The End…again and again and…

Posted on September 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 Perhaps Law (whatever it is)–other than the title of a very long Stephen King frightfest novel–stretches from, and overlaps with, all beginnings as well as all endings, as a frightening threshold which is empty and holds no one back from entering or leaving….and yet is unable do either, like Kafka’s man from the country: “Nothing—and certainly not the refusal of the doorkeeper—prevents the man from the country from passing through the door of the Law if not the fact that this door is already open and that the Law prescribes nothing. “ and ” [….] Cacciari, even more decisively, underlines the fact that the power of the Law lies precisely in the impossibility of entering into what is already open, of reaching the place where one already is: “How can we hope to ‘open’ if the door is already open? How can we hope to enter-the-open [entrare-l’aperto]? In the open, there is, things are there, one does not enter there. . . . We can enter only there where we can open. The already-open [il già-aperto] immobilizes. The man from the country cannot enter, because entering into what is already open is ontologically impossible” (Icone, p. 69). Seen from this perspective, Kafka’s legend presents the pure form in which law affirms itself with the greatest force precisely at the point in which it no longer prescribes anything—which is to say, as pure ban.” and ‘ The open door destined only for him includes him in excluding him and excludes him in including him. And this is precisely the summit and the root of every law.” (Agamben, Homo Sacer)

And thus we come to every moment being both open and closed:

“Already in St. Paul and St. John there is a tendency to conceive of the End as happening at every moment; this is the moment when the modern concept of crisis was born~St. John puns on the Greek word, which means both ‘judgment’ and ‘separation.’ Increasingly the present as ‘time-between’ came to mean not the time between one’s moment arid the parousia, but between one’s moment and one’s death. This throws the weight of ‘End-feeling’ on to the moment, the crisis, but also on to the sacraments. ‘In the sacramental church,’ says Bultmann, ‘eschatology is not abandoned but is neutralized in so far as the powers of the beyond are already working in the present.’ No longer imminent, the End is immanent. So that it is not merely the remnant of time that has eschatological import; the whole of history, and the progress of the individual life, have it also, as a benefaction from the End, now immanent. History and eschatology, as Collingwood observed, are then the same thing. Butterfield calls ‘every instant… eschatological’; Bultmann says that ‘in every moment slumbers the possibility of being the eschatological moment. You must awake it.'”
Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending

The attempt to redirect history from totality End-determined: techne’s imperative seems to be solely NOW (a matter simply of more data acquisition (The Resurrection will no doubt come from this haecceity before any sort of Beyondness; “step by step slowly I turned”). The Ride is easier if one can maintain position at the top of the wave of transition/acquisition.  The view is perhaps more grand also (Truth or Falsity is not that germane, more a matter of consonance). “The notion of an End-dominated age of transition has passed into out conscious, and modified our attitudes to historical pattern.”

“[….] eschatology is stretched over the whole of history, the End is present in every moment, the types always relevant.”

“We project ourselves–a small, humble, elect perhaps–past the End, so as to see the structure whole, a thing we cannot do from our spot of time in the middle”

Who this ‘we’? what is the nature of this projection? Who are able to ‘envisage ontologies of alterity beyond the confines of the historical present?’