When trying to describe the possibility that information stuck together (a pneuminous accretion) might exert an effect upon the substrate that it is attached to, one easily becomes misunderstood. The chief confusion comes in conflating a kind of physical level of ‘real’ informational imprint with the pneuminous one. The problem for pneuminous theory though comes in actually separating these one from another.

The classic example is any given, often human object, like a mug. The mug of course bares the wear and tear of its physical existence. Every minute particle of mouth residue that hasn’t been washed off, every tea stain, every abrasive encounter all exist as what we would call physical traces. No supernatural power is required for a forensics expert to draw certain conclusions about the mug and the last interactions it had. These traces are the traces of particular encounters but they are not the encounters themselves. What does that even mean? It must be something like, that the mug bears the damage from its encounter with the spoon and even maybe molecules of metal but it does not bear the incident of when it was hit by it, the event is not present.

An explanation is something like this: mug is a concept, an accretion, as is spoon. These two concepts were in this instance applied to two vectors capable of sustaining them, designed even, to sustain them. So when the spoon strikes the mug in some sense this is just two vectors, one striking the other. This in itself is contingent on an interpretation of the nature of things. If the NAARP field is what discloses individuation then ‘strikes’ too is essentially a NAARP contingent concept. What it means is that spoon strikes mug is an occurence on a conceptual (pneuminous) level that cannot really be commented on outside of that without presupposing the metaphysical nature of reality outside of the NAARP. Of course this is a straightforward correlationist move, I don’t however have a problem of it as it is just speculation to stray outside of it. Yes of course it is also speculation to say the NAARP field is individuating the stuff, however since the phenomenology of magick presupposes that, this is the angle we must investigate here.

‘Spoon strikes mug’ as a NAARP event doesn’t entail anything about particle traces except to a specialist. It has a quotidian sense that raises nothing more than that is happened. This having-happened is the pneuminous event. It might have no traces measurable as physical vectors. If there were no trauma to either, it would still have occurred. This event whether there were physical traces or not is the pneuminous accretive one. The contention is that because NAARPs are accretion creators, it is the NAARP that would have made the accretion of ‘spoon strikes mug’.

Hopefully this gives some sense of the way in which pneuminous structures are separate -in a self reliant way- from the vectors and the umbratic underneath. They are formed, from the NAARP relation to the vector field, but once conceptually articulated they become autonomous pneuminous accretions that are reapplied back to the vector field as a kind of tautological spell (this is what Johns calls tautology). Use becomes concept, ready-to-hand becomes present-at-hand.

So now we arrive at our common description of magick: the application of an accretion to a vector that would not ordinarily sustain it. Pneuminous accretions in their normal functioning just attach to the fitting vector. Vectors that can function as chairs can take the chair accretion etc. In the case of magick, a NAARP chooses to try to attach an accretion to a vector that would not in ordinary take it. This may be done for any number of reasons and these are unimportant here. Strong pneuminous theory would say that applying this accretion to its unwilling host may actually alter the vector in some way. Experience teaches us these alterations are always ambiguous with a rational explanation e.g. hallucination, coincidence. This is the ‘agnostic disjunction’ or at least one of its applications. We cannot of course decide the agnostic disjunction, but what we can do is comment upon the situation if the AD were decided in favour of the magickal arm.

The question then is, if this occurs to what extent can the pneuminous accretion alter the underlying vector/umbratic-being? We noted that the phenomena are always ambiguous. In a sense this is obviously true, for if the phenomena were not ambiguous they would be clear examples of anomaly and as such easily sucked into scientific investigation. The ambiguous characterization of the phenomena means that they are never appear so powerfully as to warrant this. Of course many NAARPs do report powerful magickal phenomena, however the ambiguity often lies along a temporal axis and not a spatial one. When the event has occurred and will not repeat then no matter how powerful the report, rationality will try to assert alternative explanations. Pneuminous interactions therefore must be necessarily fairly restricted by the force of the umbratic controlled vectors. The umbratic in this way can be likened to the concept of the ‘real’ in Lacan or Laruelle. The difference being that whilst in these ‘real’ will always win out, in this instance the ‘real’ also can be bent. It cannot be said how this occurs, only that it does. If we accept that it does occur, when an accretion successfully imposes its structure in some small way upon a vector the occurrences do not happen like regular reality morphic changes. Sometimes the change is instantaneous (something seems to appear that was not previously there (Peter Carroll’s keys e.g.), sometimes it occurs as a sequence of events with an uncanny appearance of conforming to the accretion (the Monkey’s Paw). This suggests the possibility of a spatial and temporal axis to these phenomena i.e. immediacy occurring as a spatial rupture and event manipulation as a temporal rupture.

In this informal chat Johns continues his thoughts on the threefold of experience (Heidegger) and the constant conflicts of concepts which create productive difference (Hegel’s dialectic). Johns suggests that the contemporary ‘subject’ is determined by societies power to employ it as yet another object of value within its system of arbitrary value. Johns explains that this operation functions on the false notion of reality as tautological (pragmatist) and the subject as tautological (the subject as tool).

In this informal chat Charles Johns, editor of The Neurotic Turn, tries to describe his two philosophical terms ‘neurosis’ and ‘assimilation’. He also tries to explain why he thinks these descriptions become necessarily disclosed and why they are necessarily prevalent in our current epoch (for example the exclusion of the definition of neurosis in the 1980’s within the D.S.M created a repressed symptom, or, the uprise of mass-conformism and iphone narcissism shows a larger more acceptable state of neurosis etc).

Philosophy can a be tedious business. Repetition of the same matter is often the plat de jour. These recent notes do not alter this pattern. The situation we have here is an interesting one insofar as we have two philosophies that seem to have some potential to overlap. Is it an overlapping or a synthesis (or a struggle)? The repetition is the grinding over the same territory in search of the point of clarity.

The two philosophies in question are the pneuminous accretive theory and the assimilative-neurotic theory. Both notions instantiate autonomy to concepts.  The former by means of the way in which a concept accretes information (pneuma) and (under the strong magickal version) persists in existing as outside of the entities that create and are inhabited by them. The autonomy is pointed to by the phenomenology of synchronicity which suggests rogue pneuminous interference. Assimilation is not derived from occult phenomenology but more by the observation of a endless proliferation of concepts that synthesise with ourselves and with others. The pneuminous theory’s plug in of concept to vector is achieved (in assimilation) by the notion of tautology. This is also the case in accretive theory, the vector is the concept (though it can be taken over by others).  Object (vector) and concept achieve a kind of identity (tautology).

Assimilation is less ontologically restricted insofar as accretive theory is more descriptive of an actual ontology. This though is only true if one chooses a specific aspect (strong (magick obtains) or weak (magick does not obtain)) accretive theory. Any decision one way or the other results in a partial manifestation disclosure (and ontological decision). However remaining agnostic we still note reasonably that accretion takes place. This kind of accretion though must bracket off any ontological commitment. It can only note that information sticks together and note the hugely complex historical nature of these accretions that occur in NAA(assimilation-accretion)RP field. Assimilation likewise can only note the conceptual region’s ability to be plugged into (a bar, a board game, flatpack furniture, a piece of art). Every ontological description is just a further assimilation.

What we must note here is that assimilation can slide into ontological decision when we push a certain agenda too far. The agenda suggested here is that of pneuminous determination i.e. of the concept’s ability to control the NAARP (or not). It is easy to comprehend the NAARP as being purely controlled by the accretion-assimilations (since they are rendered autonomous). The version of this theory that commonly appears in here is that the self is one specific type of  AA (the neurotic accretion-assimilation or NAA) amongst various AAs. In the normal situation the NAA has the appearance of control whereas mental health issues can variously be described as the NAA being controlled by the AAs.

But how much control does the NAA have? Johns’ work sometimes suggests very little. It is this suggestion that can tip assimilation out of its meta potential into a conceptual determinism. The underlying manifestation concerns the nature of the NAA. Every which way you choose you enter an ontological decision.

Is the NAA’s control:

  1. Illusory entirely?
  2. Partially illusory?
  3. Actual?

Every choice entails a different ontological picture. E.g. if 1 then we can say the NAA may not be essentially different from any other AA -it has no more or less control than a table AA. 2 and 3 are compatible with the picture suggested above. The potential actual control of 3 does entail this is how things are only that an NAA could be in actual control. 2 suggests this never possible. Already a fourth possibility appears: that an NAA can be in more or less control at different times.

NPC type theories like this kind of notion by trying to insinuate that most NAARPs are controlled by concepts whilst allocating a sense of control to a specific group (the ones labelling the others). Such groups of course should be aware that factions within the enemy agent group will be thinking similarly about them.

 

The primary transference is onto things. This is ontological doubling of the self. What do we mean by this? The guiding thread is the pneuminous accretion, (the bundle of informational stuff that can exist externally to the Narp). What we’re considering here is how affectivity is often linked to accretions and how this affectivity is the extension of what is perceived as awareness in a very primitive manner. This is a technical sounding abstraction for trying to describe something like really liking your car. This gets right to the heart of the accretive problem and the satisfying kind of description of existence it seeks to achieve. It immediately runs into creating heuristic levels of accretions, but if that’s what we need that’s what we have to have. Again an example. The much loved family car of several years that has acquired a name and a gender has accreted all these different kinds of pneuma, implicit in these is a kind of simple consciousness ‘come on girl, you can do it!’ the father might exhort to the car. Again the pneuminous interference agnostic disjunction comes into play. That is, on times when the car suddenly starts upon exhortation there is the incoherent notion that it did actually respond, then the moment has passed, of course solid world discourse resumes and life continues -but the possibility remains as grounded in actual event. In contradistinction to this loved car, let us consider a newly acquired car that exists on perpetual hire. This vehicle is of course still an accretion -as this is vacuously true of anything- but it has not accreted affective pneuma, at least to nowhere near the same extent, and neither is it likely to. It remains closer to the level of ready-to-handness. But here do we not raise an curious immediate aside? In claiming that the ready-to-hand (meaning as use) is this functional level deprived largely of affectivity, do we not uncover that what is called present-at-hand is not in fact cold and theoretical (or at least not just) but also has the capacity to the receptive site of affectivity. Not just broken, obstructive things, as Heidegger said, but things that drawn our affection or even hatred, stand out as things that give reflection.

Gives reflection is a serendipitous term that takes us back to our starting point. The loved thing grants us reflection on that thing as an individual thing and in doing so increases our ability to understand others of its kind e.g. a much loved jug from a certain potter is that much loved jug, but from this love comes knowledge of this history (quite possibly at least, through investment in wanting to know the thing), this knowledge in turn enables recognition of the attached accretions when other similar pottery is encountered.  But gives reflection also gives literal ‘reflection’ in the mirroring sense. The affective pneuma that attaches to the thing of course comes from the Narp itself. Narp and thing become accreted, yet there is also pneuma of separation -it is an informational structure itself that the thing is separate from the Narp. The affective pneuma as having come from that particular Narp is necessarily part of it in all its psychoanalytic particularity, as such the primitive pneuminous structure of affectivity that the thing acquires is a  [partial] mirror of the Narp. Affectivity is unlocked as possibly the defining feature of certain accretions that lift them out of functional and/or theoretical status -this too is a heuristic.

There is a problem before any of this gets off the ground. What are the things in the first place? This is where manifestationism steps in, for in honesty no one can say whether there is a Kantian-esque structuration of whatever is ‘external’ to the Narp going on or if the things have a pre-existent self giving. If we work with the pneuma though it is more like Kant. We are asked envisage a field that is pure information -the Narp field. The Narp field is the pneuma. Is there an implication that there is some ineffable something outside of the pneuma? Yes, this appears as an idea in philosophy. It is again an agnostic disjunction situation to ask if it is the same as that which is in the Narp field. This turns on the undecideable nature of the pneuma. But the magickal phenomenon basically suggests that it is different outside of the pneuminous field which ironically presents solidity (when it is the pneuminous paths themselves that produce the magickal results).

So the things? The things seem to be outlines of the umbratic in the pneuma. This Kantian style effect is shaping the umbra to its nature. It is these outlines that are called, the given, the chtonicphusis and they are heuristically real. They form the brute possibility for the grammar of separation, hardness, transparency etc. But these concepts too are pneuma (because for us it all is). This brutal cthonic is the realm of the things  that then have proceed to accrete more and more pneuma from particular Narp experiences and universal ones (concept formation).

The pneuminous outline is doubled under word, extracted into pure pneuminous form and placed back into the original cthonic structure.

There is no spatial, chronological or privileged difference anymore between the real and the concept it mirrors. The real is imaginary and the imaginary is real. It is the closing of this distance that creates a flat, immanant and blindly operational space which I call assimilation. We cannot even relapse into older physicalist notions of the real such as external space and time: an action figure toy does not breathe-in the atmosphere of such a ‘space’, it’s context does not refer to that context shared by physical bodies in space and their social-political narrative.

King Kong is no less real than the chair you are sitting on. Both can be represented in external or eidetic space, Both have a use tem in language (i.e “have you seen King Kong?” or “where is my chair?”). Both have other relations that differ from their present use; King Kong is identified through various relations, contexts and histories such as Science-fiction, the toy industry, the film industry, exoticism, the place Skull Island etc.

Reality – the sum of experience – is not weird, funny nor horrific, ‘It’ simply is. The only other capacity that can achieve this indifference, this reality, is neurosis (hence equating neurosis with experience). In Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle neurosis is the only thing that escapes designation (goes ‘beyond’ it). Content in the mind is designated as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘pleasurable’ or ‘painful’ but neurosis is the condition which produces content in the brain; it decides, through repetition, whether X will appear bad or good. In other words, the neurotic capacity to repeat and fixate (i.e to simulate experience) is found in both sane and insane experiences, both happy and sad ones. Ergo neurosis is this indifferent reality that we speak of (or at least the condition for it). The ability of this Expressivist (Deleuze) or Contructivist neurosis is precisely what Baudrillard is talking about when he observes the relative autonomy of simulation and simulacra (from army training courses to Disney Land); that the real is manipulable based on the relatability of signs, and it is only ‘use’ (and the conventionalising of use) that separates the reality of Disney Land from the reality of a romantic relationship, a 9 – 5 job etc. To be sure, there will be simulations (assimilations) that appear without your consent (what has been ontically found in traditional psychological neurosis); your mind will try and make a reality out of something, a web of designations that one could live within. Based on generic and personal dialectics between general concepts (their ‘shareability’) and your experience, such tensions will spark semantic tensions, but this doesn’t have to be exclusively psychological; a man’s fear of nudity might stem from him encountering his parents having sexual intercourse at an early age, but other symptoms can occur simply by living in a restrictive society. The idea of getting up at 6am the next morning is semantically implicated by the state of drunkenness I am in at midnight. These are not neutral concepts changing under circumstances of the individual; they are concepts that have their own pleasure principle, their own likes and dislikes, their own preferable assimilative processes. 

Similar to psychology, however, there seems to be a heuristic difference between process and form; the almost vitalist force of un-designateable reality, of infinite neuroses and assimilations, that only take on meaning when formed and chafed by humans (or living creatures), that become representations amongst other representations like some form of atomistic idealism. The designation of meaning is superimposed onto the domesticated world through our practices, and we inherit these meanings as they enjoy dominion over us or become ‘challenged’ (Nietzsche). The usability of the concept has always carried a correlate of desire with it (the need to be used) and hence concepts cannot be severed from the desire for designation, ergo, concept traces will always tell you more than what is designated on the surface (see Graham Freestone – ‘Spider-Spit’). We always knew this sensitive fragility in the ‘human subject’ (the psychological subject) but now its time to look at the concepts ‘themselves’, as artefacts of the incoherence/incommensurability of present day human.

The first dictum of psychology ; one should never blame themselves for themselves.

It is in many ways tautological that a philosopher is not only a thinker of reality but also gradually makes reality a product of his thinking. So here we go –

I look at my guitar in the corner of the room. I am looking at it as a present-at-hand object. I really shouldn’t say object, more accurately I am looking at the guitar as a guitar. This is important for me to say this because I believe every unique (or singular) thing is not neutral but has a way of being seen imprinted on it (by this I mean simply what the thing is meant to ‘be’ or ‘do’/ the imprint of the concept/use upon the material/ the way it has been assimilated). As a philosopher of assimilation I would ask – in what way have I been assimilated to experience this specific object? I am not playing the guitar, singing love songs with it or passing the time idly with it. No, I am assimilated toward it as something to be analysed and something that is presented (the power of presentation is not dissimilar from viewing an artwork (it is of a similar assimilative structure)). Simply via visual analogy a chain of various signifiers of ‘guitar’ whiz through my head. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the assimilation of all these guitar signifiers have come from me (neurotic processing), the guitar (a site that activates this chain of signifieds) or whether both myself and the guitar are pawns in an assimilation unfolding (after all, I did not set my sites on the guitar and start talking about it by accident i.e it was all set-up for me in the first place and through the narrative of history). Whichever assimilation it came down to we are now experiencing an assimilation in front of our very eyes; I see different images of guitars from different points in time and areas of space. Some are from magazines, experiences, personal photographs, memories and cultural information (‘Jimi Hendrix’ etc). Most of these I have no direct relation to yet my mind watches the assimilation of them anyway, leading from one to the other simply by visual analogy, then by the analogy of what age I was, and then what city I was in. Each image wants to assimilate beyond its scope (one image wants me to start thinking about throwing T.V’s out of a hotel room (Led Zeppelin/Spinal Tap)). Each pop-culture image can only assimilate the visual qualities (as I was not there to directly interact with the material of the guitar, the tones etc). These less ‘useful’ sensations don’t need to be assimilated for the task at hand but if we were to push further than the ‘visual’ there could be a whole world of tacit and carnal assimilation relating to one another.  Proximity and size determine the visualisation of memories (as well as present assimilation’s with objects). Embodiment is crucial for determining the assimilation’s we have as humans with particular sized objects. I consider my reflections on ‘guitars’ as information; not only has this experience occurred in-formation (the subject is in-formation with the object and the images have occurred in-formation) but also the manifestation of the various ‘guitar’ images do not solely lay claim to an external object (represent it) but express much more content that that (affectivity, concepts, history).

In a neo-Hegelian manner it was probably the concepts that set-up this assimilation in the first place i.e the tautological structure of reality describes a world where human concepts and use are imposed onto ‘material’ (‘material’ is yet another tautology, so dont consider me a materialist). So what happened was that I encountered the concept of guitar in my room, and because such a concept has wide historical and accretive denotations (and that such a concept can link quite easily to other concepts such as ‘instrument’) the initial concept I encountered sparked an assimilative chain (purely by the self-negation/identity of the concept or by the production of differences that ensue).

The concept of territory (or proprietary) also comes into play when one momentarily forgets the universally commensurable world of free-floating concepts and starts to create a personal relationship with a certain object (this personal relationship seems to go beyond language games i.e ‘this is my guitar’ etc). I see an indentation where I dropped my guitar at a gig one time, I see that one string is missing, I think of all the songs I have written on it etc. Because these personal concepts can easily become assimilated into the world of free-floating concepts (that famous mark where rockstar X banged his guitar etc), because they are neither subordinate nor more important than all the other assimilative concepts, because these personal concepts do not merely represent an external object or world in their very being, they qualify as forms of information (in-formation) that accrete and soon become propelled on a new assimilative journey.

Psychology teaches us that the identity and classification of concepts on paper may be satisfactory at first glance yet the mixture of concepts within the human organism (or if you wish the mind) is far from neutral, objective or clear. Concepts travel through the terrain of affectivity yet affectivity is always already travelling through the terrain of concepts (a lot of thinkers make the mistake of trying to create a clear distinction between the two or favour one over the other). This bilateral relationship accumulates the ‘Subject’. The subject is – if it is anything –  1) this bilateral relationship between affectivity and how such is comprehended (i.e how the affectivity of ‘guilt’ is conceptually categorised (through different periods of history)) and 2) concepts and how they affect (how an already formed idea becomes a determination and even circles round to become a reflex; for example to turn a light switch on). This latter description has a broad spectrum; from tacit knowledge (the physical encoding of a conceptual task) to being determined by a concept over and beyond its standard use/meaning. We should think of the determination of the conceptual as determination per se (or conformism) because we are directed through an already-made concept. However, obsessions that appear troubling, unclear or without any immediate pragmatic orientation may very well be the awareness of a chafing; where the concept does not sit well with the particular subject (or N.A.R.P if you will). It is obvious that concepts affect people (not just through behavioural studies but also as symptoms i.e neuroses). This is mainly down to the concepts foreign nature and also to its indiscernibility (a concept can be broken down but its essence will not be found and its poignancy – of manifesting at that particular time –  will never be fully understood). There has been much effort to reduce and stabilise the non-identity of the concept (and in many ways the non-location of the concept, as each subject appropriates overlapping similarities of the concept and not some fundamental coherent identity of the concept). The way a civilization achieves this reduction and characterisation is qua assimilation. First we decide that the concept should abide to the same assumed rules of objects; we want the concept to subsist, to be empirically legitimated, and to be representational (which amounts to the same thing). As soon as this assimilation takes place we have what I have hitherto called tautology; the concept attaches itself as the shallow definition of an object (the concept-meaning-use of a ‘chair’, a ‘lamppost’, even a ‘concept’ itself as if it were intrinsically understandable). Whether through pragmatism, utilitarianism, positivism, capitalism (this tautological philosophy allows companies to sell us a concept-draped object as if they were one and the same thing) or perhaps simply for our own health, tautological reality is the fundamental paradigm of our being-in-the-world in the 21st century. The epiphenomenon of tautological concept-objects gathers its power of seduction, not only through social assimilation (large groups of people telling us this is how reality ‘is’) but also through the ephemeral, dialectical idea of resistance ; the notion that there has to be some kind of delineation whereby an object stops being an object or becomes a different object. One of the presuppositions in the notion of ‘causality’ is that something has to be caused for causation to ‘work’ or manifest. Beyond the relative, shallow contingencies of ‘use’ or ‘meaning’ (such can be transformed at any given time) and the ‘material’ contingency of an ‘object’ (again such can be transformed at any given time under the necessary conditions) what we are left with is a conceptual territory in-the-last-instance whereby the concept has to auto-delineate itself (in the subject but not outside of the subject) in order to play itself within a game. The game will necessarily be unfulfilling if we are programmed to nominate concepts based on objects and ‘uses’ within utilitarian life in-the-last-instance. The affectivity of the subject (or the void/nothing/incoherence/transcendence of the subject) is precisely the anxiety of where the chain of concepts will go and how they will affect us. This anxiety of the concept, and not simply the determination of a concept creating anxiety, discloses to us a form of reflexivity, a reflexivity somehow observant of the concepts flowing through us, a reflexivity I have called neurosis in the past. …