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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:08 pm

The Concept of the Messiah and Messianism.
[The bolded parts contextualize VOt].


Walter Benjamin wrote:
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"It is well-known that an automaton once existed, which was so constructed that it could counter any move of a chess-player with a counter-move, and thereby assure itself of victory in the match. A puppet in [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], water-pipe in mouth, sat before the chessboard, which rested on a broad table. Through a system of mirrors, the illusion was created that this table was transparent from all sides. In truth, a hunchbacked dwarf who was a master chess-player sat inside, controlling the hands of the puppet with strings. One can envision a corresponding object to this apparatus in philosophy. The puppet called “historical materialism” is always supposed to win. It can do this with no further ado against any opponent, so long as it employs the services of theology, which as everyone knows is small and ugly and must be kept out of sight." [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]


Zizek reverses this to;

Zizek wrote:
"Today, when the historical materialist analysis is receding, practiced as it were under cover, rarely called by its proper name, while the theological dimension is given a new lease on life in the guise of the “postsecular” Messianic turn of deconstruction, the time has come to reverse Walter Benjamin’s first thesis on the philosophy of history: “The puppet called ‘theology’ is to win all the time. It can easily be a match for anyone if it enlists the service of historical materialism, which today, as we know, is wizened and has to keep out of sight." [The Puppet and the Dwarf]




What does that reversal mean?




Benjamin wrote:
"To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize “how it really was.” It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger. For historical materialism it is a question of holding fast to a picture of the past, just as if it had unexpectedly thrust itself, in a moment of danger, on the historical subject. The danger threatens the stock of tradition as much as its recipients. For both it is one and the same: handing itself over as the tool of the ruling classes. In every epoch, the attempt must be made to deliver tradition anew from the conformism which is on the point of overwhelming it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-Christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious." [On the Concept of History]

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"Benjamin thus inverts Marxist historical materialism, which was concerned with predicting a revolutionary future, to assert that historical materialism's true task ought to be, in Beiner's words, "to save the past."

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"Benjamin’s “On the Concept of History”, also known as “Theses on History” and “Theses on the Philosophy of History”, deals with the question of social transformation.

The theses can be summarised as follows:

Thesis 1: Benjamin suggests that Marxism relates to theology much as an automaton relates to its operator. Despite its illusory determinism, Marxism is really articulating a theological response to capitalism-as-religion (see below).

Thesis 2: Every generation is endowed with a ‘weak messianic power’, because every past generation hoped for redemption or resurrection in the future. Benjamin implies that present revolutions ‘redeem’ or continue past revolutions – there is a line connecting them which is not that of linear time.

Thesis 3: Nothing is completely lost to history, but the past is comprehensible only from the position of redemption.

Thesis 4: The ‘spiritual’ is present in class struggle – even when it is about material things – as the drive towards redemption.

Thesis 5: The truth of the past is visible only as a tentative image which threatens to slip away. This image, presumably, is apparent in the continuity between past and present struggles.

Thesis 9: Benjamin here analyses Klee’s painting Angelus Novus. This work of modern art is characteristically ambiguous, allowing the viewer to construct meanings from it. Benjamin sees it as depicting the Angel of History, looking back to the past. The Angel sees, not progress, but a growing pile of rubble. The Angel desires to redeem and put back together what is broken. But s/he is unable to do so because of a ‘storm blowing from Paradise’. This storm is what is called ‘progress’. In this analysis, Benjamin suggests a powerful image of history as an accumulation of ruins. He suggests that the power to resist this cumulative worsening is simultaneously ruptural and healing. Elsewhere he metaphorises it as pulling a stop-chord on a runaway train – the present system is a train with broken brakes, speeding towards disaster, and the messianic moment is like a stop-chord. In another passage, history is awakened with a slap born of long-contained frustration, not a kiss.

Thesis 10: Benjamin desires to make the current world and its drives repugnant, and critcises socialist politicians for their attachment to the goods of the present.

Thesis 12: Revolution avenges past generations. Progressivism reduces it to the salvation of future generations, and thus loses its ‘hate’ and its ‘spirit of sacrifice’ – which it needs.

A revolutionary moment is a moment when messianic time enters and explodes homogeneous empty time. In such a moment, the whole of time is experienced as a monad. It is as if all life is reconciled and compressed into a single moment. The implication is that every singularity is brought into the new future, but minus the existing relations among different things. This moment is accessed through the dialectical image or profane illumination. ‘Truth’, in an expressive sense, appears in such moments. It causes things to leap out of their context.

The messianic moment also ruptures things from their particular locations in an order of things. Objects, ruins, ideas and language become rearticulable, or can be ‘redeemed’ (something Benjamin also relates to allegories, collecting, and non-standard uses). An old factory is ‘redeemed’ as a squat, a commodity is ‘redeemed’ as meaningful to a collector, a word is ‘redeemed’ by being used allegorically. A date such as Mayday, or November 17th in Greece, can capture a range of historical precedents and ‘redeem’ them in present revolt, ignoring the time-lapses inbetween.

The potential of allegory and montage is to seize upon the fragments of an experience which is already fragmenting, so as to create recognition or insight; the potential of collection is to rearrange objects in an esoteric world of their own. This removes the taint which the system (as order of things) otherwise places on objects, language and so on. Hence Benjamin is suggesting the possibility of a non-binarised, open-ended relationship to the world which occurs through praxis. This corresponds to the desire of the Angel of History to put back together the ruins left behind by history.

In writing, this “putting back together” occurs through the arrangement of references. For Benjamin, all texts are actually composites of different citations, or intertextual references. Every text is like a montage. In One-Way Street, Benjamin describes quotations in his work as akin to robbers, who leap out and rob the reader of her/his convictions.

In the article ‘Unpacking my Library’, Benjamin discusses the relationship of a collector to objects which are collected. Crucially, collecting is about liberating objects from their status as commodities or as instrumental objects for use. Instead, the collector places objects in a kind of magical arrangement. Collecting is thus a way of renewing the world. An object acquired for the collection is ‘reborn’ into it. The collector feels responsible towards the objects, rather than the reverse. Further, the collector comes to life in the objects. A collection exists between order (the arrangement of objects) and disorder (the passion for collecting). It is a passionate phenomenon. Collecting creates a mood of anticipation, and always carry memories from the moments of acquisition.

In discussions of the poet Baudelaire, Benjamin celebrates the power of allegory. Allegory, according to Benjamin, stems from the gaze of an alienated viewer. It arises from flânerie. The  flâneur stands at the margins of the bourgeois city. Intellectuals in particular were drawn into this stance by the precarity and uncertainty of their social position, creating the phenomenon known as ‘Bohemia’. Pre-Marxist revolutionary conspiracies emerged from the ‘rebellious pathos’ of this group, its ‘asocial’ stance. But  flânerie is recuperated in the form of the department store. It was the means whereby intellectuals were ultimately brought into the market.

In relation to qabalah, Benjamin shares the idea that messianism can only be experienced outside the existing world. It requires us to turn away from the affairs of the world, as in a monastic withdrawal. But Benjamin’s withdrawal is more active. He is calling for the messianic moment to be experienced and used to transform the world.

Revolution is thus a kind of transubstantiation. A substance of one kind – commodities, homogeneous empty time, ordinary language – is transformed into another. It is the end of homogeneous empty time and of commodity fetishism.

It is also called ‘discovering the new anew’. Capitalism always presents us with the new, but the capitalist new is a return of the same. The new discovered anew is the possibility of radical novelty which is not a return of the same.

The idea of ‘redemption’ in Benjamin’s work stems from his theory of messianism. Objects are redeemed by being used in alternative ways, distinct from their usual connections, and especially their exchange-values and their sign-values (e.g. as fashionable). This might be termed a bricolage or deconstruction of objects. Many examples can be found in the practices of squatters and other activists, in terms of the DIY reconstruction of everyday objects for new purposes – old stereos rescued from the roadside and reconfigured, scrap materials used in artworks and so on. One might think of this in terms of a ‘just in case’ rather than ‘just in time’ approach to objects, resonant with local knowledge and resilience rather than commodity systems.

On an everyday level, Benjamin’s approach points towards activist practices of reappropriation of spaces and objects – squatting, DIY, bike repair, guerrilla gardening, home construction for projects such as pirate radio, and so on. He also implicitly endorses ‘subvertisement’, parody and other such symbolic means of disrupting established connections."

The Theses on History provide a theological response to capitalism, because for Benjamin, capitalism is religious in nature.  In ‘Capitalism as Religion’, Benjamin argues that capitalism did not simply stem from Protestantism (as Weber argued), but is a religion in its own right. It developed parasitically by attaching itself to Christianity. Firstly, it reduces all of existence to its own standards of value. Secondly, it colonises all of time with this regime of value, as if every day were a day of worship. Thirdly, it is a cult based on guilt and blame (not repentance). It declares everyone to be guilty. It is a ‘cultic’ religion, of ritual practices, without ‘dogma’ or religious doctrine. Objects such as banknotes carry religious symbolism. It is an unusual religion because it offers not transformation but the destruction of existence. It flourishes on anxiety or ‘worries’, which ‘index the guilty conscience of hopelessness’.

Benjamin criticises Nietzsche and Freud for accepting what he takes to be aspects of the capitalist religion – Nietzsche because of the absence of a transubstantiation or messianic moment, Freud for reproducing capitalism in the unconscious. A rather literal activist equivalent of this reading of capitalism is offered by the performance activist Reverend Billy, who parodies traditional religious practices as means to protest against consumerism."

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Quote :
"Walter Benjamin’s messianic thought.

Far from being a theological concept proper or a secularized motif of Judeo-Christian religion, the messianic is a complex figure of thought addressing a dimension of profane life that is neither culture nor nature but a ‘weak power’ within history allowing for a messianic standstill of the self-totalizing and self-eternalizing progress of capitalist ‘real-history’.

Derrida provides us with a heuristic model to relocate the site of the messianic beyond the thought pattern of theological original and secularized double.

Derrida wrote:
"Messianicity (which I regard as a universal structure of experience, and which cannot be reduced to religious messianism of any stripe) is anything but Utopian: it refers, in every here-now, to the coming of an eminently real, concrete event, that is, to the most irreducibly heterogeneous otherness. Nothing is more ‘realistic’ or ‘immediate’ than this messianic apprehension, straining forward toward the event of him who/that which is coming." [1999: 248]

4In 1917, Franz Kafka noted: “The messiah will only come when he is no longer necessary; he will come only on the day after his arrival; he will come, not on the last day, but the very last.”5 If the Messiah is not coming in time – neither in the kairological nor in the chronological sense – there is no point in endlessly waiting for his coming. Without any further delay or deferral, the Messiah will come after his arrival – that is, after we will have done the profane work of redemption, which the Messiah will not do for us. Hence, the profane task of politics consists in keeping the Messiah’s place empty before his arrival and refraining from occupying it in a theocratic manner.

Benjamin shares a basic insight with Kafka: If the Messiah will only come after his arrival, there is no such thing as messianic politics. Moreover, the messianic tendency of history is not to be found in a messianic direction. The hope for redemption has no messianic horizon of expectation; rather, it orients itself toward the opposite direction – the direction of the profane. In this sense, we might read the paradoxical formula at the end of Benjamin’s essay on Goethe’s Elective Affinities: “Only for the sake of the hopeless ones have we been given hope” (SW 1: 356).6 Here, hope is not an individual attitude directed to the future but something we have been given by those who lived before us. The paradoxical hope of the hopeless ones is derived and discontinuously transferred from the past. And it is only this openness to the past that can give rise to a future, which is not the mere continuation of the past.

In Benjamin’s reading of Schlegel, the messianic is not a secularized remainder from pre-secular religious tradition but a profoundly modern or even modernist experience underlying the foundation of the modern concept of history. For the latter is not derived from a quasi-scientific, Newtonian concept of time but originates from the experience of a profane event and its founding gesture: the French revolution. Hence, instead of opposing secular history proper and a theological Judeo-Christian model of Heilsgeschichte [salvation history], the revolutionary desire or drive to revolutionary anticipates the Messiah before his arrival, introducing a messianic tension into the otherwise “homogeneous, empty time” and the flat historical experience of the age of enlightenment. In his Star of Redemption from 1921, Franz Rosenzweig highlighted the specifically historical temporality introduced by German early romanticism:

Without this anticipation and the inner pressure to realize it, without ‘the desire to make the Messiah arrive before his time’ and the attempt ‘to do violence to the heavenly Kingdom’, the future is not a future, but only a past drawn out to an infinite length, a past projected forward. For, without this anticipation, the moment is not eternal but something that interminably crawls along the long strategic roadway of time. (Rosenzweig 2005: 244)

Historical time in its modern sense requires a certain tension without being necessarily oriented towards a final eschaton as its telos. Already in a speech held at a student assembly in 1914, Benjamin addressed his audience with the following remark: “The elements of the final state do not appear as a formless tendency of progress but are deeply embedded in every present as the most endangered, most infamous, and most ridiculed creations and thoughts.”

Instead of watching for some future signs he drew his attention to the mostly overlooked, obscured or forgotten signs of the actual presence.

In contrast to a Hegelian-Christological perspective of the Last Judgment when all historical events will have been decided, Benjamin affirms an irreducibly historical standpoint, from which neither an idealist Utopia of the messianic Kingdom nor the final accomplishment of history can be envisioned or anticipated. In line with this a-teleological stance, Benjamin implicitly suggests an self-voiding of the personal Messiah. Unlike in negative theology, however, for Benjamin the absent Messiah is not defined after the model of the deus absconditus or “hidden god” since his subtraction from history leaves an empty imprint, a signature, a weak messianic power within the historical happening. Moreover, it is precisely through his absence from the historical happening that the Messiah creates a messianic tension within history, indirectly referring the latter to redemption, to a profane restitutio in integrum. This paradoxical tension is called the messianic.

Benjamin wrote:
"The order of the profane should he erected on the idea of happiness. The relation of this order to the Messianic is one of the essential teachings of the philosophy of history. It is the precondition of a mystical conception of history, encompassing a problem that can be represented figuratively. If one arrow points to the goal toward which the profane dynamic acts, and another marks the direction of Messianic intensity, then certainly the quest to free humanity for happiness runs counter to the Messianic direction. But just as a force, by virtue of the path it is moving along, can augment another force on the opposite path, so the profane order of the profane promotes the coming of the Messianic Kingdom. The profane, therefore, though not itself a category of this Kingdom, is a decisive category of its quietest approach. For in happiness all that is earthly seeks its downfall, and only in happiness is its downfall destined to find it. Whereas admittedly, the immediate Messianic intensity of the heart, of the inner man in isolation, passes through misfortune, as suffering. To the spiritual restitutio in integrum, which introduces immortality, corresponds a worldly restitution that leads to the eternity of downfall, and the rhythm of this eternally transient worldly existence, transient in its totality, in its spatial but also in its temporal totality, the rhythm of Messianic nature, is happiness. For nature is Messianic by reason of its eternal and total passing away. To strive for such a passing away – even the passing away of those stages of man that are nature – is the task of world politics, whose method must be called nihilism." [SW 3: 305f.]

In his seminal essay on Benjamin’s concept of historical time, Hamacher stresses this profane meaning of redemption:

Redemption, as Benjamin here talks about it, is meant most prosaically: a redeeming [Einlösung] of possibilities, which are opened with every life and are missed in every life. If the concept of redemption points towards a theology – and it does so without doubt and a fortiori in the context of the first thesis, which mentions the ‘little hunchback’ of theology – then this is not straightforwardly Judaeo-Christian theology, but rather a theology of the missed or the distorted – hunchbacked – possibilities, a theology of missed, distorted or hunchbacked time. Each possibility that was missed in the past remains a possibility for the future, precisely because it has not found fulfilment. (Hamacher 2005: 40)

Moments of happiness are fleeting and transient; they always imply their missing. For Benjamin, however, past possibilities for happiness, which were missed and not fulfilled, are not simply nullified. Rather, they persist in their state of unfulfillment and address the present.

The temporality and logic of these missed possibilities of the past cannot be mapped by a teleological understanding of the relation of actus and potentia. In happiness we are addressed by past possibilities that do not cease to haunt the present – a weak potentiality that silently, yet persistently calls for its retroactive redemption – an incompleteness of the past that forestalls any attempt to accomplish it in its unfulfilledness. This profane reading of messianic redemption is neither atheist nor theological proper.

"Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare [Alp] on the brains of the living." (Marx 1975: 15)

The pressure of this nightmare is rendered more graphically by the German word Alp (also spelled Alb): An Alp is an elf, a figure from Germanic mythology that was believed to cause nightmares, Alpträume (literally: elf-dreams), by sitting pressingly on the chest of the sleeping person.

The proper psychoanalytical name of this nightmare that weighs on the brains of the living might be trauma. If modernity’s problem has always been that it cannot bury its dead, that it cannot “take leave of its past gaily [heiter]” (Benjamin 1999: 467, N 5a,2), as Benjamin cites Marx in the Arcades Project, the tradition of all dead generations is to stay with us. In an historico-psychoanalytical sense, the past is not dead but undead and that is why it haunts the present like a spectre, an Alp.26 This ‘dark side’ of the past as not yet historicized or fully symbolized prevents us from completing it. It is this lack or deficiency that reveals its messianic aspect once we perceive it from the perspective of the past. For Benjamin, hence, these “circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past” carry with them a secret index by which they are referred to redemption; – and it is this secret index or messianic imprint which prevents them from being fully historicized and settled in the historical text.

If we read Benjamin with Marx and Freud, what is repressed by the present (and keeps on returning like a traumatic Alp) can be retroactively redeemed by an authentic revolutionary act. Only the incalculable act of a new revolution can restore the crushed potentialities of failed revolutions – by fulfilling the past’s weak, powerless potentia that has not been realized in the victorious course of history. The historical materialist’s task is precisely to account for this weak power. In this sense, the revolutionary power of Benjamin’s messianic thought is derived from its weakness.

Cf. Žižek: “That is what […] Walter Benjamin was trying to articulate in his explicitly anti-evolutionist notion of the Messianic promise of a revolutionary Act that will retroactively realize the crushed longings of all past, failed revolutionary attempts. What this means is that, in a properly historical perspective as opposed to evolutionist historicism, the past is not simply past, but bears within it its proper utopian promise of a future Redemption: in order to understand a past epoch properly, it is not sufficient to take into account the historical conditions out of which it grew – one has also to take into account the utopian hopes of a future that were betrayed and crushed by it – that which was ‘negated’, that which did not happen – so that the past historical reality was the way it was” (Žižek 2000: 89f.).

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How to differentiate between utopian, messianic, eschatological and apocalyptic thought?


"Whereas, according to Agamben, the ecstatic prophet “is foremost a man with an unmediated relation to the […] breath of Yahweh, who receives a word from God which does not properly belong to him”, the messianic persona, “who as an emissary with determinate purpose, must carry out his assignment with lucidity and search on his own for words of the message.” (Agamben, 60). Hence, political subjectivity is essential to the messianic discourse.

"The messianic is not the end of time, but the time of the end.” (Agamben, 62)

“[M]essianic time is the time that time takes to come to an end, or, more precisely, the time we take to bring to an end, to achieve our presentation of time. This is not the line of chronological time […], nor the instant of its end […]; nor it is a segment cut from chronological time; rather, it is operational time pressing within the chronological time, working and transforming it from within; it is the time we need to make time end: the time that is left us." [Agamben, The Time That Remains, 2000]

For Benjamin and Agamben, only messianic time is true historical time, a “time that we ourselves are” in contrast to a contemplative-idealist concept of time in which we are only impotent “spectators who look at the time that flies without any time left.” (Agamben, 68)

"[W]e cannot deduce the emergence of messianic time through an ‘objective’ analysis of historical process. ‘Messianic time’ ultimately stands for the intrusion of subjectivity irreducible to the ‘objective’ historical process, which means that things can take a messianic turn, time can become ‘dense,’ at any point. The time of the Event is not another time beyond and above the ‘normal’ historical time, but a kind of inner loop within this time." [Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf]

"With the notion ‘Now of recognizability’, which is fundamental for his philosophy of history, Benjamin insists on the transcendental status of that to which he refers. He is not concerned with the Now of cognition, but with the Now which, ahead of every actual cognition, fixes, the structural condition of the possibility of cognition." [Hamacher, ‘Now’: Walter Benjamin on Historical Time]

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Quote :
"Messianic is not the end of time, but the time of the end.” Such time does not wait for a decisive moment but instead sees the present as "now-time." Another word for this is kairos (often translated as occasion, but in Paul’s sense, properly Messianic), which is traditionally opposed to chronos (chronological or secular time). Both concepts, Agamben points out, are necessarily interlaced such that “kairos is nothing more than seized chronos, a time remaining.” Messianic time, says Agamben, rather enigmatically, is the relation itself. The difference is minute, but it is also decisive.

For Paul, this means that we will retain out distinctions (callings, vocations), but they will cease to divide us—such categories (circumcision, for example) become “nothing.” For Paul, the divisions of law are not forgotten or annihilated, but are rendered "inoperative." The community that Paul is attempting to assemble is both inside and outside the law."

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"Agamben states that messianism is in fact that which subverts the sovereign’s power, that which is constantly engaged in acts of ‘de-creation’ and thus cannot become a constructive principle in and of itself. Any attempt by the sovereign to totalize (forever concretize) the power to signify completely would be upended by its accompanying messianic elements. This, then, would approach being a messianism that truly never reaches a point of creation, or incarnation, but instead forever remains a specter upon the margins of (canonical) representation.

It is likewise, Agamben notes, a possible entrance of the ‘sacred’ into our world, deliberately posited in contrast to the banning of the sacred under the conditions of which the nomos (‘law’) of the sovereign appears. That is, if the sovereign, whether embodied as a ruler of a state or as a canonical reading (of history, of culture, etc), can only appear in the terrain cleared by the absence of the sacred, and thus as the secular order in which politics is performed, then it is the messianic elements which offer to reinstate sacredness into our world (our history, our culture, etc). Redemption therefore arises from within the messianic interruption of a canonical history.


It is the pure kernel of faith devoid of content. Therefore, in a work devoted to developing the conceptualization of the ‘messianic’ in the context of a Pauline theology, he has leave to remark that

"There is no such thing as a content of faith, and to profess the word of faith does not mean formulating true propositions on God and the world. To believe in Jesus Messiah does not mean believing in something about him…and the attempts of the Councils to formulate the content of faith in symbola can only be taken as a sublime irony."

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What Zizek implies with his reversal now:




Quote :
Zizek wrote:
"Today, when the historical materialist analysis is receding, practiced as it were under cover, rarely called by its proper name, while the theological dimension is given a new lease on life in the guise of the “postsecular” Messianic turn of deconstruction, the time has come to reverse Walter Benjamin’s first thesis on the philosophy of history: “The puppet called ‘theology’ is to win all the time. It can easily be a match for anyone if it enlists the service of historical materialism, which today, as we know, is wizened and has to keep out of sight." [The Puppet and the Dwarf]

Benjamin’s first thesis involves the example of a seemingly automatic chessplaying puppet who bests all comers and who is actually controlled by an expert player, a hunchback (the dwarf of Žižek’s title) who hides under the table. That theology is now the puppet rather than the expert dwarf attests to Žižek’s view that in an age where liberal-democratic capitalism seems to be “the only game in town,” the surging popularity of post-secular philosophy and of vague spirituality in general may have opened an avenue for the reassertion of a vibrant Marxism. But although the underlying materialist project is a controlling factor, this reversal of Benjamin is not as one-sided as it may seem:

Zizek wrote:
"My claim here is not merely that I am a materialist through and through, and that the subversive kernel of Christianity is accessible also to a materialist approach; my thesis is much stronger: this kernel is accessible only to a materialist approach – and vice versa: to become a true dialectical materialist, one should go through the Christian experience." [The Puppet and the Dwarf]

Žižek concludes the book on this point:

Zizek wrote:
"The gap here is irreducible: either one drops the religious form, or one maintains the form, but loses the essence. That is the ultimate heroic gesture that awaits Christianity: in order to save its treasure, it has to sacrifice itself – like Christ, who had to die so that Christianity could emerge." [The Puppet and the Dwarf]

That dialectical materialism and Christianity are “accessible only to” each other and must pass through each other is considerably bolder a claim than some readers will choose to accept."

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Quote :
"According to Slavoj Zizek, what constitutes, as per the sub-title of this book, the "perverse core" of the Christian religion?  In a properly Lacanian fashion, Zizek counter-intuitively characterizes perverts not as Sadean rebels thoroughly throwing off the shackles of the reigning normative order, but, rather, as covert, closet conservatives, as secretly wedded to the prohibitive authority they loudly claim to heedlessly defy.  Simply put, the pervert's pleasure is contingent upon the familiar "forbidden fruit" effect;  his/her transgressions take on their alluring, titillating hue only so long as the perverse subject believes in the existence of (to put it in Lacan's terms) an effective socio-symbolic "big Other."  Zizek's point about perversion here can be illustrated through recourse to the inverting twist on Dostoyevsky that Lacan proposes in his seventeenth seminar:  "If God is dead, then nothing is permitted."  That is to say, the pervert needs "God" qua the prohibitory big Other in order to sustain his/her peculiar libidinal economy.  Thus, Zizek concludes, perversion is ultimately about setting up and sustaining this Other, an Other Lacan declares not to exist ("Le grand Autre n'existe pas").  Perverse subjectivity desperately attempts to evade the confrontation with the big Other's non-existence.  Similarly, as Zizek points out in the concluding paragraphs of this volume, the end of analysis, involving the "dissolution of the transference" and the fall of the "subject supposed to know"--the analyst is no longer related to by the analysand as an omniscient master possessing the secret to his/her unconscious being, his/her "true nature"--amounts to nothing less than the painful acceptance that the big Other does not exist, that one is, on a certain fundamental level, profoundly and inescapably alone with nothing and nobody to provide reassuring guarantees of any sort.

So, what connects Christianity with perversion here?  Obviously, in terms of its official, established theology, the Christian religion, like all monotheistic religions, affirms the existence of God (the biggest big Other of them all).  And, moreover, it distinguishes itself by virtue of its absolutely central assertion that God became man in the figure of Jesus Christ.  But, Zizek maintains, this very figure internally subverts the accepted theological framework of the religion bearing his name.  On several occasions (including the final paragraph of the book), Zizek highlights the moment when the dying Christ, hanging from his cross, lapses in his belief, loses his faith, and agonizingly laments, "Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?"  At this moment, the supposed "Son of God" faces, in his darkest hour, the possibility that the divine, paternal Other isn't really out there, that this Father is non-existent, that no reply or response is forthcoming.  In identifying with Christ, the Christian believer (unwittingly and inadvertently) identifies with this anguished position of doubt and disbelief.  Perhaps the Christian believer is a "pervert" insofar as he/she "knows full well, but nonetheless," namely, he/she disavows, in the precise psychoanalytic sense of Verleugnung, this core message of the big Other's non-existence that the Christian religion itself conveys yet is unable to accept (this moment of Christ-on-the-Cross would therefore be, in relation to Christianity, something "extimate," that is, an intimate-yet-alien kernel, an inner foreignness).  What replaces God qua the transcendent Other is the "Holy Spirit" as the symbolic community immanent to this world.  On the Zizekian reading, Christianity is the religion of immanence (as opposed to, for example, the Judaism Zizek links to the Levinasian-Derridean theme of the transcendence of the infinitely withdrawing Other--as he notes, the Christian notion of God-become-man emphasizes "sameness" rather than "otherness," stressing how divinity is not antithetical to humanity).  Paradoxically, Christianity can only fully become itself by destroying itself, by discarding its theological trappings and affirming its "atheistic" confrontation with the absence of any big Other beyond its fragile symbolic community of forsaken followers.

Furthermore, Zizek deftly exploits the figure of Christ to effectuate a series of dialectical reversals of standard oppositions and familiar dichotomies.  To begin with, he describes (in an avowedly Schellingian style) God's becoming man not as a demeaning, devaluing descent in which an omnipotent and infinite divine entity voluntarily shackles itself to the constraints of temporal finitude through embodied incarnation in human flesh, but, instead, as a liberating ascent out of the sterile, lifeless enclosure of immobile timelessness.  In this myth, the "fall" of God into finite existence is itself a sort of redemption.  Hence, Zizek here upends the normal contrast between the prison-house of temporal finitude and the ecstatic transcendence of eternity--time is tantamount to the clearing of openness, whereas timelessness represents a frozen, closed space.  Along related thematic lines, Zizek insists that, "incompleteness is, in a way, higher than completion" (pg. 115).

In the Zizekian theological schema here, it isn't the case that, initially, there exists the separation between God and man, and, subsequently, Christ arises as a bridge spanning this divide.  Rather, "God" (as Christ) is the name for the very gap between divinity and humanity:  divinity isn't just divinity, but the divinity within humanity; correlatively, humanity isn't just humanity, but the humanity within divinity.  Likewise, Zizek dwells upon meaning-of-life sorts of questions apropos of the preceding notions.  He insists that life only has value so long as it contains within itself a certain excessiveness--"What makes life 'worth living' is the very excess of life:  the awareness that there is something for which we are ready to risk our life (we may call this excess 'freedom,' 'honor,' dignity,' 'autonomy,' etc.).  Only when we are ready to take this risk are we really alive" (pg. 95).  Or, as he puts it a few pages later, "It is crucial… to assert some kind of primordial excess or too-muchness of life itself:  human life never coincides with itself; to be fully alive means to be larger than life, and a morbid denial of life is not a denial of life itself, but, rather, the denial of this excess" (pg. 98).  Humanity is material-biological life once it takes on something more than itself, something over-and-above itself (i.e., its preservation, its survival) as a measure of significance or worth.  Being reduced to the state where the sole value is clinging to material-biological life at all costs is, therefore, dehumanizing.  And, as Zizek argues, this Nietzschean "Last Man" stance ultimately devalues the same life it pathetically clings to at the expense of the value-bestowing "excess of life"--"What if, when we focus on mere survival, even if it is qualified as 'having a good time,' what we ultimately lose is life itself?" (pg. 94).  One could speculate that this distinction between life and its excess coincides with the distinction between the all-too-human and the divine-within-the-human.

In various places, Zizek refers to examples of "substances deprived of their substance" (such as, for example, caffeine-free diet cola).  The Puppet and the Dwarf, through the audacious and startling conceptual inversions that have become well-known hallmarks of a distinctively Zizekian method of procedure, offers something similar:  a paradoxical religion without religion, more specifically, "Christianity as the religion of atheism" (pg. 171).  Zizek ends by calling for the Christian religion to shed its religiosity so as to preserve and affirm its atheistic "essence" (i.e., its implicit confrontation with the non-existence of the big Other).  Assuming that this could ever even happen, what would result from such an Aufhebung-like self-cancellation?  What would arise from the ashes of an internally generated implosion of Christianity?  What would be gained by embracing an atheism specifically arrived at vis-à-vis the detour of a passage through monotheistic theology?"

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:17 pm

Hillary's concession speech singling out females as precious and worthy and rounding off with quotes from the bible was like a cultist Mass-congregation.

Hadn't looked in detail into (her) Methodism before;

Quote :
"Methodism, or the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival within the 18th century Church of England and became a separate Church after Wesley's death.

Wesley's theology focused on sanctification and the effect of faith on character. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include an assurance of salvation, imparted righteousness, the possibility of perfection in love, the works of piety and the primacy of Scripture. Methodism also emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor and the afflicted through the works of mercy. These ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens and schools to follow Christ's command to spread the Gospel and serve all people. Most Methodists teach that Christ died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all; in theology, this view is known as Arminianism. This teaching rejects the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people. However, Whitefield and several others were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the latter position.

Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, [nb 3] but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organised religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the making of the working class (1760–1820). In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who later formed "black churches" in the Methodist tradition.

Three teachings they saw as the foundation of Christian faith were:

People are all, by nature, "dead in sin", and, consequently, "children of wrath"
They are "justified by faith alone"
Faith produces inward and outward holiness.

John Wesley taught four key points fundamental to Methodism:

A person is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it by an act of free will.
All people who are obedient to the Gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will be saved.
The Holy Spirit assures a Christian of their salvation directly, through an inner "experience" (assurance of salvation).
Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and are commanded by God to pursue it.

Wesley's Covenant Prayer is still used, with minor modification, in the order of service:

"Christ has many services to be done. Some are easy, others are difficult. Some bring honour, others bring reproach. Some are suitable to our natural inclinations and temporal interests, others are contrary to both... Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ, who strengthens us.

...I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.""

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:10 pm

Christian mythology is a coming-of-age tale - a ritual.
In it its unifying icon, Jesus, is put to death, and resurrected as pure idea(l).
What is crucified in his Jewish, Roman heritage so that merger can occur through abstraction.

When Jesus returns from the dead, he is no longer Roman, nor Hebrew, but a synthesis, simplifying/generalizing contradictions into vagueness.
Its message is one of becoming pure "spirit" or idea, so as to merge different genetic backgrounds, and to assimilate their differences within a unifying meme.

As a rite of passage we can read the Bible story as a male raised by a Jewish mother, rebelling against his bloodline, and idealizing his absent father, who he can fantasize and selectively define.
Jewish and christian conflict is a reflection of this child coming of age, and wanting to go off and find his father, so as to overcome him - in the Freudian narrative to "kill" him, as a symbol.
The myth is full of hints that urge potential follow to abandon their families, meaning their genetic blood, and follow him, as the idea that replaces family and blood with abstraction.
This is what conversion means to the Christian.
Though Jewish identity is passed from mother to son, the christian denies the mother, to go out inot the world and discover his father.
This is the meme to gene inversion, contradicting Pagan from gene to meme.

Christian psychology is about resenting the mother who, after being raped, mentally/physically, and her choice to carry the product to term, to accept the repercussions, to then offer him an alternate, surrogate father, which is nothing more than a surrogate mother (cuckolded male), as the Jews do when they are but corporeal representations of the one and only masculine force, and what children he begets are not truly his own - see the tale of Abraham as the unifying icon for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The "son", having yet to become mature because he has no father to overcome and finish the natural rites of maturing, denounces the mother and holds her accountable for his absence - missing pat of him.
The part that is missing is the earthly, the corporeal, the phenomenal part of Hellenism represents, leaving him with the mother's noetic abstractions - her as ideal.
The corporeal is to be discovered, just as Nihilism attempts to become more than a noetic construct rejecting world, but dreams of rooting itself in a world it rejects, and nullifies.
A shameful rejection of this state of convenience, as a consequence of the threat Hellenism posed to Judaic Nihilism.
In Christianity contradictions are covered over with the denial of sex, race, family, but not fully overcome, and replaces these categories with believer/unbeliever, or infidel and the faithful.
Marxism does the same only it rejects the only remaining division, God as the necessary divisive symbol, and replaces it with humanity,changing the distinctions of faith into that of work.
The ideal faithful ones are evaluated by how much they sacrifice in their labour, and share it with their fellow humans, through the state.
Sacrificial rites to the god now becomes labour, sacrifice of effort/time, which is another way of defining life.
Modern rejection of Christianity is founded on this Marxist effect.
We now live in a Marxist influenced world where work, your access to resources, are what distinguish you as the righteous - the one who sacrifices his ego to the system, so as to them receive, from it, his just rewards.
God as System/Institution is a Marxist innovation.
No race, no sex, only loyalty and labour distinguishing quality.
Laziness being sinful.
Selfishness is good, if you abide by the "commandments" - then you are doing god's work, paying your taxes as a sacrifice, a giving unto god your gratitude, reaffirming your faith in him.

This last step of ridding Christianity, Abrahamism in general, of the God ideal, is what freed Nihilism form its last constraint.
After that, in other words once atheism became a pat of Humanism, Nihilism could reinvent itself as anything.
This is what we now know as identity crisis.
A symptom of the end-phase - Modernity.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:53 pm

In effect, what Christianity did was it identified with the feminine while idealizing the masculine, turning it from flesh & blood into a concept that could then be imagined, fantasized, as anything.
It is a very Modern story, describing a pregnant female, seduced and then abandoned, forcing her to justify herself to her own husband, by accusing the male of rape. It’s a story of refusing to abort, and fabricating a story to explain the child’s features.

Jesus is the son of a single mother, where the only male example present in his life is a cuckolded beta with whom he feels no commonality, who accepts his lot as provider, and protector of another man's sperm.
The absent father is idealized, from afar, as all sons with missing fathers do. Either loving him, or hating him, absolutely, depending no the mother's attitude toward the one who used her and then left her to her inferior mate.
In the case of Jesus the missing Roman was converted to a Divine Father.
A boy going out into the world to find this devil, this daemon, and finding him in himself.
A son identifying with his present supportive mother, a cuckolded step-father, and a missing idolized male, he could fantasize about but never overcome, to become a man himself
He dies a man-child, symbol to all men-children and betas, and female wronged by the masculine spirit - paternalism.

Converting the masculine to an ideal is what Marxism does, and Modernity, when ti converts it into a spirit-less abstraction, a faceless, sexless, race-less, Institution.
Jesus "saves" beta males from their lot. He makes them into spirit, theoretical, that find salvation in the spirit realm where nothing physical applies.
Their worldly inferiority expunged, forgiven.  
Females begin worshiping masculinity as they would a spirit, a theory - a non-physical abstract, hypothetical, perfect, alpha/omega male, and spend a lifetime seeking his earthly representation, his Christ-avatar.  

The Jesus story is a story of cultural rape - genetic and memetic forceful domination - seduction hidden in female innocence.
When the degraded, misers, proud of their meekness, came in contact with the worldly Hellenic spirit, the impact was devastating.
The sickly had to distance themselves or assimilate this new threat, or perish before its health.
Christianity was a first, failed attempt, with Nietzsche the diagnostician of the incongruity, the disharmony, the incompatibility.

A new assimilation attempt is underway, trying to absorb Nietzsche into a reincarnation of Christianity, under a new name.
Not Nietzsche per se but what he reminded the Moderns world of - Paganism, the forgotten ancestry.
He reinterpreted the forgotten past into modern post-Christian jargon - he recalled, destroying Christian hypocrisy, shattering its iconic facades, and forcing a second coming.

History repeats....and this new Messiah, whoever it will be, will be destroyed by a new Hellenic revitalization.
Hellas and Judea are coincidental representatives of deeper psychological attitudes towards life and existence.
Attitudes creating representational civilizations like Rome and the U.S.A. - health and illness.
Realism and Nihilism.
The noetic based, and the phenomenon based - empiricism versus theory.

When the mind is detached from its body, it loses grounding.
It conveniently soars up to the unfounded, constructing castles in the sky, declaring itself anything and everything, losing itself in its own delusions.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:39 pm

Jesus' story is one we can empathize with.
It is, after all, not coincidentally a very Modern tale: single mother raising an illegitimate son, with a man not related to her, or the boy, by blood.
We might say that Joseph is the ideal beta-male, to be emulated by all, or rather the perfect representation of a Modern "nice guy", a very open-minded enlightened man, to inspire Modern males to be that for their companions. An example of a 'healthy", civilized attitude.
We know little of his life so we can only speculate as to why he left home when he did, casting-off, on his own, to find his "real father" only to find him in himself in the process.
The phenomenon of leaving home is part of the modern rites of passage. Child leaves the family’s hearth to give itself to the systemic bonfire.
Failure to do so is reason for shaming and exclusion.
But this was not the case in the time when Jesus was growing up. In fact the opposite.  
The masculine dynamics could not have been pleasant for a boy, dominated by a male not of his blood, who looked nothing like him, and probably had very little in common with him. Not a male role-model for a boy already feeling like an outsider, because of his genes, his looks.
Perhaps we can find a hint of it in his teachings, relating to family, and how he told those fishermen, his soon to be Apostles, to leave their families and follow him – offering us an example of a very current clique, an entourage – or in how he emphasized the divine, ideal Father, degrading his corporeal stepfather to insignificance.
The circumstances of Jesus' life are difficult but not as bad as what they could have been.
If, for example, he were born to a Jewish women who then abandoned him to be raised by his Roman father, in which case he would not have been named Jesus nor suffered from the same psychosis.
He would have not been a saviour, a redeemer of the meek, nor could he have been converted by one of his followers into an icon of victims around the world.
Circumstances could have been worse if we permit ourselves some artistic leeway, and imagine how a boy, raised by a Roman, or Pagan mother, and a Jewish father would have turned out.
Both parents present but a circumstance where both bloodlines excluded him. One because it was legitimized by the maternal and the other by the paternal side.
Such a child would feel no unquestionable identity with either side of his inheritance; no unconditional acceptance, appreciation – rejected by both sides as a half-breed, a counterfeit.
A minor detail but a significant one.

A male born in these circumstances would be totally lost, feeling unappreciated, rejected – he would attract and gather lost-boys who saw in him the epitome of their own illegitimacy, their own alienation.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:45 am

John 1:14 wrote:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Philosophically, "Word" was actually interpreted from Logos

The Greek word λόγος, or logos, is a word with various meanings. It is often translated into English as "Word," but can also mean thought, speech, meaning, reason, proportions, principle, standard, or logic, among other things. In religious contexts, it can indicate the divine Word, wisdom, or truth.
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The New Testament hybridized Hellenic philosophy with Jewish philosophy in this way.
I am repeating myself, but it's interesting context to religious discussion which is lost on many.
In no way does it negate the observation that Christianity was the transmutation of flesh into noumena, with Jesus's resurrection. The bible itself has it going the other way: Jesus was always Holy spirit, taking on a natural form. Chicken/egg.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:20 am

I call it inversion.
Judaism is but a clever expression of the Nihilistic psychology - existential dis-ease.
It is, by no means, the only one, because detachment from reality, as I've said before, allows the idea(l) freedom from the order nature confronts it with.
Nihilism is anti-nature. It nullifies the order present in world so as to fabricate its own noetic alternative.
This psychosis calls nihilism what denies the existence of its fabrications. It accuses other of hat it is guilty itself.
Language hijacked. We Moderns now understand the word Nihilism as meaning a world void of meaning, purpose, God universal morality...in other words of true Nihilism demands, and fabrications, when in fact it is these fabrications projected into world, demanded of it, that are the true Nihilistic constructs.  
This is typical of this memetic virus, because it ceases to exist outside minds and the words that represents these fabrications, these abstractions, that have no reference in world.
Manipulation and usurping of language is the central trait of Nihilism.
It is quintessentially political, and this is why its spirituality is about politics, and populism, and exploiting human feebleness and cowardice.

To fight against this leftist populism the right, like Hitler, and more recently Trump must use the same methods of populism and demagoguery.
To fight this dis-ease you must adopt its methods, or fight it on its level, which is linguistic.

You cannot fight it physically, as anti-Semites attempt, because this feeds into their psychosis of being chosen to suffer. Hating them reinforces an identity founded on emotion, physically assaulting them feeds into their identity of being victims.
Look-up Hydra, and Hercules' fight against this metaphorical monstrosity.

The Christ story - the christened one - is a Modern story we experience daily.
It is a story of Zoroastrianism corrupted Judaism, with the selective injections of Hellenism - later they were banished from Babylon where they came in contact with this more ancient form of Nihilism, taking with them many of its symbols, concepts, metaphors.
A story not repeated in the east, with Siddhartha, without the benefit of a Jewish tribes to corrupt the message and invert the teaching from anti-organized religion into the foundations of an organized religion.  
It is a urban story about population and resource pressures necessitating a change in attitude, an en-lightening, repression of ego, and a blinding one's self from world - self-castration, perfectly symbolized by the ritual of circumcision. A story of broken families, illegitimate children, cuckolded omega-males, social control of sexual dispositions and the punishment of failing to abide by them.

Jesus is the symbol of Nihilistic salvation.
Phenomenon, the body, sacrificed to be reborn as pure noumenon, as pure idea(l) - theory.
Body, the phenomenon was crucified, as a warning to all, and with it the Hellenic side of the christian synthesis.
The message is clear....and this is why it adopts certain parts of Hellenism and interprets them to its inconvenience - as Platonic ideals: mind shall b the servant of the passions, and no sensual experience, or lack of, will shake its faith, its loyalty, commitment, its sacrifice of physical self - a word-covenant.
Resurrection in Christianity symbolizes salvation from appearances, from the worldly, from past/nature - all is saved by being converted to spirit - sexless, race-less, lacking all biological identifications - pure idea(l).
Believers are asked to become living-cadavers - zombies, awaiting the decay of flesh, so as to become fully deceased.  
Zombies is a metaphor of how Moderns think of themselves - as hedonistic, consuming, rotting, mindless, husks to be liberated from themselves by being decapitated - body following brain-death.
Animated passion, interacting hunger.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:58 am

Satyr wrote:
It is quintessentially political, and this is why its spirituality is about politics, and populism, and exploiting human feebleness and cowardice.

The only reality visible to nihilistic ideology is that in which it works. As a hammer sees only nails, ideology only sees people/the politic.
---
Satyr wrote:
[All before last section]
The legacy of a man, is his. It is his energy, his honor. He  set the path in motion and those who know the feats, know him. Honor. Legacy.
Because legacy and honor has no present manifestation, one can easily say "There was never any man." or they may invent, in a fit of mass delusion and confidence amongst the weak and broken, a legacy of an all-powerful being like those of Pagan deities, but that demands obedience and penance by its subjects, to give it body - instead of it manifesting as its own body. An ideological outbreak of mass Stockholm Syndrome against a deity.
Christ was the moment-in-time manifestation on Earth of the old nihilistic imaginations of Judea. Jesus gave body/nature to a previous legacy which those not desperate enough to believe, now had opportunity to.

It becomes not the task of the person who made the legacy to convince others to pass it forward into the future, but the task of the people to serve the legacy.
--
Satyr wrote:
[Last section]
More than, but quintessentially, how I saw it. Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:19 pm

All for the record.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:58 pm

Slaughtz wrote:
The idea of honor being that one dies for their beliefs is a Pagan acknowledgment of a person's idea(l)s being viscerally connected to nature through them, manifestly, as a living being.

One who refuses death at all costs denies the connection of their body (nature) with their idea(l)s.

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So much so, they are ready to martyr themselves for it.

The masochism here of self-inflicted violence is based on fear of life, of living, nature's fluxion perceived as a threat to their need for a changeless world of permanent eternity.

A self-inflicted ressentimental violence against self and all life, based on the fear of the "violence" of fluxious reality.

Any sacrifice to stop all sacrifice; Christ's dying for all, as the end of all sacrifice - as Girard notes.

Xt. did not just invert healthy paganism,
it modelled itself further on those pagan cults that had degenerated into mindless excess, and the orgiastic animaline, that drew the mob.
When circumstances fall away, then engaging in a path for its own sake, degenerates into an hedonistic extremism and decadence. What is valuable as virtue today, could become decadence tom., when contexts and actions dont have an organic relation. The latter births virtu, as opposed to the former's virtue, where goodness turns into a weakness.
Valid esoterism to keep higher truths away from the uninitiated eventually decay into vapid mysticism that preserves its pomp - the outer shell, having lost purpose.

What appealed to Xt. was this "drawing power" of the 'pagan' decadents, the cult of mysticism;
It only saw the power.

Its action was two-fold.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:18 pm

I was being a lot more esoteric. Understandably, there's a couple perspectives with which one can approach material on nihilism (seen from as a negative nihilist, a positive nihilist or an 'objectivist'). I referred to Nietzsche's observation about a certain group when I talk about the people who refuse death at all costs.

I don't conflate the two, because martyrs are still in practice performing a Pagan sacrifice of self; just in the name of a nihilistic value system which turns them into zombies. None of this negates what you've said. I appreciate the approach, as an observation of loss - the erosion of what was once there.

Or perhaps you touch on a truth about the difference in the approach to sacrifice between Xt. and Pagans which is too fatal for me to handle.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:30 pm

Reward/Punishment after death.

What better way to destroy the spirit for martyrdom and honor, suffering no indignity, than to convince someone that they will spend an eternity suffering hellish indignities in the after-life if they martyr themselves so?

In fact, martyrdom becomes a sort of sinful idolatry; either of us self or of a god which isn't in the bible.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:53 pm

Reverence of a Jewish mother:
Wiki wrote:
Luther, however, also agreed with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (that Mary was conceived free from original sin) by saying:

Martin Luther wrote:
[Mary] is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. God is with her, meaning that all she did or left undone is divine and the action of God in her. Moreover, God guarded and protected her from all that might be hurtful to her.[53]

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Jews do not live with the idea of original sin - Christians do:

Samuel Roth wrote:
JUDAS: What do you want with me?
I: I want you to order the pride to die out in your eyes. I want you to be ashamed and confess your guilt.
JUDAS: But I am guilty of nothing. So what is there to be ashamed of?

Roth wrote:
JUDAS: I cannot understand this passion of yours. I have done nothing wrong, nothing unlawful.
I: I do not accuse you of being unlawful, but of being inhuman. Why, pray tell me, do you praise only what you sell, and invariably scowl at what you buy? Is that not against all sense of decency and humanity? You purchase what seems fair in your eyes, and certainly it must be precious to the one who parts with it. Yet when you are making the fatal exchange-money for beauty-you have not a smile or a kind word for the man who is about to enrich you by yielding something of a reluctant order to your grasping faculties. Have you ever seen yourself when you offer something for sale? What you sell may have usefulness. If it ever had beauty the beauty died in it the moment you touched it. Yet as you offer your awful offal your face lights up with animation, your lips curve with joyous anticipation, and only words of praise tinkle from your tongue.
JUDAS: That's handel, business.
I: Maybe. Handel seems to justify you in almost every one of your monstrous acts.

Boris Abromovitch wrote:
(37) "The difference," says Boris Abramovitch in Skolom Ash'es Three Cities, "between the Russians and the Jews consists rather in this: that the Russian loves to confess the evil that he does to his fellow-men, while the Jew prefers to confess only his good deeds. He conceals the evil within him, or forces himself to express it. The reason at the back of this is that the Russian likes to have something on his conscience; without a few pecks of sin, as it were, he doesn't like to show himself in the street, and if he shouldn't happen to have committed any he thinks up a few sins simply that he may be able to promenade with the mark of Cain on his brow. The Jew, on the other hand, likes always to have a clean conscience so as to be on the sure side. The slyness for which Jews are so famed consists in keeping their 'account' in the spiritual ledger perpetually balanced, as if an inspector might come along at any minute. A few may commit the meanest offenses, but he will always find some way of putting them in such a pure light in his own mind that they are changed into little virtues. If nothing else will serve, then he will make the good Lord his accomplice, as Jacob did. If a Christian had tricked Laban like Jacob – even if only in a small fraud like the peeled wands – he certainly would have felt guilty; but Jacob actually made a good deed out of it, on the excuse that it was necessary for his wife and children. The Jew is always prepared to transform his dirty, brutally egotistic interests into holy virtues. That's the kernel, if you'll excuse my saying so, of Jewish cunning."

Roth wrote:
I: Perhaps you can explain what you happen to be doing here. Spying on me, aren't you? But what is spying to you that it should worry your conscience? And whom do you think you serve by imposing your unpleasant presence on me?
JUDAS: You yourself.
I: Perfect. It's what I expected you to say. It wouldn't properly be you if you didn't interpret your easy meanness as an act of unselfish philanthropy. That's the most damnable thing about you. You must lie and cheat because it's second nature with you. But you must always be doing it in the name of some worthy cause. You put your ill-smelling hands on a man, and proceed to carefully, painstakingly choke the life out of him. But that is not enough. Not for you. You must explain to the world that you are really doing a good thing, that you are choking the man out of sheer love of him.(37)
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:50 pm

The war with subtle Xt. and its morphing into secular humanism/scientific "intelligent design", and the philosophical "free-will" sects apart,, the war with crude Xt. and its broad lies continues; addressing that:


Tarl wrote:
"The Top Ten Lies of Christianity

10. Evolution lacks evidence.
9. The bible is historically accurate.
8. Darwin recanted his theories and accepted christianity before death.
7. Noah's Ark has been found.
6. The Ica Stones prove humans and dinosaurs coexisted.
5. The sounds of Hell prove Hell exists.
4. Many scientists convert to christianity, feeling their work leads them to believe in jesus.
3. The existence of Jesus is indisputable.
2. The King James Version of the bible is an accurate, unchanged, well translated canonical guide to the christian faith.
1. The book of Revelation refers to the apocalypse at a future date."


Dawkins links to a collection of how irrationally this crude Xt. continues everywhere:

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:32 am

Those that seek fathers in heaven are bastards of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:01 am

Slaughtz wrote:
Those that seek fathers in heaven are bastards of the world.
This one is good.

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:58 am

Is the degeneracy of Satan evidence of God's Goodness? Does the effects of twisted ideals on the worldly manifestation provide evidence of God's punishment for going against Him? Or, does it speak to the legitimacy of 'universal' idealism as a framework for behavior?

Does not the sterile and secular idea of 'universality' create hypermasculine principles? Is 'universal morality' not misogynistic?

Does not the simplification of Good and Evil mean that there can be no representative synthesis of the two, involving the human condition?

I am not concerned with universality occupying the noumenal realm, but instead the assumption that it occupies the phenomenal realm as something separate from the objectifying view of self. The ever increasing and strict, discriminatory, standard is something which can provide us personal meaning - but the presumption or expectation that others should live up to it (instead of aim for it) is at issue.

That is, the WASP which sees their ideal as the Good-for-all instead of Good-for-themselves. Likewise, the Good-for-all inevitably degenerates into something less specifically for-them and into something more like a Lowest Common Denominator as every group strives to create their own tribal interest as the same as Good-for-all, since the sweet moral outrage which comes with owning your very own interests as this, is a hypermasculine outrage which frightens individual souls. That is, a power which comes from the equating of your enemy with 'absolute evil' and justifying any means to destroying them. The ones who commit to responsibility of the Good-for-themselves, must always think about their complete history and what the precedent of their behavior could mean; who they must justify it to.

When you only need to justify it to the universal framework of morality, those who fail to live up to it know that their worldly interference would mean their destruction.

And, yes, the negation of this Universal morality is just as nihilistic - the one which says there is no pattern for moral justification. The Atheists and the cynics - the Jokers and anarchists. The laughers. The empty and abyssal who think there will or never can exist a small bit of warmth in this universe in the far off trillionth of years in the future which we contribute to, even if only by our will. A universal perturbation which is one's own and the satisfaction which comes with having put forth the full will.

Instead of that will being limited to the policing of human behavior, it advances the self like a rocket into the future.

And those who make this, are rightfully suspected of conflating their tribal morality for that of an objective pattern in the world which must be followed by all. In this, the anger of an individual or tribe against these zealots feels justified in committing any atrocity to them, since they presume to take away ones own knowledge of self and the prescriptions one gives for the behavior of themselves. Ridding others of an agency.  Perhaps even a violation of a Kantian principle of morality.

In fact, the professor of these mores take presumption that they are all-wise or otherwise all-virtuous. That, or all knowledgeable. They profess the universal morality and humble themselves to it, instead of the humility of leaving the universal "unsaid" and unpersonified. And, when it is, with Pagan God(s), they are imperfect, as the the one who formulates the God is incomplete in knowledge of that absolute, creating wisdom through the preservation of the boundary.

The competition of Gods takes this place, as some people see more or less. Seeing more is different from seeing all.

This is that, anyone talking of universal morality has already lied, and, "othered" themselves from the people they are professing it to. Those absorbed with arguing over its nature have already resigned themselves to the power of another... and the anger which comes from others not doing the same is a resentment for not having the courage to honestly and objectively assess their own history. No different to a child who is upset no one understands them, they project their own nature onto reality and then wonder why others do not bother reading their minds when they think their inner patterns are something everyone else sees. What they try to say is "another" is actually themselves, self absorbed and blind to themselves as an absolute forgetting. An abyss they must be comfortable with as they retreat further into the shadows so they are not seen. They do not create against and in the darkness but instead use it as their cloak.

The light they retreat from is not just the light,  but the light against themselves. The light on another is no issue to them.

And how vain people feel when they accomplish this. How safe it is, to know your for-self morality is really the universal pattern. And how simple.
These cosmopolitan police concern themselves too much with human behavior. They confuse giving agency to people as making them kindred, when it is precisely the opposite they are doing; robbing them of that agency. Concerning another as just "part of the world" and then paying respect to the aspects you cannot predict is much more honorable and affirming than attempting to destroy the basic aspects of them which reveal a little too much about yourself.
Individuality is earned, not presumed. The liberal presumption of individuality is evidence of blindness to their own conformity. Dignity becomes vanity (unearned distinction) under their view. Where individualism is taken as the starting point and collectivism as the last point. Ignorance and self-absorption, blind and dark will of self surrounding a tiny bit of objective and painful light, being broken away.
“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It's seeing through the facade of pretence. It's the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true." - Adyashanti
The ability to affirm truth into your being is to become part of it. Those who can see it but cannot stand it instead use it as a way to attack from below. A dark cut and criticism to challenge the one who wishes to try and integrate it into their being, to prove to them that they can do so. Resentment against those indifferent to truth or accepting of it as truth, to tell them unless they embody it themselves then they cannot be sure of it. Again with the demand for kindness as evidence of validity. Though, the obvious shows that there must be separation first for any kind of truth assessment to take place. It is a hidden way of demanding that the other never see themselves as separate. A threat. One that is scary, but, the bark is usually bigger than its bite. A resolved person will in fact force them to see an ugly display of hypocrisy, either through a physical or dialectical running away.
The irony of demanding kindness is that one has displayed they aren't of the same kind at all, the moment they demand it. And the sentiment they are not of kind because they are kind and the other isn't, or because they are Good and the other Bad, is an arrogant display of the hypocrisy and question begging.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:34 pm

Lack of faith being a sin (or the requirement not to go to hell, to be saved) says that those who worry about the (worldly) future are disturbed or damned. This accomplishes the destruction of reason through the absoluteness of indifference.  The moment one accepts the Abrahamic premises, the work can be done to troll the tolerance of people in the faith - demanding more worldly empowerment but deflecting the concern of the ones they demand from as being unfaithful and as protesting too much. Those that look in the world and have concern are "worldly". Little different from the nihilistic Buddhist rejection of ego - if one accepts the lowering of suffering as an end.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Thu May 18, 2017 7:18 pm

Woman comes from man (the rib), not man from woman.

Man: X and Y chromosome.
Woman: X and X chromosome.

And, man from God and dirt.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Thu May 18, 2017 9:47 pm

Hedonism: doing x so that one doesn't suffer, or doing x for pleasure?

If life is suffering, then the Christian "second death" would be eternal pleasure.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Sat May 20, 2017 8:12 am

Christianity's feminization:
David Stewart wrote:
Also, When I became a believer many years ago, God’s Spirit merged in holy matrimony with my spirit—a marriage. This is why the Church is referred to as the “Bride of Christ” in the Book of Revelation. Jesus is the Bridegroom of the Church. There is a spiritual union between God’s Spirit and the spirit of each and every one of His Children. If you do not have the Holy Spirit living within your soul—you are NOT God’s Child!!! Only a Child of God has the Holy Spirit living inside—It is His very presence that makes you God’s Child. If you are God’s Child, it is simply because God literally lives in you. This is called the “new birth” or being “born-again” ... “Ye must be BORN AGAIN” (John 3:7). It is the Holy Spirit’s uniting with our spirit that conceives the new birth within us. It is the Word of God which is the Seed that brings salvation.  

First, make them Beta - then threaten them with social ostricization for their 'sinful' masculine deeds which intrude on the memetic seed.

Pagan religions allowed for the transcendence of man with apotheosis into this form of Godly seed. Those considered demigods or other Gods, meant there were multiple Alphas with differing powers and tradition could countenance the memetic behavior of spiritual enemies/foreigners.

Quote :
For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer's fear is reverence of God.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:39 pm

Romans 10:17 wrote:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:59 pm

Slaughtz wrote:
Woman comes from man (the rib), not man from woman.

Man: X and Y chromosome.
Woman: X and X chromosome.

And, man from God and dirt.

The dirt itself coming from God as well...Top>Down thinking at its roots.

Bottom>Up thinking can be quite scary...
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:29 pm

The root of cuckoldry from a secular Judeo-Christian, nihilistic, culture:

The male which enables this behavior has excused (worldly) appearances as superficial nothings, that there still exists some aspect of his partner which he retains control over, even when she is performing the act. Feminism compounded this with the Feminine Mystique, which said sexuality is predictable only so far as it reinforces the idea of the female's sexuality remaining mysterious; despite there being predictable behaviors which attract females (power: health, wealth and cunning).

The cuckold lives in two minds: one where he is supposed to be Christian and romantic; the mysteriousness of a bond enforced by a God, also being the mystery of a woman's attraction. This is eternal. Then, the world, where he tries to manifest his Godly belief by 'testing his faith'. Scripture, of course, forbids this. However, Scripture also says that blasphemy is the unforgivable sin - and what is more blasphemous than no longer considering the nihilistic framework of God? The cuckold is neither Christian nor Pagan. He is a bastard of the two.

Innocence (ignorance) is the key here. He revictimizes himself against his own ignorance (innocence) through this encounter.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:34 pm

Jesus story is a tale of cuckoldry
"God" inseminates Mary, despite her being married to a corporeal male.
The bible is an anti-family text.
Abraham's story....how Jesus takes the disciples form their families to serve him...etc.

Secular Abrahamism replaces God with State.
All women are married to the institution, the State.
It provides and protects. Her children are under its protective providing gaze.
The male is simply a sperm donor, because the abstraction of masculinity is pure idea(l)....like God.
It can take any form....any sex, race, can represent, embody the institutional power - Presidency is the power, not the president.
He or she, is but a representation, an icon.


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