No Where Man, pt 1

Posted on March 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

The idea of a ‘blank space’ is no doubt a metaphysical conceit (even as the idea of a blank check seems increasingly possible, even necessary, in the current climate; if one were sufficiently Marxist a connection would indeed be drawn). We now know that there isn’t even really anything called ‘space’ pure and simple but rather the knot called space/time/matter, all apparently convertible one to the other in some eldritch manner. Even the very basis of space itself, if base (Al-queida in Arabic) is the right word to use, and according to quantum and string theory dynamics, is a bubbling cauldron of nothingness folding continuously in on itself and in communication with the whole of its parts and perhaps of all times, more in attunement with the ancient Greek idea of the khôra .

Nevertheless the idea of a blank space is an attractive notion, along with its anti-blank, the idea of a New Jerusalem, perhaps a hypercube of incredible density and dimensions, wherein all souls will reside. It seems that both ‘spaces’ are proceeding in their development, perhaps becoming co-terminous at some point.

Giorgio Agamben points toward such a terminal condition regarding such a space through out his writings. Below is a lengthy quote from Remnants of Auschwitz. Here, there seems to be a peculiar combination of a New Jerusalem, an impossible density, and the blank, an impossible emptiness:

“In 1937, during a secret meeting, Hitler formulates an extreme biopolitical concept for the first time, one well worth considering. Referring to Central -Western Europe, he claims to need a volkloser Raum, a space empty of people. How is one to understand this singular expression? It is not simply a matter of something like a desert, a geographical space empty of inhabitatns (the region to which he referred was densely populated by different peoples and nationalities). Hitler’s “peopleless space” instead designates a fundamental biopolitical intensity, an intensity that can persist in every space and through which peoples pass into populations and populations pass into Muselmanner. Volkloser Raum, in other words, names the driving force of thecamp understood as a biopolitical machine that, once established in a determinate geographical space, transforms it into an absolute political space, both Lebenstraum and Todesraum, in which human life transcends, every assignable biopolitical identity. Death, at this point, is a simple epiphenomenon.”

An interesting correlate to this is to ask whether our psyches evolve to take account of these new (say, within the last 150 tears or so) ‘worlds in collision.’ One might be surprised by how many people think that the human mental ‘evolutionary set’ is laid in stone, along with its physical comportment and may oscillate somewaht but hasn’t basically changed since the structure of Homo sapiens sapiens was ‘finalized’ by evolutionary theory. (And one side of this is shown by the new research which claims that ‘religion’ is a recent evolutionary development in the brain; one is reminded of that perhaps forgotten, and controversial, book which seems to be the reverse of these new findings, by Julian Jaynes on the bicameral mind wherein the mind was ONCE bifurcated and allowed the gods to speak –that is, the other side of our brains which allowed ‘godness’ –but became superceded.)

Next, new mental pathologies, notably persons who do not feel like ‘persons,’ who, unlike animals which were once commented to have feelings but no thoughts, now claim thoughts with no feelings, connections, or bodies.