Classical Physics of God and Nature — Işık Barış Fidaner

In a previous text [1] I redefined god and nature circularly in terms of enjoyment and castration. Here are the definitions:

God is the enjoyment of nature.
Nature is the castration of god.

I also defined (logical) masculinity and femininity in terms of god and nature as follows:

Masculinity is god as exception to nature.
Femininity is how much god overlaps with nature.

I would like to offer another formula for femininity that is more apt for the current discussion:

Femininity is the combination of god and nature.

In this text, I would like to imagine physical models for (logical) masculinity and femininity defined in terms of god and nature, and discuss their significance.

In masculinity, god has an exceptional status that guarantees the universal quality of nature. Consider nature in masculinity as the volume of a rigid solid object. God is simultaneously (1) the void, the space around the object, and (2) the external shape, surface of the object. In this model:

  • Nature is the castration of god in the sense that the nature-object is rigid and impermeable with respect to its exterior space.
  • God is the enjoyment of nature in the sense that the god-space and god-surface that covers the object provides multiple degrees of freedom that explores this nature-object.
  • God is the exception that grounds nature in the sense that the existence of the nature-object is entirely determined by the god-space and the god-surface around it.

This classical physical model of masculinity is consistent with Jane Clare Jones’ idea that “impermeability thinking is an original and repetitive error, and one that is, moreover, a mark – perhaps the mark – of the masculine.” [2] One could also call this spatial thinking. In spatial thinking, the nature of a thing is based on an impermeable quality. In other words, masculinity validates qualities by their spatial impermeability.

The impermeable masculine nature can be coded as a piece of inaccessible information. One could associate it with the unconscious or “dream navel”, and even replace the fullness promised by its inaccessibility with the void of “the” Real, a hole devoid of content (inverting the volume of the object) like Žižek does. It will still be a masculine conception because (1) a spatiality forms around the central void, and (2) the impermeability of the central void is due to a formal aspect which acts as the exceptional element. The exceptional formal container gives the central void a “universal” quality, which is in fact a spatial quality. In this sense, Freud’s analysis about a woman’s “confused dream” supposedly being about the indeterminacy about the baby’s father misses the point. In masculinity, feminine “con-fusion” (JCJ) is translated into the impermeability of a piece of information, like a “private” information about who mates with who, or what is under someone’s clothes. Masculine impermeability and spatiality also contains, conceals and protects the space for fantasy. The same space also belongs to “expectations” in the social and statistical senses. This means that “femininity as a masquerade” is not true femininity, it’s a masculine conception of femininity, it’s about how women present themselves to men. It also means that Žižek’s thesis that “heterosexual love of man is homosexual, sustained by the fantasy that the woman is a man dressed up as a woman” (Incontinence of the Void) is only true insofar as the heterosexual man posits a formal impermeability of masquerade over the woman and projects the mirror reflection of his own penis as a fantasy onto the void beyond that curtain. In this setting, the masquerade is god and the void beyond that curtain is nature.

In true femininity, god and nature overlap, i.e. god and nature are combined and “con-fused”. This combination implies a permeability that is specific to femininity. Following Jane Clare Jones’ metaphor, [3] we can imagine femininity as a mixture of gases that combines god and nature particles. In this case, god and nature are not spatially separable, i.e. one cannot draw a line between them, but in principle, a special purpose instrument can separate god-particles from nature-particles (this instrument represents the promise of “masculine separation” for the purposes of this metaphor). In masculinity, god is a container (outside) and nature is its content (inside). In femininity, god and nature are both localized inside of one another, neither god nor nature is entirely outside of the other one. The feminine combination of god and nature gives us two terms: god in nature and nature in god. In masculinity god and nature are absolute, global and pure entities, whereas in femininity both are relativized with respect to each other. Using the formulas above, we can translate these two terms: enjoyment in castration and castration in enjoyment. Enjoyment in castration is the relativization of pure godly enjoyment in nature; I call it “will”. Castration in enjoyment is the relativization of pure natural castration in god; I call it “system”. [4] Thus, the masculine differentiation between god-particles and nature-particles is displaced onto the global combination of will and system. Note that the distinction between will and system is not clear-cut; one could say that clusters of god-particles show will-like behavior whereas clusters of nature-particles show system-like behavior. In fact, physics is just a metaphor here. The real combination will-system does not occur spatially (in a space) or formally (in a form), it is combinatorial and feminine.

The feminine combination of will and system can be translated into the will of the Hegelian monarch and the system of bureaucracy that supports him. In Lacanian terms these two correspond to $ and S2, respectively. Will and system ground two other terms “authority” and “body” (e.g. of the Hegelian monarch) which correspond to S1 and a, respectively. [4] According to Žižek, Hegel separates the authority of the monarch (S1) from the body of the monarch (a). “The power that the King has to fascinate comes from covering over the difference between S1 and a. Hegel separates them and shows us, on the one hand, S1 in its tautological folly as an empty name, without content, and, on the other hand, the monarch’s physical form as pure waste, the name’s appendix.” (The Most Sublime Hysteric) Same is true for the feminine power to fascinate. One should add that the deeper separation between will ($) and system (S2) accompanies and underlies the surface separation between authority (S1) and body (a); these are the two basic feminine separations. We hereby defined a distinction between surface and depth, so we are back to the physics metaphor.

Işık Barış Fidaner is a computer scientist with a PhD from Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. Admin of Yersiz Şeyler, Editor of Žižekian Analysis, Curator of Görce Writings. Twitter: @BarisFidaner


[1] See “Redefining God and Nature for a post-Žižekian universe” by Işık Barış Fidaner

[2] See “Queer Theory, Foucauldian Feminism and the Erasure of Rape” by Jane Clare Jones

[3] See footnote 3 in “All That Trouble With Gender” by Jane Clare Jones

[4] See “Postmodern Alienation Model” by Işık Barış Fidaner


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