Identification 207

Identification 207
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

2.5.62 XVIII 237

In psychosis things are a little different. Here too anxiety is
nothing other than the signal of the loss of all possible
reference points for the ego. But the source from which this
anxiety arises is indigenous: it is the place from which the
desire of the subject can appear – it is his desire which is the
privileged source of all anxiety for the psychotic.


If it is true that it is the Other who constitutes us by
recognising us as object of desire, if the response of the Other
makes us realise the gap which exists between demand and desire
and if it is through this gap that we enter into the world of
signifiers, then for the psychotic the Other is the one who has
never signified anything other than a hole, a void at the very
centre of his being. The interdiction regarding desire which he
has experienced means that his response has caused him to
register not a gap but a fundamental antimony between demand and
desire. From this gap which is not just a gap but a gaping pit
what appears is not the signifier but the phantasy, that which
causes the telescoping of the symbolic and the real which we call


For the psychotic – if I can put it simply – the Other is
introjected at the level of his own body, at the level of
everything which surrounds the primordial absence which is the
only thing which designates him as subject.


For him anxiety is linked to specific moments where out of this
hole something appears which can be called desire: because in
order to assume this desire the subject must situate himself in
the only place from which he can say “I” – in other words must
identify with this hole which because of the interdiction of the
Other is the only place where he can be recognised as subject.
Every desire can only throw him back on either a negation of
himself or an negation of the Other.


But in so far as the Other is introjected at the level of his own
body it is this introjection alone which allows him to live. All
negation of the Other would be for him a self mutilation which
can only throw him back onto his own fundamental drama.
If our silence helps to reveal the sources of anxiety in the
neurotic, our presence, our word does so with the psychotic.


Everything which causes him to lose awareness of our existence as
separate from him, as autonomous subjects who can recognise him
as subject, releases his anxiety. So long as he talks, he
repeats a monologue which situates us at the level of this
introjected Other which constitutes him, but if he should begin
to talk to us in so far as we as object may become the place
where he must recognise his desire, his anxiety will be released:
because to desire means to constitute oneself as subject and for
him the only place where he can do that is the place which refers
him back to this gaping hole.



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