Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two Books

I am eyeing this book but have not decided to buy it or not: ``The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within,'' by Mari Ruti [Amazon link].

If anything, I would like to pause my studying for a while and go back to writing my own ideas. Anyway, this book is in the area between psychoanalysis, ethics, and politics. I hate politics and to a lesser extent ethics, but for that exact same reason, I feel that it may be something that I need to work on and reconcile with. In the past few days, the importance and the wide implications of the ``castration anxiety'' in its more exclusive sense of ``dealing with power and submission-domination issues'' has blown me away like a powerful storm. Here is an interesting quote--unrelated to castration though :)

In the opening chapter of his famous seminar on the ethics of psychoanalysis, Lacan draws a contrast between Aristotle’s “science of character” and psychoanalysis. He explains that while Aristotle’s method of self-fashioning is centered on the cultivation of habits, psychoanalysis defines itself “in terms of traumas and their persistence" (1959, 10). At first glance, this distinction may appear misleading, for what could be more habitual than the persistence of trauma? What Lacan is getting at, however, is the distinction between habits that are intentionally cultivated and others that motivate the subject’s life choices without its conscious awareness. He stresses that psychoanalysis is interested in how the involuntary repetition of trauma shapes the subject's destiny independently of its willful efforts either to develop a character or to arrive at particular existential outcomes. If the habits that Aristotle talks about arise from the subject's deliberate attempt to manipulate the contours of its being, the “habits” of trauma determine its actions and overall life-direction in ways that are neither logically explainable nor rationally containable. They give rise to repetition compulsions that unfailingly guide the subject to specific goals, hopes, and modes of meeting the world at the expense of others, thereby ushering it onto the trajectory of its distinctive “fate,” “fortune,” or “destiny.” ---p. 13, The Singularity of Being
Another book that I'm considering, and still undecided, is ``Contact with the Depths,'' by Michael Eigen [Link]. I have bought and have read parts of another book of this author, ``The Psychoanalytic Mystic.'' That is a difficult book to read, for me, because it pinches some old wounds of mine (religion and submission to a God) that I had put aside (try to forget?) for a long, long time.

Another quote from the first book that I liked:

Even though the subject's affective trajectory (or destiny) may appear largely accidental, it is in fact driven by its characteristic way of experiencing and coping with trauma. In a way, nothing distinguishes one subject from another more decisively than the particularity of is approach to suffering. Trauma, as it were, resides at the loot of the subject’s and more or less inimitable character—what I have in this book chosen to call “the singularity of being.” ---p. 14, The Singularity of Being

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


How frightened
How sad
did I feel
as I watched you
torturing the baby
then and again

In silence
as your eyes were shutting
I prayed
for your soul


You exclaimed
``The God, who
cannot torture,
is only
a feeble excuse.''


This poem is partly motivated, in a strange subconscious way though, by the following, beyond-amazing, documentary:

Children Full of Life

Freedom, Religion

A couple of days ago I read a discussion between some friends regarding religion, worship, freedom, and slavery. In Farsi and Arabic, the t...