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freud / libido / oedipus / one / rhizome / surplus-reality / the mother

What is it to say “we are one”?

The beginning of psychic life is not in principle distinguishable from the beginning of material life [1]. What a laugh to have for so long wrongly conjoined so directly: the mother, the One! A primary narcissism, Freud quips– as though biology really were our destiny! As though the intermediate steps weren’t the most important, those developmental phases whose traversal would precisely trace the outline of the crack between Freud’s Oedipalized unconscious and the event of language: Freud’s answer is self-love, presuming the mystical division he would sek to explain. Doctor, how does our subjectivity awaken? Outgrowing a primary narcissism, indeed!

But only a (lost) love: of the One that is the Self that is the One that is the Self… what he means, we must insist, is that the early mind is merely a little repeating-machine: for Freud, the interconnected flows which constitute our psychic life can never be properly said to be identical to those machinic material assemblages which constitute our organic rhizomatic substrate and origin. Is he wrong–is this a broken Oedpial fantasy or merely egoistic and monotonous delirium? Does the emergence of a proto-subjectivity rather constitute the intervention of an alien multiplicity within the “One”–which was not (and never was)?

Being-One with the Mother/Father — is this not also the primordial diagram/genealogy? The “intrusion” of an alien One, which mystically reproduces itself in the Same by precisely an excess of “primal” self-love? Libido becomes surplus-reality, bodies turned reality-producing machines– what, then, is this mysteriously doubled One? From what mysterious inner space emerges proto-subjectivitiy, this extra-terrestrial surplus territoriality?

But we are not just “one” with the mother–the flow of desire doesn’t begin and end with her Womb, nor even Libido. We won’t find the origin by tracing the event of becoming-Other to its symbolic source: we are not just One with God, not just One within a void-enraptured Mother-Father-Me constellation; becoming is about becoming-Universe, becoming-Woman, becoming-Energy, yes, even becoming Mother-Father… but we “become” by a truth-event which is misrecognized as a unity; the Arising of a not-One within the One that really isn’t. We are not anti-matter, but a colony of parasites, a multiplicity without a place, with only hungry and open connection-holes, not a rapturous void but music and light– a not-One connected to an energy field which produces a self-recording as the ghost of a repressed Truth. To speak of a process, or perhaps more radically of the event of becoming, still imagines the Other to be One, still preserves the primordial transcendence of an alien Same within the Other-which-is-me.

1. This can be thought of as an alternate statement of Chalmer’s Hard Problem of Consciousness.

The Author

mostly noise and glare

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