Friday, December 9, 2022

23rd Series of the Aion

This series discusses Deleuze's two opposing readings of Time, Chronos and the Aion. Chronos is presented from the point of view of Plato's philosophy. Chronos is circular, encased by God. Chronos, the present, is the time of mixtures and blendings and corporeal causes. The Stoics distinguished between good and bad mixtures, whether they spread order or chaos. The "bad mixtures" Deleuze calls the becoming-mad of the depths. This becoming-mad tries to subvert the present; this is how Chronos attempts to die. Deleuze presents the argument, via Meditations by Marcus Aurelius that another element is needed, the Aion.

The Aion is a straight line (Chronos unfolded) that goes infinitely into the past and future, but is limited because its present only lasts an instant. The Aion is the world of surface effects and allows language to be abstracted from the sounds of the body. The Aion articulates the frontier between bodies and language, between things and propositions. Pure events ground language. It is what is expressed in its independence that grounds language, i.e. sense. Events and sense are the same thing. Sense brings that which expresses it into existence. Aion lasts for an instant in the present then divides into the past and future simultaneously. Aion is the eternal truth of time: pure empty form of time. Suggested additional reading: 1. Parmenides by Plato which is a dialogue between Parmenides, Socrates and Zeno, the founder of the Stoics. 2. The section on Zeno (Book VII, first philosopher) in The Lives of the Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius. 3. Sections on the empty form of time from Difference and Repetition by Deleuze, p. 87 - 91 and p. 294 - 300 in the Columbia edition. See the index under Time for more references.