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Petros Patounas

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Petros Patounas
Petros Patounas.jpg
Petros Patounas.jpg
BornLimassol, Cyprus
🏳️ NationalityGreek
🏫 EducationThe School of the Freudian Letter
💼 Occupation
Lacanian Psychoanalyst

Biography[edit]

Petros Patounas is a Cypriot, Greek by Culture, writer and Lacanian Psychoanalyst member of the School of the Freudian Letter. He is a practising Psychoanalyst, active in Cyprus, Serbia and the UK.

Patounas is a key figure in the Psychoanalytic neighborhood, best known for his contributions to Lacanian Psychoanalysis with works on the “Psychoanalytic Act”, “On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts”.[1] and the “Breath: the object of the Respiratory Drive”[2]. His interventions and developments are reshaping Psychoanalysis, bringing concepts to life in a way that emphasize the act in the praxis. His controversial seminar, “On the Freudian Asceticism: The Psychoanalyst does not exist”[3] bring a rethinking of the question, ‘What is a Psychoanalyst?’ Concepts such as the Breath, the Act, the Parousia, The ErgOn, the Ascesis, Lungage, the No-Body and the Alien, offer the interested reader some points of reference regarding how Patounas approaches and prioritizes elements in the field.

Major Concepts[edit]

On the Psychoanalytic Act[edit]

The Act is in itself a new body, one that carries “the Truth and the Act as One.” Following Lacan, for Patounas, the Act cannot have a double and it cannot be repeated. If it is repeated, this is because it has entered the topology of the fundamental fantasy and has ceased being an Act; it has given way to the doing. Any repetition situates the Act within the fantasy as it is centralized around an object other than the Act itself. Therefore, it cannot be reproduced even at the level of explaining it as a binary in theoretical frameworks. That is, whereas some explain and determine the Act as a twofold relationship (the Act of the Psychoanalyst and that of the analysand), which is precisely the explanations refuted by Lacan, Patounas perceives and explains it in relation to the No-Body. This is the new body and topology of the subject.[4]

The No-Body is the Transubstantiation or Metousiosis of the Subject of the Unconscious to the being the Verb of the Unconscious.[5] This is the dynamic geography, a new topology, according to his theory of the Act, centered around the solutions of the subject and not around the hole of the traumatic. In Patounas seminars, he has frequently underlined that, “That which cannot be said, is an Act.”[6] Within this space, the subject’s topology in relation to the jouissance of the Other changes its substance (Ουσία) and not just by becoming phallic jouissance, which is one of the possibilities in a psychoanalytic praxis. It is the analysand that will choose his position in life and not the analyst for him.[7]

Hence, if the subject, the hypokeimenon, does not have a hypostasis of being through its bond with the jouissance of the Other, the jouissance of meaning or the phallic jouissance, then it is because it has gained access to what Lacan has referred to as "the Other jouissance"[8] (sometimes referred to as ‘feminine’ or ‘mystical’ Jouissance); that jouissance which he refers to being ‘Not All’ in the phallic function.

This ‘Other jouissance’ and ‘Not All’ in the Phallic function are the formal terms, with the notion of ‘feminine’ and the ‘jouissance of the mystic’ being helpful illustrations that people can relate to. According to psychoanalyst Penny Georgiou, the aim in making this point is to allow some distance between the formal category and the current commonly understood examples, losing some of the supposed meaning that this form of jouissance is associated exclusively with women and mystics. The Not-All enjoyment references the very substance of life, which is consubstantive with the sexual while remaining beyond the reach of the ‘defiles’ of the signifier. This is one of the reasons that it is mystic: it is the secret of the subject that is a secret from him/herself as much as it is a secret from the Other. It is this that is the Secret of the real cause of desire Itself. Viewed from this perspective, the hole of trauma becomes the very means to awaken the subject to that “Je ne sais quoi”, that something else beyond the domestic satisfactions of need by disrupting their humdrum repetitions. It is a jouissance that is beyond the signifier, and therefore it is beyond the body as we currently know it, and our ignorance of the body is legion.[9]

Patounas explains further that the No-Body is the omission of the subject from the Borromean Knot as object little a in the Other’s fantasy, in a Kinesis (movement/vibration) towards the creation of another Borromean Knot around the subject’s desire. Within the centre of this new knot and with desire at the fourth, a new manner of being is created. This new being is not one pre-ex-sisting in its forms as suffering because the new knot permits a becoming that does not foreclose, disavow nor represses desire. It is a novel fantasy where the subject cannot be an object within it because according to Patounas the subject can only be the Act of its own desire. Hence, the subject can identify here with the Act and not with any object, and it can therefore cause Desire not in terms of a lack, but in terms of a presence, the presence of Desire and its Act.[10] Based on the latter, for Patounas “There is no lack, but only Presence.” Georgiou adds that this is an encounter not with lack but with the presence of the wanted or the unwanted presence. This encounter with wanted or unwanted presence is necessary, as it is the motor that pushes the subject towards its desire in its freedom or to its traumatic jouissance in as much as its meconnaissance fixates it at that point.

This presence Patounas has called "the Παρουσία"[11], a Greek word relating to presence but containing the word Ousia (substance). At this mode of being, when the subject’s topology and therefore its New-Body are based on Desire, Patounas speaks of the Identification with the Act[12]. It is the modus operandi by which the "ErgOn"[13] (the being of the Act) is grounded within the world, without any substantial support from any other forms of jouissance (phallic, of meaning, of the Other). This is the place of being from which the substantial support is enjoyed, it is just that we are ignorant of it – in as much as we suffer. Our suffering is, perhaps, an index of this ignorance and we glory in its gnosis in our joy. This living Act is set within a context of the pervasive yet intangible power of the Not All jouissance, and thus the Act connects the worlds and dimensions of the subject. The process of the changing or moving of the Ουσία from the "Subject to the ErgOn (ΈργΟν- a neologism deriving from the Greek words έργο and Ον) has been called Verbification of the Subject of the Unconscious".[14]

The ErgOn[edit]

Patounas’ interpretation of psychoanalysis and of the Freudian subject of the unconscious is cored on Kinesis: from the parlêtre to the ErgOn. The Parlêtre, the speaking being, is a subject whose being is no-being as it is a subject who elides in speech. It is a subject who ex-ists in a verb that is silent. The ErgOn, the being of the Act, is the verbification of the subject through its own Act. This is the Being Silent that Patounas has referred to in his writings and seminars.[15]

The Alien and the Alien Jouissance[edit]

When there is Act, there is no ambivalence. The Act comes together with precision. However, what is the difference between the Passage to the act and the Psychoanalytic Act? The Patounian aphorism “That which cannot be said, is an Act,”[16] is the starting point of such a discussion. Psychoanalyst Angelos Tsialides states that the latter aphorism goes along with another of Patounas’ sayings, that “The Act is Literal.”[17] What is said suffers the ambivalence of language (i.e. of the Other), whereas in the Act there is no ambivalence, no Other. This is explained further with the differences between the Passage to the Act and the Psychoanalytic Act.

In the passage to the act, the subject is certain and knows, precisely what it is observed in paranoia. Ambivalence disappears, or else the Other (of ambivalence) disappears, because the subject embodies it. The body of the subject becomes the carrier of the law (once embodied, ambivalence is no more and there are only fixed relations to language). In relation to jouissance it can said that this is the jouissance of the Other, where the subject embodies the Other and enacts in terms of the Other’s enjoyment. Thus "the passage to the act might be literal, and suicide might be the only successful act"[18] as Lacan said, but this act is in the Other’s terms. It is easy to spot it by analyzing the way the subject chooses to kill herself/himself.

Contrary to this, in the psychoanalytic act, ambivalence disappears for the simple reason that it is taken as a condition (i.e. accepted, or else, castration) and accounted for- in other words transgressed. Therefore it operates as a motive for a new construction. Here there is a relationship to another language, or lunguage as Patounas mentions it.[19] Tsialides elaborates that the Other of ambivalence, because it is taken as a condition, becomes (or is restored) as it should be, an Alien, as again Patounas names it.[20] Therefore, this is not the Other in relation to whom the subject exists in a fantasy, but a radical and enigmatic Other that we call “the Alien”[21] and can only represent the subject’s desire. In a sense, it can be mentioned here too that the Other disappears. Nevertheless in this case the subject does not embody the Other, but the Alien. It does not embody the jouissance of the Other, but desire. In relation to jouissance, this is the Other jouissance (mystical or feminine because it is on the side of castration). Keeping it aligned with Patounas’ contributions to the psychoanalytic field, Tsialides has named it "the Alien jouissance"[22]

Expanding this quite further, there is an embodiment in each case of jouissance met on the Borromean knot:

The Alien Jouissance - Borromean Knot.png

Following the point set with the embodiment of the law of the paranoiac, we can see above that the body takes the place of the symbolic register (the law), and the subject enjoys the way of the Other, the jouissance of the Other (JA), while operating between the Imaginary and Real registers. This is a compensation for the subject to stabilize.

In a similar way, we see the body of the schizophrenic found in the Real, while the subject stabilized through meaning and operating between symbolic and imaginary. Symbolic here is a problem-causing part of the schizophrenic, the full uncertainty (with very loose word relations) in which the schizophrenic is found and can only be held via imaginary relations.

The neurotic operates with the phallic jouissance, which means between the Real and the Symbolic with its constructing its body in the Imaginary register. Imaginary here is not to be seen on the side of narcissistic relations, which are more evident in paranoia, because narcissistic relations are not the register of the image but of the investment in the image of the Other, which means that narcissism is the jouissance of the Other.

Apart from those, we have the Other jouissance or the Alien jouissance, which is the jouissance proper, i.e. the jouissance as enigmatic. In this, as Patounas teaches, the subject’s body is freed and relieved from the fantasy of the Other. Since this goes beyond the Other, which means beyond the mirror image of the signifiers of the Other, it is in a No-Body. There is no identification with the mirror image, but there is an identification with the Act providing this New-Body.[23]

An Orientations Towards the Act[edit]

  • The Truth and the Act are One
  • The Act is Literal
  • A new Atheism: a God who exists, all-powerfully speaks but cannot Act
  • The Act has no Other

Main Influences[edit]

  • Sigmund Freud
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Friedrich Wilhelm
  • Nietzsche
  • Nikos Kazantzakis
  • Jose Saramago
  • Heraclitus
  • Penny Georgiou
  • Voltaire
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Dario Fo
  • Giorgio de Chirico
  • Clement of Alexandria
  • John the Apostle
  • Carl Orff

Books[edit]

  • Patounas, Patros (2018) Breath: the object of the Respiratory Drive, Unpublished Manuscript.
  • Patounas, Petros (2015)."On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts", Lulu.com. ISBN 1326517147 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png., ISBN 9781326517144 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Patounas, Petros (2014). "The Psychoanalytic Act: On the Formation of the No-Body", Lulu.com ISBN 1291887946 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png., ISBN 9781291887945 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Patounas, Petros (2005) The Crucifixion Pose of an Acrobat. AuthorHouse. ISBN 1420871730 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png., ISBN 9781420871739 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.

External Links[edit]

http://www.petrospatounas.com

http://www.psychoanalysiscyprus.com

http://www.freudianletter.com

http://www.freudianletter.org

References[edit]

  1. Patounas, Petros (2015)."On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts", Lulu.com
  2. Patounas, Petros (2018) Breath: the object of the Respiratory Drive. Unpublished Manuscript
  3. Petros Patounas. "On the Freudian Asceticism: The Psychoanalyst does not Exist". Online Video clip. You Tube. You Tube, 23 March 2018. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  4. Petros Patounas. "The Truth and the Act are One." Online Video Clip. You Tube. You Tube, 12 January 2018. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  5. Patounas, Petros (2015)."On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts", Lulu.com
  6. Patounas, Petros: "The Psychoanalytic Act: On the Formation of the No-Body", page 81. Lulu.com, 2014.
  7. Patounas, Petros (2015). "On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts", Lulu.com"
  8. Lacan, Jacques (1998). On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge 1972-1973. New York: W.W.Norton. pp. 4, 7–8, 17, 24, 38, 39, 73, 74, 75, 76–77, 83–84, 87, 137, 144. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  9. Patounas, Petros (2014). "The Psychoanalytic Act: On the Formation of the No-Body", Lulu.com
  10. Petros Patounas. "Petros Patounas: On the Aposiopesis of Calligraphy."Online Video Clip.You Tube. You Tube, 5 November 2016. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  11. Patounas, Petros: "On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts", page 63. Lulu.com, 2015.
  12. Petros Patounas. "Petros Patounas: On the Aposiopesis of Calligraphy."Online Video Clip.You Tube. You Tube, 5 November 2016. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  13. Patounas, Petros: "The Psychoanalytic Act: On the Formation of the No-Body", page 90. Lulu.com, 2014.
  14. Patounas, Petros (2013). Encounters (II): The Question of the Psychoanalytical Act. Unpublished Manuscript, The Cyprus Forum of Lacanian Psychoanalysis
  15. Patounas, Petros (2014). "The Psychoanalytic Act: On the Formation of the No-Body", Lulu.com
  16. Bruno D. "Lacan and the Psychoanalytic Act-Part 1: Petros Patounas". Online Video Clip. You Tube. You Tube, 5 February 2014. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  17. Petros Patounas. "Petros Patounas: On the Aposiopesis of Calligraphy."Online Video Clip.You Tube. You Tube, 5 November 2016. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  18. Lacan, Jacques. Télévision, Paris: Seuil, 1973. Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, ed. Joan Copjec, trans. Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson, New York: Norton, 1990]. p.66-7
  19. School of the Freudian Letter. "The Breath: The Voice of the Act - Petros Patounas Lacanian Psychoanalyst". Online Video Clip. You Tube. You Tube, 4 November 2017. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  20. Petros Patounas. "Petros Patounas: On the Aposiopesis of Calligraphy."Online Video Clip.You Tube. You Tube, 5 November 2016. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  21. Patounas, Petros: "On the Ascesis of Psychoanalysts", page 78. Lulu.com, 2015.
  22. Petros Patounas. "Petros Patounas: On the Aposiopesis of Calligraphy."Online Video Clip.You Tube. You Tube, 5 November 2016. Web. 11 July, 2018.
  23. School of the Freudian Letter. "The Breath: The Voice of the Act - Petros Patounas Lacanian Psychoanalyst." Online Video Clip. You Tube. You Tube, 4 November 2017. Web. 11 July, 2018.


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