I’ve been contemplating lately the idea of the ‘Flesh’ as a tendency of material that is mineralizing, bio-ing, crystallizing, depositioning (geologic) impressions: the Flesh as the tulmult materialization of nature.
An art of the Flesh is a liturgy of becoming-matter.
This idea of the Flesh is opposed to “vacuous actuality” (Whitehead) and may be called by another name ‘Resurrection.’
The Resurrection is the dynamics of the Flesh, as an index for processual tendencies of material, or as a continual upheaval of life/death/life in cyclic materialization. Resurrection is the transfer of all the potent energies of nature – energies are never destroyed, just transferred. as a Conversation of Energy.
I would affirm alongside Nietzsche not only the human life as a work of art, but also the materiality that generates itself out of itself as its own artistic mode. However, I oppose Nietzsche’s paganism they holds that difference as sheer contingency is strife, appropriation, power against power, or else violence.
In this vein, I consider the Flesh and the Resurrection as a ‘self-overcoming’ of forms not only of the creative being, but crucially for the aesthetic inflection upon materiality, the aesthetic ‘self-design’ of nature itself.
This Flesh exists as an immanent Resurrection is God itself, as chora, as route or passageway that is itself contentless, but which is the space of a possible creativity that is also itself divinity. Thus a place of positive becoming of an immanent-transcendence.
Immanent: not a debased immanence that destroys meaning in a storm of finitude, but rather a dynamic coming and going of divine splendor.
Consider that what is properly mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.
Again, that it is. Not how it is. And that it is is in radiance.
God is made Flesh in and of the world, and moreover, that this is an interesting context for “the Word made Flesh” and the Incarnation: this is the mystery of Christ: that God itself descends into matter (the continuum of catastrophe, or else simply suffering), creating a mythos that demonstrates love overcoming suffering.
Thus I am after a Body of the World: an embodied aesthetics. Recourse to theology gives me the ammunition I need to consider a vibrant material that is at once the joy of being, the material created by Divine splendor out of love, which is a revaluation not of the ‘sacred’ that is removed from the world but of the ‘sacred’ that exists within the ‘profane,’ rendering each category meaningless.
rendering it meaningless the way that Incarnation renders meaningless truth/simulacrum.
Consider that God’s glorious body is also the mortal body, and thus that amor fati is the Infinite Love of things as they are, where things could not have been otherwise.
that you exist is a decision made by the splendor of Divine to choose you, to choose you who did not have to exist.
Embodied aesthetics is for me a means not only of considering an immanent context of incarnated materiality, since it also informs a position on the suffering body. Exclusively part of entropic necessity that constitutes the world of the Flesh, a consideration of embodiment – over and against exterminist thought – honors the bearing of matter’s suffering. That is the true Road to Calvary. That is what is truly meant by the phrase ‘take up your cross.’
It is to see that being is limitation, and that this limitation is the character of the Flesh of material existence, and rather than shrinking from this fact or attempting to nihilate it through absolutist “vacuous” philosophies of inert material, which would attempt to solve the problem of finitude by nulling the qualities of the sensible and bracketing-out consciousness.
That the embodied aesthetics affirms the preference to be, rather than not being.
The “vacuous actuality” aims to liquidate the tension of the field of embodied experience. It seeks to flee from the horror of the mutating Flesh into the domain of absolute formalism, ending in the nihilist terminus of instrumentalist undermining. Hence its recourse to exterminism of embodied bodies, which is perhaps already there in Augustine’s conversion where metaphysics had sought to cancel-out the finitude of the body, seeing it only as a poor donkey one rides to Jerusalem.
An embodied aesthetics would be attentive to the Flesh and therefore to the world of corporeal existence, not only as to the world of the fleshiness of beings but as the theophony of God.
In order to acknowledge the materializaiton of bodies as their own agency, their own sentience, their own inherent dignity as a suffering substance, it is therefore against nihilism that seeks to disembody in the name of some abstract absolute.