At the Beginning and at the End

At the Beginning and at the End
Pamela King

In the analytic experience, it is urgent to get in – and urgent to get out! Lacan’s modulations of logical time[1] show this urgency in three steps: the instant of the glance, the time for comprehending, and the moment of concluding.

First, there’s a “shake-up”[2] – the emergence of a trauma of subjective urgency that precipitates us towards the movement into analysis. A trauma makes a break in our day-to-day life. It destabilizes us. We therefore make an urgent request to the Other – to the analyst who is already in the position of the subject supposed to know at the moment of the request – in order to complain about this acute rupture. It’s a turning point – there is a before and after to this instant of seeing.

The time for comprehending is the part of the analytic experience where we look for the response in the other of what we want. It’s the time of working through, of the repetition of saying. The urgency of the original instant of seeing is here extended throughout the analysis: the act of going back again and again to one’s analyst is also this thing that urges, that pushes, on the level of the real. This is the urgent satisfaction.

In the moment of concluding, a new urgent satisfaction emerges: the satisfaction of stopping the saying. Satis means, “It is enough!”[3] The subject of the pass is thrust forward in an act of urgency that, although logical, is not based on reason. This is why many of the testimonies of the pass talk of the aspect “outside of meaning” of their experiences that brings an end to the analysis. No longer dependent on the gaze of the other, we are now paired only with the urgency of the act.

Logically speaking, the entry into analysis precipitates its end. Lacan implied it: “Our points of linking up, in which our organs of the guarantee are to function, are known: it is the beginning and the end of the psychoanalysis, as in chess.”[4] The satisfaction procured by the pass is a confirmation of that initial wager made at the beginning.

1 Cf, Lacan, Jacques, “Logical Time and the Assertion of Anticipated Certainty”, Écrits, W.W. Norton, New York/London, 2006, pp. 161-75.

2 Miller, Jacques-Alain, “Clinic Under Transference,” Psychoanalytical Notebooks 17, tr. A. Price, London Society of the NLS, London, 2008, p. 8.

3 Seynheve, Bernard, “The Argument for the 2019 Congress of the NLS”, tr. P. Dravers, P. King, The Lacanian Review 6, “¡Urgent,” NLS, Paris, p. 21.

4 Lacan, Jacques, “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School”, tr. R. Grigg, ICLO-NLS website: