Monday, February 29, 2016
What can a miracle do
but bring you back to me?
Miracles return us to memory, our own, our faith's, our religion's; miracles orient us toward the past made present, and protend to the advent of the miracle-for-us awaiting through hope for a future. Beyond any horizon of expectation, miracles surprise us by jarring the predictions of the natural world, or through uncanny synchronicity of events, those meaningful concurrences of the unexpected with presence.
Meillassoux's spectral dilemma compels him to remain open to the advent of [a] God, heretofore inexistent, now existent, whose effect instaurates past and present, resolves all death into life, all injustice into justice. Such a dilemma calls for a 'miracle' of sorts, one quite different from the Incarnation, which by Meillassoux's standard, accomplishes little more that a wrinkle in time that fails to point to anything. Incarnation as instauration: that would be something Meillassoux could sign on to; but that would be no miracle, but a mere prestige, a return to Eden on a magic carpet that whisks Eden to-us and for-us that's all a pocus which never knew a corpus. Eden brought back from the ruins would certainly make the past present, wiping away every injustice that occurred since its heyday; but how would that be real-for-us?
An all-immanent incarnation would not require a divine logos to unite to the human; the return of everything to immanence solves the spectral dilemma by simply starting again, ricorso. It fulfills a hope grounded in immanence and in a materialism that undermines and overmines the real object. Miracles simply do not happen that way. A miracle marries immanence with the wholly other. A miracle cuts a gap in immanence with an edge of reality that withdraws from its entry; it itself is tout autre. And if tout autre est tout autre, then the gift of death visited upon us in the Incarnation must go beyond immanence, perhaps to the transformation of immanence.
If we finally find God, we find him in the transformation of immanent existence, in the death of finitude as such, which is the gift of the death of death offered in the miracle of the Incarnation, the miracle of miracles that ground all miracles not within the horizon of being, but in the horizons of hope and love, in hoping and loving. Miracles provide the givenness of hope and love: a miracle is where hope and love are real.
The Incarnation is not the virtual god proffered in expectation of the solution to the spectral dilemma. The Incarnation does not eradicate all misery, suffering and injustice in an instauration of a decrepit 'justice.' Instead, the Incarnation is the inauguration of the advent of the justice to come. Christ comes to witness to injustice, to experience every injustice, not to eradicate finitude but to validate it, and open it up to transformation.
The miracles of Christ are the signs of the in-breaking of transformation of creation, not the transformation of the Creator. They open us up to metanoia, a change of heart, but do not alter us by fiat. For every miracle accomplished, a million miracles are left undone. But hope and love encounter us in the countless, nearly invisible miracles that occur in every moment where hope and love give themselves, grounded as they are in the other, the interpersonal and inter-Personal, which authenticates them on their own terms of vertical experience.
All miracles are saturated phenomena, and they are as banal and as precious and unique as there are encounters of the reversibility of the visible and the invisible. Now you see them; now you don't. Hocus Pocus? Hocus Pocus declares verticality null and void in its idolatrous delimitation of the real. Is there any place in horizontal experience where the miraculous encounters the willful idolater? How broadly must horizontal experience spread before it discovers a productive, that is generative, synechism? How far down the horizontal plane must one go, how many metonymic signifiers down the road does it take to move, finally, paradigmatically, to the vertical? What syntagmatic occurrence loosens idolatry from the grip of delimitation, freeing into the vertical? Answer: a miracle. An impossible miracle made possible at the intersection of metonymy and metaphor, where a bump in the road calls the vehicle into being, and awakens idolatry from its ennui.