Another revisit… another Saturday Night Fever

I. Renewing the practice of reading
The construction of the unconscious is much like the construction of hypothesis (p62). Practically, it is there… but its not there… but yeah it kind of is… but not REALly. The “unconscious” is thus mapped out through a lighting fast game of dialogic-Pong. Self-difference in that it is not between consciousness and unconsciousness, but between consciousness and itself (because how can we know what unconsciousness is if we’re not conscious of it). More in III.

(p23) “What Freud reads in the hysteric is not his own resemblance but, rather, his own difference from himself: the reading necessarily passes through the Other, and in the Other, reads not identity (other or same), but difference and self-difference.”

(p23-24) “The unconscious is not, in effect, ‘discovered’; it is constructed: it is not a given to be observed, a substance out there that has finally come under the microscope; it is a theoretical construction … The theoretical construction of the unconscious is what, after the fact, is constructed to account for the efficiency of the practice.”

II. The case of poe
Witnessing the unconscious isn’t finding meaning in the instance of a text (“this beating heart shows a desire to be back in the womb”) but in the structure of what is said (triangle). But its not a function… “when X I get Y, where X is this”, its more, “I have this Y (condition), and all of these Xs (in Texas)… the web/map created by the (un)connected differences of the Xs is the unconscious.” Its seeing what you don’t see.

(p44) “What is repeated in the text is not the content of a fantasy but the symbolic displacement of a signifier through the insistence of a signifying chain; repetition is not of sameness but of difference. … the reality of the unconscious is contingent on a perception of repetition, not as a confirmation of identity, but as the insistence of the indelibility of a difference.”

(p44-45) “Analysis is not of the signified but of the signifier – for an anlysis of the unconscious (the repressed) not as hidden but on the contrary as exposed – in language – through a significant (rhetorical) displacement. … what can be read is not just meaning but the lack of meaning; that significance lies not just in consciousness but, specifically, in its disruption; that the signifier can be analyzed in its effects without its signified being known; that the lack of meaning – the discontinuity in conscious understanding – can and should be interpreted as such, without necessarily being transformed into meaning.”

III. What difference does psychoanalysis make?
Self-difference. I am aware of my struggle to write about the (my) unconscious, but my current mental state is being affected by other unknown forces that I will be aware of upon later reflection (nachtraglichkeit). So if you have a set of conscious states and remove the similarities, what remains in the conscious manifestation of the unconscious… after, of course, you apply a corrective curve taking into account known environmental factors and square the lambda. I see it as a sort of warping of contingent plane of conciousness (compared to TP’s planes of consistency? Maybe not). You can discover what was different, what the new equation was, but you can’t know – though feel, perhaps – what caused it. Like the revolution of the planets, our thoughts are pulled in every which way by unseeable, unknowable forces.

Inaugural character. To analyze you must always be in acting in the future tense. Philosopher of the future. To assume paradigm and method is to act in the past. The lessons must be remembered but should influence (unconsciously?), not decide.

I’m a little stuck on reflexivity… something about Pong though.

(p57) “… the unconscious is no longer the difference between consciousness and the unconscious, but rather the inherent, irreducible difference between consciousness and itself. The unconscious, therefore, is the radical castration of the mastery of consciousness, which turns out to be forever incomplete, illusory, and self-deceptive.”

Freudian inaugural character


(p62) “In modern science, indeed, the object of observation is no longer considered a given. It is constructed, by means of a hypothesis without which the observation – the process of confirmation or invalidation of the hypothesis – would not take place.”

(p63) “… the ego … is not even master of its own house, but must content itself with scanty information of what is going on unconsciously in its mind”

(p64) “It is not a question of knowing whether I speak of myself in a way that conforms to what I am, but rather of knowing whether I am the same as that of which I speak.”

(p64) “In Lacan’s explicitly and crucially linguistic model of reflexivity, there are no longer distinct centers but only contradictory gravitational pulls. The two pseudo-centers – “the subject of the signifier” (of the utterance) and “the subject of the signified” (of the statement) – even though they are radically different from each other, are no longer entirely distinct and cannot be separated from each other.”

IV. Psychoanalysis and education
Instinct restriction. “No! Don’t put that in your mouth!” I hope I don’t suck as parent (if/when). How do you teach and not simply enforce? Statements are actions, but how do you perform the action of teaching that statements are actions? How do you transmit the image-warp (see III) of the “dos and don’ts,” or even the concept of one? And how do you prevent a passion for ignorance?

I’ve certainly possessed an unknown passion for ignorance. Hah, I put that in past tense. When I begin to think I have a clear conception of what is, all that I hear and read is either “with it or against it.” The rigidity of this mindstate keeps language in its own nth dimension. When I begin to think I have the tools to think (about thinking), the freeplay enables me to construct (always construct) the n+1th dimension. Yeah, I’m really tied to that warped-plane idea… like words are two dimensional, that when thought about create/construct a three-dimensional image. That warped plane has a volume to it suddenly, a depth, that cannot be probed or seen or known. All we can know is “at a given point, I have been displaced X”, or we can know “this point is changing at this rate”… man and I usually get so angry when people employ the H-bomb (uncertainty principle… while a fascinating concept, I feel it is overused, poorly understood and misapplied [and yes, I biting all of those bullets]). We are forever stuck on the surface.

“Literature knows it knows but does not know the meaning of its knowledge” – I believe this is what I meant by “literary truth” in my “Premature” post on D&G (but I can never be too certain). Meaning, as we conceive it, is tied to the n-1 dimensionality of words… the freeplay in literature mimics the conscious/unconscious, and as such can transmit thoughts of an order closer to what is actually going on. Literature calls upon a greater number of our (single-function) thought machines.

A pathway of revolutions, a style. I don’t know what else to say other than, “Cool.” Oh, and maybe, "Can I join?"

Instinct-restriction in education (p72)

(p73) “They fail to see, in other words, the pedagogical situation – the dynamic in which statements function not as simple truths but as performative speech acts.”

(p79) “Ignorance, in other words, is not a passive state of absence, a simple lack of information: it is an active dynamic of negation, an active refusal of information. … Ignorance is nothing other than a desire to ignore: its nature is less cognitive than performative.”

(p80) “Teaching, thus, is not the transmission of ready-made knowledge. It is rather the creation of a new condition of knowledge, the creation of an original learning disposition.”

(p92) “literature, for its part, knows it knows but does not know the meaning of its knowledge, does not know what it knows.”

(p97) “Any return to Freud founding a teaching worthy of the name will occur only on that pathway where truth ... becomes manifest in the revolutions of culture. That pathway is the only training we can claim to transmit to those who follow us. It is called – a style.”