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.


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