January 19, 2005


Philosophy must allow us to think beyond the person as a local construction of worlds. This however does not mean to think dualistically. In the spirit of Deleuze and Badiou we can seek to explain the transcendental as what is local not hierarchical. The transcendental is not what is out there in God or Truth but what locally orders a set of relations or rules of the game of any set, group, topos, or local universe - unconciously setting its foundation of power - propping up signification by means of a primordially repressed fundamental phantasm or master signifier.

The extent to which we can think the real as infinite threatens the local universe of our "sanity" or "health". From this point of view anxiety and depression are inevitable consequences of being at the edge of consistency with regard to our being-as-appearance here in our local world. The experience of "anxiety" which as Lacan says is the only true emotion, presented by Klein as a primal paranoid-schizoid phase that all human subjects pass through initially, may be seen as the inundation by the real as infinite multiplicity: too much for the locally closed and screened off "human" world to come. Hence the appropriate concept of jouissance as primordial experience of what is left over of the drive to the extent that the drive precedes and exceeds the closed world of the human subject coming to be initiated into a symbolic universe of categorical relations. And the complementary experience of depression can be seen as the experience of the real as void as Badiou echoing Parmenides and Hui Neng proclaims "being as being is one void" or "from the very begining no thing is." Thus anxiety as the barrier or final phenomenological experience of coming apart or exceding the boundaries of our set - ecstasy or madness by another name. And depression as this feeling of death, loss, isolation - the flat and empty nature of all things - all being as appearance which reveals to us the truth behind appearance - the void is and it is infinite. The modern medical model still conspires to conceal this from us.

To the extent that an event takes places actualizing and axiomatizing any local set, this set is held together by a transcendental regime ordering its relations: what is called the central object in topological category theory and what is similarly described by Lacan as the fundamental phantasm or quilting point of primal repression which bootstraps the subject retrospectively through a kind of autopoetic feedback loop. Mae-Wan Ho and Francisco Varela describe this event in self-organizing biology in a way similar to Freud's description in the Project of psyche as the function of man that allows him to withdraw from the orgiastic cycle of communicational exchange of consumption and sexuality that determines nature and bind a certain quantity of this energy-matter for a time being. This is before sublimation and repression are differentiated as positive and negative aspects of this binding in the further elaboration of human psychoanalysis. To the extent that something infinite of being, drive, or spirit is insufflated into a human body ever-integrated as it is into its physical and social environment, this being as being is localized in a world of worlds within worlds - sets in which various transcendental phantasms operate to organize the symbolic rules of the sets.

Foucault traced the history of medical-psychiatric-legal systems holding in place transcendental regimes disallowing the emergence of the event as dissolution of the boundaries of local worlds and the reemergence of new worlds. This is but a further elaboration of what Nietzsche and Bataille had described as a long history of the ossification of various transcendental regimes of power maintaining local worlds no longer in flux with being as being or the infinite. Psychoanalysis is a kind of human topology or category theory that allows us to investigate the local worlds of our psyche but tells us nothing ontologically true, whereas analysis itself is but pure process that gives us access to the infinite. Being human is a local event constantly shifting and only an appearance of the infinite which itself can only be thought in an inhuman way through pure analysis, a kind of mathematical set theory of the infinite or ecstatic poetic philosophy of the void.

Posted by scott at January 19, 2005 01:50 PM | TrackBack