Gorman's Commonplace Book |||

The Body & Hauntology

In an earlier post here on the commonplace book I wrote about the idea of castration-gone-wrong. Since writing that I’ve continued to think about the role of the body in hauntology.

To explain my thinking I’ll want to review some of the concepts from my earlier posts.

What I’ve done is group the concepts, and then write a number list of thoughts that I hope explain how different concepts fit together. This represents my current (somewhat organized) thinking, not a finished product. As I continue to think about all of this I’m sure the concepts and the way I see them fitting together will change.

If the concepts below spark something in your own thinking, please let me know about it.

Violence, Violation, Coverups, & Haunting:

  1. Violence involves a violation.
  2. Violations can be responded to in a variety of different ways. One way to respond to them is to try to cover them up .
  3. When a violation is covered up it is hidden in a way that makes it almost as if it did not happen. The logic is If we hide this violation in a good enough way most people will never know it happened, and the ones that do know it happened will forget about it… or at the very least never talk about it.”
  4. When a violation is covered up or it leaves an absent presence / present absence that does not make sense, a scar, a glitch.
  5. This absent presence / present absense is a ghotst.
  6. Ghosts haunt people, societies, cultures.
  7. Ghosts are attempting to make people consciously realize that a violation has happened, they want the violation to be recognized, they want us to learn something from it.
  8. If the ghost is successful people do come aware of the violation. If people do really work though the violation the ghost can stop haunting, it can move on.
  9. If the violation is only partially worked through, or is covered up again before it is really worked through the haunting continues.
  10. I think most cultures and societies have lots of ghosts that haunt pretty hard. Sometimes the society does try to work through the ghost’s haunting, but usually society abandons the working through process prior to learning the lesson of the violation.

Power, Castration, & Castration-gone-wrong:

  1. Power is the ability to do things, to get stuff done, or to stop things from being done.
  2. One of the ways that power is used is castrating subjects.
  3. Castrating is forcing subjects to realize how limited they are, it makes subjects realize that power exists in the world and they can’t just ignore it.
  4. When castration is done in what I’ll call the right way” people learn that they need to share the world with other people, and they are able to do that the majority of the time with out issue.
  5. To do castration in the right way” people with power need to use that power to set limits that make sense. Not too strict, and not too permissive.
  6. When castration is done in the right way” people don’t enjoy the process of being castrated, but it also does not do huge amounts of damage. Castration done in the right way” is something people can and do recover from.
  7. Castration-gone-wrong, on the other hand, is where limits are set in ways that are either too brutal, when the castration involves an intense violation the subject.
  8. When a subject is exposed to castration-gone-wrong they will be violated in a way that creates a sort of personal ghost that haunts them.
  9. I tend to think that these personal ghosts work the same way that the ghots I described above do. They haunt the people who were violated by a source of power that over/under did castration.
  10. I want to also point out that castration is done to include a subject into a social network. Castration-gone-wrong is done to exclude a subject from a social network.

Point #10 above is something I’m still thinking through a lot. I’ll probably write more about it later.

Quick review:

  1. Ghosts happen when there is a violation that does more damage than a society or person can recover, when violation is so intense that it leaves a massive scar that is n absent presence / present absence.
  2. On the societal (macro) level ghosts are covered over.
  3. On the personal (micro) level ghots are repressed.
  4. Ghosts haunt us in an attempt to get us to work through the violation. If we can’t work through the violation the ghost keeps haunting.
  5. Some violations might never be worked through… We may be stuck with some ghosts for our entires existence.

The Body

  1. I would say that power is most apparent when it comes to rest upon a body.
  2. Power can be used to keep a body in or out.
  3. Castration is done to help a body belong among other bodies.
  4. Castration-gone-wrong is done to make sure a body knows it does not belong among other bodies. It tells a body Know your place and stay there. If you do not follow this command your body will be violated.”
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