Maurizio Fabbri, After the death of God, the death of the Unconscious? Announcements and misunderstandings in the civilisation of care and empathy
“God is dead”, announces Nietzsche in the aphorism 125 of Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882): God is dead, but the “madman” who was looking for him is not dead, and the human, which Nietzsche called for the extinction, has not faded yet. Neither the metaphysics – that had announced the thought and the advent of God – has died: the death of God did not cause the death of metaphysics, but only its emptying.
Nihilism is the age of the emptying rather than of the Disenchantment: the illusions and the fundamental categories of tradition, rather than extinct, have become part of everyday life in which the humanitas is not yet ready to take leave from itself and relies on the languages and the words of the past. To say what? To resize the their depth, to highlight their relativity, but above all to continue to pronounce such words, because new ones are not known.
A comforting thought, not so distant from the one that Nietzsche imputed to Socrates and Euripides, is spreading: this kind of thought that in the fifth century BC caused the death of the great Attic tragedy nowadays continues to make its effects following the proclaim: “Know yourself!”. God is dead, but the ego is not dead. The ego, however, has changed and still is changing: how, in what terms and in what directions? For Freud, it was the place of the death instincts, while the life instincts lived in the unconscious: is it still the case?
Referring to Lacan thought, Recalcati proclaims the death of the Unconscious, but also that the ego has not appropriated the life instincts: the latter, instead of becoming part of the personal experience and giving voice to the personal biographies, are object of a removal process that moves into the realm of the superego and of the pure ideals. The process of removal of the Spirit theorized by Kierkegaard spoken in the mid nineteenth century is still actual.