Tuesday, February 18, 2014

cold materialism

"A cold wind blows across empty space.  Dark matter obscures the sun.  Wreckage of exploded stars drifts in the void, the ruins of a solar system, burned-out at 3,000K, radiating annihilation in all directions.  A single beam of light, cutting through the gloom, frames the silhouetted body of a dead God, stretching cruciform across the galaxy, face taut with pain, spikes wounding wrist and ankle - borne continually upwards towards the vault of the Heavens, where divinities go to die, but all the while drawn down into the abyss below...

Shadows black out the horizon in a single stroke.  Morbid expectations of apocalypse.  Ledgers kept in minute detail plot the geometries and timescales of the end of the world.  Vertigo and nausea proliferate, requiring that the stomach expands to accommodate ever greater magnitudes of sickness.  Pulsing chaos tears apart the fabric of the universe...

So what was it that ruined this passional gothic theatre of obliteration?  What was it that robbed us of the cosmic spectacle of all sinners falling to their knees, hands outstretched in terror, before being wiped out in the final holocaust of divine judgment?  It was this:  something like divine order without God."

Aion, the dark precursor.  A kind of cosmic unconscious that, like Nietzsche's Dionysus, is the god of indestructible life, joy, and power; though like Abraxas, progenitor of Nous, is full of sorrow, melancholy, and tears.  A profoundly schizoid God - divinity, a One that is many - a divine impersonal process of both frozen eternity and creative thawing.  Matter frozen in hindsight, empty, dead husks of matter whose cold exterior hides spiritual interior, like the frozen surface of Europa, Jupiter's moon.

Deleuze writes that "God..[is]...himself a modification of modifications."  Or, in Schelling's words, the Absolute involves a divine game of chance, but also love.  Wrath precedes love.  Darkness precedes light.

Sublime unconscious, immanent life, divinity.  Schizophrenic God that is "impenetrably dark."  H.P. Lovecraft's "Outsider abominations."

Ungrund, Urgrund, Abgrund.  The Dark Pleroma.  The depth of the world, the abyss, home of countless "little divinities."  Surplus and abundance of intensity, not just light and life; sorrow, darkness, and death.

Metamorphosis.   Creation.

"Such a becoming God as the becoming depth of nature is not a fundamentally singular God, but rather an elohimic multiple,' an originating beginning as difference, a multiplicity of differences-in-relation, a multiplicity that as such is the relational..."

Unrecognizable, a dark origin.  A self-expressing dark origin, "out of which all comes to be and into which all things pass, as into an ultimately inarticulate night."

A bright abyss that overreaches thought.  The vital negative, intensive "0" or Being of zero degree.  Fecund non-existence that may give birth even to a God (Meillassoux), the virtual πλήρωμα.

[Notes from "Deleuze and Theology" reading group, December-January 2013/14.]