excerpts from Dr Nathan’s journal (november 1975)

20/11/75 – Something has been troubling me these past few days: if it were  possible to create a mathematical formulation of the unconscious, then is the human mind anything more than some complex algebra?

I have an idea as to how we might test the theory. We know that the typical psyche is expected to go through a very strict and coordinated set of familial events, events fixed on the level of instinct, but this was no doubt destabilized upon the advent of consciousness. However, our technological age enables for potentially omniscient surveillance, and so we are surely at a point whereby the rigorous systematisation of a subject’s movement from infancy into adulthood may be undertaken: every single minute action and interaction monitored, every visually instilled familial and objective association tracked, systematised and monitored. The Oedipus complex captured on film! My own surrealist masterpiece!

22/11/75 – we know symbolisation centers around vision, which subverts all other senses. This can be verified by one simple fact: no congenitally blind child has ever become schizophrenic. Could this fact alone could indeed be enough to pinpoint the exact emergence of consciousness?

Inner thought is, for now, technologically inscrutable. However the subjective appropriation of the outside world which is observable enables us to observe that so crucial moment of symbolic totality – when the veil of metaphor conceals all, and the birth of consciousness in childhood emerges. To see this moment on film – is as close to seeing the creation of a universe that we will ever come.

Traven. His transformation has not yet come. His malformed symbolic constitution leaves him in a kaleidoscopic world of broken glass – shards of words which blur and waver, unable to conceal the traumatic real that lies behind. His inner world is an inscrutible vortex, into which our world is refracted and reconstructed to fit his own unique logic. In viewing Traven’s spectacular impunity we must recall Doctor Laing’s assertion that the “the cracked mind of the schizophrenic may let in light which does not enter the intact minds of many sane people whose minds are closed”.

24/11/75 – It’s 2.30am. I cannot stop thinking about the test. What is needed? (1) Eye-cameras for symbolic tethers. (2) test subjects. ideally identical twins so that we can weed out the environmental from the genetically inherited factors which could influence the development of language. (3) Dali’s The Ascension of Christ. (4) The curved surface of a motorway crash barrier. The algebraic make up of the Oedipus complex is the key: it is the point of the emergence of consciousness once the Name of the Father is given up, or it is the point of being forever locked in an inner oblivion if one chooses to retain this godly name for oneself… 

N.

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