A Presence Which Disturbs by Thomas Van Rumst


The subject supposed to know is not Freudian, it is above all Lacanian. It was this which allowed Lacan to clean up the transference of its imaginary overtones in order to reduce it to the very apparatus of the cure.
We ask the analysand to say whatever comes into his head, however crazy it may seem, all the while guaranteeing that he will discover a gain of knowledge. The subject of the unconscious is logically deducedi as the knowledge gained from a want to say. But while this subject makes vain attempts to produce his being in the Other, something else takes on consistency: it’s anxiety inducing corollary, that object which causes, not suffering, but rather the desire which, however well articulated the attempt, is not-articulable, except in deception or with the object.
The nuptials of the subject with this object slide under the honeymoon between the analysand and his analyst. It feels good, but does it mean that this object stays put? Right from the beginning of the cure, when one is lying on the couch, the very same object in the room looks at us and already inhibits free association. It shows itself and makes an appeal to interpretation. But, since it does not have the same structure as the unconscious, can it be interpreted? Lacan rather, poses the question of transference in the terms of its handling [Handlung]ii; how to act with this object?
The precipitation of the transference is wild. It is only when there is analysis, that is to say an encounter with the desire of the analyst, that this transference can be domesticated. This desire plays its part on two slopes. That of alienation, where the subject is constituted as an effect in the field of the Other. He deposits a knowledge, but this is opaque with respects to the cause. The other side is separation where the cause is produced, where the remainder shows up, thereby putting into action the sexual reality of the unconscious. It is there that the subject is realised, not as a subject but as an object of the drive.
And this is in the desire of the Other since the saying implicit in the question What is it that you are saying? is eclipsed behind the want: What does he want from me?iii The desire of the subject is therefore subjugated to the desire of the Other. It is from this subjection that he wants to be deceived in wanting to be loved by himiv. It is to be seen from the point of the ego ideal, a point which it departs from – and in particular is not to be confused with; – an identification to the drive object.
It is only through transference that the drive enters the cure. That which does not happen through speech, via re-memorisation, is repeated in the actv, but for this it requires the presence of another body. For example, an analysand who after having paid routinely evacuates a “little packet” will be retained by his analyst, who speaks to him while keeping the door closed. This is not something which can be achieved in absentia, it is something that has to be made present. What disturbs the relation analysand – analyst is thereby an opportunity to disturb the drive.

Translated by Raphael Montague