Satanic exorcisms upon the surfacing of truth
I’m not a fan of Nanni Moretti and I don’t like all his movies, but when I watched Habemus papam I fell on my knees recognizing the greatness of this film. Despite being set against the Barroque background of the Church of Rome – mundane manifestation of otherworldly power, – the movie in fact focuses on contemporary depression: the world built by men has gone beyond human reach, entering the orbit of a technical divinity who has escaped human control. The world that technical power has subtracted from divine will is too complex, too fast. It is so cruel that it cannot be elaborated according to the categories of human thought. The category of divinity itself is only the frail projection of human illusion, and God is useless when we can finally understand the ultimate truth: that there is no truth in our history, no hope – only the pleasure of senses and poetry, and the pleasure of collective construction, which is collective illusion, a sensuous bridge over the abyss of the inexistence of meaning. Caminante no hay camino, el camino se hace al andar.
When we know that there is no path and no arrival point, walking demands an exceeding amount of energy. And energy gets exhausted when entropy gets hold of the brain.
Alzheimer depression ageing of the human race – they all go together with the expansion of the meta-machine, of the chain of technical automatisms forcing us to continue the game: Matrix, psychopharmacology of the mandatory illusion, biotechnological eternity. The pact that Faust agreed with Mephistopheles at the beginning of the Modern age gave him strength to defy time and nature. Today, however, getting old is not only the effect of physical decay of cells and neurons, but most of all it is the effect of a loss of order, jeopardizing the consistency of the universe, mixed with an acceleration of the rhythm.
Satanic exorcisms upon the surfacing of truth.
The media-martyrdom of Wojtila was a great theological lesson.
The sorrowful grimace, the throttled scream, the unintelligible words while the teetering hand was grasping the air – Wojtila’s show stated that the holy spirit expresses itself through the suffering of the flesh, and that its ultimate message cannot be articulated into words, as its content is exactly the disjointed sound of a tortured body: the dissolution of the molecular order of meaning, the superior strength of Evil, of time, of death.
That powerful Polish, who grew up among workers and miners, managed to fight his battle against Satan until the end, until the moment of Satan’s unavoidable victory, as Satan always wins.
Benedict was simply terrified, and that is the point. Politically, I totally understand his act of human cowardice, his acknowledgement of frailty – just like the Pope played by Michel Piccoli in Moretti’s movie.
When Satan appeared in a corner of the Vatican room where the old German Pope was sleeping, he reacted as an ageing man reacts: begging for retirement. Millions of ageing men, tortured by decades of work, physical and psychic fatigue are asking the same: the right to get their retirement. We are denied this right because the Neoliberal Satan has taken the helm.
Unfortunately, modern medical science has put at our disposition pharmacological tools that oblige us to live much longer than our body and our brain can accept. Alzheimer epidemics is the ruthless punishment for a humanity which is holding onto life not because we love it (how can we love the horrid decomposition of memory, and of our ability to recognizing ourselves?) but because it is our property, and we have been taught never to abandon our belongings.
Benedict has done something enormous, by the theological point of view, an act that has been accomplished only once in the history of the Church, by that Celestine whom Dante condemned because his ‘great rejection’ exposed the dissolution of faith in the infinite power of someone.
The lesson that Benedict has delivered is that there is no God who can save us from ourselves, and that we should better take it easy: we should enjoy our lives and we should prepare ourselves to leave stoically, consciously, willingly. This is the only way we can make fun of Satan when, dismissed the charming dress of the Great Seducer, he is melancholically forced to appear to us (against his own will) as the Wicked one.