July 18, 2004

The Truth of Analysis

"Because of the way in which he envisaged his fidelity to Freud, Lacan categorically rejected this nosological vision of the analytical situation. To that end he took up the modern notion of a non-conceptual gap between truth and forms of knowledge and projected it onto the field of psychoanalysis. Not only did he distinguish between truth and knowledge, he also showed that a truth is essentially unknown; that it quite literally constitutes a hole in forms of knowledge.
In doing so - and this is in my opinion a point whose consequences have yet to be fully grasped - Lacan declared that psychoanalysis was not a form of knowledge but a way of thinking.
Yet despite the claims of those who would like to effect a theological recuperation of psychoanalysis - and they are indefatiguable, rather like someone who has figured out how to turn pig-feed into a communion wafer - and who like to indulge in delectable speculations about the transcendence of the Big Other, Lacan himself, on the whole, refused any compromise about the immanence of truth." (Alain Badiou)

The path which Freud opened within the realm of medicine was essentially an ontological break with the limitations of knowledge and its uses. For the past century there have been no end of psychologies, psychotherapies, and psychoanalyses regressing from this opening in the service of constructing new objects of knowledge and profit, including Freudians and Lacanians who rather than remain true the spirit remain slaves to the letter of a new religion. While Lacan was one of the few to articulate the extension of Freud's path (already present in Lucretius and Hui Neng), it is intutively present in those like Laing and Mosher who recognized the absurd perpetuation of illness through "scientific" knowledge, judgment, and treatment, and even demonstrated the superior and less expensive success of "non-therapists" to heal psychosis in places like Soteria and the Philadelphia Association.

Lacan once described himself as Freud's Lenin, in which case the inventive discovery of psychoanalysis as a practice of truth and thought was put into action through a transmission of a different type - without qualification, certifications, nominations, degrees, or trademarks. In the dissolution of the one school, a proliferation of multiples has continued to flourish devoted to an aim which runs counter to the patenting and profiting of new techniques propped up by the onto-theological belief in the miracle cure. While there may never be a Stalin of psychoanalysis (unless this be Slavoj Zizek) there is a multitude of corporate capital packaged pills and therapies to once again cover the unprecedented anamnesis of the twentieth century and prevent its further development: the withering away of the psychoanalytic state in the emergence of a community of those who have nothing in common but the love of truth and its emergence from what is radically unknown.

Posted by scott at 03:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack