State / Process


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State                               -                      Process
Outcome                        -                      Process
Goal                               -                      Journey
Newtonian                     -                      Einsteinian
Transcendent                 -                      Immanent
State                               -                      Process
Solid                              -                      Liquid
Particle                           -                      Wave
Being                              -                      Becoming


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Outcome Orientation

From kindergarten on, the focus of schooling is usually on goals rather than on the process by which they are achieved. This single-minded pursuit of one outcome or another, from tying shoelaces to getting into Harvard, makes it difficult to have a mindful attitude about life.

When children start a new activity with an outcome orientation, questions of "Can I?" or "What if I can't do it?" are likely to predominate, creating an anxious preoccupation with success or failure rather than drawing on the child's natural, exuberant desire to explore. Instead of enjoying the colour of the crayon, the designs on the paper, and a variety of possible shapes along the way, the child sets about writing a "correct" letter A.


Process Orientation

In contrast, a process orientation asks "How do I do it?" instead of "Can I do it?" and this directs attention toward defining the steps that are necessary on the way. This orientation can be characterized in terms of the guiding principle that there are no failures, only ineffective solutions.

The style of education that concentrates on outcomes generally also presents facts unconditionally. This approach encourages mindlessness. If something is presented as an accepted truth, alternative ways of thinking do not even come up for consideration.

Such a single-minded way of viewing the world can generalize to virtually everything we do. By teaching absolutes we pass our culture from one generation to the next. It brings stability. But ... the cost may be high.

[Ellen Langer]
Mindfulness, p.33, 34, 35


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[...] goals energize and direct people's activities in organized ways [and] serve to engage the activities of those who adopt them.

These views implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) convey the sense that goals give meaning to people's lives. 

Each of these notions emphasizes the fact that understanding a person means understanding the person's goals. Indeed, it's often implicit in these theories that the self is made partly of the person's goals and the organization among them [...]

[C.S. Carver & M.F. Scheier]
On the Self-Regulation of Behavior, p. 65


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Being and becoming, according to Nietzsche, are not at all related as we commonly suppose.

“Becoming,” he write, “must be explained without recourse to final intentions … Becoming does not aim at a final state, does not flow into ‘being’.” 

One of his many criticisms of philosophers […] is that they have turned away from what changes and concentrated instead on what is: “But since nothing is, all that was left to the philosophers as their ‘world’ was the imaginary.”

[Alexander Nehamas]
Nietzsche: Life as Literature, p. 170


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Becoming

These becomings animate the possibilities of life, constantly moving through what we know to be real or true and running beyond the limits, boundaries and constraints that make those realities and truths what they seem to be.

Becoming explodes the ideas about what we are and what we can be beyond the categories that seem to contain us: beyond the boundaries separating human being from animal, man from woman, child from adult, micro from macro, and even perceptible and understandable from imperceptible and incomprehensible.

Becoming moves beyond our need to know (the truth, what is real, what makes us human); beyond our determination to control (life, nature, the universe); and beyond our desire to consume or possess (pleasure, beauty, goodness, innocence).

So becoming offers a radical conception of what a life does.



Positive ontology

Deleuze's work is often applauded for the "positive ontology" it pursues [...] Deleuze is concerned with unfettering possibility to experiment with what a life can do and where a life might go. 

In other words, Delueze affirms the possibilities of becoming something else, beyond the avenues, relations, values and meanings that seem to be laid out for us by our biological make-up, our evolutionary heritages, our historical/political/familial allegiances, and the social and cultural structures of civilized living.

There is in this a radical affirmation of the sort of possibilities for becoming that we cannot think of in logical or moralistic terms: becomings that can only be felt or sensed or conjured, that require us to take risks and experiment in ways that affirm the vitality, the energies and the creative animations of existence.



Rhizomes

We might be tempted to think of becoming in terms of where or who we were when we started and where or who we are when we end up. But becoming is not about origins, progressions and ends; rather it is about lines and intensities [...]

Deleuze and Guattari have described the movement of becoming as "rhizomatic", a term that refers to underground root growth, the rampant, dense propagation of roots that characterizes such plants as mint or crabgrass.

Each rhizomatic root may take off in its own singular direction and make its own connections with other roots, with worms, insects, rocks or whatever, forming a dynamic composition of "interkingdoms [and] unnatural participations" that has no prescribed form or end.



Immanence

Deleuze's philosophy is often called a philosophy of immanence because it is concerned with what a life can do, what a body can do when we think in terms of becomings, multiplicities, lines and intensities rather than essential forms, predetermined subjects, structured functions or transcendent values.

[...] a plane of immanence has no structure and does not produce predetermined forms or subjects; instead, there are "relations of movement and rest, speed and slowness ... molecules and particles of all kinds".


[Patty Sotirin]
Gilles Deleuze: Key Concepts, p.99, 100-1, 103, 108-9


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