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’.

As far as I can see the later Wittgenstein fulfilled the vision of the earlier one and successfully stopped philosophy in some ways. The simple doctrine ‘meaning is use’ when properly grasped unfurls into an attitude that permanently alters your philosophical perspective. The problem is that it doesn’t quite achieve what it looks like it might do. The issue is roughly this: even if we can see that a language game has escaped its home, how can we be sure it does not continue to make grammatical sense in its new territory? So Wittgenstein is right, how can he not be? Words occur in social situations in relation to the various regions of the vector field (the world) that we interact with. Any region of the field that is capable of taking the rules of a given language game can take it. Essences do not evaporate so much as become grammatical. Just because there may be a greater variety of vectors capable of taking a concept doesn’t mean that any vector can take any concept.

On a strange linguistic axis it seems to recreate a desire for the view from nowhere. We need some external power to able to tell us when we have erred in applying a language game to a certain situation and when we have not. The notion of criteria is there to try to do this, however in reality it fails to act as a sufficient curb, as criteria for all manner of beliefs can be generated in all manner of ways. Psychoanalytic type structures clearly are capable of enabling what might look like (to some) strange criteria e.g. many people might consider founding certain beliefs on the contents of a ‘special’ book, not good reasons for beliefs and yet many people think this kind of thing is perfectly reasonable.

None of this means Wittgenstein isn’t correct in his assessment of the situation. If we want to use a word philosophically, we must be capable of explaining it to someone else. This must be possible or the meaninglessness charge comes into force. This kind of accusation is often levelled at some of the notoriously abstruse French philosophy of the last century. Though this seems to me an error. These systems are not incomprehensible, intelligible grammar between two people on them is not impossible, even if there may be some areas of disagreement. However they do require that both persons enter the labyrinthine structure of the language games involved and attempt to understand the criteria that have been used to justify the newly coined terms. The possibility for error is enormous, the likelihood of perfect intelligibility small. Yet still there is some cogent communications there, and maybe this is more akin to ordinary conversation than we would sometimes like to believe.

The correctness of Wittgenstein though has another limiting possibility. As stated, regardless of the various factors that impede our ability to understand the appropriateness or not of a given language game’s expansion, Wittgenstein is basically right. The words can only be social constructs. Designation is just use in certain circumstance. Words feel like they point, but they don’t really.

This would be perfectly correct were it not for the thorny issue of magick. But why is this a problem? Surely this is just outmoded belief. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. This is scarcely the point. The point is that paranormal phenomena give us a clue as the nature of the general failure to be able to trace the viability or not of a language games territorialization of a new region. Here we must illustrate with the same much trodden synchronicity argument that has appeared many times in these various writings.

So if we want to say some event was synchronicitous and mean by this that something exceptional had actually happened -that it was somehow a message, an engagement, from being itself, or some other numinous nature- then we would have to deny all explanations that would render it simply a product of chance. For if it is only chance then the meaning is ultimately projected onto an unreactive sea of materiality. The strong sense of meaning entails some kind of agency on the part of the external. It doesn’t have to be meaningful in a teleological sense, but it does have to be somehow reactive to the subject experiencing the phenomenon. The issue is that if we deny the phenomenon and state that it must be the projection onto materiality then we are saying that we must know the nature of reality. This means in order to deny the phenomenon we must beg the question -we presuppose the nature of reality in order to say how reality is. This would not be outrageous as of course we have criteria to say this -statistics, evidence of confirmation bias, pareidolia, the apparent continual solidity of the world. What though the experience believer has is that the phenomenon looks exactly what it would look like for existence to have that kind of agency. The appearance of agency and the appearance of solidity are just a duck/rabbit situation (or the agnostic disjunction as I have elsewhere labelled it).

Whilst we largely live our culture in the rationalised side of the disjunction, we should remember how close the other side is and in doing so consider the following. If we accept the agency aspect of the phenomenon then designation in a manner much sought after by analytic philosophy becomes perfectly possible, courtesy of the accretion. The grammar of the accretion is legitimised by the agency aspect perception. Indeed the accretion becomes the agent. Because accretions as particulars can be attached to specific vector regions, the linkage between these is one of identity. When I think of Wittgenstein, under the accretive theory I do not encounter the accidental possibility of thinking of someone else called Wittgenstein for the Wittgenstein accretion I am reaching for is based in a historical vector region that took into it the concept ‘Ludwig Wittgenstein’. It is similar to bundle theories of designation insofar as there is only the endless descriptions of the accretive layers, yet the difference is that because the agency (paranormal) version is accepted, the connection between thought and object (vector with inhabiting accretion) is literal and as such guaranteed. That is, the thought ‘Wittgenstein’ is the same accretion as was attached to the vector. This identity assures the connection of designation.

Following the surprisingly large amounts of downloads of all the editions of Parasol and the Tractatus we have decided to release an unedited version of the first volume of the CEO posts. The book features many fascinating articles. Amongst these are to be found various writings on the the near synthesis of my philosophy with that of Charlie Johns (we wrote on each others work), the initial development of the concept of the vector field and the meta-philosophy of manifestationism is explained far beyond the writings upon it in the Tractatus.

Enjoy

 

 

An accretion is stuck together concepts. As time passes more and more stick together. They do not fade, they just become deeper in the accretion. This occurs in the relation between a kind of organism capable of ascribing conceptuality to a region of what we encounter (on any horizon). This is the notion of the vector field. Any region that we encounter that we are capable of ascribing a concept to is necessarily part of the vector field. The vector field is a transcendental field that we must presuppose insofar as there is some x, some region of this field that we have isolated as an organism and now call a specific name. It takes its name vector from its ability to play host to concepts which latch onto it. When we, the accreting organism, start to use a region of it (a stone, a stick) we begin to double the region in our minds. The doubling happens strongly in visual aspects but can happen in others. The double is the pure conceptual (pneuminous) form of the accretion. Concepts are in us and in the vector region. There is a literal connection between them. This is the linkage by which synchronicitous phenomena may occur.

To us it seems that we stick concepts together or we can observe how this happened. There might be a region of the vector field called a plate. ‘Plate’ is literally in these regions. One plate may be the last surviving piece of an old family set of crockery. Its presence is tinged with melancholy, evoking all manner of childhood images. These sensations are not simply my memories, they are in the vector region. The totality of the plate as we speak about it is the vector field region that fulfils the criteria for being that plate and the inhabiting concept ‘that childhood plate’.  I did not intentionally stick these complicated memories onto the plate, they just stuck there by the ways of the mind. These ways are not just a mystery, psychology understands much about how memories form. Emotions e.g. are strong binders of concepts to vector regions -events, things, places. I can however use the sheer force of my will to attach a concept to a region. I might get a stick and say, ‘this is a stick of water’ whatever I might mean by that. Then I could just from a forced habit stick together various images and ideas of water to this stick. After a while I will not forget and the stick will be ‘the water stick’.

Again, why do we insist on placing the concepts in the objects? We do not necessarily say this is the case. What we do say is that, if someone believes in synchronicity and/or many other similar phenomena, indeed every time anyone gives a small amount of pondering credence to such possibilities, then they must accept that concepts reside in vectors in something like the way described. This pondering is the flickering of the agnostic disjunction which we engage in all the time. Solid world or fluid world, concept discrete in mind or concept in vector. If we seriously believe in the strangeness of a synchronicitous phenomenon -and do not secretly just think of it as a coincidence. If we think this thought through then we find that conceptuality must be the culprit, a conceptuality that can act upon the seemingly solid and insert itself in way that seems radically at odds with our everyday experience.

But the accretive notion needs some clarification here. It does not seem clear as to whether the accretion refers to the fact that the concept sticks to the vector or that the concepts stick to one another. In a sense it is both, but really the way in which the concept sticks to the vector is less about the accretion process and more about the metaphysics of how the relation between accretion and vector region must be.

It is more sensible to say that once a concept is attached to a vector region, then such regions will inevitably begin to accrete. Accretion as described here occurs on the particular level of the thing. Clearly most experiences we have are unremarkable, most things that pass through our hands not worthy of particular note. All these unremarkable happenings leave a trace, but the trace is minute. But some things endure, have significance. These things or places or even times are personal accretions. This is not to say that simply because they are personal, the connections are purely in the subject. No, in this instance still, conceptuality can be said to dwell in the vector region. But now the failure seems to be in the word conceptual which conveys something too narrow. What we try to intimate is a broad sense of ideas that can be conveyed. Hence emotions too are a form of concept in this sense. If we stay with the solitary plate, that last survivor of a family set of crockery from years ago, we would say here that the vector contains not only the plateness but all that history of its usages. Much of this historical pneuma will be nothing, but some of it will be highly charged, imprinted into the vector, accreted to the plate concept all of which goes to make it ‘that plate’. As an interesting aside, this kind of metaphysic deals neatly with designation problems. The idea of that plate uniquely refers to ‘that plate’ for the idea and the plate are in a sense one and the same thing. Remember we do not see the vector, we only see the plate (the concept). The idea of the plate and the plate are the same entity -which is the accretion of pneuma.

Accretions though necessarily occur beyond a personal level. There is also the general plate concept. This is a non-personal accretion that exists unbound to any particular plate and simultaneously bound to all of them. The general plate accretion exists out there in the pneuma. It is literally a massive accretion of all plate related conceptuality. It is formed by humans but not reliant on them for its continuing existence. This character of being accreted by humans and yet autonomous from them is a key feature of the accretion. It is this autonomy, coupled with their ability to alter the real, that brings about the peculiar effects known as synchronicity.

I am haunted by this theory. I can see there is no relinquishing it. It may mutate over time but it remains basically the same. Like so many others have done, the same idea is gone over and over. Hence I ask myself once more what is an accretion? And why did I need this idea?

The notion is one of something sticking together, something building up. There is not a loss over time, there is just steady accretion of something. What is the something? This is the substance I have called ‘pneuma’ but this is just a word chosen for ‘conceptuality’. I have previously used the term ‘information’ yet abandoned that as the Shannon definition makes the use of this word confusing. Accretions of pneuma are necessarily conceptual.

Conceptuality sticks together. This is a description of what occurs. We, whatever we can be successfully be described as being, are something that can stick concepts together, we can accrete pneuma at will. We can if we choose, draw a random scribble, learn that scribble, name that scribble and ascribe a meaning to it. In doing so we would have an accretion. That accretion was created at a certain time, on a certain date. Both of these pieces of information are themselves part of a wider accretive network. They are our interfaces into temporality and they have a certain specificity. This specificity would apply to the creation of this symbol and its meaning. Though everyone had forgotten it, it would still be necessarily true of it. The mood we were in when we drew the scribble necessarily would alter the nature of it and equally have accreted to it -psychoanalysis might tell us the scribble itself holds further secrets.

There are two choices regarding such matters. One is that, even though such connections are necessarily true in a certain sense, they are not necessarily actually attached to the object (in this case the scribble). The other is that they are. 

That conceptuality is actually attached to a thing, or to a symbol or sound is a notion that we flirt with all the time, yet when pushed we deny it. I sometimes refer to the two choices as soft and hard accretive theory. The soft version is exactly the recognition that our various particulars, either physical, mental, temporal (things, ideas, events) can be thought of as having certain other concepts attached to them. This in no way suggests the concept is in the ‘out there’ and is just the simple recognition that the theory is one more description of memory. The hard version though says that the concept is accreted to the thing (whatever that is). This is a much stronger claim. The question here is ‘why on earth would you want to make such a claim?’

The answer to this turns, at least originally on the notion of synchronicity. The argument goes roughly like this. The phenomenon of synchronicity is very powerful. It gives the appearance of connections occurring in existence that regular existence would not seem to permit. Psychology and statistics give us reasons to deny that anything strange actually happened in the experience. Yet if something strange had actually happened, this is what it would have looked like. If something strange had occurred, this would also mean reality in general was a lot stranger than it seems to be. To deny that this is the case, the statistical and psychological perspectives must say that reality conforms to the everyday solidity that we ascribe to it. Yet the synchronicity is the prima facie evidence against this being the case. In order to deny it they must presuppose the ontology they work with is true and hence beg the question. This does not prove the strange version is true, but it does mean that its possibility is untouched by the psychological/statistical explanations.

What has this got to do with conceptuality being accreted? It turns out everything. Synchronicities are of course conceptual. They are connections between concepts that occur in ridiculous ways. Whether it’s a recurring 47, 23, 11:11 or a series of connections involving the star Deneb it doesn’t really matter. These curious lines of a temporal connection are between concepts. This means, unless the whole thing is predetermined in a harmonious way, the concepts must be functioning in some sense autonomous to ourselves (and yet connected). Now of course our regular experience of the mind can have some sense of this. Ideas just pop into our minds, this is perfectly reasonable. This theory however means that the action of concepts under certain circumstances is to reverse the ordinary flow of play. That is, rather than concepts emitting from our engagement with ‘reality’, under certain circumstances, concepts can bend it in ways we simply cannot understand.

Pause one second here and understand that by this we do not say that this is the case, only that this is the case if you believe that the synchronicity is something actually strange. But if we do accept the strangeness we need the accretion. The concept needs to be meaningfully externalised from the subject and yet simultaneously plugged into it. The feedback of the subject’s interaction with the concept continues to accrete the concept as an entity. This is very similar to the Jungian notion of archetypes except that there is no sense that the accretions are fixed and finished nor that there is any particular difference in kind between an archetype and any other accretion. The archetypal accretions may be of a particularly hoary nature but they are not of any different pneuminous kind per se.

In the event of synchronicity, the phenomenon suggests the alteration of reality by the accretion being attached to two different spatio-temporal positions. That is, the accretion is acting autonomously. This does not entail it acts with sense or meaning, only that it acts outside of the control of a subject. So if I am not deluded and a certain number is actually appearing with increased regularity in my experience then the number is actually doing this. I am of course attached to that number and no doubt supplying a kind of feedback to the system i.e. the importance I ascribe to the number will be literally accreted to it.

You will spot here a kind of nonsense. The ‘importance of the number’ will be accreted to it. Do I actually mean this? Yes, I do. This importance is itself an accretion. We cannot retreat at this point. If conceptuality is capable of this kind of effect we are in a utterly strange realm in which, even though of course we can concede that importance emits from our realm, it can escape into its own autonomy. The autonomy of such concepts, indeed of all concepts is totally incoherent but this does not stop it being the case. The accretions are not coherent. They are -if they are at all, and yet we dice with them at every superstition we idly engage in- incoherent amalgamations of our endlessly proliferating conceptual usage. The madness, the incoherence cannot be retreated from. The strange becomes the the true in this flickering world of manifestations (alternate ontologies).