Friday, July 18, 2008

Describe your g*d

“Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me.”

–Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zero”

I am wholly incapable of describing my g*d for my g*d de-scribes my all-in-all-actuality-as-possibility. The only g*d worthy of that name—as Name (ha-shem) itself—is the g*d that remains nameless. Yet such namelessness is neither privation nor poverty of g*dliness as such.

Instead, like Heidegger’s translation of is as both empty and surplus, Irigaray’s critique of Lévinas’ faceless g*d begins to point toward a g*d whose emptiness and surplus efface such objectively present presencing of one’s own face(lessness) qua identity.

Such ethical demands call for(th) the other in its own fully formed alterity beyond all notions of ipseity. I do not face thee except through my own confronting, (self-)effacing, apophatic selfhood.

It’s funny—in that graduate school sort of way—that the title of my paper for an upcoming conference was improperly and incorrectly titled on the schedule. In my very well thought-out “The Apophatic I and the Effacement of the Other,” the word apophatic was replaced with apophantic. Horror of horrors!

Apophasis: “Go there where you cannot; see where you do not see; / Hear where nothing rings or sounds, so are you where God speaks.”

Apophansis: to let things be seen from themselves as they manifest themselves as objectively present manifestations always already present-at-hand [vorhanden].

My g*d is the former; thy g*d, most likely, the latter. But since we’re talking about not thine but mine…

… if I were to describe g*d, he would look an awful lot like my great nephew Michael.


  1. yes, exactly - my god looks like Echo for the same reasons. I just don't know all those words or how to use them. :-)

  2. Amen, brutha...