Monday, January 2, 2012

speculation on the death drive and life drive

It is, moreover, a suggestive fact that the existence of the pair of opposites formed by sadism and masochism cannot be attributed merely to the element of aggressiveness. We should rather be inclined to connect the simultaneous presence of these opposites with the opposing masculinity and femininity which are combined in bisexuality— a contrast which often has to be replaced in psycho-analysis by that between activity and passivity. Three Essays, p.160

In myth we are supposed to see the child's own aggression turned against himself. The impulse to swallow the mother turns into the mother (or in this case Cronos) swallowing the child. Later the desire to mutilate turns into one's own dismemberment and the impulse to murder can end up causing one's own psychic death in madness.

I previously thought that this was the Talion rule (eye for an eye) and it illustrated the aggression that would cause anxiety and therefore would require various OCD defences (i.e. obsessive checking to see if things are on/off, obsessive counting, etc.). Now I wonder if it isn't showing destruction turned into degeneration.

By the same token, I wonder if the resonance of the child with the object that would first be sensuous contemplation, imitation of it, and later love could in parallel fashion, through narcissistic deflection, be put onto objects?

In this way, the maiden who is rescued from the dragon becomes a treasure, the desire to marry becomes a desire to amass wealth, and the overwhelming separation from the object becomes the overwhelming separation from things in the hoarder.

Externalization of aggression onto objects makes them into weapons, as Klein shows, and externalization of libido onto objects makes greedily desired. Does the masculine always externalize on things?

Does the feminine subject's superego consist of fear of attacks (as outlined in being swallowed, dismembered, etc.) culminating in the desire to be beaten?

If voyeurism is the passive form of exhibitionism in both the sexual sense of watching sex and the social sense of vicarious pleasure through another's joy, then do we have an anti-exhibitionism which begins the self-effacing conscience of the woman and an anti-voyeuristic possessiveness or selfishness which inaugurates the phallic quality of the man?

In myth I think we have a nice parallel between the dwarf and the elf. The dwarf becomes the obsessional digging in his mine for treasure and the elf becomes the hysteric in communication with nature around her and hidden away from people. The dwarf is away from people because his libido is towards objects while the elf is hidden because her aggression is directed at self in "anal" shyness as Reich calls it.

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