In analogy to S. Freud's psychoanalytic theory, the fundamental approach rests on two basic principles, or drives, or ambitions, or powers, which are universal or ubiquitous [in the psyche, in the mind, the universe in nature etc.]. While Freud contrasted an Eros-life drive, or instinct, against a death wish, or instinct, J. Lacan concedes one of these basic principles as having to do with perception, and the other one as concerning expression, vocalization.
Perception drive and vocalization drive, or the drive to speak and the drive to look, or two fundamental ambitions. I abbreviate these two with: SHINES and SPEAKS. These two basic principles need not be of immediate concern while practicing analytic psychocatharsis, as they are ubiquitous for each individual and in general. But, why and how?
We do not speak of "conceiving reality", but rather - and especially for the human being - of outright perception. Conceiving reality would be something of the sorts of a photographic device, one that records everything precisely in order to then send it to storage. We, however, perceive, because we immediately allocate certain subjective significance to what we see, for example, the function of perception is thus accompanied and controlled by a subjective pleasure of looking, or observing. And, this is the point where psychoanalysis comes to play. Psychoanalysis considers things to be governed by drives to perceive and to vocalize -again in brief: a drive to SHINE and to SPEAK. These two drives are at hand and need not be imagined, thought of or somehow realized. However, their form is a dynamic one, for which psycho analysts describe them as drives, and these can unconsciously connect to each other, or mutually exert influence.
Settling down to a session of analytic psychocatharsis produces similar effects as in meditation. The body begins to relax after a short time, becomes numb and dull. Even such perception has to do with the SHINES and could already be a part of the "body-image", a concentration on the inner, so to say: the realization of the SHINES-pleasure. In order to accelerate this, what I call a "formula word" [or: formula words] is slowly and monotonously repeated to oneself. These are formulations which may have multiple meanings, so that no single one can be determined, although each of them is of a clear vocal structure.
This diagram illustrates a formula word, R-A-D-I-O-D-I-C-O, taken from Latin. Now, what is it about this formula word? The illustration shows the word written in a circle. There is no telling at which letter of the word reading is to begin, as different meaning results depending on where reading starts. So, I could have written the formula word in this way:
Or, in this way: DIC -ORA -DIO.
It doesn't matter where you start reading (as long as you progress in clockwise fashion), as constant mental repetition eventually leads you to a formulation which arises directly from the unconscious, thereby revealing the substance of the formula word through its being written in a circle. At the end, you need to re-commence at the beginning, which arouses the unconscious and causes it to respond with something appropriate. Regardless of whether some of the results appear to be nonsense, they still have genuine significance.
(Translation by: Rudolf J. Osler)