Collapse corollary II (Refractory Impossibility and its Heretical Alignment)
01 Mar 2007

Through its spatial and temporal approaches to God and Apocalypse, Islamic theology formulates a methodology for begetting a profoundly political tool which is capable of turning theology itself into heresy.

According to Islamic theology, although the Christian God is infinite and is posed as an outsider but its externality is not radical enough and is self-contradictory, for the gift of revelation or apocalypto cannot be given to Man if God is radically external to Man. A God radically and perpetually external to Man can never be revealed to Man either partially or fully, on the ontological or the epistemic plane. In short, radical externality exceeds affordance even if affordance is effectuated – on the levels of both possibility (posse) and actualization (est) – as an infinite capacity. Revelation is certainly the production of the outside but its epistemic infinity (revelation as the superiora of knowledge) is bound to the affordability of both its ends – the subject of generosity and the subject of receptivity. In Revelation, while the latter (Man?) cannot entirely liberate itself from capacity and merely shifts to a new capacity entailed by its ontological integrity, the former is only able to actualize its generosity by submitting to the capacity of the receiver. Otherwise, the infinity of the gift can only register itself in waste and ignorance of the other. This is why in terms of Revelation, outside is an environment rather than radical exteriority; it is an outside whose boundaries coincide – a continuum of different capacities.

Islamic theology, however, presents God as radically and unyieldingly external to Man. This externality can be approached as a technique which perforates theology, reinventing it as an epistemological tool for confronting a pure externality without reducing it to ontological possibilities or an object of Man’s openness – affordance. A thoroughly outside-oriented ethics without an anticipation of being communicated by Man, Islamic theology once again renders the Outside as the great abomination:

Once theology presents the Divine as the pure outside and the manifest refractory impossibility, the monotheistic God enters a crisis with cataclysmic proportions: its ontological possibilities are undermined and its unity can merely inflame its precarious relationship to many. When the radical outside (infinitely external) is posed in respect to the affordable outside (an outside with infinite potentials) as in the case of Islamic theology compared to other monotheistic strains, the affordable outside turns into an epistemic tool that certifies the innumerability of other infinities. Each of these infinities demonstrates their autonomous existence by a diagonal opposition to the present infinity. The result of applying such a technique to God is nothing but God turning into an ultimate heresy itself. Once a new set is extracted from a series of sets in a way that it can both include those sets and situates itself infinitely external to them – similar to Cantor’s diagonalization technique – or infinitely higher in dimension, it can produce infinite anomalies if its laws and qualities are applied to those constitutive sets. Not only can the infinitely external set spawn heresies as a constant Outsider but also it is posited for its constitutive sets (the subjects of its heresy) as an ultimate never-ending heresy.

Cantor’s diagonalization [1] is a method for unbinding radical outsides (more in terms of invoking rather than creating them). It indirectly propagates outsides by mapping the failure of a given infinity to contain elements of other infinities or outsides. Cantor’s method suggests that outside-engineering is exercised by building an external set which cannot be related to the existing set (even if it is an infinity itself) through a ‘one-to-one and onto’ (bijective) correspondence:

Let s be any set and let t be the power set of s. Now at this point, s maps into t and every x in s maps to the set containing x in t. But there is no bijection (injection / one-to-one + surjection / onto) mapping s onto t.

Suppose f is such a bijection and build a set w in a way that for every x in s, x is in w iff x is not in math1.gif. Now f maps s onto all of t, and w is a subset of t, so there is some x with math2.gif. Yet math3.gif iff math4.gif. Therefore, the correspondence is contradictory and cannot exist. The ontology of the existing set / infinity cannot contain other sets / infinities but at the same time is responsible for giving rise to them (their homecoming).

Diagonalization is a political tool for counteracting ontology and its existential opportunism.

Islamic Allah is posed to Christian God and other monotheistic manifestations of the Divine in the same vein; it exercises heresy on the Divine on behalf of the Outside and its refractory externality. In short, heresy as an outside-oriented praxis is always effectuated by re-positioning (re-mobilization and re-alignment). The new heretical set brings itself behind its subjects for the sake of both affirming and being infinitely external to them. Such a re-positioning results in being a heresy in itself and harvesting countless heretical possibilities from positions or alignments being held by other sets. This is why, all heresies adopt the notorious positioning of a tergo.

If God basks in his house, let us reconstruct it according to the laws of demons. (Collapse II)

[1] The controversies around Cantor’s method – on a statistical / probability level – deserve an exhaustive discussion.