I will be traveling to Clinical Study Days later in the week, and I'm feeling pre-travel nervous energy accumulate, as it always does for me.

The morning has been divided between clinical work (e.g., psychoanalytic sessions) and video calls with people to plan and discuss things that will be shared with others at CSD. The afternoon will be spent with my kids, and the evening will be spent starting to pack for the trip.

Top of mind:

To say something to someone else or to write things down is to give thought form, to formalize it.

When I write, unlike when I speak, I take this formalization and structure it even more. I take (words) and combine them with meaning (sentences/paragraphs/essays/books).

What is worth the trouble of formalization and structuring? Why try to say something? Why try to write something? Why try to construct words into something that others can understand? Why did Homer make the Iliad? (And why do people keep remaking/translating the Iliad?) Why did Freud write what we today call the Standard Edition? Why did Lacan give the Seminar? Why did Miller turn the Seminar from something spoken into something contained in writing?

An attempt at an answer to these questions: Because we are speaking-bodies.

  • We are bodies—mortal, material, alive—thrown into and falling through existence (i.e., the real). Finding oneself in this condition does not make sense!
  • But we have language. We can talk and write. When we do this, we make (construct) something that could be said to be sensical, and we need to make sense of the senselessness.

Is the sense we make true? Kind of. True enough to find some sort of meaning that we can use to orient ourselves. True enough to explain why the Greeks fought the Trojans and why so many of them died in that fight. True enough to explain why people repeatedly (i.e., symptomatically) reproduce the conditions that lead to their continued suffering.


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