[-empyre-] On (severe) Pain Part 3 (dialog between Sandy Baldwin and Alan Sondheim)

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Oct 7 23:52:32 EST 2012

For the person in abject and insufferable pain, pain becomes the universe; 
thinking through pain otherwise, as in these writings, is thinking through 
the entire universe itself in terms of suffering. We assume that in 
general when one 'does' philosophy or science, one speaks from a position 
of neutrality and/or health, that a degree of detachment from the body is 
intrinsic. But one might just as well speak from a position of depression 
or pain or hysteria, and different cosmologies, of the body especially, 
emerge. Just as cosmology describes at its asymptote the whole of the 
cosmos, so abject pain describes in a similar position the whole/hole of 
the body; there's nothing else. For humans, death, dying, and the universe 
are entangled; Wittgenstein's drawing of the eye interconnects with all 
cessation of being. In cosmology as well there is constant speculation on 
the heat death of the planet, the cold simmering out death of the 
universe, the ending of all life; all of these are interrelated, and 
birth/life/death histories of the cosmos parallel birth/life/death 
histories of species. We somehow believe as well that our body is ours, 
and our universe is ours; we know no others, but speculate on the Other in 
existentialism (among other domains) and multiverse; everything is both 
unreachable and apparently reachable, embraceable. And in both, at the 
heart of the psychology and physiology of bodies and worlds, there are 
unutterable fears and drives. -

- Alan

On Sun, 7 Oct 2012, Monika Weiss wrote:

> These are very beautiful summaries of your meditations--reinscriptions,
> thank you Alan and Sandy. 
> Pain as socially visible and already historical from the point of view of
> others, yet unnamable and meaningless within ourselves. Loss of the ability
> to signify, to mean, is a shared attribute of pain and mourning. Pain as
> embodied union of mind and body, in their indiscernible embrace (when it
> hurts it hurts throughout) --- and mourning as an act, a response to the
> loss of meaning, to the loss of, breaking of, falling of a part of one self,
> the entire self breaking, so that it no longer is capable to comprehend
> itself.  
> Could you expand on the "pain's relationship to the body as cosmology to the
> universe"....
> Monika Weiss
> On Oct 6, 2012, at 11:12 PM, Charles Baldwin wrote:
>       Here's the final part of the dialog (in fact, the notes below
>       are largely by Alan). Again, these emerge from the
>       kernel/core/chora of the discussion of mourning and grief.  
>       110812_004: Pain as separating inscription/history from the
>       inertness of the body; what's read as history from the outside
>       (and thereby entering the social), from the inside is
>       unread/unreadable. The inside is pure substance.
>       110812_005: Inscription carries, until burial, carries a
>       specific relationship to the body until burial. Burial is a form
>       of reinscription. A line on the body - how is this interpreted
>       during life? during death?
>       110812_012: Inscription => embodiment and maintenance;
>       maintenance => retardation: what makes for example virtual
>       particles last as long as they do? Retardation - slowing things
>       down, copying, duplicating, a poetics of dispersion,
>       holding-back. See the phenomenology of numbers: data-base,
>       interpretation, intentionality, an immersive situation, memory.
>       In doing mathematics, always dealing with temporal processes. In
>       pain: everything drops away, definable and immersive situations
>       cease to exist.
>       110812_014: Splintering, splintered nails, leveraging of
>       particles, striations, applicable to notions of binding,
>       constriction, discomfort.
>       110816_002: Pain of the signifiera: signifier as incision,
>       disturbance, splits between the Pale and beyond the Pale. Pain
>       beyond the Pale? The pain of death: horizon foreclosing its
>       origin and the subject as well.
>       110816_003: The work I do as obdurate, not grid or mapping, but
>       flows that are not channelized, flows that are mute - relation
>       to pain. The phenomenology of the embodiment of the signifier is
>       also mute. What I do is planless, expands into available
>       technology on a practical level, produces and reproduces that
>       way.
>       110816_006: My Textbook of Thinking: components of inscription:
>       linkage, syntactical structure, inscription is an ordering of
>       difference, impulse, representation-structure, legitimation
>       structure, maintenance, stabilization mechanisms,
>       positive/negative feedback, field of abjection. Excessive
>       related to corrosion. Difference between fissure and
>       inscription. Relationship of corrosion and scarcity to pain.
>       110816_007: Phenomenology of eccentric space, Sarduy,
>       de-centering the subject, tied to abjection.
>       110816_008: Difference between fissure and inscription; pain
>       tends towards fissure; if fissure is same and same, there's no
>       geography, no topography, no topology; the result is the crack /
>       wound, everywhere and nowhere.
>       110818_001: Pain relates to the body as cosmology to the
>       universe. (?)
>       110819_001: Pain in relation to virtual worlds: in
>       circumlocution of the subject who may remain impervious, the
>       degree zero of phenomenology.
>       110821_001: What happens when users exchange their avatars? Our
>       histories, inventories, are no longer our own.
>       _______________________________________________
>       empyre forum
>       empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>       http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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