body without organs

22 Jan 2022 10:28 - 14 Nov 2023 05:34
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    • One of Deleuze and Guattari's more mystifying concepts. I don't think it is really supposed to be clearly defined; it is a blow against that kind of rationalism. It's like a koan, something designed to act on your thinking directly and warp it, rather like a drug.
    • But to be as dull as possible and attempt a definition: it seems to be a way of talking about what it is to be a self after the notion of self has been destroyed.
    • Where psychoanalysis says, "Stop, find your self again," we should say instead, "Let's go further still, we haven't found our BwO yet, we haven't sufficiently dismantled our self."...The BwO is what remains when you take everything away. What you take away is precisely the phantasy, and signifiances and subjectifications as a whole. Psychoanalysis does the opposite: it translates everything into phantasies, it converts everything into phantasy, it retains the phantasy. It royally botches the real, because it botches the BwO.
      • A Thousand Plateaus
    • The point is to accentuate the multiplicity within the self. Deleuze and Guattari argue that if the self is broken up enough a “body-without-organs” emerges in its place. This “BwO,” as it is sometimes affectionately called, combines Carlos Castaneda’s pulp sorcery, Antonin Artaud’s peyote narratives, sadomasochistic ecstasy, psychedelic “micro-perceptions,” and Spinoza’s monistic concept of God, among other things. The BwO describes a global force, a pantheism without god. That Deleuze and Guattari’s own texts manifest this odd sense of connection and causality accounts in part for their difficulty and their strange vitality.
    • Every time desire is betrayed, cursed, uprooted from its field of immanence , a priest is behind it. The priest cast the triple curse on desire: the negative law, the extrinsic rule, and the transcendent ideal.
    • A rereading of H'eliogabale and Les Tarahumaras (Artaud). For Heliogabalus is Spinoza, and Spinoza is Heliogabalus revived. And the Tarahumaras are experimentation, peyote. Spinoza, Heliogabalus, and experimentation have the same formula: anarchy and unity are one and the same thing, not the unity of the One, but a much stranger unity that applies only to the multiple...Finally, the difficulty of reaching this world of crowned Anarchy if you go no farther than the organs ("the liver that turns the skin yellow, the brain wracked by syphilis, the intestines that expel filth") and if you stay locked into the organism, or into a stratum that blocks the flows and anchors us in this, our world.
    • We come to the gradual realization that the BwO is not at all the opposite of the organs. The organs are not its enemies. The enemy is the organism. The BwO is opposed not to the organs but to that organization of the organs called the organism
    • Ah OK, that clears things up quite a bit actually.
    • We are in a social formation; first see how it is stratified for us and in us and at the place where we are; then descend from the strata to the deeper assemblage within which we are held; gently tip the assemblage, making it pass over to the side of the plane of consistency. It is only there that the BwO reveals itself for what it is: connection of desires, conjunction of flows, continuum of intensities. You have constructed your own little machine, ready when needed to be plugged into other collective machines.
    • The BwO is not "before" the organism; it is adjacent to it and is continually in the process of constructing itself.
    • Is BwO just the Aristotelean form, but kind of given some sort of revolutionary autonmy? No because it is constructivist. But maybe it plays a similar metaphysical role, that's why it is "without organs", souls have no parts.
    • Or maybe it's the holistic soul of the yoga hippies, but again, kind of punked-out, dynamic, and under construction.
    • The BwO is desire; it is that which one desires and by which one desires. And not only because it is the plane of consistency or the field of immanence of desire. Even when it falls into the void of too-sudden destratification, or into the proliferation of a cancerous stratum, it is still desire. Desire stretches that far: desiring one's own annihilation, or desiring the power to annihilate. Money, army, police, and State desire, fascist desire, even fascism is desire. There is desire whenever there is the constitution of a BwO under one relation or another.
    • Gotta say I have approixmately zero idea of what the "plane of consistency" is, but it seems very important to BwO theory. Is he talking about some sort of unification of disparate and conflicting drives? Or their totality (as opposed to that of organs, which are partial and kind of low-rent).
    • Oh boy a podcast: Episode 01: Body Without Organs – Buddies Without Organs
      • the term comes from Artaud. Anti representational (?). Removing the body from its straight social functions of production (?)
      • The journey of the BwO is one of experimentation...not regression. The BwO is contemporary, we carry it with us as a possibility. (??) "creative involution" (??) "entering into our own possibilities so they can become real" (??)
      • BwO is limit and ground of desire (???)
      • Maybe the unrepresented body???? They say a lot about experience beyond language...maybe this is just a sexier version of Left brain/right brain???
      • Castaneda tonal/nagual (???)
      • Experimentation replacing interpretation, an immanent relationship to the world (???)
      • Mentions Meditations on the Tarot, oddly enough. May have to get that one.
      • Deleuze as post-phenomenologist (???)
      • Mark Fisher's Spinozist view of depression ... how do you understand life without a subject? "What Mark would call a kind of psychedelic rationalism"...
      • exploring relation of personal, impersonal, spiritual
        • yeah ok maybe that is right frame, we are all working on the same damn problem
        • "to understand life without recourse to a self"
          • "to make yourself a BwO is to remove yourself"
      • oh interesting, the BAD BwO, "the cancerous body" but also the root of Nazism, Stalinism etc.
        • BwO involves "escaping your own masochistic tendencies" but can displace them
      • Deleuze body was fucked up and led to his suicide (recalls Nietzsche like a lot)