Archive for January, 2015

Identification 73

January 12, 2015

Identification 73

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

7.3.62 XII 135
Seminar 12: Wednesday 7 March 1962

Here allow me to tell you how I for my part conclude, namely to
give you as completed the fruit of a reflection on this matter
whose continuation is precisely what I am going to advance today.
I am going to try to show you its well-foundedness, the fact is
that it is not possible to give a meaning to this term of error,
in any domain and not just in ours – this is a daring
affirmation, but this supposes that I consider that, to use an
expression to which I will have to return in the course of my
lecture today, I have gone into this question thoroughly – there
can be no question, if the word error has a meaning for the
subject, of anything but an error in his count.


In other words, for any subject who does not count, there can be
no error. This is not obvious. It is necessary to have
explored a certain number of directions in order to perceive and
to believe – this is where I am at and I would ask you to follow
me – that this is the only thing that opens up the impasses, the
blind alleys into which people have gone about this question.


This means of course that this activity of counting begins early
for the subject. I carried out a full rereading of someone for
whom everyone knows I do not have very refined leanings despite
the great esteem and respect that his work merits and in addition
his uncontestable charm as a person, I am speaking about M
Piaget; this is not to discourage anyone from reading him!


(5) I carried out then a re-reading of The genesis of number in
the child. It is disconcerting that someone can believe
themselves able to detect the moment that there appears in the
subject the function of number by posing him questions which in a
way imply their response, even if these questions are posed
through the mediation of a material which one imagines perhaps
excludes the biased character of the question. One thing can be
said: that when all is said and done it is rather a lure that is
involved in this way of proceeding.


It is not at all sure that
what the infant appears to miscognise does not depend at all on
the very conditions of the experiment; but the strength of this
terrain is such that one cannot say that there is not a lot to be
learned, not so much in the little bit which is finally collected
about the so-called stages of the acquisition of number in the
child, but from the fundamental reflections that M Piaget who is
certainly a much better logician than psychologist, concerning
the relationships of psychology and of logic; and specifically
this is what makes a work which unfortunately is unfindable,
published by Vrin in 1942 which is called: Classe, relation et
nombres, a very instructive work because here there are
highlighted the structural, logical relationships between class,
relation and numbers, namely everything that one claims
subsequently or previously to rediscover in the child which
manifestly is already constructed a priori: and very correctly,
the experiment only shows us there what one had organised it to
find in the first place.


7.3.62 XII 137

(6) This is a parenthesis confirming the following: the fact is
that the subject counts well before applying his talents to any
collection whatsoever, even though of course, to establish
collections is one of the first concrete, psychological
activities. But he is implicated as subject in what is called
the relationship of computation, in a fashion much more radically
constituting than people want to imagine, starting from the
functioning of his sensorium and his motor functions.


Once again here the genius of Freud surpasses what I might call
the deafness of those to whom he is addressing himself in the
exact measure of the warnings that he gives them, which go in one
ear and out the other, this justifying no doubt the appeal to the
mystical third ear of Mr Theodore Reik who was not very well
inspired that day, because what use is a third ear if one hears
nothing with the two one has already!


Of what use is the sensorium involved, according to what Freud
teaches us? Does this not tell us that its only use is this, to
show us that what is already there in the calculation of the
subject is quite real, really exists; in any case this is what
Freud says: it is with it that the judgement of existence begins,
this is used to audit the accounts, which is all the same a funny
position for someone whom people attach to this straight line of
the positivism of the 19th century.



Aion XIV 236

January 11, 2015

Aion XIV 236

永恒纪元 第14章



Aion XIV

永恒纪元 第14章



374 The snake symbol brings us to the images of Paradise, tree,
and earth. This amounts to an evolutionary regression from the
animal kingdom back to plants and inorganic nature, epitomized
in alchemy by the secret of matter, the lapis. Here the lapis is
not to be understood as the end product of the opus but rather
as its initial material. This arcane substance was also called lapis
by the alchemists.


The symbolism here described can be represented
diagrammatically as another quaternio or double pyramid:


Serpent 蛇
Gihon 基封
Tree 树
Hiddekel 希德剋
Euphrates 尤拉提斯
Pison 皮森
Lapis 石头
C. The Paradise Quaternio 四方体天堂

375 The lapis was thought of as a unity and therefore often
stands for the prima materia in general. But just as the latter
is a bit of the original chaos which was believed to be hidden
somewhere in metals, particularly in mercury, or in other substances,
and is not in itself a simple thing (as the name “massa
confusa” shows), so too the lapis consists of the four elements or
has to be put together from them.45 In the chaos the elements
are not united, they are merely coexistent and have to be combined
through the alchemical procedure.


They are even hostile
to one another and will not unite o their own accord. They
represent, therefore, an original state of conflict and mutual
repulsion. This image serves to illustrate the splitting up or
unfolding of the original unity into the multiplicity of the
visible world. Out of the split-up quaternity the opus puts together
the unity of the lapis in the realm of the inorganic.


As the filius macrocosmi and a living being, the lapis is not just an
allegory but is a direct parallel of Christ 46 and the higher Adam,
of the heavenly Original Man, of the second Adam (Christ), and
of the serpent. The nadir of this third quaternio is therefore a
further counterpart of the Anthropos.


376 As already mentioned, the constitution of the lapis rests on
the union of the four elements,47 which in their turn represent
an unfolding of the unknowable inchoate state, or chaos. This is
the prima materia, the arcanum, the primary substance, which
in Paracelsus and his followers is called the increatum and is
regarded as coeternal with God– a correct interpretation of the
Tehom in Genesis 1:2: “And the [uncreated] earth was without
form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep;
and the Spirit of God [brooded] over the face of the waters.”


This primary substance is round (massa globosa, rotundum,
o-ro6Xtov vrpoyyvXov), like the world and the world-soul; it is in
fact the world-soul and the world-substance in one. It is the
“stone that has a spirit/*4S in modern parlance the most elementary
building-stone in the architecture of matter, the atom,
which is an intellectual model. The alchemists describe the
“round element” now as primal water, now as primal fire, or as
pneuma, primal earth, or “corpusculum nostrae sapientiae,”
the little body of our wisdom.49 As water or fire it is the universal
solvent; as stone and metal it is something that has to be
dissolved and changed into air (pneuma, spirit).


This lapis symbolism can once more be visualized diagrainmatically
as a double pyramid:


Lapis 石头
Earth 土
Fire 火
Rotundum 空洞
D. The Lapis Quaternio 四方体的石头

Zosimos calls the rotundum the omega element (O), which
probably signifies the head.50 The skull is mentioned as the vessel
of transformation in the Sabaean treatise ‘Tlatonis liber
quartorum,” 51 and the “Philosophers” styled themselves “children
of the golden head/’ 52 which is probably synonymous with
“filii sapientiae.” The vas is often synonymous with the lapis,
so that there is no difference between the vessel and its content;
in other words, it is the same arcanum.53 According to the old
view the soul is round 54 and the vessel must be round too, like
the heavens or the world.55 The form of the Original Man is

佐西莫斯称这个空洞为奥美伽元素,它可能象征头。在撒巴恩的论文’Tlatonis liber
quartorum,” 里,头颅被提到,作为转化的容器。这些哲学家将他们自己装扮成「黄金头的小孩」的样子。跟「智慧之子」可能是同义字。这个容器vas经常跟石头lapis是同义字。这样,容器与它的内容之间,就没有任何差异。换句话说,这些相同的奥秘物质。依照古老的观点,灵魂是圆的,容器必须也是圆的,就像天堂或世界。原初的人的形态是圆的。

Accordingly Dorn says that the vessel “should be made
from a kind of squaring of the circle, so that the spirit and the
soul of our material, separated from its body, may raise the body
with them to the height of their own heaven.” 56 The anonymous
author of the scholia to the “Tractatus aureus” also writes
about the squaring of the circle and shows a square whose corners
are formed by the four elements.

因此,顿恩说:这个容器「应该用圆形的四方体化来组成。这样,我们的物质的精神与灵魂,跟它的身体分开,可以将身体随着精神与灵魂提升起来,到达他们自己的天堂的高度」。这篇给”双重炼金术的十字架Tractatus aureus”的论文的匿名的作者,也写到关于圆形的四方体化,并且显示一个四方体的角落,由四个元素组成。

In the centre there is a
small circle. The author says: “Reduce your stone to the four
elements, rectify and combine them into one, and you will have
the whole magistery. This One, to which the elements must be
reduced, is that little circle in the centre of this squared figure. It
is the mediator, making peace between the enemies or elements.”
57 In a later chapter he depicts the vessel, “the true
philosophical Pelican/’ 58 as shown on the next page.


378 He comments: “A is the inside, as it were the origin and
source from which the other letters flow, and likewise the final
goal to which all the others flow back, as rivers flow into the
ocean or into the great sea.” This explanation is enough to show
that the vessel is nothing else but a mandala, symbolizing the
self or the higher Adam with his four emanations (like Horus
with his four sons). The author calls it the “Septenarius magicus
occultus” (the hidden magic number, seven).


60 Likewise Maria the Prophetess says: “The Philosophers teach everything except
the Hermetic vessel, because that is divine and is hidden from the
Gentiles by the Lord’s wisdom; and they who know it not,
know not the true method, because of their ignorance of the
vessel of Hermes.” Theobald de Hoghelande adds: “Senior says
that the vision thereof is more to be sought after than [knowledge
of] the Scriptures.” Maria the Prophetess says: “This is the
vessel of Hermes, which the Stoics hid, and it is no nigromantic
vessel, but is the measure of thy fire \mensura ignis wi].

同样地,玛丽亚,这位女预言家说:「哲学家教导一切,除了这个完全密封的容器,因为那是神性,而且被上帝的智慧隐藏,不给凡俗人知道。不知道它的那些人们,就不知道真实之道,因为他们的无知,对于赫密斯神的这个容器。」霍基兰德补充说:「长老有言, 应该被寻求的是这个幻景,而不是圣经的知识。」玛丽亚,这位女预言家说:「这就是赫密斯神的容器,斯多亚禁欲学派隐藏它。这并不是召魂的容器。而是你的火的衡量。」

379 It is clear from these quotations that the vessel had a great
and unusual significance.62Philalethes, summing up the innumerable
synonyms for Mercurius, says that Mercurius is not
only the key to the alchemical art, and “that two-edged sword
in the hand of the cherub who guards the way to the tree of
life/’ but also “our true, hidden vessel, the Philosophic garden,
wherein our Sun rises and sets/’ 63


This helps us to understand,
more or less, the strange advice given by Johannes de Rupescissa:
“Have a vessel made after the manner of a cherub, which is the
figure of God, and have six wings, after the fashion of six arms,
turning back on themselves; and above, a round head . . . and
put within this vessel the said burning water,” etc.64


The definition
of the cherub as “the figure of God” suggests that Rupescissa
is referring here to the vision of Ezekiel, which was
arranged in such a way that a horizontal section through it
would produce a mandala divided into four parts. This, as I
have already mentioned, is equivalent to the squaring of the
circle, from which, according to one alchemical recipe, the vessel
should be constructed.


The mandala signifies the human or
divine self, the totality or vision of God, as in this case is quite
clear. Naturally a recipe of this sort can only be understood
“philosophically,” that is psychologically. It then reads: make
the Hermetic vessel out of your psychic wholeness and pour into
it the aqua permanens, or aqua doctrinae, one of whose synonyms
is the vinum ardens (cf. Rupescissa’s “burning water”). This would be a hint that the adept should “inwardly digest” and transform himself through the alchemical doctrine.


380 In this connection we can also understand what the Aurora
consurgens (Part II) means when it speaks of the vas naturale
as the matrix: it is the “One in which there are three things,
namely water, air, and fire. They are three glass alembics, in
which the son of the Philosophers is begotten. Therefore they
have named it tincture, blood, and egg.”

关于这一点,我们也能够理解Aurora consugens是什么意思(第二部分)。它谈论到“自然的容器“作为是基模:就在这个一里面,有三样东西,也就是,水,空气,与火。它们是这三个玻璃过滤瓶,在那里,哲学家的儿子被产生。因此,他们命名它为染剂,血液,与蛋卵。

65 The three alembics
are an allusion to the Trinity. That this is in fact so can be seen
from the illustration on page 249 of the 1588 edition of Pandora,
where, beside the three alembics immersed in a great cookingpot,
there stands the figure of Christ, with blood pouring from
the round Hermetic vessel in which the mysterious transformation
is accomplished is God himself, the (Platonic) world-soul
and man’s own wholeness.


It is, therefore, another counterpart
of the Anthropos, and at the same time the universe in its
smallest and most material form. So it is easy to see why the first
attempts to construct a model of the atom took the planetary
system as a prototype.



Identification 72

January 11, 2015

Identification 72

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

7.3.62 XII 135
Seminar 12: Wednesday 7 March 1962
In regrouping the difficult thoughts to which we are led, on
which I left you the last time, in beginning to tackle by way of
privation what concerns the most central point of the structure
of the identification of the subject, in regrouping these
thoughts I found myself starting again from some introductory


It is not my custom to take up the interrupted thread again
absolutely ex abrupto; these remarks echoed some of these strange
personages of whom I spoke to you the last time, who are called
philosophers, great or small, this remark was more or less the
following, as far as we are concerned, the fact that the subject
is mistaken (se trompe), is undoubtedly for us, analysts just as
much as philosophers, the inaugural experience.


But the fact that it interests us, is manifestly and I would say
exclusively because he can express himself (il peut se dire), and
this expression shows itself to be infinitely fruitful and more
especially fruitful in analysis than elsewhere, at least one
likes to think so.


But, let us not forget that the remark has been made by eminent
thinkers that if what is involved in the affair is the real, the
way described as that of the rectification of the means of
(2) knowing could well – it is the least that one might say –
distance us indefinitely from what it is a question of reaching,
namely something of the absolute. Because it is a matter of the
real, full stop, that is what is involved.


It is a matter of
reaching what is aimed at as independent of all our moorings; in
the search for what is aimed at this is what is called absolute:
in the end to cast off everything. All overloading therefore, it
is always a more overloaded way that the criteria of science
tends to establish, in the philosophical perspective that I am
talking about. I am not speaking here about these learned men,
who for their part, contrary to what is believed, have no doubts.
It is in this measure that we are more sure that at least they
approach the real.


In the philosophical perspective of the critique of science, we
ought, for our part, to make some remarks; and specifically the
term that we should most distrust in order to advance in this
critique, is the term appearance, because appearance is far from
being our enemy, I am talking about when it is a matter of the
real. I am not the one who incarnated what I am telling you in
this simple little image: It is indeed in the appearance
of this figure that there is given to me the reality of the cube,
that it stands out for me as a reality.


7.3.62 XII 136

To reduce this image to the function of an optical illusion,
would simply divert me from the cube, namely from the reality
that this artifice is meant to show you.


(3) It is the same for a relationship with a woman, for example.
Every scientific investigation of this relationship will tend
when all is said and done towards formulae like the celebrated
one that you surely know of Colonel Bramble, which reduces the
object involved, the woman in question, to what she simply is
from the scientific point of view: an agglomeration of
albumins, which obviously does not agree very well with the world
of feelings which are attached to the aforesaid object.


It is all the same quite clear that what I would call, if you
will permit it, the dizziness about the object in desire, this
kind of idol, of adoration which can prostrate us or at least
weaken us before a hand as such. Let us even say, in order to
make ourselves better understood about the subject given us in
experience, that it is not because it is her hand because in a
less terminal place, a little higher up, a little down on the
forearm can suddenly take on for us this unique savour which
makes us in some way tremble before this pure apprehension of her


It is quite obvious that this has a greater relationship to the
reality of the woman than any elucidation whatsoever of what is
called sexual attraction, in so far of course as elucidating
sexual attraction poses in principle that it is a matter of
putting in question its lure, while this lure is its very


Therefore, if the subject is mistaken, he may well be right from
the point of view of the absolute. It nevertheless remains, and
(4) even for us who busy ourselves with desire, that the word
error keeps its meaning.



个人梦的象征 216

January 8, 2015

个人梦的象征 216

Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy : 359

卡尔 荣格

3. The Symbolism of the Mandala

18. Dream:

A square space with complicated ceremonies going on
in it, the purpose of which is to transform animals into
men. Two snakes, moving in opposite directions, have to
be got rid of at once. Some animals are there, e.g., foxes
and dogs. The people walk round the square and must let
themselves be bitten in the calf by these animals at each of
the four corners. If they run away all is lost.


Now the higher animals come on the scene—bulls and ibexes. Foursnakes
glide into the four corners. Then the congregation
files out. Two sacrificial priests carry in a huge reptile and
with this they touch the forehead of a shapeless animal
lump or life-mass. Out of it there instantly rises a human
head, transfigured. A voice proclaims: “These are attempts at being”


One might almost say that the dream goes on with the
“explanation’ of what is happening in the square B]
Animals are to be changed into men; a “shapeless lifemass”
is to be turned into a transfigured (illuminated)
human head by magic contact with a reptile. The animal
lump or life-mass stands for the mass of the inherited unconscious
which is to be united with consciousness. This
is brought about by the ceremonial use of a reptile, presumably
a snake.


The idea of transformation and renewal by
means of a serpent is a well-substantiated archetype. It is
the healing serpent, representing the god. It is reported of
the mysteries of Sabazius: “Aureus coluber in sinum demittitur
consecratis et eximitur rursus ab inferioribus partibus
atque imis” (A golden snake is let down into the lap
of the initiated and taken away again from the lower
parts). 107


Among the Ophites, Christ was the serpent.
Probably the most significant development of serpent symbolism
as regards renewal of personality is to be found in
Kundalini yoga. 108 The shepherd’s experience with the
snake in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra would accordingly be a
fatal omen (and not the only one of its kind—cf. the
prophecy at the death of the rope-dancer).


The “shapeless life-mass” immediately recalls the ideas
of the alchemical “chaos,” lü0 the massa or materia informis
or confusa which has contained the divine
life ever since the Creation. According to a midrashk view,
Adam was created in much the same way: in the first hour
,God collected the dust, in the second made a shapeless
mass out of it, in the third fashioned the limbs, and so


But if the life-mass is to be transformed a circumambulatio
is necessary, i.e., exclusive concentration on the
centre, the place of creative change. During this process
one is “bitten” by animals; in other words, we have to
expose ourselves to the animal impulses of the unconscious
without identifying with them and without “running away”;
for flight from the unconscious would defeat the purpose
of the whole proceeding.


We must hold our ground, which
means here that the process initiated by the dreamer’s selfobservation
must be experienced in all its ramifications
and then articulated with consciousness to the best of his
understanding. This often entails an almost unbearable tension
because of the utter incommensurability between conscious
life and the unconscious process, which can be experienced
only in the innermost soul and cannot touch the
visible surface of life at any point.


The principle of conscious
life is: “Nihil est in intellectu, quod non prius fuerit
in sensu.” But the principle of the unconscious is the autonomy
of the psyche itself, reflecting in the play of its
images not the world but itself, even though it utilizes the
illustrative possibilities offered by the sensible world in
order to make its images clear.

意识生命的原则是:”Nihil est in intellectu, quod non prius fuerit
in sensu.” 但是无意识生命的原则上心灵自身的自主,用它的各种意象的扮演,反映出的不是世界,而是它自己。即使它利用理智世界提高的说明的各种可能性,为了让它的各种意象清楚。

The sensory datum, however,
is not the causa efficiens of this; rather, it is autonomously
selected and exploited by the psyche, with the
result that the rationality of the cosmos is constantly being
violated in the most distressing manner. But the sensible
world has an equally devastating effect on the deeper
psychic processes when it breaks into them as a causa

可是,感官的资料并不是这个原因-结果causa efficiens;相反地,它自主地被选择,被心灵所利用。结果,宇宙的理性不断地被违背,以最令人痛苦的方式。但是理智的世界拥有同样摧毁的影响,对于这个深层的心灵的过程,当它瓦解它们,作为是原因-结果。

If reason is not to be outraged on the one hand
and the creative play of images not violently suppressed
on the other, a circumspect and farsighted synthetic procedure
is required in order to accomplish the paradoxical
union of irreconcilables. Hence the alchemical parallels in
our dreams.

The focusing of attention on the centre demanded in
this dream and the warning about “running away” have
clear parallels in the opus alchymicum: the need to concentrate
on the work and to meditate upon it is stressed
again and again. The tendency to run away, however, is
attributed not to the operator but to the transforming substance.
Mercurius is evasive and is labelled servus (servant)
or cervus fugitivus (fugitive stag). The vessel must be well
sealed so that what is within may not escape.


Eirenaeus Philalethes 111 says of this servus: “You must be very wary
how you lead him, for if he can find an opportunitv he
will give you the slip, and leave you to a world of misfortune.”
n2 It did not occur to these philosophers that
they were chasing a projection, and that the more they
attributed to the substance the further away they were
getting from the psychological source of their expectations.


From the difference between the material in this dream
and its medieval predecessors we can measure the
psychological advance: the running away is now clearly apparent
as a characteristic of the dreamer, i.e., it is no
longer projected into the unknown substance. Running
away thus becomes a moral question.


This aspect recognized by the alchemists in so far as they emphasized
the need for a special religious devotion at their work,
though one cannot altogether clear them of the suspicion
of having used their prayers and pious exercises for I the
purpose of forcing a miracle—there are even some who
aspired to have the Holy Ghost as their familiar!


But, to do them justice, one should not overlook the fact that
there is more than a little evidence in the literature that
they realized it was a matter of their own transformation.
For instance, Gerhard Dorn exclaims, “Transmutemini in
vivos lapides phiiosophicos!” (Transform yourselves into
living philosophical stones!)

但是对他们持平而论,我们不应该忽略这个事实:在文献里,有不少的证据,让他们体会到:那是他们的转化的问题。譬如,基哈德 顿恩惊呼:「请你们将你们自己转化成为活生生的哲学家的石头!」


Aion XIV 232

January 8, 2015

Aion XIV 232

永恒纪元 第14章



It is significant that Gnostic philosophy found its continuation
in alchemy.29 “Mater Alchimia” is one of the mothers of
modern science, and modern science has given us an unparalleled
knowledge of the “dark” side of matter. It has also penetrated
into the secrets of physiology and evolution, and made
the very roots of life itself an object of investigation. In this
way the human mind has sunk deep into the sublunary world
of matter, thus repeating the Gnostic myth of the Nous, who,
beholding his reflection in the depths below, plunged down and
was swallowed in the embrace of Physis.


The climax of this development
was marked in the eighteenth century by the French
Revolution, in the nineteenth century by scientific materialism,
and in the twentieth century by political and social “realism/’
which has turned the wheel of history back a full two thousand
years and seen the recrudescence of the despotism, the lack of
individual rights, the cruelty, indignity, and slavery of the pre-
Christian world, whose “labour problem” was solved by the
“ergastulum” (convict-camp). The “total reversal of all values”
is being enacted before our eyes.


369 The development briefly outlined here seems to have been
anticipated in medieval and Gnostic symbolism, just as the
Antichrist was in the New Testament. How this occurred I will
endeavour to describe in what follows. We have seen that, as
the higher Adam corresponds to the lower, so the lower Adam
corresponds to the serpent.


For the mentality of the Middle
Ages and of late antiquity, the first of the two double pyramids,
the Anthropos Quaternio, represents the world of the spirit, or
metaphysics, while the second, the Shadow QuaterniOj represents
sublunary nature and in particular man’s instinctual disposition,
the “flesh” to use a Gnostic-Christian term which has
its roots in the animal kingdom or, to be more precise, in the
realm of warm-blooded animals.


The nadir of this system is
the cold-blooded vertebrate, the snake,30 for with the snake the
psychic rapport that can be established with practically all warmblooded
animals comes to an end. That the snake, contrary to
expectation, should be a counterpart of the Anthropos is corroborated
by the fact of especial significance for the Middle
Ages that it is on the one hand a well-known allegory of Christ,
and on the other hand appears to be equipped with the gift of
wisdom and of supreme spirituality. 31 As Hippolytus says, the
Gnostics identified the serpent with the spinal cord and the
medulla. These are synonymous with the reflex functions.


370 The second of these quaternios is the negative of the first;
it is its shadow. By “shadow” I mean the inferior personality, the
lowest levels of which are indistinguishable from the instinctu-
ality of an animal.


This is a view that can be found at a very
early date, in the idea of the Trpocr^V *h>xn> the ‘excrescent
soul’ 32 of Isidorus.33 We also meet it in Origen, who speaks of
the animals contained in man.34 Since the shadow, in itself, is
unconscious for most people, the snake would correspond to
what is totally unconscious and incapable of becoming conscious,
but which, as the collective unconscious and as instinct,
seems to possess a peculiar wisdom of its own and a knowledge
that is often felt to be supernatural.


This is the treasure which
the snake (or dragon) guards, and also the reason why the snake
signifies evil and darkness on the one hand and wisdom on the
other. Its unrelatedness, coldness, and dangerousness express
the instinctuality that with ruthless cruelty rides roughshod
over all moral and any other human wishes and considerations
and is therefore just as terrifying and fascinating in its effects as
the sudden glance of a poisonous snake.


37 1 In alchemy the snake is the symbol of Mercurius non vulgi,
which was bracketed with the god of revelation, Hermes. Both
have a pneumatic nature. The serpens Mercurii is a chthonic
spirit who dwells in matter, more especially in the bit of original
chaos hidden in creation, the massa confusa or globosa.


The snake-symbol in alchemy points back to historically earlier
images. Since the opus was understood by the alchemists as a
recapitulation or imitation of the creation of the world, the
serpent of Mercurius, that crafty and deceitful god, reminded
them of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and therefore of the
devil, the tempter, who on their own admission played all sorts
of tricks on them during their work.


Mephistopheles, whose
“aunt is the snake,” is Goethe’s version of the alchemical familiar,
Mercurius. Like the dragon, Mercurius is the slippery,
evasive, poisonous, dangerous forerunner of the hermaphrodite,
and for that reason he has to be overcome.


372 For the Naassenes Paradise was a quaternity parallel with
the Moses quaternio and of similar meaning. Its fourfold nature
consisted in the four rivers, Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Phrat.35
The serpent in Genesis is an illustration of the personified treenumen;
hence it is traditionally represented in or coiled round
the tree.


It is the tree’s voice, which persuades Eve in Luther’s
version that “it would be good to eat of the tree, and pleasant
to behold that it is a lusty tree.” In the fairytale of “The Spirit
in the Bottle,” Mercurius can likewise be interpreted as a treenumen.
36 In the Ripley Scroll Mercurius appears as a snake in
the shape of a Melusina descending from the top of the Philosophical
Tree (“tree of knowledge”).


37 The tree stands for the development and phases of the transformation process,
38 and its fruits or flowers signify the consummation of the work.39 In the
fairytale Mercurius is hidden in the roots of a great oak-tree,
i.e., in the earth. For it is in the interior of the earth that the
Mercurial serpent dwells.


373 For the alchemists Paradise was a favourite symbol of the
albedo* the regained state of innocence, and the source of its
rivers is a symbol of the aqua permanens. 41 For the Church Fathers Christ is this source,
42 and Paradise means the ground of the soul from which the fourfold river of the Logos bubbles forth.43


We find the same symbol in the alchemist and mystic
John Pordage: divine Wisdom is a “New Earth, the heavenly
Land. . . . For from this Earth grew all the Trees of Life. . . .
Thus did Paradise . . . rise up from the Heart and Centre of
this New Earth, and thus did the lost Garden of Eden flourish in

在炼金术师与神秘主义者约翰 菩帖吉,我们发现相同的象征:神性的智慧是「新的土地,天堂的土地。因为生命之树从这块土地诞生。因此,天堂也是从这块土地诞生,从这块新土地的核心与中央上升起了,失落的伊甸园因此绿茵丰茂,。


Identification 70

January 7, 2015

Identification 70

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

28.2.62 XI 132

(19) Moreover you will have no trouble – you will find them in
reading Frege, even though Frege does not take that path, for
want of an adequate theory of the signifier – in finding in
Frege*s text that the best mathematical analysts of the function
of unity, specifically Givon and Schroder, put the accent in the
same way as I am doing it, on the function of the unary trait.


This is what makes me say that what we have to articulate here,
is that by reversing, as I might say, the polarity of this
function of unity, by abandoning the unifying unity, the Einheit,
for the distinctive unity, the Einzigkeit, I am leading you to
the point of posing the question, of defining, of articulating
step by step the solidarity of the status of the subject qua
bound to this unary trait with the fact that the subject is
constituted in his structure where the sexual drive has its
privileged function among all the afferents of the body.


To the
first fact, the liaison of the subject to this unary trait, I am
going today to put the final point, considering the path to be
sufficiently articulated by reminding you that this fact so
important in our experience, put in the forefront by Freud, of
what he calls the narcissism of small differences, is the same
thing as what I am calling the function of the unary trait;


because it is nothing other than the fact that it is starting
from a small difference – and to say small difference means
nothing other than this absolute difference of which I speak to
you, this difference detached from all possible comparison – it
is starting from this small difference, in so far as it is the
same thing as the big I, the ego-ideal, that every narcissistic
perspective can be accommodated; the subject constituted or not
(20) as bearer of this unary trait, is what allows us to take
today our first step into what will constitute the object of our
next lecture, namely the taking up again of the functions of
privation, frustration, castration.


It is first of all by taking them up again that we will be able
to glimpse where and how there is posed the question of the
relationship between the world of the signifier and what we call
the sexual drive, namely the privilege, the prevalence of the
erotic function of the body in the constitution of the subject.
Let us tackle it a little bit, let us nibble at it, this
question, starting from privation, because it is the most simple.
Something of minus o exists in the world, there is an object
which is not in its place, which is indeed the most absurd
conception of the world if one gives its meaning to the word
Real. What could be lacking in the Real?



个人梦的象征 216

January 7, 2015

个人梦的象征 216

Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy : 359

卡尔 荣格

3. The Symbolism of the Mandala

The following dream is given unabridged, in its original

17. Dream:

All the houses have something theatrical about them,
with stage scenery and decorations. The name of Bernard
Shaw is mentioned. The play is supposed to take place in
the distant future. There is a notice in English and German
on one of the sets:


This is the universal Catholic Church.
It is the Church of the Lord.
All those who feel that they are the instruments of the Lord
may enter.


Under this is printed in smaller letters: “The Church was
founded by Jesus and Paul1 ‘—like a firm advertising its
long standing.


I say to my friend, “Come on, let’s have a look at this.”
He replies, “I do not see why a lot of people have to get
together when they’re feeling religious.” I answer, “As a
Protestant you will never understand.” A woman nods
emphatic approval. Then I see a sort of proclamation on
the wall of the church. It runs:


When you feel you are under the power of the Lord,
do not address him directly. The Lord cannot be reached
by words. We also strongly advise you not to indulge
in any discussions among yourselves concerning the attributes
of the Lord. It is futile, for everything valuable
and important is ineffable.
(Signed) Pope . . . (Name illegible)


Now we go in. The interior resembles a mosque, more
particularly the Hagia Sophia: no seats—wonderful effect
of space; no images, only framed texts decorating the walls
(like the Koran texts in the Hagia Sophia). One of the
texts reads “Do not flatter your benefactor.” The woman
who had agreed with me before bursts into tears and cries,
“Then there’s nothing left!” I reply, “I find it quite right!”
but she vanishes.

现在,我们进入。内庭类似回教寺院,更加特殊的是圣索菲亚教堂:没有坐位—这是空间的奇妙效应;没有影像,仅有框架里的文本装饰墙壁(就像在圣索菲亚教堂的可兰经文本) 其中一个文本写著:「勿恭维你的恩人。」以前同意我的这位女人突然嚎啕大哭,喊着,「根本就没有留下任何东西!」我回答,「我没觉得什么不对!」但是她消失。

At first 1 stand with a pillar in
me and can see nothing. Then 1 change my position and
see a crowd of people. I do not belong to them and stand
alone. But they are quite distinct, so that I can see their
faces. They all say in unison, ‘We confess that u<
under the power of the Lord. The Kingdom of Heaven is
within us." They repeat this three times with great solemnity.
Then the organ starts to play and they sing a Bach
fugue with chorale.


But the original text is omitted;
sometimes there is only a sort of coloratura singing, then the
words are repeated: "Everything else is paper" (meaning
that it does not make a living impression on me). When
the chorale has faded away the gemütlich part of the ceremony
begins; it is almost like a students party. The people
are all cheerful and equable. We move about, converse,
and greet one another, and wine (from an episcopal seminary)
is served with other refreshments.


The health of the
ChurcJi is drunk and, as if to express everybody's ph
at the increase in membership, a loudspeaker blares out a
ragtime melody with the refrain, "Charles is also with us
now." A priest explains to me: "These somewhat trivial
amusements are officially approved and permitted. We
must adapt a little to American methods. With a large
crowd such as we have here this is inevitable. But
in principle from the American churches by our decidedly
anti-ascetic tendency." Thereupon I awake with a feeling
of great relief.


Unfortunately I must refrain from Commenting on this
dream as a whole108 and confine myself to our theme.T he
temenos has become a sacred building (in accordance with
the hint given earlier). 1 he proceedings are thus chai
ized as 'religious;' The grotesque-humorous side of
Dionysian mystery comes out in the so-called gemütlich
part of the ceremony, where wine is served and a toast
drunk to the health of the Church.

不幸地,我必须节制不要评论这个梦,作为完整性,并且限制自己专注我们的主题。这个termenos 已经变成神圣的建筑物,(符合早先给予的暗示)。程序因此被表现特色为宗教。戴奥尼修的神秘,具有古怪与幽默的一面显现出来,在典礼的温馨的部分。在那里,葡萄酒被供应,敬祝教会的健全发展。

An inscription on the
floor of an Orphic-Dionysian shrine puts it very aptly:
ixovov jxrj vSojp (Only no water!).104 The Dionysian relics in
the Church, such as the fish and wine symbolism, the
Damascus chalice, the seal-cylinder with the crucifix and
the inscription OP^EOC BAKKIKOC,105 and much else
besides, can be mentioned only in passing.

在奥菲克-戴奥尼修的圣堂的地板上,有个铭记贴切地表达:(仅是没有水!)在教堂的戴奥尼修的遗迹,譬如鱼与葡萄酒的象征,达马丘斯的酒杯,带有十字架的封闭的圆筒,上面铭记着OP^EOC BAKKIKOC,还有其他东西,仅能顺便被提到。

The "anti-ascetic" tendency clearly marks the point of
difference from the Christian Church, here defined as
"American" (cf. commentary to dream 14 of the first
series). America is the ideal home of the reasonable ideas
of the practical intellect, which would like to put the
world to rights by means of a "brain trust." 106 This view
is in keeping with the modern formula "intellect = spirit,"
but it completely forgets the fact that "spirit" was never a
human "activity," much less a "function."


The movement
to the left is thus confirmed as a withdrawal from the
modern world of ideas and a regression to pre-Christian
Dionysos worship, where "asceticism" in the Christian sense
is unknown.


At the same time the movement does not lead
right out of the sacred spot but remains within it; in other
words it does not lose its sacramental character. It does
not simply fall into chaos and anarchy, it relates the
Church directly to the Dionysian sanctuary just as the
historical process did, though from the opposite direction.
We could say that this regressive development faithfully
retreads the path of history in order to reach the pre-
Christian level. Hence it is not a relapse but a kind of
systematic descent ad inferos, a psychological nekyia.


I encountered something very similar in the dream of a
clergyman who had a rather problematical attitude to his
faith: Coming into his church at night, he found that the
whole wall of the choir had collapsed. The altar and ruins
were overgrown with vines hanging full of grapes, and the
moon was shining in through the gap.


Again, a man who was much occupied with religious
problems had the following dream: An immense Gothic
cathedral, almost completely dark. High Mass is being
celebrated. Suddenly the whole wall of the aisle collapses.
Blinding sunlight bursts into the interior together with a
large herd of bulls and cows. This setting is evidently more
Mithraic, but Mithras is associated with the early Church
in much the same way Dionysos is.


Interestingly enough, the church in our dream is a svncretistic
building, for the Hagia Sophia is a very ancient
Christian church which, however, served as a mosque until
quite recently. It therefore fits in very well with the
purpose of the dream: to attempt a combination of Christian
and Dionysian religious ideas. Evidently this is to
come about without the one excluding the other, without
any values being destroyed.


This is extremely important,
since the reconstruction of the "gibbon" is to take place in
the sacred precincts. Such a sacrilege might easily lead to
the dangerous supposition that the leftward movement is
a diabolica fraus and the gibbon the devil—for the
is in fact regarded as the "ape of God."


The left movement would then be a perversion of divine truth for
the purpose of setting up "His Black Majesty" in place
God. But the unconscious has no such blasphemous intentions;
it is only trying to restore the lost DionySO« w]
somehow lacking in modern man (pact Nietzwche).
world of religion.


At the end of vision 22, where the ape
first appears, it was said that "everything must be ruled
by the light," and everything, we might add, includes the
Lord of Darkness with his horns and cloven hoof—actually
a Dionysian corybant who has rather unexpectedly risen
to the rank of Prince.


The Dionysian element has to do with emotions and
affects which have found no suitable religious outlets in
the predominantly Apollonian cult and ethos of Christianity.


The medieval carnivals and jeux de paume in the
Church were abolished relatively early; consequently the
carnival became secularized and with it divine intoxication
vanished from the sacred precincts. Mourning, earnestness,
severity, and well-tempered spiritual joy remained. But intoxication,
that most direct and dangerous form of possession,
turned away from the gods and enveloped the human
world with its exuberance and pathos.


The pagan religions
met this danger by giving drunken ecstasy a place within
their cult. Heraclitus doubtless saw what was at the back
of it when he said, "But Hades is that same Dionysos in
whose honour they go mad and keep the feast of the winevat."
For this very reason orgies were granted religious
license, so as to exorcise the danger that threatened from
Hades. Our solution, however, has served to throw the
gates of hell wide open.



Aion XIV 228

January 5, 2015

Aion XIV 228

永恒纪元 第14章



That is to say, Moses marries the “Ethiopian woman,” and Miriam,
the prophetess and mother-sister, becomes “leprous,” which is
clear proof that her relation to Moses has taken a negative turn.
This is further confirmed by the fact that Miriam “spoke
against” Moses and even stirred up his brother Aaron against
him. Accordingly, we get the following senarius:


JETHRO, the heathen priest—- MIRIAM, the “white” leper

362 Though nothing is said against Jethro, “the great wise one/’
in the Bible story, yet as a Midianite priest he did not serve
Yahweh and did not belong to the chosen people, but departs
from them to his own country.

虽然在圣经的故事里,没有说出任何话反对杰斯罗,这位「伟大的智慧者」。可是作为米地安乃特的僧侣,他并没有服侍雅威上帝, 并且不属于被选择的子民。而是离开他们,回到他自己的国度。

He seems also to have borne
the name Reguel (“friend of God”) and to have helped Moses
with his superior wisdom. He is, accordingly, a numinous personality,
the embodiment of an archetype, obviously that of the
“wise old man” who personifies the spirit in myth and folklore.
The spirit, as I have shown elsewhere,20 has a dichotomous
nature. Just as Moses in this case represents his own shadow by
taking to wife the black daughter of the earth, so Jethro, in his
capacity as heathen priest and stranger, has to be included in the
quaternio as the “lower” aspect of himself, with a magical and
nefarious significance (though this is not vouched for in the


363 As I have already explained, the Moses Quaternio is an individual
variant of the common marriage quaternio found in folklore.
22 It could therefore be designated just as well with other
mythical names. The basic schema of the cross-cousin marriage:



has numerous variants; for instance the sister can be replaced
by the mother or the wife’s brother by a fatherlike figure. But
the incest motif remains a characteristic feature. Since the
schema is a primary one characterizing the psychology of love
relationships and also of the transference, it will, like all characterological
schemata, obviously manifest itself in a “favourable”
and an “unfavourable” form, for the relationships in question
also exhibit the same ambivalence: everything a man does
has a positive and a negative aspect.


364 The reader, therefore, should not let himself be put off by
the somewhat scurrilous Gnostic nomenclature. The names are
accidental, whereas the schema itself is universally valid. The
same is true of the “Shadow Quaternio,” for which I have kept
the same names because the biography of Moses offers certain
features that are well suited to illustrate the shadow.


365 The lower senarius reaches its nadir not in the ‘lower
Adam” but in his dark, theriomorphic prefiguration the serpent
who was created before man, or the Gnostic Naas. Accordingly
we have the structures shown on the facing page.


366 This schema is no idle parlour game, because the texts make
it abundantly clear that the Gnostics were quite familiar with
the dark aspect of their metaphysical figures, so much so that
they caused the greatest offence on that account.


(One has only
to think of the identification of the good God with Priapus,
23 or of the Anthropos with the ithyphallic Hermes.) It was, moreover,
the Gnostics e.g., Basilides who exhaustively discussed
the problem of evil (iroOev TO /ca/cov? ‘whence comes evil?’).


The serpentine form of the Nous and the Agathodaimon does not
mean that the serpent has only a good aspect. Just as the
Apophis-serpent was the traditional enemy of the Egyptian sungod,
so the devil, “that ancient serpent,”is the enemy of
Christ, the “novus Sol.” The good, perfect, spiritual God was
opposed by an imperfect, vain, ignorant, and incompetent
demiurge. There were archontic Powers that gave to mankind
a corrupt “chirographum” (handwriting) from which Christ
had to redeem them.25


With the dawn of the second millennium the ac cent shifted
more and more towards the dark side. The demiurge became
the devil who had created the world, and, a little later, alchemy
began to develop its conception of Mercurius as the partly material.,
partly immaterial spirit that penetrates and sustains all
things, from stones and metals to the highest living organisms.
In the form of a snake he dwells inside the earth, has a body,
soul, and spirit, was believed to have a human shape as the
homunculus or homo altus, and was regarded as the “earthly
God.” 26


From this we can see clearly that the serpent was either
a forerunner of man or a distant copy of the Anthropos, and
how justified is the equation Naas = Nous = Logos = Christ
= Higher Adam. The medieval extension of this equation towards
the dark side had, as I have said, already been prepared
by Gnostic phallicism. This appears as early as the fifteenth century
In the alchemical Codex Ashburnham,1166,2T and in the
sixteenth century Mercurius was identified with Hermes Kyllenios.
从这里,我们能够清楚看见,蛇要就是人的前驱者,要不就是神性人形的遥远摹本。理性=智慧=逻可斯=基督=崇高亚当,这个相等式就能自圆其说。我已经说过,中世纪将这个相等式延伸朝向黑暗面,有诺斯替教派的阳具崇拜作为先导。这出现早至15世纪。在1166年的炼金术的Codex Ashburnham,与在16世纪,墨丘利神被认同是赫密斯 基伦尼奥神。


Identification 69

January 5, 2015

Identification 69

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

28.2.131 XI 10

To come back to number, which it may astonish you that I make
into an element so obviously detached from pure intuition, from
sense experience I am not going to give you a seminar here on the
Foundations of arithmetic the English title of Frege to which I
(17) would ask you to refer because it is a book as fascinating
as the Martian chronicles and you will see that it is in any case
obvious that there is no empirical deduction possible of the
function of number, but as regards which, since I have no
intention of giving you a lecture on this subject, I will content
myself, because it is part of our account, with pointing out to
you that for example the five points arranged in this way that
you can see on the face of a dice, is indeed a
figure which can symbolise the number five but
that you would be completely wrong to believe that
the number five is given to you in any way by this
figure. As I do not want to weary you by making
an infinite number of detours, I think that the
quickest way is to make you imagine a behavioural
experiment that you might be in the process of carrying out on an


It is rather frequent, in order to experiment with this faculty
of discernment that the animal has, in one or other situation
made up of goals to be reached, for you to give him different
shapes. Suppose that alongside this arrangement, something which
constitutes a figure, you would not expect in any case and from
any animal that he should react in the same fashion to the
following figure, which is nevertheless also a five, or to this
one which is no less one, namely the form of a pentagon (schema):
If an animal were ever to react in the same fashion to these
three figures, well you would be stupified, and very precisely
for the reason that you would then be absolutely convinced that
the animal knows how to count.


But, you know that he does not
know how to count. This is not a proof of the non-empirical
origin of the function of number. I tell you again: this merits
(18) a detailed discussion regarding which after all the only
true, sensible, serious reason that I have to strongly advise you
to interest yourselves in it, is that it is surprising to see the
degree to which few mathematicians, even though it is not only
mathematicians who have treated it properly, really interest
themselves in it. It will therefore be on your part, if you
interest yourselves in it, a work of mercy: to visit the sick,
to interest oneself in uninteresting questions, is this not also
in some way our function?


You will see in it that in any case
unity and zero, so important for every rational constitution of
number, are what are the most resistant, of course, to every
attempt at an experimental genesis of number, and most especially
if one intends to give a homogenous definition of number as such,
reducing to nothing all the geneses that one may try to give of
number starting from a collection and from the abstraction of
difference starting from diversity.


Here the fact that I
was led, directly along the line of the Freudian approach, to
articulate in a fashion which appeared necessary to me the
function of the unary trait takes on its value, in so far as it
makes the genesis of difference appear in an operation that one
can say is situated along the line of an ever increasing
simplification, that it is in a perspective which is the one
which culminates at the line of strokes, namely with the
repetition of the apparently identical that there is created,
separated out, what I call, not the symbol, but the entry into
the real as inscribed signifier – and this is what the term of
primacy means – of writing. The entry into the real, is the form
of this trait repeated by the primitive hunter of absolute
difference in so far as it is there.




Aion XIV 226

January 2, 2015

Aion XIV 226

永恒纪元 第14章



358 Coming now to the Gnostic symbols of the self, we find that
the Naassenes of Hippolytus lay most emphasis on the human
images; of the geometrical and arithmetical symbols the most
important are the quaternity, the ogdoad, the trinity, and unity.
Here we shall give our attention mainly to the totality symbol
of the quaternity, and above all to the symbol mentioned in
section 6 of the last chapter, which I would like to call, for short,
the Moses Quaternio.


We shall then consider the second Naassene
Quaternio, the one with the four rivers of Paradise, which
I shall call the Paradise Quaternio. Though differently constituted,
the two quaternios express roughly the same idea, and in
what follows I shall try not only to relate them to one another
psychologically, but also to bring out their connection with
later (alchemical) quaternary structures.


In the course of these
investigations, we shall see how far the two quaternios are characteristic
of the Gnostic age, and how far they can be correlated
with the archetypal history of the mind in the Christian aeon.


The quaternity in the Moses Quaternio is evidently constructed according to the following schema:


The Moses Quaternio 四方体的摩西

The Higher Adam 天上的亚当
Miriam, Mother’ 密立姆,母亲
Sister-Anima 姐姐-阿尼玛
Jcthro, physical end spiritual father 杰斯罗,生理与精神的父亲
Zipporah, wife of Moses and daughter of Jethro 基普拉,摩西的妻子,与杰斯罗德女儿
The Lower Adam 地面的亚当

36 The “lower Adam” corresponds to the ordinary mortal man,
Moses to the culture-hero and lawgiver, and thus, on a personalistic
level, to the “father”; Zipporah, as the daughter of a king
and priest, to the “higher mother/’ For the ordinary man, these
two represent the “royal pair/’ which for Moses corresponds on
the one hand to his “higher man/’ and on the other hand to his
anima, Miriam.18


The “higher” man is synonymous with the
“spiritual, inner” man, who is represented in the quaternio by
Jethro. Such is the meaning of the quaternio when seen from
the standpoint of Moses. But since Moses is related to Jethro as
the lower Adam, or ordinary man, is to Moses, the quaternio
cannot be understood merely as the structure of Moses’ personality,
but must be looked at from the standpoint of the lower
Adam as well. We then get the following quaternio:


MOSES as culture-hero 摩西作为文化英雄
ZIPPORAH as higher mother 基普拉作为天上母亲
THE LOWER ADAM as ordinary man 地面亚当作为普通人
EVE as ordinary woman夏娃作为普通女人

361 From this we can see that the Naassene quaternio is in a
sense unsymmetrical, since it leads to a senarius (hexad) with an
exclusively upward tendency: Jethro and Miriam have to be
added to the above four as a kind of third storey, as the higher
counterparts of Moses and Zipporah. We thus get a gradual progression,
or series of steps leading from the lower to the higher
Adam. This psychology evidently underlies the elaborate lists of
Valentinian syzygies.


The lower Adam or somatic man consequently
appears as the lowest stage of all, from which there can
be only an ascent. But, as I have already pointed out, the four
persons in the Naassene quaternio are chosen so skilfully that
it leaves room not only for the incest motif, which is never lacking
in the marriage quaternio, but also for the extension of the
ordinary man’s psychic structure downwards, towards the subhuman,
the dark and evil side represented by the shadow.