Introduction to the Theory of Pneuminous Accretions: A Phenomenological Chaos Magickal Ontology

The theory of pneuminous accretions is born out of the problem of magick/synchronicity. We consider these problems to be basically the same. Both phenomena suggest an occurrence that may be interpreted as having been brought about by the intervention of some power. This is their appearance. In synchronicity no request was consciously filed to any power yet some kind of anomaly still occurred. In magick, a request was made and some power appeared to respond.

The notion of appearance is key to the method -a species of phenomenology no doubt. In this work we are continuously asking ‘what is the necessity of the appearance and what are the conditions for an appearance to be not simply an appearance but also reflective of certain features about reality?’ What we try to refrain from is moving beyond the appearance. Hence we may say that from a given appearance something like x must be going on. It is however beyond the scope of the phenomenology to say ‘how’ this x occurs. The straying into such a ‘how’ is left for speculative metaphysics.

The appearance of these phenomena as what they are is by no means a certainty. It is relatively easy to discount all forms of magickal/synchronicitous intervention as confirmation bias/coincidence. This discounting solution though contains a question begging problem. The phenomena as they occur to the subject may well be so striking as to seem to require an explanation outside of this world. This is a powerful experience as anyone who has had it will know. They do not require an explanation outside of this world, but they look identical to how it would appear if they did. Such phenomena look like intentional magick or a fortuitous anomalous event because that’s what it would look like for one to occur.

In this sense the phenomena are prima facie evidence of some ineffable alteration of the world in relation to the subject and equally they are simply a demonstration of confirmation bias/coincidence. If we wish to say that the supernatural explanation is false we must be able to know with certainty that reality does not allow for such possibilities. But the phenomena from the other perspective constitute evidence that reality does allow for such possibilities. The denial can only take place by presupposing the solid continuous nature of reality. Such a denial though, is question begging, it amounts to saying that ‘because reality is like this, reality is like this’.

It is precisely because the phenomena raise issues about the fundamental nature of how things are that we able to wonder about them legitimately. That is, the level at which the phenomena appear is outside of regular reality’s ability to account for. This is a contentious claim in a sense. Are magickal phenomena really so different? Probably there is no hard line.  If I believe the earth is flat I can deny evidence that the earth is round, I can find reasons to not believe this. These might look like madness to many but the belief is sustainable and it is propped up with a prima facie evidence -the flatness of the world. This is ostensibly the same as the synchronicity believer, who must either believe in predetermined harmony or bracket off the solid continuity of the existence itself. The difference I believe in the nature of what is denied. The flat earther must actively state that the world is lying at scientific-governmental level in order to maintain the claims. They must deny fairly good evidence to the contrary in order to sustain the belief. The synchronicity/magick believer does not have to deny any such evidence to the contrary. The very nature of the phenomena mean that reality subject to confirmation bias etc. and reality that has restructured itself look identical. So the difference between the two cases is though on a continuum actually considerable; the paranormal case is more rational than the flat earth case as in one the evidence to the contrary can be clearly perceived and in the other it cannot.

This identity of appearance generates the agnostic disjunction. That is, there is only choice to decide between the two versions of the event. There is no evidence that can decide the issue as all evidence from the solid world side begs the question by presupposing it to be true. It provides an alternative explanation definitely and a compelling one too, yet for all that it is not one that can extirpate the paranormal explanation.  This means that all instances of this kind are answered by a greater or lesser agnostic disjunctive decision. One side must be repressed in favour of the other. We are all agents who will lean closer one way rather than the other. The new age believer will interpret such events strongly towards the paranormal end whilst the materialist will believe in coincidence etc. This latter interpretation is commonplace, of course by no means does this mean its depths have been plumbed, but its problems are the problems commonly probed in philosophy. It is this reality that philosophy generally is trying to come to terms with. The other side of the disjunction though has not been properly investigated at all.

The paranormal side of the disjunction must fulfil one criterion: there must be an ontological connection between then phenomena and the subject (this is what the solid world side explicitly denies). There are three principle ways in which this can occur:

i) Fixed magickal rules. This says there exist rules by which magick operates. It probably also stipulates there must a be a power or series of powers that enforce these rules and/or created them. Being is not necessarily determined and the powers can manipulate reality either of their own accord or upon request from organic limited beings -ourselves. This kind of structure is familiar to us from religion. Here an entity or entities are identified as ruling over existence. Synchronistic/magickal phenomena are ontologically meaningful because they often represent interventions from these powers. Magick may be forbidden by the highest power because it subverts its authority, however the system still allows that it is possible. Often this is achieved by beseeching other powers to bring about the requisite reality alterations. Additional rules need to be true for things like sympathetic magick to work as these do not necessarily require any request to an entity to bring about a result.

ii) Predetermined harmony. Predetermined harmony fulfils the criterion so long as it is not merely that the two things occurred at the same time a la Malebranche but rather that in the structure of existence the harmony occurs because the two things are connected -or a similarly strong thesis. That is, if I have a dream about a strange stripey cat and then walk out of my house only to encounter the very same cat, the whatever-the-dream-is-made-of and the actual cat must be actually connected at some metaphysical level. There is no restructuring of reality in this model. The strangeness of the connections is still true and ontologically real, it is also just simply what happened in one continuous reality.

iii) Pneuminous accretive theory. Pneuminous accretive theory is a chaos magick compatible theory that maintains the possibility of free will whilst positing a fluid changing reality that responds directly to conceptual actions of the beings therein and of the concepts themselves. Pneuma is the name given to the transcendental substantialisation or ontologically active nature of conceptuality. The transcendental nature of pneuma is deduced from the phenomena of magick/synchronicity themselves. These phenomena require that conceptuality somehow has affected what we take to be solid and continuous. So in the case of people affected by phenomena like the 23, such people are not deluded, the 23 concept would be continually inserting itself in their reality. Dreams that manifest are the dream concept having manifested itself in world.

The alteration of individual realities by conceptual entities has extreme consequences for what is actually going on in what looks like the solid continuum of everyday life. As per the previous statement with regards to appearances we cannot say what this actually is going on, only that a radical fluidity is necessary for conceptual intervention to be possible. We use the term pneuma to indicate that conceptuality has force on some axis (or axes) beyond our current understanding and we use the term accretion to refer the nature of pneuma as sticky. The stickiness of pneuma is clearly perceptible both consciously and unconsciously. Consciously we can learn that two concepts go together (if we wish), unconsciously we may just join them -that stone reminds of an owl.

Pneuma or rather its accretions are basically everything we can sense. As such pneuminous accretions have two forms, bound and unbound. Bound accretions are repetitive structures in what we call the physical world (itself an accretion). The accretion is bound to a vector -more about them shortly. Unbound accretions are what you can see in your imagination or dreams. They are not beholden to any structure to keep them fixed in one form. Bound pneuminous accretions requires the additional transcendental notion of the vector field. Vector here is understood as host, like an animal that can carry a parasite. The vector field is a transcendental field of pneuma that cannot be directly perceived. It is quasi visible by phenomenological methods of attempting to see the visual field as an undifferentiated mass, or to hear the sounds around one as uninterpreted sound. Note this is not like a ‘myth of the given’ type postulation, it is a necessary field that must be there to enable the possibility of what we experience. It must be the case unless we wish to say that everything we experience is in reality what it is external to ourselves (before any concepts were ever applied). So a mug is not a mug beyond my applying the concept to it. It could just as easily be something else. But the vector region that we call mug is a mug by virtue of my attaching the mug accretion (of pneuma) onto this vector region. This is a magickal act. The only difference between this and what we call magick is that, in this case the vector region in question is the one that we actually call mug. That is, the vector region and the pneuminous accretion fit together. This results in the reifying feedback mechanism of accretions. This is a magickal effect that follows from the general theory. The accretion of a particular kind of thing, once generated becomes idealised in the subject-accretion (us), this idealised version is then projected back onto the vector which has the bizarre implication of making the vector more like the accretion than it was. This effect is minimal owing to the harmony that already exists between the two.

Note by the accretion being stuck to the vector we can now speak of the accretion being literally outside the subject. The external world as we think of it is an accretion, populated and layered with a myriad of others all looping and interconnecting with each other through pneuminous fibres generated by the pneuminous processing systems -ourselves. The bound unbound notion means that the accretions are stuck as particulars to vectors but also exist as unbound nexus of pneuma. It is these that will be responsible for magickal phenomena. The pneuminous theory has the following formula for magick: magick is an accretion (concept) applied to a vector that would not ordinarily take it. So whereas all regular things are accretions attached to vectors that readily take the accretion with little or no disagreement, in magick we have a vector region that would not ordinarily take the relevant accretion. When someone casts a spell this is because a vector region has one character (them having no money e.g.) which they wish to have a different one (them having money). The goal is to apply a different accretion to a vector region in order to bend the nature of region to fit the accretion. So magick in a sense is the opposite of the ordinary structure in which the nature of the vector field may facilitate accretion formation. In magick, the accretion seeks to faciliate vector structure.

Of course the vector field is quite stable and we do not as a rule experience radical reality alteration. The stability of the vector field is the limit of magick. We cannot say where these limits are, however if one tried to apply the concept mouse to stone that looked like a mouse, the theory does not say the stone would actually be transformed into a mouse (though this seems hypothetically possible), rather that as the mouse accretion became attached to the stone accretion-vector, the stone would acquire a kind of mouseness, which might for example, generate mouse like synchronicities around it.

The above is an account of directed magick, synchronicity is also caused by accretive interference in the stability of the vector field. In this instance though, it is more due to the accretions acting by their own volition or by whatever dynamic set-up may trigger them to act -does the grammar of acting even make sense here? The accretions should not be thought of as in us as such -except maybe the self accretion- rather each of us is plugged in to a (large) number of them. Our individual psycho-pneumodynamic relations will be highly complex. Synchronicities are like accidental magickal acts firing, accretions attached to us in some way that burst through altering the vector field in the structure of their nature. They do not necessarily mean anything (an indication that we should do something), but they are instances that fulfil the criterion that ‘their is an ontological connection between phenomenon and subject.

Still to be covered: Umbra, Incoherence.