consciousness, disaster, event, fantasy, intensity, power, recognition, wager

Trajectory

800px-vincent_van_gogh_1853-1890_-_wheat_field_with_crows_1890

A series of imminent and necessary breakdowns are inherent to the production of desire: first, because desires connect up to an outside, with something which is always unrecognized, which is totally foreign; next, because desire is brought to turn upon itself, it is seduced into betrayal (by resentment, fear, hate, etc.); finally, because desires are always collective, but the individual makes these collective desire their own, digests and reintegrates them. In each case, there is a kind of fundamental deadlock to any investigation of the unconscious which reflects the essential paradox of psychoanalysis.

We risk not only our feelings and thoughts but even ourselves as beings entirely: the risk of losing not just our habits, our beliefs and our identities, but the very significance, the subjectivity, of our reality. Everything becomes a trajectory, a cosmic machine, a universal process of production. A becoming-nothing which is the essence of consciousness: and in the end will we know which it is — a disease or an experiment? –But what do we matter? For alienation is becoming a stranger; not trading places with a double, nor a diagnosis, but rather this mis-recognition of an alien consciousness always already present within enjoyment, within our desire itself.

 

The Disaster, the Event, Difference — this is what is always recognized but never known; or rather, you don’t know, you will never know whether this alterity is truly radical or not. We must make a certain wager in order to discover the real, to know our desire, to learn anything at all about ourselves. It is not a question of imitation, but of pure intensities, of movements and singularities and flows. There is always a risk involved in a becoming, a risk which is always recognized and never known to us — a displacement of essence internal to becoming, an infinite capacity which transfigures reality.

Fantasy depends upon an element exterior to the situation itself radically exceeding the space which is gazed upon and yet intricately involved in every detail of its structure: it is not only because the gaze is the fantasy’s only audience that this absolutely alien element is always already the hidden meaning of its excess. But what is ultimately so traumatic is the very fragility and inconsistency not of our fantasy but of reality itself, its ironic vulnerability to sudden and immediate disintegration, our apparent powerlessness in the face of disaster.

Standard

7 thoughts on “Trajectory

  1. This is a great post Joe, very well written. I think what I appreciate most is this question of reality via subjectification: this is why I still find Guattari meaningful…because he questions the adequacy of dominant realities and wagers on concrete political transformation…on the discovery and invention of new realities and new processes of subjectification. I can see that you have not given up on your initial passion of interrogating the real function of psychoanalysis in relation to the social field and creativity. Bravo…

    By the way, I would like you to shed some light on your title…can you elaborate on this notion of trajectory? I’d be really interested in what you have to say.

  2. Grégoire says:

    Fantasy depends upon an element exterior to the situation itself radically exceeding the space which is gazed upon and yet intricately involved in every detail of its structure: it is not only because the gaze is the fantasy’s only audience that this absolutely alien element is always already the hidden meaning of its excess. But what is ultimately so traumatic is the very fragility and inconsistency not of our fantasy but of reality itself, its ironic vulnerability to sudden and immediate disintegration, our apparent powerlessness in the face of disaster.

    this is a fascinating insight, almost reminiscent of everett’s relative state formulation of quantum field theory. in plain language, it’s what people often call the many worlds hypothesis – the idea that with every quantum change the universe divides, allowing for all probabilities to actualize simultaneously. many people take that literally, but they’re the same people who cling to the concept of a concrete reality in the first place.

    if i’m reading this correctly (and i hope you’ll correct me if it’s not the case) your article could be interpreted to reconcile psychoanalysis with materialism. it reminds me, in a way, of jung’s collaboration with pauli and the discourse on synchronicity.

    in any event, i just wanted to thank you for some great insights. my struggle to understand some of these concepts you play with so easily is not always successful, but it’s eternally enjoyable, and this blog is one of my very favorite indulgences.

  3. Taylor,

    Thank you, sir!

    The trajectories I had in mind were those of our desires — our “circuits,” our specific pathways through the universe, around the earth. Our breaks and our flows, and the breaks and flows which compose them in turn. “Trajectories” ought to imply, in this way, our material origin, our machinic essence — as both a singularity and as a pure multiplicity.

    A trajectory is “simpler” than subject or object, but that means it is less alienated and also infinitely more complex: perhaps it even names the atomic element of desire — not castration but a one-way connection, an ARROW, the most elementary, that which is prior to signs and objects and ideas.

    I suppose I should say that I’ve been rereading Lucretius; he’s wonderful about this, pointing out at every turn the ‘insensible’ upon which our senses depend, and in that way how we’re not all that different from other living things… This may be why he’s so good at reminding us how easily we can slip so completely into our humanity that we become alienated from reality.

    At some point the trajectory begins to turn upon itself (What? Is our desire simply the result of misrecognition, certain “misinterpretations”? )–So what I’m saying is that the real question is about how much of the path we can follow before something collapses. It’s a tragedy, really: every trajectory ends in absolute and singular annihilation… But precisely in this sense your trajectory is also a line of flight (with all its attendant possibilities and risks.)

  4. Gregoire,

    Thanks! You’ve definitely got the idea: how do we think desire materially? But then, of course, it’s not just a question of thinking it — it’s already a question of becoming, of the concrete transformation of reality. A new trajectory, right?

    Joe

  5. I am puzzled.
    The Present is a short time of our awareness, sandwiched between the symbols of the Past and Future. Desire is only connected to the outside during the brief Present. Otherwise, Desire is a symbolic structure of Memory or Anticipation, of Past or Future.
    Hence, in a sense, it is most intimate and “interior” to the conscious entity.

    Desires are more easily appropriated, digested, and integrated if they are already in symbolic form, not some “outside” object of our passionate teleology.
    Perhaps when I read “exterior” or “outside”, I should read “logically exterior” or “symbolically exterior”. The main problem with this is the importance of the notion of Ontology in the writing.

    I find much of interest in your writing.

  6. Sorry. I checked back and discovered my second last sentence, “The main problem…”, really does not seem to mean anything.Or, if it does, there was quite a jumble in my mind that sort of spilled out in an ungainly way.
    Sorry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s