Pneuminous Accretive Theory Overview

OBOA (Organic being of awareness) PA (Pneuminous Accretion)

Let’s be clear as we can be. The binding of pneuma into accretions is the overcoding of strata only insofar as the strata are already coded. Deleuze and Guattari seem comfortable with the pre-existence of the material strata as comfortably existing in its own right. PA theory is less so because it accepts no neutral scientific classification as non-pneuminous. Everything is part of the network of overlapping PAs. The physical strata and everything we understand it is a complex mesh of PAs. This is not identical to a thorough going Kantian denial of access to the in itself as such, for OBOA exists in a kind of membrane by which it incoherently delimits itself and the outside. This membrane is exists both as a vector field region with an attached PA and as a pure PA which is formed by the OBOA producing the PA of its own limit.

The OBOA then (the human in this case) binds pneuma which is incoherently external to it -though it is also formed of pneuma (see (ii)). It can be pointed out that the non-pneuminous stratification of the physical must be there in some sense. However precisely because the target is the paranormal event, these strata cannot be pre-given as such. The allowance of the understanding of the physical strata as identical to the physical strata science and continuous perception/understanding of the world would automatically preclude the radical reality shift possibility of pneuminous interference (at least in one model of pneuminous interaction).

So are the physical strata coded in themselves? Since they manifest in the vector field as differing regions, we may assume that umbratic existence is heterogenous. However we may not assume this heterogeneity is identical to its manifestation in the vector field —since each BOA will produce a vector field of a differing type relative to its perceptual system, size, etc. We are then allowed to treat the physical strata as coded in themselves (with the above caveat) hence the PAs we attach to these strata-regions are overcodings. These overcodings as PAs are ontologically constraining on the strata.

This is the magickal feedback of normal reality. Through use, a relation to a vector field region is formed, this is a PA layer but not of great strength. The PA forms more solidly when the PAs of the perceptual features and function common to the various ways in which it appears, accrete to form a kind of archetype of the of the thing (a contingent Platonic form). This archetype is a functional magickal PA, except of course its purpose is in no way to contradict the vector region onto which it is imprinted. Its purpose is to be that thing. Hence since the vector region is only ‘that thing’ by virtue of the PA inhabiting it and pneuma is a force, the PA constrains the vector region to be more like the archetype than it would otherwise be.

Pneuma though is not outside the strata, it is also a stratum, its difference lies in where it lies. For pneuma lies on a plane not conceivable by regular human consciousness. We can easily repeat phrases like non-spatio-temporal and this ease of repetition somewhat inures us to their actual meaning. Pneuma is a stratum that can be considered separate from the umbratic —a well of infinite strata.

When accreted and subject to certain intensities (relations to OBOAs) pneuma warps umbratic structures. The content/expression structure of a PA means its content substance plugs into the umbratic via the vector field. Whereas its form of expression concerns its use-relation to the OBOAs and its appearance (the aspects that form the archetypal PA). Thus an intensity (a strong affective event) at the OBOA level can cause pneuminous pressure to be directed into the umbratic bringing about what the OBOA experiences as the anomalous event.

ATP (A Thousand Plateaus) PA (Pneuminous Accretion)

Plateau 10 of ATP discusses various types of becoming. Of particular interest is the discussion becoming-animal and the way in which we can relate this to events. We are told there are three kinds of animal or rather three modes, for these are not types. There are oedipalized animals (pets), state animals of classification and myth and there are demonic animals of pack and affect. All animals are capable of being any of these; this is not a taxonomy.

Here we wish to use a similar schema upon events. We can apply the same triple structure to them. There are the oedipalized regular events of our daily lives, there are state events of the news, of (established) science, of history and there are anomalous demon events. The anomalous events do of course encompass the paranormal ones, though they also pertain to the anomalous aspects of science where its bleeding molecular edge exists. In one sense paranormal events and the anomalies of science are very similar. The difference is purely a matter of scale and acceptance. It is not even fair to say science does not wish to engage with paranormality, it certainly tries to test it rigorously, yet cannot do justice to its experiential dimension and either cannot detect (because it is correct and they are not ‘real’ or cannot yet find the means to detect what is going on in these phenomena). However, the anomalies of science are usually thought of as those unanswered questions, those papers of research at the periphery that suggest something may not be quite right, within a given accepted discipline (major science).

The demon events are those ones that befall us and can bring about the agnostic disjunctive state of reflection (see PA document) in which we literally cannot tell if we can ascribe anything anomalous to the experience or not. These too exist on a spectrum, from the mildest of knowing-who-is-going-to-call-because-you-were-just-thinking-about-them, to the full blown physical manifestation of otherworldly entities.

All events, like animals can be considered in packs, they are understood as some kind of event -they are coded and overcoded. Paranormal events have almost a meta-status in this regard, for the event is already a becoming. It is paradoxical, it is comprehended as an event and yet it is a purely ephemeral occurrence. The event is subjectified becoming. This means it accretes pneuma by its affective power.

The synchronicity (for example) is an event, it is a subjectified event which immediately accretes. It accretes pneuma as synchronicity. That is synchronicity itself is a PA formed by Jung. A named gathered the intensity, accreted other PAs into it, bound pneuma into this incoherent form. Whether we call it synchronicity or not, it’s nature is recognised throughout the world and history. The event that looks like some kind of interference, whether it be from our psychic selves, the gods, the spirits, UFOs. Is it always a demons event? Is it always anomalous? It is anomalous only in relation to the other assemblages. In the western pneuminous set up the synchronicity is anomalous and, as stated, it is meaningful only to the experiencer (it is subjectified).

The content and expression of the synchronicity can be shown thus:

Content Substance:                 The various PAs that the synchronicity is formed of.

Content Form:                         The web of relations that ties these PAs together that renders the synchronicity meaningful.

Expression Substance:            In the occurrence of the event, the elements of that event, the place, the time, the relevant coded things.

Expression Form:                    The experience as anomaly.

As anomalous the synchronicity is a demon event. It is at the edge of the pack of events. But what is the pack? The pack are all the regular events the support the smooth continuity of existence as solid, that reinforce God’s eye like perspectives. The demon event shows the edge of this understanding, yet because it exists at the level of event, it is already part of becoming —events are becomings. The demon event exists at the edge of events themselves, deterritorializing the continuous space of materiality and epiphenomenal conceptuality and reterritorializing it with the pneuminous conception of active conceptuality. The demon event is anomalous precisely because it breaks the rules of space and time and shows that there are connecting lines that cut across in directions we do not understand, and that, under some circumstances, these lines can restructure what appeared to be solid.

In becoming animal, any animal can display all three modes (Oedipal, State, Demonic), is this also true of any event? This is the case. It is simply the expression of the even that shifts. Any event can be taken as anomalous insofar the same structure is always there. The ineffable force of the umbratic lurks behind all events. Every PA is always the double of the vector field overlaying the umbratic. The demonic forces work continuously if one wishes to understand them this way —this is true of Oedipal or State events.

Demon events always belong to becoming. They always open the way for a new line. One may listen to the demon event and obey its suggestion. One may find the demon event opens the way to a new understanding. Of course demons can be deceptive and demon events are the most deceptive. The lines they open are what we have elsewhere called agnostic disjunctive. They may bring amazing new connections, ruin or nothing. Their umbratic nature (their mechanism) is entirely obscured and ranges in possibility from brute chance to the most strange and instantaneous arrangements of territory we can scarcely conceive of.

These notes are not a definitive position but rather reflect the current state of a process.

Content, Expression and the Structure of Pneuminous Physical Objects.

It appears productive to try to synthesize PA theory with some of the concepts found in Deleuze and Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus. Here the focus is on the possibility of employing some of the language of content and expression that D & G borrow from Hjelmslev.

To briefly recap for anyone new to it pneuminous accretive theory unambiguously exists to propose an account of most paranormality where paranormality is presupposed to be ‘real’ in the sense of something other than current science understands and not something subsumable under neuroscience or otherwise. This does not mean such a belief is held, rather it says that if the phenomena are real then something like pneuminous accretive theory is probably the only place for occultism to retreat to. In this way it is a phenomenology of the appearance of the phenomena under the auspice of rational belief.

The explanation that PA offers is to say that conceptuality should be conceived as a quasi-substance that is attached to regions of existence. The presence of this substance (pneuma) is not some inert force only held within the subject but rather something present in what we call the object or the external. The plug-in of concepts (pneuminous accretions) into regions of being, under certain circumstances can cause radical shifts in existence that we call magick or paranormal phenomena. In short, usually what we think of as the solidity of the world does indeed determine the concepts, but sometimes the reverse happens.

How can we begin then, to translate or engage pneuminous accretions (PAs) with the process language of ATP. The first thing we can try to do is to note that since pneuma is considered to make things (accretions) it has this quasi-substantiality to it. In the Geology of Morals we are asked to consider three kinds of strata: the physical, the organic and the linguistic. Following this line of analysis we can ask ‘can pneuma be thought of in the sense of strata and what would this look like? At a glance it would seem to be hybrid of the linguistic and the physical strata, minimally it will draw on these two elements, though maybe the organic stratum will yet have more to do with it.

Let us consider a particular pneuminous accretion and see if it will be illustrative. The pen on my desk is a PA. Through the original use word pen, I have come expand the rule for pen to many instances. The multiple possibility is the accretion, though it may present itself to me in image as a contingent archetypal form e.g. a biro. The pen accretion is attached to a vector region. By vector region we just mean a region of existence that must in this case be capable of taking the pen accretion. I cannot pick up the mouse and pass it to someone who asked for the pen. I cannot apply the pen accretion to the vector region that would normally take the accretion mouse. The pen accretion will only (aside from the magickal act of trying to attach the pen accretion to another region for whatever reason) attach to those vector regions that allow for the rules of it -hand holdable, can write or at least used to write. When I see the pen, I literally see the accretion (in the language of hermeneutic phenomenology: everything is already interpreted). I see the concept not the vector region. The only difference here (to hermeneutic phenomenology) is that we are hypothesizing that the concept we see is a substance imprinted into the vector region i.e. it is ontologically altering the vector as opposed to being inert (purely psychological) in relation to it.

How can we begin to understand this in terms of the language of ATP? If we are speculating that there is an active force/substance that is conceptuality (pneuma) then we can initially ask: what is the substance and form of content and what is the form and substance of expression of an accretion?

Before we can answer this, we must supply the caveat that the answer may be quite specific to a certain kind of accretion. In this case it is a human-formed physical object. The PA structure could be though of as something like this:

Content substance: Smooth pneuma (the vector field region see the PDF linked above), the possibility of the pen region existing without being processed as a pen.

Content form: Possible structuring codes, designs.

Expression substance: The PA as it is described as a physical, comprised on analysis of composite PAs which tend towards the limits of our ability to enumerate/taxonomize these.

Expression form: The use ability of the object and the appearance of it, the name of it.

To this structure we must add two extending movements. The first of these is the line that extends from both kinds of substance. Content substance is marked as the vector field region. This, in the case of a human-formed object is the region of the objected re-imagined after the object’s creation as not the object but just an unknown nothingness. This is the vector field region into which the PA is projected. Expression substance is described as comprising of the composite PAs that we may analyse the PA into. Both of these categories tend towards the umbratic region i.e. the totally unknowable beyond current scientific and perceptual taxonomies. This line is necessary, for it is here that connection to mystery obtains. The potential that the region can connect to obscure parts of existence the anchor between the PA and the depths of existence that need to be manipulated in order to bring about anomaly.

The second movement is an exit most clearly thought of as from the level of form of expression. This is the line of subjectification (to borrow and slightly adjust a term for ATP). Subjectification pertains to the interaction between a being of awareness and the PA. What we mean by this is attachment to objects of any kind. This attachment is the formation of more layers of pneuma —memories. This formation of ‘special’ objects. In this way the line of subjectification is also related to paranormality. In particular we are thinking here of magickal objects and relatedly the ability to magickally interact with objects and or people at a distance. Subjectification is the accreting of pneuma that allows for the PAs particular identification —most usually through its name  This has in mind specifically human type beings of awareness, though we do not deny it may happen in others too. The accretion of subjectifying pneuma occurs in the use history of the object in relation to other PAs (e.g. of people/events). Its notable (intensive) interactions accrete pneuma to it, meaning it is not simply psychologically special/unique it is also ontologically-magickally (pneuminously) so.

Last summer I did my first end to end reading reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘Thousand Plateaus’. Previously I had only read sections here and there and fragments of other works (of theirs) so this was an edifying experience. As I read I began to notice the Castaneda references. These grabbed my attention as I had previously read Castaneda’s books some 20 years ago. Prior to reading them I had always avoided them assuming them to be some kind of new-age claptrap, however when I did read them I found them compelling and beautifully written (or at least most of them). I played somewhat with the techniques and found they actually did things. This was something of a revelation as my prior interactions with meditation and western style magic seemed to get nowhere. However interest waned, other things happened and slowly I forgot about this time.

So reading Thousand Plateaus was an incredible experience for two reasons. Firstly it was fascinating to engage with this book properly and secondly it seemed interesting how many Castaneda references were in it. To review these, they are:

i) In ‘On Several Regimes of Signs’ he is mentioned in relation to combating solidified mechanisms of interpretation.

ii) In ‘How do you make yourself a Body Without Organs’ Castaneda’s experience is cited in relation to the construction of the BwO, this too relates to the breaking down of interpretation and construction of flows and becomings. In the same chapter we also have a mention of the tonal/nagual dualism set up in Tales of Power where the tonal is everything cast under an organising principle of intelligibility (quite like pneuma in the accretive system variously detailed throughout the site) whilst the nagual is simultaneously everything but from the position of flows themselves, an ineffable a-signification that (arguably) also potentially, obliterates the restraints of space and time (this would correlate to the umbratic in the pneuminous system).

iii) In ‘1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity’ the works are mentioned again in relation to the obstacles that Don Juan says stand in the way of becoming a ‘man of knowledge’. Don Juan here is given the illustrious comparison of Nietzsche’s Zararthrustra. The obstacles are: fear, clarity, power and disgust (old age in Castaneda). Fear here seems to be fear of existence of flows/becomings etc. Clarity is comprehension of the same. Power is dangerous as once clarity is achieved and movement is possible between rigidity and flow and second kind of rigidity re-emerges as threat, the power to control the flows at this new level. The last danger concerns the lines of flight and the possibility that they will not connect to other lines but instead will end in abolition. One might hazard a guess that the chance that the line of flight ends in death increases with age.

iv) In ‘1730: Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal’ in ‘Memories of a Sorcerer III’ Castaneda is invoked again. Here he is used to illustrate the progression of a sequence of becomings; becoming-dog, becoming-water, becoming-air. It also mentions an incident of Carlos being pushed through a door and reappearing in a totally different place.

v) In the same chapter Castaneda is credited with having effected a ‘broad synthesis’ of earlier 20th century comprehension of mind altering drug effects. In this way he makes a key contribution to the ‘drug assemblage’.

This Deleuzo-Guattarian connection gives Castaneda a connecting line to philosophy. This is the starting point for Parasol 6. It doesn’t mean that we want only DnG/Castaneda papers but here is the bridge. A beautiful synchronistic connection is of course the English translation of the the French agencement: assemblage. This brings immediately to mind what Castaneda no doubt thought his most important concept in his later work: the assemblage point. The assemblage point supposedly determines the reality we experience by lighting up a certain set of human luminous fibres at a time. The point is normally fixed, sorcery, dreaming, power plants etc move it and hence alter our experience of the world. The two concepts may not be directly connected -but on the pneuminous plane they are.

We must also remember that there are many non-philosophical adherents to the ‘system’ still in existence. There is a reasonable sized subreddit that seems to have some of Castaneda’s old students in it. There is a heavy focus in the group on a practice called dark room gazing. This basically entails silencing the mind and staring into pitch blackness for a long time. Many practitioners report results, often involving purple smoke but many other phenomena. Interestingly the criterion for the reality of the experience seems to be to test whether or not any coloured lights/smoke can me touched and manipulated. Participants seem to frequently report being able to grab such lights/smoke.

The big question here is of course, does it actually do anything? One could potentially explain most of the subreddit participants activity by saying that they are inducing hypnogogic images of a powerful nature. This is all very well except it does leave us again in a rather agnostic disjunctive situation. That is, smoke/lights that appears in the dark may be adequately described as a hypnogogic effect however this is identical to the appearance of the same phenomenon that is actually some kind of energy as described in Castaneda. We might at this moment recall another previous Parasol topic who reported almost exactly the same phenomenon. Wilhelm Reich claimed orgone could be seen by staring into the dark and that it would appear as a blueish mist. Such a description of course is not far from the darkroom gazers purple smoke. The agnostic disjunctive point (like in the synchroncity argument) is that in order to privilege the hypnogogic explanation we must know that this version of reality is correct. Since both accounts are simply what it would look like for that to be the case we cannot be certain that the hypnogogic one is correct, so when (as many do) they simply thing dismissal is easy they beg the question by assuming a version of reality in order to dismiss the phenomenon. The big question of ‘does it do anything?’ then is partially rendered inert by the agnostic disjunctive observation insofar as being able to induce such experiences in a sense does count as doing something (it has the appearance of some experience commensurate with the descriptions in the books).

This is my impression of these kinds of practices too, the satisfaction of them is that they generate such experiences which then can be interpreted in light of the Castaneda system or reduced to hypnogogic hallucination. The Castaneda system makes one thing abundantly clear though. If one wishes to develop these kinds of things into full blown weirdness there is no place for the agnostic disjunction. One must be committed to accepting the weirdness and not dwelling on its ontological nature as only under this condition will it properly be able to develop. And this is reasonable really, one can imagine that if reality really were sensitive to mental/bodily activity then one must temper the mind to maximise the result.

In the books Castaneda is pushed beyond any level of agnostic disjunction by events so bewildering he has no choice -people flying, teleporting, producing energy doubles. These kinds of events are not reported as replicated in the subreddit and of course one can quickly think, ‘because they aren’t possible’ and probably they aren’t. However there are plenty of mentions of phenomena similar to astral projection/OBE’s which, through the Castaneda system are interpreted as ‘accessing the double’ and there are plenty of reports of such phenomena successfully interacting with the world (not necessarily from the CC camp). This suggests that there may indeed be a kind of progressive link between smoke like phenomena and the ‘double’. This furthermore (to me at least) suggests a kind of open end to the phenomena that we may not know the limit of.

With regards to scepticism, the system suggests there is a kind of protective mechanism built into extreme weirdness for it is repeatedly said (when Castaneda asks such questions) that when an ordinary person observed such a phenomena they would not be able to see it. We may take this to be a convenient or plausible explanation in a similar agnostic disjunctive manner.

Two more points spring to mind in this area. The first concerns that well known topic from various strands of neo-materialism, speculative realism, hauntology etc.: the outside. The exit to the outside is an idea that comes up a lot. The outside itself can be split into a strong and weak version. The weak one being the scientific outside which potentially allows for at least our comprehension and possible somehow greater interaction with fields beyond the human whereas the strong Kantian version prohibits our ability to ever make contact with the noumenal realm. Sorcery (the Castaneda system) seems to suggest a third option. Sorcery would seem to align itself basically with Kant except that transcendental categories and pure intuitions would only be pseudo-transcendental. That is, the transcendental status would be true for every human unless one took the trouble to dismantle the categories/intuitions using sorcery. Then it would be possible to experience something beyond them. This experience in Castaneda’s terms is indeed the experience of the noumenal realm. That is, it suggests that the exit from the human security system (to Coin Land’s phrase) is possible, it’s just it takes more than copious amounts of amphetamine to achieve this. Secondly I think no matter how stable and functional our current scientific paradigm looks, we have to put aside our prejudices about anomaly in general, listen to the phenomenological picture, override the tendency that comprehension of things is within easy reach and consider our understanding of reality may yet be extremely primitive by standards yet to come. The appearance of spatio-temporal solidity may yet turn out to be erroneous as a flat earth.

Another aspect of the whole Castaneda affair that we equally cannot ignore is exactly the claims of invention. We do not raise these in the tired sense of lambasting him for lying -as Deleuze and Guattari point out, it scarcely matters if he did. No one can tell how much of any of it is real. This in itself is an incredible achievement. Castaneda may have pulled off one of the greatest hyperstitional ever. The power of the writing, the strangeness of the events, the endearing natures of Don Juan and Don Genaro all go to making an incredibly attractive world that people want to be real. The work minimally exists as possibly real which means it essentially is hyperstition. It’s a whole canon of potentially largely invented work that exerted and continues to exert a powerful effect on reality.

What my wandering writing here is trying to get at is that there are many good angles from which to write/create upon this topic. There may be more but I offer here:
i) Deleuze and Guattari as a philosophical entry point -though I can see non-philosophy can work quite well here too.
ii) Considerations of the practical aspect of the practices and the ontological/epistemological implications
iii) Possible connections to other theories (e.g. Reich).
iv) The meta-fictional/hyperstitional aspect of the work.
v) Considerations of Castaneda’s work in relation to the outside.
vi) Ontological implications of treating such work seriously -even without practical engagement.

Submissions should be sent into ceo47@outlook.com

There is no deadline as yet, though 2021 itself roughly marks the boundary of submissions.