Transgenerational Phenomena : A Psychological Heritage*

Jaime Delgadillo Miranda


Transgenerational phenomena concern the transmission and exchange of cultural affaires, wherein the individual psychological experience is intimately related to and influenced by the complex web of relationships within the family/social structure. This cultural inheritance, which comprises the mobility of values, ideals, interdictions, mandates, and such aspects from previous generations to the latter, immerses the human – biological – subject within an orderly dimension of exchanges and relations. Psychoanalytical theory and investigation has made an unyielding effort to account for the humanization of biological individuals, striving to comprehend the psychological through the symbolic, in accordance with the principle that the structure of thought cannot be ‘measured’ but it can be formalized. An evidence of this is the freudo-lacanian perspective, which conducts our studies from myth to structural linguistics.

The present article is an attempt to approach transgenerational phenomena through the three dimensional topic proposed by Jacques Lacan (Real – Symbolic – Imaginary), in combination with a mathematical blueprint to serve as a means of explanation through analogy. I am persuaded that the use of elaborated metaphors is very useful for psychoanalytical study, thus we are confronted in clinical practice with the most sophisticated riddle-machine: the unconscious. Condensation and displacement – the work of the unconscious – are never very evident to the naked eye; so to speak, the latent content never comes clean.


I shall briefly recall the basic principles of a mathematical operation known as division; operation which indeed poses certain learning difficulties in the early educative years, perhaps not casually.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

The numbers inserted in the previous chart were chosen randomly, in order to illustrate that the operation works regardless of the input, but yet, leaves us with a steady set of places and functions. We start with a given number, the dividend, which will be divided and split into smaller sets of numbers that have a common measure: the quotient. The agent of this operation is the divisor, that is to say, the divisor requires that an original number (dividend) must be divided, and thus produce a standard result, in benefit of the agent. Where there was once a ‘completeness’, we are left with a standard result. However, as our example shows, we have not a well-defined quotient, but a result that is split into two parts: a whole number, and an infinite series of decimals. If we express the result as 150 + 7/23, we could say that the result is comprised of a whole number (150) and a real number (7/23). In fact, the remainder (7) expresses a residue of the original dividend, which cannot be exactly divided into a whole number; it produces an infinite array of digits. So to speak, the remainder is a bothersome part of the origin that cannot be fully digested, it refuses to give an even result, but it indulges in its everlasting displacement. Moreover, we have an area of the chart which illustrates the development of the operation (area underneath the dividend, which includes the digits in italics); area which I propose to call the display.

Note that in the previous paragraph we did not explain the particular example (the development of the display), but rather focused on the functions and places. This approach is an illustration of the Symbolic order, wherein we deal with certain elements that relate to one another and are channeled through an operation which produces results based on functions and laws. If we ‘emptied out’ the numbers in the chart, we would have a pure structure: the matrix of a symbolical operation. The numbers used in the example are an illustration of the Imaginary order; we could have any possible random combination of numbers which would produce a particular display, but the structure still does it’s work, it operates. Furthermore, we could use the element  7/23, a real number, to illustrate the Real order: it has an imaginary component (the actual digits-numbers) and a symbolic component (the relation between these numbers), which express the uncanny – the impossibility of concluding the operation, the perennial processing, the incompatibility, the failure to achieve an even result, etc. In other words, the Real is some-thing that cannot be fully assimilated by the operation. The original -not yet divided- dividend (3457) can also serve as to exemplify the real, as its ‘original state’ is forever lost by action of the operation: converted, altered and discomposed to its very atomic particle (a) throughout the display.

Let us take this analogy a step further.

Diagram 2

Diagram 2

In the beginning there was the word, the symbol starting from which we can account for a history, a chronology, un savoir. This we know through religion, myth, linguistics, philosophy, etc. In fact, an initial period of psychoanalytical theory accounts for Freud’s effort to re-articulate the broken symbols, to re-memorate the ‘word in the beginning’ which could clarify the sense of mysterious symptoms; all of which we encounter in the theory of repression, free association and catharsis. However, we also know that Freud was confronted with a tremendous difficulty that he identified as a compulsion to repeat, a true derangement of adaptation to reality, a strange phenomenon which -in the threshold of masochism-, never ceases to show itself as a yearning for the arcane. From sexual libido to the death drive, from the Other to the One, from the varied misunderstandings of love to the monotonous stupidity of addiction we can see that the human being fluctuates in a space where the particular and the general collide and intertwine. The question arises: In the beginning, was there the word? Or some-thing else?

Let us move now to our second graph, where in the place of the dividend we find the corps. I present you the living thing, the pre-verbal body belonging to an infant in lack of ‘the code’, a body marked by the cares, desires and acts of the Other (i.e. mother), all of which constitute an original inscription with no signification. Initially, these inscriptions are like simple letters that make up no particular word, but as far as their factual component (i.e. the act of the mother upon the child) concerns erogenous zones of the body, they ascribe the libido in rapport to a biological entity at the mercy of an Other1. These primordial experiences and inscriptions are incorporated, that is, abruptly thrown into repression2. This dividend figure represents the infant at a pre-narcissistic stage, that is, the plain and vulnerable biology, a body in jouissance of it’s own naïveté. We could also situate -in fact to be more theoretically precise- in this place the pre-oedipal infant; however, we shall leave this theme to the following chapter.

The divisor -in a human world- is always the Other (Autre), who from an imaginary point of view can be incarnated by a variety of figures (mother, father, teacher, elder, hero, punisher, etc.), yet from a symbolic point of view exercises a particular function: requires of the body to abandon it’s original state and to be subdued by a social order. The corps must abandon the jouissance of itself, and aim the libido towards the exterior3. The bodily functions, necessities and tendencies are ordered and restricted. A biological entity becomes a human, by virtue of the Other, and in detriment of the body’s primitiveness. The Otherness of which Freud spoke of leads us to the comprehension of the Other as a radical exterior entity, which in a general sense can be considered as the place of the code, the order of society, language itself. The function that the Other accomplishes is a determinant aspect of humanization, regardless of the particular being who occupies the divisor slot (the imaginary number 23 in our first graph is as good as any other number, as long as it caries out it’s task).

In the area that we have called the display, we find a series of elements listed as identifications, ideals, demands, transference and fantasmes4. Note that these words are all pluralized in order to stress their imaginary character, that is, the miscellaneous value that they can acquire. The display represents a group of elements that support the particular ‘story’ of an individual –the family novel in Freudian terms, or individual myth of the neurotic in lacanian terms–. A subject can wish to become a politician, a scientist, a soldier, a priest, etc. All of these present an imaginary array of ideals. However, the ideal can also be considered in its symbolic value in that it is closely related to the Super Ego, the function of the father, and is a result of the castration complex. Likewise, a person can demand a promotion or salary augmentation, can demand endless amounts of food, can demand to be spoken to with caring words, can demand to be seen or to watch, etc. All of these are imaginary values of multiple demands, which can as well be studied from a symbolic perspective in the sense that they are articulated with desire, with the drive, and with the object that acquires it’s value in the field of the exchanges with the Other. The values of love/hate, admiration/repulsion, that transference can attain dwell in the imaginary dimension, while transference can be considered from a symbolic perspective as far as its relation to a suspenseful knowledge about the unconscious5. In this direction, and wishing not to extend too much in examples, we perceive that the display presents us with the ‘imaginary numbers’ of our psychological experience, elements which form a group, and in relation to one another within the matrix or structure, can be deciphered in their symbolical value. We can also refer to the display as ‘the Realm of the Other’, thus it presents the elements of the “reality” in which we live our everyday - conscious life.

Nevertheless, we find the remainder at the base of the display, the object a, as an uneasy evidence of the incomplete dissolution of the thing. It is a part of the corps that refuses in a way, to be processed thoroughly, not fully merged into the symbolic/imaginary alliance. Moreover, because the remainder is at the base of the display, we perceive the idea that in the end, in the bottom of all the identifications, ideals, fantasmes, etc., what lies is the object a as the ultimate source of desire. It is the symbolic property –thrown into the realm of exchanges– which makes everything else valuable.

In an entirely mathematical realm, we find that division can be accomplished exactly when the dividend is a multiple of the divisor, in other words when the numbers are fully compatible. Otherwise, as in our example, we are left with a quotient that carries the burden of a remainder. In fact, I would go as far as to say that an entirely mathematical realm in which operations are always exact is a fiction constructed to pacify or negate the imminent imperfections of mankind. Thus, psychoanalytical theory is very bold in the sense that it does not hide the incompatibility of nature and culture, of the biologic and the social, and so far as we’ve made efforts to compromise these dimensions, we have not been able to eliminate the decimals6. Therefore, what we argue is that the division of the subject is an “un-even” operation, the real corps is not a multiple of the symbolic order.

As a result of the submission of biology to patriarcal culture7 we have a quotient (a standard result): The Ego, followed by the remainder or production of decimals. While the Ego is nice and square, entirely recognizable in ‘the Realm of the Other’, we have the remainder that is not fully recognizable and it is unsteady. It forever insists in producing decimals that are an incessant -yet distorted- allusion to the original dividend. This enduring gamma of (decimals) imaginary numbers processed by a symbolic operation, insists and attempts to allude to the impossible: the real is the impossible, thus it is forever lost by the action of the operation. In plain words, the remainder or production of decimals is the unconscious. A fair example of this are dreams: we incessantly produce dreams which often are absurd and nonsensical (incompatible with “common-sense”), although we recognize a strange familiarity about them: images and symbolic relations. The imaginary/symbolic alliance expresses the unconscious desire related to the object in the realm of the Other, as a yearning -but also a terror- for the ‘original state’ of the dividend. Lacan pointed out that when in a dream we approach ‘the real’, we wake up in fright, so as to “remain dreaming while we are awake”. The decimals represent the products of the unconscious (dreams, lapsus, mistakes, etc.); also the signifying chain, in which the unconscious produces signifiers incessantly as an indirect allusion to desire.

We could say that the result of the division of the subject is the Ego + the unconscious8: “me and my flaws”. And if we consider that the unconscious products -as related to the object- yearn for the lost body which they strive to recuperate elsewhere, we could say that the result of the operation is a divided subject, in other words, a subject divided between him and himself9.

There are several other ways in which we could profit from this mathematical blueprint by ordering different elements. For instance, we could place the Ego within the arrangement of the display elements (and in fact Lacan’s Mirror Stage theory helps us understand how the Ego is made up of imaginary identifications) and instead of it, arrange the barred subject ($)10 along with the object a in the quotient     ($, a). In doing so, we have a quotient that reminds us of the formula of the Fantasme as proposed by Lacan: ($ <> a). Concluding, the division of the subject not only produces the binary-partition of conscious/unconscious, but primarily the subject’s relationship(s) to the object: the fantome.

The whole purpose of the construction of this analogy is to illustrate A FIRST LEVEL of transgenerational phenomena; resuming, the transmission of the unconscious apparatus from a first generation to a second, through the incorporation of the fantome – archaic matrix of the process of thought. Perhaps we shall revisit this mathematical chart in another occasion, for now however, we shall leave it with it’s current signification, in order to embark in the theme that concerns us.


From a proverbial aphorism, “In the beginning was the word”, we have arrived at a pre-verbal implication: “In the beginning was the letter”. However, let us set our steps back into the realm of symbolization.

So far as psychoanalytic theory has been studied, debated and formulated in several ways, we never fail to return once and again to Freud’s Oedipus Complex and recognize it as a fundamental operation in the process of humanization. We will not develop an extended explanation of this operation, thus it can be found in almost every author concerned with psychoanalysis, but merely employ a summary of related elements which will aid us in approaching our proposition.

We have already pointed out that infancy is characterized by a ‘marking’ process, an inscription of signs on the body which -although enigmatic for the child- has a fundamental impact: the charging of libido in the body (erogenous zones) in a dialectic process of interaction with an Other. This period also displays a strong curiosity on behalf of the child, an exploration through game-play and formulating questions, and an adherence to the wishes and demands of the mother. We can consider that, the child is in the search of symbolization: he/she strives to confer a signification to that which he/she experiences in his/her relationship with the Other (the other who touches, prohibits, takes away, gives, watches, leaves, etc.). The child doesn’t quite understand why the Other does all this to him/her and especially, what the Other wants – L’obscur désir de l’Autre. The obscure desire of the Other is tainted by a dreadful aura, insofar as it remains enigmatic and it conveys the division of the subject, the loss of the object as pertaining to one’s own body.

These primary experiences fall under repression, un-symbolized, they are incorporated.This original relationship of complete dependence is promptly superceded by the Oedipus Complex, which confers a phallic signification to the early inscriptions. Returning to our previous metaphor, the ‘marks’ can be considered as separate letters; thus the Oedipus Complex would arrange them into a word which has a particular significance: phallus. What does the Other want? … the phallus [Lacan, 1977; Brodsky, 2000; Miller, 1984,1996]. At the same time, the phallus is the signifier of absolute prohibition, by virtue of the interdiction of incest. The castration complex not only re-signifies infancy as related to The Freudian Thing, but also proposes the phallus as the only means of recuperating jouissance through language -the symbolic-. We are aware of the consequences and the metaphorical development of this issue in culture, history and sexuality.

However, we must also state that the phallic signification by no means is flawless or ‘normalizing’. The Oedipus Complex supervenes and grants a custom phallic signification to early inscriptions, which far from being definite, is but a symbolic crutch in many cases (i.e. psychoses). The subject is confronted in his life by events that stir up the repressed content and in many cases precipitate him into a frenzy of ‘signification search’, if not a compulsive disorder, a hysteric symptom, a phobic distress, or the more complex and bizarre psychotic phenomena.  The super ego is a fundamental instance to keep in mind as we approach the issues of the symptom and compulsive behavior. It is the psychic representation of paternal law (it can often show itself as an irrational law) which leaves us with the sole possibility of metaphorical discharge, or discharge by approximation (condensation and displacement). Therefore, we perceive the paradoxical value of the human psyche: to search a forbidden thing through symbolic means. The Oedipus Complex brings about a basis through which the original inscriptions are signified, and launches the subject into the dilemma of unconscious desire, whence he is constrained as an Ego pressed in between the Id and the Super ego [Freud, 1923].

In somewhat boarding the topics of the Oedipus Complex and the phallic signification, and even though we have not developed them to a large extent, I am content with the reference, thus it conducts us to identify A SECOND LEVEL of transgenerational phenomena: the child, in relationship with a family structure, inherits through the Oedipus Complex (and all its implications) the basis and foundation of his/her psychological – symbolical life. The Oedipus Complex is a privileged medium of transmission of psychological elements: a desire, a super ego, the Ideal, a basis for sexual rapport, etc.

It is fair to say that the symbolic matter is at the nodule of psychological experience, conducting individuals in their journey to realization. A disturbance in the process of symbolization can trigger a disorder, yet seldom cases show that the enigma factor can propel an individual in a quest for knowledge or creative pursuit.


To extend this article in presenting the relationships between the transmission of cultural elements and the concepts of Identification, Ideal, Super Ego, phallus, etc., would be redundant in sight of the vast bibliography in this respect. Likewise, several anthropological, psychological, and sociological studies manifest the effects of popular myth, and the institutions of education and labor in the continuation of cultural patrimony. However, we shall pay special attention to a particular condition of psychological transmission, which has an exceptional impact in the psychological life of subjects within a family structure.

Several authors have reflected on the issue of ‘non-conscious transmission’ of psychological material, such as the presence of family secrets, silenced occurrences, hidden shameful or hurtful events, etc. Hints, clues and references of these non-dits almost always slip to a level of subtle communication [N. Abraham, G. Ausloos, N. Canault, T. Gaillard, P-C. Racamier, S. Tisseron, M. Torok, and many others]. The impact of these elements rests in their incomplete character of symbolization, that is, their enigmatic value.

Human communication is a permanent process of interpretation, where messages are never ‘close captioned’ into a singular in-equivocal meaning. Messages can always be re-formulated and interpreted in a variety of ways. Distinctively, each particular ‘receptor’ interprets the message in resonance with his own subjective history. We have already mentioned that the Other is -in its most abstract presentation- the place of the code itself. Each individual appropriates the signifiers and signs of the code in a different and particular manner; signs which are diversely managed in each family and educational setting. The child is bathed in language since conception, where communicative signs make up the code through which the biological subject expresses its experience. We can summarize this by recalling Freud’s first topic, whence he explained the passage of the Unconscious material to Conscience  through “word representations”          -signifiers- pertaining to the Pre-conscious order [Freud, 1923]. Almost anything, not only words, can be a signifier (gestual signs, acts, a picture, a murmur, etc.) when we are embarked in a communicative process, hence even the ‘insignificant’ can be subjected to signification. Therefore, the family transmits privileged signifiers that are situated in between the conscious mind and the unconscious, serving as a link between these two.

The ‘return of the repressed’ manifested in a flaw – lapsus – omission – or any other unconscious production, testifies of the inefficacy of repression as a defensive strategy to occult the disturbing. Likewise, a dreadful family secret -for instance- is always accused by the same person who silences it, through his own subtle communication signs, mistakes, omissions, prohibitions, etc. À la maison du pendu, on ne parle pas de corde. These signs, detached from a clear signification or meaning, are forcefully included by the ‘receptor’, who is left with the ominous effort to symbolize [Racamier, 1992]11. This ‘secondhand’ effort to symbolize a broken communication, often distorts and deranges the original meaning, or even sometimes succeeds in ‘expressing the hidden truth’ through a symptomatic behavior which almost always carries a great deal of pain for both the subject and the family.

Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok [1961 - 1975] propose the term Inclusion to refer to the appropriation by a subject of an event that is characterized by a failure or lack of proper psychological elaboration or symbolization (i.e. a shocking / traumatic event, a loved one’s death, etc.). Another concept of these same authors, which can aid our comprehension of this phenomenon, is the term Introjection. Briefly, ‘introjection’ refers to the process of symbolization in 3 stages: a) A new ‘event’ arrives from the outside, or is experienced internally. b) The appropriation of ‘the event’ through a variety of unconscious or semi-conscious processes, such as game-play, fantasmes, projection, etc. c) The conscious individual gains familiarity with ‘the event’ as a whole, and is capable of quoting it as a rightful intellectual property [Rand, 1993]. It is fundamental to add to this a comment that Serge Tisseron makes concerning inclusion: “Le siège de celle-ci est le Moi”; the burden of inclusion rests with the Ego.

Abraham and Torok -as explained by Serge Tisseron- have also utilized the term Crypte to refer to a particular modality of the process of inclusion, “where the psychic symbol is broken into two fragments”. This author proposes that “the fantome is the result of the effects of the crypte of an other over the unconscious of the subject, in other words his in-confessable secret” [Tisseron, 1995]. In this respect, we could enounce two propositions to clarify our comprehension: a) The crypte, being closely related to incorporation as its process of transmission, produces -as a consequence- the fantome. This would be closer to what we have enounced as the division of the subject: the transmission of the unconscious apparatus through the incorporation of the fantome. Voilà, le travail du fantôme entre les générations.      b) ‘The event’ that succumbs to inclusion as a failure or absence of introjection, is left in the middle stage of the symbolization process, hence it insists in re-appearing and tormenting the Ego. It is the Ego that carries the onus task of ‘attempting to symbolize’, which presents itself as a symptomatic struggle. Moreover, we could propose ‘The event’ of inclusion as the ‘second time of the trauma’, which bounces upon the crypte in retrospective (après-coup).‘The event’ is indigestible, thus it is a reference (by metaphor or proximity) that touches closely upon a crypte12. As a consequence, the Ego strives to ‘close’ the re-opened wound, to ‘find out the truth’, to ‘pay the debt’, etc. The Ego arranges a series of elements that he extracts from his personal history to form a means of facing his dilemma of symbolization, making up an imaginary story, which becomes his battlefield or purgatory. This point refers to a relationship between the symbolic and the potent presence of the imaginary.

The stirring up of a crypte can be a true disturbance, thus it is reminiscent of an original state of the subject -the dividend-, where a fragmented body consisting of dis-articulated drives menaces the always fragile ‘strength’ of the Ego and reveals its merely ‘imaginary wholeness’. Further, it is also reminiscent of the subject’s arcane fragility: being at the mercy of ‘the obscure Desire of the (m)Other’13, an Other always ‘guilty’ of marking the infant’s body, and also an Other who ‘divides’ -castrates-, ‘robs’ the body of its own jouissance. This latter criteria helps understand the preponderance of the ‘debt’ factor within the transgenerational heritage. A sin, guilt or debt is always an element ready for inheritance, thus the individual struggles to eliminate the traces of the Other’s guilt – the Other’s obscure desire which touches every subject in the level of his crypte. This theme can dress itself with as many different stories, characters and scenarios as we can possibly imagine, retrieving the elements found in one’s own culture and lineage.

Consequently, the family is enthroned as a primary source of information, as it is within its nucleus that the subject receives the privileged ‘material’ that makes up his psychological life: a) The pre-conscious signifiers -word representations- that make up the subject’s treasure of the signifiers; his own appropriation of the code. b) The subject’s imaginary ‘storyline’, the ‘family novel’, the ‘individual myth of the neurotic’, the family’s debts – faults – sins and aspirations of redemption and dignity. This is the display in the diagram of ‘the division of the subject’, the realm of the Other.

As psychoanalysts, what we encounter in the first and most evident plane is precisely the ‘story’ that the subject brings as a suffering or enigma: the numbers of his display. It is our ability to read behind the imaginary elements (images, names, events, identifications, etc.) that we hear in the discourse, which conducts us to interpretation in the symbolic dimension. This ‘first plane’ that we speak of leads us to arrive at A THIRD LEVEL of transgenerational phenomena: The subject inherits a myth, that is, a particular family tale in which he is placed as a component, as the link of a historical chain. We observe that the imaginary is at the forefront of our experience.


Throughout our exposition, we have systematically arrived at THREE LEVELS of transgenerational phenomena. At this point, I shall enounce what the attentive reader already suspects: ‘Three levels as to three dimensions of experience’.

Diagram 3
















Ego distress, ‘story’

By presenting this chart I incur in a risk of misinterpretation. It is thus of capital importance to stress that it is merely intended as a reminder of the path that we have followed to arrive at our final proposition. We have already seen that any given phenomenon is liable to be studied from all three dimensions, and precisely the introduction of the ‘division of the subject’ aims at highlighting the richness of this topical approach. However, I hope that it will prove itself useful, as it assists us in the effort to order the complex gamma of elements that concern our practice.

Keeping in mind that the chart is not a categorical caption of the concepts utilized, we perceive that psychoanalytic clinical practice conducts our comprehension of experience from the third level to the first, from the imaginary story to the symbolic matter which conveys the real as lost and impossible. Referring to our mathematical analogy: we conduct the patient from the display that he communicates to the structure of the operation, which can reveal the myth in which the dividend is lost by action of the divisor, leaving a remainder that is at the root of our fantasies and moral dilemmas. We confront a true challenge as we strive to approach the real through the construction of the ever-singular, ever-original, personal myth14.

Observe that the middle row of the chart is emphasized with bold text; the intention is to accent that the symbolic is precisely our area of action as clinicians. Not wishing to extend this article into a discussion about the direction of the cure, I merely remark the clinician’s effort to conduct the case into symbolic grounds, being careful not to contaminate the process of introjection and symbolization with his own subjectiveness. Psychoanalysts must always be aware of the effects of transference, not to turn a therapeutic process into a mere hypnotical suggestion.

Once again appealing to the analyst’s passion for the metaphorical, we might regard him as one who appreciates the architecture of the mind. Behind the curtains, underneath the painting of the walls, the hung pictures and lamps, the style of the furniture and the particular effects of the lighting, even behind the concrete, glass, plastic and metal, the analyst perceives a structural design that makes sense of all this material. He can perceive that the construction is layed out in virtue of a particular functionality about it,      even if merely representational. It shows patterns, repetitive elements such as doorways and portals, which permit encounters and channel the possibility of exchange among one and anOther. And finally, if truly attentive, the analyst can perceive that the structure itself is layed out in respect to an invisible -mythical- body, such as The Modulator in the architecture of Le Corbusier.

Bibliography and Sources of Information

AUSLOOS, G. : “Œdipe et sa famille, ou les secrets sont faits pour être agis”, dans Dialogue no. 70, 4ème trimestre 1980.

BALMARY, M. : “L’homme aux statues”, Grasset, Paris 1979.

BRODSKY, G. : “La transferencia en neurosis y psicosis”, Plural editores, La Paz 2000.

CANAULT, N. : “Comment paye-t-on les fautes de ses ancêtres. L’inconscient transgénérationnel”, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris 1998.

FREUD, S. : “Análisis de un caso de neurosis obsesiva” (1909), en Obras Completas, Amorrortu, Buenos Aires.

FREUD, S. : “Introducción al narcisismo” (1914), en Obras Completas, Amorrortu, Buenos Aires.

FREUD, S. : “Le Moi et le Ça” (1923), Essais de psychanalyse, Payot poche 1981.

FREUD, S. : “Mas allá del principio de placer” (1920), en Obras Completas, Amorrortu, Buenos Aires.

FREUD, S. : “Pulsiones y destinos de pulsión” (1915), en Obras Completas, Amorrortu, Buenos Aires.

GAILLARD, Th. : “L’inceste castré et l’Œdipe dans l’analyse de Mario Cifali”, texte édité sur

GAILLARD, Th. : “Principe de Nirvâna, transfert et pulsion de mort”, (2003) Bloc-Notes de la Psychanalyse no.18, Georg, Genève-Paris.

LACAN, J. : “El Seminario III: Las Psicosis. ”, Paidós, Buenos Aires.

LACAN, J. : “El Seminario V. Clase 9: La metáfora paterna I. ”, Paidós, Buenos Aires.

LACAN, J. : “El Seminario VI. Clase 15: El deseo de la madre. ”, Paidós, Buenos Aires.

LACAN, J. : “The signification of the phallus” in Écrits: A selection, NY: Norton, 1977.

LACAN, J. : “The mirror stage as formative of the function of the I” in Écrits: A selection, NY: Norton, 1977.

MILLER, J.A. : “Drive is Parole - L’Orientation Lacanienne”, article in, Paris 1995 – 1996.

MILLER, J.A. : “Recorrido de Lacan – ocho conferencias”, Buenos Aires: Ediciones Manantial, 1984.

RACAMIER, P-C. : “Le génie des origines”, Payot 1992.

RAND, N. : “Quelle psychanalyse pour demain?”, Érès, Paris 2001.

TISSERON, S. : “Chaque famille a son secret”, (interview/article : 2 février 2000) Coopération No. 5, Genève.

TISSERON, S. : “Le psychisme à l’épreuve des générations: clinique du fantôme”, (ouvrage collectif), Dunod, Paris 1995.

* This article was written in February of 2003, as a contribution to a course in Transgenerational Theory held in Genève – Suisse by Mr. Thierry Gaillard at the Centre Logos.

1. Source that drives both children and adults to design a series of fantasies. In the present article we shall utilize the concepts fantome and fantasme (conserving their French designations), as differentiated by Nina Canault [1998]: the Fantome related to an absence of representation concerning sexuality and death, and the Fantasme related to a varied display of fantasies.

2. At this point we can benefit from the utilization of the concept incorporation, attributed to N. Abraham & M. Torok, and brought to my knowledge through T. Gaillard, S. Tisseron. It not only refers to an abrupt repression of an un-symbolized experience, but also the merging of this within the psyche as a fantome. It is considered in transgenerational theory as an inheritance (i.e. transmitted from a parent to a child).

3. Understood that this is not always the case, and even if so, the transposition of libido to the exterior is not a "complete" operation.

4. To these elements we could add a good number of others, such as values, attitudes, beliefs, restrictions, etc. I have listed just a few for practical reasons.

5. Here I merely intend to allude to Lacan’s SSS theory of transference.

6. Maybe so, and precisely because of this, human beings are not biological machines, despite the illusions of our contemporary “science”.

7. Understanding "patriarcal culture" as a culture based on the phallic norm as the basis of order.

8. Note the allusion to Freud’s conscious/unconscious elements of the first topic.

9. What is love if not the search for that ‘lost’ part of one’s self in anOther?

10. One connotation of Lacan’s matheme $ is the illustration of a de-centered subject, severed by repression into a conscious / unconscious partition.

11. “Ainsi l’exclusion exercée par l’expulseur hors de sa propre psyché va devenir un inclusion forcée à l’intérieur de la psyché du «portefaix»”. We refer to the concept of Inclusion, explained in the following paragraph.

12. Freud’s famous case of the “Man of the rats” [Freud, 1909] illustrates this complex configuration of neurotic frenzy: The tale of the rat-torture scene (‘The Event’) is merged into the psyche by inclusion; it cannot be symbolized because it has touched (après-coup) closely upon a crypte related to a fantome who’s object concerns the anal-drive. The Ego of the patient is tormented and driven into a neurotic outburst of conducts and symptoms. The puzzling theme of the glasses which must be paid in a particular fashion, to a certain cashier, through a particular character, etc., is all a clear illustration of the imaginary display of elements and arguments through which the subject tries to resolve a symbolic affaire that concerns debt and desire as opposites. Moreover, the subject retrieves this array of imaginary elements from his family history (father’s debt, father’s old love for ‘the poor woman’, etc.).

13. Allusion to the theory of the DM, Desire of the Mother.

14. And the myth speaks of the funneling of the real into the symbolic realm: “I’m trying to evince the degree of the total assimilation of drive to a signifying chain. There is the chain, the treasure of the signifiers, the point de capiton, and the signified. It is all there, a full service. Drive is altogether equipped as an unconscious message” [J.A. Miller, 1995 – 1996].