The slave•
The ego ideal and the petit a

But I would not like to leave you today without introducing, for next time, two remarks, two remarks that are grounded in the mapping that Freud made of the function of identification.


There are enigmas in identification, even for Freud himself. He seems to be surprised that the regression of love should take place so easily in terms of identification—even when, in texts written about the same time, he demonstrates that love and identification have an equivalence in a certain register and that narcissism and over-estimation of the object, Verliebtheit, is exactly the same thing in love.


At this point, Freud pauses—I would ask you to find for yourselves in the text the various clues, as the English say, the traces, the marks left on the trail. I think this is because he had not sufficiently distinguished something. In the chapter of Massenpsjchologie und Ich-Analyse devoted to
identification, I stressed the second form of identification, in order to map in it, and to detach from it, the einziger the single stroke, the foundation, the kernel of the ego ideal. What is this single stroke? Is it a privileged object in the field of Lust? No.

在這一點,佛洛伊德遲疑了一下。我要求你們自己到文章中尋找各種線索,如英國人常說,尋找他遲疑的蛛絲馬跡。我想這是因為他並沒有充份地區別它們。在專注於討論認同的「群眾心理學」及「自我分析」文章,為了找到它的位置,並保持距離觀察,我強調認同的第二種形式,「孤注一擲」是基礎,是自我理想的核心, 這孤注一擲是什麼!在欲望的領域,那是具有特權的客體嗎?顯然不是。

The single stroke is not in the first field of narcissistic identification, to which Freud relates the first form of identification —which, very curiously indeed, he embodies in a sort of function, a sort of primal model which the father assumes, anterior even to the libidinous investment on the mother —a mythical stage, certainly. The single stroke, in so far as the subject clings to it, is in the field of desire, which cannot in any sense be constituted other than in the reign of the signifier, other than at the level in which there is a relation of the subject to the Other. It is the field of the Other that determines the
function of the single stroke, in so far as it is from it that a major stage of identification is established in the topography then developed by Freud—namely, idealization, the ego ideal. I showed you the traces of this first signifier on the primitive bone on which the hunter makes a notch and counts the number of
times he gets his target.


It is in the intersection by which the single signifier functions here in the field of Lust, that is to say, in the field of primary narcissistic identification, that is to be found the essential mainspring of the effects of the ego ideal. I have described elsewhere the sight in the mirror of the ego ideal, of that being that he first saw appearing in the form of the parent holding him up before the mirror. By clinging to the reference-point of him who looks at him in a mirror, the subject sees appearing, not his ego ideal, but his ideal ego, that point at which he desires to gratify himself in himself.


This is the function, the mainspring, the effective instrument constituted by the ego ideal. Not so long ago, a little girl said to me sweetly that it was about time somebody began to look after her so that she might seem lovable to herself. In saying this, she provided the innocent admission of the mainspring
that comes into play in the first stage of the transference. The subject has a relation with his analyst the centre of which is at the level of the privileged signifier known as the ego ideal, in so far as from there he will feel himself both satisfactory and loved. But there is another function, which institutes an identification of a strangely different kind, and which is introduced by the process of separation.


It is a question of this privileged object, discovered by analysis, of that object whose very reality is purely topological, of that object around which the drive moves, of that object that rises in a bump, like the wooden darning egg in the material which, in analysis, you are darning—the objet a. This object supports that which, in the drive, is defined and specified by the fact that the coming into play of the signifier in the life of man enables him to bring out the meaning of sex. Namely, that for man, because he knows the signifiers, sex and its significations are always capable of making present the presence of death.


The distinction between the life drive and the death drive is true in as much as it manifests two aspects of the drive. But this is so only on condition that one sees all the sexual drives as articulated at the level of significations in the unconscious, in as much as what they bring out is death—death as signifier and
nothing but signifier, for can it be said that there is a being-for death?


In what conditions, in what determinism, can death, the signifier, spring fully armed into treatment? This can be understood only by our way of articulating the relations. Through the function of the objet a, the subject separates himself off, ceases to be linked to the vacillation of being, in the sense that it forms the essence of alienation. This function has been sufficiently indicated to us, for long enough, by enough traces. I have shown at one time or another that it is impossible to conceive of the phenomenology of verbal hallucination if we do not understand what the very term that we use to designate it means—that is to say, voices.


It is in so far as the object of the voice is present in it that the percipiens is present in it. Verbal hallucination is not a false perceptum, it is a deviated percipiens. The subject is immanent in
his verbal hallucination. This possibility is there, which should make us ask the question as to what we are going to achieve in analysis, concerning the accommodations of the percipiuns.


Up till the advent of psycho-analysis, the path of knowledge was always traced in that of a purification of the subject, of the percipiens. Well! We would now say that we base the assurance of the subject in his encounter with the filth that may support him, with the petit a of which it would not be untrue to say that its presence is necessary.


Take Socrates. The inflexible purity of Socrates and his atopia are correlative. Intervening, at every moment, there is the demonic voice. Could one maintain that the voice that guides Socrates is not
Socrates himself? The relation between Socrates and his voice is no doubt an enigma, which indeed, tempted psychographers on several occasions in the early nineteenth century, and it is already a great merit on their part that they dared to broach the matter since nowadays one daren’t touch it with a bargepole.


It is a new trace to be interrogated in order to know what w mean when we speak of the subject of perception. Don’t make me out to say what I’m not saying—the analyst must not hear voices. All the same, read a book by an analyst of good vintage, a Theodor Reik, a direct pupil and familiar of Freud, Listening with the Third-Ear—in actual fact, I do not approve of the formula, as if two were not enough to be deaf with. But he maintains that this third ear helps him to hear some voice of the
other that speaks to him in order to warn him of deception’* —he belongs to the good old days, the heroic days, when one was able to hear what was being said behind the deception of the patient.


Certainly, we have learnt a lot since then, because we know how to recognize in these circumventions, these cleavages, the objet a, which certainly has still scarcely emerged.



One Response to “拉岡講座253”

  1. 2010 in review « Springhero’s Weblog Says:

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