Notes on: Deleuze, G and Guattari, F. ( 2004) A Thousand Plateaus.London: Continuum. Chapter 6 November 28th 1947 How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?

Dave Harris


NB I now know the significance of the date, at least according to Brian Holmes

November 8, 1947, one year after the promulgation of the Truman Doctrine offering military support against communist insurgencies, and only a few months after the speech announcing the Marshall Plan. This was the day of the radio broadcast of Antonin Artaud’s most radical performance, To Have Done with the Judgment of God – a poetic revolt against the overcoding of body and mind by the advancing armies of organized commerce and industrialized war. What Artaud proposed in response to the megamachine [fusion of subjectivity and capitalist machinery] was a “body without organs”: a smooth slippage of flesh without grasp for the robots of battle, and an exit from the geopolitical map of the Cold War. The broadcast never happened: it was censored by the French government.

NB When I first read this it was virtually (sic) unreadable,and about all I could do was to quote bits of it.  It was once a very popular chapter --but I can see that the educationists would struggle, if only with the strange bits about masochistic and/or Tantric sex.

What it amounts to is: bodies are highly creative but they have had their creativity channelled into various acceptable practices -- through the 'organs' if you must (and if you are a fan of Artaud). Once we allow ourselves to be treated as a mere organism, we can be contgrolled --by God, and, Artaud insists, by women ( although that thought is suppressed in this): we become slaves to conventional desires and rely on God to forgive us, placing us endlessly in his debt. We can see the pure creative activities once flows of intensity driven by desire in the abstract, are allowed to roam across a very abstracted body -- the BwO. The trick is to release that creativity. People who have tried to do this have used masochism, sex and drugs,but all these are risky. They can lead to empty bodies where nothing happens at all, black holes of subjectivity. We also have to be careful of radical body regimes like fascism,or anything that lets a particular bodily activity reterritorialize our BwO  -- the cancerous body.For all these reasons, the conclusions are pretty conservative -- we shouldn't bugger about, or at least only experiment in a limited way: 'Lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flows of conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times' (178)

[I have added more background notes/comments on the BwO here]

Some mystifying quotes:

#1: Every time desire is betrayed, cursed, uprooted from its field of immanence, a priest is behind it. The priest cast the triple curse on desire; the negative law, the extrinsic rule, and the transcendent ideal. Facing north, the priest said, Desire is lack (how could it not lack what it desires?). The priest carried out the first sacrifice, named castration, and all the men and women of the north lined up behind him, crying in cadence, "Lack, lack, it’s the common law." Then, facing south, the priest linked desire to pleasure. For there are hedonistic, even orgiastic, priests. Desire will be assuaged by pleasure; and not only will the pleasure obtained silence desire for a moment but the process of obtaining it is already a way of interrupting it, of instantly discharging it and unburdening oneself of it. Pleasure as discharge: the priest carries out the second sacrifice, named masturbation. Then, facing east, he exclaimed: Jouissance is impossible, but impossible jouissance is inscribed in desire. For that, in its very impossibility, is the ldeal, the “manque-a-jouir that is life.”’ [apparently a reference to Lacan, the footnote tells us who said it was impossible to achieve a unity between subject and object in desire]. The priest carried out the third sacrifice, phantasy or the thousand and one nights, the one hundred twenty days, while the men of the East chanted: Yes, we will be your phantasy, your ideal and impossibility, yours and also our own. The priest did not turn to the west. He knew that in the west lay a plane of consistency, but he thought that the way was blocked by the columns of Hercules, that it led nowhere and was uninhabited by people. But that is where desire was lurking, west was the shortest route east, as well as to the other directions, rediscovered or deterritorialized.

The most recent figure of the priest is the psychoanalyst, with his or her three principles: Pleasure, Death, and Reality. Doubtless, psychoanalysis demonstrated that desire is not subordinated to procreation, or even to genitality. That was its modernism. But it retained the essentials; it even found new ways of inscribing in desire the negative law of lack, the external rule of pleasure, and the transcendent ideal of phantasy. Take the interpretation of masochism: when the ridiculous death instinct is not invoked, it is claimed that the masochist, like everybody else, is after pleasure but can only get it through pain and phantasied humiliations whose function is to allay or ward off deep anxiety. This is inaccurate; the masochist's suffering is the price he must pay, not to achieve pleasure, but to untie the pseudobond between desire and pleasure as an extrinsic measure. Pleasure is in no way something that can be attained only by a detour through suffering; it is something that must be delayed as long as possible because it interrupts the continuous process of positive desire (171—2).


#2 The enemies are the 3 strata – ‘ the ones that most directly bind us: the organism, signifiance and will articulate your body –otherwise you’re just depraved. You will be signifier and signified, interpreter and interpreted – otherwise you’re just a deviant. You will be a subject, nailed down as one, a subject of the enunciation recoiled into a subject of the statement –otherwise you’re just a tramp’ (176-7) NB signifiance [sic -- no 'c'] means 'signifying capacity', the glossary at the start tells us , especially 'the syntagmatic processes of language' (xix) [the business of developing meanings by applying terms over time and narratives to them] 'Interpretance' apparently refers to the paradigmatic processes [associating terms together in a set] as in 'interpretative capacity'. The terms are found in Beneviste, but I expect you knew that.

OK, let's start. We are going to proceed by examining a number of accounts, quite diverse ones, again in order to try and reconstruct some more abstract machinic or diagrammatic conception in the end.

You have to control and deepen your knowledge of desire by invoking a body without organs, which lies there implicitly, although it needs to be fully accomplished.  It's not easy to do this and can even lead to death.  We need 'a set of practices'(166) - 'it is not at all a notion or a concept'.  It is a limit state that can never actually be reached, although it has a real existence even though we don't realize it - it is the source of the pleasures of sleep, fighting, happy experiences, even love. 

Artaud (see notes) declared war on the organs [in the play completed on the date in the epigram].  Such experimentation naturally incurred censorship and repression.  'They will not let you experiment in peace'.

In a number of cases, the body shows that it has 'had enough of organs[ and the conventional pains and pleasures they bring] ' the hypochondriac body' is one example [citing a French psychiatrist who had a patient who literally thought that she no longer possessed any organs].  The 'paranoid body' is another example, where the organs are continually under attack but constantly renewed [the reference is to Schreber here].  There is a 'schizo body' struggling with the organs and risking catatonia.  The 'drugged body' is a kind of experimental schizo state [with a reference to Burroughs].  There is also the 'masochistic body' which is not just about the enjoyment of pain, but an attempt to stop the organs from working in conventional ways [lots more below].  All these should remind us of the need for caution.  We should also avoid attempts just to empty bodies, rather than releasing them to pursue 'gaiety, ecstasy and dance' (167).  That promise leads us to keep experimenting, until we have 'sufficiently dismantled our self'.

[A detour into the masochistic body, with a long description of a masochistic phantasy, possibly a practice, involving sewing up various apertures in the body, sewing buttons on to breasts, tying people up and binding them, and so on - again the reference is to a French case study].  We should see this as a programme, an 'anti psychiatric' experiment, defying conventional interpretation.  The BWO is what lies beneath the phantasy, and, therefore beneath 'signifiances [sic] and subjectifications as a whole' (168).  We can see that for the masochistic experiment, two phases are required, one to make the BWO, and the other to 'make something circulate on it', in this case intensities of pain.  The whole idea is to construct a BWO 'that only pain can fill or travel over', like packs or swarms. The drugged body aims to experience 'intensities of cold' instead. 

There are thus different types of BWO fabricated in different ways, and experiencing various modes including 'variants and…  surprises', a combination of synthesis and analysis, both producing a BWO, and then analysing what it can do, what is already included in it.  However, such experiments risk simply emptying the BWO.  You can fail both to constitute one, and then to make it productive, producing the 'point of blockage' described by Burroughs (169).  It is hard to say if such a block is itself an intensity, and it varies case by case.  We can use Lewin [that Lewin, who analyzed organizations!] here to remind ourselves that the body is a kind of series of channels divided up by doors and gatekeepers.

The BWO can register only intensities [like all virtual objects].  What happens on it is not phantasy and does not require interpretation - it is just a distribution of intensities in a spatium [something which is intensive itself], and not space.  Matter occupies space only to a certain degree, according to intensities produced.  We are talking here about non-formed, non-extensive matter, 'intense matter', something where 'intensity = 0" [inert matter as such, like Spinoza on substance -- and see below], and zero is not to be taken as negative, simply as a sign that there is no energy at work except that which matter itself possesses.  The production of the real can therefore be seen 'as an intensive magnitude starting at zero'.  This is what happens on the BWO and we can see it as 'the full egg before the extension of the organism and the organization of the organs', before the formation of the strata' (170) [DeLanda is invaluable as usual here].  Development is a matter of gradients and thresholds, back season vectors, even 'kinematic movements involving group displacement' [a reference to a certain Albert Dalq].  Crossing thresholds produces extensive changes, like changes in organs, but  'no organ is constant as regards either function or position…  sex organs sprout anywhere'[Burroughs again, and leading up to advocacy of polymorphous sexuality]

Spinoza offers 'the great book of the BWO', with the attributes as types of BWO, and substances, powers and intensities as matrices of production.  Modes are everything that comes to pass, including waves, thresholds and gradients.  We can see the masochistic body as an attribute, and the drugged body as another attribute - one wants intensities based on pain modes, the other intensities based on cold [The Cold, as described by Burroughs].  Following Spinoza, the question then becomes whether there is a substance of all substances, a totality of all BWOs.  Once more, this is going to lead to the notion of 'a fusional multiplicity' that goes beyond oppositions between one and [conventional]  multiple, and makes up 'the ontological unity of substance'.  We can then see all the attributes as types of intensity within a substance, and a continuum of intensities under a single attribute.  In this way, 'all BWOs pay homage to Spinoza', and we can see the BWO as 'the field of immanence of desire, the plane of consistency specific to desire', where desire is a process of production not related to any exterior agency, certainly not to a lack or a particular conventional 'pleasure that fills it'(171).

[Then we get the bit about desire being betrayed and cursed as in quote #1 above.  I still don't get it, except in terms we've already described -- far too lyrical for me].  Psychoanalysts are modern priests trying to explain everything in terms of 'Pleasure, Death, and Reality'.  It is true that they did not see desire simply as a matter of procreation, or even tied to genitals [sorry], but they replaced these constraints with 'the negative law of lack, the external role of pleasure, and the transcendent ideal of phantasy'.  Thus masochism is explained in terms of the death instinct, or in terms of simply channeling pleasure through pain and fantasised humiliation in order to 'ward off deep anxiety'.  However, suffering is a price masochists pay not to gain pleasure, but 'to untie the pseudobond between desire and pleasure as an extrinsic measure'.  Pleasure can be gained by interrupting positive desires, releasing 'a joy that is immanent to desire', one that replaces desire and any lack or impossibility.  This cannot be understood simply by measuring pleasure, because it operates with intensities which 'prevents them from being suffused by anxiety, shame and guilt' (172) [so deep anxiety is still involved then?].  Masochists are constituting their own BWO to bringing 'forth a plane of consistency of desire'.  It is only one approach, and others might be more suitable for different people [a hint of the subjective here?].

More descriptions of masochistic programs ensue, with thrashing and harnesses, leading D&G to digress on to masochists as wanting to imitate the horse.  This is not to be read as a symbol for mothers or fathers or family scenes.  It is instead 'a becoming - animal essential to masochism'.  The idea is to 'destroy the instinctive forces in order to replace them with transmitted forces', to set up some exchange and circulation so that '"what happens to a horse can also happen to me"'.  When humans train horses, they overcome and regulate the animal's  instinctive forces, and masochism inverts this procedure, so that the horse transmits its regulatory practices to the human [being beaten or harnessed], in order to regulate human instinctive forces [become aware of them as not just conventional human ones and eventually release them?].  There is a circuit made between the series experienced by horses, and that experienced by the masochist, and this increases power and intensity.  The requirement for a human mistress to impose restraints 'ensures the conversion of forces and the inversion of signs'.

There is therefore an assemblage based on 'the field of immanence of desire'(173), a constructed BWO 'or plane of consistency'.  The assemblage joins together the person, the horse and the mistress.  In this particular case, the masochist attempted to fuse his person with that of the mistress, with the intention of experiencing fear instead of being dominated by lust, e.g.  at the sight of women's legs and caresses.  Legs have ceased to be conventional organs and have been replaced by signs such as boots, and as a result they are now a zone of intensity or a zone on the BWO [that is they do not have the same conventional socially accepted results and effects?]

At the other extreme, we can consider courtly love [nice contrast!].  Again it is a matter of prolonging pleasure or making it regress, achieving a state in which 'desire no longer lacks anything but fills itself and constructs its own field of immanence'(173).  People find themselves as a result [a great example in the curious passions and pleasures found in Proust, when the bourgeois fall in love and think this makes them fully human].  To focus this on a pleasure would be to reterritorialize.  It is not a love of self, nor an open love of the whole universe, but a matter of making a BWO, and experiencing singularities which are not personal, and intensities rather than extensives.  The boundary between interior and exterior is dissolved.  Any sort of activity in courtly love is permitted, even the test of mettle, but everything has to stay on the plane of immanence, and neither becoming external nor internal.  A caress is 'as strong as an orgasm: orgasm is a mere fact, a rather deplorable one'.  The flow of desire itself is what is sought.  In this case, the gap between desire and pleasure does not arise from a lack, but because desire is more positive [valorizing lots more than just conventional pleasures].

The Chinese Tao is another example, with its circuits between female and male energy, yin and yang.  Again, men should not ejaculate, both parties should not see desire is a lack or simply a delaying of pleasure to gained some 'externalizable surplus value' (174), but constituting an intensive BWO, again with nothing external or transcendent.  This energy can be directed towards procreation, but this is only 'one side of the assemblage of desire, the side facing the strata, organisms, State, family'.  On the other side lies destratification and the plane of consistency, and this can be found in quite different social formations and other assemblages, including artistic and scientific ones.

It is not that masochism, Tao and courtly love are interchangeable, but they are locations on a field of immanence or plane of consistency, which we must construct [by philosophizing, of course]. This runs through different social formations and assemblages and shows itself in different types of BWO.  'The plane of consistency would be the totality of all BWOs, or pure multiplicity of immanence, one piece of which may be Chinese, another American, another medieval, another petty perverse, but all in a movement of generalized deterritorialization in which each person [SIC] takes or makes what she or he can, according to tastes she or he will have succeeded in abstracting from a Self...  According to a politics of strategy successfully abstracted from a given formation' [sounds a bit like Foucault here].

So we are left with different types of BWO, like those of the masochist or druggist, each attempting to reach intensity at degree zero.  What happens on each type of BWO is also different - intensities and waves '(latitudo)'(175).  There is also a  'potential totality of all BWOs, the plane of consistency (Omnitudo, sometimes called the BWO [!])'.  There are different questions to be asked including how we make a BWO and produce corresponding intensities to fill it, and how we get to the plane of consistency - maybe by 'conjugating the intensities produced on each BWO...  Producing a continuum of all intensive continuities'.  While assemblages fabricate each actual BWO, 'a great abstract Machine' is necessary to construct the plane of consistency.  We can use Bateson's notion of the plateau to describe 'continuous regions of intensity', unaffected by external factors, but also not building towards a climax -as in sex, aggression, or Balinese culture.  Each plateau is 'a piece of immanence', and every BWO is made of plateaus in communication with the other plateaus on the plane of consistency.  In this sense, 'the BWO is a component of passage'[quite a confused and ambivalent section this, using the same names to refer to the actual and the virtual BWO or plateau.  No wonder Guattari did not understand the term in the same way as Deleuze].

Now let us discuss Artaud.  Reading his main novels suggest that 'Heliogabalus is Spinoza, and Spinoza is Heliogabalus revived'.  [Note that the only copies available of these novels in English cost several hundred pounds, so I haven't read them] The  Tarahumaras show experimentation with peyote.  Underneath, there is 'the same formula: anarchy and unity are one and the same thing'.  However unity should be understood not in terms of 'the One', but the multiplicity, 'a much stranger unity': 'principles as forces, essences, substrates, elements, remissions, productions; manners of being of modalities as produced intensities, vibrations, breaths, Numbers'. You can never get there if you are halted by your organs [especially if they are unhealthy, like Artaud's ] or locked into an organism or stratum [or an asylum, in Artaud's case].

So it is not an opposition between BWO and organs,but between BWO and organism, 'the organization of the organs'. This is Artaud's enemy. The BWO has 'true organs' (176), which have to be 'composed and positioned'. Organisms are the result of the judgement of God as a system [with guilt, hatred of the body etc] [and women, Deleuze's useful essay on Artaud adds]. God doesn't like the BWO and wants to constrain or destroy it, and so do doctors -- they benefit from the judgment of God: both reduce us to organisms.

The organism is therefore a stratum on the BWO, something that has accumulated, coagulated and sedimented 'in order to extract useful labour' by imposing particular forms and functions and organizations on the BWO.  The strata are as usual 'bonds, pincers'.  The subject itself depends on a stratum, just as does the organism.  This means that the BWO is the 'glacial reality' in which sedimentation and stratification occur [and folding].  The BWO would protest at being wrongfully folded or appropriated, but the judgement of god makes it into an organism or subject.  Nevertheless, there are still two poles, one facing towards stratification and one to the plane of consistency, one where it submits to that judgment, and another where it experiments.  It is easy to think we can attain the limit of the stratified side, but there is always another stratum behind each one, 'encasted in it', leaving 'a perpetual and violent combat between the plane of consistency... and the surfaces of stratification'[the judgement of god evidently is found everywhere].

This leads to the idea of the three great strata as in quote #2 above.  The BWO offers disarticulation, '(or N articulations)' (177), experimentation, which avoids significance and interpretation, and nomadism as a form of 'motionless voyage, desubjectification'.  Disarticulation [of the organism] is actually easy, and we do it every day, but caution is necessary, to avoid overdose.  You do it gradually, inventing self destructions, but avoiding the death drive, not killing yourself, but opening the body to connections and therefore new assemblages or circuits or conjunctions, or deterritorialization. 

Signifiance and subjectification can also be dismantled, although signifiance 'clings to the soul' and 'is not easy to get rid of either' [make your  forking minds up].  It is not easy to break with subjectification.  We have to separate the conscious from the subject, and the unconscious from signifiance and interpretation, which is no more or less difficult than taking the body away from the organism.  Caution is required in all three cases, and 'falsehood, illusion, hallucination and psychic death' might result.  We should follow Artaud and carefully examine what is good for us and what is harmful [with a long quotation from The Peyote Dance about a plane to be reached, perhaps as a fantasy to compensate for an unhealthy consciousness].

We have to keep enough of our organism to carry on with every day life and enough signifiance and subjectification if only to be able to criticize them as systems, 'to respond to the dominant reality'(178).  We can 'mimic the strata'.  We should beware excessive destratifying which will lead to 'empty and dreary bodies' like those cited at the start of the chapter.  Patience is required, a temporary dismantling of the organs.  It is easy to 'botch' it, failing to produce it, or producing it as something empty.  Heading towards the plane of consistency and experimentation will end in death, a black hole or catastrophe unless you take precautions.  Better to stay stratified rather than provoke an even heavier stratification.  Hence 'lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow, conjunctions here and there...  [but] have a small plot of new land at all times'.  We need a 'meticulous relation with the strata'.  [We need philosophy to] 'connect, conjugate, continue: a whole"diagram"as opposed to still signifying and subjective programmes'. 

[ here we get close to a method again] We are in a social formation and need to see how it is stratified.  Then we can trace the strata back to the deeper assemblage.  Then 'tip the assemblage' towards the plane of consistency [that is treat it as a plateau, to see how it connects at the virtual level].  This reveals the BWO as a connection of desires, flows and continuum of intensities.  This will provide each of us with 'your own little machine, ready when needed to be plugged into other collective machines' (179). Castenada shows us how he experiments with peyote and others to experiment to give up interpretation, to become animal, to become molecular.  BWO is therefore a place and the plane, a collectivity -'my' body is a location on it, 'what remains of me, unalterable and changing in form, crossing thresholds'.

[The chapter then rambles on to Castenada would you believe. At last – it starts to make sense! Younger readers must ask their parents about Castenada, the author of best-selling 60s/70s hippy texts allegedly about the life and times of a (probably mythical) Yaqui sorcerer, “Don Juan”. “DJ” sets out to rock the foundations of Castenada’s world with a series of disorientation techniques, including long walks, starvation, odd  and frightening behaviour, isolation in the desert and (eventually) taking peyote. The first volume was aimed at making us all realize our ‘scientific’ conventions were arbitrary and close to magic themselves, and that noble savages had a lot of wisdom too (Castenada claimed to be an anthropology student). After that, the books got odder and odder – more and more obsessional/paranoid in fact, with more characters, more improbable alleged concepts central to DJ’s belief system introduced, a fair bit of repetition, and a general eco philosophy supposedly emerging from a series of ‘critical incidents’  (as we would call them now). Clearly a model for old D&G, but much more readable and much better box office! What happened to Castenada in the end I wonder -- is he now an ageing hippy hallucinating in the desert somewhere, or did he invest the revenues in the stock market? Actually I now know - he turned into a lifestyle guru and has his own tapes on You Tube demonstrating ways to become a proper warrior --Tensegrity]

D and G say it does not matter if Castenada has made it up.  They like the fourth book especially, Tales of Power, about the difference between the Tonal and the Nagual: the former operates at the level of the organisms, signifiance and a subjective, as the Self, 'the subject, the historical, social, or individual person, and the corresponding feelings', everything that makes up the rules to understand the world.  But the Nagual is also everything, but at the [virtual] level of flows, fluids, fibers, becomings, which exceed the world of the individual, subjective perceptions and even history.  They interpret the tonal to include all of the strata are and everything that can be ascribed to them, the organisation of the actual, while the Nagual dismantles the strata.  A BWO results, that registers intensities and becomings.  There is a refusal of any sort of Freudian interpretation of dreams.  The self is replaced by a fog.  However, the Nagual can simply destroy the tonal if you are not careful.

The BWO actually exists in the strata themselves as well as on the plane of consistency, but in a 'different manner'(180).  [it can take a nasty form], so one BWO opposes the organization of the organs and produces an opposite 'cancerous tissue', and this requires an organism to restratify it.  There can be the equivalent of a cancer on the stratum of signifiance, 'the burgeoning body of the despot that blocks any circulation of signs', as well as any asignifying signs on the '"other" BWO'.  Subjectification can similarly be stifled and frozen, leading to an absence of any distinction between subjects, and here, the potential BWO would 'invade the entire social field' through violence and rivalry, or complicity, producing a BWO of money or the state or the military or the party.  Stratification can develop if there is a suitably 'high sedimentation rate for it to lose its configuration and articulations' (181), and form a tumour. 

If destratification is pursued too vigorously, new BWOs, including totalitarian and fascist ones can be formed as 'caricatures of the plane of consistency'.  This is 'the three - body problem'[Artaud again?].  Artaud suggests that outside the plane he refers to is another one which can be either an extension or a menace - it is always a struggle to tell the three bodies apart.  In the play on the judgement of god, Artaud already knows about the dangers of too rapid destratification.  Apparently, he also wrote a letter to Hitler, referring to a map of Paris, by which he meant 'a BWO intensity map', somehow foreseeing Hitler's domination [?].

The BWO is the egg, a milieu of experimentation, always with us, referring to pure intensity and spatium.  Such conceptions are now found in both science and myths -the egg which distinguishes itself into things and organs through 'gradients, migrations, zones of proximity' (182).  In this sense, a BWO does not exist before an organism; if it is tied to childhood this is not so much following regression to the child, but more in the sense of a Dogon myth, where a child is conceived as containing a part of the mother, 'his or her perpetual break with the past, his or her present experience, experimentation'. 

The BWO is a both a childhood block and becoming, it is a child that is contemporaneous with the adult, 'a map of comparative densities and intensities and all of the variations on that map' [this whole section is mystifying bullshit/private language].  It is an 'intense germen', which somehow produces organic representations like parents or children,  'the child as the germinal contemporary of its parents', so Freud had failed to understand this. The BWO 'is never yours or mine.  It is always a body'[original emphasis], a creative involution, producing organs eventually which are distributed at first independently of the organism, as a form of intensities, contingent forms initially.  There are never organs without the body [Zizek disagrees], organs that are fragments of a lost unity.  Organs are initially indefinite, so it is better to speak of '"an eye"' and so on.  Organs represent 'a distribution of intensive principles...  within a collectivity or multiplicity, inside an assemblage, and according to machinic connections'.  Psychoanalytic terms like 'regressions, projections, fantasies' depend on a different image of the body - they are really 'BWO phenomena', which cannot be understood except in conventional terms of families childhood memories, part objects and so on: they really should be put back on to 'the worldwide intensity map'.  [So none of this is poetic, it is simply our heroes describing modern views of embryology in their usual lyrical way].

BWO is also desire, what one desires and 'by which one desires'(183).  This desire operates at the plane of consistency, where we find its 'field of immanence', and it persists even noncancerous strata where it becomes 'desiring one's own annihilation, or desiring the power to annihilate'- 'even fascism is desire'.  [Political relativism is clear here - resolved by pragmatism as usual?].  Wherever a BWO is constituted, there is desire, nothing to do with ideology, but related to 'pure matter'.  This produces a 'material problem' for schizoanalysis in distinguishing the creative BWO from its empty cancerous or fascist variants, not denouncing some desires as false, but rather choosing between them.  We constantly have to stay alert for fascist tendencies, 'even inside us' as well as the suicidal or demented. But the plane of consistency is not just the sum of all BWOs.  Abstract machines are composed of BWOs as mixed, and we must choose what can be directed towards the plane of consistency - for example distinguishing fascist uses of drugs but also creative ones that might be in conformity with the plane of consistency.  Even paranoia might be divided this way.

So the plane of consistency is not the sum of BWOs, but rather the sum of elements that have been selected, full and creative BWOs, leaving out cancerous or empty bodies.  Is this just a logical construction, or does each BWO actually produce effects which are  'identical or analogous to' those of others?  If so, we might be able to get the same effects from drug use or masochism from other BWOs, like 'being soused on pure water'as in an experiment by Henry Miller.  Or perhaps there is a real exchange of substances, an intensive continuum of substance.  'Doubtless, anything is possible' (184). [Guattari doesn't really  care if this is him -- it is therapy and politics that attracts him]. In any case, we need 'an abstract machine capable of covering and even creating [the plane of consistency],...  assemblages capable of plugging into desire' which will ensure there are connections and pursue 'transversal tie-ins'.  If we don't do this, all the BWOs will remain separated from each other marginalised, and cancerous and emptied doubles 'will triumph'.

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