Any notion that we do not belong to this earth, that Earth is a fallen universe, a prison for our soul
striving to liberate itself from the material inertia, is dismissed as life denying alienation. — Zizek
Over the course of the last ten years, Hollywood has been producing plotline after plotline that somehow either claims the end of the world (apocalyptic; think 2012 ) or some sort of ecological crisis (the day after tomorrow). this addiction demonstrates to us not some transcendent realization that the world is going to end one day, but rather that even a secular organizational body (i.e., hollywood) has been trapped in the Western Christian psyche. one main issue of such an ideology (i.e., the world is going to end one day) is that it presents time as linear, but even more perverse it assumes this is the only true possible interpretation.
we must not be naive to think that the non-western world does have a tendency to look to the west for how to perceive reality (although in the last ten years this socio-geographic focus hase been shifting), and in doing such a thing enforces its own hegemony and closes itself to other possibilities and interpretations.and sets itself up as the global ‘father’ and in a perverse sense castrates other political realities.
take for instance, that in the ancient eastern world, many believed time to be circular (i.e., unending; it wrapped around itself continously; time ‘ate’ itself) or the ancient hebrew notion of time where some believed that anytime god intervened in history that ‘that’ was when time both began and ended (i.e., when god stopped intervening). the danger in seeing time as linear is not only lazy (i.e., i dont really have anything to do, i am just waiting for some bloody apocalypse and i have my promise of what waits after it) but it also distances us from one another and imposes a dogmatic view of the other (either as ‘enemy’ (i.e, if they don’t somehow accept jesus as prescribed then they are hell-bound, and who lives in hell according to Christian folklore? – Satan – thereby implicating this person as one who endorses not only Satan but all that Satan stands for; even if the intention is not to imply such a thing, in this case, it is simply a residual after-effect of such a claim).
also, in the current christian discourse one of the hipper things to be into is ecology and ‘saving the world’ and the direct irony in such a desire hides the fact that those who adhere to an apocalyptic theology really do not want to save the world but rather wish the world to end (if the end of the world ushers in the entrance of god and his new ‘city’ then why else would people really want to save the world) – and so it merely is rhetoric that only makes the orthodox believer think that what they are doing is somehow benevolent and yet their beliefs keep them from ever actually following through. some might claim that these two claims cannot be mutually exclusive, however, i do not claim that they are mutually exclusive but rather that one negates the other so there is no room for exclusion only negation.
what this does imply is then that to truly negate the ecological crises one must become even more dogmatic about the end of the world, and in doing so, negates their place in any form of response, but also justifies their theology of distancing themselves from reality. these ‘donnie darko’ christians only wait for the destruction to experience some kind of altruistic happy-go-lucky distancing from reality and the rest of our everyone else. to be frank, this theology promotes the hatred of the world, the neighbour and the enemy – three things we have be challenged to love. I think one way out of such a deadlock is to embrace a nuanced neo-communist ideal of the disavowel of property. as in the world is not ‘mine’ but rather ‘ours’ and that the world is not some property to defend but rather something to sustain. its funny how so many christians ‘pray’ for the world as if it is god’s responsibility to intervene and yet god gave to humanity to care for. hmmm….
The European Civil War is a term of historical argumentation in the form of an overarching construct tying a series of 20th century conflicts between sovereign nations in the now partially unified continent of Europe. The term seeks to explain the rapid decline of Europe’s global hegemony and the emergence of the European Union. By this self-mutilation, it is argued, Europe lost its position in the world, its hegemony, and caused itself to be divided into two spheres of influence: one “Western”, and one Soviet.
my claim here is not that the more christianity defends an apocalyptic theology the more it will become obsolete to the ‘real’ world, but my claim is that the obsoletion has already occurred and that the more this ideology of ‘i am leaving earth with or without you’ is the very antithesis to the christian message demonstrated in the incarnation, which is that god is a materialist. god was willing to give up heaven to come here. and that what we are left with is the promise of not some ‘whole’ happily-ever-after narrative waiting for us, but rather a continual re-invention of the fragments of christ.
carl jung defined soma (paul uses this word when he speaks to a community about being a ‘body of christ’) as ‘that which casts a shadow other than itself’, meaning that the body is what is untrue. that the whole is the lie. the desire for wholeness is the simulacrum, the fiction. its much like our skin it hides the organs, the waste, the capillaries, synapses and so on. my hope is that the church will not begin looking for the whole in any way shape or form but come to find that ‘that’ kind of harmony is an illusion.in fact, i also claim that if the church continues searching for harmony (especially in the end of the world theology) it simply remains unaware of its own castration and attempts to mask it by promoting such a fantasy (fantasy in the Zizekian sense, which claims that to hide our fragmentation we create things up within the narrative to give us the illusion of wholeness).
i even claim the longer the church continues to do so, the longer its current irrelevance will remain. that to move forward it must disavow the need for a body and begin finding its hope in fragmentation – (this is why i share the conflicts of the european civil war (above) because i actually disagree with the synopsis above, i think europe should remain divided, and in doing so it maintains the wholeness it craves).the moment the church accepts its fragmentation is the same moment it gives up its hegemony and the need to be right and/or loving, which are two completely disconnected things. one does not imply the other. if anything, one disproves the other.
to be here is to be here in the here and now. not somewhere, there and then.