Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Excessive Religion, Part 10: Conclusion

Part 9

Fidelity, by traversing fantasy, places no expectations on the fulfillment of desire; it is a purely libidinal drive that pushes one ceaselessly and without concern for project. The movement to inner experience is not to “emerge from project through project” but rather to emerge from individual libidinal economy to the global, general economy. Such a movement is akin to a series of streams flowing into a raging river, than breaking off again into tributaries. The moment of the festival is not a matter for repetition in memory; it is only ever a future possibility that drives one forward. Bataille gives the reason for this when he says that The translation of an experience into a communicable form does not betray the experience, and is in fact necessary - but it changes the experience from the peak of a libidinal flow to a matter of discourse. As a “past event,” inner experience is irreducibly different. One is part of a libidinal movement, the other is discourse. Inner experience, in terms of festival and sacrifice, require the discourse of a community to be enacted, but discourse is only ever the tool of libido.

Memory and discourse are also vital for any attempt to transmit inner experience, however both of these are dependant on time. In common conditions, the metonymic movement of desire pushes one into the future; however, according to Bataille, inner experience is “time unhinged.” An experience in which time is unhinged denies the temporal cause/effect relationship, and so does not produce knowledge. Inner experiences from the “past” produce nothing and affect nothing, because of this denial of cause and effect. These experiences rely on the discourse of a community and the desire of the subject to lay the ground, but discourse and desire can only ever move into the future and allow the summit to appear of its own accord. We reach out to the future through desire, touch upon a singularly excessive experience, than immediately move on to reach out for another future, another singular experience.

Religion is not only the search for a lost intimacy, it is the experience of desire. It is not merely a matter of unfulfilled desire, but rather of striving forward, and in doing so, experiencing joy and the glow of the object of desire. One strives forward to touch this object; what Bataille calls “common time” or “secular time” is a period of anticipation, promise, and action. The sacred appears as moment, and then the anticipation begins anew. From this anticipation flows affirmation and joy, whether the anticipation has the character of faith or fidelity.

Edit: Double post corrected!


dan said...

Excellent. Now that you're done this series, I plan to print it off, read it in more detail, and perhaps post some thoughts on it (if that's okay with you). I'd also like to refer some other bloggers to it, if that's okay with you.

Ummm, don't be holding your breath though, I haven't had much time for blogging lately.

Jamie A. Grant said...

You seem to have cut-n-pasted your text for this post twice...

I might not have understood this whole thing, but at least I can prove that I read it. :)

Mike said...

Sure, that's all fine.