Wednesday, April 27, 2011
APOCALYPSE comes from the Greek apokalyptein, which means the unconcealing, the bringing to light, the revealing. The Western canon, insofar as there ever was such a thing, has believed in the occlusion of the pre-apocalyptic present from itself. In this tightly-guarded monument to paranoia that is European Ideals, the present can only exist insofar as it is not apocalyptic, insofar as it hides its true nature, which is the apex of the highest beauty and the lowest degradation, all at once in the figure of the banal, the heart-disease-ridden bag lady at the bus stop, the shivering heroin addict on the corner, oversexed chattering people, men who love gambling, pub quizzes, immigrants and "natives." The incessant, libidinal invasion of the present by dark spectres, formless forms, by the chromatism of hiding, eruption and fugitivity. The Black death, the hiddenness of truth, the final uncovering of truth in the Holy Revelation and Resurrection. The light is only at the beginning and at the end, in the cratio ex nihilo and the apocalyptic revealing of the bifurcation of being into those who are saved and those who are damned, the civilized and the sinners.
How to think the apocalypse otherwise is our hope and our wager. What could the apocalypse be if not a revealing, or could it be a revealing that reveals what was already there? The collapse of everyday things into other forms, the life that lives on death? The apocalypse which is real for the grass dying outside, for the plants and animals dissembling in our intestines, just as much as for the new lives which emerge to multiply from the fresh corpses. There is no drama here, at least not in the sense of a final Reckoning or Revelation, aside, perhaps, from the plant's understanding that it will be returned to the multiplicity which already traversed it. To feed on sunlight, on the creator which will ultimately destroy our world with its overzealous, exuberant abundance.