Saturday, April 21, 2012

Deleuze vs. Hegel on Spinoza

In Hegel’s reproach to Spinoza - that he ignored the negative and its power - lies the glory and innocence of Spinoza, his own discovery. In a world consumed by the negative, he has enough confidence in life, in the power of life, to challenge death, the murderous appetites of men, the rules of good and evil, of the just and unjust. Enough confidence in life to denounce all the phantoms of the negative….In Spinoza’s thought, life is not an idea, a matter of theory. It is a way of being. It is only from this perspective that his geometrical method is fully comprehensible. In the Ethics, it is opposition to everything that takes pleasure in the powerlessness and distress of men, everything that feeds on accusations, on malice, on belittlement, on low interpretations, everything that breaks men’s spirits. The geometrical method ceases to be a method of intellectual exposition but it is rather a mode of invention…Spinoza did not believe in hope or even in courage; he believed only in joy, and in vision. He let others live provided they let him live. He wanted only to inspire, to waken, to reveal.

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