The Freudian School of Melbourne – School of Lacanian Psychoanalysis


Homage Abstracts

The Future of Heresy – 2017

Saturday September 2nd, Graduate Centre

Grattan St. University of Melbourne

9.00am- 4.00 pm


In 1974-75 Lacan’s seminar, already covering over twenty years duration, was entitled “R.S.I.” This title played with meaning when pronounced as a homophone to “ heresy”. It thus speaks to his ongoing interrogation of orthodoxy and blindfolded faith with his persistent questioning of the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. He continued to refuse to accept the finality of a theory of knowledge, however well it might be framed in relation to Freud as the founder of a discourse, seeing in the organisational inheritance and institutionalisation a potentially lethal danger to the creative requirements of any particular analysis.


R : The real, S : The symbolic, I : The imaginary, Lacan’s three registers or categories, his infernal triad, invented as a means of working the nature of the unconscious as Symbolic structure, product of language ; the Imaginary as origin of identifications even narcissism; and the Real, here privileged as the limit to knowledge.


Is heresy not a necessity when man’s neurotic disposition, continues to impel him towards the acceptance of religious beliefs, both personal and organised, which posit the forms of Heaven and Hell as a final answer to human suffering? What is the future of the heretical aspects of Lacan’s teaching in informing and directing our work, both theoretical and clinical? Is there a future that is not but an illusion? Members and analysts will present their work on this seminar and the school invites an audience to engage with this endeavour.

Choose it or Lose it

Malcolm Morgan, Analyst Member


... it's a fact that Joyce makes a choice, and in this regard he is, like me, a heretic.  For haeresis is precisely what specifies the heretic.  One has to choose the path by which to capture the truth.  (J.Lacan, The Sinthome, 18/11/75).


Lacan notes an homophony between his RSI and heresy. And, this RSI is a re-ordering of his 1953 ternary, SRI. In The Sinthome Lacan reminds his listeners that the word "heresy" derives from the Greek haeresis meaning to choose, or take a position. Joyce, says Lacan, chose.  Heresy is conventionally intelligible only within a context of orthodoxy - from whose doctrines it diverges in crucial, unforgivable ways.  So, choice becomes mistaken choice. This paper argues that Lacan's heresy is radically different to contemporary heresy.  Lacan sustains his heresy as heretical. His heresy is heretical unto itself.  It reminds this psychoanalyst that he must somehow maintain an heretical stance in relation to each and every one of his favourite ideas, which, by virtue of having become Proper Names, threaten to trap him in a web of doctrinal orthodoxy.

“It is the order explored beginning with my experience, I remind you, that has led me to this

infernal triad “

Jacques Lacan.


Download PDF

The Freudian School of Melbourne's Homage – Annual Conference

The Future of Heresy – 2017