A Note on a new Understanding of Matter as Evil
In “Base Materialism and Gnosticism,” Georges Bataille says that the Gnostic conception of matter was “matter as an active principle having its own eternal autonomous existence as darkness … and as evil”. This is to say that matter, for the Gnostics, is matter as evil because darkness is nothing more than a principle of evil, as is mud. Thus, we have opened up the term ‘matter’ that is within Bataille’s economy of epistemic expenditure to many conceptual parallels. Eroticism, transgression, sovereignty, etc. all represent evil — thus they exist as distinctly materialist.
Bataille, Georges. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939. Edited by Allan Stoekl. Translated by Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie Jr.. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1985.
: Georges Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939, ed. Allan Stoekl, trans. Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, and Donald M. Leslie Jr. (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 47.
: Ibid., 20.