Kenosis has local meanings in Alchemical, Christian, Greek, and Semiotic traditions. It means to "empty out," from the Greek kenos - "empty." In Theology, Kenosis is the concept of the "self-emptying" of the individual will and throwing oneself at god and god's perfected will. In Christianity, the doctrine of Kenosis bumps into a Spinozian dilemma: When god incarnates and becomes man - as Jesus Christ - how much of his divinity is given up when the Spirit bites the Bone? Is Jesus still Omni-Omni? Eternal, infinite, immutable? If Jesus is still god then is the Resurrection just a form of 3-Card-Monty? In the 16th Century, Protestants went Liturgically Syncatabastic over the question - did god actually go "derech benai Adam" in the Hebrew? Huh? Did Yahweh drop his divinity for a time and go "the way of the sons of Man?"

In Eastern Orthodox Mysticism, Kenosis is bound up with the Holy Ghost: as man empties himself he simultaneously is refilled with the Spirit's Grace and therefore is he united back to god. Thus all of the world of creation can be - and must be - emptied of its Form in Matter and replenished with the high-octane stuff of god. Perilously close to Pantheism and the take off point for the relationship of Kenosis to Alchemy. From here it is only a breath away from Apokatastasis and the iron grip of the Inquisition. Men are burned in public squares for having such thoughts. If the Devil is Matter then what happens to Satan when we pour god back into him? In the Matrix film trilogy, Neo - the Anointed One and container of the Good - must merge with his opposite, Agent Smith - the counterforce vessel of Evil. This merging "reboots" the universe of the Matrix and restores it [apokatastasis] to balance and stability.

In Literary aesthetics "Kenosis is the affect (feeling) experienced by the reader of lyric or poetry forms. It is the experience of the emptying of the ego-personality of the reader into the immediate sensory manipulation of poetics. In this sense, Kenosis inflicts an experience of timelessness upon the reader." In Drama, Catharsis accomplishes the same. In the Form of the Novel the work is done by Kairosis. All three terms imply a "fulfillment in time."

In Semiotics, generally, Kenosis refers to the process by which things empty their interior and spiritual essence - their "meanings" - out into matter and the world of Concepts and Objects - their "Forms." It describes how Grace has become Coca Cola. Or the way Elvis got fat and pissed it all away into the Pose. Kenosis speaks both of loss and fulfillment.

Its Image is the lifted stone.

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