A “Salty” Divination: Alomancy and the Act of Gluing

A “Salty” Divination:

In my previous two posts, entitled “The ‘EN-d’ is Near: Fragments of the Christian Logic” (see here) and “Postmodernism in the Classroom: ELI5 ‘Gluing’ with Zizek Stories” (see here), I continued along the line of purification of the desire within. Here, through our the altar-ative experience in central chamber of the salt mine (see here), a more explicit understanding of a four-step process begins takes hold in the realization of the importance of pursuing a model or “objective externality” (see here) which can then be brought back to the Wilderness outside.

This requires a process called ALOMANCY.

Alomancy (from Greek halo, ‘salt’, and manteia, divination), also called Adromancy, ydromancie, idromancie, and halomancy, is an ancient form of divination. Similar to many other forms of divination, the diviner casts salt crystals into the air and interprets the patterns as it falls to the ground or travels through the air. The diviner can also interpret patterns formed from the residue of a salt solution as it evaporates in the bowl. The exact interpretations are unknown, but it probably follows a similar method to aleuromancy.

Salt itself is often intertwined with luck and some of this ancient tradition can be seen in the superstitions, such as perceived misfortune when the salt cellar is overturned and the custom of throwing salt over the left shoulder for good luck. One form of Alomancy consists of the casting of salt into a fire, which is considered a type of Pyromancy.

To do so, we have Wandered significantly, insignificantly, and non-significantly through a complex and otherwise mystic encounter with numerology/astrology/alchemy. It seems that our “Prayers of Oil and Salt” have somehow (as if by magic) been answered through this liberatory word: ALOMANCY.

It is time, then, to throw the salt-crystals of our “Prayers of Oil and Salt” (see here) into the air, or to otherwise cast them into an alchemical fire that they may be refined once more.  In abstracting again from all that has occurred here in the salt mine — mathematically analogous to a move from topos theory and sheaf theory (see here) back to the open field of category theory at large  –  the stages of our modeling have been shown to move at least from Non-Gluing to Cutting to Non-cutting (see here). At this third point of utter exasperation, we are fronted with the crisis of the Humanities, and the struggle of academics in the shadow of the Sciences, whereupon one has nothing left to say but “I am in pain! It hurts! Stop the cutting already!”.

Unfortunately, a simple call to end the violences of the kind of “cutting” which is so dear to critical theory and greater continental philosophy will not suffice to actually ameliorate the situation of the fragmented Humanities. Thus, we arrive at the prospect of Gluing, and we must think it clearly in order to enact it in our general practices and orientation. Indeed, as Levi Bryant recently suggested (see here), there is an entire sociology of what I am calling “Glue” still to be rediscovered, due to an a priori forgetting of hyle and the life of matter. The hyle of the Glue. While an ethos of understanding the matter of Glue in its materiality is indeed useful to realizing the significance of divination and the act of Gluing itself, I have been guilty at times of assuming that this distinction has been yet another instance of Cutting and dismissing it accordingly.

While it does indeed look like Cutting-as-usual, it may prove to be a “preferred” way to Cut, a certain skill with the knife that perhaps becomes known as “Culinary Materialism” (see recent Reza Negarestani talk here). It is nice like the occasional Concept-haircut or the fresh feeling of a clean, close, conceptual shave, though it is important to look past the Glue-as-such into the act of Gluing. Ad fontes, as we are prone to say. The fountain is still enfolding from the salt-point, bringing forth a blossoming of Life.

And it is this fixed alchemical “salt-point”, like the fixed Fire of Leo (appropriately my sign), which mimics also the behavior of the fundamental Gluon particle in correspondence tables (such as here). It is not the Gluon as such which concerns us here, but an understanding into what it actually does: how mediates as it were between quarks, like the inter-faith dialogue of non-violence with its trans- or otherwise post-”religious” mentality. In the salt mine, quantum chromodynamics (QCD) meets with care the practice peace-building of all things!

To be sure, this particular kind of hyle-sociology does not appear not entirely “necessary” to understanding the act of Gluing, since it demands of us a more of an “expert” understanding than is needed ordinarily in the classroom or in the world. Speculative realism, to me, and particularly Levi’s project, seems quite analogous to category theory in its operational logic of objects/categories and relations. As such, I am suggesting that one need not become an “expert” in the abstractions of category theory in order to grasp what I am saying. The importance, as usual, is in the process of moving with-and-beyond, or a certain expansion of what Novalis once called Bildung (“broaden-and-build”), or what Schelling once called Positive Philosophy (see here). The practice of Alomancy leads us again to set our sights instead on Enriched categories, and thus leads us with-and-beyond CR/SR/OOO through a careful investigation into the “EN-” prefix.

More important to us, then, is the idea of divination in the “Politics of Sorcery” (see Josh Ramey on Deleuze, here); and specifically our “salty” form of “Divinatory Envolution” — which is one one of many such divinations (see Terence Blake, here and here) – which does much work in bringing-together the fragments in a new story of re-integration. We begin by thinking also of saturated phenomena (Jean-Luc Marion); Saturation, n. from the Latin word saturare, meaning to fill. Reminiscent, perhaps, of the “gnostic” logic principled upon being-full versus being-empty in the Nag Hammadi scriptures.

Remember that King Schelling has Spoken, has issued a decree from without: And (so) begins  the interplay of Eros and Agape (see here); the sparks of randomness in spermatic knowledge (Henri Atlan, as per Ramey’s own recommendation to me; and doesn’t spermatozoon look a bit like the sign of a Leo?); the quantum of the will-to-power (see here) and “sempiternal recurrence” (see here); and in the silence we may occasionally let out a cry - Yoder-le-he-hoo! - whose booming echo carries throughout the many chambers. The radical musicology of yodeling (see here), or the radical pacifism of “yodering” as the case may be reminds us of the fullness of Life.

This alternative story, no matter its language or style, complements the “Christian logic” whose strength we take as its story of fragmentation, and whose weaknesses and violences are perhaps the most plenty. Hopefully, with a certain grace both speculative and otherwise, it may purify the dominant, dualistic “Christian logic” of its many violences by fulfilling the Nietzschean task initiated in Beyond Good and Evil — be they demarcational or otherwise. Envolution: where the “EN-” is like an embrace of the variety of ways salt crystals may behave in a in a watery solution, how they evaporate, how they sink again to the bottom with saturation, or perhaps how with a simple tap on the glass bowl they all fall to the ground all at once given a state of super-saturation.

We may say that Wittgenstein’s super-philosophical method is like the super-saturation of concepts. ”What to do with Wittgenstein” (see here), indeed…

We attune ourselves now to the vibrations, to the quasi-Sufi-Quaker song playing in the liquid silence, in order to better understand the salt-point that reminds us of non-violence.  It is astonishing, for instance, and to take but one example, that this Sufi sound plays even in such places as in its non-commutative over-arching ethos of both Islamic Economics  (see here) and Gandhian Economics (see here); it coincides in part with our double-call for a kind of mutualization which enfolds communization. Read Rumi:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”

We find ourselves in another “field “(Rumi), a kinder-garden in which our white roses bloom before being dyed as Blue as the Jungian Ocean of the collective unconscious, before honestly engaging with its deep-sea currents. This is a field where even the most advanced of quantum field theory is still too “full” of Life (alas: the ‘gnostic’ principle of empty-full returns) to talk about, and its weary soul must lie down in the Anti-de Sitter space of n-dimensional hyperbolic possibilities of thought for some rest. Satyagraha is the name of its gauge, while Life is its gravity.

Guage-gravity duality like satyagraha and Life respectively:  Where the multiplicity of forms of thought burst forth from the vision-in-One slowly begin to take hold where ever there are “categories” and created human Forms, where we come collectively closer in approximating something nearer to the Platonic ideal through an inter-disciplinary friendship of concepts.

Like salt dancing curiously on a vibrating Chladni plate, except at a certain resonance that gives us to always think first to enact non-violence.

INTHESALTMINE: or, the place in the Wilderness where the name No-valis sounds like Non-violence. Which is its pattern? What do we see, or what do we select to see with our tacit axiology (see here), in this process of alomancy, in the instant the salt is falling through the fluid air? At this instant, right here in this space, in the radical immanence or the radical moisture, what can we take as systematic as to generate a model? A model systematic enough, that is, to consistently enfold in accordance with the Principle of Principles, in a variable suspension en-leashing the “Ultimatum of Truth” (see here): the simple, dualysed non-philosophical principle of satya + agraha.

A truth as old as the hills… and yet also as new as being with-and-beyond the cutting-edge of experimental physics.

Turn towards gluing the edges instead!

All of this tells us absolutely nothing about the continually performative act of Gluing, nothing about the combinatory thought and action of non-violence as such. Yet, it goes bring us to the kind of mentality required in order to engage with process of Gluing in restorative conjunction with that of our previous “Christian” mentality of Cutting. We must proceed from here with care, which is to say with “care” already in mind. When we finally begin the act of Gluing, so then our desired non-commutative, non-Abelian quark-gluon plasma model may come-together in the process. Becoming-plasma (see here) now means “Glasma”, which is to say a certain moving from fragmentary quarks to the gluon exchange between them, from Non-Cutting to – at last! – the act of Gluing.

Not surprisingly, it has significance, we find, to the AdS/CFT correspondance within string theory, which is where also the mathematics of enriched categories appears to also be leading us. The de-organized fragments begin to come together into a Whole so as to provide a general practice which enfolds non-violently like a restorative circle, the most powerful tool of all things occult…

There is much work to be done, as Novalis’ music plays now through his poetry: Experimental mathematics, experimental physics, experimental post-metaphysics, experimental spirituality, and experimental theory in general are at this point becoming co-constellated with each other in the integrated patterns given to us by this “salty” divination we call Alomancy. 

We will now be able to better see “The Thorn of the Blue Rose” before we are pricked by it, and we will no longer be caught up in the nettles, no longer beating around the bush; instead, we will be given to speak first to the “wild heart” of things themselves, to the facts of violences and traumas where they hurt most by reaching just the right “temperature”, “temperament”, or even “color” in our encounters with others. 

Things fall apart, yes, indeed, but they may be glued together again. I now more confidently than ever believe that the “EN-” will dissolve these tensions and allow us to navigate from the salt mine back to the Wilderness so as to objectively intervene in Crisis, whatever it may be, and so as to provide simple care to those who are suffering. And all the while we are still in search of a model, like a Grand Unified Theory of Everything. At this point, after having come so far and being so exhausted, do we have the GUTS to carry on further?

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