Notes & references for Jacques Lacan’s Seminar IV : 28th November 1956

by Julia Evans on July 2, 2017

Note : These notes are a work in progress and are added to from time to time.

ECp refers to page numbers in the Earl’s Court Collective’s translation : Greg Hynds
, Jesse Cohn, 
Julia Evans (www.lacanianworks.net), Alma Buholzer.

See Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here for availability.

7th December 2018 : To request a copy of any text whose weblink does not work, contact Julia Evans: je.lacanian@icloud.com : For fuller details, see Notice : Availability of texts from LacanianWorks by Julia Evans or here

Commentary

Tracing Stages linked to Libido in Freud by Julia Evans on 24th October 2017 or here

Commentary on Maurice Bouvet’s case of Obsessional Neurosis (Seminar IV) : a reconstruction of the case by Julia Evans  on 15th June 2017 : See here

Commentary on Maurice Bouvet’s description of Object Relations Theory (Seminar IV)  by Julia Evans  on 27th July 2017 : See here

Some comments on ‘reality’ are included in the following post : Psychical reality in action (See here) by Julia Evans  on 18th September 2014

Lacan with D. W. Winnicott : 25th June 2011 (Dublin) : Joanne Conway or here

References for 28th November 1956

Footnote 4, ECp2 & Footnote 5, ECp3 & Footnote 7, ECp4 :

Clinical analysis : 1956 : Maurice Bouvet or here

ECp5 : “around the 1920s–30s the notion of phallicism and the phallic stage & see note on ECp6 below:

Probably The Phallic Phase : given in Wiesbaden on 4th September 1932 [1933] : Ernest Jones or here

& Probably The Significance of Masochism in Mental Life of Women : 27th July 1929 Oxford [1930] : Helene Deutsch or here

& Probably Early Stages of the Œdipus conflict : 3rd September 1927 Innsbruck [1928] : Melanie Klein or here

ECp8 Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena – a Study of the First Not-Me Possession : 30th May 1951 (London) [1953] : Donald W. Winnicott or here

Notes :

From time to time these notes will be updated as new material emerges. They are not in a static, final form.

ECp1 : Renan’s well–known saying: “human stupidity gives us an idea of infinity”

French philosopher Ernest Renan. The quotation is probably: “it isn’t the stars that give him an idea of infinity; it is man’s stupidity” Found by Greg Hynds & further research required.

From http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/04/universe-einstein/ :

Jesse M. states August 4, 2011 at 4:43 am

Nice job, I was just doing my own research on this on Google books for Einstein’s wikiquote page, came across two of the quotes from Perls and then found this article which is very helpful. I also discovered that a very similar quote was attributed to the French philosopher Ernest Renan at earlier dates…this book from 1915 says “He quotes the saying of Renan: it isn’t the stars that give him an idea of infinity; it is man’s stupidity.” Various books claim the original French version is “La bêtise humaine est la seule chose qui donne une idée de l’infini” (which doesn’t mention the stars), though this one from 1904 and this one from 1903 give it as “Ce n’est pas l’immensité de la vôute étoilée qui peut donner le plus complétement l’ideé de l’infini, mais bien la bêtise humaine!” which translates roughly to “it is not the starry sky that can give the most complete idea of the infinite, but human stupidity!” But none of the sources that attribute it to Renan say where it can be found in his writings, so I would guess this is just an earlier false attribution! Even earlier then these I found the book “Des vers” by Guy de Maupassant, which says on p. 9 that it’s from 1880, which also has a quote from a letter by Gustav Flaubert on p. 21, “Cependant, qui sait? La terre a des limites, mais la bêtise humaine est infinie!” which translates to “But who knows? The earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is infinite!” It may just be an old cliché rather than something Flaubert invented, this page which is also dated 1880 but is from a different author says something similar (“Aujourd’hui je sais qu’il n’y a pas de limites à la bêtise humaine, qu’elle est infinie” or “today I know that there is no limit to human stupidity, it is infinite”).

ECp1 : but the positive affirmation of this impasse is in Freud, it is in Civilisation and its Discontents

Civilization and its Discontents: 1929: Sigmund Freud : Probably Part I : p253 of PFL V12 : James Strachey’s translation :

I have nothing to suggest which could have a decisive influence on the solution of this problem. The idea of men’s receiving an intimation of their connection with the world around them through an immediate feeling which is from the outset directed to that purpose sounds so strange and fits in so badly with the fabric of our psychology that one is justified in attempting to discover a psycho-analytic – that is, a genetic – explanation of such a feeling. The following line of thought suggests itself. Normally, there is nothing of which we are more certain than the feeling of our self, of our own ego. This ego appears to us as something autonomous and unitary, marked off distinctly from everything else. That such an appearance is deceptive, and that on the contrary the ego is continued inwards, without any sharp delimitation, into an unconscious mental entity which we designate as the id and for which it serves as a kind of façade – this was a discovery first made by psycho-analytic research, which should still have much more to tell us about the relation of the ego to the id. But towards the outside, at any rate, the ego seems to maintain clear and sharp lines of demarcation. There is only one state – admittedly an unusual state, but not one that can be stigmatized as pathological – in which it does not do this. At the height of being in love the boundary between ego and object threatens to melt away. Against all the evidence of his senses, a man who is in love declares that ‘I’ and ‘you’ are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact. What can be temporarily done away with by a physiological function must also, of course, be liable to be disturbed by pathological processes. Pathology has made us acquainted with a great number of states in which the boundary lines between the ego and the external world become uncertain or in which they are actually drawn incorrectly. There are cases in which parts of a person’s own body, even portions of his own mental life – his perceptions, thoughts and feelings -, appear alien to him and as not belonging to his ego; there are other cases in which he ascribes to the external world things that clearly originate in his own ego and that ought to be acknowledged by it. Thus even the feeling of our own ego is subject to disturbances and the boundaries of the ego are not constant.

ECp1 : it is in the lesson of the New Lectures on Psychoanalysis

New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis : Lecture XXXI: Dissection of the personality: 1932 [Published 1933] : Sigmund Freud :

Probably PFL, Vol 2, p91 : I am now prepared to hear you ask me scornfully whether our ego-psychology comes down to nothing more than taking commonly used abstractions literally and in a crude sense, and transforming them from concepts into things – by which not much would be gained. To this I would reply that in ego-psychology it will be difficult to escape what is universally known; it will rather be a question of new ways of looking at things and new ways of arranging them than of new discoveries. So hold to your contemptuous criticism for the time being and await further explanations. The facts of pathology give our efforts a background that you would look for in vain in popular psychology. So I will proceed.

Hardly have we familiarized ourselves with the idea of a super-ego like this which enjoys a certain degree of autonomy, follows its own intentions and is independent of the ego for its supply of energy, than a clinical picture forces itself on our notice which throws a striking light on the severity of this agency and indeed its cruelty, and on its changing relations to the ego.

& PFL, Vol 2, p94 : The basis of the process is what is called an ‘identification’ – that is to say, the assimilation of one ego to another one, as a result of which the first ego behaves like the second in certain respects, imitates it and in a sense takes it up into itself. Identification has been not unsuitably compared with the oral, cannibalistic incorporation of the other person. It is a very important form of attachment to someone else, probably the very first, and not the same thing as the choice of an object. The difference between the two can be expressed in some such way as this. If a boy identifies himself with his father, he wants to be like his father; if he makes him the object of his choice, he wants to have him, to possess him. In the first case his ego is altered on the model of his father; in the second case that is not necessary. Identification and object-choice are to a large extent independent of each other; it is however possible to identify oneself with someone whom, for instance, one has taken as a sexual object, and to alter one’s ego on his model. It is said that the influencing of the ego by the sexual object occurs particularly often with women and is characteristic of femininity. I must already have spoken to you in my earlier lectures of what is by far the most instructive relation between identification and object-choice. It can be observed equally easily in children and adults, in normal as in sick people. If one has lost an object or has been obliged to give it up, one often compensates oneself by identifying oneself with it and by setting it up once more in one’s ego, so that here object-choice regresses, as it were, to identification.

ECp1 : which is a notion of the object such as emerges from the operation of what Freud called the primary system of desire…..

  1. a) Project for a Scientific Psychology : 1895 : Sigmund Freud

P388 – 389 of James Strachey’s translation : published in German, which Jacques Lacan read, in 1950 : & in English translation in 1954, so 2 years before Jacques Lacan gave this Seminar : as Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud, and Ernst Kris, (Eds.), The origins of psycho-analysis: Letters to Wilhelm Fliess, drafts and notes, 1887-1902, (James Strachey, Trans.), London: Imago, 1954: p347-445 : availability The Project for a Scientific Psychology: 23rd & 25th September & 5th October 1895: Sigmund Freud or here :

To sum up. Where inhibition is operated by a cathected ego, the indications of ω-discharge serve in general as indications of reality which Ψ learns, by biological experience, to make use of. If the ego is in a state of wishful tension at the moment when an indication of reality emerges, it will allow discharge to follow along the lines of the specific action [p379]. If an increase of unpleasure coincides with the indication of reality, Ψ will institute a defence of normal magnitude by an appropriately large lateral cathexis at the point indicated. If neither of these is the case [i.e., if there is neither a wishful state nor an increase of unpleasure at the moment when an indication of reality is received], the cathexis will be allowed to proceed unhindered, according to the nature of the facilitations prevailing. Wishful cathexis carried to the point of hallucination and a complete generation of unpleasure, involving a complete expenditure of defence, may be described as “psychical primary processes”. On the other hand, those processes which are only made possible by a good cathexis of the ego and which represent a moderation of the primary processes may be described as “psychical secondary processes”. It will be seen that the sine qua non of the latter is a correct exploitation of the indications of reality and that this is only possible when there is inhibition on the part of the ego. Footnote1

  1. b) Footnote 1, p389 of The Project : added by James Strachey :

For purposes of comparison with this section, we may quote a passage from The Interpretation of Dreams (trans. 1953, pp. 598-600): “A current of this kind in the apparatus, starting from unpleasure and aiming at pleasure, we have termed a ‘wish’. . . . The first wishing seems to have been a hallucinatory cathecting of the memory of satisfaction. . . All that I insist upon is the idea that the activity of the first ω-system is directed towards securing the free discharge of the quantities of excitation, while the second system, by means of the cathexes emanating from it, succeeds in inhibiting this discharge and in transforming the cathexis into a quiescent one, no doubt with a simultaneous raising of its level. I presume, therefore, that under the dominion of the second system the discharge of excitation is governed by quite different mechanical conditions from those in force under the dominion of the first system. When once the second system has concluded its exploratory thought-activity, it releases the inhibition and damming-up of the excitations and allows them to discharge themselves in movement”.

P598 – 600 of SE Vol V : Section E – The Primary and Secondary Processes of Chapter VII – The Psychology of the Dream Processes of The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud : See here

  1. c) It has not been possible to find the following quote :

From Laplanche & Pontalis ‘The language of psychoanalysis’ : Primary Process/Secondary Process :

(a) In the ‘Project’ Freud also refers to the primary process as a ‘full’ or total (voll) process

  1. d) From Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud :

Section VI p318pfl :

We, on the other hand, dealing not with the living substance but with the forces operating on it, have been led to distinguish two kinds of instincts (Strachey mistranslation should be drive): those which seek to lead what is living to death, and others, the sexual instincts, which are perpetually attempting and achieving a renewal of life.

Section VII p336pfl :

We have found that one of the earliest and most important functions of the mental apparatus is to ‘bind’ the instinctual impulses which impinge on it, to replace the primary process prevailing in them by the secondary process and convert their freely mobile cathectic energy into a mainly quiescent (tonic) cathexis. While this transformation is taking place no attention can be paid to the development of unpleasure; but this does not imply the suspension of the pleasure principle. On the contrary, the transformation occurs on behalf of the pleasure principle; the binding is a preparatory act which introduces and assures the dominance of the pleasure principle.

Section VII p337pfl :

This raises the question of whether feelings of pleasure and unpleasure can be produced equally from bound and from unbound excitatory processes. And there seems to be no doubt whatever that the unbound or primary processes give rise to far more intense feelings in both directions than the bound or secondary ones. Moreover the primary processes are the earlier in time; at the beginning of mental life there are no others, and we may infer that if the pleasure principle had not already been operative in them it could never have been established for the later ones. We thus reach what is at bottom no very simple conclusion , namely that at the beginning of mental life the struggle for pleasure was far more intense than later but not so unrestricted: it had to submit to frequent interruptions. In later times the dominance of the pleasure principle is very much more secure, but it itself has no more escaped the process of taming than the other instincts in general. In any case, whatever it is that causes the appearance of feelings of pleasure and unpleasure in processes of excitation must be present in the secondary process just as it is in the primary one.

ECp1 The hallucinated object… the object hallucinated against a background of anxiety–filled [angoissante] reality

There are several other references to ‘reality’ in Seminar IV : 28th November 1956 : See ECp6 : ‘It would be apt, then, to grasp what we mean when in theorising we invoke the real. It is not very likely that we all have the same notion of it to start with, but what is likely is that we can all access a certain distinction, a certain dissociation, which is essential to bring in as to the treatment of the term ‘real’ or ‘reality’, if we look closely at the way in which it is used.

When we speak of the real we can target several things. First of all, there is everything that effectively happens. This is the notion of reality implied in the German term Wirklichkeit, which has the advantage of distinguishing in [the notion of] reality a function which the French language makes it hard to isolate.’

See quotes from The Project above &

from The Project for a Scientific Psychology: 23rd & 25th September & 5th October 1895: Sigmund Freud or here : p428 to 429 of James Strachey’s translation : Part III An attempt at an account of normal ψ-processes (5th October 1895) : Quote : There is no doubt a second biological rule, derived by abstraction from the process of expectation, to the effect that one must direct one’s attention to indications of quality (because they belong to perceptions that may lead to satisfaction)and then allow oneself to be led from the indication of quality to the perception which has emerged. In short, the mechanism of attention must owe its origin to a biological rule of this kind, which will regulate the displacement of ego-cathexes.[Footnote 1 : See the continuation of this line of thought in Freud (1911b) (Freud, Sigmund. (1911b). Formulations on the two principles of mental functioning. SE, 12: 213-226.) where attention is assigned the task of “periodically searching the external world, in order that its data may be already familiar if an urgent internal need should arise”. ]

Here it may be objected that a mechanism like this, operating by the help of indications of quality, is redundant. The ego, it will be said, might have learnt biologically to cathect the perceptual sphere in states of expectation on its own account, instead of only being led to this cathexis through the agency of indications of quality. There are, however, two points to be made in justification of the mechanism of attention. (l) The sphere of the indications of discharge from the system W (ω) is clearly a smaller one, comprises fewer neurones, than the sphere of perception-that is, of the whole pallium of ψ which is connected with the sense organs. Consequently the ego saves an extraordinarily large expenditure if it cathects the discharge instead of the perception. (z) The indications of discharge or the indications of quality are also primarily indications of reality, and are intended to serve the purpose of distinguishing the cathexes of real perceptions from the cathexes of wishes. Thus we see that we cannot do without the mechanism of attention. But it consists in every case of the ego cathecting those neurones in which a cathexis has already appeared.

The biological rule of attention, in so far as it concerns the ego, runs as follows : If an indication of reality appears, the perceptual cathexis which is simultaneously present must be hypercathected.

This is the second biological rule. The first one is that of primary defence.

Some comments on ‘reality’ are included in the following post : Psychical reality in action (See here) by Julia Evans  on 18th September 2014

ECp2 : the third term in which we can see it [the object] and trace it in Freud is that of imaginary reciprocity,

‘reciprocity’, where in Sigmund Freud?   “imaginary reciprocity” may be too broad to find an exact reference and the following are the attempt:

  1. a) Possibly Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud : Section VI : p332pfl

Shall we follow the hint given us by the poet-philosopher, and venture upon the hypothesis that living substance at the time of its coming to life was torn apart into small particles, which have ever since endeavoured to reunite through the sexual instincts? [probably a Strachey mistranslation and should be drive] …. and finally transferred the instinct [drive ibid] for reuniting, in the most highly concentrated form, ….

  1. b) According to Laplanche & Pontalis it could be either

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality: 1905d Sigmund Freud

or Instincts and their Vicissitudes : 1915c : Sigmund Freud

imaginary reciprocity is also loved/to be loved…

There is also mention in Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan (available here) : Seminar XI : 27th May 1964 : The Subject and the Other : Alienation : Chapter 16

  1. c) There is one reference to reciprocity in my Complete Freud at p2955 : Section II of Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego : 1921 : Sigmund Freud

LE BON’S DESCRIPTION OF THE GROUP MIND ‘Such also is approximately the state of the individual forming part of a psychological group. He is no longer conscious of his acts. In his case, as in the case of the hypnotized subject, at the same time that certain faculties are destroyed, others may be brought to a high degree of exaltation. Under the influence of a suggestion, he will undertake the accomplishment of certain acts with irresistible impetuosity. This impetuosity is the more irresistible in the case of groups than in that of the hypnotized subject, from the fact that, the suggestion being the same for all the individuals in the group, it gains in strength by reciprocity.’ (Ibid., 34.)

‘We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a group. He is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will.’ (Ibid., 35.)

ECp3 : a game of aggressive retaliation

The following quote may not be directly relevant, but does bear on this game.

Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud : Section VI p333pfl :

We need not feel greatly disturbed in judging our speculation upon the life and death instincts [drives ibid] by the fact that so many bewildering and obscure processes occur in it – such as one instinct [drive] being driven out by another or an instinct [drive] turning from the ego to an object, and so on.

ECp3 : analysis of an obsessive in the case I am talking about, in the work of the author I am talking about

Probably Maurice Bouvet. See p24 of Clinical analysis : 1956 : Maurice Bouvet or here for reference to Obsessional Neurosis

ECp3 : if one were watching a circus act

There is possibly some overlap between Jacques Lacan’s use of ‘act’ and Sigmund Freud’s, as follows:

From Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud : Section VII p336pfl :

We have found that one of the earliest and most important functions of the mental apparatus is to ‘bind’ the instinctual impulses which impinge on it, to replace the primary process prevailing in them by the secondary process and convert their freely mobile cathectic energy into a mainly quiescent (tonic) cathexis. While this transformation is taking place no attention can be paid to the development of unpleasure; but this does not imply the suspension of the pleasure principle. On the contrary, the transformation occurs on behalf of the pleasure principle; the binding is a preparatory act which introduces and assures the dominance of the pleasure principle.

& possibly the quote from Group Psychology : Sigmund Freud given above, see ‘ECp2 : the third term in which we can see it [the object] and trace it in Freud is that of imaginary reciprocity,’ :

that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a group.

ECp3 : At this point, the ringmaster comes in and says, “Look, this is unreasonable; leave off quarrelling, swallow your stick, each of you; then you will have it in the right place, you will have internalized it.”

So in Seminar III : 4th July 1956[i] (the final session of this seminar) Jacques Lacan states : The question of the father centres all Freud’s research, all the points of view he has introduced into subjective experience.

This is entirely forgotten, I’m well aware. Recent analytic technique is clouded by the object relation. The supreme experience that is described, this famous distance taken in the object relation, ultimately consists in fantasizing the sexual organ of the analyst and imaginarily absorbing it. Make filiation[ii] the equivalent of fellatio[iii]? Indeed there is an etymological relationship between these two terms, but this isn’t a sufficient reason for deciding that analytic experience is a sort of obscene chain that consists in the imaginary absorption of an object that has finally been extracted from fantasies.

[i] p321 of Russell Grigg’s translation. : Seminar III: The Psychoses: 1955-1956: from 16th November 1955: Jacques Lacan or here

[ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filiation   : Filiation is the legal term [Filiation, Lawyers International Law Dictionary] that refers to the recognized legal status of the relationship between family members, or more specifically the legal relationship between parent and child. As described by the Government of Quebec:

Filiation is the relationship which exists between a child and the child’s parents, whether the parents are of the same or the opposite sex. The relationship can be established by blood, by law in certain cases, or by a judgment of adoption. Once filiation has been established, it creates rights and obligations for both the child and the parents, regardless of the circumstances of the child’s birth.

Filiation differs from, but impacts, both parental rights and inheritance.

The statute of limitations period for filiation is thirty years.

[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fellatio : Fellatio (also known as fellation, and colloquially as blowjob, BJ, giving head, or sucking off) is an oral sex act involving the use of the mouth or throat, which is performed by a person on the penis of another person or oneself (autofellatio). Oral stimulation of the scrotum may also be termed fellatio or tea bagging.

ECp3 : a little song, that truly imperishable tune by someone named … who was a kind of genius

Greg Hynds remarks : Possibly Julius Fučík’s “Entry of the Gladiators” – which Jacques Lacan might be invoking here to poke even more fun at analysts who work with object relations theory. [“Entrance of the Gladiators” op. 68 or “Entry of the Gladiators” is a military march composed in 1897 by the Czech composer Julius Fučík available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0CyOAO8y0]

ECp4 : in this schema which I gave you at the end of last year

This is probably Schema L from Seminar III.

Seminar III : 4th July 1956 : p310 of Russell Grigg’s translation : I’m not sure what to begin with to end this course. On the off chance, I’ve put two small schemas on the board for you. (Not published in this edition)

The first is an old one. It’s a sort of grid which I used at the start of this year to try to show you how the problem of delusion is raised if we want to structure it insofar as it appears to be a relation in some way linked to speech. The second of these schemas is entirely new and I will have occasion to refer to it shortly.

See Seminar III: The Psychoses: 1955-1956: from 16th November 1955: Jacques Lacan or here

ECp4 : this way in which the dual relation is conducted in a certain orientation, a theorisation of the analytic experience,

p21 of Clinical analysis : 1956 : Maurice Bouvet or here in English translation :

instinctive tendencies toward action may be in variously violent conflict with restricting tendencies according to the impetus given them by external or internal forces.

ECp5 : the subject never wants to express his aggressivity, and does so only in the form of a slight irritation provoked by the technical rigidity


p45 of Clinical analysis : 1956 : Maurice Bouvet or here : half way down :

The method consisted in playing on words. If he felt he was on the point of being irritated by me, he described his feelings as a slight irritation provoked by my technical rigidity. If I reminded him that his reaction was of an aggressive nature, he denied this most fiercely, for, if he had admitted it, he would have been forced to recognize violent feelings of opposition that had me as their object, and that he did not want at any price for he was completely incapable of bearing such feelings.

ECp5 : as if it were obvious that irritation was typical and characteristic of the aggressive relation as such.

p45 of Clinical analysis : 1956 : Maurice Bouvet or here at the bottom , probably :

By a purely arbitrary trick of thought, he therefore strove in all his relations with me to prevent the eruption of any violent feeling or emotion, for, after all, irritation and irony are aggressive by nature.

ECp5 : the object – is it the real, yes or no?

Further probable reference to The Primal Cavity : a contribution to the genesis of perception and its role for psychoanalytic theory : 1955 : René Spitz

During Seminar VII: 3rd February 1960, (Chapter X: Marginal Comments) Victor Nikolaevitch Smirnoff presented on Rene Spitz’s ‘yes or no’ : p132 to 133 of Dennis Porter’s translation : See Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: begins 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan or here

Further Notes

Discussion during Seminar VII : Session of 3rd February 1960 between Jacques Lacan, Victor Nikolaevitch Smirnoff or Smirnov, Yvan Audourd, Jean Laplanche, & Unknown or here

Notes from Seminar VII : 3rd February 1960 (p132 & top p133) : Discussion with Victor Smirnov on René Spitz’s ‘Yes and No’ : Reading Group of 7th September 2013 by Julia Evans

For the other reference in Seminar IV, see note ECp4 of Notes & References for Jacques Lacan’s Seminar IV : 21st November 1956 by Julia Evans on February 28, 2017 or here

ECp5 : around the 1920s–30s the notion of phallicism and the phallic stage was organised around a great shock which occupied the whole analytic community, it was to distinguish the penis as a real organ with functions that we could describe through certain real coordinates, and the phallus within its imaginary function.


See The Meaning (or Signification) of the Phallus (Munich): 9th May 1958 : Jacques Lacan :Available here

This is Lacan’s most direct exposition of the status of the phallus in the psychoanalytic account of sexuality. It was first presented in German at the Max Planck Institute in Munich in 1958. At this stage, Lacan was concerned above all to emphasise the place of the symbolic order in the determination of human subjectivity, and to give an account of that order in terms of the laws of linguistic operation – the contemporary science of linguistics, as he argues here, having been unavailable to Freud. Lacan, therefore, returns to the debates of the 1920s and 1930s (Abraham, Jones, Klein) and criticises what he sees as a reduction of the phallus to an object of primitive oral aggression, belonging in the realm of the instinct. Instead he places the phallus within the symbolic order, and argues that it can only be understood as a signifier in the linguistic sense of the term.

Quoted from Jacqueline Rose’s Introduction : see Commentaries & Information from ‘Jacques Lacan & the École Freudienne: Feminine Sexuality’ : 1982 : Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose or here

ECp5 : notion of phallicism and the phallic stage

  1. a) Joanne Conway’s commentary on Phallicism : See Lacan with D. W. Winnicott : 25th June 2011 (Dublin) : Joanne Conway or here :

In Freudian terms the subject is constructed retroactively via a central experience (castration and Oedipus) and conflict between the conscious and unconscious is caused by the fact that what the drive seeks is obscure, and misrecognised. Hence it is not on the path of consciousness that the subject “finds himself” but rather there is a beyond of knowledge. Via Karl Abrahams, this Freudian perspective of the subject is abandoned in favour of a re-centring of the function of the object and in particular, its final manifestation. The object relation perspective for Lacan places this ideal object as an aim or end point of the treatment, resulting in the normalisation of the subject.

The subject’s relation to the environment is at the foreground which for Lacan objectifies the subject and reduces the analytic experience to one of adaptation.

The object relations view says Lacan, may be considered therefore as a type of social remedy whereby the subject’s adaptation to the environment is rectified along predetermined lines – it is a type of homogenisation that excludes the particularity and the articulation of, subjective desire.

At the centre of this perspective is the mother child relation on which is based the genesis of everything that will follow for the subject – it is viewed, says Lacan as a real relation. Maintaining this imaginary position that the mother child relation is the foundation of the whole of analytic genesis is impossible says Lacan, without introducing the phallicism of analytic experience. This is an idea we will return to in terms of Winnicott and mother child relation.

Succinctly then, to end Lacan’s voluminous criticism of the object relation, I quote “the idea of a harmonious object, by its nature complementing the subject-object relation is perfectly contradicted by experience – not even by analytic experience but just by common experience of the relations between man and woman” (Seminar IV, p.19 of French edition, Seminar IV : 28th November 1956 : pEC1). If harmony were possible between men and women he says, there would be no analysis at all. Something does not work.

  1. b) Phallicization – note spelling –

From p356, footnote 7 of On Being Normal and Other Disorders: A Manual for Clinical Psychodiagnostics : 2008 : By Paul Verhaeghe   : See here

By “phallicization” I mean that, from the oedipal period onward, the earlier drive tensions that went back to the component drives are now rewritten in a phallic way, combining the oral with the phallic, for example. This may seem like a new concept, but in fact it isn’t. See Freud, references given below. What Lacan added is the idea of making “genital” synonymous with “phallic” – but even this is not new since it can also be found in Freud.

My Views On The Part Played By Sexuality In The Aetiology Of The Neuroses : 1906a : Sigmund Freud : p278 of SE V7 [p79 V10 pfl]

Possibly : there are two positions which I have never repudiated or abandoned – the importance of sexuality and of infantilism.

OR As translated by A. A. Brill : Published by Bartleby here : p75 of V10 pfl: also changed the conception of the mechanism of the hysterical symptoms. These no longer appeared as direct descendants of repressed memories of sexual infantile experiences, but between the symptoms and the infantile impressions there slipped in the fancies (confabulations of memory [Strachey : imaginary memories]) of the patients which were mostly produced during the years of puberty and which on the one hand, are raised from and over the infantile memories, and on the other, are immediately transformed into symptoms. Only after the introduction of the element of hysterical fancies did the structure of the neurosis and its relation to the life of the patient become transparent.

and

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality : 1905d : Sigmund Freud : SE V7, p123- 243 : Probably p67 Vol 7 pfl :

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality : 1905d : Essay 1 The Sexual Aberrations, Section (2) Deviations in Respect of the Sexual Aim, Part (B) Fixations of Preliminary Sexual Aims. :

We shall come across the importance of early sexual impressions again in another connection.

In other cases the replacement of the object by a fetish is determined by a symbolic connection of thought, of which the person concerned is usually not conscious. It is not always possible to trace the course of these connections with certainty. … None the less even symbolism such as this is not always unrelated to sexual experiences in childhood.

ECp6 : that these conditions, so artificial… contrary to what we are told – that it’s such a simple situation… [these conditions] are a position in relation to the real.

Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud : Section VI p333pfl

These two innovations were a direct translation of observation into theory and were no more open to sources of error than is inevitable in all such cases. It is true that my assertion of the regressive character of instincts [drives ibid] also rests upon observed material – namely on the facts of the compulsion to repeat. It may be, however,  that I have over-estimated their significance. And in any case it is impossible to pursue an idea of this kind except by repeatedly combining factual material with what is purely speculative and thus diverging widely from empirical observations. The more frequently this is done in the course of constructing a theory, the more untrustworthy, as we know, must be the final result. But the degree of uncertainty is not assignable. One may have made a lucky hit or one may have gone shamefully astray. I do not think a large part is played by what is called ‘intuition’ in work of this kind. From what I have seen of intuition, it seems to me to be the product of a kind of intellectual impartiality where ultimate things, the great problems of science and life, are concerned.

Also Section VII p337pfl :

This raises the question of whether feelings of pleasure and unpleasure can be produced equally from bound and from unbound excitatory processes. And there seems to be no doubt whatever that the unbound or primary processes give rise to far more intense feelings in both directions than the bound or secondary ones. Moreover the primary processes are the earlier in time; at the beginning of mental life there are no others, and we may infer that if the pleasure principle had not already been operative in them it could never have been established for the later ones. We thus reach what is at bottom no very simple conclusion ,

ECp6 : and an object which the individual has an idea of as such, whose isolation, for never having been formulated as strictly and solely conceivable on the Imaginary level, represents no less, since what Freud contributed at a certain time and [to which] so and so, particularly Jones, replied, how the notion of phallicism implies an extrication from this category of the imaginary.

P31 of French edition gives : what Freud wrote at a certain date and in what one or another author replied — Helene Deutsch, Melanie Klein, Ernest Jones, in particular.

Probably The Phallic Phase : given in Wiesbaden on 4th September 1932 [1933] : Ernest Jones or here

Ernest Jones was present at Minutes of the meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Association : 30th July 1953 : Dr Heinz Hartmann (IPA President & Chairman of the Meeting) : See here. There is an analysis of how Miss Anna Freud & Dr Sacha Nacht, supported by Dr Ernest Jones & Princess Marie Bonaparte, attack Jacques Lacan at this meeting : here

& Probably The Significance of Masochism in Mental Life of Women : 27th July 1929 Oxford [1930] : Helene Deutsch or here

From Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helene_Deutsch   Following Karl Abraham’s presentation on femininity, penis envy and the feminine castration complex at the Hague Congress in 1920, Helene left analysis with Freud to work with Abraham. While at the Hague Congress, Helene presented her paper on The Psychology of Mistrust. In it, she claimed that lying was a defense against real events, as well as an act of creativity. In 1923, Helene moved to Berlin without her husband, Felix, or her son, Martin, to work with Abraham, who she felt probed more deeply than Freud. Helene felt relaxed while working with Abraham and enjoyed his ‘cool analytic style and his objective insight without any reeling experience of transference.’ While in session with Helene, Abraham showed her a letter from Freud addressed to him. In it, Freud argued that the topic of Helene’s marriage with Felix should remain off the table during analysis. It was only later that Abraham confessed that he was unable to analyze her because he “had too much feeling for her.” Neither were present at the IPA meeting on 30th July 1953 : See here

& Probably Early Stages of the Œdipus conflict : 3rd September 1927 Innsbruck [1928] : Melanie Klein or here

Melanie Klein was present at Minutes of the meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Association : 30th July 1953 : Dr Heinz Hartmann (IPA President & Chairman of the Meeting) : See here

ECp6 : a thinker of the mechanical–dynamist tradition, a tradition which goes back to the 18th–century scientific attempt at the development of the ‘mechanized man’

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_philosophy : Some ancient philosophies held that the universe is reducible to completely mechanical principles—that is, the motion and collision of matter. This view was closely linked with materialism and reductionism, especially that of the atomists and to a large extent, stoic physics. Later mechanists believed the achievements of the scientific revolution of the 17th century had shown that all phenomenon could eventually be explained in terms of “mechanical laws”: natural laws governing the motion and collision of matter that imply a determinism. … The natural philosophers directly concerned with developing the mechanical philosophy were largely a French group, together with some of their personal connections. They included Pierre Gassendi, Marin Mersenne and René Descartes. Also involved were the English thinkers Sir Kenelm Digby, Thomas Hobbes and Walter Charleton; and the Dutch natural philosopher Isaac Beeckman.

Robert Boyle used “mechanical philosophers” to refer both to those with a theory of “corpuscles” or atoms of matter, such as Gassendi and Descartes, and those who did without such a theory. One common factor was the clockwork universe view. His meaning would be problematic in the cases of Hobbes and Galileo Galilei; it would include Nicolas Lemery and Christiaan Huygens, as well as himself. Newton would be a transitional figure. Contemporary usage of “mechanical philosophy” dates back to 1952 and Marie Boas Hall.

In France the mechanical philosophy spread mostly through private academies and salons; in England in the Royal Society. In England it did not have a large initial impact in universities, which were somewhat more receptive in France, the Netherlands and German.

ECp6 : a tradition which goes back to the 18th–century scientific attempt at the development of the ‘mechanized man’

It seems that Jacques Lacan is elaborating the following quote from Sigmund Freud in this section. A fuller quote is available above in ‘ECp1 : Freud called the primary system of desire’

“All that I insist upon is the idea that the activity of the first ω-system is directed towards securing the free discharge of the quantities of excitation, while the second system, by means of the cathexes emanating from it, succeeds in inhibiting this discharge and in transforming the cathexis into a quiescent one, no doubt with a simultaneous raising of its level. I presume, therefore, that under the dominion of the second system the discharge of excitation is governed by quite different mechanical conditions from those in force under the dominion of the first system. When once the second system has concluded its exploratory thought-activity, it releases the inhibition and damming-up of the excitations and allows them to discharge themselves in movement”.

P599 – 600 of SE Vol V : Section E The Primary and Secondary Processes of Chapter VII The Psychology of the Dream Processes in The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud : Available here

ECp6 : this fascination for what can be found in matter, this primitive Stoff,

– See ECp7 below.

– From https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Stoff

Ultimately from Old French estophe, estoffe, from estoffer (“to provide what is necessary, equip, stuff”; > French étoffer and étouffer), from Frankish *stopfōn, *stoppōn(“to cram, plug, stuff”), from Proto-Germanic *stuppōną (“to clog up, block, fill”). Compare Dutch stof, English stuff.

– From Notes to Seminar IV : 5th December 1956 : Publication probably October 2017… : Tracing ‘Stoff’

Para 22 : French : c’est-à-dire par la tendance à revenir au repos,

English (Very Draft Translation) : that is, by the tendency to return to a state of rest ;

Para 22 : ….qui se présente en effet tel que cela vous est indiqué comme lié à la loi du retour au repos et à la tendance du retour au repos.

English (Draft translation) : which in fact presents itself, as it is indicated to you, as tied to the law of return to [a state of] rest and the tendency to return to [a state of] rest.

Para 23 : que le plaisir est lié non pas au repos, mais à l’envie ou à l’érection du désir.

English (Draft translation) : that pleasure is not related to [a state of] rest, but to longing or to the erection of desire.

SO

Julia Evans objected that state of rest did not make sense, though she acknowledges that it is the correct translation of the French. Jesse Cohn found the following reference in (fuller quote below)

Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud :

The attributes of life were at some time evoked in inanimate matter by the action of a force of whose nature we can form no conception. It may perhaps have been a process similar in type to that which later caused the development of consciousness in a particular stratum of living matter. The tension which then arose in what had hitherto been an inanimate substance endeavoured to cancel itself out. In this way the first instinct came into being: the instinct to return to the inanimate state.

The German (fuller quote below) is thought to be (no German):

From Jenseits des Lustprinzips : 1920 : Sigmund Freud

Das Ziel alles Lebens ist der Tod, und zurückgreifend: Das Leblose war früher da als das Lebende.

Irgend einmal wurden in unbelebter Materie durch eine noch ganz unvorstellbare Krafteinwirkung die Eigenschaften des Lebenden erweckt. Vielleicht war es ein Vorgang, vorbildlich ähnlich jenem anderen, der in einer gewissen Schicht der lebenden Materie später das Bewußtsein entstehen ließ. Die damals entstandene Spannung in dem vorhin unbelebten Stoff trachtete danach, sich abzugleichen; es war der erste Trieb gegeben, der, zum Leblosen zurückzukehren.

TWO CONCLUSIONS:

So it appears that répose or rest may be a mistranslation of the German. James Strachey uses ‘inanimate’.

‘Stoff’ is translated by inanimate substance, (it is thought….) in Beyond the Pleasure Principle

FULLER QUOTES:

Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud : p33 of SE18

Quote from Section V : p310 to 311 of James Strachey’s translation in pfl :

Every modification which is thus imposed upon the course of the organism’s life is accepted by the conservative organic instincts and stored up for further repetition. Those instincts are therefore bound to give a deceptive appearance of being forces tending towards change and progress, whilst in fact they are merely seeking to reach an ancient goal by paths alike old and new. Moreover it is possible to specify this final goal of all organic striving. It would be in contradiction to the conservative nature of the instincts if the goal of life were a state of things which had never yet been attained. On the contrary, it must be an old state of things, an initial state from which the living entity has at one time or other departed and to which it is striving to return by the circuitous paths along which its development leads. If we are to take it as a truth that knows no exception that everything living dies for internal reasons – becomes inorganic once again – then we shall be compelled to say that ‘the aim of life is death’ and, looking backwards, that ‘inanimate things existed before living ones’.

The attributes of life were at some time evoked in inanimate matter by the action of a force of whose nature we can form no conception. It may perhaps have been a process similar in type to that which later caused the development of consciousness in a particular stratum of living matter. The tension which then arose in what had hitherto been an inanimate substance endeavoured to cancel itself out. In this way the first instinct came into being: the instinct to return to the inanimate state. It was still an easy matter at that time for a living substance to die; the course of its life was probably only a brief one, whose direction was determined by the chemical structure of the young life. For a long time, perhaps, living substance was thus being constantly created afresh and easily dying, till decisive external influences altered in such a way as to oblige the still surviving substance to diverge ever more widely from its original course of life and to make ever more complicated détours before reaching its aim of death. These circuitous paths to death, faithfully kept to by the conservative instincts, would thus present us to-day with the picture of the phenomena of life. If we firmly maintain the exclusively conservative nature of instincts, we cannot arrive at any other notions as to the origin and aim of life.

__________________________

From Gesselmeltwerke probably Vol XIII or XVI in the electronic version : Section V : Jenseits des Lustprinzips : 1920 : Sigmund Freud

Wenn also alle organischen Triebe konservativ, historisch erworben und auf Regression, Wiederherstellung von Früherem, gerichtet sind, so müssen wir die Erfolge der organischen Entwicklung auf die Rechnung äußerer, störender und ablenkender Einflüsse setzen. Das elementare Lebewesen würde sich von seinem Anfang an nicht haben ändern wollen, hätte unter sich gleichbleibenden Verhältnissen stets nur den nämlichen Lebenslauf wiederholt. Aber im letzten Grunde müßte es die Entwicklungsgeschichte unserer Erde und ihres Verhältnisses zur Sonne sein, die uns in der Entwicklung der Organismen ihren Abdruck hinterlassen hat. Die konservativen organischen Triebe haben jede dieser aufgezwungenen Abänderungen des Lebenslaufes aufgenommen und zur Wiederholung aufbewahrt und müssen so den täuschenden Eindruck von Kräften machen, die nach Veränderung und Fortschritt streben, während sie bloß ein altes Ziel auf alten und neuen Wegen zu erreichen trachten. Auch dieses Endziel alles organischen Strebens ließe sich angeben. Der konservativen Natur der Triebe widerspräche es, wenn das Ziel des Lebens ein noch nie zuvor erreichter Zustand wäre. Es muß vielmehr ein alter, ein Ausgangszustand sein, den das Lebende einmal verlassen hat und zu dem es über alle Umwege der Entwicklung zurückstrebt. Wenn wir es als ausnahmslose Erfahrung annehmen dürfen, daß alles Lebende aus inneren Gründen stirbt, ins Anorganische zurückkehrt, so können wir nur sagen: Das Ziel alles Lebens ist der Tod, und zurückgreifend: Das Leblose war früher da als das Lebende.

Irgend einmal wurden in unbelebter Materie durch eine noch ganz unvorstellbare Krafteinwirkung die Eigenschaften des Lebenden erweckt. Vielleicht war es ein Vorgang, vorbildlich ähnlich jenem anderen, der in einer gewissen Schicht der lebenden Materie später das Bewußtsein entstehen ließ. Die damals entstandene Spannung in dem vorhin unbelebten Stoff trachtete danach, sich abzugleichen; es war der erste Trieb gegeben, der, zum Leblosen zurückzukehren. Die damals lebende Substanz hatte das Sterben noch leicht, es war wahrscheinlich nur ein kurzer Lebensweg zu durchlaufen, dessen Richtung durch die chemische Struktur des jungen Lebens bestimmt war. Eine lange Zeit hindurch mag so die lebende Substanz immer wieder neu geschaffen worden und leicht gestorben sein, bis sich maßgebende äußere Einflüsse so änderten, daß sie die noch überlebende Substanz zu immer größeren Ablenkungen vom ursprünglichen Lebensweg und zu immer komplizierteren Umwegen bis zur Erreichung des Todeszieles nötigten. Diese Umwege zum Tode, von den konservativen Trieben getreulich festgehalten, böten uns heute das Bild der Lebenserscheinungen. Wenn man an der ausschließlich konservativen Natur der Triebe festhält, kann man zu anderen Vermutungen über Herkunft und Ziel des Lebens nicht gelangen.

ECp6 : an organic reality, something that ultimately must find itself in reality. Freud put it as simply as this. One must refer to where he said it, and see what function it has .

Possibly Civilisation and its Discontents :

Probably Part VII of Civilization and its Discontents : 1930 : Sigmund Freud : p322 of pfl :

But the essential difference is that the original severity of the super-ego does not – or does not so much – represent the severity which has experienced from it [the object], or which one attributes to it; it represents rather one’s own aggressiveness towards it. If this is correct, we may assert truly that in the beginning conscience arises through the suppression of an aggressive impulse, and that it is subsequently reinforces by fresh suppressions of the same kind.

Which of these two views is correct? The earlier one, which genetically seemed so unassailable, or the newer one, which round off the theory in such a welcome fashion? Clearly, and by the evidence, too, of direct observations, both are justified. They do not contradict each other, and they even coincide at one point, for the child’s revengeful aggressiveness will be in part determined by the amount of punitive aggression which he expects from his father. Experience shows, however, that the severity of the super-ego which a child develops in no way corresponds to the severity of treatment which he has himself met with. Footnote1 below. The severity of the former seems to be independent of that of the latter. A child who has been very leniently brought up can acquire a very strict conscience. But it would also be wrong to exaggerate this independence; it is not difficult to convince oneself that severity of upbringing does also exert a strong influence on the formation of the child’s super-ego. What it amounts to is that in the formation of the super-ego and the emergence of a conscience innate constitutional factors and influences from the real environment act in combination. This is not at all surprising; on the contrary, it is a universal aetiological condition for all such processes.

1 As has rightly been emphasized by Melanie Klein and by other English writers. 1930

ECp6 : he follows Freud, if he conceives things in terms of what governs the whole life [esprit] of the system, that is, from an energetic perspective.

Probable reference to ‘esprit’ : From The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud : See here : Chapter VI The Dream Work : Section (I) Secondary Revision :

In my view the contemptuous critical judgement, ‘it’s only a dream’, appears in a dream when the censorship, which is never quite asleep, feels that it has been taken unawares by a dream which has already been allowed through. It is too late to suppress it, and accordingly the censorship uses these words to meet the anxiety or the distressing feeling aroused by it. The phrase is an example of esprit d’escalier on the part of the psychical censorship.

Lacan reexamines Freud’s view ‘from an energetic perspective’ in Seminar VII : 27th April 1960 : Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: from 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan : See here

: See below for the references and notes :

Pierre Kaufmann’s Commentary on Sigfried Bernfeld & Sergei Feitelberg’s Death Drive & Entropy : Seminar VII, 27th April 1960, p204-205 : Notes towards Reading Group of 22nd February 2014 by Julia Evans on 2nd February 2014 or here

Commentary on Sigfried Bernfeld’s & Sergei Feitelberg’s Death Drive : Seminar VII, 27th April 1960 : Pierre Kaufmann or here

The Principle of Entropy and the Death Instinct (Der Entropiesatz und der Todestrieb) : 1931 : Sigfried Bernfeld & Sergei Feitelberg or here

ECp7 : when the Rhine was flowing abundantly.


It may be slight, but there are some overlaps with the images used by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. In Seminar IV : 5th December 1956 (paragraph 19), the term ‘le génie du courant’ is used, the literal translation of which is the ‘spirit of the flow’.

See also note below on ‘ECp7 : But the reference to the current of the river as the primitive form of this energy can precisely only come to the mind of someone totally crazy, ‘

Leonardo da Vinci and a memory of his childhood : 1910 : Sigmund Freud : SE vol 11, p57-137 : translated by Alan Tyson : p163 to 164 of pfl Vol 14 : [p1788]

And in his case it really seems to have been so. His affects were controlled and subjected to the instinct for research; he did not love and hate, but asked himself about the origin and significance of what he was to love or hate. Thus he was bound at first to appear indifferent to good and evil, beauty and ugliness. During this work of investigation love and hate threw off their positive or negative signs and were both alike transformed into intellectual interest. In reality Leonardo was not devoid of passion; he did not lack the divine spark which is directly or indirectly the driving force – il primo motore – behind all human activity. He had merely converted his passion into a thirst for knowledge; he then applied himself to investigation with the persistence, constancy and penetration which is derived from passion, and at the climax of intellectual labour, when knowledge had been won, he allowed the long restrained affect to break loose and to flow away freely, as a stream of water drawn from a river is allowed to flow away when its work is done. When, at the climax of a discovery, he could survey a large portion of the whole nexus, he was overcome by emotion, and in ecstatic language praised the splendour of the part of creation that he had studied, or – in religious phraseology – the greatness of his Creator. This process of transformation in Leonardo has been rightly understood by Solmi. After quoting a passage of this sort in which Leonardo celebrates the sublime law of nature (‘O mirabile necessità …’), he writes (1910, 11): [given in Italian in Freud’s original & this translation] Such a transfiguration of natural science into a sort of religious emotion is one of the characteristic features of Leonardo’s manuscripts, and there are hundreds and hundreds of examples of it.

ECp7 : in order to understand, to speak of what happens in this machine – that in the machine accumulates that which is the basis for the accumulation of any kind of energy – in this case, this electrical force which can then be distributed and made available to consumers

to

There is another use of the notion of reality which is made in analysis. This one, much more important, has nothing to do with this reference which I could truly qualify as superstitious, in this case, which is a kind of consequence, a so–called organicist postulate which can literally have no meaning in the analytic perspective.

_______________________________________

Update June 2018

In ‘Presentation on Psychical Causality’, given by Jacques Lacan at Bonneval Hospital, Paris, on 28thSeptember 1946, published in Écrits, the first section is titled : Critique of an Organicist Theory of Madness, Henri Ey’s Organo-Dynamism. I now suggest Lacan was referring back to this presentation.

______________________________________

 

  1. a) Sigmund Freud refers to ego having its own supply of energy in the following passage which seems to be the point Jacques Lacan is examining:

Fn3. New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis : Lecture XXXI: Dissection of the personality: 1932 [Published 1933] : Sigmund Freud : Probably PFL, Vol 2, p91 :

Hardly have we familiarized ourselves with the idea of a super-ego like this which enjoys a certain degree of autonomy, follows its own intentions and is independent of the ego for its supply of energy, than a clinical picture forces itself on our notice which throws a striking light on the severity of this agency and indeed its cruelty, and on its changing relations to the ego.

  1. b) Wilhelm Reich was big news in 1956 as he was on trial for his organo-accumulator. It is possible, with Jacques Lacan’s use of accumulator, energy & organicist, that Wilhelm Reich’s ideas are the basis for this analogy.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Reich  :

From the 1930s he became an increasingly controversial figure, and from 1932 until his death in 1957 all his work was self-published. His message of sexual liberation disturbed the psychoanalytic community and his political associates, and his vegetotherapy, in which he massaged his disrobed patients to dissolve their “muscular armour,” violated the key taboos of psychoanalysis. He moved to New York in 1939, in part to escape the Nazis, and shortly after arriving coined the term “orgone” – from “orgasm” and “organism” – for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God. [Sharaf 1994, pp. 301–306; that Reich said God was the spiritual aspect of orgone and the ether the physical, p. 472; Reich, Ether, God and Devil, 1949, pp. 39ff, 50.] In 1940 he started building orgone accumulators, devices that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about sex boxes that cured cancer.

Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper’s in 1947, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a “fraud of the first magnitude.” Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court. He died in prison of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.

Some definitions for organicist

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone

Orgone is a pseudoscientific and spiritual concept described as an esoteric energy or … Reich designed special “orgone accumulators”—devices ostensibly …
www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm
One thing I want to be very clear about: at no time did Wilhelm Reich ever claim that the orgone accumulator “cured” anything.

ECp7 : But the reference to the current of the river as the primitive form of this energy can precisely only come to the mind of someone totally crazy, and to a notion, strictly speaking, of the order of mana,

For references to the ‘current of the river’, see preceding note ‘ECp7 : when the Rhine was flowing abundantly.
’

Fn16. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana_(disambiguation) :

Mana is a Polynesian concept of power, often in a supernatural context.

Mana may also refer to: Cultural anthropology

  • māna, a concept in Buddhism, one of the defilements
  • Mana (Anglo-Saxon), a life-force or charisma stemming from the divine lineage of kings
  • Mana Genita, a Roman goddess who presided over burials
  • Mana mutra, the practice of drinking one’s own urine as a medicine
  • Manna or mana, a food produced for the Israelites in the desert
  • Mana, another name for the underworld, tuonela, in Finnic mythology

Probably the biblical reference is the most apt, though the Anglo-Saxon definition fits.

ECp7 : and who would like to rediscover, in all forces, the permanence of what is eventually accumulated as the element of Wirkung, a Wirklichkeit made possible by something that would somehow be there for all eternity.

The permanence of what is accumulated is probably a further reference to Wilhelm Reich (see above).

Wirkung probably refers back to mana (see above) & to this phrase ‘which concerns something of a very different order than this ‘energy’, or even ‘force’’. See the definitions below.

Definition of Wirkung

From http://www.dict.cc/german-english/Wirkung.html

Wirkung {f}

impact

virtue [archaic] [effective force or power]

effect

appeal

force

consequence

impression [effect]

agency [effect, impact]

action [effect]

activity

influence

feck [Scot.]

effect on something

consequences {pl}

ECp7 : this sort of need of ours to think of, to confuse the Stoff – or the primitive matter or the impulse or the flow or the inclination – with what is really at stake

See note ECp6 above.

From  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stoffs  :  During World War II, Germany fielded many aircraft and rockets whose fuels, and oxidizers, were designated (letter)-Stoff.

In German, Stoff means roughly the same thing as English “stuff”, both of which derive from the Old French word estoffe (meaning cloth or material). Stoff has as broad a range of meanings, ranging from “chemical substance” to “cloth”, depending on the context. The common elements (hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen) are named respectively Wasserstoff, Sauerstoff, Kohlenstoff and Stickstoff (literally: ‘water-stuff’, ‘sour-stuff’, ‘coal-stuff’ and ‘smother-stuff’, respectively) in German. Stoff was used in chemical code names in both World War I and World War II.

ECp8 : the child who says that the emperor is naked

The Emperor’s New Clothes : 7th April 1837 : Hans Christian Andersen

ECp8 : D.W. Winnicott. He wrote a little article to talk about what he calls the “transitional object”

Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena – a Study of the First Not-Me Possession : 30th May 1951 (London) [1953] : Donald W. Winnicott : Availability here

Donald Winnicott was present at Minutes of the meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Association : 30th July 1953 : Dr Heinz Hartmann (IPA President & Chairman of the Meeting) : See here :

For a description of Jacques Lacan relationship to D. W. Winnicott see Lacan with D. W. Winnicott : 25th June 2011 (Dublin) : Joanne Conway or here

ECp8 : order of satisfaction founded on a hallucination, which is related to the operation and the functioning of the primary process

See note ECp1 above on primary processes

Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920 : Sigmund Freud ibid

ECp10 : as for privation, we will have to refer to it for now as if phallicism – that is, the demand of the phallus – is, as Freud says, the major point of all imaginary play in the conflictual progression described by the analysis of the subject.

Is it possible to find the reference to Freud?

  1. a) This is discussed in The Meaning (or Signification) of the Phallus (Munich): 9th May 1958 : Jacques Lacan (See here http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11851 )

which has the only reference to Freud’s texts as The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud (See here)

  1. b) Probably Part VII of Civilization and its Discontents : 1930 : Sigmund Freud : p325 of pfl : It set up the super-ego by identification with the father; it gave that agency the father’s power, as though as a punishment for the deed of aggression they had carried out against him, and it created the restrictions which were intended to prevent a repetition of the deed. And since the inclination to aggressiveness against the father was repeated in the following generations, the sense of guilt, too, persisted, and it was reinforced once more by every piece of aggressiveness that was suppressed and carried over to the super-ego. Now, I think, we can at last grasp two things perfectly clearly: the part played by love in the origin of conscience and the fatal inevitability of the sense of guilt. Whether one has killed one’s father or has abstained from doing so is not really the decisive thing. One is bound to feel guilty in either case, for the sense of guilt is an expression of the conflict due to ambivalence, of the eternal struggle between Eros and the instinct of destruction or death. This conflict is set going as soon as men are faced with the task of living together. So long as the community assumes no other form than that of the family, the conflict is bound to express itself in the Oedipus complex, to establish the conscience and to create the first sense of guilt. When an attempt is made to widen the community, the same conflict is continued in forms which are dependent on the past; and it is strengthened and results in a further intensification of the sense of guilt. Since civilization obeys an internal erotic impulsion which causes human beings to unite in a closely-knit group, it can only achieve this aim through an ever-increasing reinforcement of the sense of guilt. What began in relation to the father is completed in relation to the group. If civilization is a necessary course of development from the family to humanity as a whole, then – as a result of the inborn conflict arising from ambivalence, of the eternal struggle between the trends of love and death – there is inextricably bound up with it an increase of the sense of guilt, which will perhaps reach heights that the individual finds hard to tolerate.

ECp11 : It is only in the Laws of Manu

Manu-smriti, ( Sanskrit: “Laws of Manu” or “The Remembered Tradition of Manu”) also called Manava-dharma-shastra (“The Dharma Text of Manu”), traditionally the most authoritative of the books of the Hindu code (Dharma-shastra) in India. 4 Feb 2015 : Manu-smriti | Hindu law | Britannica.com https://www.britannica.com/topic/Manu-smriti

 

Julia Evans (See here)

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London

 

7th December 2018 : To request a copy of any text whose weblink does not work, contact Julia Evans: je.lacanian@icloud.com : For fuller details, see Notice : Availability of texts from LacanianWorks by Julia Evans or here

Further posts:

Translations : Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Notes & References for Jacques Lacan’s Seminar IV : 21st November 1956 by Julia Evans on 28th February 2017 or here

Jacques Lacan in English or here

Of the clinic : here

Translation Working Group here

From other LW working groups : here

By Greg Hynds : here

By Julia Evans (See here or www.LacanianWorks.net )