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…
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
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