This is one of the Essential Questions for Psychoanalysis. It’s at conferences, in newspapers, even on networks and TVs. It’s a book and a direct title.
It has been widely manufactured by Lacan Throughout his work: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis has to do with his undoing of desire – as he works from Antigone’s Analysis, by Sophocles. This, in fact, is one of the axes of Freud’s discovery: the structural conflict that inhabits us.
Why do we know so little? What we are and what we want? Do we want what we want? or create Mechanisms of oppression in the face of what attracts us but frightens us?
When Freud listened to the subconscious It was expressed in symptoms and the arts at the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth centuries, we were sure that rationality and free will do not marry well with other layers of existence.
But today I would like to turn this conversation over to contemporary developments. How is this question asked in Our popular cultureThe answers to them are the most diverse and intriguing.
“Do you want what you want? Of course, of course! God forbid.” Or: “Fadi Retro, demon comes out!” There is also the most moderate of them, precisely worthy of the struggle: “Sometimes I want to, sometimes I don’t.” Or: “Almost never.”
To illustrate the scale of the crossroads, let’s recall a few educational (and clinical) examples: You don’t want to live the sexuality that oozes into you. Or that you do not want to marry or separate from a certain person, even in pain. Or you don’t want to work with what you want to do. The case is not small.
As Schopenhauer said at the beginning of the nineteenth century, “Man is free to do as he pleases but does not want whatever he wants.”
I don’t even know if I would say that man is free to do what he wants, but, in any case, a new subjective sensitivity and symbolism emerged that began to question deeper Human Desire and Our Limited Consciousness. And take out the moral teachings of it.
There we have Nietzsche, at the end of the nineteenth century, with one of his best known quotes: “Be what you are.” And this indeed, in its delightful and arrogant lore, brings a reinterpretation of an ancient principle of Pindar, the Greek poet of the fifth century B.C.: It is up to man to explore his potential and to have the courage and determination to be all he can become. Few less. Less is cheese.
On this path, with such an ancient root, we reach contemporary philosophy, with Deleuze, who tells us that this is precisely the work of a lifetime. Rereading the ancients, Spinoza or Nietzsche, the x of ethics, where aesthetics meet, would be precisely to construct a work of art with one’s life.
Here again the hammocks help give us some lightness. And with their logic firmly rooted in the meme, they point to the perfect max that is included in the mission. “Be what you are, but lightly, or else it’s bad.” “Oops, be careful this time.” “Ha ha ha. Better not.”
Finally, we see that, more than a basic question in psychoanalysis or even philosophy, this is one of the great human questions.
“know yourself”. In the mouth of Socrates, inscribed in the temple of Apollo at Delphi or in contemporary hadith, the inscription of wisdom did not stop. And today we answer: “Know yourself, but not so much, if you do not feel like crying.” Or: “Well, I got to know myself and I didn’t like it. Now?” And in conclusion: “Well, I already knew myself, now I would like to ignore myself.”
I would just say that this is impossible: consciousness is irreversible.
Now it remains for us to know what to do with everything we see and do not like.
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