Many have often claimed that the difference between Freud’s neurotic symptom and Lacan’s sinthome, in those who have traversed fantasy, is nothing more than lucidity and assent. However, is such a claim really true?
Freud considered the neurotic symptom an unwelcome act or acts that were, at the least, useless in the life of an individual and, at the most, harmful. The symptom was a substitute for instinctual satisfaction that had been repressed and claimed considerable psychic energy from the individual in its formation, manifestation, and maintenance. Lacan initially considered the sinthome to be the symptom, spelled out in its original form. However, he later redefined the sinthome as the fourth ring of the Borromean knot, and which held together the three orders of the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic that formed the structure both of the world and of the individual. The sinthome came to be largely regarded as the paternal metaphor – the nom du père [name of the father] or noms du père [names of the father] that replaced the father of Freud’s Oedipus complex, with the sinthome par excellence being the Nom du Père – the Name of the (Eternal) Father. But was God the Father no more than a symptom or a metaphor for Lacan – as so many desire Him to be, to this day? Continue reading “A propos du Nom du Père de Jacques Lacan: Christianity v. psychology”