Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Dynamics of Interruption, Part II

The question before us is the power of breaking off, the desire to ”undesire” continuation and whether this contains a dynamics that can be fruitfully pursued.

Can ”thinking” be stopped, and if so, does it present us with new possibilities? Is the pause plausible? Is it even a space that might signify a return or a beginning?

This brings us back to the whole concept of ”thinking”. Is this a separate entity in human enterprise? Let’s explore this. Traditionally, thinking is representational in nature. You think about something. And we presuppose that ”everybody knows” what it means to think, and that the only prerequisite for ”thought” is an individual in possession of goodwill and a ’natural capacity’ for thought. Descartes, for example, presumes that everybody knows what is meant by self, thinking, and being. But isn’t this image of thought as cognito natura extraordinarily complacent?

Don’t we, as Deleuze suggests, rarely think and, when we do, more often than not we think under the influence of a shock than in the excitement of a taste for thinking?

Genuine thinking is necessarily antagonistic towards the combination of good sense and common sense that form the doxa of received wisdom.

In other words, ”thinking” is an event, and an accidental ditto at that. It is basically intuitive and impressionistic, never programatic and planned.

Since you cannot decide to philosophize (unless you are ”doing your homework” = reading about what others have been thinking) you are at the mercy of sudden impulses that may or may not lead to new concepts.

The traditional ”image of thought” is a geological one: You start with a ”tabula rasa” and then you sequentially develop a series of arguments that lead to the next arguments – etc. But this never really happens.

Maybe the ”breaks” in this serial are the spaces where the shock of the new occurs. When you let down your defenses you create. By withholding ejaculation you produce desire. ”Coitus interruptus” is not the denial of pleasure, but rather the displacement of it.

Thinking is disruptive. And if not, it isn’t thinking. Maybe the interruption of thinking is REAL thinking = the flow of intuition and spontaneity. We have to discard the whole notion of linearity to get to another place. (And that may even include giving up the whole idea of "interruption" since this implies that there IS a place or time, when you can stop!)


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