Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:19

Letting Go of Fantasy

Questioner: When there’s a fantasy and there’s a struggle with it—because you know it’s unreal—but all of the affects that come along with it, all of the narratives, are very persistent. And there’s a point where you just get fed up with it, “I don’t want to be dragged into this anymore. I’m tired of it. I don’t want to be suffering,” but it keeps coming back. Is there any way to—I know it’s a process—but is there any way to accelerate…
Thursday, 13 September 2012 12:11

Sat Yoga & Psychoanalysis

Questioner: How were you able to unify the approach of psychoanalysis to bring it to be more humanistic?

Freudo-Lacanian theory has no place for agapeic transference. There is only the erotic variety, or at best, the philiac transference, which their theory would define as a castrated eroticism, with its real intentions inhibited or repressed. There is no space in the Freudian universe for true divine or supreme benevolent desire-free Love.

The Freudo-Lacanian is an example of the archetype of the curmudgeon. Of course, in the psychoanalytic world, that is called realism. The only possible goal of analysis is to change psychotic or neurotic suffering into ordinary realistic suffering, which it turns out is nothing other than neurotic suffering.

The Jungian, on the other hand, does recognize archetypal transferences, including those of a divine nature. But the limitation is that it can only be an archetypal image that is invoked, not the higher Real toward which the archetype beckons one. For Jung, too, that ultimate non-dual Real of blissful pure consciousness remains a mirage, or at least forbidden knowledge.
Published in Essays
Sunday, 27 November 2011 13:05

Beyond the Anguish of Impossibility

It is impossible to communicate the anguish of impossibility, even though—or because—it is the central axis of what we quaintly, if unaquaintedly, refer to as reality. Coming to understand the nature of impossibility is the essence of education. This is no doubt why Freud said that education is one of the three impossible professions. The other two are governing and conducting a psychoanalysis. Freud’s successor Lacan went further, and recognized that the anguish that brings someone to psychoanalysis is nothing but the impossibility of love, for which there is no cure. He affirmed that impossibility in his famous apothegm, “il n'y a pas de rapport sexuel” (there is no sexual relation).

But such assertions of the existence of specific dimensions of impossibility evade the radical ubiquity of impossibility as the hallmark of existence tout court. Impossibility is always and everywhere. There is no relation of any kind—not just sexual. Even friendships are based on illusion. No colleagues are really in the same league. Our words are riddled with ambiguities, our desires with unconscious conflicts and counter-desires. Our identities are inauthentic. We are imitations of imitations. Finding oneself is impossible. Discovering truth is impossible. There is no credible knowledge. No scientific theory lasts for very long (although its lifespan can be prolonged by being turned into an ideological given; in other words, a religious belief, as has happened with Darwinism—which cannot explain a long list of scientific observations, ranging from the Cambrian explosion to the fact of eco-systems to the irreducible complexity of even the most apparently simple microbiological structure). The impossibility of understanding the world or each other or oneself is at least useful in deflating the arrogance and grandiosity of the narcissistic ego. Unfortunately, narcissists can easily remain in denial of their own impossibility for a long time, until karma catches up with them.
Published in Essays
There comes a point in the journey of the unfoldment of consciousness when every narrative appears ridiculous. This includes so-called scientific, philosophic, and psychoanalytic discourses. It includes, therefore, even this sort of discourse about the inanity of all discourse. The symbolic veil over the Real shreds itself like an oppressed monk setting himself on fire.

In one of the late Terence McKenna's most famous discourses about a DMT trip he took, he emphasizes how elvish voices kept telling him, "don't abandon yourself to amazement." I found that amazing, in fact utterly astonishing. He goes on to say that they commanded him to pay close attention. But one can both pay attention and be in a state of full-on astonishment at the same time. Some have taken literally his advice not to give way to amazement. But that is more often the command of the superego. How can we not be in amazement, astonishment, at every moment? Astonishment is what creates natural DMT in the brain. In fact, there is a lovely book that emerged from the Kashmir Shaiva yoga tradition, probably a thousand years ago, recently translated into English, and given the title The Yoga of Delight, Wonder, and Astonishment. In this teaching, otherwise known as The Vigyana Bhairava, it is revealed that the most direct path to Liberation is precisely through surrendering to astonishment.
Published in Essays
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