What are the positions of the analyst and the patient in the analytical experience? It is certain that the analyst has, has power, that there is a phallicisation of the position of the analyst. This is why women like it so much, it is a position that suits them, while the patient experiences it on the other side.

But, if the position of the analyst has to do with the feminine position and not the virile one, it is to the degree that the analyst finds a way to do something with nothing; that having only a semblance of knowing – produced by having nothing – with that the analyst produces a cause of desire. This is exactly the feminine operation: with not having, or having nothing, to produce a cause of desire.

What should happen at the end of analysis? It is possible to change the condition of love. What happens to love and hate after the crossing of the fantasy? Among the well-known effects of the analytical experience is the change of partenaire. Sometimes this happens with a speed that can surprise the analyst. It effectively indicates, if not a fundamental change in the condition of love, at least a change in its translation into reality.

What opens at this level? One might think that there is an opening of universal love; that the analyst, once separated from his particular condition of love, would be prepared to work for humanity. Those who spend so much time in the service of the analytical cause cannot ignore that the transference to work leads to something that has to do with the x: for all. But psychoanalysis has always suspected the solution of universal love, of the love “for all”. This is also the love of the priest, and it signifies for the subject: “You are anyone to me.” In this way, universal love produces hate, because it ignores the particularity of each subject. In spite of the philanthropic tendencies that sometimes emerge in his writings, Freud thought that women had the right idea, since he considered that it was they who reminded men that the other who counts is the one that one has at one’s side.

Love, hate and ignorance

Perhaps the solution at the end of analysis would be the disappearance of love: “No more love.” Not so much the disappearance of hate, because if the real warrants an affect it is more hate than love. But I think we can take inspiration from the transformation of ignorance: at the end of analysis there is no longer a passion for ignorance, which is transformed into a desire to know, which is another form of the passion of ignorance, because only the ignorant can have the desire to know. In such a way that, at the end of analysis, one could say: “No more hate but struggle” and “No more love that is repetition or passion, but rather a love that is a will.”

How to think the transformation of each one of the terms that Lacan took from the most classic list of passions – love, hate and ignorance – at the end of analysis?

How is love transformed, once its condition is known? This is something achieved in an analysis with more or less precision. It could be said that each subject, in the course of an analysis, formulates their condition of love – formulates what unites their different and unique choices in love – and manages to locate it with reference to their family or, if more subtle, to fantasmatic values that are fundamental to him.

But once this is grasped, how is the arrow of love itself transformed, for example? When it is no longer a deceived love: Does the fact of knowing the condition of love destroy the possibility of love? Can love only exist as deception or, on the contrary, is knowledge compatible with falling in love? This is an old question. One solution for analysts would have been to say: they are too wise to be in love, or to describe a love so reduced that it had nothing to do with love, to describe love as a contract.

As for hate, at least in practice, analysts demonstrate a capacity for hate far superior to the capacity for love. The history of psychoanalysis shows that this seems to be an effect of the analytical experience on practitioners, who have a remarkable capacity for enduring hatreds.

As for ignorance, it is a question of transforming the passion of ignorance, which is what Freud called repression. There are two things that the subject does not want to know, or that he wants not to know, not to recognize. This is the very definition of the unconscious. What one calls in classical terms the passion of ignorance is the hatred of castration. Once repression is overcome it gives way to, it opens onto, a desire to know. It goes from passion to desire. There is a transformation of passion into desire. It goes from something that is suffered, from something in which the subject is submerged – and subverted – to an initiative, to something that gives him a margin of initiative.

This transformation also occurs in love. The subject may consent to extending the condition of love, a condition that is very restricted. I think that when Lacan talks about invention, it involves the difference between a subject subjected to his condition of love and a subject that supposedly is no longer subjected to it, in such a way that he has a possibility of invention in this field that he did not have before. That is, it goes from necessity to contingency. To say it without using the word desire but to indicate a resolute desire, I have used the word “will”. A will to love.


Extracted from: Jacques-Alain Miller: Introduction to the Lacanian Clinic, RBA books, Barcelona, 2007, page 303.