Durkheim's Dichotomy Between Sacred And Profane

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In Durkheim's theorization, the sacred symbolizes the interests of the group, which embodies in sacred group symbols, or totems and taboos; whereas the profane exemplifies mundane individual concerns. The dichotomy, as Durkheim puts it, between sacred/profane is not equivalent to good/evil. The sacred can either be good or evil; the profane could be either too.

Thus, VidûSaka’s sacredness, if one judges it from Georges Bataille’s point of view, can only be conceived of through his transgression. And this ‘sacred’ VidûSaka, operates on the basis of a “general economy,” (Bataille considers “general economy” as an economy not of exchange but of waste), he believes in disbursement without any anticipation of return, of annihilation without reserve.
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This shared joy of laughter is that of sacred communication. It is in this sense that the fabricated oppositions between sacred/profane, poetry/prose, sovereignty/servility, individual/community meditates upon the ontological problem of an ineluctable closure which always colours his performance. The laughter of VidûSaka contemplates an undoing of the tenets of metaphysical philosophy, subjecting familiar concepts to “inner ruination,” exposing them to their own base(less)ness, and encoding a non-teleological process of “backwardation” by referring the known to the unknown. Such laughter entails specific operations of the comic, or as Georges Bataille describes them, “operations of sovereignty.” The reason of this laughter is both unknown and unknowable: “That which is laughable may simply be the unknowable” (Bataille, Un-knowing, 90) (Italics my …show more content…
Since all kinds of transgression of brahmanical norms of ‘purity’ are symbolically integrated to brahmanicide in the Hindu dharma-zâstra or more specifically the Hindu ‘law-codes’—and this being connoted by Bhairava using his left thumb-nail in all versions— VidûSaka as a ‘supreme Bráhmin’ (mahâ bráhmana) with ‘impure’ qualities befitting an outcast (câNDâla) is his own bráhmanicide (bráhma-hatya). In this dialectic, transgression does not mean violating the rigid observation of taboos but presupposes and completes it only by means of enigmatic transcendence. Access to this sacred-impure that marks the very basis of transgression is mediated by the sacred-pure, which later itself becomes the explicit model of the profane society. The Bráhmin VidûSaka, by incorporating both these extremities within himself becomes an incarnation of the purohita or the bráhman-priest, whose mythical prototypes like VasiSTha and Agastya were also incarnations representing the Vedic ‘dual-divinity’— Mitra-Varuna. In her book The Comedy of Philosophy: Sense and Nonsense in Early Cinematic Slapstick, Lisa Trahair observes, “it is not simply a case of contingent reality being subordinated to the mechanical or vice-versa; rather the comic emerges in many instances from the imbrication of the mechanical and the vital. The tension between the two forces is what gives rise to

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