Deleuze. Active and Reactive, The body

Deleuze, Gilles. Nietzsche and Philosophy. London: Continuum, 1983. 39-41. Print.

To remember:

  • ‘We are in the phase of modesty of consciousness” [Nietzsche] (39).
  • To remind consciousness of its necessary modesty is to take it for what it is: a symptom; nothing but the symptom of a deeper transformation and of the activities of entirely non-spiritual forces (39).
  • “Perhaps the body is the only factor in all spiritual development” (39).
  • In Nietzsche consciousness is always the consciousness of an inferior in relation to a superior to which he is subordinated or into which he is “incorporated”. Consciousness is never self-consciousness, but the consciousness of an ego in relation to a self which is not itself conscious. It is not the master’s consciousness but the slave’s consciousness in relation to a master who is not himself conscious (39).
  • For in fact there is no “medium”, no field of forces or battle. There is no quantity of reality, all reality is already quantity of force. There are nothing but quantities of force in mutual “relations of tension.”Every force is related to others and it either obeys or commands. What defines a body is this relation between dominant and dominated forces (40).
  • Any two forces, being unequal, constitute a body as soon as they enter into a relationship. This is why the body is always the fruit of chance, in the Nietzschean sense, and appears as the most “astonishing” thing, much more astonishing, in fact, than consciousness and spirit (40).
  • But chance, the relation of force with force, is also the essence of force (40).
  • In a body the superior or dominant forces are known as active and the inferior or dominated forces are known as reactive. Active and reactive are precisely the original qualities which express the relation of force with force (40).
  • This difference between forces qualified according to their quantity as active or reactive will be called hierarchy (40).

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