S. J. McGrath

Abstract

The early Schelling and the romantics constructed the unconscious in order to overcome the modern split between subjectivity and nature, mind and body, a split legislated by Cartesian representationalism. Influenced by Boehme and Kabbalah, the later Schelling modified his notion of the unconscious to include the decision to be oneself, which must sink beneath consciousness so that it might serve as the ground of one’s creative and personal acts. Slavoj Zizek has read the later Schelling’s unconscious as a prototype of Lacan’s reactive unconscious, an unconscious that only exists as the excluded other of consciousness. This reading, though close to the text of Schelling, misses something essential: the unconscious for Schelling is not a repression but a condition of the possibility of life and love.

S. J. McGrath

In the following article I first situate Lacan and Jung in the broader history of the unconscious: Western esotericism and Romanticism. This contextualization is necessary for the subsequent construction of a Jungian reading of Lacan's theory of sexuation. I will underscore one commonality between Jung and Lacan, and make evident the specific challenge Lacanian theory presents to Jung's notion of coniunctio. In conclusion I will suggest that Jung's theory will not only be improved by meeting the Lacanian challenge to a naïve notion of coniunctio; it will ultimately be brought into clearer alignment with its Western esoteric (alchemical) sources.

Series:

Edited by S.J. McGrath and Andrzej Wierciński

Series:

Edited by S.J. McGrath and Andrzej Wierciński

In the academic year 1920-1921 at the University of Freiburg, Martin Heidegger gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the phenomenological significance of the religious thought of St. Paul and St. Augustine. The publication of these lectures in 1995 settled a long disputed question, the decisive role played by Christian theology in the development of Heidegger’s philosophy. The lectures present a special challenge to readers of Heidegger and theology alike. Experimenting with language and drawing upon a wide range of now obscure authors, Heidegger is finding his way to Being and Time through the labyrinth of his Catholic past and his increasing fascination with Protestant theology. A Companion to Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life is written by an international team of Heidegger specialists.