Sunday, July 1, 2012

PSYCHOANALYSIS, CULTURE AND HOMOSEXUALITY

Language, which we construct is relational in nature, never absolute. One thing is essentially something not simply because of its incontrovertible singularity but its not being something else. From this emanates our antinomian, manichean sense of binarisation, implying as an equivalently oppositional corollary an inversion or  negation while in actuality the putative difference underscores an essential coexistent commonality.

Psychoanalysis is a very private domain while culture is public. Yet they evince the same dichotomous dualities that constitute the realm of discourse. Of course, they do impinge, interpenetrate in many ways but a foreclosure is implied in the demonstration of a difference, predicated cognitively through linguistic signifiers.

As poststructuralists say there is no such thing as an unconscious.The most interior dimension of our being, assumed inviolable, sanctified as an emblematic subjectivation is a cultural product. We enter a world whose constituents pre exist. We speak a language already there and we cannot know where the origins of our emergence lies. It is an ad infinitum because the more we seek to trace it to its beginning the further away its originating claims recede. If my unconscious is as it were, irrevocably imbricated in a putative teleology then perhaps my claims on an unequivocal me are rather ambivalent. A corporeal materialization makes of me an undifferentiated singularity yet this corporeality underpins my individuation through a grid of intersubjective interpellations that render unambiguous self sufficiency suspect. When i gather together different aspects, solder them and present an individual selfhood i use the language of binary yet reconstitute myself by questioning its hegemonic atomizations.

An analyst is really our unconscious and yet not it. He/she is a repository of human wisdom which has been there for a long time. Analysis, for all its emphasis on subjectivity and contextuality is very humanist in its orientation. It presupposes a modality of morality and inveigles the analysand into a complicitous, internalized  collusion with it. And this is perhaps natural because the world of 'reality' is what we must traverse to exist in a worldly sense and construct a meaningful life.

Psychoanalysts, in a contemporary context are attuned to cultural changes. So many would, on the uncovering of a homosexual proclivity, encourage its being there, ratify the subjects precarious self assertion and prepare them to deal with it. Culture and analysis are embedded in each other. Psychoanalysis is usually seen as a interrogation of cultural assumptions which is but a carapace, a patina of nonconformity. Psychoanalysis is coterminous with culture, it mirrors its platitudes, validates its axioms and reweaves a dissosciated  divergence from a normative trajectory into a realignment. Homosexuality, for enlightened analysts is usually permissible. Yet the possibility of the analysands transference of desire on to the analyst, though theoretically asseverated is inadmissible. Psychoanalysts are credited with perspicuity and astuteness but most often they are unable to refract the channels of desire emanating from the patient and see it as funneling onto them. The analyst deflects and ricochets the possibility of such a desire. Yet is the analyst who brought the desire into being. One relates to one's analyst on a very primordial level. Narrative reconstruction implies a form of regression and to back to one's origins is to unravel forms of sexual desires, fantasies which came into being as the infant came to be. Such desires, chemically rationalized  are also choices, existential cognitive choices not merely behavioral propensities.

A kaleidoscope of possibility unfurls when culture and psychoanalysis amalgamate symbiotically. Because the analyst is not an all knowing deity or retributive parent figure, though seen that way but products of culture. Patterns of aberrant behavior, symptoms of desire are prearranged into structures of discourses from which strands of analysis flow outwards. Retroactive reconstruction reaffirms an assumed ontology, which is coterminous with culture. Freud and Adler saw homosexuality as a perversion and this was due to their unconscious adherence to the morality of their times . Coming out is never just personal, as it may in the case of extricating the fact of homosexuality from the mosaic of one's life. The moment it is articulate, uttered, even sitting on the couch it becomes a cultural phenomenon. Analysts are voices of reason , they are our conscience and while a chimera of individuation asserts itself as a life, after momentary stasis and reintegrated the terms of that reassembling, the forms it takes are invariably cultural. Yet the reconstruction isn't a passive replication of cultural norms but as foucault says a form of self grafting. We navigate the world on our circumstantial exigencies yet we are indissolubly formed by it as well. Both self realization and indoctrination coexist. A paradox to be dealt with and accepted.