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Saturday, January 1, 2011

them, we say that this rarefaction is due to cuts, barrings, 
which only permit certain flows to penetrate into conscious- 
ness. The essential remains: perception is in every way still 
thought as a rarefaction of matter. 
We can formulate these two postulates more precisely by 
including both in the following proposition: there is becoming, 
and becoming is fluxes and their interceptions. This statement 
allows us to say the following: a flux is not sufficient to 
constitute a becoming – for this, there must also be inter- 
ception. Fluxes, certainly, transmit movement: but this 
movement is not a becoming, in the sense that, ruled by 
the laws of nature, it connects every image to every other 
image, according to a necessity which saturates the real 
in some way. Every thing being connected to every other 
according to laws, the cognition of an image is sufficient in 
principle for us to determine the present, past and future 
movement of all the others – and this to such a point that 
the very difference between the three dimensions of time is 
erased, to the profit of an immutable web of transmissions 
of movements. One is faced with an immobility made of 
movements, analogous to that of a powerful jet of water, in 
which the continuous movement of matter gives rise to a 
continuous immobility of form. Flows, left to themselves, 
are just such a pure mobility, immobilising themselves by 
the very fact that no obstacle obstructs their deployment: 
they are the bonds between all things ruled by fixed laws. 
For there to be becoming, something must happen, and 
for something to happen, it is not enough that something 
comes to pass – on the contrary, it must be the case that 
something does not pass: there must be a disconnection. 
This is the only way to introduce a becoming into matter, Meillassoux – Subtraction and Contraction 
we do not simply passively perceive the signs on the page; 
for the mind, on the basis of various characteristic traits, 
fills the interval with memory-images projected onto the 
paper and substituted for the actual printed characters. The 
second type of memory which impregnates our perception 
is not that which impregnates the present with our memory 
of the past, but that which constitutes that present itself: 
contraction-memory. For however brief a perception might 
be, it always occupies a certain duration and thus neces- 
sitates an effort of memory which prolongs a plurality of 
moments one into the other. So that, as Bergson writes: 
‘memory in these two forms, covering as it does with a 
cloak of recollections a core of immediate perception, and 
also contracting a multiplicity of external moments into a 
single internal moment, constitutes the principal share of 
individual consciousness in perception, the subjective side 
of the knowledge of things’.13 
The problem of the cognition of matter thus becomes 
the following: our perception seems (this was the decisive 
advance made in the first chapter) to join directly with 
matter in itself. In the object, we perceive the image in itself 
which it effectively is. Matter contains no depths, no hidden 
aspect. In this sense, Bergson’s immanentism held fast to 
the fact that matter is given wholly as that which it is: no 
space being left for a thing in itself inaccessible to cognition, 
a hidden transcendence. And, what’s more, the world was 
not immanent to consciousness, it was not a transcendence- 
in-immanence like Husserlian objectivity. 

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