8
   

What is your 'Petit objet a'?

 
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 05:49 pm
@GoshisDead,
Yeah - I figured as such. I'd never heard of this concept before.
I don't think I can think of anything I am currently pining for that I know is unattainable. That'd seem to be an extremely frustrating exercise in futility.

Could it be something like world peace? Or is that too generalized?
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 06:04 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

I am very close to this issue of native art and its sublimation in white culture, having worked cloesly with N.A. medicine people, herbalists, artists, as well as their counterpart scheisters, con-men, and wannabes.
I didn't know that... yea, one of my friend's mother was a definite sheister herbalist. A man ended up in the hospital.. word was the yellow-root she gave him undermined his blood pressure medicine.

Could it be that for some people conserving energy and recycling can be something that fills that kind of hunger?

GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 06:11 pm
@aidan,
I suppose it could be world peace, if that were an actual driving force behind the action of people, individual, and en mass
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 06:12 pm
@Arjuna,
In some people I think "being green" has become that very sort of thing
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 09:56 pm
@GoshisDead,
If i was feeling melodramatic or self-revealing (and apparently i am), i would have to say that my petit objet a would be a reason to get out of bed that will be as good five years from now as it will be tomorrow morning.

i feel awkward writing about myself, but i've suffered from depression for the larger portion of my post-pubescent life. Eschewing medication, the way one learns to deal with this, and (i imagine) similar conditions, is to break problems (and, when you're in the thick of it, doing anything presents a problem) into bite-size bits. As anyone who is familiar with depression knows, it isn't properly to be identified as some form of moroseness; even while depressed one can retain the full range of emotions. (Some subjects of depression identify the feeling with numbness, a dulling of emotional response; i have not had that experience. If anything, i identify depression with a multiplication of emotional responses to individual events, a heightened sense of equivocation, the subject always bordering on being overwhelmed.) So as one might imagine, this piecemeal approach to life can be undertaken with enthusiasm and determination some days, and other days be the subject of much trepidation. The pseudo-teleological by-product of this method is that one focuses on finding a reason to get up tomorrow (ie short-term goals), but one's "real" desire, or perhaps the "thing" one really desires, is to find something that is always worth getting up for or waking up to. The singular event or object that cures depression, it wavers on the horizon like a mirage.

i may be misapplying the idea you are trying to explore, Gosh. i haven't read anything but excerpts from Lacan, and while i have read and admired the last two books from Zizek (The Parallax View and First As Tragedy, Then As Farce,) i've only begun to start on his back catalog. i picked up his book, For they know not what they do, Enjoyment as a political factor, a while back but find it less inviting as a sort-of lay-reader. The petit objet a is only brought up tangentially in the two books i've finished, so i'm not sure of all its implications. Hopefully, i'm doing the idea justice or this post will be doubly embarrassing.

Incidentally, i'm in the crux of a dilemma. There is a question that i cannot quite decide: Is kennethamy creepier when he is acting as if he doesn't understand what people say to him, or when he is trying to be funny? Can someone help me with this?
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 11:39 pm
@Razzleg,
I'm not entirely sure in the Lacanian sense that one could misapply the notion too radically. As it was an explanatory tool for psychotherapy. Some people just have a more directly applicable desire than others. However, do you find reasons to get up or are the reasons somehow unattainable yet you get up anyway? Or is this applicable because there is never one unattainable reason yet, there are endless days for which to find one?

The term does not imply that sometimes of whatever your MacGuffin is does not bring pleasure or satisfaction, only that in its unattainableness that satisfaction is fleeting, and soon we will be chasing after another thing to fill the void.

I guess the real question in both senses is, what is the void? and not necessarily what is the filler? The filler in the psychological sense probably does not matter nearly as much as the void itself. What do we feel as being sublimely, some might even feel, divinely, devoid of?
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 12:02 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

aidan wrote:

So it has to be absolutely unattainable?


inherently so

Why shoot for it if its unattainable. far better a goal that is at least seen to be attainable however remote.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 12:10 am
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:

GoshisDead wrote:

aidan wrote:

So it has to be absolutely unattainable?


inherently so

Why shoot for it if its unattainable. far better a goal that is at least seen to be attainable however remote.


It does seem obtainable, or rather feel important enough at least try to obtain. In fact I would interpret from what I have read that whatever it is may not be a choice. We have to try to attain it in an instinctual way. Possibly like an addiction one does whatever needs to be done to attain it and ends up somewhat disappointed most of the time.

It is the symbolic proxy that represents the real which cannot be represented symbolically. If one cannot express the real one can only express the symbol of the proxy of the real.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 12:45 am
@GoshisDead,
I would say then 'universal kindness'.
I say this because it does seem that that should be attainable and fairly easily with little effort, but the reality is that it probably never will be.

And in my work, I am struck over and over again by how much damage to people is done by other people in their lives who have been unkind for no reason. What do they gain by it? But they're just inflicting the same pain that's been inflicted on them because they can. It really is as simple as that I think.

One young man told me the other day that he's been abusing drugs and is doing five years for burning down the house of his foster parents who had abused him over and over again throughout his childhood.

No one was hurt or killed in the fire - he simply snapped and burned their house down. I could almost understand his reaction - especially fueled by drugs as it was. And I'm still asking myself if their house is not the pound of flesh they owe him for stealing his innate right to happiness.

The thought I had then was - Jesus- if those people could have just been kind to this little boy, he'd not have turned to drugs and crime and they'd still have their house.
Because again - what do people gain by being unkind to others?
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 12:50 am
@aidan,
I can see that, especially if we look societally for the void which one would be trying to fill with universal kindeness, although stating that man is categorically more evil than good is sad, it may true.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 01:40 am
@Arjuna,
I would like to hear more about those carvings. If you would like to show us some, I would be very interested
Arjuna
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 08:56 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

I would like to hear more about those carvings. If you would like to show us some, I would be very interested
Conveniently, I sold them all. Alabaster, soapstone and various kinds of wood. I do a different kind of sculpture these days... I'll post pictures.

The thing about the McGuffin is that the characters don't know it's a plot device. Seeing such a thing about one's own life would be like waking up out of a dream. I'm filling a vacancy in my soul with devised meaning.

That's distasteful to the ego. Is this medicine to the soul?

Acceptance of emptiness puts me deep within myself. I stop trying to make life meaningful. I let go of the plot and go Fido... alive now.

I have compassion for that character in the movie... that's me in my world. You can call it a plot device, but it reflects my nature. It's who I am.

Alan Watts wrote once about the evil of plastic kitchen utensils. That kind of pisses me off. Plastic isn't evil. Compressed fiber furniture isn't either. Having compassion and respect for all life means understanding that the persona that quests through life is the part of us actually out there doing the living. The me that contains the void is an anchor. The dynamic between them is the origin of meaning. Life is art.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 11:03 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna wrote:

[
The thing about the McGuffin is that the characters don't know it's a plot device. Seeing such a thing about one's own life would be like waking up out of a dream. I'm filling a vacancy in my soul with devised meaning.



Very true and very important, and one thing I neglected to mention outright.
0 Replies
 
 

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