Schizophrenia, God: Order, Chaos
What does God do in genesis? He brings order from chaos. A quick study of creation and origin myths will uncover similar results. What do the gods do in EVERY myth--they bring order from chaos.
I equate the desire for this fantasy with Deleuze and Guattari's treatment of schizophrenia in Anti-Oedipus. For D & G, the Unconscious is the product of a social experience. "Fantasy is never individual: it is group fantasy" (30). [Thus the "we" I refer to in the opening paragraph is the collective we of this fantasy.] The problem Deleuze and Guattari have with Freudian psychoanalysis is that it is founded on individual, familial experiences as a child. In contradistinction, they argue that the Unconscious consists of social and political roles, and public and historical events. The schizophrenic becomes the primary model for the unconscious, rather than the child, because present day capitalist society breeds schizophrenia. Just as a schizophrenic lives in a world of signs where there are neither people nor things, but only endless meanings, so does every American. We, like the schizophrenic, suffer from a communication disorder. Just as the schizophrenic has the basic tendency to over-read or hyper-interpret, we have the fetish for conspiracy theory.
For example: not only does the schizophrenic have a fragmented identity, but s/he often associates their identity with larger than life archetypal figures such as the King of England or Joan of Arc. Hence, my reference here to God. We schizophrenics of order make the ultimate identification. But, you might ask, what does order have to do with all this disorder? If capitalism produces disordered schizophrenics, then why the fetish for order? Because our present society contains a paradox. While on the one hand corporate capitalism breeds schizophrenia, on the other we have a whole set of medico-juridical institutions set up to medicalize it and separate it off (Foucault). Implicitly our episteme creates fragmentation, explicitly we employ panopticism to "surveill" it, contain it, order it.
In one sense, this "disordered disorder" known as schizophrenia, is not disorder at all. a) The fragmented, disordered subject may be a better description of the workings of the unconscious than the previous transcendental 'I'--its correspondence implying a sense of order, linkage. b) In order to keep up the "face" of individuality, the consumer of free choice, capitalism needs an entire institutional structure that imposes and teaches order. We have an entire technological apparatus that simultaneously fragments us, and orders us. Rather than bringing order from chaos, order is in chaos and chaos is in order. The two are inseparable; they presuppose each other; give rise to each other. They are each other's condition of possibility.
[To restate: The we I refer to in the opening paragraph
is the we of capitalism, the we of scientism, the we
of composition, all the "WEs" whose purpose in life is predicated on the
will to order the world--on the will to tell others how it SHOULD be ordered.
It is also the we of the individual. The unconscious is not a single, self-contained
identity; the 'I' is multiple...is a we. It is not a coherent, transcendental
consciousness, but rather a divided, pluralized subject that occupies multiple,