My discourse proceeds in the following way: each term is sustained only in its topological relation with the others.

Jacques Lacan | Book XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis

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LX:49 | La Mort

Death belongs to the realm of faith.

You’re right to believe you will die. It sustains you. If you didn't believe it, could you bear the life you have? If we couldn't totally rely on the certainty, that it will end, how could you bear all this?

Nevertheless, it is only an act of faith. And the worst thing about it is that you're not sure! Why can't one of us live to be 150 years old? But even so ... that’s where the act of faith becomes so strong. And in the midst of all this - the reason I'm telling you - is because I've seen it. One of my patients, a long time ago - you won’t have heard of her or I wouldn’t be telling you. Anyway, she suddenly dreamed that the source of existence would spring forever from her. The Pascalian dream ... an infinity of lives descending from her in an endless line. She woke up half mad.

[audience laughs]

She told me that and, I assure you, she didn't find it funny.

So, there you are. Life ... that's the solid base on which we live. As soon as we start talking about life as such ... the life we live ... there’s no doubt about it ... we’re aware of it all the time ... it’s a question of thought ... of seeing life as a concept.


Lacan, Jacques. Jacques Lacan Parle.  Dir. Françoise Wolff. 1972. 

See Also

Lexicon Entries

Ideas (Alone and In Their Own Right); This Permanent Dissonance; Some Might Say 

Works and Days






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