The God of Psychoanalysts


Is there a God of psychoanalysts or shall we accept what we well know that Freud said as the first and last word about the relation of psychoanalysis and religion? If we admit that our patients speak to the analyst as a guarantor of truth, a necessary Someone to whom they address the “oration”, a being who is constructed by them, the reality of the Sujet Supposé Savoir is post- and not pre-discursive.

In the analytic practice arises a specifically psychoanalytic God. What would that God be like and how would he manifest himself? What relation would there be between him and the God of revelation, the philosophers’ God, the God of Kant and the God denied by Freud? The answer should be sought in Lacan’s thought. A Lacan who was always loath to call himself either believer or atheist and who expressed himself in terms that enrich this subject precisely because of the provocation he cast upon the two terms of that polar opposition.

Is God the reason and the cause of the existence of the world or is He an effect of the word that names Him and invokes Him? If the latter formula were true, we would not necessarily be falling outside the field of religion. We would be repeating what was already written in Patmos: “In the beginning was the Word”. Lacan: “Before speech, nothing either is or is not [rien n’est ni n’est pas]. Everything is already there, no doubt, but it is only with speech that there are things which are-and things which are not”.

To which we would add: The Other as locus of the word is instituted and draught by the sole fact that the subject speaks. In making use of the word, the Other is born as the locus of that word. This doesn’t mean that he is actualised as a subject in his otherness: the Other is invoked each time someone speaks” (but there is no Other of the Other, the Other is fatally barred). To put it briefly: the Other does not exist, he is created by the appeal that calls to him. And this is why Lacan can end by saying: “There is a knowledge which is impossible to attribute to a subject who would preside order and harmony. God does not believe in God, which amounts to the same thing as saying: there is unconscious”.
The analyst, as such, can say nothing about the existence or not of that which may be called God. He can only rely on what he himself does in a practice that ends in the dismissal of the “supposed subject of knowing”.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis