In the CEO Zonetology project, zones have previously been described in three basic modes:

1 Spatial -This place is actually connected to an exterior power e.g. another dimension etc.

2 Temporal -This particular time brings this other kind of world/influence closer e.g. twilight.

3 Projected -The otherworldly effect is contingent upon the being of awareness e.g. pneuminous accretive theory.

The possibility we wish to look at here is that the zone is better understood in a more fluid sense than this admittedly heuristic taxonomy suggests. This more fluid conception though, may free the zone up from its slightly parochial usage to something much closer to the transcendental (in the Kantian sense).

We begin by suggesting that zonal instances are primordially affective. The zone is a feeling. The feeling is one of a certain alien/other-worldness. The zonal theory (as found in various zonetology writings) that the withdrawal of the accretions (the human concepts that covered the region) and the creation of a vacuum into which alien accretions are drawn is an explanation of the feeling, but it is not a description of the zone per se -unless we want the zone to be a very restricted concept.

The affective feeling of the zone suggests an ontology other than the one of the everyday world (at least for most people). Even if you ‘believe’ in weird occurrences, their actual happening still supplies a moment of strangeness. This is true also for rationalists, the difference being that the rationalist (as I use the term here) is an agent for the solid continuous world idea and discrete psychology. This means they have answers to paranormal oddities; they can be amazed by them but nevertheless explain them. Whereas agents for anomalies as anomalies have no clear answers, the above mentioned accretive theory is an attempt to supply a quasi rational answer that pares away all specific religions and magickal systems, but no matter how rational pneuminous accretive theory might be it still has none of the force of the explanations of the solid world model.

The agnostic disjunction points out that anomalous experiences as anomalous (contra the rationalist) have a fundamental epistemic equivalence to their rational counterparts. However despite this, the ability to give a more easily accessible looking answer (coincidence, hallucination) still gives the rationalist an apparent edge of explanatory power.

The modified zonal idea here is that the zone can be considered the space (in broad sense of the term) before alliance is made with either anomaly or rationality. So for instance when the synchronicity/coincidence occurs, the null state or ‘vector region‘ of the event can be considered the zone. The interpretive apparatus of the organism goes to work on the event and depending on what accretions (conceptual entities) are dominant in the organism, an interpretive decision will be made about its ontological status (rational or anomalous). In general this will be pre-determined by the accretive set up in the organism, though of course an extremely powerful zone might sway a previously rational agent to consider the anomalous possibility.

This raises an important structure of zonal dynamics: the zone only tends one way —towards anomaly. This is obviously true when you think about it, as an event or place that tends strongly towards normality is just, well, normal. However because rational explanation is much clearer (on an Ockham’s razor type principle) than anomalous explanation, the rational tendency of explanation is more powerful than the anomalous. Ultimately though, neither version can totally overpower the other.

How then do we assimilate both synchronicitous type phenomena and more spatial ones (like the eerie derelict) under the zonal? The answer to this lies in the affective nature of both. That is, both are constituted by a feeling of anomaly. Any vector region that gives criteria for being interpreted as anomalous can be defined as zonal. Thus the derelict car park that has the other-worldy look to it, does so by feeling. This is the zonal appearance of anomaly; the rational discourse says that this is just an appearance generated by the emptiness and unused appearance, whereas the anomalous discourse says that there really is something other-worldy about the car park —yet is unable to furnish you with any way in which this is so. In this (to reiterate) we see the above described double motion of the zone. It suggests anomaly by appearance and begs explanation by rational cognition more than by occult system.

The recent Castaneda investigations make for an interesting correlate or even extension of this idea. In these writings much is often made of ‘illusory’ phenomena. For instance, we get a description of how Castaneda perceives a dry branch for some time as an incredible creature. After Castaneda loses this image he discovers it was ‘really’ a branch. Don Juan (the shaman type figure) tells Castaneda that the branch had ‘power’ in it and that he has wasted an opportunity. The same zonal idea can be applied. The ambiguous branch that looks like the creature is the zonal phenomenon, suggesting the anomaly. For a while Castaneda sees the creature only and is spellbound —the zonal anomaly is in charge. Then he discovers the branch and has understanding of the ‘reality’ of the situation. This ‘reality’ is, especially in this instance, so overpoweringly tempting that it overcomes him immediately and he is relieved no such creature was there. But Don Juan will not yield to this ontological reduction, for him the zone was there and now it has gone —and it was Castaneda that sent it away. Even though one side has an explanation and the other has none, yet both are real on their own terms. This is the zonal logic: non-explanation does not count to deny the phenomenon.

Don Juan often refers to part of the practice of sorcery as ‘hunting for power’. ‘Power’ is these ontologically ambiguous opportunities that should be seized upon to extract the maximum anomalous interpretation from them. Given our connecting line between zone and power we cannot help but feel the echo of a related hunt in Twin Peaks i.e. William Hastings ‘Search for the Zone’. This ill fated ‘hunt for power’ contained classic zonal elements of dereliction and anomaly —though in a much stronger sense. It also suggested the strong draw that the zone has upon people. This maybe highlights another dynamic of desire related to the zone.

The zone is attractive, as people want reality to be mysterious, yet as soon as mystery turns into real anomaly the mystery might become terrifying and needs the rational mode to ‘explain’ it. ‘Explain’ here though is not about the desire to comprehend, it is about repression. Curiously this repressive explanation comes with the hope of inverted magick. That is, though the anomaly may have been terrifying, the explaining in rational terms seeks to mend reality, to normalise it, to erase the anomaly: it is the desire for the solid rational worldto reassert itself. Under all this though, the zone remains, for the zone is not the anomaly the zone is the ambiguous space that is its condition of possibility.

Many thanks to Bec Lambert (@LadyLiminal1) for the zonal image.

Night considered as a power in itself has structural similarities to one of the forms of zones listed in these writings. The zone referred to is the spatial-temporal zone:

“Spatio temporal zonal manifestation appears only at a specific place and time. The entrance
to the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks was exactly such a phenomena. Magick is of course littered
by instructions to do certain things at not only certain times but also at certain places. In this
notion lies the spatio-temporal zone.”

What we mean then is that night functions as a temporal zone -where zone means region more prone to anomalous interference from trajectories not usually experienced (alien, crypto-zoological, ghosts, non-human spirits etc).

Night’s ability to act in this zonal capacity is interesting insofar as it may suggest either something in common or something different to other kinds of temporal zone e.g. astronomical/astrological particulars.

The standard explanation for the zonality of night concerns its ability to restrict human perception. Human accretive reality fields restrain the chaotic outside in a literal fashion. Light is an intricate part of this system. Perpetual feedback systems of solid realities as accretions fed back onto the vectoral (hosting) outside help to maintain the appearance of a near perfectly solid reality. Transcendental repression of small anomalies easily covers over tiny cracks.

Darkness alters this. As light withdraws, even though conceptual and other senses continue to work with the outside to maintain physicality at near similar levels to in daylight, there is necessarily an increase in the lack of stability. Fear of the dark can exacerbate this, both by increasing instability in the system and being attractive to entities that normally are outside of the reach of solid physicality. The instability generated by various anxieties and actual ontological looseness results in an increase in regular reality being breached by the anomalous.

These two processes themselves are also exacerbated by the night-time accretion itself. That is, the historical interconnected threads of the night in the pneuma (conceptual substance) make a vast accretive structure that itself autonomously alters the vector (the time region that the ‘night’ as accretion inhabits). No matter how much rationality may be imposed upon the vector in the modern day, this solidifying pneuma will only be partially successful in altering the mythic powers of the night as accretion.

In zonetology zones have been attributed with generating a kind of vacuum by the withdrawal human conceptual structures (dereliction). This conceptual vacuum has been assumed to be attractive to forces that can create anomaly -the speculative causal ‘reason’. Zones share with the night the accretive overlay effect which can multiply the anomalous potential of a zone.

In this sense though the zone-as-night has more similarity with the spatial zone than with some spatial-temporal zones. Our inevitable experience with this phenomenon on a daily basis bears some resemblance to a spatial zone that we might walk past every day. Twilight also fits this kind of description though twilight itself has a different accretive structure.

However spatial-temporal zones as they are otherwise defined can be shown to be different. Spatial-Temporal zones that are defined by particular configurations (astronomical/astrological) do not have the easy repeating nature of either the night or twilight. If it is augured that to be on a particular hill on a particular day may have some particular other worldly property, (if we accept this) we may infer two possibilities for its truth. i) is that a particular set of actual forces are in play in what we experience as ‘that time and place’ that will yield some kind of anomalous effect. ii) is that, having been given the coordinates for the ‘event’ we accretively project anomalousness onto this vector region and as such we facilitate its occurrence. We might note that if i) is true (so long as we know about the event then so is ii) (the accretion will necessarily be formed) whereas ii) might be true and i) was not.

Of course other forces might be in play on particular nights, however this is besides the point in relation to our zonal delineation. The zonal (anomalous) power of night has two faces, one human accreted ‘the night accretion’ and the other quasi intrinsic to our relation to it -the withdrawal of human visual perception. The power of the temporal zone however potentially comes from a particular intersection of hidden forces that create the zone or solely the application of the accretion to the spatial/temporal vector.

It is the former of these two points that is the crucial distinction between such zonal conceptions. Both faces of the night are contingent on different relations a particular species (humans) has with the night, one accretive and the other a feature of how its perceptual system functions. Clearly these demarcations aren’t absolute and it is hard at some level to strongly separate the withdrawal of light and its hiding of the world from the cultural-mythic accretion of ‘night’. However even treating them as two poles still renders the structure of night as differing from the spatial-temporal zone and its potential for being brought about by either simply accretive powers or actual hidden forces, utilised by humans but potentially simply occurring whether they are aware or not -and accretive powers..

My colleague here Emanuel Magno has often described the evolution of the CEO into phases; I did not see the development in these terms at first, though I increasingly see what he means. Phase 1 was characterised a kind of phenomenology by the initial development of the pneuminous accretive theory -as sketched in the Tractatus Pneumatologico Philosophicus. Phase 2 can probably loosely be characterised as a combination of returning to the agnostic disjunction that was used to justify the investigation of accretive theory in the first place. This resulted in a recognition of a Laruellesque equality between all ontologies and their competition for dominance of the territory. Phase 3 was the zonal investigations. This was a very specific kind of enquiry that was only tangentially related to the others. In this sense it was both wider (non-pneuminous specific) and narrower (about a specific topic).

The phases are never pre-planned they just emerge one from the other. Phase 4 has been hinted at from two angles. Firstly there have been notes on a pre-ontology. The pre-ontological sketches have tried to hint at the possible disclosure of reality that seamlessly weds what we would call anomaly and regular reality; to try to speak of how it would be for these to appear as just how things are without one being seen as a rupture of the other. The second of these is the interest in the writings of Carlos Castaneda as fuelled by a recent reading of 1000 Plateaus. Bracketing off concerns of invention, they provide a description of radical possibilities available if the world is accessed in a certain way.

Building on this pre-ontological synthesis and modern tales of ‘Power’ (hyperstitional or otherwise), we believe that phase 4 should be characterised by a move beyond the phenomenological nature of accretive theory as it has been couched so far -a transcendental appearance- to a full blown speculative ontology that seeks to treat all forms of anomaly as not psychological but actual.

A key feature of the accretive phenomenology was the incoherentism it emphasised with respect to how such alterations as synchronicity occurred -the incoherence being part of the appearance. This incoherence was in turn linked to the incoherence that borders our usage of concepts and the way they bleed at the edge. The latter part of this statement will no doubt still be employed -in conjunction with Emanuel’s development ‘decoherentism’, whereas the former will be abandoned in favour of a more definite metaphysic that makes a decision about what is actually happening.

Such an endeavour does not seek to be flakey or new-age pandering. Indeed it hopes to be a rigorous speculation that sketches what reality actually looks like if we understood that the anomalies are actual incursions and not just subjective fantasies.

In keeping with one of the exit points that have spawned this phase, the ontology will probably have the flavour of being a disambiguating plug-in to Capitalism and Schizophrenia. That is, where the paranormal references in CS can seen as analogy or acceptance here we side unambiguously with acceptance. This will be complemented by a more fleshed out less phenomenological version of accretive theory in which pneuma -as substance- can be viewed through a quasi-materialist lens in terms of its strata (accretive layers) and content/expression.

The basic overarching structure of reality will be capable of alterations in relation of subjects minimally two ways. One will entail the seamless move from one reality to another as a perfectly ordinary everyday process whilst another will allow for alterations within a given reality. Intentional accretive entities (egregores) and pre-existent to human intention non-physical beings will both be presupposed to obtain. Physical and non-physical interactions with a variety of entities will also be taken as axiomatic. Locations of such entities must also be presupposed on similar pair of axes as alterations. That is, entities may be residing in this plane of existence in a more or less permanent manner -overlap itself will be a useful concept for explanation- whilst also existing on adjacent dimensional planes.

It is interesting to note that this very classification of beings was used for the zonal investigation project. This in turn shows the connecting thread that drives the general work of the CEO. More detail on all of this soon.