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compartmentalized elds does not in itsel suce to construct the intellectuallie that we need now. What matters is that rom the outset the thinking subjectshould connect his thought to his being in the world through an aective “trans-erence” that is also political and ethical. In my own case, the clinical practiceo psychoanalysis, the writing o novels, and work in the social domain are not“commitments” additional to my theoretical and scholarly work. Rather, theseactivities are an extension o a mode o thinking at which I aim and which I con-ceive as an
in the Aristotelian sense: thought as act, the actualization o intelligence.In my experience — to take the most relevant instance — the interpreta-tion o texts and behavior, notably in the light o psychoanalysis, opens up anew approach to the world o religion.
The discovery o the unconscious by Freud showed us that ar rom being “illusions” — while nevertheless being illu-sions — religions, belies, and other orms o spirituality shelter, encourage, orexploit speciable psychic movements that allow the human being to become aspeaking subject and a source o culture or, conversely, a source o destruction. The reverence or law, the celebration o the paternal unction, and the role o maternal passion as the child’s sensorial and prelinguistic support are examples o this process at work. My analytic practice has convinced me that when a patientcomes or psychoanalysis, he is asking or a kind o orgiveness, not to ease hismalaise but to nd psychic or even physical rebirth. The new beginning madepossible through transerence and interpretation I call
: to give (and togive not just to onesel) a new sel, a new time, unoreseen ties. In this context, werecognize the complexity o the internal experience that religious aith cultivates,but we also bring to light the hate that takes the guise o lovers’ discourse, as wellas the death drive channeled to merciless wars and political vengeance. A new conception o the human is in the process o being constituted outo contributions rom elds in the humanities where transcendence is consideredimmanent. The new conception is o the human as synonymous with the desireor meaning, and o that desire as inseparable rom pleasure, which is rooted insexuality and which decrees both the sublimity o culture and the brutality o “acting out.” The intellectual today is conronted with a dicult, historic task commensurate with our now-dicult juncture in the history o civilization. Thetask is neither more nor less than to coax this new type o knowledge to emergeprogressively. In order to do so, we use the technical terms o our specic eldsbut without reducing them to their strict meaning, which is always too narrow. By positioning ourselves at the interace o the diverse disciplines o the humanities, we give ourselves the opportunity to clariy, even i only a little, the enigmas wehave still to comprehend: psychosis, murderous hate, the war o male and emale,maternal madness, nihilism, passion, sublimation, and belie.