Slavoj Zizek: The Black Hole that IS – Quote of the Day!


I have this analogy I like very much, of the puzzle where there is one empty space and the trick is to use this negative space to shift the pieces around until they create a “whole” image. However, the catch is the fulfillment of this whole is dependent upon the missing tile, the negative space, which both allows the image to be “made whole” and prevents it from ever being “fully” or “truly” whole. I think this is a good analogy for the structure of life. There is an all too obvious negativity, a lack, what many refer to (accurately I think) as “the void”. But, this same void is what allows us to really live. If we lived in some type of void-free utopia, we would be like animals, mere life forms who function purely on instinct, never really being aware of anything. The void is what both allows us to live and what we meet when we die. It has an almost sacred aura around it, it is in the void where we imagine we see things like God, the Devil, witchcraft, the supernatural, etc. It is the dark itself, and we are all naturally afraid of it, because, by its very nature, nothing is in it, and this precisely means that anything could be in it.

– Slavoj Žižek, Unfiltered Thought: A Political Philosophy

11 thoughts on “Slavoj Zizek: The Black Hole that IS – Quote of the Day!

      • Is this a quote? What are you implying, trying to say if so? How does this quote relate to the quote above by Zizek? Is this some cryptic thought in your ongoing dialogue with your own life-world? Or, are you trying to spark some reverie in myself or my readers?


      • It is obvious when you understand the issue. What Zizek is saying is true in as much as what is real identifies a ubiquitous and omnipresent situation; we usually call this ‘reality’ within which human beings are qualified to life. But this qualification is merely that: a qualification. Zizek is describing a repercussion of a particular condition. Your quote there is indicating a limitation, but this limitation only occurrs within a particular ontological horizon. Where the limitation is argued upon as some sort of essential truth, there do we have the mark of ideological power, what he calls capitalism. For our moment.


      • Obviously what you read is not what I read in this statement or quote. You seem to be turning it toward other ends and means than what he is saying in this notion of the gap that generates our life world or horizontal horizon and actions. It is not so much a limitation as it is the presupposition upon which we act as humans in an incomplete universe. Your last sentence seems to go beyond the statement and refer to references in Zizek outside the actual statement itself? And, to use the notion of ‘essential truth’? Zizek is far from qualifying or limiting things to some essentialism of concept or action; rather, he opens it out in incompleteness and newness, not in foreclosing it within some ontological horizon of mean or hermeneutics. For Zizek there is always the antinomic, the anomalies, the contradictions that will never be resolved, but must instead be seen through the lens of a parallax gap: through the shifts of perspective that oscillate among both epistemological and ontological horizons. There can be no closure per se.


      • Yes, obviously. Yet, the point of the gap, the missing piece, is that it cannot be foreclosed, filled in, or completed through mental effort or qualification. The universe is an unfinished project, so is the human. No matter how we rearrange the pieces – the gap, the missing piece will remain. Unfinished and incomplete: an open-ended project without limit or design. The ideological is none other than the symbolic Order, the big Other: the imposition of a narrative upon this gap, the Real; that tries to fill it, close it off, limit it to the power shifts and vagaries of politics and control.


      • I’ll agree. Zizek’s notion of retroactive reconstruction (causation) is about the effects of this Symbolic Order and its impositions, the way it tries to interpose its own narrative and control systems within the gap to shape the very texture of the life-world, thereby hoping to stave off the actual effects of the gap itself and its repercussions.

        The thing about Zizek is that one does not read him, one deploys him; that is, one enacts the very dialectical materialist movement that his concepts conceive. Dialectical materialism is based on this oscillation between antinomies, between competing registrars of thinking and being without choosing one side or the other, but rather than trying to reconcile their differences or sublating them into some higher synthesis (Kant), he chooses to see them through the lens of the parallax gap from which one can discover new truths and concepts, problems and questions.


      • I like how you say: “one deploys him”. Excellent! So true for those who see. Yet, when we begin to look into what we saw, we can no longer stay in that frame, as if Zizek has finally defined the trueness of all eternity for what it is to be – what – a human being (?). We cannot stay in some static paradigm: The gap is a ideological manifestation (marx), and a universal-ethical (kierkegaard) manifestation. Yet neither can we ‘become’ some ‘beyond-over-man’ (nietzsche). Just as Laruelle and Badiou mark a similar moment as Zizek, as real moment, it is exactly this reality that poses something is being gained in history by what they have to say, as if they are ‘really’ describing some static sameness that is True. But they all say ‘no’ do not read us that way. We find history founded then not upon some stasis or stable object ( reality). But rather upon that very human effect of consciouness that ‘wants’ such stasis to gain identity. But this state is not all there is; the gap would have the ‘more than’ mean ineffible or beyond knowledge discourse, as i think you said undeterminable. But this is only the case in as much as we see such authors such as Zizek describing some ‘actual’ essential Truth of all reality. But his description, as also you just said, but i use a different term, is merely a condition of that world that i now may call real, but thereby be able to say more than what is limited by the gap: because reality is the limit, but not the ‘whole’ truth.

        The parralax he describes is a real condition that takes place due to a specific type of orientation upon objects.


      • … Hence he does indeed discover ‘news’ through the gap: because the gap and the view eternally develop more discourse. Yet in order to do this, as he says, he must be like a Chinese emporor who knows the law enough to be able to alter it for those who do not know the whole of it; he can slip and slide in and out of the law abiding ideological and political constructs because he resides on ‘this side’ if reality: the gap a particular historical moment. There is no higher synthesis because the synthesis has already occurred by the appropriation of the real gap. So what he is explaining gets left, the gap disappears long enough for him to always have something novel to say. It is over, part of an ideological history.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s