George Bataille, the French philosopher, believed that death is a means of connecting us, the so-called "discontinuous" creatures, to the "continuity" of being. We desire this, at the same time of being repelled by the idea of joining it. My question, targeted to those who have read Bataille, is if such union with continuity after transcending death is desired because it is an elevation to a "higher form". I specifically would like to know if Bataille believed that as a result of going back to the continuity and beyond, we appear in a "higher form". I will appreciate it if anyone can address this very particular point in any of his works.

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I do not see in the text reference to some sort of transcendence.

See Georges Bataille, Erotism Death and Sensuality, original French ed.1957, Introduction, page 12:

Between one being and another, there is a gulf, a discontinuity. This gulf exists, for instance, between you, listening to me, and me, speaking to you. [...] You and I are discontinuous beings.

Page 13:

It is my intention to suggest that for us, discontinuous beings that we are, death means continuity of being. Reproduction leads to the discontinuity of beings, but brings into play their continuity; that is to say, it is intimately linked with death. I shall endeavour to show, by discussing reproduction and death, that death is to be identified with continuity, and both of these concepts are equally fascinating.

Page 15:

I intend to speak of these three type of eroticism in turn, to wit, physical, emotional and religious. My aim is to show that with all of them the concern is to substitute for the individual isolated discontinuity a feeling of profound continuity. [...] the quest for continuity of existence systematically pursued beyond the immediate world signifies an essentially religious intention.

And page 83:

I should say that divine continuity is linked with the transgression of the law on which the order of discontinuous beings is built. Men as discontinuous beings try to maintain their separate existences, but death, or at least the contemplation of death, brings them back to continuity.

Page 118:

Continuity is reached through experience of the divine. The divine is the essence of continuity. [...] According to Christian belief, lost continuity found again in God demanded from the faithful boundless and uncalculated love, transcending the regulated violence of ritual frenzy. Man transfigured by divine continuity was exalted in God to the love of his fellow. Christianity has never relinquished the hope of finally reducing this world of selfish discontinuity to the realm of continuity afire with love.


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