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"Perhaps because I was beginning to know all too well not indeed where I was going, but where I had not so much arrived as simply stopped"---whats the function of "as" before "simply stopped"

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It's a comparison and a sub-comparison. We're comparing our plans (destination) to actual outcome (arrival), and then 'arrival' to 'stop'. Not only did we not get where we wanted to go, but it wasn't even a standard arrival (having the implication of having arrived 'somewhere'), just a cessation of motion.

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