Lacan’s subject is constituted in the locus of the Other through the operations of alienation and separation (cf. Seminar XI, XIV, and “Position of the Unconscious”), whereas Badiou’s subject emerges through an elective decision that maintains fidelity to an event and engages in the process of unfolding the consequences of this event within a situation. Thus, one could say that someone can be both a Lacanian subject and a Badiouian subject, but everyone is a Lacanian subject without necessarily being a Badiouian subject. In this regard, Lacan’s subject comes closer to what Badiou refers to as an individual, preceding an encounter with an event. Perhaps the closest thing one finds to a Badiouian subject in psychoanalysis is 1) those who maintain fidelity to the event, continuing to evaluate the situation in psycho-biological terms, and more importantly in my mind, 2) an analysis and undergoing analysis who attends to the formations of the unconscious progressively transforming the nature of their [illusory] ego in light of the discourse of their unconscious. It could be said that the formations of the unconscious (symptoms, acting out, bungled actions, slips of the tongue, dreams, jokes, etc) appear on the “edge of the void” of the situation which one could call the ego or specular imago. Lacan brings this point out well in Seminar 10, where he speaks of anxiety as a signal with respect to the ego, indicating the presence of the void at the edge of the specular ego (objet a) or that which cannot be specularized in the subjects imaginary but which is structurally necessary for this economy to establish itself. An analysis and is that being that suspends this specularity, takes distance from the desire for wholeness, completeness, totality and the sense that one is a unified center, and which strives to interpret oneself from the standpoint of what is ex-centric, foreign, or the Other discourse that doesn’t fit into the centralized narrative of imaginary moi speech. Such a practice can be seen as a truth-procedure of sorts.
Unlike Badiou’s subject, the Lacanian subject is only in relation to an object. Lacan brings this point out in “The Position of the Unconscious”, when he argues that the subject is an effect of objet a or that objet a effectuates the subject. Indeed, Lacan goes so far as to suggest that it’s objet a that thinks, not the subject and that it is objet a that properly desires. This thought and desire is always ex-centric to the subject, and is incredibly difficult to subjectivize or identify with (hence the long trajectory of an analysis and the phenomenon of resistance manifested in the oscillation between full and empty speech, (prayer) where the analysis passes from ego-centered empty speech treating himself as knowing what he wants, to full speech that avows what the unconscious speaks).
Temporally the Lacanian subject differs significantly from the Badiouian subject. Lacan’s subject is fleeting and punctuated, never directly appearing in the clinical setting. It is what appears with the various formations of the unconscious, only to disappear once again. Put otherwise, the Lacanian subject is not the “I” (moi) that says “I think this” “I want this” ” I believe this to true” “I am the sort of person that…” and so on, but is rather what appears with respect to those very things that the moi does not identify with. Badiou’s subject, while certainly not the moi, is a result of the elective decision and has a much more stable temporal structure. As one of the main differences between humans and animals, can make a choice in the biggest sense of what choice can mean. As the Third Culture grows quietly and in recent years more accelerated with the discovery of mirror neurons.
The discovery of mirror neurons in the frontal lobes of macaques and their implications for human brain evolution is one of the most important findings of neuroscience in the last decade. Mirror neurons are active when the monkeys perform certain tasks, and they also fire when the monkeys watch someone else perform the same specific task. There is evidence that a similar observation/action matching system exists in humans. mirror neurons play a major explanatory role in the understanding of a number of human features, from imitation to empathy, and language learning and possibly the location of spiritual events. Philosophers, however, have long emphasized the distinction between basic actions and non-basic actions: for example, the non-basic action of turning on the light can be performed by the basic action of pressing a switch. Now, when one applies this to the idea of a switch in the brain as a trigger for spiritual experience in the subject.
This is the path in which God will die. As the Roman poet and Epicurean philosopher Lucretius attempted before the birth of Christ. He wrote an epic masterpiece titled De Rerum Natura (“On the Nature of Things”). His goal, in part, was to liberate humankind from the religious superstitions that he believed stood in the way of true peace of mind and happiness. Now, through reason and knowledge with a good mixture of technology thrown in. This will by no means eliminate the inherent beauty of the spiritual experience that is in the subject it will and should just level the spiritual playing field. It is in the leveling through technology and understanding the liberation of the subject may take place.
We are in a time where it is the responsibility of the subject to criticize the spiritual beliefs of others has never been more vital.
Of that first body which our senses now
Cannot perceive: That bounding point indeed
Exists without all parts, a minimum
Of nature, nor was e’er a thing apart,
As of itself,- nor shall hereafter be,
Since ’tis itself still parcel of another,
A first and single part, whence other parts
And others similar in order lie
In a packed phalanx, filling to the full
The nature of first body: being thus
Not self-existent, they must cleave to that
From which in nowise they can sundered be.
So primal germs have solid singleness,
Which tightly packed and closely joined cohere
By virtue of their minim particles-
No compound by mere union of the same;
But strong in their eternal singleness,
Nature, reserving them as seeds for things,
Permitteth naught of rupture or decrease.
Titus Lucretius Carus 58 BC
Many people disagree with this premise due to the respect that we as subjects allocate to belief systems. Our world has been shattered by competing belief system that declare with some certainty that they are more holy than the other. They are totally incompatible with one another and this has led to death of millions. Due to this respect as subjects we accord to the beliefs of others, we are not allowed to challenge these systems which I proclaim are totally inadequate and totally incompatible for for the 21st century. It is when people lose their grasp on reason. For example – Someone born of a virgin…? Another – He rode a winged horse. These are easy ones to pick out. These beliefs effect on a large scale what wars we wage, social politics, even to which science to fund. most importantly it eliminates personal responsibility. In some of these beliefs systems there is the idea that death under the right circumstances is a legitimate metaphysical principal. Now, as a subject filled with memes I would not hesitate to say that this form of belief is the total failure of reason. It is a moral failing of the subject in Badiouian sense. The coming of ability to measure every part of the subject, to understand how our brains function on the deepest of levels and to even change the subject through enhancements and add-ons. What must happen to the subject and the placement of the subject in a space where this can occur is full of total potential. First, God the very idea must go away, this means to some extent those who believe must go away as well.
From ‘The Gay Science’ as translated by Walter Kaufmann, Book Three, Aphorism 125.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
by Robert Frost
From New Hampshire. Published in 1923.
All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there’s a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I’ll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves,
Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves;
Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires;
Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars;
Damned villains, corrupted in every station;
Damned time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I’ll readily give you
Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed,
For we know by these marks the place of the damned:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!
Jonathan Swift – The Place of the Damned
Now I am off to the riots….
“Bions are transitional forms between non-living and living matter. The bion is the elemental functioning unit of all living matter. At the same time, it is the bearer of a quantum of orgone energy and, as such, functions in a specifically biological way.”
-The Cancer Biopathy
Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957)
Bion is a robotic sculpture that explores the relationship between humans and artificial life. The name makes reference to an individual element of primordial biological energy identified as orgone by Wilhelm Reich. The installation is a sensor network that is composed of 1000 glowing and chirping forms. Each bion is a synthetic “life-form” consisting of a tiny computer, an audio speaker, blue LEDs, and sensors.
As a visitor approaches the installation space, one of the bions is alerted and quickly communicates the presence of a stranger to the swarm of bions. One by one, in rapid succession, the bions signal other bions of the intruder and, in a wave-like pattern, become silent. The bions eventually become accustomed to the visitor’s presence and begin to respond to her/him as if s/he was part of their ecosystem. They become attracted to her and glow more intensely when she nears. Eventually, s/he is incorporated into the dynamic array.
Nothing but potential potential potential potential and it even looks nice.
For those of you who live in Berlin tune in to 104.1 for NPR.
What is NPR?
The kind of news Berliners wish they had.
NPR (National Public Radio) is an internationally acclaimed producer
and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment
programming. A privately supported, not-for-profit membership
organization, NPR serves a growing audience of more than 25 million people each week in partnership with more than 800 independently
operated, noncommercial public radio stations. Each NPR Member Station
serves local listeners with a distinctive combination of national and
local programming. With original online content and audio streaming,
npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of
archived audio and information.
I admit I am a bit of Sunday junkie.