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).

Again, the vector field need not exist ever as any kind of prior state of things, it is perfectly cogent to conceive of it after the interpretive event. In this way the conception of the vector field is a kind of epoche.

The vector field is not conceived as one more phenomenology of perception, though in line with the notion that ‘magick completes philosophy’ an account of perception is necessary in a philosophy that includes the magickal manifestation as a possibility.

The vector field enables philosophies (manifestations) that can be compatible or incompatible with a magickally open ontology. The way it deals with this is by saying concepts are attached to vectors rather than using confusing language that identifies the vector with the object.

Identification of word and vector is a kind of possibility but this only occurs in a magickal ontology -it is what secures the metaphysical connection between the two (real designation). In an ontology where the this is not the case Wittgenstein must be admitted as correct as the word then can only mean the use.

Magick is the application of a concept to a vector that would not take it without interference.

The love spell is a classic example of this. The vector here is the one who does not love the lover. ‘That they should love me’ is the concept that the sorcerer seeks to apply to the vector. Success results in the one who did not love the lover now reciprocating (and probably some kind of inevitable tragedy).

The effect of the application of a concept to an unreceptive vector is extremely difficult but if obtaining at all the necessarily taking place at minute levels all the time. What has your desk got to do with a mouse? Nothing, until that connection is formed. But now there is the most tiny pneuminous thread connecting the vector with desk concept attached to the mouse accretion  (the informational form of mice). Indulge this connection and before you know it the line between your desk and mouse will have increased. Such uncontrolled acts of magick can lead to a variety of phenomena, e.g. simple psychological association between desks and mice or mouse related informational interference in the desk area -images, real mice, mice droppings etc.

This process is just the normal process of the relation to the vector field and an extension of the meaning of Crowley’s ‘Every intentional act is a magickal act’. We might rather say every conceptual relation is a magickal act.

All of this writing about vectors might seem like just a theory of how designation occurs. As a theoretical extension of Wittgenstein this is true. Why however would we want to bother? The answer is because the transcendental vector theory seems to give an adequate description for the autonomy of concepts. The vector field  is not conceptual,  it just makes concepts possible. The perpetual issue we are trying to deal with is manifestation of a magickal ontology. This entails that the pneuminous order (informational) must be capable of altering the putative solidity (a heuristic distinction).

Transcendental vector theory must itself split in line with the agnostic disjunction: magick obtains/does not obtain (where magick means the pneuminous interference possibility). In the first arm of the disjunction, concepts must actually attach to the vectors. This is where the term comes from, the vector is host to the concept literally, since concept and vector cannot be identical, the vector is carrying alien information in it (even though it may be a fair approximation). In this arm of the disjunction this alien pneuma is capable of altering the vector in some way, it tries to  makes it more like the concept. The parasite tries to take over the vector. This taking over is very fragile but can produce very strange results from the Narp perspective (paranormality).

The ‘does not obtain’ arm of the disjunction can make use of TV theory insofar as it is actually still a good account of how meaning works, yet in this case the concept never touches the vector but is just our inert approximation of it. This is the normal understanding of things.

Manifestationism says our Narphood is flickering between these two alternatives. Different concepts are variously allied to the two poles. The victory of one pole leaves an easily spiritually perceiving Narp and the victory of the other a harsh materialist.

The vectors for physical objects must conform to at least the grammar of duration and spatiality in order to carry the relevant concepts. Non-physical objects are different insofar as they are not reliant on an underlying vector of physicality. Does this mean they rely on a non-physical vector? I think there are actually different cases here, not just physical and non-physical objects. Consider a poem. The vector of a poem might be the words written down, but of course they might not be understood as words, again manifestationism creeps in: either the information is somehow pneuminously stuck to the inscribed words or they are just lines on a flat surface -if they are even that outside of perception. The vector of the poem is also the sounds. Both the words and the sounds might be interpreted as something else, maybe there is no concept of poem. The concept poem is attached to the vector. We want to say: but of course this is a poem, the poet wrote it! This situation already presupposes poetry and its poeisis. Just because the poem is written as poem does not protect from its role as a vector for another concept or as part of a vector for another concept. Again, on a strong pneuminous reading, poemness as  an accretive form is embedded in its origination yet even on this reading it may act as a vector for other pneuminous forms.

But this was not the question. The question was ‘is a poem attached to a vector?’ There is a sense that it is, even for a culturally determined region like a poem. The poem belongs to the structure that is known as poetry. The last century was fascinating in its stretching of this concept. Free verse flourished, which in turn opened the floodgates for further Derridean-style variants on what might count as poetry: the concept poetry attached itself to a wider vector. Today poets like Amy Ireland push this agenda still further, seeking to attach the poetry accretion to yet other vectors. Concepts can attach to vectors that allow the attachment. We cannot start trying to expand the concept ‘stone’ to a range of new phenomena (except as magickal practice). In the case of poetry we feel maybe it is impossible to say what could definitely not be poetry, though some advocates of style and form might feel this was quite easy. Now though the line becomes like magick. I take three stones and arrange them in a certain way and say ‘this is my poem’. If I accept this the accretion of poetry to stones (these stones and stones) becomes firmer. Though grammar does not let me say, ‘this poem is a stone’ unless I say this poetically.

This is an attempt to solve the problem I often perceive to occur in OOO in its sloppy ignorance of all the linguistic philosophical progress that was made last century. I think it’s pertinent because the language relation is crucial to understand the alternative realities that lie flickeringly present beside the dominant materialist convictions. Let me say that the notion is under construction so I expect some conceptual difficulties. Nevertheless here at the CEO we are encouraged by the potential exhibited so far.

The term vector is taken from the notion as a host which carries a parasite, the parasites here though are concepts. The vector term can be used in a fairly ordinary solid world compatible philosophy or it is equally applicable to the fluid world magickal one.

  1. Vectors are the phantasy of the myth of the given. Phantasies are agnostic disjunctive options that are not dominant but that will not go away. The notion of pre-interpretive perception is exactly such a thing. It looks cogent and not cogent at the same time. We can somehow easily conceive that we could see things without our having names of them yet when challenged we find that perceptual content is comprehensive conceptually grasped albeit incoherently.
  2. Vectors are regions (vectors do not settle Kantian or otherwise arguments) that have certain natures, certain restraints to them. These restraints enable conceptual attachment (accretion).
  3. E.g. the classic hammer. The ready-to-hand hammer before it has reached further accretive levels (noun/image like present-at-handiness) is still the primary form of attachment to a vector. If you want to say that the people had a concept ‘stone’ then we acknowledge that ‘stone’ too is attached to a vector. Vector regions enable the concept stone via accretive similarity (hardness, coldness, in the earthness), but all the concepts are formed by the Narps or other beings capable of some kind of informational cognition. The set of restraints that enables the vector to facilitate the concept stone, enables the facilitation of hammer (with some further restraints, like shape etc).
  4. There is no talk of vectors as noumenal or in themselves, they are just what allows certain conceptual attachments to make sense. They are not real objects. ‘Real objects’ has a grammar depending on your ontology that is itself facilitated by certain vectors, what kind of thing can have ‘real object’ attached to it? This sends us down a circularity that reminds us of the need for manifestationism (the competing world of ontologies) indeed vectors may be able to part of manifestationist theory as the transcendental condition of what can count as some kind of discreta in a given ontology.
  5. This is worth repeating and may indeed end up as the stumbling block. Vectors are not objects, rather object is a concept attached to a transcendental vector. OOO wants to widen this to non-physical objects, this is a reasonable aim that the vector notion aims to deal with more successfully than ‘object’. Objects in ooo are not carriers for concepts, they are often phrased as simply being something. This is inadequate for their description in relation to other things. A ‘stone’ is not lying next to a ‘hammer’ outside of our perception, unless of course we think of the strong pneuminosity theory in which the hammer accretion is actually attached to the vector, making it in some sense a hammer for anything. There is certainly a complicated picture to paint in relation to the nature of different kinds of objects, we should be wary of simple reductions.
  6. In a sense a vector is not a discreta, as discreta is the basic restraint for ‘object’. Vectors are preconceptual restraints in accessible being that allow concept attachment, either as use or just name (‘this is called Maxwell’, doesn’t tell me what its for, or how it will behave). We might in this respect speak of a vector field as potentially comprised of regions that disclose themselves owing the Narp interaction.
  7. A given ontology wants to say ‘this is an object’. To do this it must cogently be able to say what restraints apply. Object is also a concept. If the grammar of this ontology says that physical discreta are objects, then vector regions for this concept must have e.g. discretion and space taking as features.
  8. The vector can only be detected by its transcendental status. If concepts are autonomous they may attach to each other (pure pneuma) or to umbra (vector regions). Concepts are not just for Narps, animals clearly have some degree of conceptualisation and other pneuminous bundles with processing abilities may also exist. Noun-concepts are just a refined more accretive form of pneuminous relation.
  9. The restraint by the vector makes the accretion of the pneuma possible (the concept formation).
  10. Objects do not ‘withdraw’ because there is no object to withdraw. An object cogently spoke of as such is an object which relies on a vector. The vector does not withdraw, it is just the host for the object concept, it is visible as such.
  11. A concept may inhabit any vector that allows it to do so (meaning as use).
  12. In magick we may attach concepts to vectors that seem to defy the grammar of the restraints of the vector e.g. this piece of paper has the power of healing.
  13. Vectors deny any concept being applicable to them.


How then are we to conceive of that endless source of problems: the object? The stickiness of pneuma (information) suggests something like this: There is a founding level of pneuma founded still again upon a kind of transcendental phantasy of that which is outside perception: the umbratic. To reiterate, the umbratic is the idea  of something existing outside of perceptual relation. The phantasy of the remainder.

The umbratic is a necessary theoretical level to avoid ooo type errors of granting reality of atoms as we understand them to atoms in themselves i.e. making the demarcation atom might make no sense outside of human conception. We cannot extirpate the phantasy of the umbratic no matter how much we wish to. The umbratic allows the possibility of materiality persisting in our absence, yet also the possibility of a much more fluid reality bent into spatio-temporal shape by our selves (a further pneuminous structure).

What this hierarchical structuration suggests is something like the Heideggerian difference between hermeneutic and apophantic as. These correlate to the ready-to-hand and present-at-hand respectively. These suggest different grammars for these different levels which in turn suggests that the cogent laying out of something like a flat ontology is a vain hope. I suppose it would turn on what you meant by that, but I think that the differing ways in which things can be spoken of renders the notion that they can be made to fit a notion of ‘object’ where the definition is sufficient to encompass any noun structural game is not possible or at least certainly not by ooo.

The thing I want to explore is this difference. The difference arises in something like the realm our attempts to create an ontology of what things are made of as spatio-temporal/dynamic entities. We want to understand stones as stones by their mineral make up. The presupposition of atomism in the sense of different elemental atoms (we do not deny it) means ‘what is it made of?’ can be answered in these terms. We accept still this is somewhat artificial insofar as stones would just be stones at one point as phenomenologically determined. If we then define stones owing to the new element theory and demarcate some things as stones and some as not. If there were some things for which we used to use the term stones that are now excluded it does not seem to make sense to say that we corrected the understanding of the past. The analysis is improved but the word stones remit has been artificially restricted insofar as we cannot say that the previous usage was ‘incorrect’.

A stone used as a hammer is made of stone. This conceptual usage is now attached to stones. This is the meaning of accretion (information stuck together). The usage information of hammering is accreted to stone. Of course ‘hammer’ can escape stones and begin its own life made in all manner of form and shapes. Hammer is a use concept accreted to a set of standard images of what it normally looks like in a given culture, a flickering between hermeneusis and apophansis. This flickering is seen in stone too. Stone arises as use (hermeneusis) and transforms into definition (apophansis). The hammer concept must be carried by some vector suitable for it. There must be restraints in the system that make it viable (I cannot make a candy floss hammer). The founding disclosures of hardness, heaviness make the vector suitable for hammer to inhabit. The notion of the vector seems possibly productive. Is ‘stone’ an inhabitant upon a vector too, like an ooo core? This at least is a better way of phrasing it than often appears in ooo -the vector as much needed meta-term. There is a kind of at least phenomenological difference down here. I do not see stones as made of stone, the grammar of stone does not require this, though a hammer when actualised must be made of something ontologically different from the concept hammer, a vector that can give home to the usage/definition. This vector is the umbratic restraint. Is the vector real? What does that mean? The grammar of ‘real’ often entails that which persists away from ourselves . It contains a trace of the phantasy of outside of the correlation. The vector fulfils this grammar in the way reality ostensibly manifests but the vector is hard to define as existing as that discrete thing outside of our classification. If I say ‘that patch of grass’ have I made a vector? It looks less clear than if I say ‘this stone’. Do any of our vector borders stand up to existence as conceived outside of ourselves? The answer of course is ‘they might’ (agnostic disjunction) -ooo dwells upon instantiating that they do and how we can talk about this.

This doesn’t help any attempt to try to make imaginary entities ontologically equivalent. If I think about a living blue box with legs called Max, I am aware I have imagined it, this is part of it’s grammar. If I am a chaos magician I might want to make this entity functional (this has its own grammar). Is Max a vector? It is only made of information (called pneuma variously on this site, precisely to give this sense of information as a kind of substance). Max’s apophansis is pneuma (and then the question (the whole question of my work) is whether or not the pneuma can affect the umbra) and Max’s hermeneusis is Max the imaginary box (here the flickering occurs precisely between how real  (Magickally effective or not) the imagination is). Max though is a bit like the stone insofar as it is tautologous to say the imagination is made of the imagination however unlike the stone Max is a vector only insofar as he is pneuma stuck together (accreted) by ourselves; the restraint on Max’s being is not umbratic it is purely pneuminous. The stone vector does  not show this grammar, it has the presupposition of some kind existence prior to us (even if it is not in this form).

This notion of umbra is, as we say, a kind of transcendental. The umbra acting as vectors, restrain certain primal pneuminous forms (consistent names/usages). These in turn have multiplied, accreted, de-accreted, re-accreted both in attachment to vectors and as forms of pure pneuma. Yes they are both pneuminous, but one has the notion of the umbratic vector behind it and one is freed from this weight. This demarcation needs to be recognised for a decent ontological description.



Ideas seem to get away with murder. We are asked what ‘Happiness’ is and we all either accept some Platonic Universal  description (Quasi-Objective) or the exact opposite; what ‘we’ believe/want to see happiness as being (in this sense it is a use term meant to bring about an effect). Joe Bloggs works in a 9-5 office day job but when he finished on a Friday night he goes out clubbing. He associates this with happiness. What does this mean? There is a psuedo-objective claim on ‘clubbings’ part that advertises happiness (and other concepts such as freedom and sexual promiscuity). Maybe Clubbing is happiness? This claim is not necessarily objective but more historical and concrete; clubbing was/is an assimilation that brought about a feeling of happiness (even if we see it as a forced assimilation – as in the taking of drugs which literally give you happiness effects). The terrain of happiness expanded and changes during the 80’s (incrementally with the first assimilation of ‘dance’ in various cultures, all taking on different assimilative effects). But we have all been in a club before at 2 am feeling alienated, anxious and tired haven’t we? Why is the assimilation not working? Do I need to ‘plug in’ more? Is my neurosis of an ex-lover ruining my participation in this assimilative dancefloor?

To assimilate can be both an unconscious process; the moving of bodies, the rhythm of steps and notes, a history of semiotic mechanisms that orient a body, value, practice, culture, etc. But it can also be very conscious in the tacit sense; in order to assimilate the drinking, discourse, steps of the nightclub one has to play its game and partly know its effects. Joe Bloggs once watched a film where two woman were in the backseat of a sports car, being chauffeured by a young attractive male, letting their hair down and laughing (‘uplifting’ rock music was playing in the background). Now when Joe gets invited into a car at night he rolls the windows down, sticks his head out and laughs. He tries to assimilate what has been represented as freedom … and 3,2,1 .. it kind of works.

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.