George Bataille, dualism, postmodernism and Gnosticism
The core duality of Bataille’s thought is thus between the profane and the sacred. In a first moment, this distinction can be read along the lines of the double intentionality of self-consciousness, very much like in the case of Hegel’s unhappy consciousness. For Bataille, the human being is split between the mastery of sovereign life and the slavery of having to work and to be part of an everyday profane system. This double intentionality then implies a distinction between two economies. The logic of the profane is determined by an economy of accumulation. Here, every gift, every risk, all negativity exists for the sake of a higher, and so a finally positive good. The logic of the sacred is one of pure expenditure, of waste: there are no goods to obtain, there is no work to be done and no projects to be realized. Here, we are lost in the dark night of the soul; we enter the unknown and do not longer know what happens to us.