Archives for posts with tag: Pop Culture

To add to my analysis of the final installment of the Harry Potter (movie) saga, I’d like to turn to the subject of Harry as Christ. Let us examine the concept of the support of the believers, the symbolic community, more closely. Of course, first we must take a detour through (who else?) Žižek. Please forgive the perhaps excessive length of the following quote!

In Metastases of Enjoyment, pages 39-42, he outlines Hegel’s examination of Christianity:

the ‘death of God’ designates for Hegel the death of the transcendent Beyond that exists in itself: the outcome of this death is God qua Holy Spirit – that is, the product of the labour of the community of believers. The relationship between cause and effect is dialectically reflected here. On the one hand, the Cause is unambiguously the product of the subjects’ activity; it is ‘alive’ only in so far as it is continually resuscitated by the believers’ passion….

On the other hand, these same believers experience the Cause as the Absolute, as what sets their lives in motion…Subjects therefore posit the Cause, yet they posit it not as something subordinated to them but as their absolute Cause. What we encounter here is again the paradoxical temporal loop of the subject: the Cause is posited, but it is posited as what it ‘always-already was.’….

[Christianity] involves the absolute mediation of both sides in the person of Christ, who is simultaneously the representative of God among human subjects and the subject who passes into God. In Christianity, the only identity of man and God is the identity in Christ – in clear contrast to the pre-Christian attitude, which conceives of such an identity as the asymptotic point of man’s infinite approach to God by means of his spiritual purification [e.g., paganism, the great Eastern religions, Judaism, etc., in which God is a mystical ‘Beyond’ that can be approached but never reached]….

[The content of Christian Doctrine is the death that happens to a particular individual who achieves reconciliation with the universal]. Here the death of Christ is “still experienced as the force of negativity that affects a particular, finite being; it is not yet experienced as the simultaneous death of the abstract Beyond itself….

[The content of Christian Faith, however, is] salvation, accomplished by Christ when he took upon himself the sins of humanity and expired on the Cross as a common mortal – salvation thus involves the identity of man and God. This identity, which in the Doctrine was a mere object of knowledge, occurs in Faith as an existential experience….How do I, a finite mortal, concretely experience my identity with God? I experience it in my own radical despair, which – paradoxically – involves a loss of faith: when, apparently forsaken by God, I am driven to despair, thrown into absolute solitude, I can identify with Christ on the Cross (‘Father, why has Thou forsaken me?’)….[M]y personal experience of being abandoned by God thus overlaps with the despair of Christ himself as being abandoned by the divine Father….

What expires on the Cross is thus not only the terrestrial representative of God (as it still seemed in the first syllogism of the Doctrine) but God himself, namely the god of Beyond, God as the transcendent Substance, as the divine Reason which guarantees that our lives have Meaning….

The content of the Ritual, finally, is the Holy Spirit as the positive unity of man and God: the God who expired on the Cross is resurrected in the guise of the Spirit of the religious community. He is no longer the Father who, safe in His Beyond, regulates our fate, but the work of us all, members of the community, since he is present in the ritual performed by us….

Conceived this way, the ‘death of God’ can no longer appear as a liberating experience, as the retreat of the Beyond which sets man free, opening up to him the domain of terrestrial activity as the field in which he is to affirm his creative subjectivity; instead the ‘death of God’ involves the loss of the consistent ‘terrestrial’ reality itself. Farm from heralding the triumph of man’s autonomous creative capacity, the ‘death of God’ is more akin to what the great texts of mysticism usually designate as the ‘night of the world’: the dissolution of (symbolically constituted) reality.

In the Christian faith, Christ’s resurrection is the resurrection and continuation of the principles that Jesus stood for, not of Jesus himself. But in the final stage of the Harry Potter saga, Harry must literally be brought back to life.

So the most unfortunate aspect of the movie is that, instead of exemplifying the triumph of the revolutionary Cause (Good vs. Evil), with the transmission of the Cause to the Holy Spirit, sustained through the ritual action of the community of believers,  the plot takes the shallow turn of Harry’s actual, corporeal ‘resurrection.’

Worse still is that this resurrection requires a magical/mystical supplement; the community doesn’t have any part in Harry’s resurrection – the magic of the Resurrection Stone is a kind of ‘deus ex machina’ that relieves the community of its own, existential despair, and of the hard work of keeping the Idea/Cause alive, taking away the most fundamental sacrifice of any revolutionary/religious commitment.

If Harry had died, we wouldn’t have the cop-out happy ending. Rather, we’d have utter despair within the community of believers. Harry’s death could then symbolize for the community the fragility of their own way of life, the non-assurance of their safety in the world, even, yes, the possibility that they will die (literally or figuratively), forsaken by what they’d thought was a secure life, held in tact by an everlasting guide/father figure (Dumbledore).

So while we do get the death of Dumbledore, who stands for the God of the Old Testament, the father figure for Harry and the rest of Hogwarts, the movie never runs its full course; the New Testament and its hero, Jesus Christ, with his Good News — the news of the community’s salvation in their own, collectively sustained (and never guaranteed) belief system — never arrives!

Harry never made the ultimate sacrifice for the community, thus sabotaging the birth of the Holy Spirit.

In a sense, Harry, since he somehow comes back from the dead, becomes, for all intents and purposes, a new Dumbledore. So this moment of ‘ressurection’ is not a moment of triumph, but, rather the ultimate failure of the series’ guiding force.

Rather than accomplishing the radical gesture of faith, Harry’s survival signals the series’ regression toward a kind of pre-Voldemort world.

For a contemporary analogy, this is the same kind of regression into premodern beliefs that’s been frighteningly successful among Christian fundamentalist groups. These groups search for material evidence of the Bible’s authenticity. They want hard evidence, proof. They take the Bible literally, as if the Bible’s literal meaning were even half as important as its existential meaning.

When Harry survives, the community’s freedom dies. Instead of the ‘death of God,’ in other words, we get the opposite, the reassurance that there really is a God: Magic.

Thus instead of accomplishing the radical gesture of Christian faith, the Harry Potter sage ends with a regression into the myth of the God as a mystical, metaphysical Beyond that one can’t ever fully grasp, but which nevertheless has enormous consequences for human life. Even the best wizards can only approach ‘asymptotically,’ as it were, the possession of the ultimate, universal power of Magic.

This is why Christians might rightly oppose J. K. Rowling’s remarkably successful franchise. But not for the cliche, stupid obsession with magic as some kind of metaphysical alternative to the ‘real’ world as ostensibly posited by the Bible, the obsession with Harry Potter as some kind of anti-Christian evil. Rather, Christians should remark that the message of Harry Potter doesn’t offer half the ‘good news’ of the Bible. (But it’s still a lot of fun to read. And damn, what a great movie! Five stars).

I’d like to suggest one particular example from the final installment of the Harry Potter saga as a clear starting point for an examination of the different subject positions represented by Voldemort and Harry.

The example is the case of the Elder Wand, and the two characters’ different relations to it. Simply put, Voldemort’s thirst for power and his manipulation of the Wand, versus Harry’s renunciation of power and his destruction of the Wand, exemplify, respectively, the positions of the master and the hysteric in Lacan’s four discourses (See Bruce Fink, The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance, 129-136).

Here’s my proposal: Voldemort’s rejection of all forms of Otherness identifies him with the subject of the master’s discourse, who manipulates the Slave(s), violently imposing a new Master Signifier, i.e., a ‘New World Order.’ Harry, on the other hand, with his acceptance of virtually ever kind of Otherness, every excluded/disenfranchised Other – going so far as to face death in order to save the ones he loves – and with his persistent, even relentless, curiosity, self-examination, and pursuit of the truth, exemplifies the discourse of the hysteric: “the hysteric goes at the master and demands that he or she show his or her stuff, prove his or her mettle by producing something serious by way of knowledge” (Lacanian Subject, 135).

However, the distinction between the master’s and the hysteric’s discourses is helpful in several other ways as well.

First, the master and the hysteric each has his own object-cause of desire. It helps to remember here that there is a difference between the object of desire and the object-cause of the desire: the object is a particular piece of material reality that stands in as one instance of the ineffable object-cause, which stands ‘behind,’ as it were, the object – this is the difference between the capitalist’s desire for a particular object (say, a BMW), and his object-cause (say, status/wealth); here, the object is an actual object, whereas the object-cause is an immaterial concept.

The object of the master’s desire is the actual person of the slave, who must be subordinated by the master in order for the master to secure whatever object-cause causes his desiring – his pursuit – of the to-be-conquered slave. For Voldemort, this object-cause would be something like Evil, an ideal kingdom dominated by the dark arts.

The object of the hysteric’s desire, on the other hand, is the master himself. Of course, in Harry’s case, this would be Voldemort as the ultimate, Evil threat to all that is Good. The hysteric sees it as his duty to expose the symbolic system for exactly what it is – not True, but, rather, one possible truth of many, merely one possible way of seeing the world (of course, what better example than society’s force-feeding of capitalism as the great Truth beyond all doubt, the system that ‘we’ll always be stuck with’?).

Harry also shows this demand to examine the status quo in his every move within the symbolic space of the university – Hogwarts – where he always seems to get into trouble, always needs to know why something is the case, the meaning of things, etc., even risking expulsion through disobedience to the Master-Signifier of the everyday wizarding world.

The thing that appears to make the master’s discourse, and the Master-Signifier, so frustratingly impenetrable to the hysteric (and therefore all the more desirable, ineluctably provocative and demanding) is what is called object a in Lacanian psychoanalysis. This is the ‘Je ne sais pas’ that draws the hysteric’s attention.

The hysteric’s self-chosen duty to expose false truths is the key motivation for the hysteric’s activity. In the same way as the scientist persistently investigates the tiniest scrap of material reality in order to find the ‘Truth’ underlying it all, the hysteric pursues a Truth beyond any would-be truth suggested by the master and the institutions that support the master (note that this pursuit of ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake,’ or ‘pure’ science, is clearly different from applied science).

But then, what is Truth? Precisely, it is the Real: the empty void of possibility that precedes the imposition of any totalizing symbolic system (whether Voldemort’s or Dumbledore’s). Thus the Real is the object-cause of the hysteric’s desire.

However, Harry does not stay in the position of the hysteric throughout the entire series. His transition to the master (or ‘revolutionary,’ as Rob has suggested) discourse coincides with the transition in the series from adventurous fantasy chronicle to something much, much darker.

At the point when Good is under threat from all sides, when the wizarding world is up in arms about how to defend itself from Voldemort’s Evil, Harry can’t any longer function in the hysteric’s position: instead, he has to take up the fight and stand confidently against the tyranny of evil.

Non-coincidentally, Harry’s shift into the master’s position also coincides with his shift into adulthood: the frustrated, rebellious, dissatisfied youth ‘comes into his own,’ finally cuts ties with the master and realizes that he must choose to fight for one side or the other; at some point, he took the leap and made the de-cision (hyphenated to highlight the ‘cutting’ aspect) to break with an obsession with possibility, the Real, the ‘Truth’ of the master, and to stand for one Master-Signifier against all others.

That is to say, Harry decided to accept full responsibility for the limitations and sacrifices implied by his rejection of all other worldviews, in order to stand up for one particular view that ultimately gains support not in ‘Truth,’ but, rather, in the support of the symbolic community, namely, the ‘good guys,’ who will die for their Cause.

Conan struggles to make this speech. His feeling is obviously not bittersweet, but rather just sad; he really, really doesn’t want to leave, but thinks he should try to look on the ‘bright side.’

This form of optimism should be seen for what it is; it is not some ‘greater’ Cause that he chooses to believe in, but, rather, the obscene superego of social norms, weighing on his conscience, forcing him to feel a particular way about his situation.

(The parallels with workers going through massive layoffs should be obvious: we are told to think of being fired not as an affront to human dignity executed by huge corporations, but rather as a gift, a chance to develop a new skill, take up a new hobby, etc.).

What is meant by ‘superego’? In contrast to the ego-ideal (i.e., the Law, the explicitly stated, socially acknowledged ‘correct way’ of doing things), the superego is the unstated, a-legal or even illegal form of the law, the paradoxical supplement to the Law without which the Law could not operate, but which the Law ignores or even explicitly disavows.

Žižek explains this psychoanalytic notion in Metastases of Enjoyment:

Superego emerges where the Law […] fails; at this point of failure, the public Law is compelled to search for support in an illegal enjoyment. Superego is the obscene ‘nightly’ law that necessarily redoubles and accompanies, as its shadow, the ‘public’ Law. This inherent and constitutive splitting in the Law is the subject of Rob Reiner’s film A Few Good Men, the court-martial drama about two Marines accused of murdering one of their fellow-soldiers.

The military prosecutor claims that the two Marines’ act was a deliberate murder, whereas the defence succeeds in proving that the defendants simply followed the so-called ‘Code Red’, which authorizes the clandestine night-time beating of a fellow-soldier who, in the opinion of his peers or the superior officer, has broken the ethical code of the Marines.

[….’Code Red’] condones an act of transgression — illegal punishment of a fellow-soldier — yet at the same time it reaffirms the cohesion of the group — it calls for an act of supreme identification with group values. Such a code must remain under cover of night, unacknowledged, unutterable — in public, everybody pretends to know nothing about it, or even actively denies its existence. It represents the ‘spirit of the community’ at its purest, exerting the strongest pressure on the individual to comply with its mandate of group identification. Yet, simultaneously, it violates the explicit rules of community life.

[Therefore] what ‘holds together’ a community most deeply is not so much identification with the Law that regulates the community’s ‘normal’ everyday circuit, but rather identification with a specific form of transgression of the Law, of the Law’s suspension (in psychoanalytic terms, with a specific form of enjoyment).

….the opposition of symbolic Law and superego points towards the tension between ideological meaning and enjoyment: symbolic Law guarantees meaning, whereas superego provides enjoyment which serves as the unacknowledged support of meaning” (54-56).

So back to Conan: he appears to break with the norm by choosing the ‘nobler’ or more ‘classy’ way of signing off of the show, but this behavior is merely the necessary underside – obverse, inversion, supplement – of the symbolic, stated Law of “you can say whatever you want;” the point is that he can enjoy (along with the crowd) ‘rebelling’ against the established way of doing things, only because this rebellion itself is already taken into account by the Law.

This ‘classiness’ is nothing other than a violent social injunction to enjoy a situation that is fundamentally alienating for him, a situation in which he is ultimately given a forced choice – it may appear that he is choosing to look on the bright side, but this choice is already decided for him; he only chooses it because it is the only option that society will allow him – everyone would hate him if he didn’t do the ‘classy’ thing.

So what looks like an exception (his ‘class’) is actually the norm. When we call him noble or kind, we are only encouraging the same kind of malicious ideology to be perpetuated in the next person who has to sacrifice in front of the crowd. What are they sacrificing?

The void of free choice, the freedom to walk off the stage, to shout out in anger – think of the scene from Network, in which the newscaster begins to chant, “I want you to get mad… I want you to say ‘I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”

That is what Conan wants to do: he jokes that, “even if we have to do it in a 7-11 parking lot,” the show will go on – and then immediately says in an understated, regretful, and even desperate way “I really don’t want to do it in a 7-11 parking lot!”.

This last exclamation is the sad truth of the entire show. It is the cry for escape from the social demand. This understated voice is what opposes his self-deception at the hands of the superego. But over all this superego-induced self-deception, the injunction to enjoy despite the traumatic excess of the imposition of the Law, is accomplished, and Conan himself buys into it, immaturely accepting the superego underside of the Law, even claiming it as his own, ‘classy’ gesture.

*Note: obviously it’s a bit absurd to worry about Conan’s dismissal, since his ‘desperate’ situation isn’t desperate at all; however, because of Conan’s popularity, and the publicity of the show, I think it makes sense to use it as an example.

This video provides some interesting commentary, but I think it misses some key points, which I highlight below.

This romantic figure of the untouchable and misunderstood bad-boy is a standard motif. The same ideology plays out in the courtly/chivalric love tradition. The man (here, the vampire boy) posits the woman as his fantasy object that allows him to continue desiring and yet thwarts his every attempt at a “real encounter.” He goes on endless “quests” in her name, fights for her, even dies for her — or, in Bruno Mars’ terms, “catches a grenade” for her… In short, he gives his life meaning by positing her as this mysterious Thing that embodies the impossible combination of enjoyment and frustration, when, of course, she’s actually just a person like everybody else.

In effect, he stops just short of killing her in order to control her as his fantasy-object, to possess a paltry semblance of her actual person; this gives way to the ridiculous (and literal, in this case), movement toward and away from her, the oscillation that in both phases of the movement is really just a way for him to enjoy himself — his love is masturbatory. (Of course, the effect is even more pronounced in the vampire legends because, despite his best intentions, the vampire can’t help but evoke in the woman a strange sense of danger and foreboding, and also of longing and curiosity — this “aura” is a characteristic he possesses as physical feature; even if he tried to conceal his rage behind a veil of a romantic narrative, he couldn’t help but “lie through his teeth,” as it were). At the same time, she gains meaning in her life by being that object which controls his desire; she gets to watch him play out the ridiculous fantasy that he uses to structure his activity, the fantasy frame he’s created as a response to her “inexplicable” beauty. That’s not to say that her subject-position is powerful; on the contrary, the only way that she is allowed to exist in his fantasy world (and in masculinist culture in general), is to assume the position of a displaceable, controllable, empty placeholder for his desire, an objectified “other.”

So it’s not that we all want to have sex with vampires, but rather that they want to have sex with us: vampires are like Bruno Mars-types; they want to keep the woman at a tempting distance so that they can maintain her as a perpetual feed-trough for their desiring selves. The implication, of course, is that the woman has to realize this and not play into the male fantasy. The tragedy is that teen girls (and adults, men and women, whole cultures) buy into this story without questioning its basic premises.

Once she’s gotten into a mutually dependent relationship, then the moment the woman stops acting in accord with the male fantasy, that fantasy falls apart and he will do anything to get her back in that prior objectified state: because his whole life project has been structured around her as that thing which sustains the meaning of his activity (the quest, etc.), he can’t stand to let her go. By leaving him or showing her “real” self, he has gotten too close to the object of his desire and realizes the horrible fact that she is just a human being; she instantly becomes the grotesque Thing that denies him the coherence of his pathetic fantasy: he sees the reality of her freedom from him.

Think about Bruno Mars’ pathetic cry about catching the grenade and doing the other disgusting things to himself: this is simply an inward projection that masks his subdued homicidal rage. He hates her for leaving him, but he can’t kill her, because of course then he wouldn’t have his love-object, so he’ll direct all that rage inward, try to convince the woman (and himself) that his rage is really against himself, try to fit the rage within the framework of the traditional romantic/chivalric love fantasy (“I’ll die for you”), so that he might actually “win” her back.

The makers of the video above have some interesting thoughts on this, but the fact is that the anxieties of puberty or environmental catastrophe are purely circumstantial; these are contingent factors that don’t get at the real crux of the matter as I’ve outlined it above.

These are the basic coordinates of human desire; nothing new here. Maybe, then, we should consider Twilight a work of non-fiction; fictional fantasy (courtly love is just one example) is the reality that we live with every day, and it takes a hell of a lot of work to break out of it, to “traverse the fantasy,” as Lacan says.

In other words, reality is virtual. For more on this, please enjoy the following video lecture by Slavoj Zizek:

Here’s some of the lyrics:

I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold, hey
I’ll be fine once I get it, I’ll be good

Tell me what you know about dreamin’, dreamin’
You don’t really know about nothin’, nothin’
Tell me what you know about them night terrors every night
5 am cold sweats wakin’ up to the skies
Tell me what you know about dreams, dreams
Tell me what you know about night terrors, nothin’
You don’t really care about the trials of tomorrow
Rather lay awake in a path full of sorrow

Night terrors?… What a strange thing to include in this otherwise rather predictable set of lyrics!

Now, we could read in this the standard, repugnant, narcissist script: ‘woe is me, there is no happiness after all in this life of wealth and fame…’ Or we could think of it in another basic way: ‘you don’t really know about the trials of tomorrow…’ — most people don’t actually concern themselves with serious problems, with real stressors; rather than assume a more mature, responsible, etc., stance towards their activities, combining enthusiasm with sobriety, desire with commitment, most people are more interested in simply taking no stance at all, and partying instead. These are essentially two kinds of narcissism.

But isn’t there something more here? If we look deeper into the lyrics, maybe we can uncover something more interesting. Why the emphasis on dreams? Surely it’s unnecessary to talk about ‘night terrors,’ waking in a cold sweat, etc., if the message is so straightforward. Or is it?

I think the interesting thing about Kid Cudi’s decision to include these specifics – regardless of the other merits of the song, or of his actual intentions – is that it gets inside the experience of the person who wants to make this critique against society but is not able to, whose desire to say something against the normal run of things is so brutally suppressed – by the superego (societal) injunction to enjoy – that it can only show up in dreams, in night terrors, outside the party. That is to say, in the music video we see Kid Cudi in a kind of withdrawn malaise, unable to ‘fit right in’ in the current circumstance, unable to enjoy. And while that would be clearly discernible without the extra part about night terrors, this is precisely the way it illustrates the violence done by the superego. It is not enough simply to look at Kid Cudi’s face in this video, at his withdrawn state. Rather, we should look ‘behind the scenes,’ to the situation of the subject outside the party, the experience which must be renounced upon entering the party scene as an unwritten rule. This is where we get at what is ‘disavowed’ by the normal run of things, by the party scene, the bit of experience immediately excluded from discussion.

Indeed, if he had excluded the talk about dreams, about his personal experience away from the party, then it might simply have been about what we see in the video, namely his own ambiguity set against the social scene; it would be reduced to a unique psychological problem, a matter of fitting in, perhaps of immaturity, rather than a problem constitutive of society.

Thus the night terrors provide the crucial explanatory supplement we need. With these notes in hand, we see the ‘remains’ of the symbolic order. What remains after the assimilation of psyche into society, the distillation of the full potential of social relations into a relatively scripted, standard set of norms, is the reminder of the excess experience which the superego’s injunction to enjoy has automatically foreclosed. In short, we see manifest as night terrors that which is always already excluded from the normal run of things, that which suffers as the ‘part of no part,’ which never actually reaches visibility. Thus we now know the coordinates of the visible display (the party) as they show up against the backdrop of the invisible Real, of which we catch a vanishing glimpse through the lens of the anti-party, no-fun, inexplicable/non-symbolizable/indescribable night terrors.

The night terrors, then, get at the unconscious, at the trauma which is always constitutive of the socio-symbolic order, but which never sees its expression ‘in broad daylight,’ so to speak. They get at the workings of the symbolic which are inscribed in the subject without its even knowing it.

But, these terrifying experiences also simultaneously represent the fault of the symbolic to maintain itself in perfection. They demonstrate, precisely, the power of the subject in the symbolic space: because the symbolic only functions at the level of the particular, at the level of articulation — because the ‘ideal’ or ‘sublime’ object of a particular socio-ideological constellation depends upon its concrete instances, on the ‘messy’ reality of subjects who couldn’t ever fit this ideal prescription exactly, the symbolic itself is vulnerable to its subjects; the norm fails at precisely that moment of actual experience, when something terrible erupts inexplicably.

To go back to the party: Kid Cudi’s strange, melancholic fascination/preoccupation with something in the distance, his sense that something is ‘out of reach’ — this is the haunting presence of the excess desire that the party can’t quell, and which we see dramatically revealed in the night terrors. Indeed, this fascination with something potentially more satisfying than the party… this is a sign that desire is functioning as it should: the ideal of enjoyment, of the party which purportedly should be the ‘real deal,’ should be it, the consummate experience of happiness… this ideological injunction to enjoy always fails at the point of articulation of some subject whose experience it presumes to describe a priori.

And this is freedom today. We have the freedom, as Zizek says, not to enjoy. We are free to want more, to continue indefinitely this “pursuit of happiness,” but not to finish it. The point of psychoanalysis is to deconstruct the way the subject relates to its desire, the way it relates to this pursuit. Kid Cudi frames his pursuit of happiness as something ultimately for nought, but his mistake is to think that nevertheless he might really get it someday. He continues to wonder if he’ll ever actually reach it, if it’s really out there, that ultimate experience. By contrast, the psychoanalytic point is that desire as such has no actual object; it cannot be consummated.

Thus psychoanalysis tells a story about how to live ironically. Its goal is to get the subject to see that, whatever the “ultimate” experience is, it is a figment of the subject’s imagination, a fantasy. Kid Cudi’s mistake, then, is to worry that something strange is holding back his enjoyment. He thinks that the night terrors are spoiling his fun, that anxiety has prevented him from reaching the object of his desire… What he doesn’t realize is that there never was an actual object, that desire has no destination. The solution is to keep on desiring, keep on fantasizing, but to come to grips with the fact that there is no one but yourself who can determine the limits of your fantasy. No one but you can set out that phantasmic object as an inspiration for your desire; there is no end, only a new beginning.