Against Binaries

One of the greatest understandings I ever had of salvation came from Nagarjuna . Nagarjuna says, “as long as you are capable of distinguishing between Moksha and Samsara, you are in Samsara.” Salvation is a situation where you know that the thin line of separation that existed between things have evaporated. Salvation is possible, perhaps only when we ease all the binaries that are binding us. Fall of humanity must be defined as a fall into two possibilities of one reality. We are always confronted with an either/or. Is there a way to embrace all the possibilities of a reality ? At least is there a way to not be in binary?
What are the stifling binaries we are confronting every day? These are the monstrous dualism we see around: Body/mind, man/woman, young/old, self/other, pure/impure, part/whole, Being/being. These are the categories that prevent us from achieving the wholeness we destined to achieve. The value of sacraments lie in abolishing the binaries: Baptism makes everyone children, marriage makes man and woman of one body. Philosopher Julia Kristeva appreciates this sacramentality of religion. She recommends, In Strangers To Ourselves, that “we surmount the theocratic dualisms of pure and impure, Saved and damned, native and stranger; for she argues, such dualisms lead to sacrificial scapegoating and war. The big work of our civilisation is to fight this hatred – without God.”
Our identities become a slavery when they confine us to a category diametrically oppose to another category. It is something Susan Sontag, a hugely influential writer, senses. She writes, ” The young-old polarisation and the male-female polarisation are perhaps the two leading stereotypes that imprison people.” This polarisation denies us two ways of perceiving and feeling and constrain us to single cottages of existence stitched with safety pins. When our fluid existence is intransigently flattened into a label, it becomes a violence to another mode of living. Sontag resist this stereotyping because of its inherent violence, ” the values associated with youth and with masculinity are considered to be the human norms, and anything else is taken to be at least less worthwhile or inferior. Old people have a terrific sense of inferiority. They’re embarrassed to be old. What you can do when you are old and what you can do when you are young is as arbitrary and without much basis as what you can do if you’re a woman or what you can do if you’re a man ”
when the word continues to divide itself along racial lines, nationality, religion and culture , we have to grasp the fact they are inventions made to exclude others. Binaries are exclusions. Sontag turns against this exclusive nature of binaries, ” For people to understand themselves in this way seems to be very destructive, and also very culpabilizing. These stereotypes of thought versus feeling, heart versus head, male versus female were invented at a time when people were convinced that the world was going in a certain direction – that is toward technocracy, rationalisation, science, and so on – but they were all invented as a defence against Romantic values.”
Derrida attacks the insidious predicament of binaries. As a poststructuralist, Derrida condemns the belief that all the binaries are natural. Derrida’s Point is that they are imposed and they are the reasons of hierarchies. Light is before dark and right is before left because they are inherent in a given structure of a given culture is the idea that light is better than dark and right is better than left. This is absurd and this is a human construct. Derrida thinks that by destroying the hierarchy, we can erase the line between the binary oppositions.
In his essay “The Restricted to General Economy” he emphasizes that a “master” cannot exist without a “slave” and that in some sense because a slave is no longer bound by the responsibility to maintain life like a “master” he is actually a “master” while the “master” becomes a “slave” to those things that maintain life! He goes even further by showing that these binary oppositions are absurd because you would never understand master without slave, white without black, light without dark, etc.
Derrida uses ‘deconstruction’ to expose the wrongful preconceptions and contradictions buried in our use of language. Smith defines deconstruction as “a deeply affirmative mode of critique attentive to the way in which texts, structures and institutions marginalise and exclude ‘the other’, with a view to reconstructing and reconstituting institutions and practices to be more just”. Along with deconstruction Derrida uses another concept,’ presence ‘ which means “what is most real, true or important is what is most Present.”Most language will speak of generic human as “he” For Derrida, this Signifies that the language has horribly fallen into the trap of believing that there is certain ‘ideal’ that must be followed. In this case, masculinity would be the Ideal over against femininity. This is absurd according to him. There is no concept of “he” if not for the equal and opposite “she.” Therefore , masculine pronoun as the ideal pronoun signifies a mistaken concept of “presence.”
According to Laruelle The Real which is also the One is an instance which is beyond the dichotomy of Matter and Idea, beyond the dichotomy of Body and Mind. Laruelle renounces the philosophy of Hegel which progresses on the confrontation between thesis and antithesis. Laruelle knows that nothing good will ever come from confronting its own anteriority.
By seeking to destroy binaries and dualisms, we don’t annul the difference that exists between man and woman or body and mind. Dual is acceptable because it provides an avenue for thinking about two-ness without resorting to relationship. What is not acceptable is a binarical nelahonship which glorifies one at the expense of the other. According to Laruelle twoness is overcome by oneness; the transcendental is overcome by immanence.
Hardt and Negri sensed the calamity that lurks through a unity that is created by the working of binaries,” The old three part dialectical, which would make a unity of two conflicting subjectivities will no longer work. Its claims of unity and integration at this point are just false promises.” Mao’s One becomes two is also deplored by Deleuze as ” the most classical and well rejected, oldest, and wearist kind of thought.”
When we speak against binaries, we are speaking against the grand narratives that have fixed things forever and have sculpted the formation of two. All these fixations have done a lot of harm, they have made us forget the flux we are in. they have denied us the changing propositions that we need to acquire. Even God changes, He/she laughs away her tears.
How can we be a whole? or more than a whole? This prose poem by Anne Carson may be of help:
“It was a blue winter evening, the cold bit like a wire. Isaiah laid his forehead on the ground. God arrived. Why do the righteous suffer? said Isaiah. Bellings of cold washed down the Branch. Notice whenever God addresses Isaiah in a feminine singular verb something dazzling is about to happen. Isaiah, what do you know about women? asked God. Down Isaiah’s nostrils bounced woman words: Blush. Stink. Wife. Fig. Sorceress— God nodded. Isaiah goes home and get some sleep, said God. Isaiah went home, slept, woke again. Isaiah felt sensation below the neck, it was a silk and bitter sensation. Isaiah looked down. It was milk forcing the nipples open. Isaiah was more than whole. I am not with you I am in you, said the muffled white voice of God. Isaiah sank to a kneeling position.”

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How To Be A Reluctant

The title can be added with further implications: How to withdraw, how to abscond, how to shorn off, how to be undecided, how to let go, how to wait, how to dissipate and how to resist.
There are two sorts of people, people who are ever ready and people who hesitate, people who seek an opportunity to involve and people who barely try to be present. There are leavers and involvers. People who belong to the first group are called active, dynamic, strong, powerful, Flamboyant, passionate and etc. They are the visible people. People who belong to the second category are called lazy, inactive, and etc. They are the invisible people.
In the Religious circle, majority belongs to the first category. Only a fractional majority belongs to the second category. Most of the religious people are ever ready to assume power, they are reluctant only to exit from it. They do everything to cling to the golden threads of appropriation. Their crimes are the crimes of the decision. Those who assume power as if it’s their birthright will misuse their position. Their decisions will be decisions stained with nepotism and corruption. They will make division among people to perpetuate their power. As Simon Leys says, “Half of the misery in this world is caused by people whose only talent is to worm their way into positions for which they otherwise have no competence.”
I am not endorsing the second category but we need a third category who shall save us from the fallacies of decisions. Jesus is a proponent of the third category, the category of a reluctant doer. Jesus says, “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ The boy answered, ‘I will not.’ But later he had a change of heart and went. The father went to the other son and said the same thing. This boy answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus seems to know that hesitation is a mark of genuine willingness and readiness is a sign of deception. The one who said ‘yes’ is conscious of his option ‘no’. One who said ‘no’ is disturbed by the ‘yes’ he could not say. Every great invention was made by people who were reluctant , who were not sure of what they were doing. Einstein showed that light is made of packets: particles of light. Today we call these ‘photons’. He wrote, in the introduction to his article that explains his discovery:
” It seems to me that the observations associated with blackbody radiation, fluorescence, the production of cathode rays by ultraviolet light, and other related phenomena connected with the emission or transformation of light are more readily understood if one assumes that the energy of light is discontinuously distributed in space.”
Italian Physicist, Carlo Rovelli writes about reluctant sentence with which Einstein begins:
“These simple and clear lines are the real birth certificate of quantum theory. Note the wonderful initial ‘It seems to me …’, which recalls the ‘I think …’ with which Darwin introduces in his notebooks the great idea that species evolve, or the ‘hesitation’ spoken of by Faraday when introducing for the first time the revolutionary idea of magnetic fields. Genius hesitates.”
It’s true , Genius hesitates and fool hurries up. Remember the famous phrase, “devils rush in, where Angels fear to tread in.”

We are charmed by the capitalism of decisions. Decision uses digitisation method to differentiate one from another, effecting in all sorts of exploitations. Then why can’t we experiment with indecision? If decision means to “cut out”, indecision means to “don’t cut out.” Because indecision is an analogues event. Alexander R. Galloway observes, “as radical non-cutting, indecision integrates entities as one, and it does so at the level of the generic facticity of being. This holds for humanity, but also for the generic facticity that binds the human together with chimp, mouse, or microbe. Indecision binds humanity together with massively macro events like climate change, as well as micro events like the intimate mutual recognition of self with other, or the acts of mercy, love, and sacrifice ” So Indecision shares nothing with that kind of cowardice and corruption, the worst kind of lifelessness, barely concealing a contempt for the world and those living within it.
Tiqqun declares , “The more I’m anonymous , the more I am present.” All our efforts to promote ourselves to visibility will be tragically defeated by death. Trying to become present is political and trying to become anonymous is ethical. By becoming anonymous I am giving chance to someone to be present who could otherwise never be present .
To be present means to be monitored and fall under all sorts of surveillance. Tiqqun writes, ” from now on, to be perceived is to be defeated.” Galloway adds further prophesy, ” to be perceived is to be identified, and to be identified is to be removed from life.”
How can we defy the powerful and exploiting emperor? This is the question Hardt and Negri rise in their book, Emperor. They say by ”exodus and “desertion.” “Whereas in the disciplinary era sabotage was fundamental notion of resistance, in the era of imperial control it may be “desertion.” Is it a sort of escapism? Is it not allowing the emperor to flourish? According to Hardt and Negri in the biopolitical contest exodus is the form of class struggle, “this exodus doesn’t mean going elsewhere. we can pursue a line of flight while staying right here.”
Our existence should not be an insult to one who failed to exist. everything that could have existed, exist in a virtual world. Our presence can be a failure if we don’t respect their non-existence. A heavy existence, a presence that is an occupation will be erased without a trace. while a fleeing existence or nomadic presence will be preserved, new stories will be added to it, new beauties will be sprinkled on it.
Jesus embodies this hesitancy. He hesitated almost thirty years before his redemptive work. He was reluctant to do miracles though he did it. He was reluctant to die, more than death he loved life. Now he is reluctant to come back, we are waiting for centuries.
Hesitancy is genuineness.

Letter To A Priest

Dear Priest,
I am also a priest. But there is a hell lot of difference between our priesthood. From your appearance, I presume that you are someone who is destined to be a priest. It is your birthright. You somehow inherited those high, solemn clerical gestures. I am just someone who bechanced to be a priest. If you are invited, I might be called. I always wonder how could I came to be a priest! I have a nagging sense of guilt whenever I do my priestly duties. I suppose that you are quite comfortable in your wardrobes. I always disliked this “destiny.” I wish to wash away everything of ‘destiny’ which is instilled in me by nature. Destiny is inhuman. I am a fan of ‘spirit,’ The spirit that does not destine anything to anyone, instead, engage itself in a playful game of chance and haphazardness and make things happen.

In the beginning of ‘Ulysses,’ the question is asked: “What is God?” To which Stephen replies: “A cry in the street.” I think you don’t like this definition of God. Your God cannot be a crying God. Your God is the triumphant God of judgements and accusations. Perhaps your God may be just like you, full of assertions. Now there is an excessive demand for priests like you, the preachers of the word of God. Still I wonder how your word of God preaching fail to announce Christ! Christ is not merely Bible. He is far greater than Bible. There are situations when one can really confuse Christ with the bible. Do you belong to a new crop of priests who does not read anything other than Bible? They seem to have made Bible a book of sufficiency and betrayed its call to the imagination.I heard that a current famous preacher says to priests to not to read anything other than Bible? If he got this order to issue fatwa against books from his holy spirit, I really feel sorry for his holy spirit. There are many people who missed God by reading bible alone. Their interpretation of whole life in a godlike manner contained within itself revolt against God. They could not practice an atheism which has a redeeming power to purify faith. Their ever-readiness for salvation pulled them to damnation. Their faith was so solid that eating up that same solidness came up the worms of mistrust and evil.

Last time when I heard, you were erupting like a volcano, because you were dealing with a hot subject: sex. You told the congregation how horrified you become when you see girls in miniskirts and jeans. You chastised the girls who wear churidar without the shawl. Your background energy was some extra pious people who confessed to you that they can’t pray when those girls are in the church. In the name of God you condemned and judged milestones around the neck of all those who made men stumble. You were furious against the human body which fails to be a body of the religion.

Why your God is so sexually obsessed? Why can’t he be less impertinent and less hypocritical with regard to sex? How masquerading we become in our hate against human body!The problem is not in the miniskirts. We should be horrified by the way people are exploited and left as garbages than by the sight of a female breast. It’s not nudity but dress which is the indication of the shame we have inherited.Levi Strauss, the famous anthropologist discovered an aboriginal community which had no relation with outside world. They were roughly four thousand people. He found them naked but handsome and happy. By the time he went to study them again the christian missionaries had already reached there. Now he found them all dressed but ugly and unhappy. We destroyed them making christians which is not of the Gospel nor of the Christ. You have by-hearted the Bible without grasping its spirit. Bible is God’s endless and despairing struggle with organised religion which cannot survive without witch hunting. In new Testament Jesus clearly counts priests as the enemy of people.

In his phenomenology of the spirit, Hegel wrote that evil resides in the very gaze that perceives evil around itself. This is what Slavoj Zizek calls as reflexivity:the standpoint from which we perceive a state of things can be itself part of the state of things. Jesus did not fell into this trap of reflexivity. He was not censorious like us. To the woman caught in adultery, he said: “Neither do I judge you.” Jesus was accepting the fact that as a human being he did not have the right to judge another human being.
As Paul Ricoeur informs, “christianity doesn’t believe in sin but in the remission of sins.” If we loose hold of this truth, the accusation philosopher Deleuze levels against St. Paul may become valid. Deleuze accuses paul of “inventing a new type or priest even more terrible than its predecessors”, because Paul relies on the doctrine of immortality to intensity guilt and sin in order to create “doctrine of judgment.” one of your serious problem was that girls wear the dress of boys! Technically this is known as transvestism. But do you know catholic church has a saint who is a transvestist? Her name is St. Joan of Arc. They burnt her at stake because she wore boy’s dress. Bernard Shaw wrote a beautiful drama about her. At the end of the drama agnostic Shaw asks a tragic question,”O God when this world will be ready to accept your saints?” This world will never be, as long as there are priests who are in search of heretics to burn at stake.
Jesus was a man on the road, settling on nothing. But his church is stagnant because of the immovable and bureaucratic clergy. They take themselves too seriously and imagine themselves to be the custodians of truth. All our intimidations from the pulpit have managed to destroy the reality of messianicity. Thus in the hands of priests, Christianity became a yoke of vicious circle. Preachings in shalom T.V amount the vicious circle we are entangled in. Recently I watched an Irish movie, ‘Calvary,’ which tries to show a good priest. In the movie we see the confession of a young man who suffered unspeakable sexual crimes from an evil priest. Now the young man wants to kill this good priest because he feels that his revenge can be equal only if he kills a good priest of the church. He finds no use in killing a bad priest. The good priest revolts against this injustice placed upon him. And his life is toppled over. He hires a gun for his self-protection. At the end of the movie we see him in a beach unarmed accepting his fate. The young man comes to take his revenge and he points his gun at the head of the priest and asks whether he has any regret in life. To which the priest replies “Yes I have, I could not read Moby Dick.”

At the end of the day, these may be the only regrets haunt us, that we did not converse with the great art forms of the world. Reading is an excellent way to practice ‘transcendental homelessness.’I like the writings of a Jesuit priest Boris Gunjević. There is rare charm in his writings and there is flipping of the coins in his writing to decide what is good and bad. He wrote placing his trust in books as a way to be part of humanity, “Someday when we get around to writing a genealogy of our failures, inadequacies, and disappointments, an important place in such a study will be the books we never read, for whatever reason.” Every book we have not read reduces our horizon and shows how pitiful we are. Boris Gunjević has this revelation, “The books we never read will be one of the indicators of our anachronisms and our flawed humanity. When our imagined defence systems crumble and we are betrayed by our own mechanisms of denial, only then will reading preserve the dignity of the loser.” Isn’t it something scary?
God did not create the world with any functional end in view but simply for the love and sheer beauty of it. God is such a beauty crazy that he rebukes anyone who passes without noticing the subtle pink colour of His recent flower. Anyone who believes in such a God will not touch a flower without its permission and will not rebuke however naked it. At least art can save us from the worst situation of being megalomaniacs.
Being a priest is a dangerous thing. If you don’t guard against yourself, you may fall into most abominable crimes. There are some who go to any extreme to destroy the reputation of his brother priest to perpetuate to their own power. The whole effort of Jesus was to eliminate the elements of power, the power of God and man. So that he may reinvent himself as Christ.
Literary critic James Wood narrates the contradiction that a priest may get into:

“Growing up in a religious household, I got used to the sight of priests, but always found them fascinating and slightly repellent. The funeral uniform, supposed to obliterate the self in a shroud of colourlessness, also draws enormous attention to the self; humility seems to be made out of the same cloth as pride. Since the ego is irrepressible—since the ego is secular—it tends to bulge in peculiar shapes when religiously depressed. The priests I knew practiced self-abnegation but perfected a quiet dance of ego. They were modest but pompous, gentle but tyrannical—one of them got angry if he was disturbed on a Monday—and pious but knowing. Most were good men, certainly less venal than the average; but the peculiar constrictions of their calling produced peculiar opportunities for unloosing.”

Dear Priest,
You know how to be a priest. But you don’t know how not to be a priest. That is the heart of the matter. I know a priest who knows how not to be a priest. He does it so artistically. His name is Jijo Kurian. He has no time to measure the length of Mini Skirts instead he engages with various social issues defying all establishments. God is ready to appear before him as a cloud or tree with all His magic so that he may photograph him. More than being a priest or bishop lets be human beings accepting our predicament and frailty. Jesus detested self-righteous and loved sinners. Jesus message is that God is on the side of sinners despite their viciousness and he calls his Father who is neither judge nor an accuser. We, human can never achieve self-righteousness but only self delightedness. Let us engage in a project of self-transformation which is never possible without the unfathomable source of love and art.

A Poor Man

Jesus never seems to has famished, other than his fasting in the desert. He even had a treasurer. But St. Francis’ poverty is an extreme option. His followers took it to a level of anarchism and church had to intervene and suppress certain Franciscan movements. When St. Francis insisted that one shall not own anything, St. Thomas Aquinas proposed a moderate version. According to St. Thomas whatever you have is your own but when you see someone in need, give him what is yours. From where St. Francis got this extreme notion of poverty? It came from his biggest revelation that, ‘God alone is enough, rest can be abandoned’. Francis was afraid to miss God, what if He is hidden behid a piece of paper or a pin? Francis relingished everything that could hide God, however subtle it is. He was even ready to abandon heaven for the sake of God.
In St. Francis’ frugality, Paul Ricoeur sees the logic of Superabundance. Francis doesn’t advocate frugalness as a means of being virtuous, but Ricoeur thinks that Francis is performing a more radical act. According to Ricoeur he “overturns the underlying hypothesis of the modern world driven by exclusive possession, fear of scarcity, in short, the economic.” St. Francis’ frugality is a way of passing on to others what is not one’s own. Ricoeur thinks that Francis sunders the meaning of gift by a sort of metanoia, “because it has been given to you, you give in turn”. So St. Francis makes a rejoinder to superabundance with frugality, a gift should remain as a gift for another.

Camus wrote, “My poverty was full of sun rays.” He also said, “I will bow my head only before a man whose head is immersed in lofty ideals and before a man whose head is high even in his penury, in-between lies the society which I disdain.”
We all need a saint, a saint whose eyes are full of tears because he is not poor enough to deserve God.

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.

Damned by Good

For Greeks virtue meant beauty. They admired the beauty of words, the beauty of thought, beauty of war. Above all they admired the beauty of the body, resulting in the invention of Olympics. For the Romans virtue was courage. They built Colosseum where brave gladiators fought for the amusement of spectators. Romans had only one hero: a soldier who longed for the battle field.
Christianity came up and annihilated all these ideas of virtue. Instead, it proposed that the real virtue is charity, the love towards your neighbour.

It may be easy to be beautiful and to be courageous with proper training, but it is quite difficult to be charitable. They are so many reasons to hate your neighbour but not many to love him/her. I found it hard to be good, being good is not my natural disposition. But I have seen people who are naturally good, somehow they can be effortlessly good. But I have this curse of knowing good by doing wrong. I am plagued by these questions: what is great, an effortful good or effortless good? Jesus says that God alone is good, then what is the nature of our good? Now with the invention of social media doing good works have become a fashion. Everyone is ready to be a Good Samaritan if there is a camera to capture. I admire the good works of some people but I I don’t like them personally. It is from them I learnt that being good is more difficult than doing good.

Simon Leys is a well-known writer whose Christian consciousness is evident in his writings. His collected essays “The Hall of Uselessness” changed my perspective about good works. Leys recounts a story which he read in the pages of an obscure and long-forgotten book, dating back to the beginning of the last century. The narrator, D.G. Mukerji, returning home to India after a long stay in the United States, describes his visit to the sage:

“On the floor were seated two young ladies, an old gentleman, their father, and a young monk in yellow, crouching before the Master, as though bowed by his sanctity. The Holy One bade me be seated.
“I am glad,” he said, “that thy feet pain thee. That will start the easing of the pain in thy soul.” . . . He turned to the others. “What was I talking about? . . . I remember: the hospital which is a punishment for doing good.”
“How could that be, my Lord?” questioned the old gentleman.
“Even thou, an old man, dost ask me that question also? Well it all began one day about eleven years ago. I, who was meditating with a brother disciple under a big tree, decided to stop meditating and care for a man who had fallen sick by the roadside. He was a lean moneylender from Marwar and he had come to Benares to make a rich gift to some temple in order to have his way to Heaven paved in solid gold. Poor fellow, he did not know that all the flowery good deeds done to catch the eye of God will in the end become the bitter fruits of desire.
“I ministered to him until he recovered and could return to Marwar, to lend more money, I suppose. But the rascal did me an evil turn. He spread the news all along the way that if people fell sick near my big tree, I took care of them. So very soon, two more people came and fell sick at the pre-arranged place. What else could my brother disciple and I do, but care for them? Hardly had we cured them when we were pelted with more sick folk. It was a blinding shower. I saw in it all a terrible snare: beyond doubt, I felt, if I went on tending the sick, by and by I would lose sight of God.
“Pity can be a ghastly entanglement to those who do not discriminate, and there I stood, with a wall of sick men between me and God. I said to myself: ‘Like Hanuman, the monkey, leap over them and fling thyself upon the Infinite.’ But somehow I could not leap and I felt lame. Just at that juncture, a lay disciple of mine came to see me: he recognised my predicament and, good soul that he was, he at once got hold of a doctor and an architect and set to work to build the hospital. Very strange though it seems, other illusions co-operated with that good man to help him—the moneylender, the first fellow I cured, sent an additional load of gold and built the day clinic. In six years the place was a solid home of delusion where men put their soul-evolution back by doing good. Shiva, Shiva!”
“But, Master, I notice that your own disciples, boys and young girls, work there?” I put in my question.
“Yes, like these two young ladies here, other young people come to me to serve God. Well, youth suffers from a delusion that it can do good. But I have remedied that somewhat; I let them take care of the sick as long as their outlook on God remains vivid and untarnished, but the moment any of my disciples show signs of being caught in the routine of good works—like the scavenger’s cart that follows the routine of removing dirt every morning—I send that person off to our retreat in the Himalayas, there to meditate and purify his soul. When he regains his God-outlook to the fullest, if he wishes, I let him return to the hospital. “Beware, beware: good can choke up a soul as much as evil.”
“But if someone does not do it, how will good be done?” questioned the old gentleman in a voice full of perplexity.
“Live so,” replied the Master in a voice suddenly stern, “live so that by the sanctity of thy life all good will be performed involuntarily.”

This puzzling story challenges our understanding of good deeds. The story brings home the idea that God is good but good is not God. Sometimes our good deeds can stand between us and God making each other unable to have any relation. In this sense, good works corrupt the doer, “The good deeds done to catch the eye of God in the end becomes the bitter fruits of desire.” One cannot purchase God with his good deeds since those deeds are tainted by a desire. Jesus says “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”

Our good works don’t guarantee our goodness. It is here the Althusserian formula of Marxism is a good choice: “everything will be determined in the last instance. “Beware, beware: good can chalk up soul as much as evil.” It is an immense revelation. Simon Weil says the same thing differently: if a person does not have enough spiritual strength, the good deeds he does can turn out to be evil.The good works degrade the person if he does not have the spiritual strength that can match his good work. Some People make this complaint, “I only intended good but still …” The people who have spiritual strength has no such kind of intentions to be sorry about.

We can resist the inclinations and corruptions that our good deeds bring only by disclaiming them. Escape from the good deeds as soon as it is done, remaining in them can spoil you. Another way to escape them is changing the telos. Never do a good deed to inherit God or his kingdom. Elkhart’s radical mysticism rests on similar imperative. He says in his Sermon 5b: “So long as you perform your works for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, or for God’s sake, or for the sake of your eternal blessedness, and you work them from without, you are going completely astray.” It is in this context Elkhart defines a poor man as one “who has a will and a longing for nothing.”

Jesus became God by depriving himself fully of God and His ecstasies.

Idolatry

Gorky made this comment about Chekhov, “it seems to me that in the presence of Anton Pavlovich, everyone felt an unconscious desire to be simpler more truthful and more himself.” Perhaps Chekhov’s  A Student is a story that can humble our existence and make us subtle enough to carried away by a gust of wind. The story is simple and devoid of big incidents but it has a charm that may last ever.
A young student in theology has returned to his village for Easter: on Good Friday, having spent the afternoon hunting in the woods, he walks back home at dusk. The weather is still bitterly cold and he stops and warms himself by a bonfire which a widow and her grown-up daughter have lit in their courtyard. Standing by the fire and chatting with the two women, he is suddenly reminded of the Passion Gospel which was read in church the day before, and he retells it to them: on the night Jesus was arrested, Peter had also stood by such a fire in the courtyard of the High Priest’s palace. As he was warming himself among the guards and servants, they started asking him questions: he took fright and denied three times having ever had any acquaintance with Jesus. At that moment, a cock crowed, and realising what he had done, “he went out and wept bitterly.”
As the student takes leave of the women, he is surprised to see that the widow is quietly sobbing and her daughter looks distressed, “as if holding back a terrible pain.” Walking into the incoming darkness, he ponders the women’s emotion:
“Their weeping meant that all that happened to Peter on that terrible night had a particular meaning for them . . . Obviously what he had just told them about happenings nineteen centuries ago had a meaning for the present, for “for both women and also probably for this God-forsaken village, for himself, for all people. It had not been his gift for poignant narrative that had made the women weep. It was because Peter was near to them.”
“Joy suddenly stirred within him . . . Crossing the river by ferry, and then climbing the hill, he looked at his home village and the narrow strip of cold crimson sunset shining in the west. And he brooded on truth and beauty—how they had guided human life there in the garden, and in the High Priest’s palace, how they had continued without a break till the present day . . . A sensation of youth, health, strength—he was only twenty-two years old—together with an anticipation, ineffably sweet, of happiness, strange, mysterious happiness gradually came over him. And life seemed enchanting, miraculous, imbued with exalted significance.

Chekhov wrote some 250 short stories; among all of them, he singled out “The Student” as his favourite.

This is the story one can read as he ages to death and he knows that life never ends but is recounted in varied ways to come equal to an incident that happened somewhere else. That small incident is beyond everything because it is where life saw its own magnitude and beauty. Perhaps that incident might have been the most sorrowful, still it is instilled to generations its braveness and beauty. There are also occasions when we imitate or remember this incident without any ardour then it is a pale and sorry imitation where that incident is lowered to the level of reverberation and everything looks pitiful.
These are the feelings that swept over me when I saw the newly unveiled statue of Jesus in front of a church.
Our effort to make an incident real ends up in disfiguring it, if it is done by minor artists. Caravaggio mixed shadows and lights so masterly in his ‘supper at Emmaus’ to bring all the emotions of the incident. The resurrected Jesus doesn’t look triumphant but he looks very ordinary man whose face betrays the pains of a violent death. It’s not piety that picture demand from us but release to a truth. our hearts surges up to meet a lofty feeling of pathos and we become sure that everything that is crushed under the feet of the power of the world will rise up on the third day.
The particular figure’s aim is to arouse a sentimental devotion which is very much calculative. It is not these cheap sentimentalities that take us to the  way to calvary but truth and beauty that may make us weep and smile at the same time. The figure of Jesus is oozing with blood and his standing on a podium from which blood overflows. Still, Jesus looks devoid of all the agonies and suffering. He is as if ready to come to the rescue of everyone who pleads to him. What this figure evokes in the believer is not a truth but one’s own masochism and need for a protection even from a crushed and crucified man. Crucified Jesus is not our protector but one who must be protected from us.he is not the one to whom we need to pray but for whom we should pray so that the world may stop persecuting him.
Sometimes nothing is dangerous and inhuman as piety and devotion. It blinds our senses and will make us seek pleasure in blood sacrifices. It may force us to kill others. It can also disfigure a truth and turn to our own advantage. Religion makes use of the piety of the people with various false depictions and lies. Thus it begets idolatry, one of the worst crime against God.