sinthome 08 Jacques Lacan

sinthome 08

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Le Sinthome
II. Seminar 2: Wednesday 9 December 1975

I have on many occasions familiarised you with the fact that the Borromean knot, as one might say, in the third dimension, consists in this relationship which ensures that what is enveloped with respect to one of these circles is found to be enveloping with
respect to the other. This is why something that you ordinarily see in the form of the armillary sphere is exemplary. The armillary sphere used, that is used because it has sextants, is always presented as follows (Fig II-11). Namely, that in order to trace it
out in a clear way, the blue circle is always going to be reduced in the following way around the circle that here I have drawn in green. And that finally the red circle, in accordance with the reduction of the interaxis (l’entraxe) must be like that. I said it
earlier. There you are.


On the other hand, the difference between this circle and its ordinary arrangement in any manipulation of the armillary sphere, will find itself distanced if, let us say, for this circle which appears here in the middle there is found, for this circle there is found substituted the following arrangement (Fig II-12). Namely, that it cannot be reduced because it will be enveloping with respect to the red circle, and enveloped with respect to the green circle.


I am drawing again what is involved (Fig II-13), you see that here the green circle is thus found situated with respect to the blue circle and the red circle. Here even my manifest the awkwardness with which the Borromean knot, the very type of the knot, is necessarily manipulated.


(32) The fundamental character of this utilisation of the knot is to allow there to be illustrated the triplicity that results from a consistency which is only affected from the Imaginary, from a hole as fundamental which emerges in the Symbolic. And on the other hand, of an ex-sistence, written as I write it ex-sistence, which for its part belongs to the Real which is its fundamental character.


This method, since what is at stake is a method, is a method which presents itself as hopeless. Without hope of in any way breaking the constitutive knot of the Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real.


In this regard, it rejects there being constituted, it must be said, and in an altogether lucid way, a virtue, a virtue even described as theological, and that is why our apprehension, our analytic apprehension of what is involved in this knot is the negative of religion.


People no longer believe in the object as such, and that is why I deny that the object can be grasped by any organ. Since the organ itself is perceived as a tool. And that being perceived as a tool, as a separate tool, it is, in this respect, conceived as an object. In Chomsky’s conception, the object is itself only tackled by an object. It is by the restitution as such of the subject, in so far as it can only be divided, divided by the very operation of language, that analysis finds its diffusion. It finds its diffusion in the fact that it puts science as such into question. Science in as much as it makes of an object, that it makes of an object a subject, while it is the subject which is of itself divided. We do not believe in the object, but we affirm desire and from this affirming of desire, we infer the cause as objectivised.


(34) The desire to know encounters obstacles. It is to incarnate this obstacle that I invented the knot and one must break oneself into the knot. I mean that it is the knot, the knot alone which is the support, the conceivable support of a relationship between
anything whatsoever and something else. If on the one hand the knot is abstract it must be thought of and conceived of as concrete.


The reason why, since today, as you clearly see, I am very weary, very weary from this American ordeal where, as I have told you, I was certainly recompensed, because I was able, with these figures that you see here more or less substantialised, substantialised in writing, in drawings, I was able to create with them what I will
call agitation, emotion. The sensed as mental, the sentimental is weak- minded. Because it is always from some angle or other reducible to the Imaginary. The imagination of consistency goes straight to the impossible of rupture, but this is why the rupture can always be the Real. The Real as impossible and which is no less compatible with the aforesaid imagination and even constitutes it.


I have no hope, in any way, of escaping from what I signal as the weak-mindedness of this debate. I can only escape from it, like anyone else, according to my means.


Namely, as if marching on the spot, sure of not being assured of any verifiable progress except in the long term.


It is in a fabulatory way that I am affirming that the Real – as I think it in my pen-se in my pen-se léger – does not work without really comprising, the Real effectively lying, without really comprising the hole that subsists in it because of the fact that its
consistency is nothing other than that of the totality of the knot that it makes with the Symbolic and the Imaginary. The knot qualifies as Borromean. In other words uncuttable without dissolving the myth that makes of the subject, of the subject not supposed, namely as real, no more diverse than anybody that can be signalled
as parlêtre: a body which has a respectable status, in the common sense of the word, only from this knot.


So then after this exhausting attempt, since today I am very weary,



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