Pneuminous Example: Homeopathy

Homeopathy represents the perfect example of a pneuminous interaction. The notion expressly made by the homeopath is explicitly that it is the information and not the materiality of the substance that brings about the result. Please note, as always this work does not say homeopathy is ‘real’ it seeks to clarify the implications for reality that must be the case in or order for it to obtain.

The claim of homeopathy then is that pneuma interacts with umbra i.e. that information is not an inert layer on ‘reality’ but that there is a ‘showing itself’ in which it appears that the information changes the putative solidity. In homeopathy the process of succussion is supposed to drive the information into the water so that it is there retained in various levels of potency. When people try to use these products under test conditions, scientists then complain that they then show no significant results. This is fair enough, homeopathy doesn’t work when subjected to this kind of standard and indeed if we take that kind of reality to be utterly dominant then we must accept, it doesn’t really work at all.

However this is to have misunderstood the kind of phenomenon we’re dealing with here. Here is possibly a less controversial statement: ‘People have experiences with homeopathic remedies which seem to indicate success and/or effect of sometimes extraordinary levels.’ I personally have had an acute hay fever episode stopped after taking it, and have experienced quite incredible sensations of momentary strong intoxication like effect after some flower essences. All of these experiences are rationally explainable in terms of the alcohol in the flower essence and the placebo effect. These explanations are good but they are not entirely satisfying.

The problem lies in what I have been told that the being of these phenomena were. Initially bracketing off my scepticism I am told they are these informational imprints and that these informational imprints are effective in making interactions with the body. I am aware there are no physical parts of the plant/mineral in the remedy. I then take the remedy and experience an effect. After this fact I can rationalise it away under placebo/alcohol whatever. I have the impression that this rationalisation is superior to the homeopathic interpretation. In the statistical view it certainly is, but the statistic view has already presupposed a solidity to the world that means it is answerable to it in this wise. In essence the measurability of the spatio-temporal environment already presupposes a world in which (lets say conceptual) information is epiphenomenal to solidity. 

If however we take seriously the implications of the interaction of pneuma (information) with a putative solidity then we do not know how great this interaction might be, we have no idea for the rules of it. The set of ideas that makes the most effort to understand how information can effect solidity is of course ‘magick’.  That is to say, homeopathy is a magickal operation which brings with it a minimum baggage of the possibility of unknown ability to effect reality through pneuminous manipulations. I don’t believe there are many magician who would subject a series of operations they performed to test conditions because within this discourse it is perfectly acceptable that unwanted pneuminous interferences can distort the intention/result. So really if homeopathy only shows up localised sporadic, curious, sometimes very potent effects then really that’s all you’d expect from it.

If you then want to say that this is just placebo, then that’s fine and indeed it is perfectly possible. What you must be aware of in making this claim is that providing homeopaths are smart enough to retreat out of competing on double blind trial level and be happy as trying to manipulate pneuminous forces to help people, then their claim to efficacy is not dented because they have already (tacitly or otherwise) accepted the possibility that reality is more fluid than one of the manifestations of its being suggests.

To reiterate, if you think it is a replicable remedy that will do a certain thing every time, then certainly this is not the case. However the same magickal possibility of it exists as for other phenomena e.g. Synchronicity. The possibility that the informational imprint obtains is not ruled out by the other explanations, it is merely made unnecessary. But we do not know that the informational imprint is not there, and neither do we know that it is not effective under certain circumstances. The situation it invokes is one in which the certain circumstances of its effectivity are non-replicable. This is its phenomenology. Even when the double blind trials come back showing it doesn’t work, the adherent clings to the bolt hole of non-replicability. The bolt whole of non-replicability or interference by scientific thought (literal interference in the information) is made to look unpalatable.

The tension lies in someone wishing to maintain a solid world view and homeopathic effectivity but this fails. Those anecdotal proofs amount to nothing in the solid world, but when the mind allows the possibility of interference in an incoherent manner (magick) then homeopathy (along with a bunch of other phenomena) goes through. Nothing says this is actually what happens, but it says the power of the anecdotal experience make it impossible for the ‘rational’ narratives to extirpate it.

Homeopathy as an example of this world goes right to the heart because it pin points information and not energy as the key ingredient. In the world in which it works, the information brings about an effect. This implied world of the pneuminous tried to be compatible with a solid world interpretation and failed. Homeopathy has to retreat to magickal territory essentially. This still gives it a valid epistemology, just a different one that marks it out as a stranger phenomenon that it tried to portray itself as.

The next level of pneuminous interpretation of it though makes it that the informational effect came from the pneuminous accretions which may or may not have anything to do with any umbratic suggestions. In metallic form silver always looks a certain way, but it is a contingent accretion that it be used as a cold and flu remedy. This does not stop the effectivity of the accretion, for the pneuminous theory makes (magickally) an equivalence out of any essential pneuma and any contingent accretion. 

What we can begin to see is that the whole of homeopathy’s power as a magickal force is based on a powerful accretive web to empower practioners. A series of correspondences is given, a series of rules for the functioning of the organism, a whole doctrine. These kinds of systems enable pneuminous beings to act under their auspice with a kind of authority (granted by the system). The judgement upon such a system is difficult. As magickal there is no need slate it any more than astrology (which also fails under test conditions but produces powerful local effects). The question arises as given the acceptance of it as ‘real’ is precisely what would make a good homeopath most effective, what do we gain by making the accretive contingency of such systems overt?

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