Working Preface to the Phenomenology of Paranormal Phenomena.
1) In attempting to speak of Magickal phenomenon we must be careful. Why? Because such phenomena are notoriously difficult to speak about? The intelligibility of words seems to turn on the shared rules of them, yet for experiences of this kind of nature what is shared is what is not shared commonly. The uncommonly shared experience is a rupture in the ordinary sequence of events, not just a rupture as something life changing like losing one’s job or discovering a terrible secret that pertains to oneself. No, this kind of experience is much easier to avoid -the natural avoidance of the pneumatic assimilator (the human) is sometimes termed transcendental repression.
2) It may occur in existence that we have an experience of the kind Jung called ‘synchronicity’. An event which seems to pertain to our life on some kind of informational level which seems improbable in the extreme. We say informational because this is where the connections necessarily lie. The manifestation of the event is constructed out the rational parts of reality, they are just re-presented such that their informational content can be readily interpreted by the subject as being-for-them-and them-alone, as such it has the characteristic of a message (that something is meant to be e.g.). The message is not necessarily understandable –indeed the message is not necessarily real. It is an interesting aside to remember that the possibility that the information assembled seems pertinacious to the subject, does not infer that it means something that they should act upon or engage with; the possibility remains that it is no more than an inane dream jumbling that has broken through to what is commonly taken to be a ‘solid’ state of reality –or what is often called ‘reality’.
3) There many kinds of paranormal experience. We hope to give a treatment to many of these herein. This is not because we are interested in creating a catalogue but rather because a concrete demonstration must be given of these made more abstractly elsewhere in the Tractatus. Some of these do not have the same characteristic of ‘synchronicity’ i.e. some of them do not involve the informational content of the world being reassembled into a meaningful array (for a subject); rather they might entail the outright rupture of ‘reality’, or the experience of some part of reality not thought to actually ever occur -the ontic-mythical. Such would be the case in the experience of a phantom. In this case the informational content is the phantom; despite what other meanings its manifestation might have, its being-present at all is a rupture which we were –probably- not expecting. We hope to show in the course of the descriptions within the Tractatus that these phenomena can be related to each other through other phenomena which may be uncovered in this exercise.
4) To return to (1) we must indeed be careful in attempting to speak of Magickal phenomena but we must not be dissuaded from doing so. This does not mean we can write anything at all; our being-careful will consist in our attempting to bracket the phenomena to their manifestation and to question appropriately about them.
5) Such phenomena are bracketed to their appearance, though this bracketing does not seek to reduce them to an appearance to be disproved –like an illusion- rather it attempts to show how the appearance is so powerful that it shows there is an epistemological tension forever lurking in this realm as the certainty of the illusory status of such phenomena is not within our grasp. As such it shows the appearance as it appears and not as it is covered over. It will be understood from this that the work is at least partially phenomenological in character.
6) The disclosure of the matter is brought to light by the application of a sceptical point of view: Given that I ordinarily experience the world as consistent in a certain way, if something happens which seems to transgress this (synchronicity is the paradigm example though other phenomena would do) I am thrown into an implicit doubt about this putative solidity of the world. So unless I can say with certainty that I can know really something like ‘there are billions of people on the planet experiencing endless events all the time, statistically some kind of phenomena which appear unusual are bound to happen’ then the synchronicity will make some kind of dent in the appearance of consistency. This dent will have no particularly coherent character yet nevertheless will present itself as an aporic void.
7) What would certainty mean in this instance (apropos (6))? We want this statistical world (which reinforces the everyday solidity) to give us the guarantee that what seemed like an oddity was in fact as reasonable a phenomenon as anything (though curiously the more magickal interpretation of reality also wants to say this in so far as an acceptance of concepts herein would make this understanding of the world commonplace for a different reason). But how can we reach behind the scenes to know the world operates in a continuity of perfect solidity? Are all the organisms, rocks, washing machines, happening in one spatio-temporal framework such that the statistical appropriation is applicable? I have only this interpreted monadic sphere which certainly has a presupposition of stretching beyond its sensual limit yet no apodicticity with regards to the status of this beyond.
8) Such phenomena (synchronicities and others) are often easily forgotten as the manifestation of consistency flows relentlessly through us –the transcendental repression mentioned in (1); thus without an instance of considerable force, we will be wont to give in to the lethic tendency to obscure the phenomena.
9) Whether or not this manifestation of consistency is in itself transcendental is a further matter for debate; it can be taken to be a correlate of a certain way of looking at the world which has covered over the monadic sphere of immanence (as being any kind of phenomena at all worthy of note) and instead has chosen to accept the mutual intelligibility of the ideas within it as sufficient proof that the sphere itself is not of any epistemological value. The lethic tendency too may not be spoken of as transcendental, but as possibly only a correlate of this attitude which bypasses the sphere of immanence as a phenomenon.
10) The sphere of immanence is in a sense the true synthetic a priori, for it is that which may be discovered without experience of a particular being yet is an advance in our knowing of an utterly irrefutable character. We might say that it has no value but we cannot deny the immanence of the monadic sphere.
11) Philosophies like Heidegger’s and Wittgenstein’s can be read to say that the quest for certainty is an epistemological dead end. In one instance the quest for certainty has covered over the question of Being by its theoretical abstract nature and in another the language game of certainty has been abused –we can only speak of doubt where we can first speak of knowing. This (our) philosophy denies neither point. By allowing Being to include within it the manifestation of the ‘supernatural’ it allows the being of such phenomena to manifest as part of the horizon of Being and not as something covered over –this is why the sphere of immanence must reappear, for it now presents itself as a practical issue with regards to the presentation of these phenomena. In Wittgenstein we may say that in making the sphere of immanence manifest we allow the language game of it to be heard and spoken. This speaking allows the possibility of letting lie before us the phenomena.
12) There is of course something Cartesian to this kind of certainty, but unlike Descartes we do not seek to return the world to ourselves as knowable, rather we allow its manifestation to manifest when we admit that this lack of certainty is a feature of a certain strict phenomenological approach to existence.
13) We have -as stated- no argument with such notions that the structures of being-embedded-in-a-reality are already within us and flow through us, however the monadic existence creates the manifestation of non-solidity by the possibility of its imperfect access to a putative reality outside of its direct awareness (of course there is room for imperfection even with a putative direct awareness, though what the direct awareness does supply is immediate intentional access to informational phenomena which are themselves not composite but whole as informational wholes and as such constituted apodictically). The manifestation of the abberational effect is that it is not being-perceived within the solidity of ownness –except in certain forms of experience e.g. phantoms- here though we dwell upon synchronicity. One implication being here that not only are the structures of a solid reality already within us in a grammatical sense but rather also the weirdness of reality is already also built into the same structure –or at least has been covered over, or maybe has yet to be unveiled in its greatest possibility.
14) There are then [at least] two ways of perceiving synchronistic phenomena. I can allow the overflowing of the world and reinforcing statistical/scientific discourse to persuade me that nothing supernatural has occurred or I can find myself in a state in which it seems very strongly that something very peculiar has occurred though I have no coherent picture to tell me what it might be. This ‘incoherence’ that emerges has the possibility of the negation of the solidity as a feature of it, though no further attempt other than the speculative can dwell here and the speculations will be incoherent. Neither of these I believe can be seen to out manoeuvre the other. The monadic nature of existence when faced with the uncanny anomaly will perpetually create the possibility of doubt no matter how rational the counter picture. The incoherence of the alternative is not phenomenologically perceived as unconvincing but rather emerging from the possibility of its truth (given the impossibility of our ability to silence it). This is the sometimes referred to as the transcendental pivot.
15) (14) States there are at least two ways of perceiving synchronistic phenomena. We would foolish to imagine that there are no more accounts possible. The characteristic of the (all) accounts is that they are incoherent and speculative. The reactive fluidity of the world is one explanation of indetermination. Its opposite is the organic unfolding of the world as intelligent unity in which the synchronistic phenomenon can be accounted for as something closer to a pre-existing harmony –the world did not react with this curious informational laden event, it was in fact presciently self guided to this event –this is the determinate opposite of the reactive φantasy.
16) The incoherence of the alternatives to the background solid reality does not imply the phenomenon of ‘reality’ is coherent. Rather it is a characteristic of all concepts that they are ‘incoherent’. Incoherence is taken to mean, impossible to isolate discretely, as concepts are reliant –not just on opposites- on other concepts for their meaning and impossible to define owing to the possibility that a phenomenon may come along that belongs to the concept yet has as yet no manifestation. As such a thing in its manifestation is said to be incoherently coherent –we somehow perceive that we do see it as a coherent whole, though we make no account of this, it just is. That something just is, is of course not coherent. Analysis is the mode which attempts to tell us something else about what is. Analysis of an incoherent coherence renders it coherently incoherent as now we have gained knowledge of its parts, which themselves are presented as incoherent coherencies. We can know that its wholeness is not incoherent. A coherent coherence is an impossibility in so far as analysis belongs to the essence of language. A coherent coherence (a Goethean entelechy) is not subject to analysis and as such not subject to language.
17) What is φantasy? Φantasies manifest where we do not know what is the case even to the sense of an incoherent coherence, rather we have an openly coherent incoherence, but one that will not submit to further analysis -when the human monadic condition presents a blank epistemological wall- but rather submits only to speculation. Thus for our paradigm synchronistic event, there is an ‘explanation’ (the statistical world view), but because of the curious nature of that problem, a truly convincing access to that explanation eludes us; the alternative however, does not spring so much directly from doubt but rather from a direct φantasy of the incoherent mutable reality/multiverse. Φantasy in this sense is not a negative term, indeed it can easily be seen that in a certain way, given that it is possible to interpret the world magickally (we have done so before and what can be call synchronicities in some circles now, would in previous times have raised a less epistemologically worrying eyebrow), the science/statistical view is in fact also a φantasy, one that is currently transmuted into what we call ‘reality’. ‘Reality’ is of course a pneuminous accretion like everything else, but one that has a tacit sense of acceptance, the world of science merges with and emerges from and gives rise to ‘reality’ as it is particularly coherently suited to modes of thinking which we readily possess –acceptance of what can be putatively be seen. Of course this opens the doors for more φantasy as the belief of an empirically real world outside of our perception also has a φantastic nature to it. Furthermore φantasies, it will be noted can be observed in many philosophical directions. The mapping of these is a further project for the Tractatus. Φantasies also occur for any uncertainty situation which has no possibility of a resolution. The events of the world at all sorts of levels also have this characteristic -though not all with the same incoherent mutable reality appearance implication. The media events portrayed to us are regularly doubted now and in their stead we create φantasies. These φantasies have this character of stronger than ‘we don’t know it isn’t the case’; they are suggested as competing possibilities still under a rational remit (a surprising feature in many ways as the same rationality is still no doubt at work in the occult explanation; it is similar to Kant and the sublime where reason is said to bring the sublime under control, except here it cannot do so[with the occult event]; it does not however retreat, rather it produces incoherent explanations which can receive no definite answer).
18) There are various theoretical structures unveiled in the process of this work. What, we must ask, is the nature of these structures? The level of necessity of these phenomena is what at issue here; if their necessity lacks then we have little more than a speculative theory on our hands. So now it is a case of feeling the kinds of issues within this realm. The previously mentioned pneuminous accretions are one answer to flesh this out which have a kind magickal-existential necessity to them. All concepts are pneuminous accretions; they are accretions of the informational aether or pneuma.
19) But why do we need pneuminous accretions? They are the answer to the question which Wittgenstein solves by the simple epithet ‘meaning is use’. This is a panacea for philosophy, or it would be if one did not have the possibility of magick. If we have [the manifestation of] magick (which we do as we cannot extirpate it owing to the unstoppable production of φantasies) then there must be some way in which the words are not simply used in the world but rather they attach, literally, hence there is an actual effect –or at least the manifestation of the attachment. So rigid designation can take on magickal sense, the word reaches out through intention, it is part of the accretion -Kripke’s theory is of course a φantasy.
20) The Pneuma as informational substantial corrrelate must be postulated as existent. This is because of the manifestation of the possibility of magickal phenomena -which are irrefutable. Note, we do not need to say magick is real, it is sufficient only that it has a manifestation which cannot be rationally extirpated.The connections between phenomenon -if we are to believe that a synchronicity might some kind response of an apparently external existence to the monad- are made by this substance. The informational Pneuma has long been posited in earlier ontologies -even in a form in Bergson. I now generally do identify it with the a-temporal/a-spatial informational spirit. This element or something which plays its role, will always look necessary in this kind of world view. Of course it too is also a φantasy.
21) The earnest attempt to dwell on this opens ‘the corridor’. The corridor was there all along. The corridor has been walked down many times before. It has been inhabited, indeed is inhabited. Though many of the inhabitants of the corridor do not understand its nature and dwell in a naivete that the corridor is more real than the hall. The corridor is a metaphor for the place one finds oneself by recognizing this kind of implicit aporia and then reflecting upon it in such a way that it transforms from the negative motion of skepticism into positive creative φantasies -like pneuminous accretions. It has this name purely on basis of having gone down a somewhere which leads somewhere else i.e. we were in one place a place of doubt, we moved somewhere and by this movement things disclosed themselves further down –the corridor.
22) The informational Pneuma is accreted in the pneuminous accretions of the monad. Pneuminous accretions are reverse engineered in a sense. Spirits, visualised entities are accumulations of the informational aether or real in themselves (another epistemological black hole down the corridor; a bifurcating φantasy); either way they are purely informationally-pneumatically formed from our perspective. Our own psychological selves are just accretions in this way of this same ‘spirit’, intentionally held together by other monads. If in this realm the spirits exist, they must be made of this Pneuma, but the Pneuma must hold together. The holding together of the Pneuma as information is thus the same all the way down, the informational Pneuma is what the plant perception, clock perception etc. comprises of, spirit and cup (as cup is interpreted as cup) and myself are all pneuminous accretions. And of course pneuminous accretions too are a φantasy.
23) Thus the philosophy involved cannot stay within the realm of magick; it can, indeed it does then have rippling implications for a general ontology and epistemology. A key principle in this expansion is incoherence. Phenomena are incoherent by their nature, every concept is incoherent to a greater or lesser degree, the incoherence just gets hidden better when concepts become orthodox and have usefulness. Incoherence has a reversing principle to it. Phenomena as they present themselves are incoherently coherent -their everyday manifestation as intentionally discrete and embedded in the world at the same time. Phenomena upon analysis are coherently incoherent -we can see clearly that they rely on other connections and smaller components for their being.
24) Thus far the matter is explicated at this current time. The monadic restrictions upon knowledge may not be transgressed and as such give the manifestation of various phenomena to the monad. These are necessary precisely because they may not be removed. This simple dialogue sums much of the whole business up: “but how can you be sure it is not like the stick in the glass which has bent it by the trick of the light?” “it is indeed as you say, but this stick I can never take out of the glass to check!!”