Hesitant Living and its Hauntologies

We struck by a ghostly virus. The spectre of the novel coronavirus is everywhere. It has haunted our life, work and place.  It hidden and liminal position of the virus defines the spectrality that haunts the global human community.  We can certainly trace a spectral turn in our life. We are living hesitatingly fearing the spectre of the deadly virus.   We cannot easily fix the presence and locality of the virus. It belongs to the realm of the undead and has spectral existence.  This is why we have to become vigilant and protect ourselves and others from the simulacrum of spreading the virus. Indeed, we are experiencing haunted life that is moving between the virtual and the real.  Ontology seems to have become hauntology.  Hauntology is calling us into being and we are fighting to exorcise it.  The spectre of the virus has become more real than its reality itself. The real has joined the hyper-real.  We are somehow facing the metaphysics of absence. Time is out of joint. Being is intimately linked to unbeing that is undoing the dynamism of becoming.   This is why we are looking for a messianicity.  Hauntology  has introduced a form of  messianism. We   do not know how it will come.  This is hope that is a form of messianism  empty of content.  Jacques Derrida does invoke  messianicity. Perhaps, we may do well by introducing Derrida as an interlocutor to understand our present condition. Philosophy cannot Oedipalize before our haunting condition but face these new conditions of possibility and impossibility and let Philosophy reach sublation and become even more fertile.   We are stuck by an anticipatory temporality that is sustained by a hope that is looking for a future free of the novel virus. let make our condition a sprouting field for novel philosophies. 

The fact that we are feeling that our present is castrated; we positively hope to arrive at an uncastrated future.  We wish that this future becomes hurriedly our present.  In this sense, future becomes a messianic time. Messianic time is intense and thick. It is not diachronic but is kairological.  But the future still remains the other.  It is still open and not closed to a specific state of being human.  We do not fully know how it will unfold even after the vaccine against the lethal virus.  In other words, our hope is marked by messianicity  that remains open to a heterogeneous future. This condition is different from other forms of messianisms that work to give a future to a castrated or lost past.  Hindutva is one such example of a closed future that has its telos in an imagined Hindu Rastra.  This waiting for the coming of the Hindu Rastra is different from waiting for a covid-19 free world.  The closed futurity remains in a forever differed temporality and can be politically milked to sustain hegemony over those who aspire for such a future of a lost past.   The future that we anticipate in the wake of our global pandemic being open and heterogenous promises us a new world. It is not the future of a past. It is not a restoration of a lost paradise.  This is why the anticipated future can become a site for justice for all.  We are already planning a graded way of vaccinating the people beginning with the medical workers and those with co-morbidities.  The anachronic disjointure that we face at this point is of course free from the discourse of closed homogenous future.  The vaccine nationalism is clearly longing for a homogenous future that will restore the past order of things.   This is why the future that we anticipate being heterogeneous always remains in a dislocated mode.   Hence, the future to come becomes a site of justice.   This means teleology takes a form of justice. 

Waiting for the coming emancipative future is a living of a present. It offers hope for the disturbing sense of a castrated present.  We are living a retro-future that anticipates it in the living present.  This means our hesitant living becomes a form of retro-action of an anticipated future.  We are living the spectrality of the future. Hence, it is right to say that our ontology has become a hauntology.  This is why time is not a linear flow but we temporalize or historize a hauntology that moves through and from the past with the future to the present.  Time is intense, concentrated, thick and tainted with our several pasts and future projections or aspirations. There cannot be pure time.  We cannot, therefore, have a pure past, present and future. Time is heterogeneous and not homogenous.  We cannot wait for the future with a face turned towards the past as it is the case of ideologies like Hindutva in the wake of the lethal virus.  The virus has othered our present as well as the future. It has defamiliarized our present as well as our future.  We have to free our understanding of time of the logocentrisms that are afflicting it. Time cannot be fully present. Time is karmic as well as messianic. The heterogeneous past and the open future lives in the present making it stretched into pasts as well as futures imagined by humanity.  The coronavirus is calling us to live with our face towards the present, the present that is living hesitatingly by waiting for a heterogeneous future that will be a site of justice.   This does not mean the future will become just without us offering a fight for a just order.  This means we are to adopt a non-deterministic waiting in our living present making the present a site of justice.  This means the future then becomes open holding space for nothing, not even justice. This means the future become kairos or fullness that has justice for all. 

 An open future is kariological and is a utopia. It is not a place.  It is a condition of impossibility. Such a condition of impossibility produces the condition of possibilities that can animate our ways of being human in a mode of waiting for that future to become present.  We are therefore messianic subjects that are always haunted. Sometimes haunted by the past and sometimes haunted by a present and sometimes haunted by a future. Our present condition is haunted by a castrated present that is refusing to become intensely self-present to us.  Because of this aborted present, we hope for messianic freedom. This anticipation of an emancipated future, also shows that we are facing a haunted future.  We have the fear of the loss of the future.  Waiting for the emancipative heterogeneous future that we live in at present is the sign that both our present well as future is haunted in the wake of coronavirus.    We are living the fear of the othered present and a possible other future.  Coronavirus has somehow exorcised the comfort zones of our present and the future and we are all living a hesitant life that cannot also foreclose a future.  We have to come to terms with the bursting forth of hesitant living and have to embrace the unforeseeable both in the present and the future.  The lethal virus is undeterminable and to some extend unforeseeable in our present.  We are somehow condemned to live with an unforeseeable present and the future.  We have to embrace this othered present and the other future that is fast arriving into our present.  

The sites of the othered present and the other future has to become a site of justice.  All forms of messianism are gatekeepers that filter the other future that is always ready to come into the present.  Thus, for instance, the future of our country can go in any direction if left open without the Hindutva gatekeeper. The Hindutva gatekeeper filters what can arrive into our present. Through its mechanisms of anti-nationalism that is strictly defined through the lens of Brahmanism, it allows and disallows the conditions of possibilities and impossibilities to trickle down into our present. The filter that filters the other future into a familiarised present is a lens that is rooted in the past. This is why we can say that Hindutva attempts to give a future to a specific past selected from the various pasts of our people.  Maybe the experience of a disrupted present and lost future in the present condition of the global pandemic has great lessons.  Thankfully, we do feel a disrupted past as in the case of Hindutva. Hindutva is born out of a feeling of a dislocated past, and the present that nurtures a feeling of a lost future.  Our present condition feels a disrupted present because of the lost comfort of the past and feels an intensely lost future. This is why a heterogeneous open and emancipative future that we are all waiting for has to be a site of justice.  It is justice for all that has to be the gatekeeper and not some past of some community as in the case of Hindutva/ vaccine nationalism. We have imperative to live with hauntology of equity and justice that is grounded in our common humanity that remains rooted with our common home, the planet earth. 

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao