Accretive Objects

“Found objects are always significant because of their subjective investment. This applies not only to the baby’s transitional object, but to any object that in later life arrests our attention through its having this
special aura? Pebbles, pieces of driftwood, images provided by the natural  world, even people can be thought of in this way. All are ‘found objects’, in which we simultaneously ‘find’ parts of ourselves. Artists are particularly likely to collect ‘found objects’ that resonate with personal or ‘aesthetic’ significance, and the wider notion of finding oneself in, and through, an ohjective medium is central to understanding the artistic enterprise from this Winicottian perspective.” Kenneth Wright -Mirroring and Attunement, Chapter 9.

I was struck in this passage of Wright’s book by the similarity of this to the pneuminous kind of notion I want to push. Of course it is different but the text gives [me] one of those moments where you see how close it is some forms of psychoanalysis. But really this should come as no surprise, psychoanalysis always treads close to phenomenology whether it wants to or not (Jung understood this). What probably is of interest to me here is not the inferential importance of the ‘mother accretion’ -though I could scarcely deny this- but rather the manifestation of things as having special aura’s, being attractive to us as being part of ourselves.

Now I am going to maintain (under a certain manifestation) that all things are formed by pneuma, so the knife I use in the canteen and resist pocketing (hence sending it back for re-use) is no less a pneuminous thing than the special rock I find in the field. It is purely the mode of appearing that makes them different. When a theory tells us why something discloses itself as special it moves beyond a phenomenology (psychoanalysis of course does cross this line). Attempting to walk in this kind of bracketed magickal landscape gives us only the disclosure of the thing ‘as special’ and not the why. But this phenomenology also gives us everything as informational accretion, including the incoherent ‘self’. The ‘special’ object and the incoherent ‘self’ as such, in the moment of disclosure are connected. In psychoanalysis this may be tacitly reduced to a purely mental level with the acceptance of no physical interaction, yet down the other corridor is precisely the manifestation of the connection which would include the manifestation of interaction between this putative dualism.

In this realm the connection is real and a priori. Furthermore in our imagined encounter, once the thing has disclosed itself in this manner there is here the opportunity to accrete the thing further. For after we have our ‘special object’ we may then take it with us in life and thus it will accrete further to the self accretion. This may be a pernicious and/or rewarding relationship in which because the pneuma can interact with the umbra there is always there threat that loss of the object can be painful/damaging to the self/body-umbra. This though merely heightens the same effect (in a magickal kind of context) as happens through connections to the fetishised house and its adornments, the extension of a self/family accretion.

The ethical implication is there on the one hand in terms of non-attachment, at the same time it is completely lacking because whilst we might disperse our accretions through such other accretions ultimately there is nothing to say whether this is any better than keeping the self accretion more contained.


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