Quaker Universalist Conversations

Get Real

In a comment responding to our April 27 th post, “On discernment,” guest blogger Clem Gerdelmann referred to French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Marie Émile Lacan. Here is Friend Clem’s further reflection on Lacan.

In truth, Jacques Lacan simply described the three-fold movement in history—from myth to particular reality to fantasy/virtual reality.

Blissfully-ignorant ancients, who were more in touch with the “Real,” embraced the mystery of life as beyond the mere telling. Story, of an allegorical kind, was employed to explain even common events, for planning and planting purposes.

Our ancestors gave symbolic representation to their way of speaking and a corresponding humility to their transmission of truth. An Age, as thou might say, of “I wonder what will present itself as that of God today,” so vital to primitive Christianity.

Jacques LacanModern science, for its part, brought us to our senses and left us there. Told the story of the telescope and microscope, we were given limited, albeit more definite, perspective on truth. Like pre-school children, we were put in a lab of facts and formulas and encouraged to play respectfully with others. The Age of right-minded analysis, so vital to modern man.

But just as humans ourselves were treated as specimen, statistics as law and research findings as lawyers, the picture of reality as black and white with clearly-demarcated brushstrokes would be improved upon. Now, the shape and color of herbs and vegetables and nuts and berries was found to reveal what science had smugly described as form following function. The benefit of eating brain-shaped walnuts and drinking red wine for the heart and white for the lungs was posted for post-moderns in an Age of artificial replication and industrial expedition of what Mother Nature addressed too patiently and non-profitably.

And humanity awoke to our ability to mimic and recreate reality for our own pleasure and purposes. A virtual world, as truthily ours, was born, or rather incubated. The promise (Yes, We Can) of having more, doing better, and ruling was eco-political fantasy worth betting/voting.

Admittedly, the new Gospel of John has already been written as “Imagine,” yet not heard as the new myth-making, OMG-AMAZING, and hubristically-fashioned final chapter of our trial-run for a place in the world without end.

In Real Hindsight,
Clem Gerdelmann


Sources:

Comments

Friend Clem,

The irony to me is that we moderns suffer the loss of myth—or, rather, we fool ourselves that we are all rational and scientific, leaving ourselves vulnerable to the unacknowledged myths we still believe.

As you write:

“Blissfully-ignorant ancients, who were more in touch with the ‘Real,’ embraced the mystery of life as beyond the mere telling. Story, of an allegorical kind, was employed to explain even common events, for planning and planting purposes….

“Modern science, for its part, brought us to our senses and left us there.”

Blessings,
Mike

Thank you, Mike, for your understanding. However, modern science has not left us hang as your last statement has been translated in my mind. This brought me a common statement by many, ‘the first part of communication is translation.’ We see, hear, and feel many types of communications. As we read, an interpretation of words and meaning takes place.

Modern science has brought us many different forms of writings and other presentations to be interpreted in our minds. The ‘Real’ of each interpretation depends upon the mind’s experiences through the senses provided. To be left hang, the mind stops, like some educators wish, (another subject).

Today’s virtual realities in the world of cyber-space continues to expand the possibilities of our minds. Even modern science becomes much more, both in micro and macro, to question earlier science facts learned.

The inner light provides a base for each of us to comprehend all this new cyber-space provides.