In theological usage, paradise refers to the Garden of Eden, the place initially inhabited by Adam and Eve before the fall. In this context it may also be used in reference to the “nonlocation” heaven. Paradise is often used to describe or designate a very beautiful place, relating to the perfection of its space and the living conditions within it.Vilém Flusser’s use of paradise involves theological allusions. In his text “Exile and Creativity” Flusser says, “[…] we should keep in the back of our mind the Christian story of man’s expulsion from Paradise and his entrance into the world, the Jewish mystic’s story of the exile of divine spirit in the world, and the existentialist story of man as a stranger in the world. All of these stories should be kept in the back of our mind without being verbalized.” (“Exile and Creativity,” in: Writings, 2002, p. 104).
Paradise is a reference to Eden, one of the grand narratives for and of expulsion. It is this expulsion that has given rise to the possibility of thought and creativity. For Flusser, we have sacrificed paradise in order to think, and although it plays a part in understanding how we came to knowledge, it should not be at the forefront of our thinking. Surviving exile demands a level of creativity. In situating oneself as an individual in exile, one becomes human. It is our exile from paradise, our entry into the world that makes us human.
Original article by Deneige Nadeau