Opening thoughts on The Field

Opening thoughts on The Field


Opening thoughts on The Field

The field is resonant frequencies — trillions in a square inch, and three-dimensional if not multi-dimensional, rotating on near infinite axes as single frequencies interact, adapt, are assimilated or assimilate, based on momentary equations that might never occur again.


It is up to us to go to extreme places, to extreme times,
where the highest and deepest truths live and rise up
— Gilles Deleuze


The field is the plane of immanence. The field is a plane of differential intensities. The field is the organic, the animal, the material. The field is resonant frequencies — trillions in a square inch, and three-dimensional if not multi-dimensional, rotating on near infinite axes as single frequencies interact, adapt, are assimilated or assimilate, based on momentary equations that might never occur again. The field is always moving, but at levels of rapidity our eyes cannot capture. We exist on one plane of the field’s near infinite planes. Why near infinite and not infinite? Because the universe is finite, though we have not the means to establish with precision either its core or its outer edges, and still less the entire history of the interactions of the totality of strings that make up all things and exist below quantum mechanics, and all the way up through bigger and bigger combinations, to fundamental particles, forces, atoms, and forms, on to complete strata, landscapes, continents, planets, stars and galaxies. We wander both above and below the unthinkable, and we make out of our mechanisms of reproduction and survival a “world” within which we have learned to exist as animals.

Human is the highest form we have found for our survival, but it is only that: a vehicle by which we can identify danger, interact with other centres of force, centres of frequency, whether other animals or plants or the oceans or the smaller world of micro-organisms, viruses, bacteria, and so on. The field is what the human as a goal and a necessity aims to endure, to make known, to organise, and via technology (techne) to command. The State is a human all too human event; a simultaneous ordering of nature (one plane of immanence) and animal man. But it is a choice, the significance of which is becoming ever more apparent, and the dangers of which are near impossible to overstate. For it is a force that has come from ignorance, from sleight of hand; from a long history of denial of the world, and a long history of pressing into service the formless, oblivion, for the sake of a notion of survival.

Below the State, the field. Above the State, the field. And yet we find we are dual. Mere survival is depression, and to be human is something that needs, and has required, constant justification. We invent the good. We invent morality. We invent the bad, from a field that knows no morality and no good and bad. There, things are. Instinct is. We may be bound by physical sensations: hunger, the need to feed other elements into the vast assemblage of strings that we are. Specific needs, for salt, for sugar, for different vitamins, to keep the vastly complex form, built up from lines of DNA, alive — which is to say, to regulate and keep in balance the relation between entropy and the assimilation of new matter: renewal. Every centre of density on the plane of immanence, in the field, is doing the same thing. But we have lost so entirely our relation to other forms that now we can only command and systematise our violence as a species: meat farms, crop farms, dairy farms, etc. To the extent to which we can externalise the plane of immanence, we lose our animal life. We use money to buy food we didn’t grow, find or kill. And this is now “human life.”

But we also lost everything else. The grandeur of running. The freedoms of sex, and love and destiny. I am not of the feeling that modern psychology is a response to the breaking down of old forms, and of the shattering of the face of man. This is happening, and has been ongoing for more than one hundred years, as we reach the outer edges of absurdity, waging wars upon each other, world wars, resource wars, and developing ever new means to endure our alienation from the field. Industrial life. Consumer life. Digital life. Billions of images of lives we might have as humans: the procession of possibilities, to shield and divert our attention from the field, and from our very selves as animals. In my view, it is past time for a simultaneous elevation and descent in our imagination. An elevation towards paying attention to what is above us (other planets, galaxies and the universe), and a descent — and return — to animal life and all that lies below, down to quantum mechanics and the near infinite field of strings. How much could we understand ourselves better by going below? To me, the State is an illness, a mental aberration, and it makes ill. I tire of watching the same cycles repeat within fields of power. It alarms me to stand back and see the evolution of forms within the history of systems of power. What is human is a distortion and a simulation of the real.

All instincts which are not discharged outwardly turn inwards — this is what I call the internalisation of man: with it there now evolves in man what will later be called his ‘soul.’ The whole inner world, originally stretched thinly as though between two layers of skin, was expanded and extended itself and gained depth, breadth and height in proportion to the degree that the external discharge of man’s instincts was obstructed. Those terrible bulwarks with which state organizations protected themselves against the old instincts of freedom — punishments are a primary instance — had the result that all those instincts of the wild, free, roving man were turned backwards, against man himself. Animosity, cruelty, the pleasure in pursuing, raiding, changing and destroying — all this was pitted against the person who had such instincts: that is the origin of ‘bad conscience.’ Lacking external enemies and obstacles, and forced into the oppressive narrowness and conformity of custom, man impatiently ripped himself apart, persecuted himself, gnawed at himself, gave himself no peace and abused himself, this animal who battered himself raw on the bars of his cage and who is supposed to be ‘tamed’; man, full of emptiness and torn apart with homesickness for the desert, has had to create from within himself an adventure, a torture-chamber, an unsafe and hazardous wilderness — this fool, this prisoner consumed with longing and despair, became the inventor of ‘bad conscience.’ With it, however, the worst and insidious illness was introduced, one from which mankind has not yet recovered, man’s sickness of man, of himself: as the result of a forcible breach with his animal past, a simultaneous leap and fall into new situations and conditions of existence, a declaration of war against the old instincts on which, up till then, his strength, pleasure and formidableness had been based …1

The most important thing, to me now, is to feel the body. I cannot — and refuse — to think of spirit without the body. I cannot, and refuse, to distinguish the soul from the body. To me, the soul — if there is one — ought not to be the seat of an innate good, but the place of remembering of our animal life, and the beauty of the field, the plane of immanence.


  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 61-62.