Four Notes on the Ontology of Fantasy

It is forbidden to forbid, said the graffiti tagged walls in May 1968. The paradox of Law. Law regulates without regulation. Darling, what does it mean to be free? Freedom is a dream made out of the seduction of the Law. We cannot pretend. The Law is seductive. The question seems to be whether one might ever be able to draw a clear distinction between the beginnings of the Concept and the endings of the Fantasy. Part of doing so, one might suggest, might require one to inquire into the ontology of Fantasy itself. Is a Fantasy and the Imagination one and the same thing?


One of the things one quickly discovers when they bother to ask an insane question is that one searches for a justification to the right to having asked the question to begin with. This gesture of self-correction is regulation. There are certain questions that are forbidden to ask. The situation unfolds, time passes, such that certain questions become impossible. They are un-philosophical, Irrational, Mad. I must admit that there is a certain psychosomatic energy that wrestles through my body at the fact. There may be something to say about the wrongness of my Being in that. I am willing to accept this. Nevertheless, I still want to insist anti-psychiatrically perhaps that, Reason formulaically construed as a kind of Law, or regulative principle, will never be enough to allow us to understand the unknown roots of the Transcendental. For if by a priori one means, the boundary condition for all possible experience – then Reason is a form of self-regulation which in its frantic attempt to avoid the Irrational eternally places the ‘beyond experience’ within its own formulation. This formulation, would be fine, if Reason did not necessarily seek a necessary Law. For in doing so, Reason never considers Lawlessness as the condition of possibility for all experience or as constitutive of experience as such which while not ridding the World of the capacity to “Reason” within the indeterminate – certainly dwindles the magnitude of its might. An onto-encyclopedic regime built around the fetishization of Reason never considers the role of the Unreasonable in the making of the Real. Reason is a Concept immersed with a myriad of indispensable, integral phantasmatic elements. Some of which are: coherence. wholeness. absoluteness. totality. In other words, Reason is a form of Understanding structured in, around and through the desires for a Reasonable World.



How does an Idea become desirable? In what ways, are Ideas desirable? The mathematician calls her theorem beautiful. The theorist aims for the highest level of abstraction. The literary critic analyzes form and develops a close exegesis. There has to be a way to analyze the relationship between the group fantasy that must ground the drive and intensity through which one not only pursues the knowledge object, but also the fascination that one develops with and for the method of pursuit. So much “awe” is in the intellectual exercise itself. The intellectual falls for, like a lover, the mechanics of its own practice. This affection through an act of repressed incorporation becomes the foundations of the exercise the intellectual institutionalizes as “discipline.” Discipline is regulation. It is forbidden to forbid. What might it mean to be free of discipline? Not anti- nor inter- nor anything else, but to have no relationship with discipline whatsoever. I can only imagine that one might utter: “Such a thing is a Fantasy.” Their remarks would return me back to my original question: What is the ontology of Fantasy? What is the Being of this thing in limbo between Unreal and There? Approaching the fantastical is perhaps a maddening enterprise, full of the kind of play that comes inherent to any immanent intra-action with the conceptual apparatus that confines and conditions you.


There is a strange sensation, perhaps unfinished idea or inkling, that if there is to be an analysis of the libidinal economy then, we’d have to be able to think it alongside the Ideas that have come to give birth to our World. Not only are our desires crucial to the semantic-nomenclature given to the objects determined by Ideas, but our Ideas become objects of desire as well.

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