Now I’m onto A Meditation on Transgression. A new article but my reading so far has turned my thoughts on the death of god upside down. I’ll keep reading.
This article could be worth a read at some point. If writing is a contemplation of death then it is also the killing of god and the removal of limits. In the absence of the writing self to the audience, which, in turn has not been born at the moment of writing, the subject is effaced. Or perhaps I’m just full of shit.
I’m working on a concept proposed by Battaile that transgression, limits, and the death of god are connected. A friend sent me a link to a post on Larval Subjects, some of which I quote here.
“As such, the death of God signifies first and most fundamentally the end of the primacy of the One in whatever form it might take. To announce the death of God is, as both Deleuze and Badiou have declared, to simultaneously declare that the One, the identical, the same, is only a product, a result, a term-become rather than a foundation or first. As such, metaphysics in the wake of God is a metaphysics that seeks to think difference first and to see identity as a result or product. That is, we must be vigilant in tracking down and eradicating all remainders of theology within such a thought.”
What I take from this is that god can only be thought from the position of a homogenous individual — the One — and to die as a subject is to bring about the death of god.
As you can probably here I’m on shaky ground here. In a perfect place really.
I crossed a threshold yesterday. I’m now over the 10 000 word hurdle. It’s kind of funny because I’m now getting concerned that I’m not going to fit everything in.
I read an article last week that had me a bit excited about the intersection of transgression and subjectivity. In particular this idea of the death of god had me jumping a bit. But I think I may have been a bit literal with my reading of the theory so I’m almost ready to ditch it. Still, they’re may yet be a critique coming along feminist lines. One of my peers said that I might be classed pro-feminist. Labels, labels, labels. Perhaps I’m just an apostate.
Tomorrow I’ll put the finishing touches on a section about the development of sex as a scientific base of knowledge. It feeds into the development of sex as discourse and the telling of truth to power. The confession of truth to power is a means by which power can hide its operation until it can act on a subject. In the case of the Mormon church it doesn’t need to hide for too long as it starts the subjectivation process while kids are in the cradle. In their defense capitalist societies do the same thing with kids by telling them they need to be consumers from a very early age. Is their any subject position that we can inhabit in a truly creative and free manner?
So I’m reading about subject creation today putting together some words for my thesis and it struck me the efforts fundamentalist religions go to ensure adherence from their followers. Mark Poster says that a post-structuralist understanding of the subject is that the subject is never fixed or fully sutured. Of course the working of power is to attempt to do the opposite – to fix a subject position to the maximum extent possible. And that’s precisely what religions attempt to do by creating rules for every conceivable situation in an attempt to close off a subject position at as many points of resistance as possible. Sex, diet, behaviour all become moments for the circumscription of the boundaries of the form expected of a subject position. It’s all fascinating stuff when it comes to the textaul analysis dooce. Heather Armstrong grew up as a Mormon.
And it’s something I’m particularly interested in being I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness. From a very early age I was told about the evils of drugs, pre-marital sex, masturbation, blood, you name it there was a rule to be followed, something to do or to avoid doing. And the more a person self-identifies as a JW the more the form of their subject position is developed. As Poster recognises, the working of power is to position the subject so that power acts on them before they are aware of their position infuenceb by power. Which is precisely the project of the JW’s. With the seemingly innocent bible studies that work a person into a position as an object of the power of the church and with teaching children bible “truths” before the child has developed a sense of critical and rational thinking these efforts produce individuals as objects of power.
As you can imagine, I can’t say too many (read nothing) favourable about the working of power within these religions. They’re little more than a machinery of control and manipulation.
THE CONFESSIONS OF JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU: “I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature; and this man shall be myself.
I know my heart, and have studied mankind; I am not made like any one I have been acquainted with, perhaps like no one in existence; if not better, I at least claim originality, and whether Nature did wisely in breaking the mould with which she formed me, can only be determined after having read this work…”
“A blogger who ‘let off steam’ about the way he was treated by police has been convicted of posting a grossly offensive and menacing message.
Gavin Brent, 24, from Holywell, Flintshire, was fined £150 with £364 costs by magistrates at Mold.
The court heard Brent had been charged with theft offences – which have yet to be dealt with – and posted a message about a police officer’s new-born baby…”