...to the topos I died, and Alain Badiou's philosopher Paul

For through the Topos, in the Topos I died, so that in the power-to-appear I will live. With the Logos I was executed. So that “I” live no more, but lives through me the Logos.

Philosopher Alain Badiou in his thin, elegant, atheistic study, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, writes of the shift in Western philosophy that occurs in the early Christian writings of Paul. What he suggests is that the Pauline redefinition of the “self” apart from its ethnic designations – the Law – presents for the first time the Universalized Subject which would dominate philosophy nearly up to this day. While Badiou moves in one direction, I follow his non-religious reasoning in a slightly different one, and take into focus a verse which Heidegger in his early lectures noted as “[The] concentrated form of the entire Paul dogmatic.”, Galatians 2:19

Egō gar dia nomou nomō apethanon ina theō zēsō; Christō sunestaupōmai

For through the Law, by the Law I died, so that in God I will live – crucified in Christ.

zō de ouket egō, zē de en emoi Christos

So live no more do I, but lives in me Christ.

Translating this experimentally and philosophically so as to open up its conceptual meanings (and not theologically), we arrive at an interesting compass of subjectivity:

For through the Topos, in the Topos I died, so that in the power-to-appear I will live. With the Logos I was executed. So that “I” live no more, but lives through me the Logos.

Here nomos, which characteristically means the Law or Custom, is rendered as Topos, the place. Nomos has affinities in the Greek with Nomas, pasturage, the parceling of land, and it is the customs of and beliefs of a local that literally define it as place. Within this I suggest the epistemological grounding of knowing as the production of spaces and repetitions in the mode of doing, a historically contingent process.

Here theos, which commonly means “God”, is translated into the Greek root “to appear”

And Christos, the anointed, is translated into its Hellenized appropriation Logos, the connectivity of all meaning and discourse, a universalization commensurate with Paul’s meaning, and attributed by John as well.

Topos = the historically contingent state of the linguistic Real, the custom of the apprehendable

Logos = the immanence of meaning so produced, and as seen synchronically from Eternity

What Paul is conceptually preaching is a movement of subjectivity, from within the historically contingent custom and belief of meaning, the production of bodies, recursions and rituals in language games, to the “execution of the I” in the death of the Logos, a historically occurring event, and so also contingently produced, (the end of law and of bodies as places), to becoming the consciously immanent mediation of the Logos itself, being made of oneself the divine power to appear.

Returning to the specifity of Badiou:

“Paul’s general procedure is the following: if there has been an event, and if truth consists in declaring it and then in being faithful to this declaration, two consequences ensue. First, since truth is evental, or of the order of what occurs, it is singular. It is neither structural, nor axiomatic, nor legal. No available generality can account for it, nor structure the subject who claims to follow in its wake. Consequently, there cannot be a law of truth. Second, truth being inscribed on the basis of a declaration that is in essence subjective, no preconstituted subset can support it; nothing communitarian or historically established can lend its substance to the process of truth. Truth is diagonally relative to every communitarian subset; it neither claims authority from, nor (this is obviously the most delicate point) constitute any identity. It is offered to all, or addressed to everyone, without a condition of belonging being able to limit this offer, or this address.”

Dunamis

Hmm this is interesting but a little ahead of me right now. Badiou’s Infinite Thought is sitting underneath Was Heist Denken?, which is itself beneath the two books I am currently reading, in addition to coursework texts. The Phenomenology of Religious Life is lower on the list, but perhaps more highly anticipated. :slight_smile:

Regards,

James

James,

Having just read Phenomenology of Religious Life this weekend, and Badiou’s book on Paul some months ago, I’d switch one for the other, unless your curriculum forbids it. P.R.L. is a bit disappointing unless you are quite interested in tracing the full development of Heidegger, a to z.

Dunamis

Nonsense, I will simply add Badiou’s book to my list! :smiley:

Regards,

James

Dunamis,

Sometimes you get too deep, man.

What guides the alchemy, do you just blindly pick a few philosopher’s names from a basket and blend them together?

Its good stuff, but it seems as if the meaning you make out of things isn’t determined by the mix of ideas in themselves, but rather a meaning you want to apply first, and then you pick the philosophers.

The only problem with this is the gratuity of these formulas. We get to a point where we wouldn’t have noticed had you mentioned Thales instead of Plotinus. When you get this deep its hard to decide whether or not the thinkers you mention meant for such interpretations to happen with their material. The infusions you make are remarkable but you must admit, a bit contingent upon a pick-and-choose whim, it seems.

Anyway, you said you have only read one-to-ten philosophy books on the profile thread. What gives, man? Are you some kind of genius or do you just make this shit up as you go?

detrop,

“We get to a point where we wouldn’t have noticed had you mentioned Thales instead of Plotinus.”
The difference of course is that we have hundreds and hundreds of pages of Plotinus’ philosophy detailing his position, written in his own hand, and of Thales nothing.

The infusions you make are remarkable but you must admit, a bit contingent upon a pick-and-choose whim, it seems.

Not contingent, immanent. I am following, as I discover it, a thread throughout philosophy, since its inception, which largely sides with Immanence over Transcendence. This so happens to nicely dovetail with the linguistic turn of Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Quine, etc. but truly I am simply attracted to all of these ideas for whatever unknowable reason, and they simply align themselves in sympathy my mind, as the most likely manner in which to reconsile oppposing points of view without falling into absolute relativism. There is a single line of thought here, even though it may be at times hard to follow.

Anyway, you said you have only read one-to-ten philosophy books on the profile thread. What gives, man?

I thought it was a silly question, so admittedly I answered it so as to draw the least attention to the answer.

Thanks for the kind words. :slight_smile:

Dunamis

Dunamis

Right or wrong, without my appreciation for levels of reality, I’d probably also be a Pantheist. :slight_smile:

Why must there be an either/or? Immanence is an initial step in the process of transcendence. The idea that it is the initial step is not to suggest the conclusion of a process.

Using my favorite acorn analogy, immanence is the growth of the life of the kernel within the husk of the acorn. Once the time is right and it breaks free of its protective shell, it begins the process of transcending its previous purpose of being food for the earth and animal life upon it that feeds on acorns and acquiring its new meaning of participating as part of the natural lawful purpose of oak trees in general.

Paul is describing immanence since it is all that can be initially understood. While transcendence for the acorn is a mechanical process limited to the laws of one cosmos, transcendence for a human being allowing for the participation in higher cosmic purpose is a conscious process connecting cosmoses. Lacking sufficient consciousness, we require a certain help from above to compensate for this lack which appears in the form of immanence from higher planes which a person so inclined struggles to become open to. Immanence and Transcendence become complimentary in the context of the evolution of human “being.”

Nick,

“Right or wrong, without my appreciation for levels of reality, I’d probably also be a Pantheist.”

You’re position is essentially that taken of Plotinus. :slight_smile:

Dunamis

Dunamis

I agree that there is a lot of Neoplatonism in esoteric Christianity as I’ve grown to understand it. However there are differences such as the soul. I believe that like Buddhism suggests, we don’t have a soul. Modern Christianity asserts a ready made soul and Plotinus seems to suggest its contemplation. I’ve grown to accept the soul as our potential to be in the image of God. Its potential exists in us as a seed. Consider Meister Eckhart:

I’ve been trying to review Plotinus" ideas:

iep.utm.edu/p/plotinus.htm#SSH2c.ii

Are there any old threads on ILP where you’ve discussed these things with others? I’d enjoy reading comments.

Nick,

Are there any old threads on ILP where you’ve discussed these things with others? I’d enjoy reading comments.

Not really because I am interested in his thoughts only for their procreative effects upon formal philosophical thinking, he had a compelling view of Being. Plotinus is near inaccessible because his Enneads were written in a very, very simple but drawn out manner and very poorly translated. I’ve really had to read a great number of secondary sources to grasp his full impact upon the philosophic and religious traditions. Mostly he is seen to influence someone who influenced someone and so forth. It would be better to look into Neoplatonism in general, which has the philosophical/mystical roots to much of your thinking.

Dunamis