✝Articulation (Division) of the World by Language
Jaques Lacan must have been fully aware of the fact that psychoanalysis and Christianity have so many things in common. －That is the reason why he replaced the Name of the Lord with the Name-of- Father and God’s Word with Language, in order to research the mystery of human existence, not in a superstitious way but in a scientific way.
Needlesss to say, Lacan’s idea that Name-of Father is Language itself corresponds to the verses from the Gospel: `In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was God.Through Him all things were made.’ (Jhon: 1～3)※
※Of course, these verses are based on Genesis.
Interestingly, Jaques Lacan, antichrist, dedicated his own writings to his younger brother, who was a devoted Christian.
Lacan left us the following aphorism, which sounds very mysterious.
－`Language is the ability to count the number.’
I’d kike to explain it in an intelligible manner.－Let’s think of 3 different sets (mathematical sets) :
＜the set of vegetables: lettuce, radish, eggplant…＞
＜the set of animals: horse, monkey, sheep…＞
＜the set of vehicles: automobile, train, airplane…＞
What do you think of the ability to distinguish these sets as different groups, instantly and without any doubt?
Isn’t it on the basis of this ability that you can think as a human, in a meaningful manner, although this ability looks so obvious that you might hesitate to call it `ability’?
If you enlarge this idea a little bit, you could probably say as follows.
－`The ability to distinguish brtween the names of things enables you to think as a human, in a meaningful manner.’
If you can say as a matter of fact, `Here are 1, 2 3…lettuces.’ or `Here are 1, 2, 3…horses.’ or `Here are 1, 2, 3…automobiles.’ and so on, isn’t it only because the sets presented above are clearly distinguished?
－Without the ability to count the number, you could make any meaningful thoughts.
However, does a child `naturally’ acquire this ability?
－The answer is No, according to Lacan.
For there exist a group of people who fundamentally lack the ability to make distinction between different sets.
－They are what we call `psychotics’ (schizophrenics etc.); their characteristics consist in speaking eccentric and weird languages even though they have normal intelligence (IQ) .
Your impression on hearing these patients speak would be the following.
－`They have no coherence.’ `Their topics lack consistency.’ `Their words are total mess.’
I’d like to present an example of their languages, according to my own clinical experiences.
－`Give me the vegetable over there.Oh no!I don’t mean that one.I mean another one, the monkey face.Something like a tomato greasy with butter.I want to eat monkey-beans greasy with lard and strawberry-tomatoes slimy with peanut butter.Don’t you see over there a vegetable like strawberry milk?’
Although the case presented above is of my own invention to simplify discussion, languages of schizophrenics sound more or less like this one.
If I translate the weird language above, it would be as follows.
－`What do you mean by the word Vegetables? －Lettuce, raddish, eggplant…Huh! Then, is avocado a vegetable? Oh Gosh! You say it isn’t a vegetable.Then, what about tomato? Oh Gosh! You say it’s a vegetable.I don’t understand at all.Give me the correct definition of Vegetables.－What!? You get them in the field? They are not fruits? They are not nuts neither? They are neither fish nor meat? －What are you talking about!? You do nothing but repeat not, not, not ….
In my opinion, avocado is a dairy product because it is sometimes called Butter of the Forest※.Beans are animals because they are sometimes called Meat of the Field※※.Orangutans are sometimes called People of the Forest※※※ so they belong to the same group of avocado and beans.’
※・※※・※※※These are Japanese idiomatic expressions.
On the other hand, their languages sometimes sound like strange word plays.
－`This lettuce tastes delicious! Hosanna! ...Horse-Anna? Oh! Is this lettuce a horse?’
`It is impossible to define a specific set according to its own internal informations alone.’ －Gdel’s incompleteness theorem gives a mathematical proof to this proposition.
To make it simple, if you want to define a set, you have no means but keep naming its elements forever or use the negative word `not’.
Why then don’t we `normal’ people fall into confusion as the schizophrenics do? －It is just because we can change the definition of a set depending on situations; or because we can follow the rules i.e. the Law required by the Society/others.
Psychotics lack the ability to follow the rules.
Lacan’s theory is sometimes called the `Logic of the One’ because he attributed to Oedipus Complex the origin of the ability to recognize One Whole Set.
Lacan insists that we can recognize the outer world only through various Names, which are nothing but human-made i.e. arbitrary labels coming from Language itself.
These labels or Language itself , although only human-made i.e. arbitrary, function as the absolute Social Law, which is impossible to violate.
A little child is forced to learn these labels through the Father’s Authority.
It is not naturally by any means that the Child learns them.
It is not the Nature i.e. God that labels things. －The Society i.e. the Name-of-Father gives them human-made i.e. arbitrary or unfair labels, imposing these labels on every member of the Society.
If you cannot distinguish these labels or take them for granted, you will be immediately kicked out of the Society as a mad person.
With regard to arbitrarity of Language which Lacan insists on, the following example is often cited from textbooks.
－`The Japanese can distinguish a butterfly from a moth whereas the French can’t, as the French language has the word for butterfly i.e. papillon but it has no word for moth.※’
※This is a serious misunderstanding.When I talked on this matter with a French, he said clearly that they do have words for moth i.e. papillon de nuit.
Thus, both theism i.e. the Bible and atheism i.e. psychoanalysis claim the following proposition (✰) to be the Truth.
－(✰) Chaotic Primitive World※ was articulated and given order by language so that our World was created.
※The Bible says, `Now the earth was formless and empty.’ (Genesis 1: 2)
Freud/Lacan gave this primitive world the term Das Ding/La Chose, which means The Thing.
At this point, we are brought back to the verses of the Scripture cited before. －`In the beginning wa the Word, and the Word was God.Through Him all things were made.’
So we can fully understand that Lacan’s idea was proposed as an antithesis against Christianity.－This antithesis refers to the radical skepticism/antinaturalism/antichristianism, which insists that there exists no apriori justice.
Although the proposition (✰) is the common premise for all the strucuralists including Lacan, it acquires an extremely vast range of discussion when he insists on it.
For he knew all kinds of weird and eccentric perceptions (including hallucinations and delusions) of psychotics, while engaged in their treatment.
When Lacan insisted on the proposition (✰), he asserted at the same time that we can never find the Real Existence anywhere.
By discarding the Real Father/Authority, replacing them with the term Name-of-Father, he put also the scientific truth in question.
－Even the glass before your eyes becomes `something like a glass’.
It follows that any perceptions/hallucinations could be judged both correct and wrong at the same time.
－Distinction between Subject and Object itself has disappeared.
Although Lacan’s idea seems to be closely related to the Spiritual World, he adovocated psychoanalysis as an appropriate method.
He denied the Spiritual World, of course, since he was an atheist.
But if you discuss the matter from the standpoint that human Consciousness/Unconsciousness give shapes to the Chaotic World/the Thing, it seems there would be no reason to deny the Spiritual World.
It is not too much to say that this problem belongs to the core-discussion of this book.We are going to pick it up repeatedly hereafter.
Let me keep on discussing the common points between Lacan’s idea and Christianity, from a different point of view.
Lacan’s attachment to mathematics was far beyond normal.－It looks as though he had been trying to explain the structure of human mind with mathematics alone.
Above all, an important contribution of Lacan consists in explaining the structure of human mind by means of the Mbius Strip.
The Mbius Strip is a 4 dimensional structure, constructed by cutting a long strip of paper, putting a half twist (180○twist) in it , and gluing the ends of the strip together.
Let’s think of a point moving on along the loop.
Suppose a person’s Consciousness starts moving from a specific point (A) on the front side of the Mbius Strip and keeps moving along the loop.
If Consciousness makes one round, it reaches the point (B) located just on the opposite side of the point (A), which means the back side of the Mbius Strip.
Lacan designates this point (B) as Unconsciousness.
If Consciousness mekes one more round, it comes back to the starting point (A).
In consequence, Consciousness meets itself again after making 2 rounds, via Unconsciousness.
The meaning of this mathematical metaphor is as follows.
－Consciousness and Unconsciousness interact with each other in a 4 dimensional manner so that human mind functions through `pairs’ : Front/Back or Consciousness/Unconsciousness.
Although the way of thinking described above originated from Jacques Lacan who was an atheist/antichrist, it is nothing else but skilfull inversion/arrangement of the Truth that theists believe in.
－I’d like to assert it once again here.
For example, when I say `I love her’, I love her for sure.But even in that case, my Consciousness might only assume that I love her.
In order for this statement `I love her’ to be true, my Consciousness shouid be crying out `I hate her’.
Every human being in this World has `front and back’ except the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.
Acrually, just as says the proverb `Love Hate two Sides of the Same Coin’ , emotional conviction could collapse very easily.
Let me give you another example.
－When I am convinced that I see a lettuce in front of me, I might believe it merely on the level of Consciousness.So in order for this statement `This is a lettuce’ to be true, my Unconsciousness should be crying out `This is a horse!’.
If we generalize this idea, in order for my Consciousness to be convinced `This is A’ , my Unconsciousness should be crying out `This is something other than A!’ i.e.`This is not A!’.
In other words, `I’ can be allowed to be `I’, as long as two different personas living within myself reciprocally interact in a mysterious (4 dimensional) manner. －This mysterious interaction is called in psychoanalysis `Castration’ or `Primordial Supression’.
Lacan expressed this interaction using the following aphorism.
－`Unconsciousness is the word of another persona inside of you’.
It follows consequently however loudly you may cry out `I am I’, it’s nothing but an illusion for another persona lives in yourself.
From the discussion mentioned above, you can understand that psychoanalysis is a human science which researches the profound question : `What is the Meaning?’
Isn’t it amazing how much likeness there is between the idea of psychoanalysis and the words of Scripture : `Love your neighbors’, `Love your enemies’, `Forgive sinners’, and so on?
You have only to add a few words to those of Scripture to reach the following important insight.
－`Love your neighbors, enemies, and sinners, for they are other personas living in yourself.’
I, who was made Christian, can proclaim with integral conviction.
－`I was a big sinner before, but I as a sinner was crucified and died by mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.I was forgiven and made righteous by Him.’
I can assert the following, however, with the same conviction.
－`Although I was once under Satan’s control, Jesus delivered me from Satan’s bondages.Satan was buried deep in my Unconsciousness.
But if my heart separates from Jesus, His mercy will be taken away from me, resulting in Satan’s resurrection and my instant falling down into hell.’
God makes distinction between Consciousness and Unconsciousness by the work of His mighty hands. －He makes us conscious of good and unconscious of evil.
But Satan is always watching for a chance to nullify this distinction, without which evil would be rampant, making us fall into hell.
Our thoughts might be possibly put into pieces, as in case of psychotics, with distinction between lettuce and horse destroyed.
Although I, as a psychiatrist, use medicines for psychosis, I as a Christian believe in miraculous heelings; I know that psychosis takes root in the Spiritual World.