Will We Eat Ourselves?
"The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him -- you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him." ~from Friedrich Nietzsche's "Parable of the Madman"
From above comes the sign of the end. This end is really but a beginning, the time of the apocalypse. With God’s immanent entrance into the world-scene, time has changed from a passive absolute being to a finite, yet perpetual becoming. Infinity is truly no longer held in the God above, but has become incarnate in the Man from Galilee. With this incarnation comes the realization that infinity is not bound by the finite, that negation can be overcome. The ends of this event have not been thought, not to its fullest. Can they?
What is new when the Spirit enters its other is that the drive of God becomes the drive of its other. The Big Other becomes castrated by its creation, no longer enjoying the pre-Oedipal confusion of a misbegotten real, but now entering fully into a temporalized world, re-temporalizing it by marking its very movement absolutely. God has forgotten He is God, constrained by the reality principle constituted by those who choose to abandon Him. Yet, how can God forget if God is infinite? God is now the desire of His other, creation. God has externalized Himself into a fuller revelation of God’s nature, but as His other, God can no longer recognize Himself as creator but as created. Thus, God has forgotten what it means to be transcendent, to be God.
Yet, it is this becoming of the infinite into the finite world which frees it from being eternally beholden to falleness. With the entrance of the Big Other into creation, the event of the death of God, creation can now become free, no longer under the auspices of the Eternal God who gives no space for genesis. The God eternally above is a God of Platonism, immutable form. Yet this God isn’t free but bound to immutability. Only with and in the incarnation has God shown Himself to be other than Himself and free of eternal representation.
The Madman knows this parable not as a fable, but as the essential truth of the modern epoch. God is dead. We have summoned God to His own demise, not through our need for salvation, but by calling Him to the crucifix. Paradoxically, this death is our freedom. It is our freedom because the moral Lawgiver is no longer. Our existence is now one of self creation and doubt, of responsibility for our choices. We are now responsible to our others and the other within each of us. To take the form of Christ we must become that which we seem not to be.
The Man from Galilee is not the man from La Mancha. And as we return to our Bibles, what will we find? Three-piece suits in Davos comporting themselves for more filthy lucre? No. Rich politicians calling down death from above? Not in the slightest. So, what then will we find? A God who enters time as an apocalyptic moment, the moment the absolute becomes the nothing. This is our freedom.