Some years ahead, in his “very later teaching”, that one which for Miller starts in the class of April 13th, 1976, in his Seminar XXIII and which begins as follows:
I invented what is written as the real. Naturally, it is not enough to write the real as something real. A few many have before I did. But I write this real with the form of the borromean knot, which is not a knot but a chain, which has certain properties. In the minimum way in which I traced this chain, at least three elements are needed. The real consists of naming one of these three real. (Lacan, 1975-76 , p. 127)
The Lacanian invention of the real is one of the three elements of the chain, but Lacan also plays with writing this real with the borromean knot. He adds:
These three elements, knotted, as it is said, chained in fact, form a metaphor. It isn’t but, of course, a metaphor of the chain. How is it possible that there is a metaphor of something that is just a number? This is why this metaphor is called the cipher. There are many ways to trace the ciphers. The simplest way is the one I designed with the unary feature. (Lacan, 1975-76 , p. 128)
Once again the cipher!
The use of misunderstanding by Lacan at this time becomes one of the transmission methods by excellence and, at the same time, the core of the interpretation operation.
Let us recall that Lacan had already observed that each “circle is certainly the most eminent representation of the One” (Lacan, 1972-73 , p. 173). Let us notice that “(…) in spite of these ternary and quaternary constructions, what runs Lacan’s teaching until Seminar XXII is constantly binary. This is fundamental in relation to this binary, as the ternary R.S.I. is inscribed as innovation” (Miller, 2012, p. 288). When Miller deals with “very later teaching” later on he states that:
To Lacan, there clearly is a push towards unarism, a search – even through word games – of saying signifier and jouissance, sense and object a at the same time. In this line, I even come to think that Lacan’s later teaching is presented as three-fold, that is to say, it is sustained in the trio of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary, which he had emphasized long ago but never had he portrayed as such and prioritized its manipulations: that is in fact to prepare his push to unarism. (Miller, 2011, pp. 279-280)
This is the explicitly Peircean moment in Lacan:
A so-called Charles Sander Peirce has built his own logic on this matter, which, due to the stress he makes on the relation, leads him to make three-fold logic. I follow exactly the same path, only that I call things by their name – symbolic, imaginary and real, in the good order. (Lacan, 1975-76 , p. 119)
Thus, jumping from one small island to another in this voyage we get to the second quotation: “(…) everything that is mental, in the end, is what I write with the name sinthome, that is, sign” (Lacan, 1976-77 , p. 37).
Lacan gives a second turn to the “smoke”, if I may call it this way, our solid land from the beginning. It is not only about the sign of a smoker anymore: “The sign is immediately captured the following way: if there is a fire, it is because somebody made it. Although later on one may realize that the jungle is on fire without there being a culprit.” (Lacan, 1975 , p. 135).
Something happens. Besides the smoker ex-ists the ray, which introduces the real in the sign, which brings the sign even closer to the real, as absolute sign, with no relative value, outside the system, “something which means no other thing” (Brodsky, 1999, p. 23).
The sinthome isn’t deciphered but it is about the knowing-how-to-do there with the singular form of jouissance, the there is of the one as an answer to the “there isn’t sexual relationship”.
The day of his birthday, in that particularly remarkable class of Seminar XXIII which Miller brands for life in his reading of “very later teaching”, ends with Lacan reading several questions handed to him in writing. The smoker Lacan says: “I thank you for sending me your questions, leaving this one aside: —¿Is your crooked cigar a symptom of your real? Certainly. My crooked cigar has the closest relation to the question I brought up about the equally crooked straight line” (Lacan, 1975-76 , p. 137).
 The title of Seminar XXIV represents the hight of this exercise. de este ejercicio.