In a very early sense of pre-Zone Parasol type excitement we have compiled the early zonetology writings in to one handy pdf.
The document is available here and features such classics as:
In a very early sense of pre-Zone Parasol type excitement we have compiled the early zonetology writings in to one handy pdf.
The document is available here and features such classics as:
The umbratic is a curious intersection of different ideas. It is necessary and unnecessary. Its necessity is derived from the fact the idea cannot be removed. It’s lack of necessity from the fact it is technically not needed.
What is it? The umbratic is the idea of the unseen. It is the incoherent phantasy of being outside of perception. It is the wood where no one is watching or listening. The idea emerges out of sceptical thought that attempts to answer the question: is being that is perceived identical to being that is not perceived? The resultant inability to answer this question leaves the agnostic disjunctive appearance over the answer: we cannot say if there is a difference or not. The phenomena that point to there being a difference are again the occult ones. The point being that in synchronistic/magickal phenomena reality has shifted somehow outside of our perceptual sphere -we mean this specifically to the exclusion of the manifestation of spirits/immediately visible/audible phenomena (these invoke different kinds of concepts). That is, we do not see the mechanism by which magick/synchronicity has occurred. There is simply an uncanny rearrangement of things that has the appearance of some kind of agency being involved. This appearance is suggestive of a radical reality rearrangement that was only possible outside of perception, hence the invocation of the umbratic as a space in which the rearrangement was possible. Of course this doesn’t entail that magick/synchronicity could not still be functional in a metaphysical sense without umbratic rearrangement. Such possibilities exist as attractor models: the reality alteration is brought about metaphysically in some way by bringing certain things towards the protagonist without literal finger clicking alteration (such models also entail accretive type entities). However, the fact that the sudden alteration model exists is enough to give the umbratic life.
One can think on the impossibility of the umbratic, on how a space that isn’t perceived is not possible, on how there maybe always something there to detect, to perceive. But the impossibility of the umbratic is not enough to defeat it. It is a strongly incoherent concept that thrives on that impossible sensation of attempting to think what it is to imagine a space that is not being perceived. From here it derives a lot of its power.
The umbratic is related to the thing in itself. It is similar to a perfect scientific object. Something without any observer bias. This is part of its phantasy. But all prostheses act with our consciousness, there are no reports back from the umbratic.
We can try to do away with it. In the pneuminous theory we can imagine that there is only the pneuma, only the conceptual stuff. The umbratic, as mentioned, becomes unnecessary. But the appearance of the beyond the pneuma, beyond the vector field is still there, the phantasy of the outside, the absolute beyond the human security system. So a pure idealism always generates the idea of its beyond which it can never ascertain the validity of.
The umbratic gives the idea of structure. In the Tractatus this is how it is often mentioned. This association is related to the pure idealist issue. The appearance of the idea that there must be something behind the image invokes the notion that this part is what does the holding together. This is reinforced by the way in which the pneuminous level of concepts seems so easily detachable from the vectors. The pneuminous accretions can be unbound from the vectors and clearly perceived in the mind (a field of pure pneuma).
Does this mean the vector field and the umbratic are the same thing? No. Because it is possible to catch a kind of glimpse of the vector field. Phenomenological stripping down achieves something like this. But the vector field is still perceived being. It is like being without any accretions attached, or at least as best as we can achieve. However we can never be sure that there are not inbuilt structuring forces that mean the vector field itself is perceived as a limit, that is there is some kind of Kantian aesthetic holding things together even at this level.
The umbratic is darkness, literally. Darkness is where we cannot perceive so again the notion of the unperceived reemerges. This creates the curious identity between the space behind you and the space in the shadows. Seeing the shadow is the closest one can get to perceiving the umbratic. Of course a certain aspect of the shadow accretion means that it is totalised, that we simply understand it. But the ontological shadow is different from this. The ontological shadow reveals darkness to be the space in which the regular accretions of that shadow space are more prone to being taken over by different ones. That is, the umbratic is presupposed to be a structuring power that lies beneath the vector field. The accretions, the concepts, plug into the vectors, this unity makes our world of things. But the accretions exist unbound also and operate on their own unbidden by our conscious minds. The accretion has the power under rare circumstance to alter the umbratic. To do this is must alter an existing vector-accretion arrangement. In perception as it is happening, the feedback of the realness of the world enables the perpetuity of the solidity itself. But outside of perception it is different, outside the accretions imprinted on the vectors are in some sense still there, yet immediately there is a loosening. This loosening is what makes magick/synchronicity possible. This loosening happens in the darkness because ontologically the lack of perceptual ability facilitates the loosening of the solidity and interference from rogue accretions.
There is power in the shadow.
Randonauts for those who don’t know, is a project designed to enable people to tap into mantic forces of existence by visiting random places. The project has two related threads, the first zone related the second more so to the pneuminous theory described herein. The randonaut theory highlights the notion of blind-spots. These are places outside of our usual daily pathways -or reality tunnels. These blind-spots are very similar to the notion of the zone, with one potential difference. It would seem blind spots might be relative to a given subject i.e. a blind spot could be a fairly well frequented area, yet if it was unnoticed by the subject in question it would still count as one. Zones (at least in the most compatible zonal description) by contrast are necessarily highly unfrequented. It is this lack of being frequented by humans that loosens the conceptual grip upon the region and makes it more open to interference from other forces -free floating accretions of whatever kind. So the best we can say that all zones are blind spots but not that all blind spots are zones.
The second notion is that, based upon Princeton engineering and research experiments, the possibility is raised that we might be able to somehow tune a random place generator to our (sub)consciousness to send us to a place that will have something relevant to us. The system works well as a synchronicity generator and the randonauts subreddit is filled with incidents of meaningful encounters. Whilst working with the possibility that the organism is interacting with the system the explanation does allow for the possibility of the relation being purely psychological and that encounters with messages/artefacts are simply confirmation bias/coincidence. In this way the randonauts system acknowledges what we have called the ‘agnostic disjunction’. That is, the inability to differentiate between an actual synchronistic restructuring of existence and its psychological correlate.
What I would like to comment on is purely the way in which the pneuminous theory would translate the randonauts phenomena. What is pneuminous theory? Briefly, pneuminous theory, says that concepts have actual force that operate on a-spatiotemporal axes to be able to, under certain circumstances, restructure reality. Conceptual stuff (pneuma) sticks together to make pneuminous accretions. Accretions are bound to names, the names are part of the concept but also like a core of the accretion. Accretions of pneuma are directly attached to regions of existence (these are our objects/stuff) and they also float freely. There is lots more to this, a basic version of the detail can be found here. In the hard version of the theory all paranormal phenomena are caused by interactions of free floating accretions in the realm of what we call normal solidity -elsewhere named glitches in matrix. The bottom line is that the solidity of the world is largely real, yet under some circumstances the pneuminous accretions can alter the solidity -magickal phenomena.
Belief in pneuminous theory is a choice made on the binary of the agnostic disjunction which is succinctly: magick is real or magick isn’t real. This too is actually more complicated but here the ‘magick is real’ option is taken to stand for ‘chaos magick is real’. To engage in any of this we must have the disposition capable of at least accepting the ‘magick is real’ side of the disjunction. If we do not have this, all experiences created with such tools will be interpreted as purely psychological within a solid world and will lack any [p]numinous character.
If you do not hold with solid world psychological explanations then you are (almost certainly) tacitly complicit in a theory very similar to the pneuminous one. The reason for this is simple. If you are in some way believing consciousness is altering what we call reality then the meaning of this is that, as opposed to the normal way round in which we have built the concept by relation to what the object does (a gross simplification), we are hoping the concept will shape what the object does.
The randonaut methods seem to have two ways for interacting with accretions. The first is to tap into unconscious free floating accretions using nebulous intent and random place generation. The intent to generate anomaly will literally generate anomaly, these anomalies are accretions directly manifest in the solidity. No one can say how it happens, only that this possibility of pneuminous interference is equal in appearance to the psychological explanation. The second is to use intent in a more specific manner to generate a specific kind of experience. This too operates by tapping the accretion, yet here the operation is partially consciously determined. The accretion as perceived in the conscious mind connects to the location through the pneuma to the place accretion and produces (sometimes) the relevant phenomena in that place.
Of course it is not necessarily the case that reality is directly altering in relation to the accretion, it is also possible that a) we subconsciously are able to know where such a thing is or b) we are traversing between various nearly identical worlds. All these models would look the same but all still require some form of ‘concept attached to underlying field’ in order to function (this is called the vector field elsewhere).
Randonauting does presuppose the place randomisation is important. I wouldn’t be so sure this is true and would imagine throwing an item on a home drawn map would produce similar results (it would set up a ritual). It also presupposes going somewhere is important. As part of the ‘ritual’ this may be true. Going somewhere in this way may also have an extra anomally facilitating function insofar as it is sending us into reality less affected by our own conceptual accretive tentacles and hence is looser -trying to make things appear in your own house or garden is probably harder (though theoretically not impossible).
Neither of these comments are intended as criticisms. They are merely consequences of the pneuminous theory applied to the general area. The randonauts project is a fascinating one that probably opens many people’s minds to the notion that alteration of reality is a possibility. We need more of this kind of experimental reality play in these difficult times.
In these writings the zone has come to mean to something like spaces that suggest either previous human occupation or continual human occupation except only at a level of vagrants or similar. Dilapidation and detritus are zonal indices. The eerie feeling of zones (in rough line with Fisher’s sense of eerie) is postulated as making them attractive to inhabitation by various entities of unknown origins. These my be pneuminous accretive left overs from previous habitation, purely pneuminous entities that have not been accreted by earthbound Narps, or physical cryptids of some kind -presuming there is more than a heuristic sense in making these divisions.
One problem in making the zone definition is always the issue of natural spaces that feel zonal. Wild desolate places that still emanate eeriness. These natural zones are sometimes identified as fairy homes, though many aspects of countryside can exhibit this characteristic and still have no history (that we know of) to link them to such associations. For this reason we feel the term natural zone is acceptable to the endeavour here and may prove useful in forging further links as we go on.
Lewis-Williams’ famous book on the origin of Palaeolithic art hypothesises that there is likely a shamanic root to the various cave paintings found. Images produced in alternative states of consciousness as induced through sensory deprivation (dark caves) have been pinned onto walls to preserve the pneuminous form. The wall or membrane as it is often referred to in the text often serves as a guide to where the image will fall. There is a reciprocity between the appearance of the animal and the cave wall. A hole, an outgrowth, a stalactite may suggest some part of the creature and in the absence of the possibility that an image is anything other than magickal such a partial manifestation is to be paid special attention to. For the people of this time the suggestion is that the cave wall is literally the membrane to the other world. The cave is a natural zone of suggested partial inhabitance by pneuminous beings.
Lewis-Williams actual ontology is very much of the ‘this is all hallucination that we can understand by modern neuroscience’. All the experiences of his ancient artists are housed firmly inside the discrete consciousness of his cave dwelling homo-sapiens. In this way he chooses firmly and does not even acknowledge the lurking agnostic disjunction. Yet even in his discounting, his description of the membrane is powerful one.
The pneuminous theory as endlessly touted here, states that everything is understood conceptually in some sense (like in phenomenology). This conceptual understanding however is like a substance (pneuma) that acts upon the hiding umbratic solidity. This is the pneuminous accretion, an agglomeration of concept stuff that can stick to regions of the what-is-shown to us (the vector field). In most instances the accretions make a simple agreement with the solidity, but sometimes they do not. The accretion of a bison that escapes from the seen animal into the purely pneuminous world is what we call the spirit animal, or even the platonic form. We think such a thing is just an abstract universal and neglect the fact that they can be seen and engaged with. Before it was transformed into a universal this was the only version available. Down there in the cave, the cave wall has lost its sense of there being endless rock beyond the rock. There is only the pneuminous membrane, upon whose dark surface the accretion appears. The membrane is the membrane not through to the umbra but to the pneuminous world. In the pure dark, as close to the umbratic as we can be, the pneuma, freed from its solid shackles manifests its accretions freely. The spirit body of our own is of course the same thing, it is the concept of our embodiment released from the vector region we call body. The shamanic ‘other’ world is constructed of pure pneuma, of pure concept-stuff. Of course Lewis-Williams has no problem with this, for this is all perfectly possible within the discrete consciousness.
Yet the other side of the disjunction gives us the option that the pneuminous world is not just hallucination, but rather it does have the ability to actually do things. The zone, natural or not, is not necessarily a fantasy. These powers press against on all sides. The membrane is everywhere if you wish to see it. We live perpetually in face of its possibility. But now we have sided with the shaman and must withdraw to the disjunctive pivot.
The experience is one of multiple ontologies that face us everywhere, yet fundamentally split down this line. Has the escaped pneuma-concept actual potency outside of what we call our selves or does it just operate in projections inert, cast upon a world of solid passivity to it.
“Then this line drawn is a key…”
The zonetology research project commenced on 14/10/2019. The project consists of identifying zones local enough that they can be visited in person occasionally and then monitoring them for activity at distance through ‘stalker’ accretions placed in the zones. By ‘zone’ we mean a spatial region that has a certain appearance. This appearance is not easy to describe, in some sense it is more akin to a feeling. Descriptions tend to involve involve suggestions of dereliction, ill maintained in appearance but with still frequented by some kind of human activity -as evidenced by various detritus- a certain darkness or other worldliness is often perceivable in such places. By accretion we mean here a quasi conscious bundle of pneuma (conceptual substrate), and egregore of in some kind in chaos magickal terms.
Three such zones were identified and are briefly described below.
Zone 1 is a long path that follows a roadside through urban undergrowth. It is invisible from the road and only detectable from two entry points to it.
Zone 2 is a strip of detritus laden rough ground with barrier of trees followed by a train track on one side and a man-made stagnant looking water-way and rising path on the other.
Zone 3 is a small barren patch of ground underneath an overhanging building. Vegetation is to one side of it, two sides are built and one is open. It has an adjunct of a bramble tunnel under a stairway that is considered also part of Zone 3.
Each zone was visited so as to develop contact with at least one kind of inhabitant. This could have been a plant, stone or anything that seemed appropriate. The idea being that by accreting this object into a certain level of awareness, it could be respectfully asked to report back on any relevant ‘activity’ in the zone.
The following ‘stalkers’ were accreted in the zones.
Zone 1: a hawthorn tree and an bush of an unknown nature, possibly a virburnum.
Zone 2: a silver birch that has bent curiously over half way up in a to form an arch. Below this is an old office chair. A white stone was placed on the chair. Both stone and birch are considered ‘stalkers’.
Zone 3: a silver birch stands right next to the barren ground.
Offerings were made to all these entities. Respect and attention and further offerings over time will encourage the accretive process and hopefully facilitate communication.
Once the zones and stalkers were set up, a mantic system was needed to receive the reports from the stalkers. This system consists of two parts. The first stage is the zonal receiver.
The zonal receiver contains 53 wooden chip one of which is red. For each zone a chip is removed. If the chip is plain then an entry is made into the record that no red chip was pulled. If however the chip is red then the second stage must be activated. The second stage involves pulling one chip from each of three boxes. Each box covers an range of heuristic categories that attempt to allow the reporting entity to roughly describe what occurred in the zone.
Clearly the whole proceedings may be entirely fictional. However to mitigate against the possibility of hyperstitional or actual unwanted interaction protective gloves with special sigils on were developed. All zonetology agents operating the zone system are warned to never interact with the system without the gloves on.
The zonal receiver reported no action in any of the zones until 22/10/2019. On this day an agent did the checks and picked up a red chip signal from zone 3. Upon running the second stage, the activity was revealed to be (approximately): a physical entity (or entities) of a terrestrial nature was seeking something. It had come to this location through a permanent portal. An investigation of zone 3 shows various markings in the barren earth of an indeterminate nature. It was noted that many spiders currently inhabit the area. In the two days prior to the red chip, the protective gloves for the zone system fell off the wall when an agent tried to retrieve them. This event is recorded only in case it bears later significance.
Birch (the most common stalker plant in the system) is associated with the letter B (in the pneuminous system), the number 2, deer and the concept I-mage. This is a play on its place in the regular Tarot (the magus).
The zonal research was started on 14/10/19. In the pneuminous calendar this is the last day of the Tooth ‘Free’. Its number is 22, its tree is willow and its letter is Z.
On 23/10/2019 zone 2 was visited by agents. It was not entered as a grey cat appeared to be watching at the entry to its second half. An offering of money was made from the raised path by an casual throw of a coin in the rough direction of the chair and bent birch tree. Surprisingly the coin fell into the birch tree, fell through the branches and leaves and landed straight into the chair. The curious accuracy of this throw seemed significant as did the cats presence.