In the Juvescence of the year came Christ the Tiger

Watched Derrida today. A passage that was quoted in the narrator’s voiceover as Derrida toured the prison in South Africa where Mandela was held prisoner reminded me of Eliot’s Gerontion. The passage was regarding the origin and the consequence of the self- that the self is the origin of violence, that it perpetuates violence always in its demarcation of itself from the other from whom it must defend. And Eliot popped into my head with his “In the juvescence of the year came Christ the Tiger,” a line that’s hung with me but has never found a meaning for me. Here something seemed to connect, though, with the idea that Christ, (I regard Christianity and its stories the same as I regard the myths of the Greeks or the sutras of the Buddha or any other stories popularly regarded as digestible repositories of complex thought alone, I am not a Christian of any stripe) in his role as the perpetual and familiar foe of Christians, entrenched the self by being the spectacular foe of so many. As a spectacular Other, the tortured death he endures in the story is the crowd’s affirmation of itself as opposed to its otherness. The torture they inflict on him is a violence necessitated by the reaffirmation of the Separate othernesses of the crowd and of Christ. In a funny turn, the incomprehensible axiom “Christ died for our sins” takes on a new meaning, signifying that his execution allowed the perpetuation of sin, allowed the perpetuation of selves, and thereby allowed and necessitated the perpetuation of violence. This simultaneously gives a nod to the fact that the self was allowed in this single symbolic act (among many such acts perpetrated daily) to continue with no end in sight and that in the act, with such perpetual life of the self guaranteed, guaranteeing constant devouring and destruction of the Other. Hence Christ the tiger.
That was the connection I made.