Thursday, February 23, 2017

Deleuze and Qabalah

One cannot help wondering, given passages like this in his later writings, whether or not there is throughout Deleuze's work a kind of secret priority or silent perogative given to esoteric knowledge and practice as a clue to the multiple meanings of immanence, such that to completely comprehend the significance of Deleuze's philosophy one would have to delve more deeply into previous esoteric traditions. 
 - Joshua Ramey, The Hermetic Deleuze, Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal p.102 -103

Indeed!  The Hermetic Deleuze is an excellent book about this subject matter, I highly recommend reading it.  It provides much background material to support the theory that Gilles Deleuze provides a metaphysics for Thelema.  By that I mean that he fleshes out the mechanics of how Thelema works to make practical sense.  Much of the philosophy or metaphysics may seem abstract, but it always links with actual events and states of affairs.  Deleuze reveals how to make Thelema work.

 If you are just joining the conversation, Thelema is a Greek word chosen by Aleister Crowley to represent his line of work.  It literally translates as Will, and with the Greek spelling, qabalistically transposes to 93.  The word agape, which means divine love, also transposes to 93.  This makes the two words qabalistically equivalent.  Thelema = love under will (not to say that it doesn't carry multiple alternate interpretations as equally valid).  The various descriptions Deleuze gives to "sense" seem closely related to Thelema.  The way I see it, The Logic of Sense = the logic of Thelema.  I alluded to one such connection between Thelema and sense in the first post of this series when stating that Deleuze (in LS) considered Lewis Carroll's fairyland story, Sylvie and Bruno, a masterpiece.  Of course, you have to read both parts of that story to get the connection (something else I highly recommend) so I will continue showing how Thelema and sense are related in different ways as we proceed through this ontological and theurgic labyrinth.

The Hermetic Deleuze (HD) doesn't mention Crowley or Thelema,  There are a couple of quick citations of kabbalah that are quite good. Written from a perspective of academic philosophy, Ramey is extremely articulate with both the philosophical and esoteric themes and how they mesh.  I don't necessarily agree with all the conclusions or premises, but he provides a great deal of valuable information on the direction of the early Deleuze, particularly in the third chapter, Deleuze and the Esoteric Sign, worth the price of admission alone. We find out that one of Deleuze's earliest publications titled Mathesis, Science and Philosophy is a Preface for a book by Johann Malfatti called Mathesis.   Malfatti was a doctor and healer for Beethoven as well as being a speculative esoteric writer.  Mathesis, as I understand it, is short for mathesis universalis - a universal math that can do or solve anything, perhaps a TOE - theory of everything.  " Malfatti's work envisions a medicine that would be effective not through technical proficiency, but as a lived embodiment of knowledge' a practical path to healing through the elaboration of sympathies, symbioses and vibrational patterns." (HD p.90).  Anyone with knowledge of Crowley's approach to arcane wisdom will see how closely Deleuze's Mathesis, Science and Philosophy resonates from its title alone.  Crowley would have it as Magick, Science and Philosophy.  Crowley vitalizes the notion of mathesis by associating his version with the Egyptian god Horus and gives instructions on how to make contact with this omniscient force.  Jimmy Page and Robert Plant also vitalize mathesis and provide an alternate contact point/entrance with the song The Song Remains the Same.  Qabalah seems yet another entry point into mathesis.

Though there isn't any discussion of qabala in HD  the sense of it clearly surfaces at times through quotes Ramey chose to use.  They sound exactly like how qabala functions without explicitly making the connection " ... the development of symbolic systems is as much a matter of creative encounter as it is a deciphering of signs. ... in poeticizing the world by a multilayered reading of it, always both new and traditional, we risk forgetting that poiein (etymology of poet -ed.) means first of all to create.' HD (p. 204).  These quotes are from the esoteric scholar Antoine Faivre.

According to Ramey, Deleuze betrays a close affinity and familiarity with occult theory in Mathesis, Science and Philosophy (MSP). Deleuze begins the essay by asking what the word "initiated" signifies. I just had an interesting coincidence searching for MSP online.  Found it here at, scrolled down to see how long it goes, and then read the first comment by someone named Squee: "So is this any different than Crowley's work "The Book of Thoth" - or many other numerological texts on the meaning of base 10 numbers?" Ramey points out that Deleuze asked that this article, along with five other early pieces, be removed from his official corpus.  Is this because he had a change of heart and repudiated his early interest in the magical arts, or was he choosing to go more underground, more occult with this interest.  I suggest the latter.  Talking about the occult seems paradoxical or oxymoronic in itself; as soon as you talk about the occult it becomes no longer hidden ... unless, of course, what you're saying intends to hide it further.  Ramey mentions in more than one place the strong prejudice Academic Philosophy has against anything to do with the paranormal or what inaccurately gets called, "the supernatural;" inaccurately by those overly challenged with the thought of immanence.  Deleuze was an actor par excellence in the drama of philosophy.  MSP seems out of character for that role.

The conclusion Ramey reaches here resonates with the practical side of Thelema: "But if traced carefully, a line clearly runs from Deleuze's early interest in the dream of mathesis unversalis to his attention to the cosmic dimension of art, to increasing attention, with Guattari, to the contours of specific forms of experimental practice. (HD p. 207).  Unsurprisingly, there is much material in this book that could apply to Thelema.  To this biased observer, Thelema marks the pinnacle of current hermetic thought and practice.

Rhizome and the Tree of Life

We will begin our investigation of Deleuze and Guattari's use of qabalah with the concept of the rhizome which they introduced approximately in the middle of their respective careers.  The Rhizome serves as the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus (ATP).  I am going to get a little ahead of myself and perhaps stretch your credulity a tad to describe how the book opens with some qabalistic indicators.  Then I'll resume building the argument from the ground up.  It starts on page 3 with this diagram of a music composition:

1. Introduction: Rhizome

It's reproduced more clearly in the book; there are dates one can see with a magnifying glass open to qabalistic interpretation, check it out.  Later in this essay, we'll see how various authors let the readers on to their use of qabalistic correspondences by presenting a very obvious link as a way to key in the input and initiate a search for subtler revelations.  The obvious (to a qabalist) connection in this diagram is the title of the music score: XIV piano piece for David Tudor 4.  

XIV = the path of Daleth = Door (as in David Tu-dor); The Hebrew letter called daleth = the English letter d and has the value of 4 by Gematria. The use of phonetic puns, like Tudor = two door, shows frequent usage in qabala communiques largely due to the pioneering linguistic efforts of James Joyce who gets invoked as early as page 6 in ATP.  Rhizome seems another phonetic pun; home is where, again?  The first sentence of the Introduction reads: "The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together."  To an imaginative interpreter like myself, the two of Tu-dor connects with the second word, two, thus implying that the two of them make a door.  Experience with ATP reveals that it indeed becomes a door into alternate models of abstraction and experience.  Further knowledge of the correspondences with daleth, as for instance The Empress tarot card, really shows where they are coming from, as well as making a direct connection with The Logic of Sense as it relates with the definition of Thelema delineated above. Tu-dor also suggests the dormouse from Alice in Wonderland which then links to the Jefferson Airplane lyric, "Remember what the dormouse said: feed your head, feed your head."  The trite hippie interpretation says that it means to take drugs; the qabalistic interpretation (Head = Resh = The Sun) indicates an instruction to feed your solar nature, an instruction explicitly alluded to in the first paragraph.
Again, if you're just joining the conversation, all these correspondences derive from the qabalistic dictionary put together by Crowley with some help from Allan Bennett, after inheriting it from MacGregor Mathers, one of the founders of the Golden Dawn.  It's published as 777 and other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley.  There is much supplemental material in The Book of Lies.  This is the dictionary of reference for the qabala used by writers such as James, Joyce, Ezra Pound, Robert Anton Wilson, Thomas Pynchon, to list the ones where I've seen it frequently deployed, and, as I've very recently discovered, Deleuze and Guattri. Robert Heinlein uses it a little bit in Stranger in a Strange Land as does Milan Kundera in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

The first plateau in A Thousand Plateaus, the Introduction lifts the qabalistically aware reader up to a solar plateau immediately, or at least one where the sun is shining.  Deleuze and Guattari have an interesting way of transmitting esoteric data by baldly and blatantly stating it in a context where it seems offhand, not to be taken seriously; the fine art of misdirection.  For those who read the blog on paradox and nonsense, remember what it said about how qabalists love to play with opposite meanings.  Speaking of why they use their own names as authors, the eighth and ninth sentences in the book say: "To render imperceptible not ourselves, but what makes us act, feel and think.  Also because its nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows its only a manner of speaking."  I see this as important not only for the solar invocation which aligns with and reinforces the correspondences at the top of the intro, but because it also gently states an outdated conception that colors, or programs, our common experience of the world.  ATP appears to suggest war machines against that particular kind of sleep; assumptions about how things are we unquestioningly take for granted.  The solar invocation also resonates with the smiling sun face found on the cover of every copy of:

Buckminster Fuller used to point out that for a few hundred years at least we've known the world  is not flat, yet most people do not have the experience or awareness of living on a sphere.  We usually experience this planet as variations of flatness extended in the four cardinal directions.  The language of "sunrise" and "sunset" reinforce this unconscious and conventional way of perceiving the world.  The sun does not move around the earth, it does not rise, the earth spins on its axis to meet it or leave it depending upon where you are on the globe at any particular time.  Deleuze and Guattari say, 'it's nice to talk like everybody else,' - probably one of the most hilarious understatements in the book, as this book is written like no other and nowhere else does it remotely sound like how anyone else would talk.  Perhaps we can infer that ATP can change our experience of life as radically as learning the earth isn't flat?

I will also point out obvious references to the work of  another occultist, G.I. Gurdjieff, and his particular series (body of work), or school.  The "act, feel, and think" in the above quote reflects the three brains of man in Fourth Way (i.e. Gurdjieffian) terminology - the physical, emotional and intellectual.  Starting the book by saying it's nice to talk like everybody else is the exact opposite of how Gurdjieff begins Beelzebub Tales To His Grandson (his magnum opus) when he tells the story  of how his Grandmother told him on her deathbed never to do as others do.  I see this as a deliberate resonance.  The introduction to Beelzebub is titled, The Arousing of Thought, also strongly resonant with Deleuze's project both with and without Guattari, to create a new image of thought.  Gurdjieff clearly states the intention of Beelzebub, an intention that sounds like a prime motive for A Thousand Plateaus: "To destroy mercilessly and without any compromise whatever, in the mentation and feelings of the reader, the beliefs and views, by centuries rooted in him, about everything existing in the world.  To make you see and understand on one level, the literal level of astronomical bodies in Space, that the sun does not rise, the earth spins to greet it.

Now we go rhizomatically back to the rhizome.  The rhizome concept is one D&G borrowed from botany to describe a nonunified, nonhierarchical, nonlinear proliferation of connections and flows. "In botany and dendrology, a rhizome (/ˈrzm/, from Ancient Greek: rhízōma "mass of roots",[1] from rhizóō "cause to strike root" (wikipedia).  The etymology, 'cause to strike root' connects with qabalistic considerations already mentioned, as well as the notion of ATP mapping out one strata as a manual of practical Alchemy for the formation of higher, subtler, nonorganic bodies; stated plainly on page 4: All we talk about are multiplicities, lines, strata, and segmentarities, lines of flight and intensities, machinic assemblages and their various types, bodies without organs and their construction and selection, the plane of consistency, and in each case the units of measure; bodies without organs = nonorganic bodies.

The polar opposite to the rhizome model is the tree, the arborescent model.  The tree has a determined unity of form, it becomes a particular set thing.  It could be said that the aborescent model of growth attempts to copy a transcendental unity of some kind, it is set in its ways and follows a linear predictable growth.  They say that arborescence has a hierarchical structure.  This brings us to the Tree of Life, the basic model used in Qabalah.   It represents as a tree and has distinct arborescent features which would seem to make it not a rhizome, but we shall see that it is not that cut and dry.  D&G begin mention of arborescence with words about the nature of "the book" that  also resembles qabalistic genealogy  on the Tree of Life: A first type of book is the root book.  The tree is already the image of the world, or the root the image of the world-tree. ... But the book as a spiritual reality, the Tree or Root as an image, endlessly develops the law of the One becomes two, then of the two that becomes four (ATP p.5)..."

Here they bring up tree structures within rhizomes and vice versa:  There exist tree or root structures in rhizomes; conversely, a tree branch or root division may begin to burgeon within a rhizome.  The coordinates are determined not by theoretical analyses implying universals but by a pragmatics composing multiplicities or aggregates of intensities.  A new rhizome may form in the heart of a tree, the hollow of a root, the crook of a branch. (ATP p. 15)  The second sentence of this quote gives a good instruction for magick and qabalah users.  This next quote about music applies as well to the formation of correspondences upon the Tree of Life: "Music has always sent out lines of flight, like so many "transformational multiplicities" even overturning the very codes that structure or arborify it; that is why musical form, right down to it's ruptures and proliferations, is comparable to a weed, a rhizome.  (ATP p. 11-12)

More great advice and indicative of how numbers work in qabalah: The number is no longer a universal concept measuring elements according to their emplacement in a given dimension, but has itself become a multiplicity that varies according to the dimensions considered. (ATP p.8)  Compare that with "Every number is infinite; there is no difference," the paradoxical fourth line in Crowley's The Book of the Law.

Next up: Qabalah and The Plane of Immanence

Monday, February 13, 2017

Subjectivity and Do What Thou Wilt

 This is part 3 of the Crowley/Deleuze series with special guest Robert Anton Wilson.

Earlier, we suggested that a prime reason for misunderstanding Aleister Crowley's formula for personal liberation, "Do what thou wilt," had to do with confusion about what "thou" meant.  "Thou" is the subject of this formula; the question then becomes, who or what is the subject?  This essentially raises the question, "who are you?."  What is the subject? = Who are you?  Applying the formula 'do what thou wilt' means constantly asking and seeking to answer the question 'who are you?' This aligns with Gurdjieff's primary formula: to "remember yourself;" it also resonates with the Sufi's Zikr.

"What is a subject?" seems one of the juicier issues in philosophy.   Descartes', "I think therefore I am," known as "the cogito" seems the most conventional and common answer in mainstream philosophy; the model we get automatically and unconsciously programmed with in modern culture.  Who are you = I am that which thinks I am, according to this program.   The cogito appears almost a conceptual antithesis for Gilles Deleuze, the enemy, as it were, though he would likely hate that comparison as he's not down with dialectic method of thesis, antithesis, synthesis usually attributed to Hegel, but originating from Fichte.   Deleuze radically reconceptualizes subjectivity with conclusions that abolish the subject as we commonly know it.  Crowley takes a critical look at the logic of the cogito in his essay on Skepticism, The Soldier and the Hunchback: ? and !. (Equinox I Vol. I).  They were both strongly influenced by 18th Century philosopher, David Hume, as was Robert Anton Wilson.

For Deleuze, the subject is not a static representation of something, which is what your name is, or what you think you are,  but rather a dynamic mixture of forces and actions in flux and flow.  The constantly changing liquid nature of the subject (We are HERE TO GO cries this new subjectivity) makes it existentially inaccurate to pin a static label or identity to it.  Robert Anton Wilson relates a story where Timothy Leary was asked what he thought about a particular rock star. "Oh that guy is a real (expletive deleted), but wait, that was two years ago, maybe he's changed?"

We easily find a reason why "Do what thou wilt," was put into third person form; thou, as the subject, always changes - thou becomes a mixture of tendencies, forces, passions and actions in flux, flow and feedback; series of voyages abstractly bound by memory into a single voyage - your life.  You wouldn't be able to give this subject a unity of an unchanging fixed identity, so call it "thou."  It can't be, "Do what you wilt," because "you" automatically evokes one's personal identity of who we think we are, your "set," which inevitably seems permanent and limiting despite the clear evidence that it constantly changes.  One reason Crowley constantly emphasized the keeping of a magical diary, a lab report of all experiments, was so to see how radically we change over time.  It often feels like we've always been as we are now, but this seems part of the illusion of the fixed identity we can get locked into, but can also get out of.  See Chapter 23 of The Book of Lies for Crowley's O.U.T. formula to get out from ordinary identity.

Deleuze tackled the question of the subject in his first book, Empiricism and Subjectivity, subtitled An Essay on Hume's Theory of Human Nature.  He established many themes in that book that would continue to develop throughout his lifelong voyage in philosophy. It should be noted that Crowley set up Thelema as an empirical system, a system valuing the gnosis of one's own experiences over unexamined belief and blind faith.  His motto, "the method of science, the aim of religion," and his insistence at scrupulously keeping records of every experiment make plain the empiricism of this school.  The invocation of Horus, or any invocation for that matter seeks to extend the experimenter's experience into other domains.  Deleuze later came to call this Transcendental Empricism. 

For many years, I searched in vain for the philosophical Rosetta stone that would put everything in place so that it all made sense.  Making a grand tour of all the great thinkers of human history seemingly lead nowhere - to a desolate, dry, god-forsaken mental landscape of despair and collapse. I was in mortal agony.  After coming across the intuitive voice of Hoor pa Kraat in the Thelemic material, a voice that is not a voice, rather a silencing of internal chatter, I realized that the source of my mental confusion had stemmed from the classic error of putting Descarte before the Horus. ...  (drum shot, please); putting the rational before the empirical.

The beginning of Deleuze's career as a published philosopher with Empiricism and Subjectivity (ES).  resonates with the Leary, Wilson, Crowley crowd as we shall see. The Preface begins listing Hume's major contributions to philosophy: "He established the concept of  belief and put it in the place of knowledge.  He laicized belief, turning knowledge into legitimate belief, and on the basis of this investigation sketched out a theory of probabilities.  (ES p. ix).  This connects with the concept of 'belief systems" used by Leary and Wilson to explain the processes by which people interpret reality. The convergence of belief systems that conditions how an individual sees things, they called "tunnel realities". The concept of belief also does away with the implied certainty of knowledge for a more cautious gamble of belief.  Hume introduces a healthy measure of skepticism into the mix making it not the absolute certainty of the true believer, but rather belief invested through a set pf probabilities.  Reality is what you can get away with.   According to James Fieser writing in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Hume liked to attack his own best theories to expose any inherent contradictions.  He kept up a balancing act of coming up with positive theories then tearing them down to expose any fallacies.  One method of his skepticism goes like this:

Our judgments based on past experience all contain elements of doubt; we are then impelled to make a judgment about that doubt, and since this judgment is also based on past experience it will in turn produce a new doubt. Once again, though, we are impelled to make a judgment about this second doubt, and the cycle continues.

Anyone who has ever read Aleister Crowley's keystone essay on doubt and certainty, The Soldier and the Hunchback: ? and ! will immediately recognize the inspiration from Hume's method.  Doubt = the Hunchback (?) while the Soldier (!) is what Hume called Judgement. Crowley frames the entire essay on the question "What is skepticism?"

I called it a keystone essay because the skeptical method so brilliantly described there seems essential for a successful practice of ritual magick or any kind of shamanic activity.  The first major publication for Aleister Crowley's school, the Argenteum Astrum (A.'. A.'.) was a ten volume series called the The Equinox published every six months on the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes from 1909 to 1913.  The Soldier and the Hunchback appeared in the very first volume of The Equinox.  To emphasize this procedure of checks and balances for any serious aspirant, Crowley begins The Book of Lies with a Hunchback, ?, followed by a Soldier, ! on the following page.  If someone only ever wanted to get one book by Crowley, I would recommend that be The Book of Lies.  It contains instruction on the entire system of alchemy presented by Crowley.  It's ideal for anyone who likes puns and riddles and doesn't mind having their beliefs challenged.  No blame if you don't like it because it's all lies anyway.

As mentioned before, Robert Anton Wilson began the Crowley 101 class with an examination of The Soldier and the Hunchback.  Wilson might be known more for his skeptical approach than anything else as this gave rise to his formulations of Maybe Logic and  Model Agnosticism, two of his signature concepts.  Out of skepticism comes a technique he calls Guerilla Ontology intended to stimulate the reader's skeptical filter, otherwise known as a bullshit detector.  This technique, as applied in his fiction, consists of presenting outright bullshit and lies about something, then presenting facts that obviously appear true, followed by the middle ground where information is given that could be true, but could also be another put-on.  "But what's puzzling you is just the nature of my game ..."  This literary device seeks to constantly introduce hunchbacks into the mix.  The effect of the perplexed state and the inevitable search for the soldier to assist the hunchback to his upright position, forces the reader by reflex to develop intuitive and deductive abilities; i.e. forces the reader to get smarter by reflex.  Guerilla Ontology slyly sets up a problem or series of problems for the reader to solve.  There doesn't seem a right or wrong way to solve these problems, rather making the effort to confront them sparks a particular kind of growth in the reader and actively engages them.  Anyone who has read a lot of Crowley will recognize the use of this technique from time to time.  Guerilla Ontology sparks skepticism by occasionally presenting a possible lie or absurdity as fact.  Most often there is an element of humor involved, sometimes quite subtle, sometimes outrageous  Recently E.J. Gold introduced a method of Fart Casting at a distance as part of the resistance against Mr. Trump.  I believe the idea was to cast farts into the Oval Office as a way to communicate public opinion about his policies. In the previous post we heard how Guerilla Ontology uses nonsense and humor to communicate a sense of something.  Guerilla Ontology produces sense.  Another of the usual suspects, William Burroughs became fond of saying, "We are here to GO).

Skepticism appears closely related to subjectivity and the question, "Who are you?" Social and cultural conditioning from nearly the time we are born assigns us various roles to play and expects us to comply.  We are given a name which evolves into a personal identity, or what Freud called the ego.  We are basically told who we are from early on.  A network of beliefs forms around our personal identity - a tunnel reality.  These beliefs can contain unnecessary, illusory and self-defeating limitations about what we can or cannot do. Skepticism effectively comes into play when one starts examining and questioning these ingrained beliefs.  Alice becomes skeptical and starts to question her identity when the Caterpillar asks her "Who are you?"  A Tibetan Buddhist technique called "neti neti," or "not that, not that" shows a way for someone to release beliefs about static personal identities when trying to reach the Deep Self by doing an inventory of them and rejecting them one by one: I am not a sound engineer, not a writer, not a philosophy student, not a fart caster etc. etc.  Those are things I do, functions performed and each one has its own micro-identity that can be put on or taken off like a mask; but they are not who I am.  The question, "Who are you? always introduces a hunchback - doubt, a question - into the equation.  The quest for the soldier, an answer to feed the hunchbacked question, Who am I?  becomes the event of who we are.  Soldiers are found: conclusions and formulations get reached, yet further questions inevitably arise in a spiraling process that will take the student far beyond where they started.  This becomes one function of "Do what thou wilt."

In the Translator's Introduction to Empiricism and Subjectivity, Constantin V. Bound states that an important theory of subjectivity runs through Deleuze's entire body of work.  He continues: "What is remarkable, first of all, about this contribution to a theory of subjectivity is that it combines a radical critique of interiority with a stubborn search for an "inside that lies deeper than any internal world.'  In this sense, the search for the fold - "the inside as the operation of the outside" is his own lifelong search."
 - ES p.11

In ES, Deleuze calls subjectivity, ".. a governing principle, a schema, a rule of construction." (p. 64).  Later, he defines the subject: "The subject is defined through the movement through which it is developed. Subject is that which develops itself.  The only content we can give to the idea of subjectivity is that of mediation and transcendence.  But we note that the movement of self-development and of becoming-other is double: the subject transcends itself, but it is also reflected upon (ES p. 85).  What Deleuze translates as  mediation Hume calls inference or belief with transcendence being called invention or artifice in Hume's terms.  "In short, believing and inventing is what makes the subject a subject.." (ES p.85)  We are what we believe ourselves to be combined with all actions and efforts to grow, change, and reinvent ourselves into something new.  The tunnel reality of the active subject always looks for lines of flight intended to break through or out of the tunnel.

An excellent metaprogramming praxis that directly confronts the subject's beliefs and stimulates invention is John Lilly's Beliefs Unlimited: In the province of the mind what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally.  These limits are further beliefs to be transcended.  This is only the first two sentences, it continues from there, but the empirical approach of this method is obvious: empiricism and subjectivity.  Robert Anton Wilson documents his use of this exercise in Cosmic Trigger I.  I've made numerous recordings patterned after RAW's description with my own variations.  It will definitely expand your tunnel reality.

Here is a clip where you can hear the entire text.  It's only about 4 minutes, you don't have to watch the  whole video:

Deleuze speaks of the subject in relation to time:

"To speak of the subject now is to speak of duration, custom, habit and anticipation. Anticipation is habit, and habit is anticipation: these two determinations - the thrust of the past and the elan toward the future - are at the center of Hume's philosophy, the two aspects of the same fundamental dynamism. ... Habit is the constitutive root of the subject, and the subject, at root, is the synthesis of time - the synthesis of the present and the past in light of the future." (ES p.92)

Deleuze speaks of the subject as a process in this next quote which also shows resonance with Leary and Wilson's ideas of consciousness imprinting:

To the extent which principles sink their effects into the depths of the mind [i.e. our programming the ed.], the subject, which is this very effect, becomes more and more active and less and less passive.  It was passive in the beginning, it is active in the end.  This confirms the idea that subjectivity is in fact a process, and that an inventory must be made of the diverse moments of this process (or as Crowley advises, keep a magical record).  To speak like Bergson, let us say that the subject is an imprint, or an impression left by principles, that it progressively turns into a machine capable of using this impression. (ES p. 112-113).

The last words of Gilles Deleuze's first book, Empiricism and Subjectivity, strike up a strong resonance between Do what thou wilt and his concept of subjectivity:

Philosophy must constitute itself as the theory of what we are doing, not as a theory of what there is.  What we do has its principles; and being can only be grasped as the object of a synthetic relation with the very principles of what we do. (ES p. 133)

This is Deleuze very early in his career writing in the early to mid '50s.  To me, it doesn't seem like he's familiar with Crowley, at that point, but rather, to use his terminology, the series that makes up Thelema and the series that makes up his philosophy maintain a disjunctive synthesis with one another through resonance.  That is, the two series, Deleuze and Crowley, have a relationship, but  also affirm their difference and go separate ways to get to the same place, more or less.  In Logic of Sense, a more seasoned Deleuze seems to address 'Do what thou wilt' quite directly, as I see it.   My guess is that Deleuze has read Crowley by now (1969). He refers to the subject as the event, to reflect its dynamic nature.  The first part of this next quote is referring to Joe Bousquet who philosophically wrote of a wound he sustained as a pure event:

"He apprehends the wound that he bears deep within his body in its eternal truth as a pure event.  To the extent that events are actualized in us, they wait for us and invite us in.  They signal is: "My wound existed before me, I was born to embody it."  It is a question of attaining this will that the event creates in us; of becoming the quasi-cause of what is produced within us, the Operator; of producing surfaces and linings in which the event is reflected, finds itself again as incorporeal and manifests in us the neutral splendor which it possesses in itself in its impersonal an pre-individual nature, beyond the general and the particular, the collective and the private.  It is a question of becoming a citizen of the world." (LS p. 148)

"What does it mean then to will the event? [ i.e. what does it mean to do what thou wilt? - ed.].  Is it to accept war, wounds, and death when they occur? It is highly probable that resignation is only one more figure of ressentiment, since ressentiment has many figures. [ ed. note: ressentiment is concept out of Nietzsche's philosophy that directly translates as resentment, but encompasses more in the direction of being pissed off or apathetic about life; reactive as opposed to active].  If willing the event is, primarily, to release its eternal truth, like the fire on which it is fed, this will would reach the point at which war is waged against war, the wound would be the living trace and the scar of all wounds, and death turned on itself would be willed against all deaths.  We are faced with a volitional intuition and a transmutation." (LS p. 149)

This idea of "death turned on itself" also appears as one of the core ideas at the heart of Thelema: to use a continuous series of simulated deaths to defeat death and reach a place of immortalitiy.

It may be because The Logic of Sense is a book of paradoxes written paradoxically that Deleuze correlates the individual with the event after he writes of willing the event.  The first part of this next quote links to  Crowley's formula getting for getting O.U.T., going beyond our self identity:

"The problem, therefore, is one of knowing how the individual would be able to transcend his form and his syntactical link with a world, in order to attain the universal communication of events, that is, to the affirmation of a disjunctive synthesis beyond logical contradictions, and even beyond alogical incompatibilities.  It would be necessary for the individual to grasp herself as event; and that she grasp the event actualized within her as another individual grafted onto her." (LS p. 178)

Deleuze gives an answer while stating the problem - the individual transcending his form becomes the individual grasping herself as event - i. e. the concept of "becoming-woman" that Deleuze and Guattari give in A Thousand Plateaus, a concept also at the heart of Crowley's Book of Lies, as discussed in the previous post.

He goes on to describe the individual not as an isolated discrete unit separate from the environment, but as one connected to everything else.  Our identity gets determined by the assemblages (to use another concept from ATP; what Buckminster Fuller might call "whole systems") we partcipate in; we are a different person, we have a different identity when we are with our parents than when we are with our lovers.  The event of our lives, who we are, constantly changes as we proceed through a series of different assemblages in different environments.  This introduces the element of chance into who we are because we can't predict the situations we'll end up in.  It's worth reading Deleuze on this point, LS p. 178 though it might require several readings and pondering upon it for comprehension.  He then quotes Klossowski to support the point which I found much more clear:

"the vehement oscillations which upset the individual as long as he seeks only his own center and does not see the circle of which he himself is a part; for if these oscillations upset him, it is because each corresponds to an individuality other than that which he takes as his own from the point of view of the undiscoverable center.  Hence, an identity is essentially fortuitous and a series of individualities must be traversed by each, in order that the fortuity make them completely necessary."

The last sentence is a bit of a puzzler, but I'll leave it for something to ponder.  Next up is Deleuze and qabalah.