I Have been reading your posts with great interest Maginel, and although it is perhaps late to respond to your thoughts of October, I though I would add a little to the very pertinent comments Suzanne has made regarding the topic of patterns of desire. You have experience the difficulty that most people have when first confronted with the idea of being inducted into patterns of desire by the social other, as James so wonderfully explains it. We are all so conditioned to seeing ourselves as autonomous beings whose desires originate within ourselves, that the concept of desiring according to the desire of another or others, is counter-intuitative. I think that the realisation that this is not so, is a long, evolutionary process and something we absorb in a sort of osmosis.

Is all desire mimetic? Yes it is, but not necessarily in a bad, conflictual sense. The French psychiatrist Jean-Michel Oughourlian, who has worked extensively on the topic of mimetic desire maintains that it is “desire that humanises us, that impels us to unite with each other, to associate with each other and to assemble in groups. It forms us in proportion as it animates us and arouses our thoughts and feelings. Desire leads us to seek out the company of others, their approval, their friendship, their support and their recognition. But this can also be accompanied by rivalry and hatred; it can arouse both love and violence”.

Sheelah Treflé Hidden