The Goldberg Variations are a difference delirium to me — order within this will to infinity.
In proposition 57 of The Monadology, Leibniz writes, "The same town looked at from different angles appears completely different, and is, as it were, multiplied perspectively. In the same way, it emerges that, because of the infinite number of simple substances, there seem to be as many different universes as there are substances. However, these are only different perspectives on a single universe, according to the different points of view of each monad." That is to say, from God's perspective, there is only one universe (leave it to Borges to flesh out Leibniz's possible worlds) but there are an infinite number of perspectives on and of that universe, each different.
And this, Leibniz continues in #58, "is the means for obtaining as much variety as possible, but with the greatest order as possible. In other words, it is the means for obtaining as much perfection as possible."
To create as much variety as possible and yet not give way to chaos; to create a grammar of existence that can breed infinite difference: What a will! Leibniz isn't driven to order the world, to classify the world, to limit the world. Or, rather, he is driven to create an open order with infinite classifications and infinite limits. For Leibniz, the world is full, contained, and infinite. That's even stranger!
Leibniz's world is delirious as every piece of matter is infinitely divisible: within every drop of pond water is an infinite number of ponds, each infinitely divisible, each containing an infinite number of ponds. It approaches the sublime, threatening to explode our cognition, if not our bodies. But his world is not sublime — it is not just infinite stuff but an ordered infinite stuff, everything connected to everything else and, together, forging the world itself. Each monad expresses the entire universe — from its perspective.
It is this will to delirium, to maximizing difference, that attracts me so strongly. I love this image, this thought, this world view: to see this way is to see the world shimmer, glimmer, and glow. And this is what I want from logics, from ideas, from notions and thoughts and beliefs: I want difference delirium.
This is my attraction to rhetoric over language. The sophist sees perspective in every utterance, argument in every direction to infinity — not combat or conflict, mind you, but the staking of positions, the forging and undoing of territories both visible and invisible. There is no stable ground, no "background" (whatever the fuck that is), no place where nothing is moving — not to the sophist.
This is my attraction to Bergson who sees a world always and already in motion — a world of creative evolution. Change, for Bergson, is not something added to the world: it is constitutive of the world, constitutive of matter. That is so fucking incredible! Matter — the stuff of the world — is constituted by change! The world is an endless ooze dense with infinite interactions of infinite variety.
And yet it's still not chaos. It's not just a mumble jumble of stuff. There is order but it's not order from above. It's emergent order as things follow immanent laws.
This is why I am so enamored of Lucretius who, in seeing atoms fall through space, finds swerves, inclinations, a tendency to go this way or that.
And, of course, Leibniz, Lucretius, and Bergson are all quite different from each other. I don't want to conflate them but to express a common will: a will to difference delirium. It's what I find in Sarah Sze, in Matthew Ritchie, and Julie Mehretu — mappings of this delirium yet each in a very different style, with a very different world view.
I like to see the world this way. It feels enlivening, vital, invigorating. I may enjoy Kant now and again, and maybe even a tad of Hegel, but only in as much as they become these incredibly strange constellations in the teem. I like right angles and geometry and conceptual categories — as long as they're thrown into the mix. This makes life even stranger, even more delirious, like seeing the lava lamp ooze suddenly form a perfect square.
Do I need this delirium to be true? This is beyond truth and lies. It does feel right to me — right, here, meaning that it feels like health. Everything in its right place and there are an infinite number of things and an infinite number of right places.