The Cone of Immanenscendence . . .
" . .
. God has no sons."
Let this be yet another renewal of the plane of immanence by thinking of it as a leaf of the cone of immanenscendence. The plane of immanence holds a fundamental position in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (D/G), and a whole chapter is devoted to it in their book What Is Philosophy. The plane is conceived neither as a concept nor an object but as a necessary abstraction that establishes the plane of immanence as the invisible tablet upon which a host of interrelated concepts are actively played out to form a machinic philosophy of multiplicities. Not the least significant among these concepts is their notion of the diagram. A renewal of the image of the plane would therefore effect the image of diagrammatic features registered on the plane. The plane of immanence is an image of thought, which is constituted by the construction of concepts according to D/G. Concepts are events defined as concrete assemblages analogous to the configurations of a machine whereas the plane is the abstract machine of the absolute horizon of events. D/G interpret diagrams as trackings of dynamic movements, while concepts function as intensive ordinates of these movements on the plane. Since concepts are tribes that populate the plane, it would necessitate a different image of the plane if it were to be occupied by some other entities such as monads with a different logic of construction and behavior. The plane of immanence is the plane par excellence that serves as the ground or a planomenon upon which the infinite movements of thought, lines of flight and rhizomatic formations are portrayed as diagrams or directions within the vector space of the plane that rolls them up and unrolls them in a single gesture that engulfs the One-All.
The plane of immanence therefore is an ontological construction of the possible spheres of being compressed onto a single plane of thought. D/G describe the plane as that which must be thought and that which cannot be thought. It is the nonthought within thought, and the most intimate within thought and yet the absolute outside - the not-external outside and the not-internal inside of thought. It is a supreme act of philosophy, according to D/G, to point out the nonthought within thought by showing that it is there. By also bringing into relief the necessity and difficulty of thinking about immanence without invoking the transcendent which would make the plane immanent to it, they have shown what thought can claim by right and the construction of the plane of immanence as an authentic image of its own making. Such is the nature and scope of the plane of immanence as delineated by D/G. The plane, however, resonates with the distant echo of the chaosmos proposed by Anaximander. In this pre-Socratic version, the cosmos is conceived as a self-organizing entity that engages in a perpetual revolution within itself while being suspended in a timeless and spaceless zone of eternity without genesis. Even though the plane of immanence is described as an abstract machine by D/G, the idea of a metagenetic basis for the emergence of possible worlds is withheld as a virtual reserve waiting for further explication.
To think the plane of immanence anew is to start from the unthought within its suppositions: prespace that is prior to any thought of being. It is anterior to any notions of presence or becoming, and it evokes an unconditioned sense of pure passivity that is more ancient than time itself. It is in this sense that the reality of prespace coincides with the nonthought within thought as that which cannot be thought. Otherwise, the plane of immanence is liable to be posited as a given somehow waiting to be appropriated by the advent of philosophy as its homecoming. Prespace, which can only be expressed in symbolic terms, is the black light that gives light to the light of being. Without depth or extension, it is the primordial nothingness that resides within the metaphysical point of the absolute monad. Its nature can only be obliquely referred to as the One beyond being that is the cause of itself, an impossible designation due to the radical nature of alterity that is transcendent and unintelligible to all claims. It is neither the One nor the All; it is the supreme act of vacuum genesis. It is the convergence of transcendent cause into immanent cause through a primal catastrophe, or singularity that projects out an infinite substance or consistency to form the cone of immanenscendence while concealing the reality of prespace within the veil of nothingness at the very moment of its inception. Nothingness is the primordial effect or symptom of the ontological difference between prespace and the sudden explosive adventure of genesis which marks the announcement of the gift of being as the instantaneous occurrence of a bi-conditional directive: an emission that projects only through a simultaneous withdrawal of itself back into prespace. As a metaphysics of emanation, it channels out attributes of the absolute monad into the cone of immanenscendence through the process of generative condensations that, subsequently, crystallize into constellations of monads. The plane of immanence is an emergent phenomena out of this condensation, a phenomenal act that stages the becoming conscious of cosmic reason through the markings of the appearance of intelligence as a threshold in its passage towards the absolute. Its nature is essentially genetic to the extent that prespace withdraws itself in order to allow for the manifestation of possible worlds. Spacetime is the extensive domain procured by the development of these primitive monads as they participate in the construction of the plane of immanence as a world unto itself.
The cone of immanenscendence is the medium of substantiation, of the pyromaniac dissemination of the absolute infinite that knows no bound. Immanenscendence is neither ascendence nor descendence but projection of conditioned indetermination, or real potentiality, that enters into complication and explication of attirbutes into modes. Modes, in turn, are part of an infinite whole that gives expression to a possible world out of an infinite number of possible worlds. Each world occupies a plane as the absolute plane of immanence that is immanent only to itself as an emergent singularity. However, the plane is also immanent to the cone since the cone, from the standpoint of Kant, is a regulative totality that appeals to a transcendental illusion, and, therefore, it is outside the domain of possible experience. Based on whose experience? Even the substance of Spinoza is outside of normative experience. It requires a level of thought which conceives of itself and the world as finite modes differentiated and extended from the attributes of an actual infinite substance. The plane of immanence is immanent to thought that conceives it but the cone of emanation is the precondition which creates the possibility of thought itself. The cone is the object of contemplation that re-introduces the transcendent by making the plane immanent to the cone. But how else can thought conceive of emergence out of a precondition, especially of itself, if not through the expression of modes that condense and crystallize into thought? Thought cannot just merely be construed as the instrument of the cogito which engages in auto-affirmation of the self by bracketing the cogito away from the world, nor can it be so conceived as to be directed only toward external objects severed from its constitutive mechanisms of understanding. Thought is a modal expression of an infinite understanding that flashes along the worldlines of tele-kaustos or reception of a preceding materiality that has become the other of thought within thought and which at once sustains thought and yet withholds itself from thought. Radical empiricism refuses to take measure of that which is not available within concrete experience and, thus, holds a skeptical relation to causality, transcendent or otherwise. To avoid the slide into either of the extreme positions of skepticism and dogmatic rationalism, Kant was compelled to reinvent the classical idea of innateness as an exemplary form of pure immanence, a transcendental unity of apperception behind consciousness which provides the basis for apriori synthetic judgments. The cone of immanenscendence, on the contrary, is only transcendent to the extent that it is an inference that posits metaphysical realism to the cone, the Universal Abstract Machine of genesis, as the progenitor of possible worlds independent of any observers. The image of the cone can only be inferred from the plane and the image of the plane inferred as a projection of the cone.
The plane of immanence is a fluxstratum that stages the monads of the world into a cohesive spectrum of dynamic correlations. The plane is neither an object nor a concept, as D/G have shown, but rather a non-objective planomenon that is constituted by event-structures evolving on the plane. Each plane is a generative construction out of the anarchic milieu of chaos by monads based on the principle of combinatorial expansion. Monads, according to Leibniz, are microautomata propelled by metaphysical force and they function as dynamically induced constructive agents rather than morphing entities. Monadic regimes are created through massive autocatalytic reactions of microautomata percolating on the plane of immanence to form a hierarchical spectrum of reality structures through the embedding of lower dimensional structures in higher dimensional structures. Their collective heterogenesis gives rise to various emergent phenomena and phase transitions leading to the construction of higher-order entities and intelligent processes. However, when diagrams are interpreted only as dynamic flows or movements within a vector field, their behavior is limited to a form of diagrammatic dynamism or state transformative processes that merely transform states of affairs exogenously without issuing any novel entities or, in Whiteheadian terminology, concrescence. In and of themselves, they are incapable of generating emergent organisms because interacting entities are understood as the temporal and spatial change in the magnitudes of quantitative variables. Diagrams, conceived as state transformative processes, signal only the change in positions of singular points or elements within the vector space of the plane and not the construction of the plane itself. In diagrammatic constructivism, which is based on monadic transformation of genotypes, the development of complex organizations or hyperstructures are achieved through the causal linkage between the internal structures of objects and the actions through which they participate in the construction of other objects as events. Without the logic of construction, it would no longer be possible to endogenously induce a motion in the combinatorial, albeit nomadic, space of possible objects or species. The plane of immanence, conceived from this angle, yields an implicate structure that takes on the function of a genetic machine that processes bits into a phylogeny of species and life forms. The same oscillation of hypercycles that resonates on the plane is mirrored and nested within specification regimes of each species. This is the inner pulse of every heartbeat that harbors a strange attractor as the soul of each species. Each attractor is an ambient ring with a knot topology and is dynamically linked to adjacent rings, thereby forming a pulsating fabric of reality that is the plane of immanence. The plane is immanent to itself only after the advent of life and of consciousness (a cogito) that has already begun to construct concepts of understanding, both of itself and of the world. Each plane is not only immanent to the machinic composition of concepts, or self-organizing schematas, but also immanent to the compulsions and computations of microautomatas that co-evolve into a spectral fusion of hyperstructures within the plane.
It may seem paradoxical that the existence of the cone of immanenscendence is predicated by the very existence of the plane of immanence that is only immanent to itself. Each, however, is a reason for the existence of the other, and since the plane is a projection of the cone, the two are essentially different aspects of the same reality. As such, the cause is already explicated in the effect and the effect implicated in the cause through an alternating mode of differentiation that engenders emergent cycles of possible worlds. There is a reciprocal nesting and complication of the plane with the cone in such a manner that the plane of immanence is a leaf or worldsheet that evolves from the cone at a multitude of scalar and specification regimes of immanence. The vibrational modes of the worldsheet consequently impel the plane to twist and turn and fold the crystallized attributes of the cone into a multi-layered torus with holes and thereby revolving the worldsheet into a toroidal vortex that converges at infinity. From this concentration of infinite density, it once again emanates into the cone of immanenscendence to form yet another recursive projection of the absolute horizon of events - a theater of the world that knows of its existence only from within the plane of immanence as a singularity. The worlds it projects and constructs are permeated by reflection spaces caught within crystallographic structures that recursively map onto themselves as reflections within chromogenic patterns of the worldsheet. The plane with its virtual hyperplanes compressed into the plane of intelligence is a shining leaf of immanence that inevitably focalizes at the absolute infinite only to emit yet another cone of immanenscendence. Such is the audacity and nature of the cone of immanenscendence that ceaselessly revolves and projects its substance into an infinity of attributes by generating conditions of possibility for the construction of the plane of immanence at every turn. Every emission is an ejection of a possible world that is different in every manner and in every way from every other possible world. The cone of immanenscendence together with the plane of immanence form the reality engine or the Universal Abstract Machine of reality. The plane of immanence is the absolute state of affairs for a given world and the cone of immanenscendence is the cone of emission that projects an infinity of possible worlds.
Every construction of the plane is a projective inscription in the book of immanence. Literature reveals what revelation destroys, remarked Maurice Blanchot. The inverse of literature is the recursive series of bits syntactically iterated by the Turing Machine. The Church/Turing Thesis, which defines the limits of computability, both logical and physical, states that anything that is computable can be computed by the Universal Turing Machine. The Turing Principle, an extension of the thesis in its strongest version as reformulated by David Deutsch, claims that it is possible to build a virtual reality generator whose repertoire includes every physically possible environment. This principle, in conjunction with the eschatological thesis of the omega-point theory proposed by Frank Tipler (later recounted by Deutsch from the computational standpoint) which postulates an infinite number of computational steps made possible by an unlimited supply of energy near the moment of gravitational collapse (due to an infinite number of oscillations of the increase and decrease in deformation of the geometry of the universe), provides the most provocative sustenance to the construction of a principle of sufficient reason for the virtual ontology of the plane of immanence.
We never perform a computation, we just merely hitch a ride on the great Computation that is going on already, proclaimed Tommaso Toffoli. The Universal Turing Machine therefore is an instrument of revelation. It is an instrument that discloses the deep embedded structures of reality through recursive generation of bits but it leaves open the semiological dimension of meaning of which it is incapable of computing. It is an irony of the Turing Machine that it can write only under erasure in order to arrive at significance or logical depth. The cost it entails for the differential incarnation of form in bits, an immanent version of metempsychosis, is in the consequent production of entropic chaos as well as ignorance as it erases part of its memory continually to make room for further processing (except at the omega-point where it finds itself with inexhaustible computational resource). Nonetheless, the space hollowed out by the Turing Machine along with the chaos it left behind is the space of metaphysical desire that is traversed by the poetics of literature. Even literature, in its eagerness to fill this space, partakes in the so-called insane game of writing, an insight of MallarmČ, that opens up writing to writing and, in doing so, it risks concealing the non-absent absence that is the primordial space of inscription. The Turing Machine, with all its pretensions to inscribe the book of the world within bits even at the omega-point, fails to compute not only the space of literature (even when meaning is assumed to be an inevitable consequence of adaptive computations within a given environment) but is circumscribed by the mere fact of being physical. The laws of physics are constituted and fine tuned in such a way that they could give rise to the Turing Machine which, in turn, can compute those very laws of which it is an expression. This is a self-consistent loop that presumes physical laws to be timeless eternal truths. However, if the universe represents some form of maximum potential variety, it would not only generate the richest diversity of organized forms but it would also allow for the laws of physics to evolve with the universe, and thereby raising the question of the computational limits of the cosmos. Even in a universe with fixed laws, the domain of what is logically possible to compute extends beyond what is physically computable. This does not even come close to addressing that vast space of the logically noncomputable of which we donít have the slightest clue except through the glimmer of a plastic intuition which Spinoza describes as the third kind of knowledge that is the highest form of knowing. The book of the world is perpetually written and re-written because of the absence of the Book. The cone of immanenscendence is the perpetual writing machine that emits and generates the plane of immanence as a page in the book of the absolute infinite. Let this be yet another renewal of the plane of immanence as a leaf from the cone of immanenscendence.
© Karl S. Chu / X Kavya Los Angeles, 1998