Is Saturday Forgotten on Sunday?

 

Holy Saturday is too often passed over far too quickly on the way to resurrection Sunday. It is a day that fully inhabits the death of God, a day that is utterly saturated with complete and total absence of the divine. If the cry from the cross marks the kenotic self-emptying moment in which God himself becomes an atheist and then dies, then Holy Saturday marks the fullness and completeness of radical theology as it wholly embraces the loss of God and the negation of totality. It is the radical theological tradition that is most devotedly and adamantly true to originality and unaltered ending of the Markan gospel. Mark’s gospel in its original form does not contain an account of resurrection but, rather ends abruptly at verse 8 of chapter 16 with the discovery of an empty tomb and Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome fleeing in fright.  Sightings and appearances of the resurrected Christ, the Comissioning of the disciples, and the ascension are all later editions and have no true home in the gospel of Mark. This is a gosepl most wholly adhered to by radical theology; a gospel that does not find its culmination in Resurrection, nor is it fulfilled amidst the rapturous ecstatic light of Ascension. Radicality of Mark’s text is instead its fulfillment in a fracturus and fragmented ending that witnesses only terror, fear, emptiness and absence.
Thomas J. J. Altizer writes that:

“Only Christianity among the world religions enacts the fullness and the finality of a truly actual death, a death that is an ultimate death, and a death that is inseparable from what Christianity knows as an absolute fall.”

Here, we must recognize, as Altizer states, that “the proclamation of the death of God is a Christian confession of faith, and a uniquely Christian faith in the ultimacy of the Crucifixion.”

But,  this loss,  this negation,  the ultimate death of God still does not go far enough for all this is found present within Good Friday. Holy Saturday is not only the dialectical destruction of the divine, it is at once a much stronger,  more foreboding, and a more menacingly traumatic event. It marks the actualized descent into hell. This is incarnational theology at its fullest. This is the incarnate followed through to its absolute end. For a fully realized incarnation cannot simply stop at the descent to earth, the descent to humanity, or even the descent into death but,  must ultimately and fully descend into hell. Here God is not only dead but damned.

Altizer writes that “if Jesus is the name of Incarnation, and of a once and for all and absolutely unique incarnation, that incarnation finally realizes itself as absolute death, and only that death makes possible or actualizes a uniquely Christian resurrection.” The centrality of this move within Holy Saturday is key to a proper understanding of resurrection Sunday. This must be the lenses through which resurrection is seen otherwise it not only improperly framed but mistaken, misconstrued, misinterpreted, misread, and incomplete. “[T]he deepest negation embodies the deepest affirmation, or the deepest death is ultimately the deepest life, or the deepest darkness finally the most ecstatic light (Altizer, 56).

Altizer concludes clearly:

“Christianity knows an absolute death as the one and only source of redemption, proclaiming that Christ’s death inaugurated the new creation, and all humanity is now called to participate in this death as the way of salvation. Death, it is true, is a universal way of ultimate transformation, but only in Christianity is redemptive death an actual and historical death, and only in those worlds that have come under the impact of Christianity can we discover records of a full and concrete experience of the factuality and finality of death”

The truest possible form of a total resurrection, that is, a resurrection of any deep actual meaning or abiding operative significance, can only come about as a consequence of this absolutely dialectical death.
“Only the most ultimate and absolute negation can realize that apocalyptic totality, but this negation is a self-negation or a  self-emptying, and only thereby can it make possible an absolutely new totality. Only this totality is a truly resurrected body, so here the resurrected body is a resurrected totality, and a resurrected body only possible as a consequence of an absolute self-emptying”(Altizer, 60).

This is resurrection. This is the importance of Easter Sunday. A wholly new totality emerging, resurrecting from the absolute death of the Godhead plunged into the very depths of Hell. Sunday morning is only seen clearly from vantage and scope of Saturday night.

Altizer, Thomas J.J., New Gospel of Christian Atheism. Aurora: The Davies Group Publishers, 2002. Print
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T.A.Z. Unbound: Pirate Utopias Set Free by ‘The Cloud’

This writing is in large part a brief continuation of my previous post entitled “Pirates in ‘The Cloud’s or the T.A.Z. Cloud”, in which I set out to begin exploring the intersections of Pirate Utopias/Temporary Autonomous Zones and ‘The Cloud’. This continuing investigation and thought experiment was inspired predominantly by Kester Brewin‘s recent book Mutiny!, which explains the socio-cultural significance that piracy has played throughout the ages and on into the present, and also by Thomas Koulopoulos‘ book Cloud Surfing , which explores the immense potential and disruptive capabilities of ‘The Cloud’.

It seems that in many ways my previous post was much belated by at least a week. Just one week prior what may very well be the most infamous and possibly the most visited BitTorrent, The Pirate Bay, made a captivating and intriguing announcement.

So, first we ditched the trackers.

Then we got rid of the torrents.

Now? Now we’ve gotten rid of the servers. Slowly and steadily we are getting rid of our earthly form and ascending into the next stage, the cloud.

The cloud, or Brahman as the hindus call it, is the All, surrounding everything. It is everywhere; immaterial, yet very real.

If there is data, there is The Pirate Bay.

Our data flows around in thousands of clouds, in deeply encrypted forms, ready to be used when necessary. Earth bound nodes that transform the data are as deeply encrypted and reboot into a deadlock if not used for 8 hours.

All attempts to attack The Pirate Bay from now on is an attack on everything and nothing. The site that you’re at will still be here, for as long as we want it to. Only in a higher form of being. A reality to us. A ghost to those who wish to harm us.

Adapt or be forever forgotten beneath the veils of maya.

The Pirate Bay is the first site of its kind to become completely and entirely Cloud based. Their decision to do so was as a means of stifling and avoiding the raids of law enforcement which they have frequently experience and been subject to. The magnitude of the the Pirate Bay’s maneuver is unprecedented. Their totalizing   move into the Cloud is a near precise example of the paradigmatic subversiveness that is readily available in the Cloud, especially when harnessed by the autonomic hand of Piracy. This is a profound exercise in the ‘unblocking of culture and the commons’, as the Pirate Bay has “managed to take away money from the equation of information distribution.”

This is also a poignant  illustration of exactly how optimal the Cloud is for creating, constructing, organizing, and ultimately enacting Pirate Utopias and Temporary Autonomous Zones. This may indeed represent one of the most advanced evolutionary developments of T.A.Z. Thanks to the Cloud this is T.A.Z. occurring at a meta level, freed from the constraints of physical context, and unchained from the limitations of geographic location. This is the Pirate Utopia set from metaphysics, paradoxically everywhere and no where, the transcendent and intangible wholly transfigured into here and now, radically immanent, permeating everything. It is the T.A.Z. become one with the “All surrounding everything.” The Pirate Utopia that is “immaterial, yet very real.”

It seems that the entrance of the Pirate Utopia into the Cloud represents the T.A.Z. at its most dialectical. This is where, as Thomas Altizer would say, “absolute nothingness is an absolute totality, and as such can be understood as an ultimate dissolution of every possible dualism” (Altizer, 16). It is where T.A.Z  “realizes itself only by losing all the essence and substance of itself” (39). The deepest and most ultimate affirmation occurs and arrives through the deepest and most ultimate negation (56).

“For everyone is now no one, every actual ‘I’ has now disappeared or is silent, a new anonymity is now truly all in all, and this as the consequence of the birth of a truly new world” (69).

 

Altizer, Thomas J.J., New Gospel of Christian Atheism. Aurora: The Davies Group Publishers, 2002. Print