Poststructuralism & Mysticism

The double process of “negating bodying” and “bodying negating” does not negate the process of “bodying,” but “what” negates its un-preformed singularity; and it does not embody negation (as such), but “what” negates its bodying (as such).

The thesis is that apophatic negation works in two directions: It can negate the bodying itself, carrying with it the peril of a negation, which, embodied again, destroys the body; but it can also negate what negates the bodying, thereby freeing the process of “bodying.”  In uncovering the first apophasis as “peril” (especially of negative theology), I will mark some of the “characteristics” of the second apophasis as pureaffirmation, especially with help of Butler’s, Derrida’s, Deleuze’s, Kristeva’s, and Whitehead’s respective accounts of concepts that indicate, imply, or can be directed towards an understanding toward what I mean by “apophatic bodies.”

What is un-said in negative theology is any “attribute” that could grasp deity. Although we may start with positive characterization, e.g. knowing, in un-saying knowing, we negate the finite character of knowing in which we live, and we project its absolute negation as the position of the deity: as absolute knowledge beyond any creaturely restriction. This method of negation is a process of “un-bounding,” of “de-limiting,” in proposing that the deity is in its “essence” un-bound and in-finite.

- R. Faber, “Bodies of the Void: Polyphilia and Theoplicity,” in: C. Keller, ed., Apophatic Bodies