The Desire of the Analyst

Yet if it is clear how the position of the analysand continues to function as one form of the desire of the analyst to occupy his position well, it is still not clear why one would occupy the position of the analyst at all. This is what Lacan is curious about. Given that the position of the analysand is refined to the point of invention and creation, why would someone occupy the position of the analyst. If one had liquidated transference, accepted castration and the feminine position, experienced unbeing, traversed the fantasm, purified the symptom, and/or any other aspect of the ends of analysis, what would cause one to desire to take up such a position. This is the question that Lacan asks quite often and part of what leads him to formulate the idea of the pass as a procedure to learn something about this process.

The desire of the analyst was originally one person’s sinthome – Freud’s. And it is up to each one who follows him to make of the position of analyst his own by discovering his own version of the desire of the analyst and his own way to occupy its position in his own style. Each analyst must reinvent analysis for himself and even reinvent analysis again for each analysis. This finally places it on the plane with artistic and scientific production as invention and clarifies Lacan’s turn to the idea of the artist’s creation as the proper model for the ends of analysis in Seminar 23 – as well as to the idea of poetics and mathematics as clinical and pedagogical methods of transmission in Seminar 24. Finally the idea of nomination as letters of validation from the other – as degree, certification, or pass – is replaced by invention of letters witnessed by the other in the artistic construction of the sinthome. With the sinthome, recognition from the other is forced – in the mathematical sense of Paul Cohen’s set theory: it is axiomatically decided and enacted in the presence of the other.