So that means the answer to the riddle what is 23 (or 47 for that matter or indeed 11:11 or any of the other ones)? is that it is a free floating accretion of information that has somehow become perfectly poised to become what it has become and thus to become pneuminously ‘real’ by virtue of its accretion. It may well be (inevitably is) more complicated than this, but lets say Burroughs comes across it by something like chance (though it may have a deeper meaning even to him). The Burroughs accretion starts accreting pneuma around the 23, the 23 responds because part of its accretion is a kind of animism, a perception of the number following him. This information becomes part of that accretion. Remember in this notion we’re accepting that the information (pneuma) is in some ineffable way out there. It’s a bit like Plato except the forms themselves are contingent accretions not pure essences.
From here on the accretion, because it exists in a cultural milieu largely rejecting of occult phenomena seeps into cracks where it is fetishised. Consider, in an other society more accepting of this kind of thing, a 23 popping up might be considered a sign; for sure a naive interpretation but at least one that allows its anomalous manifestation to reside rather than be repressed. When it appears in the enframed technological society it is incomprehensible. The only sign it becomes is a sign that ‘your higher mind is awakening'(to the modern occultist) but this too is more metaphysics, and utterly groundless like its being any other sign. However its being a sign is also part of its accretion so in a way it is a sign (I’m not going into that here).
But now here comes Wilson to accrete it further along with the rest of it (Eris, 5s, Psychic TV). Dogstars, aliens, goddesses all become accreted to the number. My accretion in turn attaches it to 47 (23.5 *2), and the spin angle of the world (amongst other things) gets involved -this is allowed because of course the degrees system is also an accretion that now has linked itself to the whole madness. Contingent pneuminous structures function autonomously and attach to one another at the speed of thought. This is not a psychological reduction (though it has a parallel as one) but neither does it give these numbers their special status -but neither can it absolutely deny it, there is still the phantasy that these numbers are some kind of tendril of a greater reality that pokes through in this form. This manifestation will also receive credence if you accept it but loses the phenomenological purity (it falls back to metaphysical explanation).
Let’s reiterate: 23 is information attaching to information, the only reason we say its independent to particular people accretions (sort of independent) is because in order for magickal effects to obtain the information must be able to alter the putative umbra. Once the 23 accretion is up and running, it is more potent to attach to others giving them the reality bending synchroncity experience it is capable of. Is this experience real? There’s the point exactly again, you cannot tell, the possibility of experiencing something like 23 as ‘real anomaly (where anomaly is cogent only in relation to a dominant solid side’) is one side of the coin of being. In the experience as anomaly the pneuma must be interfering with the umbra. Under this aspect we can say this much.