Sunday, November 30, 2014

Simulations & the Supernatural: How Tarot Theory & Baudrillard’s Nightmare Shed Light on the Nature of Reality. By Jack Vates

“We accept the real so readily because we sense that reality does not exist.”- Jorge Luis Borges

Is it all an illusion? Is there truly a veil that prevents us from correctly perceiving reality? Many occultists believe so. And they’re not alone. Recent times have afforded a myriad of philosophers and even “pop culture” references that question whether or not our entire world is a fabrication. Jean Baudrillard certainly thinks so. In fact, this social philosopher negated reality in its entirety. A groundbreaking perspective, Baudrillard asserted that all of reality is a simulation. He once stated that “we have passed out of the industrial era, in which production was the dominant pattern, into a code-governed phase where the dominant schema is simulation.”[1] And he meant this literally. For this innovative thinker, reality directly coincides with an apparent law of value. What he called ‘hyperreality’,or ‘floating values’, what makes up reality is an indeterminate fluctuation much like money or power. It is significations of reality called simulacra and not reality itself. in other words, an illusion.

“There is no longer such a thing as ideology; there are only simulacra.”

Occultists recognize this line of thought. Specifically, the tarot readers absolutely understand what Baudrillard is referring to and have been espousing this point of view for centuries. In the Trump card of the Major Arcana called the ‘Devil’, the Tarotist intuitively recognizes the bondage or ‘simulation’ of materiality. Whenever this entity turns up in a tarot spread, there is always an idea of restriction or Saturnian influence. It’s not entirely negative, it’s simply a matter of identifying the simulacra in one’s life or unconscious.

Baudrillard also came to this conclusion but described it in philosophical terms. He asserted that the unconscious relinquished its own reality principle in order to become an operational simulacrum. At the exact point where its psychic principle of reality is confused with its psychoanalytic reality principle, the unconscious becomes another simulation model.[2] But how does it work? For Baudrillard, reality is a “processual matrix”. In its most idealized form, it has a binary structure. it’s a simple questions/answer, stimulus/response format of bi-polarity that pushes us to place ‘value’ or signs of the real instead of the real itself. He states that, “It is the processual mode of the simulations that dominate us. They can be organized as an unstable play of variation, or in polyvalent or tautological modes, without endangering this central principle of bi-polarity: Digitality is, indeed, the divine form of simulation. Why does the WTC in NYC have ‘two’ towers…”[3]

Again, the Tarot reader would agree with this idea. Part of reacting to the Devil is to negate the simulation of difference. To slip the veil or chains, so to speak; To not get lost in representations. And that’s the real fear isn’t it? When our icons are substituted for an ‘Intelligible Idea’ of divinity, we are pulling taut the chains of simulation. And the overarching fear that there never was a divinity and only simulacra keeps many a Tarot enthusiast up at night.
So what is the way out? How do we see through our illusions and end our reliance on simulacra? Baudrillard had some ideas. He suggested a use of equal and opposite value reversals or ‘inversion’ to create a kind of symbolic disorder to annihilate the simulation. He borrowed the concept of ‘Death’ and the ‘reversibility of death’ to breach this code. But this isn’t death in the bodily sense. He states that “Death should never be interpreted as an actual occurrence in a subject or body, but rather as a form, possibly a form of social relation, where the determination of the subject and value disappear.”[4] In other words, utilize a process of inversion to destroy the simulation.

Again the occultist is familiar with the concept. To the tarot theorist, both Death and the Devil speak of inversions and reversals to achieve a ‘change of state’ during a liminal period. Traditionally, Death is an archetype of change. Appearance of this card suggests something is or should be exiting in favor of renewal. The Devil makes blatant use of inversion in its ideas of bondage. In fact, the Devil is portrayed on many tarot decks is a posture directly opposite to that of the Hierophant or ‘Pope’ card. The idea of an inversion of freedom or simulation is blatant in its iconography.
It’s impossible to not leave the discussion of simulation theory without at least mentioning a very curious sentence in Baudrillard’s essay on simulation. Did you catch it? When he states, “Digitality, is, indeed the divine form of simulation. Why does the WTC in NYC have ‘two’ towers…”(Ibid) Reading this now has a haunting and almost prophetic feel to it. There is something awful about it. And we all know why. There’s no sense stating the obvious here only to say that the implications of this one sentence is enough to send any conspiracy theorist into a fit of gleeful jabbering. What did Baudrillard mean when he asked, ‘Why does the WTC in NYC have ‘two’ towers?’ My first impression of the remark was that the two towers represent the concept of bi-polarity that the philosopher abhorred. But if that’s the case, then the towers were a ‘symbol of the simulation’. And this is where the conspiracy junkies will want to tap a vein. Because the implication is that the attack was an attempt to end the simulation. To shock us back into reality. Of course, the line of thought then begs us to ask: How did Al-Qaeda choose this target? Was it simply just a symbol of the West or something more? What if the goofy child terrorists were not even aware of their role in a real Kuhnian paradigm shift?  Or even more horribly, what if they were given the target by someone else? It’s not hard to surmise where the conspiracy can go from here. But it is strange though yes? Baudrillard’s remark is more than curious. It’s scarily eerie.

Tarot does have a card that would give meaning to this scenario. Curiously, it is called the ‘Tower’. The card usually depicts the destruction of a tower by an impenetrable force. And get this, two figures are typically seen falling from the tower. They are the Pope and the King. The card is one of cataclysmic change. It is destruction; A horrifying shift in consciousness. It clearly points to revelation and revolution. Because in this card, ‘revolution is revelation’. See how easy it is now to fit the events of 9/11 in this framework? And it’s even easier to include Baudrillard’s ‘simulations’ or matrix theory into the equation. What becomes difficult is exploring how the implications could be interpreted. There is obviously somebody in the world ready to point to Al-Qaeda as potential saviors of reality; as martyrs to the simulation. But no serious occultist would suggest that Al-Qaeda was smart enough to come to this obscure philosophical argument on their own. Nor would we assert that it’s the Illuminati. The occultist position is that the event was a paradigm shift. It was the ‘Tower’ manifesting into reality. ‘Fortune’ turns and a universe persists. Al-Qaeda played a role. Like the adversary, they had a particular job but made no conscious choice or decision to be part of the larger design. They were simply used by a universe that persists.
And in regards to Baudrillard’s simulation? Occultists are not iconoclasts. We don’t destroy but create in a literal sense. To us, representation occurs only in the re-presenting or re-newing of the sacred. Our entities exist and are both determinate and self-determining. They are created and become autonomous through the act of creation. Are they simulations? Are they simply significations of a reality substituted for reality itself? Are we simply deluding ourselves in a matrix illusion? I would provide a resounding no because of the experiential nature of the occult conjuration. For a simulation to take hold it must have time to form and be accepted by those it tries to enslave. The trajectory of ceremonial magick forms and reforms continuously in real time. There simply isn’t enough time for a simulation to perverse the pot. During an operation, the nature of reality and what can be accepted is in a state of flux. Magicians speak of doorways or gates. Aspects of numinous reality being experienced as the entity is renewed and re-embodied by ritual. Simulation simply doesn’t enter into this experiential numinousness. And if it could, it would be like a ‘temporary file’ or cookie on your computer hard-drive. Not possibly something that could take hold but something deleted upon exiting the web browser or ‘ritual’. The occultist is naturally familiar with ideas of science, cyberpunk, and technology. But there are inherent differences that allow the occultism to escape simulation bondage. It is these esoteric nuances that make the conjuration such a remarkable shaper of reality.

[1] Jean Baudrillard. The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact. Bong Publishing. 2008. Oxford. pp. 4.
[2] Mark Poster. Jean Baudrillard. 2nd ed, Stanford University Press. 2001. Stanford.  pp. 125.
[3] Ibid. pp. 146.
[4] Ibid. pp. 127

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Magus Magazine: Creating the Magick: The metaphysics of Occult tho...

Magus Magazine: Creating the Magick: The metaphysics of Occult tho...: Creating the Magick: The Metaphysics of Occult thinking.   Magus Magazine: Creating the Magick: The metaphysics of Occult thought. New Blog! What is the philosophy of occult?                                                         

Creating the Magick: The metaphysics of Occult thought.

                                               “Poor idiot! Are you so foolish as to believe
                                                we will openly teach you the greatest and most
                                                important of secrets? I assure you that anyone who
                                                attempts to study, according to the ordinary and literal
                                                sense of their words, what the Hermetic Philosophers
                                                write, will soon find himself in the twists of a labyrinth
                                                from which he will be unable to escape, having no
                                                Ariadne’s Thread to lead him out.”

The occult as a source of study has traversed a myriad of philosophical schools of thought. Anthropologists and Folklorists have discussed the implications of magic on socio-cultural and religious levels but have largely shied away from individual agency as part of the occult process. The reason is simple. It is much easier to infer the effect that magic and religion has on a group rather than make speculative guesses on the causal and deterministic motives that the ‘individual’ makes use of. That’s not to say that metaphysical quandaries don’t have a place in occult study. On the contrary, much of what characterizes occult discussion is based on solid metaphysical properties. For example, Jan de Vries has remarked that, “If we view magic as an institutional technique, it does seem that the sprinkling of water causes the rain to appear. But the person who executed this act for the first time did not in the least desire to apply, albeit incorrectly, the law of causality. Primitive man had not come that far at all; He laid hold on the expedient of magic because he found himself in one or another emergency” (176). Even if the causal factor is refuted, the fact that causality is included in a study of magic shows the potency of metaphysical thinking on occult study.

            Even Frazer’s work on sympathetic magic had largely causal concerns. It is no surprise that imitative magic makes use of causation as part of their design. For example, the desired effect of manipulating somebody’s personal hair clippings or clothing was to produce a significant effect in their owner. A classic cause and effect scenario. Often times, the experiential nuances of the occult ritual are much more important to understanding occult reasoning than causation or deterministic structure. Famous folklorist Lutz Rohrich has stated that, “The experiential legend depicts numinous astonishment at the apparent suspension of the natural laws of causality in external reality” (26). The shock of witnessing the supernatural becomes an integral aspect of interpreting the magic experience. But is this all there is to occult philosophy? Are there other paradigms that enter into the occult way of thinking?
Whether it is demonic legends, Old Hag, or even UFO abduction narratives, the occult disregards theories accepted in scientific milieus yet is concerned with science. The occult wants to be legitimate. Many occultists strive for the valid deductive argument form: If [theory + experimental conditions + assumptions] then prediction. The problem lays in the fact that many occult and paranormal researchers tend to affirm the consequence of their predictions. For example, a Ufologist might suggest that:

If a UFO, then presence of anomalous lights.
If presence of anomalous lights
Therefore, a UFO.

However, just because there are anomalous lights does not automatically mean there is a UFO present. There obviously could be another explanation. These invalid deductive arguments are more common in studies of paranormal and occult than you many realize. In fact, even some aspects of Ancient Astronaut Theory is guilty of invalid deductive form. It is known that many aspects of AAT make use of highly complex megalithic structures to prove the influence of extraterrestrials on early Man. They postulate that at sites such as Puma Punku in Peru, early Man wasn’t sophisticated enough to design or engineer such an intricate complex. Therefore, aliens must have intervened. The argument tends to take these forms:
            If ancient aliens, then highly advanced megalithic structure.
            Highly sophisticated megalithic structure,
            Therefore ancient aliens.


            If highly advanced megalithic structures, then aliens.
            Therefore highly advanced megalithic structures.

Although these examples may seem trivial, you can see the complications that arise when attempting to deductively formulate a sound occult or paranormal prediction. However, that’s not to say that the occult is abhorrent to philosophy. On the contrary, there are other philosophical forms that lend a great deal of credence to the occult.

I would lean towards an experiential phenomenalism that relies on some aspects of materialism for its foundation. This theory would postulate that behavior is based upon the phenomenal qualities or interpretations of experience. The mind would provide input based on experiential happenings and determine whatever output or behavior is appropriate. Subsequently, we negotiate phenomenal qualities based upon our perceptions of an experience. And since we are constantly experiencing, we are constantly digesting new input that affects our behavioral output. This would be conducive to memory as well. Past experience would necessarily effect our interpretations of phenomenal qualities thus potentially altering our behavior. For example, if somebody happens upon a UFO, experiential insights are going to be produced by inferring phenomenal qualities as it happens. This person may have never seen a UFO or indeed have no conception of what a UFO is and yet still experience something on account of phenomenal associations. Whether the behavior is awe, bewilderment, or terror, the experiencer’s mental state will change and produce more mental states. The fact that the experience and its phenomenal sensations are occurring and changing in real time as the experience unfolds is why we see multiple behaviors manifest. (i.e. confusion, to fear, to awe)

Much of what constitutes occult and the supernatural involve reality and how we interpret the world around us. Whereas a realist would say that our world is not dependent on human minds for existence, a post-realist philosopher such as Hilary Putnam would assert that the external world is mind and theory dependent. The world is a human construction. He states that, “There is, then, nothing in the history of science to suggest that it either aims at or should aim at one single absolute version of the world” (228). A relativism concerning ontology and truth, what exists and the nature of what exists is relative to society. As we formulate a theory in society, we construct a world. Therefore, all versions of world-making are equally valid. It’s not hard to see how proponents of the occult and investigators of the supernatural would find this philosophy significant. World-making is a relativism that is community dependent. A pertinent example can be found in the social organization of Malaysia. As part of the social structure that permeates Malaysian culture, magic is a key ingredient in the belief systems and solidarity of the group. Along with socio-political and economic milieus, the magic that accompanies their religious convictions is an integral aspect of understanding Malaysian reality. Although the Western world largely trivializes magic as something anachronistic or archaic pagan debris, for the Malaysians, it is accepted as part of their everyday reality. Because as a society they make the choice to include magical practices, it becomes true and real. As Goodman eloquently remarks, “If we make worlds, the meaning of truth lies not in these worlds but in ourselves—or better, in our versions and what we do with them” (38). By utilizing a social and religious ecology to make sense of reality, Malaysia has found what works for them as a culture.

Another mediation that occurs in occult practice and metaphysical thought can be found in the ‘paradigm of appearances’. Paul Feyerabend uses this ‘paradigm’ to discuss the idea of god in different societies. He remarks that the god that is worshipped in the Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christian, Muslim, Judaic) is ultimately the same God but described differently. A very new-age concept, this God appears to people in different ways but it’s a same reality. God and reality are ineffable and determined by interpretations of appearances. For Feyerabend, reality is pliable and we sculpt the external world. In regards to the Greek Homeric Gods, he concluded that these otherworldly entities were constructed in the same way that modern society constructed the idea of electrons and protons. He remarks that, “If the entities postulated by a scientific worldview can be assumed to exist independently of it, then why not anthropomorphic Gods?” (34) Indeed, why not? If reality is malleable, then all the demons, ghosts, or entities an occultist can conjure are equally valid and real. They take an autonomous existence.

Another example where concepts of appearance and construction can be applied is in supernatural assault narratives. Folklorists have studied accounts of UFO abduction in terms of their morphology and structural similarity to more traditional supernatural narratives. However, much more work could be done with these stories using a study of ‘appearances’ and social construction. For example, for somebody who has had a first-hand UFO abduction experience, their initial impression of the trauma is a legitimate and more importantly, real occurrence. However, if the abductee comes to realize that the experience was akin to a liminal rite caused by some extenuating circumstance or personal Ordeal, then that impression is equally valid and equally successful. Because reality is ineffable, both impressions are a manifest reality or experiential construction of what exists.

            Perhaps what really provides ontological and epistemological credence to occult study is the fact that it can be examined in terms of Actor-Network Theory. Latourian ANT theory makes use of mediations to explain the many nuances that make up a subject. According to Luckhurst, “Actor-Network Theory is the predictive tension between the centered actor and the de-centered network, enabling the critic to move across different scales of explanation” (8). Actor-Network lends itself to the occult so easily because there a multitude of facets that construct the occult. Through the use of translations, transformations, and substitutions, the occult can be re-situated and re-embodied. In what I call the expression of movements, the occult can be made to re-appear in a myriad of forms. These ideas are best illustrated in an example: According to authors, Ruck, Staples, Celdran, and Hoffman,

“A drawing of the 15th century Frater Vincentius Koffsky, a monk of the Danzig order of preachers, depicted himself draining the sacred blood directly from the wound of a Christ crucified as a Tree of Life, with an alchemical oven shown as a temple in the background, marked with the symbols for male-iron, female-copper, and an encircled dot, which is the sign for the final goal, the elixir of drinkable gold, and also a common motif for a mushroom cap; the oven-temple itself also resembles a cluster of fungal caps. The inscription reads: “Now learn naturally and artfully, to draw from this Catholic medicinal fountain of the living water and the oil of joy” (34).

This beautifully described drawing has all the earmarks of occult thought. For example, a quick list might include: a Frater, sacred blood, Tree of Life, alchemy, symbol, Male/Female, entheogenics, the inscription, the occult process. But we can calculate other movements such as Catholicism, the fate of the Danzig preachers, the occult in the 15th century, the fate of the drawing, the process of creating the drawing i.e. instruments used to create, and so on. If we centralize the drawing and construct this set of mediations around it in a network, we can use a model of substitution and translation to glean the many meanings in the drawing. I say multiple meanings because the drawing can be re-situated in any number of ways based upon mediations and in doing so, take on any ontological status. It becomes re-created infinitely and enjoys autonomous existence. The drawing then is created and re-created just as in Feyerabend’s ‘paradigm of appearances’ or Goodman’s world-making. It is an entity made real and given meaning through the examination of movements and mediations.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Magus Magazine: Mysterium Tremendum: Why we are to blame for the B...

Magus Magazine: Mysterium Tremendum: Why we are to blame for the B...: Mysterium Tremendum: Why we are to blame for the Baltic Anomaly Hello everybody, here is a version of the Baltic Anomaly philosophy art... Check out our analysis of the Baltic Anomaly! New blog!

Mysterium Tremendum: Why we are to blame for the Baltic Anomaly by Preston Copeland

Mysterium Tremendum: Why we are to blame for the Baltic Anomaly

Hello everybody, here is a version of the Baltic Anomaly philosophy article. It's a bit heavy  but I think you'll dig on it. Feel free to leave comments or come say hello on Twitter and Facebook! Enjoy!!!

Mysterium Tremendum: Why we are to blame for the Baltic Anomaly.

www.magusmagazines.comIn one way or another, we are all responsible for the Baltic Anomaly. It’s not far-fetched or absurd to say that the world “happened” to this underwater spectacle. Anybody with even minimal internet savvy has probably stumbled upon the mystery and wondered, maybe in passing, what the big deal is. Over the past couple of months, hysteria has set in as details of the story emerge. But what we hear now isn’t the story that was reported in the beginning of June. So what is the story? What is it about the Baltic narrative that has led to terrible fears of extraterrestrials and government conspiracy? Why does the public prefer a version of the supernatural rather than a pillow rock basalt formation? These are just some of the questions that surround the Baltic Anomaly. And the details continue to fascinate as data streams in. As the object continues to be revealed, our knowledge of the artifact shifts as well. It is this continuous movement that makes the Baltic Anomaly a hybrid of assemblages.
  The Baltic Anomaly is a hybrid of evidence and our understanding of the evidence as it changes through time. Following the lead of Bruno Latour in his study of Horse evolution (see A Textbook Case Revisited-Knowledge as a Mode of Existence. Bruno Latour, Sciences Po Paris, a chapter for the STS Handbook), we can orthogonally study the Anomaly’s context of discovery and justification.
Something odd happens when we plot out the object/subject relationships in regards to the Baltic Phenomenon. In our first intersecting plot point, the discovery of the anomaly and the initial reaction of UFO provide our foray into an arrangement of data and impulse interpretation. As time moves forward, the ‘mysterious pillar’ (second plot point) is discovered which moves the UFO theory into an ancient/lost civilization arrangement. Although the object (evidence) and subject (what we understand of the evidence through time) run on separate currents, their points of intersection are where understanding of the anomaly is attempted. Through a flow of discovery, we ontologize each version of truth. A different world-version then comes into being at every plot point.
 Furthermore, epistemic conduits aid in the anomaly making sense. What we know through time changes as discoveries are made and provide meaning to the new ontological status. Without giving reference to what we know of the anomaly, it becomes impossible to discern the reality of the object. It is what I call the ‘face on Mars’ syndrome. We all remember the face discovered on Mars in 1976. The interaction of light and shadow created what appeared to be a humanoid face on the surface of the planet. As the Viking spacecraft took pictures of the object, theories came into being that suggested the face was created by an ancient Martian civilization. This image then rippled into a network that included crop-circles, alien architects that influenced ‘our’ early civilizations, and utopian ideas of aliens and god. However, the pieces of the puzzle that led to ‘the face’ theory simply had to be reassembled to suggest that the image was an illusion created through an interplay of light, shadow, and geologic formation. For a time, ‘the face’ was real and a long lost Martian was staring back at us from the planet. However, as the geologic nuances, light, and shadow were re-configured into another sequence, they created another truth-version. Is it the most accurate? Depends on who you ask. There are many that nurture ‘the face on Mars’ theory and keep it relevant and real.
This phenomenon might also be applicable to the Baltic Anomaly. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the object really is a pillow rock basalt formation. And nothing more. If in our context of discovery, we reveal that the object is nothing more than a geologic formation, then this new ontology is given definition through conduits of meaning. What we understand of the object through time is directly connected to its current state of being. This is what makes the Baltic Anomaly a true hybrid. In its status as living theory, it is both object and subject; evidence and our understanding of that evidence. Whether it is of this earth, from the stars, or a result of alien/human interaction, the artifact is alive and made real through a convergence of Being and Meaning.
 Truth and the factors that support each truth-version re-embody and are dis-embodied continuously. As new information is discovered and re-configured, taken apart and put back together, truth is shaped. Perhaps this is why it becomes possible to move backward and forward in time on our orthogonal diagram. As new evidence comes to light we are able to go back to theories that were previously discarded and consider them anew. Perhaps a discovery is made that increases the elegance of our initial UFO theory. By breathing new life into this previous theory, we re-embody an ontology and gauge its usefulness in the current state of affairs. Moreover, as well as moving back to readdress previous incarnations, we can also move forward to predict potential ontologies in the research programme. Now I’m not one to assert the efficacy of prediction or prophesy without some form of experiment or empirical study. However, it really doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to infer where future plot points could appear in our orthogonal diagram. For example, we can see that a truth-version of object and subject occurs when the Anomaly (UFO) is discovered. At that intersection, the evidence and what we know about the evidence produces an ontology. By looking at the surrounding network, we can surmise future maturation and reproductive capacity. The network would include folklore surrounding UFO visitation, supernatural assault traditions, and perhaps even fairy-lore. Taking this surrounding network into consideration, it’s easy to discern a future ontology or ‘plot point’ that involves government conspiracy, and/or cover-ups because of the connections between UFO-lore and conspiracy theory. By being able to anticipate future ontologies, we can anticipate whether the theory is progressing or degenerating. And although studying future intersections might be unnecessary, they may also serve as future conduits to keep the ontology fruitful and growing.
Could it be true? Is the Baltic Anomaly a hybrid of ontology and epistemic arrangements? Do the object and subject continuously move into assemblages that provide an understanding of being and reality? Following this train of thought, if we grant theories a living status, we must also consider that theories are eligible and even susceptible to rites of passage. Anthropologist Arnold van Gennep did extensive work in areas of liminality and how it pertains to transitional rites. He identified three stages that form the rite of passage. The event begins with a separation from society or family. A period of liminality follows as the initiate experiences the ambiguity and lack of status that accompanies the transitional state. This period of being betwixt and between eventually leads to a reincorporation into society as a changed being. But how does this pertain to our discussion of the Baltic Anomaly? I suggest that evidence and our understanding of the evidence as it changes through time is marked by a liminal period that fills the gap between objective knowledge and subjective experience.

As a theory grows, it either continues to mature or is disassembled and re-configured into a new assemblage. When this happens, our ontology went through a rite of passage. The new theory experiences a new ontological status where its elegance, simplicity, and reproductive capacity are closely observed. As new evidence is incorporated into ‘what we know’, again the liminal period occurs, the theory is disassembled and reconfigured to include the new information. The problem lays in the separation state of a rite of passage. Can we say that object and subject i.e. evidence and ‘what we know of the evidence’ are truly separated at any time? This is the problem Whitehead called ‘The Bifurcation of Reality’. The bifurcation refers to a distinction between objective knowledge and subjective experience. In other words, it is a distinguishing between things that are able to be observed (i.e. sense-data, rocks, atoms etc…) and things in the mind. A proponent of bifurcation would assert a difference between a strawberry and the subjective experience of tasting a ‘delicious’ strawberry.
 This idea of bifurcation isn’t acceptable when examining evidence and our understanding of said evidence because it is the subjective that brings into focus our Anomaly. Through the use of imagination, inferences, and logic, meaning is ascribed to the evidence at hand. The discovery of the “middle pillar”, the runway, and the EMF shield knocking out anything close to the Anomaly are all epistemic conduits that give definition to an ever-changing ontology. They help it make sense. Moreover, they change as new data streams in. When the object/subject disassembles, it enters into a liminal period where the plot point has not yet ontologized but is in the process of being created .
The new theory is established when the intersection occurs and evidence coupled with ‘what we know about the evidence’ reassembles into a new ontology. There is no definitive ‘separation’ only a ‘disassembling’ of the theory. The liminal state fills in the gap between the disassembled previous ontology and the reassembling that occurs on account of newly discovered evidence.
 Throughout this article, we have been discussing the philosophical exchanges that accompany the Baltic Anomaly. Through an orthogonal study of object and subject, positions of networks, and dialogues with anthropological theory, we are able to follow various ontological versions. Because ‘our understanding of what we know’ changes continuously, there is no real culmination or end to the ontologizing process. Creation is never complete but always shifting and moving due to refinements in our epistemic conduits. The variants in meaning reassemble constantly with the emerging ontology thus making the Baltic Anomaly a hybrid of Being and Meaning. What we discover and how we interpret these discoveries are arrangements that create our truth-versions. So, in reality we really are to blame for the Baltic Anomaly. If we become terrified or awe-filled it is because of the interpretations we have ascribed to the object. In no way can we say it’s the fault of E.T., lost civilizations, or government conspiracy. “We” happened to the Baltic Anomaly. Whatever is conjured is our own damn fault but at least we can look back with fresh eyes and change horror to admiration at any time. At least there’s that. 

Preston Copeland is an anthropologist and folklorist. He is a practicing Occultist and mediator of the strange and absurd. He can be reached at