The World

One of the successes of Islam lies in its acceptance of the world. Islam, unlike Christianity never asks to escape from the world, but to conquer it and Jews are the first recipients of this message from God. The message of Islam is that your success in this world determines your success in the other world. In this sense, Islam is very much a practical religion. Christianity has a different point of view, your failure in this world is counted as a success in the world to come. Christianity doesn’t ask one to be successful but faithful and a faithful person is seldom successful. This problematic tension between the world and the kingdom of God is one of the enduring sources of the identity crisis of Christianity. Whether the world is an immanent reality or transcendental one remains as a big philosophical question. This question also points to the questions of all questions: What is Real? Is the world Real?
In this essay, a delicate attempt is made to resolve the deadlock. I call it delicate since the resolve comes from philosophy. Theology often goes for hard solutions.
When we speak about Real we often put in the categories of transcendence. Michael Henry is a french philosopher who takes immanence as real. The astute immanence of Herny doesn’t allow to place the value of life outside of life. He grounds the value of life in itself, not in the world or any other living being. Life, for Henry, is pure actuality and Christ is the firstborn Son of the Father and each of us is a Son. The World hinders this pure actuality of life in christ, so we must live in this world without it. Henry makes it clear, “the truth of Christianity differs in essence from the truth of the world. . . . The living is not possible in the world. Living is possible only outside the world, where another Truth reigns, another way of revealing.”
Henry maintains a dualism between world and Christianity. The man is not part of the material universe because he is not born into it, rather he is born into absolute life, “the Christian ethic aim to allow people overcome the forgetting of their condition of Son in order to rediscover the absolute life into which they were born.”
Henry’s immanence is not radical enough. He uses transcendental as if it is immanence. But Henry can be used as an introduction to some one whose immanence is radical enough to alter the pattern of thought. Francois Laruelle inaugurated a hitherto unheard voice of philosophy. His Philosophy which is known as Non-Philosophy is obscure and challenging. He has placed philosophy in such a milieu where a democratic thinking is possible with the overhaul of thought itself. His Christo-Fiction is a book that may direct Christology to a new direction. He is not a religious thinker nor an atheist. Laruelle makes a radical separation of christ from Christianity, “If Christianity is a religion of the exit from religion, Christ is the exit from Christianity itself.”
Non-Philosophy tries to revive the Gnosticism thus it takes the world as its adversary not because it is transcendental but in the name-of-the-Human. The World is inhuman and it has the structure of the hell. The World haunts christ and christ, in turn, debase the world and its authority God. Anthony Paul Smith Sums up the relation of Christ to the world, “Christ names something human, a hope beyond this World, a human and divine protest against the way things are. For the actuality of these Churches is that this protest has gone cold, it has died the death of overfamiliarity. For the original message of those who followed the historical Christ was that a peasant was put to death by the State and that this murdered peasant was resurrected and is in fact God.”
The mandate of the world is to persecute the living as world fosters only biological life. But human life is living, the living is haunted down by the world as much as by the church when it collaborates with the world. The World demands everything to be natural and it wants everything to conform to its laws. But living refuses to be natural and prefers to be heretical. Laruelle writes of this natural v/s living dilemma,
“We call forth ‘the living’, in this way naming humans as victims and those murdered in the cause of heresy, thereby revealing the nature of it. Their persecution testifies to an experience of the human that is not natural, that is no longer humanist or philosophical; it is a heretical concept of man as in-Person and applies to all men. The other first names like Humans, Christ-subjects, Heretics, etc., do not designate natural men, susceptible to biological life and death, but insofar as they exist as Living and are liable to a being-revealed by persecution and assassination. Heretics are living an invisible life, towards which no gaze can turn no matter what its nature, even a spiritual one.”
It’s the genius of Christianity which introduced a notion of Christianity whose essence is separable from its life in the world. Christianity found the reason for man’s feeling of alienation in the world: it is to do with the fallen nature of the world. But today Christianity has made an alliance with the world. Church has shared in the murdering nature of the world. Laurelle comes with this observation, “Christianity does not fail in so far as it attempts to find, preach, or produce salvation, even the universal salvation of humanity. It fails, rather, in the compromise it necessarily makes with the world.” According to Laruelle man becomes the humanity in the last instance which is the saved man only when he achieves a complete no-relation between humanity and the world. Anthony Paul Smith says this notion as the the Lamb of God but Laruelle’s heresy is that Lamb is Adam and what is worthy is a suffering humanity.
It is here that Laruelle’s theory of resurrection functions as a theory of justice. Resurrection is a future dimension of past where justice is accomplished, It is, in a sense, only the resurrection, only a kind of immanent insurrection-resurrection of the in-past, that can truly demand justice by becoming identical to justice.” Only ​resurrection can become a justice since it demands not a recognition of the past injustice but an existence. So, “The axioms of humanity-in-the-Iast-instance are the judgements of the resurrected upon the world.”
Laruelle’s bold vision of justice is based on a life apart from the world. The World has its own hallucinations and every one lives on it has a share of this hallucination. Only a heretic is conscious of its hallucinations and he tries to be a fugitive in this world and world haunts him and demands him to submit to its hallucination. Christ is a clear prototype of this heretic and God is a transcendental tyrant who protects not the christ but the world.


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