Gautama with Lacan: Ethics of Buddhist Psychoanalysis


Gautama with Lacan: Ethics of Buddhist Psychoanalysis

For Buddhist Psychoanalysis, to know what everyone knows is not true wisdom, since this begins in the plane in which the others do not know. Therefore, the real meditative science is beyond academic science.[1]

Through the cruel Freudian view,[2] the articulation Gautama-Lacan transmits that the unconscious jouissance is an ill because it entails the ill of others.[3] Thus, Maitriyana presents to the apprentice the thesis of the crossing towards the frontier of the Being, i.e., to the beyond of the principle of good that constitutes the ethics of the beauty, which is the Spiritual Art and Sublimation (Nirodh).

Concordantly, the central axis of the dialectical synthesis of Buddhist Psychoanalysis is the communion with an ethics of Emptiness.  For the Gautama-Lacan articulation that analytic meditative Way positions a trans-ethical subject who, after being reconciled with his lack-in-Being, can make poetry with the traumatic existential situation of the finitude, which in clinical terms is known as the Cure (Nirvana) of frustration (dukkha) generated by the excision (Spaltung).

Precisely, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) is the personification of the sublimatory structure (Nirodh), given that to witness the fundamental impossibility of the subject of escape from the Desire (Kama), thus the Awakened Being (Buddha) incarnates the perfect prototype of the countenance of Buddhist psychoanalyst who vanishingly has channeled the Desire towards a knowing-not-known.

In this way, the figure of the spiritual master reveals the possibility of an evolution of subjectivity, demonstrating in every act and word the importance of unconditional love (agape) to the knowing that characterizes the analytical meditation device. This is because the wisdom of Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) is alien to the apprentice, being this established as a subject supposed to the unconscious knowing. Therefore the transcendentality of epistemology of Buddhist Psychoanalysis with regard to clinical psychology is evident, being able to nourish the therapeutic practice of the subject through Floating Mindfulness of the spiritual master.

But the Analytical Discourse of Spirituality has demonstrated that Good (Gute) has its margin where the unconscious jouissance of the symptom has the right to the suffering and frustration (dukkha).[4] The Gautama-Lacan articulation then refers to the metatherapeutic construct invented by Buddhist Psychoanalysis, whose current symbol emerges as Maitriyana. Under this transdisciplinary modality of the Analytical Discourse, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) operates as a metapsychologist, deploying his actuate from his own Awakening (Bodhi) for that ineffable incompleteness of the Self resonates in the center itself of the Desire (Kama).

This profound subjective discovery has carried not only to characterize  the Ego as an illusory defense against the inevitable aspect of existence, but also as a symptomatic structure that symbolically expresses the founding psychic conflict of the individual through the creation of a compromise between the Desire and the pulsion of death (mara). Therefore, Maitriyana distinguishes the subject from the misleading instance of Ego, which preserves a captivating and imaginary character that the apprentice should become detached in order to access to the meditative analytic conception of subjectivity.[5]

In accordance, the spiritual master desires that his apprentice liberates (moksha) himself from his repetition compulsion (karma), pointing to the revolutionary project of the transcendence of the mirrored Ego. Thus, the end of the meditative analysis ascends to the world a sublimated and more acceptor subject of the Real as well as from his excision or constitutive emptiness (sunyata).

In accordance with the Master Freud, the function of analytical meditation is not limited to responding to the demand for non-suffering, but teaches to the apprentice to accept that the suffering (dukkha) is constitutional in the existence. This dialectical learning intends to move from the neurotic misery to the daily unhappiness. Thus, for the Maitriyana, frustration constitutes an organized Truth through the Emptiness, which is the constitutive Excision (Spaltung) of the subject divided by the pulsional force of language. Ergo, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) does not respond to the egoic demand of the apprentice in order to preserve the traumatic experience of Emptiness, being an act of renunciation that determines a situation beyond guilt and fear in which the subject must learn to respond to ceding not impulsively to his Desire.

The metaphysical religious Discourse tries to avoid, displace (Verschiebung) and repress (Verdrängung) to the Emptiness, whilst the materialist scientific Discourse directly forecloses (Verwerfung) it by covering the constituent symptom of the speaking-being. That is why Buddhist Psychoanalysis cannot be confused with the Discourses of religion and materialism, only by binding with the Way of Art, Wisdom and Spirituality.

However, the contemporary scientific paradigms, such as Quantum Physics and Systems Theory, have made significant progress towards a non-mechanistic and non-reductionist conception of humanity and the Universe, prioritizing a holistic view of life that is concordant with the spiritual traditions that allow to the people a way out of the alienation and the possibility to apprehend the traumatic experience of the void. It is in this fruitful dialogue where Maitriyana should be inserted, recognizing relativistic sciences as a mode of expression for the Truth, due that it symbolizes a reality that belongs to a superior order. Thereby, the spiritual master agrees with Plato in saying that what is sensitive is merely a reflection of the intelligible.[6]

Beyond the neurotic resources of the individual to hold himself-in-the-world, the Analytical Discourse of Spirituality, through the Gautama-Lacan articulation, deploys an Ethics of the Beauty whose frontier borders the canons of metaphilosophy and poetry, always remembering that the Sublimation of Desire (Nirodh-Kama) not only remains a good refuge against unconscious jouissance but also is the main characteristic that defines the Awakened Being (Buddha).


[1] R. de Gourmont, Le pas sur le sable.

[2] S. Freud, The Civilizations and its Discontents.

[3] J. Lacan, Seminar VII: Ethics of Psychoanalysis.

[4] J. Lacan, Kant with Sade.

[5] J. Lacan, Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis.

[6] René Guénon, The Esoterism of Dante.

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