📰 Fragments on a “Lacanian” Experience

Author: larvalsubjects.wordpress.com

Full Title: Fragments on a “Lacanian” Experience

URL: https://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/fragments-on-a-lacanian-experience/

Highlights from March 26th, 2021.

I was overwhelmed to the point I could hardly breath. The world that had once thought was common or the same was really a set of– as Deleuze says –divergent series without any sort of overarching unity. A trite observation. Sure, I had known it. I still know it. Yet what was different about this traumatic experience was that I really felt and experienced it. I experienced the dissolution or the collapse of the world in this plurality of perspectives. I felt it’s collapse into a chaotic kaleidoscope without unity.
As I recall, at the time, I was reading Sartre’s Nausea or Heidegger’s Being and Time. As I was standing at the locker to get my books between classes, it suddenly hit me that as he was driving he was experiencing and thinking entirely different things than I was experiencing at that moment. We were somehow a part of the same world, yet entirely different and disparate worlds at the same time. And then it washed over me. This wasn’t simply true of me and my friend, but of everyone in that bustling hallway, everyone on the road, everyone on the planet. All of us are seeing a different world, interpreting things differently, noticing different things, and are filled with different Desires, longings, worries, anxieties, loves, hatreds, and all the rest. We seem to occupy the same world, but really it’s a pluraverse, not a world.
Isn’t this really the fundamental level of fantasy? That the world is a shared world?
There isn’t a sameness of world and intentions. There’s just this pluriverse of perspectives without anything that these perspectives converge on. If I were to put it in “Lacanese” or Lacanian terms, I would say that I had had an experience of the non-existence of the big Other… That there isn’t, to put it crudely, some sort of unified “world code” that we all share and act according to.
There was the horrific swooning again, the nausea: there are as many “colleges” at my college as there are faculty, staff, students, and administrators. They all see a different college. A faculty member, I thought to myself, could go through their entire career at the college without “seeing” any of the things I see or being frustrated with any of the things I’m frustrated with or without seeing any of the problems I see. In some way, I thought to myself, I am choosing the problems and frustrations that anguish me. They aren’t “out there”, they’re me.
We always find evidence for our interpretation of others and the world. We always find confirmation. So maybe this is what interests me in the moment of this experience: not so much the moment where the Other dissolves and I encounter its non-existence in a pluriverse without rule or unity; but rather that moment where the pluriverse “closes up” and the illusion of unity and a shared universe that is the same returns.