dreams, emergence, guattari, risk, transference, transversal

Transversality


Wood Cells, Microscopy UK

“Transference and interpretation represent a symbolic mode of intervention, but we must remember that they are not something done by an individual or group that adopts the role of the ‘analyst’ for the purpose. The interpretation may well be given by the idiot of the ward if he is able to make his voice heard at the right time, the time when a particular signifier becomes active at the level of the structure as a whole, for instance in organizing a game of hop-scotch. One has to meet interpretation half-way.”
Felix Guattari (Molecular Revolution 17)

The experience of awakening from a dream seems to present a veritable crossing-over: as from one world to another. The passage is (more precisely) from one logic to another, as well: as dream-subjects of ‘the’ dream-god, we constitute at once the substance of the dream-image and the form of the dreamer, in a simultaneous movement: when we dream we promise the coordination of distinct singularities. Object and subject should therefore not here be read as antithetical; in fact, they are recompositions of the very same (intensive) forces and (extensive) spaces.

We are already beginning to recognize the passage from dream to wakefulness is not a ‘merely ontological’ transition. The movement is properly metaphysical for we traverse a territory which is neither dream nor wakefulness. We can sense here the outlines of a single underlying prelogical layer of swirling primordial chaos and the subsequent arising of the impulse-to-order. What is the cause of the impulse?

The first articulation of the impulse is production–in the case of the pure biological, reproduction. The second articulation of the impulse is enunciation proper, an interpretation of any kind of production. Our axiom that practice precedes theory seems to support the following thesis: the primary impulses (production) guide the secondary impulses (interpretation.) It is all a question of the proper conditions for interpretation. And it is here we must not resort to logical or ontological dimensions, but a new kind of dimensionality, with a fractal structure which radically traverses and binds together all the various ontological bifurcations and refolds them into an assemblage (of production, enunciation.)

Guattari explains that transversality is a group phenomena: the spectral dynamic which propels the group forward. This is already the snare which has prevented transversality as such from being politicized: that those who ‘transversalize’ their group become subject-groups, with definite desires, aims, goals, in short, identities. Then they have already created virtual subjugated groups, and in fact risk decaying themselves into dependency upon a reified transversality, which is already an outdated and neurotic fetish.

Again: Guattari writes that transversality means the unconscious source of action in the group. There are no objective limits it cannot exceed, no ontological ruptures which a transversal mapping cannot reconstitute. Transversality carries the groups’ desire. We cannot separate this from a political or ethical sense to transversality as well:

“It is my hypothesis that there is nothing inevitable about the bureaucratic self-multilation of a subject group, or its unconscious report to mechanisms that militate against its potential transversality. They depend, from the first moment, on an acceptance of the risk — which accompanies the emergence of any phenomena of real meaning — of having to confront irrationality, death, and the otherness of the other.” (Guattari, Molecular Revolution 23)

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