Agents work for ontologies, agents being humans in this case. The big question is why do agents work for particular ontologies? From the perspective of the agent it is because this is the correct ontology. However owing to the fact that there are many agents for the various ontologies and also agents for new ontologies (whether or not the agents produce the ontologies is a problem we will touch on later), we must presume that argument between agents fail to result in any resolution in which one agent has ‘defeated’ the other. In other words ‘truth’ is not the deciding factor other than from the perspective of the agent -who believes they are right. This is related to the thesis that all concepts are incoherent in some manner or other. Argumentation between any two given agents exploits the incoherence present to each others mutual advantage.

So if choosing the correct ontology is not what is actually going on with agents then what is? We feel the answer to this must be at the level of some kind of affect. Indeed other options seem limited when truth is removed. One can appeal to straightforward determinism but this doesn’t really help as since one can never tell if we are determined or not, we lapse back into one of the warring ontologies themselves -becoming an agent for determinism. The same problem ensues for any philosophical speculative solution.

If however we dwell at the level of a kind of bracketed affect then we do not comment on the metaphysical determination of the whole situation but rather look to the only other determination available (without drawing in other invisible possibilities like people are fated to be certain kinds of people). By bracketed affect we mean that the level of human preference exists but is not attached to any ontology. This is seems fair enough since the affective register of humans is a priori present in any given ontology to a greater or lesser extent. What we propose here though is that it is the affective register that is largely determines the ontology one might be an agent for.

This does not mean that argumentation/logic plays no role in determining agenthood. This however generally occurs more at an student-philosophical stage in which factors like: the persuasiveness of certain arguments, favoured lecturers, prose styles, favoured historical periods and capacity for formalisms work together to determine what philosophy will be preferred and hence that the student will become an agent for. It will be noted that the factors themselves are already in many cases (potentially all) preference tendencies. Asking where these tendencies came from results only in asking where we come. Answering this question results self-ontology which similarly schisms into the multiple agnostic disjunctive series and of course choice from this series itself will be similarly decided by preference.

This leaves us trying to speak of a kind of ontologically neutral term, like persons having a ‘disposition’, whilst at the same time refusing to speculate on how such a disposition came about -this is the bracketing. A disposition then would be the general affective tendencies of that person which in turn tries to express their conscious and unconscious likes and dislikes. This in turn does invoke an immediate sense of yet another order of controlling entities -affective ones.

The previous structure that was considered had at one end the pre-ontological and at the other end the multiplicity of ontologies (manifestations) all in competition with each other. This affective addition presents a third element which so far is to added only to the manifestationist end (though already possibilities of applying it to both ends seem reasonable). This has been done in order to supply some kind of ground as to why different agents work for different ontologies (given that the truth of the ontologies is so indeterminable as to render agreement impossible -which is in turn grounded in the incoherence of any given concept). The affective register and disposition concept supplies the control mechanism necessary to render differing agenthood cogent without lapsing into any specific ontology.

As an after thought we note that the only self-ontology question that escapes the bracketing off of self-ontologies is whether or not the subject is i) a discrete unit of autonomy or ii) whether it is more appropriate to think of it as a node with conceptual powers flowing in and basically controlling it by their flows. This is an important point because on this turns the actual sense of whether the language of agent is truly appropriate. If i) is true then it makes more sense to think of concepts as working for us than vice versa. Preference/affect is still an issue but in this instance pertains to the subject’s control of the ontologies, rather than the reverse. ii) is more the schema generally talked about above, in which a pre-existing conceptual-ontological realm controls the nodes, which in turn create new variations of ontology. A ‘disposition’ is an interesting possibility insofar as it does not suggest control (though does not outright rule it out) but it does suggest a susceptibility to only certain conceptual powers.

These notes work towards the development of the previously mentioned idea of a description of a pre-ontological level that would fail to register any paranormality as such, owing to its simply being one more aspect of existence. Whether such a kind of prior state is adequately describable is questionable (the meaning of prior this instance being one of the problems), however it may be that the attempt will prove useful.

One stumbling block in such definition as ‘pre-ontological’ is that the issue we seek to discuss can be seemingly achieved by a given ontology. That is, it is perfectly possible to conceive of an ontology that does not need deny paranormal phenomena, rather it simply incorporates them into its theorising about being. Such a move though, is unsatisfying because any given ontology belongs to the other end of the structure.

What do we mean by this? What we are trying to work with is in fact a double ended structure. One end is the pre-ontological level and the other is the level of multiple ontologies. The end of multiple ontologies has in the CEO been labelled manifestationism. More can be read about this in this old CEO compilation. It basically takes it that a priori no philosophical theory (a manifestation) can be ambiguity proof. This is based on the incoherence/coherence thesis that can be read about in the Tractatus Pneumatologico Philosophicus which states that all concepts are essentially incoherent in some way or another. Philosophers as agents of different ontologies to which they are affectively attached, will work with the inherent incoherence to defend the ontology that they work for, whilst being blind to the incoherence in their ’employer’. Everyone argues with everyone, forever.

This is one end of the structure we wish to try to articulate. This end is the multiplicity of theory by which we try to understand what is going on. Theory has happened and is continuing to happen. Of special interest to us is that fact that modern scientific and philosophical theory, especially in the west has in general placed all paranormality outside of it. The presupposition is that despite various idealist discussions continuing, materialism actually supplies something that approximates the true. The world is solid and continuous. Theories that supply alternative pictures are relegated to quantum-fuelled new-age speculation. The radical picture of reality that such thought demands looks so distant from the cosy walls of hegemonic materialism that it appears whole-heartedly ridiculous. Hence whilst the manifestationist multiplicity certainly contains such theories, they are at the moment largely distinct from ‘conventional’ philosophy.

This kind of talk repeats the spectre of the ontology that is accepting of various ‘para’-normalities. As mentioned, such an ontology is certainly possible (pneuminous accretive theory is exactly such a thing), however it is not what is required here. The mention of paranormality here is not to emphasise it as an important realm of theory (manifestation) but only to show how this is relevant to the other end of the structure.

The other end of the structure has be characterised as pre-ontological. This language is used to draw attention to how it must be ‘before’ theory has happened. Possibly this can only be employed heuristically, nevertheless we will continue with this and see where it goes. The point of this prior end of the structure is to imagine a space in which there is no schism in the experienced world. One can feel a kind of Heideggerian sense in what is being aimed at here. Poetic disclosure in a primal sense, an announcing of being. This encounter though cannot abnegate events that we would deem as paranormality, it cannot have the hidden presupposition that such things are not real to it. It is this level that we must ask ourselves, if possible, what might it look like?

A hydra of theory heads emerging from the dark earth. This is the task.

My Encounter with the word pneuma goes back to Nietzsche. These two sections from ‘Human all Too Human’ seem relevant. The first because it includes the very encounter with the word and the second for the view it holds on the metaphysical world.

8
Pneumatological elucidation of nature. – Metaphysics elucidates the handwriting of nature as it were *pneumatologically, -as the church and its scholars formerly did the Bible. It requires a great deal of understanding to apply to nature the same kind of rigorous art of elucidation that philologists have now fashioned for all books: with the intention of comprehending what the text intends to say but without sensing, indeed presupposing, a second meaning. But as even with regard to books the bad art of elucidation has by no means been entirely overcome and one still continually encounters in the best educated circles remnants of allegorical and mystical interpretations: so it is also in respect to nature -where, indeed, it is even far worse.
9
Metaphysical world. – It is true, there could be a metaphysical world; the absolute possibility of it is hardly to be disputed. We behold all things through the human head and cannot cut off this head; while the question nonetheless remains what of the world would still be there if one had cut it off. This is a purely scientific problem and one not very well calculated to bother people overmuch; but all that has hitherto made metaphysical assumptions valuable, terrible, delightful to them, all that has begotten these assumptions, is passion, error and self-deception; the worst of all methods of acquiring knowledge, not the best of all, have taught belief in them. When one has disclosed these methods as the foundation of all extant religions and metaphysical systems, one has refuted them! Then that possibility still remains over; but one can do absolutely nothing with it, not to speak of letting happiness, salvation and life depend on the gossamer of such a possibility. For one could assert nothing at all of the metaphysical world except that it was a being-other, an inaccessible, incomprehensible being-other; it would be a thing with negative qualities. Even if the existence of such a world were never so well demonstrated, it is certain that knowledge of it would be the most useless of all knowledge: more useless even than knowledge of the chemical composition of water must be to the sailor in danger of shipwreck.

* pneumatologically: pneumatology is the ‘science’ of spirits and spiritual beings.

A lot of what it says here is relevant to what I try to say in my writings. I use the word pneuma because it does mean spirit, but also because it means air. Those with a cursory knowledge of the western magickal tradition will know that the air element is associated with the mind, the analytic swords of the tarot. It is this double meaning that makes it (to me) suitable as the concept I want.

What is pneuma in the accretive system? Pneuma is said to be the stuff that concepts are made of. Pneuma is sticky and can be made to accrete. The accretions of pneuma follow from the phenomenological lead of the world that is already interpreted. Everything is an accretion of pneuma. This is metaphysics, absolutely. The questions obviously arise: What do you need pneuma for? Why would you want to substantialise conceptuality?

The answer goes back to phenomenology of magick and the agnostic disjunction. Nietzsche thinks the possibility of the metaphysical world is worthless for life. Of course he says this specifically with Christianity in mind but equally seems fairly clear; any kind of spiritual world might be acknowledged yet leaves us with nothing positive to say about it. This is a very reasonable opinion, the problem I feel is that the manifestations of such a world cannot be put to bed. Spectres, UFOs, synchronicities continue to haunt the world and every time these phenomena occur they present to the individual with the agnostic disjunction i.e. was that real or not? The disjunctive question is agnostic because any answer of dismissal is only done on the question begging grounds that such things are not possible because this (solid) world does not admit of them. Equally though if one decides the phenomenon was real, then one must face the incoherent sense of trying to reconcile what it would mean for reality for this to be the case.

Pneuma and its accretions are what I believe to be the best answer for anyone who thinks that the ‘magick obtains’ arm of the disjunction is worth thinking about. It is true that pre-determined harmony of some kind is on the table and partially represents a competing force of the side of actual metaphysical connection. This investigation is for another time. Let’s be clear about pneuma though, on the side of the regular solid interpretation of the world in which these phenomena are coincidences and hallucinations there is no need for pneuma. Pneuma, the conceptual stuff only has work to do on the magick accepting side.

So what does it do? Pneuma is called a substance precisely because it can do things, it is no longer the regular sense of a concept that is just ‘how we understand something’. In the system there are essentially three layers. The pneuminous accretions, the vector field and the umbratic. The accretions are everything we perceive with any sense. Everything is understood as something even when that something is ‘the unknown’, this too is an accretion, a concept. This is pneuma bound into endless blobs, connected in myriad ways by pneuminous fibres: homonyms, metaphors, shared qualities, all these and many more are the ways in which the accretions connect to one another. Temporally they are altering, largely under the sway of the neurotic accretions of pneuma (ourselves) who are also nothing but accretions, yet ones with ability to restructure the pneuma into new forms or keep it stuck in old ones.

The vector field is the transcendental field that we must presuppose in order to say that the accretions are attached to something. The possible field of all perceptions of all kinds is the vector field. It can be glimpsed by imagination/phenomenological reduction as that ‘what things would be if we try to remove concepts’. The blur of stuff, smells, sounds. The vector field is pneuma, but it is pneuma unaccreted (other than as the vector field, or hyle etc.). Pneuma bound into a concepts (accretions) is attached to the regions of the vector field. It is called vector field because the different regions are capable of behaving like vectors for the higher up formed accretions. That is, they play host to them; a certain region plays host to the concept ‘curtains’, another to ‘duvet’ and so on and so on. In this way the concept is not simply in the mind of the neurotic accretion, rather it is in the the vector itself.

The umbratic is the phantasy of everything that cannot be perceived for whatever reason. The notion of the umbratic is generated by attempting to perceive existence when one’s head is cut off, as Nietzsche put it. A similar agnostic disjunctive issue concerns this region of correlationism as it has come to be known. Either science is perfectly good at telling us what existence is like independently of ourselves, or it still remains nothing but prosthetic extensions of our faculties that, whilst assuredly expansive still does not  and cannot totalise the titanic otherness that lurks out there.

The inference in this phenomenology goes that, since this metaphysic accepts a kind of correlate, albeit one that is partially autonomous from us and since things remain solid and reliable most of the time then there must be some structure that maintains this solidity beyond this pneuminous interface. This restraint on the vector field is inferred to come from the umbratic, though its actual nature is unknowable (in these metaphysics). So the implication that comes from magickal phenomena is that conceptuality must be capable of altering the umbratic, or as it is phrased elsewhere ‘the pneuma can affect the umbra’.

Here then we see the point of having pneuma as not purely epiphenomenonal. Magick means that conceptuality alters things. The definition of magick we work with here is ‘a concept that is applied successfully to a vector region that would not ordinarily take it’. Synchronicity is often the appearance of objects, words, numbers, images in places that seem somehow pertinent to the individual. The explanation here is that unlike the ordinary state of affairs in which the regular array of the world (as determined by the umbratic) displays what is on offer, in this instance the autonomous action of the pneuminous accretions has somehow restructured the situation such that now physicality (the umbra) serves the pneuminous action. Magick is just a more active form of the same. If synchronicity is achieved by the accretions acting under their own steam, then magick is the manipulation of the umbratic through the actions of the neurotic accretion (self). The NA desires that a certain region of the vector field which is occupied by a certain accretion should not be occupied by another. For example, that I am poor is a concept applied to a region (myself and my lack of funds). The money hungry magician seeks apply the concept of himself being wealthy to the vector region instead. Magick is the process of trying to make the new accretion stick in such a way that the umbratic is forced to alter at the behest of the accretion.

We do not here, offer how this happens, such descriptions stray beyond the point of such a phenomenology. We only say that under this system, if we do not accept predetermined harmony or the non-existence of the phenomena, this is what somehow must be happening. Pneuma is the concept at the heart of all of this. It is the force required to make it functional.

Nietzsche maybe underestimates the power of the appearance of the metaphysical world. There is not necessity to its incurring notions of guilt. This only belongs to the metaphysical world that instantiates the judging god. The appearance of the metaphysical world of fluid but magickally potent conceptuality opens action up to all manner of magickal beseechings that may or may not be effective (agnostic disjunctive epistemology again). Drawing this conclusion about the metaphysical maybe enables it to be reapplied to life rather than shunning it in favour of physicality. The appearances of the metaphysical world in physical will not go away and our ability to decide upon their truth will not increase -unless it is favour of the metaphysical. Any conception of life needs to take these appearances into account without dogmatising them into a system.

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.

 

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.