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.