The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 6 May 2018 - Page 20

end of our world, there is in such language no dissimulation, no going forth in disguise, even if the language involved also has a double meaning structure. The Great Narratives of beginnings and ends, argues Ricoeur deal not with dissimulation but with manifestation and revelation: they deal with what some Greek thinkers would call aletheia. What is being made manifest is the realm of what man considered sacred, the realm of the divine which man without the help of such texts merely glimpses through a glass darkly. Ricoeur calls the above functions of language, the “symbolic function” and he calls the field of “work” in which symbols emerge, “the hermeneutic field”. The work of the interpretation of symbolic language is a work of understanding and a desire for understanding and it is these two aspects of language I wish to concentrate upon as the key to understanding the language we use concerning the mythical figures of Eros and Thanatos. In “The Symposium” one of the speakers asserts that Eros is a God. Socrates conjures up a conversation he had with Diotima in which he had proposed the thesis that Eros must be a God. Paradoxically, Diotima uses elenchus on Socrates to demonstrate(“make manifest”) that a God has to be beautiful and All Good.(lacking in nothing) In her demonstration she points to what we know about Eros, namely that he is in mythology a barefooted figure (like Socrates) padding about the city in search of what is divine or sacred: ergo he cannot be an embodiment of the all good and the beautiful which all hold to be divine and sacred. Indeed his origins seem far too anthropomorphic, having being conceived as he was at a party to honour Aphrodite by parents one of whom was drunk and the other extremely poor(Resource and Poverty). This is a dream- like scenario. Myths and dreams resemble each other for Freud but there are differences. Dreams for Freud are regulated by the Pleasure Principle,i.e. the language we use to report them bear with it the symbolic structure of double meaning and dissimulation: dreams and myth go forth in disguise. They stand in contrast with our desire to understand, which for Freud is the work of the Ego. The work of the ego is in accordance with the reality principle which in turn is responsible for the education of our desire — responsible, in the language of mythology, for the fact that when we talk about Eros we represent him as understanding the beautiful and the Good. Understanding the reality principle is also responsible for Eros communing on occasion with the Gods. Readers of Freud’s later writings will be familiar with his suggested topographical triangle of desire. We desire or wish for something outside of the circle of our necessary desires, and the world or reality refuses the demand, resulting in a subsequent wounding of the ego which one would expect to lead to a modification of the desire(as falling within the circle of