chapter  Chapter One
31 Pages

The Rescued Child, or the Misappropriation of Time: On the Search for Meaning

WithWolfgang Giegerich

The search for meaning, the conviction that it is necessary to experience meaning, and the explicit discussion of meaning and meaninglessness is by no means a matter of course and a human universal. The search for meaning and the destruction of meaning are one and the same and that the experience of meaning is in itself the continued generation of nihilism, is also suggested by a simple observation concerning the phrase “experience of meaning.” The ontological rescue of the divine child invites identification. The childish wish of man to remain whole, unwounded, to be saved and have peace, received an inflationary boost by this rescue. “The child” has consequences for the conception of the relation to God. Through the death of “the child,” man’s childlike demand to have the god himself directly present in the mask would be killed and sacrificed. With the eternalization of the child, this demand prevails.