The growth of a self: Its process

(Extract from The Psychological Comedy . Corti Edition 1932

Self defense

We have just seen that the ego, at its birth, can be struck by vertigo while contemplating its own absurdity; he can suddenly waver, shocked by his own observation. He detaches himself, for a brief instant, from the dream of which he is made, where the world and he were intimately associated. He dissociates himself, during this blistering moment of rapidity, from himself or from the world, and urgently arises in him a surprised, anxious, distraught observer , who does not manage to repeat his observation enough, whose absolute simplicity (I am there, the world is there) is that very thing which destroys the balance of all that until now had been the very substance of his reality, of his dream.

If this anguished vertigo, if this intoxication of the absurd, could be maintained on the surface of his psychological life, the self would be definitively fertilized, as was that of Jean-Paul; that is to say that the present moment, which, as if through a crack, inserted itself at the point of passage of the I in me, would pursue the ego even in regions where the creative genius would force it to happen destroy for him. At the time of the condensation of the subjective into an entity, like a drop that detaches from a vapor, is the state where the drop is still part of the vapor, but no longer part of it, where it is already isolated , but not yet. This impossible state is that of awakening in the womb of the dream, where the observation of the absurd becomes bogged down in the absurd which is observed .

But we immediately saw the self contracting, stiffening, closing in on itself, and working diligently to close the scar from that point by which it detached itself from the world which had formed it, and thanks to which he had been able to belong for an instant situated outside of time, to both worlds at the same time, to be both dream and awakening. In this hardening of the self, it must be said that society comes to help it as much as it can, since its aim, admitted and unacknowledged, is to stifle forever in it this silent and terrible call of eternity. Terrible call, since it causes all static permanence to vacillate under the shock of its absolute movement.

The ego, by closing in on itself, by detaching itself, by isolating itself, does not lose for this the orientation of all the activity of the subjective which led it to this point. We remember that this orientation is a search for permanence. The self will use this desire for its own account, to the detriment of its own essence on which it has closed. It will therefore separate itself more and more from its essence, it will completely lose all real notion about its raison d'jtre, it will isolate itself more and more. And because he will suffer from it, he will only exacerbate his thirst for permanence, to a degree that should become unbearable, until he breaks himself. Here again, the congregations of the self sterilely assured of their spiritual and material possessions, will come to help him, console him, bring him faith, hope, charity, or in other forms, any, security. , ambition and exploitation, which will make him die, suffocated.

Safety first ! Safety first : the self wants to protect itself psychologically and materially. Ambition then : inside the static framework of its security, having destroyed its dynamic doubt, the ego wants to enlarge its own closed circle. Exploitation : by comparing the closed circle of his acquisitions, to smaller circles, he justifies his inhuman position, by calling it progress, civilization, ideal, etc. We will initiate the study of Moral Comedy on this activity. But we have to uncover the mechanism.

The ego, from its foundation, is animated by two fundamental desires, which express the contradiction inherent in all movement, and which, in its closed circle act in a admirably flawed manner, accumulating their contradictions. These desires are the desire for absolute permanence, and the desire to feel this permanence. They are incompatible , however that the ego will deploy all its efforts, and all the treasures of ingenuity of the subconscious, to persuade itself that it has reconciled them. This persuasion, which he ends up acquiring as best he can, is always a victory for his static permanence, at the expense of absolute, universal permanence. No metaphysics can come back here to defend its position, nor any theology, nor any spiritualist philosophy which are all at the service of the desire of the ego to feel its own permanence and to believe that it can be prolonged indefinitely, even after his death . Now the victory of this desire is precisely the sterilization of the ego. The absolute permanence of the universe cannot feel, feel itself. To feel oneself permanent means to feel oneself by means of one's own past, by identifying with it, therefore isolating oneself from the present which alone is eternal, and which never ceases to be reborn, new and without memories.

Each of the two desires works to strengthen its opposite

The ego being always, only, its own past, will never have any kind of future. xsy At a given moment, there will never be more or less of an accumulated past. As long as there remains only one crumb of the entity, this crumb is still a petrified vibration of the past, which refuses to let itself be broken. On the other hand, consciousness, like an interior flame thrower, projects itself on a point after the other of the building of the ego which traps it, until being released by melting its prison. The individual conscience strikes with a terrible verdict each element of the ego which passes under its fire: it declares it non-ego, always, whatever it does, until the final extermination of the character. Thus the desire that the ego feels to feel its permanence prevents it from reaching the absolute permanence of the present, because it hardens it, crystallizes it in its own past; and his desire to achieve absolute permanence destroys his permanence as me.

The crack of the self, or consciousness

The ego continues to function according to the association-dissociation process that we studied above. He eliminated a number of objects with which he had first associated, because he realized that they are not part of him. His sense of self denied these objects the right to be part of the edifice of the self. But let us never forget that self-awareness is an emanation of associations which imagine themselves to be part of the self, therefore which are still sub-conscious, since they do not doubt themselves. In other words, self-awareness cannot act, cannot declare to an element: "you are not me", only by supporting its feeling: "but me, I am good me", on a residue of elements, which this affirmation consolidates for the moment in the ego. It is thus that later the consciousness of self, which opposes the ego, will only be liberated by destroying itself. She will melt her prison well, but when the prison is melted, there will be no more fuel, nothing left to burn. So, to use this image again, what we have called consciousness is that which is destroyed from the edifice of the self. If, at a given moment, the ego underwent a crack under the pressure of the present moment, this crack is truly, according to our definition, an awareness. Consciousness is therefore a hole, a crack in the ego, which tends to grow at the expense of the character . If the character manages to abdicate, and allow himself to be destroyed, there will ultimately be no more cracks, but consciousness will be completely liberated.

We will see the self oppose its own consciousness, close in on it, use it for its particular ends, go in spite of it until it unites with it, until it becomes brilliant, until it creates on this defeat of eternity of grandiose monuments, works of art, religions, civilizations. But all these works still belong to the domain of the self, to the world of dreams, to Myth, to the sub-conscious, and we are talking here of an absolute truth which is in relation to them what the waking state is in relation to dream. In this truth, everything is found, but with its true meaning, which is no longer at all what it had in the dream. A whole new universe is there, the one against which the self had always struggled.

The illusion of becoming

The ego, based on the feeling of oneself, which emanates from it, rejects at every moment old associations, but it is only to better feel oneself. It therefore consolidates the residue of associations of which it is made, and this new balance instantly leads it to associate with new elements better suited to its new trends. This continual passage from a group of associations to a new group constitutes what he calls his "becoming".

The illusion of becoming is based on all the associations of which the ego does not doubt, and which it consequently did not examine (because if it had examined them it would have noted them by placing itself outside them, and therefore he would have doubted it, therefore he would have rejected them). This residue that the ego constantly drags in its trailer is nothing other than its own past, that is, itself. The ego is its own residue, and the variations that occur on its surface constitute what it calls its becoming . The ego being its past, is made up of everything it has assimilated, that is to say of all the associations which have become permanent, which have been imprinted enough in it to cause in it a tendency to repeat them, to vibrate in accordance with it. This tendency constitutes the material of his memory (his memories).

The passive memory of the self. - Active memory, without memories

This passive memory of the ego (physiological, emotional and mental memory) is a tendency that it has to repeat certain reactions that have become permanent, reactions that consist of associations that it has assimilated, that therefore make up its past, ie the subconscious [1] . This memory of the self is only an automatism of the. subconscious, a mechanical phenomenon, which consists of elements hidden from consciousness. On the other hand, consciousness, that is to say what remains after elements of the ego have been burned by individual consciousness, is produced by the only true experience, that which puts the antinomy, which is the ego , face to face with its own absurdity, that which translates, as the self is destroyed, by intuition, genius, Knowledge. Remembrance is therefore what the self has assimilated as me, and what it has refused to assimilate as experience.

Intuition, on the contrary, is the result of a breach produced in the ego by experience, therefore it is opposed to the ego. Intuition, freed from memory, becomes at that time, free to guide it, to tear it from the self, and to retain what suits it for an impersonal, collective work. This new memory is a technique. Naturally, the ego can take over the technique,

and enslave him in turn; he can also live by cutting himself into two parts which have distinct existences: psychic, religious, sentimental life, etc., on the one hand, and technical activity in a separate compartment. This duality in which all subhumans are plunged subsists as long as one or the other of the two enemies, the self or the creative intuition, is not crushed. The self lowers the memory to the value of a mechanical, and the technique to the value of a memory, that is to say of an automatic tendency, while the liberated man confers on memory the value of 'a conscious, flexible technique which is constantly renewed. The ego wants to subtract technique from experience, from which it nevertheless comes; the intuition of the present moment gives rise to the technique of experience, that is to say of the synthesis, beyond the ego, of its two faculties, intellect and love. The unified being acquires a dynamic memory, a memory without memories , whose elements are constantly changing, recreated by the fruitful presence of the present. His technique is no longer confined to a profession, a specialization, but becomes the technique of living life, the technique of each gesture, of each act, which involves at all times the total adhesion of being.

The past to the rescue of the self. - The past and the case of Marcel Proust

When the ego finds itself associated with certain elements which it realizes, by examining them, that they are not it, it detaches itself from them, it emerges from a part of what had been it, by force a positive act of affirmation. This act destroys associations of memory, for the benefit of consciousness and intuition, that is to say experience. Then, when this dissociation immediately calls its corresponding association, automatism, memory, the past, the subconscious arises, the refusal in sum of experience, refusal which does not succeed in making this experience do not has not taken place, but which opposes the increase in the positive pole an equivalent increase in the negative. The antinomy, far from being appeased, becomes clearer through experience. The deeper the experience, the more it shakes the structure of the ego, and the more the ego reacts with a mass lifting of all memory, of the past. The contact of the creative experience, of the present, timeless instant, and of the accumulated elements which compose the ego, constitutes a real appeal, a mass lifting of the ban and the back ban of memories. These elements, hitherto buried in deep layers of the subconscious and often forgotten, now parade under the light of experience, and, thanks to their force of inertia, they capture this light, they use it for the benefit of the self, which then closes in on its own joy at feeling them recreated, and begins to compose a work. A very clear example of this process is the case of Marcel Proust. The work is the use of experience by the refusal of experience; it is a self-defense of the self that felt threatened by the timeless present moment; it is a vampirization of the present in the past, of the creative experience through memory.

Here, as everywhere, as always, operates the terrible law of contradiction, inherent in the self: experience calls to memories which will use it by crushing it, and the self, persuaded to abdicate for the benefit of its work, killed eternity in him for his own benefit. The transfer of his egotism to his work, justifies in his eyes his refusal to let himself be destroyed. By the very fact that the ego felt fertilized, it was rooted in a prodigiously reinforced illusion. The mystical experience proceeds from the same dramatic illusion: the contact of experience so vitalizes each element of the illusion, of the dream, that the latter draws from it an intensity which makes the self henceforth indestructible. The ego, rightly persuaded to have felt eternity [2] , and to have been illuminated by it, will never want to break its own shell again, and will no longer be able to achieve its accomplishment, because of having it perceived.


We will return to these questions. Let us retain for the moment the opposition between memory, element of the static past, and intuition, dynamic result of experience. The memory tends to maintain the static balance of the ego because it is the feeling that the present has of its own existence. Intuition, on the other hand, which is a contact with the dynamic balance of the present, tends to destroy the entity within its own experience. In memory, as in intuition, we find the two faculties of man, love and intelligence, but in very different aspects. In memory the two faculties are mixed but distinct from each other, and are on the other hand intimately associated with objects, love because it is afraid, intellect because it does not doubt. These faculties, thus associated with objects, are therefore negative, and endeavor to establish the ego in a static equilibrium. Intuition, on the other hand, is the result of experience, which is itself the result of dissociations that the self has operated by breaking a part of its structure, built on certain objects, that is to say by liberating of these objects and his love and his intellect. This intuition is therefore the accumulated result of all the efforts that the ego has made to destroy itself, and to release its faculties. It is the totalization of the positive affirmations of these faculties which have taken over themselves, for having exhausted the objects, and which have perceived their existence independently of these objects, with which they were first associated. It is what is added to love and intelligence, after each new dissociation where love and intelligence are released by an act of affirmation.


It is appropriate here to mark very clearly the difference between this detachment from the ego, which is positive, and which thereby frees the faculties in their synthesis which is intuition, and the detachment to which we usually think, which is only l indifference of the self which has closed in on itself after having rejected objects which upset its static equilibrium. This difference is of extreme importance; it is as important as the opposition that we make between the true personality, (which is the particular means by which each self can destroy itself for the benefit of its essence) and the sub-consciousness, which is what is usually called personality, which is only the mythical affirmation of the character as a being. As well, we find that the two faculties of love and the intellect belong to the sub-consciousness, and proceed from the same phenomenon of self-destruction which is inherent in the self. As the sub-consciousness destroys itself by burning the elements on which it is based to assert itself, as this destruction enlarges in the edifice of the ego the crack that is consciousness, the two faculties of sub-consciousness are destroyed by affirmation, and gradually merge into consciousness, which is the antithesis of sub-consciousness

If the ego succeeds in destroying itself, the intellect and the love which emanated from the two poles, negative and positive, of which it was made, can no longer exist separately, but merge in what is no longer consciousness (since 'there is no longer any entity', in the absolute truth of the present. What becomes of these faculties, after their fusion in the present, is creative intuition, the total adherence of being to its permanent essence, to the universal.

On the contrary, what is usually called detachment (that of the so-called sage who withdraws from the world, etc.) is only a dissociation which occurs as a consequence of stronger associations. The self stiffens, aggregates around elements of which it has no doubts, which it does not want to doubt (its faith) and around this rock of unconsciousness, it isolates itself in order to assert its existence as reality. Slave of his Spiritual Comedy, absurd shell which believes itself to be powerful or pure, depending on the case, the ego withdraws objects of its faculties of love and intelligence, it uses them with ardor to consolidate its shell, to prove itself by St Thomas Aquinas, the Vedanta, or any other myth, the merits of his merry-go-round, and playing for himself the comedy of a love that no longer exists except to save his triumphant selfishness.

The circus horse

By understanding the way in which the two desires of the self act, that of being in balance, and that of perceiving oneself, of feeling oneself living within this balance, we see inside its circle, like a horse. in a circus, the ego galloping incessantly, so that this movement gives it sensations, and yet keeps it at an equal distance from its own center. The ego thus plays its Comedy. Being sure not to get lost, he faces in a closed field all the adventures that can excite his feelings . Most human activities have this goal. However, the repetition of sensations dulls them; the ego finds itself at every moment obliged to seek new sensations which will allow it to feel new, to make sure once again of its own presence, and these new sensations, more and more intense, oblige it to associations and to more and more perilous dissociations, until the day when the ego is forced to choose between running again, but jumping over itself, or closing in on itself, and slowly letting its vibrations extinguish in the indifference of external things, in the stagnation of satisfied egotism.

The ego has no alternative but these two. We will see, in our Moral Comedy, how, for a self that jumps over itself, millions and hundreds of millions of me close in their circuses, building on their barriers higher and higher walls, that 'They can never jump. These walls are called names all the more beautiful as they are higher. They are called God, Virtue, Spirituality, Ideal, Goodness, Beauty, Charity, etc

Automatic development of opposites

The ego, with each intensification of one of the terms of the duality of which it is made, automatically develops its opposite. It intensifies the term of opposite sign, thus restoring its threatened balance. But from the moment that he is back in balance, he finds himself pushed to project himself onto one of his two poles, because this static balance does not give him the joy, the ecstasy to which he aspired. He therefore seeks a new sensation, which is expressed by a new desire. This desire calls for the object, which by filling it will destroy it, but which for the moment is supposed to unite with the self in order to establish with it a lasting and definitive happiness.

Creation of a false objective, or satisfaction

In the case, however, where desire fails to settle on the object it calls, because this object is out of its reach, the ego that stumbles in search of its balance towards this fleeing object, s 'clings to other easier associations, and thus builds a character, a type, all the more marked as he is unconscious, and all the more unconscious since he has missed the object of his desire.

This character is satisfied by definition, since it replaces exactly the satisfaction that desire could not have had . But the difference between the satisfaction created by the character and that which the desire would have had when meeting its object, is that the first crystallizes in a static equilibrium, while the second would have exhausted its object, and would have delivered the desire. Thus, because of the contradiction which we always find in all the activities of the ego, man is definitely satisfied not to obtain the object of his desire , but when he obtains it he cannot be satisfied . On the other hand, the state of satisfaction that is the character, is not accompanied by any real joy. He attributes to the outside world all the causes of his insufficiency, and withdraws more and more in his sterile isolation. And conversely, the disappointment that desire causes when its own object is reached, ultimately translates into the inner joy that provokes any break in balance, this being experience.

The role of the character is identical to that of the species specializations

The character is a fortress, an entrenched camp, which the individual builds himself in order to protect what he has been able to conquer in balance. If we remember the process of evolution of the subjective through species, we see that the character in which the self is locked up plays the same role as successive specializations, which through evolution have always been constituted to fiercely defend what remained, each time, of a balance jeopardized by evolution it - even . We therefore see that if the self constitutes a character, it is in order to fight against its own desire to find the final permanent balance, which would prevail. So each character, that is to say each man we meet, who says "I am me" is only the expression of a desire to fail.

The permanent mirage: God

These characters assume innumerable roles, masks and costumes of an infinite variety. While waiting to scroll through them in our next Comedies, let us note here the admirable farce of the self who works with a subtle determination to make permanent what by definition will never be. When by chance, seized with associations which he realizes are too coarse to be able to last, he hastens to transform them, to sublimate them, until inventing inaccessible objects, to which therefore he associates in complete satisfaction. If, for example, his character is built on a uniform, or a social function, or a gesture (I greet in the style of an, ancient Roman, so I'm great, etc.) and if this character realizes when even one day, from the fragility of these associations with objects that are really too coarse, he throws himself onto inaccessible objects, the most perfect type of which he can invent is God [3] .

As long as the character exists, the subject-object antinomy also exists. If for its misfortune this antinomy were to be resolved, the ego should dissolve, and that is what it dreads. He therefore invents an object, God, but which is both subject ; which is external, but which is also its own internal essence; which is inaccessible as an object, which fully justifies the fact of not reaching it, but which, at the same time is always present as a subject, which gives the character the guarantee of having it without the get ! Thus, by taking advantage of all its contradictions, the self is imprisoned in it by deploying miracles of cunning. He is ready to transform everything for his own benefit, because he operates automatically . Any idea or feeling is immediately overturned upside down, and sometimes so subtly, that even when he honestly wants to get rid of himself, he no longer finds in him the necessary lucidity. Each of his own arguments, falling into his dream, transforms in a magical way in order to sink him even more into sleep.

Self mobilization

This is why we can never be cruelly lucid enough. On our poor planet convulsed by a childbirth whose nobody yet can foresee the outcome, the united egoes, in the whole world, are preparing for their last fight. Some are now trying to cling to what will live: to the revolution. On one side and the other of the barricade, ego gather in the same desire to save themselves. And if they rush to each other to exterminate themselves, it is in order to triumph over the method which they believe will save them. In these struggles which they support to subsist, to protect themselves, the me who would like to link their cause to that of the Revolution are not the least dangerous. But let us leave these characters there, and resume the examination of an isolated ego, in its functioning.

The crack is not a discontinuity

We have seen the ego take birth, and sometimes see itself, that is to say, doubting its reality at that time, by feeling arise in it a consciousness that opposes the sub-consciousness. The character sees himself and is surprised. This act of consciousness introduces into the character a reality other than his own, as if through a crack. But this crack is not an interruption of the common thread which will link the ego throughout the course of its psychological life; it vacillates the ego, but without making it lose its continuity. Even when she represents herself to him, even when she triumphs over him, she will not have dissociated the entity, she will not have broken it into a number of separate pieces, isolated from each other. On the contrary, the crack is itself a permanence, which although different from that of the ego, will permeate the latter, then replace it, but without the continuity of being being broken . When the entity will pursue this reality to the ultimate point where it will have to choose between dying or still living, we will see, however, that if it persists in living, it will be broken into dissociated fragments, not assimilated by reality: Nietzsche will go crazy. The analysis of this extreme case will be useful to us.

The conducting wire

The ego, by being born, acquires the faculty of saying "I am me" through all its metamorphoses, through innumerable associations and dissociations during which it sometimes fails even to understand how its ego passed, if different from him, however, were him. From birth, he worked to accumulate his own past, in order to resist the universal dynamic permanence that tended to prevail. Each new reaction of the individual therefore encountered in him an ever-increasing inability to respond to the succession of present moments. But this incapacity will only become total if the character fossilizes at his maturity, by making triumph over the present, all the accumulation of his static past. At this point, the fossil character will be nothing more than a machine to sell memories. The more the character detaches himself from the present, the more his memories become clearer. We will see on the other hand, that in the case of a total development of the ego, the man having found his adhesion to the present, loses this faculty to plunge back into his own past . This memory will be lacking, not because he will feel a hole, a dissociation between a state of consciousness and the next state, but because instead of having a common thread that moves from one state to the other a constant residue from the past (the ego), it burns this residue and loses the memory of this common thread as it unfolds . The difference between this state and that of childhood, is that the child reacts to the present moment, by constructing in spite of himself his self, his character, which destroys the present for the benefit of the past, that is to say the sub-conscious; while the state of knowledge gradually destroys the present for the benefit of the present itself, by exhausting it incessantly, without nourishing the sub-conscious, since the latter has disappeared. In children, the common thread is the character in formation, still strongly influenced by the succession of the present, having still very little hardened its past; in the man who has freed himself from his ego (his past), the common thread is at each instant the instant itself, which is transformed, which is constantly born of itself .

The observer and the observed

The permanence of the "I am me" is the perpetual transformation of the present into an individual past, into a constrained and forced past to reconstitute on abandoned positions hereditary constants routed [4] . Now, on these abandoned positions, duality suddenly condensed into an antinomy, since its two terms were opposed instead of being composed in an unconscious equilibrium. The static pole has arisen, has constituted itself as the antithesis of the present, and finds itself trained to construct itself, running, so to speak, carried away by the variations of the reactions of the present. On the other hand, the dynamic pole is increasingly hampered by the resistance of the past. Thus are composed a permanent rupture of balance, which gives the feeling of movement, of becoming, and a permanent recomposition of balance, which gives the feeling that one is always there. These two movements are those of the two desires that we know, that of perceiving ourselves, and that of being permanent. The fall in equilibrium (what is observed) compensates for the observation; the resumption of equilibrium (the observer) creates what is observed.

So the observer is never the same, although it is a permanence; and the observed, although it always varies, has a permanent background: the past. This movement is created as soon as the child rejects a first association, that is to say, as soon as the sub-consciousness begins to develop. Each repulsion is coupled with a corresponding attraction, and vice versa. We have seen that the entity in formation, at first quite plastic, hardens more and more, because of associations-dissociations which tend to settle down, to take shape. As soon as they have taken shape, the entity is there, and from then on it advances in time like a snake to which rings of the head side are successively added (associations) and are destroyed rings on the tail side (dissociations).

The body of the serpent, or the race of associations and dissociations

This subtle step is called becoming. But one realizes here that it leads nowhere. Associations can accumulate, and dissociations rush at a prodigious speed: they are in a struggle, and what matters is to know which of the two movements will prevail, and not at what speed this body has. seems to run . Associations tend to give the entity an enlarged body, to weigh it down until it stops in the satisfaction of an irremediably subconscious ego, incapable by indigestion of new associations. Dissociations tend to develop self-awareness, to destroy the body faster than it can reform, until it catches the snake's head, until it suppresses the snake. Between these two extreme cases, one can easily distinguish a third solution, in which a balance is established between the two movements: the body of the snake, always having, imperturbably, the same length, then continues to increase by one end and decrease from the other end. He is rightly right, the impression of advancing; he has, with just as good reason, the impression of changing; he therefore believes he is tending towards something, approaching perfection; his two movements fill him with joy, because if we desire to experience sensations, and that of feeling its permanence, are satisfied in the balance of a body which never allows itself to lengthen or shorten d 'a thumb. This balance is the greatest victory that the triumphantly sterilized ego can achieve, that of Religions and Virtues.

So-called spiritual asceticism, if we examine it carefully, involves a very precise division of the entity that protects itself: detachment . Then we give to this entity, thus "saved", associations attentive to safeguard at all costs its static equilibrium (which are called peace, harmony, abstract love, etc.) and which instantly find their counterpart in dissociations, in a hierarchical scale.

The entity definitely won the game the day its two ends joined in a closed circle, ecstatically selfish: with bliss, the ego has forever withdrawn from life.

We will see, on the other hand, other entities refuse to reconstitute themselves at every moment in new associations, and to be devoured by the fire of doubt, which destroys everything which, being destructible, has no value.

The self reabsorbs (genius), or breaks (madness)

This image of the body of the snake can still be used in connection with the dissociation of personalities, which we were talking about earlier. It is not a question of cutting this body into a quantity of sections which do not recognize each other. In psychopaths, such phenomena do occur, but which in no way relate to what we are describing here. The different entities that can appear in a sick subject are only fragments, in which there remains an incomplete ego similar to a dream ego, dissociated from the other associations which all together made up the ego.

The phenomenon we are talking about is the exact opposite of this: instead of the ego breaking without disappearing, it disappears without breaking [5] . But, although opposite, these phenomena can sometimes present great analogies, and can be found in the same individual. The creative genius, which, as we understand it, is incompatible with the entity me (to understand it, we have only to represent to us an arbitrary character, composed of its subconscious automatisms) and certain cases of madness, can meet and alternate in the same person.

Most psychiatrists study authentic cases of mysticism and genius, where the self disappears without breaking, in the same way that they study cases where the self breaks without disappearing (or breaks its last remains after having largely disappeared, as in Nietzsche). We understand their error, because humanity seems to have almost not yet produced truly human specimens, of men having lost their entity me, in a way sufficiently conscious to be able to speak about them reasonably instead of uttering cries of joy and delivery, more or less inconsistent. We will perhaps resume one day, with examples, this comparative study of true human achievement, and of madness. We have indicated it here only to make it clear that the disappearance of the ego in the present, if it destroys the permanence of the ego is itself a permanence. It is the result of the whole experience that the subjective has accumulated through all its successive liberations, in the evolution of species; it is the permanence of "something", entirely deprived of individual consciousness, that is to say of the past, permanence which, by replacing itself in the individual, with its own entity, makes it adhere to a present without memory of yourself .

When the antinomy disappears, the movement (which is a contradiction) not only remains, but intensifies

In this state, the individual, far from losing his ability to associate himself with new elements, finds him infinitely multiplied. On the contrary, it is the solidly crystallized character who becomes incapable of associating with the elements which present themselves to him, because he is no more than a rigid body of permanent associations, and which are self-sufficient. The individual who has reached the fullness of his liberation is not in a static state but, on the contrary, he is the essence of movement, and this essence is and remains a contradiction. In the psychology of the ego, this contradiction is expressed by the two desires that arise from each other, desire for permanence, and desire to feel permanent. One creates the self, the other its antithesis, self-awareness. When the self and the self-consciousness have mutually destroyed each other by nourishing each other, the two desires do not disappear, but on the contrary are freed from their hindrances, and begin to arise instantly one of the other, in a synthesis, motionless by excess of movement, terrible in intensity, which, at the slightest touch, springs like lightning . There, the individual knows the world, in an act of knowledge which is purely objective. He associates himself intensely, totally, with each object that presents itself to him, to dissociate himself from it as completely as soon as the object no longer requests it, and pass to the next association. His psychological life is also different from the psychological life of an ego character, that a synthesis is different from each of its elements, which, once dissociated, only appeared in turn.

In the ego, the movement was slowed down, stopped, by a dissociation of these two terms, which became mutually exclusive. With the disappearance of this antinomy, the movement is liberated thanks to a new association of the two terms of its contradiction.

The daily life of a self

Consider the waking life of a character who says to himself "I am I". As soon as, in the morning, he finds himself in his own skin, this ego takes up its residue of permanent associations, and sets itself in motion, in order to feel itself. To this end, it offers the outside world the surface of its ego and thus obtains an agitation, sensations, which while maintaining the ego in its circle, will allow it to feel (the circus horse). These surface excitations that the ego goes to seek in its daily life, constantly force the ego to pass from one association to another, by losing itself, because if it did not get lost, it does not couldn't be found . He gets lost in all the acts of his day, which absorb him, his newspaper, his business, his family, the cinema, the bustle of the city, etc which allow him at every moment to recover, therefore to recover feel. His day goes by, satisfying his desire to feel himself, to the detriment of his desire for permanence, which he cannot maintain . Indeed, if he isolates himself in his own permanence, he falls asleep. Before falling asleep he is bored. Boredom is indifference, and this is a static balance between the two poles, which neutralize each other, of duality. The neutralization of the two desires by each other is a negative state, where the ego cannot find itself for want of being able to get lost, as we will see later. In order to avoid this painful state of atony in front of itself, the ego therefore spends its day satisfying the desire it has to feel its own movement, and drives back to the bottom of itself the desire it a to increase the permanence of his reactions, to stabilize his subjective life. But we have seen that the two desires arise from each other. When the ego has thus spent its day making provisions, refraining in spite of itself the desire that it repressed, sleep occurs, the aggregate closes on its own balance, refuses new associations, and permanence thus found, does not not know herself.

Simple life

When the self has disappeared, the psychological life of man becomes much simpler. He has no need to tumble at any moment into new sensations, in order to obtain the opposite of what he is looking for . There is no struggle in it, between objects, and a self made up of a past unsuited to the present. But his two desires, liberated and merged into one, are found in full in each present moment, an instant in which the individual finds himself each time completely associated, without ever withdrawing from the game, because he has precisely nothing to withdraw . The aggregate vibrates and resonates in a state of natural association with the universal resultant of the time-space point where it is found . This unilateral movement, freed from the sub-consciousness, succeeds, with sleep, another unilateral movement, also freed from sub-consciousness, where the aggregate is as fully dissociated from the world, as it was fully associated with it. while awake. In this state, dreams have changed in nature. Instead of symbolizing the deep bubbling of the unconscious, they are no more than a superficial succession of images and it sometimes happens that these images relate to periods of childhood.

We see that this state of total Knowledge, that this state of absolute, is so simply natural, and so entirely devoid of sensations, that it can hardly tempt those who, under the pretext of seeking the truth, are only vulgar thrill seekers. The occult, extraordinary regions, where, awake the astral sleeper discovers unexplored wonders, no longer exist for the man freed from his ego, any more than the magic still exists for him. No doubt he knew all this, and the mystical unions, and the shivers of terrified joy that comes from contact with the unknown. But all these mysteries of the subconscious are now at his feet, like clouds which he has passed in his flight out of the dream, towards the simple and natural state of the awakened man.

So far, this state has been sought by some, because of their love for the Myth, rejected by others, because of their hatred for the Myth. Because, in fact, it has never been dissociated from the Myth, in any document that men have bequeathed to us during their trial and error towards the truth.

The Titans, the Gods, the Human

Having reached this point in our presentation, there are so many avenues open to us, all of which would lead us to our conclusion, that we are forced to choose. We leave aside the study of morality that results from our data, that is to say the study of the rules that everyone will have to develop and follow, if he wants to lead from the subhuman state, under -conscious, towards the human state of which we speak. We also leave all the developments that include our comments on dreams, on madness (dissociation of personalities, persistent and fixed associations, etc.); and the development on the meaning of sexual desires in relation to the ego, and their transformation during the formation and (possible) bursting of the ego, etc. We also leave aside, although it costs us, all the developments which our point of view involves, on social questions. We have already said many times, that we consider the social revolution as a natural phenomenon, which corresponds to a change of state in human nature; the war of the Gods against the Titans symbolized the stage where the subjective, thanks to the whole curve of its evolution through species, condensed into isolated centers, the selves; the new communist order, which since the October revolution, begins to be built in the USSR is part, according to us, of a decisive phenomenon in all human history, that where the curve of the subjective will reach its culmination, the only state which we accept to call human, that in which man, emerging from the contradictions of the ego, and from the works of the ego, finds himself obliged to deliver himself from his entity, by a vital burst. This revolution is that of the working masses, and we are with them. It may be that she does not have time today to seek herself in the deep soil where the ego bursts, soil that she must however assimilate, and transform into a technique of life. For the moment, she may not know what to do with analyzes which may seem abstract, but which, for the whole old order, are explosives in their pure state. She will find them, however, because her roots grow, and will not stop there.

We will confine ourselves, in the continuation and the end of this presentation to giving some explanations on the development, until its bursting, of the antinomy which is the ego.

[1] MEMORY. - The memory of the self is rather a mnemonic. The ego repeats its own movements for fear of getting lost; he constantly reinforces his associations of images, words, behaviors, for fear of forgetting himself . It is this mnemonic of the ego that must be destroyed.

This negation of the passive memory which constructs the self will establish an active memory which will be the consciousness of the present itself; but also awareness of all the past elements preserved in the present. But then, the past will only exist for the present and not, as in the sub-man, the present in relation to the past.

An example: you are used to writing down your appointments; if you neglect to do so, you forget them. One day throw away your notebook and refuse to write down five or six very important appointments. You will be forced, then, to become acutely aware of their gravity, and you will not forget them. Or else you will forget them, and that is why you are not aware of all their gravity. This dilemma reflects the inherent contradiction in mnemonics, which is opposition and correlation between memory and forgetting.

All passive memory (mnemonic) is an artificial and external way of correcting an oversight, of plugging a hole in consciousness. This memory is therefore, in its essence, identical to oblivion. The consciousness of the present overcomes the apparent contradiction of an entity endowed with an alleged "memory" and yet subject to oblivion.

A somewhat simplistic reader might believe that the ideal here is the state of a man who would forget everything at every moment. But, besides that such a man could not live, he would be unconscious. And the self-delivered consciousness is not a state, but an act. By denying all her memories, she knows them, like the sleeper, who wakes up doubting his dreams, becomes capable of telling them.

[2] THE ME AND THE ETERNAL. - It is at this time, in human history, that monotheistic religions arise. Man denies his ancient gods, who have become contradictory in themselves, and this doubt is a burst of conscience. But this is only a limited leap: man prides himself on being a doubter, a thinker, admiring himself until he builds the one God in his image; by declaring that God made him, himself, in his image. Those who do not share his faith are therefore inferior beings, hardly men; they can be treated like animals. Iconoclasty, pride of the "chosen people", fanaticism these are the traits of the great monotheistic religions, of Moses or of Muhammad. (The function of consciousness in religious formations will be studied in the Religious Comedy ).

[3] THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT. - Criticism of the self must forever ruin the old ontological argument, in whatever form it presents itself. "I have the idea of ??a perfect being"; but what am I to have the authority to make such a postulate? If "I have the idea of ??a perfect being", this idea is an "idea" of the self, and only expresses its desire to last. I add nothing by saying, "Perfection implies existence. So I have the idea of ??the existence of a perfect bein g. But it is a gross sleight of hand to replace "idea of ??existence" by "existence". At Descartes, the sleight of hand is much more beautiful: "What am I?" he asks. He only answers, in the only possible way, with a series of negations "I am not my body, nor my passions, etc". " On the other hand, in doing so, he claims to think, and even to think himself . However, he concludes strangely "I think, therefore I am". Logically, he should have said, "I think, so I'm destroying myself."

[4] The man whose ego has refused to merge into the present, ends up being invaded, at his maturity, by hereditary characters hitherto held in check. The triumphant past takes root in this hull abandoned by life.

[5] This is the distortion of the surrealists: they express (example: their interest in madness) a desire to break the ego while preserving it in each of its fragments. They thus represent the last attempt and the last bankruptcy of an individualist culture, which does not give up being individualist. At the threshold of the Revolution, they are therefore forced to choose between completely disavowing this error, or not crossing the threshold. And indeed, they cannot keep anything from their philosophical attempt without remaining in the myth of the self.

Carlo Suares : Works in French : Carlo Suares Fondation + 3rd Millenaire
La croissance d'un moi : Son processus par Carlo Suarhs - 3e millinaire