Saturday, March 29, 2014

No, Object #4: Form is empiness, emptiness form.

It appears that Zizek's dozens of texts aim at a few points only, and that chief among them may be the same point the Tibetan Buddhists have written thousands of texts to make for us. It is the point of the Prajnaparamita Sutra that has been set forth so many ways, including Lou Harrison's beautiful American Gamelan Esperanto version, to say that emptiness is in the nature of things. We have gotten this so often bassackwards in our cherished Puritanical realization that stuff is empty and we should sublimely get past it, just as American Buddhism likes to say in all its self-righteous ways these days.

Zizek's use of Lacan makes it clear that the Real is not something you can bump into or be hit over the head with by your roshi, not something you might rise above if you tried perfectly. It is the hard kernel of what is that is always already ungraspable, an effect of affect posed and poised where we cannot look directly at it. "It cannot be negated because it is already in itself, in its positivity, nothing but an embodiment of a pure negativity, emptiness" (The Sublime Object 170). Form, Feeling, Perception, Concept, and Consciousness are not simply hollow; they are filled with this emptiness, exactly like the Sutra says. Thus, Shariputra, these five skandhas heap up the Real, which is but does not exist.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


"In vain do we try to break out of the ideological dream by 'opening our eyes and trying to see relaity as it is,' by throwing away the ideological spectacles: as the subjects of such a post-ideological, objective, sober look, free of so-called ideological prejudices, as the subjects of a look which views the facts as they are, we remain throughout 'the consciousness of our ideological dream.' The only way to break out of the power of our ideological dream is to confront the Real of our desire which announces itself in this dream." (Zizek, of course, again from the early Sublime Object, 48).

So, talking here about dreams and wanting to go on talking about the AWP, we might try seeing that convention as the  dream it must be. The dream of the writers and critics and librarians and publishers and professors is an orgy of mummified creativity both realer than any other guys' and more wild, but always already basically about Power over others as Power in the Word, in another word--"magic." The entire orgy of stripping away the declarably false in favor of the true produces not a nudity but the Umpire's clothes of trying to call all the strikes and balls. Even with cynical distancing (28), you can get from this swirl no more than its lust for Powers.

Yet there is something that stands outside this mating ball in another uniform made up of how history has drawn the gods and their powers; it is not joking when it calls to you, but exercising its investiture: