Monday, October 31, 2011

the castration complex

I want to take up the castration complex and compare it to Nietzsche's idea of spirit

I think that denial or disavowal has a positive dimension that must be stressed:

A strong and well-constituted man digests his experiences (his deeds and misdeeds included) as he digests his meals, even when he has to swallow some tough morsels. If he cannot get over an experience and have done with it, this kind of digestion is as much physiological as is the other – and often in fact a consequence of the other. – With such a conception one can, between ourselves, still be the sternest opponent of all materialism. (Genealogy of Morals)

Perhaps people will not immediately understand what I have said here about a “fundamental will of the spirit”: let me explain. – The commanding element (whatever it is) that is generally called “spirit” wants to dominate itself and its surroundings, and to feel its domination: it wills simplicity out of multiplicity, it is a binding, subduing, domineering, and truly masterful will. Its needs and abilities are the same ones that physiologists have established for everything that lives, grows, and propagates. The power of spirit to appropriate foreign elements manifests itself in a strong tendency to assimilate the new to the old, to simplify the manifold, to disregard or push aside utter inconsistencies: just as it will arbitrarily select certain aspects or outlines of the foreign, of any piece of the “external world,” for stronger emphasis, stress, or falsification in its own interest. Its intention here is to incorporate new “experiences,” to classify new things into old classes, – which is to say: it aims at growth, or, more particularly, the feeling of growth, the feeling of increasing strength. This same will is served by an apparently opposite drive of spirit, a suddenly emerging resolution in favor of ignorance and arbitrary termination, a closing of its windows, an inner nay-saying to something or other, a come-no-closer, a type of defensive state against many knowable things, a contentment with darkness, with closing horizons, a yea-saying and approval of ignorance: all of which are necessary in proportion to the degree of its appropriating force, its “digestive force,” to speak metaphorically – and really, “spirit” resembles a stomach more than anything. The spirit’s occasional will to be deceived belongs here too, perhaps with a playful hunch that things are not one way or the other, that people just accept things as one way or the other, a sense of pleasure in every uncertainty and ambiguity, a joyful self-delight at the arbitrary narrowness and secrecy of a corner, at the all-too-close, the foreground, at things made bigger, smaller, later, better, a self-delight at the sheer caprice in all these expressions of power. Finally, the spirit’s not quite harmless willingness to deceive other spirits and to act a part in front of them belongs here too, that constant stress and strain of a creative, productive, mutable force. What the spirit enjoys here is its multiplicity of masks and its artfulness, and it also enjoys the feeling of security these provide…” (Beyond Good & Evil)

Forgetting is… an active and in the strictest sense positive faculty of repression… to close the doors and windows of consciousness for a time; to remain undisturbed by the noise and struggle of our underworld of utility organs working with and against one another; a little quietness, a little tabula rasa of the consciousness, to make room for new things, above all the nobler functions and functionaries, for regulation, foresight, pre-meditation (for our organism is an oligarchy)— that is the purpose of active forgetfulness, which is like a doorkeeper, a preserver of psychic order, repose, and etiquette: so that it will be immediately obvious how there could be no happiness, no cheerfulness, no hope, no pride, no present, without forgetfulness. The man in whom this apparatus of repression is damaged and ceases to function properly may be compared (and more than merely compared) with a dyseptic— he cannot “have done” with anything (Genealogy of Morals).

Then in the failure of this denial it seems that we have the movement from "master to slave" and from healthy selfishness to reactive affects.

Reactive affects include spite, revenge, resentment, jealousy...

It seems to me that another sense of social perversion besides spiting the analyst and staying sick would be to have, in spite, made oneself into a failure to wound the parents and their expectations.

I also think that Lacan's formulation of the pervert being provocative in order to bring in the law (i.e. the father separating the child from the mother) is a good example of the masochist's position and what is called 'masochistic complaining'in classic analysis and characterology.

I also think that fears of humiliation or their reversal in practical joker (or trickster archetypes) are salient here. The avoidant personality disorder and the link to being humiliated because of the fantasied lack of a penis seems lacking in Freud's and Lacan's work...

No comments:

Post a Comment