Monday, March 17, 2008

Omnibenevolence and Deleuze

In a former post, I discussed the idea of "omnibenevolence" as a potential for each of us.

There is a philosopher who I admired, named Gilles Deleuze, and while I believe that if Deleuze understood this idea as coming from traditional religion, he would either be very suspicious or simply reject it.

However, I wonder if "omnibenevolence" could be one of the possible "lines of flight," one of the experiments we are encouraged to live by Deleuze. Perhaps it is one of the ways we can be challenged to be more and discover more about ourselves. At the end of Todd May's wonderful book Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction, he writes:

Deleuze's ontology is not a resting place; it is not a zone of comfort; it is not an answer that allows us to abandon our seeking. It is the opposite. An ontology of difference is a challenge. To recognize that there is more than we have been taught, that what is presented to us is only the beginning of what there is, puts before us the greater task of our living. We have not finished with living; we are never finished with living. However we live, there is always more. We do not know of what a body is capable, nor how it can live. The alternatives of contentment (I have arrived) and hopelessness (There is nowhere to go) are two sides of the same misguided thought: that what is presented to us is what there is.

There is more, always more.

Perhaps this notion of "omnibenevolence" is part of the challenge to "recognize that there is more" and that "we are never finished with living" and along that same line of flight -- we are never finished with loving . . .

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