Life as Art
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Life as Art

Existence as a Process of Becoming 2

Authenticity as Affirmation of Becoming

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Existence not Essence

To search for the essence of life is to attempt to transcend life, to find the “what is” of life. This, for both Deleuze and the existentialists, is a fiction.

Existence is all that there is. There is no need to go beyond reality.

We create our reality, and our reality creates us, through self-reflexive interpretation in the immanent field.

Both Deleuze and the existentialists have a clear constructivist view of human life.

The Other

Only to the extent I interpret the other as objectivity based in transcendence am I condemned to live a life of conformity.

When we resist assigning any truth to the other, and remain geared in our projects in the first person, we are at once living life as process.

We are in touch with our lives as actualization of the virtual. When we experience becoming, alienation dissolves into fiction.


History as necessity is real. But history as a process of territorialization and deterritorialization suggests we can participate in social change.

We must create in the context of the necessities we are born into, but we can be minoritarians, nomads, that find new lines of flight in the social formations that we are imbedded in.

We can create freely in a reality in which the past, present and future is pure duration, pure affirmation, and not deterministic.

Radical Freedom

Authenticity is how I do things, my own sense of going to the limit of what I can be. To go to the limit is to be authentic, to hold nothing back.

All that matters is the manner in which we construct a life: that we create, embrace and act out our lives in the context of becoming, and not conform to a transcendent identity.

We are not irrevocably caught up in our choices.

Throughout our lives we have radical freedom to change, to affirm the spontaneity in creativity. We re-commit, re-create throughout our lives in a process of pure difference.

Authenticity as Becoming

Authenticity has meaning in a philosophy of difference:

Authenticity is to participate in an ethic of desire as abundance, experimentation and creativity.

To act authentically, to participate in desire overflowing in productivity, is to engage in the virtual reality of who I am; to sling off the crustacean shell of who I was, and affirm the pure difference running through me.

To act authentically is to find meaning in my pure state of becoming, to let go and to affirm; to explore who I am currently and to update who I am in light of new projects, new experiments, and new perspectives.

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