The Liminalist # 248: The Position of the Nothing (with Nina Power)

Conversation with Nina Power, on vulnerability, sacrifice, the freedom to fail, sun worship, and journeys to the underworld.

Part One: Service of the Sun (0 – 35 mins)

An excruciatingly personal text, a strange form of strength, erasing personal history, the best protection, ego dissolution, unrequited love, submission and sacrifice, the freedom to fail, the power of the scapegoat, narcissism and social revenge warriors, the quantification of suffering, the position of the nothing, Diogenes, initiatic models of denunciation, Kierkegaard & David Icke, into the Moroccan abyss, subjective destitution, anxiety and time, giving up alcohol, the boy who cried wolf, the desire for a master, loyalty to the sun, verticality, witches’ relation to the devil, God’s support, Turner on the sun, Spinoza & the immanent God, mapping the mind of God, a fragment of the whole.

Part Two: Amor Fati (35 mins – 1 hr 7 mins)

Immanence without transcendence, the vacuum created, the transhumanism project, a war on Nature, human hubris, Promethean mimesis, over-identification with the body > rejection of the body, John Locke & bodies as property, the body as image, planes & dimensions of existence, anti-human agendas, nature & human nature, space travel, the astral temptation, ancestral possession, repetition compulsion, amor fati, given to Lucifer, freed from fate, the perfect life, guilt and debt, the Christ model, living without guilt, shame vs. guilt, parental expectations, emotional incest, the quest for validation.

Part Three: Hazed by the Universe (1 hr 7 mins – 1 hr 42 mins)

Childhood insomnia, birth trauma, the original wound, when love gets inverted, self-isolation, the need for love & the drive for success, an excess of love, onanistic enjoyment of writing, the pain of not connecting, a chain of souls, resonators of love, being saved, rewiring the libidinal economy, replacement, shadow copy demons, Pluto & Persephone, a lake on fire, a period of psychoanalysis, hysterical blindness, the psychopomp, equality of life and death, we are the dead, fear of what we cannot see, the illusion of self-ness, finite modes in the infinite, pan psychism, acceptance of turbulence, the ordeal pit, warrior initiation rites.

Part Four: When the Copy Becomes the Counterfeit (1 hr 42 mins – end)

Re-traumatization & de-traumatization spectrum, sacrifices to and sacrifices for, recognition of the sacred, Peter Tiel & Rene Girard, mimetic rivalry and social media, violence & religion, the Silicon valley gods, the legal system as replacement for religion, mob behavior in the virtual world, virtualizing consequences, the puppet masters, the responsibility of pioneering, technology and disembodiment, the spiral of moral hazard, life before the internet, beautiful boredom, a day without words, the original technology, the curse of language, technology as extension of human nature, the second womb, the evolution of the counterfeit, voice without a body, the need to remember, anamnesis, entry into language, the loss of touch, un cri du coeur.

Nina’s site.

Songs: “Pirates” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “Warbler” and  “Cold to the Touch” by Amanita Dodola; “Endlessly” by Bigott; “Changes” by Short Hand.

 

31 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 248: The Position of the Nothing (with Nina Power)”

  1. That God would be immanent without being transcendent doesn’t make any sense. What does transcendent mean? – it could mean infinite, unknowable mystery. It does not mean an object that is above or beyond the plane of existence, God is no knowable object (or form). Christ is the component of the Godhead that links humanity to the unknowable and fully unmanifest, this is the uniqueness and advantage Christian theology has over other religious traditions.

    Reply
    • Because I can agree in essence I’m obliged to disagree in conclusion (from Vedic, or even ‘occult’ perspective). If you say “Christ is A (or One) component” (as named avatar embodiment) this is, I’d suggesst, a slight yet practically inestimable leap – theologically, metaphysically, socially and psychologically. By your own estimation, “God is too big for one religion”. Bhagavad Gita agrees “Krishna (transcendental Source) is inconceivable”.

      Reply
    • “the uniqueness and advantage Christian theology”

      Not sure what difference you mean. Christianity is not unique in personifying God in man. Religions BCE and after did the same.

      Reply
  2. Hi Dave,

    At the risk of sounding incredibly naive, I can’t actually think of any religion where God has incarnated in man the same way it is portrayed in Christianity. In Buddhism you have a man who through his singular efforts becomes enlightened but there is no mention of God (not in the current way it is taught anyway). Islam has Muhammad born a man, becomes a prophet. Judaism – divine incarnation is rejected. In Hinduism there is significant differences between the functions of avatars and their historical interplay vs the singular purpose of the Christ-logo incarnation and earthly historicity and embodiment.

    I’m making no claim that I have expertise in the breadth of world religions nor am I a comparative mythologist. I’m not prejudiced against any other religious/spiritual views.

    This is why I think Christianity has something powerful and unique to offer, it’s obviously not a mainstream view.

    Jesus was a man, human like us all, Christ was his revealed nature. Christ is not a self or persona (a who) but a unitive state that bridges human to God, ontologically a “what”, an essence, a oneness of human nature with God.

    In Christ lies humanity’s true nature which is oneness with God, this Christ was incarnated in the historical Jesus. I think this is a unique story amongst humanity’s spiritual traditions.
    One of the reasons i find it so powerful is that the divine nature is fully revealed through the Jesus/Christ story and with this revelation one doesn’t need to struggle against oneself but exist in acceptance and faith in mystery and be comfortable in one’s humanity.

    Reply
    • That’s a complex message.

      Keeping it simple and not addressing every theological term since each term is pregnant with diverse meanings depending on who one is talking to, which makes me wonder if these are deeply perceived truths or party lines.

      The Chinese, Romans and the Japanese saw their emperors as divine.

      “In Hinduism there is significant differences between the functions of avatars and their historical interplay vs the singular purpose of the Christ-logo incarnation and earthly historicity and embodiment.”

      A personal relationship with a personified incarnate God is not unique to Christianity. is the difference that Hinduism has a chain of avatars and Christianity has but one avatar who came and is expected to come again, from the sky, ETA unknown?

      Reply
      • “The Chinese, Romans and the Japanese saw their emperors as divine.”

        The significant difference is, is that Christ is the real human nature. No king, emperor or war lord is going to grant another individual in that society equal access to the divinity they possess for themselves but in this kind of Christology access to divine nature is universal.

        Reply
        • “No king, emperor or war lord is going to grant another individual in that society equal access to the divinity they possess for themselves but in this kind of Christology access to divine nature is universal.”

          Fair point, such power-holding figures would, based on a brief impression of history, seem unlikely to share what they have.

          However, going back to religion, Hindu gods are seen as granting access to divinity in this life and the next.

          Perhaps, you can describe the specific detail that you consider makes Christianity unique – so it can be considered?

          Dr. Richard Carrier’s compelling case that Christianity is based on ancient myth, turns essential Christian beliefs about the uniqueness and historicity of Jesus on its heads. Based on my brief review of his works it appears that Christianity has yet to find a champion to defeat his arguments, and several theologians have come off the worse for wear in public debates. I don’t say this to be provocative or unkind. Personally, I wish that the case for Christianity would be cut and dry – but it isn’t. So, I suspect that it is being propped up by logical fallacies, wishful thinking and cultural conditioning, which can’t be a good thing for something that purports to be true, since it muddies the waters.

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/13425
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVCQYyQyMV8

          Reply
          • I thought I had! I’ve been outlining the uniqueness of the incarnation of the Christ-logos in human form which signifies the divine relationship of humanity to God and the universality of it. That humanity’s nature is Christ is highly mystical. It blows my mind.

            Christ doesn’t grant access to divinity, Christ is the divinity we share with God, I think this is the unique statement. But if i’m wrong it doesn’t matter, I’m not trying to prove something, i’m not here with an agenda.

            If you haven’t noticed I’m talking of Christ not Jesus (nor the churches for that matter). I can accept that many aspects of the Jesus story may be not historically accurate or even true, like much of Hinduism I suspect. But it makes no difference to the meditation on Christ for me as “Christ” holds a particularly esoteric significance. I’m not interested in Jesus as a person but i’m interested in the Christian narrative in such a way that in can produce an understanding of my life and nature in this world and how it relates to the eternal. I love the fact that there is no need to search or struggle because there is Grace. It works for me.

            I’ll check out the links, I’ve listened to Richard’s stuff before, always interesting.

          • May I respectfully suggest that you check out debates Carrier had with Dr. William Lane Craig and/or Dr. Craig Evans. Evans and especially Craig give Carrier quite a shellacking. Also, check out Ken Ammi’s site Truefreethinker.com. Ammi makes great sport of taking Carrier to the woodshed again and again.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWn29JaXIXI
            W.L. Craig has several debate videos with Carrier on YouTube.

          • Well, you may, Yu-mei.

            Richard Carrier is correct to put the burden of proof upon Christian apologists. I did not see them successfully rise to the occasion. Shellacking would be a poor defense.

          • I totally agree with you that Carrier or any other non-believer is right to place the burden of proof on Christian apologists. What needs to be pointed out is that Christian apologetics has come a long, long way since the time you asked you local parish priest, “Father, did Jesus really exist or was he just a myth?” And the drunken Irish priest would answer, “Why absolutely, son, the Lord existed. It says so in the Bible.” Nowadays, the financial backing and the media attention are lavishly laid on the Christ deniers; the four-horseman of the atheist apocalypse, Carrier, Shermer and the rest are living well off of the proceeds. And yet with little money and nearly no media attention, the modern Christian apologetics movement is exploding. In the videos I suggested, Carrier received his shellacking not because he is a poor debater, but because his arguments don’t hold water next the bulk of modern scholarship. Even among non-believing and/or atheist New Testament scholars, Carrier is in the tiny, almost non-existent minority of “Jesus mythicists.” That’s not me saying it; that’s a paraphrase of the apostate scholar Bart Erhman in his criticism of Carrier. As pointed out above, the money and publicity are on the side of the likes of Carrier, and if you are like me you’d find that more than a bit suspect. You might want to delve a bit deeper into what the other modern side has to say. Or not. Jesus did say that his message was for those who had the ears to hear….

          • Yu-mei

            My days of delving into testosterone-charged religious debates are almost over.

            However, I would be curious to know more about you and why this issue is important enough to post here. Do apologetics precede your faith?

          • Dave,

            I’ve been lurking around on this site for years and have occasionally posted. I’ve resonated with Jasun’s discussion of trauma and repressed trauma. Although much of my own trauma is still vividly remembered, I’ve long suspected a whole boat-load of repressed memories.
            Actually, it’s the other way around—my faith long precedes the interest in apologetics. Accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior transformed my life and the Holy Spirit allowed me to overcome addictions and defects in character that I personally was incapable of dealing with. I got with the Higher Power and skipped the 12-step programs and rehabs so to speak. Still, unless I was with other believers I kept my conversion to myself. Moreover, I feared looking too deeply into the Bible because of all its so-called “contradictions.” As I kept away from serious study of the Book, I became more and more lukewarm in my faith. Then about 15 years ago, things changed. I’ll spare you the Bible verses, but one after another I came across “being not ashamed of the Gospel,” the duty to “contend for the faith,” and most importantly the necessity of “testing the spirits.” It was then I began serious study, and the scales came down from my eyes—there were exactly zero contradictions in the Bible. The “contradictions” non-believers talk about are all due to context or better yet ripping examples out of their proper context. It all comes down to what someone said, “A text without a context is just a pretext for whatever you want the text to mean.” Needless to say, my deepened commitment caused no end of problems with people in my own life. Although my wife and daughter converted, my first-born was and remains a committed atheist. And it was because of him and the others that I got into apologetics. I wanted so badly to preach the word to and convert all those I care about. Of course, while I’m outstanding at bludgeoning people in debates, I’m terrible at convincing anyone. I’ve tried to soften my approach, but still I alienated those closest to me who have recently passed from this realm. The most recent was my younger sister who passed a few months ago, and despite several attempts on my part, she remained unwilling to reconcile. Although I think it had more to do with my sister’s politics, religion played no small part.
            Anyway, my deepest apologies for any perceived truculence. My intention was correction and in no way did I want to troll or offend.

          • Thanks Yu-mei, that adds a lot more color and context. Good to know you better.

            Alienation is par for the course, according to some Christians. Spiritual warfare doesn’t fall over at the first sign of a good debating point, I assume.

          • Thanks, Dave. And your are right, spiritual warfare isn’t for sissies.You are told when you start on this road that it’s going to cost you. I often think about how after being whipped by the Sanhedrin for preaching the Gospel, “The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.” Now that is a faith to aspire to!
            Peace

  3. I thought I had! I’ve been outlining the uniqueness of the incarnation of the Christ-logos in human form which signifies the divine relationship of humanity to God and the universality of it. That humanity’s nature is Christ is highly mystical. It blows my mind.

    Christ doesn’t grant access to divinity, Christ is the divinity we share with God, I think this is the unique statement. But if i’m wrong it doesn’t matter, I’m not trying to prove something, i’m not here with an agenda.

    If you haven’t noticed I’m talking of Christ not Jesus (nor the churches for that matter). I can accept that many aspects of the Jesus story may be not historically accurate or even true, like much of Hinduism I suspect. But it makes no difference to the meditation on Christ for me as “Christ” holds a particularly esoteric significance. I’m not interested in Jesus as a person but i’m interested in the Christian narrative in such a way that in can produce an understanding of my life and nature in this world and how it relates to the eternal. I love the fact that there is no need to search or struggle because there is Grace. It works for me.

    I’ll check out the links, I’ve listened to Richard’s stuff before, always interesting.

    Reply
    • Aha! Thanks for the clarification. It’s never easy to quickly discern which kind of Christian z Christian is unless a qualifier is added, something which very few wish to do, perhaps because they think they are the real Christian?

      I happen to find a resonance with popular and obscure sections of the Bible. However, I wouldn’t adopt any pre-existing terms to categorise myself. That really would be a form of cultural misappropriation which neither part would wish.

      Reply
  4. ” the gospel… unique in the annals of world literature. ”

    That’s a different point. In which ways did RG mean?

    That the Gospel was the first mythical text to reveal the scapegoat mechanism at the basis of all religions and all social and cultural organizations; in all previous foundational stories, the victim is agreed to be guilty, and only becomes a god after he is sacrificed, as a semi-conscious acknowledgment by the community that, by becoming a skapegoat, the sacrificial victim has bound them together, unified them, and so saved them from destruction through mimetic desire, rivalry, and violence (cf. Cain & Abel, Joseph & the brothers). By exposing the scapegoat mechanism (original wound?), the gospel neutralized it with the act of seeing, making it conscious, and so potentially brought an end to scapegoating. This is in the story structure itself (the most innocent being, Christ, is sacrificed and so redeems us, but only via the recognition of his innocence and our own “sin”), but it is also in Christ’s teachings, generally the most overlooked ones, resist not evil and turn the other cheek. This is what Girard (and Joseph Chilton Pearce, in his way) offered as “the Jesus solution,” non-reactivity, open-hearted, unconditional love in the face of violence and persecution, the refusal to scapegoat others and instead choosing to surrender to God’s will (as JC did in the Garden) – to relax the fascia even when our fight/flight reaction is being most relentlessly stimulated.

    This is also the implicit meaning of the Christian theology, I think, how & why God became a human being and then suffered the worst aspects of that plane of existence, was crucified four ways in matter (time and space), so the transcendent became fully immanent, and vice versa.

    It may also be how/why the Gospel is, in a sense, “the literal Word of God,” JC being the Word that is “crucified” so the text might live – in/as a crucial fiction, no less!

    Reply
    • “That the Gospel was the first mythical text to reveal the scapegoat mechanism at the basis of all religions”

      It might. My readings generally don’t go back that far.

      Was Girard the first person to reveal that the Gospel was the first mythical text to reveal the scapegoat mechanism at the basis of all religion? If so, then Christians may need to add a new book “Rene L’Revelator” and apply it. since they don’t seem to be aware of your summary.

      Reply
      • I think he was, and yes they may, because no they are not. Girard’s been picked up by social media engineers in SV but that his work radically validates Christianity is less au courant among the intelligentsia. There’s a small sub-branch of Christian intellectuals who are working with a Girardian lens, not sure how organized or effective they are….

        I just did a Skeptiko podcast which ended up for no apparent reason with me defending Christianity to the host (who dismissed it all as a psyop) by invoking the name of RG.

        Reply
  5. How did Christianity ever spread? The older I get, the weirder it seems that it was accepted so quickly by so many different societies, practically all of them probably very warlike, and probably of necessity in a world of already-contested resources and tiny fragmented Iron Age fiefdoms. Exactly what was it that persuaded those chieftains/kings/Big Men to abandon their time-honoured martial gods? The early missionaries must have had the proverbial balls of steel to even try. They must also have been remarkably persuasive with words, because what else did they have? Yet few of them can have been really fluent in the languages of those tribes they converted. Maybe those Big Men were just sick to death of their gods and sick to death of the killing, and therefore dying for something new.

    Yet still they had wealth and territory to defend.

    The only “history” of very early conversion I’m even imperfectly familiar with is legendary: it describes the arrival of St Patrick in Ireland as a battle of magicians, a succession of spectacular stunts by him and the native high priests. He won. But how, exactly? The whole actual process of conversion precedes plausible written description. Maybe he really did make huge stones levitate, or maybe he just had the gift of the gab. Are there eloquent words that are *not* spells?

    Anyway… you’re doing a power of honest work here, Jasun, something quite unique and full of real insights. I will order your book soon, I hope.

    Reply
    • Great points about those early Christians…. Apparently they had invisible helpers – but was it of the Roman or the Catholic kind? (God or Mammon)

      There’s the story of imprisoned apostles converting their torturers due to their stoicism and faith in the face of death and worse. The question of effect methods of conversion/recruitment is timely, Mac; watch this space. You too may be called 😉

      Reply
  6. May I also say that your “Icarus” podcast helped me through a very hard time a few years ago, after a couple of huge personal losses. I remember I was listening to it while up a ladder painting a ceiling and you started describing a dream about shit and I stopped dead in mid-rollerstroke and muttered “oh for fuck’s sake” and stepped down off the ladder to turn up the volume and just stood there on the plastic sheeting in that echoey room, thinking “this is awful” and “why am I listening to this” and “why is he broadcasting this” and “this guy is amazingly honest” and then I finished painting the room while listening and occasionally laughing, weirdly thankful and relieved.

    Reply
      • If I recall that dream right, it was about all this strings of shit everywhere that I couldn’t get off my hands and everything around me…. If so I remember how much it made me laugh listening back to it, the rawness of it. Doubtless that was the reason I included it. Glad to know there’s a universal language of poop.

        Reply
  7. It’s as enjoyable as foreplay.

    I got around to listening to the first 45 minutes. Ingenious strategy: “do unto yourself before they can do it to you”. Though not to be practiced in all its forms. Still not much clue what it is all about yet. 90 minutes until the referees whistle.

    Reply

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