Galatians 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
— works of the law pertains to a ‘big other’ (a structure, idea, ‘truth’ in place; i.e., law, society, ‘god’ and etc. that promises to give us an identity and ultimately turn us into a subject). the big other is that which frames our whole understanding of existence: ethics, love, relationships, truth and etc.
– Paul ultimately states that the big other should not define us. but rather christ should. and not simply christ, but christ as a gap/absence/form of christian a/theism. why do i say this? because faith is defined as ‘the hope of something that is unseen’. what is that which is unseen? that is something not present, something that has not arrived, an absence. although it is the promise of the arrival of something, that something has yet to arrive.
and so we hold onto the absence of christ, in hope that christ will emerge (in us). and when we do not await for this moment (whether it arrives or not is not important,the waiting is) we then subjectify ourselves to the big other’s in place. we give into the ‘law’, that which constitutes our identity for us. paul uses the word belief here in connection with faith, which is not the same, and most of the time gets confused as the same. faith is the promise of the unseen/the thing that has yet to arrive.
belief is the acceptance of something verified. however, i define belief as a parasite not as something that we simply accept on face value, but rather, something by which we accept loosely and are ready to leave when something else takes its place. this is not some postmodern take on the denial of any truth, but rather the opening to truth itself and realizing the inherent potential of truth as something alive and breathing. that truth is on the same journey with us. and so to believe is to be continously believing beyond the belief itself. not in some objective sense, but rather being aware that something more lies beyond the current belief. when someone cannot do this, they then imprison themselves under the guise of belief. paul is saying here when we dont await the christ within us, then we give into belief under the guise of belief.
that we end up living a lie. and are not justified (who we are meant to be). we then live a fantasy, and then over time, if we live it long enough, we begin ‘believing’ the very fantasies that are not true of us and begin defending the systems that believe for us but that are in reality thinking/oppressing us. maybe this is what the exodus was all about – leaving the big others that enslave us, divorcing ourselves from thinking that we cannot think for ourselves. this is such an important journey to make….