We can see, now, how the purely virtual, non-actual, universe of cyberspace can “touch the Real”: the Real we are talking about is not the “raw” pre-symbolic real of “nature in itself,” but the spectral hard core of “psychic reality” itself. When Lacan equates the Real with what Freud calls “psychic reality,” this “psychic reality” is not simply the inner psychic life of dreams, wishes, etc., as opposed to the perceived external reality, but the hard core of the primordial “passionate attachments,” which are real in the precise sense of resisting the movement of symbolization and/or dialectical mediation:
“/…/ the expression ‘psychical reality’ itself is not simply synonymous with ‘internal world,’ ‘psychological domain,’ etc. If taken in the most basic sense that it has for Freud, this expression denotes a nucleus within that domain which is heterogeneous and resistant and which is alone in being truly ‘real’ as compared with the majority of psychical phenomena.”
The “real” upon which cyberspace encroaches is thus the disavowed fantasmatic “passionate attachment,” the traumatic scene which not only never took place in “real life,” but was never even consciously fantasized — and is not the digital universe of cyberspace the ideal medium in which to construct such pure semblances which, although they are nothing “in themselves,” pure presuppositions, provide the coordinates of our entire experience? It may appear that the impossible Real is to be opposed to the virtual domain of symbolic fictions: is the Real not the traumatic kernel of the Same against whose threat we seek refuge in the multitude of virtual symbolic universes? However, our ultimate lesson is that the Real is simultaneously the exact opposite of such a non-virtual hard core: a purely virtual entity, an entity which has no positive ontological consistency — its contours can only be discerned as the absent cause of the distortions/displacements of the symbolic space.