Sunday, May 27, 2007


What has always repelled materialists from the hermetic tradition is not its whimsy but on the contrary the solemnity with which its priesthood has historically erected ever more complex cathedrals of theodicy and theogeny on the intuition that something 'more' inhabits, locates and frames the givenness of the world. It is sad therefore to note that materialism has often – though not universally – eschewed any address to the sacred. By this I do not mean that materialism in any way fails for lack of a theology, nor that the sacred forms some ontological ground on which the material world is more deeply founded. Rather, what has been often lacking is a commitment to understanding that affect which we recognise under the rubric of sacredness, an elevation beyond not merely the instinctual but also the intellectual pleasures, a yearning apart from the desire for justice, peace and plenty for all. Since the term sacred has, moreover, been tainted by centuries of mouthing in institutions that have done little for justice, peace or plenty, we need another term, one that might displace the materialist reluctance to address affect in general and this affect in particular. I propose a mediological enquiry into the nature of wonder.

(from a review of Siegfried Zielinski's Deep Time of the Media for Leonardo Digital Reviews)

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