Zonetology is the continuation of a line of thought that now begins its third phase of description. The first phase is contained under the forthcoming release ‘Tractatus Pneumatologico Philosophicus’. The second phase was the extension and widening of the concepts therein that occurred in the writings of the Centre for Experimental Ontology.
What are the concepts? What is it all about? The driving force since the beginning has been essentially the phenomenology of synchroncity. The synchronicitous phenomena forces us into a corner that we decide upon too readily. When we want to deny such phenomena by means of statistical/psychological argument, we must be aware that we make a question begging mistake. We presuppose the regular solidity of the world in order to deny the possibility of the anomaly. The appearance of the anomaly is what it would look like for the world to behave in a currently non-understood manner. The ability to rationalise the phenomena should not be conflated with the necessity of doing so. This inability to differentiate between the two positions we have named the ‘agnostic disjunction’.
If we allow ourselves to focus on the anomalous side we can make some observations. We have choices. We can accept any number of religious or occult traditions that can give various explanations. It is fine to follow one, but one must be aware this is an act of faith no better, indeed possibly worse than the acceptance of rational scepticism. The problem with various religious/occult explanations is of course that they do not agree with each other. It has not happened that over time, spiritual explorers have been able to describe other layers of reality with any consistency. The energy body various in different cultures, spiritual endgames are not all identical etc..
Chaos magick offers a way out of this impasse by suggesting that any intentional system can bring about actual magickal results. Such results of course are epistemologically subject to the agnostic disjunction. However if interpreted as actual but not emanating from a particular occult ontology what can we say about them? It turns out that the minimal thing we can say is that the conceptual power as generated by the willing being (the human in this case) must be capable of in some sense bending the seemingly solid. These are the concepts of the pneuma and the umbra. The pneuma is the impossibly thin substance of conceptuality. Everything we experience is pneuminous. However, owing to the perpetuity of the idea of the ‘behind’ of existence. The notion of being unconceptualised must be taken into account. This unconceptualised transcendental is the umbra. Magick means that the pneuma is capable of affecting the umbra.
This definition though is insufficient. In the writings of the CEO the concept of the vector field was developed to deal with this insufficiency. The vector field is the pure field of pneuminous potential around all pneuminous beings (like ourselves). The example is often given of the rock. In the endless vector field sections of it are given the name rocks. It receives a use name as rock. These sections of the vector field have the name and conceptual use meaning of ‘rock’ literally attached to them (in the magickal ontology). However when its use as a hammer comes about the vector accretes the concept (pneuma) hammer, this pneuma literally sticks to the vectors and to any vectors that can be interpreted as such. This is a complete and sufficient theory of designation (that has been fleshed out elsewhere). In the ordinary functioning of words, the magickal operation is happening, it is just that it is inert, as the concept applied is exactly the concept that was designed for the vector in question. In magick, what happens is that the concept is applied to a vector that does not take it of its own accord. Pneuma is made to bend the umbra. In magick there is a situation in existence that is going in a certain way; I wish it to go in a different one, so I apply my pneuminous construct to the vector in the hope that I can bring about such a bending.
The vector field is not however the umbra. The vector field is visible and invisible. It is fleetingly visible in aspect flipping between ambiguous figures but as an actual phenomena it can only be inferred.
This magickally compatible ontology has immediate implications for the subject. If the normal structure of things is their being vectors with pneuminous accretions attached to them, making them in some small sense more like the thing they are (this feedback will be expanded on elsewhere) then this is also true of ourselves. For each other we are vector regions that we recognise, apply a concept to (a name etc.) and make various assumptions about. We are all cloaked in the pneuminous accretions projected upon us, just as we do the same to others. We are ruled by the conceptual powers that inhabit us. In a functioning western psyche, the ruling accretion is the self, which is accreted around the name. This accretion (known in the CEO work as the neurotic accretion) is in a sense empty and fed only by the other inhabiting accretions which vie for control of the NA. The successful accretions in turn determine what kinds of actions the creature will engage in. The totality of fleshy vector and inhabiting accretion was known as the NARP (neurotic accretion regional processor). The occult ontology of pneuminous accretions entails that whilst the accretions do inhabit the region, they are also autonomous and free floating. Their autonomy is the cause of synchronicity or un-requested magick as we might call it. Sometimes the pneuma bends the umbra just for the hell of it -though we might postulate unconscious desires, this hypothesis results in another agnostic disjunction as the epistemological impasse is absolute.
This philosophical set up (amongst others) is what I will be using in ‘Zonetology’ to write about the zone. But what is the zone? The zone as a concept that vaguely resembles what I mean here first appeared to me in ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’. Tom Hastings has been investigating a phenomena he and others call ‘the zone’. The zone here refers to the kind of inter-dimensional space connected to the Black Lodge. Twin Peaks has always hovered on the border of the UFO/spirits connection, almost certainly influenced by Keelian ultraterrestrials.
What is the Zone?
One of the last posts written for the CEO concerned the illustration of how things created with relatively banal intent can be interpreted as more than this as they recede in time. At random I wrote upon the creation of a statue to a fictitious god (Xoth) and chose a star from a list of stars online to be attributed to this god (Deneb). Just a short time later I was engaged in an online discussion about the zone. In this I was informed of the earlier and more well known usage of it by the Strugatsky brothers in the their classic SF text ‘Roadside Picnic’ and the Tarkovsky film it inspired ‘Stalker’. A brief scan of various synopses reveal that the zones in ‘Roadside Picnic’ emanated from no other star than ‘Deneb’. This was clearly a synchronicity (or zonal interference as I will probably be referring to such things as). Such zonal interference does not need to mean anything e.g. as an indicator of the real importance of Deneb, but it did push the zone concept heavily upon me. Since this event I have come to consider the general framework of paranormality as zonal interference.
No doubt I will have more to say on this as time goes on but for now the zone is a kind of meta-term for experience with the outside (to use a popular term of the moment). The term un-place is often used to describe derelict parts of towns and cities. This phenomena is definitely related to the zone (think of the abandoned buildings in the fenced off area where Hastings takes Gordon and Albert to). There is a sense of human withdrawal in the zone but there is also the possibility of hidden agency (like Fisher’s definition the Eerie). A normal landscape without humans is not immediately zonal but the derelict can very easily take on this aspect. I think we can expand the concept into the dodgy pun ‘the mobile zone’. The zone is mobile, sometimes we can bring it with us. Substances and practices can place us in a state (zone) in which zonal interference will happen wherever we are. A familiar polarity returns, the ontological actuality of the zone and the pure projected nature of it. I mentioned that non-human landscape is often not zonal. This is true but equally it can become zonal. The phrase the ‘twilight zone’ reminds us that the zone is not just spatial, it is temporal.
Thus we have initially three zonal modes:
- Spatial -This place is actually connected to another dimension etc.
- Temporal -This particular time brings this other kind of world closer
- Projected -The otherworldly effect is contingent upon the NARP