My discourse proceeds, in the following way: each term is sustained only in its topological relation with the others, and the subject of the cogito is treated in exactly the same way.
Jacques Lacan (LX:100)

LX:101 | You Will Not Be Disturbed

When anything, from the meanest thing upwards, is attractive or serviceable or an object of affection, remember always to say to yourself, ‘What is its nature?’ If you are fond of a jug, say you are fond of a jug; then you will not be disturbed if it be broken. If you kiss your child or your wife, say to yourself that you are kissing a human being, for then if death strikes it you will not be disturbed.
When you are about to take something in hand, remind yourself what manner of thing it is. If you are going to bathe put before your mind what happens in the bath - water pouring over some, others being jostled, some reviling, other stealing; and you will set to work more securely if you say to yourself at once: ‘I want to bathe, and I want to keep my will in harmony with nature,’ and so in each thing you do; for in this way, if anything turns up to hinder you in your bathing, you will be ready to say, ‘I did not want only to bathe, but to keep my will in harmony with nature, and I shall not so keep it, if I lose my temper at what happens’.
What disturbs men’s minds is not events but their judgements on events. For instance, death is nothing dreadful, or else Socrates would have thought it so. No, the only dreadful thing about it is men’s judgement that it is dreadful. And so when we are hindered, or disturbed, or distressed, let us never lay the blame on others, but on ourselves, that is on our own judgments. To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education; to accuse one self shows that one’s education has begun; to accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.


Epictetus.  The Discourses and Manual.  Trans. P.E. Matheson.  Oxford University Press 1916.  215-16.

LX:100 | Understood in Their Relation to One Another

Wahl: I would also like to say that, when you [Lacan] speak of the subject and of the real, one is tempted, on first hearing, to consider the terms in themselves. But gradually one realizes that they are to be understood in their relation to one another, and that they have a topological definition - subject and real are to be situated on either side of the split, in the resistance of the phantasy. The real is, in a way, an experience of resistance.
Lacan: My discourse proceeds, in the following way: each term is sustained only in its topological relation with the others, and the subject of the cogito is treated in exactly the same way.


Lacan, Jacques. Book XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Trans. Alan Sheridan. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. W.W. Norton & Company, New York. 1977. p. 89.

LX:99 | The Things I Say

I don't say the things I say because they are what I think, but rather I say them with the end in mind of self-destruction, precisely to make sure they are no longer what I think.  To be really certain that from now on, outside of me, they are going to live a life or die in such a way that I will not have to recognize myself in them.


Michel Foucault: The Lost Interview.  Dir. Fons Elders. c. 1971.


A copy of the film Michel Foucault: The Lost Interview is available for viewing on the Mistake Artists website here.

LX:98 | If

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.
if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.
go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or
4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the
worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.
if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the
and the nights will flame with
do it, do it, do it.
do it.
all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it’s
the only good fight
there is.


Bukowski, Charles.  "roll the dice."  What matters most is how well you walk though the fire.  Ecco 2002. 408-9.

See Also


LX:97 | Artist, Work of Art, Art

Origin here means that from and by which something is what it is and as it is. What something is, as it is, we call its essence or nature. The origin of something is the source of its nature. The question concerning the origin of the work of art asks about the source of its nature. On the usual view, the work arises out of and by means of the activity of the artist. But by what and whence is the artist what he is? By the work; for to say that the work does credit to the master means that it is the work that first lets the artist emerge as a master of his art. The artist is the origin of the work. The work is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other. Nevertheless, neither is the sole support of the other. In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are each of them by virtue of a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which also gives artist and work of art their names - art. (17)
Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought.  Trans. Albert Hofstadter. Perennial 2001. 

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