(Adapted from The Monstrosity of Christ.)
To explore Žižek is to explore Hegel. And to explore Hegel is to explore Idealism.
Hegel thinks that the empirical sensing of an object tricks us because we do not question how the object’s appearance becomes an “immediate certainty.” He shows how the empirical view of knowledge traps us because it perceives the object as if it were not mediated through something else.
So rather than thinking about the world as an object, Hegel develops an idealism founded in unity. The basic premise of Idealism is that individuated objects such as a book, a cow, a house, a person, and so forth may not exist without the accompaniment of the idea the mind (consciousness) has about them. So the object is always-already bound up in the complex mediating process of the subject’s thinking it, and conversely, the subject’s thinking the object is bound up in the object’s very existence.
Before there is anything there is relation.