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2 Sexual Difference and Social Equality in the Phallic Function and the Three Registers of Experience

Moncayo, Raul Karnac Books ePub

Before the child knows sexual difference as the anatomical difference between the sexes, s/he knows or recognises the lack in the mother's desire for something that the father is perceived as having. The anatomical discovery of the difference between the sexes (“Show me yours and I will show you mine”) will be placed within this symbolic context. Thus, more than a penis and before it is a penis the phallus is a signifier of a lack within the mother's desire. Within Lacanian theory, the symbolic and imaginary significance of the phallus have ascendancy over its anatomical function.

On the one hand, it behooves the child to occupy the place of the object of the mother's desire. A good–enough mother is one who loves or desires her child in a very personal way. On the other hand, if the mother does not desire anybody else other than the child, the desire for the child also becomes problematic for the child. Unfortunately the problem does not end when the mother desires the father, because it is precisely this desire that triggers sexual difference and the perception of the mother, and femininity, therefore, as lacking something that the father is perceived as having. It is the defence against this perceived lack and the struggle to have what the father is perceived as having that contributes to the rejection of femininity by both sexes. Feminine simulacrum and the patriarchal phallic parade both represent hysterical and organised attempts within human culture to defend against what is perceived as a negative lack within the mother. Within the Imaginary, and particularly in consumer-oriented capitalist societies, the ego does not realise the constructive function of the lack within desire and the being of the subject. Within society people think that the rejection of femininity is solely based upon the low status of women within the culture. In actuality, and according to Freudian and Lacanian theory, the low status is due to both the phallic defence against the lack (which debases women and makes women identify with masculine attributes) and the misapprehension of the lack as having a low and expendable status.

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Medium 9781782204244

Introduction: The Relationship between Lacan's Seminar III on Psychosis and his Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome

Moncayo, Raul Karnac Books ePub

The relationship between Lacan's Seminar III on psychosis and his Seminar XXIII on the sinthome

The unconscious, foreclosure, the question of Being, the signifier in the Real, are all terms that in one way or another are present in both seminars although they are twenty years apart.

In Seminar III (1955–1956), according to Lacan, the psychotic subject does have an unconscious. This contrasts sharply with the usual psychoanalytic notion that for the psychotic subject there is no repression and the unconscious is all manifest or predominates. In this formulation, repression and the reality ego that make the secondary process and cohesive speech possible, are both missing in psychosis. In the neurotic the unconscious is created through repression, but in psychosis repression fails. But for Lacan although there is no primary repression, in psychosis there is still another defence at play. In psychosis the unconscious is created through foreclosure.

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Medium 9781855754768

CHAPTER TWO. Psychoanalysis as a secular and non-theistic study of the mind

Moncayo, Raul Karnac Books ePub

Both Lacan and Zen use language and concepts in a non-dual way to invoke an enigmatic dimension of experience and of the mind that cannot be described by the binary (dual) and lineal characteristic of language and formal logic. Zen koans (stories) and Lacanian aphorisms, like poetry, use the evocative (and perhaps even provocative) more than the explicative or communicative function of language.

At first, the historical Buddha was reluctant to teach out of the concern of being misunderstood due to the perplexing nature of the (non-dual) teaching. He feared that due to not-understanding students might be inclined to disparage or reject him and thereby inadvertently bring on harmful karma upon their own selves.

In a group discussion that followed a meditation session, one of the participants told me that to avoid sleepiness or nodding off during zazen it was better to practise meditation standing up rather than sitting in the cross-legged position. During the meditation, I had nodded off a few times, so her statement could be seen as addressed to me. I responded saying that when the mind is very busy thinking in zazen it is easier not to be sleepy and alert than when the mind is very relaxed and not thinking. Whether thinking or not thinking, being alert or sleepy both are zazen. Furthermore, I said that awakening in Buddhism is not the opposite of sleeping. I quoted Dogen where he teaches that in Zen we awake from a dream within a dream. The participant seemed to be annoyed by this and said, “I’d rather keep things simple” (and dualistic). I kept things simple by not responding to a dualistic statement and letting her have the last word. Another example comes from an online review of a work on Dogen:

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Commentary on Sessions 1 and 2 of Lacan's Seminar XXIII

Moncayo, Raul Karnac Books ePub

Wednesday 18 November 1975 and Wednesday 9 December 1975

Lalangue and sinthome

In the session of Wednesday 18th November 1975 Lacan calls the French language his lalangue. Lalangue, of course, refers to the language of the unconscious based on homophony (words that sound the same), and to the alliterations and obliterations of language that circle around the objet a as object of the drive, and the object cause of desire. Lalangue is the language of the One, and how the Real appears within language and not only in mathematical formalisation or jouissance.

At this point a similar equivocation arises between language and lalangue as between symptom and sinthome; both terms sometimes are used as similar and duplicate and sometimes as different.

This is an example of the division of one into two apparently identical terms that differentiate: S1 and S2. “What is proper to the signifier, which I called by the name of S1, is that there is only one relationship that defines it, the relationship with S2: S1–S2.” (Lacan, session 1 of Seminar XXIII). S1 stands for lalangue and for sinthome while S2 stands for language and the symptom.

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Medium 9781782201717

Chapter Four - The Singular of the Singular: Singular Propositions and the Not-All

Moncayo, Raul; Romanowicz, Magdalena Karnac Books ePub

According to Miller (1965), Grigg (2005), Le Gaufey (2006, 2009), and Fierens (2008), Lacan's logic of the not-all constitutes possible interpretations of the particular in the square of opposition of Aristotelian logic. We will argue that just like Frege's functional analysis of predication freed him from the limitations of Aristotelian logic, and allowed him to extend the use of the particular, Lacan's logic of the not-all extends Frege's use of the particular in the direction of what we will call the singular of the singular or the singular within the single case. In other words the idea is to distinguish between a simple and a complex singularity or a partial and a total singularity.

Lacan used the logic of the not-all in his formulas for sexuation or sexual difference. A woman as a constituent element is not-all under/or in the set of the phallic function of castration: (singular). As per Moncayo (2008):

For Lacan, castration is on the masculine side, it is normal and normalising as a masculine norm. Women instead have more degrees of freedom in their relationship to castration. In Seminar XX Lacan argues that a woman is “not-all” under the phallic function or the law of castration. A woman is “not-all” in the phallic function but, on the other hand, woman as the “not-all” does not constitute a negation of castration either. […] In addition, in my opinion, only a negative dialectic of emptiness can account for a not having which is also having and for a having that does not produce a fixed positive or affirmative synthetic idea/ideal/signifier for femininity. On the feminine side of sexuation, women in general do not have the phallus but a particular woman is something more than simply the absence of the imaginary phallus. However, language does not have a single or fixed signifier for what a woman has of the phallus. Women do not have it but a woman does not not have it either. This, I argue, is the negative dialectic of the not-all. (pp. 50–51)

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