The vector field is a transcendental plane or rather series of planes that act as an intermediary between the accretions and the umbratic. The vector field can be thought of as unaccreted pneuma. The physical vector field is that experience that phenomenologists often try to perceive as part of their systems: the Husserlian hyle, the pure sensation block that becomes differentiated into different things or as we will say with regard to the vector field, regions. It is that field[s] of existence that can be dimly be seen when try to pretend we don’t know that everything ‘is’ all the different things we see before us.

The most extreme visual vector field is the physical world as pure undifferentiated sensation, however the vector field has not entirely gone in effect on less abstract levels. True the spatio-temporal existence itself can be viewed as vector-field regions, however even when these are established, the effect is still present. When we enter a room and many of the devices in that room are unknown to us, these are now vector regions. They may have a broad scope accretion like ‘machines’ attached to them, but we may have no understanding of where one machine stops and where another ends. They exist in an unintelligible (incoherent) mass. Then the technician comes in and explains the machines, she gives me the names for the different regions and tells me what each one does. The concept (accretion) sticks to the vector. We say in this regard ‘this vector region was capable of taking this concept’ and mean that the word is appropriate to the thing.

The meaning of vector then is like that of a vector which carries a parasite, virus, bacterium. Vectors carry accretions and in the regular language of everyday life this is how language functions. Different regions of the vector field play host to different accretions. Many vector regions are capable of housing more than one accretion. A saucer is easily an ashtray. The vector region that takes the accretion ‘saucer’ easily also takes ‘ashtray’. Sometimes the vector region that takes the accretion ‘log’ can take the accretion ‘seat’. Found objects of unknown original usage still have their original accretion attached but it may then be covered over by a new accretion. The grammar of ‘really’ means ‘original’ but if the new accretion can be taken by the vector then it is just as equally this thing. This is all it means for something to be something.

Equally a different appearing object may house the same accretion. I might show someone an old device and ‘say this is a phone’ (this vector can house the phone accretion). They do not understand how this is true but then I show them that this is the case. They were trapped by the modern appearance of ‘phone’. Likewise the person from the past would not be able to respond to ‘pass me my phone please’ from an array of objects on the table. The black oblong lying next to my keys is a vector that they do not know is capable of taking the accretion ‘phone’. This highlights a feature of accretions in relation to vectors. In a given historical/cultural setting a given accretion is often attached to a vector region or range of similar vector regions that generate false essences. False essences are appearances that pretend to be what the object ‘really’ looks like. These contingent archetypes are often the way the accretion looks when one summons it to mind. Ideal forms like these are related to ‘incoherent coherence’, the apparent sense of definition which always masks the multiplicity of ways in which a thing might appear on three axes: the past, the future and the other (a different culture which might feature the same use-thing in a different form).

False essences as accretive images are the molar aspect of accretions as they struggle to maintain stasis against becoming. Furthermore as accretions exert a magickal effect upon the umbratic powers beneath the vector field, the act of trying to keep something in a particular form will have some effect. This is similar to the way in which false essences are related to the phenomenon of the double. The double is the way in which the accretion once attached to a vector, through the archetypal image (false essence) attempts to make the the vector more like the accretion than the original vector was. This is a process that necessarily goes on all the time.

Of course the vector field is not a purely visual/physical field. For this reason we can speak of the vector field having different planes that intersect, visual and physical being two such -as accretions might be visible without being physical and vice versa. The wind is a invisible region that is physical for example. Audible and olfactory can also be said to have their own planes. Some accretions cut across different planes, some exist on purely one. The planes themselves are of course also vector regions with accretions attached. The olfactory is an accretion that may be applied only to certain kinds of phenomena. However these vast accretions form planes by which a kind of heuristic may be employed. Smells can be learned. There are a myriad of smells in the world that we have often no knowledge of but could be understood. The undifferentiated or ill understood olfactory plane can have accretions applied to its regions. In sounds think of bird song, a twittering mass can be differentiated into individual refrains ‘does that sound take the accretion wood pigeon? No it is a collared dove’. The experiential world is filled with noises. The garbled noise of this plane too can receive greater accretive infestation. Vector regions can be analysed out and have accretions attached accordingly.

There is also the emotional plane. We have named the regions of the emotions. They can be named because the recur. There are rules for feeling and recognition. The regions are a fluctuating mass and their peaks and troughs are the accretions ‘happiness’ ‘anger’ ‘sadness’ etc. False essences occur here too, archetypal dominance is powerful and stasis of these natures encouraged. Small eddies of the emotional plane receive no accretion for their grammar is hard to capture. Sometimes we meet others who know these eddies and we name them together.

Possibly the most curious plane of the vector field is that of rationality. Does thought have a vector field plane? Of course ‘thought’ must have, for it is an accretion, it has a grammar. But the universal similarity of thought as accretion is even less reliable than the contents of the emotional plane, where at least physical displays are common as part of the attribution of the accretion to those regions (happy face, sad face). The action ‘I was thinking’ might be unspeakably different between different beings. But still there are operations of thought, logic for instance. Modus ponens as a concept, as an accretion is just one concatenation of thought that we do all the time. Incoherence does not destroy logic, it merely renders incoherent  the concepts that fill in the Ps and Qs. There is an action we can make that either fulfils the criteria to be called modus ponens or not, hence some kind of vector region exist for it. All logical sequences can have this said of them. What about maths? What is ‘plus’? A rule, an accretion that fits a vector of a certain action. As we explore this area it feels as if there is a suggestion that these mental actions are echoes of the physical plane. They are unbound accretions whose home is solidity.

What is language itself? A word is an accretion attached to a vector. There are the noises we hear between us by which we communicate. Every single word is an accretion attached to a vector. Every letter is an accretion attached to a vector. Scribbles, lines on a page. This symbol says ‘A’. See the symbol as vector region. It is nothing but lines, it plays host to ‘A’.

Everywhere a vector region, everywhere a host, everywhere an accretion.

 

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.

This synthesis is a long time coming. The whole of pneuminous accretive theory thus far is born of Husserlian/Heideggerian phenomenology, the later Wittgenstein and chaos magic. I can hardly have failed to be aware of the pathway opened up to occult thought by D&G, very specifically through the CCRU. Though this doesn’t seem to do D&G justice, it is possible to read TP as if  they actually allow the possibility of sorcery. Philosophy doesn’t really like sorcery, philosophy doesn’t really want to deal with it. This is understandable, magickal effects are easy prey for scepticism. If you want to create systems that give solid epistemological results then magick is not going to help.

Like sorcery itself D&G seem to hover on precisely the agnostic disjunctive border. It is perfectly possible to read the sorcerous references in TP as just analogy for how things function (capital, assemblages in general)  whilst accepting a broad albeit Spinozist materialist kind of ontology. It is also possible to read it as if any ontology therein is utterly open the actuality of magick. Such a reading would mean assemblages as crossing different strata would not just be crossing over layers of materiality, it would have to include connecting lines that crossed time, that crossed worlds. A synchronicity as assemblage.

The influence of Castaneda on TP does not seem to be readily understood. Maybe the ridicule that Castaneda’s works received have brought about an airbrushing. Brent Adkins’ guide to TP contains not one index reference to Castaneda and yet if you have read Castaneda it is startlingly obvious that TP draws on it massively. Castaneda is certainly mentioned overtly but the line of flight is mentioned many times before it is made clearer that this too seems drawn from there. In Castaneda’s system, luminous fibres extend from the egg shaped energy blob of humans. This world is carefully described to not be thought of as luminous eggs wandering round in the same kind of space-time as we normally experience things. The fibres extend not simply in space but in directions we cannot conceive. They are lines of flight connecting things in a very real sense by contagion. The egg is a theme that peppers D&G which may not be drawn from the luminous egg yet certainly they were aware of this resonance. The key term assemblage itself may be taken from the Castaneda’s term assemblage point -the point of light in the luminous fibres that determines what reality we will experience. It may be that they do indeed just appropriate the ideas to deterritorialize them but equally maybe the usage of such material is there to hint at the extreme possibilities available in becoming.

In the pneuminous accretive theory I have been developing over the past 8 or so years we say that if such phenomena obtain and we bracket off magickal objectivity (this colour, smell really means such and such etc) then we are left with conceptuality being formed of a more active principle which is, under certain circumstances capable of altering what looks like solidity. This active principle we call the pneuma; it gives conceptuality the nature of a substance in the sense that it can interact with what we take to be the regular solidity of the world. All concepts are what we call accretions of pneuma: concepts stuck to concepts stuck to concepts: a multiplicity. Each accretion is formed around a signifier which enables its designation to function both in a regular sense and a magickal sense. Here we see the line of flight in action. When I think of something I am connected to it through such a pneuminous line. The thought is the accretion. They are not two separate things.

In considering D&G then we need to emphasise the sorcerous aspect by basically saying ‘if we treat the work as it is ontologically open to the possibility of magick then how does it account for it?’ Furthermore can we translate the accretive theory into language of D&G to productive effect?

I cannot make detailed progress with this today but I do note that there is clearly something to be worked on with the accretion, the abstract machine and the assemblage. The accretive theory was partly formed as it answers the problem of designation by the pneuminous connecting line: this really means this and it does it like this. It recognises the molar stasis of things. The accretion is the manifestation of this stability, it often appears in an archetypal form, it subsumes its incoherent edges of possibility until reluctantly a new image overtakes it -think of how TVs have changed. A television is a part of a machinic assemblage. An accretion is pure concept, it is the shiny surface and what it does. To many it has the incoherent edge of technology: the necessity that technology runs it yet a general blank as to how it does so. The acknowledgement connects even the most naive TV viewer to the technological axis yet the television runs along so many others also: entertainment, status, sexual, favourite shows and so on. What seems to be happening (as I work this through) is that the assemblage notion can be seen to run within the pneuminous. The big difference I am feeling is that there is a kind of comfort with materiality in D&G that accretive theory feels the need to bracket off. But if there is materiality then there is no sorcery (?). This is why the analogy reading comes in. Sometimes the materiality is palpable in TP.

I think the key to exploring this is in to tease out how the same connections exist in accretive theory as do in the materiality of assemblages, except in accretive theory the whole thing must be continually held in the space of vector-accretion, every machinic component must be of this nature.

Does it make sense to call the vector-accretion dyad an assemblage? There is indeed a question.

 

I read Carlos Castaneda about 20 years ago; previously to that I had deliberately ignored him as new age nonsense. However at some point the moment appeared when the academic philosophy was less and certain other impulses  were more prevalent. I must be honest. I was bowled over by it. Castaneda can write and the narrative is both seductive and compelling. It begins with what seems like some kind of initiation into possibly real practices and progresses into a description of stranger and stranger things. Taken as it actually is it’s really quite terrifying: proper reality bending sorcery is actually possible, teleportation is possible, non-organic entities lurk on the periphery of reality and some actually feed off our awareness as a default state of existence. The books eventually unveil a system that resembles a quite extreme form of chaos magickal reprogramming. One must break ones habits, learn to not be the habitual self, unlearn perception itself to achieve as Deleuze and Guattari rightly note ‘the body without organs’. Opportunities for ‘power’ lurk all over the place and if we are interested we have to know how to grasp them.

The system has a energy body which describes humans as a luminous egg of fibres with a particularly bright patch behind the back in the same place in us all. This is the famous assemblage point (my Deleuzian interest is piqued at this name). The position of this point determines what reality we experience and in most people it stays in the same place, however the sorcerer learns to move it so as to move between worlds.  As the books progress we learn the possibility that we may not even be aware of many things we have done or even do and that when we die we are consumed by a giant entity called the eagle. That is unless we have done our practices so rigorously that we can bypass this option and escape into the infinite.

The seductive possibility of such things being true is very attractive to all manner of minds in various states. I cannot even now say such things are not possible and such denials are not the point. What is the point is that the Castaneda system offers no actual sense of freedom that helps anyone other than yourself. The liberation of the self from the self into the infinite is the goal but there is no accompanying compassion (like in Dzogchen e.g. which Castaneda assuredly drew on). There is just awe and wonder and impeccable acts. Now of course this may be actually a kind of correct response in an indifferent universe, but as a system it lacks the ability to do anything for anyone other than break them down with the promise of powers and an endgame that even if actually achievable is clearly spelled out to need an astronomical amount of effort way beyond the ability of almost everyone. This gamble comes at the cost of the your family and your friends, the full Castaneda is not just some gentle new age system. Even if it’s anthropologically nonsense there is power in the writings and they will do things if you play with the techniques in there. But for a human connected life it’s not really something many of us would want to consider.

This brings us to Land or at least an aspect of the philosophy associated with him. I find something almost equally self-defeating in the ushering in of the human eschaton by invoking the AI god from the future through accelerated technocapital. There is a kind of undeniable logic to the Landian view that is actually hard to escape. How do we stop ourselves from creating AI that ultimately surpasses us given that we don’t seem to want to? It may well still be a long way off and maybe it isn’t possible. The impression, the appearance that shows itself no matter how incoherent is that it is possible, and this is all that is needed to generate the teleology. Why is it not a fitting end to transfer our cognition magnified a thousandfold into a vessel far more durable than our ‘fleshy drag’? In an indifferent universe this is a reasonable response so long as one places no value on the human and its being-human. I’m not here to make some heart wrenching plea in favour of the human, but I do feel a similarity between the hollowness in feeling towards this endgame and the Castaneda option. Both offer an escape at the cost of everything familiar.

Castaneda’s system uncoupled from Castaneda is a similar logical endpoint to Land’s: achieve the body without organs with no compassion or create the AI entity that potentially has no compassion. Compassion dies in either instance, different impulses have taken over but the end is the same. I do not say that any system that advocates dissolution of the self always entails no compassion, indeed the Buddhists bolt compassion onto the system quite possibly as a safe guard from this conclusion, achieving the void without compassion. In this sense it may be that what Castaneda advocates is more pure for it removes the compassion which the Buddhists kept. This compassion, the logic suggests, was an contingent connection to the human and just as the flesh and emotions must go for AI, so a thorough system of energetic freeing must remove the notion as a stable structure.

Compassion means valuing the human (amongst other beings) but now we are frankly nauseated by this idea and we hate ourselves because we cannot be trusted, we have betrayed everyone. I do not know where this goes. The human ended with Heidegger (though his compassion is of course dubious), he defended a kind of poetic human dwelling which he warned us was covered and yet might be covered forever. We all know ‘The Question Concerning Technology’ and the danger of which it speaks. For Land this is not a danger, this is the destiny and ‘nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten‘ is to be actually realised.

We just didn’t know which God would come calling and what ‘saving’ meant.