My abridged version of the Deleuze lectures on Spinoza.

[My paragraphs indicate the points of abridgment - ideally, each one should end with an ellipsis but I forgot to do that.The strange punctuation ( eg commas instead of apostrophes, the curious diphthongs) is in the original – all the words cited except for those in square brackets are Deleuze’s (in translation, of course --translator is unknown). The real thing is available here: and there is a French version too]

Offers very good ilustrations of the problem identified by Zizek – general propositions about essences can’t lead to a judgement between good and bad essences without some tinkering and shifting of levels. Clarifies a lot of terms which are just used in the other texts -- eg affect.  Also shows Deleuze’s interest in connections between maths and philosophy in the C17. Deleuze insists all this is concrete, simple and relevant (so he had problems engaging the audience too?). Deleuze needs but does not have any sociology when the concrete really comes to call though]

Thus we start from a quite simple thing: the idea is a mode of thought defined by its representational character... we call affect any mode of thought which doesn't represent anything.

There is a primacy of the idea over the affect for the very simple reason that in order to love it's necessary to have an idea, however confused it may be, however indeterminate it may be, of what is loved.

Yet an idea not only has an objective reality but, following the hallowed terminology, it also has a formal reality... the idea has a formal reality since it is itself something insofar as it is an idea... this formal reality of the idea will be what Spinoza very often terms a certain degree of reality or of perfection that the idea has as such... The idea of God and the idea of a frog have different objective realities, that is they do not represent the same thing, but at the same time they do not have the same intrinsic reality, they do not have the same formal reality, that is one of them—you sense this quite well—has a degree of reality infinitely greater than the other's. The idea of God has a formal reality, a degree of reality or intrinsic perfection infinitely greater than the idea of a frog, which is the idea of a finite thing.

one idea chases another, one idea replaces another idea for example, in an instant. A perception is a certain type of idea..Or else things change: I look at the sun, and the sun little by little disappears and I find myself in the dark of night; it is thus a series of successions, of coexistences of ideas, successions of ideas. But what also happens? Our everyday life is not made up solely of ideas which succeed each other. Spinoza employs the term “automaton”: we are, he says, spiritual automata, that is to say it is less we who have the ideas than the ideas which are affirmed in us... There is a regime of variation which is not the same thing as the succession of ideas themselves.

I would say that for Spinoza there is a continuous variation—and this is what it means to exist—of the force of existing or of the power of acting... In other words there is a continuous variation in the form of an increase-diminution-increase-diminution of the power of acting or the force of existing of someone according to the ideas which s/he has.... his kind of melodic line of continuous variation will define affect (affectus) in its correlation with ideas and at the same time in its difference in nature from ideas.... When I pass from the idea of Pierre [he likes Paul but not Pierre] to the idea of Paul, I say that my power of acting is increased; when I pass from the idea of Paul to the idea of Pierre, I say that my power of acting is diminished. Which comes down to saying that when I see Pierre, I am affected with sadness; when I see Paul, I am affected with joy... Sadness will be any passion whatsoever which involves a diminution of my power of acting, and joy will be any passion involving an increase in my power of acting.

Inspiring sad passions is necessary for the exercise of power.

As such spiritual automata, within us there is the whole time of ideas which succeed one another, and in according with this succession of ideas, our power of acting or force of existing is increased or diminished in a continuous manner, on a continuous line, and this is what we call affectus, it's what we call existing.

The three kinds of ideas that Spinoza distinguishes are affection (affectio) ideas; we'll see that affectio, as opposed to affectus, is a certain kind of idea. There would thus have been in the first place affectio ideas, secondly we arrive at the ideas that Spinoza calls notions, and thirdly, for a small number of us because it's very difficult, we come to have essence ideas.

Affection is what? In a first determination, an affection is the following: it's a state of a body insofar as it is subject to the action of another body. What does this mean? “I feel the sun on me,” or else “A ray of sunlight falls upon you”; it's an affection of your body. What is an affection of your body? Not the sun, but the action of the sun or the effect of the sun on you. In other words an effect, or the action that one body produces on another, once it's noted that Spinoza, on the basis of reasons from his Physics, does not believe in action at a distance, action always implies a contact, and is even a mixture of bodies. Affectio is a mixture of two bodies, one body which is said to act on another, and the other receives the trace of the first. Every mixture of bodies will be termed an affection.... It's obvious that it's the lowest because these ideas of affection know [connaissent] things only by their effects: I feel the affection of the sun on me, the trace of the sun on me. It's the effect of the sun on my body. But the causes, that is, that which is my body, that which is the body of the sun, and the relation between these two bodies such that the one produces a particular effect on the other rather than something else, of these things I know [sais] absolutely nothing

To the extent that I have affection-ideas I live chance encounters. [and] I can merely say that it does not agree with me, but by virtue of what constitution of the two bodies, of the affecting body and the affected body, of the body which acts and the body which is subjected, I can at this level know nothing.... it is a knowledge [connaissance] of effects independent of the knowledge of causes. Thus they are chance encounters.

But what is a body?.. It's the permanence of a relation of movement and rest through all the changes which affect all the parts, taken to infinity, of the body under consideration.... Spinoza says that evil is not difficult, evil is a bad encounter. Encountering a body which mixes badly with your own. Mixing badly means mixing in conditions such that one of your subordinate or constituent relations is either threatened, compromised or even destroyed.

how could one rise to a knowledge [connaissance] of causes? For the moment we see clearly that all that is given to us is ideas of affection, ideas of mixture. For the moment we see clearly that since birth we have been condemned to chance encounters, so things aren't going well.... Spinoza will affirm strongly, in book two, that we can only know [connaÓtre] ourselves and we can only know external bodies by the affections that the external bodies produce on our own. For those who can recall a little Descartes, this is the basic anti-cartesian proposition since it excludes every apprehension of the thinking thing by itself, that is it excludes all possibility of the cogito. I only ever know the mixtures of bodies and I only know myself by way of the action of other bodies on me and by way of mixtures.

[Getting back to sadness and joy] Spinoza will engender all the passions, in their details, on the basis of these two fundamental affects [and because the 2 fundamental emotions are related to the body and its powers to act after mixing etc] As long as you don't know what power a body has to be affected, as long as you learn like that, in chance encounters, you will not have the wise life, you will not have wisdom.... It's obvious that the racehorse and the draft horse are the same species, two varieties of the same species, yet their affects are very different, their maladies are absolutely different, their capacities of being affected are completely different and, from this point of view, we must say that a draft horse is closer to an ox than to a racehorse.... These are very concrete things: you have a headache and you say, “I can't even read anymore”; this means that your force of existing invests the trace of the migraine so fully, it implies changes in one of your subordinate relations, it invests the trace of your migraine so fully that your power of acting is diminished accordingly

whether the power of acting increases or diminishes, the corresponding affect (affectus) is always a passion. [IN the Ethics, though] {Spinoza is]  going to speak to us of active affects where there are no longer passions, where the power of acting is conquered instead of passing by all these continuous variations.

Spinoza doesn't make up a morality, for a very simply reason: he never asks what we must do, he always asks what we are capable of, what's in our power, ethics is a problem of power, never a problem of duty. In this sense Spinoza is profoundly immoral. Regarding the moral problem, good and evil, he has a happy nature because he doesn't even comprehend what this means. What he comprehends are good encounters, bad encounters, increases and diminutions of power. Thus he makes an ethics and not at all a morality. This is why he so struck Nietzsche.

Already at the level of notion-ideas a kind of escape from this world is going to appear. One is completely smothered, enclosed in a world of absolute impotence, even when my power of acting increases it's on a segment of variation [but] ... A notion-idea no longer concerns the effect of another body on mine, it's an idea which concerns and which has for its object the agreement or disagreement of the characteristic relations between two bodies.... I would say that the nominal definition of the notion is that it's an idea which, instead of representing the effect of a body on another, that is to say the mixture of two bodies, represents the internal agreement or disagreement of the characteristic relations of the two bodies.... An example: if I knew enough about the characteristic relation of the body named arsenic and the characteristic relation of the human body, I could form a notion of the disagreement of these two relations to the point that the arsenic, under its characteristic relation, destroys the characteristic relation of my body.... the notion is raised to the comprehension of the cause...We are not far from an analytical geometry.

He always defines a common notion like this: it's the idea of something which is common to all bodies or to several bodies—at least two—and which is common to the whole and to the part. Therefore there surely are common notions which are common to all minds, but they're common to all minds only to the extent that they are first the idea of something which is common to all bodies. Therefore these are not at all abstract notions.

If you consider yourself as affected with sadness, I believe that everything is wretched, there is no longer an exit for one simple reason: nothing in sadness, which diminishes your power of acting, can induce you from within sadness to form a notion common to something which would be common to the bodies which affect you with sadness and to your own. For one very simple reason, that the body which affects you with sadness only affects you with sadness to the extent that it affects you in a relation which does not agree with your own. Spinoza means something very simple, that sadness makes no one intelligent... nothing in sadness can induce you to form the common notion, that is to say the idea of a something in common between two bodies and two souls.... In an affect of joy, therefore, the body which affects you is indicated as combining its relation with your own and not as its relation decomposing your own. At that point, something induces you to form a notion of what is common to the body which affects you and to your own body, to the soul which affects you and to your own soul. In this sense joy makes one intelligent.... One never makes progress on a homogeneous line, something here makes us make progress down there, as if a small joy here had released a trigger.... f you succeed in forming a common notion, at whatever point you yourself have a relation with such a person or such an animal, you say: I've finally understood something, I am less stupid than yesterday. [sounds like US pragmatism!!]... You formed it quite locally, it didn't give you all the common notions. Spinoza doesn't think at all like a rationalist... being reasonable, or being wise, is a problem of becoming, which changes in a singular fashion the contents of the concept of reason.

The most beautiful thing is to live on the edges, at the limit of her/his own power of being affected, on the condition that this be the joyful limit since there is the limit of joy and the limit of sadness

But if we knew in what order the relations of the whole universe are combined, we could define a power of being affected of the whole universe, which would be the cosmos, the world insofar as it's a body or a soul. At this moment the whole world is only one single body following the order of relations which are combined. At this moment you have, to speak precisely, a universal power of being affected: God, who is the whole universe insofar as He is its cause, has by nature a universal power of being affected.

You leave joyful passions, the increase in the power of acting; you make use of them to form common notions of a first type, the notion of what there was in common between the body which affected me with joy and my own body, you open up to a maximum your living common notions and you descend once again toward sadness, this time with common notions that you form in order to comprehend in what way such a body disagrees with your own, such a soul disagrees with your own.

You can already say that you are within philosophy. One single thing counts, the way of living.... One has left the passions behind. One has acquired formal possession of the power of acting. The formation of notions, which are not abstract ideas, which are literally rules of life, gives me possession of the power of acting.

Only Spinoza has entered into the third kind. Above the common notions... Beyond even the compositions of relations, beyond the internal agreements which define the common notions, there are the singular essences.... The common notions or the relations which characterize me still concern the extensive parts of my body... Whereas the singular essence is a degree of power [puissance], that is to say these are my thresholds of intensity.... Thus it would be necessary to conceive the singular essence of each one as this kind of intensity, or limit of intensity. It's singular because, whether it be our community of genera or species, we are all human for example, yet none of us has the same threshold.

[Then a digression into the influence of God even on Spinoza. Via a digression into painting...] It's true that there are constraints from the Church which operate on the painter, but there is a transformation of constraints into means of creation. They make use of God in order to achieve a liberation of forms, to push the forms to the point where the forms have nothing to do with an illustration.... Just as I said that God and Christ offered an extraordinary opportunity for painting to free lines, colors and movements from the constraints of resemblance, so God and the theme of God offered the irreplacable opportunity for philosophy to free the object of creation in philosophy?... The concept is freed at the level of God because it no longer has the task of representing something... That's why what Spinoza is going to name God, in the first book of The Ethics, is going to be the strangest thing in the world. It's going to be the concept insofar as it brings together the set [ensemble] of all these possibilities.

[For Leibniz, on the compossibles etc] So then which set of possibles will pass into existence? Only that set of possibles that, on its own, has the greatest quantity of perfection will pass into existence. The others will be repressed [refoulés]. It's God's will that chooses the best of all possible worlds

It's not a matter of asking oneself what a concept represents. It's necessary to ask oneself what its place is in a set of other concepts... You never say that a philosopher contradicts himself; you will ask such-and-such page, in what sequence to put it, at what level of the sequence? [so apparently contradictory statements should really be read as describing transformations] ... Until Spinoza philosophy proceeded essentially by way of sequences. And on this road the shades concerning causality were very important. Is original causality or the first cause emanative, immanent, creative or something else again?... Treating God as an emanative cause can fit because there is still the distinction between cause and effect. But as immanent cause, such that we no longer know very well how to distinguish cause and effect, that is to say treating God and the creature the same, that becomes much more difficult. Immanence was above all danger. So much so that the idea of an immanent cause appears constantly in the history of philosophy, but as [something] held in check, kept at such-and-such a level of the sequence, not having value... you confuse God and the creature. That's the fatal accusation

Spinoza arrives.... the immanent cause, that is to say this cause that's quite bizarre in that, not only does it remain in itself in order to produce, but what it produces remains in it. God is in the world, the world is in God.... Spinoza's speculative proposition is: there is only one single absolutely infinite substance, that is one possessing all attributes, and what are called creatures are not creatures but modes or manners [manières] of being of this substance. Therefore one single substance having all attributes and whose products are the modes, the ways of being. Hence if these are the manners of being of the substance having all attributes, these modes exist in the attributes of the substance.

If substance possesses equally all attributes, there is no hierarchy among the attributes, one is not worth more than another.... First consequence: he's the one who dares to do what many had wanted to do, namely to free the immanent cause completely of all subordination to other processes of causality. There is only one cause, and it's immanent... he substituted a veritable plane of immanence for the sequence... extract the concept from the state of variations of sequences and project everything onto a fixed plane which is one of immanence

In my view it's the most fundamental attempt to give a status to the univocity of being, an absolutely univocal being. Univocal being is precisely what Spinoza defines as being the substance having all attributes equal, having all things as modes... Geometric exposition is no longer the expression of a moment in a sequence at all, it can be completely extricated since the geometric method is going to be the process which consists in filling in the fixed plane of absolutely infinite substance

Power (puissance) is not a quality, but neither are they so-called extensive quantities. Then even if they are intensive quantities, it is a very special quantitative scale, an intensive scale. This would mean: things have more or less intensity, it would be the intensity of the thing which would be, which would replace its essence, which would define the thing in itself, it would be its intensity. You understand perhaps the link to Ontology. The more intense a thing is, [the] more precisely is that intensity its relation to being: the intensity of the thing is its relation with being.... what things will is power [doesn’t mean that everything wills power etc, but rather] this conversion [in philosophy?] where things (?) are no longer defined by a qualitative essence, man as reasonable animal, but are defined by a quantifiable power (puissance).

[To see this we need to lpok at the history of philosophy, including the now discredited notion of natural law or natural right]:

On the whole, I would say that, in this whole conception, natural right, that which constitutes natural right is that which conforms to the essence. I would almost say that there are several propositions, in this classical theory of natural right. I would just like you to retain them, because when I return to power‚(puissance) I would like you to have in mind these four propositions. Four basic propositions which are the basis of this conception of classical natural right.

First proposition: a thing is defined by its essence. Natural right is therefore that which conforms to the essence of something. The essence of man is: reasonable animal. This has defined his natural right. What‚s more, in effect, to be reasonable‚ is the law of his nature. The law of nature intervenes here. There is the first proposition; thus preference is given to the essences.

Second proposition, in this classical theory: from now on, you understand, natural right can not refer, and it is striking that for most of the authors of Antiquity it is very much like this, natural right doesn't refer to a state which would be supposed to precede society. The state of nature is not a pre-social state, certainly not, it could not be. The state of nature is the state that conforms to the essence in a good society. What do we call a good society? We will call a good society, a society where man can realise his essence. So the state of nature is not before the social state, the state of nature it is the state that conforms to the essence in the best possible society, that is the most apt to realise the essence. There is the second proposition of classical natural right.

Third proposition of classical natural right, they emanate from it: what is first is duty: we have rights only insofar as we have duties. It is very politically practical, all this. It is duties. Indeed, what is duty? Here, there is a term, there is a concept of Cicero in Latin, which is very difficult to translate and which indicates this idea of functional duty, the duties of function. It is the term officium‚. One of the most important books of Cicero from the point of view of natural right is a book entitled De officiis‚ On the Subject of the functional duties‚.
And why is it this that is first, duty in existence? It is because duty is precisely the conditions under which I can best realise the essence, i.e. to have a life in conformity with the essence, in the best possible society.

Fourth proposition: there follows a practical rule which will have a great political importance. We could summarize it under the title: the competence of the sage. What is the sage? It is somebody who is singularly competent in the research that relates to the essence, and all that follows from it. The sage is the one who knows what the essence is. Thus there is a principle of competence of the sage because it is the sage who tells us what our essence is, what is the best society, i.e. the society most capable of realizing the essence, and what are our functional duties, our officia‚, i.e. under which conditions we can realise the essence. All this is the competence of the sage. And to the question: to what does the classical sage lay claim? One must reply that the classical sage claims to determine what the essence is, and consequently all kinds of practical tasks follow from this. Hence the political claims of the sage. Therefore, if I summarize this classical conception of natural right, as a result you understand why Christianity will be very interested by this ancient conception of natural right. It will integrate it into what it will call natural theology, making it one of its fundamental parts.

[But then Hobbes says] that things are not defined by an essence, they are defined by a power (puissance). Thus natural right is not what is in conformity with the essence of the thing, it is everything that the thing can do. And in the right of something, animal or man, everything that it can do. And in its right everything that it can do. It is at this time that the great propositions of the type, but the large fish eat the small ones start. It is its right of nature.... Hobbes comes along and says: natural right equals power, therefore what you can do is your natural right....[thyen he says] in the social state, there are prohibitions, there are defenses, there are things that I can do but it is defended. That means that it is not natural right, it is social right. It is in your natural right to kill your neighbor, but it is not in your social right.... That means that you can only think society as a product of becoming... And in the same way, nobody is born reasonable.... what is first is right‚. Consequently, duties will only be secondary obligations tending to limit the rights for the becoming social of man... all kinds of questions are put between brackets. Why do they have to become social? Is it interesting to become social?

there is no difference between the reasonable man and the madman from the point of view of natural right. Why? Because each one does everything that he can. The identity of right and power ensures the equality, the identity of all beings on the quantitative scale. Of course, there will be a difference between the reasonable man and the madman, but in the civil state, in the social state, not from the point of view of natural right...[so]... Nobody is competent for me.... you have the development and all the seeds of a juridical conception of Ethics: beings are defined by their power.

Spinoza takes up this whole conception of natural Right in Hobbes...the essence of things was nothing other than their power... existing things are not defined by an essence, but by power and they have more or less power. Their right will be the power of each one, the right of each one will be the power of each one, they have more or less power. There is thus a quantitative scale of beings from the point of view of power....[so] you are not defined by an essence, or rather your essence is identical to that which you can do, i.e. you are a degree on a scale of powers... you don’t have an essence or you only have an essence identical to your power

It is what Nietzsche also said with his story of the Eternal return, he said: it is not difficult to know if something is good or not, this question is not very complicated; it is not an affair of morals. He said make the following test, which would only be in your head. Do you see yourselves doing it an infinite number of times.... Whatever I do, whatever I say, could I make of it a mode of existence? If I couldn‚t it is ugly, it is evil , it is bad

[Spinoza asks] So, what is this trick of the strong man? It is a way of life, it is a mode of existence that is opposed to the mode of existence which he calls the slave or the impotent... the resemblances to Nietzsche are fundamental... Slavery as a way of life and not as social status.... But on the same side, the impotent or the slaves, he puts who ? It will become more significant for us: he puts tyrants.

what is there in common between a tyrant who has political power, a slave, and a priest who exercises a spiritual power?... they need to sadden life!... because the power that they have can only be founded on sadness [For Nietzsche] He will say that it is saddening life, it is always about saddening life!, somewhere. And, indeed why? Because it involves judging life. Now, you will not judge life.You won’t submit it to judgment. Life is not the object of judgment, life is not able to be judged, the only way in which you could pass judgment on it is first of all to inject it with sadness

For the slave, whatever the situation, it is always necessary that he sees the awful side. The nasty stuff there. There are people who have a genius for this: these are the slaves

[Spinoza’s] , first innovation, to have conceived the state of nature and natural right in a way that broke entirely with the Ciceronian tradition. Now, on this point, Spinoza entirely ratifies Hobbes‚ revolution. Second point: consequently, to have substituted the idea of a pact of consent as the foundation of the civil state for the relation of competence such as it was in traditional philosophy, from Plato to Saint Thomas. Now, on these two fundamental points, the civil state can only refer to a pact of consent and not to a relation of competence where there would be a superiority of the sage, and the whole conception, in addition, of the state of nature and of natural right as power and exercise of power, these two fundamental points belong to Hobbes.

in what sense can Ontology entail or must it entail a political philosophy? Do not forget that there is a whole political path of Spinoza,... His political problem arises in a very beautiful, still very current, way; yes, there is only a political problem that it would be necessary to try to understand, to make ethics into politics. To understand what? To understand why people fight for their slavery. They seem to be so content to be slaves, that they will do anything to remain slaves. How to explain such a thing?... The whole of the seventeenth century is full of reflections on how a revolution can not be betrayed... Now, the recent example for Spinoza‚s contemporaries is the revolution of Cromwell... Nobody [at the time] speaks about revolution, not at all because they do not have an equivalent in mind, it is for a very different reason. They won‚t call that revolution because the revolution is Cromwell.

[Spinoza’s position looks conservative]: What does a political philosophy which is placed in an ontological perspective consist of? Is it defined by the problem of the state? Not especially, because the others too. A philosophy of the One will also pass by way of the problem of the state. The real difference does not appear elsewhere between pure ontologies and philosophies of the One. Philosophies of the One are philosophies that fundamentally imply a hierarchy of existing things, hence the principle of consequence, hence the principle of emanation: from the One emanates Being, from Being emanates other things, etc. the hierarchies of the Neo-Platonists. [But] ... What appears to me striking in a pure ontology is the point at which it repudiates the hierarchies. In effect, if there is no One superior to being, if being is said of everything that is and is said of everything that is in one and the same sense, this is what appeared to me to be the key ontological proposition: there is no unity superior to being and, consequently, being is said of everything that of which it is said, i.e. is said of everything that is, is said of all being [étant], in one and the same sense... we will say that evidently a practical hierarchy is needed, [so where does that come from and how can it be explained? –Zizek’s critique] ontology does not lead to formulas which would be those of nihilism or non-being, of the type where everything is the same [tout se vaut]. And yet, in certain regards, everything is the same, from the point of view of an ontology, i.e. the point of view of being...The stone, the insane, the reasonable, the animal, from a certain point of view, from the point of view of Being [être], they are the same. Each is as much as there is in it, and being is said in one and the same sense of the stone, of the man, of the insane, of the reasonable

In Hobbes, the political relation is the relation of somebody who commands and of somebody who obeys. This is the pure political relation. From the point of view of an ontology, it is not that. There, Spinoza did not go along with Hobbes at all. The problem of an ontology is, consequently, according to this: being is said of everything that is, this is how to be free. I.e. how to exercise its power under the best conditions. And the state, even more the civil state, i.e. the entire society is thought like this: the ensemble of conditions under which man can exercise his power in the best way. Thus it is not at all a relation of obedience. [looks like left Hegelianism] ...[Obvedience] it will have to be justified by what it inscribes in a system where society can mean only one thing, namely the best means for man of exercising his power... [Obedience] is second compared to this requirement. In a philosophy of the One, obedience is obviously first, i.e. the political relation is the relation of obedience, it is not the relation of the exercise of power.

We will find this problem again in Nietzsche: what is equal? What is equal is that each being, whatever it is, in every way exercises all that it can of its power, that, that makes all beings equal. But the powers are not equal. But each endeavours to persevere in its being, i.e. exercise its power. From this point of view, all beings are the same, they are all in being and being is equal. Being is also said of everything that is, but everything that is is not equal, i.e. does not have the same power. But being which is said of everything that is, that, that is equal. With that, it doesn't‚t prevent there being differences between beings. From the point of view of the difference between beings a whole idea of aristocracy can be established, namely there are the better ones. [formal equality in philosophy, inequality in politics – how come?]

judgment is done in the name of a superiority of the One over being. We can judge being precisely because there is an authority superior to being. Thus the hierarchy is inscribed as of this difference, since the hierarchy, even its foundation, is the transcendence of the One over being.... [differences – the philosophical category that explains hierarchy]  will be conceived in a hierarchical way very, very secondarily, to catch up with, to reconcile the things. But in the first intuition, the difference is not hierarchical.... they often speak as if there had been a hierarchy, they will say that the reasonable man is better than the malicious one, but better in what sense and why? It is for reasons of power and exercise of power, not for reasons of hierarchy.[so impure as to be capable of being ignored then?]

[Further example of the Zizek question] In a pure Ontology, where there is no One superior to being, I say evil is nothing, there is no evil, there is being. Okay. But that engages me with something completely new, it is that if evil is nothing, then the good is nothing either... How is [Spinoza’s} ethics made if there is neither good nor evil?...  On the project of a pure ontology, how is it that Spinoza calls this pure ontology an Ethics? [to keep out of the controversies raging in the Netherlands at the time, said Deleuze earlier – Spinoza was seen as denying God as first cause].

Spinoza’s pure Ontology is presented as the absolutely infinite single position. Consequently, the beings (étants), this absolutely infinite single substance, is being. Being (être) as being. Consequently, the beings (étants) will not be Beings (êtres), they will be what Spinoza calls modes, the modes of absolutely infinite substance. And a mode is what? It is a manner of being. The beings (étants) or what exists (existants) are not Beings (êtres), there is Being only in the form of absolutely infinite substance. Consequently, we who are beings (étants), we who are what exists (existants), we will not be Beings (êtres), we will be manners of Being (être) of this substance. And if I ask myself what is the most immediate sense of the word ethics, in what way is it already other than morality, well, ethics is better known to us today under another name, the word ethology.

I do not believe that a morality [different from ethics] can be made from the point of view of an ontology. Why? Because morality always implies something superior to Being; what is superior to Being is something which plays the role of the One, of the Good, it is the One superior to Being. Indeed, morality is the enterprise of judging not only all that is, but Being itself. Now one can only judge Being in the name of an authority higher than Being.

Even if man is in essence a reasonable animal, he does not cease to behave in an unreasonable way. How does that happen? It is because the essence of man, as such, is not necessarily realised. Why? Because man is not pure reason, and then there are accidents, he doesn’t cease being diverted. The whole classical conception of man consists in inviting him to agree with his essence because this essence is like a potentiality, which is not necessarily realised, and morality is the process of the realization of the human essence. [typical – to see departure from reason as a kind of deviance thus inexplicable]... Therefore, to behave in a reasonable way, i.e. to carry out the essence is the task of morality. Now the essence taken as an end is value. Note that the moral vision of the world is made of essence. The essence is only potential, it is necessary to realise the essence, that will be done insofar as the essence is taken for an end, and the values ensure the realization of the essence. It is this ensemble which I would call morality.

There is no general idea in an Ethics. There is you, this one, that one, there are singularities. The word essence is quite likely to change sense. When he speaks about essence, what interests him is not the essence, what interests him is existence and what exists...In other words, what is can only be put in relation to Being at the level of existence, and not at the level of essence.... Not at all an essence common to several things, but a quantitative distinction of more and less between existing things, that is Ethics.... there is also a qualitative opposition between modes of existence. Two criteria of ethics, in other words, the quantitative distinction of existing things, and the qualitative opposition of modes of existence, the qualitative polarization of modes of existence, will be the two ways in which existing things are in being...These are going to be the links of Ethics with Ontology.

It is completely the world of immanence. Why?... it is different from the world of moral values such as I have just defined them, the moral values being precisely this kind of tension between the essence to be realized and the realization of the essence.... In an ethics, it is completely different, you do not judge. In a certain manner, you say: whatever you do, you will only ever have what you deserve. Somebody says or does something, you do not relate it to values.... The point of view of an ethics is: of what are you capable, what can you do? Hence a return to this sort of cry of Spinoza’s: what can a body do?

When it is suggested to us that, between you and me, between two persons, between a person and an animal, between an animal and a thing, there is ethically, that is ontologically, only a quantitative distinction, what quantity is involved?... People, things, animals distinguish themselves by what they can do, i.e. they can't do the same thing.... Never would a moralist define man by what he can do, a moralist defines man by what he is, by what he is by right. So, a moralist defines man as a reasonable animal. It is essence....[Ethics by contrast says] unreasonable is also something that man can do. To be mad is also a part of the power (pouvoir) of man... It is necessary to see people as small packets of power (pouvoir) [earlier he tried to finesse this by saying that a reasonable man has more power than an insane one and so is to be preferred]... all beings (étants) are related to a quantitative scale which is that of power (puissance). They have more or less power... When, well after Spinoza, Nietzsche will launch the concept of will to power (volonté de puissance), I am not saying that he intends to say this, but above all, it means this... Making power the object of the will is a misunderstanding, it is just the opposite. It is according to power that I have, that I want this or that. The will to power means that you will define things, men, animals according to the effective power that they have.

we find ourselves faced with Blyenbergh’s two objections[Spinoza and Blyenburgh corresponded, apparantly] . The first concerns the point of view of nature in general. It comes down to saying to Spinoza that it’s very nice to explain that every time a body encounters another there are relations that combine and relations that decompose, sometimes to the advantage of one of the two bodies, sometimes to the advantage of the other body. But nature itself combines all the relations at once. Thus in nature in general what doesn’t stop is the fact that all the time there are compositions and decompositions of relations, all the time since, ultimately, the decompositions are like the other side of the compositions. But there is no reason to privilege the composition of relations over the decomposition since the two always go together... For example: I eat. I compose the relation with the food I absorb. But this is done by decomposing the food’s own relations... Thus nature, says Blyenbergh, nature such as you conceive it is nothing but an immense chaos. [with no good and bad bits]

Spinoza sees no difficulty and his reply is very clear. He says that it is not so for a simple reason: it’s that from the point of view of the whole of nature, one cannot say that there is composition and decomposition at once since, from the point of view of the whole of nature, there are only compositions. There are only compositions of relations. It’s really from the point of view of our understanding [entendement] that we say that such and such relations combine to the detriment of another such relation, which must decompose so that the two others can combine. But it’s because we isolate a part of Nature. From the point of view of the complete whole of Nature, there is never anything but relations that combine with each other... the decomposition of relations does not exist from the point of view of the whole of nature since the whole of nature embraces all relations. Thus there are inevitably compositions, and that is all [definitional reply really decompositions are really compositions – based on an assertion about ‘real’ nature]

[But, Blyenbugh says, according to Deleuze] let’s approach the other aspect, a particular point of view, my particular point of view, that is to say the point of view of a precise and fixed relation. Actually, what I call ME [Moi] is a set of precise and fixed relations which constitute me. From this point of view, and it’s solely from a particular, determinable point of view, you or me, that I can say that there are [both] compositions and decompositions.... I would say that there is decomposition when the external body acts on me in such a manner that one of my relations, or even many of my relations, is destroyed, that is, ceases to be carried out... Hence Blyenbergh’s objection, which consists in saying that ultimately what you call vice and virtue is whatever suits [arrange] you. You will call it virtue every time you compose relations, no matter what relations you destroy, and you will call it vice every time that one of your relations is decomposed. In other words you will call virtue whatever is agreeable to you and vice whatever is not agreeable to you... you reduce morality to a matter of taste.

[In reply, Spinoza] wants to show that not only does he have a criterion for distinguising vice from virtue, but that this criterion applies in cases that appear very complicated, and that further it is a criterion of distinction, not only for distinguishing vice from virtue, but if one comprehends this criterion well, one can make distinctions in cases of crime.

Evil isn’t anything. Thus insofar as an act is positive it cannot be a crime, it cannot be evil. Therefore an act as a crime, if it is a crime, it’s not so insofar as it contains something positive, it’s from another point of view. [so some murders are worse than others]... Nero showed himself to be ungrateful, unmerciful and disobedient [when he killed his mother, unlike Orestes]." The act is the same, the intention is the same, there is a difference at the level of what? It’s a third determination...[but]... Ungrateful, unmerciful, none of these characteristics expresses anything to do with an essence.

[In another relevant text] One gets the impression that Spinoza has acquired a kind of diabolical humor or has gone mad.... Everything that we do when pushed by passion, we can do when pushed by pure reason. [as an example, beating somebody “which is conceived from the structure of the human body."is a virtue] He does not cheat with the word virtue, it’s an exercise [effectuation] of the power of the body, it’s what my body can do, it’s one of the things it can do. This makes it part of the potentiae of the human body, of this power [puissance] in action, it’s an act of power, and for that very reason this is what we call virtue. [Then it gets odd] The determination of the action is the image of a thing to which the image of the act is linked. It’s truly a relation that he himself presents as being a relation of association: one and the same action can be associated with any image of a thing whatever.... Spinoza continues: "And so we can be determined to one and the same action both from those images of things which we conceive confusedly and from those images of things we conceive clearly and distinctly. It is evident, therefore, that every desire which arises from a feeling which is a passion would be of no use if men could be guided by reason.",,, the same action can be associated just as well with images of confused things as with images of clear and distinct things. [introduction of a value judgement to save the case here – ‘confused’ = bad]

if, between the action and the object on which it bears, the relation is associative, if it’s a relation of association, then Spinoza is quite right. That is, it’s clearly the same action, whatever the variants might be, which in one case is associated with my mother’s head and in the other case is associated with a bass drum....w hat bad is there when I do this thing that is an exercise [effectuation] of the power of my body and which, in this sense, is good? I do that, I simply give someone a blow on the head. What is bad: that I decompose a relation, namely my mother’s head. In beating like that on my mother’s head I destroy the constituent relation of the head: my mother dies or passes out under the blow. In Spinozist terms, I would say that in this case I associate my action with the image of a thing whose relation is directly decomposed by this action. I associate the image of the act with the image of something whose constituent relation is decomposed by this act.... if the power of a [drum]head is to produce harmonics, here I’ve associated my action with the image of something whose relation combines directly with this action. That is, I have drawn harmonics out of the drumhead. [ie if you do harm and limit the power of others that is bad –or as Deleuze puts it So by convention the actions of direct composition will be called GOOD and the actions of direct decomposition will be called BAD.] [here the word ‘direct’ modifies the sense in an important way – the first reply claimed that in nature as a whole there are no decompositions –now he needs them and has to call them direct decompositions]

we now have the method of the analysis of action according to Spinoza. Every action will be analyzed along two dimensions: the image of the act as power of the body, what a body can do, and the image of the associated thing, that is to say the object on which the act bears. Between the two there is a relation of association. It’s a logic of action.... In killing his mother, Nero associated his act directly with the image of a being whose relation would be decomposed by this act: he killed his mother. Thus the relation of primary, direct association is between the act and an image of a thing whose relation is decomposed by this act...Orestes kills his mother because she killed Agamemnon, that is to say because she killed Orestes’ father. In killing his mother, Orestes pursues a sacred vengeance. Spinoza does not say vengeance. According to Spinoza, Orestes associates his act, not with the image of Clytemnestra whose relation will be decomposed by this act, but rather he associates it with the relation of Agamemnon which was decomposed by Clytemnestra. In killing his mother, Orestes recomposes his relation with the relation of his father. [so its a fancy way of referring to motive or understanding – one can kill for a good reason?]

okay, at the level of a particular point of view, you or me, there is always composition and decomposition of relations at once; does that mean that the good and the bad are mixed up and become indiscernible? No, replies Spinoza, because at the level of a logic of the particular point of view there will always be a priority [primat]. Sometimes the composition of relations will be direct and the decomposition indirect, and sometimes, on the contrary, the decomposition willl be direct and the composition indirect. Spinoza tells us: I call good an action that implements [opre] a direct composition of relations even if it implements an indirect decomposition, and I call bad an action that implements a direct decomposition even if it implements an indirect composition.... there are two types of actions: actions in which the decomposition comes about as if in consequence and not in principle, because the principle is a composition - and this has value only for my point of view, because from the point of view of nature everything is composition and it’s for that reason that God knows neither evil nor the bad - and inversely there are actions which directly decompose and imply compositions only indirectly. [of course only a philosopher could decide which is which, and probably only backwards or tautologically]

There is clearly a theory of the sign in Spinoza, which consists in relating the sign to the most confused understanding and imagination in the world, and in the world such as it is, according to Spinoza, the idea of the sign does not exist. There are expressions, there are never signs. When God reveals to Adam that the apple will act as a poison, he reveals to him a composition of relations, he reveals to him a physical truth and he doesn’t send him a sign at all [so a reversion to pragmatism again]

When one is very restricted one cannot comprehend laws as laws. How does one comprehend them? 2 + 2 = 4 is a composition of relations. You have the relation two plus two, you have the relation four, and you have the relation of identity between the relation two plus two and the relation four. If you comprehend nothing, you hear this law as an order, or as a commandment. The little child at school comprehends the law of nature as a moral law: it is necessary that it be so, and if he says something else he will be punished. It proceeds like that according to our restricted understanding. If we were to grasp the laws as what they are, as physical compositions of relations, compositions of bodies, then notions as strange as command and obedience would remain completely unknown to us. It’s to the extent that we perceive a law that we don’t comprehend that we apprehend it as an order; God forbade absolutely nothing, Spinoza explains on the subject of Adam.... The prophet is someone who, not grasping the laws of nature, will just ask for the sign that guarantees to him that the order is just.... The true language is that of expression. The language of expression is that of the composition of relations to infinity.

Signs are a vital necessity because we comprehend only a very few of the things in the world. That’s the way Spinoza justifies society. Society is the institution [instauration] of the minimum of signs indispensible to life. [ a kind of Durkheimian idea here? Or Althusser on the necessity of ideology. The justification of the priesthood too]

A basely sensual appetite, even the mere expression, one feels that it is not good, that it is bad. It is bad in what sense? When I am led by a basely sensual appetite, what does that mean? It means that: within it there is an action, or a tendency to action: for example desire. What happens to the desire when am I led by a basely sensual appetite? It is the desire of. Good. What is this desire? It can only be qualified by its association with an image of a thing, for example I desire a bad woman.

[Screwing bad women] is in my body’s power. So it is a virtue, and in this sense it is the expression of a power... But if I remained there with it, I would have no means of distinguishing the basely sensual appetite from the most beautiful of loves. [classic -- finds a problem that must be solved and modifies the philosophy to suit it --=claiming to be all first principle axiomatic stuff first though]... It is because, in fact [sic], I associate my action, or the image of my action, with the image of a thing whose relation is decomposed by this action. In several different ways, in all ways, for example if I am married, in the very example that Spinoza took, I decompose a relation, the relation of the couple

The difference is, simply, that in the most beautiful of loves, my action, the same, exactly the same, my physical action, my bodily action, is associated with an image of the thing whose relation is directly combined, directly composed with the relation of my action. It is in this sense that the two uniting individuals lovingly form an individual which has both of them as parts, Spinoza would say. On the contrary, in the basely sensual love, the one destroys the other, the other destroys the one, that is there is a whole process of decomposition of relations...  All this is very concrete. So it works. [pathetic argument by common sense or common acclamation now]

[However] Spinoza tells us: you don't choose, in the end, the image of the thing with which your action is associated. It engages a whole play of causes and of effects which escape you.[unless you are a philosopher of course]... Spinoza is not one of those who believes in a free will. No, it is a whole determinism which associates the images of things with the actions. Then what’s more troubling, the formula: I am as perfect as I can be according to the affections that I have. [If Iwish otherwise]... It merely means that my mind compares a state that I have to a state that I don't have, in other words it is not a real relation, it is a comparison of the mind. A pure comparison of the mind. And Spinoza goes so far as to say: you might as well say at that moment there that the stone is deprived of sight. You might as well say at that moment there that the stone is deprived of sight. Indeed, why wouldn‚t I compare the stone to a human organism, and in the name of a same comparison of the mind, I would say: the stone doesn't see, therefore it is deprived of sight [But this must be just a provocation by Spinoza] is the comparison of the mind of the same type? Evidently not! Why? To say that the stone is deprived of sight is, on the whole, to say that nothing in it contains the possibility of seeing. While, when I say: he is deprived of true love, it is not a comparison of the same type, since, this time, I don’t rule out that at other moments this being here has experienced something which resembled true love.

it is just as stupid to say that the blind man is deprived of sight as it is to say: the stone is deprived of sight. And the blind man, then? He is as perfect as he can be, according to what? You see even so, Spinoza doesn't say to us: according to his power (puissance); he says that the blind man is as perfect as he can be according to the affections of his power, that is according to the images of which he is capable. [Pangloss lives]

Blyenbergh retorts: you cannot assimilate the blind man not seeing and the stone not seeing, you can only make such an assimilation if, at the same time, you pose a kind of pure instantaneity of the essence, namely: there belongs to an essence only the present, instantaneous affection that it experiences insofar as it experiences it.... If indeed I am saying: there belongs to my essence only the affection that I experience here and now, then, indeed, I am not deprived of anything... And Spinoza answers quietly: yes, that’s the way it is... He began by telling us: the essences are eternal, and now he tells us: the essences are instantaneous. [so Spinoza must be weaselling again –now there are two bits to an essence –so much for monism] -- the essences are eternal, but those things which belongs to the essence are instantaneous; there belongs to my essence only what I experience actually insofar as I experience it actually

Blyenbergh protests here, he says: but in the end, you cannot define the essence by instantaneity, what does this mean? Then it is a pure instantaneity? Sometimes you have a basely sensual appetite, sometimes you have a better love, and you will say each time that you are as perfect as you can be, there as in a series of flashes!... There is an irreducibility of duration. In other words the essence cannot be measured in its instantaneous states.... On this point no response from Spinoza... I think, ...[because]... Spinoza above all doesn't want to give Blyenbergh, for reasons which are his own, he above all doesn't want to give Blyenbergh the idea of what this book [the Ethics, which would explain] is, this book of which everyone is speaking at the time, that Spinoza experiences the need to hide because he feels that he has a lot to fear. He doesn't want to give Blyenbergh, whom he feels to be an enemy, he doesn't want to give him an idea of what the Ethics is. So he stops the correspondence.

But it is up to us to try to reconstitute this response. Spinoza knows very well that there is duration. You see that we are now in the process of playing with three terms: eternity, instantaneity, duration.... What is instantaneity? Instantaneity is the modality of affection of essence. Formula: I am always as perfect as I can be according to the affections that I have here and now. Therefore affection is actually an instantaneous cut. In effect it is the species of horizontal relation between an action and an image of a thing. Third dimension, it is as if we were in the process of constituting the three dimensions of what we could call the sphere....[Further]... Spinoza, if only by his terminology, distinguishes well between the affectio and the affectus, the affection and the affect

The affection envelops an affect. You recall, the affection is the effect ˜ literally if you want to give it an absolutely rigorous definition ˜ it is the instantaneous effect of an image of a thing on me. For example perceptions are affections. The image of things associated with my action is an affection. The affection envelops, implicates, all of these are the words Spinoza constantly uses. To envelope: it is necessary to really take them as material metaphors, that is that within the affection there is an affect.... What does my affection, that is the image of the thing and the effect of this image on me, what does it envelop? It envelops a passage or a transition... Duration is the lived passage, the lived transition. What is duration? Never anything but the passage from one thing to another, it suffices to add, insofar as it is lived.

When, centuries later, Bergson will make duration into a philosophical concept, it will obviously be with wholly different influences. It will be according to itself above all, it will not be under the influence of Spinoza. Nevertheless, I am just pointing out that the Bergsonian use of duration coincides strictly. When Bergson tries to make us understand what he calls duration‚, he says: you can consider psychic states as close together as you want in time, you can consider the state A and the state A‚ as separated by a minute, but just as well by a second, by a thousandth of a second, that is you can make more and more cuts, increasingly tight, increasingly close to one another. You may well go to the infinite, says Bergson, in your decomposition of time, by establishing cuts with increasing rapidity, but you will only ever reach states. And he adds that the states are always of space. The cuts are always spatial. And you will have brought your cuts together very well, you will let something necessarily escape, it is the passage from one cut to another, however small it may be. Now, what does he call duration, at its simplest? It is the passage from one cut to another, it is the passage from one state to another. The passage from one state to another is not a state... In one sense duration is always behind our backs, it is at our backs that it happens. It is between two blinks of the eye. If you want an approximation of duration: I look at someone, I look at someone, duration is neither here nor there. Duration is: what has happened between the two?... It is this that every affection envelops. I would say: every affection envelops the passage by which we arrive at it. Or equally well: every affection envelops the passage by which we arrive at it, and by which we leave it, towards another affection, however close the two affections considered are.... The essence belongs to itself under the form of the eternity, the affection belongs to the essence under the form of instantaneity, the affect belongs to the essence under the form of duration. [so we have weaselled out two aspects of the essence – three in fact]

[Spinoza says] Every affection, that is every determinable state at a single moment, envelops an affect, a passage.... But the passage, I don't ask what it envelops, it is enveloped; I ask of what does it consist, what is it? And my response from Spinoza, is it obvious what it is? It is increase and decrease of my power (puissance). It is increase or decrease of my power, even infinitesimally.... Suppose that in the dark you were in deep state of meditation. Your whole body was focused on this extreme meditation. You held something. The other brute arrives and turns on the light, if need be you lose an idea that you were going to have. You turn around, you are furious.

Every affection is instantaneous, he will always say this, and he will always say: I am as perfect as I can be according to what I have in the instant. It is the sphere of belonging of the instantaneous essence. In this sense, there is neither good nor bad. But in return, the instantaneous state always envelopes an increase or a decrease of power, and in this sense there is good and bad... not from the point of view of its state, but from the point of view of its passage, from the point of view of its duration, there is something bad in becoming blind, there is something good in becoming seeing, since it is either decrease of power or else increase of power.[ shifts the issue of good and bad to duration, passage – growth is the good?]... The affects which are increases of power we will call joys, the affects which are decreases of power we will call sadnesses. [circle is complete]... Sadness is a affect enveloped by an affection. The affection is what? It is an image of a thing which causes me sadness, which gives me sadness... The thing which gives me sadness is the thing whose relations don't agree with mine. That is affection. All things whose relations tend to decompose one of my relations or the totality of my relations affect me with sadness. In terms of affectio you have there a strict correspondence, in terms of affectio, I would say: the thing has relations which are not composed with mine, and which tend to decompose mine. Here I am speaking in terms of affectio. In terms of affects I would say: this thing affects me with sadness, therefore by the same token], in the same way, decreases my power.

There are joys of hate. Are these joys? We can at least say, and this is going to advance us a lot for later, that these joys are strangely compensatory, that is indirect. What is first in hate, when you have feelings of hate, always look for the sadness at base, that is your power of acting was impeded, was decreased. And even if you have, if you have a diabolical heart, even if you have to believe that this heart flourishes in the joys of hate, these joys of hate, as immense as they are, will never get rid of the nasty little sadness of which you are a part; your joys are joys of compensation. The man of hate, the man of resentment, etc., for Spinoza, is the one all of whose joys are poisoned by the initial sadness, because sadness is in these same joys. In the end he can only derive joy from sadness.... These are indirect joys. [the more empirical cases appear to contradict the general principles the more you have to qualify and extend the principles ad hoc]

What happens when I encounter a body whose relation doesn't compose with mine?... a phenomenon happens which is like a kind of fixation. What does this mean, a fixation? That is, a part of my power is entirely devoted to investing and to isolating the trace, on me, of the object which doesn't agree with me... this quantity of power that I‚ve devoted to investing the trace of the disagreeable thing, this is the amount of my power that is decreased, which is removed from me, which is as it were immobilized.... This is the tonality affective sadness‚: a part of my power serves this unworthy need which consists in warding off the thing, warding off the action of the thing. So much immobilized power. To ward off the thing is to prevent it from destroying my relations, therefore I‚ve toughened my relations;

The experience of joy as Spinoza presents it, for example I encounter something which agrees, which agrees with my relations... music that I like, there, my whole body, and my soul ˜ it goes without saying ˜ composes its relations with the resonant relations. This is what is meant by the music that I like: my power is increased [entirely tautological]... when the relations are composed, the two things of which the relations are composed, form a superior individual, a third individual which encompasses and takes them as parts... individual of which me, or the music, are no more than a part. I would say, from now on, that my power (puissance) is in expansion, or that it increases. [entirely imaginary wholeness here – what happened to materialism? Just another way of saying I empathise with the music]... to increase one‚s power (puissance) is precisely to compose relations such that the thing and I, which compose the relations, are no more than two sub-individualities of a new individual, a formidable new individual.... it is always by composing my relations with other relations, and it is under such a profile, under such an aspect that I invent this third individual of which the other and myself are no more than parts, sub-individuals. [hints of US prag again]

there are people who are so impotent that they are the ones who are dangerous, they are the ones who take power (pouvoir)... There are people who can only reign, who only acquire power (pouvoir) by way of sadness and by instituting a regime of sadness of the type: repent‚, of the type hate someone‚ and if you don't have anyone to hate, hate yourself, etc. [But] in a happy love, in a love of joy, what happens? You compose a maximum of relations with a maximum of relations of the other, bodily, perceptual, all kinds of natures

How to live? You don't know beforehand which are the relations. For example you are not necessarily going to find your own music... One goes along feeling one‚s way, one goes along blind. That works, that doesn't work, etc. {prag]... it is no longer at all the domain of morality. It is not necessary to do anything at all, it is necessary to find. It is necessary to find his thing, that is not at all to withdraw, it is necessary to invent the superior individualities into which I can enter as a part, for these individualities do not pre-exist

I am a degree of power and it is in this sense that I am eternal. No one has the same degree of power as another. See, we will have need of it later, the fact that it is a quantitative conception of individuation. But it is a special quantity since it is a quantity of power (puissance). A quantity of power we have always called an intensity.

[In correspondence with Meyer, Spinoza drew] Two [non-]concentric circles of which one is inside the other. Note the greatest and the smallest distance from one circle to the other... it seems to me, he tells us: in the case of this double figure, you can not say that you don't have a limit or threshold. You have a threshold, you have a limit. You even have two limits: the outer circle, the inner circle, or what comes down to the same thing, the greatest distance from one circle to the other, or the least distance. You have a maximum and a minimum.... you trace all the lines, all the segments which go from one circle to the other. You evidently have an infinity.... And yet there is a limit. There is a limit since you have the limit of the big circle and the limit of the small circle. So there is something infinite and yet it is not unlimited. [and hte implication is]... Essences are degrees of power, but what is a degree of power? A degree of power is a difference between a maximum and a minimum. It is in this way that it is an intensive quantity. A degree of power is a difference in itself.

He thinks that nothing at all belongs to the nature of man. He is an author who thinks everything, really, in terms of Becoming.... We are completely at the mercy of encounters, that is: we are completely at the mercy of decompositions.... Hence I said: there is a first aspect of reason. The first effort of reason, I believe, is very curious in Spinoza, it is a kind of extraordinarily groping effort... It is all a kind of apprenticeship in order to evaluate or have signs, I did say signs, to organize or to find signs that tell me a little of which relations agree with me and which relations don't agree with me.... This is already what Spinoza will call, and it will be the first aspect of reason, a kind of double aspect, selecting-composing. [all prag to me]... at this level, we have no previous knowledge, we have no preexisting knowledge, we don't have scientific knowledge. It is not about science. It is really about living experimentation. It is about apprenticeship: I never stop deceiving myself, I never stop running into situations which don't agree with me, I never stop etc., etc...And little by little is sketched out a kind of beginning of wisdom

Jaspers had launched, and which was a theme, it seems to me, which was very profound: he distinguished two types of situation, limit situations and simple everyday situations. He said: limit situations could befall us at any time, they are precisely situations which we can’t anticipate... I learn at the last moment, sometimes too late, what I was capable of. What I was capable of for better or worse... someone who, at the limit, renders himself impotent... manages to put himself in states where he can no longer budge,... I destroy myself because if I can no longer budge at all, in the end I risk dying of it, in the end I would have the boredom of another nature that I would not have foreseen....

I would call reason, or effort of reason, conatus of reason, effort of reason, this tendency to select, to learn the relations, this apprenticeship of the relations which are composed or which are not composed... how can this long apprenticeship lead me to a more sure stage, where I am more sure of myself, that is where I become reasonable, where I become free. How can this be done?

The individual insofar as relation refers us to a whole plane that can be designated by the name of composition [compositio]. All individuals being relations, there is a composition of individuals among themselves, and individuation is inseparable from this movement of composition.
Second point, the individual is power [puissance ö potentiae]. This is the second great concept of individuality. No longer composition that refers to relations, but potentiae. We find the modus intrinsecus quite often in the Middle Ages, in certain traditions, under the name gradus. This is degree. The intrinsic mode or degree.

it's by virtue of this that the individual is not substance.... because substance concerns a term and not a relation... If it's power it's not substance either because, fundamentally, whatever is substance is form. It's the form that is called substantial. And lastly, if it's degree it's not substance either since every degree refers to a quality that it graduates, every degree is degree of a quality. Now what determines a substance is a quality, but the degree of a quality is not substance....

The intellect has often been defined as the faculty of setting out relations. Precisely in intellectual activity there is a kind of infinite that is implied [impliqué]. At the level of relation the implication of the infinite occurs through intellectual activity... mathematical means [are required] .. to find a first statute of relation independent of its terms... The infinitesimal calculus puts into play a certain type of relation.... a differential relation, and a differential relation is of the type dy/dx =...Whatever quantity of y you are given, dy will be smaller than this value. Thus I can say that dy as a vanishing quantity is strictly equal to zero in relation to y. In the same way dx is strictly equal to zero in relation to x... The relation subsists and the differential relation will present itself as the subsistence of the relation when the terms vanish. They have found the mathematical convention that allows them to treat relations independently of their terms. Now what is this mathematical convention? I summarize. It's the infinitely small. Pure relation thus necessarily implies the infinite under the form of the infinitely small since pure relation will be the differential relation between infinitely small quantities... One comprehends that dy/dx = z, that is to say the relation that is independent of its terms will designate a third term and will serve in the measurement and in the determination of a third term: the trigonometric tangent. In this sense I can say that the infinite relation, that is to say the relation between the infinitely small, refers to something finite.... a formula of the infinite from the seventeenth century, I would say that something finite consists of an infinity [infinité] under a certain relation

How is the individual a relation? You will find, at the level of the individual, a limit. This does not prevent there having been some infinite, this does not prevent there being relations and these relations being composed, the relations of one individual are composed with another; and there is always a limit that marks the finitude of the individual, and there is always an infinite of a certain order that is involved by the relation.

One does not comprehend the infinite because it is incomprehensible, but one conceives it... Comprehending would be grasping the reason for being, but we cannot grasp the reason for being of the infinite because to do so we would have to be adequate to God; but our understanding is merely finite. On the other hand, one can conceive the infinite, conceive it clearly and distinctly, thus one has a reason for knowing it....

I return to my second theme: the individual is power [puissance]. The individual is not form, it is power. Why does this follow? [like the notion of calculus], which is not equal to zero but tends towards a limit.[?] [Tension towards a limit can also be thought of via another] Spinozist concept, that of conatus. Each thing tends to persevere in its being... The limit is being defined according to an effort, and power is the same tendency or the same effort insofar as it tends towards a limit. If the limit is grasped on the basis of the notion of power, namely tending towards a limit, in terms of the most rudimentary infinitesimal calculus, the polygon that multiplies its sides tends towards a limit, which is the curved line. The limit is precisely the moment when the angular line, by dint of multiplying its sides, tends towards infinity [lâinfini]. It's the tension towards a limit that now implies the infinite. The polygon, as it multiplies its sides to infinity, tends towards the circle.

And why can this conception of the limit as outline be considered as the basis for what one could call a certain form of idealism? The limit is the outline of the form, whether the form is purely thought or sensible, in any case one will call "limit" the outline of the form, and this is very easily reconciled with an idealism because if the limit is the outline of the form, after all what I can do is what there is between the limits... In other words, essence is the form itself related to its outline. I could speak of the pure circle because there is a pure outline of the circle. I could speak of a pure cube without specifying what it involves. I would name these the idea of the circle, the idea of the cube

Henceforth the individual will be the form related to its outline.... Statuary has the greatest importance in this optical world [of classical Greek philosophy] ; it's an optical world, but a world of sculpture, that is to say one in which the form is determined according to a tactile outline. Everything happens as if the visible form were unthinkable outside of a tactile mold. [In later thought] The outline of something is what? It's non-being, say the Stoics. The outline of something is the spot where the thing ceases to be... The Stoics are in the process of getting hold of something very strong, life does not proceed by molding... What is their example, opposed to the optical-tactile figure? They will oppose problems of vitality. Where does action stop? At the outline. But that, that holds no interest. The question is not at all where does a form stop, because this is already an abstract and artificial question. The true question is: where does an action stop?... The Stoics cry out triumphantly: things are bodies...Bodies and not ideas. Things are bodies, that meant that things are actions. The limit of something is the limit of its action and not the outline of its figure... It's a dynamic limit that is opposed to an outline limit. The thing has no other limit than the limit of its power [puissance] or its action.

When they [Stoics]  say that all things are bodies, they mean that all things are defined by tonos, the contracted effort that defines the thing. The kind of contraction, the embryonic force that is in the thing, if you don't find it, you don't know [connaissez] the thing. What Spinoza takes up again with the expression "what can a body do?"

It's with Plotinus that a pure optical world begins in philosophy. Idealities will no longer be only optical. They will be luminous, without any tactile reference. Henceforth the limit is of a completely different nature. Light scours the shadows. Does shadow form part of light? Yes, it forms a part of light and you will have a light-shadow gradation that will develop space. They are in the process of finding that deeper than space there is spatialization... The discovery of a pure light, of the sufficiency of light to constitute a world implies that, beneath space, one has discovered spatialization. This is not a Platonic idea

For Byzantine mosaic it's light-color, that is to say that what defines, what marks the limits is no longer form-outline but rather the couple light-color, that is to say that the figure goes on as far as the light that it captures or emits goes, and as far as the color of which it's composed goes.... In other words there is no longer an outline of the figure, there is an expansion of light-color. The figure will go as far as it acts by light and by color. It's the reversal [renversement] of the Greek world.... light and color are spatializing. Thus art must not be an art of space, it must be an art of the spatialization of space... There is an outline-limit and there is a tension-limit. There is a space-limit and there is a spatialization-limit.

[Back to the individual] I will always return to the theme: it is as if an individual, whatever individual, had three layers, as if it was composed, then, of three layers. We have advanced, at least into the first dimension, into the first layer of the individual, and I say: oh yes, all individuals have an infinity of extensive parts. This is the first point: an infinity of extensive parts. In other words, there are only individuals that are composite. A simple individual, I believe that, for Spinoza, it is a notion lacking in sense...Every individual, as such, is composed of an infinity of parts... I‚ll try to summarize very quickly: What does this mean this idea that the individual is composed of an infinity of parts? What are these parts? Once again, they are what Spinoza calls Œthe simplest bodies‚: all bodies are composed of an infinity of very simple bodies. But what are these: Œvery simple bodies‚? We have arrived at a precise enough status: they are not atoms, meaning finite bodies, and neither are they indefinites. What are they? And there Spinoza belongs to the 17th century [so he thinks via the notion of ] the notion of the Œactual infinite

the formula of the finite, it is: there is a moment where you have to stop yourself. That is to say: when you analyse something there will always be a moment where it will be necessary to stop yourself. Let‚s say, and for a long time, this moment of the finite, this fundamental moment of the finite which marks the necessity of finite terms, it is all of this which inspired atomism since Epicurus, since Lucretius: the analysis encounters a limit, this limit is the atom. The atom is subject to a finite analysis. The indefinite is as far as you can go, you can‚t stop yourself. That is to say: as far as you can take the analysis, the term at which you arrive will always be, in turn, divided and analysed. There will never be a last term.

What it tells us is that: there are last terms, there are ultimate terms ˜ you see, this is contrary to the indefinite, it is not the indefinite since there are ultimate terms, only these ultimate terms are ad infinitum. Therefore, they are not the atom. They are neither finite nor indefinite. The infinite is actual, the infinite is in action. In effect, the indefinite is, if you like, infinite, but virtual, that is to say: you can always go further. This is not it; it (the actual infinite) tells us: there are last terms: Œthe simplest bodies‚ for Spinoza. These are the ultimate terms, these are the terms which are last, which you can no longer divide. But, these terms are infinitely small. They are the infinitely small, and this is the actual infinite.

There are ultimate terms, but these are not atoms since they are the infinitely small, or as Newton will say, they are vanishings, vanishing terms. In other words, smaller than any given quantity.... This too is a non-sense: to speak of an infinitely small term that I would consider singularly, that makes no sense. The infinitely small, they can only go by way of infinite collections. Therefore there are infinite collections of the infinitely small. The simple bodies of Spinoza don‚t exist one by one. They exist collectively and not distributively. They exist by way of infinite sets.... And I cannot speak of a simple body, I can only speak of an infinite set of simple bodies. Such that an individual is not a simple body, an individual, whatever it is, and however small it is, an individual has an infinity of simple bodies, an individual has an infinite collection of the infinitely small [a singularity?]... : a theory of infinite sets. The infinitely small enter into infinite sets and these infinite sets are not the same. That is to say: there is a distinction between infinite sets.

The simple bodies have only strictly extrinsic relations, relations of exteriority with each other. They form a species of matter, using Spinoza‚s terminology: a modal matter, a modal matter of pure exteriority, which is to say: they react on one another, they have no interiority, they have only external relations with one another... under what aspect does an infinite set of very simple bodies belong to either this or that individual?... it is another way of asking what allows me to distinguish such an infinite set from another such infinite set.

It is always under a relation that the parts belong to me. To the point that, if the parts which compose me take on another relation, at that very moment, they no longer belong to me. They belong to another individuality, they belong to another body. Hence the question: what is this relation? Under what relation can the infinitely small elements be said to belong to something?... Spinoza‚s answer, if I stick to the letter of Spinoza, is: under a certain relation of movement and rest... [For Gueroult] Individuals for Spinoza would be kinds of compound pendulums, each composed of an infinity of simple pendulums. And what defines an individual is a vibration. [but] suppose that the very simple bodies were really infinitely small, that is to say that they have neither shape nor magnitude. At that moment then the model of the simple pendulum cannot work, and it cannot be a vibration that defines the relation of movement and rest. [A better alternative is to argue that] between infinitely small terms, there can only be one type of relation: differential relations.

[Fractions help us grasp this –but they refer to actual terms as well as relations] When I take an algebraic relation of the type x over y, this time I don‚t have given terms, I have two variables. I have variables... But that doesn‚t allow me to avoid the fact that it is again necessary that my variables have a determinable value. In other words, x and y can have all sorts of singular values, but they must have one.... What is very new with the differential relation is that it takes something like a third step.... when the terms vanish, when the terms vanish, the relation subsists... Only the relation between its terms is determined. It is here that logic is going to make a leap, but a fundamental leap. Under this form of the differential calculus is discovered a domain where the relations no longer depend on their terms: the terms are reduced to vanishing terms, to vanishing quantities, and the relation between these vanishing quantities is not equal to zero.... In other words, the differential relation tends towards a limit. When the terms of the relation vanish, Œx‚ and Œy‚, and become dy and dx, when the terms of the relation vanish, the relation subsists because it tends towards a limit, Œz‚. When the relation is established between infinitely small terms, it does not cancel itself out at the same time as its terms, but tends towards a limit. This is the basis of differential calculus such as it is understood or interpreted in the 17th century.... Now you obviously understand why this interpretation of the differential calculus is at one with the understanding of an actual infinite, meaning with the idea of infinitely small quantities of vanishing terms.

And, in effect, if you take Spinoza‚s letter on blood, of which I have made great use, and the two components of blood, chyle and lymph, this now tells us what? It tells us that there are corpuscles of chyle, or better chyle is an infinite set of very simple bodies. Lymph is another infinite set of the very simple bodies. What distinguishes the two infinite sets? It is the differential relation! You have this time a dy/dx which is: the infinitely small parts of chyle over the infinitely small parts of lymph, and this differential relation tends towards a limit: the blood, that is to say: chyle and lymph compose blood...If this is right, we could say why infinite ensembles are distinguished. It is because the infinite sets of very simple bodies don‚t exist independently of the differential relations which they put into effect... the infinitely small don‚t exist independently of the differential relation.

Why is it that I can say: this infinite set and not that one?...I can say it, it is quite simple: because infinite sets are defined as infinite under such and such a differential relation. Between other terms the differential relations can be considered as the power [puissance] of an infinite set. Because of this an infinite set will be able to be of a higher power [puissance] than another infinite set.

[So] what is this relation of movement and rest that is for Spinoza characteristic of the individual, that is as the second layer of the individual, I would say that, no, it is not exactly a way of vibrating, perhaps we could bring together the two points of view, I don‚t know, but it is differential relation, and it is the differential relation that defines power [puissance].

Suppose that an infinite collection of the infinitely small is determined from the outside to take another relation than the one under which it belongs to me. What does this mean? It means that: I die! I die! In effect, the infinite set which belongs to me under such a relation which characterises me, under my characteristic relation, this infinite set will take another relation under the influence of external causes.

this relation, it comes from where, this relation?... Last layer of the individual, Spinoza‚s answer: it is that the characteristic relations which constitute me, that is to say which determine that the infinite sets which verify these relations, which put into effect these relations which belong to me, the characteristic relations express something. They express something which is my singular essence... You can now see what formula I can give to the individual: each individual is a singular essence, each singular essence expresses itself in the characteristic relations of the differential relation type, and under these differential relations, the infinite collections of the infinitely small belong to the individual...Hence a last question: what is it, this singular essence?

to exist is to have an infinity of extensive parts, of extrinsic parts, to have an infinity of infinitely small extrinsic parts, which belong to me under a certain relation. Insofar as I have, in effect, extensive parts which belong to me under a certain relation, infinitely small parts which belong to me, I can say: I exist... I die when these parts which belong to me or which belonged to me are determined to enter under another relation which characterises another body... when I die, there are no longer parts which effect. Why? Because the parts have been set up to put into effect other relations. Good. But firstly there is an eternal truth of the relation, in other words there is a consistency of the relation even when it is not put into effect by actual parts, there is an actuality of the relation, even when it ceases to be put into effect. That which disappears with death is the effectuation of the relation, it is not the relation itself.... both the relation and the essence are said to be eternal... what is transitory, and what defines my existence, is uniquely the time during which the infinitely small extensive parts belong to me, that is to say put the relation into effect... Essences are not possibilities. There is nothing possible, everything that is is real. In other words essences don‚t define possibililties of existence, essences are themselves existences.

the essence of Paul, once Paul is dead, remains a physical reality. It is a real being. Therefore it would be necessary to distinguish them as two real beings: the being of the existence and the being of the essence of Paul. What‚s more, it would be necessary to distinguish as two existences: the existence of Paul and the existence of the essence of Paul. The existence of the essence of Paul is eternal, while the existence of Paul is transitory, mortal, etc.

So long [when] nothing is traced on [a] white wall, does something exist which would be distinct from the white wall? Spinoza‚s response very curiously is: ŒNo, strictly speaking nothing exists!‚ On the white wall, nothing exists so long as the figures haven‚t been traced.... The white wall is something equivalent to what Spinoza calls the attribute. The attribute, extension... What is the existence of bodies in extension? The existence of bodies in extension is effectively when these bodies are traced.... when an infinity of infinitely small parts are determined to belong to a body. The body is traced. It has a shape. What Spinoza will call mode of the attribute is such a shape.... ultimately it is impossible to distinguish something outside of existing modes, outside of shapes. If you haven‚t traced the shape, you cannot distinguish something on the white wall. The white wall is uniformly white...[But, he say somewhere else that essences of people are singular] Now, if essences are singular, it is necessary to distinguish something on the white wall without the shapes necessarily having been traced.

[So] modes exist in the attribute in two ways; on the one hand they exist insofar as they are comprised and contained in the attribute; and, on the other, insofar as it is said that they have duration. Two existences: durational existence, immanent existence.... my question is this: can I distinguish on the white wall things independently of the shapes drawn, can I make distinctions which are not distinctions between shapes?... There are degrees, and the degrees are not confused with the shapes. You say: such a degree of white, in the sense of such a degree of light. A degree of light, a degree of whiteness, is not a shape. And even though two degrees are distinguished, two degrees aren‚t distinguished like shapes in space. I would say that shapes are distinguished externally, taking account of their common parts. I would say of degrees that it is a completely different type of distinction, that there is an intrinsic distinction

There are degrees which are what, which we call in general: intensive quantities, and which are in fact just as different from quality as from extensive quantity.... Duns Scotus... appeals to the white wall... he says: the white has an infinity of intrinsic modes, these are the intensities of white. Understand: white equals light in the example. An infinity of luminous intensities... he is saying: a form has intrinsic modes.... that in which the form puts itself into effect are extrinsic modes. Therefore it is necessary to distinguish form from extrinsic modes, but there is something else. A form has also a kind [espèce] ˜ as they say in the Middle Ages ˜ a kind of latitude, a latitude of form, which has degrees, the intrinsic degrees of form. Good. These are intensities, therefore intensive quantities.... the theory of intensive quantities is like the conception of differential calculus [and the relation between the 3 modes of the Trinity also makes this a crucial theological question]

how can Spinoza say, at least in one text, that every affection, that any affection is an affection of essence... in definition one at the end of book three we read this: "Desire is man‚s very essence, insofar as it is conceived to be determined, from any given affection of it, to do something."... one asks oneself how Spinoza can say that all the affections and all the affects are affections of essence. That means that even a passion is an affection of essence.... At the close of all our analyses, we tended to conclude that what truly belongs to essence are the adequate ideas and the active affects, that is, the ideas of the second kind and the ideas of the third kind. It‚s these that truly belong to essence. But Spinoza seems to say entirely the opposite: not only are all the passions affections of essence, but even among the passions, sadnesses, the worst passions, every affect affects essence! [Zizek problem again] ... Thus the passions belong to essence no less than the actions; the inadequate ideas [belong] to essence no less than the adequate ideas. And nevertheless there was necessarily a difference.

I have an inadequate idea, I have a confused proposition out of which comes a passion-affect. In what sense does this belong to my essence? It seems to me that the answer is this: in my natural condition I am condemned to inadequate perceptions. This means that I am composed of an infinity of extensive parts [which are] external to one another. These extensive parts belong to me under a certain relation. But these extensive parts are perpetually submitted to the influence of other parts which act upon them and which don‚t belong to me... the perception that I have of heat is a confused perception, and from it come affects which are themselves passions: "I‚m hot!" At the level of the proposition "I‚m hot!," if I try to distribute the Spinozist categories, I would say: an external body acts on mine. It‚s the sun. That is to say that the parts of the sun act on the parts of my body. All of that is pure external determinism, it‚s like the shocks of particles.
I call perception when I perceive the heat that I experience, the idea of the effect of the sun on my body. It‚s an inadequate perception since it‚s an idea of an effect, I do not know the cause and from it follows a passive affect

In what sense is this an affection of essence?
It‚s inevitably an affection of essence. At first sight it‚s an affection of the existing body. But finally there is only essence. The existing body is still a figure of essence. The existing body is essence itself, insofar as an infinity of extensive parts, under a certain relation, belongs to it. [But Spinoza] considers the following two concepts as equivalents: relation of movement and rest, and power [pouvoir] of being affected or aptitude to be affected. One must ask oneself why he treats this kinetic proposition and this dynamic proposition as equivalents. Why is a relation of movement and rest that characterizes me at the same time a power of being affected that belongs to me? There will be two definitions of the body. The kinetic definition will be this: every body is defined by a relation of movement and rest. The dynamic definition is: every body is defined by a certain power of being affected. You must be sensitive to the double kinetic and dynamic register.

What does one call affection? One calls affection the idea of an effect. These extensive parts that belong to me, you can‚t conceive them as having no effect upon one another. They are inseparable from the effect that they have on one another.... An affection is nothing other than the idea of the effect. The necessarily confused idea since I have no idea of the cause. It‚s the reception of the effect: I say that I perceive. It‚s thus that Spinoza can pass from the kinetic definition to the dynamic definition, that is, that the relation under which an infinity of extensive parts belongs to me is equally a power of being affected....

Ultimately the affections and the affects can only be affections and affects of essence. Why? They exist for you only as they fulfill a power of being affected which is yours, and this power of being affected is the power of being affected of your essence. At no moment do you have to miss it. When it rains and you are so unhappy, you literally lack nothing [general and morally indifferent version again] ... Every affection, every perception and every feeling, every passion is affection, perception and passion of essence... Here the power of being affected belongs to essence... When one succeeds in rising to the second and third kinds of knowledge, what happens? Here I have adequate perceptions and active affects. What does that mean? It‚s the affections of essence. I would even say all the more reason. What difference from the preceding case? This time they do not come from outside, they come from inside.... the extensive parts and the action of the extensive parts are cast off since I am raised to the comprehension of relations that are causes, thus I am raised to another aspect of essence. It‚s no longer essence insofar as it actually possesses an infinity of extensive parts, it‚s essence insofar as it expresses itself in a relation... if I am raised to ideas of the third kind, these ideas and the active affects that follow from them belong to essence and are affections of essence, this time insofar as essence is in itself [en soi], is in itself [en elle-même], in itself and for itself, is in itself [en soi] and for itself [pour soi] a degree of power [puissance]... All the affections are affections of essence, but be careful, affection of essence does not have one and only one sense [Maslow really here – self-actualisation is at the top of the pyramid at least ion the move from 1 to 2.Level 3 is circualr]

Why does all this constitute an ontology? I have a feeling-idea. There has never been but a single ontology. There is only Spinoza who has managed to pull off an ontology. If one takes ontology in an extremely rigorous sense, I see only one case where a philosophy has realized itself as ontology, and that‚s Spinoza.... The passions are affects that fulfill the power of being affected and that come from outside... when can I begin authentically to say "I"? With the second kind of knowledge, I leave behind the zone of the effect of parts on one another... What would the third kind be? Here Lawrence abounds. In abstract terms it would be a mystical union... It‚s here that there is something irreducibly mystical in Spinoza‚s third kind of knowledge: at the same time the essences are distinct, only they distinguish themselves on the inside from one another. So much so that the rays by which the sun affects me are the rays by which I affect myself, and the rays by which I affect myself are the rays of the sun that affect me. It‚s solar auto-affection

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