The postmodern soul.

(Note: I am committed to using the word postmodern as many times as possible for the sheer utility of Google discovering I exist. I personally am more of a "hypermodern" kind of guy :P )

There is an interesting post over at The Church and Postmodernism in which Geoff Holsclaw (bonus points for cool name...) examining the manufacture of desire in our society. He does this examining Lacan's jouissance , a kind of drive for an unobtainable pleasure, the ," the pleasure or joy we seek which we can never enjoy if it were to arrive. The pleasure that is painful to encounter." The incisive part of his essay reads:
...increasingly there is a minimal difference between a postmodern “desire of desire” and a theological “desire of God.” Lacan’s understanding of ‘desire’ as the desire of/for the Other and Augustine’s “our souls are restless until we find out rest in God” are almost indistinguishable. Almost, that is! Both are formed by a constitutive lack which divides every subject between what it is and ought to be; between what it needs and desires. Yet the former empties into the Abyss or Void of an ontological Lack in Being (Zizek and Badiou theorize these themes of Lacan). But the latter springs from the fullness of creation and the plentitude of Being, which is none other than God. It is increasingly problematic that Zizek and Badiou can affirm the words of a new Chase Bank credit card tagline: “Chase what matters” (either the products or revolutionary movement that stimulates you the most).
The effort to correlate Lacan's "postmodern" desire (psychology) with Augustine's rest is interesting. Holsclaw poses the question of whether or not there is a difference between the two, implying, I think, there is.
Not knowing Augustine's position as well as I should, I question if there is any correlation at all. In my limited Augustinian understanding, This sounds like Pascal's "God-shaped vacuum," and I do not believe that it exists as such: there is nothing in the natural world that calls out to God, that wants a God who is wholly other, completely different from creation. So I must understand Augustine's sentiment as a statement of faith, not natural reality, in which case, Lacan sounds about right.. I'd love to hear from someone with a more informed Augustinian understanding :)


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