[D-G] desire - conatus - lacan - spinoza - deleuze

filip fildh at gmx.net
Sun May 6 16:04:53 PDT 2007

hello hwenk,

i'm gonna try to reply to you, i have seen that there is already quite 
some reaction on it.
so maybe i'm gonna say things which will be repeted in the other mails 
or maybe say something else. anyway; this is a way to get into it furter.

1)the 1959 seminair of Lacan is quite hard and the notion of "la chose" 
isn't simple.
i'll give it a small try. ps: forgive me for my poor english

A person can be ATTACHED to something which is out of proportion to that 
case. So other people don't see that case so importantly in relation to 
the rest of things (and live). The more a person is attached to a 
something , the more it can weight on its consiousness and his actions. 
this person doesn't have to be aware (consioussly) that he is attached 
to the case. as long as circumstances do not threaten his identification 
he will not be aware of the fact that there is an attachement and "what" 
they could be.
When a person has to loose its bound with the object/case to which 
he/she identifies, then the person feels a repression/displasure form 
that object/case.  for example divorce, separation.... : don't think 
that you know necessairly what it is that puts a force on you, or that 
it would remain the same during your whole life. and we don't chose what 
is really important for us, no it choses us. it is like a lover: you are 
attracted but why ? you can never explain, and the more reason you can 
give, the more it gets replaceble. so true reasons can not be given.

Well : lacan tries to say with "la chose" : it refers to the 
power(hindrance, reaction, counterwork) a person feels (in confuse 
signals) when his attachement is under strain.

from this counterwork a person hears the echo of duty-obligations which 
are more important than those of the "people in general" or those which 
leads life in good ways. So it is not the voice of the uber-ich, no it 
is something which goes beyond it. and it is not that these signals are 
clear, not at all, but on the other side they are not completely 
incomprehensible. What he experience is THAT he should do something, but 
not WHAT he should do. So above the uber ich, there is an uber uber ich, 
which is much more powerfull.
so when you experience somthing that is important, la chose or this 
power steps forward and shows it to you in a mediated way (in every day 
life: something of no importance becomes almost sacred). And that is 
what it is: ordinary things which incarnate something without limits. So 
this "thing" has so much importance that it can brake the laws of a 
community, but also the moral law. it is radically, it is demanding 
everything from you. that's why it is dangerous;

well i hope this helps a bit, there is tons more of material, but i have 
a hard time getting it into a nice text.

2)oke, i will read first the spinoza book, i had started with it, will 

3) indeed the conatus is the power to keep on living, and that means 
also : expression, to become more. to change;
so it is indeed the power to a)sustain encounters and b)to be affected 
by them.
(i'm just summarizing and writing this down, so be shure that i am not 
wrong in my concepts of spinoza and deleuze)

to come to the poin of neurotransmitters and freud
4)yes i do think that a more physicalistic aproch to deleuze is usefull, 
since subjectphilosophy is not his type of philosophy,
I think Isabelle stengers is more on this side.
BUT something about freud: the lust principle of freud is actual a 
negative one: it is the absent of unlust. so that doesn't make
up for deleuze. what spinoza would say about this is: i don't know, but  
i think that because of expression and conatus
it is much more positive, like deleuze. it is desire that tries to open 
itself in the world, and uses objects to do so. For freud
the drive is object orientated. in the object the desire is fulfilled 
and the subject goes to rest (for a while). While
for deleuze in real desire, the object isn't important anymore, it is 
the action. continuing with the action.

for spinoza the brain or body is the same expressions, although there is 
no causal interaction.

yes i know the obsession thing in spinoza. he talks about it refring to 
drugs if i remember quite well.
so that you are adicted to the stuff. it cuts you off from your powers, 
or from reality. so that's not
good for the conatus. it is clear that there is a "pleasure machine" 
inside you which start to dominate
and get the balance out of the system.

this is a part which is not that difficult. But then i ask myself (i 
will try to find an aswer in the following days)
1)did spinoza not see the problems of "la chose". that there is in 
everyones live something which is so important, although he doesn't know 
what, and that is shows itself in something ordinary ?
2)how does la chose relate to obsession ?

thanx so much whenk.
i'm gonna try to answer the other mails
greetings filip

hwenk schreef:
> Hello filip,
> unfortunately I didn't read Lacan's seminar on ethics until now,
> but I am very interested in it. So I would also be pleased, if you would
> tell us a little
> about your reading.
> The most easiest way to start understanding Deleuze on  Spinoza and Spinoza
> himself
> is the little book of Deleuze "Spinoza, practical philosophy".
> There is a glossary with the main notions of Spinoza, also conatus.
> It is very wise to read that completely first, before going ahead with
> further reading on Spinoza - also there are
> of  course different readings of
> Spinoza, but you will get more acquainted with both - Spinoza and Deleuze.
> To your question about Spinoza and desire, you must know that Spinoza
> defines
> human soul by the desire with the consciousness of that desire.
> The desire is tied to its survival, to stay in existence as much as
> possible - that s the conatus - the wish to "be" as much as possible and the
> power to do so.
> Therefore it is ontology, the science of being.
> Thus the desire is also the power to stay or increase in existence or being
> and the pleasure one has.
> Pleasure come if you get more "being" or better "being" - the synapses or
> in the brain are more working together or there are
> pleasureful neurotransmitters in the brain.
> This is also Freud's principle of lust and unlust.
>   At best these pleasures are produced by the brain or the body itself, like
> understandings or moving the body or
> by uniting, aslo emotional,  with other appropriate people.
> By definition there cannot be any desire within the human soul which desires
> to destroy
> the existence of the individual. There can be desire in the soul of a part
> of the soul which
> has the effects of destroying, as  I will explain.
> Now, the thing with obsessions is that of disturbing the
>  harmony of the soul or its acting together as a whole or a unit.
> As the human soul is made of a lot, Deleuze, going to subatomic areas,
> liked to speak of an infinity,
> of parts, a complex of complex of ideas, mainly the synapses of the brain.
> Spinoza and the other philosophers of the 17th century
> knew that already.
> Now the theory  by an obsession is, that one part of these complexes got so
> much pleasure,
> that its desire, the parts have also a tendency to get their specific
> conatus as a part pleasure pleasure, increases as their pleasure as parts.
> So, if you eat sweets, an addiction to sweets can occur, for the pleasure of
> the part of the brain,
> receptors in the brain which consume the sugar in the sweets is and becomes
> so great, that it overruns the
> tiny part which tries to keep the teeth healthy or not to get to thick.
> So, the pleasure of one part of the soul acts like "fan the dog with the
> tail", that is the sweet addicted part
> of the soul dominates the whole thinking and behaviour of the soul,
> neglected or dimishing the desires
> of the other parts of the soul. This is the justification for the power of
> the parents over the child's. "If you would let them act
> alone, they would eat so much chocolate that they die or get sick."
> This addiction, sugar is only an trivial and harmless example,  may result
> in decreasing the "sense" for reality and neglecting vital desires so much,
> that situations may occur, also illness, which result in destroying the
> body.
> There is then an overrun of "red warning lamps", the desire which wants to
> keep in life,
> like a red lamp "there is no fuel in  the motor" are overrun.
> This overrun of warnings from the sensory of the body and the soul maybe
> something
> like the source of madness, a division from reality, to get into a "false
> reality" from the point
> of ones own vital interests. Reality is substituted by phantasy - also going
> to the framework of interpretation.
> If this process goes very far, no real communication
> or contact with "reality", especially the common inter subjective
> interpretation of
> it is possible. People would need a lot of time and information to get the
> idea that someone has overrun the red
> lamps of no fuel so consequently for such a long time.
>  He didn't talk and react in the way. And the car becomes slower, for the
> motor will be more and more really destroyed.
> So he will run very slow, people will ask automatically themselves: Why does
> he not drive faster in this situation?
> This is dramatically expressed in Descartes'' madness picture: "to think to
> be a king and in reality being a poor man".
> For the part of the soul which is able to something like a king, your
> narcissm, is driven to phantasy, where
> it becomes very great without any real possibility of acting and
> satisfaction bound to real adequate activity - on the contrary,
>  the  ability of acting gets smaller.
> A common solution is to identify with something successful great in reality,
> like nations, soccer teams .. but that is  a complicated own story.
> And there is the great realm of seeking "private" solutions for heroism or
> great tasks or something like that.
> This must not be wrong.
> This is also the start of Lacan's analysis of madness, starting from
> Descartes picture in his
> article about psychical causality, which goes back to his dissertation on
> paranoid psychosis
> There maybe also another process, that by evolving your abilities and your
> feeling for red lamps, conflicts our something dangerous so high,
> that the "red lamp" only flickers one time and you already stop and try to
> repair the car, which is very difficult but healthy.
> This is also very unusual and gives some trouble with common reality.
> "You are very anxious, there is nothing, go ahead."
> " - But I saw tee flickering of the red lamps. -"
>  "Be quiet,
> if we would act on every flickering, we had a lot to do. We have a lot to do
> already,
> for there are burning a lot of red lamps for some longer time.
> There is also often flickering without any real danger. "
> That would still be within common communication
> " I saw no flickering of a lamp - to be honest, I doubt if there had been
> some flickering".  This is already slight division.
> "There cannot have been any flickering - only you imagine flickering - You
> are flickering" This is hard division.
> "I saw only the flickering of another orange lamp" - that something like
> "shifting". Which is also very important.
> So far for today.
> I hope, I could help you a little.
> greetings Harald Wenk
> -----Original Message-----
> From: deleuze-guattari-bounces at lists.driftline.org
> [mailto:deleuze-guattari-bounces at lists.driftline.org]On Behalf Of filip
> Sent: Dienstag, 1. Mai 2007 02:17
> To: deleuze-guattari at lists.driftline.org
> Subject: [D-G] desire - conatus - lacan - spinoza - deleuze
> hello everybody,
> i'm a student philosophy trying to get into the thinking of deleuze,
> which is quite hard.
> but anyway here is my little question.
> i'm trying to find out if i can find something like a lacanian "la
> chose" in spinoza and deleuze.
> i mean: for lacan there can be something in our lives which become so
> important without actually knowing why, that we would do anything to
> achieve it. Lacan speaks of this in his 7th seminair: the ethics of
> psychoanalysis.
> I wonder if spinoza has seen this? : could the conatus of a person
> express itself boundlessly such that the person itself becomes disolved ?
> i know that spinoza nor deleuze are not subject philosophy's so that
> there cannot be really a subject, but i think that is less important for
> the
> question. Can desire become so big that the subject dies ? something
> like an obsession or something. Within spinoza the conatus can never
> gets in
> the way of the individual, well that's what i mostly read. i know that
> spinoza writes that we tend to desire repression in a social system.
> but actually it isn't desire that is repressed, because desire itself
> has to be mediated ? is it not that desire is invested in the social
> system and thus
> has to come to expression in this system ? or is there really a
> diminishing of the conatus ?
> and why would we want a social system: is it because in this system we
> can expres ourself more ? is it like a small sacrifice to get much more
> afterwards ? (if it is a sacrifice) and how do we know such thing in
> advance ? or do we just revolt if it ends up bad ?
> anyway lot's of questions
> thanks in advance
> greetings
> _______________________________________________
> List address: deleuze-guattari at driftline.org
> Info: http://lists.driftline.org/listinfo.cgi/deleuze-guattari-driftline.org
> Archives: www.driftline.org
> _______________________________________________
> List address: deleuze-guattari at driftline.org
> Info: http://lists.driftline.org/listinfo.cgi/deleuze-guattari-driftline.org
> Archives: www.driftline.org

More information about the Deleuze-Guattari mailing list