Lacan


If I am enjoying myself a little too much, I begin to feel pain and I moderate my pleasures. The organism seems made to avoid too much jouissance. Probably we would all be as quiet as oysters if it were not for this curious organization which forces us to disrupt the barrier of pleasure or perhaps only makes us dream of forcing and disrupting this barrier. All that is elaborated by the subjective construction on the scale of the signifier in its relation to the Other and which has its root in language is only there to permit the full spectrum of desire to allow us to approach, to test, this sort of forbidden jouissance which is the only valuable meaning that is offered to our life.

– Jacques Lacan

The comparison that can be made between the analyst and a rubbish dump is justified. All day long in fact he has to endure utterances that, surely, are of doubtful value to himself and even more so to the subject who communicates

– Jacques Lacan

The comparison that can be made between the analyst and a rubbish dump is justified. All day long in fact he has to endure utterances that, surely, are of doubtful value to himself and even more so to the subject who communicates them to him. This is a feeling that the psychoanalyst, if he is a real one, has not only been accustomed to overcoming for a long time, but, to be honest, it’s one that he purely and simply abolishes within himself in the exercise of his practice

– Jacques Lacan

The entire intimate life of these patients has unfolded outside the masculine element, they have always made the latter into an outsider with whom they have never been in harmony, for them the world is essentially feminine. Is the relation they maintain with persons of their own sex of the projection type, in their supposed necessity to remain themselves, closed in on themselves, as a couple? Is it connected with that homosexual fixation, in the widest sense of the term, that is at the base, as Freud says, of social relations? This would explain how in the isolation of this feminine world in which these two women live they find themselves in a position, not to receive their message from the 62 other, but to speak it to the other. Is insult the mode of defense that is in some way reflected back into their relationship – a relationship which, it’s understandable how, was extended to all others as such, whoever they may be, from the moment it was established? This is conceivable and already suggests that it’s a matter of the subject’s own message, and not of the message received in inverted form

– Jacques Lacan

Who normally speaks in reality, for us? Is it reality, exactly, when someone speaks to us? The point of the remarks I made to you last time on the other and the Other, the other with a small o and the Other with a big O, was to get you to notice that when the Other with a big O speaks it is not purely and simply the reality

– Jacques Lacan

in front of you, namely the individual who is holding forth. The Other is beyond that reality. In true speech the Other is that before which you make yourself recognized. But you can make yourself recognized by it only because it is recognized first. It has to be recognized for you to be able to make yourself recognized. This supplementary dimension – the reciprocity – is necessary for there to be any value in this speech of which I’ve given you some typical examples – You are my master or You are my woman, or, equally, mendacious speech which, although the contrary, equally presupposes recognition by an absolute Other, aimed at beyond all you can know, for whom recognition is to be valued only because it is beyond the known. It is through recognizing it that you institute it, and not as a pure and simple element of reality, a pawn, a puppet, but as an irreducible absolute, on whose existence as subject the very value of the speech in which you get yourself recognized depends. 63 Something gets born there

– Jacques Lacan

In saying to someone, You are my woman, you are implicitly saying to her, / am your man, but you are saying to her first, You are my woman, that is, you are establishing her in the position of being recognized by you, by means of which she will be able to recognize you. This speech is therefore always beyond language. And such a commitment, like any other utterance, even a lie, conditions all the discourse that follows, and here, what I understand by discourse includes acts, steps, the contortions of puppets, yourselves included, caught up in the game. Beginning with an utterance a game is instituted, entirely comparable to what happens in Alice in Wonderland when the servants and other characters of the Queen’s court start playing cards by dressing themselves up in the cards and themselves becoming the King of Hearts, the Queen of Spades, and the Jack of Diamonds. An utterance commits you to maintaining it through your discourse, or to repudiating it, or to objecting to it, or to conforming to it, to refuting it, but, even more, to complying with many things that are within the rules of the game. And even should the Queen change the rules from one moment to the next, this changes nothing essential – once you have entered the play of symbols, you are always forced to act according to a rule

– Jacques Lacan

Our patient is not saying that there is someone else behind him who is speaking. She receives her own speech from him, but not inverted, her own speech is in the other who is herself, the little other, her reflection in the mirror, her counterpart. Sow! gives tit for tat, and one no longer knows whether the tit or the tat comes first. That the utterance is expressed in the real means that it is expressed in the

– Jacques Lacan

puppet. The Other at issue in this situation is not beyond the partner, it is beyond the subject herself – this is the structure of the allusion, it indicates itself in a beyond of what it says. Let us try to orientate ourselves by means of this game of four implied by what I said last time. 7 The small o is the gentleman she encounters in the corridor and there is no big O. It’s small o’ who says, I’ve just been to the butchers. And who is I’ve just been to the butcher’s said of? Of S. Small o said Sow! to her. The person who is speaking to us, and who spoke qua delusional, o’, undoubtedly receives 64 somewhere her own message in an inverted form from the small other, and what she says affects the beyond which she herself is as subject and which, by definition, simply because she is a human subject, she can only speak of by allusion. There are only two ways one can talk about this S, about this subject that we radically are

– Jacques Lacan

to receive from it the message that concerns you in an inverted form – or to indicate its direction, its existence, in the form of an allusion. The reason that the woman is strictly a paranoiac is that for her the cycle contains an exclusion of the big Other. The circuit closes on the two small others who are the puppet opposite her, which speaks, and in which her own message resonates, and herself who, as an ego, is always an other and speaks by allusion. This is the important thing. She speaks by allusion so well that she doesn’t know what she is saying. What does she say? She says – I’ve just been to the butcher’s. Now, who has just been to the butcher’s? A quartered pig. She does not know that she is saying this, but she says it nevertheless. That other to whom she is speaking, she says to him about herself – /, the sow, have just been to the butcher’s, I am already disjointed, a fragmented body, membra disjecta, delusional, and my world is fragmenting, like me. That’s what she’s saying. That way of expressing it, however understandable it might appear to us, is nevertheless, to put it mildly, a tiny bit amusing. There is another thing which concerns temporality. It is clear from the patient’s words that we do not know who spoke first. To all appearances it was not our patient, or at least it was not necessarily her

– Jacques Lacan

allocution. In delusional speech the Other is truly excluded, there is no truth behind, there is so little truth that the subject places none there himself, and in the face of this phenomenon, this ultimately raw phenomenon, his attitude is one of perplexity. It will be a long time before he attempts to restore an order, which we shall call a delusional order, around this. He does not restore it, as is thought, through deduction and construction, but in a way that we shall later see is not unrelated to the primitive phenomenon itself. The Other being truly excluded, what concerns the subject is actually said 65 by the little other, by shadows of others, or, as Schreber will express himself to designate all human beings he encounters, by fabricated, or improvised men. The small other effectively presents an unreal character, tending towards the unreal. The

– Jacques Lacan

The insult is always a rupture in the system of language, just as words of love are. Whether or not Sow! is charged with obscure meaning, and probably it is, we already have here an indication of this dissociation. This meaning, like all meaning worthy of the name, refers to another meaning. It is indeed what here characterizes the allusion. In saying, I’ve just been to the butcher’s, the patient points out to us that it refers to another meaning. Naturally, it is a bit oblique, she would prefer it was I who understand. . Beware those who say to you – You understand. It is always so as to send you somewhere else than where it is a question of going. That’s what she’s doing

– Jacques Lacan

The insult is always a rupture in the system of language, just as words of love are. Whether or not Sow! is charged with obscure meaning, and probably it is, we already have here an indication of this dissociation. This meaning, like all meaning worthy of the name, refers to another meaning. It is indeed what here characterizes the allusion. In saying, I’ve just been to the butcher’s, the patient points out to us that it refers to another meaning. Naturally, it is a bit oblique, she would prefer it was I who understand. . Beware those who say to you – You understand. It is always so as to send you somewhere else than where it is a question of going. That’s what she’s doing. You understand perfectly well, this means that she herself isn’t very sure of the meaning, and that the latter refers not so much to a system of continuous and reconcilable meaning as to meaning as ineffable, to the meaning of’ her own reality, to her own personal fragmentation. And then there is the real, the well and truly real articulation, the other’s sleight of hand. Real speech, I mean speech that is expressed, appears at another point of the field, not just at any point, but at that of the other, the puppet, as an element of the external world. The big S whose medium is speech, analysis warns us, is not what a vain people thinks it is. 13 There is the real person who is before you and who takes up space – there is this in the presence of human beings, they take up space, at a pinch you can get ten of you into your office, but not a hundred and fifty
– Jacques Lacan

there is he whom you see, who manifestly captivates you and is capable of 68 making you jump up and hug him – an ill-considered act of the imaginary order. And then there is the Other whom we were talking about, who is the subject also, but not the reflection of what you see in front of you, and not simply what takes place insofar as you see yourself seeing yourself. If what I am saying is not true, then Freud said nothing true, for this is what the unconscious means. There are several possible othernesses, and we shall see how they manifest themselves in a complete delusion like Schreber’s. First there are day and night, the sun and die moon, those things that always return to the same place, which Schreber calls the natural world order. 14 There is the otherness of the Other that corresponds to the S, that is, the big Other, the subject who is unknown to us, the Other who is symbolic by nature, the Other one addresses oneself to beyond what one sees
– Jacques Lacan
– Jacques Lacan
– Your Highlight on Page 68-68 | Added on Sunday, July 14, 2013 1:59:57 PM

God whom he experiences as the partner of this oscillation of the living force that will become the dimension in which he suffers and palpitates. This gap is resolved for him in these terms- Perhaps the full truth lies (by way of a fourth dimension) in the form of a humanly inconceivable diagonal between these two lines of thought. 9 He gets himself out of trouble, as is normal in the language of that form of communication too unequal to its object which is known as metaphysics when one has absolutely no idea how to reconcile two terms, freedom and transcendent necessity, for instance
– Jacques Lacan
– Jacques Lacan
– Your Highlight on Page 69-69 | Added on Sunday, July 14, 2013 2:00:16 PM

Ultimately God only has a complete, authentic relationship with corpses. God doesn’t understand anything of living beings, his omnipresence grasps things only from the outside, never from the inside. Here we have propositions that don’t appear to be self-evident or demanded by the coherence of the system, such as we ourselves might conceive it in advance. I shall come back to this point next time, with greater emphasis. But you can already see that the psychotic relation, at its highest degree of development, entails the introduction of the fundamental dialectic of deception into a dimension that is, as it were, transversal in comparison with that of an authentic relationship. The subject can speak to the Other insofar as with 82 him it’s a question of faith or feint, but here this permanent exercise of deception, which tends to subvert any order whatever, whether mythical or not, in thought itself, unfolds as a passive phenomenon, as an experience lived through by the subject, in an imaginary dimension that is suffered, which is a fundamental characteristic of the imaginary. This means that the world – as
With respect to her father Dora experiences a significant, interpretative, or even hallucinatory phenomenon, but it does not add up to a delusion. This is nevertheless a phenomenon that is on the ineffable, intuitive road towards 107 imputing hostility and bad intentions to others – and concerning a situation the subject has, in a profoundly elective way, actually participated in. What does this mean? This character’s level of otherness becomes modified, and the situation deteriorates owing to the absence of one of the components of the quadrilateral that enabled it to be sustained. Here we can make use of the notion of distantiation, provided we know how to handle it prudently. People use it indiscriminately, but this is no reason to refuse to use it ourselves, provided we give it an application that is in better agreement with the facts
– Jacques Lacan
– Jacques Lacan
– Your Highlight on Page 111-111 | Added on Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:44:06 PM

provides the mark of reality, both of them are required, a certain way of combining the two registers. I shall go even further – it’s equally a certain mode of combining these two registers that gives the sense of unreality. Within this field whatever is a sense of reality is a sense of unreality. The sense of unreality is present only as a signal that being in reality is at issue and that one is a hair’s breadth from some little thing that is still lacking. We could describe the sense of deja vu, which has been such a problem for psychologists, as a homonym – it’s always a symbolic key that half-opens the mainspring. Diji vu occurs when a situation is lived through with a full symbolic meaning which reproduces a homologous symbolic situation that has been previously lived
– Jacques Lacan
148062076-Richard-Feldstein-Henry-Sussman-Psychoanalysis-and-1989
– Your Highlight on Page 93-93 | Added on Sunday, July 14, 2013 6:07:25 PM

One does not have on one side a plurality of transgressions, perversions, aggressivities, etc., and on the other side a universal law which regulates, normalizes the cul-de-sac of transgressions and makes possible the pacific co-existence of subjects. The maddest thing is the other side of the appeasing Law itself, the law as a misunderstood, dumb injunction to enjoyment. One can say that Law divides itself necessarily into an appeasing law and a mad law. The op* position between the Law and its transgressions repeats itself inside the Law itself
– Jacques Lacan
– Jacques Lacan
Interview with Jacques Lacan (braungardt.trialectics.com)
– Your Highlight Location 131-138 July 8, 2013 6:13:25 PM

at the very moment you have put the subject on the couch and even if you have explained to him the analytical rule as briefly as possible, the subject is already introduced into the dimension of the search for his truth. Yes, just from the fact of having to speak, as he must in front of another, the silence of another – a silence which is neither approving nor disapproving, but rather attentive- he feels it as an expectation, and this expectation is that of the truth. And also , he feels driven by the prejudice that we had mentioned before: that of believing that this other, the expert, the analyst, knows something about him that he himself is unaware of; the presence of the truth is fortified, it is there in an implicit state. The ill person suffers but he realizes that the path to take in order to go beyond,to ameliorate his suffering, is of the order of the truth: to know more and to know better.

confession is a sacrament which is not there to satisfy a certain need for confiding… The response, even if consoling, encouraging, even if directive, of a priest does not pretend to render confession efficient.

Interview with Jacques Lacan (braungardt.trialectics.com)

in Goethe this is evident: his work is entirely the revelation of the other subject’s speech. He pushed the thing as far as a genius can do it. Would he have written something different if he had been analyzed? In my opinion, his work would have been another, but I don’t think it would have been lost.

Interview with Jacques Lacan (braungardt.trialectics.com)

Civilization and Its Discontents concerns the effort to rethink the problem of evil once one acknowledges that it is radically altered by the absence of God.

– Jacques Lacan

the traditional moralist always falls back into the rut of persuading us that pleasure is a good, that the path leading to good is blazed by pleasure. The trap is striking, for it has a paradoxical character that lends it its air of audacity. One is, so to speak, swindled in the second degree; one assumes there is just a hidden drawer, and one is pleased to have found it, but one is screwed even more when one has found it than if one hadn’t even suspected its existence. Something that is relatively rare, for everyone can see that there’s something fishy.

– Jacques Lacan

Freud’s use of the good can be summed up in the notion that it keeps us a long way from our jouissance. Nothing is more obvious in our clinical experience. Who is there who in the name of pleasure doesn’t start to weaken when the first half-serious step is taken toward jouissance? Isn’t that something we encounter directly everyday? One can understand, therefore, the dominance of hedonism in the moral teachings of a certain philosophical tradition, whose motives do not seem to us to be absolutely reliable or disinterested. In truth, it isn’t because they have emphasized the beneficial effects of pleasure that we criticize the so-called hedonist tradition. It is rather because they haven’t stated what the good consisted of.

– Jacques Lacan

That’s where the fraud is. In the light of this one can understand that Freud was literally horrified by the idea of love for one’s neighbor. 3 S.E. XXI, p. iii. One’s neighbor in German is der Nachste. “Du sollst den Nachsten lieben wie sich selbst” – that’s how the commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” is expressed in German. Freud underlines the excessive side of this by means of an argument that starts from several different points, which are, in fact, one and the same. In the first place, the neighbor, whose fundamental nature is, as you have seen, revealed in Freud’s writings, is bad. But that’s not all there is to it. Freud also says – and it shouldn’t make you smile just because it is expressed in a somewhat sparse manner – my love is something precious and I’m not going to give it whole to whomever claims to be what he is, simply because he happened to come by. Freud makes comments àbout this that are quite right, moving comments on the subject of what is worth loving. He reveals how one must love a friend’s son because, if the friend were to lose his son, his suffering would be intolerable. The whole Arisotelian conception of the good is alive in this man who is a true man; he tells us the most sensitive and reasonable things about what it is worth sharing the good that is our love with. But what escapes him is perhaps the fact that precisely because we take that path we miss the opening on to jouissance. It is in the nature of the good to be altruistic. But that’s not the love of thy neighbor. Freud makes us feel this without articulating it fully. We will now attempt, without forcing anything, to do so in his stead. We can found our case on the following, namely, that every time that Freud stops short in horror at the consequences of the commandment to love one’s neighbor, we see evoked the presence of that fundamental evil which dwells within this ncighbor. But if that is the case, then it also dwells within me. And what is more of a ncighbor to me than this heart within which is that of my jouissance and which I don’t dare go near? For as soon as I go near it, as Civilization and Its Discontents makes clear, there rises up the unfathomable aggressivity from which I flee, that I turn against me, and which in the very place of the vanished Law adds its weight to that which prevents me from crossing a certain frontier at the limit of the Thing. As long as it’s a question of the good, there’s no problem; our own and our neighbor’s are of the same material. Saint Martin shares his cloak, and a great deal is made of it. Yet it is after all a simple question of training; material is by its very nature made to be disposed of – it belongs to the other as much as it belongs to me. We are no doubt touching a primitive requirement in the need to be satisfied there, for the beggar is naked. But perhaps over and above that need to be clothed, he was begging for something else, namely, that Saint Martin either kill him or fuck him. In any encounter there’s a big difference in meaning between the response of philanthropy and that of lve. It is in the nature of the useful to be utilized. If I can do something in less time and with less trouble than someone near me, I would instinctively do it in his place, in return for which I am damned for what I have to do for that most neighborly of neighbors who is inside me. I am damned for having assured him to whom it would cost more time and trouble than me, what precisely? – some measure of ease that only means something because I imagine that, if I had that ease or absence of work, I would make the best possible use of it. But it is far from proven that I would know how to do so, even if I had all the power required to satisfy myself. Perhaps I would simply be bored. Consequently, by granting others such power, perhaps I am just leading them astray. I imagine their difficulties and their sufferings in the mirror of my own. It is certainly not imagination that I lack; it is, if anything, tenderness, namely, what might be called the difficult way, love for one’s neighbor. And here again you may note how the trap of the same paradox occurs to us in connection with the so-called discourse of utilitarianism.

– Jacques Lacan

It is a fact of experience that what I want is the good of others in the image of my own. That doesn’t cost so much. What I want is the good of others provided that it remain in the image of my own. I would even say that the whole thing deteriorates so rapidly that it becomes: provided that it depend on my efforts. I don’t even need to ask you to go very far into your patients’ experience: if I wish for my spouse’s happiness, I no doubt sacrifice my own, but who knows if her happiness isn’t totally dissipated, too? Perhaps the meaning of the love of one’s neighbor that could give me the true direction is to be found here. To that end, however, one would have to know how to confront the fact that my neighbor’s jouissance, his harmful, malignant jouissance, is that which poses a problem for my love. It wouldn’t be difficult at this point to take a leap in the direction of the excesses of the mystics. Unfortunately, many of their most notable qualities always strike me as somewhat puerile.

– Jacques Lacan

Kant discusses the feelings of the Spartan mother who learns of the death of her son on the field of honor. And the little mathematical calculation Kant makes concerning the pleasure the family derives from the glory, from which one has to deduct the pain felt at the boy’s loss, is quite touching. But it is important to note that one only has to make a conceptual shift and move the night spent with the lady from the category of pleasure to that of jouissance, given that jouissance implies precisely the acceptance of death – and there’s no need of sublimation – for the example to be ruined. In other words, it is enough for jouissance to be a form of evil, for the whole thing to change its character completely, and for the meaning of the moral law itself to be completely changed. Anyone can see that if the moral law is, in effect, capable of playing some role here, it is precisely as a support for the jouissance involved; it is so that the sin becomes what Saint Paul calls inordinately sinful. That’s what Kant on this occasion simply ignores.

– Jacques Lacan

This Law makes my neighbor’s jouissance the point on which, in bearing witness in this case, the meaning of my duty is balanced. Must I go toward my duty of truth insofar as it preserves the authentic place of my jouissance, even if it is empty? Or must I resign myself to this lie, which, by making me substitute forcefully the good for the principle of my jouissance, commands me to blow alternatively hot and cold? Either I refrain from betraying my neighbor so as to spare my fellow man or I shelter behind my fellow man so as to give up my jouissance.

March 20, 1960 – Jacques Lacan

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