baduin (baduin) wrote,

Postmodernism is a religion - a very old, but utterly undogmatic one.

It is simply a modern version of Gnosis.

(For those more familiar with Islam - it is rather like the religion of the Assassins, especially the Resurrection of Hasan in 1164

This is not widely known for a few reasons:

1. Postmodernists, or more precisely deconstructionists, try by design to be as difficult to understand as possible. Optimally, they are meaningless. This is a way to destroy the language - one of the main sources of repression. Language is stabilizing the evil consensual reality. By destroying the language, we can destroy it, or at least weaken it.

2. One of the most important theses is that there is no difference between truth and lie. Both, in fact, use language, and therefore strengthen  the consenual reality. If it there is no truth, there is nothing wrong with lying. And, in fact, deconstructionist lie very often. Eg most of them opposes Heidegger, although he invented their whole theory - they simply invent some meaningless differences.

3. Por those reasons, it is very difficult to understand the esoteric meaning of deconstruction. But it is not necessary. You can have a lucrative career in humanities by piously repeating exoteric half-truths, learned by rote, without knowledge that they are actually meaningless (although furthering the noble cause of deconstruction).

4. In their crusade to destroy the consenual reality, that is the world as we know it, their first enemy is the Western civilisation. Accordingly, they will make tactical alliances with any enemy of the West. Heidegger was a Nazi, Kojeve was a Soviet agent. Now, Chomsky supports Islam.

5. I would guess that to more martially inclined groups, eg Muslims, our deconstructionists seem weak fools, doing yeoman work in weakening the West, and that they can be easily destroyed themselves afterwards. Perhaps it is really so - but I wouldn't be so sure. They have created remarkably efficient propaganda machine and inculcated into the people a remarkable mental flexiblity. Should they happen to take over the rule, they won't feel themselves to be bound by the things they proclaim now. When Hitler attacked Russia, communists made a very quick and thorough change from pacifism to anti-nazism. Now such change can be much more thorough and can easily reach most of the population.

6. Those more interested in religious history will decry that Derrida writes nothing about Jaldabaoth and Sophia. But the essence of Gnosis does not lie in names and mythologies - each important Gnostic invented his own, to show their ultimate meaninglessness. Gnosis does not mean learned knowledge. It is not episteme. It is an experienced knowledge.

It lies in the discovery of inversion. What was good is evil, and the real good is Other, Outside. That is the real point. Each ancient religion has its gnostic reflection, Christianity, Neoplatonism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, even Taoism. Perhaps now we are nearer true Gnosis than in time of the old gnostics, who were too bound with language to attain true meaninglessness.

For similarities between Gnosis and Heidegger see Hans Jonas "Religion of Gnosis." I will only note that the connection between such mental categories as "Geworfenheit" and past (that is past time), Verfalleheit and present is very Gnostic.
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