Where does this all leave us? We have on the one hand a paranormal supporting philosophy (phenomenology): Pneuminosity. Built on the back of synchroncity it says that information can autonomously interfere with a the necessary idea of the solid (the umbratic). By an Occam’s razor like implication all phenomena become informational and constituted in the same way that magick occurs. Human selves become accretions of pneuma like everything else.

But this is not posited as the definite view of things. This is posited as the most rational perspective for paranormality because it (I think) successfully deals with so many aspects of it (it’s basically chaos magick expanded into an generalised ontology of regular things as well). The whole foundation of all of this is not a foundation, its a disjunction, the agnostic disjunction.

The agnostic disjunction of paranormality/normality is an attempt to show a kind of parity between the believed experience paranormal phenomena and its sceptical opposite. When the strong rational voice thinks it has dismissed the phenomena, it hasn’t precisely because the level of doubt invoke is right up there with extreme Cartesian doubt. Something that is ordinarily wrong can have extra evidence shown against it. Repetition etc. can show how the phenomenon does not repeat. In the paranormal phenomenon this has no traction because the lack of repeatability is built into it as is the potential for wild local reality fluctuations.

The agnostic disjunction invokes manifestationism. Any theory of a region or totality that is sufficiently persuasive to gain any foothold and resists empirical refutation is a manifestation. We have a picture of competing manifestations and no real way to progress with the description without lapsing into a particular manifestation. It is reminiscent of Laruelle’s ‘philosophical decision’ without wanting to be non-philosophy.

The consideration of the manifestationist position is the only way forward. The only problem is: what is the way forward?

It is a testament to the situation that I feel embarrassed writing this. However part of my writing has always been anecdotal as I feel this helps it hook [the theory] to experience. My wife was raising swiftlings that had fallen from nests. This task is somewhat harrowing as they have to be ready to go before the other swifts leave -swifts are here in the UK for 12 weeks approx. There were three; after some weeks of nurture one swift successfully took off, but the other two looked weren’t looking hopeful. One kept trying to fly but just couldn’t, it would flutter and drop to the ground whilst the other would make no attempt to leave. All the swifts left the sky bar two, that clearly would leave any day now. Things looked desperate and I felt for both wife and swifts (as they have to be put to sleep if they wouldn’t fly). Such situations like all those of a degree of despair call for requests from transcendent powers. In organised religion it’s called prayer, otherwise it’s magick/sorcery -whatever you will (no pun intended).

I did nothing elaborate but retrospectively I can see it ticks the chaos magickal boxes. As I lay in bed before sleep I went with my quite poor visualization skills to see the swift God[dess] to ask for help in encouraging it’s children to take flight. Frankly I can’t remember a lot of what happened. In truth all I know is that I woke up in the morning and had completely forgotten about it. Fairly early I must have driven off to do some early morning task. As I returned up my street I met the aforementioned wife walking up it towards me looking around as she went. I pulled up and she told me that both the swifts had gone and flown down this road. She was extremely surprised at this as one (the fluttering one) had been deemed hopeless from suspected damaged air sacks and the other was still extremely timid only yesterday. However on the first attempt to release them both had flown straight away. She was now checking the gardens down the street in case they had crashed, but could not see them anywhere.

It was only at this point that I actually remembered my previous night’s supplication. The wave of excited shock is one I have had before but so far for me it is scarcely less strange each time. Maybe there is some inuring that comes with the possibility being accepted at all, but otherwise the reality rupture affect (yes I mean affect) is still is quite profound.

This is the moment. This is the same sensation that all of this is about. The point is not to tell you that the swift spirit is real and can help your injured swiftlings or indeed any spirit is ‘real’. The message is the same: existence shows itself in such a way that it can appear that informational actions (what I call pneuminous) can affect the restraint of the everyday world (the umbratic). It is completely understood that the above anecdote can represent nothing more than chance. The swifts were due to leave, maybe they were pushed to action by their own innate knowledge that it was time to go. However, in order to be certain that it was chance I must know the how things are with apodicticity (as opposed to apodidaeity (swift joke)).  If I do not know this then in asserting chance as the truth, I beg the question by helping myself to the assumption of a materialist ontology in order to deny the possibility of magick.

This moment is the same one that discloses manifestationism, not as a meta-philosophy as such (though it is one) but more as the very nature of our relation to how we accept what things are. Ontologies compete for our attention. As agents we work for various ontologies. Agnostic disjunction means that we have to choose in order to act, though the choice is only by virtue of what ontology (accretion) we work for. Philosophy in this sense shatters the naivety of being and agent of the truth. Of course many NARPs believe they exactly are that i.e. that they are working for the true ontology. Without the agnostic disjunctive/manifestationist insight anyone can end up as a dogmatic agent of an ontology. Laruelle achieves something similar with the notion of ‘philosophical decision’ but somehow seems to close ontology down non-philosophically. Non-philosophy is not a meta-philosophy, manifestationism in part definitely is -though it is an immanent one. Philosophy (this philosophy) means recognising the agnostic disjunction wherever it pops up so you may ask ‘why am I an agent for this choice?’

Paranormal phenomena are special because the nature of these events perpetually keeps the manifestationist agenda open. Paranormality can only be drawn into science as legitimate, it cannot be defeated by it. Any attempt by a ruling ontology to define away such events, results in the same question begging problem outlined above, this psychologically manifests in mistrust of authority -a similar pattern is found in competing political ontologies, where dominant democratic capitalist accretions become doubted by their agents (and begin to lose them). Post truth is one such consequence.

I want to say there is something wrong with certain accelerationist trends that overly fetishise and glorify technology but I can’t really. Not without committing myself as an agent of an untenable naturalism. I can feel though the power of that accretion in its appeal, Srnicek and Williams call it ‘folk politics’ and find it as untenable as I do. What I do think though is that there is some kind of tendency created by the fetishised techno-accelerationist coolness to reject common natural aesthetic beauty. Obviously ‘natural’ is a difficult , what I mean by it though is something maybe approaching the term biophilia. This too is inadequate as I feel what I mean would also encompass the stones and the weather and not just the fauna and flora. There has to be a way to not overly romanticise and yet learn from the romantics. Heidegger was close to this. A magickally open ontology that can harmonise the technological/accelerationist aura (in Benjamin’s sense) and simultaneously permit the NARP’s engagement with ‘nature’ is required.

A suitable accretion that harmonises these two tendencies is of course, the swift.

It is the most curious sensation to play with manifestationism and not a little like the feeling of non-philosophy. One must accept a kind of space, an experience in which the manifestations occur, without making any ontological interpretation. Manifestations are but it seems no reason can be given without lapsing into a manifestation.

The infuriating perpetual questions of how the manifestations arise and why is one preferred over another arise again and again. Let’s try to be as clear as we can be. Manifestations are theories of how the world is. These arise in the manifestation-space (a subject like notion that like Dasein tries to avoid the subject description). This indicates something like non-philosophy insofar as it intimates a kind of incoherent space without manifestations, a pre-ontological space. This space cannot be pronounced as definite but it is certainly worth exploring, it also raises the possibility of the primacy of pneuma over manifestations. There are also Kantian echoes here as it seems to suggest temporality might be something outside of manifestationism (a pure intuition?) -but not outside of pneuma.

Furthermore it seems something like a Laruellian ‘real’ is suggested as the ground for the manifestation space. This is cogent with the work herein insofar as it is reminiscent of the ‘umbra’ which offers restraint upon the manifestations possible criteria (the reasons they might arise e.g. the hard is not the soft).

If the follower of the Laruelle is the Laruellee, which leads us to the Lee of Burroughs and back to 23 and the rest of the madness, what of that other street? Is this not an agnostic disjunction? The she street or the Lee street? In old English leah is clearing; the Heideggerian resonance is immediate -is Heidegger not one of the only philosophers so close to Laruelle that (sometimes) non-philosophy and thinking look identical?  But leah street is also 23 street. Synchronicity (or pneuminous interference as Freestone would have it) looms large. An easy way to misread the backwards spelling of Jung is Gunj, which takes us back to Zhgli. Misinterpretation is often helpful.

23 street is illuminated yet fraught with gunj-zhgli (shoggoths?). But what of La Rue Elle? Is this the A1 (aloof) down which so much traffic thunders or grinds to a halt? A motor way? A mater way? People thought the fool was a man but they were wrong, that was part of the trick. La Rue Elle is paradoxically the space before the agnostic disjunction, before decision. Feminists take heed, he is aloof (your ally)

Before gunj-zhgli is La Rue Elle. The unnameable.

Laruelle’s non-philosophy is something that I am thinking through and with at the moment. I will refrain from trying to reduce his ideas or even properly describe them (I am still struggling!). What I wish to do however is suggest how his thinking chimes with certain areas of my philosophy of neurosis and assimilation, and, what I see as an implicit escape route which he sketches out (he would probably disagree with this escape however).

Regarding his belief in a ‘real science’ that works with ‘absolute immanent data’, which comes before philosophy, and regarding the unilateral relationship Being has with ‘The One’ – the problem doesn’t seem to be one of ‘objectivity’ (he denies that his work is initially advocating this) but of a kind of Heideggerian ‘clearing’ ; the ‘space’ between the pure affectivity of philosophical thinking (the ‘decision’) and that of ‘radical immanence’ (the One before identity).

At least for the sake of this post I can see two common operations of thinking this clearing; one of exaggerating and one of distancing. I believe Laruelle does both (and myself too), but whereas my form of distancing is more Derridean (allowing concepts/signifieds to play with themselves or qua the productions of differences beyond that of present-at-hand experience/discourse), Laruelle’s distancing is more from the realist/scientific spirit ( i.e how can I make a meta- discourse that defines human perception/how can I make a meta-discourse that shows the former’s redundancy or inability to encounter ‘the real’?). This ‘realist’ distancing in Laruelle is not simply problematic because of those famous critiques of realism (From Kant to Heidegger) but also because he advocates BOTH scientific progression (regarding the scientific status of the real) AND a form of mysticism, in his words – ‘this outside is an immanent a priori that cannot be conflated, related or totalized (by philosophical thinking)’. Obviously traditional epistemology (or philosophical thinking) is not what is going to get us to the ‘outside’ (even though this ‘outside is immanent), but one of my claims is that the ‘believability’ and ‘use’ of ‘decisional thinking’ (neurosis) may want to tell us that it can. It may not simply tell us that it can but can also simulate (or assimilate) a form of reality that conforms to such thinking (and of socio-political-material reality). The point here is not to argue that decisional thinking (neurosis) creates reality, or that it has to necessarily effect the real, but simply that the realist-scientist or non-philosopher cannot absolutely vanquish this operation of thought. For all of Laruelle’s acceptance of ‘cloning’ (cloning the real) he doesn’t explain how one floats above all these clones to achieve the proper untarnished axioms.

The operation of exaggerating in order for the Heideggerean clearing is common in philosophy. Kant could be seen to exaggerate in his theory of the ‘transcendental aesthetic’; by constituting a realm of sensibility/representations which dialectically points to a field outside of such (the ‘thing in itself’). The philosophical theory of neurosis exaggerates the experience of human thought (defining such as neurotic) by bringing out key features of thought-production (desire/obsession-compulsion, repetition, trauma/memory, disturbance of thoughts, awareness of thoughts) in the hope that such thoughts constitute rather than inhibit a ‘subject’.

Laruelle makes a move of exaggeration by stating that ‘thinking’ is ‘imaginary’ or ‘illusorily self-sufficient’. By describing thinking, the decision and philosophy as ostensibly subsisting unilaterally from ‘The One’ he exaggerates the field of human affectivity to the point where it becomes an asymmetrical epiphenomenon. That thought can generate and auto-produce without starting from ‘the real’ or ‘the one’ chimes well with theories of autopoiesis (systems that reproduce and maintain themselves regardless of both larger or smaller factors/determinations). Again, it is a theory of neurosis that affirms this; the concept may have only a minimal relation (or no relation proceeding the relation) to a ‘real’ or even a conventional socio-historical reality. A concept can relate to other concepts either aleatorically, through the subjects neurosis or through the discreet history of conceptual systems without laying claim to a reality or even a conventional use. This is the concepts autonomous or tautological power, but Laruelle claims that this ‘auto-cloning’ is not ‘real’ (conflating illusion with what is unilaterally/asymmetrically produced but not caused qua ‘The One’) whilst a theory of neurosis would be content in saying that ‘reality’ is both a use term (“did you watch that reality T.V show last night?) and also that reality is simply assimilated in the last instance (or that reality is one assimilation of many planes of assimilation).

If there is any import in stating that reality is unilateral (Laruelle) then the most illuminating question (instead of attempting to undermine this or simply disavow it) would be to ask how the realm of thinking and the realm of radical immanence co-exist  (think Descartes dualism). For example, is there a clue in Laruelle’s language;  there seems to be an un-approximated distance and intimacy of ‘The One’ that destroys the relative constitution of representations and their signifieds (the impossibility and idealism of deconstruction). In other words, is Laruelle’s critique of words and deconstruction (and his use of ‘representationalism’ as solely a pragmatic enterprise) a way of disclosing an experience that not only does away with the reduction and positivism of representationalism (a critique that Bergson and Deleuze have already made) but also of the notion that words, concepts and other possible entities do NOT exist solely as or through representations (signifieds) but only as a unilateral side-effect of the prior ‘vision-as-one’ (i.e radical immanence and universality)?

There is a sensation I have, possibly entirely erroneous and yet nagging. An incoherent comparison between the manner in which non-philosophy approaches philosophy and magick approaches the solid world. Maybe this goes nowhere but I feel compelled to write. I feel it as a sideways motion. For Laruelle philosophy as decision (a transcendental rule and empirical content like structure) provides the material for non philosophy. This ‘providing material’ approach does not, cannot meet philosophy head on; such encounters are between philosophy and another philosophy. These encounters are not resolved on any ground that is considered true empirically, rather they are won only on the basis of agents out manoeuvring other agents (either in logical force/seduction or possibly just quantity). Empirical truth is also conceptually beset, science must not forget this, yet its repetitive unearthings ground a grammar that is not like philosophy. Science reveals umbratic restraint and largely ignores pneuminous interference.

The similarity with magickal (pneuminous interference) effects is thus: Most if not all philosophy tacitly or explicitly conceives existence as a continuous spatio-temporal solid reality in which we are. The are is the existential are where ‘existence’ (from the above sentence) is the present at hand theorising description of physics. This is perfectly reasonable in one sense as the continuity is precisely what we in general experience. In magickal phenomena however (whether as synchronicity or perceived intervention by pulling pneuminous threads to effect our desires) this solidity is challenged. This is why we talk about the pneuma (information) affecting the umbra (the seeming solid underpinning). At the theorising level we seem to have little reason to suppose this is going on, it is, we would argue at the existential-phenomenological (are) level that these phenomena occur and cannot be eradicated (see pneumatology and chaos magick for a brief account of this problem).

So a magickal affect does not come from within this presuppositional world of solidity it come sideways against it. Whether it is conceived as a push that moves the subject (Narp) to an alternative reality (consciously or unconsciously engineered) where the occult phenomenon occurs or whether the reality in question is suddenly restructured, either way the actor is the symbolic content (pneuma). This motion cannot take place within the conception of solidity itself but must be something that alters the solidity seamlessly and instantaneously. For example: I seek to manifest a certain ring (jewellery) and I create a pneuminous accretion (visualised image) of this ring and try to bring it to solidity. Within a reasonable time of doing this such that it looks connected, the ring appears in a charity shop and I am able to obtain it. Of course there is no certainty here, that’s the point that leads to manifestationism. The revealing of the ring creates the agnostic disjunction for various models: coincidence, unconscious psychic awareness or pneuminous interference. The varieties of pneuminous interference mean exactly that, that the pneuma (symbol/information) was able to escape the solidity and affect it in this manner. I am calling here sideways on because it was not head on, which would be just one more explanation within the world as solid.

This suggests to me suddenly a curious inversion between the two sideways. In the Laruellean sideways it seems as if the solid is restored in the face of philosophical impotence whilst in the magickal sideways the solid appears as  challenged in the face of (current) scientific impotence. This is reminiscent to me of something I often maintain: that there is an alliance between magick and philosophy*. This seems an unusual notion insofar as we just said philosophy is often allied to the solid. This though we construe as an error of philosophy which has no onus to the solid. When philosophy is honest this alliance here shows itself as epistemological i.e. we need philosophical thinking to be honest enough to say we don’t know what’s going on in pneuminous interference (agnostic disjunction). But if non-philosophy really allies itself with an absolute temporal materiality as axiomatic it faces a potential failure to adequately parasitize the magickal. As mentioned in this post on Laruelle it may be that a superior immanence is yet to be found in pure information as immanent to itself, where the decisional structure is both the transcendental condition and the content.

 

*But it is only an alliance.