realities that exist at the sub- and supra-individual level and these realities may not berepresented adequately through molar identities but can only be experienced as theimmanence of these realities themselves. It is from the perspective of this spiritualphilosophy, one that questions the rootedness in transcendence of both materialistphilosophy and molar spiritualist philosophies, that a nascent philosophy of nature ispursued in
and deepened in
A Thousand Plateaus
. We trace this philosophy of nature as it explicates what it is that forms the “unground” that produces and isproduced by the interplay of the actual and the virtual.
We then explain this relationalcharacter of the actual and the virtual in more detail and show that immanence is thename of this relation. It is then shown how ecology provides a number of images thatcan become explanatory concepts for understanding the relational reality of this name.Finally we return to the spiritual politics present in
and connect it toBergson’s revolutionary insight that the mechanical and the mystical are irreducibly connected in order to show how this spiritual philosophy of nature can foster a belief inthis refractory world that will power the machinery for the making of gods.
Deleuze and Guattari’s Machinic Philosophy of Nature
Deleuze remarked in an interview after the publication of
What is Philosophy
thathe and Guattari would like to “produce a sort of philosophy of Nature, now that any distinction between nature and artifice is becoming blurred.”
The remark is notsurprising as just such a philosophy of nature is already present in a nascent way in theco-authored works. This understanding of nature, arising out of the clarity that comes when the false problem of nature-artifice is tossed aside, is present in the opening pagesof
where Deleuze and Guattari write that “we make no distinction betweenman and nature: the human essence of nature and the natural essence of man becomeone within nature in the form of production or industry, just as they do within the life of man as a species.”
This line is quoted in many of the attempts to show the relevance of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought for ecology and environmentalism, but the philosophicalimportance of it is often obscured in a variety of residual sentimentalisms that may takeeither a pastoral form as sentimentalism towards nature (nature as wilderness or other to
On the production of immanence rather than its “mere givenness” see Daniel Colucciello Barber,
The Production of Immanence: Deleuze, Yoder, and Adorno
(PhD Dissertation, Duke University).
, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press,1995), p. 155.
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari,
Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), p. 4.