Monday, October 15, 2007

The question of god (as if it was a question)

Anyone can choose to name their demons, inner voices, characters of personal mythology, moral instances, unusual experiences, chance oracles, intersubjectivities and personfied abstracts (and the concepts in a philosophical system, for those equipped with such) whatever they want, and those insisting on the name “god” (or “elvis” etc) then only gives a proof of poor imagination. Outside a social or a sociomythological context these designations remain largely arbitrary, and private religiosity is however you look upon it little else than a personal neurosis.

I fail to understand what religion may be other than a type of social metaphysics, and a common ritual practice manifesting it, and a frame of interpretation with which it delimits a larger or smaller part of the realm of the “spiritual” in either sense. Neutrally, objectively, even more or less behavioristically, with a potential of having widely differing moral and political sense in different connections. (that is, if we are not going into the ideological question, where religion, via self-comforting interpretations of eventual serious experiences whatsoever within such a spiritual sphere, then also becomes a banalising brand-name for everything looking beyond, and as such an imprisoning of the unknown). And in all of this we are here and now only lambs in the quasireligion of spectacular late capitalism, and the positionings of individuals are mere phrasemaking.

Those who really join extreme sects in the present situation (christianity, islam, what else? new age? should we count marxism? surrealism perhaps?) hardly actually moves out of this fundamental position shared by all of us, but rather sumperimpose a new, largely purely mythological identity on top of it, as in role playing (both in the sense of old universal spontaneous role playing and the newer organised variety!) – it is simultaneously true and not true – it is purely spectacular pseudo-alternatives on the market and at the same time genuine resistance pockets – in different proportions, in different aspects, with different potentials.

The relationship to mythology, to the unknown, to each other, to matter, and to the whole of the spiritual sphere, can of course then be more or less intense, more or less creative, either repetitive or inventive, etc etc, and it can be argued that this possible intensity would be the core of religion. But why? Those things are so hopelessly mixed up with imagination, poetry, regression, love and different types of madness that it hardly allows getting talked about, at least not without deciding to be extremely careful with terminology and logic, or else without suspending the metaphysical judgment and focusing on the processes, both of which are highly untypical of the religious perspective.

Of course, epistemologically speaking, faith is nothing else than to what extent someone defends a system of prejudices instead of daring to abstain safe conviction and remaining curious about something new, and this is of course a sliding scale which doesn’t coincide with the circumscription of the religions: stupid everyday atheists are in this respect often among the most faithful, and religious mystics often among the least so (by all means, even within surrealism we see a width between thickheaded selfdefense and excited novelty-hunger).


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