Phantasmagoric Organization of Desire: The Ideal Father is Incest Through the Father.

Julián Orozco



It is a conceptual essay on the notion of the ideal father, mainly as a drama or problem in the treatment of certain analysands. The essay consists of three main parts:

The first part “The phantasmagorical organization of desire and incest in the drama of the ideal father” elucidates the notion of the ideal father and his drama from a brief extract of one of my cases of psychoanalytic treatment and the contributions of Pommier and Julien.

The second part “The adjudication” is an original conceptual proposal from my own effort around the notion of the ideal father, but as drama or problematic in treatment. Here I will take some considerations in relation to neuroses and psychoses.

The third part “Conclusions that open the question” takes up the main items of the first two parts to clarify them even more, but also to open questions about them. In this last part of the essay there will be some reflections of Pura Cancina referring to the father’s names.

The three parts of the essay emphasize the incestuous character of the phantasmagorical organization of desire in the drama of the ideal father, hence the title of this work is justified.

Phantasmagoric organization of desire and incest in the drama of the ideal father

Let us look at the notion:

The mother is not entirely such, she is, first of all, a woman. In this regard, the child is displaced from being in the first place, there would be a third between mother and child, the name of a place to which the mother goes as a woman (Julien, 2002).

In addition, the son of being manipulated, managed, cared by the mother, that is, of being enjoyed, will come to achieve to enjoy himself more than what is enjoyed. This is the plus of the active, onanism. This onanism that concerns any erogenous zone will focus on phallism, which symbolizes the transition from being a phallus to having it (Pommier, 2012). Having the phallus is to reveal maternal castration, this is a cause of guilt although onanism relieves. The fantasy or ghost of the child who is beaten by the father exonerates the guilt, relieves it according to the rhythm of masturbation. The father becomes an agent of sexual seduction (Pommier, 2012).

The father excites at the same time that he punishes and thus the punishment is directed to the organ of enjoyment, the penis, the punishment will appear as a castration ghost (Pommier, 2012).

Along with the ghost of the seductive father is the desire for patricide as a way to get rid of that father. The father grants the phallus because he excites the penis. However, as the gift of the phallus leads to patricide, we have that the father is dead, castrated, and killing and castrating the father triggers castration anguish (Pommier, 2012).

The primary scene, which at the beginning is represented by the child as violent, is later re-signified as exciting since the whipping father is seductive of the mother. Of course, the proper excitement to the phantom of the primal scene is in the order of the incestuous desire with the mother and father. By the way, the whipping father by safeguarding a desexualized love towards the mother acquires for himself a secondary motive of the child’s parricidal desire (Pommier, 2012).

The incestuous desire to mother and father is based around the ghost of the ideal father, as long as there is a third party between son and mother the son is ready for a model of identification to reconquer the mother and what better identification than the beloved father and by the way that, apparently, the father is the third or one towards that the same mother addresses! (Julien, 2002).

Let us go back to the excerpt of case of treatment: “He spent his time with me and he transmitted his strength to me.”. The drama of the ideal father is the drama of the father everything for his son, of ideal identification for the consummation of incest with the mother (Julien, 2002) but, of course, mediating the parricide for incest with the mother. Only that this parricide is, in a paradoxical way, that same identification with the ideal father, the revival of the ideal father, the consummate incest also with him.

Of course, the ghost of the seductive father is very pronounced in the drama of the ideal father and so is the ghost of castration, to kill the father the anguish is such that father is relived with great impetus. Ideally, In the drama of the ideal father this same one acts as guarantor, as master significant.

Under the guarantor of the ideal father, insofar as it is an incestuous consummation with the mother mediating the father, the original home can be abandoned but to make that “new” home like a consummation of the original with incest. It is incestuous consummation mediating the symbolic.

Incest is about a relationship that no longer has a return and that even never was as such. Being everything for a wife like a child being everything for the mother is of the order of the impossible and insofar as it is impossible it generates its own exclusion from that relationship being everything, a relationship that never was as such in so far as the mother herself is, first of all, woman.

The ideal father, the father being everything towards the son is incestuous towards the son. This is also of the order of the impossible since the ideal father is, first of all, a real father who addresses a woman (Julien, 2002). This is the vanishing fact for a father with respect to the logic of the whole – exception – exclusivity of the masculine logic.

Undoubtedly, the ghost of the ideal father has to act with this character of ideal so that the child’s position is redirected towards the third position, so that the metaphorization of the maternal desire for the paternal figure takes place. But the drama or problematization that I have elucidated here in relation to the ideal father is manifested by not granting the due place to the real father who misplaces himself by addressing the woman.

The father has to displace himself from the position of the ideal father to establish a barrier against his location by the son like father everything (Julien, 2002).

The adjudication

When the mother does not grant due place to the third and the affirmation (bejahung) of the third position does not reach the child in due course, so that it is rejected (verwerfung) by the child, we speak of the foreclosure of the name of the father. Why have we not found, until now, a term such as foreclosure, but, of course, referring to the dislocation that, also at its time, must function in the child with respect to the ideal father?

An attempted answer requires some recapitulation in relation to neuroses and psychoses.

Let’s start by taking into account that the name of a place where the mother goes as a woman is a notion to which Lacan contributed since the fifties of the 20th century and in which he began to glimpse the phallus as the fourth term added to the compound triad by mother – father – son.

In Lacan’s writing “On a matter preliminary to any treatment of psychosis”, the phallic meaning begins to emerge. Certainly, the mother is not entirely such, since her primacy as a woman is directed to the name of a place, the child passes from a first place with respect to the mother. The child who was the mother’s phallus is evicted by the name of a place transmitted by the mother (Lacan, 2009). Name that will now be for the child the mother’s phallus and name that the child will approach as the phallus; the child will inscribe the paternal phallus, the paternal lineage as his own and on the grounds that his mother is forbidden to him by the paternal lineage and now his own.

What should be is what I was to become what I am now. Such is the time of psychic occurrence, time that is retroactivity (nachträglich, après coup). A subjective assumption of the past, the present and the future is inscribed as long as there is inscription in a genealogy, inscription of the name of the father.

The Name of the father is a signifier of a fundamental law that prohibits incest and makes desire possible; a signifier (S2) that replaces another signifier (S1, mother’s desire).

By the way, if we take the prohibition of the mother not as a mere deprivation of her but as a prohibition of possession of her or of being one the possession of the mother, we have the face of the law, of a law that is transmitted by the father, by the genealogical order.

The father is the transmitter of the law and not the law itself, which means that the father is no longer the phallus, or the possessor of the phallus, but the bearer of it. The phallus is not the penis, that is clear, but it must be added that it is not attached to the father’s body like a member, but rather like a meteor: it comes and goes. Likewise, law and order come and go, but, however, the law is inscribed, it is the world of neuroses: There is knotting, there is a ring and, furthermore, even the meteor itself comes and goes as the rainbow ring would come and go (Lacan, 2009).

Certainly, the inscription of the father’s name is like the demarcation of the main road of a network of alleys, in the sense that the main road is the one that refers to order so as not to get lost. Like the same accidents in life, the road could undergo different changes and, because of them, sometimes we lose the reference of the main road. However, in neuroses the road is demarcated and the main road will be found, the same does not happen with psychoses where the road was never demarcated (Lacan, 2009).

Foreclosure is the best way to capture the Freudian verwerfung (rejection) insofar as when the signifier of the father is presented to the psychotic subject, this same signifier would be rejected, unapproachable for the psychotic subject, precisely from the perspective that such a signifier was never inscribed.

The foreclosure as rejection and cataclysm against the signifier because the signifier was never inscribed, is precisely due to the fact that the bejahung (affirmation) of the third between mother and child, that is, the Name of the father, was not given by the mother to the child in your time. Thus, the affirmation arrived out of time is rejected and entails the cataclysm. This is, by the way, nachträglich, but with deficiency in the subjective assumption of a past, a present and a future. Certainly the problem of psychoses is located in the genealogical problem and in the problem of primary repression.

In fact, the ideal father has to act as a metaphor of the mother’s desire and it seems to me that certainly the phallus as a meteor, and not as a member attached to the father, contributes to the dislocation of an ideal father who would not even have to address the woman. It is something that would contribute to some extent to not taking a practically intact main road, without contingent modifications, such as the immovable road without which we would get lost more easily since contingent modifications are part of becoming. But to what extent does the phallus – meteor contribute to this? The fact is that the phallus, although meteoric, does not tell us much about the lack (manque) or inconsistency of the big Other, of the law and, thus, even though the father is the transmitter of the law and not the law itself, if the law is not at fault and the father can carry it, the father continues to be idealized to a certain extent. At least that’s how I appreciate things.

The Other must also be in lack. Otherwise, as long as there is a guarantor, there is no death of the ideal father and, although the neurotic step through the ideal father is preferable, the ideal father must also die because being trapped under the ideal father, almost under mere male logic, does not cease to be incest through the father, through the symbolic.

The phallus can be a meteor but let us clarify that this meteor is one with respect to the big Other too, that the big Other does not have the phallus attached to its body either, as certainly as Lacan said, already advanced in age, there is no Other of the Other.

In this article, he commented on how we have named what corresponds to foreclosure and how, curiously, there is no very clear name for the topic of the nondislocation of the ideal father. With what I investigated in this present section of this article, it occurred to me to name the problem of the non-dislocation of the ideal father “Adjudication”. And well, what adjudication? Adjudication of the phallus, when the phallus, by the way, can be portable but not “belonging”, since the big Other is also in lack. As Balliache writes, from Seminar 5 Lacan spoke of the lack of the Other, of a hole in the Other at the level of the law S (Ⱥ) (Balliache 2020), and it seems to me even more clear when Jacques Alain Miller, in the framework of the presentation of his theme “The real in the XXI century” in the IX Congress of the WAP, he recalled that Lacan, in his seminar 23, wrote “the real has no law” (Miller, 2012). The latter is, in my opinion, certainly the lack or inconsistency of the Other.

 Some conclusions that open to question

Towards the end of the 60s Lacan spoke of Names of the father and this speaks of a dislocation with respect to the name of the father. Pura Cancina reminds us of Freud’s Jewish origin and, regarding that origin, she reminds us as Freud was influenced by the Midrash method where the name of God is not given in the conceptual referential system of the scriptures, but, rather, the rabbi uses this referential system to propel in each one of his consultants, or people who come to him in search of the name of God, the discovery, the construction of the name of God that would come from the particularity of the heart of each of the consultants (Cancina, 2008). Connoisseurs of Judaism will remember that within it the Name of the father itself is lost. The tetragrammaton Yhvh, the name of God, of the father, how was it pronounced? Yahweh? That is an approximation, a speculation. The tetragrammaton is named just like that because the father’s name was lost, it never was.

The original pronunciation of the Hebrew Yahweh is lost forever and this itself includes the innumerable names of God.

The big Other is not the phallus, neither is genealogy. The genealogy is also resignified (the accidents of life, the contingent modifications of the main road) and if the genealogy is resignified it is because the genealogy itself (the origin) is lost.

Lacan, in his XII seminar, came to express that love is giving what you don’t have to someone who doesn’t want that (Lacan, 2007). This has been the production of the question, of the enigma, as a surplus. Love is giving our lack, the question, to whoever wants the meaning, the answer, and thus the question is produced as a surplus that implies that what we answer to question is taken as a construction, not as a certainty.

How does the Talmudic rabbi with whom he comes to proceed? He gives his lost name of God to the one who, by going to him, seeks the name of God, so whoever went to the rabbi is building his own genealogy. It is about the Names of the father, of God, which are operative for each one. The very meaning of a dreamer’s dream is lost, “what do you associate with this or that of the dream?” this is giving our lack.

As the Talmudic rabbi does well, to give the Name of the father is to give an enigma about the father, the not – all – father. Is to give the name of the one who addresses the woman, the logic of woman beyond the phallus, and that is the logic that there is no phallus in itself, that the phallus is gift – meteor, what comes and it goes away, the lack.

The Names of the father, in psychoanalysis, do not refer solely, as some believe, to substitutions for the Name of the father of psychosis. They also refer to the real of the Father’s Name, to the impossible of his being, to the fact that his Names are constructions and are re-signified, to the fact that dislodging ourselves from the ideal father is our redirection towards the impossible and a step taken towards no fall into incest.

Of the real of the Name of the father and the real of the phallus is that, certainly, we will miss a little less of the contingent modifications that the main road presents in the future, in the event. The inscription of the father’s name, of the genealogy, is to give rise to the father and the patricide of this same father, this is the ideal father. The resignifications of genealogy is the death of the ideal father that must occur.

Adjudication is a term that, like foreclosure, is borrowed from the legal field. It evokes the declaration that something (the phallus) belongs to someone and, in my opinion, involves the problem of the non-dislocation of the ideal father, of incest through the father.

 The adjudication involves the problem of private property and this, in turn, has been classified as a problem of the patriarchal and a fundamental issue in Marxism. With the term adjudication I have proposed a nomination for the non-dislocation of the ideal father, but the question about why there were no nomination proposals or why the question did not even arise remains, is it because we are still closely linked to patriarchal domination or a prevailing masculine logic?

The father’s name is inscribed, but the father himself is not inscribed in the unconscious, neither death, nor sexuality, nor the woman. These will always be, by the way, the great questions and enigmas that accompany us.

Finally, I want to suggest that it is fruitful to see the topic of sexed logics from what Philippe Julien raises us, and especially if we think of the mother and father as functions and not as certain immovable subjects as such:

Although the mother as a woman addresses the name of a place and the ideal father as the real father addresses the woman, and as there is no sexual relationship as such, each one at some point could be in a logic of everything – Exclusivity with child, but, at the same time, the impossible of this logic as such is the same direction of each one of them towards a place or someone outside of that logic.

The masculine logic (all – exclusivity) and the feminine logic (one by one) are generated among themselves but without complementarity with each other, as Lacan well expressed since 1972 in the seminar 20 “Encore” (Lacan, 2008).

The drama of the ideal father seems to be the culmination of the demonstration that a prevailing masculine logic is a logic of the extent to which consummate incest can be filtered by exercising its dominance.


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#LacanEmancipa (2022, 8 febrero). Phantasmagoric Organization of Desire: The Ideal Father is Incest Through the Father. #Lacanemancipa Revista de la izquierda lacaniana. Recuperado 26 de mayo de 2024, de

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