I think no two fields of Human motivational inquiry differ more and create more complexity than science and art.
I'm a big reader into the former, and through psychoanalysis and philosophy, I often encounter a different world, inhabited by different minds,
motivated in different ways i.e. contemporary art.
Where is Coherency?
Where do we look to find coherency? To the life we live? To the world we come from? Or to the species to which we belong?
In a certain very real sense, the dichotomy we see today within the United States - as well as our world - could be said to be reducible to those who
subscribe to different ontological realities, which could perhaps be contained in Nietzsches own preferred images, Dionysus (unbridled feeling) and
To be completely fair to art - art is transcultural and essential the Human condition, so I'd like to make clear here that my criticism of art is
specifically aimed at a line of thought that was popularized among the Greeks.
This idea can actually be found in the works of the philosopher
Michael Seres - and his own trilogy of books, Rome, Statues, and Geometry - the three pillars of the western worlds epistemological dogma.
This idea of art has something intrinsically contemptible, although it hides itself so well in the flamboyancy of its emotion. In the works of the
psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan - who I consider to hold a sort of gnosticiesque view of the mind - the world of reality is said to be the "symbolic
order", at the center of which lies a hole - an absence, an inchoate, desubstantiated nothingness. Lacanian psychoanalysis is not really about
resolution, as much as it about creating 'art' between analyst and patient, at least as seen by the analyst.
The aim of the method, as the psychoanalyst Jade McGleughlin poignantly shows in a vignette with a patient of hers - a woman she doesn't name, but who
insists on being called Martin with an (a). This strange sort of approach - indeed, the patient here is said to be a 'shrink' (psychiatrist) - leads
to McGleughlin to ask more, to wonder why she wants to do this. The woman replies that she doesn't want this be about gender. She's an intellectual -
and thinks in rather sideways (or schizophrenic) sort of ways. Anyways, as the vignette progresses, McGleughlin describes a woman who seems eager -
and desperate - to avoid real reflection on the probable cause of her sense of "being the negative" i.e. in the "liminal" - between life and death. At
one one point, she comes to a profound insight into Martin with an (a)'s fear:
“My reflection threatens her, as if I had erased something in my seeing and in establishing a thing to be seen. To “see” something
definable, or any reflection that attempts to understand her experience, is to NOT understand the erasure within her. Before Martin with an (a) had a
name, she could not bear my naming “her” or “her” experience. Martin with an (a) wants an analyst who knows how to unname – to be with her
both in and outside her experience of a present absence…She will teach me that naming trauma as a “what”, as something that can be represented,
is a betrayal. Trauma does not reside in events but in the “breach in the minds experience”…And it also true that attunement betrays the
profound singularity built into the experience of trauma.”
She sees into her, but Martin with an (a) does not want to be seen - despite her conscious desire to be in analysis (psychotherapy is often thought of
as "lesser than analysis" by Lacanian and many Freudian analysts) she's afraid - unable to metabolize - what she cannot formulate. Growing as a self
is not something that happens in an instant, nor can it be something one consciously "aims" to do. A mind borne in trauma discovers meaning in the
gaps - in the spaces between selves - and so the generated meaning often skirts the format of history - and flies towards the spectacular,
mythological, and unreal.
Martin with an (a) cannot coherently reflect on her motivations, and so she doesn't find meaning in the historical cause for their existence: the
psyche is emptied of all dynamical, motivational or system-like property pushing or pulling the movements of perception, thought and action. Instead,
things-which-are-thought are ascribed an ontological, a priori status - something certain to annoy people with an Aristolean standard for truth - and
so the realities - and meanings - underlying the complex mind of Martin with an (a) remain hidden, deeply entangled, and knotted.
Of course - the problem is what trauma does: it exposes you to absence, the deadness, the unfeeling. Militant cultures are thus bound to be
perforated, holed, and making meaning in the gaps.
If reason and science truly trumps this sort of philosophy of art, then the characterization of
reality, as, for example, in the dionysian or bacchic rites, can be seen to be a function of two fundamental principles that determine our
These two principles I will name cause and effect
, and the existential sense of enlivenment
. The Greeks - like the Persian,
Babylonians, and Egyptians, before them - were ruled - like all Humans are ruled - by the existential needs of the moment. Enlivenment - the moment to
moment consciousness we have of our embodiment, our feelings, our driftiness into reveries, into negative or positive ideation, etc - this is an
experience of being a Self
, and being driven by this sense of neediness to live and be as a Human in my particular context, in terms of the
feelings I feel and which I feel little power over.
“When traumas breach is experienced alone, when the wounding of catastrophe is constituted in isolation, any attempt to move that
experience into intersubjective space betrays the experience of having been isolated. Intersubjectivity, then, was not only initially difficult, but
also, paradoxically, another betrayal
Trauma - especially trauma perpetuated by another Human - not only has its existential effects on self - by positioning it within a feeling world too
"removed" - like a turtle pulled up inside its shell - to dare again enter normal Human relationship. Indeed - the concept of the relationship, and of
history, is a curiously Jewish theme, later taken up by Christianity and Islam, which, in terms of the ontology of the way things actually work (if
you subscribe, as I and most people do, to objectively accessible facts as having an epistemological superiority to mere subjective feeling) seems to
have been a favorable progression for Human beings - inasmuch as we began to historically position ourselves - and not simply imagine our beings in
terms of fantastical projections from an unmetabolized collective unconscious.
“When the victim is the child and the abuser is a parent or caregiver on whom the child is totally dependent, the childs maturational
needs for attachment and for the development of a coherent sense of self, unrecognized and unmet by the abuser, come to be experienced as
unacceptable. As these unmet come become ever more infected with continuing abuse and entwined with the wishes and fantasies of the childs evolving
sexuality and aggression, the child’s experience of him or herself inevitably becomes infused with abusing and sadomasochistic characteristics.”
edit on 24-1-2017 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)