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.

There is it seems, a way in which the system here may be repeating an inherent issue in Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. I say issue as it is not necessarily a problem. It runs something like this. D and G seem to put forward a philosophy that, whilst difficult to penetrate seems to be capable of being understood. Elsewhere in my recent notes on Wittgenstein, I had in particular someone like Deleuze in mind where I commented that such philosophies are not necessarily nonsense but rather that intelligibility is strained. The Deleuzian language games take a lot of rules to learn and need several aspect flips to be in place in order to follow them. However following these various hermneutic junctures correctly comprehension (and hence conversation) is possible.

It seems however that whilst it can be understood to mean a roughly particular something, it also (kind of) matters very little if this something is adhered to. By this I mean the well known call to ‘conceptual creation’ that has become almost the defining feature of the whole system. Production is taken to be important not comprehension of the system. This metaphilosophical exhortation does seem to raise some kind of issue about why one should bother expending any effort trying to understand such difficult work. Indeed I have read accounts of readers of D and G who have simply given up on the work and then felt a sense of relief upon realising that their lack of comprehension was allowed. After such realisations, they have read the work with more relish and allowed it to encourage production without worrying about theoretical comprehension. It is this notion of conceptual creation that I wish to consider and I wish to consider it because I want to know if it has some relation to what I have elsewhere called manifestationism.

Manifestationism is an inchoate meta-philosophy. The issue of manifestationism was noticed by considering occult phenomena, more specifically synchronicity. The synchronicity shows a reality reconcilable to rationality and a reality of incoherent spatio-temporal rearrangement with equal force. We act as agents for a one of these tendencies. but we may be never completely sure about the correctness of our preference. This means these broad ontologies are competing. Further observation notes that ontologies, especially in philosophy, are also always competing, with philosophers acting as agents for different philosophies. Some under the names of dead philosophers, some under an ism. No territory can deliver a knockout blow to the other. Debate occurs but no one really shifts. Ambiguities and different interpretations of words and positions are all exploited to ensure that each agent by and large remains an agent of their inhabiting ontology. Furthermore one cannot even say what kind of subject the agent is, as to answer this would have committed oneself to a particular ontology.

Manifestationism is a description of this situation, of the situation. A meta situation of no particular theory being correct as such, only an endless competition for dominance with no end actually possible and way to access a means to speak about what kind of being is actually doing this without lapsing back into a particular ontology (I feel this particular impasse may be close the problems that drive Laruelle). Of course similar predicaments exist in many fields, however the difference is generally that differing theoretical approaches in science may at some point find some kind of answer that actually renders an enemy theory largely disarmed. Philosophy though, is unique insofar as it is the field that essentially is capable of continually holding all its previous versions as still viable, with no particular one holding any particular ability to defeat the others.

It seems likely that D and G understand this and that this is related to conceptual creation. However, for them, this (the manifestationist predicament) was not simply the description of an increasing catalogue, rather it was a desiring production itself. As such, the status of the catalogue (of ontologies) is not that one philosophy tries to supercede another, rather only that one provokes another. What they decipher is that we need to produce, which in a sense is why metaphysics can never end. That is, to return to another Wittgensteinian observation, his correctness about language games and the possible nonsense resulting in their deterritorializations is in a sense a toothless observation as we will never actually be able tell whether the word is still cogent (or not) in its new home. This truth guarantees that metaphysics (as desiring production) can continue indefinitely. Manisfestationism must pull back at this juncture as ‘desiring production’ is itself an ontological choice. But there is some kind of harmony between the two approaches insofar as they both recognise an endless proliferation of philosophies and neither see such activity as necessarily doing anything other exercising some kind of dynamic action: production or power relations. Indeed it seems the one thing that manifestationism is willing to say is that the manifestations (the ontologies) must compete with each other. This competition though is also not incompatible with the interpretation of desiring production indeed it may just be the flipside -the what-happens to the various ontologies when they are ‘produced’.

What do we mean by a transcendental repression? We mean a repression that is not contingent upon trauma at an ontic level but rather a repressive structure that is built into the subject (Narp) in its functioning as the kind of being that it is. In this way such a repression would be different from any regularly occurring repressive structures that may happen in life, no matter how regular they may be as patterns. A transcendental repression would occur at an ontological level and as such could be equally named an ontological repression.

What are we suggesting is repressed in the transcendental repression? The transcendental repression has two facets, one necessary and one more speculative. The first facet of the transcendental repression is the repression of the nature of being outside of a given subject’s perceptual sphere. The continual solidity of existence facilitates this repressive structure. We conflate this continual solidity with the a prioricity that being that is perceived is identical to being that is not perceived, when in fact this is a dubious notion to help ourselves to.

The disharmony between the possibility of this non-identity and apparent safe solid continuity of existence causes the being to repress the possibility of the non-identity. The repression seals its success by the fact that we cannot of course perceive the unperceived. The intractability of this problem facilitates the repression by the sheer inability of any progress being made and the vaguely disturbing sensation gained from attempting to imagine perceiving something outside of human perception. The repression is, as stated, transcendental for the functioning of the subject, though we would concede there is some cultural leeway in which it might be lessened. The repressed possibility is one of the sources of intense anxiety for persons who experience paranormal phenomena, especially for the first time. Anomalous accretions in one’s existence immediately demand -though the notion may not be coherently thought by the individual- the possibility that behind the visible scenes some other agency is capable of manipulating the contents. Given that such phenomena do not show their mechanics in plain sight, if we give them any credence then we are committed to the idea that the manipulation takes place out of sight. In this way the repressed split is brought uncomfortably close to the conscious regions of the subject, resulting often -though not always- in considerable anxiety.

The second facet of the transcendental repression concerns the notion that other agencies may be controlling ourselves. The self, or neurotic accretion as we have named it elsewhere, is the accretion that primarily controls the sense of identity of the Narp (human in this case). The name of the subject sits at the centre of the neurotic accretion which is projected upon the regional processor (body) giving the incoherent identity ‘I am this psychic sense and I am this body’. Of course the activity within the neurotic accretion (NA) is constantly guided by all manner of influences from the regional processor (RP) itself. It is the RP that tells the NA that it is hungry, not the other way round. Likewise there will be many pneuminous accretions that will be either tangentially or strongly attached to the NA exerting various kinds of influence upon it, all of which appear as the actions of the NA. It is being-controlled-by-other-accretions that must be repressed by the incoherent NA. Of course this being-controlled is not being-controlled as such, it is simply what it is to be a Narp.

The NA by itself is very little, it needs to be plugged into other accretions to create its identity, to act as an agent for these forces. What the NA must do though is appear to be in charge. The functioning of a Narp as we understand being a human is that the NA is sufficiently in charge of the other accretions such that none of them ever assume conscious control of the RP. A Narp who sporadically or even permanently loses control of the RP to accretions that are not the NA, suffers from some form of what we would call mental illness. Again, lesser versions of this are potentially related to paranormality insofar as other pneuminous accretions (other repressed consciousnesses within the RP or outside of it) may have access to certain kinds of knowledge that the NA does not. The experience of being-informed-of-something by such forces constitutes a rupture in the relation of NA dominance. Such experiences may be labelled intuitions, precognitions etc. At this level they do not constitute madness, only the eruption of alien accretive forces through the dominance of the NA.

To reiterate then, we see the transcendental repression happening in two principle ways. The first represses the disharmony between being that is perceived and being that is not perceived. It flattens this into an identity of being between the two states. The second represses the way in which we are necessarily multiple (swarms as D and G might say) in favour of an incoherent but necessary dominant neurotic accretion  (neurotic precisely because it knows its own self-existence will not stand up to scrutiny -it is built upon a lie).