Deconstructionism and Id
I was never so fond of Jacques Derrida, Algerian born French philosopher who supplanted the structuralism of Levy-Strauss. As a matter of fact, I found his hermetic style a bit pretentious. I attended one of his speeches at the campus of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
. I couldn’t actually believe American students would listen, leave alone to strain to understand his “deconstructed” speech. I, for one, could not make sense of it and French is my mother tongue.
Yet I must recognize that, on the spiritual pilgrimage, much is about deconstruction. Deconstruction of the self-images we have painted in bright colours over our soul, of the expectations we have for ourselves, of the way we relate to everything. Because all this was constructed on us, in a sense despite us, as the world rushed at us with a vengeance to punish us for the audacity of being born.
The onslaught started in the few seconds that followed the moment of our birth and never stopped since then. Whether through the sermons and the cookies of old aunties, the vibrations of the houses we visited or the snowballs thrown at us, we have been moulded and fashioned by outside inputs.
These impressions on our senses contributed the mix of colours, sounds and tastes from where our small identities emerged. We thus ended thinking we have our own individual personality. And yet, the path of discovery moves from this small “id”, the child of manufactured perceptions, to the big “ID” of existential Selfhood.
Deconstructionism? The word is ugly but the intuition might have been right.
Jacques Derrida has just died, peace to his soul. With death we can’t argue.