Previously we considered sorcery as a kind of response to the void. We also consider that maybe the previously phraseology of void-parasite may be awry. This is the case because the void must always be mediated and hence it is not the void that is the parasite but the void-mediation-system. In the examples of Buddhism of sorcery we may broadly say that compassion and awe respectively mediate the impact of the void upon the human-vector.

We can consider other activities also as responses to the void. Not least of these is philosophy. Philosophers all brush with the void to a greater or lesser extent. This encounter is (for example) the dizzying vertigo one gets when encountering Descartes radical doubt for the first time. This sensation is often (but not always) easily repressed and the activity looks like one more mode of study. But of course what characterises philosophy is that really none of its questions receives an actual answer. It has this character because there are no regular knowledge criteria for the kinds of questions involved. This is because it responds to an encounter with nothing. Ultimate questions have no answers, only speculations: What should we do? Maybe this… What is the nature of all things? Maybe this…

Philosophy proceeds by creating and counter-posing logical speculation against logical speculation. Sometimes more regular-world criteria emerge from other disciplines (science, logic) that facilitate the partial withdrawal of some aspects of it. However otherwise what happens is largely a proliferation of systems reacting to a total unknowable.

In this way philosophy is indeed a void response, only unlike the awe and perceptual manipulation of sorcery and the compassion of Buddhism, it focusses on arguing about what is the case and what we can know. It is what it thinks it is: a love of reason (to interpret wisdom in the way in which philosophy has evolved it).

Such talk cannot help but put us in mind of the work of Laruelle and our own notions of manifestationism and agnostic disjunction. Laruelle puts forward a similar notion of war between differing ontologies, none of which can triumph, as all are reliant in the last instance on the One. The One in this sense can be likened to the void. It is the font of all concepts and yet contains none in itself. What we note also is that the conception we have of philosophy as an encounter with the void presents the void as a transcendental condition for philosophy and stronger than this philosophy is a transcendental consequence of the void. The human as human cannot help but develop these questions because the void is real and hence cannot help becoming locked in their labyrinthine argumentative structures.

Two additional observations come to mind. The first concerns prescriptive religion (largely monotheisms). These are interesting insofar as they do not so much represent a void interface as a-voidance. That is, they deny at least the moral void whilst preserving the ontological void -only God can understand being properly. The response that humans should have to the world though is not up for grabs, rather it is dictated by the deity in a book/system of rules.

The void is a more rational response to existence whereas the dictator God seems less so. However in a sense either of these notions is equally plausible such that they form a kind of meta-manifestationism (meta-non-philosophy). That is, it seems that the void/prescriptive God opposition operates at a different level to which e.g. idealism/realism does.

This fascinating consideration aside there is another way in which the prescriptive God works with the void. If we consider pneuminous accretive theory (which is a void entailing theory) to be correct, then any monotheistic deity can be seen as a vast pneuminous accretion that by its own conceptual power (definition) entails its supreme nature. As such, this supremacy is to its followers (and even to some extent to non-followers) actually supreme and its laws ‘real’.

In this case such a deity does not so much as make a void mediation system as a void-protection system. The monotheistic accretive entity cocoons the void and prevents the humans from coming into contact with it, offering up instead a deity complete with life and death explanation, teleology and morals to determine how existence should be lived. It is of course the removal of such a cocoon that Nietzsche called the death of God.

Secondly, and this in part builds on the possibility of a two tier philosophy dissection. It seems interesting (if maybe not at this stage plausible) to potentially align the void interfaces with the Jungian quaternity.

Such a lining up would tentatively be as follows:

Thinking Philosophy -mediated through reason

Feeling Compassion -mediated through good deeds

Intuition Sorcery -mediated through awe, astonishing events

Sensation Pseudo-Hedonism -mediated through physical work and sensory pleasure.

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.

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’.