Sleep without dreaming

«Sleep is interiority handed over, the interiority that offers itself. This is once again the essential interiority, the interiority we had lost with makeup – no longer the hidden interiority, or the interiority preserved from every external reach, but rather the interiority that spreads itself out, frees itself entirely from the exterior, but as the interior, the inviolable. Why had we lost it? I now know why. The look is one of the essential elements of the feminine persona, of make-up, and it is what made us leave the realm of essence, and led us toward a mental, secondary, and derived interiority – the lie, the secret. But here it is once again, this feminine essence, and we are going to understand it better – since now her eyes are closed. We no longer have to worry about seduction, for she is asleep. Like a beating heart, or a chest that regularly rises and falls, she declares this pure identity of the material and the immaterial, of being and the possible. The woman is now within my reach. Will we once again encounter the experience of make-up – both within reach and out of reach? What is the meaning of this interiority that is given to the exterior as interior? Upon reflection, it might seem that interiority as such can never appear on the exterior, it can never be given. I can only have knowledge of what hides the interior and covers it. In order to constitute a total interiority, I have erected piles upon piles of clothing around this body, and walls upon walls around the house, and the only wall and the only clothing that is given to me on the exterior is, by definition, not interior… But we should distrust antinomies, they ring false. A simple gesture destroys them. The piling up of clothes is merely an obstinacy, a childish persistence in error. A woman is never more internal to herself than when she is nude; when she is sleeping, she is given over entirely to exteriority. The essence of the feminine life is this: to be within my reach and yet out of reach. A secret, but an essential secret, neither mental nor carnal – the noumenon. The accidental secret is the secret someone has. Someone has a secret, and they protect it, reinforce it, under the cover of an exteriority that would make it disappear as a secret. It is a secret only insofar as it appears to the Other as a lack to be filled, as something to know that he does not know. The woman who is sleeping, by contrast, is the secret – no longer the having of the secret, whether mental or carnal, but the possibility of the secret; the being of the secret displayed in its exteriority, but which retains its being as secret beyond this exteriority. A secret without matter, and a secret that does not hide itself. Here, there is nothing to know; the secret is inviolable, because there is nothing to violate, except a body. And yet, cannot this interiority be untied, unlaced, undone – at least through the action of the lover, through the caress? This final hope must be abandoned: the caress is not that which undoes, but that which realizes. We have often spoken of an interiority that would give itself to the exterior as interior. Or rather, the interior is the hollowing out of the exterior, its twisting in on itself. It is the negation of a thickness, a hollow thickness. Let us therefore go further: not only the secret without matter, without any distinction between form and matter, the secret of the secret, the secret of itself; but beyond this, the secret without any thickness. This is the ideal term towards which woman tends, and never reaches. But she never approaches it more closely than under the caress, which should not be confused with groping. In fact, it is the caress that denies all thickness; in tracing a delicate and subtle curve, the caress ceaselessly folds exteriority, draws it into itself, renders it internal to itself. The caress essentially expresses the synthesis of being and the possible, this consciousness of oneself that lightens the flesh, this identity of the material and the immaterial, of the exterior and the interior. The untiring gesture of the amorous modeler. Now if the caress, as the act of the lover, can approach the feminine essence, it is because woman herself is being as caress, the secret without thickness. But this being is never realized, it is always held back by the remainders of an exteriority that is infinitely reborn, so that the caressing must begin anew. There is no total immateriality, no pure interiority without thickness, into which one could be drawn. And, moreover, this total negation of thickness would be rather disappointing. What would she then be, in effect, other than water, a reflection? We have already seen this image: the freckles, the reflections of Narcissus, the noumenon – what one can see but not touch. But woman would here lose everything: a total interiority realized in reflection would not have its own existence, but would exist only in reference to what is reflected. It would be dangerous to realize an ideal drawn from a form of absence, a filling-in of the dotted line. In a pure interiority, woman would be dissolved, she would turn into water. The lover would find his reflection in her, but woman herself, reduced to being as caress, would lose her substance. Fortunately, being as caress only ever takes shape as a hollowness, which guides the hands of the lover just as it guided the operations of make-up: a pure absence that grounds the necessity of the caress as an act. Woman also has need of a lover – a lover who caresses her, and that is all. Such is the true ontological status: the being of woman is never realized, and can never be realized without contradiction, without dissolution. Her being exists only under the form of an act effectuated by the Other. Woman is neither object nor subject; she is no longer simply that which one has, but she is not yet that which is; she is the élan of the object towards subjectivity. Neither an object in the world nor the subject of a possible world. She is not a subject, she does not reach being. She is a being that takes shape only as a hollowness, an unrealized being – whence a final aspect of grace, and the reason for the ridiculous need a man feels to protect the woman. Does the caress exhaust the whole of love? Certainly, it grounds the possibility of love. But beyond the caress, love poses a completely different problem: impurity. Impurity belongs to the dynamic of woman or, if one prefers, to a moral description. But we would then leave the domain of a description of essences.»

– Gilles Deleuze, final of “Description of a Woman”.

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…la cuestión del juicio consiste en primer lugar en la de saber si se está soñando.

Así, Apolo representa a la vez el dios del juicio y el dios del sueño: Apolo es quien juzga, quien impone unos límites y quien nos encierra en la forma orgánica, y el sueño es lo que encierra la vida en esas formas en nombre de las cuales se la juzga. El sueño levanta paredes, se nutre de la muerte y suscita las sombras, sombras de todas las cosas y del mundo, sombras de nosotros mismos. Pero cuando nos alejamos de las orillas del juicio, también estamos repudiando el sueño en beneficio de una «embriaguez» como de una marea más alta. Se tratará de encontrar en los estados de embriaguez, bebidas, drogas, éxtasis, el antídoto a la vez del sueño y del juicio. Cada vez que nos desviamos del juicio hacia la justicia, entramos en un sueño sin soñar.

Los cuatro autores [Nietzsche, Lawrence, Kafka, Artaud] denuncian en el sueño un estado demasiado inmóvil todavía, y demasiado dirigido, demasiado gobernado.

Los grupos que tanto interés por el sueño demuestran, psicoanálisis o surrealismo, también son los más rápidos en la realidad a la hora de formar tribunales que juzgan o castigan: una manía repulsiva, frecuente entre los soñadores.

En sus reparos sobre el surrealismo, Artaud esgrime que el pensamiento no se enfrenta a un núcleo del sueño, sino que más bien los sueños rebotan contra un
sueño del pensamiento que se les escapa.215 Los ritos del peyote según Artaud, los cantos del bosque mexicano según Lawrence, no son sueños, sino estados de embriaguez o de letargo.

Ese dormir sin sueños no es lo que hacemos cuando dormimos, pero recorre la noche y la puebla con una claridad aterradora que no es el día, sino el Destello:
«En el sueño de la noche veo los perros grises, que reptan para venir a devorar el sueño.»216 Ese dormir sin sueños, en el que no se duerme, es Insomnio, pues sólo el insomnio es adecuado para la noche, y [182] puede llenarla y poblarla.

Así, nos encontramos con el sueño no ya como un sueño de dormir o un sueño despierto, sino como un sueño de insomnio. El nuevo sueño se ha convertido en el guardián del insomnio. Como en Kafka, ya no se trata de un sueño que se hace durmiendo, sino de un sueño que se hace al lado del insomnio: «envío (al campo) mi cuerpo vestido… yo durante ese tiempo estoy acostado en mi cama bajo una manta marrón…».218 El insomne puede permanecer inmóvil, mientras el sueño asume el movimiento real. Ese dormir sin sueño en el que sin embargo no se duerme, ese insomnio que sin embargo arrastra consigo el sueño hasta los confines del insomnio, así es el estado de embriaguez dionisiaca, su forma de librarse del juicio».

Notas:
217 Blanchot sugiere que el dormir no es adecuado para la noche, sino sólo el insomnio (L’espace littéraire, Gallimard, pág. 281). Cuando René Char invoca los derechos del dormir más allá del sueño, no es contradictorio puesto que se trata de un dormir en el que no se duerme, y que produce el rayo: vid. Paul Veyne, «René Char y la experiencia del éxtasis», Nouvelle Revue française, noviembre de 1985.
218 Kafka, Préparatifs de noce à la campagne, Gallimard, pág. 12. (Journal, Libre de poche, pág. 280: «No puedo dormir, sólo tengo sueños, y nada de sueño»).

– Deleuze, “Critica y Clinica”, capitulo “Para acabar de una vez con el juicio”

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