“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Factish God(s)

The following is my comment posted in response to a blog by Sam Mickey about the potential of an object-oriented theology.

Postsecularity might also be termed “the After Age.” Perhaps the “end of history” is the beginning of an integral phase of civilization, where the transparent permeability of eternity and time, spirit and matter, reason and myth, art and earth is (re)collected. If “postsecularity” is not simply the return to mythic consciousness and static cosmology, though, what does it mean to leave the presentist philosophy of secular humanism and/or scientific naturalism behind? We need new some new paths to explore. I’m definitely in agreement that Harman’s object-orientation is an experiment in ontology that should be conducted in theology as well.
A few thoughts…
Factish gods remind me of the occult concept of an “egregore“, a sort of collective-thought form that incorporates individuals into decision patterns larger than their separate perceptuo-conscious awarenesses. This would seem to have more to do with a straightforwardly fetishized God than a factish God. The implication for occultism seems to be that fetish Gods (i.e., idols) are psychosocial fabrications and not true divinities. It may be helpful, then, to mark the difference between God as fetish and God as factish. The former involves the projection of soul onto inanimate objects or social forces, the later grants God its own “submergent” properties, in Harman’s terms, since God retains the capacity to act independent of any human projections (meaning God exists independently of its effects upon even the unconscious human psyche). An egregore is a fetish because it doesn’t exceed the sum of its psychosocietal relations: no society of psyches, no egregore. On the other hand, the Sun, as an object with both sensual notes and real qualities, is a factish God, since it is granted a molten core, or a soul, of its own. It would go on being itself even if all the psyches on the earth were to die.








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