The current rise in new religions and the growing popularity of New Ageism is concomitant with an increasingly anti-philosophical sentiment marking our contemporary situation. More specifically, it is philosophical and psychoanalytic reason that has lost standing faced with the triumph of post-secular "spirituality". Combatting this trend, this treatise develops a theoretical apparatus based on Hegelian speculative reason and Lacanian psychoanalysis.

With the aid of this theoretical apparatus, the book argues how certain conceptual pairs appear opposed through an operation of misrecognition christened, following Hegel, as "diremption". The failure to reckon with identities-in-difference relegates the subject to more vicious contradictions that define central aspects of our contemporary predicament. The repeated thesis of the treatise is that the deadlocks marking our contemporary situation require renewed engagement with dialectical thinking beyond the impasses of common understanding. Only by embarking on this philosophical-psychoanalytic "path of despair" (Hegel) will we stand a chance of achieving "joyful wisdom" (Nietzsche).

Developing a unique dialectical theory based on readings of Hegel, Lacan and Žižek, in order to address various philosophical and psychoanalytic questions, this book will be of great interest to anyone interested in German idealism and/or psychoanalytic theory.

Introduction: The Paradox of Self-Reflection  Variation 1: The Diremptive Remains  Variation 2: The Triumph of Dialectical "Lower" Terms  Variation 3: Speculative Topology  Variation 4: Vicious Dialectical Reversals  Variation 5: Faith and Reason  Variation 6: The Paradoxes of Love  Variation 7: The Paradox of Identity  Variation 8: Subject and Collective  Variation 9: Ausstossung and Verwerfung  Variation 10: Symbolic Murder and Suicide  Variation11: Generational Difference: Parent and Child  Variation 12: Power Difference: Analysand and Analyst  Variation 13: Sexual Difference: Man and Woman  Variation 14: The Paradox of a Boundary Without a Limit  Variation 15: Good and Evil  Variation 16: Truth and Lies  Variation 17: Thrownness and Autonomy  Variation 18: Life and Death  Variation 19: The Force and Frailty of the Law  Variation 20: Madness and Sanity  Variation 21: The Diremptions of Fantasy  Variation 22: The Untimely-Contemporary  Variation 23: Religion and Atheism  Variation 24: The Death of God  Variation 25: The Symptom as Human Notion  Conclusion: From Via Dolorosa to Gaya Scienza