The imaginary father intervenes.. ..By prohibiting the child’s direct identification with the phallus, the father ‘suddenly promotes the object of the mother’s desire to a properly symbolic rank.’ ..It is only the Law’s designation of the phallus as a forbidden object that allows the child to group ..into an ordered sequence ..his previous oppositional signifying identifications with the object of the mothers desire

Law resonates for the first time ..with the child’s realization that the mother (and he himself) lacks the phallus. ..As a consequence, Law resonates ..with his attempt to directly identify with it, to be her phallus. During the dialectic of frustration the child does not know about the phallic Gestalt: this is why the father does not yet openly intervene. The child starts to compete ..with his (imaginary) father in order to be his mother’s phallus only after the mother has actually been deprived.


“She loves the child for what he lacks. ..Mother + child give what they do not have: the child is the stand-in for the mother’s missing phallus (without knowing it); ..The object of the child’s demand is nothing but the object of his mother’s desire.” – Lorenzo Chiesa

“At ..the 1st stage of the Oedipus complex, the child realizes that the mother does not have the (imaginary) phallus +..that she desires it insofar as she lacks it: this ..terminates her omnipotence.. The child ..realizes that he has been desired only as a partial stand-in for the imaginary phallus.” – Lorenzo Chiesa

“The cometition with the father (via alienating identification) ..represents a preliminary escape from the mother: it enables the child to keep her at bay, means of the father’s imaginary phallus, which ..the child literally embodies/is, the second stage of the Oedipus complex.” – Lorenzo Chiesa

The child enters into a narcissistic aggressive relationship with the imaginary father to control the mother’s desire, to be her phallus. The child ..competes with the father by carrying out an imaginary alienating identification with his body image. That the father is here considered as imaginary represents ..a precise indicator that the child is relating to a Gestalt. Unlike ther mother’s body image + the child’s own body image ..that of the fatheris supplied with something supplementary that obtrudes: the phallic Gestalt. ..This is how sexual difference is initially assumed by the child. ..The child soon realizes, by way of comparison, the utter inadequacy of his own real correlate of the imaginary phallus: ..This sense of impotence ..givews rise to anxiety before the Desire-of-the-Mother, which is now perceived as a threatening + engulfing force. ..One ..misunderstanding should be avoided: the mother considers the ‘totality’ of the child as her imaginary phallus. ..It is as if she desires to devour him, but she does not want his penis.. ..Anxiety is not provoked in the child by the mother’s desire for his real phallus. All changes occur in the child, ..for Lacan: ‘Anxiety consists in the fact that he can measure all the existing difference between that for which he is loved [his whole body..]