Avron Kulak (Bio)

Love in the smooth flow of Becoming

In my paper I propose to address the two questions that introduce the theme of Ereignis’ conference – ‘How does the event puncture the smooth flow of becoming? And what is it like, the event in which we become ourselves?’ – by examining how Nietzsche, Derrida, and Kierkegaard help us to espouse the event as a moment of appropriation and becoming. Nietzsche insists that becoming the selves we are is a command of conscience, the command to puncture the smooth flow of becoming by determining all of our values anew – by determining them from nothing prior. Of particular interest is that he also insists that conscience is a creation of the biblical traditions. Derrida argues that only the event as the irruption of the absolutely new makes possible a promise that, in being committed in advance to a second, reaffirming promise, provides for a history of justice. He thus holds that the event of a just decision must come into existence as if nothing of the law previously existed. How, then, are we to understand the link that Nietzsche establishes between the origin of conscience in biblical principles and those individuals who become themselves by going beyond the tradition from which come our concepts of good and evil? Do Nietzsche and Derrida, in indicating that the events of conscience and justice come into existence from nothing prior, implicitly presuppose and invoke the ontology and ethics of creation from nothing, thereby showing that these events have their origin in biblical principles? Kierkegaard provides a brilliant explication of the concept of creation when he shows that it is the biblical command to love that is created from nothing prior – from neither immediate self- nor immediate preferential love – and that thus provides for single individuals a critical point of view from which to appropriate and espouse the smooth flow of becoming. In my paper I shall examine the ways in which biblical principles allow us to become ourselves – to become those who love (in) the smooth flow of becoming.