Summary: It is not by chance that in Seminar Encore Lacan criticizes the reduction of the mystical jouissance to a substitute of the phallic relation. Indeed, what is aimed at in mysticism, in Lacan’s reading, is not the reduction of the Other to the One. It is rather a matter of knotting the phallic One to the real Other, which is outside the symbolic, but in such a way that the Other of language finds itself barred.
In showing us (rather than demonstrating it to us) that, beyond all that is, there is an ex- sistence, without name and without attributes, an ex-sistence in the face of which all that is, is devaluated, even erased, and which the mystics call God, mystical writing compel us to take up, with Lacan, the question of knowing to what kind of the real this relation to a being that cannot be known opens access.
Summary: With his twentieth seminar entitled Encore (Still, 1970-1971), Jacques Lacan places a ‘point’ at the end of a sentence constituted by the combined titles of the eighteenth (Of a Discourse that Might Not Be a Semblance, 1971-1972) and nineteenth (… Or Worse, 1972-1973) seminars. Returning to the fifth (1957-1958) and sixth (1958-1959) seminars, in which Lacan described, in the context of his ‘graph of desire’, the point as that what in a chain of signifiers functions as a stop retroactively granting the chain with meaning, De Kesel presents Encore as functioning like a point that reflects on Lacan’s former seminars. Like the earlier work, Encore (Still) portrays human beings as subjects of desire. Linking people’s unquenchable desire for satisfaction to feminine jouissance and the ecstatic experiences of mystics – a fleeting, momentary fulfillment of an endless desire for the absent (divine) lover – Encore states, once more, with another set of signifiers, that the hoped-for attainment of the object of desire – the signified meaning, closure must be suspended, yet again.