In response to the comments about Envy and conscious awareness, the following considerations might shed some light.
The Envy in Envy Theory is unconscious Envy, that is, it exists as the foundation of all nonconscious information processing. Nonconscious information processing is modern cognitive science's term for Freud's unconscious. With some nuanced differences, they are virtually identical.
Unconscious Envy is known by inferring its existence based on its derivatives that exist in conscious awareness in everyone from childhood on.
The crucial derivatives that bubble up to conscious awareness and are consciously experienced include greed, jealousy, and competitiuveness.
A less recognized—and more subliminal—attitude is that of spoiling what is felt to be good, especially too good and not had by the one who envies. The "sour grapes" phenomenon approximates this. "Raining on one's parade" also implies unconscious envy at root along with other more consciously "bitter" attitudes and motivations.
In regard to the matter of the envied other as being "imaginary," that is true. Imaginary here means that the envier contrues others or interprets others around in highly personalized ways. These ways are primarliy projections of the envier's own self-experience, rather than actually being real characteritstics of the other person.
Bottom line: Envy is irrational and self-destructive. The essence of envy is destructive spoiling---extinguishing the total experience. Thus, not merely the object but also the subject is eradicated, almost without a trace, that is, transformed into unconsciousness. Envy is cloaked in unconsciousness, obscurity, and indefiniteness. Yet, according to Envy Theory, it is real and can be health-promiting when identified and modulated by positive experiences.