Here we recognize the two planes of which we were talking about earlier meaning the two steps of transfer, that of the silent analysis and that of reconstruction. Is this knowledge this of the therapist or the patient? It can appear that it is the patient’s and that the therapist mostly ends up being in the way of the analysis…
It is not easy, and we need to introduce here the new notion of two different knowledge, the one on the object and the one on knowledge. We will call it, as to not mix it up with other similar notion, metaknowledge. It is the one the therapist will have to transmit during the therapy. Let us immediately take an example to understand what this is about.
Let us put ourselves in one of the worst possible symptom: one of which wars give us many examples. One will only think about revenge after losing their family, their children. Their life will melt in the symptom to the point where it will seem to make sense to their relatives.
Although, we know that only the symptom has meaning which allows the therapist to get out of their silence and intervene or even interpret. Because once again we interpret a symptom, not the desire.
And peace, both internal and external, will not come through the symptom, here the revenge, but by the intelligence of grief, grief of the symptom, the revenge, meaning the ability to get away from objects of love and hate to continue step by step in a new world created by desire, away from the burning passion of the symptom.
The knowledge that guides this journey is not about the object but about a questioning on this knowledge where desire is hidden… It is a metaknowledge. It only appears when, little by little, the object is silenced. Or more likely when the objects of hate and of love appear as equivalent in their blockage of desire when they are overly invested, symptomatic.
This is where arrives the logical question of silence. Because it is what goes from a logic to another through the exploration of conscious chaos, only becoming language thanks to it and to the suspension of the dialogue’s intuitive response which always comes to reinforce the narcissistic plane. This is why it is more often than not useless to talk about their psychological problems to their friends. This is where the invention of psychoanalysis, of the listening silence by Breuer has to do with a question of logic as much as it has to do with the psychological question as researched by Freud.
Indeed, when a subjective logic meets its limit, which is often about agreeing with the other or losing their love, the following silence either creates a new theory, a new state of desire or, if it fails, anxiety. The logical researches of Stéphane Lupasco can help understand what is happening here.
The binary logic’s silence: Stéphane Lupasco
It is on the question of the limits of thinking that Stéphane Lupasco’s work is interesting for psychoanalysis even if it is more metaphorically thought than it can seem to be. Let us begin with a summary of his theories through the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which is very clear on this subject although it would be better to read his book “Energy and psychological matter” for those specifically interested in it.
The included Third is opposed to the principle of excluded third in “classic” logic: in a two values logic (right or wrong), two contradictory offers (p and ¬p) cannot be right together as much as they cannot be wrong together. If we want to show that non-p is wrong then p is right. If we can show that non-p is wrong than p is right because there is no third possibility: p ∨ ¬p (p and non-p).
In formal logic, the principle of excluded third (or “excluded middle”) supports that the disjunction “p or non-p” is necessarily right for all p offer. Meaning that one or another is this offer p or its negation non-p is right.
As identity, this principle has a double version, logic and ontological.
The ontological version rejects the notion of tiers in the being: there is being or not being but no half-being.
The logic version affirms that every offer is necessarily right or wrong and that there is no in-between possible. The classical logic gives it a great importance. According to David Hilbert, taking the tertium non datur (the third is not given) away from the mathematician would be like taking away the telescope from the astronomer, the fist from the boxer. The modal or plural-valuable logic weaken the principle of excluded Third (Tertium non datur) and admit a third value (Tertium datur) or even a completely new scale of value. They do not admit the “included Third”, counted as nothing, which in itself is contradictory.
On the contrary, the dynamic logic of the contradictory does not take care of offers that could be right or wrong, although it could apply to this problem. It is more the energy’s logic since it needs to jump to another plane and applies to energetic or logical events that can be brought back to homogenization and heterogenization, symbolized by implication and non-implication on all degrees of actuality and potential. The T state corresponds to the maximal contradiction.
Included third and complexity
The included third is the dialogue axiom (for example corpuscle and wave in quantum physics) only made possible by the existence of different tiers of reality in the complexity. But for Basarab Nicolescu this logic of the included third does not abolish this of the excluded third: “it only restricts its field of rightness to simple situations like the traffic of cars on a highway: nobody thinks about including a third direction distinct from the permitted one and the forbidden one on a highway.
On the opposite, the notion of excluded third is dangerous in complex situations, like in the political or social fields. In this case it acts as a true logic of exclusion: good or bad, left or right, black or white etc.” For Edgar Morin the included third is a necessary logical transgression, inherent to the principle of dialogue. This means that one contains their own antagonist, their own multiplicity: “I am me, and I am not me”.
When for example we say: “I am talking”, the self is talking as a conscious subject. At the same time there is an entire unconscious mechanism that functions in our bodies and our minds. There is also a culture speaking through us, a “talking machine”, a self that talks through this machine. There is anonymity, an it that speaks. Which means that the principle of identity is, in fact, complex. It is made of heterogeneity and plurality in unity.
In this way, the principle of included third means that we can be the Self and the Other. Through this we escape any disjunctive alternative.
Thanks o the principle of included third we can consider and link themes that would normally be exclusive or antagonistic.
The principle of excluded third in classical logic represents an important guardrail. We need to get rid of it only when the complexity of the situation and/or the empiric check asks for it. We can not abolish the excluded third; but we can bend it following the complexity.
Let’s say: the third needs to be included or excluded following the complexity or the simplicity encountered and where exactly is the complexity found, be it fragmentary, analytical, fractional or following the whole of the complex formula. The field of the excluded third might work in simple case. But a dialogue is always complex. Because dialogue is always the included third.
I will send back the curious reader to this beautiful article.
But let us go off Wikipedia to link Lupasco’s work with the reflection on silence.
Instead of silence, Lupasco invokes this included third that is specific to its contradictory logic. It marks the logical moment of maximum contradiction or the most contradictory state of the energy-matter (the T state), in its informative state. Which in itself is contradictory because at this moment the creation of an included third validates the contradiction from which it was born! The apparent contradictions are then only steps in the thought process. A good example is the invention of the imaginary number, the root of -1 being contradictory to arithmetic principles while opening the field of complex numbers and their multiple uses. Lupasco interprets with this notion the quantum void and the neurological steps that create the psyche.
The anxiety linked to a desiring block is the attempt to create this included third. If a non-productive silence lacking reconstruction becomes an obstacle, the temptation to create an oxymoron is high. A totem representing the insurmountable contradictions appears, functioning alongside phobia since anxiety lives in this place of blocked desires on unsurmounted antagonisms.
No phobia without totem, an object that always divided itself in two contradictory and blocked theories if we ever look for it… The totem is the historical cultural representation of what Lupasco calls the included third, included between two contradictory logic. If the totem protects from the omnipotence of Gods and men, two antagonistic and contradictory logic, the fear of horses also protects the little Hans in the love for his mother and the hate for his father at the same time that it stops him in his development. Totem and phobia work at the border of the logic of the included third of Lupasco, of the oxymoron.
But it goes farther away because totems, just like symptoms, create a world of their own, a cosmogony with transmission rules seen in ethnological and psychoanalytical structures. We can then say that those structures are the development of the logic of the included third, a completely informative theory born of those contradictions. Then the totem creates new developments called science and philosophy just as in psychoanalysis, the symptom can create a new subject.