“Lacan’s expression ‘the analyst’s desire’ refers not to the analyst’s countertransferential feelings but rather to a kind of ‘purified desire’ that is specific to the analyst–to the analyst not as human being with feelings but as a function, a role, a part to be played and one that can be played by many extremely different individuals. ‘The analyst’s desire is a desire that focuses on analysis and only analysis.”Bruce Fink, A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique
What is ultimately required in order for change to occur within a subject through psychoanalysis? The person who seeks therapy must enter a transferential relationship with his/her analyst that bestows the authority of the Big Other. Then, the analyst, as surrogate for the Other, must convey a feeling of desire for the subject–analysand–to proceed through analysis. “Neurotics are only too eager to figure out what other people want from them so they can fulfill or thwart those other people’s desires” (Fink). It is this relationship–the manifest interest of the analyst for the analysand “to put his or her experience, thoughts, fantasies, and dreams into words, and to associate to them.” Compelled by the desire of the analyst, the subject persists, even when deflated by a lack of motivation, to uncover and investigate the recesses of his/her unconscious. As to the term analysand, “Lacan proposes” this term wherein “The –and ending…is a gerund form…which implies that it is the person in therapy who does the work of analyzing, not the analyst.”
For a large part of the past year, I have been using this blog space as a means of analyzing my own desires, drives, and understanding. I’ve imbibed several philosophical and psychoanalytical texts and written many posts, in attempt to apply theory to my personal experience. What keeps me going? In all rights, I am an analysand. What engine drives me forward in this journey of self-discovery or self un-covering? I have no analyst, per se. I have many books. Podcasts and other media personalities certainly influence me, but whose desire propels me to continue digging–to continue boring holes into my own psyche?
It’s you. It’s my audience. The sheer fact that you exist–that you read my words. The fact that I have any followers at all is enough to motivate forward progress. Your desire to know, to experience, to witness my interpretive process is the fuel that sustains my mission.
In this #insta-age, we are driven and compelled by the likes and the follows and the comments and the stats. These things serve as the fingerprints of the Other over our lives. So often, our relationship to this Other is one of Master/Servant. This is why it is said that the force of social media over our lives generates intense angst and depression. What if, instead of using all this media as a means of perpetuating the fantasy of completion, we use it as a means of compelling one another forward in mercy and understanding? What if, rather than using it to peddle solutions and promulgate opposition, we use it to confront contradiction and identify the ways we are connected through division?
I am subject. I am analysand. Conscripted to the service of interpretation by your desire to know, change may yet be mine.
What role would you play in your own life’s drama?