separation

The most difficult and painful aspect of what Lacan call ‘separation’ is thus to maintain the distance between the hard kernel of *jouissance* and the ways in which this kernel is caught in different ideological fields – *jouissance* is ‘undecidable’, ‘free-floating’. The enthusiasm of fans for their favourite rock star and the religious trance of a devout Catholic in the presence of the Pope are libidinally *the same phenomenon*; they differ only in the different symbolic network which supports them. Sergei Eisenstein’s provocatively entitled essay The Centrifuge or the Grail’ aims precisely at emphasizing this ‘unhistoricaT neutrality of ecstasy (his name for *jouissance*): in principle, the ecstasy of a knight in the presence of the Grail, and the ecstasy of a lover in the presence of the beloved, are of the same nature as the ecstasy of the kolkhoz fanner in the presence of a new centrifuge for skimming milk. Eisenstein himself refers to St Ignatius of Loyola who, elaborating on the technique of religious ecstasy, acknowledges that the positive figure of God comes second, after the moment of ‘objectless’ ecstasy: first we have the experience of objectless ecstasy; subsequently this experience is attached to some historically determined representation – here we encounter an exemplary case of the Real as that which ‘remains the same in all possible (symbolic) universes’. So, when someone, while describing his profound religious experience, emphatically answers his critics, ‘You don’t really understand it at all! There’s more to it, something words cannot express!’, he is the victim of a kind of perspective illusion: the precious *agalma* perceived by him as the unique ineffable kernel which cannot be shared by others (non-believers) is precisely *jouissance* as that which always remains the same.

zizek, plague of fantasies, page 62

transcendental illusion

Therefore, it is so greatly mistaken that my doctrine of the ideality of space and time makes the whole sensible world a mere illusion, that, on the contrary, my doctrine is the only means for securing the application to actual objects of one of the most important bodies of cognition –namely, that which mathematics expounds a priori– and for preventing it from being taken for nothing but mere illusion, since without this observation it would be quite impossible to make out whether the intuitions of space and time, which we do not derive from experience but which nevertheless lie a priori in our representations, were not mere self-produced brain phantoms, to which no object at all corresponds, at least not adequately, and therefore geometry itself a mere illusion, whereas we have been able to demonstrate the incontestable validity of geometry with respect to all objects of the sensible world for the very reason that the latter are mere appearances.

Secondly, it is so greatly mistaken that these principles of mine, because they make sensory representations into appearances, are supposed, in place of the truth of experience, to transform sensory representations into mere illusion, that, on the contrary, my principles are the only means of avoiding the transcendental illusion by which metaphysics has always been deceived and thereby tempted into the childish endeavor of chasing after soap bubbles, because appearances, which after all are mere representations, were taken for things in themselves; from which followed all those remarkable enactments of the antinomy of reason, which I will mention later on, and which is removed through this single observation: that appearance, as long as it is used in experience, brings forth truth, but as soon as it passes beyond the boundaries of experience and becomes transcendent, brings forth nothing but sheer illusion.

Immanuel Kant 1783 Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science

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Dolayısıyla, uzay ve zamanın idealliği doktrinimin bütün duyulabilir dünyayı salt yanılsama yaptığı düşüncesi çok hatalıdır, bilakis, doktrinim bilişin en önemli bedenlerinden birinin -matematiğin a priori olarak açımladığı şeyin- esas nesnelerine başvuruyu güvenceye almanın ve onun salt yanılsama olarak alınmasını önlemenin tek yoludur, çünkü bu gözlem olmadığında uzay ve zaman önsezilerinin (ki deneyimden türetmesek de bunlar a priori temsillerimizin altında yatarlar) salt öz-üretim beyin hayaletleri (hiçbir nesnenin ona karşılık gelmediği, en azından yeterli ölçüde karşılık gelmediği hayaletler) olup olmadıklarını, dolayısıyla bizzat geometrinin bir salt yanılsama olup olmadığını ayırt etmek basbayağı imkansız olurdu. Öte yandan geometrinin duyulabilir dünyanın bütün nesnelerine göre tartışmasız geçerliliğini gösterebilmemiz, ancak geometrinin salt görünüş olması sayesindedir.

İkinci olarak, bu ilkelerimin duyusal temsilleri görünüşlere çevirdikleri için, deneyimin hakikatinin yerine duyusal temsilleri salt yanılsamaya dönüştürdükleri düşüncesi çok hatalıdır, bilakis, ilkelerim metafiziğin aşkınsal yanılsamasından kaçınmanın tek yoludur, ki metafizik her zaman bu aldanma ile kendini sabun köpüklerini kovalamanın çocukça uğraşına kaptırmıştır. Çünkü görünüşler (ki sonuçta salt temsildirler) kendi içinde şeyler olarak alınmışlardır; ve buradan da aklın antinomisinin bütün o dikkat çekici mizansenleri çıkmıştır. Daha sonra bahsedeceğim bu antinomi tek bir gözlemle ortadan kaldırılabilir: görünüş, deneyimde kullanıldığı ölçüde hakikat doğurur, deneyimin sınırlarının ötesine geçerek aşkın olduğunda ise katıksız yanılsamadan başka hiçbir şey doğurmaz.

Immanuel Kant 1783 Gelecekte Kendini Bilim Olarak Sunabilecek Her Metafiziğe Prolegomena

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