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Catacombic Theology | We Are Large, We Contain Multitudes

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

–Walt Whitman

I attest that the supreme religious lie is that truth in itself is whole and complete; that Being is given, and unfortunately the secularists have done little to challenge this most unfortunate epistemological presupposition. Truth is not a re-presentation of the world as seen from the perspective of an omniscient divine being, nor is truth the world re-presented by the pure reason of mankind, science or mathematics. Truth is rather an event that disrupts the worlds which we produce in the images of our gods.

Catacombic theology is a desiring theology, and as Charles Winquist made clear, “desire is not desire for a closed system, but it is the desire for the other and the otherness of self. Thus, the language of desire is a mixed discourse that is always incomplete, always indeterminate, always less than a total presence.” Catacombic theology is therefore a continuous revolt against totalizing thinking and totalitarian praxis, and I am confident in protesting that an outward uprising against the powers that be will accomplish very little if it is not accompanied by an equally unceasing inner revolution. In truth, the suppression of the animal revolt within ourselves only results in a reactive slave morality that ultimately will not only galvanize the oppressive world we claim to resist, but it also imprisons us in the reductive identities the despotic priesthood has assigned for us, whoever we are.

This is no easy task and it requires courage to enter into that excessive labyrinth in which Nietzsche said that only the most spiritual will find their happiness. We seek the gaze of the Tiger, writes Winquist, but not in the forest of the night where the Tiger is experienced as fate and destiny, but in a zoo. Our culture, he claims, is a zoo story, and does not some of the most recent world political events—the refugee crisis, Brexit, Trump—prove him right? For what it is worth, my firm conviction is that most of the self professed “progressives” offers very little in their simplistic critique of these events and the people involved, rather I believe that they are complicit in upholding what they preach against. Luckily for some of the more prominent of them, they have made social justice their career and like a murderous gravedigger they keep making sure that there is no shortage of work opportunities.

Rather than mimicking the despots we oppose by nailing them to a cross as the precondition for thought, I believe that we should profess that we are large, that we are different, that we contain multitudes which cannot be identified by reductive categorizations that excludes qualitative differences, and that this is true for all. Hence, we should not presuppose that differences requires opposition, but follow Deleuze and Guattari in their assertion that oppositions require difference. Our resistance can then function in the service of our affirmation of both the other and the otherness of self, while remaining free from despotic, totalizing, totalitarian gods.

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