Saturday, 29 December 2012

Schizoanalytic Cartographies Part 1: Guattari on Psychoanalysis and Religion

Félix Guattari's Schizoanalytic Cartographies has finally been translated into English. I've been waiting for it for a year since I heard it was going to be published. This series of blogs will include some short discussions - or 'tasters' if you will - of Guattari's that are included in the book and you might find interesting. I've deliberately sought out the more jargon-free passages, so as to make them accessible to those of you who may be interested in the title of the blog, but not familiar with Guattari's own work:

Psychoanalysis is not a science; it is not an art, it is not for all that a religion - although it does mobilize powerful phenomena of belief, Freud is venerated like a Father of the Church, his first patients are celebrated like holy martyrs, his writings treated like the Gospel and the congregations that invoke him practise the excommunication of schismatics just like in the good old days of the Inquisition...I have already mentioned the difference in position of religious and psychoanalytic subjectivity with regard to scientific rationality, the first ostensibly separating itself from it, the second endeavouring to absorb it in various ways. Two other different equally deserve to be noted: 1) psychoanalysis requires a more active participation of its users in its rituals; 2) its myths are more deterritorialized that those of religion.
Psychoanalysis and the monotheistic religions have in common that they seek to grip subjectivity in ethical axes in conformity with the requirements of what I will call capitalistic logics, that is to say, systems of judgement proceeding by generalized equivalence, the conjuring and repression of animist intensities, the conversion of singular trajectories, the system of reiteration and circulation of formal entities on deterritorialized 'markets' (those of the economy, of morality, of art...) . Whilst, to achieve their ends, religions act by direct suggestion, by the imprint of standardized representations and statements, at least to begin with psychoanalysis gives free reign to a certain individual expression, the better subsequently to take it over and to submit of its own accord to other, perhaps even more tyrannical, kinds of stereotypes. Whilst religion, dare I say it, straitjackets subjectivity in the open air, psychoanalysis gets rid of some of the ballast of statements in order to concentrate its efforts on remodelling enunciation. (Guattari, page 43)

Part two of this series of blogs is here: Guattari on Enunciation
Part three of this series of blogs is here: Guattari on Postmodernity
If you would like to see a 'methodology' for using schizoanalysis in conjunction with psychogeography, please visit my website: Schizocartography

1 comment:

  1. This critique applies to Freudian psychoanalysis. We know that Deleuze and Guattari praise Jung over Freud for his grasp and espousal of multiplicities and becomings. To take some of the terms for your quotr, Jung ian analysis favours the liberation of "animist intensities" and the pursuit of "singular trajectories" (called "individuation").