Vincente Palomera on Unconscious knowledge

From the essay What May I Expect From Psychoanalysis? by Vicente Palomera.

Unconscious knowledge is that it is a knowledge that organizes the life of the subject, a knowledge for which the subject is responsible and about which he nevertheless knows nothing. Psychoanalysis is not the path toward assessing knowledge that is already present, an established knowledge, but – always – an encounter with new knowledge, unique to each subject, that concerns the singularity of his solution.

I like the way that Palomera writes about unconscious knowledge here. It is:

  1. A knowledge that organizes the life of the subject, which is to say that it influences the way the subject lives their life, the choices the subject makes, the preferences of the subject, the expectations of the subject, etc.
  2. Despite how much it organizes the subject's life, the subject is unaware of this knowledge, so its influence is a surprise.
  3. However, even though the subject is unaware of this knowledge and is often surprised by how it asserts itself in their life, they will be held accountable for the actions this knowledge has influenced.

The unconscious (i.e., unconscious knowledge) leads to all sorts of symptomatic acting out. A person can say, "I did not mean to do/say that!" and this is true. Be that as it may, reality will hold the subject accountable for this symptomatic acting out. Being held responsible for something one did not intend to do/say creates suffering.

Psychoanalysis can't take away the unconscious or the symptom. Still, it can help a person reorient themselves in relation to the symptom in a way that means the subject will suffer less when they are held accountable.

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