Immanence suggests co-implication, the implication of one thing in another (spirit in matter, mind in body, movement in repose, humans in nature), nonduality, the vitality of becoming rather than the stasis of being, the sufficiency of life in its generative relational flux, its vessels of light scattered for our gathering in each moment of darkness.

Philosophers of immanence, from Heraclitus and Nagarjuna to Spinoza, Whitehead, and Deleuze, find inspiration in the middle of things, the moment-to-moment movement of thought, awareness, connection, action, rather than in large, transcendent, ventriloquistic forces (such as ideologies, ultimate causes, or apocalyptic narratives).

Immanence suggests a continuity and empathic resonance rippling between things. “When we try to pick out anything by itself,” John Muir wrote, “we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” This could have well been written by Nagarjuna or by Jacques Derrida in an errant wander outside the text (as his later writings often did). Derrida may be popularly known for saying that “il n-y a pas d’hors-text,” or “there is no outside-the-text,” but his writings on ethics, religion, politics, and animality make clear that this “no outside” is more akin to a Zen koan or Nagarjuna’s “emptiness” than to a denial of bodies, spirits, and whatever else. Like Muir, both Derrida and Nagarjuna posit a world of what Buddhists call “codependent arising” (and see here), where things, ideas, and selves arise and make sense only in relation to others in a process of ceaseless becoming, the rhizomic connectivity of “and… and,” as Deleuze and Guattari put it, rather than the binarism of “either/or.”

This blog, like that process, will seek connections between environmental philosophy, cultural theory (especially in its poststructuralist and postconstructivist variants), and sciences and philosophies of the east, the west, and the ne(i)ther (the postcolonial, the fourth world, et al) — connections to help make sense of the world in its current states of unrest, swerve, systemic shift, transition, and (r)evolution.

(“Really, (r)evolution toward what?” you ask. How about to a socially and ecologically sustainable, post-carbon, self-renewing, radically democratic, globally just, and bioregionally diverse society. Murray Bookchin, I think, had spoken about utopianism being a necessity in our time. That would be effective, informing, inspiring, as opposed to pie-in-the-sky dreamy utopianism.)

An ethic of immanence is one of responsiveness shimmering across animate bodies to feel the collective breathing, the communion of subjectivity.

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