The prodigal son
Once the Alliance broken… They realized that they were naked. There remains shame or exhibitionism. Our modernity chooses the second term of the alternative.
There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father,`Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no-one gave him anything. (Luke 15,11-16)
No doubt, the evangelical parable takes a particular significance face, on the one hand, with the Western adventure but also, more largely, face with the adventure of our world. For how long will the prodigal son of our modernity want to keep the pigs before finding the way towards the house of Father? First, undoubtedly, he should find the way of anamnesis and the huge cry of the Spirit in his encumbered depths.
The most rational way to keep pigs is to start locking up those sometimes turbulent animals behind a fence. Buckling the loop of man on himself we constituted for ourselves an empire of humanity. Without the Other one.
This our world is undoubtedly characterized by an extraordinary multiplicity of rich and particular spaces. This multiplicity, however, is just scattered in a same including space. Off this enclosing space is expelled everything that is too much to fit in the enclosure. For instance: Death, Evil, Sin, Grace, Transcendence, Accident, Mystery…
The enclosure produces 'main thinkers' at its measure, that is lucid only as far as the impassable horizon of the fence. When lacks the sense which gives sense, infinite chattering gets possible. All you have to do is to speechify… But, attention, not beyond the limits of the enclosure!
The large enclosure… A specificity of our modernity! Michel Foucault marked its contours. On side of prisons. On side of psychiatric hospitals. On so much and so many sides! A perfectionist needs to classify and to put into boxes or inside cages. The large enclosure is of course not only of sociological nature. Souls had to be parked. Spirits had to be formed in accordance with the narrowness of the enclosure.
However, isn't this in a marvellous world in which we were locked up? A world where 'to live' is combined with so much and so many facilities. Gushing of inventions and discoveries. Scientific conquests. Technical prowness. Improvement of the producing tool. Abundance of consumer goods. Extension of communication networks. Improvement of work conditions and of possibilities of leisure. Progress of purchasing power, of medicine and of life expectancy. Creation of equipment for the soul and the body. Superabundance of information. Expansion of artistic and cultural productions. Plethora of insurances against all conceivable risks…
Spendthrift… Prodigality is undoubtedly not a great sin. It sometimes happens to be virtue. Here, however, it is not a question of any spendthrift. It is about the son. It is even about the junior, undoubtedly the preferred one. What he wastes is his only in alliance. First he wastes a family estate. And, by doing this, it is the bond of Alliance which gets broken. Is it necessary to speak here about spoiled children? The son knows seldom the price of family fortune and the work it costed to the father. As if abundance were due and went from itself. At times of euphoria, their wasting is in accordance with their carefree irresponsibility. They begin to weigh the price of resources only when they are missing.
It is of an immense family estate that the sons of Occident, and through them all the sons of modernity of the earth, are heirs. Taken by giddiness in front of their prowesses, they forgot it. Believing that their resources and their energies, already the material ones, especially the spiritual ones, were theirs like the most natural things of the world. You need undoubtedly failures and setbacks to begin to understand that far from being natural these resources come us by heritage.
Our modernity, still too dazzled by its own prowness, did not yet take the exact measure of its dead end. Perhaps the prodigal son didn't touch the bottom of anguish of his recluse condition? But already the too easily euphoric answers and the escape ahead feel less assured. They are even a little ridiculous in front of the rise of a radical questioning. Already there is a suspicion. Wouldn't the 'modern' man be sick? Sick of an evil much more pernicious than the current more or less safe making diagnostics tend to admit.
Fatal sequence of a repression, of a schizophrenia and of an enclosure. Our autistic reason closed on itself until the insanity! Fighting until despair and absurdity with this radical question. Sisyphus task unceasingly taken again and unceasingly failing. With man alone supporting the responsibility of being a creator and founder of truth, of value, of rights, of duties and of sense. Of sense especially! From now on man is responsible for man. Radically. Without recourse and guarantor other than man.
Which image of himself can the prodigal son get while trying to be reflected in the turbid puddle poolsof of his enclosed field?
When he came to his senses, he said,`How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. (Luke 15,17-20)
At the time when man believed to buckle the loop of his own divinity, there already rose 'Master thinkers' of suspicion. Marx. Nietzsche. Freud. The Masters thinkers of suspicion had not finished announcing the death of God when already the Masters thinkers of absurdity were announcing the death of man. Many settle now in this field of ruins, tried by despair. Others, fewer and more lucid ones, discover that the deserts are made to be crossed. It is faith in the Exodus which makes the difference.
It is now through absurdity that the loved child of the Father, become prodigal, experiences that he is made for another job than keeping pigs. Today, in this fracture of history, isn't it through absurdity that we start having a presentiment with an increasing obviousness that man passes man infinitely?
Father, I sinned… In the enclosure of the pigs remains, possible, the only authentic cry. And the only liberating one. Because man revealed divine by grace does not refuse this grace without playing the animal. When man is diverted from the Source of his being and of his sense there remains an extent of absurdity. You have to take the measure of this contrast to feel the distance which separates the schizoid prospect on man from the original Christian vision. In the reciprocity of Alliance the Father says: You are my son. At this very moment your 'I' self is given to you. You can say: You are my Father.
|01 Human Paradox A paradoxal animal Human paradox In rupture An animal in crisis An animal 'less' (something) Premature and naked Child of the difference Child of elsewhere||02 Verticality Middle and extremes Tropism to upwards Divine instinct The vertical living Vertical interiority The personal mystery In strict immanence||03 Gaping Depths Gaping deepness Child of gaping Gaping on an other order Gaping of meaning Gaping on the questioning Gaping of matter Gaping of existence In vertical gaping Negative anthropology|
|04 Sacral Difference Sacral dimension The sacral difference Sacral crisis The archaeological sacred Sacral verticality Hiero-tropic space-time||05 Human Environment Human space Closed and open Curvature of space Negative space Space of the sense Including and included Between Alpha and Omega||06 The Matrix of Humanity Child of a culture Human matrix Culture and cultures Master speech Refusing the enclosures|
|07 The Spirit The spiritual reality How define it? Going through DIS-tinction The spirit says no Dialectics||08 Spiritual Breath Breathing Spiritual energy Making sense To signify Sense is through gaping Speech and language Symbol Faith||09 The Sense of Sense The Sense The space of the sense The house of the sense Including and included sense Confinement Master and possessor of sense|
|10 The Reason Science Constituted and constituent Scientific dialectics Bubble Between Structure and sense||11 The Meaning Demiurge of the significances Through To run here and there Mechanism Trough articulation Articulable matter||12 Systems Analysis Systemics The system Systemic operation Energy Tanks|
|13 Oïkology Impossible closing Systemic totality The house of the spirit Ecology We sinned||14 Exodus Spiritual adventure Out of safety measures Out of the cave Logos in exodus||15 Through Difference Difference Starting from difference Crossing the duality A logic of crossing Chance|
|16 Dialectics Going through 'no' Fundamental dynamics Dia-logos The fourth dimension Passover dialectics||17 Alliance Broken Alliance Rupture of the bond The prodigal son Atheism State of grace||18 History Emergence of History Impossible totalizing Trans-historic verticality The sense in exodus Between Alpha and Omega|
|19 Fertile Confrontation Singular adventure Dialectical gestation Antithesis Two revolutions Exponents A long gestation Explosiveness||20 Progress What is progress? Source of The progress Exponential acceleration The tool of progrès Why it isn't working Wedged exponential growth Progressive illusion||21 Schizoid Tautological speech Idealism Master and possessor Flirt with nothingness God driven out Without the Father Without recourse Psychosis|
|22 The Other One Arising The other one Exposed To tell the other one||23 Adventurers Components and exponents Adventurers of eschatology Today||24 Through Scandal Gaping mystery of evil Trough distance Congenital evil Entropy in the human hearth|
|25 Agape Gaping of Eros Captive desire Eros and Agape Going down Defeated entropy||26 God in You Tropism for Agape Bottomless bottom Cleaning the sources Let you fall You fall into God||Autor|