The Twilight of the Idols and the Night of the Senses

Jeffrey Bloechl

in The Experience of God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225187
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237135 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Twilight of the Idols and the             Night of the Senses

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This chapter investigates the possibility of an ego that is dislodged from its presumed central point in the philosophy or theology of experience. It argues that only such a displaced ego could possibly receive divinity without claiming to comprehend it. If the ego spreads a light of understanding on all that it encounters, the condition of being approached by the divine would be the dimming of that light. There are several paths that lead from the light of intelligibility to the darkness of unknowing — Friedrich Nietzsche's and Emmanuel Levinas's, as well as those trodden by the mystics. In the end, there are no conditions that must be met before we can encounter God in the realm of experience, not even humility and hope. If the word “egology” designates the premise or assertion that the ego is the inevitable locus of meaning, then egology is the existential condition for idolatry. Endurance of faith and hope is a primary index of what truly distinguishes the mystical night from the Nietzschean chaos.

Keywords: God; experience; Friedrich Nietzsche; humility; hope; faith; egology; idolatry; ego; intelligibility

Chapter.  7837 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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