A conversation with Dr. William Theaux, founder of Plural Analysis

Answer leading up to post 1875, Sine and Democracy
Zenon writes in Abstract Father of Oedipus in early July, 2001, when we discussed 'legacy':

 "Inasmuch formula are known as algebra, it means that every ‘number’ is
supported by their ‘letters.’ The kind of letter in an algebraic formula differs from the linguistic ‘Letter.’ For instance, in <a=b+c>, ‘a’ can be any number - in term of legacy/name/letter, it stands for any legacy. Such versatility of the algebraic letter is also what is meant when Lacan names the ‘aobject;’ which means the object ‘a’, as algebraic item. Hence to summarize: a formula is what allows to indicate a legacy.

Lacan has taken an abstract representation, let's say of the Queen's sentiments in the Purloined Letter, and abstracted it to the next level, into algebraic letters, and then gave back to us a third level of representation (abstraction):  the aobject.  I see in this process of abstracting the human psyche into level after level of ever more distant (from the original experience) representation the very purloining against which Lacan rails (objects -aobjects).  He takes the original experience (of the Queen's love), first represented on a Letter, turns it into an algebraic representation 'a' and gives it back to us as an aobject.  Then he, or you, William, tells us that what we get back from this formula is an art of memory device that will help us reconstitute the Queen's original love.  I know I am missing something, but this system does not work.

The only memory device I can find is emotion.

From another point of view, Lacan's formula is analogous to the Christian Church abstracting God so that He is no longer approachable. People had to go through specially trained priests (representatives or representations of God) to speak to God.  This abstracting God out of reach of ordinary human experience was a matter of political control, not of religion.

In the same manner, Lacan's formula is an attempt to control human thought.  When a Christian Protestant sign says "Come to my Church!" it implies that it is only through this particular church that you can meet God (or be saved by Jesus).  Lacan, in turn, implies that it is only through his formula that you can understand your own psyche.

We went over this material - or, at least I went over this same topic in July.  I spoke about 'reality' and you latched onto that concept and successfully questioned just exactly what is reality?  Is it 'here', or 'there', 'inside' or 'outside', is it 'within ourselves' or is it 'in our participation with the other?'

Adrian's recent Karl Jaspers Forum article reminded me of my emotional attachment to my own inner reality, an ever changing mixture of experience and memory.

My recent experience reading your post (1875, Sine Democracy) in which you reply to my 'resistance and the Sine wave' essay left me slightly sad.  When you make fun of the 'Sine wave' or deny its existence, you deny a child's joy in seeing the ripple of waves in a pool when he drops a stone into the water.  Have you forgotten how to be a child?  How to be human?  You also jump on my unwillingness to condemn Zahi Hawass:  you call my action 'amonite' and you call Zahi's action 'criminal'.

You write:
"As I truly think that Hawas is a criminal in keeping the ‘very difficult situation.’ I guess it is not what Daniel intended to mean, but I comment as I understand it. The ‘very difficult situation’ that Hawas and other Sim.P.Tom maintain makes the lever of the evil which comes with perverse Magic. What sciantists and policists maintain is the fear of fundamentalists and fanatics who are rightly angry against their lies and hypocrisis. A vicious circle is maintained by keeping ignorance, hiding and repressing facts, within collective psychology. It has its foundation in perversion - that is, according to Psychoanalysis, the paranoia overlay. I have often explained and referred to the Human Paranoiac Foundation of Collective Knowledge. I have also described the key that centres this circle, which is found in language and sexual anatomy. In a recent post (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akhnaton/message/1857>) Daniel depicted its related Human Reality."

This paragraph is pure demagoguery.  In its best sense you are fighting fire with fire, calling upon the 'sciantists' and 'policists' to cease the 'evil' that they do because it makes them 'criminal'.  What you imply is that criminals are punished and that you are the judge who metes out punishment.  You have, in fact, joined the 'vicious circle' demanding to repress the repressors.   It might be a noble intent, but it doesn't work.  It never worked.

For two or three years now I have demonstrated time and again that 'name calling' the 'name caller' energizes the latter and magically (as well as logically) makes you a 'name caller' also.  The fact that each of you might be calling the other by a different invective or label does not raise you (morally) above the original name caller.  You are still a victim of your own pathology when you participate in name calling.

The argument that if I fail to condemn Zahi makes me a 'amonite' is the same argument that 'if you ain't for me, then you're against me!'  Name calling is a 'violence':  it violates the order of things, of nature, of our individual sensibilities.  Self-destructive individuals will also destroy that which is around them either to the extent that they practice violence against themselves or to the extent the violence was practiced upon them.

I have no objection to your arguments that these words, even the world 'out there' are illusions.  However, I object to your priority of making order within the illusionary world through Artificial Intelligence (AI) before (even at the expense of) the human psyche.
The only thing the psychologists, the knowers of the psyche, can work with is that the psyche will be more likely to follow illusions than its own inner reality.

If Lacan is correct, that we are all paranoiacs, then we should be afraid of looking into our own inner reality.  But Lacan skips this very basic distinction because as far as he is concerned, our eyes bring the outside reality, illusion, into our inner selves, into our consciousness.  He sees our paranoia in our incessant attempts to define and categorize that endless stream of illusion that flows into our consciousness.  Why?  Lest we be overwhelmed?

I work with two assumptions.  First, that Lacan could not shut off his stream of consciousness - his inner chatter, the constant working of his intellect.  He was neither a Catholic monk nor a Buddhist monk and I doubt if he ever went out fishing.  As long as he identifies himself with an outside image he misses the point that he is a complement, a necessary part of that outside image, not the image itself.  All mystics learn, hopefully, that in their search for the Holy Grail, in their quest to slay the dragon, they are, in fact, searching for themselves, on a quest to allay the fear that they are going to be overwhelmed by the outside world.

All of us who participate in this or any discussion group are totally immersed in this illusion that we are going to conquer illusion itself, that we are going to make sense of it.  Very early in my correspondence with you I claimed that in all these letters, I am speaking to myself.  At the same time I am also speaking to you but only inasmuch as I am a holographic portion or fractal of the whole, and only by sharing our illusions will we actually recognize our inner (real) selves.

That brings me to my second assumption:  that during our first seven years of life, our culture inoculates us with its main pathologies.  One of its main pathology is that the outside world (culture itself) is more important than an individual's inner reality.  I have set out the process of this acculturation in terms of childhood development previously on this list.

Of course, the first assumption necessarily follows from the second.
Armed with cultural pathologies as children, we have a choice at any point in our lives to step out of those pathologies and heal ourselves.  You have written about your own stepping out of the pathology that mainstream (cultural) psychoanalysts practice.  You were ostracized, your diploma revoked, your economic status no doubt ruined or compromised, your reputation went down the drain (at least among psychoanalysts).   I am making these things up from memory, so if I get one or two wrong, just substitute the right events in their place, please, and don't take offense.

It was a high price to pay, but you succeeded in separating yourself from the outside illusion of psychoanalysis and had the opportunity to within yourself where you redefined what psychoanalysis is, namely, Plural Analysis.  My question to you is, when you returned onto the professional scene, did you pit PlAn against mainstream Psychoanalysis?  Did you challenge what you believed to be misdirected?  Were you the Knight on the White Charger fighting the establishment in the name of PlAn?  Because if that was the case, then you did the predictable cultural 'thing' and your energies have been completely flowing into mainstream culture during your crusade instead of building up a magical realm where your own energies are put to use to maintain your own space.  From what you have been writing this Summer, it sounds like you may have finally created that magical realm for yourself, and VOILA!  you open the book on Eros and Magic.  You know before your even open the book that it is flawed, because you assume that anything written down contains its own seed of destruction because of Lacan's formula that any representation of an inner reality becomes an outside illusion.

You may think that you have a moral right to condemn Zahi Hawass, but, in fact, your response to his response to the Moslem Fundamentalists' response to the Egyptian Government's response to the Japanese request to do DNA testing is all done on false premises!

You have named all but one of those false premises:  you have not named the false premise of your own response.  You condemn Zahi because he has not made that crucial step away from the repressive cultural mainstream that you have!

Were he to do that, Zahi would lose his job, his reputation, his perks of traveling and appearing on countless radio and Television programs, his economic base, his power over foreign archaeologists, and so on.  OK, so he loses his psyche and gains the world.  You re-gained your psyche and lost the world, but you seem intent on reconquering the world with a new cultural paradigm, the AMO=H3.  There is enough 'truth' in this paradigm to stop people and make them think and it forces them (it has certainly forced me) to rehash their own truths.

But the moment you start crying 'criminal', or 'amonist', or any of the other invectives, you lose a little bit of your own psyche, your own magic.


"The ATEN is NOT abstract as long as it is linked to real-time things everyone can identify: the entire hymn is about real-time things. Based on the theory of Julian Jaynes, I wonder if the ancient Egyptians were even able to develop their abstract logic beyond simple cause and effect?"
 I believe that we humans, inside, see through the other what we reject from us. Thus your former reaction to my presentation of a paranoiac foundation of the human person, that I understood when I reacted myself to your idea that ancient people did not access abstract thinking."
So I also looked at Lacan's formula from the viewpoint of Edgar Alan Poe's short Story, "The Purloined Letter". That story makes a living video in my imagination of the dead S-s formula (Secret Service? or Storm-Trooper? - probably meant to elicit paranoia - the fear of death). To get back on course here, if the first paragraph above is the original letter (or any letter as is oletter) and the second paragraph is the false (or mistaken) copy, then in our eyes the original letter is no longer valid, its point having been completely obliterated by the introduction of a misleading replica.
Having as good a grasp of logical progression as my erstwhile colleagues, the ancient Egyptian scribes, had, I looked at what you wrote about Lacan's formula:

" For instance, when he (Daniel) asks

>Is a formula a legacy?<

There stands Lacan's prime reason for using formula himself: formula are 'beyond' legacy, they include legacy (the Letter), may be do they even transcend legacy. A short explanation will support such claim:

Inasmuch (as) formula are known as algebra, it means that every 'number' is supported by their 'letters.' The kind of letter in an algebraic formula differs from the linguistic 'Letter.' For instance, in <a=b+c>, 'a' can be any number - in term of legacy/name/letter, it stands for any legacy. Such versatility of the algebraic letter is also what is meant when Lacan names the 'aobject;' which means the object 'a', as algebraic item. Hence to summarize: a formula is what allows to indicate a legacy."

Now I will stop looking back and begin to go forward. I 'feel' or 'intuit' that your PLAN (PLural ANalysis) is a breakthrough in understanding human beings and human thinking, but I also see a gaping hole in the process. So let me turn my 'feelings' into logical abstractions:

When Simonides 'discovered' the art of memory, he associated 'abstractions' (memory) with physical reality (places). The key word here is 'associate'. When mathematicians take their formulas into various levels of abstraction, their long-term aim is still to predict the 'existence' of particles, whether physical or quantum, the course and activity of nebulae (how things came into being) or light (relativity). We have to say that all the abstract formulae of mathematicians are focused on physical reality where we, as human beings, can sense that reality or not!

Another key word here is 'abstraction'. The entire Neocortex or new-brain is explicitly dedicated to abstractions. The very first level of abstraction is called 'concrete logic', where 'concrete' = 'physical' and 'logic' = 'abstract'. Technically, therefore, there is no such thing as 'concrete logic' because that would be a contradiction of terms, an oxymoron. It is no doubt used by psychologists because 'concrete logic' associates the physical with the abstract and identifies the first level of abstraction where abstraction is still firmly rooted in physical reality.

Cause and effect also belongs to this first category of abstraction where the cause is physical reality and the effect is a projection, an abstraction of physical reality. Or the opposite, where the cause is a memory (an abstraction like Akhenaten's policies) and the effect is a current oppression of personal freedom and suppression of selected knowledge we call totalitarianism). Abstract logic is the second level of abstraction, and we have not yet explored the extent of the possible levels in psychology as mathematician have in their field. And that is my point: that not only have mathematicians explored and continue to explore always new levels of abstraction, but they always associate it with, or lead us back to, physical reality.

In your field, William, no one has explored the possible levels of reality except perhaps the mystics, from whom we have learned of the possibility of seven, twelve, 21, 33 or 144 levels, 33 being the masonic and 144 the Rosicrucian view of the world of abstractions. The only thing they have going for them is that they, at least, are rooted in physical reality, being hierarchical organizations firmly believing in controlling their general membership.

When you say that 'a formula is what allows to indicate a legacy', I see a very confusing 'Optical Model' as another video-version of the formula where the physical reality we 'see' is reflected, inverted, twisted, purloined, colored and so on (these are also different levels of abstractions) so by the time I say "Yes, I understand!" I am actually standing under three or four or five false ceilings, each of which hides the actual physical reality, if I am to believe the formula! I have read over and over again your responses to the "I understand!" exclamations on the list.

I feel something is missing. First, when I look with two eyes, I get a better perspective than if I look with one eye. If I sense physical reality with at least two of my five senses, I get a better perspective than if I only used my eyes. If I add my intuitive senses, then there is not only physical perspective, there is also a combined animal-human assessment of the object, or aobject. So far, you can feed al this into the Optical Model and gobble it up and spit it back out as The Formula. there are two further levels of 'reality check' that I am aware of.

One further level of reality is at the level of interaction, where no matter how a person senses or understands physical reality, the person has a cause-and-effect interaction or relationship with that physical reality: if I sit in mud, I will become muddy. There is no way to purloin this physical reality as long as no one has made a value judgment about mud or about being muddy.

The second 'other' level of reality is the result of quantum abstractions that has led David Boehm to conclude that all physical realty participates in the existence of all other physical reality. One time we have likened this correspondence with sexual penetration, potentially one of the most emotionally charged activities if we actually 'participate' in this act emotionally. If we don't, then it becomes another form of mechanical masturbation.

On one of my excursions to London, I went into the new Tate Gallery that is in a former Thames-side power station. An entire wing was dedicated to the Dada movement and the following mechanistic art scene. It included a replica of Marcel Duchamps' "Nine Grooms Running Away from the Bride, Yet!" (I may have gotten the title slightly wrong, sorry!) where the bride is a mechanical umbrella-like contraption and the grooms are similarly industrial-product entities. There was a long, sexually charged film of light and locomotive pistons pulsating endlessly, relentlessly. I also discovered that Duchamps himself had an alter ego he named Rose Selavy. They, as a group of modern painters/sculptors/poets had evidently discovered something repressed.

Both 'interaction' and 'participation' necessiates being grounded in physical reality. This 'being grounded in physical reality' is missing from both Lacan's formula and your Optical Model. Like the Judeo-Christian God who has been abstracted so far away from us mere mortals that we are forced to approach him through intermediaries like his son (Akhnaton included) or his specially trained and repressed priests, the end result of the Optical Model is like being lost in space and time. I see that as a pathology. There is an artificial intelligence (AI) developing, but how is it different from 'consensus'? Consensus depends on our individual input; AI does not, it has become an aConsensus, completely removed from any physical reality, and therefore, so abstract that we have no access to it individually. As a result, I see AI as just another abstract tool used by the new priests of a new cult to keep human beings off balance, pathological, disconnected from themselves.

So if Christianity has not worked because of its abstractions, Freudian psychoanalysis hasn't worked for the same reason, then why do you believe that PLAN will work just because it takes us to another level of abstraction?

We are being led either further in, deeper and deeper into the recesses and capacities of our neocortex without a reminder that this neocortex is connected with the emotional mid-brain and the habituated old brain, without being reminded that three separate nervous systems service these brains within us, giving us a sense of perception that is the sum of interactions between any two or more of these combinations. Instead of reveling in the rich texture of our 'real' capacity, something we are able to feel and discern by virtue of being alive, we are dished up a single source input in the Optical Model! Or the Contrary, we are being led to believe that God has become an Artificial Intelligence, an abstraction that, like the weather, changes according to the winds and emotional intensity of our total input (was this concept called Collective Consciousness before?) and depends entirely on the electricity-generating machine, like an updated Dada painting. I see in this trend towards ever greater abstraction the accompanying pathology that children believe that milk comes from a milk carton and meat from a display case in a store. Taken to another level of abstraction and further removed from reality, milk will be taken from milk-chocolate bars and meat from a MacDonalds take-out. And the cow that produces both milk and meat? What cow? At some point soybean products will silently replace both milk and meat because the only thing that will survive in our atmosphere will be genetically modified, herbicide-resistant, artificially fed soybeans grown by gigantic agri-business multinationals who will control the flow of foods for the military purpose of the client governments. This scenario is not paranoia talking, this consequence is a common futurist extension of simple cause-and-effect logic that is already partly a fait-accompli. How are you going to help anyone but those who suppress and repress if you sever all communications with our sense of physical reality?

So please replace that sense of physical reality into your formulae. When you call for a progression such as :

" At that point I would suggest this reversed scale for our own consciousness:

3> cybernetic/psychoanalytic

2> magical/erotic

1> compulsive/sexual

.where we find fred's mention of Ioan Couliano in his


Where 3 would become


2> magical/erotic/sexual

1> compulsive/sexual

So that there is a continuity of linking to some physical reality, in this case that of sexuality.

Perhaps Couliano has not yet transcended 'intersubjective relations' and explored 'quantum participation' because, as you quote:

"the agent is <<an observer of intersubjective relations while simultaneously gaining knowledge from which he means subsequently to profit>>. The Ioan Couliano excerpt is an excellent tool for gaining knowledge from Daniel's wandering about Akhnaton."

The very act of gaining knowledge 'for profit' comes from the artificial concept that there are only two motivating forces in human life, the fear of loss and the hope of gain. It is a culturally imposed concept and is only true when the individual has 'bought into' that cultural mindset where 'time is money'. We have either time, or money. But as I have written about the human life force from the moment of birth, gaining knowledge is a genetically programmed motif, probably for survival. Sexuality is just one aspect of survival. The fact is that 'survival' is no longer a cultural issue and that 'life' is one of the few facts of life that cannot be examined from a spherical (or elliptical) point of view. Life either exists or it doesn't. It is not debatable. But survival is. Once food, clothing, shelter and reproduction are no longer issues (that is, we have food, clothing, housing and children) then 'survival' becomes a state of mind (like the 'pursuit of happiness' in the American Declaration of Independence). "Survival becomes increasingly trivialized until a husband can kill his son for not taking out the garbage or his wife for having an affair. This trivialized concept of survival is then subject to Couliano's 'intersubjective relations'.

My time is up, I am sorry. Writing seriously limits my 'participation' in the goats' and chickens' lives, much less in that of my children.

This essay was part of a debate on akhnaton@yahoogroups.com

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