Around the Borromean Knot — Işık Barış Fidaner

Lacan’s RSI schema from Seminar 20 is quite different from his RSI schema from Seminar 22. We’ll call these two schemas RSI20 and RSI22:

sema1

lied1

Lacan obviously didn’t dismiss RSI20 and “update” to RSI22. These two schemas rather illustrate different aspects of the same RSI structure. RSI20 is about three objects externally exchanged between the three registers, and the jouissance remains undifferentiated. In contrast, RSI22 is about the internal occurences that intersect the registers themselves, and these occurences differentiate the jouissance. So RSI20 is more about what the registers display and RSI22 is more about what the registers are made of. One could say that RSI20 is more about the exchange-value of objects, whereas RSI22 is more about the use-value of jouissance. Now let’s compare the terms in both schemas by also referring them to the three fundamental passions [1].

rsi

In RSI20, S(Ⱥ) as truth issues from the Imaginary towards the Symbolic; whereas in RSI22, JȺ occurs between the Imaginary and the Real. Their combination describes the production of truth: The barred Other Ⱥ originates from the Real as the Other jouissance JȺ, it passes through the Imaginary, and finally it turns into a symbol of lack and truth as S(Ⱥ) towards the Symbolic. See JȺ → S(Ⱥ) on the figure. The movement of Ⱥ is associated with anxiety. In terms of passions, the production of truth stages a hating-to-love (RI-IS). That’s why loving-to-hate results in the loss of truth. Example: “X-basher” is someone who loves-to-hate X. Many inconsiderate Leftists enjoyed Žižek-bashing in the previous decades and this indulgence definitely made them lose their truthfulness and turned them into false Leftists. They indulged in this temptation because they maintained a faith in a flawless Other A (like the famous train of history) and they thereby disavowed the barred Other Ⱥ to escape the anxiety associated with it.

In RSI20, the semblance of objet a issues from the Symbolic towards the Real; whereas in RSI22, “sense” occurs between the Symbolic and the Imaginary, next to “a” which occurs at the center of RSI. Their combination describes the production of semblances: objet a originates from the center of RSI, it “makes sense” between the Symbolic and the Imaginary, it passes through the Symbolic, and finally it turns into a semblance towards the Real. See aa on the figure. The movement of objet a is associated with inhibition. In terms of passions, the production of semblance stages a love of ignorance (IS-SR). That’s why ignorance of love results in the loss of semblances. Example: When a declaration of love is crassly ignored, the lover’s world loses the meaning that substantiates its semblances, and (s)he suffers plain inhibition.

In RSI20, the reality of Φ issues from the Real towards the Imaginary; whereas in RSI22, JΦ occurs between the Symbolic and the Real. Their combination describes the production of reality: The phallus Φ originates from the Symbolic as phallic jouissance JΦ, it passes through the Real, and finally it turns into the reality of Φ towards the Imaginary. See JΦ → Φ on the figure. The movement of Φ is associated with the symptom. In terms of passions, the production of reality stages an ignorance of hatred (SR-RI). That’s why hatred of ignorance results in the loss of reality. Example: “Red pill” is the symbol of hating the fools who choose to take the “blue pill” of blissful ignorance. When this logic of “red pill” is pushed to its limits, it signifies misogynists immersed in conspiracy theories who have lost their sense of reality. They are the famous non-dupes who err.

Finally, let us specify the three movements that Lacan describes in this passage:

Only this meaning, qua vanishing gives meaning to the term of Real. In the same way, here, at this other triple point which is defined by this corner, it is enjoyment qua phallic that implies its liaison to the Imaginary as ek-sistence, the Imaginary is the pas-de-jouissance (the step/not of enjoyment). Just as for the Symbolic, it is very specifically that there is no Other of the Other which gives it its consistency. (Seminar 22, trans. Gallagher, page 130)

The Real receives its meaning through the semblance-producing love of ignorance enacted by the objet petit a on the inhibition. The Imaginary receives its ek-sistence through the reality-producing ignorance of hatred enacted by the phallic jouissance on the symptom. The Symbolic receives its consistency through the truth-producing hating-to-love enacted by the Other jouissance on the anxiety.

Işık Barış Fidaner is a computer scientist with a PhD from Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. Admin of Yersiz Şeyler, Editor of Žižekian Analysis, Curator of Görce Writings. Twitter: @BarisFidaner

Notes:

[1] See “Three Lacanian True Choices”

RSI22 image source.

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