The Letter, Issue 52, Spring 2013, Pages 57 - 77
THE BIG OTHER, ITS PARADOX AND THE RUSE OF KNOWLEDGE
It is really the messenger of the gods who speaks through the lips of this innocent. Lacan 13.11.1957
The fact of repression is that a thought or knowledge solution is launched. Freud’s hysterics showed him that they suffered from reminiscences where things did not add up. A knowledge solution is the means by which we live our lives – of necessity, a fictional or lying means that masks/speaks the truth. This knowledge solution launches agency in the Other – again a fiction. Lacan’s radical formulation of the real makes for a very disconcerting disconnect between an agent Other eg God, mother, father, superego and a knowledge without a subject. And yet and yet… psychoanalysis takes place in the presence of a flesh and blood other, who refuses the demand of the analyser, grounded as this demand is on an acceptance by him or her of this very refusal – a ‘thy will be done’. For those who are committed to psychoanalysis, the question remains, what conditions such acceptance?
Keywords: the hole in the big Other; paradox; lack-of-sense (ab-sens); the drives; the real of sex; knowledge solution; the pervert; the mystic
Unwittingly, I realise, that for the past three years of my work in three separate cartels within ISLP, I have been preoccupied with the conceptual challenge posed by the big Other - particularly as Lacan speaks about it in the Seminar for 1968–69, Seminar XVI From an Other to the other. This preoccupation was given an unexpected boost by a teaching exercise in the academic session of 2011–12 where I had the opportunity to re-read Seminar V The Formations of the Unconscious delivered by Lacan some eleven years earlier in 1957–58.