The Local Psyche Global. (Lacan part 2)

Ok.

The question on the table is two parts:

  1. If The modern world is really the unrecognized embodiment of the reflection of one’s self, which is the the factual state of individual alienation, then what does it even mean that the alienated self-reflection is looking at cars, trees, space, planets, stars, deers, etc….?
  2.  What does this have to do with ego development, modernity, and philosophy

 

Of Firsts.

Philosophy can be said to be involved with a reduction which has already occurred.  What I call conventional philosophy sees the effort of philosophy to be the uncovering or discovering of the original reduction.  The word we use for this original reduction is ontology.

Philosophers love Lacan and psychoanalysis in general more than the psychologists. I asked my Theories instructor once about Lacan, and she said that she had never even heard of any psychotherapist who uses him, that his theory is very complex.  But in fact, Freudian psychotherapists in general are a minority now days, and I suspect mainly on the East Coast of the U.S and in Europe. (There is a comment to be made on this but it will have to appear elsewhere.)

I don’t prescribe to the Freudian lineage for psychotherapy.  But I do enjoy Lacan and often via. Zizek’s use of Lacan’s theory.  The question above that I pose really concerns how these two worlds might meet, or, how they interact or come together.

The reader should understand that it is always possible to come up with a theory about what the material is we deal with in mental health and how we treat it which will work or produce good mental health outcomes. Though Freud was the first popular psychotherapist in the sense we think of it now, very quickly his theory about ‘what and how’ stopped holding water for the treatment of patients and clients (medical doctors, neurologists and psychologists usually treat patients, while counselors more often treat clients). Freud, and the psychodynamic psychologists who followed him, believe in a very elaborate structure of the mind which functions primarily through various polemical psychic situations and motions involving an invisible energy.  Psychic energy was posed without any actual evidence of such energy. We are able to produce electricity, measure it, and put it to use in predictable ways, and Freud was speculating that we would be able to find the same things with psychic energy, but he could not, nor anyone since then.  But the system sounded really good; when you get into it, it does appear to have some sensibility to it.  But, like Freud, when we take that idea too far and attempt to use the model to fill in more and more evident holes, the more elaborate structural interactions required to account for the new issues simply become so vague and involved that what ever at one time appeared like some sensible dynamic of structure, fails. That is, unless you are really sold on the beauty of the simple beginning theoretical structure.

I would say then that the reason why philosophy like psychoanalysis but Lacan so much is that it begins pretty good.  Freud’s theory appears really nice in the beginning and seems to make sense.  So without having to actually observe anything beyond the initial evidence, Freudian psychoanalysis is fabulous, and philosophy that likes Lacan is usually about first or reduced things: Ontology is about what things truly are, how they are first;  epistemology is about how thought must first be in order for everything else to be able to be thought. So, the Freudian structure of the mind The Super-Ego is the rules or norms; the ID,  involves the ‘unbound’ instinctual drive which produces libidinal energy, and the Ego is that which harness both  extremities: the philosophical ratio, or the Rational Mind, so to speak; this fits very well into methods that involve first things: 1,2,3…presto!  It is simple and it makes a lot of very easy sense without having to think about it too much.  It also, quite coincidentally, reflects the philosophy which was arising around the same time as industrial science of the 19th century: Hegel, Marx, Freuerbach and many Enlightenment others basically were already philosophizing around these very same ideas.  But as I have said a few times already, when we apply them to any world that we actually encounter, this ‘philosophical mind’ falls quickly short of accounting. And this is to say, like I said above, unless you are really sold on the theory.

The philosophical question here, then, becomes whether or not we are fitting reality into the theory, or developing theory from what is being observed?

Enter modern capitalism.

I submit, that most conventional Western philosophy suffers from the attempt of fitting what is observed into the theory.  Hence, the reason(s) why philosophy often enjoys a psychoanalytical involvement with philosophy.

So it is that I came across our question above: Why should alienation have anything do with the world we are coming upon? In what way does the “mirror stage” of Lacan have anything to do with modernity beyond the theorizing?

I submit, that the reason is because if indeed we make an ontological theory of what is observed, actually form or develop a theory upon what is being presented to sense, then the Self no longer appears alienated from the world.

Some may know that Lacan said something like “the mind is structured like a language”.  This is because he was making a comment upon what is inherently problematic about modern subjectivity.  This is, the subject is always in context, but the nature of the operating psyche is that is does not function as though it arises in context, but rather as though it arises indeed from nothing.  This is to say that the modern subject understands and thus operates itself as not a true subject (arising always in context) but as indeed a subject only in a thoughtful reflection of itself, as though the thinker itself exists outside of the world and as indeed the essential nature of Being is dichotomy: object and subject.

So, the next question (#1), is what this has to do with the presence of the parents for the development of the ego, and why does this have anything to do with actually being in the world?

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A common and modern belief is that the ego is not a modern ideal but a human one.

The logic of Two Routes in Application. A Discourse in Freedom.

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The very interesting thing about this 5G (if not all of modern technology) Is that it means nothing less than volunteered enslavement. It is no mere coincidence that lately the nature of free-will is being commandeered by neurobiology: It is not that we are not or cannot be free, rather, it is that if we want to be free we would actually have to fight for it, and who (in their right mind) would want to argue with Neuroscience? (trick question: the battle does not reduce to a confrontation with neuroscience.)

The keen indication is that the modern free agent is what it has always been: A rare artifact in the imposing consciousness. There has never been a free humanity; on the contrary, there has only been a few free people that speak in such a way that everyone else wants to be and so the “commoners” start to use the language of “the free”, or way a speaking (way of organizing discourse).

We can get a glimpse of what freedom might actually be beyond the relative conventional scientific assertion (conventional philosophy; theological and ideological rhetoric; mistaken ((the weak)) postmodernism) when we think about the various social scientists and psychologist’s developmental models of morality. Very few people, they suppose, reach what we could call the “higher” stages of moralistic thinking (moralistic thinking reflects a kind of intellectual ability or capacity). And yet most everyone likes to think of themselves as though they are of this higher bracket of thinking.

Nevertheless, only a few people really have the ability or capacity to think about the world in this “higher” kind of moralistic manner. These few people are able to formulate sentences and meanings (structure discourse) of this “higher” manner of being able to perceive the world in what it does, and in so indeed speak of something that is common to the human creature. Those who do not think through this manner (have this moral capacity), though, who reside within a “lower” stage which is basically, for lack of a better term, being law abiding and having a sense of good that comes from absolutes (relativity is an absolute in as much as relativity must mean or indicate a definite quality absolutely and not just relatively) see or otherwise understand that transcendental essences are being expressed in these discourses, such as the topics that the Socratic dialogues entertained, e.g. justice, virtue and such; most people fall into this latter general category of being, to various degrees of ability and development, law-abiding and having essential truths based in good and bad, right and wrong, etc.

After not too long, the appropriation of the “higher” discourse into the law abiding scheme defines a technological space which forbids the delineation of a human being which is not entirely encompassed by the technological ideal of free agency. Nietzsche said as much: Technology equivocates humanity to the lowest common manner, all the while allowing for the “Idols” of equivocation to take control of the common agents. This is Nietzsche’s meaning of enslavement, or the slave mentality. Because the former “higher” order of “moralism”, being communicated in a particular manner, draws their natural attentions to what is good and just (viewed as essential or absolute categories), such people begin to behave in such a manner that these discourses seem to be advocating. They do this unthoughtfully and automatically as part of their critical process; that is, these higher discourses appear to them to be communicating a rationality of the absolute (unrecognized in-self reflection: the view of conventional faith). Yet, such people really do not understand this “other way” of understanding the world through a broadened moralistic intelligence, thus de facto do not have the ability to think through these discourses nor really what these kind of discourses mean or are indicating in themselves, and thus take these discourses as indicating elaborations upon what is right and wrong, good and bad in essence; In short, they take these discourses as being a discussion about absolutes or essences of law.

This is the significance of technology: Two manners of viewing technology inform human beings, or what we could now rightly call, world citizens, as to what is true and real. One manner understands its freedom as an essential tenet of being human given the conditions of free agency to manipulate and develop useful technologies, which then function as a closed system or ideology which supports the ideal of the free agent. Another manner speaks truthfully about what is occurring in the actual relationship with technology that is being human in the world. The latter’s use of discourse thus (sometimes inadvertently, but more often with intension) serves to consolidate the technological authority’s ability and capacity to control agents through refining the ideal of freedom. In other words, most people are enslaved and have no actual ability to enact any effective countermeasures to abort such confining motion because the nature of their intellectual capacity prevents them from truly grasping that situation by which they indeed are being human in the world.

It really is an ignorant bliss disguised by intellectual complexity and sophistication (sophistry).