Within Lacan’s table of long division: he places anxiety between Jouissance and desire. If it is in the middle it is not because it mediates between desire and jouissance but rather because it must be passed through. One can not do otherwise but pass through the field of anxiety. This is why Lacan refers to it as the “port of access”. Here, anxiety seems to connect it with two lacks. There is a lack in the Other (the barred O) and a lack in the subject (objet a).
From the position of desire ($) we use the port of access to arrive at fantasy. Thus, the matheme of fantasy expresses: $<>a (the barred-subject faces objet petit a). At this point we can not admit the thesis that the objet a is that which we avoid. Rather, we must admit that it is that which we must deal with. And so fantasy is one way of facing it. Another is jumping off stage, passage a l’Acte. It is for this reason that objet a, in seminar 10, seems to have two faces. It is the mobius strip. It is, that which we can not face, or, avoid, and yet that which we must deal with nonetheless. The objet a is a port of access and not solely that which we avoid.
A lot of seminar X seems to deal with obsessional neurosis. And what the obsessional neurotic can not bare is that he or the Other is lacking. The obsessional’s fundamental problem, we are told, has to do with the problem of the *is*: the obsessional is not. His question concerns being itself. And so imposture has to do with being where there is lack of being. It seems to me that it is only the pervert who confronts anxiety as a lack of lack – his attempt is to make lack appear. And he does this by bringing the Other (or himself) to the anxiety-point.
And so anxiety arises here in a confrontation with lack and not, as it were, with lack of lack. This is something I’m struggling with because I can not find any support for the thesis of lack of lack. For example, on page 234 of Seminar X, Lacan says: “The anxiety-point lies at the level of the mother. In the child, the anxiety of the mother’s lack is the anxiety of the breast drying up. The locus of the anxiety-point does not merge with the locus at which the relation to the object of desire is established.” So here it seems clear that it is not when there is a lack of lack, namely, an overburdening presence of the breast, but rather, when the child realizes that the breast could suddenly stop working/providing. This is not to claim that anxiety occurs from separation – but from the ambiguity of objet a itself. The same occurs in the case of the homosexual woman. It is not the over-presence of the father’s gaze which provokes a passage a l’acte but rather the very ambiguity of the gaze – no? On page 236 we see that Lacan claims that the anxiety-point “lies at the level of the Other.” So this gives more support to my thesis that anxiety resides in a privileged domain – the domain not of objet a specifically, but of the lack in the Other.