I’ve been reading Deleuze and Guattari in an attempt to find an epistemology that is coherent to peer reviewers and fits the way I think. Perhaps having got to Deleuze and Guattari shows a level of desperation I was hoping to avoid- I was hoping to settle for something I could understand better, something that would help me classify and systemise my thoughts and this does the opposite. I suspect that as with my spirituality/theology the fault is mine for being a feminist.
If you’ve been reading my blog over the years you were probably not expecting confusing philosophers. Aren’t I meant to be discussing the weekly readings? But that was the thing, in my very confusing book about how (not) to think Deleuze and Guattari argue that ideas are rhizomatic not tree-like, they are connected in multiple and twisted ways in several dimension, not hierarchical or emanating from a single source. In doing this they deliberately trouble what they see as a Western idea of a transcendent God. We are only ever connected to the hierarchical step above us so that as a woman I need a husband or at least a priest to mediate the tradition which mediates the mediator who mediates God the Father. But if you’ve read me you will know that I fail to operate that way.
D and G offer instead what they see as an Eastern (I accidentally typed “Easter” to begin with, perhaps a fortuitous mistake), rhizomatic model of immanence, covering both sexuality and music as earthier, more liberated expressions of something more than just reproduction or even genitality. As the lone and superior tree is to grass(roots) or weeds so the transcendent God is to the immanent Godde. The transcendent God according to D and G sows and reaps, whereas the transcendent Godde feeds us with tubers rather than grains and unearths and replants (a student’s assignment I just marked told me we should be uncovering knowledge not covering curriculum).
Did that make sense? Perhaps it needs to be expressed as a picture or a poem or a dance rather than a logical argument.
God as immanent, as intimate
like a piece of music- earthy braking free of rhythms, syncopated as life
the heart beat that should not continue and yet does,
the beloved gone like the tuber buried but there is life somehow in the covering and uncovering,
in the confusing sexual identity of the plant which is both in one organism, or it would not reproduce
in the refusal to live for reproduction only (which is perhaps the essence of beauty).
The uncomfortable, the unproductive, the unprofitable, the least of my brethren
but the gospel told us that the seed that fell among weeds was choked to death (was it though?)
My sweet potatoes are dying off but I hope that means I can dig them up and make patties
which is productive and even materialist again contradicting what I thought I had hold of
the theology which undoes itself (you can see why this appeals to me).
Undoing can mean messy meltdowns- bad mental health
but also undoing the clothing can mean intimacy.
When they let me “preach” for a couple of minutes I try to be raw-ly honest, but there is always that feeling that I am getting away with something, that I have taken some giant liberty. I feel like an impostor in any “faith” community and yet I don’t quite manage to make a convincing atheist (and can’t seem to want to).
God to me is like the owl I glimpsed in shadow for almost half a minute before my eyes realised what i was seeing at which it rose and flew off silently and seeming cross with me for having seen it. Then I hear sounds in the night and tell myself it is the “owl” but with my rational mind I know how unlikely that is.
So what do you end up believing? Does God(de) sow seeds all too easily picked off by birds? Or does she replant tubers in the dank, dark? What is her relationship to weeds and why do I care?
Will I ever be “smart enough” to be here and will the species survive long enough for it to matter? I quoted the Beatles in church 3 weeks ago to make my son happy:
“All you need is love, love love”
He keeps referring to that, as if it’s the only theology I ever preached.