Monday, January 16, 2006

Thinking a while

What's the lifespan of thinking? Thinking distinct from a thought, an object of consciousness we presumably can return to, distinct from a way of thinking, a routine. Thinking about a thing, giving every word its full meaning. How long can thinking be suspended in this way, about a thing, how long before a thing becomes the thing, a thought, or something else?

Thesis. The movement from thinking to thought is instantaneous. Like writing a haiku. When the thought arrives, it is thought.

Antithesis. We can always think about a thing differently.

"The indefinite aspects in a life," writes Gilles Deleuze1, "lose all indetermination to the degree that they fill out a plane of immanence, or, what amounts to the same thing, to the degree that they constitute the elements of a transcendental field (individual life, on the other hand, remains inseparable from empirical determinations)." And a bit further, "Although it is always possible to invoke a transcendent that falls outside the plane of immanence or that attributes immanence to itself, all transcendence is constituted solely in the flow of immanent consciousness that belongs to this plane." An endnote points to Husserl's Cartesian Meditations: "The being of the world is necessarily transcendent to consciousness, even within originary evidence, and remains necessarily transcendent to it. But this doesn't change the fact that all transcendence is constituted solely in the life of consciousness, as inseparably linked to that life."


I've been trying to conceptualize a relation between Deleuzean transcendental empiricism and Husserlian phenomenology. The word "authorized" has sprung to mind, been pushed aside, sprung up again, pushed aside. I'm thinking about enabling conditions, about enabling, but that's not quite what I think about it. I don't want it to be it until I know what to think about it. The word "vanity" also springs to mind.

Thinking about Matsuo Basho, how long was the journey from Samurai to Haijin?

Update. Originally I'd thought to ask, "What is the lifespan of a thinking?" very clearly intending a thinking. As I thought it through, the indefinition became superfluous. This is the real sleight of hand. It's as if language wanted to present thinking as occuring in a single instant, on a single plane, the sentence. The movement from "thinking" to "thinking about a thing" is a quantum leap perhaps, or a phenomenological rut, but not intended to be a trick. Yet we have reason to question the subsitution of "thinking about a thing" for "a thinking." The original indefenition is not the same as the arrived at indefinition.

1 Gilles Deleuze, Pure Immanence, trans. Anne Boyman, Zone Books, New York, 2001, pp. 31-33.

posted by Fido the Yak at 11:42 PM.


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