Sunday, March 23, 2014

Law vs. Sin; Law vs. Love

The subject of Law is "decentered" in the sense that it is caught in the self-destructive vicious cycle of sin and Law in which one pole engenders its opposite. Paul provided an unsurpassable description of this entanglement in Romans 7:
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin. What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now is I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of G_d, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law in my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am!
It is thus not that I am merely torn between two opposites, Law and sin; the problem is that I cannot even clearly distinguish them -- I want to follow the Law, and I end up in sin. This vicious cycle is not so much overcome as broken; one breaks out of it with the experience of love, more precisely, with the experience of the radical gap which separates love from the Law. Therein resides the radical difference between the couple Law/sin and the couple Law/love. The gap that separates Law and sin is not a real difference; their truth is their mutual implication or confusion -- Law generates sin and feeds upon it, one can never draw a clear line of separation between the two. It is only with the couple Law/love that we attain a real difference: these two moments are radically separated, they are not "mediated," one is not the form of appearance of its opposite. In other words, the difference between the two couples (law/sin and Law/love) is not substantial, but purely formal: we are dealing with the same content in the two modalities. In its indistinction-mediation, the couple is the one of Law/sin; in the radical distinction of the two, it is Law/love. It is therefore wrong to ask the question: "Are we forever condemned to the split between Law and love? What about a synthesis between Law and love?" The split between Law and sin is of a radically different nature than the split between Law and love; instead of the vicious cycle of mutual reinforcement, we ge a clear distinction of two different domains. Once we become fully aware of the dimension of love in its radical difference from the Law, love has, in a way, already won, since this difference is visible only when one already dwells in love, from the standpoint of love.
- Slavoj Zizek, "Living in the End Times" (p.153-4)

2 comments:

-FJ said...

Genitorturturers, "Flesh is the Law"

I'm on the dark side sinnin' and grinnin' then you let me in
Fill you up with passion and rage
I stroke you slow, deep and under
Try to make you wonder just why you feel so violently strange?
Now don't you feel like a god when you come and savior my skin?
And don't you feel like a whore to let the pussy worship begin?
'cause they say I'm in the wrong but I'm feeling so right
Awaken for your saviour she's coming tonight
To change your sex slowly, shape your member right
Join the pussy worship tonight
Damned and Rising, Flesh Is The Law!
I'll be your goddess and you'll sing my praises
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Flesh Is The Law!
I sleep with the god damned and you get the graces
Come on and stick your finger into me
Just as far as you can see
Blind you when you look in my eyes
Now every woman that you see is hidden deep inside of me
Makes you feel so violently strange
Now don't you feel like a god when you come and savior my skin?
And don't you feel like a whore? Let the pussy worship begin
'cause they say I'm in the wrong but I'm feeling so right
Awaken for your saviour she's coming tonight
I change my sex slowly, shape my member right
Join the pussy worship tonight
Call you on your broken souls
Bring me all your broken dreams
You always stop and right
Join the pussy worship tonight
Damned and rising, Flesh Is The Law!
I'll be your goddess and you'll sing my praises
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Flesh Is The Law!
I sleep with the god damned and you get the graces
Rise! Rise! Flesh Is The Law!

FreeThinke said...

"To be absent from the Body is to be present with the Lord."

I don't think that rather silly statement came directly from St. Paul, but it pretty much epitomizes his attitude toward sex.

St. Paul was obviously a deeply conflicted individual when it came to sex. He, apparently, regarded it as a great evil, but then said "It is better to marry than to burn."

I believe "Saints" Paul and Augustine both left a dismal legacy that has done great harm to our psyches and to our hoe of ever understanding the purpose for which Christ came to earth. It also poisined the Institution -- or variety thereof -- that bear His Holy Name from the outset.

Denying the virtue and value of sexual affection effectively sowed the seeds of Failure into the soil that nourished the great movement that became institutionalized Christianity.