Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dependency in Pyschoanalysis; Anti-Oedipus, Part 3

Lets try to get to the bottom of your find new sicknesses.

It's always just a matter of time before D&G take their analysis to the analyst's couch. I say this because it's been taken up in every chapter of Anti-Oedipus thus far, and for good reason. If Anti-Oedipus wants to act as a counterweight to established psychoanalysis, then an obvious sign is the analyst's couch, more specifically, the analysis session. I must note though that this certainly doesn't cover the breadth and scope of their investigations. They cover a plethora of authors reactions towards being oedipalized, and thus far spend most of their time explaining the theory of desiring-machines independent of the oedipal-form that everyone functions in. Going into this more "pure" theory of disjunctions, flows, breaks, intensities, etc., is something I haven't found myself wanting to write on, not because it isn't important (it's the most important ideas of the book), but because after going into the pure theory of Husserl with basically no examples I've become exhausted. I will eventually spend a post on explaining the pure theory of how the schizophrenic/psychotic as the body without organs operates as a pure productive machine like a factory instead of as something that could be explained by a "despotic signifier," paternal-theory, and oedipalization in general. When posting though, I try to let the words of the book teach out to me (as words that I want to elaborate on). In this sense, I write on what speaks to me, as the words (ideas) that pop out to me the most. The dependency placed upon the subject in psychoanalytical practice is no doubt an easy subject and a post like this won't be difficult at all. It will be fun and easy. But after doing an analysis of Husserl's Ideas I, I feel like I deserve a couple presents in the form of easy posts. A post like this is fun for everyone. Everyone gets it, I like the idea of people getting it , and we're all grotesquely satisfied in getting things. Yep, it's Christmas in the fall. Sometimes you just gotta give and take, rather than just taking it assbackwords from a phenomenologist. So lets enjoy ourselves while we can, before the winter comes, where one of the texts for analysis will probably be Husserl's expanded work and lectures on Internal Time Consciousness (where the anus will fully be opened).

"Institutional analysis tries to trace its difficult path between the repressive asylum and the legalistic hospital on the one hand, and the contractual psychoanalysis on the other. From the outset the psychoanalytic relationship modeled itself after the contractual relationship of the most traditional bourgeois medicine: the feigned exclusion of a third party; the hypocritical role of money, to which psychoanalysis brought farcical new justifications; the pretended time limitation that contradicts itself by reproducing debt to infinity, by feeding an inexhaustible transference, and by always nursing new 'conflicts.'" Psychoanalysis finds itself as a place where people can really be helped out. This is in distinction from the asylum; the place traced by analysis (where the psychotic was housed) as repressive. The legalistic hospital had to worry about just that, legality. The hospital is no place to treat the psychotic because it has to worry too much about what's legal and what's not legal (E.G. the administration of drugs). The hospital with it's infinite medicine wouldn't treat the patient, but gives them substances that would hope to change their condition. The hospital doesn't really care about a "progressive" cure for the psychotic patient. The doctor knows there's medicine that will change the neural-biological patterns of one's brain. Why waste a bunch of time on a "progressive cure" when one can just take some pills (If anyone didn't notice, I'm being somewhat sympathetic to the purely physiological doctor, the biologically-deterministic doctor.) The asylum and the legal hospital are in contrast to the psychoanalyst who makes this contrast for themselves (which is nothing new; establishing ones methods against other methods in order for ones methods to be seen as better). D&G move onto to criticize psychoanalysis for pretending to think that there isn't a third person in the room. This third person is money. Simply put, if I go to see a psychoanalyst (a therapist) I have to pay them money. Analysts don't do this stuff for free. They are there to cure you from your illness you think you have and for this to happen you have to give them something in return (the old and ageless ritual of being in debt and owing something to someone for this debt). We who are sick and think the analyst will "cure" us give them money. It's not necessary to go into money as value because it would be ridiculous to think that this could be covered in one post and not simply refereed to other infinite sources. With that being said, notice how D&G emphasize the "feigned exclusion of a third party." It's as if one's not even aware that money is playing a part in the analytical session. It's as if one pays for the session and then forget that it held any value to them, or rather, that the money one's giving is being "well spent," meaning one implicitly knows their money is going to a good place. The psychoanalytical session then will forget about the fact that one just paid money to the analyst who will cure you. Right now, it's just you and the analyst, and the money that has been exchanged and forgot about as if the analyst really didn't need it and you didn't really want to give it. You are in the non-judgmental zone where everything is done for free and the analyst just really wants to "cure" you. It's here where psychoanalysis brought "new justifications" to its practice. You were only allowed a certain time to air your grievances, usually an hour by today's standards. But this time limit has nothing to do with the fact that the analyst has other clients that they need to "cure." It has to do with a self-imposed law of psychoanalysis whereby the person who needs to be cured should only go through their "talk-therapy" an hour at a time. You can't exercise your demons all in one shot. It has to be a slow, arduous process whereby you keep coming back to the analyst for one hour sessions for a prolonged period of time, maybe forever. Maybe an "inexhaustible transference" whereby you never stop talking to your analyst that was supposed to "cure" you in the first place in turn not making you come back to them over and over again. As the patient, you may feel that you have realized your sickness and have resolved it, but only in proportion to how dependent you are on your analyst, which depends on how much they think you are cured or not. You may feel yourself coming to new realizations during an analysis, in the "non-judgmental zone." The analyst though may sneak something in and say "I think we are just skimming the surface. This is good!" (A Good; A topical Realization). Your realization that you have "resolved a conflict" because of the session then becomes marked as "just skimming the surface"; as if the resolution was not enough, as if part of the realization was to look deeper down for more problems that weren't there in the first place and to find resolutions for these non-problems as part of the process in solving ones initial "sickness." Here is where the analyst will find "new conflicts." Just when you thought you figured everything out, the analyst tells you that you haven't, and consequentially, you have to keep coming back to them to figure out the new problems that they have just given that person. One (back to the One from the You) may ask oneself, "where does this ever end?" and D&G elude to this in a sharp passage from Anti-Oedipus. "We are astonished when we hear that a terminated analysis is by that very fact a failure even if this proposition is accompanied by the analyst's little smile." If one asks oneself the question, "Where will this ever end," then they may realize the interminable character of analysis. They then express this to their analyst and the analysis is then deemed a "failure." In other words, anytime an analysis ends, it's a failure. A successful analysis is one that never ends. A successful analysis is one where one's an eternal client of the analyst; an eternal return customer to the analyst. One almost forms a friendship, except in this friendship, ones pays the other to be ones friend. A true loser. Later on, D&G state "We are surprised when we hear a knowledgeable analyst mention, in passing, that one of his 'patients' still dreams of being invited to eat or have a drink at his place, after several years of analysis, as if this were not a tiny sign of the abject dependence to which analysis reduced the patients". The screw of this statement lies in the passivity of the psychoanalyst; their passive nature (things stated in passing to other colleagues with a sense of pride that their patients still think of them.) Is the analyst aware of the dependency they created for their subjects, their patients? Does the analyst think to themselves, "Well, I've been dealing with this girl for over a year now. Anyone that I have a clinical relationship with for that long of a time I'm bound to have dreams about and think about at the very least." And the same would go for the patient. This is an open question. This is an ethical question to be sure. In the voice of D&G though, they speak in fire here referring to the analyst who wouldn't think that it was the "abject dependence" of the analysis. In the practicing of thinking that there is something that needs to be cured (a distinction from psychoanalysis; but I still state with a sense of condescension), how can one ward off the fact that the cure is not in bending our knees, is not in lying on a couch, is not in participation in the master-slave dialectic, but in the realization of a larger and much more general master-slave dichotomy; in other words, Oedipus. D&G go into Freud's last days where he was animated with a sense of feeling "hopeless, disenchanted, tired, and at the same time a serenity, a certitude in the finished work. It is Freud's testament [Psychoanalysis]. He is going to die, and knows it. He knows something is wrong in psychoanalysis. The cure tends to be more and more interminable!" Freud would not live to see what would become of the discipline that he created for better or worse. He's filled with ambivalence towards the project regardless of knowing he created something vast under his name. Freud asks himself if a current "conflict" can be exhausted and if the one who is sick can be forewarned against ulterior conflicts that could create "conflicts," not only in themselves but by the analyst who can arise new conflicts for preventive purposes. Why would a conflict be brought to ones attention for a preventive purpose? To warn someone of something? To warn someone of something that has yet to happen to them? To warn them of something that ostensibly happened to them that never happened to them? The ghosts that the patient and analyst can conjure up together are infinite. The problem lies in the patient or analyst thinking there's a problem in the first place, and consequentially, that there's a cure to this "problem."

The problem of there "being problems" is not something the analyst has a grasp of beyond reassuring that they too have problems, making a herd of people with problems. The analyst may even confess to the patient that they go through analysis too with someone else. This certainly reassures the patient that they are not alone in their problems. Everyone needs help. Everyone needs to find a professional analyst to get to the "deep core" of what's bothering them. But something isn't simply bothering them. What's bothersome gets privileged into the grand narrative of a problem. What was once called malaise is now called clinical-depression. What was once called the jitters is now called Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD to be more specific. The acronym certainly serves its purpose of making an illness official). What was at once a little nuisance becomes a problem of life or death, or rather a problem for those who don't have any real problems (because there may not be any). The transitions from annoyances to problems is where psychoanalysis finds its bread. The transition from a humanity who at once was able to survive and "be happy" with little in their lives to a humanity who fears just about everything is where psychoanalysis finds its privileged place in medicine. As was stated in the post before, it was always going to happen. But where does psychoanalysis go when it becomes detached from the idea of people-problems, if it finds its way out into the open where people don't constitute universal significance, but create significance themselves? People, who created their own problems. It's here where I would simply refer to Part I of Heidegger's Being and Time as a way of understanding the ontology of Dasein being. The idea of "problems" tend to slip away nicely after reading this breakthrough account of our-being. For D&G though, they will move onto what's called "Schizoanalysis." This we will elaborate on in future posts.

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