De-Ontologizing God

Levinas, Deleuze, and Whitehead
ROLAND FABER

Ontology and the De-Ontologization of God Ontology and theology seem to express a reciprocal relationship. As the German theologian Walter Kasper writes, "God-Talk presupposes the metaphysical question of Being and evokes it at the same time."1 Hence, ontological God-language is a significant, although disputed, aspect of theological and philosophical discussion—pne thinks of the importance of Charles Hartshorne's occupation with the ontological argument of Anselm of Canterbury. The hope for an ontological horizon of God-language still lurks on the ground of theological propositions; so we find it, for instance, behind Hans Kiing's question (and book), Does God Exist? Under the reign of ontology, the most important question seems to be that of God's "existence." Nevertheless, since Ludwig Feuerbach's strong reproach of projection, Friedrich Nietzsche's denial of the "existence" of God, and Immanuel Kant's deconstruction of ontological God-language in his First Critique, the correlation, congruence, or even reciprocity between theology and ontology can no longer be claimed naively. Criticism within and external to theology has forced theologians to think about de-ontologizing God. Language-critical, psychoanalytic, deconstructive,, and ethical reasons underly this process of dissociating theology from ontology. The language-critical reason: "God" is the expression of general notions (like "the world"); thus, "God" is a language signifier by which the subject of speech is to be constituted as "manifestor." Subject and signifier mutually cause one another; they do not need any a priori designations or relation with "real" objects (LS, 12ff.). The psychoanalytic reason: "God" refers to the repressive reality of the "Super-Ego" (father and mother). Its strength of repression canalizes the "Id" and stabilizes the "Ego."
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(2) However. Secondly. . it may be fruitful to introduce Whitehead into contemporary philosophical discussions because he may well generate new views of the problems under dispute. as expressed in the three-step thesis of aesthetics. I take the voice of Levinas to be one of the strongest. Hence. and that of the "positive-univocal ontology" of Duns Scotus. de-ontologization does not indicate a dismissal of ontology and the ontological question as such. and Whitehead. and nothing else.to take ' place: On the one hand. Cartesian. It is in the name of these traditions. it leaves a wider horizon—that is. But God as substance or essence can be defined only negatively. Whitehead was opposed to such proofs (cf. and even Deleuze. Benedict de Spinoza. . reassuring systematic consistency. (3) Finally. . we shall be inclined to understand Whitehead's move toward a conception of God as an eschatological adventure. By "using the term de-ontologizing. respectively—may allow for a double-edged transformation . 53). At the very least. Schelling. Henri Bergson. The ethical reason: As long as God appears under the notion of Being. according to the rules of transcendence.3 The theological questions now become: Of what mode is the "reality" of God? Should God's reality be stated in ontological terms? If not." We may also widen our view to include traditions such as the "negative ontology" of neo-Platonism. the Aristotelian. that is. namely that of Ethics or Aesthetics. to the contrary. 58). . quite different from Hartshorne. Nicolas of Cusa. Positive ontology. in breaking the ties to our self-extending egos." represented by Levinas and De. the notion of de-ontologization. the context of de-ontologization will be presented as a catalyst for a new way of expressing Whitehead's notion of God. "God" ceases to function as a unifying entity. by reconceiving Whitehead's notion of God in light of the thesis of expressive in/difference. that the de-ontologization of God is being performed.4 Thus. the interaction of Whitehead's thought with both ontological traditions—the "negative" and the "positive. what other mode might we use? Regarding Whitehead's concept of God. PR. This. . it attempts to open the horizon for these "negative" and "positive-univocal" traditions beyond the influential Aristotelian tradition. "Immortality"—I shall suggest that God's aesthetic mode of reality could be transformed into a nondual reality. Thomistic. and the ontic and logical tradition of the existence-quantifier stating facts are all covered in the writings of Levinas. God may appear as the totally other. but only expresses a logical procedure. is the notion of Being. namely that of expressive in/difference. In the tradition of negative ontology. and Kantian tradition of ontology as modes of possibilities. regarding Whitehead's philosophy. Thus. Although it may have been forgotten. On the other hand. or as a reality of decision. in/difference. God is presupposed as a projection of our own egotistic expansion. the negative and the positive. Opposed to the analogical tradition. we may now recall that Alfred North Whitehead's conceptualization of God avoids the language of existence and any discourse of the proofs of God's existence. on the other. although—in reality—there is no unity. the later works of F. I claim the following transformation: from God as an ontological reality to God as an aesthetic. and eschatological reality. or the Zen position of the Kyoto-school. and eschatology. On the border of language and reality. Rather. As Walter Jung has demonstrated. it is Deleuze who most forcefully evokes the expressionist tradition. we may well be aware that we have no "certain" knowledge but only grapple with our inability to grasp. does not intend to replace ontological discussion as such. Rather.2 Given today's exorbitant problems connected with the invocation of ontological language. one may still doubt that all ontological traditions have been examined. Although the Wolffian. it should not surprise us that philosophers of the twentieth century. such as Emmanuel Levinas and Gilles Deleuze. 93). Rather. it may be necessary to surpass an often formal and mostly internal interpretation of Whitehead's work in order to reignite a discussion in which Whitehead appears in the context of contemporary philosophy. but not as a reality of existence. it does not claim a judgment regarding the "existence" of God." (EP. I will explore these questions through developing the following complex three-part thesis: (1) The "reality" of God does not consist in an ontological reality. J. . even Whitehead's step from any "cosmic order" to a God as "ordering process" does not indicate proof of God's existence. W. in the positive. Deleuze." Regarding the reality of God. which claims "analogy" as the horizon for an adequate ontological God-language. it expresses an aesthetic reality. much less exhausted. Thirdly. we may discover in Whitehead's thought horizons for de-ontologizing God in both of these directions. the negative possibilities— undiscussed.: leuze.210 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE The deconstructive reason: "God" articulates a conceptual unity of differences. The whole order of Nature is expressive" (EP. we may ask whether Levinas has misread Martin Heidegger's ontological difference by identifying it with an illusionary "egology. they reconstructed notions of divinity through a new horizon. with Whitehead's thought seen as uniting their paradoxical division. since any critical discussion of ontological reality qualifies the notion of ontology positively. this aesthetic reality will be more adequately expressed as the reality of in/difference. Deleuze writes that negative ontology "admits that affirmations are able to designate God as cause. In reconstructing the essential moments of Whitehead's final work regarding God's reality—his article. and Heideggerian tradition of "Being" as that which is encountered. Dionysius the Areopagite. in/different. affirms "that everything expresses God. Where difference is thought as difference. strove to overcome the ontological language of Sein or "existence. . be they positive or negative. In fact. But why Whitehead? Whitehead is introduced in this context of deontologization for at least three reasons: Firstly. on the one hand.

Levinas transforms the definition of subjectivity from that of "self-conscious being-in-oneself' to such conceptions as "to-riskone's-existence" and "to-leave-oneself. It cannot be encountered as simply present. it signifies the '"great refusal. however. and being (Gewesenes). its "face" can be touched. "The other" manifests itself in the subject before the subject exists.10 which assimilates "the other" under the terms Dasein and Mitsein (Being-with11) Levinas develops his conception of anonymous existing: il y a. but "the other. Totality and Infinity and Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence." which transcends all subjectivity." and "Being-within-the-world"15—and that enable recognition of "the other as the other. .212 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 213 Nevertheless. Heidegger's ontology fails to examine sufficiently the requirements of "the other." Here "the other" appears prior to Sein. le visage occurs. or in the dissipation of "self-ness. es gibt (there is/it gives) "the other. "The other" appears in experiencing that which has passed.' . ."14 Levinas answers by describing forms of disclosure that undermine any assimilation—such as those that occur in the concepts "existence. Levinas calls this process jouisWithin jouissance. Levinas conceives of (thereby reacting to Derrida24) alterity as "otherwise than being" (autrement qu'etre)." For Levinas."17 Indeed. precisely this relationship forms the "occasion's" real internal nature (cf. PR." which sustains self-becoming without being subjective itself. Therefore. but through a breakinginto "the self by "the other. and in the activity named "creativity. That is.5 In view of this truly other. . (2) Deleuze deontologizes God by completely dissolving God into the expressiveness of the natura naturans.^ which we do not understand.22 Enigma "is transcendence itself. . (c) The subject stands always already under the call of the other. in mapping out a common plane for Levinas. PR. 154). but finds itself already in the other's presence. rather. "the other" constitutes "the self by an ethical call."12 How. but only in its "passage. dying. "Occasions" within the relative present. the "I" is already "deposited" (de-position) and constituted by "the other. but only as past or as future. a subsumption of the other under the notion of Sein.7 The reflection of the subject would already be a "reduction of the other to the Ego" (an "alter ego"/ "like me")."19 "The other" is encountered in/as le visage. (3) Whitehead. Levinas would argue. ." Subjectivity originally owns neither consciousness nor self-possession ("being-at-home-with-orieself').29 In its satisfaction. Deleuze. does the other disclose itself (give itself) for others to recognize without losing its otherness?13 In his "phenomenology of alterity. 41). Nevertheless. rather. "the other" is elusive and becomes an enigma. (b) "The other" opens itself only in a strangeness that cannot be assimilated. the subject exists only as addressed (and taken up) by the other. it is only when "the subject" itself is relativized that ontological ."8 Only. (d) "The other" appears for both Levinas and Whitehead as trace and enigma. . "the other" can never be encountered as such. a perfect occasion has "attained its individual separation from other things" (PR. The enigma is the mode of the absolute. by the "horror of the other which remains the other" is philosophy "essentially philosophy of Being. Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence."25 Thereby. alterity stands against ontology. Even Whitehead's "eternal objects" cannot be assimilated. utterly transcendent to all beings. "The other" implements this structure in three ways: as the "real'potentiality" of the occasion. the absolute is beyond recognition. having become."9 In contrast to Heidegger's es gibt Sein. The "I" has no privileged status of "being-oneself. because they appear only as ingredients of any given process. "the other" does not appear within the "egotistic spontaneity" of a subject. Levinas breaks the sovereignty of Kant's transcendental Ego by opening it up to something preoriginal." "Being-with. not "the subject" of a radically pluralistic subjectivism. but also as passing. the other's presence can be only suspected." but as "the other of Being. Levinas on Alterity: De-Ontologizing God as Transcendence In his two major books.27 However. the subject cannot voluntarily seek out the other. the closeness of the other as the other. shall be introduced as attempting to integrate these two poles—the transcendent and the immanent—leading to the notion of God as in/difference. No "subject" is preexistent to "the other". . Before all thoughts. What remains after the breakdown of any totality is. [as] its primary characteristic" (SMW. 244). and this takes place before "the self is able to grasp "the other."6 In his criticism of Heidegger's Sein. Thus. for Levinas. God appears as the totally Other of Being. however. prior to any consciousness or assimilating self."26 Four facets of Levinas's thought disclose striking similarities to Whitehead's conception of actuality: (a) "The other" appears diachronically. . subjectivity exists only as "leaving-itself. remain always strangers to one another. prephenomenological.21 In its ingression.' . 158). not only as "another being.30 In Whitehead's "reformed subjectivist principle" a similar perspective is found. Levinas develops his conception of alterity as the idea of "the other" who cannot be encountered through naive notions of subjectivity. thinking can be overcome."16 Here." Disclosure of otherness occurs in extreme phenomena such as time and death. alterity unmasks ontology as "Egologie. God disappears within total immanence.28 as "initial aim"—the starting point for subjectivity beyond itself (cf. then. and Whitehead."23 In his extremely complex book. we shall find the following "drama of de-ontologization" taking place: (1) Levinas de-ontologizes God by totally dissociating God from any kind of reality that can be placed under the auspices of Being. Whitehead's expression for this nonassimilation of the "eternal objects" is the incommensurability of the "primordial nature" of God. Levinas defines the fundamental meaning of the other as a reality that cannot be reflected by any subject nor revealed by reason.

or differently in another way (autre autrement). 139). unforeseeable. 7). it insists. as formless and open Ungrund/sans fond/"groundlessness" (LS. . or the pure event (LS. order to articulate conditions of novelty for the world. it expresses reality differently than different (outre qu'autrui). Differentiation is the movement of a virtuality that is actualizing itself. 12 ff. In other words.53 Perplexing forces arrange experiences. or subjects (subject-language).44 In the earlier language of Bergsonism and Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza.40 Aesthetic reality reveals itself as "nonexistent entity. God's alterity does not indicate an ontologically "absolute difference. and propositions. humans. 7. as the infinite but self-differentiating substance of God.37 In The Logic of Sense. it defines the dimension of expression. In reference to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Whitehead. Deleuze writes. "the other" evades the present." or what he calls "intensities. In his analysis of perception in Difference and Repetition. The Logic of Sense. Levinas names his de-ontologization of reality "ethics. or truth conditions (concept-language) (LS. 66ff. it "manifests" no subject (the "I"). concepts. without preformed "order. intensities are "enfolded" and can be "out-folded" to extensities or shapes in space and time. expresses the primary function of reality-referring propositions (PR. PR. but rather that "subsists" or "insists" (LS. that is." They are felt only with a certain "affective tone". 106).. it "signifies" no concepts. rather. "something that is"). or. one can encounter it only through concrete aesthetic intensities."46 Regarding Spinoza's "infinite substance. As past or future. Deleuze demonstrates that what originally drives one to think appears not in "recognition" of ideas but in an "encounter" with "fprces."31 "metaphysics.47 A high affinity appears to exist between Deleuze's and Whitehead's theories of occasions. Difference and Repetition. 259) :49 (b) Deleuze's "virtuality" resembles Whitehead's "creativity": Virtuality is totally immanent and thereby productive of the world.33 Levinas calls this preontological and preethical alterity of God Illeity. "Creativity" does not exist. 34). 81)." or as "extrabeing" (with Meinong). What is an event? (LS. it articulates a dimension of language.35 As aesthetic reality.42 Deleuze's "events" form a cosmological space within which intensities can be transformed into extensities. nonentitative activity (cf." In this context. The aesthetic "designates" no ontological objects. Following Plato's Republic.^ Two interesting points of similarity are the following: (a) Reference to ontological entities is subordinated to the intensity of events: Not truth.39 Deleuze expresses aesthetic reality as that dimension of the status of things that "is" not or does not "have" any Being. Deleuze accepts as his basic cosmological interest the quest for a world in which creation is possible (TF. namely. and What Is Philosophy? he asks time and again the basic question of his philosophy. which does not indicate anything that exists. that reality that energizes thinking in the first place discloses itself only in irritating our faculties and in perplexing our thoughts. and by no means a pri- . there is that reality accessible to recognition because it is gained through the harmonious use of all of our faculties. In the language of Difference and Repetition.51 This would be a world without preformation. they "can only be sensed" (DR.)."52 Consequently. 349). What is interesting is that Deleuze—in a manner very similar to Whitehead—situates his language of "events" within cosmology. they represent their own reality at the boundary of things and language—namely. Instead.50 Deleuze uses his event-theory of virtuality and actualization in. One cannot recognize this perplexing reality through abstract qualities. the reality of meaning. ." On the other hand. but interest. 19-22."32 and "alterity. however. and especially The Fold. PR. 66). Implicit spatium explicates itself as extensio (TF. Deleuze defines this space of "virtual events" as spatium. In Deleuze's main works. Deleuze develops this distinction further in The Logic of Sense (1-3): On the one hand.36 Instead. "Virtuality exists in such a way that it is realized in dissociating itself. The Fold. the reality of sense/pure event/ expression is not directed toward facts (ontological-language)."41 Furthermore. better. not pregiven rules or schemes. Deleuze establishes aesthetic reality as a "between" at the border of things and language.34 The strongest formulation of such divine alterity in Whitehead is probably found in his idea that the process of God's own becoming occurs in every respect conversely to the world's becoming (cf. This kind of reality corresponds to "common sense. "sense" as in "non-sense" (LS. The Logic of Sense. Deleuze on Novelty: De-Ontologizing God as Immanence Deleuze stands within the poststructuralist tradition of Michel Foucault.38 Therefore. without any substantialization and as pure." Recognition of this reality may form ontological propositions such as "This is a finger. infinite." Deleuze recognized its absolute immanence and total expression within the world and as the world's primordial process of differentiation—the process of the actualization of virtuality. events do not refer beyond themselves to "exterior referents" (things." but of spontaneous "organization. That is. .43 In this groundless space.214 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 215 which can never be possessed in the present. Deleuze reads Spinoza in the sense that Whitehead wishes to interpret Spinoza's singular. 151). novelty occurs within concrete. rather. Deleuze promotes affective reality itself as the transcendental condition of experience. the level of sense. one could say. 28 ff.)." nor does it signify "another par excellence". and ultimate "reality". 20). which Deleuze considers in his book The Fold. or as "?-being.45 With respect to Bergson's elan vital. Deleuze defines this state of initial virtuality and the space of "pure events" in terms of Bergson's elan vital and Spinoza's causa sui. history.

PR. novelty can be thought.57 Yet for Levinas. to harmonious recognition over perplexing feelings of intensities. His critique has four dimensions: (a) It fulfills a basic intention of Whitehead's "philosophy of organism. but rather rehabilitates them as categories of feeling. As he puts it. 35).216 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 217 ori assignable categories. PR. . in fact.54 In somewhat perplexing approximation. and Whitehead all make use of Kant's three Critiques to limit ontological language. it aims at the "philosophical position in which Kant put his Critique of Pure Reason" (PR. nor as an ethical imperative (that would be the "ethical fallacy"). "God" discloses the aesthetic evaluation of the ultimate process in its pursuing of intensity (cf. if "aesthetics" becomes the new foun dation of transcendental criticism. and. one cannot constitute transcendental conditions of the possibility of each experience. but also a critical intention: it offers a "critique of pure feeling" (cf.62 Deleuze reproaches Kant for giving priority. 27). Deus sive natura naturans. it is the abstract conditions. 113). The immanence of the field of "virtuality" creates novelty through acts of differentiation. Kant's notion of "pure reason" addresses the "transcendental categories of experience. Levinas presumes the impossibility of ontological God-language. Thus. In the light of his philosophy of total immanence. postulates of practical reason are only an ontological remainder. Whitehead on "Pure Feeling": God as Aesthetic Reality Levinas. Nevertheless. It would not be correct to claim that Deleuze has an atheist or even materialist bias. according to Whitehead.65 Moreover. The nearest we can come to such a notion of immanence in Whitehead is in his attempt to reintegrate "Creativity" and "God" in Adventures of Ideas.59 In Whitehead's de-ontologization." (b) Strategically. While in Science and the Modern World (cf. avoids the implication of a transcendent Creator" (AI.55 Virtuality is a "plane of immanence"—itself a plurality. "God" neither designates a fact nor signifies a regulative idea. categories. Deleuze's "God" dissolves into what he may have seen as the purest statement of that immanence: the infinite. Deleuze calls the event of actuality." However. 113). univocal. then the "mode of reality. "Immanent Creativity . in all three of his Critiques. . 7). which designs its object according to forms of recognition that are a priori given (cf. PR. "there is" already "preoriginal" alterity.60 (2) Novelty: In his criticism of Kant's Critiques. Whitehead seems inclined to replace any remaining connotations of God's transcendence with a totally immanent divine creativity. in Adventures of Ideas. "Habit of Thought"). Deleuze offers. at the intersection of the two. concrete connections among occasions produce the transcendental condition that forms their "recognition. "God" expresses alterity beyond any assimilation. but not by preforming actuality. Whitehead does not dispense completely with transcendental categories. shifts again: "God" may be understood neither as a theoretical concept (ontology) nor as a practical model (ethics). they name creative conditions of concrescing feelings. That is to say. Whitehead's "critique of pure feeling" supersedes all three of Kant's Critiques. That is.6* The categories of "pure feeling" are transcendental conditions of the creative self-constitution of events. and self-differentiating essence of God— according to Spinoza. 236). PR. Deleuze61 (like Whitehead) aims at a new aesthetic by bringing together into one unit Kant's "Transcendental Aesthetic" and Third Critique. it is intended as a transcendental criticism. This concrete novelty. and thereby violating the first rule of the philosophy of immanence: that immanence is only immanent to itself as the totally expressive reality of Nature and Thought (WP." As to God's reality. (c) In its central position within his philosophical project as a whole. (d) It unites what was divided in Kant's Critiques. or rules that always follow the event of novelty. allowing a rereading of Kant's critical project as a whole. "Creativity" is Whitehead's Spinozistic account of immanence (see also. 70) and in most of his following writings. (1) Alterity: Like Kant in his First Critique. as paradoxically as this may sound. SMW. VII. Whitehead replaces all of Kant's Critiques with his own "aesthetic critique. the conditions themselves develop and change with the flux of events. 49). Deleuze. in opposition to Kant's Second Critique. Whitehead forms a new uniting nucleus of his own critical agenda by privileging Kant's "Transcendental Aesthetic. we can recognize here Whitehead's "ontological principle": In the nexus of creative occasions. however. one cannot utilize "God" as an "existing entity" or as a logically demonstrable principle (that would be the "ontological fallacy"). adventure (according to Whitehead). Like Deleuze after him.56 In the language of What Is Philosophy? "transcendence" is an illusion that arises only in the process "of making immanence immanent to something" (WP. Whitehead's "critique of pure feeling" shall be analyzed under three main headings: alterity (according to Levinas). insofar as the forces grow together—always in another constellation. 38). . an extremely differentiated notion of God—as seen in his book on Spinoza-and not a "transcendent" God as is found in the analogical or negativeontological traditions." Thus. affirmative. Whitehead's "critique of pure feeling" appears in the position of Kant's three Critiques. In Whitehead's aesthetic criticism. which cannot be predetermined by any rules or categories." Whitehead opposes this form of Kantian subjectivism. novelty (according to Deleuze).63 In encountering the field of intensities." which God-language indicates. but infinitely including all of reality as "One-All. Whitehead's "philosophy of organism"—surprising as this at first may seem—has not only a constructive agenda.58 "The other" does exist (il y a) prior to an ethical subject. xiii." Omnitudo (WP. but they are not a priori conditions of the structure of the experience of things.

TF." subjectivity does not appear as a prerequisite of a generic process. Cat. into a creative contrast based on Whitehead's late restatement of the notion of God." For Deleuze. Deleuze takes Whitehead's "critique" not as an articulation of conditions of possible experience. on the other hand. Difference and Repetition. while. VIH). as an overcoming of Kant's Critiques. the process of experiencing does not "understand" forms of universals. therefore.75 Release promises only the dismissal of the identity of the "settled subject" in favor of a "nomadic singularity" (Cf. obviously lead to considerable one-sidedness. one could say. cf. such onesidedness can be healed by integrating them both in a Whiteheadian contrast. .73 In Whitehead's "critique of pure feeling. For Levinas." Whitehead's "infinite" finally appears beyond ontological categories (PR. that which pushes us to think is encountered uncontrollably in intensities beyond restriction." My thesis is that it is not only possible to reconceive what is contradictory in Levinas's and Deleuze's conceptions concerning the de-ontologization of God. It is this balance that will allow us to transform the contradiction of transcendence and immanence. Next. PR. . the "World of Value exhibits . formulate conditions for the creative novelty of a process whose rules are extracted a posteriori. Levinas."68 On a basic level. it "feels" singularities (PR. "expressed. the ."71 only.may be explored in four stages: ." "Expressive in/difference" becomes the needed missing link in a Whiteheadian doctrine of "God" and "creativity." so to speak. First stage: This thesis may be explained further by referring to Whitehead's late differentiation of a "World of Activity" and a "World of Value" in his lecture on "Immortaltity" (Imm. that Whitehead's later work gives us a hint at how to intersect and even unite these concepts through the mediating notion of "expressive in/difference.218 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 219 In his major early work. but.67 In the same sense that Deleuze's "infinite virtuality" cannot be analyzed as an ontological reality "that exists.. 247). is absolutely immanent within the creative process. 79). Levinas's conception of divine alterity. transcendental subjectivity functions always as repression of the world of intensities (LS. 230) or intensities (PR. namely the transcendence of "God" (Levinas) and the immanence of "nature naturing" (Deleuze). Now. "the other" is always already concealed in its strangeness. 90).70 Aesthetic reality cannot be "represented. One can discern two sides to such a turn—one epistemological and the other subject-related: (A) Epistemological turn: This is the removal of Kant's reduction of the epistemological analysis to the "higher faculties of recognition" and the uncovering of the "lower faculties of feeling. as it appears in Levinas's and Deleuze's conceptions of the de-ontologization of God.77 The Creative Contrast of Levinas and Deleuze: God as "Expressive In/Difference " In order to understand why (as promised at the outset) we have to introduce a further move from an aesthetic to an eschatological "reality" of God. the conception of which corresponds to Levinas's concept of alterity." but rather as an aesthetic reality "that insists. this would introduce an absolutely transcendent God. 98). This "release to adventure. transcendental subjectivity always represents an Egologie—an assimilation of "the other" within a common Being."74 For Deleuze. but as "conditions of real experience. 222). Oblg."66 Whitehead's categories." This. which I shall call the notion of "in/difference.. This distinction empowers us to envision as integrated in Whitehead what appears to be divided in Levinas and Deleuze." both Worlds develop within a threefold relation: "The World of Value is not the World of Active Creativity" (Imm. as a "radical leaving-oneself-without-return. . the breakdown of the transcendental subject." that is. ."72 (B) Subject-related turn: This is the refusal of any simple "given" and.69 For Levinas. 244. Both models. is the World of Organization: It is the Creative World" (Imm. imagine how immanence and transcendence might be reconceptualized through Whitehead's doctrine of "creativity" and "God. takes place in Deleuze. it occurs within experience as "face in passage. Deleuze's "infinity of differentiation" of the manifold plane of immanence.) with its anarchic plurality76 and creative open-endedness toward new constellations. Release promises only the reinterpretation of subjectivity as "ex(s)istere. this "wildness" is an adventure that characterizes the world-process as having an existence beyond any rational restraints." According to the lecture on "Immortality. consider the following experiment: Imagine Whitehead's divine reality without the immanence of Whitehead's "creativity"." What allows us to undertake this transformation? I propose that it is Whitehead's insistence upon the difference between "Creativity" and "God" and their reintegration into a new contrast of "in/difference" that permit the present move. "the World of Activity . However. moreover." that is. corresponds to Whitehead's theory of creativity. corresponds to a Whiteheadian theory of occasions and God as actuality. The two "Worlds" represent Whitehead's final restatement concerning the difference between "Creativity" and "God. the conception of which corresponds to Deleuze's concept of immanence. (3) Adventure: At the intersection of "alterity" and "novelty" an original wildness is returned to the process of experience.. at the same time. 27. 82). that of Levinas and Deleuze. 58ff. and Whitehead as a kind of "second Copernican turn.78 In order to understand this transformation into a Whiteheadian contrast.. but as its result (PR. we must give further attention to the fact that Whitehead presents a balance between Levinas's conception of total transcendence as the condition of alterity and Deleuze's conception of immanence as the condition of novelty. thus. rather. this would dissolve the divine into absolute immanence. imagine the immanence of Whitehead's "creativity" without the alterity of Whitehead's God-language.

"Creativity" and "God.." Although the "essential unification" (as "ultimate reality"/"actuality"/"virtuality") reveals itself as the concrete intersection of the two Worlds. Levinas's God of Alterity constitutes.. In the World of Value. 90). 79)." a "different" reality." we may also seek the "essential unification" of the World of Fact and the World of Value within a reconstructed concept of divine reality that somehow includes both worlds. 82). "expressing] the elucidation of one of the abstractions by reference to the other" (Imm.. is the universe seen from the process of valuation that ultimately grounds reality in "God. This notion of divine in/difference includes four aspects: Firstly.. this ultimate reality is not a "third. totally expressing itself within the two abstract Worlds.81 Now the "affirmative" and "negative" ontological traditions intersect in the notion of the expressive in/difference of God. at the same time. the World of Value. since God's reality cannot be explained exhaustively within the differences it creates. on the other hand. 236). 80). God appears as "the intangible fact at the basis of finite existence" (Imm. Accordingly.. This de-ontologized aesthetic reality of expressive and insistent Creativity replaces the World of Value which. for Deleuze. "God" and "Creativity. hence. a de-ontological reality on the basis of the World of Value: God is not an aspect of the World of Creativity. of difference -as such. on the other hand. 90). And in fact. We view the two Worlds as already within the horizon of "the totality of the universe" (Imm. while in the World of Creative Activity or the World of Fact. The concrete intersection of these two abstract perspectives." and that of the World of Value is "God." Second stage: If the two Worlds are not to be conceived as a final distinction that freezes reality into a duality. Thirdly. Fourth stage: Only when we allow for such a turn may we get a glimpse of how to extend Whitehead's terminolgy toward the direction of a unification of both Worlds in the reality of God. that which Whitehead names "Creativity. thereby.80 This is the notion of "expressive in/difference. or. Secondly. 79). the ultimate intersection of both Worlds beyond their difference. Whitehead avoids final duality by the sophisticated move whereby he performs the unification of these Worlds. even the difference between the two Worlds. Finite actualities.82 Thirdly." Third stage: Resides finite unification. the intersection of Activity and Value and. undergo the process of unification and. this is not a finite unification. God now appears as that reality from beyond the abstract division of the two Worlds.79 In this context. somehow functions only as the unnecessary preformation of creativity. 79).. God appears as that aesthetic reality "whose existence is grounded in Value" (Imm. "God" and "Creativity. 90). but by including it. 90).. Secondly. the "essential intersection" is a process of their creation (analogical tradition). God appears as the "ultimate reality" of both Worlds. they may unite in the "finite unification" of actualities. The "essential unifica- tion" removes the abstractions of both Worlds from each other. Deleuze's immanent but creative infinity. as the activity of finite actualities. to be viewed as completely expressive within those differences. God exists as wholly transcendent. without stating an-. namely by considering them as mere "abstractions from the Universe" (Imm. God now expresses the in/difference of the difference between the two Worlds and their ultimates.. AI. What follows from this is of crucial importance: God does not "exist" beyond the differences of the two Worlds as some kind of substantial reality. Concrete reality—that is.." In being creative in all of the differences. as they constitute concrete reality. be it immanence or transcendence. Whitehead knows also of a "second unification" in which Activity and Value intersect: This is the "essential unification of the Universe. that is." "Immanent Creativity.as the origin of the dif- ." "God" and "Godhead"). God is. what Whitehead calls "evaluation" (Imm. reality that is not an abstraction—happens only as unification of these Worlds. it is Whitehead's connection of "Creativity" and "God" that may create the needed space for a Whiteheadian understanding of the de-ontologized reality of God. In terms Of our investigation.. 77). namely that the ultimate reality of the World of Activity is "Creativity. the World of Actuality is the universe as seen from its grounding in Immanence. the distinction between the World of Creativity and that of Value is indissoluble: "Creativity" and "God" may never collapse into one reality." or "Self-Creativity" (cf. . happens in the unification "of the coordinated value into the multiplicity of finite acts" (Imm. as Whitehead writes. in fact. Imm. but an essential unification from beyond both appearances.. ultimately. The paradox of Alterity and self-creative Immanence can only be resolved within that "second unification" of the two Worlds—rather than that of finite processes—that is. while the "finite intersection" is a unifying process of the abstract Worlds. what has to be seen here is a certain turn: In a sense. infuses the Order of the World of Values totally into the World of Organization (cf. Whitehead must allow for some kind of process that can express their unity as unification.. but they may also intersect in an "essential unification" that is God. 80). only as the call of "the Other" and as the nonontological "ultimate reality" of the World of aesthetic Value. This is the notion of God" (Imm.. there can be more than one way in which the Worlds of Value and Activity can unite. in Whitehead." Although God is now envisioned beyond the two Worlds (beyond "activity" and "actuality. this is the process of their finite unification against the background of the infinite universe (Imm.ontological analogy. God is de-ontologized. God's reality of in/difference removes the abstraction of the two Worlds by conceptualizing God's in/different totality as the origination of their difference and. Although it may seem more consistent to remain-within generally accepted terms. but God insists and subsists only within the differences of the two Worlds.220 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 221 notion of God" (Imm. So what does this mean for a final contrast between Levinas and Deleuze? Firstly. on the contrary.

nor as the doctrine of the novissima. 349). the source. 88)—as Marjorie Suchocki has shown—or as the "creativity of the future" from which the world develops: "God is forever future. is forced to characterize the "entity" of God. S. PR. but expresses God's adventus. "Becoming-a-subject" always indicates a process of "leavingoneself-without-return" (cf." but never "coming to be". or that of "God" and "Godhead" (Joseph A. nor as "existing" within them. God is totally expressive of the reality to which God relates in God's being in/different to it. in God's eschatological adventure. should not be confused with the doctrine of "the end. however. now totally de-ontologized. 82). God's reality may be seen as an ultimate process of inexhaustibly coming into the differences. Cobb. AI. 296). God instantiates no . firstly. difference-creating. 32). he leaves us with a series of paradoxical negations expressing that God is not like all other (actual) entities: God—-the "non-derivative entity" (PR. define afuturum into which the world develops. but is totally expressive. God is "in coining. God's "reality beyond" must not be substantialized (as if it could be stated within the differences it creates). in being totally expressive within them. God as Eschatological Adventure Because of this conception of "expressive in/difference.95 This is God's "poetic" (PR.97 The eschatological encounter with God happens beyond a remaining self. k4)."84 Therefore. God's singularity cannot be told within the differences we use to name reality (ontologically). Using the term expressive in/difference. but the radical reversal of their processuality (PR. God cannot be properly characterized as one actual entity. nor "was" God. that God's "reality" comes from the eschatological future. In other words. That "eschatological future" of God does not. "never really is" (cf. Bracken. the organ for novelty (cf. This notion indicates. PR. God's reality "comes" into those time-modes. God "originates" beyond all distinctions: On the one hand.&3 Cusa states that in being non aliud God "is nothing other than the Non-Other.88 This notion of the "eschatological adventure" of God can be demonstrated further by returning to the concepts of alterity." Thus. 346)." Certainly.). beyond its subjective (self)-"enjoyment" ("not-being of immediacy." however.222 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD tenses. alterity of God: No subject experiences its own fulfillment or "satisfaction" (cf." but ever as what I will call eschatological ad-vent.)."85 That is to say: Neither "is" God. due to his conceptual scheme. rather." and "entities.91 God—the "primordial superject of creativity (PR. Such "eschatological satisfaction.94 On the other hand." or ad-vents. which enables ontological statements (negative-ontological tradition). Thirdly." completion or perfection of the world." or "will be. (1) Eschatological Novelty: God's eschatological reality appears beyond "categories. I take up Nicolas of Cusa's conception of God as non aliud. in certain cases." but never as "unity". Hence." says Lewis Ford.92 Precisely this reversal justifies an understanding of God as the reason. Apoc. but ultimately as "insisting" on the differences God expresses by creating them. Since God is "nothing other" than any reality. nor "will" God "be"— God cannot be stated under the temporal modes of Being. Since God as non aliud does not hide any dark essence beyond the world. all distinctions are removed—that of "God" and "Creativity" (Ford). and turned positively toward the world. 237).86 The eschatological God. PR. The concept of "eschatology. namely as a process of the origination of differences. but "comes. God's "coming" to (or.90 However. God's "coming" constitutes the tenses we use to articulate God's relation to the world (cf. the so-called "last things. the world turns out to be an eschatological "adventure" of the "advent" of God. since God appears to express "nothing" rather than "being. God originates all differences.J. novelty. God—not like other entities. 84). and always within self-transcendence. nevertheles. and therefore. indicating ontological poverty. God insists neither as "being" nor as "becoming. God's reality is in/different to/from the differences it intersects. God cannot be identified as the Non-Other like any Other." "principles. this poverty merely indicates the eschatological plentitude of the advent of God into all that "is. God now appears as ad-vent from beyond the differences. but as process. and adventure that have guided our investigation to create a contrast between Levinas's transcendent God of Illeity and Deleuze's immanent God of natura naturans within a Whiteheadian context."93 Hence. "haunting" of) all being and becoming in all modes expresses an eschatological adventure. 67. by originating these differences (positive-ontological tradition). which comes to the world as its "future. God as the "Non-Other" is also not identical to this reality."87 However. 32). Therefore. demonstrates (perhaps better than any other of Whitehead's notions) the eschatological ." It indicates. Fourthly. "strictly speaking.96 (2) Eschatological Alterity: In Adventures of Ideas. 172). divine reality is identical with itself as the in/difference of anything and of itself." "was." we may go even further: The in/different God neither appears as "being" beyond the differences. nonontological mode of the eschatological creating of novelty. God subsists as "unification. when Whitehead. Instead." implied in the reality of God as explored in this investigation. that of "Ultimate Reality" and "Ultimate Actuality" (John B." AI. Whitehead treats God as a concrete entity in relation to abstract principles89 and categories. Whitehead envisions salvation as hope for a "mode of satisfaction deeper than joy and sorrow" (AI. Jr. in God's advent. God cannot be stated as "another" reality. Secondly. Therefore.98 Whitehead's eschatological conception of occasions never strives for ferences. that God's expressive in/difference has to be understood not as static reality.

107. Heidegger transforms "the other. In the concluding vision of Adventures of Ideas. Levinas sets himself against the Western tendency toward reflective selfconsciousness. and Levinas."101 The eschatological reality of God appears as an all-embracing adventure: God as "Eros. 9.224 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZINC identity. 1978). while uniting them at the same time. 7-33. it signifies anonymity and impersonality. Importantly. Now there may grow new interest in investigating the striking connections with negativeontological traditions. but in the eschatological (self-relativizing all possessive subjectivity). 115. 1993). I. He makes this differentiation in respect to Deleuze and the univocal tradition of "Being" in Deleuze's Bergsonism (1988) and Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (1990). 212. 3. das die Gedanken und die Seienden ordnet. 6. but is ultimately a gaining of a self in God by losing all self-claiming subjectivity. 1996)." who opens up the future from out of God's eschatological reality. 295f." and as "eschatological ad-vent(ure). 3rd ed." Notes 1. Whitehead's "de-ontologization" may lead us to discover a horizon for a new "ontological" discussion. Welten im Kopf: Profile der Gergenwartsphilosophie. Heidegger's "Dasein. it is grasped in such a way that it is already robbed of its otherness. 1987). 277). P. Spinoza. Levinas (1987). 22. Walter Jung. 601-635. Levinas (1987). Vrin. selber wieder . My translation. 1996). AI. 8. De I'existence a I'existant (Paris: J. Bin Gesprdch mit Karl Rahner und Emmanuel Levinas (Wiirzburg. 193. 212. Le Meme et I'autre (1933). their metaphysical agendas may be interpreted as pointed against the philosophical justification of ontology. such as are found in Nicolas of Cusa. namely "the other. Mersch." still remains egologically struc-< tured and solipsistically oriented.102 Anew place of departure is needed for contextualizing Whitehead's thought within the contemporary philosophical context. Whitehead's notion of adventure leads us back to his magnificent conclusion of Adventures of Ideas (AI. Germany: Bonner Dogmatische Studien. (3) Eschatological Adventure: At the intersection of alterity and novelty. 1996). but for intensity (cf. 189. Within this new horizon of conceptualization." as "expressive in/difference. En decouvrant V existence avec Husserl et Heidegger (Paris: J. E.. 296). 1995). . because it turns "durch alle Abenteuer hindurch . Frankreich/Italien (Hamburg: Rotbuch. 2nd ed. into a "Neutrum." as that which is like me. 189." even as "Mitsein. Cf. God as "supreme adventurer. (Mainz: Gruenewald. Thereby." Only within a "satisfaction" beyond personality (although never without it). Levinas. 1949). Lausch." See Levinas (1987). cf. (Freiburg. and Deleuze. as "other I. always in process. Eschatology appears where "adventure" defines the transcendence beyond any status quo (cf. PR. Emmanuel Levinas. 617. and D. 212. 27. that departure may lead us to the reconstruction of the concept of God as "poetic reality. where "peace" is envisioned as the eschaton as "soteriological (re-)collection. always proposing. does a person become God-capable. 273-283). God as "adventure into the universe as one. Both of them named their philosophical projects "metaphysics.100 God's alterity expresses Whitehead's sense that salvation is not a process of egotistic claiming of cumulated and consumed subjectivity. Levinas: An Introduction (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. Die Spur des Anderen. Whitehead's own attempt to de-ontologize God leaves us with puzzling hints taking us far beyond any system into that which is imaginative. In this case. eds. 7. . Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. zu sich zuriick wie Odysseus. Colin Davis." 2. because "the other" is misinterpreted as alter ego. der bei alien Fahrten nur auf seine Geburtsinsel zugeht. Whitehead may appear as a contemporary thinker who moved far beyond the "frozen finality" of the metaphysical system with which he is associated. 4. cf." What may I hope? God now appears as a "reality" within eschatological hope. nevertheless. 12." goes back to Vincent Descombe's text. For Levinas. "Zur Entwicklung von Wbdteheads Gottesbegriff. My translation." as the eschatological reality of the advent and adventurous intersection of "initial Eros" with "final beauty." ZPhF 19 (1965). Breuner. Walter Kasper. Drischler. Schelling. Levinas (1987). where "zest" signifies the "self-forgetful transcendence" of becoming (AI. Vrin. . 10." According to Kant's "third anthropological question. finally. "Die Rede von Gott setzt die metaphysische Frage nach dem Sein voraus und halt sie zugleich wach. . God's reality is disguised as that of the eschatological "Harmony of harmonies. Cf. In the contemporary context. The meaning of il y a is extremely difficult to decipher and has no consistency that would be conceivable without involving itself in paradoxes. 3. 26. Michael Hardt." as the guaranty for the neverending character of the adventure of the world. 3." but does "insist" as adventurous advent originating the differences that create the world. however. in which God does not have to "exist." in which the world collects itself. Levinas's central concept in his de-ontologization project. Germany: Alber. esp.)." Catalyzed by the surprising similarities between Levinas and Whitehead. Levinas's critique of Heidegger in Davis. Die Bedeutung der Ndhe Gottes. Cf. Levinas. Der Gott Jesu Christi. At this point." See Levinas (1987). or with positive-ontological traditions as found in Duns Scotus." which cannot be summarized by the notion of "Sein" without losing its otherness. Whitehead and Levinas are arguably two of this century's most original religious thinkers. 5. however. God is not to be found in the ontological (being a subject). 11. il y a is comparable to . Originally.

10. therefore. in Levinas's terms. Levinas. (Oxford. therefore. 33. Cf. Engelmann. 30f. is only good. Philosophielexikon. Es ist ein absolut unbestimmtes Nichts. however.). In this later work. Ronald Bogue. 31. "the other" is interpreted precisely as the intrusion of (foreign) possibilities into the identity of the "I" and "my world. 41. "Fragment iiber die Wissenschaft reiner Ereignisse. Nietz- phrases like ilpleut (it rains). B. Deleuze and Guattari (London: Routledge. God's otherness cannot be understood on the basis of the il y a. Levinas explores this paradox within his distinction of le Dire (saying) and le Dit (the said). E. Cf. 380. 19. 14. "Gilles Deleuze." which calls to itself in the mode of the "face" within its field of immanence—thereby identifying "the face" of "the other" as thfe expressive reality Deleuze was reflecting upon in Logic of Sense (WP. 81. 45. eds. but rather. Drischler for the comparison of Heidegger's es gibt and Levinas's ily a (371)." Over against the conversion of trusted notions. A. 51-69. Deleuze and Guattari actually reconstruct Levinas's alterity—the alterity of the "other. (1996). 380. 416. 16ff. eds. 1997). D. 24. Paris: Seuil. UK: Blackwell. P. surprising meanings and new terms now appear. cf. 46. Davis." even politics. W." The whole structure of perception. Levinas (1974). Levinas (1974). is grounded on those possibilities—the other as ground of perception. cf. 37. and dia-chronie. ed. Davis. und kein Chaos. De Dieu qui rient a I'idee (Paris: Vrin. ed. 17. "Deleuze's Theory of Sensation. "Expression. God. 81: lui bailler significance. "the neighbor. Deleuze in LS. 62. Without naming Levinas. such as an-archique. LS: 7. 16. 62ff. 20-22. 71-72. 74-79: "The said" leads to an ontology. Paul Patton. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. 42." in Gilles Deleuze—Fluchtlinien der Philosophie. Levinas (1974). (New York: Routledge." "sense. 20. "Das 'es gibt' (il y a) des Seins beschreibt Levinas somit grundsatzlich anders als Heidegger. Cf. cf. 1974). 22. Cf. Levinas. Cf. Drischler. 43. Cf. 39. 91. Levinas writes. 115. In reflection. 32. Drischler notes. ed. 1979). Cf. 72.. 1994). What interests us is not simply Deleuze's language of aesthetic reality or his talk of "events. Cf. Das hangt zutiefst mit dem 'mal d'etre'.. 14. 33. leads to "the other" within a process of "signifying". Taureck. cf. Davis. 80-83. Overcoming the Kantian Duality. "saying. 112-119. Engelmann. France: Fata Morgana. 35. Cf. Boundas and Dorothea Olkowski. Derrida. Le Temps et Vautre (Montpellier. Cf. but they identify their own reality of "aesthetics. Levnias in P. Levinas (1961). Levinas. 22. 26. 23. 26-30. Levinas even begins again 16 use the fundamental ontological verb etre (being).226 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE . 221. L'ethique. 30. Levinas (1974). 18. dem 'Ubel zu sein' zusammen" (371). der Tod und die Zeit. "Nun macht das Nichts wie das des Todes streng genommen den Hauptteil Von nichts aus. To some extent." and "event"—these are not identical with any other dimension of things or language.by "the other". cf. an aesthetic reality. My translation. cf. Cf. Levinas (1992). Bogue. Cf. 113-114. cf. Davis. Totalite et infini (Paris: Livre de Poche. cf. For the "facticity" of this past "otherness" cf." in Gilles Deleuze and the Theater of Philosophy. 13. Cf. yet they conceal themselves from our observation/perception/understanding/thinking. Cf. Germany: Rowolth." Cf. 60 passim. Breuner. DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD lei Sein anspielt. Nancy in Deleuze: A Critical Reader. 198. cf. Gott. 1967). 6." "The other" is thus relativized as a focal point in favor of the "subject. 53. Weber. 1996). "Violence et metaphysique: Essai sur la pensee d'Emmanuel Levinas. 211." for here he has his own project that aims at something partially different from Whitehead's investigations. 21. 123. LS. Intensities energize thinking. Cf. 1992). My translation. (Hamburg: Junius. 70. the discussion of the complexity of Levinas's new language in Davis. 36. 301ff. Emmanuel Levinas zur Einfiihrung. 110. Levinas (1961). Cf. Nothing human can be excluded. 29. 223-238. cf. 38. Cf.. and Mersch. sondern vom Uberlebenden getragen". A. Cf. In Deleuze's analysis. 246. 1996). Le visage includes both modes: "the face" and "to face". 22f. 82. 15. 159-202. 2nd ed. "the other of Being'" is transformed automatically into an (ontologically) "other being" as soon as it appears as object of my discourse. Cf. 3. Cf. Levinas's late lectures. 26. 180. Levinas. Davis. does not intend simply "ethics" but all human "Being. Cf. 110. Huegli and P. 26. Autrement qu'etre ou Au-dela de I'essence (Paris: Livre de Poche. La mart et le temps (1991) in Levinas. 182. They do not form an ontological. Levinas (1978). (Munich: Fink. otherness would be overwhelmed by the same. 56. re-presentation. Personen und Begriffe abendldndischer Philosophie von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Reinbek. Huegli and Luebcke. Badiou. 28. 179. Cf. das nach Form strebt: Der Tod ist Tod von jemandem. Whitehead's remarks in SMW. 1996). Davis. Levinas (1987). Cf. (Vienna: Edition Passagen. Cf. Levinas (1979) 59. 19-20. Constantin V. Deleuze's primary philosophical influences are Bergson. Lausch. Smith. 254-255. cf. 1961).. Cf. In philosophical discourse. Levinas calls this process of subjectivity temoinage (the state of witnessing): the witnessing of "the other" as "the other" constitutes "the subject". the translations of Heidegger's es gibt in Davis. however. Cf." however. 64. Cf. 1996)." in ibid. 34. das auf keiner- . 1997). 27. cf. Levinas (1961). opposites—both aesthetically and ethically—are included within creativity. 35. Cf. 31. Cf. Friedrich Balke and Joseph Yogi. Whitehead's intention to differentiate "creativity" from "God" interprets a similar problem: Because the activity of creativity is neutral. "the other" loses to a large extent its importance and is generally replaced by le prochain.. 25. eds. 40. 221. Levinas (1987). Luebcke." in L'ecriture et la difference (orig. und das Gewesen-Sein von jemandem wird nicht vom Sterbenden. 74. Levinas (1987). Cf. Bogue. 1964) (Points.

" Les etudes bergsonniennes." 44. "La conception de la difference chez Bergson. NY: Orbis Books. 187). 76ff. creativity. 52ff. 59. that force us to think but at the same time perplex our recognition." 51. Smith. 43. Cited by Hardt. in a way very similar to how Whitehead interprets the individualization of "substantial activity" in SMW (70. Cf. B. Cf. 107). (47). . . Whitehead recognizes the field of "creativity"/"receptacle"/"extensive continuum" within the language of intensity. Deleuze's understanding of virtuality resembles Whitehead's interpretation of how creativity's energizing of "real potentiality" (past actuality) is different from the realization of possibilities (eternal objects). D. God's intensity is the "standard of intensity" (PR. 56ff. . 60. 48. a field of forces that affects thinking. Deleuze knows that the concrete cannot be explained by the abstract.. Iff. hence. Ethik und Identitdt: der ethische Ansdtz in der Prozefiphilosophie A. which Whitehead takes from Plato (AI. the function of intellectual feelings. Michael Hauskeller. we may not be astonished that Deleuze introduces Spinoza as the Christ of philosophy. cf. von Differentialen an Intensitaten und Gradstufen an Veranderung. 47. invisible. 54. cf. in Whitehead. . Cf. thereby providing immediacy of enjoyment" (PR. . 4ff. . For Deleuze. Finally.. that nonexisting. and all-receptive "wherein" of all occasions without any further reason. when Deleuze directly addresses the question in the context of investigating Leibniz.. Nevertheless. 209: "Creativity. 47)—beyond any measure and grounded in God's incommensurable "primordial nature. LS. explained here as "extrabeing. die gemeinsam etwas Neues und Unvorhergesehenes ins Leben rufen. Furthermore. it consists in the indication of things (truth) and the signification of concepts (conditions of truth). cf.. . In diesem Fall ist die Aktualitat des Empirischen-anstatt durch den Verstand gegebene Regeln oder Begriffe anzuwenden-empirisch konstituiert und durch zufallige Verkettung von Kraften. A Christian Natural Theology (Philadelphia: Westminster Press.. The constellation of Deleuze's virtuality actualizing itself within the immanent field of forces realizes the self-differentiation of the absolutely positive. Hardt. and events. Diejenigen Kra'fte. 1983).B. the similarity of Whitehead to Deleuze's analysis of language in LS. cf." Deleuze's "spatium"—the metaphysical horizon of "virtual events"—calls to mind the receptacle. TF. 52-69] for Whitehead's "creativity"/"extensive continuum"). and ultimate reality. Cf. Fremont. Explorations in Whitehead's Philosophy (New York: Fordham University Press. is "to heighten the emotional intensity" (PR. Cf. "Deleuze und der Empirismus" (1996) in Balke and Vogl. 53. Spinoza.. They are included within a transcendental field of total immanence. 62. can be grasped neither by any categories of thought nor by any a priori. Davis. Kline. Hardt demonstrates throughout his book on Deleuze that (a) the Bergsonian and the Spinozist approach are continuous with one another and (b) Deleuze's early reading of the history of philosophy is the basis for his later language.. he takes account of and interprets Whitehead's understanding of actual occasions. Deleuze. 1996). For Whitehead. as the Christ of the God that is total immanence (WP. this may have been "the best possible world. Instead of using Kant's God-language from his Second Critique. 1965). Regarding Deleuze. 227f. Cf. . and God. Hardt. 58. Baugh. infinite. 56. For Whitehead. Like Whitehead.. sie sind vielmehr genauso bestimmt und partikular wie die Wirkung. die Erfahrungen disponieren. Whiteheads und seine Bedeutungfur die gegenwdrtige Ethik (Freiburg i. 273).. 184). 57.. root-metaphor. L. 60-64.228 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 229 sche. In a certain sense. Cf. This Ungrund signifies a nonexisting horizon of pure events or their "wherein. "Komplikation und Singularitat" (1996) in Balke and Yogi. formless. Baugh in Balke and Vogl says. for the process of Valuation seeking to intensify its aesthetic value. The virtual field offerees. 1994). .. W. 119-121. 64f. . Deleuze. Cf. Bogue. 126ff. Just like the field of "sense"/"spatium"/"virtuality" in Deleuze. 64. Bracken in The Divine Matrix: Creativity as a Link between East and West [Maryknoll. 49. 145-150 and Rolf Lachmann. the "receptacle" of intensities and characters. Alfred North Whitehead zur Einfuhrung (Hamburg: Junius. Nevertheless. TF. sind weniger vorweg gegebene Regeln oder Schemata als groBtenteils nichtbewuBte. powers. and Leibniz. Ch. "The Ultimacy of Creativity" in S. "Deleuze's Theory of Sensation. 50. We could still read this language as representing an ontological account. cf. Bogue. the value of theories consists in their "lure for feeling. for Whitehead. . Garland. Deleuze nennt das unvorhergesehene Auftreten einer neuen Aktualitat "das Ereignis der Aktualitat" . John B. which recognizes "God" merely as an ethical postulate of responsibility. 14. Cobb Jr. aesthetic reality defines the most basic account of the internal validity of actuality and thus expresses the process of valuation as its. von konvergierenden oder divergierenden Serien oder Fluxationen. 18-19. 52. Cf. even then God could not mean anything less than this nonentitative activity. 93. W. Cf. does not 'exist'. 1995. Bogue. at least within the tradition of the univocal meaning of Being (as does Hardt [113-115] for Deleuze's realm of "virtuality" and as does Joseph A. Cf. 96-98. . 4 (1956).. 1227. but that philosophy is a matter of the explanation of the abstract. Levinas's "EthicsMetaphysics" appropriates more from Kant's Third Critique. 63. in chapter 6 of The Fold. 202. Cf. Denn reale Ursachen sind keine universalen und apodiktischen Regeln. 55. Cf. Germany: Alber. Hardt for Deleuze's differentiation of virtuality-actuality from possibility-reality (16-17). 1994). 46. This moment of transcendental creativity can be integrated within Whitehead's larger notion of creativity. 53. Underlining the persistent "theological" background of Deleuze's philosophy of immanence on the basis of Spinoza's notion of God as a purely affirmative-ontological notion. that is. Ford and D. . For Leibniz. Bergson (2. Krafte ohne Form und Gesetze. . 60). 45. . N. welche realen Ursachen koextensiv sind." 52. 62f." 61.

79-81. 219. "nondifference" does not indicate "no difference. 42f. it is "indifferent" to these (all) differences. not their execution per participationem. eds. Zur Prozefiphilosophie Alfred North Whitehead. however. 75. Internationales Whitehead-Symposium Bad Hamburg. 73. De veneratione sapientiae XIV: "non aliud est non aliud quam non aliud. as in Kant. according to which categories always represent abstractions from the concrete flux of occasions. Germany: Suhrkamp. and not." Therefore. Cf. 37: "Sensations cease to be representative and become real. Austria: Universitaetsbibliothek. however. Bradley. und Transendenz. it is no "thing" beyond the differences it originates. "Expressive in/difference" indicates a complex concept that defines a difference that is not different of itself and." that is. (New York: Continuum. . 1990). Jiirgen Moltmann. What Is Philosophy? 67. entering into our "knowledge. 8. but also Cobb. 86. and hence. Gott. At least. Deleuze in Balke and Vogl. eds. but rather. 160-162. "Digression vor dem Hintergrund eines apogryphen Protrats" (1996) in Balke and Vogl. Cf. Poser. Smith in Patton. that is. 40. Therefore. If aesthetic reality is thought without God. at the same time. It is based on Nicolas of Cusa's term non aliud. Corresponding to the removal of any plain "ontological object" of recognition." this "reality in the encounter" announces itself. Weber. 23/3 (1994). Nicolas of Cusa.. 76. Cf. 1995). Nevertheless. Wiehl in Holzhey et aL. Whitehead replaces abstract "objects" of thinking with concrete processes of prehension. Cf. since God "represents" these categories. In the self-constitution of aesthetic realities. referring to actual processes of feeling. 83." Process Studies. 75. Smith in Patton: "the power of the active 'I think. "Kosmologie als revidierbare Metaphysik. Moltmann. 1997). 70. Cf. DR. 84. This "second intersection"does not necessarily interrupt the principle that God should be understood as an exemplification of the common categories for all actualities. it is "in the differences. The "transcendental field" always marks a plane of immanence. cf. "Einleitung: Fluchtlinien der Philosophic" (1996) in Balke and Vogl. cf. then it loses its character of novelty. 63. TF. Cf. 78. "in/difference" is always in differences. we find an extensive passage on Whitehead in which Deleuze recognizes the special status of Whitehead's God as a "reality" that does not preform the world. Das Kommen Gottes: christliche Eschatologie (Giitersloh: Chr. Kaiser Gutersloher Verlaghaus. Cf. My emphasis. 37. Cf. Furthermore. on the other hand. 1982).B. 71. Smith in Patton. Since this "(in)diffe'rence" cannot be grasped from within the differences it originates. Balke and Vogl. Joseph A. 397ff. nondifference. which I use in other publications. "Fragment iiber die Wiessenschaft reiner Ereignisse" (1996) in Balke and Vogl." so to speak. In the process of feeling. Helmut Holzhey. Cf. 128. . in the long run.. Relativitat. 80." but rather "not to be identifiable within differences (which it originates)". Cf. 162-163. Germany: 1986). Aesthetic language as language of pure transcendence knows of immanence. the "transcendental subject" dissolves into the flux of intensities. this in/difference is expressive. then the moment of immanence disappears. "Whitehead's Kant-Kritik und Kant's Kritik am Panpsychismus" in Natur. 82. Here the disagreement of reason and imagination confronts us with a reality appearing within "thought. 65. such categories always have a hypothetical character. being an objective structure beyond this process. Whitehead's conditions only signify the concrescing process (and nothing beyond). Cf. similarly. 79. Bracken and Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki. when Kant in the Critique of Judgement speaks of the experience of the "sublime. however. the origination of difference as such. 69.: As in Deleuze. 285. 1997). exposed to the differences it originates. ProzefJ. subjectivity appears as relation between occasions. meaning the same. eds. Hence. Process Theology as Political Theology (Manchester." 64." (37). Deleuze in DR: "Intensity is both the unsensible and that which can only be sensed" (230). Deleuze.. 66. 81. but God does it "from the other side. Subjektivitat. Analogy and Coherence. The term expressive in/difference relates to my term nondifference. Deleuze acknowledges that Whitehead's "eternal objects" do not preform the world. "Transcendentalism and Speculative Realism in Whitehead. One could even say that Deleuze here follows Whitehead's ontological principle." 72. "in/difference" does not indicate apathy to differences. 68. Levinas (1987). Aesthetic language as language of pure immanence knows of novelty. without the immanence of creativity. the causal power of feeling has priority over the clear realization of abstract ideas. but affirms and even "runs through" its incompossibilities. (Frankfurt. . Alois Rust. 216. Cf. Wiehl in Holzhey et al. in Faber.." 85. P. If aesthetic reality is thought without creativity.'. and representing no a priori constant structure. As Hans Poser put it once." in Whiteheads Metaphysik der Kerativitat." (62). England: Manchester University Press. then the moment of alterity disappears. Cf. Only once. Reiner Wiehl. Friedrich Rapp and Reiner Wiehl. "to be the origin of the differences that can not bear it from within. and Reiner Wiehl. Zur Kritik prozefJtheologischer Theoriegestalt (Wien. 29f. E. however. (Freiburg i. 77. Badiou in Boundas and Olkowski: "Leibniz—Deleuze's subject is directly multiple. Cf. but totally expressive within all differences. since it is productive of these differences. Cf. do not contradict the ultimate creativity of the world's process. the primary place of experience/realization/thinking is the unconscious. If aesthetic reality is thought. "Trinity. this becomes a main principle of his last major work." in Trinity in Process: A Relational Theology of God." but not. as their organization per creationem. . Klossowski. from beyond. 202. cf. 29. J. The eschatological .230 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 231 Overcoming the Kantian Duality" (1996) in Patton. regarding Whitehead. 105ff. 219ft 74. no creative self-constitution can be thought. one cannot indicate any reason for it. In Deleuze's The Fold. 212. Roland Faber. the exploration of this term. being a projection of the sequence of events.

A. religiosen Sinn nennen. God is all (omne)—but precisely not "the All. rather. In RM. 237). and reconciled with God. A. coming as formal novelty (eternal objects) and actual novelty (creativity). 31-34)—derived not regarding God's reality. PR. Or as Cobb (1982) says. Cf." Process Studies 11(3) (1981): "I propose we conceive God to be a future activity creating the conditions of the present" (172). "God" refers to that fundamental "eschatological novelty" by which everything appears marvelous: "The concept of 'God' is the way in which we understand this incredible fact—that what cannot be. Lachmann. 47). 243). "Schopferischer Lockruf im ProzeB der Welt. cf. Finally. 87. MD: University Press of America. They always leave themselves for other events. Conv. God embodies no entity like an "imperial ruler" (PR. cf. 95. Thus. God is seen also as an "actual nontemporal entity" (88). This means. 5). understood as the "reason" of events. PR. an occasion is taken up. Thus. Cf. not as a part of its past. H." demonstrate the breakdown of all categories regarding their value to grasp God's reality. but as the gift of freedom." the occasion "is" not yet. The opposite is true: God is creatively overflowing Godself as eschatological future. In SMW. With "poet. Cf. 82). Regarding God's novelty (which cannot be understood by any [old] categories). 324 n. also Levinas (1961): "Enjoyment means that absolute selfness of a subject that indicates its being-alone-with-itself without original communication" (142)." the occasion would not "be" anymore (cf. sondern daB 'Gott' nach Whitehead in alien Kategorien kreativ ta'tig ist" (310). such as that of Moltmann. therefore. daB diese Einschrankung des tiberhaupt Moglichen als ein Akt der Synthesis angesehen werden muB. first of all. God is interpreted as a "formative element" for the process of events—thus as a "principle. Cf. This applies to Whitehead's dictum that "it never really is" (PR. God "comes" to the categories and authorizes them. if it is completed. 178. 55. as passed. AI." 88. God designates "metaphysical principles" for the world by taking precautions for them.10. So'lle. 239-240. Although Whitehead at times indicates "that he should have introduced God's primordial nature sooner" (Conv. must be concrete in accordance with the ontological principle. AI. not by being their prisoner. Against the conception of a "controlling power. the principle of concretion" (Conv." he sets the persuasive power of God. Cf. "Alfred North Whitehead. The complexity of the categories. in his De Deo Abscondito. PR. that God is concrete. but he is the ground for concrete actuality" (178). This has to be said against a misconstruction of "satisfaction. but never may God be called "ontological" with regards to Godself. SMW. 343). but neither is God anything. are not characterized by an Odysseic consciousness of self-return." as in R. in PR "God" appears as a "derived notion" (cf. determined world.. the gift of transcendence. 115). Whitehead sets relativity. cf. "the status of 'derivative' is not assigned to the entity. not is. Whitehead's designation of God as a "poet" should not be seen as a weakening of the notion of God as creator. daB 'Gott' nicht in White- head's Kategorientafel erscheint.B. Bracken. Cf. B. 343). Rationalitat (Freiburg i. H. but (i) to the other actual entities and (ii) to the results of God's function as primordial. Z. was wir gottliche Funktionen im. God "coming" from God's own novelty has no other "standard of intensity" beyond Godself (cf." God's power is not "smaller" than that of other "actual entities" (cf. Principles are rules in a process that is determined by events. God "provides. "No event occurs in the world without God's coming. Whitehead sets the "contingency" of God." indicating a personal nexus." the Greeks named the "maker. RM. 1989): "Es ist interessant. 5. only infinite—such as God the "world monarch"—by referring to them as God the "transcendental snob" or "transcendental tyrant" (137). Jung (1965): "der Tatsache explizit Rechnung getragen. Against the status quo. 133. was dieses zunachst nur als Prinzip bezeichnete Wesen iiberhaupt mil dem zu tun hat." he sets change and life. 244). In this sense. 1983). yet is" (PR. Charles Hartshorne in A Natural Theology for our Time (La Salle. that is. In Whitehead. As long as a subject becomes. cf. 98. 91. Cf. and as a concrete happening. Johnson's alternative formulation of "abstract first metaphysical principles" (191) in his Whitehead and His Philosophy (Lanham. completed and passed/perished. 97. 96. 92. Nicolas of Cusa states that God is not precisely nothing." but God "is their chief exemplification" (PR. God may be named an eschatological force and. Whitehead first grasped God as "principle of concretion" (cf. 153-156. Klassiker der Naturphilosophie: von den Vorsokratikern bis zur Kopenhagener Schule (Munich: Beck. Suchocki. 1967) pokes fun at depictions that present God as similar to other world-entities. God is still interpreted as an abstract principle: "God is not concrete. Cf. Thus. invoked to save their collapse. "The Divine Activity of the Future. Dann erst wird auch sichtbar. an "ontological force" creating ontological entities. Against the "legislator. rather. Germany: Alber. Against absoluteness. although this process of permanent transformation can obtain the illusion of a "selfness" of the nexus. Erlosung" (606). it "is not yet" a subject. als wertender Entwurf einer Welt. 181-183. However. the solipsism of the enjoyment of self-unity is prevented. Perspektiven der Gottesfrage in der amerikanischen ProzeBtheologie. in arranging and making available the realm of eternal objects" (129). God. "Eine neue Denkform im Glaubensverstaendnis?" in Leo Scheffczyk." Yet. The completed occasion is perfect—that is. 1989). but as a concept." in Gernot Bohme (Hg. As long as an occasion is "becoming. in Whitehead as well as in Levinas. judged.232 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE DE-ONTOLOGIZING GOD 233 notion of God is adopted by Cobb in his discussion of the "eschatologization" of God in much political theology. 242) nor like the "personification of moral energy" (PR. 350). "The Metaphysical Ground of the Whiteheadian God. also the analysis of such patterns in K. and Metz. which are necessary in order to articulate "God. should an occasion "come-to-be. But God. 89. 90. Schulte. but God never introduces Godself within the events as an ontological entity." Theologische Berichte 12 (1983). IL: Open Court. In Process and Reality Whitehead sets up the principle that God "is not to be treated as an exception to all metaphysical principles. Whitehead's "persons. 237-238). In its "perfectness" beyond all subjectivity. Lewis Ford. 482-483: He states the relationship between this aspect of immortality . it ceases to be a subject (cf. Inada (1975). Johnson notes. God does not define an "ultimate metaphysical principle" (PR. Koch. Ernest Wolf-Gazo. God creates the events that may be seen under ontological perspective. AI. Against the male conception of God. Cf. 8). 94. 93." Process Studies 5(4) (1975). he sets the God beyond sexual duality.). the gift of the future" (75).

) 10 Beyond Conversation The Risks of Peace ISABELLE STENGERS To intervene in an attempted "conversation" between two full-fledged products of the American tradition—"deconstructive" and "constructive" postmodernism—is a risky move for a French-speaking. a new kind of "real togetherness. We have not to accept the implied meanings of these terms. 15:36f. 107. is that this hoped for conversation has not begun yet. The conception of "eschatological alterity." sunyata." "emptiness. 101. Here. to start with boundary quarrels. and God" (5). The more so since the very word. In God. 110.. Whitehead's notion of eschatological "peace" indicates the overcoming of any form of self-concentration." Cf. as an outsider to any recognized trend. Benedict de Spinoza. Although sunyata is called "passing. Drischler.. The fact is that most process people in the United States do not know that thirty years ago Deleuze ." the perfection "beyond joy and sorrow" recalls strongly the Buddhist conception ofanatman. conversation. What makes things easier. I am also someone passionately interested in a domain of human practices the value of which depends upon. from September 17. 118. and Friedrich Nietzsche.234 PROCESS AND DIFFERENCE (i. but are free to try to give them a speculative turn. I am not only one of those perplexed French-speaking onlookers. . 288) or "selfish happiness" (AI. das Phanomen der Unmittelbarkeit der Nahe Gottes und zum Nachsten zur Sprache zu bringen. mit seiner Betonung der unmittelbaren Nahe des Anderen nicht ohne absolute Trennung denken zu konnen. but most likely not about the one French philosopher who was. however. Suchocki (1975): "[T]he actual occasion in God is felt by God in terms of the highest relationship made possible by that actualization relative to every other actuality prehended by the divine nature. 289). European philosopher. Drischler goes on: "Levinas laBt ein solches Denken hinter sich und kann. never finishing anything. Here. working and thinking with Bergson. obstinate matter of fact. It is always 'process. an event must disappear to live on. and producing. "Process people" in the United States know about Henri Bergson. is already a shifty one for me. 1970. In both. 199-216.e." 100. eliminating the charms of conversation: the practices of experimental science. Its "aim" is situated "beyond any personal satisfaction" (AI. new intensities and new appetites between Bergson. ob es diesem wirklich gelingt. Indeed. to wonder for instance if Deleuze. or at least implies. I feel more at ease. Cf. 99.. "the traditional view of the self breaks down". already more than forty years ago. . Suchocki. to remain in God as a value) and the Buddhist notion of "emptiness. Cf. das transzendentaltheologische Modell dahingehend hinterfragen. "Perfection within God states—quite similarly as in Levinas—'self-forgetful transcendence'. as one party in the conversation." (MS Am." or "nothing.. Guy Emerson. and others. 1988)." etymologically it indicates also "the state of completeness or fullness of being" (483)—in a manner beyond self-enjoyment and egotistic incurvation. the occasion is itself." with new contrasts. as the corn-seeds of which Paul speaks in 1 Cor. this is what Whitehead thought of himself: "[Whitehead] likes Plato because he was always proposing. 102. however. We deal with a stubborn. wondering about the very possibility of bringing together Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida. Levinas turns against the Odysseic paradigm.. Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan under the same label. 1850 [14-15]. For finite occasions the "everlasting union with their transformed selves" (PR. The End of Evil: Process Eschatology in Historical Context (Albany: State University of New York Press. . would not belong better to the "constructive" postmodernists. brought by Mrs. According to Guy Emerson.' not frozen finality. because Odysseus—after all his adventures—finds his aim only in his coming home. since I am unable to dissociate my own "speculative turn" from both Alfred North Whitehead and Deleuze—Deleuze being one of those French philosophers who for now seems to belong to "the others. [God] feels the occasion in its immediacy and yet transcends the occasion by relating it beyond its own finite vision to all others in the vision of God. 285)." The point is not. 347) promises an eschatological self-surrender with God: "the 'self' has been lost" (AI.

." by Luis Pedraja was previously published in Process Studies (PS 28.3-4). Keller. "A Whiteheadian Chaosmos?" by Tim Clark was previously published in Process Studies (PS 28. B. Albany. For information.p Published by State University of New York Press. magnetic tape. photocopying. 1965.ISBN 0-7914-5288-3 (pbk.. recording. 90 State Street. BD372 . Chapter 4. MI. I. Process philosophy. Daniell. p. "Whitehead and the Critique of Logocentrism. © 2002 State University of New York All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.7—dc21 Process and Difference Between Cosmological and Poststructuralist Postmodernisms edited by CATHERINE KELLER and ANNE DANIELL 2001032204 109 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK PRESS . 1953. Catherine. Deconstruction. paper) . mechanical.II. Suite 700.J. : alk. Poststructuralism. paper) 1. editors. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic.1-2).5 (alk. or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher. — (SUNY series in constructive postmodern thought) s B ." is adapted from Joseph Bracken. all rights reserved. electrostatic. 3.c. "Whitehead. Chapter 8. Anne. Used by permission. cm. address State University of New York Press. Series. S. NY 12207 Production by Judith Block Marketing by Patrick Durocher Composition by Doric Lay Publishers Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Process and difference : between cosmological and poststructuralist postmodernisms / Catherine Keller and Anne Daniell. and Postmodernism. The One in the Many. © 2001 Wm.P719 2002 146'. Grand Rapids. Postmodernism. Albany Chapter 3. Eerdmans Publishing Co.7 . 2.III.

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