While I was in the UK finishing up the Principles of Non-Philosophy translation with Nicola Rubczak I took a short break to attend the Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion‘s Thinking the Absolute conference, hosted at Liverpool Hope University. It was an overwhelming experience for me because of all the old friends, new friends, and associated folk it brought together into one place. I won’t go into specifics of keynotes, which a few others have already done, but just say that it was overwhelming for me to hear people engaging with my work, the work of my friends, and to have such engaging conversations about a variety of different topics with people outside the usual orthodoxies we usually have to deal with at similar conferences. It was also an absolutely surreal experience to watch François Laruelle participate in a black mass. When a friend, Jessie Hock, explained to him in French that what was happening was “a sin”, he leapt up to receive the unholy host. Words fail to capture this event!
You can listen to to the panel that I was part of, along with Daniel Colucciello Barber and Nicola Masciandaro, entitled Absolute Mysticism, either by streaming it on this site (sorry the embed code won’t take in WordPress and Soundcloud doesn’t like the file for some reason) or downloading the MP3 directly from my DropBox. The file contains all three of our papers and the questions. A note on the quality, while I think the whole thing is listenable, you need to turn the volume up higher for Daniel’s and Nicola’s papers, since I just used my iPad to record, which I read my paper off of and so was speaking directly into it. Next time I’ll take my fancy mic and record with my iPhone. Both their papers are simply incredible, with Nicola’s moving a few us near to the point of tears. I hope you enjoy them.