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T r a n sla te d


Ro b e r t

Hu r leY




G eor ges

B at ai l l e






( t - lr 9 t l9 Ur zo n c, ln c' Z o N F BOOKS 6 r l R r o a ( l\\' a v Su itc 8 3 8 N c s Ytr r k, NY t o o t I A l l r i g h ts r cse r te r l b c r cp r o tlu cccl ' sttl rcd i n r' N o p ar t o t th is b o o k m a v il' r a n v lirrm or trv r c t r i t :r ' a l svstcn l, o r tr a n sn litte ltl m cch a ni cal ' photole ctr o n ic' e . ' ' t r . "",r ., in clu d in g r tco r d in g ' o r o thtru i sc iIm in g ' c r r y r 'in g , n licr o f lr r .Stt ti ons, t't7 r n tittt' tl ct) l) \in g l) t 1 . t , . 1 ,t lilr lh ' ll I ' tr r ' tttr l( \(( |t D \ J r l ( l r,' x,,1 r lr , tl' \' C"p r r ig llt * ith o u t l ri ttt'n r c v i e u tr s lo r th c p u b lic llr e ss) r' p c r t t' tissio n{ io n ' r th c f' u b lish e a s lfilo r ic de l a R tl i tl i ort O r i g ir r a llv p u b lish ccl in F r a r ice O r 9 7j b v F .d itio n s Ga llir la r cl' o l i\m cr ica P r i n tctl in th e L ln ite r l Sta te r s ss' l ) i s tr ib tr tctl b r ' f h c N' ll f Pr e L o n tlo n' Lngl antl N' la ssa ch u sctts' ' r n tl C a m b r id q c, i c'rti on l )'rta [ - i b r a n o f Co n g r css Ca t' r lo u in g - in - Pr ' rbl R . r ta illc, Gco r g cs' r 8 9 7 - r 9 6 2 ' ' l- h co n o f r clig io r t' ' li- .r n sla tio no { : T lr lo r ic d c la r clig i on' 1 3 ib lio g r a Ph r 'P' : - litle ' r . I{ e lisio n . I' I r l 48 .lr ]7 ll 198() 2oo''l ( a lk' p a p cr ) 2 9 l s l lN o - 9 :1 2 9 - o lt- ir ( p b k' : ' r lk' p ' r p cr ) o 9 4 2 l9 t) o 9 4 I s l lN fl 8-utt5cl t

reveoledto itscll b.v Desireis r''hot trctnsformt IJcin11J, to d into on "object" revectled itselt'in (true) know'leclge, "tubjcct" dit't'erent t'rom the objcct ttnd "opposecl"to it. It is in oncl b.r'- or betterstill, as - "his" Desirethat mtrn i.s Jormerlan(l is ret'cdled- to himself and to othert dt different t'rom, antl raclian I, as the I that is csscntiall.v to, the non-|.'lltc (hunton) I is the I of a call.r'opposed Desireor oJ Desire. beinyl,thereThe verv hcing oJ mon, thc selJ-conscious the Desire. Consequentl.v, t'orc, in'rpliesand presupposes humttn reolit.r.cdnbelormed and mdintdineclonlv within an animal hJe. Ilut, if animal Desire a biological re(1lit.t', lt is not the conditionof se\-consciousne.ts, is the neces.sctn' onlv condition. By itself, this Desireconstitutes suJt'icient thc SentimentoJ sell. man in a posIn contrastto the knowledllethat kecp.s him to him ancl move.s Desirecli.s-quiets sivc c1uietude, it, antl can oction tcnds to satist'v' oction. Ilorn ol Desire, or ot \east thc "negation," lhe cle.struction, rlo so onl' b.v' hunthe tronst'ormotion,o;f the desiredobject: to .sotist'r' or, in (1n)' ger, t'or cxomple, the Jood must be cle.rtroved Thus,oll oction is "negdtin[1." cose,tronsJormcd. - A l cxa ncl r c K oj dve ot' IIegel lntrocluctionto the Recttling

C ontents

ll'here'l'his BookIs Situated Introtluction



D . { TA

I Il



I Iu m o n i t v a n d t h c D cvcl o p n cn t o f t h e ProJane Workl 2r


the Fcstival,ond the Principles Sacrit'ica, of thc Sacrec!World 43

I.HI I -I N , , I I 'I . S O F R L ASO N


R EI I G I O N .

W I 'I H I N

I II lll IV

The tN[ilitar)' Order

65 69

Dualism crnt! ,l'lorolit,v M cd i a t i o n rs 8r

The RiscoJ lndustr.v To Wh o m . . . ro7

General Tablettnd ReJerences L 1'7

Wher e

Thi s


Is Si tuated


fbuntlationof'one'sthought is the thought of anotlrcr;

thought is likc a l>rickccmcntc<linto a uall. It is a simulacrum of thought il, in his kroking batk on hirnst'Il', thc bcing u'hri tl.rinksscr-s a fl-ccbrick anrl nr>ttht' prict' tlris scmlrlanc'c' st'r'tlrt' lastc of lrecrlonrcostshinr: hc <loc'sn't to uhich a setrsitivt'r'anground anrl tlrt' hcapsof <letritus itv consignshinr u ith his brick. 'fht' u.ork clf thr: mason, u'ho asscmtrlcs, is tlrc uork that matters.Thus the adjoiningbricks, in a book, should not be lt:ssvisiblc than thc nov brick, uhich is thc book. What is offered the readcr, in f-act, cannot trt'an clt'mcnt, lrr-rt must bc the cnsenrble in u'hich it is inserterl:it is tht' rrholc human asserrblage and etlifice,rvhich must be, not just a pilc of scral>s, but r.rthcr a srlf-consciousncss. In a st'nst'thc unlimitccl asscmblagc is tlrc inrpossible. It takt-scc)uragc anclstutrbornncss not to go slack.llli'rr'thing invitcs on(' to <lropthc substancc firr tht' sha<lou, to

) R Y 'J F R F L I C J I O N

thought inipcrsonll mrlvcmcrrt of tilrsakc thc opcn antl is opinion Of tt"t"t thc isolatctl for thc isolatedopinion' of rcvealing rvhat thc asscmblagc also the shortest mcans Btrt it has this dct'p meanc.scntiallvis - thc inrpossiblc. ot'thc t'rct' ing onlv i[ it is t.totc:onscious or at rlt'fincs an apcx tlf pclssillilitr'' I'his Srou'crlt'ssll('ss tlonsciot'tsness tt[ thc impossibilitvopcns l.^.,, .rtlo.,''rt'ss placc' li'r it to think' In this gatht'rin{ to all that is possibltrvhich at tht bountlarv of that shcrc vitllcucc is rifc' rvithin cohcsionrt-alizes he u'ho ref'lccts c'ohcsion, cscaPcs anYr(x)m fcrrhinl' that thcre is no lrll.tgt'r


Intr oducti on

This "theon' of rerligion" outlines lvhat a finished rv<rrk rvoulcf be: I have triccl to exprLrss a mobilethought, without secking its dcfinitive state. A philosophvis a coherentsum or it is nothing, but it mankind. lt must exprcss('s the inclivi<lual, not in<lissolublc thcrefbre rcmain opcn to the der,clopmentsthat r.r'illfbllorv, in human thought . . . rvhere those u.ho think, insofar (that u'hich thcv are not) are as thev rejcct tht'ir othe'rness alrearlvlost in thc universaloblir.ion.A philosopht'is nc-r,er a hclr-rse; it is a constructionsitc. But its incompletionis not Scit'nceclrarvs that of scienc'c. up a nrultitu<lco1'finishccl uhereasin cmptv spacL-s, parts and onlf its lr'holc prt'sents our striving for cohersivcncss, thc incomplcticln is not rcstrictedto the lacunaco{ thought; at evcrv point, at each point, thcre is the impossibilitvof thc final statc. 'l'his condition of impossibilitv is not thc cxcuse for






Th.' I Irt' all rcal philosophi PnrtosoPnv' undcniabledclicicncies;it limits all 'fhc philosopherhimsclf to u'ait' scientistis hc u'ho agrces \\'aits, but he cannot tlo so lergitirnatclv'I'hilosophv
Ncl rcspontls from thc start to an irrcs<llvablccxigcncv' one can "bc" inclt'pendcntlyof a rcsponscto the questitln -fhus thc philosoplter's is nt'Lt-ssrrrcspottsc that it raiscts. if it ilv given helbrc thc t'laborationof a philosophv 'rnd tht' .ir*g". in tht el.rboratitln,somctimcs trvclt oning to to them' be subordinated rcsults obtaincd, ft cannotiusilfrablv cannot bc an cflect of pltilosophical I'hilosophv'srcsPonse labors, and lrhilc it mal not lre arbitrart', this .rsstturcs, indivi<lualposigircn fiom tl'rc start, a contcmPt for the all tion and an extrcnlc rnobilitv clf thought' opi'n to movclncllts; ancl, linketl to the previous or sub-seguent lvith thc .".porl.,' lrom thc start, or rathcr, consubstarltial t}rought' of antl incornplctent-ss ..'rp,rttr,,,thc tlissatis{bction uhilc carrvitlg one's So it is .1nact <lf cot.tsciotlsness, t.totto to thc limit o[ irnmediatepossibilitics' t'luci<lation ncrer bc granted. I)oubtseck a rlefinitirc statc that r.r,ill to bring one's thinking, n'hich moves lcss it is necctssarY fbrrrithin clomainsalreadv crplort-cl,up to thc lcvcl of itsclf is knou'lcdgc.And in anv cascthc responst' n.rulatccl in .fact mcaninglessunlcss it is that of an intellcctuallv concli.l.r'"ltrp",l irrdiridtral.But if thc scconclof thcsc the tions must bc satisficdbclbrehand,no onc tan mcct tlnc lirnitt'tl thc movclirst crc'cpt apllrorimatclY: r-rnlcss


mt'.t .f thought to r('stri(,tt:(l <ftrntains, .rssr,ientists cl., r.tct cclultl.rssirnil;rte tht' .t cluir.tl k'<l* lt'tlgt,. lil tht' essen'.t' tial incomplctionof thor-rght this arl<ls an int,r.itablc dc focto in.rrnpk'tiri.. Nlore.r'cr,rig<lrrlt'ma.cls a clt'arrt.t,rgniti,rr ,rl tIi t rt t r r nr l i t i o n . . Tht'sc prinriplcs art' lar renrovcrllrorn a nal. of philosophizing that is currt'ntlt' r-t'i.t,iling if ncit thc <.1(.(\,p_ tanc' c at l castt h c r . u r i o . si t r . otfh c p u l r l i c.F . r cn i f t l r o. ar c strrtngl_v opposr-dto thc motlcrn insistcnct, that .rttathcs to tlrc indirirlual an<lthe inrlir.idual's isr>lation. T'ht.rct.an_ not bc anv philosophr of the inrlir,itlualanrl thc cxcn.ise of thought c'annotha,r'e anv other outcornc than thc ncgation of individual pcrspcc.tir,es. A basic problenr is linkccl to thc vcrr. itlea of philosophr':hon, to get otrt of tl.rc hunran situation. l{ou' to shift frorn a rt,flecticlr-r suborrli_ natccl to ncccssan. acticln,c.ondcmnccl to useltrl rlistinc_ tion, to sclf-consciousllcss a\ coltsrioLlsnt-ss of thr, being u'ithout ('sscn( L-- but cronsr.ious? Thc inevitableincomplction rlocsr-rot in anv rvav dclar. thc rt-sponsc,r,r'l'rich is a mor.cmcnt - u.crc it in a st,nsc thc lac'k of a responsr'. On thc contrarv, it gives it thc truth of thc impossiblc,the truth of a sc.rcam. The basic par.rrlox of this "thcorv of rcligion," n.hich posits thc intlil'irlualas a "thing," anrl a negationof intimacr,,brings a poucrlessness to light, no cloubt, btrt tlie rrv of this poucrlt'ssncss is a prclurlc to thc clccpt,st .il",rc,...


PR nr ON U

T he

Bas i c

D ata

CH,qprtn Animality

Imman ence

o f t h e E a t e r a n d t h e E at en

I considt'ranimalitv frclm a narro\\' r'it'upoint that sci'ms questionablc to mt:, but its value u,ill become clear in the coursLr of thc cxposition. From this vieu,point,animalitv is immc<liacv <lr immanence. Thr: immanenccof thc animallvith respcctt<lits milieu is given in a prccisesituaticln, thc importanceof lr.hich is firnrlamcntal. I u'ill not spcakof it continualh, br.rt u,ill not be ablc to losc sight of it; the r,crv conclusionof mv statcmcnts r,villrerturnto this startingpoint: thesituation is4rlcn x'lten oneanimttl eats another. What is given u'hcn onc animal eats anclther is alu,avs tLrc creatLtre of the one that eats. It is in this sensc -fellow that I spcak of immancncr'. creaturc as such, but I <lo not mean a.p11ow perccir,etl lrctu ecn thc catcr and the eatcnl thcre is ncltransct'nrlcncer there is a rlifft'rencc,of coursc, but this animal that cats




in an afflrmation clf that thc othcr callnot confront it dif fcrcncc. not cat one anothcr' ' ' ' Animals of a givcn speciesdcl if thc goshau'k cating I'crhaps, but thiJ tloes not matter it crlearlvfrom itsclf in the tht hcn tlocs not clistinguish an object from ourselves' s311s\\dY that u'e distinguish of thc obiect as such' Thc distinction requires a positing differencc if the obicct 'l'hcrc cloesnot extst anv rJjscernib/e that anothcr animal eats has not been posited' Thc animal the. animal that is is rrot yct given as an obiect' Betr'r'een is no rclation of suboreate,t an,l lh" o,l" that eats, therc djna ti o t.l l i k e th a tc .o n rre c ti n g a nobj cct' athi ng,tOman, For thc animal' nothrvho rcluses to be vicu'ed u' u thlt'g' insofar as \\'L-arc hunlan ing is givcn through time' It is its duration is perccpthat thc obiect exists in time rvhcre another exists this side of tible. llut the animal caten b1' anclthis is only a discluraticln;it ts cotlsumr:d,clestroved' nothing is posited beyoncl appearanccrn a rvorlcl rvhere the present. that introduces thc Th.r. lI; Ilothing in animal life hc commands' nothing relation .,f the n-'a't-"rto the onc on ont: side and depenthat might cstablish atttonom)' thcv cat one another' ,1.n.. .il the othcr' Animals' since there is never anvthing are of ul-requal strcngth' but diffcrcnce' Thc betrveen thcrn excepi that qttantitative in thc movemext o[ thc lion is not thc king o[ tht' bcasts:



u.aters he is only a higher u'ave ovcrturning thc other, u,eakcr oncs. That onc animal cats anothcr scarcelyalters a fundamcntal situation: everv animal is in rhe world like v,aterin v,ater.1'he animal situation tlocs contain a componcnt of tht'human situation;if nced be, the animalcan bc rcgarded as a subjcctlor which the rcst of the lr'orkl is an obiect,btrt it is no,er given the possibilitvof rt:ganling itsclf in this lr,av.Elcmentsof this situation can be graspcdbv human intclligcncc,btrt the animal cannclt reolrze them. Dependence of the A ni m a| It is true that the animal, likc thc plant, has no autonotny in relation to thc rest of the r,r,orld.An atom of nitrogen, of gold, or a rnolecule of water cxist r,vithoutneeding anvthing from r.vhatsurrounds thcm; they remain in a state clf perfi:ct immancnce: there is nevcr a necessitv, ancl more generallv nothing evcr matters in thc inrmancnt relation of one atom to another or to others. l'he immancnce of a liling organismin the lr'orld is verv diffcrcnt: an organism secks elemt-nts ar'ound it (or outside it) rvhich are immancnt to it and rvith rvhich it must cstablish (rclativclv stabilize)relatior.rs of immancnce.Alreadv it is no longer like water in watcr. Or if it is, this is onlv providecl it managesto nourisAitself. If it docs not, it sufand Independence



f'ersancl tlies: the flow (thc immatrcntt) from tlutsirlc tcr w'hich is organic life, onlv insirlc, flom insitlt-to ot-ttsiclc, t t' rt.ti ttto tl (l i l i ()n s ' las t sttn < l t' r An organism, morcover, is separatcil from processcs that arc similar to it; cach organism is clt-tachcd from other organisms: in this sense organic lif'c, at the samt: the relationu'ith thc u'orld, rvithtimc that it acccntuatcs lronr thc n<lrld, isolates tl'rc plant or thc animal <lravn's u'hich can thcoreticallr bc rt2arded as autonomousrvorltls' so long as the fi.rndami'ntalrelation of nutrition is lcft as id c . FallacY of AnimalitY Nothing, as a mattcr of lact, is mrlrc closerlto us than this The Poetic animal life from u'hich rvc arc dcscentlcd.Nothing is mort- forcign to our rvav of thinking than the' earth in the midillc of thc silcnt uI-riverseand having neither the of mcaningthat man givcsthings,nor the meaninglessness ('ol1a things as soon as \\'c trY to imagine thcm u'ithclut that rcllects them. In rcalitr', \\'e can ncvcr sciousness cxccPt arbitrarilv, imaginc things rvithout consciottsncss rlur cotlsciottsimaqineimplv consciousness, since rtr artr) Wc cau dor-rbtindeliblv to tht:ir Prcscnce. ness,aclhcring lcss tt-ll ourselvcs that this aclhcsionis fragile, in that n't: nill ceaseto be there,<tnc tlav t-'t'cnlor gcxxl' But thc of a thing is never ctlnccivablct'xtt'pt itt a appcararrcc



consciousncss taking the plat.e of mv consci<lusness, il rline has rli.saltpcarccl. This is a sinrplc trtrth, but animal lifr', half\rav clistant fiom our consr.iousness, pr(.scntsu.s u-ith a morc disconcertingcnigma. In picturing the uni_ vcrsc u'ithout man, a trnir,erse in lvhich onlv the animal's gazen.oukl bc optncrl to thing:, thc animal being neithcr a thing nor a man, \\,c can onlv call up a l,ision in u.hich \\'c scc nothinq,sint't' tlre objcc.tol this Visionis a nrort._ mcnt that glides from things that have no meaning br. themselves to thc rvorld full of mcanin-qimplietl bv man giving cach thing his ou,n. fhis is lr.hv u,e cannot clcscribc such an objcct in a precise rrar. ()r rather, the corrcct rvav to speako[ it (,anoverilt,onlvb<.poetic, in that poctr\. describe.s rrothing that dot'"s not .slipto*,ard thc unknou._ ablc.Just as we can speakfictir.clvof the past as if it w,crc a present, rve spcak finally of prehistoric animals, as u,cll as plants, rocks, and txrdies of ll,ater, as r/' thcv n.ere thi ng:, l r t r t t o d cst r i h e a h n r l st a p t , t i cr l t o t h( . s( , ( ( ) n( l i tions is only nonsense, or a poctic lcap. 'l'here u,as no lanrl.scape in a world uhcrc the'c1,t'5 that c4>encrl clirl not apprehend u'hat the_vlookccl at, u,here indeetl, in our terms, the cycs did not see. And if', nou,, in mv mincl's crrnfusion, stupidlv contemplatingthat absence of'vision, I begin to sal': "-l-here\.\asno r,ision,therc uas nclthingnothing but an en.rptvintoxication limitcd br.tcrror, su[_ f-cri ng, anr l r l ca t h , n h i ch g a r t . i t a ki n t l , , f t hi ckncss. . . ' ,


vaquc I arn onlv abusinga poctic capacitl',substitutinga thc lulguration lor the nothing of ignorance' I knon': .ur-,,lut dispensc r'r'ith a fulguration of r'vorclsthat -ii,l halo for it: that is its richness' its nrakt's a fascinatirrg is onlv a glorv, and a sign of sovereigntY.Ilut this Poctrv ,uuv bv u'hich a mall gocs from a uorld full of mt'aning to u'hich the tlnal clislocation of meanings' of all mt'aning' soon proves to be unavoidable' There is olllY olrtr diflerthe absur<litl' of things t-nvisagedu'ithout ence l.,ettueel'r is man's gaze and that of things among which tht' animal or"r.rr,, it is that the tbrmt-r absurditv immcdiatcly rt' tl ttcti ont' f the exa(l s(i , ug- Q.rt,to rts th t' a l )Pa r(' l )t .',i*r, *h"reas the lattcr hantls us over to the stickl' tenrptation of poetrv, for, not bcing simplv a tlring, thc animal is not close<lan<l inscrutable to us' Thc animal opcns before mc a depth that attracts mer and is familiar this depth: it is rnv orvn' It is to mc. In a sensc,I kr.roualso that rvhich is farthest removed lrom me, that rvhich descrves the name depth, w'hich mcans prcciserlv rfiar ro me. But this too is poetrY' ' ' ' nlricl is ttnlathomable seethe animal as a thing (if I cat it lnsof'aras I can oLso in mv clun uar-, lrhich is nclt that of ancltheraniulal - or its abstrrdif I cnslareit or treat it as an obit'ct of science), itv is just as dircct (if ont' prefcrs, iust as ncar) as that of stonesor air, but it is not always,antl nevcr cntirch'' rerlucible to that kind of infcrior reality rvhich $c attrihute


to things. Somcthingternrlcr, se(.rct, anclpainful clrau.s out the intin'racv rvhich keepsvigil in us, extcnclingits glimmer into that animal darkness.In the c.nd,all that I can maintain is that such a r.icu, uhich plungesme into thc night ancl dazzlcs r.nc, brings me cl<iseto the mclnrent uht-n - I n,ill no longcr rloubt this - thc distinct c.larity of c'onsciousness u.ill mo\.(' me thrthcst a.,l.ar', finallv, from th.rt unknorr'.1lllc truth u'hic.l'r, trom mvst'lf to thc u.orkl, appcars to me onlv tcl slip ar,r'ar'. The Animal Is in the Wortd

like Water in Water I r'r'ill speak of that unknor,vable later. For the moment, I need to set apart frorn the da.tAcol poctry that rvhich, from thc standpointof cxpcricncc,appcarsdistinctlv and clearlv. I am able to sav tlrat the anintalworlcl is that of intnrane'nccand immercliacv, for that u'orkl, u,hich is closcrl to u.s, is .so to the extent that uc cannot <lisccrn in it an abilitv to transccnditself.Srrch a truth is negative, antl rr t. rr ill n,lt bc able to establishit absolutelv.Wr: can at leastimagine, an cmbrvo of th.rt ability in anim.rls, but u.e cannot <li.sr.ern it clearly enough. Whilc a studr.of thosc cmbrrt-rnic aptiturlrs can be donc, such a studl' rvill not vielclanv l)erspectives that invalirlater our r,ic'u' of in'rmanent animalitv,u'hich u'ill remain unavoidablc lor us.lt is orrlyu,itlrin thc limits of

clf things in relation ttr thc human that the transccntlcncc rclation to things) is ir.r (or of consciousncss consciousncss manifestt'rl.Intlecd transct'ntlcnccis ntlthing if it i: rr,t is t<i embrvonic,if it is not constitutedas solidsare, ul'rich given contlitirlns'In rt'alitt ' sav,immutablv, under t'crtait.t on lrnstahlt'ttragular,.' n." incapalllcof basingtiurst'lves ttl regardinganimalitr' anrl\\'c must con{lnetlttrsc'lvt's ti<lns tlf transt't'nin the light of an absent't' tronr the otttsirJe, r lt ' nc t' U . n a ro i tl a b l r'i,n rl ttr c \t' s ,th c ani mali s i n thc rrorl < l lik c u a tc r i n u a tc r. to diverse Thc animal has diversebcharirlrsaccorcling arc thc startingpoints ftrr prl*Tht'st'bchar'iclrs situatious. sible rlistinctions,but distingtrishingivould clemantlthe of the objcct havirrglrecomc <listinct.Thc transccndence dot's trot cstablishan\' (otlbehaviclrs rlirt-rsitYof .rnimarl 'fhe anisitttations. amonq tlre clir.crsc sciousclistir.rction mals lr.'hich clo not eat a f-ello* crcature of tl'rc sanre it as strch' still do ttclthave thc.rbilitY tcl recogtrize species is so that a nc$, situation, in $'hich the trclnnalllch.rviclr $'ithclttt not triggcrt-cl,mav suflicc to removc an cltrstacle clf its h.rvirlg llt-cn rt'ntor.cd' Wc thcre being an a\\'arcn('ss cannot sav conccrning a $cllf $hich c'rts itl()thL-r \\()lf ,1o that it r,iolatesthc la$. dccrt-cing that or<lirlarilYrr',1r.'s It cloesnot Yiolatethis la$'; it h'rssimnot eat oneanother. rvhcre thc l'rrv rro l'rngcr ph' fbunclitself in circumstances applics.In spite clf this, thcrc is, frrr tlre uolf, a cotrtinttitl'


bet*t-tn itsclf ancl thc u,orld. Attractir.c or distrcssing phcr.ronrcna arisc lx-fbrc it; othcr phcnomena do not cclrrespondeither to indiriduals of the samespecies, to foo<I, r>rto anvthingattractirt. or re ltcllcnt, so that rvhat appears has no llt-aning, or is a siqn of somcthing clse. Nothing brcaksa cor.rtilruitr-in uhich fi'ar itself rloesnclt announcc. anvthing that nright bc distinguishcdbcfore being cleacl. F i rcn the f i ght i n g b ct u ce n r i r a l s i s a n o t h cr convul si on u hcrc insubst.rntial sharlou.s cnrcrqc fr-orr the inevitablc r('sponsr-s to stimuli. If thc anim.rlthat has brought clow.n its rir.rl tlocslrot .lpprehend thc otht-r'sdeathasdoesa man beharing tritrrtrpl.rantlr', this is bc-r.ause its riral hatl not bnrkcn a contiltuitv that thc rival'srlt-athdoestrot recstabl i sh. ' l -hi s cont i n u i t v r r . l s n o t ca l l cd i n t o q ucst i on, but r.rthcr tl.rcirlcntitr of dcsircsof tu o heingss(,tolte ag.rinst tht'other in mortal combat.-fhc apathr.thatthc gazcof the animal cxprcsses aftcr thc combat is the sign of an existencetha t i s esse n t i a l l r . oa n l cvcl n i t h t h c u o r l d i n uhi ch i t movesl i ke nat cr i n u a t cr .


C ul r ,r l n H umani ty of the and the

ll D evel opm ent W or l d

Pr ofane

I-or thc momcnt, I rr ill not trv to gir.e thc fbregoing a firmcr support. What I har,esaiclimplics an excursionof the intcllcct outsidt' the domain of the cliscontinuous u.hit.l.r i s at l e.rs ti t s pr i vi l cg ccl d o m a i n . I u i sh t o p assr r i t hout firrther clc.lav to that solid milicu on lr'hich.r,r'c think rrc can rclt'.

The Positing

of the Object:

The Tool

Thc positingof thc otrject,rvhich is not givcn in anirnalitv, is in thc human ust-of tools; that is, if the tools as middle terms are adaptcd to thc intendecl rcsult - if thcir uscrs perflcct them. Insofar as tools arc der,elopcd rvith thcir end in vicw, consciousness posits them as objects, as interruptions in thc indistinct continuitv. The clcrelopccl tool is thc nascentfbrm o[ thc non-|. J'hc tool brings extcriority into a rvorlcl u,here the:

lr'hcre subject has a part in thc elcmcnts it distinguisl'res, it has a part in the u'orld and rcmains "likc r'r'ater in watcr." Therelcment in u'hich the subjt'cthas .r part - thc to it (likcurrrkl, an animal, a plant - is not subordinatc<l in an immt-tli'rtt' lle subortlinated, cannctt nisr', thc sutrjec't But thc tool scnsc,to thc elemcnt r'rith u'hich it sharcs). is subortlinatedto thc man u'h<lusesit, u'ho can mt"lif\ in vit'u of a llartitr.rlarr.-tttlt. it as he plcasc-s, 'fhe tool has no valuc in itself-likc thc subit'tt, or the u'orkl, or the elcme'ntsthat are tlf tht' samc traturc as tht' subjcc't rlr thc u'<trld - Lrut onh in relation trl an anticipated result. Thc time spent in making it directlv establishes its utility, its subordination to the one u'ho uses it u,ith an enil in vicrv, and its subordination to this cnd; at thc' samc time it establishcsthe clear distinction betu'een thc end and thc mcans ancl it flocs so in the very ternns that its apPcarancehas tlerflncd.Unfortunatelv thc end is thus given in terms of the means, in terms of utilitl'' This is one of the most remarkablc and most lateful aberrations of language.Thc pr'rrposcof a tool's usc ahvaYshas thc same meaning as the tool's usc: a utility is assignedt<l it in turn and so on. The stick digs the ground in ordcr the grou'th of a plant; thc plant is cultivatcd in to ernsure order to be caten; it is catcn in order to maintain the life of thc one u'ho cultivates it. ' . . Thc absurdity of an cndless cleferral only iustifies thc equivalent absur<litv of a






truc cnrl, n'hich r,r'ouklscn,t' no purposc. What a ,,truc encl" rcintrocluc.es is the continuous bcing, lost in the lvorltl likc uatcr is lost in uatcr-:or clsc,if it u.erea bt,ing as rlistinc'tas a tool, its meaning w.cluklhavc to bc sought on thc plane of utilitv, of thc tcxrl;it u.or-rltl no longcr be, a " truc cn<l . "O n l v a u o r l d i n u l r i ch t ] r c b ci n gsan, i n<l i s_ criminatclv lost is snpcrfluous, scrvcs no purposc, has nothing to clo, and means nothing: it onlv has a value in itself, not u'ith a vicvr.to somethingelsc,this othcr thing fbr still another anrl so on. Tl-rcobject, on tl'rc contrar\,, has a mr:arringthat breaks the undiff-crentiatcd continuitv, that stan<ls oppost,cltcr i mmanen ct ' or t o t l ' r c1 l o l r . o f a l l t h a t i s * u h i ch i t t r ans_ cencls.It is strictlv alien to the subject, to the self still immcrsetl in immanenc.e. It is thc subjcct'spropcrtv, thc sul'rjcct's thing, btrt is nrxrethcless imperviousto thc subiect. 'l'he perf-cct c.omplcte,clear and distinct - knon.lcdge that thc subjt'cthasof the object is entirelv extcrnal; it rcsults fiom manulhcturc;* I knou, uhat the obiect I
xAs ont'(an secr I havc placcd thr tool antl the manulacturt,rl otrjt,r.t on thc samc planc, the rcason being that the tool is first of all a n.ranu_ l act ur e< lobjt,tt anrl , t.onv ers c h,a manul ac turc rlobj ec t i s i n a tr.rtai r.r scnsc a t ool . Thc onh.means of frec i ng thc manul htturerl obj ec t l rom the servilitv of thc tool is art, unrlerstoorl as a trut, cn<I. llut art itself r kr t 'sn. t as a ^rl t' prc rt' nt the.bj ett i t emhel l i s hc s fi om bei ng us t' tl frrr


havc made is; I can makc anothcr onc likc it, but I w'ould not be able to make another being like me in the r'r'avthat a rvatchmaker makcs a u'atch (or that a man in the "age of the rein<lccr" madc a bladc of sharp stone), and as a matter of fact I don't knorv w'hat thc being is that I am, nor do I knorv r,r'hatthc I'r'orld is and I u'ould not bc ablc to producc another one by anY means. 'fhis t-xtcrnal knou'ledge is perrhaps supcrficial' but it from the tlbalone rs capableof rctlucing man's clistance although jccts that it dctermint's.It makcsof thcse'objects, most antl ncart'st is to us, that lvhich thev remain r'lost-d to us. t.rr.r'riliar The Positing of Immanent Elentents

in the Sphere of Objects The positing of thc objcct knou'n clearlY ancl distinctlv from without gcnerallv defines a sphcre of objects, a u'orld, a planeron vi'hich it is possible to situatc clcarlv and clistinctl], at lcast so it appcars,that rvhich in theory cannot be knou'n in the samc rvay. Thus, having determinccl stablerand simple things rvhich it is pt-rssiblcto makc, mcn situatcd on the same plane u'herc the things
this or that: a houst-,a table, or a garment are no ltss uscful than a hamDtcr. Ferv indccd art, the objects that har,ethe r,irtue of serving tro lunct i u n in tltt , t. l. ,,f u st ftr l ,r ttivilr ' .






appeared(as if thcy \\,erc comparable to thc digging stick, or thc chippcd stone ) clemcntsthat u.erc anclnonetheless remained continuous rvith thc w,orld, such as animals, plants, other men, and finallv, thc subject determining itsclf.'fhis means in clthcr uorrls that r.r'cclo not knou. ourselr.esdistincdv ancl clearly until the clay u,c scc ourselvcs from the outsicle as anothcr. Moreoverr, this rvill clcpendon our first having rlistinguishccl thc other on the plane u.hcre manufactured things have appearcrl to us rlistinctly. This bringing of clcments of the same naturc as thc strbject,or the subject itsclfl onto thc planc of objects is aluavs prt'carious,unccrtain, and uncvcnlv rcalizerl.But this rel.rtire prccariousncss mattcrs lcss than thc dec.isivc possibilitvo[ a r.ier.r'point from u'hich the imnranentclemcnts are pe'rceivccl lrclm the ontside .rs objt'cts. ht the cncl, w'e pcrceive each appcarance - subjcct (ourst-lr.es), animal, mincl, u'orld - from u'ithin an<lfirrr-nuithotrt .rt the same timc, bclth as cclntinuity, \,\,ithrespc(.rro ourselvers, ancl as ob;ect.* Language clcfines, from one plane to the other, the category of subject-object, of the subject considcred objectir,elv,clcarly and clistinctly knou,'n from the outsidt* O ur sel r e suhat : ex i s tc nti alphi l os ophv < al l s ,aftc r H egel ,./i r rrs ef t hc of r j ect i s t t' rmerl , i n tht,s amt,rotabul arl , tn i ts c l l .


But ar-r objcctivitv of dris nature, insolar as this is possiblc. clcar as to the scparatepositing of onc element, rcm.ritts confuscd: that elemcnt kceps all tl'rcattributcs of a subicct of'thc anclan objcct at thc sametinrc. Thc transccndctrce tool and thc crcative facultv connectcd r'r'ith its usc are confr.rscdlv attributt-tl to dre ar.rimal, tl-rc plant, tlrc meteor; thcv are also attributcd to thc t-ntire u'orld.* The Positing of Things as Subjects 'Ihis first confirsionbeing cstablisht'd, a planc of'subjcc'tsobjects being delincd, the tool itself can be placcd on it if ncetl lrc. 'l'he objcct that the tool is can itsclf bc regarclcd as a subject-obicct.It then reccivcsthe attributcs of thc subjcct anrl takes its place rlc:xt to those aninrals,thosc plants, those mctc<)rs,or those mcn that the objcct's frorr thc contranscendcnce,asc'ribed to them, u'ithdrar.r's continuousu'ith respectto thc rlorlcl tinuum. It bccclmcs
xThis last mr.rddlcis probablv the most turious one. If I trv to graslr uh a t n r \ th o u g lr t is d csig n a tin g a t th c Iroment rrht'n i t takestl i e,trrrl <l obj t'tt, as a as its o b je ct, o n ce th t- a b su r d itvo fth e *orl tl as a seP arate rfirnc analogous to thc manul,rtttrreti-rnanufattttring tool, has l>t't'n fb llcr l, th is u o r l< l r t' m a in s in m e a s that ronti nui tr from i nsi tl t'to outsitlt' , iio n r o tttsitlt' ttt in sitle ,u h ith I harc l i tral l r ]tr,l ttt tl i stol tt': I tatl n o t in la ct a scr ih cto su b je ctivitvth c li mi t o{ rnvscl for of httman sel rts; I c.r r r r r o lir t r r it it ir r Jr ) \ \\a \


as a u' hok' l l r t i t r cm a i n sscp a r a t ( ' a s i t r r a s i n t ht ' m i nt l of thc ont ' uho n r a r l ci t : a t t h r m ( r r ( ' l t t t l . r a tsui t shi m , a nran can rt'gard this objcct, an arro\\'sa\', as his fcllou lrt'ing, u ithout taking au al tl'rc oltcrativc ltou cr anrl transc'cntlcnc'c of tht' arro\\. Ont' r'ou]rl t'\'('n sav that an objcct thus transposc'tl is not rlitiert'nt, in tht' irlagirration of thc onc uho c' o n ce i l cs i t , f i ' o n ru h a t h e h i m scl fi s: t hi s arro\\, i rr hi s eve s, i s r a p a b l t ' o f a ct i n g , t h i nki ng, anr l spcakinglikc hirl. The Supreme Being

If rrc norv picture mtn cor.rcciving thc uorkl ir.rthc light of an cxistcnce that is continuous (in relation to thcir intimac'r', tht'ir rlccp subjcitivitr'), uc must alsclpcrceirc the nccd for them to .rttributc to it thc r,irtucso1'a thirrq "t'apableol'at'ting, thinking, ancl s1>caking" (just as m(.n rlo). In this rcduction to a rfiinq, thc uorld is gircn both thc fornr of i sol a t t ' cl i n <l i r i d u a l i t v a r r r lcr e a t i vcpr l ucr . B ut this pcrsonallv rlistinct po\\'cr has at thc samc tirnc thc Jil'lnc charactt'r oi a pt'rsonal,indistinct, and inrntanclrt existcnce. In a scnsc, thc r.r'orl<l is still, in a lundamcntal uar', imr.nancncc rvithor-rt a clcar limit (an inrlistinct flolv of bt'ing into bc'inq- <lncthinks of tht'r-rnst.rl,lc prt's,'nccof satcr i n u at er ) . S <it h c p <i si t i n gi,n t h t ' u o r l t l , o[ ' a " suprcmc l rci ng, " t l i st i n r t a n r l l i n r i t ct l l i kt ' a t h i n g, i s f l r st ol '


in tht' invcnThcrt' is tloutrtless, all an impovcrishrncr-rt. tior"rof a supreme bt'ing, a clctt'rmirrationto rlc{ltri' a valile that is grcater than anv othcr. But tl'ristlt'sirt ttr itttrt'ast' rtsults in a diminution. The objt-ctivcpcrsonalitvof thc sul)rcme bcing situates it in thc 'uvorlrlnext to other personal bcings of the samc lratllrc, subjectsantl objt'cts at thc samt'time, like it, but fronr u'hich it is clearlvclistitrct. Mcn, animals, plants, hcavcnlv bodies, mt:tcors.. . . If thrsc arc' at thc sarnt' titlc things and intimatc bcings, bcing ol this tvpc, nextto a suprem(thrv can bc cnvisaqcrl u'hich, likc thc others, is in thc rvorl<I,is cliscontinuous likc tht' othcrs. The^reis no ultimatc equalitr' Irt'tn'cen thcm. Bv clefinition,the supreme being has the highest rank. Btrt all are of the sarnekind, in r'vhichimman.'n...' and pcrsonalitvare rlingled; all can l>c,/ilinean<lcncloucd u'ith an opcrative po\\'(:r; all can spcak thc language of linc up on thcv basicallv man. Thus, in spitc of cr.'ervthing, a planc of cqualitv. this aspcctof trnintcntional I am obligcd to ernphasizc ('hristians rkr impovcrishmcnt and limitation: nolr'atlavs in tlrc various"suprt'mt:btings" not ht'sitateto rcc'ognizc of uhicl-r "primitivt's" hare kept somc mclnorv, a first in, but this nascent consciousness clf the God thcv be'licr.e \\'as not a blossomingfbrth; on thc corrconsciousness u'ithtrarv, it u'as a kinrl of u't-akcningof an animal sctrsc' ollt coml)cnsatiotr.


T he S acr ed All pcoples har c cloubtlessc'once ived this suprcme bcing. but tht' opcration secmsto have failed cvcryu'hcre.1'hc suprcmc being apparentlvrlid not have rn\. prestrgccomparablcto that rvhich the God of thc Jeu,s, and later that of the Christians,r.r'as to obtain. As if thc opr-rationhacl takc'rrplacc at a timc u'hen thr scnsc of continuitt' uas too strong, as if the ar.rirnal or divine continuitr. of lir.ing beings r,r'ith thc lr.orld harl at first sccmcd limitcd, irnpor.erished bv a lirst clumsy attempt at a rccluctionto an objcctir.c indiviclualitv. 'fheri: is everv indication that the first mcn wcre closcr than \\'e are to thc animal s.orld; thcv distinguishedthc animal from thernsrlvcs1>crhaps, but not uithout a fceling of rloubt mixed r,r'ithterror and longing. The senset>fcontinuitl that u,c must attribute to animalsno longer irnprcsscd itself on the mind une.cprir,o(the callv positing of distinc'tobjccts u'as in fat't its nt'g;rtion). But it had c.lerivcd a ne\\' significancefrom the (ontrast it (brrncd to thi' u'orltl of things. This continuitt', u'hich fbr the animal could r.rot bc. distinguisheri frorn anvthing clse,w,hichuas in it ancllbr it thc onlv possible mode of being, olferecl man all the lascination of the sacred u'clrlcl, as against the por.crtv of the pr<lfanc tool (of the discontinuousobiect). -l'l'rc sense of thc' sacrcclobr iotrslv is not that of thc animal krst in the n"ristsof cclntinuity w'herc nothing is


(listinct. In thc first plac'e, uhile it is truc thal the confusion has not tcast'd in thc' utirld tlf tnists, thc lattt'r tltr opposc an opaque aggregatcto a clear uorld. This aggrcgatc appearsdistincdv at thc boundan of that u'hich is t'xtcrnallr', lrom that clear: it is at least <listinguishabler, rvhich is clcar. Morcor-cr,thc animal acccptetlthe immargctl it u ithor.rt appar('tlt Protest, nence that subme rr,hcrcasman fccls a kind of impott'nt hrlrror in the scrrse of drt' sacrctl. This horror is ambiguotrs.Utrdoubtc<llr'' an incomparatlle uhat is sacrcd attracts an<l posscsscs dangt'rr crtiginotrslv timt' it aPPcars valut',but at thc sarnc sittrr.nankind u hcrc ous firr th.rt clcar anrl prolanc n orltl . r t t ' ri ts p ri r i l t' g ttl tl t,m a i n . T he Sp i ri ts a n d th e Go d s all of thcse variouscxistenccs, Thc cqualitr anclinec;ualitv intcl oppclscclto the rhingsthat pure objccts are, n'soh,'es a hierarchv of .ipirit.i.Mcn ancl thc suprcnre bcing, trr.rt animals,plants,lllctcor.\. . . also, in a lirst reprcscntation, arc spirits. A scale is built into this conccption: thc a ptlrc spirit; similarlv, the supr(-mebcing is in a st-t'tst' spirit of a dc'adman docs not depi:nclon a clear matcrial of rcalitv like that of a living one; finallv, the connecticin t he a n i ma l o r p l i rn t s p i ri t (o r th e l i kt' ) ui th.rn i ndi ri cl tral animal or plant is vcrv vagu(':such spirits are rnvthicalinrlepcndcnt of the givcn rt'alitics. LIr.rcler thcse condi1 t)






tions, thc hierarchv of spirits tcnds to bc basctl on a lirnrlar.cntalclistinc'tirl. be'tr'r.cnspirits trrat <repc'ti cln a bodv, likc thosc of mt-n, ancl tht, autonomous spirits of the supremc being,of animals,of dead pccplt,,.rnd so olr, u,hich tcnd to ftrrnr a honr<igeneous rvorkl, a mvthical .,r.orld,u'ithin u'hich thc hierarchical cliffe,rcnces arc usu_ allv slight. Thc suprcme bcing, thc sovcrtign rlcitr, the god of heavcn, is generallr. onlv a morc po\\,crful gorl of thc' samc naturc as thc clthcrs. Thc gotls are sinrplvmvtltical spirits,u.ithor-rt anv sub_ stratum of rcalitv. 'l-he spirit that is not sulror<linatcd to thc realitl,of a mortal bodl is a gocl,is purclv drrjnc(sa_ credl. Insofhr as hc is himself a spirit, nran is dilinc (sacred),but he is not su1trt.,r,"l, ,,,, sirr.,.. hc is rcal. of Things and of the Bodv as a Thing With thc positing of a thing, ar-r objcc.t,a tool, an im1>lc_ lnent, or of a <lomain of objcc.ts(u.hcrc thc r,arious cocqualsof thc subject itst'lf assumean objcr.tir.e valuc), tht'u'orkl in uhich rrlcn movr- abor-rt is still. in a lirnrla_ mental \\'av,a contir-ruitv frorn thc subject'spoint of r,icrr,. But thc unreal u,orltl of sorcrcign spirits or gorls estab_ lish<.s rcalitr', r,vhichit is not, as its r.ontrarr. 'l'he rcalitr. of a prol .r nc uor l l , , r l a u , r r l t l o f t h i n g , . n , l l , o. l i , . r ,i r establishetl oppositc a lrolv arr<l mt.thir.alu.orkl. The Positing of the World


Within the limits of continuitv, er,crvthingis spiritual; tht'rt' is no opposition o[ the minrl an<lthe boclv.]lut thc positing of a norld of mvthical spirits anrl the suprcme raluc it reccivt'sarc naturallv linkcd to thc tlcfinition of thc mortal bodv as lrcing opposcd to thc mintl. l'ht' diffc'rt'nccbctu.ern thc mind ancl thc borlr. is b\, no means (imnrancnce thc sameas that bct*ecn continr.ritv ) and thc objcct. ln thc first immanence,no differcnce is possiblc bt'fbrt' thc positing of tbc manufhcturc'dtool. Likorise, n'ith thc positing of the suhject on the planc ol obiccts (of thc' subject-objrct),thc mind is r.rotvet distinct fnrm thc botlr'. C)nlv starting lrom thc mlthical represcntationof autonomousspirits doestl-re borlv fin<litsclf on thc sirlcof things, insofhr as it is not pr(.sentin sovt-reign spirits.-l'hr. rcal u'orld rcmainsas a residuumof thc birth <.rf thc divinc rvorld: rcal animals and plants separatctl f rclm thcir spiritual truth skrlr'lvrcjoin the cmptr. objcctivitr.of tools; thc mortal bodv is grarlu.rllvassimilatcdto thc nrassof things. Insofaras it is spirit, thc human realitl' is holr', but it is profinc insofaras it is rcal. Animals,plants,tools, an<l otht'r controllablc things firrrn a rcal rvorkl u'ith the borlicsthat control them, a uorlil subjcc't to anrl tralcrse<l lrr' <livinr'fortcs. brrt fallen.







The Eaten Animal, and the Thing

the Corpse,

The definition of thc animal as a thing ltas bccomc a basic l <l sti t s st a t t t sas t nan' sf el hurnangi r cn. ' l ' h r : a n i n t a ll ' r a s man, lou c'rcaturc,an<l pt'r<'ciringthe anirnalitvirr hin'ra measurc sclf, rcgardsit as a detect.Thcrc is uncloubtctllv of falsitv in thc fit't of rt'gartlingthc animal as a thing. An arrimal exists fbr itself ancl in ortk'r to lrc a thinq it must 'fhus tlrt' catcn animal can bc br rlcarl or (lorncsticatcd. Inclcc<l as an obicct onlv provided it is catcn clcatl. posite'd it is f'ullva thing onlr in a ro.rstcd, grillctl, or boilcrl fbrm. of mcat is not primaril)' c<lnMorcovcr, thc prc'paration u.'ith a gastronomical ltursuit: bt'lbre that it has tcr r-rcctt'rl rlo uith thc lact tltat nr.ruclot'sttot t'.rtanvthing beforehc l'rasmarlc an objcc't of it. At ltrast in cirtlinan tirt'umtl<lthtrred fdrr itl tllJt matl is atr animal tlrat <lot's stanct-s, l n <la l t cr i t as ot t t ' nhi ch h t ' eat s. B u t t o ki l l t h c a n i t ' n aa plcascsis trot tltrelv to chartgeirtto a thing tlrat uhich u'as not a thing from tlrt-start; it is to tlefinc the tloubtless aninral as a thinq bciirrehantl.Cotlcerning that u'hit'h I kl l l , uhi c h I cut u p , u h i ch I co o k, l i m p l i ci t l v al f i r r n t hat rfiar has ncvt'r bt'en anvthing ltut a thing. Tcl titt u1l,took. It dciesno an<lt'.rt a nlan is on tht' c()ntrarvatrominalllc'. harm to anvonc;in fhct it is clftcn unrcastlnablt'notto do uith nran. Yct thc studr rlf attatomt t'cast'dt<r son.rcthing al)l)(aronlv a shrtrt tirlc ago. Antl clcspit.' bc scan<lalotts


ances,('\'enharclcnc<l materialists arc still so religiousthat it is alu'at'sa crimc to make a ntan into a in thcir evers t hing - a ro a s t, a s l e \\.... In a l t\' (' A sc, tht' htrntan atti tr-rclc torlard thc lro<lr is fbrmirlablv compler. Insolar as he is spirit, it is man's misfortunc to have the bcldvof an animal and thus to bc like a thing, but it is thc glorv of tht' hutnan bodv to be thc substratumof a spirit. Anrl tht' spirit is so closelv linkcd to the bodv as a thing that thc botlv ncr,cr ccascs to bc hauntc<|, is ner,era thing ('xccpt v ir t u a l l r' ,s o m u c h s o th a t i l rl t' a th rccl uctsi t to thc conr lit io n o f a th i n g , th c s p i ri t i s n rc l rt' prcstntthan cvcr: tht' bodv that has betraverl it reveals it more clearlv than u'hcn it sen'e<l it. Irr a st.nscthc ('orpscis thc most comple'tc allinnation of the spirit. What dcath's dL.finitilc' impcltenccand abscnccrcvcals is the r,erv csst'ncc of thc spirit, just as thc sr.rcamof thc onc that is killed is the suprcmc aflirmation clf lifc. Convcrsclv, man's corpse rcvt'als thc c'omplctc reilucticln of thc animal boclr',an<l thcrclbrc ther living animal, to thinghoorl. In thqrrv thc bodr, is a strictlv subordinatcclcmcnt, u,hich is of ncl cclns('qu('nc(' fbr itst'lf - a trtilitv of thc samt-naturt' Ascanvas, inrn, or lurnber.


\fl L l

T l rE

PH ()f.\fJE


The Worker

and the TooI

Generallvspcaking,thc uorlrl of things is pcrc.civcrl as a fillcn rrorkl. It t'ntails tht, alit-nati<ln of tht, ont, u.hcr crcatc<l it.'l'his is thc basi<princ.iplc: to sr-rborrlinatc is r-rot onlv to alte.rdrc subordinateilclcmcnt but to bt. altcrcrl onesclf. The tool c'hanges naturc an<l nran at the same timc: it subjugatcs natLrr('torran, uho rnakcsantl uscsit, but it tics man to subjugatcd nature. Naturc becomt,s man's prclpertr.but it ccascs to bc imnrancntt<l hinr lt is hi s on c'ont l i t i o n t h a t i t i s r . l o st ' rtlo h i r . n . I f h c pl accst he uorl i l i n l r i s po u cr , t h i s i s t <l t h c cxt t . n t t l r at ht , f br gct s that hc is himsclf the r.r,orlcl: hc rlenicstht' u'orltl but it is himst'lf that hc dcnics. Ercrvthing in n.rvpou.cr rlcrlart,s that I havc conrpclle<l that uhich is ccltral to m(,no longer to exist firr its rtun purposebut ratht'r fbr a purp<lsc that is alicn to it. Thc purpos('of a plou' is alien to thc rcalitv tlrat constitutts it; anrl rrith grcater rcason, the slrnt. is true of a grain of u,hc.rtclr a calf. If I .rtc t[rt' u.heator the cal f i n an ani m a l u a r ' , t h t ' r . u o u kl a l so b c r l i r cr t t t l f r <l m thcir oun purposr-, btrt thev lrould be surklcnh.rlcstrovcrl as n' ht' atan<l. r sca l f . A t n o t i m r : u o u l t l t l r c u h eat an<l t hc calf bc thc rhinqsthat thtr art' front tht. start. The grain of 'nvl'rcat is a unit clf a-qri.ultural production; thc c.rlu is a hcaclof livcstock,and tht onc u'ho cultir,atcs thc u hcat is a larmcr; thc ont' n ho raiscsthc stccr is a stock raist'r. Nou', during thc tirnc rvlrcn ht'is cultirating, thc tirmcr's


pu1x)se is not his orvn PurPosc' antl during thc tirnc uhcn hc is tcntling the stock, tht: purpost' of thc stock raist'r is not his o\\'n PurPosc.Thc agricultural proclutt ancl the'livestock arc things, ancl the thrmt'r rlr thc stock raist'r,<luringtht- tinlt' thev arc uorking, arc alsclthirlgs' All this is forcign to the immancnt immcnsitv, uhcrt' thcre arc neithcr separationsnor limits. In the clcgret'that that hc is bcing, that he is he is the immancnt it'nmcnsitv, o/ thc norlcl, man is a stratrgerfbr himst'li. Thc farmcr is not a man: hc is tht' plou' of the onc u.ho t-atsthc breacl' At the limit, thc act of thc eatcr himst-llis alrcatlvagricultural labor, to uhich hc furnishcstht' cncrgv.


C H Ar ''r r - u I I I S acri fi ce, P ri nci pl es the Festi val , Sacr ed and the

of the

W or ld

T he N e ed T ha t I s M e t by Sacrifice and Its Principle Thc flrst fruits of the harvcst or a he.rclof livestock arc sacritlccdin <lr<ler to rcmove the plant and the animal,togctl-ri'r r,r,ith thc lhrmer and thc stock raiser, from thc r'vorld of things. The principle of sacrifice is dcstruction, but though it sometimesgoes so fhr as to destroy completely (as in a holocaust),thc dcstruction that sacrillce is intcnded to bring about is not annihilation.Thr- thing - onlv thc thing - is u'hat sacrillcenreansto destrol' in thc victim. Sacrilic'e dcstror-san objcct's real tics of sr-rbrtrdination; it <lraus thc victim out <lf the world <l['utilitv and restclres it to that of unintelligiblccaprice.Wht'n thc ofli'rerl animal entcrs tht'cirr'le in uhich thc prit'st u,ill immolatr-it, it passesfrom the u'orlcl of things u'hich are closcclto


lnan an(l arc nothinq to hirn, u'hich hc knous lrom thc outsi<le- to the uorld that is immancnt to it, inrimrite, is knor'r'n in scxual consunrption (conknoun as the r'r'if'e charnelle\. This assLrmes that it has ccasctlto bc sumotion separated frclm its oun intimacv, as it is in the subclnlitl.re n.rtion of labor. Thc s.rcriflct'r'sprior separation tl'clr.n rrrlrlcl of things is n('(('ssarlfilr thc rcturn to intlnrocl,of immanence betuccn man anrl the r,rorltl. bctrrccn thc in subjcctanclthe object.The sacriflc'cr nct-dsthc sacrifict' orler to scparatchimsclf lrom thc u'orltl of things anrl thc victim could not bt' separatcd from it in turn if the sacrificerllas not alrea<lv The sac'-l scparatcdin arlvance. riflcer <lec'larcs: "/nfinrotelr',I belong to the sorcrt'iqn uclrld clf the go<ls anrl and t.nvths, to the uorlcl o[ r'iolcr.rt uncalculatcdgcncrositr',iust as my u if'c bckrr-rgs to mv rlt-sircs. I u'ithdrau vr>u,rictim, from tht' uorlrl in uhich \:'ou \\'crL' and could onlr. be rccluc'ccl to thc contlition of a thing, having a mcaning that uas fbreign to vour intimate natllrc. I call roLr back to the rntlmocro[ thc rlivinc rvorld, of the profounrl irnmanenccof all that is." T he U n re a l i tv o f th e D i v i n e W orl d

Of coursc this is a mcrnolrigucand thc victim can ncithe-r understand nor replv. Sacrifice essentiallvturns its back on rcal rclations.If it took them into account,it rvoul<l go against its or,r,nnatur(', rvhich is prccisclv thc oppositc of


that urrrlcl of things on u.hich clistinc'trealin is founded. It could not derstrov thc animalas a thing u'ithout denving the animal's objcctive realit,v. This is rvhat gives thc lr,orld of sacrifice an appcarancc of puerilc gratuitousness.But onc cannot .rt the sametimc destro_l' tlrc values that fbund rcality an<laccePt thcir limits. The rcturn to immanent intimacr implies a becloudcd consc'ir>usncss: consciousncss is tierl to thc positing of objects as such, graspccl clirectlv, apart from a vaguc pcrception. bevclnd thc alrvavsunrcal imagesof a thinking bascclon participation. The Ordinarv Association

of Death and Sacrifice t'r'engocs so far The pucrilt' unt'onscir>ust.tt'ss of sacrific'c as a \\'a\'of rcrlrcssing thc rvr,rngdontl that killinq al)])cars to thc aninral, miscrablv rccluct'cl to thc c'onclitionof a thing. As a matter of flact,killing in tlrc litcral st:nsris not ncccssary.lJut the greatcst ncgation <lf'the real ordcr is of thc mvthical the onc most favorablcto thc appcarance ordcr. Morcovt'r, sacrificial killing rcsolrcs thc painliLl antinomv <lf life and dcath [rl' mcans <lf a reversal.In fact it is nothing, death is nothing in immanc:nce, but because a being is ncver trulv scparatecl fronr it. llecauscclc-ath has no meaning, bccauseit and tht're is no diffr:rcncc bertrvecn Iifc, and tht're is no fear of it or dcfcnsc against it, it invaclcs evcrlthing rvithout giving rise to any rcsistancc.
.t :)

l)uration ceascsto haveranl. r,aluc, or it is there only in ordcr to produce thc morbid <lt:lcctation of anguish.On thc contrarv, thc objective anrl in a scnsc transccndcnt (relativeto thc subjcct)positingof thc u'orld of things has cluration as its floundation:no thinq in fact has a separat(] existcncer, has a mcaning, r-rnlcss a subsequenttime is positecl,in vicw. of lr.hich it is constitutcd as an objcct. 'l'hc objcct is <lcfinctl as an clpcrativcpou,erronly if its rluration is implicidl' untlcrstoo<I. If it is destroveri as foorl or fucl is, thc eatcr or thc manulbctured object prcservcs its value in cluration;it has a lasting purpose likc coal or breacl. Futurt' time constitutcs this real rvclrlclto such a tlegreethat death no longcr has a placc in it. But it is for this ver1.reason that dcath mcans cventhing to it. The (thc contradiction) of the r.vorlcl r,ve-akncss of things is that it imparts an unrcal characterr to clcathcvern though man's membership in this w.orltl is ticcl to the positing of thc bodv as a thing insofar as it is mortal. As a mattcr of fact, that is a sr-rpcrficial r ieu . What has no placc in thc n,orkl of things, n.hat is unreal in thc real lr'orld is not cxactlv rlcath. I)eath actuallr.discloscsthc imposturc of rcalitv, not onlr. in thrt thc alrrcnccof tluration givcs the lie to it, but abovc all be'causc rlcath is tht, grcat affirmcr, thc u'ondcr-struck cn of lifc. Thc real order does not so rnuch rcjcct thc ncgationof lifc that is death as it rejccts thc aflinnation of intimate lifi., r,vhcise 46

mcasurclcss violcncc is a danger to thc stabilitt'of things, an afflnnation that is fulh,rocalccl onlv in death.Thc real orrkrr must annul - nt'trtralizt'- that intimatc lilc an<l rcplacc it u'ith thc thing drat thc- inclir.iclual is in thc societvof labor. lJut it canncltprcr,cntlife's ditappcarancc in dcath from rocaling thc inli.sihle brillianct:of life that 'I'he is ncrt a thing. po\ver of rleath significs that this real rvorlcl can onlv har,c a neutral image.of lifc, that lif'c's intimacv docs not rt'r't'al its dazzling consr.rmptionuntil the moment it gives out. No onc knt'u.it r'r,as thcrc lvhern it',r'as;it uas or,crlookt-d in thvclrof real things:dcath r,r'as onc rcal tl-ring among others. llut rleath sucklenlv sh<lrvs that thc rcal sociertvwas lving. l'ht'n it is not thc loss of thc thing, of the usefulmr:mber,that is taken into consideration. What the real socit'tv has lost is not a member but rather its truth. That intimate llf-e, u'hich hacllost thc abilitv to full.vrcach mc, xhich I rcgarclccl primarilv as a thing, is firllv rcstorc-d to mv scr-rsibilitvthrough its atrscncc. l)cath rcvcals lif'c in its plcnituclcand dissolr,cs thc rt'al order. I lenccfirrth it rnatt('rs verv littlc that this rcal order is the ncr'<llbr the rluration of that u.'hichn<r longer cxists. When an clcmcnt cs('apcsits tlcmanrls, u'hat rcmainsis not an cntitv that sr-rf}i'rs bt'rcavcment; all at on(c that cntitr', the rcal onlcr, hascomplctclv dissipatcd. 'fhcrt'is no morc qucstion of it and uhat clcathbrings in tt'arsis thc trst'lcss c<lrrsumotion of the intimatc ortler.


It is a naivc opinion that links dcath closclvto sorrou.. 'l'hertcars of the lir ing, n,hich respond to its r.oming,arc fhr from lraring a mcalringoppositcto jov. Far themsclves fronr bcing sorroulirl, thc tcars arc the cxprcssionof .r kccn au,arcncss of sharedliie graspcdin its intimacv. It is truc tlrat this auart.ncss is nt'r'r'r keener than at thc momcnt r'r'hcn ab.senr:e .suclrlcnlv rcplaccsprcst'nce, as in rleath or mere sr.paration.Anrl in this casc, thc consolation(in the strong scnscthc u'orcl has in thc "consolations" of the mvstics) is in a sensebitterlv tie<l to thc fact that it cannot last, but it is precisclvthc disappc.lranc'coI duraticln,antl of the neutral bcha','iors assclciatt:d u,ith it, that uncovers a ground of things that is <lazzlinglv bright tin other rrords, it is clear tlrat the nccd lirr dtrraticln conccalslifi: fi'onr us, an<lthat, onlv in thcon', the impossibilitvof duration lreres us). In othcr cases the tears rcspond insteadto unexpectecl triumph, to goo<lfortunc that m.rkcs us enrlt, but aluat's madly, lar bcrond thtc on( (' rn fo r I ftrtrrrcti me . The Consummation of Sacrifice

Thc pou'cr that death generall_v has illuminatesthe mc.rning of sacrifice, rvhich functions like death in that it rt'stores a lost r,aluc through a relinquishmcnt of that value. But death is not necessarilv linkcd to it, ancl the most solcmn sacrificemav not bc bloodv. 'l'cl sacrificcis


SA. ] R I FI . Jf





W .rR L f)

not to kill but to rt'linquishand to givc. Killin.qis onlv thc cxhibition of a rleep me;rning.What is important is t<t pass from a lasting orclt'r, in rvhich all r.onsumptionof rcsources is subordinatcrl to tht' nt'etl fbr cluraticln,to the violt'nccof an uncontlitionalcclnsumption; rvhat is important is to lcavt' a u'clrltl of real things, rvhose rt-alitv derives from a long tcnn opcration anrl nevcr rcsirk-sin thc momcnt - a norlrl that crcatcs an<lprcscrrcs (that crcatcs for thc br.nr'fltof a lastingrealitvy.Sacrifict'is thc antithesisof procluction, u,hich is accomplishccl rvith a vicr,vto the fluturc; it is cclnsuntpticln that is conccrnerl onlv u'ith thc moment. 'Ihis is thc scnsein u'hich it is gift anclrclinquishmcnt,but u,hat is givcn ('annotbe an objcct of presen'ation for the rect'ivcr: the gilt of an o{fcring makcs it pass prccise h' into thc n orld of ahrupt cclnsumption. l-his is the mc-aningof "sacriflcing to the rleity," uhose sacrcdcsscnce is comparableto a firc. To sacril-ice is to give as onLrgives cclalto thc furnace. lJut tht' lurnacer orclinarilvhas an undcniableutilitv, to u'hich the coal is strborclinaterl, rvhereasin sacrifice tht' ollcring is rt'sc'uecl frour all utilit\'. This is so clcarly the precisemt-aningof sacrificc, that onc sacriflcesn.fioris usefirl;one does not sacrifice luxurious ob.jcc'ts. Therc could bc no sacrillcc if thc offi'ring u'ere dt-stro1'cd befirrehancl. Nolr, depriving thc labor o1'
,1 C)

manuf;(turc of its uscfi.rlness at tht' outsct, luxun. lras alrcaclvdevro,ved that labor; it has clissipated it in vainglon; in the vcrv monrcnt, it has lost it for goocl.To sac.r illc c a l u x u n ' o b j c tt u r> trl <llrc to sacri fl ccthc samc o[rjt ' c t tu i c t' . llut ncither coul<l one sacrificc that w'hich \\'as not flrst u,ithrlrau'nfr<lm immancnce,that which, ncvcr har'ing l>elongccl tcl immancnce,uoulcl not har.cbct-nseconrlarilv subjugatt'tl,rlomcsticatccl, anrl rt'rluc.crl to bt'ing a thing. Sacrificcis rtrarleof objt'cts that c.oukl havt lteen spirits, suc'has animalsor plant sutrstanccs, but that harc trecorncthings an<lthat neeclto bt'restorcd to the immatrcncc x.hencc thcl. colnc, to the vaguc spherc of lost intimacr'. The Individual, Anguish,

and Sacrifice

Intimacv cannot be c-xprcsscd discursir.cly. T'he su'elling to the bursting point, the malicc that brt'aks out rvith clenthccl teeth anrl \\'ccps; thc sinking fi'.'ling that ckx'sn't knou uhcrc it r'orn('sfiom or nhat it's alrout; thc ft'ar that singsits hca<loff in thc clark;thc n'hitt'-cr.t'd pallor, thc su.cct satlncss, thc ragc and thc r om il i n q . . . a r(' s () I)l a n \ (' \a s i o n s . What is intimatc, in thc .strongscn.se, i.su hat has thc passionof an abscnccof in<liridualitr-, thc inrpcrccptiblc sonoritv of a rivcr, tht' cmptr' lirnpiditv of thc skl': this is


SAL ] FI f






W T )I]

dt'flnition, lrom uhich the csscntial is stilI a nergative missing. 'fhese statcmcntshave thc vagut'clualitvof inacccssi-

ble rlistances, but on the othcr hand artictrlatccl <lefinitions strbstitutcthc trcc lbr the forest, thc clistinctarticr,rl.rtion lbr that u'hich is articulatcd. I u'ill resrlrt to articr,rlationncvcrtheless. intimacv is r,iolcncc,and it is destnrcl'aracloxicallv, it is not compatiblcu'ith thc positing of thrtion, l>ccausc scparateindividtral.II one descrilrcs the indiviclualin the if sacopt'ration of sacrifice, hc is tlefincd bv anguish.Br.rt is that the indiviclual takcs rifice is distressing,the: rerason part in it. Thc indiriclualiclentifies uith the victim in thc (to intiit to inruranence strrklcnnrovomcnt that restclrcs that is linkerl to the rt'turn to nrac\'),but the assirnilation is noncthcless bascdou thc lact that the ricimmanerncc -l'hc tim is the thing, just as the sacriflceris the intlividual. st'parateindivirlual is of tht' sam('nature as thc thing, or rathr:r thc anxiousnessto remain pcrsonalh' ali"c that is linkc<lto tht' intet'stablishcs the pt'rson'sinclivirlu.rlitv gration of cxistencc into thc u'cirl<lof things. To put it rliffcrcndy, rvork and the fi:ar of dving are intcr<leperninrplics the thing antl vicc vt'rsa.In fat't rlt'nt; thc fbrn.rt-r it is not cvcn nc(cssan'to lvork in or<lt'r to be thc tAlncl to the cxt('nt that his il)preof [c'ar:man is an inc]ividual ht'nsion ties him to thc results of labor. But man is not.





as onc might think, a thing bccaust, hc is afraicl. Hc u.or,rlrl havc no anguishif he-rlcre not the intlir,iclual (thc,thing), .rnd it is .ssentiallv the fac.tof lx-ing an irrriiri,l'al thlrt fucls his anguish.It is in .rclcr to ..ati.fi thc rlenranrls .f thc tl-ring,it is insofar as rht,uorkl nf ihi,-,gs; has positerl his duration as tl.rt'basic r.ondition of his uorth, that hr. learnsanguish.I{e is alraitl of death as soon as hc entcrs thr. ststr:m of projec,ts that is the order of things. Death clisturbs thc ordt'r ol things anrl thr: orclerof thinq. holtJ,. us. lV1an is afrairl of thc intimatc ordcr that is not recon_ cilable rvith thc ordcr of thirrgs.C)thenvisethcre rvoulcl bc no sacrifice,and thcre rroirkl bc no mankincl eitht,r. The i'timat. order u.lulcl re'car itserfin the clestruc'ot tion and the sac.rcdangrrishof the intlividual. llccau.sc rnan is not squarclyu.ithin that ordcr, but onlv partakcs o[ it through a thing that is thrtatcne<lin its nature (in thc projectsthat constitutc it), intimacr.,in thc trtnrbling o1' thc incliviclual,is holr,, sacrc.1,antl suflusc-rl rl,ith auguish. T he F e s ti v a l l-lre sacrcd i.sthat prcxligiousefk,n.esct,rrcc of life-tlrat, for thc saker of cluration,the order of things holclsin c.herck, and that this hokling c.hang..s into a hrl..aking loose,th;rt is, into violencc'. It constarrtly tlrreatcn.s to brcak the dik c s ,to c o n l ro n t p ro < l u c ti v t.a tti ri t_r rri th the preci pi tatc

,A aRE Ll


anrl contagiousmovemcnt of a purelv glorious consumption. Thc sacrcclis cxactlv c'omparable to thc flame that clcstro-vs thc u'ood bv corrsumingit. lt is that oppositc of a thing u'hir:h an r,rnlirnitcdfire is; it sprcads, it racliatcs hr-at an<l liglrt, it sucldt'nlv inflanrcs an<l blinds in tun'r. Sacrifice burns likc thc sun that slo* lv dies of the prodigious radiation rvhosi'brilliancc our ('vcs cannot bcar, but it is nevt-r isolatcrland, in a uorkl <lf in<lir,iduals, it calls for thc gencral ncgation of indir,icluals as such. The clivinc lr,orlrl is contagiousand its contagion is clangcrous.In thcon', n lrat is startcd in tlre operation o[ sacrificc is likc tht- action of lightning: in therirv thcrc is ncl limit to tht'contlagraticlrr. It far'orshuman lifc an<lnot anirnalitr; tht' rr:sistancc is u'hat rcgulatcs to immant'r.tcc its resurgcncc', so yroignantin tcars an<lso strong in thc turavorrableplcastrrcof anguish.But if rnan strrrt-n<lt'rcrl unrcsenccllyto immanencc,hc u'or-rld lall shrlrt of humanitv; l-rcw'oulclachievcit onlv to losr it an<levc'ntuallv lif'e rroulclreturn to tht' unconscious intitrracvof anirnals. Thc constant problem poscd bv the impossibilitv of bcing human rvitl'rout being a thing ar-rrl o[ csc'aping tht' linrits of things uithout returning tcl animal slrrmbt'rrcccilcs thr limitcrl solutionof the fcstival. Thc initial movenrt'nt of tht' fcstiral is givt'n in clcrnentarvhumanitv, but it reacht'sthc plcnitutle of an cf-fusion onlv if tht' anguishc<l conccntration of sacrificc
tr) ) )




sets it loosc. Thc fcstival assernbles mcn rvhom the con_ the c.orrtagio,.s ,f-fcri'g (co'r'runi'n) ,pens 'f up to a c.onflagration, but one that is limitecl by a counter_ sumptio' r.ailing prudence: thcre is an aspirati.n for destruction that brcaks,ut in tl.rcft.stiral,l-,r,t th.." is a conse^,.atrr.c prudcncethat regulatr:s and linrits it. On thc one hand, all thc possibilitiersof consumption arc brought togt-ther: dancc anclPoctrv, ntusicand tht. <lillercntarts contribute to making the fbstival thc place and thc time of a spec_ tacular letting loose.But consciclusness, au,akein ung.,i.h, is rlisposcrl, in a revcr.sal commanderlbv arr inabilitrlto g,, al'ng r.r,iththc letting l'ose, r. .ubo..li,.,.-,t.it to thc neerd that the orclerof things has- bcing f-cttcrecl by nature an<l s t ' lf - p a r' .rl rz e - d to rt,t.c i rea n i rn p . .l rrs l i orrr l hc orrtsi rl c. J'hus the letting kxrsr,of the f'estiralis llnalh., if not fert_ tcrcd, thcn at least conflnt:d to therlimits of a realitv of *hich it is thc nt'gatir'.'r-he fi'sti'al is t,leratt-cl to thr extent that it r('s('rr (.s thc ncc.cssitics of thc prclfanc rr c,rl rl. Limitation,

the Iltilitarian Interpretation of the Festival, and the positing of the Group 'l'hc fi.stiral is thc firsionof hunran life. For thJ thing an<l tlrc indi'id.al, it is thc cruciblc *,hcrc rlistincti.ns nrt-lt in thc intcnsr heat of ir-rtimatc lifc. BLrt its intimac.vis tlis_ solverl in thc rt'al antl in<liriclLralizi,rl positing of tlrc





cnscmblt'that is at stakc in thc rituals. Fclr tht' sak''''rf a fat't that is gircn as a tlrirrgof a st-,cial rcol ctttnrnutritr', of a commclnopcration in vit'u of a futtrrc timt' - thc fcsas a link in thc tontiral is limiterl: it is itsclf intt'gratt'cl scxt l al . ' hat ' s, cl f us, ' l u lu o r ks. A s <l r u n kcr i t r css, catctrat i on orgv, that n.hich it tcnclsto bc, it tlrouns clcnthing irr th. limits of immancncc in a scnsc;it thcn cvcn exc'ct'<ls sl i l l thc hvb r i <lnor l <l o f sp i r i t s,b u t i t s r i t t t a l t l r or cm t ' r r t s into the r','orltl of immanence <tnlvthrough thc rllctliatior.r of spi ri t s.T o t h c sp i r i t s b t >r n t ' b v t h c f cst i val ,t o uhom t hc vi t t i m s t o r r l t o sci r r t i t l r acv o f f cr ct l , . l n <l thc sac r i f l ct ' i s an clpcrativcl)()w('ris attributctl in the same arc rt-storecl, u'av it is attribtrtcd to things' In thc t'nd thc festivalitself is trot clttcsits t'fli'ctivcrrt'ss is vicrrc<las att <llteration.-rlt<l thc of fecunclating tioncd. The possibilitv of prodr'rcing, fickls and thc herclsis gircn to ritcs u'host'least scnile opcrativc ftrrtns are aimccl,through a cotrcessiot.t, 'lt ctltviolcncc of thc clivint' ting thc losscsliom the drea<lfr-rl nt'g;ttirelr in in f'ccuntlation' In anv cast',1t<tsitivt'lv u'orl<1. in the fi'stiral as tlrt'col'ttmttnit\ tlrst al)Pcars pr<lpitiation, proicct and a shar.'<l a thing, a dcfinite indiviclualization 'l'hc festivalis not a trtle rctllrn rvith a vit'n to tlttration. filll rccont'ili.rtion, ltut rathc'ratr arnital>le t<l iurrnant't.tce of anguish,bctucen the irlcompatillltrnecessitics' Of coursethe communitv in the festivalis not positcd sirnph as at.rclbici:t,bttt more gt'nerallvas a spirit (as a


subjec't-objcct), but its positing has the r,alutof a lirnit to the irnmanenccol' tht' fcstiral anri, firr this reason, thc thing aspcctis acccntuatcrl. If thc fi'stivalis not vet, r>rncr longcr, un<lcr vl'ar',tht' c<lmmunity link to thc festivalis given in o;leratir,efilrms, u'hose c'hicfcnds arc the procltrcts of labor, thc crops, anclthc' hcrds. Therc is no clc'ar conrciousnerr of'wh.rt tht'fcstir,alactuall)'is(of w.hatit is at the momt'nt of its lt'tting loosc; and thc fc'stiral is not situatcrl <listinctlvin tonst'iousnr'ss txr'r..ptas it is intr'grate<linto the rluration o[ thc conrmunitr'.This is n'hat thc fi'stival (irrcendiarv sacrific'tand the outbreak of flre) (subordinatcrl is consciouslr' tcl that rluratior.r of thc comnron thing, nhich prt'r'cnts it lrom cnduring), but this shous the fi:stival's pcculiar impossibilityanrl man's limit, tit'<l as he is t<l clt'ar consciousncss. So it is not huntanitr' - insoLrr as clr,ar constioLrsrrt'ss rightlv opp<lscs it t<r 'l-hr. anirnalitt' restorctltcl immancncc. r'irtuc of thc' fcstiral is not intcgrate<l into its naturt: and convcrscl_r. thc lctting krose of thc l'estir.al has bct'n possiblc onlt' bccaust' of this pont-rlcssncss of ccllrsciousn('ss to takt' it lbr uhat it is. 'fhe basic problenr o[ rcligion is given in tlris fatal misun<lcrstanding of sacrificc.Man is the lreing that has lost, and cvt'n rcjectt'<I,that *'hich hc obscurelv is, a vaguc intirnac_r'. could not have bec'omt: C't>nsciousltcss clcar in tht'coursc rif tirnc lf it had not turnr<l aual, lrom its an kn'arrl ( ont('rits. l;ut <:lcarc'onsciousnt'ss is itsclf


IN t




krsc looking firr rrhat it has itscl{'lost, antl ulrat it mttst ()f ctltrrscu'hat it has lost is ,',g.i,,., it <lraus ncar to it. tht' not <llttsitlt' it; cons(lollsllcss turlls A\\av fiom itsclf' Rcligion, uh<lsc obscurt' intintacv of conscitlttsncss is tht- searchfbr ltlst intinlacv,cotn('stlrlull trl thc cssencc lvhich natlts to lrt a ctrmctlirrt ol clt'ar tonsci<)Ltsllcss but this c{-fort is firtilc' sinct' ulctt' st'11-tot"tstiouslrt'ss; onll at a lcvel u'ht'rc .',,nr.i,,urn,'.s<lfitrtirnatv is llossiblt' $h<lst'otttcomt' (onscionsnt'ss is nrl lonqt'r in ()l)t'r'lti()n that is, at thc lcvel u here claritr" implies <lurati<tn, u'hich is thc cfli't t clf thc ollcration, is n" gl \ (' n. War: The Illusions of the Ilnleashing of lotlgt r

to the Outside indivirlualitv,uhich the lusion of thc festival A soc'ictv's rvorks - of ,lirr,rl,'.r, is tleflnctl flrst of all in tcrrns of rcal into tht agrarian prtic|-rt'tiol.r- that integrate sacrificc thr"rshas the ..l ,rl,l ,,f things. tlut thc trnitv of a groLlP tlestructiveviolcncc to thc outside' abilitv to clireclt A.sa matter of [act, erxternalviolcncc is antithetical to havoc sac'rifice or the fcstival, whosc violencc u'clrks tlestrovs that lr,ithin. Only rtiigion cltsurcs a consttmptictn rvhom it movcs' Armcd attion thc very sttltstanccclf tl.rose tlestrovsothcrs or thc u.ealthof <lthcrs'lt can ht' t'xt'rtccl uithin a grouP' but thc constitutcrl grottll incliviciuallr', Violence


'F ] L



c an l)ri l tg i t t< l b e a r o n th t. o u ts i < l t, ani l i t i s thcn that i t bc gin sto rl t' r.t' l < li1 t i .o n s c q u t,n c .t,s. ts In deadh. battlcs, in massacrt.s anrl pillagcs,it has a rneaningakin to that of fi,stivals, in that thc cnc,mr. is not trcatctl as a thing. llut u.ar is not limitc<l to thcse t.xulo_ sir.c forces an<i,w.ithin thcsc verr. limits, it is not a slou action as sacrific.t' is, corducte.cl l'ith a r.ir.rr. to a return to lost intimacv. It is a rljsonlc_.rlv cruption rvhosc cxternal dircction robs the uarrior of thc. intimacv hc attair.rs. An<l if it is t^rc that r'arfarc tr.'rJs in it. n.,r,., \\.a\ to clissoh.c thc indir,i<lual through .r nt,llativcuagt,ring of thc l.ah-rc of his ou'n life, it cannot hclp l,ut enhance-his valuc in thc ( our s c o f' ti m e b -v ma k i n g tl rc s u n.i vi ng i nrl i vi tl ualthc bencfician'of the-rvagcr. War dett'rrninc-s the clcr.ekrpmcntcif the inrliviclual bev on tlth c i n < l i v i d u a l -a s _ th i n g th c gl ori ousi nrl i vi cl ual _ in itv of tht: u..rrrior. Thc glorious indlritlual introtluces, through a lirst nc.gation of inrlir.idualitv,thc divine orr:lcr into the c.atc.gorv of tht, intlirirlual l,riich e_rprcsscs the ortler of things in a basicu,ar.).IJc has thc contra<licton, n,ill to make the ncgation oi,ltrration durable. fnu, t,i, strength is in ltart a strcngth to lic. War rcprcscntsa boltl arJvance, but it is thc t.mrlcst kind of ailvance : onc ncctls as muc'h nalvct6 - or stupi<lit_r. _ as strcngth to bc intlil_ fi'rcnt t. that tr hic.h()'(. ()\,.,rr alu.., .,r,1 i,, takt, ltri<lt,in har ing tl c c mc rl< l n t,s t,l off' ri o r.a l u t,.



the Unfettered

Violence of Wars to

the F ettering

of Man-as-Contmodity

This lalse anrl sr,rperficial charactcr has sc'rionsconscquenccs. War is not limitccl to fbrrns o[ uncalculated havoc. Although ht- rcmains <limlr,auare of a calling that rules out the sclf-scckingbehavior of work, the rvarrior recluces his fbllorvmen to scrvitude.IIe thus subordinaters violcncer to thc most complete rerluction of mankind to thc ordcr of things. l)oubtless thc uarrior is not tht' initiator of the reduction. Thc opcratior.r that makcs ther slavc a thing prcsupposccl thc prior institutiotr of u'ork. Btrt the lrcc r,r'orker rras a thing vc>hrnt.rrilv and fclr a givcn time'. C)nlv the slavr',u.hom thc nrilitan' or-dcrhas maclc a comnroclitr', <lrarls oi,rt thc cornplctc colrscit is nectssan' tcl quences of the rerluction. 1[ncleecl, spccifvthat n ithout slavcrvthe rvorlclof things u.<rr-rkl not Thus the cru<lcunronsr'ioLrshavc achicvt-cl its plcnitucler.) in favor of a prcclomincss of thc uarrior mainlv r,r'orks 'l nance of the rcal orcle'r. hc sacrcd llrcstigc hc arrogate.s to himst'lf is the falsepretenseof .r uorld brought don'n to thc ncight of utilitr.. Thc narrior's nobilitv is likc a prostitute's smile, the truth of uhich is st'll'-intcrcst. Human Sacrifice 'l'ht' sacriflces illustrate tht' principle accorcling of slar.es t<r rvhich uhat i.su.iefirl is rlcstincrl fbr sacrificc.Sacrilice





surr('ndcrs thc slave, rvhclsc scrr.itudc ac.centuates thc dcgrarlationof the-human or<ltr, to thc baleful intimacv of unfcttcred violencc. In gcneral,human sacriflceis the acutc stagcof a clis_ pute setting the movcmcnt of a measurclessviolcnce againstthc real ordt'r and duration. It is the most radical contcstation of the primac.vof utilitv. It is at the same timc the highest de.greeof an unleashing of intcrnal vio_ lence. The society in u-hich this sa..riflcerages mainlv afllrrns the rejection of a disequilibrium nf th" trr,, ,,lulences. He u.ho unlcasheshis lorccs of destruction on ther outside cannot be sparingof his resourccs.If he reduccs the enc.mvto slar,cry,he must, in a spcctacularfhshion, make a glorious use of this nc\\. sourcc of rvcalth. IJc must partlv <lcstro.l'thesc_things that sen,e him, for there is nothing uscful around him that can fail to satisfv,first of all, the mythical order's rlemanrlfbr consumption.Thus a continual surpassing tor,r.ard dcstruction clenies, at thc same time that it affinlrs, thc indir,irh,ralstatus of thc grouP. But this dcmancllor consumption is broLrghtto bear on the slar.e insofar as the lattcr is Ai.spropcrtv antl llis thing. It shoulclnot be confusedu,ith thc movcmcnts of l'iolencethat har,er the outsidc, the encmv, as their obiect. ln t lr i s r(.s p c (t th r.s a tri fi rt, ,rf ,r s l.rrc i * l ar l rom h.,i nt purer.In a senseit is an cxtcnsionof militarv combat, and


of sacrilice,is not satisfiecl intcrnal violencc,the t-sserncc bv it. Intensc consulnption requires victims at thel top rvho arc not onlv the uscful lr'calth of a pcoplc, but this peoplc itself; or at lcast, clcmcnts that signifv it and that uill be dcstined lbr sacrifice,this time not orving to an alit-nation from the sacrerlu'orlcl - a flall- but, quitc thc (ontrar\, orl'ing to an cx(cptional prclximitv, sr-rch as the thc sovc'rcign or thc children (u'host'ki[ling finallv realizcs tu'ice clvcr). clf a sacrifice perfbrrnancc One could not go further in the dcsireto consumcthe Indecd, one coukl nclt go morc recklcssly life substancc. than this. Such an intensc movemcnt of consumption rcsponds to a movcment of malaisc bv crcating a greater malaise.It is not thc apogce ol a rcligious svstem, but rathcr the moment rvhcn it condemns itself: r'vhcnthe old fbrms har"elost part of their virtuc, it can maintain itself that are too through inn<lvations cxcesscs, onlv thnrr,rgh oncrous. Numt-rous signsinclicatethat thcse cnx'l dcmands thc king u"ith ucrer not t'asih'tolcratcd.Trickerv rerplaccd a slave on uhom a tcmPorarv rovaltv r'vasconfi'rred. Thtr primacv of consttmptioncould not rcsist that of militarv lorcc.


P. nl T w c t

R el i gi on Li m i ts

W i thi n of R eas on


F ro m to

t l - r c M i l i t ar v I nr l us t r i al

Orrler G r ou. t h

C tt .t t''t t, tt I T he M i l i t a r l ' O r cl e r

F rom a B al an ce o f R e so u r ce s a r r d E xpendi t ur es Forces with t o t h e A ccu m u l a t i o n a View to Their Growth of

Human sac'rific'e tcstifies at thc same tinrc tcl an cxct'ssof' i t . I t gcner neal th an r l t o a ve n ' p a i n f u l u a v o f sp cn cl i n g of thc rather stablenen sysallv led to the'con<lemnation tcms u'hosegrou'th u'as slight anclin u'hich the cxpcnditurc \\'as (olllrcnsuratc rrith tht' rt'sottrce's. Tht'nrilitan'ordcr pr.rt an cnclto thc malaiscs that corrcsponrlcd tcl an orgv of cclnsumption.It clrganizcrla rational use of fbrces firr thc constant incrcaseof pou'cr. 'fht' is c'ontrarvto thc spirit mcthorlicalspirit of c'onqucst of sacrillcc an<lthc nrilitan' kings rcjt'ctetl sacritlcefrom the beginning. The princ'iple of militarv orclt-r is the mcthorlical divcrsion of violcncc to tl.rc outsirle. lf violcncc ragt'suithin, it opl>oscs that violcr.rc'rto thc extt-nt it can. Antl it suborclinates thc clivrrsionto a rcal t'ntl. It


<locsscl irr a gencral uar'. Thus the nrilitarr orrlcr is contrarv to the lorrns clf spectac'ular r.iolcncc that corresponcl more to an r,rnbrirllcdcxplosion of fun. than to the rational cak'ulationof elfcctircness.It no lorrger rimr at tht' greatestcxpcn(litur('of firrt't's, as an art.haic. s<lcial svstcm clirl in u'arfart an<l f-cstir als. Thc cxprn.litr.rr-.. ,rf firrct'scolrtinucs,but it is subjcc.tcrl to a prirrciplcof maxinrum viclcl:if the fbrcesarc spcnt, it is u'ith a r,icu.to thc accluisitionclf grcatcr f<rrces.Archaic. societv conflnecl itsclf in uarlarc to tlre rounding trp of slavcs. In ket'ping uith its principlcs,it coultl cor.npcnsate for thcse acquisitions bv mcans of ritual slaughters.Thc militarv orcler organizcsthc viekl of *'ars into slavcs, that of slavcsinto lalmr. It nrakcsc'onquest a mctho<1ical cipcration,for thc grou'th of an cmpire. Positing of an Empire as

the Universal Thing 'l'he empirc submits from thc start to thc primacv of thc real orrlc'r. It posits itst-lf e-ssentiallv as a thing. It ,ub,rr<linatcsitst'lf to cntls that it afllrms: it is the aclministration of rcason.llut it could nevcr allorv anothcr cmpire to cxist at its fronticr as an cqual. liverv prcscnc'e arounrl it is or<lerc<l rclative to it in a projer,t of c.onquest. In this rval' it losrs tht simplc indivirlualizecl characterof ther[imitt-cl comntunitl.. It is not a thinq in the senscin n.hich

things lit into the order that bclongsto thcrl; it is itsclf thc ordcr of things.rnd it is a univcrsalthing. At this lercl, the thing that cannot have a sovcreigncharactcr cannot clraractcrcitlrer, sincc irt theorv it is havc a subordinatr: At to thc limit of its possibilities. an opcration der.clopecl tht- limit, it is no longcr a thing, in that it bears rvithin it, beyond its intangiblc qualitit's,an opening to all that is But in itself this opening is a voicl.lt is onlv the possible. thing at the momcnt rvhen it is undone, rcvealing thc impossibilitv of infinite subordination. But it consttmes it is alual's a thing, itself in a sovercignu'av.For ('sscntiallv ancl thc movcmcnt clf consumJrtionmust (omc to it li'om tht' outsicle. Law an d M or a l i t y Tht: ermpirc,bcing tht- universal thing (rvhose universalitv is a divcrsicltrof rcveals the void ). insofar as its t-ssenc'c devt'lclps the larv that violcncc to thc otrtsitle,neccssarilv ensures the stabilitv of the order of things. In fact, larv of an external gives thc attacks against it thc sancti<tn r.ioletrctr. Lar,r'clefincs obligatorv rclations of each thing (or of them rvith othcrs anrlgtrarantces eachinrlividual-as-thing) bv the sanctionof public firrt c. But hcre lau' is onlr' .rtlotrblet of thc moralitl' that guarantcestht' s.rmc rt'lations llv thc sanrtion of an itrtt'rnalviolcnte of thc irltlividual.


Larv and moralitv also have their placc in the empire ncccssity of tht: rclation of in that thcv rlefine a universal each thing r,r'ith thc othcrs. But tl-rc po\\'cr of moralitv forcign to the svstem basedon extcrnal violcncc. rermains Moralitv only touches this s1'stcmat thc border r.vhere lar'r'is integratcd. And thc connection of the one and thc other is thc middle terrn bv r.vhich oner gocs from the empirc to thc outsicJc,from the outside to the cmpirc.


Cu,qp rl:R I I D ual i sm and Morality

The Positing Shifting

of Dualism

and the of the

of the Borders

Sacred and the Profane bv thc militarl'order, moving trllvar<l In a u'orlcltlominatc<l is <listinctlv univcrsalempirc from the start, consciousncss rcflectittn clf thc uorld tlf rlcterrnincd in thc mcasttrertl tltttornination of cont.iottsthings. And this aLltonomous ncss brings about, in duolism,a pr<lfbuntl altcration in tht' of thc uorld. rcnrt'sr-ntation thc bencficcntand Originallv,u'ithin the divine rvorl<I, pure elcments opposcclthe malefic antl impure clcments, cquallv distant from the prolane' and both tvpes appearccl But if onc considcrsa dominant mo\'('mcnt of rcflt'crtivt' th<iught,thc divinc appcarslinkeclto pttritr', thc profhnc starting lrom to impurity. In this u'av a shift is eff-ccted the premisc that divine immant-nce is tlangcrous, that n'hat is sacred is malcflc first of all, and clcstrovsthrough 69

('ontagionth.rt uhich it t:ttmesclost' to, that thc bcncflbt'ttvt'cnthc profanc rv<lrldarld arc rrretliatclrs ccnt s1>irits thc unleashingof rlirint' lbrtes - ancl sct'tn lcss sacretlin comparisonuitlr tl'rc tlark tlt-itics. 'l'his earlr shift scts tl'rc stagt' fbr a clt'cisivt' changc. moral rulc's;it prt-stribes uniRcflectir,cthought <lefincs ancl socir,ersallvobligator-vrclations betu'ccrt indivich,rals ctv or bctr'r,eenintlividuals thcmselvt-s.Theserobligaton' relations arc t'sst'ntiallvthose that cnsurc the <lr<lcrtlf takt' up prohibitions that u'cre rhings.Thcv somctitnc-s establisht'd bl' tht' itrtintatc ordcr (sr.ri:has d're onc ftrrhidding murclcr). Btrt rtroralitv chooscsfrom amrlng the or at lcast <locs rules of the intim.rtt'or<lcr. lt st-tsasi<lc, llot slll)port, thosc ltrohibiti<lnstltat cannot bc grantecl lit>crtr' vah.re, that clearlvdt'pcnd cln a capricicltls runir,crsal of thc mvthir'.rlortlcr. Antl t'rcn if it gcts part of tht' lans fnrr.n rcligitln, it grtluncls thcm, like thc- otht'rs, it <lecrt-t-s Moralitv lavs it links tht'nr t<ithc ortler of rhing.s. in reason; tl<lun rult's th;rt tilllo* ttnivcrsallvfrom tht'nature of the ',r'ithout u'hich prclfane uorld, that cnsr.trethc <luratior"r thcre can be no opcratirln. It is thcrelforcopposedto the scalc of r,alucsof thc intimatc ordcr, n'hich placeil the mt'aning is gircn in the highcst valuc on that 'nvhose thc cxtrcme lilnns tlf the <lstcntamoment. It con<lentns or cvcn sacrificc, of ncalth (thus l-ruman tious <lcstrttcrtion b l o o tl s a c ri fl c c ... ). [t trl n d c m ns, i n a gencral l vav, al l


tusc'lcss cclnsumpticlr. lJut it lrccclrncs possiblconlt' *hcn sclvcreigntr', in thc <lirinc norltl, shilts lrorn thc dark <lcitl'to thc *'hitc, from the nralcficrlt'itr to thc' protcctor of the real orclcr.In fbct it presul)l)oscs thc sanctionof thc clivir.rc <lrtlt'r. In granting thc opcrative pclu'r'r of the dir.ineover tht- real,mar-r had in practic'c suborclinaterl thc clivir.rc to thc rcal. I Ie slou'h' rccluccdits r.iolcnccto thc sanctionof thc real orclcr tl.ratmrtralitv constitutcs,proridcd that thc rcal orclcr confonns, prt-r'isclv in moralitl', to the univcrsalclrder of rt-ason.ln rt'alitr', rcason is thc univcrsalfirrm of thc thing (i<lt'ntical to itsclf) anrl of thc opcration (of action). Rcason ancl mclralitv unite<l,both resulting from thc r,.-al or<ler'snecessitics of prescnltiorr antl opcrat i <) n, a g r ( ' ( 'n i t h t h e <l i vi n cf i r n t t i o n t hat t ' xt ' r c iscsa bcncvolcntsovt'rt'igntl or t'r tltlt onlcr. TItt'r' rati<lnal i zcand m or a l i zcr l i r i n i t r ' ,i n t h t ' r ' t ' n ' n r o r cm t ' ntu' hcr c rnoralitv anrl rcasonan' rlir inizt'rl. ln this u'av thcrc app('ar thc clt'rnc'nts o1'thc u'orkl vicu' tl'rat is commonlv callc<ltlualisnr anrl that rliffcrs fl-om thc lirst rt'ltrcst'ntation, also bast'rlon a biytartition, bv r irtut' o1'ashiliing of briundaries anrl an ovcrtrrrningof Yalu('s. In thc tirst rcprt'scntaticln, the irnnrancnt sacrcrl is on the animal intimaur of rnan ar.rcl thc u'orltl, prcclicatcd n'hereasdre prolanc u'orlcl is prcdicatcdon tht' transcenrl enccof t hc obj cct ,u h i ch h a sr r <l r ani n t i n r i r cv t cl r r ' l r i cl m


kincl is immanent. In the manipulation of objccts and, generallv, in rclatiotrs u'ith objects, or nith subiccts rcgar<lcrlas objects, thcrt' appcar, in lirrrns that arc implicit but linkc<lto thc profane u'orlcl,the principlesof reasoll and moralitr'. 'fhe sacrcd is itsclf dividccl: thc dark and malcfic sacrt'd is opposc<lto thc rvhitc ancl bt'neficcnt sacre(land the deitiesthat partakc of the onc or the otht'r are ncithcr rational nor rnoral. the di vi nt' bectl mcs t rol uti < l n i n th c tl tra l i sc B v c o n tra s t, rational and moral and relcgatt'sthc malcfic sacrcclto the s p h e rt' o f th c p ro l a n c .' l ' h eu o rl d ol ' thc spi ri t (l rari ngf' cu' connections lr'ith tht' first u'orkl of spirits - u'herc thc disto thc inrlistinctionrlf tinct lbrms of the objcct u'crc joine<1 thc intimatc or<ler) is the intclligiblc urrrltl of thc iilc-a, u,host' unitv cannot be brokcn dor'vn. lht- tlivisirln into bt'ncficentan<lmalt'tic is lbuncl againin tht'norld of'mattcr, u'ht'rc thc tangiblc fcrrnr is somctimcs altprt'hcnsiblt: (in its idcntit_y n.ith itsclf an<lnith its intclligiblcfrrnn, and and <ltht'rtinrcsis not, but rcmait'ts in its opcrativepou'c'r), <langcrous, anil not r omplctclv intclligible,is onlv tunstablc, tct <lestrovthc stablc ancl att<lthre'atens chance,r'iolt:nce, opcrativefirrms.


The Negation of the Di vi ne T ransce ndence

of the Immanence a n d l t s P o si t i n g o f R e a so n in the

Thc moment of changc is givcn in a passage: thc intclligiblt' sphcrt' is rt'r'ealed in a transport, in a su<lclcn movcment o[ transc't rrdcncc, u,ht're tangiblc mattt'r is surpasscd. Thc intcllcct rtr thc (.onccpt,situate<l riutside tirnc, is rleltincdas a sor,crc-ign clr<lcr,to uhic.h the lrorlcl of things is strborrlinatccl, jrrst as it subordinatcdthc gods of mvthologv. In this nav the intelligiblc uorld has thc ( ' . r f t h . ' . l i r i n c. rpl x' aran( Ilut its transtor<lcnccis of a <lif{crentnatrlr('f1'orn thc int'onclusivctransccnclcncc of thc divine of archaic religion. The <livineu'as initiallr graspcdin tcnls of intirnacr. (of violcncc,of thc scream,of bt'ing in cruption, blirrrlanrl unintclligiblc, of thc clark and malcfic sacrcd); if it uas transcendent, this nas in a ltror,isional u,ar',for m.rn nho ac'tc<l in the real order but uas rituallt rcstorcd to thc irrtimatc onler. This secclndary transccn<icnc,c \\,as prolixrndlv cliffcrcnt from that ol thc intclligiblt. rrorlrl, ulrich rt'm.rins./orercr sc'par.rtcrl fr-ornthc uorkl of thc' scnses. Tl.rctransccndcncc cif a morr ratlicalrlualisnr is thc fr <i r l <l n t ' u <l r l cl t o t h t ' o t h t r . M o r c cxac. t l r , it is l )assagc t[rc'lcaring of this u orkl, tht' lcaring of tht' u.orld, [rcr-iorl - lirr, opposite thc sclrsuous uorl<1,thc intt'lligibk' uorkl


is not so much a <lifli'rcntu'orki as it is outsidc thc u'orkl. But man of the dualistic conccption is oppositt- t<r archaic man in that thcrc is no longer an.y intimacl' bctucernhinr and this *'orlcl. This uorlcl is in fact inrmanort to him but this is insofar as hr. is no longcr charactt'rizerl br, intimacv, insofar as hc is tlefinctl bv drings, and is himsclf a thir.rg,bcing a distinctlv separateinrliviclual. Of coursc archaic man did not continuallv participatc in thc contagious r,iolcncc clf intimacv, btrt if he u as removed from it, thc rituals alu'avs kcpt the pou.er to bring him bac'kto it at the propcr timc. At thc lt-r'elof the clualistic concr:ption, no vestigcof thc ancicnt t-estivals can prcvent reflcctirc man, uhom rcflectionconstitutr-s, fron.r being, at the momcnt of liis ftrlfillment, man of lost intimac'r'.l)oubtlcss intimacv is not foreign to hirn; it could not bc said that hc knou's nothing of it, sincc hc has a rccollcction of it. But this rccollection.sentl.s him outsidc a u-orkl in u,'hich thcre is nothing that rt'spor-rrls to thc longing hc has &rr it. Irr this norlcl t'r.crrtl'rings,on u hicl.r he brings his reflec'ticlntcl bcar, arc pr<lfloundh scparatctl from hinr, and tht' beings thcmselvcsarc n'raintained irr thcir incomrnunicablcin<lividualitr'. This is ',r'hyfor hirn transcenclencc tlocs not at all hale thc valucofa scparation but rathcr of a rcturn. No doubt it is inacrcessible, lrcing transccndcncc:in its operation it cstablishes the inrpossibilitv, for tl.reoperator, of bcing immanent to thc






outcomc of thc opcration. But u.hilc thc inclividualthat he is cannrt lea'e this *'or[cl rlr corllcct hirnsclf*ith that n,hich goes be1'ondhis or.r,n limits, hc glimpsesin the sucl_ den au.akening that rvhich cannot be graspcdbut u,hic:h slips awav precisclv as a d61dyu. For him this d6jd vu is uttcrlr, different from that rvhich he sees,u,l.richis alu,avs separatedfrom him - anclfbr thc samc rcason from itsclt. It is that rvhich is intclligibleto him, u.hich au.akcns the recollectionin him, but u.hich is immediatelvlost in thrin'asion of scns.rv data, rvhich reestablish separatiorr .r.r all sirles. This separate bcing is precisclva th;ng in that it is separated from itself-: rr is thc thing anclthc sc1;aration, but .ref is cln thc (.ontrarv an intimacv that is n()t .\r,p.r_ ratcrl frorr anvthing (cxcept that rvhich .scparatc.s it.sclf. from this intimaq., thu.sir, and u,ith it thc rrholc rrorl<l of' .separate things). The Rational Exclusion

of the Tangible World and the Violence of Transcendence A great virtuc in the paracloxof a transcentlenct<lf inti_ macv resultsfr<lm thc crlrnplctcncgation of tl.re gilen in_ rlnroo' that transccnrience is. Fclr thc gircn rntrmar,r. is nt' rt' r'anvt hi ngl r r r t a ( o n t r a r \ ' , , f i n t i m a . . , l r r . r aust .t r r bt , gircn is ncccssarilv to bc gircn in the u-ar:that a thing is. It is alrt'adv to be a thing u'host, intintacv is nr.r.r,ssarill. scparatcd l}om it. The intimac.\,escapesit.clf in thr

R F L I 'J I O N

WI T H l N


L {M l TS



movemt-r)tin nhich it is gilt'n. In lact it is in learing thc u'ori<lt-,f'thingsthat tht' Lrst intimacv is rcgainctl.Btrt in realitv the u'orld of things is not the norld bv itsclf ancl touard a pure intclligibilitv (rvhich is purc transcenrlence als o ,q l i n rp s c d .l l la t o Irc e ,i u th e auakuri ng, a l l ttrc ttrri l tat n'orld, a tlcstruc'tion tclligibilitv) is, u'ithin the sctrsuotts once too crtmplctc antl impoter-rt. Doubdcss the clestructionof thc thing in thc' archait' u'orld hacl an oppositc virtuc and impotence. It did not tlestrov the thing univcrsallv b-v a single operation; it that is (lcstrove(l hv thc ncqation the thing takcn irl isolation, Nou', in its negain the n'or,ld. tiolence, that rs inrpersclnallt' to is no lcss o1l1l<lscd tion the movcm('nt of transct'nclc'nc'e r,iolcnccthan it is to the thing that violent'ctlestrols. J'hc thc timiditv of that bolcl precctling analysisclc'arlv sho'nvs It undotrbtedh'has thc samc intention as archai.' aclvancc. dcstinr, at the sacriticc,nhich is, lbllouing an incltrt'tatrlc the orclerof things.tlut if sametime to lift and to Prescrve of its rt'al it lifts that order, it is by raisingit to thc negatior.r <l[ reasoll arlrl moralitv givcs cff.:cts: the trattsct'nclent'c sovercigntv,againstviolencc (the contagioushavoc clf an to the sanctionof thc ordcr of things' Like ther unleashing), in themsclvcs, it cloes not c'ondctntr, opcration clf sacritic'c, ol de.facto violcncc, u'hich havc the lirnitcd unlt'ashings rights in thc rvorld next to tl'reorder of things,bLrtdcllnes as the\'ltlact-that onlcr in tlangcr. thctr as cril as s<loti


'l'hc u'eakncssof sacrific'e' lost its u'as that it e'r'entuallv jrrst virtue and finallv establishcd tliinri.s, an onlt'r of sac'rt'd as st'rrile as that of rcal objects. fh.. dcep afflnnation of sacrifict:, thc affinnation of a dangcrous so','e'reigntv of violt'ncc, at least tenrlctl to maintain an anguish that brought a longing fcrr intirnac! to an arvakencdstatc, on a lcvel tcl u,hich violcncc alone has thc filrcc tcl raisc us. But if it is true tl.ratan cxc't-ptional violcnce is rcleasccl in transct'ndcncc at the momcnt of its m<lr,cmcnt, if it is truc that it is thc vcrv arvakeningof possibilitv - prccisclr, becausc so complete a vir>lcncc cannot lrt- maintaincrllirr long thc positingof the'<lualistic au,akcning hasthc mcaning of an introductior.r to the sotnnolcncc that folkrus it. 'l'hc dualism of transccnclence is succeedt'dbv the slcc'pvpositing (uhich is alreadvgir,enin thc initial shifts and u.hich onlv sleephclps onc to tolerate)of the lr'orlcl's division betrvc'cntu'o principles, both includc'rl in this rvorld, of u.hich one is at thc same timc that of goo<land the mind, and the other that of evil ancl matter. Henct' thcre is gir,cn,u'ithout opposition, an empirc of thc rcal ordcr that is a sovereigntl'of scn.itudc. A u,orlcl is tleflnccl in which free violcncc has onlv a ncgatile plac'c.


C t t AI , t t , n


M cd i a t i o n

T he Gener al We a kn e ss o f M o r a l and the Strength of Evil

D i vi ni t v

Prt-cisch' bccausc a',r'akcningis thc meaning of rlualism, the inevitablt' slet'o that fbllrl*'s it rcir.rtroducesevil as a major force. The llatness tcl u'l.rich a dualism n'itl'ror,rt transccnrlcncc is limiterl opens up the mir.rd to tl.rc sovcrcigrrtvof cvil nhich is thc unleashingof violcnct'. The sor,ercigntr' of gooclthat is inrplicil bv thc au'akening l,v the sleepof dualism is also a rcduction to anrl rcalize<l thc orclcr of things that leavesno opening exct'pt tou'ard rcturns tcl tht' a retllrn to violcncc. Dull-mindcrl <lualism positior.rprior to thc au'akcning: thi' malefic u.orld takcs on a value much the sam('as tl-rt'oncit haclin thc arcl'raicr position. It is lessimportant than it uas in tht'sovcrcigntv of a purc violcnce,u'hich tlid not har.ea sens(' clf evil, but the firrct's of cvil no'cr lost thcir divinc valuc cxcept uithin the limits of a doclopcrl rcflcc'tion, an<l thcir

statuscannot prcvcnt rlrdinarr'humanapparcnth'infc'ri<lr itv from cclntinuing tcl livc urrrlcr tl.rcir po\\'('r. Scvt'ral forms arc possiblc: a cult of cxt'crationof a violcnccconsirlt'rcd to bc irrt'rluciblt'can capture thc intcrt'st of a blind consc'iousness; an<lthc intcrcst is opcnlv tleclarctl if thc execrationimplies a completeopcning to cvil, u ith a vicu' to a subscquent rcvcal purification;or t'r'il,t'r'ilas such,c'an t<l tht- confuscdcclnsci<lusness that it is uorth m<lrt.to it than gootl. [Jut thc cliff'crc-nt frlr-ns of tht' rlualistic attituclc nocr of'flr anvthing but a slippervpossibilitvto thc mind (ll'hich must alu'avs ans\\'cr at thc samc tinte tcl ttvo irreconcilablc clcmands: lift anrl preserve thc orrlcr of t hin g s ). A richer possibilitv,providing adequatedisplaccmcnts u'ithin its limits, is givcn in mediation. The major r,vcaknerss of dualism is that it offt'rs no legitimatc place fcrr violencc cxccpt in the moment of of rational exclusionof thc scnsuous purc transcenclt-ncc, r'r'orld.But thc' clivinitv of the good cannot bc maintainctl at that clegreeof pr,rrity;indeed, it lalls back into thc sensuousu,'orld.It is the object, on thc part of thc belit'ver, of a scarchfor intimate communication,but this thirst lbr intimacv r'r.ill nevcr bc cluenched.The good is an cxclusion of violcncc and therc can be no brcakingof the onler of scparatcthings, no intimacy, rvithclut r.iolencc;thc gocl of gcxrdness is limitcd bv right to the r,iolcnc'c nith u'hich


he excludcsviolcncc, anrl hc is divinc, open to intimacr', onll' insofar as hc in lact prcscn,cs thc old violencc r.r'ithin him, rvhich he does not havc the rigor to excluclc,and tcr this cxtcr-rt ht' is not the gocl of rcason,u,hich is thc truth of gooclncss. In thcorv this involves a u.eakcningof the moral divine in favor of ervil. The Mediation the Impotence of Evil and of the Avenging God

A first mediation of o'il has alu.avs been possible.I1, before mv cvcs, the real forc'csof cr,il kill mr' lricnd, the violcncc introclucesintimacr, in its most active fclrn. In thc statc of openness in r.r'hich I find mvself due to a violcnce undergone, in thc mournful rer,elation of clcath, I am in accord lr'ith thc divinit-vof goodncssthat condemns a cruc'l act. In thc divine disorcler of crimc, I call for the violcncc that lvill restore therdcstrovccl<lrder.llut in rcality it is not violencc but crimc that has opencd clivinc intimacv to mc. And, insofar as the vcngcancedoes not bccomc an extension of thc irrational r,iolence of thc crime, it rvill cluicklv closc that r,vhichcrime oPcnccl.For onlv r,engeance that is c'ommandedbv passionand a taste for untrammcled violenceis dil'inc. Thc rcstorati<ln of the lau'ful order is essentiallv subordinatc'd to profane realitl'. Thus a first possibilitv of mcdiation manifests thc cxccptkrnally slipperv naturc of a god of goodncss:hc is dir,iner


in cxcluclingvicllence lx violcncc (anclhc is lcss so than thc cxcluderl violcncc, uhicl'r is thc neccssarv mc(liation of his divinit,v),but he is divint' onlv insofaras l-rc opposes rcasonantl tl'rcgoocl;anclif he is a pur(' rationalmoralitv, hc ou'cs his rcmaining rlir.initv to a name, ancl to a propensitv to enrlurc or.r tl.rc part of that u'hich is not dcstrovcd from tht' outsidc. The Sacrifice of the Divinitv

In thc sccond lorm of mcdiation thc violencc comcs to thc divinitv from thc outsiclc.It is the divinitv itsclf that undcrgocs it. As in thc positing ol a god of r,t'ngeancc, crimt'is nccessarv firr the rcturn of tht intimatc orrler. If tht're u'as onh' man, of tl'rcorder of things,and the moral tlivinitv, tht're coulrl not be anv tlccp communication bctn'ccn them. Man includi:din thc ordcr of things w'ould not be ablc both to lift ancl to preserve that ordcr. The r,iolcnccof o'il must intcn'cne firr thc orrlcr to be liltctl through a clcstruction, but thc ollered victim is itself the <livinitr'. 1'hc principlc of mcdiation is givt n in thc sacriflct' u'ht're thc offcring is <lestrovccl so as to opcn a path fbr thc rcturn of the intimatc order. But in the me<liation of sacriflccthc sac'rifict'r's act is not, in theon, oltytciscd to thc rlirini' ordt'r, tl.rt'natur(' o1'uhich it t'xtcnrls inrmediatclv. Hou'cvcr, thc crimc that a uorkl of thc sovcrcign lJ2

gootl has clcflncdas such is cxtt'rnal to thc moral divinitr'. Thc onc u,ho r-rndr-rgocs thc violcnce o[ cvil can also bc callc<l thc mc<liator, but this is insofarashc subjcc.ts himsclf to annihilation,insolhr as he rcnounceshimst'll.'l'hc or<linarr'-r'ic'tim of evil, rvho invokcd the gclrl of vcngcancc, coukl not rcccive this namc since hc hacl inl'oluntarilv unrlcrgont' tl'rc violenc'cof mcrliation. Br-rtthc divinitr' intcntionallr, in,r'okcs crimc; mcdiation is the ioint accomplishmcnt of violenccanclof thc being that it rcnds. In realitv the sacrific'c of'the moral rlirinitv is never the unf-athomable rnr-'sterv that onc usr.rallv imagines.What is sacrillcetl is niat serrc-i, and as soon as sovcrcigntv is reduced to serving thc ordcr of things, it can be re'storecl to thc divine.ordcr onlv through its destruction, as a thing. 'l'his assumes the positing of thc clivinc in a bcing capablc of being really (phvsicallv) cloner an'av r,r'ith. 'fhe violence thus lifts an<lprescn'csthc ordcr of things, irrcspcctil'c of a vengcanccthat mav or ma1.not bc pursucd. In dcath thc divinitv accepts the sovereigntrr,rth of an unleashingthat overturns thc orclcr of things, but it tleflccts the r,iolcncc onto itsclf ancl thus no krngcr scn'e's that ordcr: it ceases to be er.rslar.ed to it as things thcmselvesare. In this n'av it clcvatcstht- sovcrcigngo<ltl,sovt'reign rcason,abovc thc consen'ative an<loperatir,e principlesof the u'orld of things. C)r rather it makt's these'intclligiblc



WI T I ] L N





fbnns that lrhich thc rnovcrncnt of transcendcncc made them: an intclligible l-rcr,onrlof bcing, v.hereit .srruare.r lntlmoc,t. llut the sacrifice of the clivinitv is muc_-h more i.lost,h. ticd to the .qeneral cxclusion clf the given r,i,,lences than uas transccnclence,u'hosc nroventent of vicllence lr.as of eril (in rcason'sbeing tclrn auar gir,cn indepcn<lcntly from the scnsuolls rrorlcl;. -lhc r,cn. r'iolorcc w'ithout lr'hich tlre tlivinity could not have torn itsclf arvav from the oriler of things rs rcjectt'rl as bcing somethingthat ntust 'fhc ccasc. clirinitr' rt'mains rlir,int-onh through that nhich it t ondcn-rns. The Div'ine


Over to the Operation Thc paradox of a nrediation that shoulclnot har.ebecn dot's not rcst mcrelv on an intcrnal contrarlic.tion. In a it controls thc contrarlictioninr.olvt:din thcr gcne'ralrva1., lilting anrl maintcnancr ol tht' real orde.r.'fhrough mediation thc rcal orclcr is subordinated to thc scarch lbr Lrst intimac'v,l:lut the profoLrnd.scparation bctw'crn intimar.r anrl things is succ.ceclc-d lrv a multiplic.itv oi r..,rnftrsions. Intintacv - s.rlvation- is rcgartlt:d as a tl-ringcharactcrizc<l b.r,indir,idtralitv and cluration(of thc ciperation). I)uration is giren to it as a firun<lation originatingin tht'r.cinct-rn fclr


cncluringthat is govemed bv the operation. At thc same timc it is posited as thc result of opc-rationsanalogousto thosc of the rcal ordcr ancl pursued in that order. In actual fict the intimate ordcr is subordinatcrl to the rcal x'orld onlv in a supcrficial rval'. Unclcr tht. sorcrcigntv ol moralitv, all the operationsthat claim to cnsurc thc return of thc intirnatt: order arc thosc that the rcal u'orlJ reqr-rirt-s: the extcnsive prohibitions that arc giren as the precondition frtr thc return are aime-dprimarilv at prcsen'ingthc disordcr of the u orld of things. In the end, the rnan of salvationclid morc to bring thc principlcs of the orclcr of things into the intimatc order than to subordinate that productive ordcr to thi. tlcstructilc consumptions clf thc intirnateordcr. So this r,vorld of mcdiation and of rvorks of salvation is lcd trom the start to erxceed its limits. Not onl_v arc thc vicllcncers that moralit_v con<lcmnssct frct. cln all siclcs, but a tacit debate is initiated betrvcenthc w'orksof salr,ation, n'hich scr,r.e the real ordcr, and those uorks that escape it, that strict mrlralitv contests,ancl that derJicatc thcir uselul rcsor-trc'es to thc sumptuarv dcstruc'tionsof arurhitt'cturc, liturgv, an<lcontemplativeicllcnerss.

l J5

CH,qpl'r,n IV T he R i se of I n d u st r y

The Positing

of a Conplete D i vi n e

Lack of I n t i m a cv and

R el ati on s B et w e t n

the R eal O r de r -l'hc u'orld <lf mcrliation is csscr.rtiallv thc r.r'rlrlrl of n'orks. One ac'l"ricves onc's s.rlvationin thc samc \\'av that onc spinsuool; that is, {rneacts,not accordingto thc intinratc ortlcr, fronr violcnt impulscs and putting calculations asi<le, but.rccc.,rding to thc principlcsof thc uorld of prodr.rction, rvith a vicrv to a futurc rt'sult, u'hich mattcrs mr>rcthan thc satislaction of desircin the monrent.To bt' exact, nonprodr.rctivcu'orks clo rese'rvca margin of s.-ttisfaction in this u'orltl. It is mcritrlrious to irrtroclucca rellcction o[ the divine splt'ndors (that is, of intirlacv) here bclou.. Nolr', besiclcsthc merit that is attributcrl tcr it, this act has its valuc in thc momt'nt. Btrt sccing that cach possibilitymust bc subordinatedto thc busincss of salvrtion, the contrarliction betu'ccn thc mcritorious act


is t'r't'nn-rorcpainful than in thc and thc divine splcn<lors nroral uork, justificrl bv rt'asor.r. Th t' t' ffc c t o f rv o rk si s c v t' n tu al l vto rci l uc' t' rl i ri ni tr' l b r rl i v i n i tr' - o n (c a gai nt< ithi nghoorl .-l ' hc an< lth e rl e s i rrbasicoppositionbt'tu ccn thc'<lirint-and thc thinq, l>t'tnccn intimac\.an(lthc u<lrlrl of thc oltt'ration,t'nrt'rqr's rlivir.ri' in the nt'gationof the valtrcof rvorks- in thc aflirmatiorrof a complctc abst'r.tt't' of rclations lrt'tut'r'n rlivinc qrarc an<l 'l'hc m c ri ts . n c g a ti o n o f th c ra l u c of rrorks - aftt' r thc rational cxclusicin of tht: scnsuous u.'orll an<lthc immola- i s th c th i rd u av i n u hi ch tht' di r i nc i s t ion ri f th c rl i v i n i tr' urt'nclic<lau.ar.fi'orn tht' or<lt'rof things. I-lutthis a<ln"rirablt' rclirsalmakcs one think of the fcroln'ho lumpc<lintcr thc rivrr to g('t out of the rain. No rlciubtthc rt'jcction of u'orks is thc krgical criticisnr of tl.r' cornpromist's <if thc uorltl of'mt'rliation,but it is not a c'omplcte criticism.Thc th a t rc s t' n c s thc rcturn of krst i nti pr in ri p l c o f' s a l v a ti o r.r macv lirr thc firtLrrt'and tbr thc u'<lrl<lbcvonil this onc misst'sthc csscnce of thc rcturn, u.hich is nclt onlr that it , . anb t' s u b o n l i n a tc rl to th a t n h i c h i t i s not, but that i t can onlv bc givcn in tltc momcnt - anrl in thc immant,nct'of thc hcrc-bclo\\'.. . . T'o uphol<la salvation<lcfcrrerl to thc nc x t u rl rl d a n rl to rt' p tr< l i a tc u o rks i s tr>fi rrgt' tthat i nti rna(\' can lrc ri'g..rincrl onlv lirr rnc - if thc tuo t('rms arc - not intinracv u'ithotrt r.nr'.What tlclcsrt'storcrl present int im a c r n rc a ni n i ts c l f i f i t c s i ' a p cs mc?' l ' hrouqh rccol l cc' -


tion, tht' transcr-nrlcncc <lf rt'as<ln morncntarilv rcscrucrl thought l}om thc prison of thc scnsuous u,orl<l;anrl thc mt'diation that rlclircrs the <livine l}om thc rt'a[ ordcr i ntro< l utes t hc po u cr l t ' ssn css o f u o r ks o n l r . b ccausc of t ht ' absurdi tr of aba n <l o n i ntg , h t ' h e r e - b cl o u . I n a nv cast -onc cannot p<-rsit dirint' intimacv unlcssit is in thc ll.rrticrular, u'ithout dclav, as thc possibilitr. of an immancnct' of thc <lir,irre oncl ol man.Ilut the positinqof dil ine immarrrnct'in thc ncgationol thc valucclf rvorkscon'r1tlt'tcs thc scparation of the bcvonclan<lthe here-lrclou':hcncefirrth thc ht'rcbclou' is re<lucccl to thinghririrl, ar-rcl thc rlivineorclcrcannot be brought into it - as it rvasin tht: nronumentsancl thc religiousfcstivitics. It is the most lreccssarl rcnuneiation in one scnsc: insof-ar as man ties himself entirclv to the rcal onler, insofar as hc limits himsclf to planning operations.Ilut it is not a qut-stion of shor'r'ingthc por'r'crlessness of the man of ',r'orks; it is a question of tearing lrrdn awa\' lrom the ordcr of lr,orks. And prcciselv the' opposite is accomplishcrl bv thc ncgation of thcir valur, u'hich surrcntlers and cclnfinesnlan to them, changing thcir meaning. Tht' ncgation of their valuc replacesthc lr'orld of norks subordinated to the intimate ordt'r rvith a u'orld in rvhich a u'orlcl of nclrks har,thcir sovereigntvis consummated, ing no other purposc than its ou,n dcvclopmcnt. Conscquenth',production alone is accessiblc and u'orthv of






l - IEAS( JN

intercst h.rc-br'lo*'; the principlt' of rlt,'.nP.<luc'ti'e s t ^ rc ti o n i s g i rt' n rn l ' i n th t' b c ' o.rj , anrl i t cann.t l ra' c anv valuc firr tht' hcrt'-bt.lou,. General View, of the to

Re l a ti o n s o f P ro d u c ti o n Nonproductive

Destruction What this ncgation of tht, tlivinc r.aluc of u.orks nrakcs possi[rlcis thc rcign of autonontousthings _ in a u.rlrrl, thc l'orld of i'<|"rstrv.Irr art,haie s.r.it,t\,, tht.rctirallv, thc rr orlrl of thinqs rr-.r.s giverras an cncl lbr intintatc vicllt_nce, but i t c o u l rl b c th a t e n rl o n l r.o n onc conrl i ti on: that thi s bc considerc,l.,,r...cign, th,rt it lrt. thc rcal c'rl. ''iolc'rcc l ht ' ttrtt,,' rrrl ,r' l i ' n * a r onl ' an .l nxi ' rrs r(.s(,r-\Jl l ro rl trt tiorr; in realitr,, protluction ,,n, rul.or,l,,uotcJ t,t nonproducti.e Jc.rrrtrct rott. l'r thr: nrilitarr. ordt'r, thr- arailablc r(.sorrr(.(,s of the u'orld of things u.crc allor.att,d, in principle,to tht, gron.th of an cn-rpirc. projcc.tingbevonclthc c.loscrl ..r,rnrrirnitics tou'arcl thc unir,crsal. llut militarv activitv onl\ airns to givc-thc order of t lr in g s .c rrl r rr. .r rrrri t.r.s r l ll i ,rm a n,l , al tr.,. .Solong as tlrc linrits of thc enrpir(,rvcr(,rrot rt,achcrl, protluction had militan' forcc as its prinrarr. cnrl, arrrl u'hcn thesc linrits n'crc, rcac.hctl,militarv forr.c u.as pushcclinto thc backgr,rlrn..l. Mort,rlrrr, ..r.:r.1rt firr u,hat





rlas rccluircrl fbr the rational org.rrrizaticin of ln cnrpirc, .r.s con('crnsthe use <lf'thc rcsourc.cs in thc lirst prclrluc.ctl, phascthc orrler of things maintaincrlambiguousrclations u'ith the archaicsocietv;production remained nthordinated to nonproductircexpentlintre. C)nce the Iimit of grorrth u,as rca<,hetl, mc<liation brriught in rclations that u,crc just a.s ambiguous but mort, conrplcx. Thcorcticallv, the usc <lf prorluction n.as subordinatcd to moralitr,, but moralitv ancl thc rlivine lvorld u,ere profbundlv intcrclcpcnclcnt.The dir.ine-u,orlcl rlren, its strcngth fiorn a riolent r.rc'gation rvhich it conrlcmnccl, antl rt'mainerltlir.int.in spitc of its itlentificationn.itl.rthc rcal basi.s of moralitv, hencc u ith thc orrler of things. Unrlt'r thcst- c'onrlitionstht' clvcrt r.<lntracliction of the arc'haicu'orlil r,r,as succeederlbv thc apparcnt agrecment betu'r'cna nominal primacv of thc rlil'ine., cclnsuming procluction, and, strict[r' ovcrl.rppingit, in thcorv not l)rest'nting anl rlil}t'rt'ucc ficirn it, this no k'ss nonrinal primacr':tlrc nroral orrlt'r, ticrl to 1'hc anrbiguitv ltrorlur.tir>n. of archaicsocictv continut'rl,but uhcrcas in archaicsoc.ictv the <lt'strtrc tion of resotrrct's\\.as supposetlto fivor pnrrluction <lu'ingprccisclr, to its unlrrorh-rc:tive natur(.(lts tlivinc naturc), the sclcit.tr. of nrctliation,claiming salvation as its unpr<l<luctivt' r'nrl,1tr<lpose<l to achit'vt'that cntl through prodLrctivc' operations. In this ambigLrous pt.rslrcctive,nctnproductit.e dc.stntt'tion kepta sovcrei,qn share, hut 9l








t !r'r,::,::':

ol- t he pr oducti ve op er at i on g ener alh' domi not ed r',',

Consecluently, mcrclv bv disputing thc value of the ope-rationinsof-aras its e.fferct \\rassupposed t<t be cxerted in thc divine ordcr, one arrived at the rcign of the autonomous procluctivc opt'ration. Acts c.cased to har,c a subordinatc value u'ith regard to recliscovt-rcd intimacl. (to salvation,or to the bringing of divinc splcndor into this u'orld). Thus thc way \\'as clear for thc inrlefinitt: development of clperative forces. Thc complcte scission bctw'een thc intimate ordcr anrl thc onlcr of things had the effcct ol .frecing productionfrom its archair. purpos(' (from the nonproductive destruction of its suryrlus) and from the moral rulcs of'mediation. The exccssprocluction could bc der.oted to the gnx,vth of the productivc cquipment, to capitalist(or postcapitalist;accumulation. The World of Complete Reduction,

or , th e R e i g n o f T h i n g s Thc millcnial qucst for lost intimac'r. r,r,as abancloned bv productive mankind, an'are of the futilitt of the operatir.e u.ays, but unable to continue searching for that lr.hich could not bc sought merelv bv the means it had. Man bcgan to sav: "Lct us construct a lr.orld u.hosc procluctir.e forces grclu' morc ancl more. Wc shall meet mclre ancl more of our matcrial nccds."


It soon bccamcapparcntthat bv bccomingman of thc autonomous thing, man nas ber'oming more estrangerl from himsclf than o'cr bcfbrc. This cornpletescission surrcnrlerecl his lifi' to a lnor.cmt'ntthat hc no longercontrollecl, a movcment lvh<lsc cons(.quenccseventualh. frightencd him. Logicallr,'this mor.emcntengagcs a largc shareof production in the installationof nov t'quipmcnt. It has t'liminated thc possibilitvof an intcnscconsumption(commensuratc u,ith thc volumc of production) of thc exccss rcsourccsprorltrccd:in fact, thc protluc.ts can bc delir.crerl onlv if, in ordcr to obtain the ncccssarv currencv,thc consumers agrcc in practicc to c.ollaborate in the cornmon of devcloping projcct tht: mcansof prorluction.This projcct is nhat matters anrl thcrt- is nothing prcfcrableto it. 'l'herc is ccrtainlv nothing bcttcr that one can do. If onc docs somcthing,obr,iouslvthis must be a participationin tht- projcct, unlcss onc struggles to rnakc the latter mort' rational (morc effcc'tir.efrom thc stanclpoint of der,.clopment) bv rcr.olutionarvmcans. But no onc clisputcsthe principlc of this sovercigntl'of sen,iturle. IndeecJ,nothing can ber opposcd to it that might dcstroy it. For nonc of thc former sovereign entitics is able to step fcrrrvarcl ancl sclvercignlysav: "You r,r.illserve
m e.tt

The majority of mankinclhas gir.en its conscnt to the industrialentcrprise,and u.'hat presumLrs to go on existing


alongsidcit givt-sthe imprcssion of a clcthroncclsovercigrr. It is clear that thc majoritv of mankincl i.sright'.compared to thc industrial rise, thc rcst is insignificant.I)oubtlcss this majoritv has let itsclf be reduced to the orderof things. But this generalized reduction, this perfcct firlf'illment of the thing, is the ncccssarycondition lbr the c:onscious antl fully do.elopeclposingo[thc problem of man's reduction to thinghood. Onlv in a u,orld r,r,herethe thing has reducccl crven'thing, r,r.hercu hat r.r.'as oncc opposed to it rcvcalsthe povcrtv of equivocalpositions- and incvitablc shifts - can intimac'yaffirm itself *'ithout anv morc compromiscs than thc thing. Only thc gigantic rlcvclopmcr.rt ol thc means of procluction is capalrlcof fullv rcvcaling thc meaning of procluction, u,hich is tl're nclnproductivc consumption of u.ealth- thc fulllllment of scf-consciou.rness iIr the lrec outbursts of thc intimate orrlcr. Br"rt the momcnt u'hcn cclnsciousncss, rcllectingback on itself,rcrcals itself to itsclf anrl sccs pr<xluctiondcstint'clto be consumt'd is preciselvu'hcn the u'orlcl of prclductionno krnger knous n'hat to do u'ith its proclucts. T he C l e a r C o n s c i o u s n e s s o f Things, or, Science Thc conclitior-r for achier,ingclear sclf-cclnsciousness is scicnce, uhich is the attainment of a clear consciousness of t hc rc a l o rrl c -r(i .c ., o f th t' u ' o rl tl of obj tcts). S ci cncci s

closclr tic<l to thc autonorrv of things. Anrl it is itself nothing br,rtthc autonomv of thc consciousncss of things. Although consciousncss turncd au'ay from thc intimate order, r.vhich, as far as knorvledge goes, is thc orclcr of mvthologv, it could not bc a clcar consciousncss of objects so long as it u'as deltendenton mvthical detern.rinations. In thc first cclnception,n'hcrc the tclol cstabhshcd thc transcentlencc of thc object, it uas onlv in thc form of thc spirit that consciousness rlefinerlits confuse<l object. So it vvasnot a c'lcarconsciousncss of therobject u.ay: thc distinct pt-rccir,cdin a scparate(transcenrlent) cclnsciousness of the object lvas still nclt free clf thc st'ntiment of self. When attention u,as focused on sacrifice, was at least separatcdfrom rcflcction on consciousness thc profanc thing, on thc intimacv of sacrificc, but it u,as thcn cntirclr:'consumcdbv anguish,obscssccl bv thc fccling of thc sacrccl. Thus the clear consci<)usncss of objccts \vas gi\,en onlv to the extt'nt that mclst of tht' attenticln u,as drarvn au.av from thcm. l'he imprlrtance of clperative forms and the development of manulacturing techniques in the movemcntstl'ratucrc aimcclat an impcrial (r,rr"rivcrsal) organizationbrought back a part of the attention tcr the u.orld of things. It rvas lr,hcn attcntion u,as clircctcrl mainl", to things that gcncral lrccdom and tht' t ontradic:tion of jucJgmcntsbccamc possiblc. Human thought escapedthe rigid rleterminationsof thc mvthical orcler


and got rkllr'n to the u'ork of scicr.rcr', u'hcrt' objccts are clcarlv and distinctlv knoun. Prccisc claritr. u'as thus brought into consciousncss and it organizcdthc rational llut as thc instrurncnt of knonlmodes of consciousness. cdge developcd,pcoplc tricd to trscit to examincthc intimatc ordcr. In this u.av clear consciousnt-ss lvas gir,e'na hvbritl contcnt. 'l'ht' intimatc order, fundamentallv unreal, aclaptcdits arbitran mvthical rcprcscntations to the logical forms of thc consciousncss of clbjects.lt thus introduce<lir.rtotht' u'hole domain of krrclrrlcrlgc thc sovcreign ilccisionsthat do not expressd'rt:intimatc ordcr itself but thc compromist'sthat cnablc it to rcmain intimate rrhilc submitting to thc principlt'sof the real onler. It uas onh' uith thc complete scissionof thc intimate an<lthc rcal, and in the u'orlcl of thc autonomous thing, that scicnce sloulv cscapcd from the hvbrirl fbrmr.rlations of consciousness. But in its complctt' succcssit c'onsummatt's man's cstrangcmentlrclm himsclf anclrcalizt's, in the cast' of thc scicntist,thc re<luctionof all lifc to thc real onler. Thus knou'lt-dgc and activitv, <lcr,cloping concurrentlv uithclut subordinatingthcmsclvcsto one anotl'rcr,finallr. cstablish a real, consummat(' u'orkl anil humanitv, fbr rvhich the intimatc ordcr is rt'presentedonlr, through still have an prolongcd stammcrings. Thesc stammcrir.rgs uncommon filrcc bccausc thcv still havc tht. r'irtuc of gencrallv opposingthc rt'alitv principlc uith drc principlc of


intimacy, but thc goocl u,ill that rcccivcs thcm is aln ar,s rnixcd rvith disappointment. FIolr. meek these voices sccm. l'lorv defcnscless their cquivocations leave us, laccd u,ith thc clcar cxpression of rcalitv. Authoritv and authenticitv arc entirclv on the side of things, of production and consciousncss of the thing produced.All thc rcst is vanitv and confirsion. This uncqual situation linallv posr.s the problem in clerartenns. 'l'he intimate ordcr is not reached if it is not erlcr.aterd to thc authenticitv and authoritv of the real 'l'his implics, as a matter u,orld and rcal hr.rmanitv. of fact, thc rcplacement of compromises bv a bringing of its conte'nts to light in the clomain of clear and autonomous consciousncss that sciencchas organizt-d. It implies SHI-FCONSCIOUSNESStaking up the lamp that sciencchas maclc to illuminatc objects an<l dirccting it tou,ard intimacy. Self-consciousn ess

Thc authcnticitvof a usc of sciencc adaptedto a knou'lerlgc of tht.intimatt'orrlcr immecliatclv rulcs out thc possibilitv of giving a lcarnt.rlfclnn to thc autonomousdcclarations of mcn or intimacv. In thc rclationship bt-tuecn otrjcctive knoulcdge anrl intimacr-' thcrc is doubdessa primarv <lif'tcrcnce: thc objcct can aluavs cxpcct thc light that uill illuminatc it u hcrt'asintimac'r' scckingthc light cannot ('x-




WI f






of'tht' corrt'ctlr. tl thc rt'.storation IX'(t it to bc prcljcc'tt'<l cl car col .ti n tht' s1tht' rt' ttf < l rtl c ri s to b c a c h i c v t' tl ir r t ir . n a tc r hich alonc has thc filrct' tcl rcscue intimacv sciousncss, it still cannot bt' achit'rc<lthr<ltrgha from t'quir'ocatiotrs, as thc u'ill t<i Arttl insclfhr suspt'rrsion of intimatt-existc'trc't'. is involvcd, intimac'vuill appcarto llc clcar consci<)usn(-ss 'l'ht' . lr gir cn in the sphcrcof tlistinct knou lctlge immt'tliate rlifllcultr, of making rlistint't knon'lctlgc atrd th.' intimatc is clueto their contrar\.modcs of cxistence orclcr coinc'iclc is art nlrt'rcasknorvlerlgt' is imnrc<liatc, in tinre. l)ir ine lif-e sttspt'trsiotr antl rr aitirtg.Ansrvt'ring opcratirinthat rt'cluircs to tl'rt' tt'mporal immctliai'v of thc rlivinc lifc, tht'rt u'as th<lught.Antl intimatt' rnvth and the lirrms of t:quir'<lcal crpt'ricnct' can tloulrtlcssabanrlonmlsticism, but t'r'crt' time it takesplacc it must bc a complctc ans\\r'r to a total quc s tro n . This lxing truc, llo onc c.tn corrcctlr attslvc'rthe rcquirement given in thc f<rrms of obicctive knou'lt'clge Irrespcctii'eof tht' except bv positing a non-knou'lcclgc. non-knouledge thct that tlre aflinnation o[a firtrtlamt'rrtal rnav l>cjustificd on othcr grounrls,thc clcar consclotlsnerss tics dil'ine lilc t.-,a r('({){of uhat is at stake irnmt'cliatclv nition of its olrscurcnatttrc, clf thc rright that it opcns t() <lfclcar l'his immediatccttittc'itlcnt't' discursivcknou leclgt'. of thc intinrateorilcr is and thc unf-ettering consc'iousttt'ss in thc ncgationof tratlitiotral1>rcsupnot iust manilt'stc<l





it implics the h,r'pothesis positior.rs; fbrrnulatc,<l once,an<l for all: "Lrtimacv is thc limit of crlc.rr consciousncss; clcar consciousncss cannot clcarlr,and distinctlv knorv anvthing concerning intimacl', cx(,ept fbr thc mocliflcationsof things that are linkccl to it." (We rlon't ftnon.anr.thing corrccrninganguishexccpt insof-ar as it is implie.din thc fait of' the inrpo-ssi61c operation.) Self-c.<lnsci<lusnr-ss thus cscal)cs thc clilcmmaof tlre sirlultaneousrequirt,nrcntof immediacv an<lof the opcration.The immcdiatc negation clivcrts thc opcration touard things anrl touarcl thc tlclmain of rluration. The u.eaknessof traclitional understandingsof thc intirnate order resiclesin the lact that thev har.e alrvavs i nl ol verl i t i n t ht ' o p t ' r a t i o n ;t h cr . l r . r r e, , i t h . . rat t r i l r r r t . . t l thc opcrativer to it, or thcy have sought to attain qr,ralitv it bv u'ar,o[ tlre operation.Man placing his essence in the opcration obviouslr cannot bring it abor-rt that thcrc is not some link u'ithin him bctuetn thc opcration and inti_ macr,'.It uould be neccssarvcither for intimacv clr filr the operation to be elinrinated.But, being reduced to tliinghood bv thc opcration, all that hercan do is to unclertake thc contrar,v' operation,a reductionof' the reduction. In othcr uords, thc ucaknr-ss of thc variou.s rcligious positions is in having unclcrgonethe dcbasementof thc onler of things u.ithout har.ingtried to modifv it. Without t'xccption. thc rcligionsof mcdiation lcft it as it n,as,


N THE lMll!:j OF RE

crountcring it onlv \\'ith thc limits of moralitv. Likc thc an'haic religions,thev expressh'proposetlto mairltain it, ncvcr litiing it unlt'sstho' had first cnsurcrl its stabilitv. hr d're encl,thc' rcalitv princillle triumllhed o't'erintitnac:r" is not rcallv What is rt'quircd bv sclf-consciousncss 'l-heintimate ortler of thc ordt'r of things. thc dcstructic-,n cannot truh' destr<tvthc ordc-r of things (just as drt' orcler of things has never comllletelv dcstroved the intimatc ortlcr). But this rcal uorlcl having rcachcd tht apcx of its tlurt it tall bc rlclclopmcnt catt bc dcstrovcd,in thc sctrsc catlcctnsciousncss to intimacv. Strictlv spcaking, rc<lucc<l nclt makc intimacv reclucible to it, but it can reclaim its or'r'n operaticlns, rccallitulating thcm in rcI'erse,so that itsL'lf is t-l erttt anrl cotrscitlusnt'ss tht'r' ultirnatclr canc strictlv reducerlto intimact. Of ctlurscthis crlttnteroPcratcl thc movcmt'ttt of tontion is not in anr'\\'a\'oPPose(l rcducctl to that uhith it csscntiallris - t<l that sciousr.rt'ss ktleu it uas' u'hich, lrom thc start, cach onc of tts alrvavs rlnlv in one st'nsc.It lJut this u,ill be clcar consciotlsncss In so <loing,it uill u'ill rcgain intimao'onlv it.tclarkness. havc rt-achc.ltht' highesttlegrcc of tlistinct tlaritr'' br-rtit u ill so fulh' realizcthc possibilitvof man, or rtf being,that intimatc u'ith thc it u'ill rcclisrovcrthc night of thc anin'ral it will enter. n,rrlrl - into u'hich

r0 0

tl l :l F


l l !D U ST l ty

of Things T'r bigi' r'r'ith,*c l'rareclcar consc.iousncss i' its elab.ratcd fbrrn. []urtht'r, the of prrclut.tici., the ,^lcr 'orld of things, has rcachctl thc point of cler.clopmcnt u.hcrc it does nclt knou r'r'hatto tlr uith it. pr,,,lucts. -fht. first colrditi'n makt:sdestructior p'ssible; the secondmakesit ncccssar\'. Ilut this cannot bc donc in the cmpvrean,that is, in unrealitv, to w'hich thc religior-rs approach usuallv leads.The moment of decisionrlemands, on thc contrarv, a considcrationclf tlre poorcst and least intim.rtt.aspe(,ts of thc problenr. Wt' must dcsc.enrl nolr. to the lor.r.est ler el of the lr.orld of man's reducticin to thinghoorl. I can shut mvsclf up in mr. r..,n., .r-,-,1 look there for the clear an<l clistinct r.neaning rif thc objects that surround mc. Here is mr table, mv c.hair,mv bcd. J'hr:v are ht,re as a result of labor. hr ordcr to makc thcm and install thcm in mv room it u'as necessarv to forcgo the itrtercst of thc momcnt. As a matter of'f.ict I ml.sclf had to u.ork to par. for thr.m. tha t i s, i r r t h co r r , I h . r . l r . , t o m p cn sa t t , t o. t h" labor of the r.r'orkers n.ho madc thcm or transportcd thcm, r'rith a picirc of labor just as uscful as thcirs. Thcse pro<luctsof labor allou. me to u.nrk and I rvill bc ablc to pav lor thc u'ork of thc butcher, the baker, and thc, farnt'r *ho *'ill (-'srlrc m' sur'i'al a'rl the ccirtinuaticln clf'mv vrork.

The General Destruction

l 0r

a largc glass of alcohol on rnv tablc Nou I plac'er useful. I havc lrought a tablc, a glass,etc. I har.cbere'n But this tablc is IX)t a mcans o[ labor: it helps mc ttr clrink alcohol. on thc tablc, to thilt cxtent In st'ttingmv drinking glass pl',\e, or at le'astI liave <lcstrovcclthc I havedestrqr, t1,, l;rlrorth,rt rr as ne. ,l.., l l t r m.rkc it . Of coursc I have llrst conrple'tclvdcstroved the labor of the u-itrtgrorvcr,u hcrtils ml' absorptionhas onh' dcstr<llecl lahor' At lt'astthis ta[>lta nrinutt' amortntof thc carpcnter's in this room, hcavv u ith the chainsclf l.rbor' for a time harl than mv brcakingloosc' no otltrr pLlrposc I anr nou going to rccall thc use I have madc of the moncv carned at mv rvork tablc. If I havc lr'astcd part of that l.nonev,u'asted part of thc timer the rest cnablcd mc to livc, the dcstruction of thc thc Ilad I just oncc scizerd tablc is alreatlvmorc atlvanced. moment bv the hair, all tht'preceding tirnc',roultl alrea<lv bc in the po\\'cr of that tnoment seized. And all the all the jobs that allou'edme to do so rvoulclsudsrrpplies, dcnlv bc dcstroved;likc a river, thev u'oulti drain cndinto the oct-anof that bricf instant. lc'sslr. In this u'orld thcre is Iro immense untlcrtaking that has anv other cnd than a dcfirtitive'loss in the futilc nrom('nt. Jtrst as thc urrrld of things is nothing in thc


supcrlluous univcrsc u.hcre it is clissolr.ecl, the mass ol cflbrts is nothing n('\t to thc lutilitr o[ a singlc mornenr. -l'he frcc vet submissir.t, momt.nt, furtivcl.v inr.olrc<lin minutc opcraticlnsbv the fear of letting onesclf 1o.sc rjmc is uhat Ju.sti f i cs t ht p cj r r r a t i r er a l u c , , f t l r . , r o n l i ut i l e. This introduccs,as a basis for cleor.scfconsciou.sncss, a consideration of the .[rjects tl.rat arc cliss'lr.ercl anr] dcstr'rcd i'thc intir-natc monlert. rt is a return t<l thc situaticlnof the animal that eats another animal; it is a negatior.r of'thc differcncebetuecn thc object and nrvsclf or thc general destruc:tion of <lbjccts as suclr in th. fi..l,l of consciousnt'ss. Insofaras I clestrovit in thc-Iieltl of mr. (l (' Jr (()ns( i ousne s\t.h i s t a b l c t . e a st , t : , f o r m , r , l i . t i n. l t and opaqur- ,screcnbctr.r'ecrr the r,rorld and mt. Ilut this table cor-rlcl not bc clcstrovcdin thc fleld of mv c.onsc.rous_ nessif I did not gir.c my rlcstructiotrits;..,rl,r"qu.-nr.ts in tlre rcal rirrler. Tl'rc real rcducti.r.r of thc redu.ti.. of thc, rcal <>rderbrings a fr-rndamentalrevcrsal into the cc.o_ nomic order. lf u,e.are to prescn,ethc mor,cmentof thc econ()*Jr' *c nee<lt. deterrnine thr. pciint at *hich tht' cxcessproduction r.rill flou likc a rir ff to rheour.sjt?e. It is a mattcr of cn<l l cssl v co n su m i n g- o r i l cst r o r i ng - t he -l'his t ' r l u kl j u st . r s*<' l l [ r c' r r ' ' . , P r r , l u . cr l . * ithc^rt thc lcast con-scio,.snes.r. But it is i'rsofbr as clcar c.ns.ious'ess prcr.ailsthat thc .bjects actualh,dr-str.vecl ,l rj t' tts th.rt a r t




WI T I ] I N




uill not clestrov humanitv itself. Thc destruction of thc subject as an indiviclual is in fact impliccl in thc tlestruc'tion of the objerctas such' but n'ar is not the inevitablc form of the destruction:at anYratc, it is not thc ctlnscious is to bc, in thc gcneral form (that is, if sclf-consciousness sensc.human).



Thc positing of a rcligious attituclc that q ould rcsult fron.r and r'r'oultlexcluclc,if not thc ecstatic clcar consciousn('ss, fbrm of religion, then at least its mvstical fbrm, differs radicallv from the attcmpts at fusion that excrcisemintls anxious to remedy the u'cakness of currct'rt rcligious positions. about Thost' in thc religious rvorkl u'ho arc alar-rnecl thc lack of harmonv, lr,ho look f<rr the link betuet'n thc rliffi:rcnt disciplincs, r'r'ho are tletermined to dcnv that to the Roman prelate,or thc u'hich opposcstht- sannvasi Sufi to the Kicrkcgaardian pastor, complete tht: emascu- of that rrhich alrcaclvoriginates lation - on both siclcs in a conrprotniscof tl.rcintinratc ortlcr uith the orclcr ttf things. The spirit larthest rcmolt'd lrom thc virilitv is thc spirit and consciottsnc.s-s necessaryfor joining violence l'he endcavorto sun) up that u'hith scpaof "svlrthesis."

r 09

ratc rcligior-lspossibilitieshar,c revealcd, and to makc their shared contcnt the principle of a human lifc raiserl to universality, sccms unassailabledcspite its insipicl rcsults, but for anvonc to v'homhuman life is on cxperience to be carried as.laraspossible, theruniyersol sum is necessarily that of thc rcligious scnsibilitv in time. Svnthesisis most clearlr, rvhat rcvcals the nced to firmlv link this u'orld to that rvhich the rcligious sensibilitvis in its univcrsalsum in time. This clear revclationof a declineof the rvholc lir.ing rcligious lr'orld (salient in thesc synthetic forms tliat abandonthe narrorvness of a trarlition) u.as not givcn so long as thc archaic manifestations of religious feeling appeared to us indcpendently of their meaning, like hieroglvphs that could be clcciphered only in a formal r.vay; but if that mcaning is norv given, if, in particular, the bchavior of sacrifice, thc least clear but the most dir,inc and thc most common, ceascsto be closcd to us, thc u.holc of human cxperience is rcstored to r"rs. Ancl if rve raisc ourseh.'es personallv to the highcst degrercof clear consciclusncss, it is no longer the scn'ile thing in us, but rathcr the sovereign rvhosc presencc in the world, from hcad to fcrot, from animality to sciencc and from thc archaic tool to thc non-senscof poetrv, is that of unir,ersal humanitv. Sovt-reignty dcsignates the mor.emcnt of frcc and internallv lr.rernching violcncc that animates the


nholc, rlissolvcs into ttars, into ecstasv and intcl bursts of laughtcr, and rc'r,eals the impossiblcin lat,ghter,ccstasv, or tcars. But the impclssiblethus rer.ealc,l i, n.,t an ecluivo<'al position; it is thc s<llcrcignsclf_consc.iousncss that, preciseh', no lclngi'r turns au,av from itself.


f O WFI()M Ll l -l : IS A N l -.X I' l i R Il i N (l ,., FA R A S P OS S (IIL[;.

' l ' () ttl r (A R R l ti l ) A \

I have not meant t<l t'xprt'ssmv thought but to help vou clarifr- rvhat )*ou vourself think. . . '

You are not anv more tliffcrcnt lrom me than vour right leg is from vour left, but u'hat joins us
N { ()N SfLI{S . i s TH t r S I Ll -l l 'Ol i R IA S ()N - WItl C tl I' R ()l )tl (' F.S

A pt , t - N l ) t x

Gener al

T abl e

an d Ref er en c es

I fecl obligcclto prerscnt a table* that makesit possible to visualizethe successive possibiliticsas a singlc do'clopment. This figure emphasizesthe dialectical charactt'r of the rlevelopment rvhose phasesgo from opposition to opposition and from stagnationto movement. But abovc all it offcrs thc aclvantagc of bcing clcar. Unfortunatelv this claritv has its draw'backs. It tcnds to dcprivc mv exposition of a virtr"rcthat it mtrst claim. As far as possible,I have tried to present the foregoing logical movement in thc forrn it rvoulcl havc in thc final statc of consciousncss, that is, clt'tachcdfrom an elabclrati on of i ts hi st o r i ca l o r e t h n o g r a p h i c f o r m s. For t hi s rcason,I have excluded discussion of thosc lorrns as *cll as rcfcrenccs pcrtaining to thcm.
* '[ 'ht 'et li tor of B atai l l c ' sc ompl ete tr' ork s nott,s that thi s tabl t' uas not f i r unr l am ong th< ' author' s papers .Itrans . notc ]


I uas all thc less inclincclto link thcse develoPnlellts to an analvstsof thc particular rcalities as tht:v are dist inc t lv s c p a ra t(' fro m th c l a tte r: b v defi ni ti on thtsc realitics corresponcl in a callrititlus, imllerf'cct rvav to the necessitvthcl' cxpress.In the last instancethis ncccssitv m av har e o p e ra tc c l u n rc s c n ' c d l v u ' i t hotrt t-r' er hari ng bccn inevitablc at a prccisc moment. Forms that I have presentcd as being inti:gral u'ith one anothcr maY havt' devcloped at timcs one after the othcr. Morcover, I havt' had to articulatc the stagesof a mon'cment as il there \\'ere a discontinuitv, rvhcrcas continuity is thc rulc and transitional forrns havc a t:onsiderableplacc in historv' Ilvbrid forms, rcsulting from contacts in time of rcrv also introduce conlusion' Finallv, it dilferent cir,'ilizations, at .r particular is clcar that conditions rcgularly 1>resent stagc may rtaPPear ancl bcconre operatilc at stlme subscqut-nt stage. O f c o u rs c th i s a p p a re rl t ta s tta l n cssdoes not at al l I di scussi ons. pr ec lude p o s s i b l c , c l r ra th e r, n c c c s sarY , repeat that this piece of rvork is lar from completion' And in fact the completeclnork, if it is possiblc,should rcsult It is a common crror of persllcc{iom such cliscussions. tive to think that trv contesting a particular point onc contests thc soliditv of thc outlined lr'holc. J'his u'holc is ancl not onc of itself the rcsult of mv o\\'n ct.rntestations them failcd to enrich it, although, past a ccrtain point, I il8

<lid not lrarc to rlakc anr, substantial thalrges.(iircn thc gcnrral coht - si on,a j u st i f i e d co n t r a r l i ct i r t n i s not t hc attatk that thc c<;ntradictor easilyimagint:s; it is a help. (l arn happv to citt' as an ('xanllllethe f rien<llvinten cnticlns of Mircca Eliod.-' it u,as onc of thcm in particular that crrablcdrnc to situatc the "supreme lrcing" in the urrrlcl of spirits. ) Whilc it is truc that a cohesionmust n(,ce.ssArilr,'distancc itself from the capriciousclataof thc historical w'orlcl,there is not one of theseclatathat <lncshotil<l not trv to n:<lucc to the r,r.hcllc and onlv insofar as thc u'hole has bccn polishedbv thesc rcrluctionscan it casilvreveal to others the contorts of tht:ir clw.nthought. I u'ould likc. to hclp mv t-cllou'beings gct uscd to thc idca of aD open movement rtf reflection. This moveme'nt has nothing to conceal,nothing to fcar. It is tnre that ther resultsof thought are strangelvtied to testsof rivalry. No one can entirelv separateu'hat hc thinks lrorn the real authoritv thc cxpressionolr this thought nill h.rrc. And authoritv is acquircd in thc courseof gamesrrhose trarliti < l nal , somc r vhat a r b i t r a r l , m l e s o b l i g e t h e o ne- nhcr cxpresses himsclf to give his thought tht' idea o[a flau'lcss and dcfi ni ti vc oper a t i o n . J' h i s i s a n cn t i r cl y e xcusabl e comcclv,but it isolatesthought in bird-likc clisplarsthat ncl longer havc anvthing to clclu'ith a rcal proccss,ne(.essarih' painful anrl opcn, aln'ays secking hclp and ncvcr admiration. I l9

This iustification of thc mcthod follou'ccl dot's t.tot lr'hich prevtrnt mc from sccing its rcal disa<lvantagcs, concern intelligibility. Hven if rcpresentationsdo not take on their full meaning until thev dctach themsclvcs from therrcalities to u'hich they rcfcr (u,ithout being positivcl-v grounded in any of thcm in particular), they rvill not be fullv unclerstandablcif thev do not ir-rgt-ncral shed light on thc historical forms. This schema, uhich needed to svstcmaticallvavoid prccise refercnces,u'as nonethe-lerss to be folloned bl' an elucidationof history u'ith thc help of its figures. I r.villconfine mvsclf, howcvcr, to tlnc cxample choscn u ith the intcntion of shorving ir.ra general rvav the frccdom that is nccessaryto this modc o[ intcrprctation. Therreshoulcl be some point in stating herc that Islam cannot gcnerally bc regardcclas a form corresponding tcr a s inglc o n e o f th c d e l i n i ti o n s g i v e n . From the outsct Islam u'as a military orcler, limiting, even more strictlv than others, those activitics ll'hoscrPurPoselvas not force these pcculiarities: and militarv conquest.But it pre'scnts lrom a spendthrifi it rvcnt, surldenlyand discontinuouslv, archaiccivilizationto a n'rilitarvonc; but it clid not realizc all t he po s s i b i l i ti e so f th c l a tte r, fo r o t the sameti me i t in an abridged fonn as it u'crc, the devclopexpcricncerd, irt its first phasc mcnt of an cconomv of salvation.Hencer of thc militarv or<ler it dicl not have'all thc charactcristics





nor all those of the cconomy of salr.ation.In thc first placc it n'as nclt amenablcto the autonomousdcr.elopmcntof clear consciousness cir of philosophy (yct, through the ic:onoclasm that it opposed to thc }Jyzantinchicratism, it n'ent furthcr than the crlassicr rnilitarrr ordcr in rcducirrq thc forms of ar t t o r ca so n ) . S e co n d ,i t <l i sp ense<J r vi t t mecl i ati on and u p h e l d a t r a n sce n d e n cco f t hc di vi ne lr'orld, rvhich conformed to the military tvpc of a violencc dircctccl to the outsidc. But lr,hat is true of carlv Islam is not at all trr.reof latc Islam. Once thel4oslemempi,re rcachecl its limits of growth, Islam bccamc a perfcct cconomv of salvation.It mcrelv had forms of mcdiation that u.erelcss pronouncccl ancl morc pathetic than Christianity. But like christianitv it ga',e. rise to a c.stlv spirituallilc. Mvsticism and monasticism devclopcrl; the arts remainccl in principle u.'ithin the limits of iconoclasmbut escaperd rational simplification in every rl.av. Olr,ing to the rclatively small part plavcd by internal violcnce, Islam rvas cven the most stable of thc diffc.rent economicsof salvation,the,one that bcst ensurcd the stabilitv of a societv. 'fhis kind of application of a method aims to shou,,on the one hand, thc distance that separatcsfrom rcality thc figuresof a schema, and on thc otherrhan<I, the possibilitv of rcciucing reality afler the_. event. 'fhc refercnccs that follolr, are subjcct to thc same rcservation.But likc thcst'applications,thev shoukl hclp l2l


to situatca constructionthat is rather ocltllvcliscorlnccted from its foun<lations.Whilt' n.raintainingthc tletac'hcrl or should I charactcrof n'rv statcmcnts,it secnls1>ttssilllt', in a gt:neral say, nccessar ,l , qfter the etent, to conn('ct them \vav to somc of their origins. I clo this in thc lbrm of refcrt:nccsto n'ritings rvhoseauthors in somc tlav movt'cl tou'arrl thc prccisetonceptionsolthis "thcclrv," <lr rth<lsc r.ontents ol-fcr reft'rt'nc:cpttints that gr-ridcdmv stcPs' firllorl ing thc I rvill give thcm in ratrdom scquenc'e' alph.rbeticalordcr of the authors' nalnes. .llitra-Varttna,Zone Books, l9tl8. The Groncts I)utl,t(,ztr. interprctations of Indo-EuroPeanmythologv that are Pursued in thc a<lmirablcu'orks of GeorgesDum6zil, espei ially tlrost' lcrurrd in this voltrrl're- aftcr Ouranos-Voruna ( 193l) - ('orrtsPond to thc ( 19I I ) .rr.ril F/amine - Brahntone c ons t r uc ti o n s th a t I h a v e c l e v e l o p e d:tht- consci ousl v , n d s v n t hescsof (i eorgcs Hegelian th e s e s ,a n ti th c -s e sa (on the I)um6zil set forth the oppositionof pure violencrc dark antl nralcfic sicleof the divinc norltl - \'artlna antl and thc Lupcrci) to tht' divint' thc Gandhana, Ror.nulus u'ith prof'aneactilitv (Mitra and thc ordcr that ac:cortls Brahmans,Nttma, [)ius Fidius and thc Flamincs),and its rcsolution in the erternal and efficaciousviolence of a human anrl rational militarv <lrdcr.



Eulrt, l)unrnelr\{. 7he Elementor,t' Lorms ol the Religious Lili, Frct' l )ress , 1965. h n r i l e D u r kh ci m sccm s t o r ne t o bc unjustlv rlisparaged nona<lavs. I take m1'distance from his dclctrir.re but not uithout retaining its essential lessons. Alt,xRNuRt' Ko1tvl. lntroductionto the Reading 9J Hegel, C'ornell Llnivcrsitv Prtss, 1980. This rvork is an cxplication of Flegel's Phenomenologt of the Spirir.The ideasthat I havc tlerelopcd herc.are substantiallv present in it. Thc cclrrcspondcncesbetr,r'centhe Hegelian analvsisand this "thcory of religion" n'ould still nced to lrc specifierl.The diffcrcnces betrvcen the tu,cl rcprescntationsappcar to mc to be easill' recluciblc. Thc main cliffercnce conccrns the conccpti on t hat m a ke s t h c d cst r u ct i o n o f t h e subj cct the conrlition - neccssarilv - clf its adcquaunrealizable tion to thc objcct. I)otrbtlessthis implies lrom thr- start a stateof mind radicall,v opposedto Hegelian"satisfhction," lrut hen: the contraries cclincicle(thev onlv c'<lincicle, and the <lpposition in rvhich thcv coincidc cannot this time be ovcrcomc bv anv svnthesis:there is an irlentitl' of' the: particular bcing and the univcrsal,and thc unilersal is not trulv giren exccpt in the mediation of particularitv, but the resolution of the indivirlual into the non-inclividu.rl cloesnot o\.crcorne pain [or painful jov] exc'cpt in dr.ath, or in thc state of atararia * ccltrparableto thc <lcath<lf conrDlctt'satislartionllrcnte thr mainttttanlt' of the rcso-

l 2l

lution at the lervclprior to ecstasy, u'hic'his not a rt'solu). Il a v i n g h a d to c i tc th t- u rirk of A l cxantl re Koji'vc herc, I must emphasizt' one point: uhrtevcr oltint ion. . . ion onc may have of thc c'orrectncss of his intcrytrctation of Hc gc l (a n rl I b e l i e v c th c p o s s i b l e c' ri ti ci srns on thi s onlv a limitt'd valucl, this /nrropriint shriukl be assignt'rl duc t ion, re l a ti rc l v a c c e s s i b l c ,i s n o t onl y tht: pri mary instrttmcnt ol self-consciousnes.s; it is thc only uav to vicu' t hc r ar iou sa s p e c ts o l h u m a n l i f' t - th e p ol i ti i al as1> ccts in particular - <liffcrenth'frrim the nav a chikl viovs tht' actions of arlults.No one today can claim tcl be t:rh.rc.atcd withor.rthaving assirnilatr-d its contcnts.(l u,oukl also like tcl unclerscorc the fhct that Alerandrc Kcljive's intulrctaticln clot'snot dcliatt' in anv n'at. fr<lnrMarxism; sinril.rrh', it is easv to see that thc present "tht-cln," is alu.ays rig<lrcluslt' bascdon ec'onomicanah'sis.) SyLi',llNI-it'1.la doctrine du sacrilice dans1c-s hrahntanas, F' Lerour, 189U.Thc interpretationof sacriflccis the fbundaticlnof "-se{-66n.iaiou.snc-n." S_r,lvain [.dri's u'clrk is ont- <lf thc cssentialcontp()nents of that interprctation. MAtt(tt't. M.litss. Sacrilice: 1rs\'orure an<lFLtnctiL'tn, Llniversitv of Chicago Prcss, 1969. l-haGili, Norton, 1967.-l'ht' flrst of thesc uorks is thc atrthclritatirt'trt'atnrent <lf tht' 'l histclricral data on ancicrrts.r<rrilkc. hc st'<,ond filnus the
t) J




basisof anl undcrstanrlingol' (,(.on()m\. as bcing tierl to li rr.rs of rlt'str.r'ti.' of tht' cxc't'ss'l' trc:tir,e acti'itr.. 1>r'rl PF.lRt,r,l},Nt.. Le dualisntcdons l'11ist()re de la philttutphtc et tlesrcli,qion.r, p6trc_ G.rllirnarrl, 1946. Sirnor.rc nrt'nt' u host'moral position is that of the ancielrtgnostics, l)rcscuts thr- qrrestirn of tht' lrist'r' d..-rlis' *'itlr a 'l' r.r.rarkablc clarit' in this littlc [ro,rk. Startirg li.m hr-r < l ata, I ha' c. ' . hr " . l t h e t r a r r si t i o ,l r <; r ' a r ch . r i i , - , l ual i rt',r tht' tlualisr.r o1'spiritz'rrattcr, or rathcr,'f tr.rrs.c'rlcr.rcc s('llsu()us u or-kl,tht' onh rlualisr.n rrrnsirk-rerl lrv tl,rt, atrthor. BrnN,lHnlno l)F S.{HA(;[rN . (]ene rol Hi.strtr.t ol thc I'hinos of' N crr .\pui n,Ll ni r er si t r . o f L I t a h p r e ss, 1 9 7 4 - 1 982. . f hi s spa.i sh nro . k' s i ' r ' e st i g a t i . r r co ' d i t i " s i l - rJl r r . xi c. 'f pri or to th c ( i onq u cst , e sp e ci a l l y, h i s i n cl t r i r v i nt o t he human sacrificcs cclebratcdin grcat numhers in the tem_ pl es of Mexi ccl , n' a s c. o n r l u r , t e iu l si n g A zt t , c i n f br m ant s nho had bc en n. i t n csst s. I t i s t h r m i r t r t , l i a b l r and t he m'st clctailecl <lclcument *'er ha'e c'ncerning the tcrriblc aspcctsof sacrificc.Wc must nccessarily rejcct the rep_ rc'scntations o[ man or clf religion that leare. tht,ir t,xtremt, fcrnnsun<lcrthe cloak of an allcgedmonstrousncss. Onh. an imager that shines through thcm mcasuresup to thc intimate ntovcmcnts that r.onscrousness turns au.av lrom htrt that it mtrst ultimatell' rcturn to. Stlt'st-






R. H. T',qwNr.vReligion ond the Riseo-f Capitalism, Llar_ court, Brace,& L'o., 1926.This book'.s analvscs, baserlon a u, eal th o f i n fo rma ti o n , s h o u th c i mpcl rtanccof the clclil>erate rlisjunc.tio, of tlrc sat-rr.,l .rnclp*l[a.e *,orlcls that u.asat thc origin of capitalism.Pnrtcstantismintr<ltluccrl the possibilitv rif tlris disjurrctionbv rlcnting tlie rcligious value of u orks: the u orkl of the opcrative fbrms of ct'onomic .rctivitl thus rct.t,ivc<l - but in the trrurse of time - an autonomv that cnabled the rapid increaseof inclustrialaccunrulation. M.qx Wl,Hr-R. The ProtestontEthicand the Spiritof- Capitol_ ism, Macmillan, 197'7. Max Wcber's lamous studv linked, for thc first timc in a preci.se.rrar', thc ven,po.ssibilitl.of accumulatirin (of the use of w,ealth for devcloping thc forccs of produc.tiorr)to the po.sitingof a dirirrc u.orkl that had no conceir.ableconncction u,ith thc here-bclou., n'here thc operatirt- form ('calc.ulation, .selfishncs.s) ratli_ callv scparatestherglorious consumption of rvcalth from the divine ordcr. Morc than Tarvno., Max Wcbcr <lncllcd on the decisivc changc introduccd bv thc Rcfbnr-ration, u,hich made accumulation basir.allr. possiblc lrr. clcnvirrg the r'alue of n'orks and by cclndcmning nonprocluctivc expcncliture.


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