Gilles Deleuze was a 20th century French philosopher (1925-1995) who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with psychoanalyst Felix Guattari. His work has influenced a variety of disciplines across the humanities, including philosophy, art, and literature, as well as movements such as post-structuralism and postmodernism.
Philosophy is mainly linked to existential questions, abstract concepts and metaphysical issues. However, many philosophers (maybe all of them) mentioned, studied and conceptualized the body. Some did it in an attempt to understand the cause behind the being just like the pre-Socratic did by studying nature, the physis; others focused more on the human body.
The body as a philosophical concept is underrated and it deserves our attention to comprehend life, energy and fitness! While the latter is never linked to philosophy, philosophers talked about it in between the lines.
In a round up of this subject, the principal problematic that always emerges about the body is its relation to the mind that you can check in my posts:
For some, he was a complicated; for others he was an outstanding philosopher for his intertwined rich writings and his beliefs on people as individuals, capable of achieving the impossible. While other leftists prefers the social group over the individual (mostly communists do), Gilles Deleuze prevailed the importance of the individual in a world that is a web with no frontiers with endless domino and butterfly effects (Covid19 anyone?). The concept of the deleuzian space will be presented in a future post.
Consciousness is made of impressions and experiences. It is an ongoing process; one can’t achieve a set consciousness that doesn’t change. So, we go through lives affecting and being affected by the outside world and our strength is to be creators of new possibilities.
Here are some of his quotes that sum up his views on people.
A concept is a brick; it can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.
Philosophy, art and science are not the mental objects of an objectified brain but the three aspects under which the brain becomes subject.
A creator is someone who creates their own impossibilities and thereby creates possibilities.
There’s no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.
The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two possibilities.
Drunkenness as a triumphant of the plant in us.
To affirm is not to bear, carry or harness oneself to that which exists, but on the contrary to unburden, unharness and set free which lives.
To those who say escaping is not courageous, we answer: what is not escape and social investment at the same time? (With Felix Guattari).
Desire is a crucial concept in Deleuze’s philosophy. However, desire has two definitions. One that is the reason behind the world’s problems according to Deleuze and the second is the real underlying explanation of our life on all levels.
What is desire and what the Idiot has to do with it?
The traditional definition of desire is a tendency seeking pleasure. Since, the latter is sometimes problematic to moral values, it is recommended guiding desire to higher aims such as spiritual and intellectual ones or to morally accepted aims. This definition, inherited from Plato who guided desire to Ideals, can explain the existence of transcendent ideologies and systems that one has to believe in and desire to be part of.
The second definition is inherited from Spinoza: desire is understood as an unconscious energy, common to all living beings and not only to humans. This energy helps the living being to survive. So all thoughts and actions have an unconscious root; we act this or that way (it all depends on individual perception and interpretation) in order to make our way through life in terms of surviving and becoming more powerful.
Therefore, desire in general has two aspects: paranoia and schizophrenia. A paranoid desire is a desire as an energy that turned against itself by hanging on an ideology. The schizophrenic desire is the line of flight of the Idiot that cracks the system and dismantles it progressively. The Idiot is the creative free person who pursues his or her life in a total different way than his or her surrounding and history.
Racism is a paranoid desire and revolutions are mainly made of schizophrenic desire.
For those of you interested in more details on this subject, I ask you to check my short essay on this link:
And for the french speakers among you who want to check on my book reviews on the major book in two volumes by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, please check them on here:
Le nomade vit dans un espace formé de points (point d’eau etc.) qui sont des relais dans un trajet. Les hommes et les bêtes sont distribués dans un espace ouvert. La loi est le nomos (contrairement à la polis qui a un arrière-plan stable) dans cet espace lisse qui s’oppose à l’espace sédentaire, strié et clôturé de l’Etat.
Mais le nomade n’est pas le migrant qui est constamment en mouvement. Le nomade s’installe et le mouvement de ces deux types de personnages diffère. Le nomade est déterritorialisé, le migrant se reterritorialise après et le sédentaire se reterritorialise sur la terre de l’Etat : « Bref, on dira par convention que seul le nomade à un mouvement absolu, c’est-à-dire une vitesse ; le mouvement tourbillonnaire ou tournant appartient essentiellement à sa machine de guerre » (Mille Plateaux p.473).
Avec le nomade, la terre devient sol, ce qui fait de lui le vecteur de la déterritorialisation. Paradoxalement, le nomade est dans un absolu local qui se manifeste dans des opérations à orientations diverses : le désert, la steppe, la glace, la mer, comme l’affirment Deleuze et Guattari.
Le résumé de Mille Plateaux se trouvent sur le lien suivant:
(I took the picture of this street graffiti couple of years ago in the streets of Athens)
If peace is defined by quietness, tranquility, harmony, then reconciliation (restoring a friendly relation) is to be seen as a new conciliation, an action of mediating between disputing people or groups, which is the current state of the world. Whereas the Social Contract was conceived like the reference of conciliating differences and reconciliation, Hegel’s State, on the other hand, is an ethical totality, a product of conjunction of the subjective will and the rational will. Ideally the State is supposed to eliminate all conflicts between the subjective desires and the rational law of the government. Mainly, these two theories, among others, are the frame of any peace and reconciliation; unfortunately it seems that they have missed out on the reasons of today’s world problems that lie beneath the surface.
Therefore it is interesting to seek an explanation in the philosophy of immanence, more precisely in Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy that demonstrates the problem of war by displaying a plethora of dualisms: nomos/polis, smooth/striated, deterritorialisation/reterritorialisation, minor/major etc. Deleuze’s ontological politics follows a cartography of desires which points out the various issues of identity on a molecular level (or individual) and on a molar level (religious, ethnical, social etc.). In Deleuze’s perspective, to understand the world today in all its identity crisis, violence and emergence of minorities, taking note of the cartography of desires and analyzing capitalism will show us that the current conflicts are a logical response to the way desires shape lives and societies as a reaction to transcendence in religion, philosophy and politics. It shows us ultimately how war is inherent to the State’s nature.
This being said, States want to achieve a worldwide peace by declaring a global war (which is happening today in a way or another). Needless to say that peace and reconciliation as perceived on people’s minds would never happen through the State which times of calmness and security are more likely to be a cold war on a deleuzian perspective. Peace and reconciliation are to be searched in desire and lines of flight.
I will not mention in this post the many benefits of yoga that can be found a click away if you Google it. I am more interested to point out the specificities of yoga as a Body without Organs or BwO as I would refer to all along this post.
The BwO is a complex concept of the french philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), one of the most compelling and intriguing philosophers:
The BwO refers to the deeper reality underlying some well-formed whole, constructed from fully parts. At the same time the BwO may also describe a relationship to one’s literal body, for example: in yoga (Deleuze gives the example of anorexia). To say it differently, the BwO is when the body stops working as an organism and starts to take on a certain perspective on reality, far from the normal behaviour of a human towards his or her body.
Deleuze began using the term in The logic of sense (1969), while discussing the experiences of playwright Antonio Artaud. Later the term BwO would expand in meaning and become one of the major concepts of Capitalism and Schizophrenia (in its 2 volumes written with Félix Guattari: Anti-Oedipus  and A thousand plateaus ). The BwO is an exploration of depths by rejecting the surface completely and returning to the body. Furthermore, Deleuze describes an undifferentiated unhierarchical realm that lies deeper than the world of appearances as it is told in mythologies. This underlying realm is an idea found in the yogic tradition saying that the Absolute lies deeper than the Veil of Maya or the illusionary appearances of what we see in our daily world. The daily world is the Veil of Maya (Matrix I, the movie, explores this idea). Deleuze explains the BwO by the image of the Dogon egg (or the Genesis of the cosmos) as a container of the germs of things that starts to develop within the egg:
Let’s go back to yoga and see how the the BwO of the yogic’s body is a Dogon egg where emotions, ideas, capacities, creativity, wisdom etc… start to develop and extend through inhuman postures (it hurts just by looking at them!) as shown in the pictures bellow:
Then, energy flows, body brain and mind are freed (the 3 are the same entity). This becoming is like any kind of birth: it takes time, it is violent and painful, it is the Nietzsche’s “becoming who you are”; at the end it is joyful! Therefore, yoga is a BwO experience leading towards new becomings, such as the Genesis of the cosmos!