Friday, October 19, 2007

The Absence of Myth

The spirit that gives rise to this moment in time necessarily dries up—and, stretched to the utmost, it wills this drying up. Myth and the possibility of myth become undone: there remains only an immense void, beloved and wretched. The absence of myth is perhaps this ground, immutable beneath my feet, but perhaps this ground sinking immediately away.

The absence of God is no longer a closing down: it is the opening up of the infinite. The absence of God is greater, more divine than God (I am no longer I, but an absence of I; I was awaiting this sleight of hand and am now immeasurable joyful).

I the white, incongruous void of absence, there innocently live and come undone myths that are no longer myths, and are such that their duration would lay bear their precariousness. At least the pale transparency of possibility is in one sense perfect: like rivers in the sea, myths, enduring or fleeting, lose themselves in the absence of myth, which is their bereavement and their truth.

The decisive absence of faith is unshakable faith. The fact that a universe without faith is a ruin of a universe—reduces to the nullity of things—in depriving us equates privation with the revelation of the universe. If in abolishing the mythical universe we have lost the universe, it itself binds to the death of myth the action of a revelatory loss. And today, because a myth is dead or dying we see better through it than if it were living: it is destitution that perfects transparency, and it is suffering that makes for joy.

”Night is also a sun,” and the absence of myth is also a myth: the coldest, the purest, the only true myth.

--Georges Bataille (trs. Mary Ann Caws)

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