Here is a good recommendation for the beginners in Deleuze's thought. It is very important where to begin especially when dealing with a complex thought like Deleuze's. What is important is to understand what he is aiming for all the way. So Nietzsche and Philosophy is the perfect choice to decipher Deleuze's will in philosophy. Although I think that it is pretty hard to have a complete, wholesome idea about his philosophy without considering Bergson's affect on him. The fundamental notion of "difference" in the works of Deleuze forms itself alongside of the evaluation of Bergson's concept of "durée" as the living time. So I would add Bergson readings (not by Deleuze, but by himself, for example Matter and Memory) to Nietzche and Philosophy in order to enable a deeper understanding of the will introduced in Deleuze's works.
How do you know somebody? Is it his face combined with his name that makes you think you know someone? Is it what you share with each other such as memories? How do you recognize someone as that particular person? Recognizing someone is somehow magical on the contrary of rational assumptions. It is his whole being you are acquainted with when you meet a person. There is always something about people that you cannot express, that makes you want to stay around a little bit longer or to run away as fast as you can.
What is this "whole being" if not his name, personality, appearance, behavior combined? I would say it is the essence of the people which could be very different than how they appear. And this is almost always the case if you are lucky enough to meet interesting people. What I mean by "appearance" is the generalities that we - as social beings - share, categorize, use to position ourselves in the midst of others. A very simple example would be being polite. Socially acceptable way to navigate within the social without getting harmed since you don't pose any threat to anybody by being polite. You pass the initial test, as it were. But is this the case in reality? What appears to be a polite gesture could very well be a threatening act of aggression in some cases. I think we all know what that means.
So there is another layer which is not apparent but makes itself felt. The above example is a very simple one so it has no power in making us understand the depth involved in this subject. The categories such as polite, rude, asshole etc. are only useful when they are represented in the consciousness of a social. I mean you can very well talk about a person to another and say "he is polite" or you can just tell what he did, like "he opened the door for me, waited me to get in, then he asked how I was doing and about my family and friends, and so on..." but as you talk you realize that there is something very important missing in this scenario, that thing is how you actually know that person, it's his whole being. Impossible to represent like this. If you want another person to know someone, you would have to express the affect he has on you, not the facts.
As far as my own experiences go, I apparently have a tendency to become involved with people who are very difficult to talk about in the plane of social. Of course there are many people about whom you can just say "polite" for example and that would be enough since they are immersed in the social in the very core of their being and they operate in that plane only. They resemble each other even when they are in very different areas of a social structure. They assess each other in the same way, they know each other like members of the same species. Know when to back off, when to attack. It is almost like watching a documentary on animals. Funny and interesting in this sense. But I have to be in a very, very good mood to find this interesting and it doesn't last long. It is boring when you get the dynamics which doesn't change much. Those people I call fake in the sense of fundamentally corrupted, so fundamentally that they think the social is the real since it is their only reality.
There are genuine people on the other hand, hopefully. These people always require an effort on my part to explain to others since what they appear to be doing is almost always very different than what they are actually doing. There are gaps between their outside behavior and actual affect of their existence. Now as I write it seems that these people should be called fake. If we were trying to communicate on a social plane that would be the case. Their social behavior is fake, it is true, but this fake indicates a genuineness which is not, could not be incorporated in the social. They are like wild animals who are not part of a herd, who only come to communicate with the herd for reasons of survival. Maybe when they need protection that only a group of individuals could provide by the sheer force of their numbers. Maybe they are starving and need to hunt with the herd or within the herd. Well, it is always within the herd when it comes to sexual hunting for example.
Back to my point. Hm, what was it... Oh yeah, I wanted to talk about the magic of knowing people. Sorry, I got confused on the way. This confusion is the magic that I find fascinating when meeting new people. Most of the time there is no gap between what a person does and the affect of him. They are 90% very decent people. So decent that there is nothing left to imagination. They have a job, they have a family, they have 5-year or 10-year plans about what they are going to do. Even in their relationships with the opposite sex, they consider their plans and calculate the benefits and losses, only then they decide to go on or to part ways. They live in the social even in their bed. It terrifies me to even think about such an existence. It maybe very secure but, you know, the prison is the safest place. They are volunteers to be prisoners just for the sake of the security social provides. What is worse is that usually they don't know it. If they had such a thought, that would put them in contact with another realm other than social, so they would be a little more interesting which contradicts with their very existence.
People I love to be around are "assholes" which can also be very "polite". But neither "asshole" nor "polite" is enough to describe them. These adjectives are always in quotes. The thing I feel when meeting them is this fact: their adjectives are in quotes. So begins a journey to unknown. Unknown for me as well as for them since before this has been said, they had been in agony thinking that they are fake (if they have a strong inclination to the social) or they had been just aggressive to the point of self-destruction (again because of the feeling of guilt deep down due to not fitting anywhere in the social or natural scheme). Having another perspective such as this opens another way. A confused nevertheless creative way. They always have a dark side that social cannot shed a light upon. Making this a source of creation rather than self-destruction is the challenge. This is the magic out of which new ways of doing things come from.
The question I ask myself still stands though. How do I see the quotes? How does this recognition take place? Why I am never satisfied with pure decency? Maybe because I feel it is not pure. It is the corrupted. The dark appearing as light. Maybe it is something like knowing your own species instinctively. Magic happens everyday, in every actual encounter. But magic always happens in other layers of experience, ones which cannot be pointed out. The only expedition that is worth embarking is on these layers where the magic happens.
Of course this is only my point of view. Still I think that world would be a much better place if only there was a way to make everybody understand that magic is real and is found in the unknown planes of our very own existence. I could have been a very lovely dictator I guess... nevertheless dictating.
About the image: It is from a wonderful film ("Kader" which means fate) of Zeki Demirkubuz (a Turkish director) whose movies are very dark. In that darkness one could see the light of being human to the point of not being human anymore. I should write about this movie exclusively some time.
No question mark is floating in an empty space. I mean, no question is objective. To have a question, you have to desire. It is not desiring something real, but close enough. You have an inclination to that question and not to the other. It is not asking just to ask. It has a will. It is another world you've had glimpses of. Another universe. The possibility of another universe within this one, that is the will to question. Intricate...
I question only the ones I want. Or maybe I only want the ones I have big questions about. Doesn't really matter. It is the same. To question and to want, to desire. The others do not relate to me at all. If I was objective, you know, like a subject who is the master of objects including others, I should have been putting question marks on everybody. That doesn't happen. You pass many people without having any interest in them. But ones that I relate myself or the ones that relate themselves to me in a seductive way, forcing me to question them (what is seduction anyway if it is not the force that drives you to a particular place, a particular mood, a particular sensation, it is spell) while being interesting enough or promising a land that is not yet discovered, even by themselves, those are the ones who promise another universe. Almost like a spell, a force drives you to question something in particular. I think it was Bergson who said "a philosopher has only one question." One real question that animates her thinking. A will to something, to a way of existing in other words. The seductiveness of other universes belongs to the will to create, I think. Asking a question becomes like a dance almost. I don't want to tango for example. Tango is a style of questioning far away from my standing. I want to invent the rules of dancing, invent the postures while dancing. Real education within the concept of dance itself. To be challenged with the complexity of dancing. Of course if you are willing to dance from the beginning, that complexity would be a creation of yours. That feels good no matter how confusing it is. There is an atmosphere of a spell of another universe in questioning/dancing. You are forced to do certain things and not others. Rules are inventing themselves if you are under the spell of that other universe where everything is strange. You discover the rules of the moment in that other universe. And if you are under the spell of that other universe, if you will to question it, if it is seducing you to come and discover, you live there, in that moment, as an exclamation.
I know it has been very confusing. But it is confusing. I am just trying to make sense of my questions/exclamations. At the end I now see that they are the product of the same: a spell of a kind that rules over the life itself. Maybe curiosity and the will to curiosity is THE spell... And it is never objective. Curiosity is being under a spell, allow it or not, it will take you over.
When exactly did the word "problem" get a negative meaning? Let's return back to the very dear etymology dictionary.
late 14c., "a difficult question proposed for solution," from O.Fr. problème (14c.), from L. problema, from Gk. problema "a problem, a question," lit. "thing put forward," from proballein "propose," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Meaning "a difficulty" is mid-15c. Problem child first recorded 1920.
So, it was "pro" "putting forward", in other words, "in favor of" doing something that has an effect. Well, I would call that "existence", standing forth in a certain way. Standing forth is always in a certain way anyway. A way that is changing other ways, allowing other certain ways to do certain things and standing in the way of other certain things, obstructing or even destroying their way of being.
For example, if you think that I am talking gibberish, you won't be allowing "my way" to exist in your world and do things to you. You will just surf on to another web page and continue on surfing until you find something that passes through the pours of your mind's skin, making a difference for (on) you, "interesting" you. Off you go...
And the others who still stay on this page and continue reading probably have the same vague feeling that I have now: there is something important about this question of problem and existence and the negative meaning "problem" has in the everyday life, something that makes a difference in our existence, but what?
To my surprise, I often come across as a negative person when I talk to others. I've been thinking about what could be the thing I do to make people understand me as oppositional all the time since all I actually want to do is to have a nice conversation, stimulating and interesting enough to make me want to keep going, to feel as if something else is happening. Of course it is impossible to be objective when one tries to understand how one comes across to others but I think, in my situation, the negativity they feel is more about how they understand questions than it is about the negativity itself. People feel that questions (provocative ones, the ones that pushes you outside your limits) are signs of not-accepting, not-agreeing, not-liking, and all the "not"s. When all I do is to point out that there is another thing and another and another... waiting to be considered in any subject, they feel that I oppose them by not staying in the comfort zone of their own making. Well, maybe it is just my "problem" but I feel that there would be nothing to talk about if everybody just agrees and feels comfortable within one line of thought, without even going till the end point of that line which almost always consists of a jump to another line, and goes on to the next and so on... The "problem" is not taking the problem seriously enough to follow through. The "problem" is not wanting to deal with the problem(s).
Actually my intent was to try to explore the quality of problems when I began writing, but now I see that before passing to the question of the quality of problems, we have to first pass through the will to problems, the will to follow their lines which are always intersecting with, crossing across other lines and creating "shining points" from where they open themselves up to other lines. The more "shining points" the better the quality of the problem.
And not everything is a problem. For example, if you want to change your job because it pays less than you need and all you consider about your job is the benefits, there is not much to talk about on this line. What your "problem" is here, is not an actual problem. It is merely an obstruction, a difficulty waiting to be solved by acting on it. But it will become a real problem once you start to question what you do as a job and how that effects you, changes you. You will still be unhappy about the job but instead of thinking that there is a solution (and in many cases there are solutions with which the "problem" itself disappears and everybody lives happily ever after), you will be on a constant search, problematising the very subject of how you live your life, how you spend your time while you are going through all the actual changes... The way you put yourself forward is the problem which doesn't -fortunately!- have a solution.
My "problem" is my very own questioning but more with exclamation marks than neutral question marks. It is me following the lines while putting myself forward in a certain way that only I am capable of. It is me making a difference, being difference as I jump to that line instead of this willing to go on an almost infinite journey.
The problem should be understood as a verb. Problematising that is... Your problematising is your very own exclamation mark, the meaning of your problem which happens to be you leaving an affective trace in the world.
There is nothing left, but a dream. In the middle of reality.
If the real is a dream then what are we, means of its realization?
Are all these dreams stored somewhere?
Is there such a thing as being a dream and being aware of it?
What is the meaning of questions when there are no answers,
other than creating an illusion of existence while we are swept away by time?
I think therefore... I have the illusion of living, that's all.
The pitifulness of human being -and they found a name for it: nothing...
The answer to all the questions.
- What is this?
- Let's say A.
- And this?
- Oh ok, now i get it.
A dazzling stupidity.
An horrifying powerlessness.
- What is this?
"And they all lived happily ever after with their illusions and gods"
"Ok, maybe not so happy, but at least they lived, right?"
- Ever after?!
"Hm, they took turns, generation by generation. That's something to be grateful"
All these lives pass by three dot sequences in opposition to exclamation marks.
We fool around with the exclamation as well as question marks
in our little sand pool...
(25 March 2006, 5:00 am - silence - thinking about how to write a synopsis - the desire to hold my lover - hushing nurse pictures in the hospitals)
I want to say that the presence of loved one is what makes an intense bodily metaphysical experience possible so that normality (normal perceptions, habits, even normal sensations that are no longer perceived as what they are, but became a part of the feeling of self) dissappears, its thick surface shatters while allowing every kind of "beyond" to be free and in such a way that it is impossible to deny what's happening since it is felt in the body, through the body, as a body...
So this intense bodily metaphysical experience is fundamentally a political experience if political is understood to be an adjective for the things moving in an active way without a need but with the will to move. The will of things is political, whether they want to stay passive, to defend their static status, or to become active to put their mark on the world as their difference, they always create the sphere of, let's say, minor politics.
What is important is this: what kind of an intense bodily metaphysical experience does your loved one's presence create? In other words, what is the will of your love? Does it make you regress from everything and try to fit in the image that is being created by it? Does it make you afraid of loosing it and by doing so limit your relation with the world? Or does it make you want to traverse all images by fully subscribing to life itself with its every little thing? Does it create something more than your own identity using your own difference? Does it enforce your own difference in the face of the banality of life? Does it give you the power to change the world in your own way? Finally does it create feelings of guilt or joy?
These are the important questions to ask ourselves while loving somebody / something to understand what does that love wants. Does it want you to be limited and fixed so that it can feed on you? Or does it want you to be yourself, an ever changing, moving enpowered style through which it can proliferate itself?
Any evaluation about any kind of love should be constructed upon these questions, whether the object of love is a child, an opposite sex, a hobby, or a philosophical approach. Yes, philosophical approaches have presences too, and all the more intense.
We were all poets back in those days,
we would ooze out from the cracks of life and merge on the way.
We were all poets,
our poems would live by leaning over each other without any other ground.
Nobody would ask a question like "what is expressed by the poet here?"
We all knew that the expressed was always another poem, resisting to explanation.
We were all poets,
we would become polluted while leaking from the cracks of life.
We would flow into each other's poem, blurred.
We were all poets,
we would look to each other with loaded eyes.
And we loved each other through the pouring poems of our eyes,
we would make love to the extent of our thick and blurry and dirty waters mingled...
We were all poets as much as we were embodied poems,
we would touch one another while becoming some other image every time.
Each time, with our image-becoming that comes from pre-historic times and goes to infinity,
that travels across the whole of time,
that fills the space between us with a time that never was,
we were acquainted with each other as ourselves during the encounters of our intensities.
We were all poets back in those days.
Time, embarassed of our existence, would bend to our presence.
we would look at it with serenity through our violent image-becomings.
So would time give up its being history,
it would let itself free in every move of its peculiar dance and it would talk about its before.
In its every curve, there was always a franticness.
In every franticness, there always was an infinity.
The deepness of being would talk to us from within this infinity.
The deepness of being narrated the savage character of our image-becomings as if we were always there, we were there eternally...
What is an enigma? Is it a riddle that just waits there to be solved? Not at all. If it were so, everything would have been much easier (and boring) and probably human beings would have been somewhat uniform. An enigma is that which does not have a solution. It is not a question waiting to be answered. It seems to me to be the pure form of question which does not have and do not need an answer. But it is a very special form as if it is the form itself and in-itself.
It is even almost impossible to call enigma an 'enigma'! It is never there to be signified and it is everywhere so that you cannot point at it. I don't yet know why I keep coming to the same metaphor in almost every subject but I cannot help it to think of enigma as the atmosphere. It is very mind blowing to me to think about the atmosphere. You cannot feel its existence but it is always there. It is everywhere so that you are always already in it without even thinking that you are in it. Enigma seems to me to be a psycho-sociological atmosphere, maybe we can even say that it is 'the will of a time'. 'The' and 'a' are the most important features of this adjunct. The tendency of a time, here time being not 'the' time but a singular time. Not at all an individual time where psychology is in act. It is singular, not particular. It is shared only by way of its singularity. Maybe enigma is the moods of Greek gods, never understood consciously but followed willingly. You can never judge a god by its doings. They will to do so and they do so. And the people who are under the influence of gods - oh, those great people - they cannot be judged also. Like Helen who ran away with Paris... She was not accused to be immoral when she returned back because she betrayed her husband and went together with handsome Paris. No. She was just obeying the goddess, Aphrodite. She was in her mood and it was a good thing to be in a mood. This was the projection of what a life should be and how it should be lived at that time and that location. There was nothing to be understood, but only moods to go along with.
Anyway, if we return to our subject and try to understand 'the will of a time' in terms of 'the' and 'a', and of course in connection with a pure question of how to live and form in-itself, there still remains too much to grasp. It is the enigma itself that contains everything.
Before beginning to write, I was thinking about how is it possible to have a projection about life. For example what is it that makes somebody go like this: I will finish my school, I will find a job that pays well, I will be independent for a while, then I will find a person whose status is in accordance with mine, I will marry and have kids, I will live in the security of my status and my marriage even though I don't even like the person I marry after a while... when I try to complete this projection what is deepdown there in the fundaments is: I will live forever. I even asked a girl who had such a projection for her life "but what about death?" She looked at me as if I was talking in a language that she does not know a word. That was the atmosphere she was breathing in, without any kind of dying. Or maybe it was too banale of me to point out such a fact. Maybe it was the most natural thing. I don't know shit. All I know is that this very concept of projection is an enigma for me. It is this 'how' I find very troubling. But it is again this 'how' most of the people live their lives without being shocked at every moment of what they do.
So there are things, enigmas that nobody talks about or teaches to their kids but everybody knows, and the kids even more so are aware of this projection because they see there are things adults do and does not make sense. And because their memory of taking this air into their lungs is very fresh. Because they remember the pain. That is why they have a very sharp version of this projection. A horrible one. It is like a jungle out there in the kindergarden...
One: words are never just words. They are more than their meaning in their material beings. They embody some kind of rhythm and this is more worthy of attention than the meaning they supposedly transmit.
The experience of talking with the people of different cultures made me realize a very important fact about how I communicate and in general, what I like in communicating with others. Actually, it is no more communicating (if what we think of communicating is transmitting messages across) than it is, well, having fun. This fun consists of chance, experiment, coincidence and repetition as I see it. How?
First of all, you never start your sentence knowing what you are going to say next. It is not planned. To start talking, it is enough to just point out something around. This may be a thing, a person, a view, but most of the time it is a situation that covers a number of these elements and others. A complex situation that stands out just by pointing at it. This could be the beginning and the end of conversation. This is the chance factor. Some pointed situations just cannot bear to hold a whole conversation on them. Of course what I am describing here is a conversation between ideal, in other words understanding partners. Well, I happen to have a friend with whom I communicate in this way, so I am lucky. But the structure is more or less the same for a whole cultural assemblage and this assemblage is very different from that of European ones as far as I have seen.
So there is a situation and it's been pointed out. There is no message intended in this pointing out. It is just like a gesture which says "look!" And this, having no message at all, will be a recurring theme in the whole process of communication. You are there, not as "you" but as a part of the situation. If the situation is complex enough, it generates other different branches of itself that you can comfortably be placed in, without knowing. This is important. There is absolutely no knowledge, nothing is consciously grasped. Actually if someone brings conscious activities in the conversation (a German friend of mine used to do this constantly), the whole process dies. It stops to carry you on. "And...it's gone."
You have the situation, then situation holds you in. You don't have any mood killers around and you start regenerating the situation from within. Now, this is the experimential part and it should also be coincidential so that it holds the communication together. One experiment breaks down while the other proves itself solid. The solid one is solid as much as it has elasticity. It having elasticity means that it has a lot of virtual lines that could be taken up. You go ahead from these virtual lines, both of you simultaneously. This is where co-incidence occur.
After the success of all this previous process, repetition of what is experimented in the situation and what coincidentally occured comes to play. And it is the best part. This gives you joy as well as an eagerness to continue on experimenting. Every repetition is new and there is always more than words in what is repeated. The rhythm of life.
What I realized is that other cultures (most of European cultures) do not communicate as we do. They really have something to say beforehand and they want their message to get across. I even felt bad for a while thinking that I never knew what communication is to that day. But then I met Italians and their "eternal dadaism" felt so good, so freakishly full of life, I promised myself never to suspect if I am doing this right or wrong again. Afterall, there is nothing to suspect if you feel good right?
I won't ever have any message to give except "let's play!"
There is a deep problem about philosophizing in a time in which globalization of the world is a common belief. It is not really an error because of the mobility of everything, first and foremost money of course. Besides, messages from all over the world are a click away. All these create an illusion that we, as human beings, have more or less the same problems no matter where we are. Well, one could not be more in error than this.
What I observed on philosophy students in Turkey is that they take philosophy as something ultimately abstract, so much so that it cannot have anything to do with life itself as we experience it. Of course we can say that most of them just don't get it just like the philosophy students all over the world. Philosophy requires a different way of thinking and most of the people find it useless. In Turkey we even have a saying which implies the uselessness of philosophy: we say "don't philosophize to me" whenever somebody is talking just to talk without any meaning whatsoever. It is just ignored. Yes, I will admit that this is not a local but a global approach to philosophy. And there is the opposite approach which is very common too. I don't know about the world but in Turkey if philosophizing is not ignored, that means you are in a setting where everyone thinks that they can philosophize too. Oh this is the worst, because they make philosophy an aggregate of cliches and by repeating cliches, the phrases such as "the meaning of life is to be happy" or "we cannot know what tomorrow will bring" they really think that they are thinking. But what I had in mind was to make a different point from inside, the strange position of the professionals.
Basicly, I think that we have different problems in this part of the world and the main problems of philosophy in the 20th century such as subject-object issues do not fit anywhere in our world. We never experienced what is to be cogito. The loneliness and the instrumentalization of the world within that loneliness never happened here. Our existence (from a cultural perspective) never suffered of being separated from the world. These are the first points that comes to my mind right now. But I don't mean that we are not there yet or that we are behind of western history in some way and that we are going to experience the same problems when we are developed enough(!). No, not at all! What I mean is things go differently in this specific location with its specific ways of dealing with the world. A little shamanism, a little nomadism, a pinch of "loving every creature because of its creator", understanding rules and regulations by their gaps and what could be done with them without getting into trouble, not being serious about anything, etc. These are a few constituents of our existence that I can think of right now. So telling someone that she is not really a subject does not have an effect other than confusion. There goes philosophy into the deep waters of abstraction. I even had a professor who said philosophy is confusion. Of course it is and remains confusion if it is not connected to its grounds. These grounds are the problems. So philosophizing in different environments require to be aware of the environment and formulate the unspoken problems of that specific location encompassing people, location, climate, language, social attitudes, food, entertainment, etc. And here the academics are talking about the death of subject or the unveiling of truth in poetry!
I don't intend to say that these subjects shouldn't be a part of philosophy in this specific location. But since I believe that philosophy should be something that feeds itself from life and life should be enrichened by philosophy, the main issues of western philosophy not only stay at a distance to life here, but also contribute to confusion about concepts which constitutes my main point.
For philosophy to be an invention of new possibilities, it is crucial to make all the concepts as clear as possible. Only after understanding the concept within the concept will we be able to invent ours. So there it goes: our problems are different than that of any people living in a different geography. Our main problem is confusion about concepts and not specific concepts, but concept of concept itself. Only after we made concept clear and invent our own concepts for various aspects of our experience, we can start to philosophize. At the moment, there is a disgusting manipulation of the confusion arising from this vagueness. And I just hate to see how beautiful concepts are used in every ugly way possible. Here it becomes a very important political issue. Philosophy could open a way out of this political and social problem. If only the academics themselves were not blind to people's confusion... sometimes it is even as if they feed on this confusion, like leeches. So where to find their genuine concern for philosophy? I don't think they have a genuine concern for anything other than surviving. So why philosophy? They could have been involved in real estate as well and as a matter of fact, they would be doing a favor to all by not worsening the already deep confusion.