John Dunn

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Into the void

Saturday, 30 Apr 2022

Marx on Dr John Dunn. Into the void

I have myself been tempted to position the philosophical musings of The Mythology into a Biblical context, with particular regard to the supersessionary nature of Christianity over Judaism as reflected in the temptation of Christ.

The devil addresses Jesus as Son of God, whereas Jesus refers to himself most frequently as Son of Man, and never as the Son ofGod. The devil tempts Jesus to prove himself as though he were a princeling with some of his father’s powers.

…Command that these stones be made bread.

The devil… setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.

The temptations are Judaic, from a perspective that sees god apart and separate from man, that understands our thoughts to be entirely our own and reflective of a material world that also stands apart and separate from man.

This Judaic perspective is superseded by the coming of the Logos incarnate.

The Logos incarnated as man is the source of thought, the shaping force of the world, ‘in the beginning’, which would otherwise be an amorphous, infinite, indiscriminate Oneness, i.e. Nature, haunted by the sub-human lost, a world without Love.

To ‘command’ the reflected world is to frantically wave your magic wand at a chimera. To address a god who is separate and apart is equally fatuous.

All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me, spoke the devil to Jesus of the kingdoms of the world.

For the truth is that the one who embraces the role of god apart with these words is the tempter himself, i.e. Satan.

To be in thrall to a world apart from the Logos, or a god apart from the Logos, let alone both, is to be engaged in idol worship, devil worship.

Emphasising this, John’s Gospel, the last to be written, possibly in full knowledge of the temptation story in the earlier gospels, relates Jesus’s castigation of his detractors as 'being of your father the devil'.

At a secular level it is worth recalling the keen observation made by Karl Marx:

Christianity sprang from Judaism. It has merged again in Judaism... The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews... The god of the Jews has become secularised and has become the god of the world. (On the Jewish Question)

‘The god of the world’ - this god is the god apart, this world is the world apart. In a secular way, Marx is pointing out idol worship and devil worship. Christian supersession has been reversed.

This reversion to a Judaic perspective opens a space within which economic activity can operate, separate and apart from the Logos, i.e. devoid of ethical values. In secular terms, economic activity operates in a neutral void, with money as its neutral measure.

© John Dunn.

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