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.

 

Notes

The essential problem with the zone pertains to its ontology. In science fiction the zone may be unambiguously real -in Roadside Picnic it is clear that humans seem in no doubt that aliens have been (and gone) and the artifacts they left are recoverable and repetitively useable. Tarkovsky’s interpretation leaves things hanging a little more ambiguously, though the reality of at least some anomalous interference is rendered clear by the telekinetic glass movement by the mutant child at the end. The aporia in both though is the same -the uncertainty of golden-sphere/room’s ability to grant wishes.

The zone in this world has no such ontological clarification. NARPs reflect the fact that even if Kant is not actually right, his thesis hovers exactly on the borderland of anomaly. The question as to whether Kant is correct or not is unanswerable in a similar kind of manner. The Kantian limitation in this sense is applied to the epistemological status of his own transcendental idealism – it is simply one more metaphysic that, like God, we should bracket off as unknowable. What he does do though is highlight this ontological manifestation like it had never been highlighted before: the possibility of the subject’s being intertwined in the production of spatio-temporal reality.

We cannot properly know whether transcendental idealism or transcendental realism obtain. They remain in perpetual war in conceptual territory being fought for by agents (scientists, philosophers and thinkers who would consider themselves neither). They occupy an agnostic disjunctive status.

The wood becomes so tangled in an instant, I can almost not make out where to go. The zone itself is split in its interpretation. Does it obtain or is it psychological? This is almost pointless as a distinction. ‘Does it obtain?’ has two options: Is it real in the sense of ‘built into a reality external to NARPs’ or does it somehow ’emanate from them’ and yet still affect the seeming externality? ‘Is it psychological?’ is intended to restrict the domain to hallucination, though one could argue that a Jungian psychological take would mean this was the same as the ’emanates from us’ thesis. Usually though it is intended to cover those interpretations in which phenomena are perceived as anomalous, though in fact fall under the understanding of reality as already given. Psychological in this sense implies that no anomaly obtains as such. This is different from the umbratic possibility which affirms the reality of the phenomena as external from the conceptual being. Concepts being merely understanding of the phenomena from the  NARP perspective.

Proliferating paths can dimly be sketched by noting the ontology of various anomalies under either pneuminous, umbratic  or psychological schemas (these mean in a sense transcendentally ideal anomaly, transcendentally real anomaly or anomaly as hallucination to a transcendentally real world).

Reviewing various anomalies under these heuristics may be helpful.

Zonal Anomalies

Ghosts

Pneuminously ghosts are pure accretive formations; they are formed either by neurotic accretions freed from regional processors that have not dissolved, or by accretions formed by other NARPs that project the presence onto the relevant zone.

Umbratically ghosts are literal spirits of the dead that persist in this reality and have not moved on to wherever they should do. Such an ontology presupposes something like actual souls that exist independently of the body and have an existence external to it.

Psychologically ghosts are pure hallucination due to various neurological occurence. They have no existence in a real external world that persists in our absence.

UFOs

Pneuminously UFOs are accretive entities that take conceptual forms either of an autonomous or imposed nature. They can behave as ‘real’ in many ways, but can disappear as quickly as a dream fades -as they are just pneuma interfering with umbra and the interference may stop abruptly.

Umbratically UFOs are either ultra or extra terrestrial entities that exist autonomously in some other sense, yet for what ever reason manifest in our reality periodically.

Psychologically UFO’s are a mix up of meteorological phenomena, hallucination, satellites and airplanes. No such aerial anomaly is real outside of these explanations.

Synchronicity

Pneuminous synchronicity is interference in (our) reality from accretions of pneuma. Conceptual entities manifest poignantly to NARPs, though their may not actually be any particular message, only a pneuminous connection.

Umbratic synchronicity is potentially preordained harmony. This retains the reality of the metaphysical connection and decentres it from the NARPs influence. Another version would be the reality of certain powers that sought to convey messages that were of import to the NARP in question (see umbratic spirits).

Psychological synchronicity is purely statistical probability, confirmation bias and apohenia. No external reality altered in relation to the subject.

Cryptids

Pneuminous cryptids would be similar to Keelian Ultraterrestrials. Pure conceptual powers that have ruptured umbratic restraint and manifest with potent solidity, even capable of leaving traces, yet equally ontologically are created by NARP like powers of accretion. Their autonomy could still be real but not necessarily in the sense of living a life somewhere else.

Umbratic cryptids would be actual alien, terrestrial or ultra terrestrial entities capable of appearing in this reality. They would have a coherent existence, not contingent upon NARP conceptuality.

Psychological cryptids are hallucinations or mistaken actual animals.

Spirits (Angels, Demons etc)

Pneuminous spirits are pure pneuminous constructs. Though created by NARPs they may have a high level of autonomy. Magick/religion creates these entities. Such beings may be visible and capable of bringing out reality altering effects (Magick).

Umbratic spirits would suggest that such beings are real outside of human conceptuality e.g. as if Wierus orders of demons or the Lemegeton  were just a correct descriptions of how these beings were structured. Such a structure might easily involved ontologically real good and evil. Such beings would likewise be potentially visible at leas in certain states, and capable of altering reality (as we perceive it) under certain conditions.

Psychologically such spirits are just hallucination. They may the products of unhinged minds and in this sense dangerous, however never actually existent in the externality.

Telepathy

Pneuminous telepathy is just the tapping into another NARPs accretions and accessing them as if they were ones own.

Umbratic telepathy is entails something similar, though the mechanism would be discoverable as some kind of psi like substance -this is not possible for pneuma.

Psychological telepathy is just knowing someone well enough that thoughts coincide on occasion. Selection bias determine the importance of certain instances.

Telekinesis

Pneuminous telekinesis is the manipulation of a vector that would not ordinarily move without physical help. The accretion ‘moving’ is successfully applied to it in accordance with the will of the telekinetic NARP. The umbratic is ruptured in this way.

Umbratic telekinesis entails that a real force exists (like psi) manipulable in some instances such that physical object may be moved by certain NARPs.

Psychological telepathy does not occur, all instances of it are only apparent.

Poltergeist

Pneuminous poltergeist activity is likely autonomous accretive powers exerting umbratic warping. Little else can be said about it.

Umbratic poltergeist activity may be an actual spirit or ghost. Potentially also it could be the kind of energy discharge theory often touted. It could involve a potentially detectable force like psi.

Alien Abduction

Pneuminous alien abduction is an interaction with the alien accretion and the long standing myth accretion of abduction (which exists in faerie too). The individual may well have genuinely disappeared into the pure pneuminous realm, but they have not gone to a cogent other world or dimension.

Umbratic alien abduction is the being actually abducted by alien beings of whatever kind. The abduction was ‘real’ in various senses of the world. The individual was actually gone and the beings involved abducted the individual with an agenda.

Psychological alien abduction means no such abduction took place. Dream, hallucination and sleep paralysis are likely features of the experience.

Astral projection

Pneuminous astral projection means that the neurotic accretion exited the regional processor and was capable of entering a more flexible pneuminous state. Instantaneous travel and umbratic manipulation is possible in this state.

Umbratic astral projection means that there is such an energy body as the ‘astral’ body or potentially soul. This can exit the body under certain circumstances. Such a entity is potentially measurable.

Psychological astral projection entails no such entity ever left the physical body and the experience is just construct and memory from the existing mind.

 

Like all concepts the zone resists definition. As laid out in earlier work, the structure of concepts has an an initial appearance of incoherent coherence. This means that we accept the definition/use of the word with little reflection. It seems sound in its sense so that is good enough. Any analysis of a concept inevitably turns up some degree of incoherence, the concept is leaky. The philosophical revelation of this means that the appearance is reversed into a coherent incoherence.

The Lynchian/Strugatskian inspired zone accretion does not really suggests something coherent even initially. However, even though no definition is particularly given, a feeling of an incredible occult-synthesis emits from it. A sensation that maybe here is a sprawling concept that will give some kind of satisfaction to the matter in hand. It won’t. It can’t.

The zone, like some other concepts, over-reaches its ability (outside, umbra, God). It tries to point to a beyond. The zone often begins as a physical space that has been infected by anomaly. It strongly suggests something like inter-dimensionality/reality permeability/soft placeness that persists in a particular area. The nature of this alteration is often couched as outside of current understanding -though no doubt in some SF works zone like phenomena exist that are comprehended if not controlled. Any zone like phenomena in our reality are definitely not understood. Of course competing ontological manifestations occur even in mainstream science. However some versions are so functionally accurate that the only alteration possible will be one that subsumes them rather than outright corrects them. Zone like phenomena are either rejected or hypothesised about (often involving quantum mechanics). Ineffability is a feature of the zone.

Strong suggestions that zonal phenomena are actually located can be reinforced at a pneuminous level. Zonal power as anomalous to regular reality in some way creates the pneuminous interference feedback. Vectors designated as zones are pre-accreted with zonal pneuma. NARPs aware of this bring this accretion with them and add to the phenomena, thus raising the likelihood that anomaly will manifest. NARPs unaware or disbelieving that they have entered a zone (like Robert McFarlane’s encounter at Chanctonbury Ring) may still be affected as, though the accreted area may be less likely to function in the face of non-belief or non-awareness, the autonomy of pneuminous accretions guarantees this possibility remains live. Theoretically zones could be created with no original ontological anomaly (interdimensional interaction), but only with the myth of one. The myth accretion in turn builds more zonal pneuma upon the vector, rendering the site autonomously zonal. This possibility means that even apparently ‘special’ places may be only pneuminously formed.

This insight relates to the zonal concept problem. Insofar as objective and subjective have any value, zonal phenomena do not give themselves to either particularly well, since even putatively ‘objective’ zones may have been previously ‘subjectively’ constituted -only in turn to behave as if ‘objectively’ present. This problem is compounded by zonal contamination. The zone as a vector infected with anomaly also infects other NARPs. The zone escapes its physical location, which we can know must to some extent be illusory as the very nature of it breaches spatio-temporal regularity. NARPs as mobile locations and producers of accretions become infected with zonal pneuma either consciously or unconsciously. Zonal interference follows (synchronicity or other phenomena).

Yet the zone is not the phenomena themselves. This, if nothing else may be the only insight. The anomalous phenomena are housed within the zone. The zone is the region, spatial or temporal or both in which the phenomena may occur. The zone may show itself as a sensation in which the possibility of anomaly is imminent but not necessary. Pneuminous feedback guarantees that even the most artificial projection of zonal pneuma may precipitate results e.g. NARPs of altered or unaltered consciousness may whip each other into a frenzy of believing they have entered a twilight zone type phenomena and in doing so will further accrete such [zonal] pneuma. The zone equally may not be spotted and may be only retrospectively attributed. Phenomena that occur outside of any indication that anomaly is imminent will alert NARPs to their presence and thus awareness of the zone e.g. houses suddenly become haunted houses; the hidden zone is thus brought to life (or created). Unexpected synchronicity may have a similar feeling, especially if there is more than one. This creates the sensation that reality around the NARP is altered ‘at the moment’ and gives the sense that the zone is present.