Thursday, November 11, 2010

Myth to Infinity; Anti-Oedipus, Part 10

The desire to be the myth of desire (not illustrated: the future anxiety that happens when feeling one has to play the role of the hero).

The negation of psychoanalytical methodology as the starting point of Schizoanalysis will continue throughout the last chapter of Anti-Oedipus. Each negation serves as a movement away from classical psychoanalysis. A formal theory may not come to us. A formal theory of Schizoanalysis may be implicit in the repudiation of psychoanalysis by D&G. It may be so simple that it requires no formal methodology expect for understanding the methodology of psychoanalysis (the understanding negates its "axiomatic" premise). Myth as an objective material entity takes its final blow in the last chapter of Anti-Oedipus. We will find Myth as the privileged entity of psychoanalysis, and capitalize it in this post to point towards its privileged place in analysis. It will be important to understand Myth as the guiding factor of psychoanalysis and the analytical session between patient and analyst (slave and master). When this is understood, we will find D&G putting Myth in contrast to desiring-production in order to open up Schizoanalysis. Myth will be the stable entity in which man looks to understand its nature through the auspices of psychoanalysis. D&G will find this more than problematic. The myth is the image. It is the fantasy as opposed to spontaneous reality. This "stable signifier" will point all dreams towards a represented interpretation. This interpretation, this "dream book," will always be the case without knowing why one interpretation of a dream is stable. One privileges the archaic symbolism of Medusa for example and consigns their life and random dream-sequences to this representation without understanding the myth of Medusa. The Gods are alive in psychoanalysis. They are alive and well. The believer of interpretation will find this as a nuanced position after-Christianity. Why one God? How about many Gods (but only so many Gods that are able to fit in one book, in one analyst's mind, so as to put a limitation in this nuanced position in order to get to the eventual goal, the personality)? Pantheism will represent a new age of thinking, the old way of thinking; A nuanced position of a nostalgia no longer condemned to its previous history, but separated by a length of time whereby the subject is unaware of their nostalgic personality in general. What at once was antiquated becomes nuanced, and the inverse operation will happen over time. The dialectical slug fest will happen without anyone watching outside the ring for the dialectical personality. The Myth will reign supreme for the sake of the surplus-personality (the never ending enjoyment at looking to symbols of the past to see what one is like). This post then will attempt to dismantle Myth from being through the work of D&G in this last chapter of Anti-Oedipus. On the way, the implicit "idea" of Schizoanalysis will become more apparent. Schizoanalysis may always be implicit, but just because something is always implicit, doesn't mean that it won't be apparent.

"The ambiguity of psychoanalysis in relation to myth or tragedy has the following explanation: psychoanalysis undoes them as objective representations, and discovers in them the figures of a universal libido; but it reanimates them, and promotes them as subjective representations that extend the mythic and tragic content to infinity. Psychoanalysis does treat myth and tragedy, but it treats them as the dreams and the fantasies of private man, Homo familia..." For D&G, the Myth simply gets privileged over the materialist-reality that they see in desiring-machines partial objects. Myth is no longer simply a representation that has become an object for us. We no longer see Thanatos as a fun image of death that one happens to represent, but in turn don't take seriously because we are having fun with images; instead we see this figure through the analyst as a figure of a universal libido, a transcendental signifier that will give you an exact meaning to your life in this exact presence. Invested in these images is the energy of the world rather than a relative historical period with its own Gods, heroes, and villains. We will look back to these images to define ourselves and will pay the analyst to help us identify ourselves with antique images. These ultimate "subjective representations" go on infinitely. The content of these representations are infinitely meaningful, in other words, irreducible. The absolute limit of the Myth serves as its own infinite meaning. When I realize that I have Thanatos in me, I know who I am. I am Thanatos; a relative symbol of an age that had it's own way of interpreting phenomena. But for me, the symbol isn't relative; it's infinite and irreducible. I have found myself! I am Thanatos and nothing else. The personality has become fulfilled. I know now how to act, dress, and talk in the ostensible image of Thanatos. I'm settled. I have a dark vision of the world. Don't come near me! You don't want to feel my dark power! I am the power (masters of the universe)! But I may find someone like me. Another Thanatos. Male and female Thanatoses. I have my friends who are like me and my marriage with someone else who understands me (There was a time where we explored our myths more carefully, but only so much as to solidify and satisfy the personality). We are all settled together in distinction from others who have their own Myths who don't match ours. We're all having kids and visiting the psychoanalyst though. This we can share in common. Oedipus we can share in common. We can all be our own little Myths (our own little cartoons), and be in a slug fest in the dialectical ring where phantom punches are thrown without knowing who the spectators of the event are. Just throw another myth in the ring and we will keep talking on behalf of ourselves not knowing how or why we're talking on behalf of ourselves to other mythologies. At no point do either of us no who's outside the ring (the non-personality can imagine a crowd of laughter witnessing people throwing phantom punches at each other). Psychoanalysis won't show us other ways of being for D&G. Instead, myth and tragedy will become transferred to the "private person" as we have showed above. What am I personally? I am an irreducible myth from the past. As a personality, I dream of a myth. I dream to be a myth. I dream to be a tragedy. I fantasize about being the death desire incarnate no matter how shitty this feels, as long as I am this. No matter what happens to me, I am first and foremost a representation, a personality. I am of the same family, the same symbol, the same myth. How do I find out who I am? I learn about symbols from the past and ask nothing about their own development, their own myths. I don't see the infinite displacement of myths to previous myths, but rather find the myth that I like, and stay put. I find my territory in a symbolic past figure. The mother in me is satisfied in the home of Thantos's fatherly law. I will lay down the absolute nature of finitude and death, but only insofar as there's a feminine place for this to happen, over and over the same place, over and over again. I am in the territorial law. Death is my life. Who's out there who thinks that there's always only life? C'mon in the ring and lets argue about it. All the while we are getting roasted by people outside the ring at our over zealous enthusiasm for our personalities. I belong to a family in distinction from other families. We are each are our own private families in distinction from other families. We are all families. We are the myth of the family. "What acts in myth and tragedy at the level of objective elements is therefore reappropriated and raised to a higher level by psychoanalysis, but as an unconscious dimension of subjective representation (myth as humanity's dream)." Psychoanalysts aren't even aware of their own myth that they created. The representation of the Myth as the signifier of all vital life is lifted to that level while no longer recognizing this privileged level. Subjective representation is a myth. The subject can be stated simply as some sort of Myth that's irreducible. The unconscious has been given its substance for the subject. It's a stable symbol from the past. It's not a constant flow that always changes to different surroundings, contexts, and environments, but a stable personality that influences everything outside of itself. This is the dream of humanity; the stable personality. To be more precise; it's the myth of the stable personality. The unconscious desire that breaks with one "event" then flows to another is not the unconscious of being. The unconscious is always invested with representations that want to satisfy a settlement. The investments will be different settlements, but they will always be settlements (they will always be territories). I may be different from you, but I am just like you, so we're really the same. Horray! We're all settled in our differences. Now, lets make sure everyone stays put in their differences so we have an equal amount of different people making the world as flattened and horizontal as possible. Everyone gets the candy. Everyone has their cake and eats it too. Everyone hates and loves each other, and believes this is how phenomena has always happened! The belief of life and death. The grand judge believes in these things. The Hegelian judge watches the spectacle and mythologizes the spectacle. The observational myth; the scientist. The scientist who makes sure to let others know that they don't believe in anything without realizing they believe in their science and their disbelief (already two beliefs in one "non-believer"!). As D&G say, "the condition of a denial that preserves belief without believing in it." Psychoanalysis would like to free the subject from a "problem," but doesn't realize that this benevolent utilitarianism depends on an already written and unexplored book of myths and tragedies. The dreams and fantasies of the patient are understood in terms of Myth by the analyst. Is psychoanalysis that much different from dream interpretation? Dream interpretation is more sly with injecting a sense of "well-being" in the client by grounding it's practice in not letting the client know ahead of time that there will be "positive results" (even though this is the intention of the dream interpreter). The analyst on the other hand lets you know from the start that there is a problem and they are going to try to fix it (to be fair though, the patient, the slave, first finds a problem for themselves before seeking out a "cure" for the problem that they found for themselves). In general, what would happen to psychoanalysis if it didn't have an archive of myths to rely on (an archive of myths that it has no intention of tracing for itself)? But it does have any archive of myths, an archive of representations. "Images, nothing but images. What is left in the end is an intimate familial theater, the theater of private man, which is no longer either desiring-production or objective representation. The unconscious as a stage. A whole theater put in the place of production, a theater that disfigures this production even more than could tragedy and myth when reduced to their meager ancient resources." The patient is left with images. They are Medusa OR Thanatos. If the patient doesn't understand archaic images like the nuanced pantheist then these archaic images will simply be displaced to a more simple book of familial bonds. They all represent. They all create images for one who needs a satisfied personality as their "cure." Whether one likes understanding themselves by familial bonds or by archaic representation, it's all the same. It's all an investment in the unconscious of symbols in place of production. Instead of the break-flows of pure production, the theater takes its place in which there are roles that the patient needs to play in order to be "cured" of their own sicknesses. On the stage, one is the Father or Mother. One is the "bad child." One is the "good child." The "bad child" can find its archaic representation in Thanatos if it wanted to (if the patient wasn't satisfied so the analyst conferred to their internal myth book to ground familial relationships in Myth). One is never not nothing. One is always somewhere in Oedipus. The relative myth will confirm this. The analyst doesn't dive into the details of the Myth and the patient doesn't either because the patient trusts the analyst is under the assurance of an archaism (the long time that has separated the present from the past that gives the past an irreducible authority because it has been remembered). No one explores the authority of history. History will ground the "cure." History will find the "problem." Oedipus as image will be the unconscious as it displaces the pure production of breaks and flows that always happen to it.

D&G remark on how Nietzsche broke with The Birth of Tragedy when he stopped believing in tragic representation. Nietzsche who actually became sick when witnessing Wagner's anthemic and nationalistic operas in distinction to his tragedies knew that tragic representation was still representation. It was still raising an object to the Mother-Father status. It was still raising an idol to a place where a certain code is the law which we stated in this post. The idol would not "go away" after idealized tragedy though, it would move into non-belief. Non-belief becomes the idol of alienated modern man. The image of alienation becomes represented as the girl out in the street acting as if she were impoverished, and as the boy who understands her "troubles" who also attends protests for the sake of it. The myth of alienation would seem to be the final myth. It seems close towards there being no more representation. But how commercial can nothingness be! This still will be seen. And if the logic of representation is circular, then it could just as easily be the case that a more tangible idol will take the place of alienation eventually. If Myth finds its grounds in the nuance of pantheism (synonymous with proud ecology), then everything is just becoming more Greek and Egyptian. Where and when will representation no longer happen? When will the unconscious simply produce and flow? It's that simple. It is nothing; the nothingness that produces and flows and that's it. This production and flow as nothing is no longer a character. D&G will throw away their ladder to the unconscious as production. The unconscious will be somewhere with no center. It will happen on its own in a way that's passive to the point of there being no representation. There will be no theater. No one will be watching. No one will know that their unconscious is performing for an audience. No one will be clapping, and no one will be throwing phantom punches looking for approval for these phantoms (without knowing it: the Oedipus unconscious). The theater as the myth and grounds of the human unconscious; this is the case for the human all too human. The question is for how long? Forever? And if it's at one time not the case, will it be a question? Production will no longer be a question. There will be no answer, there will be no problem, and there will be no "cure." The unconscious will flow and break at its own speed with no concept applied to it. Conceptual existence as representative being will be something else that's not this dialect. It will happen on its own. There is no need to throw anything away, or to oppose anything, or to be anything.

1 comment:

  1. I wish you were my teacher when I tried to learn Deleuze.