On life and its vagaries

The absence filled with shapes

with 8 comments

I have nothing against Lacan, Jacques, in fact I have something for him too.

Suppose I am a child (That I am, no doubt, by popular consent), how do I know myself? I would only perceive myself as a bundle of emotions.

And the producer of delightful effluents…….

I could have already seen some parts of my body, but never cared whose body it was. I was happy and satisfied with my life. There was only me and my play.

My needs were all met by myself.

Well, then comes the ‘mirror stage’.

The child sees its reflection in the mirror and has the first shock of his life.

“Hu glu glu” (Its not I!)”

(Children invariably has this problem with phlegm)

“Huum bruum” (vaguely pointing to the mirror, who is that dimple sitting in it. And what is it?)

The language that the child  speaks  is nothing that any one  knows of. I have a marginal understanding of Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and Sanskrit and if others allow it,  one more,

The English to boot.

But those words of the child belong to a language that I do not know.

The mom but is delighted, and happily chirps.

“It’s you, my dear!

“Huhm huhm” (It’s not exactly a “Huhm huhm”  it’s almost a shuum hum shuuum huh huh , the breath is drawn in and forced out as the statement issues from its mouth. But let that pass)

“Looks cute doesn’t he, my pet?” The mother asks.

“ghh” It sort of assents.

Okay so the identification occurs in the mind of the child. None of us is satisfied with our image in the mirror. The child in particular, it pictures itself as something grand irrespective of the glu glu glu. It was part of something else up to then. It was feeling very real with that general identity.

What a come down!

The child feels  disappointed. It views itself in the mirror and its megalomania is shattered. Who is this puny thing, who has no control over its actions, who drips at the mouth, who can not focus its eye, who can’t hold its head still for a moment?

It can’t be me. It feels suspicious. It has its doubts.

Mom and that strange hole in the world which throws back its image has delineated it, circumscribed it.

Now its erstwhile wholeness has been converted into  a tiny shapeless and helpless mass.

It has not yet read Lacan and does not know that identity consists of partial identifications and is never complete.

That identity is a failure. It doesn’t want to believe that it is that thing it sees in the mirror.


Mommy intervenes.

“See how sturdy you look dearest”

That was cruel of her. She is rubbing in the salt. The child is sitting with its world irrecoverably destroyed. And she wants to make a game out of it.

The child does not like the idea. It has to recognize that dimple in the mirror as his own real self too.

It starts to whimper. Its paradise has been lost.It starts to feel the great absence.

But it is not void, this absence. It is filled up with shapes. The child  has been made to eat the apple of knowledge.

There is dichotomy. Multiplicity. Diverse entities. It perceives the other. But it can’t still diferentiate the other.The others seem to be part of itself too. It is in confusion.

In its pristine state it was all bliss. Now it has begun to percieve many. That is where trouble starts.

This is what disillusion is. Finding the other and assimilating it as your own.

Oh I know the child  can’t help it. It had a pure ID upto then, now it has dual ID. It is being evolved. Every evolution scatters it in many directions. There are a plentitude of IDs.

As it goes along in life it has a vague idea of the right direction.

The center.

It’s an archetype.


Lacan says it’s not resolvable.

I say right. It’s mythical and without substance.

Oh, the wilderness through which people lead others!


Written by Sam

September 20, 2009 at 8:52 pm

8 Responses

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  1. simply sweet, may be the babies really think this way… a lot of us will feel this way if we can fly out of our body with all our senses intact on both sides.. in the body and soul and observe ourselves for a day or two..

    your themes are too good.


    September 22, 2009 at 11:34 am

  2. Thank you dear Trisha for the kind words. Yes our finite bodies are very restrictive. It would be wonderful if we could fly like that 🙂


    September 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm

  3. it would have been quite helpfull too.. to see how we look when we wear our favourite dress 🙂


    September 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  4. Try Lucid dreaming, it is effective in learning out of body experience they say 🙂


    September 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  5. no use.. my dreams come as they please.. 🙂 and i like that dose of surprise.


    October 3, 2009 at 5:29 pm

  6. I with draw my suggestion 🙂


    October 3, 2009 at 9:15 pm

  7. good boy!!


    October 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  8. Thanks for the pat 🙂


    October 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm

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