Archive for February, 2011

Desire 033 Jacques Lacan

February 28, 2011

Desire 033

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

3.12.58 52
Seminar 4: 3 December 1958

So that the way out proposed to this new drama is to censure this truth of desire. But this censorship is not something which, however it is exercised, can be sustained with the stroke of a pen, because here it is the process of enunciating which is aimed
at, and because to prevent it some foreknowledge of the process of the enunciation is necessary, and that every discourse destined to banish this enunciation from the process of enunciating is going to find itself offending more or less openly with its end. It is the matrix of this possibility which at this level, is given on our graph, and it will give you a lot of other matrices.


The subject, because of the fact that he articulates his demand, is captured in a discourse in which he cannot but be himself constructed qua agent of enunciating, which is why he cannot renounce it without this enunciation, because that is to efface himself completely as a subject knowing what is in question.


(30) The relationship to one another of these two lines of the process of enunciating and the process of the enunciation is quite simple, it is the whole of grammar, a rational grammar which is articulated in these terms; if you find it interesting I
will tell you where and how, in what terms and in what context this has been articulated, but for the moment what we have to deal with is the following: it is the fact that we see when repression is introduced, it is essentially linked to the
absolute necessity of the subject being effaced and disappearing at the level of the process of enunciating.


How, by what empirical paths does the subject accede to this possibility? It is quite impossible, even to articulate it if we do not see what the nature of the process of enunciating is.


As I told you: every word begins from these points of intersection which we have designated by the point 0, namely that every word in so far as the subject is implicated in it, is the discourse of the Other.


That is the precise reason why at first the child is quite convinced that all his thoughts are known, it is because the definition of thought is not as the psychologists say, something like the beginning of an act. Thought is above all something which participates in this dimension of the unsaid which I have just introduced by the distinction between the process of enunciating and the process of enunciation, but for
this unsaid to subsist, naturally in so far as in order that it (31) should be an unsaid it must be said, it must be said at the level of the process of enunciating, namely qua discourse of the Other, and that is why the child does not doubt for an instant
that what represents for him this locus where this discourse is carried on, namely his parents, know all his thoughts.


In any case this is his first movement, it is a movement which will subsist as long as he is not introduced to something new which we have again articulated here concerning this relationship of the upper line with the lower line, namely what keeps them outside grammar at a certain distance.


I do not need to tell you how grammar keeps a distance between sentences like “I do not know whether he is dead”, “He is not dead, as far as I know”, “I did not know that he was dead”, “I was afraid that he was dead”. All these subtle taxemes which go
from the subjunctive here to a ne that Monsieur Lebidoy calls in a fashion that is really incredible for a philologist who writes in Le Monde, the expletive ne. All of this is done to show us that a whole part of grammar, the essential part, the taxemes,
are there to maintain the necessary gap between these two lines.


The next time I will project for you onto these two lines the articulations in question, but for the subject who has not yet learned these subtle forms, and it is quite clear that the (32) distinction between the two lines is made well before.


There are required conditions, and these form the basis of the interrogation that I am bringing before you today. This distinction is very essentially linked, like every time of course that you see that it is a question of something which is not a temporal reference point, but a tensional point, namely of a difference in tenses between these two lines, you can clearly see the relationship that there can be between this and the
situation, and the topology of desire.


This is where we are. For a time the child is in sum entirely caught up in the interplay between these two lines. What is necessary here in order that repression may be produced? I would say that I am hesitating before committing myself to a path which
after all I would like not to appear for what it nevertheless is, a path of concession, namely that I appeal to notions of development properly speaking, I mean that everything is implicated in the empirical process at the level at which this is
produced, of an intervention, of an empirical and certainly necessary incidence, but the necessity to which this empirical incidence, this empirical accident, the necessity in which it comes to reverberate, which it precipitates in its form, is of a different nature.


In any case, the child perceives at a given moment that these adults who are supposed to know all his thoughts, and here precisely he is not going to go beyond this stage, in a certain (33) fashion he will be able to reproduce later on the possibility which is the fundamental possibility of what we call in brief and rapidly the so-called elementary form of hallucination, that there appears this primitive structure of what we call this background of the process of enunciating, parallel to the current enunciation of the existence of what is called the echo of acts, the echo of expressed thoughts.




February 28, 2011

Desire 032 Jacques Lacan

February 28, 2011

Desire 032

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

3.12.58 52
Seminar 4: 3 December 1958

If what I am saying there were not obvious, the whole of grammar would vanish. I am simply in the process of pointing out to you for the moment the necessity of using the future perfect, in so far as there are two reference points to time: a reference point
to time concerning the act that is going to be in question: “by that date I will have become her husband” for example, and it is a question of locating what is going to be transformed by marriage into the enunciation; but on the other hand, because you
express it in terms of the future perfect, it is the present point from which you speak from the act of enunciating which locates you.


There are therefore two subjects, two I’s, and the stage that the child must go beyond at the level of this test of Binet’s, namely the distinction between these two I’s, seems to me to be something which has literally nothing to do with this famous reduction to reciprocity which Piaget considers to be the essential pivot as regards grasping how to use personal pronouns.


But let us leave this then to one side for the moment. What have (26) we arrived at? To a grasp of these two lines as representing one which is referred to the process of enunciating, the other the process of the enuntiation.


The fact that they are two, does not mean that each represents one function, but that every time we are dealing with the functions of language we should always discover this duplicity.


Let us say again that not only are they two, but that they will always have opposing discontinuous structures, here for example for one when the other is continuous, and inversely.


Where is Anna Freud’s articulation situated?


I am not going to tell you how this topology can be used, I mean I am not going to say just like that all at once because it might suit me, or even because I may be able to see a little bit further, given the fact that I was the one who constructed this contraption, and because I know where I am going, so that I should tell you: it is here or it is there.


The fact is that the question arises: the question arises of what this articulation represents on this occasion which is the aspect under which the reality of Anna Freud’s dream is presented to us, and that in the case of this child who was quite capable of perceiving the meaning of the sentence of her nurse – true or false – Freud implies it, and Freud supposes it, and quite correctly because of course, a child of nineteen months understands very well that her nurse has messed her about – there
(27) is articulated in what I called this flocculated form, this series of signifiers in a certain order, this something which takes its form from being stacked up, by being superimposed as I might say, in a column, from the fact of substituting for one another these things in so far as each one is a metaphor for the other, which it is then a question of making emerge, namely the reality of satisfaction qua prohibited (inter-dite) and we shall go no further with Anna Freud’s dream.


We will nevertheless take the next step. So that once we have sufficiently begun to clarify this matter by asking ourselves now, because it is a question of the topology of repression, the way in which what we are beginning to articulate is going to help
us when it is a question of an adult dream, namely how, what is the real difference between what we can clearly see to be a certain form which the child’s desire takes on on this occasion in the dream, and a form which is undoubtedly much more
complicated because it is going to give much more trouble, in any case as regards interpretation, namely what happens in a adult’s dream.


In this matter there is no ambiguity in Freud. He has no difficulty with it, it is enough to read the usage and the function of what intervenes, it is in the order of censorship.
Censorship operates very exactly in a way that I was able to illustrate during my previous seminars. I do not know if you remember the famous story which we enjoyed so much, the one (28) about: “The king of England is an idiot, therefore
everything is permitted,” says the typist who is caught up in the Irish revolution. But this was not what was in question. I gave you another application of it, namely what Freud says to explain punishment dreams.


We had very specially put forward the law: whoever says that the king of England is an idiot will have his head cut off, and as I told you: the following night I
dreamt that I had my head cut off.


Freud also articulates even more simple forms. Because I have been persuaded to read Tintin for some time past, I will borrow an example from him. I have a way of breaking through the censorship by using my Tintinesque qualities, I can say aloud:
anyone who says in my presence that General Tapiocca is not a better man than General Alcazar, will have to deal with me.


Now, it is quite clear that if I articulate something like this, neither partisans of General Tapiocca, nor those of General Alcazar would be satisfied, and I would say that what is much more surprising, is that the least satisfied will be those who
are the partisans of both.


Here then is what Freud explains to us in the most precise fashion: it is in the nature of what is said to confront us with a very particular difficulty which at the same time also opens up very special possibilities. What is in question is (29) simply the following: What the child had to deal with, was the prohibition (inter-dit), a saying, no. The whole process of education, some principles of censorship, go therefore to form this saying no, because it is a question of operations with the signifier in an inexpressible way (en indieible), and this also supposes that the subject perceives that the saying no, if it is said, is said, and even if it is not executed, remains said. Whence the fact that not saying it is distinct from obeying not to do it, in other words that the truth of desire is all by itself an offence against the authority of law.



Jung handbook 05

February 28, 2011

Jung handbook 05

The Handbook of Jung Psychology

Chapter 9 Individuation 197
Murray Stein

第九章 個體化

200 Murray Stein Individuation 201

With further motor and cognitive development, the ego is able to begin exercising its executive functions and to exert some control over muscles.


Arms and legs become coordinated and speech follows. Soon the whole world becomes a vast theatre of play and learning, a veritable Garden of Eden to explore. The healthy child asserts itself vigorously and with abandon in this perceived safe and protected environment. Serious reality testing is left to the oversight of the parental unit, a nurturing and containing presence hovering above. The boundaries of this paradise are tested soon enough as the child exerts more and more autonomy physically and emotionally. Disobedience and increasing consciousness go hand in hand.


Psychological boundaries begin to be erected between child and parental guardian, and the child becomes aware of the differences between self and other and exploits them. Throughout this stage, however, a basic level of unconscious identification remains between child and nurturing environment. Participation mystique continues to reign. Jung thought of the child’s psyche as largely contained in the parental psyche and reflective of it:


‘Children are so deeply involved in the psychological attitude of their parents that it is no wonder that most of the nervous disturbances in childhood can be traced back to a disturbed psychic atmosphere in the home’ (CW 17: par. 80). The child’s true individual personality does not emerge until it leaves the parents’ psyche in a sort of second birth, a psychological birth for the ego when it becomes a more truly separate entity.


This psychological containment of the young gives parents enormous influence over their children, not only through the conscious transmission of culture, tradition, teaching and training, but more importantly and deeply through unconscious communication of attitude and structure.


Via the unconscious, a kind of psychological programming of the child’s inner
world takes place, for good or ill. It is not what the parent says, but what the parent is and does, that has the greatest impact on the shape of the child’s inner world. The family is the child’s adaptive environment, and much of this world’s emotional tone enters the child’s inner world by introjection.


The testing and challenging of physical and psychological boundaries continues throughout the first stage of individuation. Adolescence, which for most of us falls within this stage, is a transitional time when physically, and to some extent psychologically, a person is ready to leave the nurturing/ containing environment and enter the next stage of individuation.


In modern developed societies, however, this is complicated by educational and training requirements that often prolong the containment stage to a significant extent. An adolescent of 15 or even 18 is nowhere near being able to take on the tasks and responsibilities of adulthood in modern societies.


This prolongation of the first stage of individuation creates the specific problems and attitudes so characteristic of adolescents in these countries: impatience, rebelliousness, feelings of inferiority, being marginalised, and frustration. Ready to leave the world of childhood but not yet prepared for the tasks of adulthood, they are truly betwixt and between.


The adult personae that initiation rituals provide in traditional societies are withheld from adolescents in modern cultures, and the dependent state of childhood is artificially prolonged far beyond its natural physical and psychological timeframe. Schools and colleges are the holding pens and containers devised by modern cultures for adolescents and post-adolescents who need to have more time to mature and to become acculturated and ready for successful adaptation to the demands of work and family that are shortly to fall upon them.



Jung handbook 04

February 27, 2011

Jung handbook 04

The Handbook of Jung Psychology

Chapter 9 Individuation 197
Murray Stein

第九章 个体化

200 Murray Stein Individuation 201

The first and primary nurturing figure is, of course, the mother. From pregnancy onwards, the mother represents as well as symbolises the nurturing container itself.


Nurturing and containing can be referred to as the mothering function, whether this is delivered by the actual biological mother, by mother surrogates, by fathers, teachers, or institutions. Symbolically speaking, they are all the mother’ if they approach the individual in a nurturing, containing mode.


Nurturing, while it grows out of concrete acts of mothering like breastfeeding,
is not only physical, and to a large extent it takes on other features as the child grows. Feeding takes place on emotional, cognitive and spiritual levels. Nurturing is an attitude. Symbolically it has been expressed by mother figures since time immemorial.


The Great Goddesses of world religions — figures such as Demeter (Greek), Isis (Egyptian), the Virgin Mary (Christian) to name only a few — are identified as nurturers, feeders, containers and comforters. The role of the Great Mother Goddesses
extends far beyond the biological and physical feeding functions, although it is rooted in the gestures and rituals of literal feeding.


The church, for example, is a classic nurturing, containing institution that feeds its ‘children’ the bread of heaven, a spiritual type of food. Its primary mission is not to feed people materially, although sometimes it has done so and has dedicated itself to the material improvement of the poor. Yet its main meal is a symbolic and spiritual one. Nurturing institutions are typically represented by mother images. Similarly, containers such as ships are referred to as ‘she’.


This does not mean that actual mothers or nurturing institutions like the church or ships of the navy do not also have marked fatherly, patriarchal functions and aspects, but when the emphasis falls on nurturing, the images hark back to the mother. Therefore this stage of individuation is referred to as the mother stage, and people within it are seen as living ‘in the mother’.


Whether the containing/nurturing function is performed by the actual mother, by another person, or by an institution, the underlying attitude is: I am here to help you’. Nurturers are providers, helpers, sustainers. This attitude on the part of the nurturer, in turn, creates or inspires a corresponding attitude in the recipient of nurturance.


Nurturers conjure children, and children attach themselves to nurturers. The recipient’s attitude is one of radical dependence upon the perceived nurturer. This attitude may he quite conscious or largely unconscious. In the first years of life, it is
definitely unconscious. Nurturance and containment are simply taken for granted by the infant and the young child. Recipients often struggle mightily against their caregivers, not realising how profound the real dependence actually is.


A child pushing away from its mother and running impulsively out into traffic simply assumes, at an unconscious level, that will be safe, cared for, protected, and at the end of the day fed, held and comforted. This degree of entitlement is unchallenged in the young child, and the nurturing adult, who may even find it attractive and mildly
amusing, freely gives it. The dependency arising out of a good bonding. between infant and mother is to be desired, for too much anxiety about the world at this early stage of life would not augur well.


The containment/nurturance phase of individuation serves the psycho logical purpose of supporting and protecting an incipient ego in the child The ego complex, which we conceive of as the centre of consciousness with certain executive functions and some measure of innate anxiety about reality, comes into being gradually over the course of early childhood. Its earliest beginnings lie already in the intrauterine experience.


There the ego is barely a point of awareness and of reaction to stimuli, a tiny bit of
separate consciousness in the darkness of the mother’s body. With birth, the ego’s world is dramatically enlarged, and the infant’s ego responds by registering and reacting to sights, tastes, and touching as well as to sounds and smells. Very quickly a baby is able to recognise its mother’s face and to respond. At a profound psychological level, however, infant and mother remain joined in a state of psychological fusion.


The ego’s separateness is severely limited. This unconscious identification is mutual. The mother is as deeply tied into it as the infant. Jung termed this type of identification participation mystique, a phrase that denotes an unconscious psychophysical bond and comes originally from anthropology (introduced by Levy-
Bruhl 1910). What happens to one person in this union happens to the other. They feel each other’s pain, hunger and joy. For the infant, this forms the basis of later empathy and eventually will develop into a sense of responsibility for others and an inner conscience. It also creates part of the foundation for later ego identity, especially for female children.



Jung handbook 03

February 27, 2011

Jung handbook 03

The Handbook of Jung Psychology

Chapter 9 Individuation 197
Murray Stein

第九章 個體化



200 Murray Stein Individuation 201


The containment/nurturance stage of individuation


Like other mammals, humans start terrestrial life in a maternal womb. This space, bathed in amniotic fluid and kept warm by the surrounding body of the mother, is the archetypal nurturing environment. Passively fed through the umbilical cord, the foetus is required to make little effort to care for itself. For postnatal life, the mother’s womb symbolises the psychological environment needed for the first stage of a person’s life.




It is a protected space, an enclosure in which the vulnerable young can grow relatively

undisturbed by toxic intrusions from the surrounding world. For humans, this type of shielded environment is suitable for a lengthy period of time after birth. This is true especially for infants, for unlike many other mammals, human offspring, because of their large head size, are ejected from the mother’s womb long before they are prepared to function independently of a nurturing container. Human neonates require an external nurturing environment of extended duration, until their bodies and minds

are prepared to cope with the physical and social worlds into which they have been delivered.




Especially in modern developed cultures, this first stage of life, which we casually refer to as childhood, lasts a long time. For most people nowadays, the containment/nurturance stage extends through much of the educational experience, from infancy and the years of primary and secondary school, through university studies and further professional training. During these years, a person, even if physically and to some extent psychologically prepared to assume some of the roles of adulthood, is not fully equipped to deal with the demands of social life and is usually not economically viable as an adult member of society.




This period of dependence on parents and parental institutions may last for thirty years or more. In traditional cultures, on the other hand, where initiation rituals into adulthood occur at around the age of 12 or 13, the containment/nurturance stage of

individuation/development is typically terminated at the onset of puberty.




By that age, a person is considered ready and able to take up the physical and cultural tasks required of young adults in the group. There it is an abrupt and dramatic change of attitude and social identity; in our modern cultures, the change is gradual and takes place over decades.




The quality of the containment/nurturance stage is defined, symbolically speaking, as maternal. The containing environment is constructed socially and psychologically on the model of a womb, in that the basic ingredients needed for survival — food, shelter, highly structured settings of care that are screened and protected — are provided by family and society. At the emotional level, nurturance is delivered (ideally) in the form of warm support and encouragement. Young children are loved unconditionally.

appreciated for being rather than doing. The harsh aspects of reality are screened out. Children are held, caressed and comforted by smiling, doting parents who stand guard over them and look out for their well-being. The most that is asked of the young is a cooperative and willing attitude. For the rest, adult supervision and protection prevail. Not much is demanded of young people at this stage in the way of contributing to the general welfare of the family or group. They remain dependent and are nourished by parents and other adults.






Naturally the degree of richness of the matrix in this stage of containment is highly dependent upon the attitudes and resources that happen to be available to the adult caregivers. It is also crucially dependent on their emotional stability and maturity. Instead of screening harsh reality out of the protected environment, anxious parents may amplify threats and worrisome aspects of reality.




Absence of adequate containment and serious breaches in the walls of protection surrounding the person at this stage generally put down the groundwork for later psychopathology, such as anxiety disorders and various character disorders. In addition, the frightened or threatened child, in order to replace the absent or breached outer protective shield, develops primitive and massive defences of the self, which

also have the capacity to cut the person off from important developments and relationships later in life.




Under the best conditions, the quality and degree of containment gradually changes as a person passes through the sub-phases of childhood.




At first there is maximal nurturance and containment. The kind of attention given to the newborn baby, who can do practically nothing for itself, modulates to a less intense level of care as the child grows older. Later the parents will place further limits on the amount and kind of nurturance they provide, and the degree of containment is eased. Expectations for a relative amount of autonomy, independence and self-control are introduced at many points along the way, as the child is able to respond positively to these changes.




Normally these shifts are met by a willingness on the part of the child to cooperate if the onset of these new conditions corresponds to growing abilities (cognitive, emotional, motor). As the individual proceeds through the usual sub-phases of childhood development, the nurturing container evolves in order to meet the new needs that appear and to reduce what would become an intrusive type of overprotective care in many areas.




By the end of this stage of individuation, people experience only a minimum

of nurturing and containment from the environment and are able to do for themselves what others have done for them earlier.





200 Murray Stein Individuation 201


Desire 031 Jacques Lacan

February 26, 2011

Desire 031

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

3.12.58 52
Seminar 4: 3 December 1958

Things are necessarily organised starting from this necessity, and all sorts of consequences are going to flow from this, that there is a topology which it is necessary and sufficient for us to conceive of as constituted by two superimposed chains, for us to account for it, but it is absolutely required in order that we should account for it, that there are these two superimposed chains, and it is towards this
that we are advancing.


Here at the level of Anna Freud’s dream, how do things appear?


It is true that they appear in a problematic, ambiguous fashion, which permits, which makes it legitimate up to a certain point for Freud to distinguish a difference between children’s dreams and adults dreams.


Where is the chain of nominations which makes up the dream of Anna Freud situated? On the upper chain or on the lower chain? It is a question regarding which you have been able to notice that the upper part of the graph represents this chain in a dotted form, putting the accent on the element of discontinuity of the signifier, while we represent the lower chain of the graph as continuous, and on the other hand I told you that of course in every process the two chains are involved.


(22) What does the lower chain mean at the level that we are posing the question? The lower chain at the level of demand, and in so far as I told you that the subject qua speaking took on this solidity borrowed from the synchronic solidarity of the
signifier, it is quite obvious that it is something that participates in the unity of the sentence, of this something which has made people talk and which gave rise to so much discussion, about the function of the sentence as holophrase in so far that is as the holophrase exists.


There is no doubt about it, the holophrase has a name: it is the interjection.


If you like, to illustrate at the level of the demand what the function of the lower chain represents, it is: “Foodl”, or “Helpl”; I am speaking about universal discourse, I am not talking about the child’s discourse for the moment. This form of sentence exists, I would even say that in certain cases it takes on a quite pressing and demanding value.


This is what is in question, it is the articulation of the sentence, it is the subject in so far as this need which of course must pass by way of the defiles of the signifier qua need, is expressed in a fashion which is deformed, but at least which is monolithic. except that the monolith that is in question, is the subject himself at this level which constitutes him.


What happens on the other line, is quite different. What can be (23) said about it is not easy to say, but for a good reason, which is that it is precisely what is at the basis of what happens on the first line, the lower one; but undoubtedly what we see, is that even in something which is given to us as being as primitive as this child’s dream, Anna Freud’s dream, something marks for us that here the subject is not simply constituted in the sentence and by the sentence, in the sense that when the
individual, or the crowd, or the mob cries: “Foodl”, one knows very well that in this case the whole weight of the message is on the emitter, I mean that it is the dominant element and one even knows that this cry just by itself is sufficient precisely in the
forms that I have just evoked, to constitute this emitter, as being well and truly a unique subject, even if it has a hundred mouths, a thousand mouths. It does not need to introduce itself, the sentence introduces it sufficiently.


Now all the same we find ourselves confronted with the following, that the human subject when he operates with language, takes himself into account, and to such a degree is it his primitive position that I do not know if you remember a certain text by Monsieur Binet, namely the difficulties that the subject has in going beyond this stage which I for my part find much more suggestive than any of the stages indicated by Monsieur Piaget, and this stage, I am not going to tell you about it because I do not want to get into details, appears as distinctive and consists in the fact that the (24) subject perceives that there is something wrong with the sentence: “I have three brothers, Paul, Ernest and me”.


Up to a fairly advanced stage this seems to him quite natural, and for a very good reason, because to tell the truth everything about the implication of the human subject in the act of speech is there: the fact is that he takes himself into account in it, that he
names himself in it, and that consequently this is what I might call the most natural the most coordinated expression.


The child simply has not found the proper formula which would obviously be the following: “We are three brothers, Paul, Ernest and me”, except that we would be very far from reproaching him for giving it the ambiguities of the function of being and
having. It is clear that a step must be taken in order that in sum what is in question, namely the distinction between the I qua subject of the enunciation and the I qua subject of the enunciating, can be made, because this is what is in question.


What is articulated at the level of the first line when we take the following step is the process of enunciation: in our dream of the other day: “he had died”. But when you announce something like that, in which I would point out to you in passing, the whole novelty of the dimension that the word introduces into the world, is already implied, because to be able to say: “He had died”, this cannot be said otherwise than in a completely different perspective to that of the statement (du dire) “He had died”, means absolutely nothing (ne veut absolument rien dire);


(25) “He had died”, means: he no longer exists, therefore there is no need to say it, he is no longer there in order to say he is dead, he must already be a being supported by the word. But no one is being asked to perceive this, of course, but simply on the
contrary the following, that the act of enunciating: “He had died”, usually requires in the discourse itself all sorts of reference points which are distinct from the reference points that are taken from the enunciation of the process.



Desire 030 Jacques Lacan

February 26, 2011

Desire 030

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

3.12.58 52
Seminar 4: 3 December 1958

Therefore this is not what I am talking about, I am saying that on this occasion what we know about the dream, is properly speaking what we actually know about it at the moment that it is happening as an articulated dream, in other words that the degree
of certainty that we have concerning this dream is something linked to the fact that we would also be much more sure what pigs and geese dream about if they themselves told us about it.


But in this original example we have more, namely that the dream discovered by Freud has this exemplary value that it is articulated aloud during sleep, which is something that allows no kind of ambiguity about the presence of the signifier in its
actual text.


In this case it is not possible to throw any doubt on a phenomenon concerning the added-on character of what one might call information on the dream which might be taken by the word. (18) We know that Anna Freud is dreaming because she articulates: “Anna F-eud, Er(d)beer, Hochbeer, Eier(s)peis, Papp”.


The dream images of which we know nothing on this occasion, find here an affix, if I may express myself in this way with the help of a term borrowed from the theory of complex numbers, a symbolic affix in these words where we see the signifier presenting itself in a way in a flocculent state, namely in a series of nominations, and this nomination constitutes a sequence whose choice is not indifferent because, as Freud tells us, the choice is precisely of everything which has been prohibited to her. inter-dict; of the things which when she demanded them she was told no, that she could not have them, and this common denominator introduces a unity into their diversity, without preventing us also from noticing that inversely this diversity reinforces this unity, and even designates it.


It is in sum the unity that this series completely opposes to the special satisfaction of need, such for example of the desire imputed to the pig and the goose, the desire moreover, you only have to reflect on the effect that this would have if instead, in the proverb, of saying that the pig dreams of Kukuruz (of maize) we were to set about enumerating everything that the pig is supposed to dream about, you would see that this has a quite different effect, and even if one wished to claim that it was only an insufficient education of the glottis that prevented the pig and (19) the goose from letting us know as much, and even if one could say that we could manage to make up for it by perceiving in both cases and by finding the equivalent if you wish of this articulation by detecting some quivering of their mandibles, it still remains that it would be very unlikely that the following would happen, namely that these animals would name themselves as Anna Freud does in the series.


And even if we admit the pig is called Toto and the goose Bel Azor, even if something of that order occurred, it would turn out that they are naming themselves in a language which would evidently moreover, neither more or less evidently than in the case of man, but in the case of man that is seen less clearly, that this language has precisely
nothing to do with the satisfaction of their needs because this is the name they would have in the farmyard, namely in a context of human needs and not their own.


In other words, I would like you to focus on the fact, and we said it above, that 1. Anna Freud articulates that there is the mechanism of motor activity, and we would say in effect that it is not absent from this dream, because this is the way that we get to know it.


But this dream reveals by the signifying structuring of its sequence that, 2., we would like to dwell in this sequence on the fact that at the beginning of this sequence literally there is a message, which you can see being illustrated if you know how (20) communication takes place inside one of these complicated machines of our modern era, for example between the front and the back of a plane. When one telephones from one cabin to another one begins by announcing what? One announces oneself, one
announces who is speaking. Anna Freud at nineteen months, during her dream, announces, she says: “Anna F-eud”, and she goes on with her series. I would almost say that there is only one thing missing, after having heard her articulating her dream, it is that at the end she should say: “over and out”.


Here we are introduced then to what I call the topology of repression, in its clearest, also its most formal and most articulated way, regarding which Freud underlines for us that this topology can in no way be considered, since it is that of another locus which had so struck him when reading Fechner, to the extent that one senses that this was for him a type of lightening bolt, of illumination, of revelation, but at the same
time at the very moment that he talks to us at least twice, in the Traumdeutung about the anderer Schauplatz, he always underlines that it has nothing to do with another neurological locus.


We are saying that this other locus is to be sought in the structure of the signifier itself. Now what I am trying to show you here, is that the structure of the signifier itself once the subject is engaged in it, I mean with the minimal hypotheses (21) that are required by the fact that a subject enters into its game. I mean once the signifier is given and the subject is defined as that which is going to enter into the signifier and nothing else.



Desire 029 Jacques Lacan

February 25, 2011

Desire 029

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

3.12.58 52
Seminar 4: 3 December 1958

This veritable topology of signifiers, because you cannot escape from it once you follow closely Freud’s articulation, is what is in question, and in Letter 52 (6.12.96) to Fliess, one sees that he is necessarily led to presuppose at the origin a type of ideal
Wahrnehmungen which cannot be taken as simple freshly taken Wahrnehmung. If we translate it literally, this topology does not reach a Begriffen, it is a term that he continually uses, a grasp of reality, it does not reach it at all by an eliminatory
sorting out, by a selective sorting out, of anything that resembles what was put forward in the whole theory of instinct as being the first approximate behaviour which directs the organism along the paths of successful instinctual behaviour.


This is not what we are dealing with, but with a sort of real recurrent critique, with a critique of these signifiers evoked in (14) the primary process, which critique of course, like every critique, does not eliminate the previous thing on which it is brought to bear, but complicates it, complicates it by connoting it with what? With indices of reality which themselves belong to the signifying order. There is absolutely no way of escaping from this accentuation of what I articulate as being what Freud
conceives and presents to us as the primary process. You will see, provided you refer to any of the texts that Freud wrote, that at the different stages of his doctrine he articulated, repeated, every time he had to approach this problem, whether he
is dealing with the Traumdeutung or with what is, in the introduction of the Interpretation of dreams, and subsequently with what he took up later when he brought forward the second mode of presenting his topography, namely starting with the articles grouped around the psychology of the ego and the beyond
of the pleasure principle.


You will allow me for a moment to image, by playing with etymologies, what is meant by this fresh way of looking at things which would lead a sort of ideal subject to the real; but the alternatives by which the subject brings the real into his propositions, Vorste1lunqen, here I decompose it by articulating it as follows: these Vorstellunqen have a signifying organisation. If we wish to talk about them in terms other than the Freudian ones, in Pavlovian terms, we would say that they form part from the beginning, not of a first system of (15) significations, not of something connected to the tendency of need, but of a second system of significations.


They are like the lighting up of a bulb in a slot machine when the ball has fallen into the proper hole, and the sign that the ball has fallen into the proper hole Freud also articulates: the proper hole means the same hole into which the ball has previously


The primary process is not directed towards the search for a new object, but for an object which is to be rediscovered, and this by means of a Vorstellunq which is re-evoked, because it was the Vorstellunq corresponding to a first pathway so that the
illumination of this bulb entitles you to a prize, and there is no doubt about this, and that is what the pleasure principle is.


But in order that this prize should be honoured, there must be a certain reserve of money in the machine, and the reserve of money in the machine on this occasion is pledged to this system of processes which are called the secondary processes. In other
words, the lighting up of the bulb is only a satisfaction within the total convention of the machine in so far as this machine is that of the gambler, from the moment that he begins to gamble.


Staring with this, let us again take up Anna’s dream. This dream of Anna is presented to us as a dream of desire in its naked form. It seems to me that it is quite impossible to evade, to elide in the revelation of this nakedness, the mechanism itself (16) by which this nakedness is revealed, in other words the mode of this revelation cannot be separated from this nakedness itself.


I have the idea that we only know about this so-called naked dream by hearsay, and when I say by hearsay, that does not at all mean what some people quoted me as saying that in sum it was a question here of a remark about the fact that we never know that someone dreams except through what he tells us, and that in sum that everything which refers to the dream should be included in the fact, in the parenthesis of the fact that he reports it.


It is certainly not indifferent that Freud accords so much importance to the Niederschrift which constitutes this residue of the dream, but it is quite clear that this Niederschrift refers to an experience that the subject is telling us about. It is important to see that Freud is a long long way from retaining even for a single instant the nevertheless obvious objections which arise from the fact that a spoken narrative is one thing, and a lived experience is something else, and it is starting from there that we can connect the remark that the fact that he sets aside with such vigour, and even that he agrees with, that he explicitly makes the starting point of all his analysis even to the point of advising that it should be a technique of the Niederschrift, of what is there lying in the writings of the dream, shows us precisely what he thinks fundamentally about this lived experience, namely that there is everything to be said for approaching it in this way because he did not try of course, to (17) articulate it; it is itself already structured in a series of Niederschriften, in a kind of palimpsest-writing as one might say.


If one could imagine a palimpsest where the different superimposed texts have a certain relationship, it would still be a question of knowing which, with one another; but if you search for it, you would see that it is a relationship that is to be sought much more in the form of the letters than in the meaning of the text.



Desire 028 Jacques Lacan

February 25, 2011

Desire 028

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

3.12.58 52
Seminar 4: 3 December 1958

This takes on its value, I would say, through its insertion into a circuit, and if I say that in short what Freud describes to us as being the result of the primary process,
is in a way that on this circuit something lights up. I will not make a metaphor of this, I will only say in substance what Freud draws from the explanation on this occasion, from the translation of what is in question, namely to show you on this circuit which
always implicitly has homeostasis as its goal, the notion of reflexometry and to distinguish this series of relays and the fact that something is happening at the level of these relays, something which in itself takes on a certain value as a terminal
effect in certain conditions, is something which is quite identical to what we see being produced in any machine whatsoever in the form of a series of bulbs, as I might put it, and the fact that one of these becomes active indicates precisely, not so much what appears, namely a luminous phenomenon, but a certain voltage, something which is produced moreover in function of a (10) resistance and indicates at a given point the state of the whole circuit.


And therefore, let us say the word, this in no way corresponds to the principle of need, because of course no need is satisfied by a hallucinatory satisfaction. To be satisfied, need requires the intervention of the secondary process, and even of secondary
processes because there is a great variety of them, which processes, can of course only be satisfied, as the name indicates with reality; they are submitted to the reality principle.


If secondary processes are produced, they are only produced because there have been primary processes. Only it is no less evident that this fencing off, that this separation makes instinct impossible no matter how one conceives it. It vanishes into thin air in this instance because look at the direction in which all the researches on instinct are going, and especially the most elaborate the most intelligent modern researches. What
are they aimed at? To give an account of how a structure which is not just purely preformed – we are no longer at that point, let us not look at instinct like Monsieur Fabre, it is a structure which engenders, which sustains its own chain – how
these structures outline, in the real, paths towards objects which have not yet been experienced.


(11) This is the problem of the instincts, and it is explained to you that there is an appetitive stage of behaviour, of seeking.


The animal at one of these phases, puts himself into a certain state where motor activity is expressed by an activity going in all sorts of directions. And at the second stage, at the second phase, there is a stage of a specialised release, but even if
this specialised release finally culminates in a behaviour which disappoints them, namely if you wish to the realisation of the fact that they have got hold of some coloured cloths, it nevertheless remains true that they had detected these cloths in
the real.


What I want to indicate here, is that hallucinatory behaviour is distinguished in the most radical fashion from a homing behaviour that the regressive investment, as one might say, of something which is going to be expressed by the illumination of a lamp on the conducting circuits.


This can at the limit illuminate an object that has already been experienced; if this object is perchance already there, it in no way shows its path, and still less of course if it shows it even when it is not there, which is what in effect is produced in the hallucinatory phenomenon, because at the very most the seeking-mechanism can begin from this, and this indeed is what happens.


Freud also articulates it for us starting from the secondary process, which in sum fulfils the role of instinctive behaviour, but from another point of view is absolutely distinguished from it because due to the (12) existence of the primary process this secondary process is going to be, Freud articulates it – I do not subscribe to all of this, I am repeating to you the sense of what Freud articulates – a behaviour that tests the reality of this Wahrnehmung first ordered as the effect of a bulb in the circuit. This is going to be a judgement behaviour; the word is put forward when Freud explains things at this level.


When all is said and done according to Freud, human reality is constructed on a previous foundation of hallucination, which is the universe of pleasure in its illusions, in its essence, and this whole process is openly avowed, I am not even saying
betrayed, is openly articulated in the terms that Freud continually makes use of every time he has to explain the series of borrowings into which the term is decomposed, and in the Traumdeutunq at the level that he is speaking about the processes of the psychic apparatus, he shows this series of layers where there is imprinted, and it is not even imprinted, there is inscribed every time he speaks in this text and in all the
others, it is terms like niederschreiben, and which recorded on the sequence of layers, are organised there.


He articulates them differently according to the different moments of his thought. On the first layer for example it is by relationships of simultaneity; on others, piled up one on the other; on other levels they will be ordered.


(13) These impressions, through other relationships, separate the schema into a series of inscriptions, of Niederschriften which are superimposed on one another in a word which cannot be translated by a sort of typographical space, which is how there
ought to be conceived all the things which happen originally before arriving at another form of articulation which is that of the preconscious, namely very precisely in the unconscious.