intellectual vanities… about close to everything

Horror entis

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Aristotle, contradicting atomist Epicure, claimed a horror vacui – a fear of emptiness, that would drive nature to fill any possible space with matter. Modern emotional life seems to be driven more and more towards an interaction pattern driven by a frantic fear of the opposite – a horror entis, a fear that there might be something, once two individuals do interact. I tend to label these individuals as “cat people”. Like cats do, they come over, whenever they are in need of something: help, food, a listener, tenderness or sex. And as soon, as their immediate need is fulfilled, they quickly stroll away like no interaction would have taken place ever. No commitment, no obligations please! We are all grown ups. Sex in the City might serve as a paradigm for this undoing of meaning in human interaction. One does share meals, sex, lovers. Communication is nothing else but just another merchandise tradable on the global market. It sure is, but is it not more than this?

Global streams of money, labour, information do work hand in hand with an unconceivable isolation of the human individual. Separating semantically attributes of the human existence and consequently transforming them into goods, leaves the individual as a mere category, void of anything. But this works only within the realm of semantics and bivalent, Aristotelian logic. Real human beings cannot be separated of their human attributes and needs, not even by themselves. As such the step out of one’s own wholeness is the step out one’s own integrity as an individual.

Psychoanalytical theory has it, that any subject’s action is bound in a symbolic scene and an other as an auditory. The only way to step out of this dialectic between the self and the other, to escape ambivalence of thought, langue and parole is to step off the scene and to leave the theatre. But as no subject can project itself far enough over the orchestra pit to reach the bank of the none-scene, this projection will be one into self-negation. Recent clashes in French suburbs or the main hero in “Taxi Driver” are examples of such a “passage à l’acte”, throwing a “no” into the other’s stunned face and negating the self at the same time. Conform this model of thought there is just one successful transgression of the dialectic between self and other – suicide. And although this transgression needs not to take such a dramatic, existential form, like the “passage à l’acte”, every time we do abdicate one of our prerogatives of human existence, however insignificant it might seem at the very moment, we do commit a minor suicide. For in reality there is no such thing like a subject with detachable predicates, like antique logic has it. As real human beings we all are a unique, individual wholeness. No need for a horror entis.


Written by huehueteotl

January 9, 2006 at 2:55 am

Posted in Psychology

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