The Centre for Experimental Ontology looked at magickal effects through the schema of the pneuminous theory in a particular way. That is, the pneuminous accretions were concept-stuff (pneuma) stuck together by NARPs -self aware accretions. The nature of existence was theorised to show the appearance of a duality: a solidity inferred by pneuma, perpetually held in a beyond, the umbratic. The ‘explanation’ of magick, such as it was, was the transcendental move that the apparently ineffective pneuma could in fact, under certain circumstances alter this umbratic solidity, the result being some sort of rupture like effect (synchronicity, spell efficacy etc.).

As a strict phenomenological epistemology we believe this still holds. It never says this is how things are, it just says if you accept the reality of such things then this is the most rational ontology -to avoid being bogged down in dubious, precise competing metaphysical models (Kabbalah, Theosophy etc.). The further complicating factor comes in the manifestation of detail. Of course one is in speculative land here, a speculation that is based on the premise of the actuality of something like magick obtaining, so really the territory is  really quite ridiculous. Yet equally it is not so. The appearance of magick is strong (it is inerradicable) and so the phenomenology of its explanation is only one step behind it, it appears almost with it, it is conjured by it, to save the phenomena from its Kafkaesque or Lynchian abruptness -which we only find tolerable in these settings, and even here we frequently attempt to work out the back story. The territory is preposterous and reasonable at the same time. It is a problem we -as children of the enlightenment- feel we should not bother with, and yet it nestles its epistemological problems happily alongside those of Descartes’. It gives succour to his rigorous level of questioning -it makes it relevant.

The previous explanation of the relation between pneuma and umbra has itself been cloaked in darkness. This is a necessary step for there is no available knowledge of such a putative relation between two categories, which are admittedly phenomenological. However there has always been a certain path trodden amongst the manifestations (competing ontologies). It was admitted a long time ago that there are not two possible options for the manifestation of magick but three -though the agnostic disjunction always suggests just two (the solid and the mutable). The third is the passed-over option of pre-determined harmony. This option has received little treatment and will not receive a good deal today, though it is worth noting that it does tread a reasonable middle ground, by acknowledging actual metaphysical connection between phenomena whilst retaining an unmutable integrity. There are curious lines of connection, but there is no alteration of umbra by pneuma through action of the will as such.

It is this notion of the solid integrity of the existence that raises its head today. As mentioned, the pneuminous theory entails that the putative solidity (as held together by the umbratic), whilst generally extremely reliable, can be on occasion, completely restructured by the force of pneuminous accretions. The system is layered such that the basic pneuminous field prevents direct umbratic access, we have a kind of access to a vector field. This is the ‘given’. It can be inferred to exist (transcendentally) and can be half perceived with phenomenological viewing -by stripping away all conceptual layers that you can. The accretions form around regions of the vector field, these regions are our things. Magick is simply the application of a concept to a region of the vector field that does not invite it. If the concept is applied to the region with sufficient force, it may give way and adopt the nature of the concept rather than the usual route -which is that it determines it.

This picture implies a highly volatile, almost incomprehensible reality in which umbratic resistance is to a greater or lesser extent, giving way to the weight of the pneuminous forces. The notion of any human friendly coherent integrity is totally missing. This lack of coherence, is not a worry to the system. If this is the description, then this is simply where the phenomenological trail leads, we are not here to adjust the result just because it seems utterly bizarre. There is however an option which seem a little less frustrating. The previous option seems to have a hidden sense of a single world to it. It is not stated overtly but it is most obvious by the omission of any statement that suggests multiple realities. The onus is on the accretions ability to alter the umbratic and hence what we call reality. The essential ability of the conceptual accretion to do something, to exert an affect can only be jettisoned by the acceptance of inert (to pneuminous influence) reality or predetermined harmony and these possibilities are not what we are discussing here.

So if reality, in a singular sense, is not twisting and turning around us in relation to the way in which various accretions are attached to various NARPs, what is the other option? As may have been guessed from the above comments, the alternative manifestation of how the magickal effect is achieved, is simply to say that we move from one reality to another. This somewhat banal sounding answer shows itself as the simple opposite to the incoherent unity which can be dispensed with by this simple move: the one is in fact the many. The notion then would be something like this: potentially we move between multiple near identical looking realities all the time. Pneuminous accretions that autonomously activate in relation to a NARP causing synchronistic like phenomena do not do so by altering a single reality. Rather it occurs by causing a kind of hopping between various realities, dragging the NARP to the reality tunnel where a certain phenomena is actually happening, one where the accretion (merely idly pondered in one) is actually attached to vector. One can think of the 23 in this way. The 23 accretion, when tapped, pulls people through a variety of realities in which it appears physically (on the clock, on the train ticket, on the door your visiting etc.). A more active magick i.e. in which a desired pneuminous structure attempts to be imposed on a vector to alter it, will, if successful move us as close as it can to whatever reality stream most closely resembles this outcome, we of course will never know we have travelled thus.

This model, whilst in one sense as outlandish as the single warping reality, in which NARPs and other powers vie for dominance of the territory, has a vague sense of greater sanity. In this model the regular integrity of reality is retained, at least in those phenomena that do not directly display rupture. The discussion of what adjustments we may or not need to make to the model to deal with direct rupture, is for another time.

 

“The connection between the symbol and the symbolised? What on earth are you talking about?” I replied with a haughty indignation. P looked back with mild disgust. “I know it will be hard for you to understand, but this is why you must listen with special attention. Only through such an attention will you grasp what I will tell you.” P managed to put enough dramatic import into his speech such that it arrested me. “Go on.” I said, trying to look attentive. “When we symbolise something we draw a line between thing and symbol.” “Is that it?” “Is that not enough?” “It doesn’t sound much?” “Do you accept it?” I thought for a moment. “No” I replied “Of course not, there might be all manner of different symbols for the same thing. No connecting line is needed.” “Then you do not understand, for this is simply the naive understanding spat back at me.” I became indignant “P, this is something of an outrageous notion. I am not the one with naive understanding. The notion of symbolic connection to the symbolised itself is the primitive mode of thought. It is this that is the naivety and the recognition of the arbitrariness that is the more advanced mode of thought.” P looked unruffled “You are right of course.” There was a hiatus of several seconds. “Do you know the science of dialectics?” I wanted to reply that dialectics was not a science but instead merely grunted an assent “Then you will understand how what I tell you is a sublation of the original state that has moved beyond its naivete.” He paused as if this was sufficient and I felt I must point out the inadequacy that I perceived “P it is not enough simply to say a ‘sublation’ has taken place, I feel I must know how this original naivete has been rehabilitated in order to feel any satisfaction from you explanation, which in truth is not really an explanation yet.” P sighed heavily and began again “Always I must break everything down. I warn you, in forcing me to break it down you may render then thing I seek to explain impossible to do so. I will try for I am not afraid of the effort, I would however rather that it was you and not I that made this effort. I feel for myself I have already been perfectly clear, yet your incessant badgering has forced me to make a more thorough explanation, an explanation which will potentially be more unclear than the the short version. If this occurs you will at least know you have only yourself to blame.” I refused to rise to this and waited for the explanation, which I felt really was a perfectly reasonable to ask for. P continued “Initially we were wont to think that symbol and symbolised, word and object were connected. As you point out, we observed that this is an arbitrary relation with no ground to it. This gave rise to the picture that asserted the opposite: the symbol contains no relation to the symbolised. Even if there is semblance it does not matter, the two are disconnected. Finally I came to understand that this too was insufficient as it has ruled out the possibility that their is a connection in the power of the mind. The second stage presupposes there is no power. But if we reinstate this power then, yes the connection is arbitrary, yet once formed it is however real.” I looked on with mild interest. “This is quite interesting P, but it does rather turn on your ‘power of the mind’ being real. If this power is not real, your point collapses somewhat does it not?” “My point does not collapse any more than the point of someone who originally pointed out the arbitrariness of the connection. They merely proffered that the two are not be connected because the connection is so absurd. The absurdity was accepted and the connection rejected. However by reducing the claim only to the power of the mind -something that remains a reasonable possibility- we can reintegrate the connection, just on a slightly less necessary footing.” I felt I had partially lost the thread but did not wish to convey this. Incapable of making a proper assessment of P’s claim I foundered “I see” I said. P pounced “You do not see, you entirely fail to see.Fortunately for you this was only to be expected. You do not have the insight that was supplied to me. This has been obscured because we have strayed from the point.” “And what is the point?” “The point is that the number relates directly to the relation between the symbol and the symbolised.” “Oh” I said, and leaned in to listen with greater attention. “As we know, an empirical proof is always the most impressive.” I nodded “Fortunately this number supplies exactly this proof.” P paused, then continued “Do you know what numbers are?” “Numbers are the system we use to count the objects in the world. The base is arbitrary and their absolute nature unknown.” “A classic an concise answer, however hopelessly misguided. Numbers are doors.” “Numbers are doors?” “Yes numbers are doors, or maybe openings is better” He seemed to lose some of his poetic force, it seemed appropriate to interject “So are they the doors or the doorways?” “I suppose I can stay with my initial statement that they are doors? Can you knock on them?” P gave my facetious statement a stare “I suppose in a sense you can. Though maybe no one will answer and you will have to open the door yourself. I am not sure if there is a metaphorical counterpart to ‘knocking’…” P stopped and was clearly pondering this matter. Annoyed with the manner in which my gesture had backfired, I attempted to move P onwards “So you were saying how numbers are like doors.” “Yes, numbers are like doors, when you knock on them they sometimes open and you may go through. Though note I say ‘go through’ and not ‘go inside’, for ‘going inside’ is not an option, whereas ‘going through’ is the only option, unless of course one declines to ‘go through’. This option though seems rather pointless since the door will have only opened if you have knocked, hence to not go through would be almost rude.” “But how does one go through?” “One goes through in the way one goes through a doorway, since as mentioned numbers are akin to such things.” “But if we must make actual sense of what you mean, what does going through mean, let’s say to you in the case of this number you have derived from J?” “Well it is a kind of investigating.” “What kind of investigating?” “It is a kind of investigating in which no relation is off limits.” “Go on.” “So in the case of this number, it is made of two separate integers. So following a well known occult practice the most obvious thing to do would be to check each of these numbers separately as to what their highest incarnations might be?” “I’m sorry? Their what?” “Highest incarnations.” “And how do we do that?” “We simply use the water and earthen paths of numbers. To water a number we simply multiply it by itself, this gives us its swollen self. So the first part of this number is 4, which watered is 16. Then comes the earthen or telluric operation. Since earth stands in solid blocks so we must stack the numbers together, hence we add the 1 to the 6 giving us 7.” “Is that it?” “No, for we do not yet know if we have reached the highest point. We must reapply the watery path. This will give us 49, to which we then apply the telluric formula.” “13?” “Yes, though we must do the same thing again, hence we reach 4… again.” He paused for a dramatic effect, I was not impressed and he perceived this “I think maybe you have not grasped it properly yet, through these operations, which I myself did not invent, the 4 has become 7 and the 7 has become 4. I have gone through the number and found a hall of mirrors, a hall of infinite 4s and 7s!” “I will grant you that it is quite neat, but I am not sure of its relevance to the matter of the symbol and the symbolised.” “I did warn you this was a long and complicated process, had you simply accepted the pithy version that I offered earlier, you would not now be struggling so hard. I said earlier that we must interrogate the number for any relations possible. When we consider the angular nature of 4 and 7 we find there is a strong resemblance is there not?” “I’m sorry P, what do you mean? The angular nature of 4 and 7? Do you mean if we divide a circle into 4 and into 7 there is some relation in the resulting angles?” P look momentarily flustered but restored himself swiftly “No, not in that way. The symbols, if we look at the symbols for 4 and 7 we find there is some angular similarity. Look…” he dragged a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and sketched a 4 and a 7 upon it “…see, there is a kind of upside 7 in the 4 and a diagonal one.” “You mean in the symbol then, and not in the number” I retorted “We must assume, as in a conditional proof, that the two are connected in order to see the connection, you assent at least to some symbolic similarity?” I mumbled a kind of agreement, though I felt it only slightly “Then you will agree also that both of them have some relation to the triangle.” He sketched again, adding the extra line to the 7 to form a triangle and showing the triangle that formed the 4, I could only nod. “Since they both are related to triangles we must assume that the patterns we find in their oscillating repetition also are related to triangles. But how?” P looked very pleased with himself “You are going to tell me I feel sure.” “I am going to tell you, you are correct. You must imagine a triangle made of units.” “I can imagine such a thing.” “The triangle must be made of units such that the point is 1 unit and the next line is 3 units, the next 5 units and so on.” I nodded that I followed him. “Now observe this truth. If we have have a triangle of 4 units in height, how many will be on the base?” I thought for a moment then answered “7” P grinned, but I did not rise to this “If you have a triangle of 7 units in height, how many units will you have on the base?” Again I paused, then replied “13” “Remember how we must apply to motion of earth to such numbers!” “And what was that again? To multiply it by itself?” “No! That was the motion of water! The motion of earth was to solidify the numbers together, which would give us…?” “4” I conceded, secretly a little bit impressed “Yes 4! Now maybe you see! This precious oscillating number gives us the bridge. It is the door that shows the connection between symbol and symbolised!” “This is maybe a bit strong P. The triangular connection may have been how you got the insight, but to make the connection necessary seems a little strained.” P did not seem to be listening “That is not the only seemingly arbitrary relation that has been disproved here. Have you noticed anything else especial about what you have seen?” I replied that I had not “Consider that the base that we work, base 10 as we call it. Did you not yourself earlier note that it is essentially arbitrary?” “Yes, how can it be otherwise, without invoking some kind of divine fiat that gave us this number base over others -meaning previous civilisations were actually wrong, which would be an absurdity.” “This is all true. And yet, what I have shown you would seem to indicate otherwise.” “In what way?” “Well is a triangle in a base?” “No, its relations can be calculated in any base.” “Yet what I showed you was based on the units of a kind of a triangle. Regardless of the base 4 and 7 were connected. Even if they were no longer called 4 and 7 and were in some totally alien system, in this unit based geometry, in that triangle formed in that way, which was intimated to me by the chance shape of the symbols, they are related. I created neither symbol nor unit based triangle and yet the relation is there! Now do you see.” “Yes I see.” I replied, though in truth I was not really convinced.

Zonal research must contain an element of praxis as well as theory. Speculations that derelict areas (unplaces) may slide into zonal infestation need some grounding. Below is a description of the development of a monitoring system currently being implemented.

  1. How to extract information from potential zones (where zone means the strong sense of a place infested with some kind of paranormal (whether it be pneuminous or umbatic) interference.
  2. Zonal candidates are to be identified. This means mapping the various derelict or suspicious looking places in the test area.
  3. Given limited visualization/psychic style abilities, how to perceive the presence of any such entities or interference patters? Following the observation that plants are invariably either present in zonal candidates or sufficiently close to detect activity, why not engage vegetation as natural-kind stalkers.
  4. Plant awareness in its regular form is not particularly interested in human communication. To bypass this we will create pneuminous accretive structures on selected plants in the potential zones. In other words, through effort and considerate communication we need to tap the attention of a plant and give it sufficient individuality such that it can function in this manner.
  5. Creating the plant accretion does not solve the problem of communication. To get round this we need to devise a built for purpose mantic system by which the plant entities can communicate their findings. The operator will focus on politely asking the nk-stalker if there is any such activity.
  6. We can see from this that such a system will have three layers to it. The first will be to ask if there has been some kind of activity of note worth reporting (or at least if the nk-stalker thinks so). This will be done by a red token hidden amongst 52 other tokens. If the red token is selected (by the operator) this means the system can proceed to the second level. The second will list (as best as can be devised) the kinds of phenomena that might have occurred whilst the third will provide options as to ‘why’ of the activity.
    Potential agents of zonal activity and reasons for it, as may be used in levels 2 and 3 of the mantic system.

     

  7. Why use the nk-stalkers rather than just the mantic system directly? This is a good question. The feeling is that the nk-stalkers, as directly present to the zone will be more reliable as pneuminous agents than purely trying to tap into the pneuma for answers. The nk-stalkers contact reduces the possibility of contamination from zonal agents  who wish to keep activities covert.
  8. What to do when vegetation dies down, e.g. in winter? The idea has been floated that other kinds of nk-stalkers could be used. Stones would be an ideal candidate.
  9. How can you be sure that the nk-stalkers will stay working for you? The possibility of the nk-stalkers working for the zonal agents or just themselves is always there. Kindness and respect must be given to them at all times. We might also consider checking all results with a second nk-stalker in a given potential zone.
  10. Once zones and nk-stalkers are set up we can start to run regular reports on the zones. These can be rigorously logged and checked for patterns that may help identify zones.

When you cannot see something its ontological status is unknown.

This is the most reasonable formula for the phenomenology of the fantasy that our perceiving things may be in some way altering them. Magickal understanding, at least in a pneuminous (or chaos magickal sense) means that we have to treat this seriously. This kind of ontology entails that the concepts are altering the umbratic restraint -the stuff. Does this mean perception itself is altering it or is it simply the conceptualisation of it that does the altering? The concepts are originally formed out of perceiving the physical vector field.

The idea that creates the idea of perceptual creation is the lack of metaphysical certainty that the non-perceived is ontologically identical to the perceived. In this place seems to be a bifurcation related to the necessary magickal epistemology. To repeat: is it the perception or the idea that is doing the altering (insofar as we can separate these)?

The notion that magick affects at a distance would seem to indicate that pneuminous powers can do the altering regardless of immediate presence. This means that the notion of perceptual creation is separate from the notion of magickal manipulation. Ironically direct perception seems to be the solidifying force. The irony being that the implication seems so powerfully enticingly magickal -that perception itself is altering the stuff. But this alteration is one that renders it largely stable, it is a negative entropic force upon the chaos. This is magickal because it is so stabilising, yet the thing  we call magickal is the power of conceptual alteration (pneuminous interference).

One of the features of static spatial zones is often that human perception scarcely falls upon them with the crucial addition that it used to. This is the dereliction effect. It is related to Fisher’s description of the eerie. For Fisher, the eerie is related to the absence of obvious agency to a particular local and yet the hint that there is still some kind of agency involved -maybe they have gone, maybe they are hidden.

This helps us differentiate the zone from the unplace. Unplaces have old human pneuma attached to them. They were occupied by people and now are only haunted by conceptual ghosts from our sphere. The natural world has come to reclaim the place. The eeriness in Fisher’s term is purely due to the absence of a known agent -the human. They were here and now they are not. Relatively banal paranormality may be present in the form of residual neurotic accretions unshackled from fleshy bonds (ghosts). Equally there may be just the suggestion of human previous presence with possible hints of transient occupation (trash etc.)

Zones go beyond unplaces in levels of eeriness since they become infested with agents that, though likely purely pneuminous, were not ever human. There is a tension. The residual human conceptual layer is there but this is a passive fading power. Behind or alongside it hides the actual zonal power. Zonal powers are more active. They are watching. Like Keelian ultraterrestrials, their actions are unfathomable. It is speculated that the receding human pneuma is somehow attractive to these forces, which is why unplaces are so susceptible to zonal infestation. The lack of human perception is key though. Human perceptual fields keep vector regions relatively safe -it is hard to break through all that hard conceptual reality- but when these powers are not exerted often the conceptual restraint fails.

To repeat: When you cannot see something its ontological status is unknown. 

We cannot know what kind of pneuminous restraints emit from the plants and animals that visit these places when we are not there. For that matter we do not know even if it is cogent to talk about such beings as discrete things outside of the immediate pneuminous field -for they may be just part of an interconnected flux (which of course they are anyway, but we mean by that a more severe metaphysical one in which their individuation at all is just our pure Kantian curse). Even accepting their status as perceiving agents, their conceptual imprinting powers will be radically different from ours. They may well be no ally of ours in keeping such places solid and indeed may in some circumstances contribute to destabilising the area and allowing zonal infestation.

“The akashic perpetual store of all information is not a necessary reality.” I informed P “You are wrong” he said back without batting an eyelid “It is the most necessary concept that is, it is true even if J is nothing but a figment of my mind.” “And how do you reason this?” “Simple. All I need is the continuity of all things. If everything exists in a continuum then past is no less present than future and present no more to be privileged than past or future.” “Why does this serve as guarantee? Why can I not simply have a present in which moves towards a not yet existent future and moves away from a past that disappears into nothing?” “If that were so then how precognition be possible?” “P, you infuriate me. It is precisely one of the contentious issues that notions like precognition are not possible.” “Yet you would concede the appearance of precognition is possible?” “I can scarcely deny it since I understand the term when you use it.” “Then implicitly you understand the ontology behind it, or minimally you allow it and since something akin to the akashic records is implied in the concept it follows that you understand its necessity.” “But this is not the same as its necessity.” “Is it not? Given your understanding of the concept of precognition, did you not find that the necessity of something like the akashic record?” “But precognition is not necessarily true.” “Yet its possibility is. Is that not all we can ask for of anything? That its possibility is true?” I rolled my eyes “What is J’s  number?” P began matter of factly “The number was obtained through a pack of playing cards. I shuffled the cards. Asked for the number to be revealed and then dealt out a number of cards. When I deemed the correct amount had been dealt out I stopped. I then added the number of the cards together, counting 11 for Jacks, 12 for Queens and so on.” “And what was the number?” “I obtained a number of course, however like a good scientist I felt the need to check my results so I performed the experiment again.” “And did you get the same result?” “Yes, or at least mostly yes. I believe I conducted it about 5 times in total with about 4 of these bringing about the same result.” “And what was the number?!” “The number was 47.” “Oh” I said, somehow disappointed, for I had believed that the number would be somehow significant sounding but this number sounded rather dull. “What do you mean ‘oh’?” said P, sounding almost hurt. “I don’t know, I don’t know what I was expecting, I suppose I imagined the number would be more…” “More what?” P looked irritated “More special sounding maybe? I don’t know, I don’t know what I thought.” “Your fantasy of let down is just the failure of the number to be 666, but not all spirits are the devil itself -if indeed that number even means that. 47 is a discovery. We do not know what the correspondences of spirit to number means. We only know -from the various texts- that it exists. Presumably my having J’s number will give me some kind of leverage over it.” I thought P’s usage of the term fantasy interesting, given he was engaging in some kind of fantasy of power of spirits but I did not say this. His face lit up and he continued “But this number is just the start. I have not been idle. It is but a clue that reveals a world of hidden connections. It is possibly the clue that enables us as a species to understand the necessary connection between the symbol and the symbolised.”