Monday, February 9, 2015


Solid time.

t ~(E/m)^-2/d

Read that as: time is directly related to the square root of a quotient, expressed as Energy and mass, and this as another quotient, related to distance. It's a way of getting time by itself algebraically. This could be bad algebra, but after Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, I want to walk on time's surface through a distance to reshith: בְּרֵאשִׁית

Translated variously as 'beginning,' 'firstfruits,' 'origin,' reshith bears feminine gender, gerundive sense, and describes a place in time. It is the place where and in which Elohim creates. It is distinctly not participial, not an accompanying activity, so, Gen. 1:1 reads, "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;" not, "in beginning, God created...," or "when God began to create..." As Caputo is fond of pointing out, Genesis begins with a Bet, not an Aleph, a prepositional 'in', not a vocalic sound. Genesis begins in a place, not in a moment, at least not a moment understood on a horizon of Being, but on a horizon of eros, where moments are places, solid time. God is in, within a horizon of Beginning, not Being.

Already in this ante-tehomic verse, the masculine plural finds itself in a feminine place. The female is already there, because, in Elohim's simplicity, actus purus reifies the thought of the good, in an act of love: creation in the erotic reduction. In creation God loves because is it not good to be [alone], and the good drives the whole shebang. Love in locality precedes Being in essential solitude (ens). Though I began mathematically, math is too ontic to really hold sway in this kind of eroticism. The face of love is after all iconic, and algebra an idol.

The feminine reshith, and tehom, too, oscillate[osculate?] harmonically with the Elohim, humming creation along. Only in an algebra of the highest order do these osculants touch, bringing forth heaven and earth; but even so, the moment of place saturates any mathematical category, and collapses into the good and love. The trace of God in the ruach that hovers over what is forming traces itself in love, in touching, in the kiss.

In The Erotic Phenomenon, Marion suggests that God loves just as we do, and that we love as God does. God made man in his image and likeness, male and female he created them. Though God gives prerogatives to his creatures that he himself does not have (e.g., radical freedom of will), it is here, in eros, that 'image and likeness' become asymptotic, on this horizon of Love, where the phenomenality of reshith and tehom play out for God and us. It is not good that the man should be alone, and it is not good for Elohim to be without reshith. There is no mythos of a divine consort here (cf. Raphael Patai's The Hebrew Goddess; Enuma Elish, Hesiod's Theogony, Catherine Keller's soujourn in the Babylonian pantheon in Face of the Deep), but rather the hyperreal locus of beginning, of solid time, where a God of actus purus and an omnipotence ordered to love creates: in Greek, genesis.

In the phenomenology of the divine, to say that 'God is love,' is to say that God loves, and he loves before he 'is.' God creates within the horizon of Beginning, not Being. Beginning is loving. What comes into being, within a horizon of Being, began in another horizon anterior to Being; this horizon has the name Love, and her other name is reshith. The calculus of reshith is phenomenology in the making, the reshith of phenomenology, and it allows God to appear.

A Lenten reflection on solid time, reshith:

The liturgical calendar is but a kind of poetry that reminds us of cycles that are not cyclic, of seasons that are not seasonal. Kairos, is all Vorstellung, but chronos is time reduced to the moment in the phenomenological reduction to the event. Advent reminds us that every day is Advent; Lent reminds us that every day is Lent. Make straight the path of the Lord: melt sklerokardia into metanoia: this is our daily bread. Beginning is always creating, and in Lent we create a way in and a way toward. We open ourselves up upon a horizon of love for forgiveness and reconciliation, yes, but better, for the gift, for the given-ness with which we are gifted. The sheer given-ness of the Christ. 

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