DARK JUNG, DELEUZE, AND ZIZEK

Nobody would ever write a book on the “dark” Zizek as, following in Lacan’s footsteps, he systematically highlights dark options and terminology. In contrast, Deleuze, like Jung, is both dark and bright.

The Shadow for Jung, but Deleuze too talks about the Shadow, is archetypal and not just a secondary formation, and God himself has a Shadow. For Deleuze the shadow is a gateway to becomings (becoming woman, animal, molecular, cosmic) and also the combat with the shadow as the only real struggle.

Zizek shares the Lacanian rejection of the “inner life”, which is quite worrisome, and for Lacanians who practice or who have been in analysis it is in bad faith. For Jung most of our “inner life” is outside, in primitive participation and also in what he calls the “psychoid” aspect of the archetype.

The hypothesis of the death drive may have had a biographical origin in Freud’s failures, as most of his concepts did, but it was no doubt also guided archetypally. James Hillman a post-Jungian analyst makes death and the underworld the major archetypes of the psyche and of analysis.

The shadow as personal complex can never be completely integrated because underlying it is the shadow as archetype. Integration is not the last word on the process of individuation as ego integration during the process of individuation must give way to integration in and by the self, which has a transpersonal composition.

“Inner” is a term rejected by Deleuze because of its dualist presuppositions and replaced by “intensity” but many intensities are located “within” us in familiar language. I see no reason to oppose Jungian and Lacanian perspectives as embodying absolute opposites of inner and outer, given that one tendency of Hillman’s psychology  is to undo this dualism and to find, and produce,”soul in the world”. Some people usefully combine both of these perspectives, for example Ted Friedman: https://tedfriedman.com/centaur-manifesto/

I have always analysed Zizek (and before him Derrida) as representing a half-way house between Freud and Jung, and between Lacan and Deleuze, pouring old wine into new bottles, and thus as an unconscious Jungian.

I originally came to France in 1980 to get away from the Lacanian doxa that surrounded me. However, I don’t have any problem with making heuristic use of many concepts and images, a practice advocated by Deleuze and Guattari.

Zizek is not a seamless block, to be accepted or rejected in toto, but is a multiplicity that contains good aspects as well as bad, and is in becoming, like everyone else. I find the first chapter in LESS THAN NOTHING one of his most Deleuzian pieces, and it constitutes a tour de force in its synthesis of influences both named and unnamed (in particular Lyotard).

I would never re-read Jung as a prefiguration of Lacan, but I do take seriously the advice of Jungians who claim that only Jungians can understand Freud as they re-read him for the mythology.The same approach can be applied to Lacan and Zizek.

So I do not capitulate before Zizek’s texts but I propose a close reading that is at the same time a transformation. Reading is individuation, and I individuate both myself and the text I am reading by means of my process of interpretation as both Deleuze (who is a conscious Jungian) and Bernard Stiegler (another unconscious Jungian) have often emphasised.

Deleuze refuses the notion of constitutive lack because of its Lacanian and “priestly” associations. However his system is built on negativity (which is different to “negation”) as even a cursory look at his favourite prefixes (a-, de-, dis-, non-, in-) shows. He talks constantly not only of difference and deterritorialisation, but also of unmaking (dé-faire), a-signifying, de-territorialisation, disjunction, non-philosophy, in-nommable. He also talks about the fissure (“fêlure”) constitutive of the personality and of every event. He claims that deterritorialisation is primary, that it comes before territorialisation.

It is important not to fusion problematics but it is also important to find secret passages and unfamiliar resonances. Noone writes on Zizek or Laruelle from this perspective, and fewer Deleuzians than I would like practice it.

Note: I am indebted to a conversation with Andy Noobpwner for helping me clarify these points.

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6 Responses to DARK JUNG, DELEUZE, AND ZIZEK

  1. landzek says:

    I may have been voicing things wrong: it’s not that these authors are saying the same thing, it’s that I think they’re talking about the same thing. And because they’re talking about the same thing they are identifying various aspects of the same thing. You seem to be pointing this out in various ways; they are all using different terms to express various aspects of the same thing. Sometimes they’re saying the same thing but using different terms, and sometimes they are talking about different aspects. But I feel that overtime we will have filled out all the aspects of this thing that they are talking about. When that occurs we will begin to be able to identify and agree upon facts of this thing. Because before everyone was just arguing about who was right and wrong, but as I think you said in your other post, she be more about comparing and contrasting These various authors ideas.

    Overtime I feel the same method will occur; people will argue over the truth of this or that, and other philosophers will see that it is not an argument in an analytical manner; it is description. These Arthur’s are describing the situation at hand, each describing different aspects of it each using their own universe of terms.

    I think you’re beginning to see what I’m talking about even as I’m getting better at saying what I mean.

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  2. landzek says:

    … further, what I think you’re saying about Z is that he, or maybe someone else is saying this, is suggesting that reality occurs in such a way that there is no constant by which to attach a science to, in a manner of speaking that the universe unfolds itself as a kind of essential novelty at every moment, such that human cognition or human consciousness is just a particular manifestation, A particular cohesion of this kind of say quantum chaos of particles zapping in and out of existence at random moments, Time being just stay construe and effect of consciousness a meaning making of order that human beings have. I think that you’re saying that he is saying that the quantum defies the kind of scientism that Latelle seems to advocate.

    But while I may have my description of what actually is occurring with a Z and the reason why he has his particular take, it is more to the point here of Kierkegaard’s contemporary, of the philosophical crumbs. This I think is the issue that L takes up, from which a science can be made. Because I think one thing that first has to be admitted is that the postmodern was just a fact of being human in the universe, and not so much a determining feature that evidence is some essential limit of human perception or human knowledge. If we can understand turkey guards contemporary in a certain light, what I think is the correct light for the reading of Kierkegaard, then we need to remove ourselves from this idea of postmodern limit that says that discourse encompasses all of reality that somehow there is something else beyond human comprehension or human knowledge. This is really the Kantian problem: it is not so much that we have a limit on our knowledge but as I talk about in the beginning of my book ‘decisive significance’ can’t was really voicing enlightenment as a removal of distance, and not as a proclamation of the limit of human knowledge. It is not so much that we cannot know an object in itself — an object in itself in that way is it withdrawn object. It is more that an understanding that objects withdraw that we come to a fact of the object in itself, which is really the subject of discourse. The way to get out of the postmodern condition is to realize it was just a symptom of a certain type of condition; for example someone may have diabetes. Adherence to the postmodern condition would say that it is a terminal illness and that we will die, but once we come to terms with it with that is is just a symptom of an operating system and come to terms with that with what diabetes really is, then we find it it’s just the fact of a particular type of being.
    The end of history is a type of arrogance based in enlightenment thinking, but more so as I argue again in my last book, A misinterpretation of what enlightenment means, A misappropriation of meaning, A mistake.

    Anyways.

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  3. landzek says:

    How strange. WP on my phone has my comments, but WP on my tablet does not have them.

    Please forgive me but I have a peculiar insanity about me that sometimes reads things I correctly.
    Your posts seem to me to address issues that I am also addressing, such that sometimes I think you are saying something to me through new posts.
    Your most recent post: Would you not address me specifically? Is that post just a general statement or am I to take that as meaning that you think I am closing down discussion?
    I do not know. Just when I think we have a rapport it appears you no longer want to discuss. Am I off?

    Are we talking about actual situations or are we talking about various authors’ proprietary clausal structures?

    Can you please answer me directly, because thru text sometimes I need clarification.

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  4. landzek says:

    Very strange…

    Like

  5. Pingback: Encounters with Unrecognizable Signs: Deleuze & the Involuntary Beginnings of Philosophy | synthetic zero

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