Perhaps, for us, the question is how to continue thinking, philosophizing, creating art, creating literature, dancing, and, above all, doing politics, when we are the walking dead. How can we carry on when we know we are already dead? As in the film Melancholia or These Final Hours, we are dead yet, for a time, continue to walk. Some of us walk as dead without realizing that we are already dead. Others walk with the knowledge that we are dead. That death approaches us in a variety of ways. Perhaps it is the ineluctable destiny of climate change that will to be addressed because it won’t even be acknowledged. Or perhaps it’s the simple inevitability of the death of our sun which, when combined with the infinite reaches of space– the closest earth-like planet is about 1400 light years away –makes this planet our tomb unless we become silicon; and if we become silicon what will we be, really? Who knows. Or perhaps it’s simply the death that we all face individually.
In immanence, that other word for nature, we are all the walking dead. It’s always been true, really. How can we continue to dance, design, create art, philosophize, and engage in politics when we acknowledge that we’re the walking dead? This shouldn’t be a nihilistic or melancholy thought. It is not a question like Camus’ thesis that the only true philosophical question is whether or not to commit suicide. It’s not that at all. Rather it is a challenge immanent to thought, a rupture within thought, an awareness that matter that has become capable of thinking, must pose to itself the moment it recognizes that immanence is the truth of being such that there is neither teleology nor eschatology and that above all there is no redemption. No, there’s only the flesh of existence, a flesh become the universe thinking itself, a fissure within being become aware of itself, that truly is flesh… A flesh that rots, decays, and dies. We are beings that not only think being, but that are beings among beings. What are we to do with that fleshiness of being, of existence; a fleshiness that endures entropy, that decays, that dies? How can we redeem that flesh when we’ve abandoned all transcendent realms, all reconciliations, all teleologies, all eschatologies?