Listening for a New Body: Thinking Change and Learning Reason with Difference and Repetition and Spinoza: Practical Philosophy

This paper takes up the question of how a change other than “the relentless order of incremental change” might happen by examining it in relation to the notion of habit (after Ravaisson and Grosz) and the question of rhythm and temporal structuration as strategy. Nietzsche’s distinction between leaping and dancing offers us some initial clues, as does Deleuze’s provocations in Difference and Repetition (among other writings). Working from a basis of practice-led research from the laboratory of movement/yoga asana/breathing technologies, assisted by Deleuzian articulations, it will be argued that misconceptions concerning the mechanisms of change may stem from seeking alterations or variations at the level of content. Instead, a “change of another order” primarily concerns operations and rhythms that unfold at registers subtending the regime of representation and its derivative conjurings. If music, scent, and taste, for example, have the power to overtake us, unpin us, and hurl us elsewhere—into the pure form of the future—then it is worth clarifying their capacity to interrupt rhythmic habitudes where we wander enclosed in predictable prosodies, whether at the level of language, embodiment, or thought itself.