Find the death
After collapsing the walls of Jericho, giving death to their king, and exterminating its inhabitants –except Rahab and her family–; after conquering Hai, giving death to their king, exterminating its inhabitants and turning the city into ashes. In the middle of the battle against the alliance of the five Amorite towns: Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon, Joshua asked God to stop the sun over Gibeon and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, to execute once and for all the massacre that was ordered to him: stop Sun to conquest at this moment all the cities in the world, stop Moon to fulfill at this moment the will of God.
In the fifteenth theses on the concept of history, Benjamin wrote that during the Revolution of 1830 in Paris, during the evening of the first skirmishes, it turned out that the clock-towers were shot at independently and simultaneously in several places: stop Time to consummate once and for all, at this very moment, the revolution.
Joshua asked Time to stop so the twelve Tribes of Israel could exterminate the rest of humanity; Benjamin wrote his thesis on the concept of history while he escaped from the extermination of the Jewish people perpetrated by National Socialism. A Rubik's Cube with a finite number of parts, subject to infinite possibilities, in which is contained what happens and its opposite.
(Left: "Cardinal he", Acrylic painting on paper, 5 pieces of 50 CMS x 50 CMS ea. Right: "Cardinal she", Acrylic painting on paper, 5 pieces of 50 CMS x 50 CMS ea.)
Benjamin died in Portbou on September 26, 1940, the medical report indicates that he dies from a stroke, the official history says that he committed suicide by ingesting an overdose of morphine, and the non-official that he was murdered by the Gestapo; if is one, other, or another reason, Benjamin, like Bela Lugosi, is dead.
After seven years surviving fascism and refusing to leave Europe, there are still positions to defend here, Benjamin decides to escape to USA; for that he has to cross the Pyrenees, arrive to Spain, go across all the Spanish territory, enter to Portugal and sail to America. Benjamin starts his journey in May, 1940, in Paris, passes through Lourdes, reaches Marseilles, after a dramatic crossing of the Pyrenees, arrives to Portbou, first Spanish town crossing the border from Port-Vendres, he goes to the police station to notify his entry, although he has the necessary visa to stay in Spain, is informed that there has been a change in the law: he will not be allowed to entry, he will be turned to the French authorities the next day, and they to the German authorities. That night, under police surveillance, stays at the Hotel France –getting out of France, to sleep in France, before being deported to France–, Benjamin sleeps in the room number three, after making some calls, takes a strong dose of morphine, and the next day his body is found on the bed, dead.
If he would had arrived the day before, he would had obtained permission to enter to Spain, precisely that day was approved the decree that forbade citizens without French nationality go through Spanish territory; If he would had arrived the day after, he would had known the decree before crossing the border and would had known it was not possible to enter to Spain. Just that particular day the catastrophe was possible.
Benjamin found the death in Portbou; since the day that Hitler rose to power, he always carried the death in his pocket, sixty morphine pills waiting for him. Contrary to the popular believe, opium does not come from east, poppy is native to the Mediterranean region, Papaver somniferum, poppy, opium, morphine, heroin, is my wife and my life, for four thousand years remained intact a poppy field in the Alt Empordà, to become morphine the night that Benjamin arrived to Portbou. His death was always there.
To find the death: bullets, as Zeno says, never kill, they always left a halfway to go before crashing into their target. At nine in the morning on March 29, 1939, a battalion of the Gestapo fired their weapons against Jaromir Hladik –Jewish writer accused of spreading Judaism–, bullets traveled the halfway that separated from Hladik, traveled a half more and the half from the half, before dying Hladík wanted to finish his verse drama The Enemies, so while the bullets roamed the endless halves that separated them, Hladik, in his mind, worked the third act over twice; he omitted, condensed, amplified; occasionally, he chose the primitive version, he took a year to complete his work, when he had done, moved his head quickly to reach the 340 meters per second that are needed to be pierced by a bullet. The bullet never arrived, he was who arrived to the bullet to find his death.
A dose of morphine, a bullet in the air; death does not seek, one finds death. Waring Hudsucker jumps from his office on the 44th floor of the building that bears his name, the future is now, Nicos Poulantzas jumps from the 22nd floor of the Montparnasse Tower, Deleuze from the fifth floor of his apartment in the Niel Avenue. So far so good, so far so good ... what matters is not the fall but the landing. The ground has always been there, waiting; waited for Hudsucker, for Poulantzas, for Deleuze, as the piece of ground on Gentil-Bernard’ street, patiently awaits, for the Klein’ void, will be filled.
A dose of morphine, a bullet in the air, a piece of ground, Reinhold Messner seeks death in each ascent, Walter Steiner in each descent; Abraham does not kill Isaac, is Isaac who finds it. Abraham’s heroism, his anguish, is to quietly accompany the suicide of his son, the knife remains motionless in the hand of Abraham, is Isaac’s neck who chases its edge, is himself the living weapon that he forges. The first part of the fifth chapter of Pirkei Avot or "Chapters of the Fathers" consists of a series of lists in which are written several sets of ten: the ten statements with which the world was created; the ten generations between Adam and Noah and the ten between Noah and Abraham; the ten miracles, the ten afflictions and the ten temptations that were suffered the forefathers in Egypt. The last of these sets corresponds to the ten things that God created during the twilight of the Sabbath: the mouth of the earth that swallowed Korach, the mouth of the Miriam’s well, the mouth of the ass that saw the angel, the rainbow, the manna, the staff of Moses, the Shamir, and the writing which allowed the inscription of tablets of the Ten Commandments. Some say that the last two things that God created during the twilight of the Sabbath were the tomb of Moses and the ram of Abraham; others say that were the spirits of destruction and the original tongs. During the eve of the Sabbath, God created the tongs that the blacksmith would use to forge the knife which Isaac would found, and the ram that saved him: forgiveness and death. A Rubik's Cube with a finite number of parts, subject to infinite possibilities, in which is contained what happens and its opposite.
Isaac does not die, the knife that holds Abraham does not cut his son's neck, cut the time. In 1958 Lucio Fontana made his first Tagli, a cut made with a knife on a monochrome canvas, some years before, Fontana had been exploring the possibilities of a cutting, piercing canvases with a punch, an apparently naive act, neo-Dadaist: to be violent with a canvas; nothing further from reality, his "spatial concepts", name that he used to baptize the set of pieces that have a cut as a base, have a magical, an alchemical intention: the transmutation of a one-dimensional plane into a two-dimensional, three-dimensional, multidimensional: an infinity plane. A first move twists the surface to the front, creating the third dimension, a second move twists it to the back, giving the fourth dimension, and a last movement opens up the space between the two edges, creating a hollow, a hole, an entry door to multiple dimensions. The skin of a tiger is not formed by black stripes, but by cuts, abysses, infinites. A Fontana’s predecessor was Longinus: during the crucifixion, the procedure indicated that the legs of the crucified had to be broken so the weight of their bodies do not rest on their ankles and hasten his death by asphyxia. They broke the legs to the bad thief, they broke the legs of the good one, when came the turn to broke them to Christ, they realized that he was already dead, to verify it, Longinus stab his spear on the side of Christ, flowed His precious blood, Longinus regained his sight and converted. A cut on the skin of Christ, the stripe of a tiger, Øieblikket, the distance between the moment that follows and the moment that precedes, between what was before and what is after. Saul becomes Paul: see after having seen.
Isaac does not die, Christ resurrects; Abraham testifies the holocaust of Isaac, God, the Christ one, both fathers witness the plight of their children. A new movement in the infinite combinatorial of the Rubik's Cube indicates that is time for children to assist the suicide of their parents. Before mentally finish his verse drama, Jaromir Hladik, to the terror of knowing that he would find the death in front of a firing squad, he thought that reality does not tend to coincide with forecasts about it. With perverse logic he inferred that to foresee a circumstantial detail is to prevent its happening. So, to avoid them, he imagined the most atrocious deaths, each invention rule out a move in the infinite combinatorial of the Rubik's Cube, breaking the linearity of time, accelerating it in simultaneity. Borges, who imagine Jaromir Hladik, did the same when he was about to die: Maria Kodama asked if he wanted to talk to a priest, Borges said, "Well, let's call a Protestant and a Catholic, and I talk with both" at that moment Borges became three: agnostic, Catholic and Protestant; shortly thereafter, just before he died, Borges dared to say the Lord's Prayer in four different languages: Old English, Modern English, French and Spanish, Borges multiply himself again, now by four: twelve Borges. With two simple gestures dismissed a dozen of possible moves in the infinite combinatorial of the Rubik's Cube.
A Rubik's Cube consists of 26 small cubes with a mechanism that allows them to rotate; each side of the large cube consists of nine sides, of the same color, from the small cubes; There are 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 possible combinations in the arrangement of the small cubes. Before there was something there was a Rubik's Cube, a cosmic hand makes the first move, steady but slow, it takes one second, it cancels the first possibility at the same time happens a huge explosion, the Big Bang: the time, space and all matter and energy that have to exist are created; the universe begins to expand, the force of gravity and the strong nuclear force appears, stars are born and thus galaxies, 13.7 billion years pass and cosmic hand has completed 286 977 600 000 000 000 movements, only 0.66%. The sun is form, a large disk of gas and debris whirls around him, giving rise to Earth; after one, two, three, four glaciations, Adam and Eve appear, followed by Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, for forty days and forty nights rains on the Earth, Abraham sees with anguish to Isaac and Isaac shows him proud his neck, Moses divides a sea, Joshua divides a river, Longinus penetrates Christ with his spear, Ptolemy makes Earth the center of the universe, Copernicus restores its eccentricity, Gutenberg invents mobile type that Kierkegaard uses to publish three books simultaneity one October 16, 1843, and lying on a tile floor, Borges observes everything in the back of the nineteenth stage of the house once was inhabited by Beatriz Viterbo, 4.6 billion years in which the cosmic hand made 145 065 600 000 000 000 movements, only 0.99% of the potential possibilities. Other 220 752 000 permutations and the cosmic hand pauses, stops rotating the Rubik's Cube for 4 minutes 33 seconds to join the interpretation of David Tudor in Woodstock. Borges dies, Tudor dies, the Hungarian Erno Rubik dies, I die, you die, the seas evaporate, life on Earth ends, 4 billion years and the cosmic hand has rotated the mechanism of the Cube 126 144 000 000 000 000 times, still left the 98.7% of possible combinations. The universe continues to expand, Andromeda and the Milky Way collide to become a large galaxy and all that exists outside the Virgo Supercluster disappears into the cosmic horizon, a trillion years, the level of entropy makes it impossible to trace the origin of the universe and the cosmic hand has already ruled out 80.47% of the more than 43 trillion combinatorial. The cosmic hand continues rotating the axe of the cube, and having pass three hundred trillion seventy-one thousand five hundred and twelve billion twenty six thousand seven hundred and fifteen years and sixty-five days from the first movement, the possibilities are over. Nothing disappears in the world except through self-destruction.
("Mandarin duck", Acrylic painting on paper, 9 pieces of 50 CMS x 50 CMS ea.)
Each spin of the Rubik's Cube is a death, each death rules out a possibility; on an earlier movement, God attended to the death of Christ, on one following, He dies. "Gott ist tot" writes Hegel in The Phenomenology of Spirit, there is no room for vastness, Hegel helps the cosmic hand to rotate the cube, Feuerbach adds him, Nietzsche, Zarathustra; in The Philosophy of Redemption, Mainländer proposes is not the man who kills God, but God immolated himself, finds his own death. In different mythologies it is common that God simulates his death, he incarnate to die, but, as the title of the waltz written by Macedonio Alcalá says: God never dies, between the crucifixion and Easter, God still exists. The only God that truly has sacrificed himself is Odin:
I know that I hung on a windy tree
nine long nights,
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.
No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn,
downwards I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there.
Benjamin's death, Borges’s deaths, Christ’s death, God’s death, the death of the State, to close a book allows to reorder its content. Every death is a spin, every spin redeems a possibility, releases it from exist; back to Benjamin: only for a resurrected humanity would its past, in each of its moments, be citable, “would its past be citable” because it is past: on this dialectic game in which the denial affirms, we can proudly say that God is dead when the cube rotate and in the next permutation God will be necessary again.
The universe is composed of a finite number of Rubik cubes with huge, but finite, number of permutations, which in its vastness gets infinity. When I finish of writing this, I will be given one more spin into the great Rubik's Cube, and at the same time there will be a new cube in the universe.