Lacano-Sufi Meditation

Capitalism extends beyond the limits of our possible knowledge into the uncertain realm of the infinite, such as the uncertainty of the future, and mutual opacity across spatial distances. Capitalism cannot be limited to what we happen to know about it, and it certainly includes many relationships that we don’t know about.  So, we are forced to dehumanize the concept, and identify capitalism as something universal in life.  Our experience is only an accidental mask of an economic crises that goes back to the origins of the universe in the general economy of surplus and lack where capitalism fits together in an economy with religion and madness.

Descartes wondered if he might be under the spell of a genie, and that dangerous perhaps opens a window for Jesuitical darkness where religion and knowledge teetered on the edge of sanity.  The way the genie pathologizes mirrors how Jesuits forced natives to participate in passion plays.  By identifying this “genie” as the subject of capitalism, we can isolate modern subjectivity as a rupture within a primordial economic crises.  Descartes and the thinkers who followed him attempted to appropriate too many virtues to the subject.  They struggled to take everything from the genie, and they have lost.  The humanist machine had unrealistic models of intellectual satisfaction, and our grace is in the relief that we no longer need to follow these models, and in the discovery that norms are variable.  Uncertainty works as a theological concept, because only the idea of God is sufficient to make room for this magnitude of uncertainty.   Or put otherwise, atheism is impossible because it cannot survive its implied uncertainty.

Modernity split the rational from the pathological, and I propose to fold this split back onto the classical relation of the human and the divine.  This move disburdens humanity from the super-egoic obligations of rationality.  The strategy here is to embrace some folly as a quintessential trait of human finitude, and to attribute rationality exclusively to God.  This variation on the Kantian structure makes divinity the structural principle which allows us to affirm rationality while disassociating from it.  This circumvents the direct symbolic identifications that Lacan associated with more serious pathologies such as obsession.  This way we are avoid the more serious pathologies by actively selecting the properly human range of pathology, which arises from the nature of finitude.

The human is mad with its own deceptive finitude, once known as the aesthetic. Rationality is then renounced as an attribute of the Other. We work instead by irrational norms, which are relative structures.  Norms are symptoms of our contingent finitude, and the little day-to-day deceptions that get us by in the world. This is a way of partitioning object o, so that a share of it is liberated from the burden of absoluteness, and becomes the playful imagination of a reflexively finite creature. The creature maintains awareness of how its indispensable finitude is corrupt.

The ruse of desire is to absolve love of absoluteness through exaltation.  Let your passions free in the relativity of your personhood!  This way, the neutral God bears the weight of the void, whose infinite boredom and chaos are mercifully held back from us.  Praise the Lord for saving us from knowledge!   And praise Him for leaving us the madness of our essential finitude!  For us to love such a God would only betray his majestic work of keeping himself back from us.  To pursue him would be to work directly against him.  This is the libertarian edge of sufi logic, where for the sake of His kingdom we are left to enjoy the pathology of our essential finitude, and have no business meddling too directly in the mystery of His affairs.

Our finite minds are inherently delusional, fake, tentative, and yet functional.  The finite mind entertains a series of delusional norms which constitute its life, and worship is the activity of staving off dangerous infinity until the end.  This life depends on the worship of God’s incomprehensible reason, because we only live by his merciful decision not to make his reason into our severe madness.  We are cured by accepting that we are at the mercy of a genie who chooses not to kill us by protecting us from His reason.  We are cured of the obsessional’s infantile attempt to identify with the infinite, because it is enshrined as an absolute Other.  We are cured from asking the hysterical question of what the infinite could want from us, because we know it wants nothing but to be left alone. We are cured from the paranoiac investment of the Other with discriminating legal language, because now that mad language is ours.  And we are cured from the depressive dropping of the object, since now we may rightfully take our portion of jouisannce as the essential madness of our finitude.

This ironizes our attitude towards the contingencies of the world.  This is a world of proxy wars waged by who knows who, where ignorant armies clash by night. But we are not living ethically above any wars, which are the essential folly of life. Life is internally conflicted as an imaginary honor-battle, and we are everywhere forced to take sides, or to remain neutral.  These sides and causes are symbolically unstable, so we never know side we are ultimately taking.  Only God can know if there is a secret logic governing the strange series of these wars.  We are forced to crazily shift the models of our engagement, because we lack the complete model that would account for all the shifting. The current fashion in our models has to do with a mysterious doubling between communism and Islam, as the double enemy of capital.

The question of non-philosophy may not be so important, if philosophy is reflexive about its obscure martyrological origins.  Philosophy has played many different roles, and today capitalism is the epochal contingency with which it must negotiate, where it is necessarily in the business of commodity production. Capitalist philosophy is about reaching timely compositions, where the flesh of the commodity is conceptual.  Compositions wear out, and must be recreated or scrapped as the seasons pass.  It is important to remember that markets often make mistakes, and that evolutionary history is filled with dead ends. The problem is not simply to produce a commodity today that can be sold tomorrow, but rather to develop long-term evolutionary strategies that can play out over geological eons.  We know that in the future the markets won’t operate in the same way they do today, and our problem is to build commodities for the future

Our finitude is pathological because it is impossible, since we can never close off and determine ourselves completely.   The paradox here is that one’s sanity must rest on their awareness of their necessary insanity.  Human finitude is not truly finite, since it unravels into the shimmering scales of becoming, as it gropes from one structure to another in the fumbling course of its evolution.  So a sane person would have to relate to their own finitude ironically, as a pretension whereby they hold themselves together temporarily.  One avoids pathology by actively investing in pathological finitude, and thereby avoiding investments in infinity and absoluteness.

Now one may occasionally receive some intuition regarding God’s absolute reasoning, but that must be safely distinguished from one’s own essentially pathological form of reasoning.  The supposition of God as a rational Other liberates them from super-egoic burdens.  My madness is essential to my finitude and relativity, and without some grasp of my own proper madness I would fall into the terror of God. Identifying my own madness allows for my peaceful coexistence with God.  This way there is no reason to invest much in what I think, because I am presumed mad.  This also forces me to carefully scrutinize my thinking, because I know it is essentially faulty.  This relieves the pressure to cling idealistically to narcissistic investments. The structure of my narcissism can now be shifted at God’s convenience. This identity of the pathological self can be satisfying.   One’s finitude  must transform when it comes under stress.  The mysterious truth of this ongoing transformation is my destiny which is known by God alone.

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