An Argument Against Psychodynamism

If we reduce psychoanalysis to a study of the mind as a closed system of forces tending towards rest through discharge, do we not lose sight of the ultimate object of our inquiry?

Do we not thereby abandon the abyssal depths of the unconscious, ceaselessly channelling consciousness into a collection of psychological AND physiological processes (and how much antiquity still breathes in our age in that tiny article 'and'!) Consciousness is reduced to a dynamic image of self-reflection, equivalent to flows of energy through the brain, and is no longer comprehensible as light illuminating a world. After all, we must learn how to see even in the depths of the "under-mind." Absent phenomenology, "losing sight," we discover the psyche as its energy, as the intensity and flow of desire, which by an analogy to thermodynamics is bracketed and transformed into a mechanical and closed system where the total energy is invariant.

Hence: emotional intensity consists only in displacement, and persists only through discharge--which is also taken retroactively as evidence that, indeed, the mind-system tends towards a rest-position. But this doesn’t further confirm the initial and flawed hypothesis that the psyche is a closed system; wail, yes, fling all the paradoxes of subjectivity you wish against me, but listen closely: we are not talking simply about being open to the outside but about the unstructured-mind, which is open to infinity as idea.

Once opened, this door can never be closed: the mind is the flow of energy from the infinite-source, which is always and in every case identical to the relative source, whichever machine we’re connected to, extracting relative surplus energy, joy, value... and thus this question of desire which is Puritanically left merely at the sexual question is taken to be a book which is forever closed once the discovery that the unconscious had a structure was made.

But the truth is that this discovery is among a unique class of events in history, those which open a sort of Pandora’s box which, like a door to an unknown place, once opened could never be closed--an irreversible though immediately felt transformation.

It would not be completely wrong to say Freud discovered that desire is an allopoetic machine; but psychodynamic considerations led him to attempt to repress this fundamental insight and reinscribe triangulations into the social and psychic body. The untraceable fourth dimension in which the Other would unfold “it”-self, the spacetime of an Event, is ultimately repressed in the name of Society, but mysteriously reinscribed into the reality of individual neurosis, in other words, this same discovery was re-cognized as meaning: neurosis has the truth as its cause.

This fiery kernel of the Freudian discovery is, anyway, in disrepute and all but forgotten about. But as the essence of his discovery lies in the nature of social and psychic repression, it could almost be predicted from the discovery itself that the discovery itself would be misrepresented, perhaps especially by its discoverer! The status of the real is the critical ambiguity in Freud's text, since it seems that all our perceptions (and not just our dreams) are distorted by repressive forces within ourselves; but then again, that these repressive psychic forces merely mimic or internalize oppressive social power structures. The power of social fantasy is in fact the creation of the human universe; atheist as he was, this thought was perhaps too religious for Freud...

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