The Posthuman Future: Sacred Power and the Temenos

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Following my recent post The Posthuman Future: Technopessimism and the Inhuman I take up other aspects of the posthuman. Ancient peoples understood power in ways secular civilization has transformed beyond all recognition, through a long and non-ingenious disinvestment of religious ritual and practice, without at the same time forfeiting its actual material force for command and control of vast populations and resources. From the beginning society was an artificial system of relations, a construct; a construction-kit that assembled through various forms of hierarchic or non-hierarchic modes of production the realm of human civilization. This was done by way of a mental operation, a ‘cut’ between an inside and outside: relegating the natural violence and chaos of the universe to the Outside, while incorporating the human and its security regimes in opposition to the elemental forces of an uncontrollable natural order over which it had no authority or control. By separating out what could and could not be bound to the invisible threads of authority and control the human slowly but methodically reformatted the very subjectivation of its own worlds, constructing an artificial zone of security and sacredness within which it could contain the power of the unknown and unknowable forces of the universe.

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