The production of extinction.The one we are is one more than was ever necessary. It aspires to a unity of the One when the starting point is a “much stranger” unity of the multiple: fusionability as infinite zero. The infinite extinction of matter in itself is the infinite production of matter in itself. Fusionability, understood thus, constitutes the infinite production of organs qua intensive quantities. The true organs of the BwO – produced intensities – are the real insofar as the latter is an intensive quantity produced starting from its return to zero or extinction. The BwO is aptly named precisely because it produces its organs by extinguishing them in the infinite fusion it is. Transcendental experience is that of the immanent extinction of organs in the body of the abyss, the body without organs. They show that the abyss is a body and experiences materiality as its abyssal nature.
“The organism is not at all the body, the BwO; rather, it is a stratum on the BwO, in other words, a phenomenon of accumulation, coagulation, and sedimentation that, in order to extract useful labor from the BwO, imposes upon it forms, functions, bonds, dominant and hierarchized organizations, organized transcendences. The strata are bonds, pincers. “Tie me up if you wish.” We are continually stratified. But who is this we that is not me, for the subject no less than the organism belongs to and depends on a stratum? Now we have the answer: the BwO is that glacial reality where the alluvions, sedimentations, coagulations, foldings, and recoilings that compose an organism – and also a signification and a subject – occur. For the judgment of God weighs upon and is exercised against the BwO; it is the BwO that undergoes it. It is in the BwO that the organs enter into the relations of composition called the organism. The BwO howls: They’ve made me an organism! They’ve wrongfully folded me! They’ve stolen my body!” The judgment of God uproots it from its immanence and makes it an organism, a signification, a subject. It is the BwO that is stratified. It swings between two poles, the surfaces of stratification into which it is recoiled, on which it submits to the judgment, and the plane of consistency in which it unfurls and opens to experimentation. If the BwO is a limit, if one is forever attaining it, it is because behind each stratum, encasted in it, there is always another stratum. For many a stratum, and not only an organism, it is necessary to make the judgment of God. A perpetual and violent combat between the plane of consistency, which frees the BwO, cutting across and dismantling all of the strata, and the surfaces of stratification that block it or make it recoil (A Thousand Plateaus, p. 159).
If infinite zero is the starting point and the starting point is the fusion from which nothing escapes, then everything is always and already smaller than the one one believes oneself to be. We could not be continually stratified if we were already strata – organisms, subjects, lived bodies. We only feel the strata as our being continually stratified because we are not stratified at all. That we feel the organism or lived “body” at all is evidence of our being completely otherwise than it. This we who is not me undergoes the lived – the judgment of God – because we are not of the lived. Only the strata anchor us, as Deleuze and Guattari say, “in this, our world.” The question is how things ended up in strata in the first place, for absolute deterritorialization is primary. While the BwO is a limit perpetually being attained, the attainment is immediate and perpetual. Infinite zero is the starting point just as much as it is the limit to be attained. If infinite zero were not to be attained, there would be no production of organs, even as they are extinguished in fusionability. Instead, the BwO would become annihilation, emptying itself of its organs instead of seeing the indissoluble connection of production and extinction: neither stands without the other. The body of the abyss is stolen when the abyss is enclosed in an organism, registered only as the anxiety of nothing which now has something to lose. The immanent limit always being attained is the unlimited – immanence – which remembers its freedom when, in fusionability, it is able to ask how things ended up in the strata in the first place.
Deleuze and Guattari elsewhere describe this freedom as “the strange indifference of an intellectual intuition.” What we have been calling the abyss is nothing but the coincidence, in matter, of its absolutely infinite production and extinction. This we that is not me is everything – fusionability – before it is some thing, or what amounts to the same thing, before it is “me.” Narcissism is “me,” the insistence upon some thing coming first with respect to infinite zero or the plane of consistency. One – “me” – is the +1 or supplementary dimension defining the plane of transcendence: n+1. Infinite zero is n-1 or n-dimensionality, described by Deleuze and Guattari as the Rhizosphere. One carries out the judgment of God because one posits oneself in one’s individuality above and beyond the n-dimensional open whole, as a dimension supplementary to it. We revert endlessly to individuality, attempting to extract useful labor from the BwO, because organization saves us from the confrontation with schizophrenia: the absolute coincidence, in immanence, of its immanent production and extinction. Put simply, we cannot tolerate that what is produced is also extinguished and what is extinguished is also produced. To see in production extinction and in extinction production is what Nietzsche called the transvaluation of all values. Production shows its immanence by extinguishing what it produces in and through the process it constitutes. The extinction of the produced intensity quantity, as it immediately rejoins zero, is n-1 or the fusionability that ‘n’ denotes.
We see extinction as death rather than life because we cut it off from production, just as we see life as some thing – the illusory unity of the always supplementary one – having cut it off from extinction. Everything blooms in its prior disappearance: the immanence of immanence. Disappearance only appears destructive when the principle of production-extinction is not grasped as immanent, or what amounts to the same thing, when disappearance is not understood as the extinguishing of immanence in itself and prior to its appearance or actualization. Perhaps, then, the useful labor that the judgment of God attempts to extract from the BwO is the labor of existing, which sustains the illusory transcendence of the lived.
The anomic concept of non-contradiction.We describe the non-conceptual concept of non-contradiction as anomic because it does not answer to the law of non-contradiction.
“For Klee, chaos does not lie in one pan of a scale, with order placed in the other; rather, order weighs against its opposite (whatever that may be), with chaos as the center of balance between them. True chaos cannot be weighed; for, it is incommensurable. It may be considered as though it were a mathematical point, extending neither in space nor time, but lying rather between all dimensions. This Nothing-being or being-nothing, the point, is something our minds cannot conceive. Klee considers it a non-conceptual concept of non-contradiction: it may be both itself and not itself, in one place or another, all at the same time; hence, it is not subject to the law of non-contradiction” (The Rhythm of Sensation on the Surface of Sense: Communication in Deleuze as NonSensed and Intense).
As Correy Shores notes, the non-conceptual concept “may be both itself and not itself, in one place or another, all at the same time.” We see in the non-conceptual concept the incommensurability of zero, or what amounts to the same thing, the destruction of the law of non-contradiction in the impossible coincidence of the principle of production and the principle of extinction. Only at the point of their coincidence can the highest degree of intensity be the absence of intensity and the absence of intensity, the highest degree of intensity. Zero is a remissio because it constitutes the coming back (to zero) of what never came (from zero); immanation and not emanation. If an intensive magnitude is always produced starting from zero – this being why infinite zero is the starting point – it is because the whole of intensity is already there in zero, including the produced intensity. Its extinction in zero is not its destruction but the mark of its immanence – its ability to be subtracted without, for all that, being destroyed. We become something only because we believe everything is lacking. However, everything is never lacking – being the starting point – which amounts to saying that we never become something because there is no need for it; our reality does not turn upon being so as something or someone. Our production starts from zero because zero is ‘n’ dimensionality, the plane of consistency. Any approach to zero would amount to addition of a supplementary dimension: the transcendence of n+1 or the illusory state of exception from immanence. A produced intensity is always and invariably an intuition of its being at no distance from zero:
“In any case, the image answers to the demands of Ill seen Ill said, Ill seen Ill heard, which reigns in the kingdom of the mind. And as a spiritual movement, it cannot be separated from the process of its own disappearance, its dissipation, whether premature or not. The image is a pant, a breath, but it is an expiring breath, on its way to extinction. The image is that which extinguishes itself, consumes itself: a fall. It is a pure intensity, which is defined as such by its height, that is, by its level above zero, which it describes only by falling” (Essays Critical and Clinical, p. 170).
The intuition of every produced intensity being at no distance from zero is, put simply, the intuition of perpetually attaining the limitless in the attainment of the limit.
“Deleuze summarizes this inverse relationship with a modification of Kant’s formula, intensity = 0, which for Deleuze means that intensity is at its greatest magnitude when its numerical value is zero. However, Kant’s scale is the inverse of Deleuze’s; for Kant, the negation of intensity has the value of zero. Uncovering the difference between their formulations will explain how intensity is a fall for Deleuze, and thus why modulation produces this intensive drop. For Kant, sensations have an intensive magnitude, which is the degree of influence on our senses, and it may diminish to 0. As it rises up from 0, its degree of intensity matches the extensive magnitudes of those objects causing its increase, so that an illuminated surface of some extensive measure causes as great a sensation as would the combination of a certain number of smaller such surfaces, themselves each of equal luminosity. In other words, greater intensities correspond to greater extensities, which for Kant, provides a way to quantify them. However, for Deleuze there is an inverse relationship between intensity’s magnitude and its measure: when its numerical measure is high, its actual magnitude (of facultative disorder) is low, and vice versa” (The Rhythm of Sensation on the Surface of Sense: Communication in Deleuze as NonSensed and Intense).
Deleuze shows that there is no opposition of production and extinction by inverting the scale of intensity as thought by Kant. For Kant, the negation of intensity has the value of zero, or what amounts to the same thing, the value of extinction. However, Deleuze inverts the Kantian scale, presenting zero or extinction as the highest degree of intensity. There is no longer any antimony of production and extinction or the highest degree of intensity and the absence of intensity. Infinite zero is what Deleuze calls, in his final published essay, absolute immanence:
“Absolute immanence is in itself: it is not in anything, nor can it be attributed to something; it does not depend on an object or belong to a subject. In Spinoza, immanence is not immanent to substance; on the contrary, substance and its modes are in immanence. Whenever immanence is attributed to subject and object, which themselves fall outside of the plane, the subject being taken as universal, and the object as any object whatsoever, we witness a denaturing of the transcendental, which now merely presents a doubling of the empirical (this is what happens in Kant). And we witness a distortion of immanence, which is now contained in the transcendent” (Two Regimes of Madness, p. 389).
The inversion of the Kantian scale of intensity brings about a passage from the empirical world to a properly transcendental empiricism because Kant’s identification of zero with the negation of intensity effectively encloses intensity within the sensation of a subject, who directs it to the extensive quantity of an object by which the intensive quantity would be caused. Immediately lost is zero, the immanent principle of intensive production that refers to no external agency (for example, an encountered object). We see here a redoubling of the empirical wherein the transcendental immanence of intensity is effectively cancelled outside itself. Likewise, immanence – infinite zero – is contained in the empirical as the transcendent that defines itself solely on the basis of falling, impossibly, outside of the infinite plane immanence constitutes. In the final instance, Kant’s treatment of zero as negation allows him to escape, through the mediation of the empirical world, from the universal and de jure schizophrenia of zero. Schizophrenia is, at one and the same time, the principle of production and the principle of extinction:
But to the extent that what is given has an intensive quantity, which is to say a degree, I grasp it in a relation to its production starting from zero, or its extinction… or the real which fills space and time from the point of view of its intensive quantity is grasped as produced starting from degree zero or as extinguishing itself, i.e., rejoining degree zero.
At that point the question is not at all one of knowing if there is an empty space and time, the question is of knowing that in any case there is an empty consciousness of space and time. And there is an empty consciousness of space and of time as consciousness determined by and as a function of degree zero as the principle of production of all reality in space and time – production starting from zero or the principle of extinction. (Lecture On Kant, 3/21/1978).
The virtual double of the cosmos. Our only error is in thinking that the actualized cosmos is the measure of its non-actualized double: the new. Novelty is not relative because it does not stand in relation to something. It is simply the part of the event that cannot realize its actualization or carrying out. That there is a part of the event incapable of carrying out its actualization shows the irreducibility of creativity or novelty.
The sole task of philosophy is that of allowing its thinking to be undone by the active forgetting in which is shown the infinite reservoir of freedom without definition or determination. Experience is primary because philosophy exists to undergo the experience of its thinking being undone by the freedom it is called to think.
Casting the shadow of the uncreated.The shadow of the uncreated is cast only at the point where creation, or what amounts to the same thing, production becomes necessity. When does creation become necessity, if not at the point where one becomes zero? One must remain in the principle of extinction in order to produce/create or to continue producing/creating. Consequently, one cannot seek after creation in a creation or production in a product.