we are all psychotics!

La Gustadera, G0! 1986. Diseño revista Vectores

for centuries reality has been filtered through structure. communities seem like they eventually gather around some sort of institutionalization. i have been in many conversations with many people who believe that over time an idea will eventually be transformed into some sort of structural form of its latter self. some think there is no way beyond this, that we always going to be eventually crave structures. and why not? i have traveled to many places overseas and one similarity i see, no matter how poor the country, is the dispensation toward the creation of skyscrapers.

that somehow someone somewhere made the universal rule that to be successful (or to be deemed successful) you have to have a sky scraper. but what about the unknown. or the unknown unknowns. those things that we don’t know about, and that they themselves (the unknowns) arent aware of? we only know what we know. or maybe better said, we only know what we think we are capable of knowing.

psychoanalyst jacques lacan defines psychosis as: “when the Name-of-the-Father is foreclosed for a particular subject, it leaves a hole in the symbolic order which can never be filled; the subject can then be said to have a psychotic structure, even if he shows none of the classical signs of psychosis.”

whenever there is a hole, there is tendency or assumption that it must be filled. psychosis isn’t simply the recognition of the hole, but it is the act/attempt to fill it with something else. so rather then dealing with lack or absence it is the denial of its presence altogether.

this is the same i think with our understanding of history and how we define the world. in one place, jesus prays that we not be of this world. for me this isn’t a nod to some sort of transcendental reality beyond us, but rather it is a nod toward the reality that the current reality isn’t all of reality. that the potential of reality or the world has yet to be fully realized. that history itself does not have to dictate to us what might happen in the future.

for most, history tells us that everything will eventually end in some sort of structured form. but maybe it is because we don’t know our future, which is an absence; we only rely on how we define history now. but what if could progress beyond our own psychosis? which in the end means allow the absence to be what it is, an absence. rather than attempt to fill the future with our assumptions, we allow the absence to remain. to look to the future still relies on the past that we are currently a part of. but what if we could look beyond on our own history rather than deifying moments or people in them? what if in the attempt to look to history we have gotten ourselves into a rut to repeat it, but that is what we were meant to do? that we were meant for more? in truth, the future is still unwritten. it doesn’t have to mirror the past. to be beyond this world means we need to be willing to ask what the world could look like without structures. without what we see before us.

if we don’t do this, if remain in a cyclical pattern of trying to cover up the absence rather than allow it to remain than all we do is agree that our psychosis has the last word.

Book Review: If Darwin Prayed – Worth Every Penny

I particularly enjoyed the introduction to Advent. Which is a romanticized interpretation and power behind the invitation
to be agents of evolutionary progress. A theme that seems central to the narrative arc of God and scripture. From the
conversation God has with Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre to speaking directly through the voices of the prophets
to enact social and spiritual transformation. I think Sanguin does an amazing job of informing of us the Divine who
is not merely committed to our own progression but also our understanding of his/her own progression.

I also love the idea of a God who needs consent from her own creation. Sanguin tackles this notion through his poetic
prose which I think makes it a bit more digestible and enhances the need for us to partake in the metaphors of God, which
I personally think are much better than pin-point ‘accurate’ doctrine and dogma. God is an interactive being who is also
learning from the creation it has formed.

One of my favorite lines is the following: “Jesus’ death and resurrection becomes a pattern for our own spiritual
evolution. As we die to all the old narratives, beliefs, and assumptions that keep us attached to our small, egotistical selves, we are raised
up into a larger, broader, and more encompassing Self—”. I think this line assists in encapsulating the ethos and ambience of this great artistic work.

This book is worth every penny.

Vienna Doesn’t Mean That Much To Me…

The parallel existence of two concepts of perfection, one strict (“perfection,” as such) and the other loose (“excellence”), has given rise — perhaps since antiquity but certainly since the Renaissance — to a singular paradox: that the greatest perfection is imperfection

so the apostle paul is meeting up some people in the middle of this square called the areopagus in athens. this was a place known by the locals as the place where philosophers went to talk about the latest fad. it was the center of popular beliefs and gossip, even spiritual fads too. one of the known features of this particular geographic was this pantheon or hall of gods. just to be safe these greek followers of zeus placed this one statue right amongst the others and gave it a name: the unknown god.

the god who is a mystery, to the greeks has a name. irony? i think so. in fact, i think this whole episode is dripping with greek irony so much so that shakespeare might have wished he would have written this encounter. because i don’t think paul is attempting to change their beliefs, i also don’t think he is attempting to convert them in any way. i think that view trivializes the apparent sarcasm that is prevalent throughout the narrator’s explanation along with the nuances of this supposed conversation. take for example, when paul over-emphatically proclaims to his audience that they are ‘very religious’ (another translation uses the word superstitious).

i don’t think paul is being a door-to-door salesman here and trying to manipulate them with nice rhetoric, which christians have been blamed for doing in the past. rather i think he is doing something even more subversive, he is taking them to the end of their conclusions. he is sarcastically leading them through their belief system, again, not condemning it, but rather demonstrating the weakness of causality. he is saying: if you are this religious, then this ultimately is where it will lead you. in a sense, i think he is defending their unknown god. the greek word here for unknown is the same word we use for agnosticism.

a tear in the natural order of knowing. a gap. a wound. a scar. a place where we cannot know.

then he starts to quote their philosophers, who in turn were speaking about zeus (EX: …’we live and move and have our being’…) but he uses the term God as we have it recorded to be. but he never once condemns their belief. he simply uses the term/title that he understands god as. his audience would have caught onto this. another reason why i think he was being sarcastic is the undercurrent of greco irony which displaces not only the character (the hall of gods;truth;knowledge – in this narrative) but the idea of fluidity or the militant claim that perfection has only one definition.

and so in this conversation we see paul pushing the boundaries of belief so far that he begins challenging his audience with their own beliefs. which again this wasn’t foreign to the greek philosophers. they would been more than okay with this approach. and so his over-identification of God (saying god has created everything and etc.) although it might be true in theory is more of an ideological catch-22. and in this moment is when the wheels begin turning, because paul is indirectly speaking back into the belief of this unknown god.

paul is speaking of this gap. this unknown.

and for me, this is the centerpiece of his conversation, not the god itself but rather the need for the unknown. for agnosticism. this is why he also says god cant be a statue. god is fluid. god is untouchable (this is different from claiming that god isn’t relatable). this is why ultimately things like theology, doctrine, dogma and etc. don’t work, because taken to the end of our conclusion we are left with nothing more than a system of beliefs and no god left to worship. paul i think is claiming the same thing. that they can believe in all kinds of different things and be into the latest fads (for christians, it might be the emergent church or open theism and so on), but ultimately we don’t know. and the irony that i think he is playing on here is that the unknown is the closest we get to faith. that unbelief is belief. that denial is acceptance. i am not naive enough to think that we can simply get away with absolving ourselves from community. for it is in the evolutionary development of religion that we find beliefs are created to pose a sense of community. i posit we don’t need beliefs to create community, but rather we need each other to create community.

we need to believe in each other to solidify this community. before i get called a heretic. let’s talk about hegel for a second. he once thought that the holy spirit was God emptying his/herself into humanity. the human bond. let’s go with this for this discussion. if hegel was right, then once we create ‘knowns’ we create distance between us and the holy spirit (remember, this is hegels’: human bond) and so ultimately beliefs actually don’t create community, they distance us from community.

they dismantle it.they destroy it. i am not saying we don’t need beliefs, but i am saying that if we truly desire community (some people term this church and etc.) then we must be willing to walk away from beliefs, no matter what side of the fence we’re on….

think about this on a social level…it is our superstitions that keep us from knowing each other. it is those things that create to keep ourselves safe from the unknown – the other stands in the place of the unknown. and represents that thing we fear the most. and so to dissociate ourselves from the other we are forced to betray the notion of loving our neighbour (the other) by including ideological barriers that keep us from connecting with the one we are meant to love. beliefs are violent. they separate us from the object of our desire.

resurrection (I)(S) anarchy….

IM Language

Symbolic violence, finally, is inherent in the deployment and sustenance of language and its forms. There are two instantiations of this sort of violence, one of them “deeper” than the other. The first is the symbolic violence inherent in specific language; terms we use which may include hidden instantiations of domination. An obvious example of this sort of symbolic violence could be using the word “Man” when one is referring to the whole of mankind. But there, the violence inherent in that speech act has become quite visible and obvious over time (and thus it would be, realistically in many circles, subjective violence), and the point of making a delineation like symbolic violence is that it, like all objective violence, is invisible and sustains various structures of domination, subjugation or limitation unbeknownst to the user within the structure.

language is the thing that introduces us to the world in front of us. the word we experience. but it is this experience of the world that is mediated through language. this mediation is a violence of sorts. once we name something, we remove its autonomy; in that moment, the object enters into the world as something other than itself.

this same act of vioence occurs when we expend ourselves in attempting to label another. ‘Gay, straight, man, woman’, and even the word love is done violence to. put simply, language is a system to overcome. this does not mean we must never speak again, it means we must enter into language (the symbolic order; lacan) with the recognition of its inherent weakness. that language cannot ultimately meet our desires, but merely project the desires we think we need/want.

the other reality of language is that it creates untruths about reality and other people. it separates us and exiles us from the desires that inhabit us. linguistic/cultural anarchy seems to be the only option left for us to take seriously. this is the moment that we realize that once language inhibits us from meeting with the object of our desire then we must allow language to die.

isn’t the christian message about death and resurrection?

so why not apply this reality to how we interpret reality? this is not an easy stance to take, because to create new language means we have to follow after the words of jesus who once said: “you have heard it was said”(the established world;modernism;capitalism; religion and etc.) which represents the systematic expression of the world as we know it. it alludes to any idea that has been crystallized through habitual fetish and historical allegiance. and then jesus ends his introduction with: “but i say” – he revolutionizes the concept that systems are not what we need because truth inhabits us. truth enters reality when we realize that things don’t have to be the way they were. death is important here.

but resurrection (rebirth) is a sort of anarchy that defiantly proclaims that what has been established doesn’t have to be the prevailing object we all follow. in fact resurrection is an eradication of the notion of reality as being mediated by the historical. resurrection remains the hopeful kernel implanted within death itself, this is why death cannot be merely surpassed (ex: cryogenics) to sustain anything of the former is to leave traces of what was before in the wake of an ideological death. but resurrection proclaims an end to the idea that death has to have the last word.

resurrection is about new life. new perspective and paradigm.

each idea we encounter is embedded with a nuance of resurrection. ultimately if we sustain the life of an idea beyond its cultural space/time we are then at fault for supporting an already flawed system. we are then very much like the guards at the tomb who sat and watched for anything suspicious that came to steal away the body of jesus.

it is in the suspicious/unexpected act of resurrection that we find truth hibernating ehind the symbolic order.
we must be willing to welcome the unexpected acts to arrive and usher in the rupture of resurrection. it is in the embodiment of resurrection that language and the future of it can find salvation…

images are reality.

consumer | happier

Images are Reality – Zizek

consumption isn’t simply the taking in of objects, its the absorption of the product into our very being.

and so from one system it leaves to enter another system. the human system. humanity. we are consumers not because we can be, but because like some street-corner junkie, we ‘need’ to be.’

when you turn on a television and a commercial zips across your screen filled with images of a product that could make you smarter, slimmer, faster, beautiful, less hungry and so on and you go and purchase that product all to find that the product you experienced on television is not the product you are now holding in your hand. in the end, the chocolate bar, no matter how many less calories it might boast it has then a regular chocolate bar, is still just a chocolate bar. but what is going on here is not a simple purchase, but a narrative is beginning to feed itself into our very psyche’s.

this product and the very purchase of it is now starting to believe for us. and because we have learned so well to be consumers, we know no other way. well, that’s what the commercials want you to believe anyway. the irony is that no longer is the commercial selling the object to you but rather once the subconscious addiction occurs we then become the very product that is sold to the object. we become the product. we are the commodity.

we are now upholding the system of consumerism.

the only way to absolve ourselves is to begin consuming less and participating in a purchase as more aware humans. realizing that there is something sinister happening within our culture, that over time, relationships stop being about relationships and become about consumption.

tohu-bohu#2

facebook is one such place, where, although it might not be stated literally, it is a place for people consumption. when someone goes to your friend page and finds out ‘how many’ friends you might have, most make a judgement on the kind of person you are and might decide solely on that criteria whether or not you are worthy of their friendship.

this is not friendship.

this is a perverted connection of objects that is justified through the addiction of consumption. no longer are people-people, they are numbers and objects for our happiness. they then become the Big Other that frames our reality. in a sense, consumption becomes the deity we evangelize for. “more, more, more”…oh we might not consciously think such a credo. but even the thought of “less, less, less” is still thinking, “more, more, more”. think about it. the more time i spend on trying to eradicate the thought of more i am spending that much “more time” attempting to rid myself of such a machiavellian contraption.

this is the same with happiness. this is why ultimately, idealism fails because it is predicated on the notion that once we get to that next step or buy that next item or fall in love over and over that we will then be happy. and also, what does it mean to be happy? is it a fleeting chemical high we chase after, is it learning to fight through your circumstances no matter if there is a sign of the sun in sight? see commercials and ideas play on this notion of internal happiness, the more stuff we have the better off we are. but, i think agree with singer sarah mclachlan who once sang: the more we take, the less we become…

a step forward to be aware of our consumption. one major way to rewrite our story of consumption is the inverse of consumption itself – giving. to give is to receive.