurs. One is being conjured ‘recitations’, two is that beings may pass through without being summoned ‘you do not always need a key, and thia same rule applies to me’ and three is suggested as a combination of dreams and fear. The spinning shapes referred to at the end have never been successfully deciphered.

A hidden gate between the trees,
A soaring spire that rests at ease,
Behind the circle stands a man,
Who crosses where he first began…

You’d want to see the motion,
You’d want to be the notion,
A slope that hinted downwards,
But lines that stated roundness,

Look at surroundings all are green,
But nothing is quite what it seems,
For here duality strikes twice,
With all the errors of that might,

Into restless light,
That seemed to shimmer with the night,
As cones exist in double lives,
To enter all those within strive,

Com Manhorcan, Rai Manhorcan,
Com Manhorcan, Rai Manhorcan,

Ah Recitations, the cause of visitations,
A spiral drawn between the lines,
No god could ever hope to find,
You do not always need a key,
And this same rule applies to me,

Siamese twin of this world,
And liquid night,
Into restless light…

A hidden gate between the trees,
A soaring spire that rests at ease,
Behind the circle stands a man,
Who crosses where he first began,
And at its end of spinning round,
Revealing more beneath the ground,
The opposite, the self invert,
The hidden land within the earth,

Com Manhorcan, Rai Manhorcan,
Com Manhorcan, Rai Manhorcan,

I crossed in dreamed ascension,
Released by intervention,

Look at surroundings I am here,
Existence constant feeding fear,

Gaps in nothing,
Spinning shapes appear…

by Evan Isoline

The rosy tigers mutated under your fingernails. (This is probably my favorite photo.) Mimicry. A few of the tigers are just clones of other tigers. (Click to enlarge.) 

Of my blood-colored wheatfield when I hold out your fingernails. The sunlight is too much for your eyes and you are not alone. Your eyes will never be too much for me. A mere mite, a blighter of a blab, is what I would offer in lieu of a reckoning. We are not yet at the level of the dead and I am not a dead man. My balaclava is an emblem of the dying. Their sum is a symbol. Where is nobody? 

(Click to enlarge. Click the face of a tiger to see more detail.) Where is the one within and the one outside and its sound? The grasslands are jacinthe in your grasp, where everything is different from everywhere else, where your own little dream is brook-fed and teeming. I would tell you that everything has been done, but I would be an imp of the first rank, a reasting renaissance is what I would breed. The sound of the grass is enough. 

Your fingernails are clogged with light, baetyl stones of a new order, and the teeth of the sirens grind for art’s murder, but not yet. (Click.) The tiger’s face is an empty white mask of what is not. The sun is an example of how to perceive such things without knowing them. I am nothing if not an unidentifiable symbol. Garish as the tiger is. What somebody is beyond speculation? Your bullfighter sweat and so forth. It was a ghost thing. You leave my skin on a faraway hill, as I stammer, oh so happy, a fool in the stage light. (Click image for more detail.) 

I was familiar with two things. This place is without an architect. The second thing is that you had already made me a copy of myself. I cannot speak for the mountains I left in the desert, where my parents are watching birds with strange eyes. The way that we are not our bodies. The tigers through the holes of a ski mask make you forget about the emptiness. There are tigers in the trees. You mouth the word “fire.” Your picture is a dalliance, of the sort that has not a blush or a blench, of what might be in a way not worth seeing. (Click to expand.) 

Nobody here is waiting for the other tigers to evolve. You are already an avatar for a different you. (Click image to open in new tab.) The tigers have feathers in their mouths, but this cannot be taken as proof of a connection to the sky. You shake your head, fraught with pang, point toward the spikelets of foxtail, needlegrass and brome, you make the sign of a rectangle, in the air with a finger. We stared at the clouds that had gushed out or met amorphosed. Each omnipotence is a solitary duet between the sky and itself. (Drag the edge of the frame to adjust image size.) 

There was something familiar about the image. Medieval ghosted tigers, phantasied, decorated, captive until transferred to the new host. Do not expect them to be shunted to a pool of goo. Endosymbiotic rift, a slurp that equates them to stars running through my fingers. (What you click will tell you what you were looking at.) The image had a function outside of itself: it was a map of unconnected places. Antipodes. Not an object that is seen, but a subject that sees. I go back to the niches to repeat a bitter remorse. Grapefruit sweat and so forth. The white tiger on the right has been painted red to resemble the blood of the sun. The tiger to the left is an homage to your love. 

You make the sign of a triangle, which I see as a sail or a wing. A boat is an object in pre-phonological perception: a sight-word. So is a plane. But I know what you mean. The tigers of the droning sea, you think, they do not go near the surface. You would daftly dare to swim them up, just for a look at the sky. The white sky gralloched for the same reason you pleaded the sea to a truce, the bamboos of a broken arpeggio, also palindromes of the moon, fed your carpals with a thunder that flayed the clones of the tigers, more gaunt now, as the image becomes less a representation of the sun and more a mirror of my own rage. 

Where peonies grow wild, the grey peonies sown to your nailbeds, the linden trees and their branches, encuticled. They are so much more, like you, a monasticism, than little beasts made of clay, in the mangrove swamps you call the stage. (Click for higher definition.) Gravity-truth or allegoric. The mince of this once plucky saint all twee and frown. How you muck up, bring ruin to undue dominance, slip to surliness. I don’t like a foretaste of masks. (This picture mocks the way I associate the word “mask” with the idea of masks.) The tiger’s face as a cynical rhizomatic wombland and it’s here. My memories as a blazing cyberlag, a vandalized temple to nature. 

(Open tab incognito, click, click, click.) The heliotropes and pyroclastic borages remember why they are trounced upon, the calliope hummingbirds you call in, each had a name. Why is a word a man? You remarked apropos of an answer, and through the mask you are always oratorically nude. The image is less associated with a sound than with a silence. The image of your dream, this theatre of plenitude and the lolling moorlands where you hide, or were you entranced by a graceless glow? No, flatteries like this, be damned, treasures of hurt, such as I cannot say, as drunk as a swan on white water, this Moloch’s mastery of miniatures—a mighty insectile burden!

(Click. Click. Quite satisfied with the double-click.) The white swan in the mouth of the tiger, the tiger painted black, the two in a circle, the cloned suns I had been too afraid to touch, that are, when they were the bribe for hate, loose swarms of lineages withering, after your abracadabra, waiting at chakra-points of my blank frame, cruel biomes, where the tigers flood in. (Click the maw to open.) The antithesis of semiotics, I suppose, is your picture, skulled in the throat of the tiger, kiss, kissed, by a wide-open spigot of ants. My own implications. The lust and fear of “why?” Why is darling. 

Even in the chaos, there is a number-zombie (letter), which is called Becoming. Autoflowering. Ditto dandelion and begonia. (Click the “x” in the tab to close the window. Force quit if window won’t close.) Remove the mask. The image wasn’t rosier than the cinders leaking up in the dark. The wet-winged tiger split this misanthropic breed from its old god. All your brooms were broken. Floating in the zeitgeist. The image approaches a thaumaturgical theatre. It was the day before, and suddenly it was gone, like a dream. Sunlight on a windowsill. Sunlight in your eyes. I’m a sign, they think, shifting up, back, subvocalizing. The most kind of jaw-dropper quill. Red of acetylene. Numb threads were woven along. Their sum was arbitrary. There isn’t a number lower than infinity.

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.