The Réveil (Awakening) from the Rêve (Dream) or th’Esp of a Rêve (Dream) : January 2019 : Éric Laurent

by Julia Evans on January 1, 2019

Towards the XII CONGRESS WORLD ASSOCIATION OF PSYCHOANALYSIS,  April 13-17 2020, Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was cancelled due to Coronavirus.   

Published in the Symptom Issue 18 , see https://www.lacan.com/thesymptom.htm   

Translated by Samya Seth reviewed by Maria Cristina Aguirre

Available here    

Related texts

Preface to the English-language edition of Seminar XI : 17th May 1976 : Jacques Lacan  or here  

Note : In Jacques-Alain Miller’s course ‘The Very Last Lacan – 2006-2007’ he comments on the final period of Lacan’s teaching, and more precisely on Lacan’s last three seminars. along with ‘The Space of a Lapsus’ (L’esp d’un laps) which is how Miller refers to this ‘Preface’ written in the days following the final instalment of Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan (Information  here)

– Jacques-Alain Miller : The Space of a Lapsus (L’esp d’un lapsus) : 22nd November 2006 (University of Paris VIII) 

Presented as part of Le tout dernier Lacan, 2006-2007, L’orientation lacanienne (Annual course delivered within the framework of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris VIII. Published in The Lacanian Review 06 (!Urgent!) p63-81
An earlier version of this text edited by Catherine Bonningue, was published in ‘L’esp d’un lapsus’ in Quarto 90 (2007) 14-18

Translated by Russell Grigg, Text established by Christiane Alberti & Philippe Hellebois.

Available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /texts by request   Password from here

– Jacques-Alain Miller : The Space of a Hallucination (L’esp d’une hallucination) : 29th November 2006 (University of Paris VIII)

Presented as part of Le tout dernier Lacan, 2006-2007, L’orientation lacanienne (annual course delivered within the framework of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris VIII. Published in The Lacanian Review 06 (!Urgent!) p83-107
An earlier version of this text, edited by Catherine Bonningue was published as L’esp d’une hallucination’ in Quarto 90 (2007) : 19-25

Translated by Russell Grigg, Text established by Christiane Alberti & Philippe Hellebois. 

Available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /texts by request   Password from here

Availability of references

[1] Jacques Lacan, “The Third,” trans. Philip Dravers, The Lacanian Review, no. 7 (Summer 2019): 100-101. : Quote – Lacan proposes an anti-Freudian approach to the dream. “I have every right, like Freud, to share my dreams with you. Unlike Freud’s dreams, they are not inspired by the desire to sleep, it’s rather the desire to wake up that stirs me.”[1] : See La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here : p60 of  Yolande Szczech’s translation : That’s one of my dreams: I still have the right, just like Freud, to share my dreams with you. Unlike Freud’s, they are not inspired by the desire to sleep, it’s rather the desire to wake which disturbs me. But in the end, it’s strange.

[2] Jacques Lacan, Encore. On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, 1972-1973,ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Bruce Fink (New York/London: Norton, 1998), 56. : Quote – It is starting with the lesson of 13 February 1973 of the Seminar Encore that Lacan generalizes the idea that the dream must be approached as an instrument of awakening.[2]  : See Seminar XX : Encore 1972 – 1973 (from 21st November 1972) : Jacques Lacan or here : Seminar XX : 13th February 1973 : pVI 6-8 of Cormac Gallagher  Reality is approached by systems (appareils) of enjoyment. 

Here again is a formula that I am proposing to you, as long as we centre ourselves clearly on the fact that there is no other system than that of language. This indeed is how in the speaking being enjoyment is decked out. And this is what Freud says. Naturally if we correct this statement, which is the one that I am going to come to later, to grapple with it, namely, that of the pleasure principle, what it means, why he said it like that? He said it like that because (7) there were others who had spoken before him and that it was the way that seemed most audible for him. It is very easy to map out when all is said and done. And this conjunction between Aristotle and Freud helps in this mapping out. 

If I push further to the point that it can now be done, if the unconscious is indeed what I say; structured like a language, namely, that starting from there, this language is illuminated no doubt by positing itself as a system of enjoyment. But inversely, enjoyment also. Perhaps in itself also it shows that it is in default; that in order for it to be like that, there must be something lame on its side. 

What did I tell you? Reality is tackled with that, with the systems of enjoyment. And yes! That does not mean that enjoyment is prior to reality. Here again is a point where Freud lent himself to misunderstanding somewhere. And you will find in what is classified in French in the Essais de Psychanalyse* – I am telling you that so that you can find your bearings, because if I simply give you the bibliographical co-ordinates, you would not even know where it is; it is in the Essais de Psychanalyse*. There is something that resembles, that resembles the idea of a development, is there not, and that there is a Lust-Ich before a Real-Ich. This is a slippage. It is slipping back into a rut. This rut that I call development, and which is nothing but, nothing but a hypothesis of mastery. The baby supposedly has nothing to do with the Real-Ich, poor kid, incapable of having the slightest idea of what the real is, this is reserved for the people that we know, for these adults of whom moreover it is explicitly said that they can never manage to wake up. Namely, that when they come in their dream something that might threaten to pass into the real, that disturbs them so much that they wake up immediately. Namely, they continue to dream! It is enough to read. It is enough to be a little bit with it. It is enough to see them living. It is enough to have them in psychoanalysis…..yeah! To realise what is meant then by development. 

Yes….when one says primary and secondary processes there is (8) perhaps there a way of saying things that gives rise to an illusion. In any case let us say that it is not because a process is described as primary – you can after all call them whatever you wish – that it is the first to appear. In my own case, I never looked at a baby with the feeling that there was no outside world for him.
It is quite obvious that that is all he looks at, and that obviously it excites him. And this, good God, in the exact proportion that he does not yet speak. Starting from the time that he speaks, well then, starting from that very time very exactly, not before, I understand that there is repression. The process is perhaps primary, belongs to the Lust-Ich, and why not? It is obviously primary once we begin to think. But it is certainly not first. 

Reference – Essais de Psychanalyse* : Footnote 14 p59 of Bruce Fink’s translation : Jacques Lacan may be referring here to the footnote on page 135 of the French collection of Freud’s work entitled Essais de Psychanalyse (Paris: Payot, 1981 [the earlier edition contained the same texts in an older translation]), where Freud talks about “the child’s development into a mature adult” (SE XVIII, p. 79). Freud’s references to the “pleasure-ego” and the “reality-ego” can be found, above all, in “Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning” (1911) [published bilingual by www.freud2lacan.com : see here], “Instincts and their Vicissitudes” (1915) [SE XIV: 117-140  :  published bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com : available  here], and “Negation” (1925). [SE XIX : published bilingual by www.Freud2Lacan.com : available  here ]

(SE XVIII, p. 79) = Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego : 1921 : Sigmund Freud,  SE XVIII p69-143, published bilingual by www.Freud2Lacan.com : available  here : Quote  p79 In groups the most contradictory ideas can exist side by side and tolerate each other, without any conflict arising from the logical contradiction be- tween them. But this is also the case in the unconscious mental life of individuals, of children and of neurotics, as psycho-analysis has long pointed out.1 

1 In young children, for instance, ambivalent emotional attitudes towards those who are nearest to them exist side by side for a long time, without either of them interfering with the expression of the other and opposite one. If eventually a conflict breaks out between the two, it is often settled by the child making a change of object and displacing one of the ambivalent emotions on to a substitute. The history of the development of a neurosis in an adult will also show that a suppressed emotion may frequently persist for a long time in unconscious or even in conscious phantasies, the content of which naturally runs directly counter to some predominant tendency, and yet that this opposition does not result in any proceedings on the part of the ego against what it has repudiated. The phantasy is tolerated for quite a long time, until suddenly one day, usually as a result of an increase in the affective cathexis of the phantasy, a conflict breaks out between it and the ego with all the usual consequences. In the process of a child’s development into a mature adult there is a more and more extensive integration of his personality, a co-ordination of the separate instinctual impulses and purposive trends which have grown up in him independently of one another. The analogous process in the domain of sexual life has long been known to us as the co-ordination of all the ‘sexual instincts into a definitive genital organization. (Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, l905d [SE VII p207 (Published bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com see  here)].) Moreover, that the unification of the ego is liable to the same interferences as that of the libido is shown by numerous familiar instances, such as that of men of science who have preserved their faith in the Bible, and other similar cases.-[Added 1923:] The various possible ways in which the ego can later disintegrate form a special chapter in psychopathology. 

[3] Jacques Lacan, le Séminaire, livre XXV, Le moment de conclure, Ornicar?, no.19 (1979): 5. : Quote “the unconscious is exactly the hypothesis that one does not dream only when one sleeps”: See: Seminar XXV : The Moment to Conclude : 1977-1978 : begins 15th November 1977 : Jacques Lacan or here : Seminar XXV : 15th November 1977 :  p1 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : This does not prevent analysis from having consequences: it says something. What is meant by ‘saying’ (‘dire’)? ‘To say’ has something to do with time. The absence of time – it is something people dream about – is what is called eternity and this dream consists in imagining that one wakes up. One spends one’s time dreaming, one does not dream simply when one sleeps. The unconscious, is very precisely the hypothesis that one does not dream only when one is asleep. I would like to point out to you that what is called ‘the reasonable’ is a phantasy; it is quite manifest at the beginning of science. Euclidian geometry has all the characteristics of phantasy. A phantasy is not a dream, it is an aspiration. 

[4] Jacques Lacan, Encore, op. cit., 56. :  Quote ,  “they […] awaken, in other words, they go on dreaming”;[4] : See Seminar XX : Encore 1972 – 1973 (from 21st November 1972) : Jacques Lacan or here : pVI 8 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation – see quote above : for these adults of whom moreover it is explicitly said that they can never manage to wake up. Namely, that when they come in their dream something that might threaten to pass into the real, that disturbs them so much that they wake up immediately. Namely, they continue to dream! It is enough to read. It is enough to be a little bit with it. It is enough to see them living

[5] Jacques Lacan, Le Séminaire, Livre XXII, R.S.I., lesson of 11 February 1975, unpublished. : Quote “I re-enter just like everyone else into this dream that is called reality” : Seminar XXII: R. S. I. : 1974-1975: from 19th November 1974 : Jacques Lacan  or here : Seminar XXII : 11th February 1975 : p70 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : The awakening is one of my old refrains. It is a flash of (73) lightening. It is situated for me, in short when it happens to me, not often, it is situated for me, for me, that does not mean that that is how it is for everybody, it is situated for me at the moment when effectively I am emerging from sleep. I have at that moment a brief flash of lucidity, that does not last, of course, I enter like everyone else into this dream that is called reality, namely, into the discourses of which I form part, and among which I try to open up for you the path of analytic discourse. It is a very painful effort. 

[6} Jacques Lacan, “Improvisation: désir de mort, rêve et réveil,” l’Ane, no. 3 (1974): 3. Ibid. : Quote – “we never wake up” :  Improvisation – Death Wish, Dream & Wakefulness : 1974 : Jacques Lacan answering a question from Catherine Millot  or here    : P2 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation : As for life, it is well beyond any wakefulness. Life is not conceived, the body catches nothing of it, it simply bears life. When Freud says: life aspires to death, it is in as much as life, to the extent that it is incarnate, to the extent that it is in the body, would aspire to total, full consciousness. One can say that it is there that it is designated that even in absolute wakefulness, there is still a dream part which is precisely a dream of wakefulness. 

One never wakes up: desires sustain dreams. Death is a dream, among other dreams which perpetuate life, that of sojourning in the mythical. It is on the side of wakefulness that death is situated. Life is something quite impossible which can dream of absolute wakefulness. 

[7] Quote “absolute awakening is death.” :  Improvisation – Death Wish, Dream & Wakefulness : 1974 : Jacques Lacan answering a question from Catherine Millot  or here :  p1 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation : Thanks to the symbolic, total wakefulness is death – for the body. Deep sleep makes it possible for the body to last. 

[8]  Jacques-Alain Miller, “Réveil,” Ornicar?, no. 20/21 (Summer 1980): 49-53.

[9] Frank Rollier has attempted to present the set of these quotations in an article available online, “Puis-je espérer me réveiller un jour?”. : https://www.lacan-universite.fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Rollier.pdf   : March 2016 : Other texts by Frank Rollier  here  

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Julia Evans         

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London

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Further posts :

Lacanian Transmission here      

Groups & Cartels  here    

Some Lacanian history  here

Of the clinic  here 

Topology here    

By Éric Laurent here     

By Sigmund Freud here 

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud  here        

By Jacques Lacan here        

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here      

Translation Working Group here        

Use of power here      

By Julia Evans here