This is just a series of notes trying to put down some reflections on the matter in an attempt to try to make the theory more functional in its explanatory value.
1) Manifestationism attempts to describe a situation of quasi epistemological relativism in which ontologies compete for territory against each other.
2) We are the space in which this occurs. This invokes the issue that the ‘we’ itself must equally be recognised as equally a site for ontological competition e.g. are we ensouled, NAARPs, purely material etc.?
3) A recent proposal was made that a basic tripartite structure of:
i) Social descriptions
ii) Scientific descriptions
iii) Metaphysical descriptions
might give a basic doorway into how the manifestations function. It does broaden the notion of a manifestation but this is not a problem as the theory most certainly is supposed to be epistemologically relevant at any level.
4) “Was it you that gave her the book?” someone asks. I reply that it wasn’t me but they doubt this is the case, they believe that it was me that gave her the book and that it was not Jessica (who to my mind did give her the book). This other subject has reasons for believing the account of the event that they hold to. These are not full blown ontologies as we would think of them, just regional contingent issues. Nevertheless they are interesting insofar as they show regular reality level epistemic problems. If Steve has gone home and won’t admit to having given her the book and the other subject thinks I did it, they might very well not know it with much certainty but it might be the theory they are invested in. In the manifestationist sense, this subject-region (NAARP) is occupied by certain conceptual powers that determine this theory. These might be something like ‘a distrust of myself’ ‘a belief that I have done something similar before’ etc. They are part of a regional theory of me, an ontology of what I am in this social sense (an entity not to be trusted). This regional ontology is still a mini manifestation that competes in the territory with others. As a side note this does seem to hint at the potential at least ethical correctness of Korzybski insofar as the static sense of being (an ontology) is guiding a general impression rather than being only a singular instance (I am untrustworthy as opposed to I may have exhibited untrustworthy behaviour).
5) If I go on a diet, a particular diet that I’ve read about for a certain health benefit various things are going on here that may serve to illustrate the matter. I believe the diet is correct and I read about the nutritional science behind it. There are conflicting accounts in the science. But my friend has told me this diet is great and I trust them so I may generally try to not allow the competing account much traction, believing instead the possibly dubious references about the efficacy of the diet. The diet is also part of a quasi new age belief that hold that certain ‘negative energies’ will be removed from me by my assiduous following of it. My alliance with my friend has allowed me to take the diet idea in, maybe I’ve complained about something and they’ve suggested it. They’ve then given me evidence of an anecdotal nature that’s taken hold. I’ve tried to rationally reinforce it but encounter an agnostic disjunction insofar as I cannot capably disentangle the conflicting science accounts. I might be open to the notion of energetic cleansing but the discourse is entirely metaphysical. My friend insists upon the reality of it. I might seriously doubt this. But then following the diet feel a curious emotional levity. Do I ascribe this to maybe an increase in omega 3s or to a metaphysical alleviation of ‘negative energy’? The synchronicity like problem emerges. I might want to reduce the sensation rationally but I cannot be sure that the metaphysically described energy release has not taken place -as I have no criteria to test this by. But I may be convinced of this by the strange levity which I believe cannot be purely nutritionally based. This may also be true from another perspective insofar that the very idea of the energy cleansing may have had some kind of placebo like neural-hormonal feedback (this is clearly related to a weak-pneuminous theory/hyperstitional interpretation).
6) The diet and its interaction with me is a complex dynamic interplay of competing manifestations which in this case cross the full range. A social anecdotal power in relation to whatever issue I may have (which in itself may be a health related issue given to me from the modern variety of health paranoias). I seek to reinforce this power with acceptable knowledge (science) but am potentially hampered by my alliance to my friend and the appearance equivalence in evidence (competing ontologies). The metaphysical claims of the system are partially validated and thus interpreted positively, I am unable to disprove them even with competing accounts. Because they already exist as ontological possibility (phantasy) they are not removed from the system by simply demonstrating an alternative even when the alternative is more rational (where rational means those manifestations we are able to test).
7) Does this point to an inadequacy of language. To the inadequacy of ontology? It does suggest ontology has a home. To predicate one thing of another as a cogent relation may not always be the best way of expressing it -cf the Korzybski point above. But ontology returns even if we want a process ontology.
8) The suggestion is that any given phenomena may be analysed by means of the competing ontologies that make it up. Ergo a total description does not rely upon an ontology to ground it because a total description must take into account that the ontologies in their plurality cannot be overcome. The emergence of individual points insofar as there is more than one (contra the solipsistic manifestation) dialectically creates sceptical situations on multiple levels that necessarily prohibit the dominance of any central ontology even though one (science generated) ontology may actually be correct. The question is then how far a given ontology could dominate the territory and create minimal dissonance within the system. The multiple feedbacks seem to make this difficult. A purely present at hand ontology that was true and satisfactory might still generate phenomenological contradictions that create disbelief in the ontology. This potentially ironically could only be resolved if the reality was something like the strong pneuminous model. That is, if it were true that reality were solid and fixed the synchronicity problem would most likely still remain. I cannot envisage how it could be extirpated but we could accept the possibility. However if it were true that the pneuma fedback ontologically into the umbra then this (as a scientific ontology) would be a more readily acceptable. Why? Because with evidence of a genuine relation of conceptuality and physical experience at a level of physics we could better process that this was a continuous experience of conceptual feedback as opposed to the notion that conceptual feedback is an anomaly (synchronicity/informational interference).