Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Law of Desire

The gap between this “law of desire” and Ego-Ideal (the network of social-symbolic norms and ideal that the subject internalizes in the course of his or her education) is crucial here. For Lacan, the seemingly benevolent agency of the Ego-Ideal which leads us to moral growth and maturity, forces us to betray the “law of desire” by way of adopting the “reasonable” demands of the existing socio-symbolic order. The superego, with its excessive feeling of guilt, is merely the necessary obverse of the Ego-Ideal: it exerts its unbearable pressure upon us on behalf of our betrayal of the “law of desire.” The guilt we experience under the superego pressure is not illusory but actual – “the only thing of which one can be guilty is of having given ground relative to one’s desire,” [3] and the superego pressure demonstrates that we effectively are guilty of betraying our desire.
- Zizek, "How to Read Lacan"

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