Resurrection (Deleuze)

resurrection deleuze

These comments about seed, life, the rational soul, death, animal soul, and resurrection caught my attention while reading Deleuze reading Leibniz. For the sake of clarity, I broke up what is a single paragraph into 2 parts. What catches the eye is the way life is figured as a lit flame, death as a folding in of the self. Death is one thing. I know that Deleuze is writing about Leibniz, but except in those parts where Deleuze makes a deliberate swerve away from Lebniz, it is not always clear if Deleuze, when he invokes Leibniz, conjuring his presence before us, is not speaking “in a voice of his own,” if not necessarily “in his own voice.” Is it possible to think of “life” without “resurrection” as the next statement in a series?

“However, this possibility for progress or expansion of the soul seems to run up against the total quantity of progress in the world, this quantity being defined by the convergence of all regions that correspond to compossible monads. And this would be true if time did not pertain, that is, if all existing monads were simultaneously summoned to the altitude that makes them reasonable. But things do not work that way: souls fated to become reasonable wait for their time in the world, and are first of all only sensitive souls who sleep in Adam’s seed, bearing only an ‘official act’ that marks the hour of their future elevation as on to a birth certificate. This birth certificate or act is a flame lit within the dark monad.

And inversely, when we die, we fold infinitely upon ourselves; we return to the state of an animal until the bodily resurrection brings us to a second and final elevation. But further, the soul, which has for some time become sensitive again, will bring with it a new and official act, now akin to an act or certification of death, which is its last reasonable thought prior to death. More precisely, the damned are those whose last thought is a scorn of God because, when their soul vomits all and can no longer enclose clearly anything other than this hate or this rage, it is the maximum of all possible hate or the smallest amplitude of reason. Resurrection still brings them to this thought from which they forge their new present.  This order of time must be considered in all questions of progress: a whole dramaturgy of souls, which makes them rise, descend, and rise again.”

–Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, (Continuum), p.84

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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