The subject in transmission: the phantomic origins of (dual) unity and the birth of the self

Am J Psychoanal. 2022 Mar 7. doi: 10.1057/s11231-022-09342-1. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTAbraham and Torok's clinical concept of the phantom can be rethought in extended terms to account for the challenges inherent in giving birth to oneself. The author re-examines the question of the ghost in terms of the individual's separation from the mother-child unity. This is a traumatic process that vacillates between the threat of loss and the intrusion of the mother, now constituted as an object. We manage this experience through the symbol, with the process of introjection differentiating the child and substituting the mother with psychical representatives. Incorporation is the refusal of the symbol, creating cryptic mechanisms that destroy meaning and produce resilient pathologies. Where Abraham and Torok oppose and separate these processes, the author follows Derrida in questioning the purity of this distinction. Something cryptic necessarily intervenes in our accession to the symbol as we negotiate the enigmas and inconsistencies of the mother-child union. Our foundations are haunted by gaps that we must continually negotiate in the birth and maintenance of subjectivity. Phantoms are transmitted as we constitute an internal frame, formulate repression, and use maternal words to articulate our separation. We are subject to and subjects of transmission, incompletely individuated, as we endlessly repeat through the symbol and into the future, a dynamic of clinging to and separat...
Source: American Journal of Psychoanalysis - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Source Type: research
More News: Children | Psychology