Life as Art
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Life as Art

Existence as a Process of Becoming 3

A Deleuzian Life as a Work of Art

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Radical Freedom

Radical existential freedom is consistent with Deleuze’s immanent ethics: to be all you can be in a world with no objective meaning or values tied down in transcendence or truth.

A life of becoming is a life of radical freedom to choose projects that express my mode of existence, that are in touch with the drives within me that enable me to go to the limit of what I can be.

This process need not devolve into anxiety and anguish if I see it just as that: a process of embracing becoming, embracing pure difference, re-engaging, re-choosing, re-affirming.

Commitment to the affirmation of life is the only value implied.

Value Creation

We create and recreate values, they are constructed by us when self-reflexively we dip our toes into our own virtuality.

Our virtuality, our becoming-ness, is our radical freedom, our freedom to choose projects that reflect the limit of our mode of existence, as a body without organs on plane of immanence.

Being in the world is becoming.

Releasing from Nihilism

The existentialists got caught up, got lost, in transcendence. They did not fully make the leap of faith they so wanted to embrace. They interpreted a lack of transcendent, objective truth grounding reality as nothingness.

But a lack of transcendence, pure immanence, is not nothingness. Quite the opposite: it is immanent will to power.

Nihilism is the sad seeking of transcendence in life. Breaking free from transcendence is the release from nihilism.

Transcendence is the root of micro-fascism, it is the other, but it can be extinguished.

Nothingness is an illusion. If we open to the forces that rise up within us and criss-cross over us, we become critically free, free to participate in the real.

When we play and create on a pure plane of immanence, we create reality.

Desire Overflowing

The existentialists worked from a theory of desire based on lack.

Desire as lack pulls us out of our projects; is the look of the third-person crowd.

When we work with a desire based in abundance, we are in the first person, and the third person is revealed to us as fiction.

We encounter the reality of the pure freedom to create; we are inside our projects.

Life as a Work of Art

The duality of the individual and the other is based in a subjectivity beyond the field.

But the Deleuzian individual is actualization on a pure plane of immanence.

The individual is a multiplicity, connecting, disconnecting, reconnecting along lines of flight, and singularities arising in a process of infinite freedom.

A life constructed on a plane of immanence is a life in touch with the virtuality of difference.

It is a life of flows streaming through us, a body without organs, delivering us to new places and new realities of intensive vitality.

It is a life of passion, a leap of faith, life as a work of art.

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