Salvation of the mundane. An ambiguous friendship with the gnostic demons. Is a salvation nebulous in form a salvation anyway. Salvation light. Not too filling. Not too holy with just a thin layer in the abridged form of contemplation of the divine. Its hard to kick out self interst and self preservation; they never want to leave the party. But then, its hard to blame them since their belief system is anchored in the idea, fixed like bedrock, that every search for salvation abruptly terminates with failure and despair. Even if we sweep out the idea of divine grace, the glory of deliverance, and ultimate redemption, its a complex idea, one made even more complicated, even precarious, when the relationship with reality is suspended….
“The individual can do nothing, and yet he can do everything,” Albert Camus declares; the second part of his statement, however, is inconceivable for Kafka, for whom there are impassable walls that point to the suffocating power of his darksome perspective, or as Kafka writes in the diary entry dated September 30, 1915, “the innocent and the guilty [are] both executed without distinction in the end.” “Give it up!” “This is how it is.” “Guilt is always certain.” “Away-From-Here, that is my destination.” These are the unchanging features of Kafka’s view of things; they are also signs that lead to the end of nowhere….vision of nowhere is, it is ultimately annihilative. Beyond this point of no return, Kafka’s vision negates those principles and values that, when rejected or discredited or leveled, reveal that the consequences of the artist’s absorption in the nihilist imagination are irrevocable and irremediable, when Kafka’s castle becomes a necropolis that consumes both the history and the meaning of human existence. Kafka’s view of the world heralds both modernity in its major phase and evolution and the twentieth century in all of its quandaries and cataclysms as these have been enacted to the most violent extremes. The Castle itself contains astonishing intimations of a postmodernism that dictates ahistorical reasoning, moral nihilism and relativism, and what Professor Claes Ryn identifies as “antihistorical universalism,” unconditionally antagonistic to a historically based common human ground and to any belief in a
universal purpose of human existence. Read More:http://www.nhinet.org/panichas17-1&2.pdfa
In light of the holocaust, Kafka’s view is comprehensible, agree or disagree. Within the heaviness and darkness, the victims had no choices, no option of martyrdom. Just irrelevancy and purposelessness. No meaning to their deaths. Nothing to latch onto within this narrative of ambivalence and anxiety where even the intimate if of the briefest glimmer of light, just another deportation point on the stations of the cross. Stations which are merely symbols of vulnerability within a context of atrocity. Its hard to argue that human existence under such horror does not dwell, linger and fester in deprivation and uncertainty, torment, and a pretext to distrust anything of this world. A spiritual netherworld characterized by chronic inertia,a world of nothingness , a pathology that thinkers from Buber to Flaubert to Heine have diagnosed as a point of incubation for the worst of humankind.
K.’s pursuit of salvation is subject to expediency, compromise, treachery, caprice, whim; to those encompassing conditions and circumstances that defy absolute criteria of truth and fulfillment. There is much truth in the accusations leveled by Frieda when she charges that K. is a selfish seeker after his own special endeavors; as one who promotes his “hidden intention” and will opportunely adapt himself to any situation that earns him greater advantage….K., thus, seeks to exploit his plight in its subjective facets rather than to focus on a path to grace. For some of his readers and interpreters, in fact, K. must finally exemplify the drift of an atheism or of a skepticism that disregards authentic forms of salvation, and that in the end assumes the volatile character of pseudo-stratagems of salvation. Read More:http://www.nhinet.org/panichas17-1&2.pdfa
The rational, calculating mind ends up getting the upper hand on volition: the latter follows the orders of the former; a person finds it difficult simply to let go and give in to experience. It may be precisely at this point that hyperboredom, or chronic boredom — acedia, affectlessness, anhedonia, ennui — sets in, and a person feels utterly frozen in place. Its the business as usual attitude, an eternal recurrence of the eternal catastrophe, what Benjamin called the never ending dominance of the mythical, which informs the basis of Franz Kafka like dynamics, the scenario of The Fall, original sin present and dominating each moment of history. A helplessness in the seemingly unequal confrontation and inertia in the face of concluding a destiny as victim in the struggle against cosmic injustice waged directly and personally against the individual.
These goals stand in opposition to the struggle for the language of paradise and for varnishing the goal-driven self, history, politics and, implicitly, the concept of revolution contaminated by the present order. The dimension linking positive utopianism and the thought of redemption is clarified in Benjamin’s negative utopianism (on which we shall elaborate when discussing his philosophy of history) and in the philosophical struggle (as a serious aesthetic game) for the salvation of the soul, which assumes the state of redemption and demands
negative utopian struggle. However, it is already possible to point to the clearly Cabalistic dimension merging into Benjamin’s thought, whose yearning for the eternal, for the completely other, suppresses the temporal, the political, the ever-transient within reality. The appropriate political attitude is defined as “nihilion”….
…This utopian pessimism, yearning for redemption, certainly turns out to be a moment of the attempt to evade spiritual death in the life of mere vagueness, to evade the “everything the same” – the salvation of the philosopher’s soul. With both thinkers this knowledge obligates them to an especially political activism. This special pessimism engenders hope and commits them to saving the past from the one-dimensional interpretation of the victorious side, and to a daily struggle for the preservation of the spiritual autonomy of the individual and the preservation of solidarity with the victims. Read More:http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~ilangz/Utopia4.html