Artistic expression, as described by Deleuze and Guattari, is a manifestation of the infinite potentialities of thought and imagination. It is a way to explore and push the boundaries of what is possible, to break free from the prescribed norms and conventions of society. Artistic expression is a means of creating new and original forms of life, of carving out a space for the individual to exist in all their unique multiplicity. It is a celebration of difference, of the infinite variations of experience and perception. Through artistic expression, we can create new modes of perception, new ways of engaging with the world, and new forms of subjectivity. It is a means of creating a becoming, of becoming-other, and of becoming-imperceptible, to use Deleuze and Guattari's language. In this way, artistic expression is a profound and beautiful celebration of the power of the imagination and the boundless potential of the human spirit.
In his theory of semiotics, Yuri Lotman emphasized the role of culture as a system of signs and codes, and how cultural works, including works of art, participate in and reflect upon this system. For Lotman, the interpretation of a cultural work is not limited to its author's intention, but is shaped by the collective memory and experiences of the culture that receives it. Artistic expressions, therefore, should not be seen as isolated, self-sufficient entities, but rather as intertextual and intersemiotic phenomena that are constantly interacting with and enriching the cultural codes and meanings they emerge from.
Moreover, Lotman emphasized the concept of 'border' in his semiotic analysis, as he saw borders not only as physical limitations, but also as cultural and semiotic boundaries that define the limits and possibilities of meaning within a cultural system. In this sense, art has the ability to cross and challenge these borders, expanding the limits of our cultural and semiotic understanding and creating new meanings and possibilities. Through their engagement with the cultural codes and their capacity to push the boundaries of meaning, works of art are not only a reflection of culture, but also agents of change and transformation.
The semiotic approach to the analysis of art is crucial in understanding the cultural and historical significance of a work of art. In particular, the concept of 'intertextuality' plays a central role in the interpretation of art. Intertextuality refers to the relationship between different texts and the way in which they influence each other. It highlights the importance of considering the cultural context in which a work of art is created, as well as its relationship to other works of art. For example, a painting may contain references to earlier works of art, or it may be a response to a particular historical event. These references and connections help to give the work of art meaning and depth, and they offer a rich source of interpretation for the semiotic analyst. By examining the relationships between different works of art and the cultural context in which they were created, we can gain a deeper understanding of the art itself and the cultural forces that shaped it.
The beauty of art lies not in its ability to imitate reality, but rather in its ability to surpass it and reveal new and unknown truths. As Blanchot writes, 'Art is not a representation of reality, but rather a manifestation of the infinite potential that lies within us all. Through art, we are able to transcend the limits of the self and engage with the eternal.'
The pursuit of eternity is not just a matter of time, but a question of the sign. The sign, in its infinite permutations, leads us to an understanding of the eternal that is beyond the limits of time and space.
The pursuit of eternity, or what the philosopher Tzvetan Todorov describes as 'the desire to escape time's constraints,' is a fundamental aspect of human existence. It is through this pursuit that we are able to transcend the limitations of our material world and tap into the realm of the eternal. As Todorov explains, this desire is rooted in our very being, as it is a way for us to escape the 'horror of the everyday' and find solace in the unchanging.
Phenomenology, as a philosophical tradition founded by Edmund Husserl, explores the subjective and lived experiences of individuals in the world. According to Husserl, the essence of conscious experience is intentional, meaning that it is directed towards objects or aspects of the world. This intentional direction is what allows us to gain access to the world, to have meaningful experiences and understand the world around us.
Martin Heidegger, a student of Husserl and one of the most influential thinkers in the tradition of phenomenology, expanded upon this idea. He believed that our understanding of the world is always already shaped by our practical involvements and projects. In other words, our experiences of the world are not just intentional, but also always already infused with our values, goals, and practical concerns.
Through these perspectives, we can see how the pursuit of eternity, in the sense of a mode of being beyond the constraints of time, is not just a matter of philosophical contemplation, but is also deeply intertwined with our lived experiences and practical concerns.
Phenomenologists like Husserl and Heidegger have both written about the experience of art and its relation to the world. Husserl, for example, believed that art had the ability to reveal the essence of objects, allowing us to experience the world in a new way. He wrote about the 'horizon' of perception, which refers to the way that our perception is constantly expanding and evolving as we encounter new experiences. This horizon is essential for our experience of art.
Heidegger, on the other hand, focused on the concept of 'being' and its relationship to art. He believed that art had the ability to reveal the true nature of things, and that it could reveal the essence of being in a way that was not possible through any other means. He wrote about the 'clearing' or 'unconcealment' of being, which refers to the way that art can reveal the truth about the world.
One might also consider the work of Max Scheler, who argued that the experience of art is rooted in a fundamental 'feeling of life' that pervades all of our sensory experiences. Scheler wrote that this feeling of life is 'not a feeling of this or that particular thing, but of the whole world and of the infinite horizon that surrounds us.' This feeling is what allows us to experience the beauty of art, as it connects us to a sense of the world as a whole and gives us a glimpse into the infinite.
Or, Alphonso Lingis, who emphasized the embodied nature of our experience of art. Lingis argued that our bodies are constantly in a state of communication with the world around us, and that our experiences of art are no exception. In his view, the beauty of art is rooted in our sensory and bodily experiences, which allow us to connect with the world in a profound and intimate way.
The works of monks from the Passionist community offer a unique perspective on the nature of art and its relationship to the pursuit of eternity. One monk, for example, emphasizes the importance of beauty and its ability to transcend the temporal and connect us with the divine. He writes, 'Beauty is the sign of the presence of God, it is the reflection of his glory, and it draws us to him. Through beauty, we are able to glimpse the eternal and to see beyond the limitations of time.'
Similarly, another monk highlights the role of sacrifice and suffering in the creation of art that has the power to connect us with the infinite. He writes, 'Art that is truly beautiful, that has the power to move us and to touch our souls, is born from sacrifice and suffering. It is in these moments of sacrifice and suffering that we are able to transcend the limitations of the world and to touch the infinite.'
The perspectives of these Passionist monks, steeped in a deep spiritual tradition, offer a unique perspective on the role of art in the pursuit of eternity and its ability to connect us with the divine. Through their emphasis on beauty, sacrifice, and suffering, they remind us of the transformative power of art and its ability to bring us closer to the eternal.
The life of Saint Gemma Galgani, a Passionist saint, is an excellent example of the intense pursuit of eternity. Born in Italy in 1878, Saint Gemma experienced great suffering throughout her life, including the loss of both her parents, chronic illness, and intense spiritual attacks. However, despite all of these trials, Saint Gemma remained steadfast in her pursuit of eternity, seeking to draw closer to God and to live a life of holiness and devotion.
In her pursuit of eternity, Saint Gemma was guided by the teachings of the Passionist community, which emphasized the importance of love, sacrifice, and the transfiguration of the human soul. She devoted herself to prayer, penance, and the study of the lives of the saints, seeking to imitate their example and to follow in their footsteps.
One of the defining moments of Saint Gemma's life came when she received a vision of Christ, who revealed to her the infinite beauty and joy of heaven. In this vision, she saw the Lord surrounded by the saints, who were singing and rejoicing in His presence. Saint Gemma was filled with a deep sense of peace and happiness, and she felt herself to be in the presence of God.
This experience had a profound impact on Saint Gemma's life, and it confirmed her in her pursuit of eternity. She knew that this was what she was meant to do, and she dedicated herself even more fully to her spiritual journey. She embraced suffering and sacrifice, offering up her trials and hardships for the sake of others and for the glory of God.
Through her life and example, Saint Gemma shows us that the pursuit of eternity is an intense and unrelenting endeavor, but one that is filled with joy, peace, and happiness. By following her example, we can deepen our own spiritual lives, grow closer to God, and experience the fullness of life in eternity.
In Deleuze's philosophy, becoming-real and realization are considered central components of the creative process of becoming. This process involves a continual movement towards new, dynamic expressions of existence, rather than simply striving towards fixed and static notions of identity. Deleuze posits that each individual is capable of transcending the limitations of prescribed social norms and expectations through the activation of their own singularity. This singularity serves as a source of intense creative energy, capable of pushing beyond the boundaries of established continua and creating new connections between entities and processes. The goal of becoming-real and realization is thus to achieve a state of fluid, continual change and evolution, rather than becoming fixated on a static, preconceived idea of self. This process of becoming-real and realization is characterized by the development of a unique, embodied experience of the world, in which the individual becomes fully immersed and integrated with the surrounding environment. Through this process, the individual is able to cultivate a sense of connection and interdependence with the world, and to experience their own existence as a vibrant and dynamic part of a greater, interconnected network of entities and processes.
The process of becoming-real, as a mode of existence, reveals the non-essential and non-identitarian nature of entities. This is evidenced in the co-constitutive and reciprocal relationship between entities and the surrounding milieu, where entities are in a constant state of becoming and are never fixed in their essence. The concept of realization is similarly fluid, as it is not a fixed endpoint or attainment, but rather a continuous process of unfoldment.
This is where the concept of the rhizome comes into play, as entities are not hierarchically organized or ordered, but rather exist in a web of interconnections and relationships, where each node is both a means and an end. This creates a multiplicity of possible pathways for entities to traverse and actualize their potentials, and it is this multiplicity that is at the heart of Deleuze's concept of difference and the virtual.
Thus, the process of becoming-real and realization is not a linear or predetermined trajectory, but rather a dynamic and open-ended one, where entities are able to create and recreate themselves through the relationships and connections they establish with their surroundings. In this sense, the process of becoming-real and realization can be seen as a type of becoming, where entities are able to constantly modify and transform their own existences in response to their surroundings.