To Repeat is to Begin Again

Iteration puts to the test the stability of any given system, as it magnifies tiny, imperceptible diversionsIteration puts to the test the stability of any given system, as it magnifies tiny, imperceptible diversions. Iteration refers to repeating a process multiple times, and it can indeed magnify small variations or diversions in a system. If a system is stable, it will typically produce similar or predictable results with each iteration, and small diversions may not have a significant impact on the overall outcome. However, if a system is unstable, even tiny diversions can be amplified with each iteration, leading to unpredictable or chaotic behavior. This is why iteration is often used as a tool for testing the stability of systems, particularly in scientific and mathematical contexts.

this is the concept of repetition by Deleuze

Deleuze was a philosopher who wrote extensively about the concept of repetition. He believed that repetition was not just a simple, mechanical process, but rather a complex and dynamic phenomenon that could have profound implications for how we understand the world.

According to Deleuze, repetition involves the creation of difference. Each repetition is not exactly the same as the previous one, but rather introduces new variations or divergences that can ultimately transform the system or object being repeated. This can create a sense of instability or unpredictability, as the system or object is constantly changing and evolving.

Deleuze also believed that repetition could be a means of resistance against dominant social, cultural, or political forces. By repeating certain behaviors or ideas, individuals and groups could create new possibilities and potentials for change, even within seemingly rigid or oppressive systems.

Overall, Deleuze’s concept of repetition emphasizes the dynamic and transformative nature of this phenomenon, and its potential to create new forms of difference and resistance.

Difference and Repetition

The rhizome is subject to the principles of diversity and difference through repetition, which Deleuze discussed in his books Nietzsche and Philosophy and Difference and Repetition. Deleuze accepts the idea of eternal return as the constitution of things through repeated elements (existing bodies, modes of thought) which form a ‘ synthesis ‘ of distinction through the repetition of elements.

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself.


In “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, Nietzsche talks about the eternal recurrence through the voice of a group of animals that are yelling at and taunting Zarathustra. They say, “Behold, we know what you teach: that all things recur eternally, and we ourselves too; and that we have already existed an eternal number of times, and all things with us…I come again, with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent –not to a new life or a better life or a similar life: I come back eternally to this same self same life.”

According to Deleuze’s interpretation of Nietzsche, the significance of the eternal recurrence is in the difference between being and becoming. Traditionally, the category of “being” has referred to things within our perception of reality that are constant, that act as a solid foundation and aren’t going to change. This concept of being is always contrasted with the concept of “becoming”, which refers to all the things about existence that are constantly changing or in flux.

How do you generate repetition?

Deleuze rejected a teleological conception of repetition and instead argued that the foundations of the Nietzschean cycle are much more complex. According to Deleuze, repetition is not a mere copy or imitation of an original, but an aggressive and intensifying reinforcement that creates difference.

Deleuze emphasized that repetition is not grounded in a fixed, original point, as this approach would ignore the creative nature of difference. Instead, he believed that repetition is created by difference, not mimesis, and is an ungrounding mechanism that avoids becoming an inert replication system.

In contrast to the majority of Western philosophy, Deleuze’s philosophy is based on the primary importance placed on constant variation and difference as continuous variation.

The concept of repetition encompasses other concepts such as differentiation, deterritorialisation, and becoming. Deleuze saw repetition as not merely the same thing occurring over and over again, but rather as a way to begin again and affirm the power of the new and unforeseeable.

Deleuze’s fundamental point is that difference must be thought of as the continual movement of self-differing, like the continual variation of a sound rising and lowering in pitch without stopping at notes in a scale.

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