Paper presented at London Circle Seminar on Training Effects in the Formation of the Analyst – London 26 October 2002
I have been requested to summarise the last Congress of the WAP in July 2002. The topic on which the Congress worked was the training-effect. I don’t think I can summarise three days work and dozens of contributions. I have written something for you under the influence of the Congress and of the Internet literature that acted as preamble to it. One spoke about a frustrated version and a sophisticated version of psychoanalytical training on the Internet. The trainers, their trainees and their organisations are frustrated. We claim a sophisticated version of training. It upholds whatever comes to the support of the desire of the analyst. The problem for a sophisticated version of psychoanalytical training is to keep the desire of the analyst alive. Training is correlative to the frustrated version, training-effect to the sophisticated version. The trainingeffect can only occur in the context of an infinite training because the signifying system always signifies apres coup, that is, retrospectively. Were we to declare that the London Society of the NLS offers a psychoanalytical training, it should be understood as infinite. An infinite training is one that does not end up in a finished product since it does not end up. If it ends up in anything, it ends up in a community of work. The Lacanian orientation lacks a definition of the psychoanalyst. A definition conceals the truth about the subject’s being. The training works to define the analyst, which tells the trainee what he or she is. By keeping the question of what the analyst is always open, it makes it difficult to deduce a concept of training. That would be tantamount to making a deduction from an empty premise. One can make up for this central emptiness in the definition by installing a university style training into the organisation. The training is automatised in the programme, and the trainees are homogenised. There are at least two problems. Firstly, when the offer of a training is made, the emptiness of the definition keeps returning, creating a dialectic of promise and broken promise, which introduces the structure of frustration. The subject experiences an imaginary hurt. The object of frustration is transformed into a symbolic gift object, namely qualification, which is the sign of love. Secondly, the truth about the subject’s being is concealed in the gift of love, which makes the ‘desetre’ of the analyst impossible. Is infinite training synonymous with the notion of continuing education, a concept introduced in the 1970s and promoted in UK organisations of all sorts? The concept of continuing education has to overcome the obstacle of finished product. The logic of continuing education is the thesis that the previous education didn’t tell the whole truth. The logic of infinite training does not conform to this because an infinite training has nothing to do with the truth primarily. The theorem on which infinite training is based is ‘no truth without knowledge’. Truth has to await the effect of knowledge. In every training programme the object which casts its shadow over the ego, which is a favourite expression of analysts, also casts it shadow over the analyst. It makes the trainee prey to anxiety since the analyst is always being thrown into question, for instance in a text written in 1960 and revised in 1964 The Position of the Unconscious. In order to hold up the concept of the Ucs in the place of the Other, the analyst pretends to be informed which also throws him into question (cf. p.834 of the Ecrits). There are two positions here. The first position is established on a pretense of being informed, which we now call the supposed subject of knowledge, the effect of which is the establishment of a belief in the unconscious. In the second position the analyst is thrown into question, the effect of which is a fall in belief of the unconscious with the establishment of the certainty of emptiness which is real. The first position can be defined. It creates transference. The second position is an experience the shadow of which falls over the first position. Already in the Founding Act Lacan associated his School with the experience itself. Lacan thinks that this should go as far as questioning the subject’s manner of life to which the experience leads. This is available to be read on p.104 of Television – A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, published by Norton. That’s the pass in 1964. Not a psychotherapeutic experience whose aim is the restoration of an initial state. Restoring an initial state is another name for stagnation. What made psychotherapy in Freud’s doctrine impossible was the addition of the death drive to it. This is the real at stake in the School. The technical suggestion that you can find in Seminar XI to keep the Ideal and the object a at a distance from each other goes back to this paragraph in The Position of the Unconscious. If the distance closes, the object a will be elevated into the Ideal and the analyst will not be thrown into question. A training programme which qualifies the subject elevates the object into an Ideal. From an empty definition the analyst can only authorise him/herself because the Other cannot exist for him/her. The destitution of the supposed subject of knowledge takes the Other with it. When the Other no longer exists for the subject, the School plays host to the Other, and the training-effect is determined one by one in the pass after it has already occurred. The training effect on being produced is not signified for the subject at the time. It is only afterwards that we can study the causes that produce them. The cause of the training-effect is a contingent encounter with the real. It does not mean that there is no psychoanalytical knowledge. In the School the shift from truth to knowledge in Lacan’s teaching is a given. The problem for the training is that psychoanalysis is a knowledge that cannot be totally controlled or transmitted as know-how. In the early Lacan truth is given such an elevated status that we risk ending up working from the thesis that there is no knowledge without truth. which is a skeptical position. No knowledge without truth, and knowledge would collapse. However, in the proposition ‘no truth without knowledge’, truth depends on knowledge. There is a shift from a horror of truth to a horror of knowledge. The analyst must have grasped the cause of his own horror of knowledge (Note Italienne, 1973, on p.309 of Autres Ecrits). Finally, back in ‘Allocution sur l’enseignement’ one can find this question. ‘Why is one deaf to the equivalence I made this year between knowledge and jouissance?’(p.298) It’s not between knowledge and truth that we will find an equivalence but between knowledge and jouissance. He begins the 1970s on jouissance.
Copyright © Richard Klein 2002.
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