Life as Art
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Life as Art

Deleuze and Psyche 4

The Psychic One That is Pure Difference

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Becoming Life

The conscious ego as being is nothing more than a snapshot in an otherwise endless flow of becoming-life.

Our challenge is to break through the transcendence of the ego and come into direct contact with the radically empirical world in which we are situate and in which we can participate.

We do this by opening up to pure sensation, and the virtual forces that drive it forward, the affects and percepts; or as Deleuze would put it, by experiencing the “being of the sensible,” by experiencing sensibility itself.

There are many ways we can do this, eg., through art and music. But our most direct path is to express our own creativity; to participate directly in experience via our own innate ability to create via the forces of pure difference within and without.

The Being of the Sensible

According to Deleuze, to experience the being of the sensible is to “become imperceptible”: to engage in the flow of life and not remain stuck with any one image we may have of life.

We become imperceptible when we release our contraction on the complex flow of life, when we stop grasping for transcendent ideas of what life is, ideas that clog and slow life down, and become one with the pure difference in life.

To become imperceptible is to become molecular: to release a dogmatic image of life and ride with lines of flight that present opportunities for new modes of existence.

We gain our critical freedom in life when we no longer detach from it via a transcendent mode of thought, but instead embrace pure change, and affirm the creative power of life.

Becoming Imperceptible

Claire Colebrook, in her book, Gilles Deleuze, describes this process as follows:

“Becoming-imperceptible means no longer knowing who or what we are; it means seeing with greater openness the differences, intensities and singularities that traverse us.”

Only by releasing our static perspective in life, based in ego-consciousness, and stepping into the flows of intensities and singularities that traverse us can we open ourselves to the life that passes through us.

In doing so, we abandon judgement and a specific ordering of life, and become more than our ego selves. We create lines of flight from our ego selves, and experience directly the differential flow of life all around us.

The Flow of Creative Difference

Freedom from a life formed from a static point of view is freedom to participate in the force of life itself. When we take this leap of faith, we engage in the power of creativity not attached to the actuality of any one creation.

To experience intensities and singularities in life is a process of creating and experimenting; the act of creating, not the product of such act. It is authenticity not grasping for meaning, but instead staying with the virtual forces that produce meaning.

Meaning is hindsight, reflection. We are not engaging in life when we search for lost meanings and origins deep within our psyches; such a notion is nothing more than the expression of psychoanalytic desire as lack; it is to deny the excess of desire within.

The act of authentic creativity is the affirmation of becoming, participation in the psychic one that is pure difference, and the psychic many that is ever evolving diversity within and without.

It is immersion in the overflowing desire that passes through us and across our bodies.

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 © 2022 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