sinthome 36

sinthome 36

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Le Sinthome

18.11.75 VII-153
I must tell you that, in the interval, anyway, I went to listen to Jacques Aubert
somewhere that you were not invited and that there I made a few reflections on the
ego. What the English call the ego. And the Germans the Ich.


The ego is, it’s a device. It’s a device about which I have cogitated. I have cogitated
in terms of a knot, of a knot that has been cogitated by a mathematician who has no
other name than Milnor. He invented something, namely, the idea of chain – he
called that, in English, link (IX-2).


I must draw this differently because this is what is at stake. This is a knot (IX-3).
(139) I am making it again, because, of course, like every time that I draw a knot, I
get into a mess, it is not the first time that this has happened to me in front of you.
There you are, correct at the bottom. You ought to see that that, that is knotted.。


But suppose, says Milnor, that you give yourself this permission that, that in some chain or other, this being a chain with two elements, that in some chain or other the same element can cross over itself. So then, you get this of which, which shows you
immediately that from the fact that an element may cross over itself, there results that
what was above here, and here, is underneath there, there is no longer a knot. There
are, of course, a lot of other examples of it; there is no longer a link.


What I am proposing to your astuteness is the following. To note that if in the first
knot, you double each of the elements of the aforesaid chain, namely, that instead of
having one here, you have two travelling in the same direction and that, in the same
way, you do the same for here, it will no longer be true, however unlikely this may
seem to you – and you will check it, I hope, I did not bring my drawings so that since
I only had a piece of white paper put up here, I will not risk showing you how it is
twisted – it is enough that there should be two of them, which nevertheless does not
seem to create an objection, since one, a loop in the form of eight, if it crosses itself, is
easily freed – from the circular or from the oval, as I drew it – is easily freed when
this eight in question crosses over itself; why would it not be just as true when there
are two of them? I am saying two eights and two ovals (IX-4).


(140) It nevertheless remains that – you will check this, I hope, I will come back to it
the next time – not simply is there an obstacle, but it is radically impossible to
separate the four elements.


On this point, I must say that I cannot trace out all the algorithms that I have stated of
the type: S(Ø). What is meant by the fact that I protest, in my seminar Encore, it
appears – because of course I never read it – it appears according to some, I had
totally forgotten S(Ø) together with the function. I am saying, not small but
capital which is a function, as is implicated by what I have indicated, namely: there
exists an x for which this function is negative, .


Naturally, the ideal of the matheme is that everything corresponds. This indeed is
why the matheme adds to the Real. Because, contrary to what is imagined, we do not
know why, it is not the end of the Real. As I said just now, we can only reach bits of
Real. The Real, the one that is at stake, in what is called my thinking, the Real is
always a bit, a stump. A stump certainly around which thinking embroiders, but the
stigmata of this Real as such, is to be bound to nothing.


This at least is how I conceive of the Real. And these little historical emergences –
one day there was someone called Newton who found a bit of Real, that gave the
heebie-jeebies to all of those who, to all of those who thought, specifically a certain
Kant, of whom one can say that Newton made him ill.


And moreover everyone, all the thinking beings of the epoch all succumbed, each in their own way. It rained down not only on men but also on women. Madame du Châtelet wrote a whole book on the Newtonian System, which pours out stupidities a go-go.


It is all the same extraordinary that when one reaches a bit of Real, it has this effect. But this is where one must start. It is the very sign that one has, that one has reached the stump. I am trying to give you a bit of Real, in connection with, in the skin of which we are, namely, the skin of this unbelievable business, in short, of the human spirit, of the human species.


And I tell you that there is no sexual relationship, but that is embroidery. It is embroidery because that is a matter of yes or no. From the moment that I say there is no, it is already very suspect. It is suspect by not truly being a bit of Real. The stigmata of the Real, is to be bound to nothing, as I already said earlier.


(141) One only recognises oneself in what one has. One never recognises oneself –
this is implied by what I am putting forward, it is implied by the fact recognised by
Freud that there is the Unconscious – one never recognises oneself in what one is.
This is the first step of psychoanalysis. Because what one is, is of the order, when one
is man, is of the order of copulation. Namely, of what diverts the aforesaid copulation
into the no less said and, significantly, into the no less said copula constituted by the
verb to be.



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