Friday, May 1, 2009

6-Undoing all constructs

The move from identifying with the individual to identifying with the world/planet involves undoing all constructs, and connecting with others at the level underlying all constructs. For Lacan, the Real, repressed because it is not recognized in the symbolic and imaginary order, comes back to disrupt one's encounter with 'reality'. The effect of that lost but inescapable Real is a lack, a rift, and in that rift desire is born, the desire to close that rift[12]. In Vedic philosophy, that rift can be crossed, the lack resolved, the Real accessed. Crossing the rift, the self gets pulled into the Other/world/whole after which there is no longer any other. This identity is not symbolic or imaginary but post-symbolic, post-imaginary, non-dual.

How to cross this rift? How to access the Real? How to get pulled into the greater Other and identify with the world instead? As this concept tends to be unfamiliar to Eurocentric individualistic thought but embedded in Vedic thought and culture, a description of O’Denver’s experience is given here, 'Point of view is habit only. … Dependence on point of view is due to fear. … There seemed to be some advantage or benefit I was receiving that reenforced my principal points of view. At the same time, this way of being has had significant costs. … I have used the full force of my will and commitment to construct the points of view that had become my belief systems and assumptions. Now I expend the same force in dismantling them. … I ask[ed] myself such questions as: ... For whom gender? What is the story of my gender role? What about me has no gender? For whom identity? How did I come to know the story of my identity? What about me has no identity? For whom name? What about me has no name? ... Who are my parents? What about me has no parents? How was I conceived? What is the I that perceives having been conceived? What and where was I before I was physically conceived? ... What is the human body? What is the human mind? On what is the body and mind based?'[13] These questions, like koans, are not answerable by logic, but intended to create fissures in the symbolic/imaginary order to the Real. This undoing of constructs is experiential, not only intellectual which has a limited effect on behavior as Shakespeare puts it: ‘[i]f [only] to do were as easy as to know what to do…’ (The Merchant of Venice).

[12] Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II: The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.
[13] O’Denver, Candice. “Inquiry Four: What about me has no belief systems or assumptions”. Twelve Inquiries.

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