Umbra 2.1

The notion of umbra comes more and more to the (ironic) fore.  I’ve written on it before. I’m not sure whether all my definitions are the same, hopefully over time they will become moreso. The other day I wrote this definition:

“That which hides behind the pneuma. There is no possibility of a direct contact with the umbratic for all being is directly pneuminous, or possibly cthonic. As not pneuminous nothing much can be directly said about the umbratic except the phrase that the umbra suggests the pneuma. This means that the umbratic does have a specific form which manifests in a certain way pneuminously.”

I want to consider at the moment that the umbratic is the manifestation of something outside of the pneuma. This is a better definition because it take the notion of manifestations into account rather that actually postulating an umbratic beyond. In philosophy we are engaged in the war of manifestations, that is of logical possibilities of how being might be. When we engage in philosophies of a more idealistic stance we make phenomena like the umbratic appear. Kant’s ding an sich is like the umbratic (though it is not identical). The notion appears as something which hides behind phenomenal appearance.

In this work the umbratic shows itself as that which is outside of awareness. Is this a coherent thing to talk about? Possibly not, but this is entirely beside the point, the manifestation that we can say something about anything outside of awareness from a kind of kantian position is a necessary construct, a transcendental manifestation. Of course when we engage in more realist positions this problem dissolves. The things continue to be outside of awareness in much the same way.

The problem of the umbratic turns as in much of the rest  of this philosophy on the problem of magick -as a force for bending events to ones will. Not all interpretations of magick entail this, but those which grant magick as magick (true reality bending) do. I hold that phenomenologically whatever is held within awareness is relatively held statically and outside of it it shows the possibility that it might be changed (the possibility of it being interpreted in this wise).

The umbratic then appears as every behind of pneuma. Despite the whole object being directly suggested by visible profiles, the hidden part remains umbratic. It must be this strict for it to be cogent at all. This word of shadow is not accidentally chosen. Impenetrable darkness is a kind of ambiguous experience of the umbratic. Of course as it has a context e.g. it’s night, it’s a sealed room, it still has a thin pneuminosity to it, but its umbratic experience consists in that which is within it being completely withdrawn. If I reach into this darkness to check that the cuddly toy is still in the cupboard I employ the pneuminosity of touch to reestablish this solidity (this is still information). However in the experience of staring into the black we are allowed (via the magickal possibility) to consider that we stare into a literal flux of possibility.

This incoherent possibility is the correlate manifestation of pneuma, for within the pneuminous situation the paradoxical question will always arise ‘what is outside the pneuma?’ It is not solidity, in itselfness, that is said to reside therein for these are all information from within the pneuma, though equally it is part of the manifestation of the umbratic that these notions. The persistence of things and their incoherent flux are both contained within this notion. It does not say things are in flux, it says they could be, and maybe the umbratic  can change by itself, but in magick it is the pneuma that changes the umbratic and hence changes the pneuma.

Now it’s confusing because it looks like the umbratic is in charge. It kind of is, as a manifestation of something outside of the pneuminous bubble (existence looks vaster than awareness). We reach a position in which we don’t look too argumentative with modern science, we’re just interested in delineating certain experiences and what they imply.

The manifestation of things implies their externality, even if informationally (pneuminously) held as such, their consistency begs some kind of continuity. Things outside of awareness may  not be identical with things in awareness (awareness is treated as a solidifying force (pneuma)).

The big differences are that:

a) That there is a postulation of difference of beings within pneuminosity and beings outside (umbratically concealed).

b) The pneuma can affect the umbratic via the actions of pneuminous beings in an a-spatio-temporal manner (magick).

This means, as has been put forward before, that any kind an-sich cannot be said to be the umbratic but must be the synthesis of pneuma and umbra as a whole. This from a pneuminous beings point of view is an impossibility as all information would always a priori be pneuminous.

A Reminder

We must remember one of the central points of this philosophy. The interaction between pneuma and umbra almost always shows the manifestation of the solid world continuation. This is so consistent that it is possible to repress the magickal possibility. Only in certain ineffable events does the possibility of the informational substance arise. These are the paranormal events. Only when these events are treated as having somehow actually happened does the pneuminous come into play and then the description that we engage with in here follow. By happened it means that the suggestion by the umbra that the events were connected.

Manifestation of the Un-Correlate.

I believe the key to showing the confusion in some of the speculative philosophy lies in untangling the manifestations. The key manifestation here is that of some kind of existence without an interpreter/observer. This manifestation arises quite naturally all the time, it is related to what Husserl called the ‘natural attitude’. We inhabit the world and from its seemless spatio-temporal flow we easily think of things continuing beyond the incoherent border of perception in the same wise. This is a manifestation, it is the one that gives rise to the view from nowhere, to objectivity. This manifestation is incoherent, but this is to say little because so are all the manifestations. The key opposing manifestation is that the contents of the perceptual field are somehow created by the being doing the perceiving. This is the Kantian formulation which pushes this constitutive power all the way into spatio-temporality itself. The linguistic turn adds to this manifestation or rather curtails it, limiting the spatio-temporal metaphysical claim to that of a grammatical one. Space and time can only mean the instance in which these words are used. We agree with this up the point of departure of the accretive nature of the pneuma, which creates an pneuminous overlay to the putative externality.

The primordial being of a thing then is its use. It is the interchangeable status of things as use items. Primordial hammers are stones. That things persist beyond perception does not turn on their thingness but on their manifestation of continuing existence as a thing (a spatio-temporal thing). In the manifestation of a pure idealism this is potentially not possible as there is no-thing out side of the idealism. In a more limited idealism, there is the possibility that things outside of the ideality may be identical to within it but this cannot be known with  certainty (something akin to what happens in the pneuminous disclosure). Here though language is important because it is the home of the pneuminous. When we say somthing ‘is’ this is an accretion, the accretion of being (a complicated accretion to say the least). Nevertheless it should be recognised as Heidegger did that the actual saying of being brings being about. This means that being is not the term for a putative externality outside of a hermeneutic structure. The name for this is nothing. The continual simple use of the world takes the things to be there continually, but the theoretical disclosure of the world epistemologically cuts short the ability to speak of the things as being in this way. The manifestation of a spatio-temporality allows a specultive analysis to take place but only so long as certain correlational traits are maintained. The first of these is the spatio-temporality which potentially is different outside of awareness (phenomenologically e.g. the synchronistic fluid world view) and the second of these is the individuality of each thing which may have no determinate existence is relations outside of awareness. This point turns on whether the identity of intentionality (of a being we call aware i.e. ourseleves) with the relation that we would call physical of one ‘inanimate’ thing to another, holds. This begs the question in Harman’s scheme as to whether we are a real object or not. He says I am a real object, but what does this ‘I’ entail. If it is my body then there seems to be a problem, as my weight upon my chair is not my intentional relation to it. But if it’s not then what is it? My body as object’s relation to the chair, exclusive of some other me?  If I am not my body what am I? The answer seems simple enough, I am the uses of the word I and nothing more and simultaneously the secondary I accretion that occurs after this primary one but is yet there to beguile us. The third of these is the belief that the naming/accretive relation is nothing. If the naming accretive process has gathered, discreted, shored up the use thing in anyway then the persistence outside of awareness is unwarranted as similar. The intentionality problem then returns for now for the identity of relations to persist, the putatively separate thing must consider other things as wholes, as accretions. This is more of a challenge than equating intentionality without a magickal effect with physical relations and frankly the word speculative rises to the fore here.

It seems to make more sense to say that if there is an identity between human/thing relations and thing/thing relations then this is at the primordial level of what something more akin to the ready to hand in which the thing has not shown itself as theoretical object/accretion. This means something akin to the fact that being as we know it is more like the theoretical abstraction and readiness-to-hand/use is a kind of pre-cognitive level. The phantasy of returning to this is what the buddhists seek (in part). But as the kind of being we are and become more and more or, whilst we should recognise the existence of this aspect we mustn’t lose track of the importance of the linguistic turn as complementary to any speculative philosophy.

Speculative Pneuminosity

In Graham Harman’s work a manifestation is assumed. This is the manifestation of a spatio-temporality extending beyond a monadic immanent field. This of course is a very reasonable manifestation, it is the solid world manifestation. But it isn’t the purpose of this work to describe the solid world manifestation, here we are concerned with something else. Yet Harman’s work contains something interesting that we wish to connect with. I’m not sure where we are going here, I’m going to write and see what accretions we can connect to.

Harman uses a sensuous exterior encrusted onto a dark inner real object. I have a problem with this I cannot articulate properly, and then I wonder if I really do have a problem with it because otherwise surely I would be able to articulate it. I’m concerned about calling the interior the ‘real object’. My equivalent of such an object would be the ‘umbra’. My umbra has pneuma welded to it. The pneuma is the interpreted everything whilst the tentative sub-pneuma, the cthonic is the manifestation of uninterpreted being. This still not the same as the umbratic which necessarily hides.

This is possibly a difference, for whilst the perception of an object certainly entails its incoherent wholeness, the missing profiles have actually returned to the umbratic. It is the immanent pneuminosity of being that suggests the continuing presence beyond it and the anomalous phenomena that suggests that this field may be just that. So if Harman wants his mysterious beings to persist in spatio-temporality then surely something like his picture obtains. Whether or not his vicarious causation is cogent is another matter. This would turn on whether there was enough of an identity between intentionality (sincerity) from this kind of being (an aware one) and a putative inanimate one. I’m not convinced this holds but in a sense this can only be an inclination. If I say that I at least have a choice in intentional structures this only says that, thus something else has no choice in intentional structure, that doesn’t make it not an intentional relation. in a Husserlian sense though I think it is different. My weighing down upon my chair and thus to the ground is something that I could constitute phenomenologically, but the weighing down is not in itself an intentional act.

Pneuma is a phenomenological term for a substantialised information as a condition for bringing about magickal relations. Its ability to tap the umbratic renders connections that cross spatio temporal borders. How pneuma came about is not something we can answer. Pneuma is not necessarily aware, it can be made so (by talking to a rock eg) but its informational status does not entail its self awareness.

In both these philosophies (mine and Harman’s) there is a desire to give objects back a certain reality. In some sense I am indulging in an undermining activity here by rendering the informational world as a pneuminous layer to an umbratic noumena but whole object also reemerges in a special way. Down the magickal corridor I cannot see how the object can persist without the label (if the label is doing something to it) i.e. if magick obtains then the thing is literally gathered by the word: it is a golf ball. Primordially the relation is use, in this instance there is no-thing. Only in the naming relation does what is known as present-to-hand appear. After this fact (use) the accretion forms, the image, the theoretical object, the a posteriori Platonic form. Yet because information is substantial, the information can persist outside of the immanent field, embedded in the umbra, in this sense the object persists for me, it is not a contingent x but the label ‘golf ball’, the sound itself, the letters, the gemetria is embedded in it through the accretive layers of pneuma. Granny’s special cup, really is Granny’s special cup even to other beings, this trace is still in there as accretion.

To reiterate as I always must. This is not to say this is how things are. This is how things are if you accept a magickal ontology spill out of its home.