in medias res

From class notes: for a bit of psychoanalysis on utopia

And I will attribute the following words to EC, as they are probably a mix of paraphrase and some direct quotations, perhaps with my own intermittent responses.

(re: Lacan)

. . . the demand for the breast is already the demand for love, unconditionally; we want to be loved, for someone else to confirm our autonomy as a subject; there is never enough proof of love; nothing can ever satisfy desire

the demand for something to fulfill desire–but it cannot be fulfilled

I recall group work with Gyanraje during which we practiced making demands. The claim was that contained within the act of demanding what you want–making the demand for your desire–is the moment of personal satisfaction or fulfilment; it is the moment in which the self actually experiences fulfilment. This was known as “getting taken care of,” or “what takes care of you.” The idea was to notice (and I am using the jargon here) that satisfaction does not come from the other person responding yes or no to your demand, but instead from you making the demand. The exercise was simply to learn how to take care of yourself, to take personal responsibility, in order to communicate better (at best) and in order to live more authentically (at . . . most problematic and fraught).

This rather puts all of that into somewhat different relief. Desire can never be fulfilled.


. . . the phallus can’t be possessed, so it can’t be given, so it stands for that which cannot be fulfilled (desire is the phallus)


love is narcissistic and autoerotic

or: to love is the wish to be loved

what you want always stands for castration: that which you can’t have

desire moves from object to object to object (to object to) the wanting to be a subject (but you always already are split); the desire to cover over that split and to be recognised as a subject

child wants to satisfy desire of mother; mother wants phallus (that which cannot be had)

love is narcissistic, not altruistic

desire arises from the excessive demand for love: needs can be fulfilled, but desire is still there

the phallus can only work if it is veiled, mystified, because it is a signifiER

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