Saturday, January 13, 2018

Thelema, Deleuze and 68

 "There are dimensions here, times and places, glacial or torrid zones never moderated, the entire exotic geography which characterises a mode of thought as well as a style of life."

Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, p.128

This is a letter that can give only a malfunction to your mind, basically leads straight from the heart to the brain.  Wants you to go insane as you read the intertwining messages. Open up to page one. (echoing one, one, one)

This is a military function information equation coming down straight from A to Z.

 - from Equation by Ramellzee, the sixth track on Material's Seven Souls 

Would you like to dance with me we're doing the Cosmic Slop? 
  - Funkadelic

The hypothesis given here maintains that Gilles Deleuze disseminates an occult transmission through his philosophy.  This transmission appears isomorphic with the Crowley/Gurdjieff currents; the 93 current.  In other words, a different form of the same ideas concerning alchemical transformation and spiritual realization.   Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) popularized this current, mostly in his fictional writings.  We concede that these presentations by Deleuze, Crowley and Gurdjieff represent elaborate fabulations, yet they are fabulations that effectively enable progressive change. These fabulations provide data, maps and technologies for a radical, accelerated evolution of a new humanity

Looking through the Wayback machine, in the post Gematria, I discussed the significance RAW placed on the number 68 in Illuminatus! Not only on the number 68, but also the letter combination "S" and "C" which qabalistically add to 68.  The follow-up to Illuminatus! is Schrodinger's Cat and the protagonist in the Historical Illuminatus trilogy is named Sigismundo Celine, both have the initials "S" and "C." Illuminatus! begins its odyssey by placing the narrator's location "in Central Park, just off Sixty-eighth Street."

Subsequent to this post came a cycle through Illuminatus! with an online reading group over at  Multiple references to 68  both directly and through numerically transposing the letters "s" and "c" were documented in the weekly comments section which can be accessed here.   

The most basic qabalistic interpretation:  6 = Tiphareth, 8 = Hod.  The god Mercury lives in the Sephira Hod .  He is the messenger of the gods, Mercury communicates.  68 = Tiphareth communicated.  Tiphareth = Christ, Osiris, Krishna and all solar gods.  68 = solar energy communicated.    This view seems shared by The Book of the Law 1:6: "Be thou Hadit, my secret center, my heart & my tongue."

"... my heart & my tongue" = Tiphareth, or solar energy, communicated.  The words "... secret center," immediately prior, tips us off with their initials to the "s," "c" combo.  The Book of the Law, or Liber Legis as it's also known to fans of dead languages, occupies a central nexus point of this occult transmission.  Crowley claimed that it was dictated by a non-human intelligence and that qabalistic analysis can prove this.  Whether true or not, this at least indicates his wish that Liber Legis be examined and considered through the qabalistic lens.  Therefore, I find it interesting that the 6th verse (they are all numbered in the text) first gives the 68 meme - yet another level of Tiphareth communicated.

The image recurs in Liber Legis 1:32: (this is the Goddess Nuit speaking) Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain.  This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.

Again in 1:53: This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart and my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss..." This suggests that the 68 constellation represents a healing force and/or becomes a source of nourishment.  The title of chapter 68 in The Book of Lies is Manna - food from heaven.  Yet another allusion to this theme, if you know your tarot correspondences, appears in II:16: I am the Empress and the Hierophant.

 The ideogram "68" and/or the letters "s" and "c" has a multiplicity of possible directions.  There are other ways to look at it.  Mercury (8) is also charged with the task of the psychopomp, the  guide who leads the soul through the land of the dead after the biological machine, the physical body, dies.  The combination of Tiphareth and death gets explicitly given in The Book of the Law 1:24: "I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty." 6 = Tiphareth, 50 = death.

Though not as popularly known as some of his other writings, The Paris Working by Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuberg documents one of his most important series of invocations.  Crowley reports that the identical nature of Christ and Mercury got revealed to him during those experiments.  This combination becomes numerically represented by 68.  Again, this is only one angle on the multiplicity of esoteric data 68 signifies.  The Paris Working with relevant passages to the 68 meme is  examined more detail.

* * * * * * 

Deleuze seems a skillful occult writer, hiding the transmission in philosophy and metaphysics.  I had read quite a few of his books, written alone and with Guattari,before discovering that not only does he communicate qabalistically, but that the 68 meme becomes a recurring theme.  Usually he expresses it through the s,c combination.  This combination usually turns up as the initial letters of words in sequence and/or words that have been connected or paired in some way.

It was in the Eighteenth Series of the The Three Images of Philosophers (the chapter title) from one of the most important and underrated books of philosophy in modern times, The Logic of Sense where I first suspected Deleuze of consciously participating in the 68 conspiracy.

The three images are: the transcendental heights of Plato, the burrowing depths of the pre-Socratic philosophers later revived by Nietzsche - these two images, suggests Deleuze, can be replaced or resolved by the image of the surface as presented by the Cynics and Stoics,

"The Cynics and Stoics establish themselves and wrap themselves up with the surface, the curtain, the carpet, and the mantle.  The double sense of the surface, the continuity of the reverse and right sides, replace height and depth.  There is nothing behind the curtain except unnameable mixtures, nothing above the carpet except the empty sky."

 -The Logic of Sense, p.133

 The last paragraph on page 129 from LoS is where the light turned on for me.  It begins: "Nietzsche was able to rediscover depth only after conquering the surfaces."  Further on in this paragraph he quotes Lewis Carroll: "all that is good ... ris(es) from the dawn of Day."  We see a very obvious, blatant pun on Nietzsche's book Dawn of Day.  For the qabalistic detective, this very obvious pun keys in a search for other puns, other signs of multiple meanings.

Immediately following the Dawn of Day pun Deleuze writes:  With the Megarians, Cynics and Stoics we have the beginning of a new philosopher and a new kind of anecdote.  Rereading Diogenes Laertius' most beautiful chapters, those on Diogenes the Cynic and on Chryssipus the Stoic, we witness the development of a curious system of provocations.

The qabalist sees a blatant pun with "beautiful," "Chryssipus" and Tiphareth.
The word "anecdote" in this quote seems interesting.  Deleuze  gave the context for a slightly different definition of this word a little earlier, on page 128, immediately following the quote above that opens this post:

Diogenes Laterius, perhaps, in his best pages, had a foreboding of this method: to find vital Aphorisms which would also be Anecdotes of thought - the gesture of philosophers.

In this reporter's opinion, the "new kind of anecdote" = the 68 image.

Following the line, "we witness the development of a curious system of provocations," Deleuze proceeds to provoke.  WARNING: this next quote appears quite shocking especially if the mistake gets made to take these provocations literally.  From the context of the 68 anecdote, receiving integrating and transmitting a solar current, they make sense metaphorically:

"On the one hand, the philosopher eats with great gluttony, he stuffs himself; he masturbaastes in public, regretting that hunger cannot be so easily relieved; he does not condemn incest with the mother, the sister, or the daughter; he tolerates cannibalism and anthropophagy - but, in fact, he is also supremely sober and chaste."

Throwing food into the mix connects with the reference to Manna above.

"On the other hand, he keeps quiet when people ask him questions or gives them a blow with his staff.  If you pose abstract and difficult questions, he will respond by designating some bit of food, or will give you a whole box of food which he will then break over you - always with a blow of his staff.  Yet he also holds a new discourse, a new logos animated with paradox and philosophical values and significations which are new."

I considered the frequency of these "s" "c" combinations to be merely coincidental until seeing on the next page, 131, "A few Stoicizing choirs (cœurs stoïcisant) will not suffice to bring about this unity."  This sentence seems whimsical or non sequitur in the context of what he's writing about which is the unification of Stoic thought with tragic thought in the ancient Roman plays by Seneca.  From my research on the internet, it appears that "Stoicizing choirs" was coined by Deleuze based on Seneca the Stoic using a lot of choirs in his tragedies.  We also see a pun in French: "cœur" translates as "heart, " a pun which affirms the 68 fabulation.  Singing hearts = Tiphareth communicated.

That said, I wish to be clear in stating my suspicion that there exists far more interpretations, meanings and sense to the 68 multiplicity than I am presently aware of.

The philosophy of the surface conforms to my notions of Thelemic theurgic magick.  I don't see its primary purpose as climbing the Tree of Life to its heights to transcend all matter, or of descending into psycho-emotional depths like in depth psychology or Kenneth Grant's Typhonian explorations.  Yes, you do go beyond matter and into the dark depths, but whatever is found or learned there gets brought back to communicate at the surface.  I don't wish to abandon Malkuth to live in Kether, rather to bring Kether into Malkuth; to consummate that marriage as some occultists put it.  

Mythologically, Deleuze looks to Hercules as the half god, half mortal, hero of the surface:

Hercules is always situated relative to the three realms of the infernal abyss, the celestial height, and the surface of the earth.  Inside the depths, he comes across only frightening combinations and mixtures; in the sky he finds only emptiness and celestial monsters duplicating those of the inferno.  As for the earth, he is the pacifier and surveyor and even treads over the surface of its waters.  He always ascends or descends to the surface in every conceivable manner.  He brings back the hell-hound and the celestial hound, the serpent of hell and the serpent of the heavens.  It is no longer a question of Dionysus down below, or of Apollo up above, but of Hercules of the surface, in his dual battle against both depth and height: reorientation of the entire thought and a new geography.

- Logic of Sense, p. 131 - 132 

This aligns with Thelemic cosmology: Nuit, the Star Goddess of Infinite Space = the heights; Hadit, the concentrated essential point in the center of all matter, the infinitely small = the depths; their child Ra Hoor Khuit or Horus = the manifested physical universe, i.e. the surface.  Horus is called the "crowned and conquering child" in his poeteic invocation.  Crowned to indicate mastery of the heights (crown = Kether); conquering to indicate mastery of the depths; a child because this new philosophical geography has only recently been born.  Horus is the god who presides over the current age which Thelemites say began in 1904.  In the White Goddess, Robert Graves, connects the etymology of Hercules with Horus.  Horus represents the new philosopher who conquers the surface.  

After becoming alerted to the likely possibility that Deleuze is a card carrying member of the 68 conspiracy I began seeing more examples and other magical innuendo elsewhere in his oeuvre. Interestingly, while writing a recent post on the subject of "home" I discovered the s and c letter combo in the passage that turned me on to Deleuze in the first place:

"I. A child in the dark, gripped with fear, comforts himself by singing under his breath. He walks and halts to his song. Lost, he takes shelter, or orients himself with his little song as best he can. The song is like a rough sketch of a calming and stabilizing, calm and stable, center in the heart of chaos. Perhaps the child skips as he sings, hastens or slows his pace. But the song itself is already a skip: it jumps from chaos to the beginnings of order in chaos and is in danger of breaking apart at any moment. There is always sonority in Ariadne's thread.

- A Thousand Plateaus beginning of the 11th Plateau, p.311

We see "calming and stabilizing, calm and stable" and "child skips" in the quote.  We not only see it, but in he fourth sentence, we get a literal example of the 68 function; what the expended solar energy can do.  It was several years between first reading this passage and observing the linguistic/qabalistic device being used., the 68 beacon.

Capitalism and Schizophrenia

In the world of political activism, Deleuze and his co-writer Felix Guattari were involved and strongly influenced by the pivotal events that occurred in May 1968 in France.  Massive civil unrest and protests resulted in multiple general strikes and the occupation of Universities and factories by activists brought to a halt business as usual.  The government literally feared a revolution.

“May 68” had an impact on French society that resounded for decades afterward. It is considered to this day as a cultural, social and moral turning point in the history of the country. As Alain Geismar—one of the leaders of the time—later pointed out, the movement succeeded “as a social revolution, not as a political one” - Wikipedia

 The two most extensive works Deleuze joined forces with Guattari on are Capitalism and Schizophrenia Volumes I and II.  The first volume, Anti-Oedipus is widely considered to be a response to the May 68 events.  I did a qabalistic analysis of the second volume's title: A Thousand Plateaus here.

And finally, for the moment, let us not forget that all the airlock doors in the bardo classic, The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy are made by the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation.