Meditations on Psychoanalysis & Noise & Signals & DNA


I was binge listening to Conner Habib‘s podcast while reading Life Against Death by Norman O. Brown. I had some deep thoughts and now I have forgotten them – so they must not have been that deep!

I am trying to recreate it from my marginalia in Life Against Death. But I just have some notes on Ferenczi and how psychoanalysis is a deeply contextual and relative theory of sexuality. I dont think this is terribly true or profound. However while writing this I did remember what I thought. And I just now now have to marvel at the body and knowledge of the body the wisdom of the body. It is not that by writing we know what we think, because we formulate it in our minds, but by the physical act of writing our bodies can actually create knowledge or can actually know. We do not know anything until we physically express it. This may not be true because people in a locked in scenario can know things – so perhaps I need to re-evaluate this but on to my “deep thoughts”.

Ok so in the title I use the term psychoanalysis not psychology. In Life Against Death there is often a distinction between psychoanalysis and psychology. So I am not really sure of the difference. It seems that psychology is broadly about the study of the mind and the effect of the mind on behavior and interaction and psychoanalysis is specifically about a “psychodynamic” view of behavior …. And by psychodynamic I mean an interplay between the unconscious and conscious. Freud – the father of psychoanalysis quote on quote discovered the unconscious.

Different people have different theories of the unconscious, of what it is and so forth.

I was going to write something longer, but I am watching a movie with my kids so I will keep it brief.

It seems to me that Freud considers the unconscious like noise – that we have these unconscious urges that disrupt us in life or become disrupt us… they are the noise to our conscious signal. Freudian slips and neurotic behaviors are noise they are the unconscious.. and they are only useful in improving the signal.

For Lacan “the unconscious is the discourse of the other.” So the unconscious is not necessarily noise but it is not information, is perhaps something like an encoded string – it has its own structure and must be translated.

For Jung the unconscious is perhaps an opportunity for discovery – an aid in individuation. The unconscious is not noise it is like “junk dna” which turns out to not be junk after all.