Life as Art
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Life as Art

Becoming Freedom 1

Deleuzian Ethics and Critical Freedom

Photo by Flo Maderebner from Pexels

A New Ethics

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari take concept creation and the deployment of creative language to the limit in Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. This is necessary for shedding light on a new ethics.

The intent is to force open our minds to a new way of thinking about life, about how to live a fulfilling life, both personally and socially.

Deleuzian ethics spans both the personal and social. Desire is the engine of change, erupting spontaneously from the unconscious within, and in our connections with others.

Desire is becoming, the source of creativity and life.


Becoming in life involves opening up to our desire to create within and without, in the flow of pure difference. It involves becoming minoritarian, becoming nomadic, releasing into flux.

Becoming in life is exploring new ways of experiencing the world, and new opportunities creating with others in the world.

If desire is the engine of becoming, the power to act on the active forces within is the exercise of desire, the expansion of desire, the realization of desire.

Desire and power are perspectives on a process of becoming.

Becoming is the engagement of active forces fueled by desire, directed such that we are able to go to the limit of our mode of existence.

A New Perception of Ourselves

Life becomes when we enhance our power to create life. By sensing our desire to create within, by exercising our power to create and connect with others, we participate in the flow of becoming.

Beings, who we are as actualities, are moments in a flow of becoming life. We forget this sometimes, but to see ourselves as beings, requires the virtual synthesis of time, the retention of memory and connection with future possibilities.

If we can see through the illusion of static being and get in touch with our desire as intensity, if we can find ways to experience sensibility itself, eg., through art or music or other means, we can experience the being of the sensible, the becoming of the sensible, and the virtual power of the sensible.

As Claire Colebrook suggests, we can become:

“One with the flow of images, that is life...”

In doing so, we thereby become imperceptible, molecular, no longer a static image.

The Freedom to Become

If perception is taken to its limit, we become one with the differential flows of life. We create lines of flight from the actualization of our lives, and make possible the imagining of limitless becomings.

In short, we experience freedom: a freedom gained by no longer seeing ourselves as a point of view detached from life, but instead embracing the genesis of life itself.

We become with life, affirm its creative power; and let go of forces that react against life, judge life, objectify life, in terms of good and evil.

We let go of desire based in lack.

Becoming imperceptible is no longer knowing who or what we are, but instead realizing with greater openness the differences, intensities and singularities that traverse us.

We can only find our freedom to become by opening up ourselves to the life that passes through us.

There is a flow of life that passes through and across our bodies, from which desire originates. We enhance life by opening up to this flow and maximizing possible encounters to create and transform within and without. We enhance life by breaking down the barriers of transcendence within and without.

For we are more than the closed image we have of ourselves.

There is an excess of life in the open whole where the new is produced in a free flow of creative difference and becoming.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for reading!


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Excerpt from my forthcoming book, Becoming: A Life of Pure Difference (Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of the New) Copyright © 2021 by Tomas Byrne. Learn more here.



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Tomas Byrne

Tomas Byrne

Jagged Tracks Music, Process Philosophy, Progressive Ethics, Transformative Political Theory, Informed Thrillers, XLawyer