|The faith as an act and experience|
|Title in the language of publication:||
Вера как акт, опыт, переживание
Doctor of Philosophy, professor at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the Saint Petersburg State University, professor at the Department of Psychoanalysis theory at the east European Institute of Psychoanalysis.
Address: 7/9 Universitetskaya emb., St. Petersburg 199034, Russia.
The article is an attempt to offer a detailed interpretation of the definition of faith given by the Apostle Paul. This interpretation is rooted in the anthropological thematization of the ritual, in the conception of the personal change in psychoanalytic practice, in the philosophical understanding of the act of faith. In the twentieth century anthropology, philosophy and psychoanalysis have achieved synchronization in the endeavor to make sense of the experience of subjectivation at its most critical points. In this joint effort, there is a trajectory of understanding faith, where the essential moments include the intentional, instrumental and constitutive character of the ritual action; the privative modification of thought, knowledge about opportunities, which is prescribed, but “so far ineffective”; and finally the distinction between suffering and pain, pain being considered as a fundamental fact, and suffering understood as non-self-sufficient and baseless.
The analysis of the ritual actions undertaken by M. Moss, clarifies its technical nature, where meaning of the technic is revealed as intertwinement of conviction and action itself, as the original unity of the doing and what is being done. This allows one to understand magical efficiency as a result of the institutionalization of the symbolic dimension, based on the desire of the Other. Similarly, Moss thematizes prayer – not so much as a spiritual experience, but as an action whose particular subject is the Word. It is the work with the words, endless acts of utterance are the main way of entering in the Symbolic register and forming of the subject.
Psychoanalytic experience, also based on working with the word, refers to traumatic personal experience. The transformation of psychoanalytic thought in the twentieth century (from Freud to W. Bion) permits to stress not so much the importance of the catharsis and rewriting of personal history, as rather the task of creating the “apparatus for thinking thoughts” as a way of symbolically processing intolerable feelings and thoughts, an opportunity to cope with mental pain.
The issue of thought and knowledge becomes the focus of the problematization of the experience of faith. The definition of faith given by A. Badiou allows combining the anthropological and the psychoanalytic traditions under the sign of the idea of “baseless” suffering, as “presence at the thought”; the latter being understood as desire and impossibility to vindicate it, allowing suffering to forget about itself in this struggle.
The ritual, the subject, thought, presence, suffering, pain, psychic reality, frustration, avoidance of frustration, containment.
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© Nina Savchenkova, 2016