Note on a narrative of anthropogenesis : synthesis to the three paradoxes theory

Text in pdf : Clémence Ortega Douville – Synthesis to the three paradoxes theory

There are two hearts to the theory of the three paradoxes : one that is sensorimotor, the other one symbolic. The sensorimotor heart of the theory is that as the hands are the primary vector of intention toward outside objects, one’s hand(s) cannot be the object of intention itself and their own vector to grasp it at the same time. I cannot seek to grasp my hand with itself while I desire to do it.

The symbolic heart of the theory is that the hand(s), representing the self in the world of action – notably in my vision -, become an object of desire and a mean to analogical assimilation of the other objects in the world. It becomes a referential experience of my self being an object of consideration that is impossible to assimilate, to minimise ; then I may try to assimilate some other things that, in fact, I can’t assimilate either.

I can’t assimilate my hands within myself (unlike the food I grasp in order to eat it, for example), to destroy them into myself, but that is alright because maybe if I can’t assimilate my hands, I can assimilate this tree over there – that I can’t – but maybe the tree is just like my hand. It is something I can cohabitate and be intimate with. Maybe I can keep this, or something smaller, like a rock, close to me so it can lower the insecurity from not having resolved the problem of my hand(s) in the first place.

That is never ending – the chain of the signifyer -, but fortunately enough, the fact that I have to live in society with others may keep me from going mad too soon – unless I am expelled from this society. So which of my actions would be more likely to convince the others that creating new problems is better than to stick with the old ones – like finding food, as a first choice example ? Most likely, power. Something visible enough to acknowledge that it has an immediate effect on their surroundings.

Hunting skills through tools are one example. But why not music or painting ? Why not blowing in a piece of bone, or leaving a coloured mark on a rock ? How can aggression be tempered by the discovery that with two pre-existing things – myself and an outside object – can appear an unprecedented event that might reshape the world of possibilities.

It is a violent event, but only as one birth is violent : it is new and has to be made comfortable to live with afterwards.

But as well, if I want to designate myself to one another, I’d show myself with my hand on my chest : ‘that is me‘. Yet in the mean time, what I may feel like is : ‘do the other one understand that this is me ?’ I can’t communicate my-self without communicating it to another one. And thus, I can’t exist in the world of objets that I show without pointing my-self out to somebody else.

By doing so, my hand hitting my chest mediates this something else that shows that I will exist to the other : a sign. A sign to be looked at as well as an outside object that can be shared. A new reality in the world of what can be recognised as what I can show you in one object’s place. ‘You would understand me from my gesture of pointing my chest out.’

But as to the question of who did this? that I have to answer to, I would show that, for example, I made that sound, and show you how to do it, or simply do it again later. Yet as I turn to objects in the world that in any way I create, instead of killing time, I am only trying myself by doing that. The that, maybe, is going to give me an answer as to my self that does. Because it is a me that does, right ?

From then I populate my world with things that don’t exist – or not yet, or not in this form. Signs are forming a new world for me to be living in. And I start looking at the stars in a slightly different way.

One should always remember that the first humans should have been poets, like children are the birth of poetry. Things that seem futile to us today should have looked very important to them and highly fascinating. We should share their fascination for these little things, because if we let them be lively, our world will be livelier too.

Our hands are so familiar to us now that we forgot how much they were extraordinary at the time. Our call here is that we never forget that we too came from a somewhere that was of little importance to the universe, but hardly a little expectation to us. And the world, then, becomes bigger.

Yet the key to understand this – is a small key.

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