Wednesday, May 22, 2013

phallic deutero/phallic-narcissistic/phallic-echoistic repetitions.

I’ve found it very helpful to examine specific repetition-compulsions to understand what’s at stake here in the ego and object spheres in regards to defusions from the Oedipus complex. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle Freud brings up the repetition of the benefactor abandoned in anger by each of his protégés (BPP, p. 22). The argument I made in ‘What happened to the Father complex’ is that the female Oedipus complex doesn’t occur after the phallic-narcissistic stage relation to the mother but that the ego relation to the mother was transcribed to the father and the object relation was routed through the model of the incest taboo in the father’s exclusive possession of the mother as the elder generation. In this sense, the boy doesn’t merely keep the mother as the object in Oedipus complex while the girl must switch. Rather, both boy and girl have their object choice routed through the incest taboo. This means that in Freud’s repetition of the mentor and protégé that the protégé is repeating the traumatic frustration with the phallic mother whose power has been transcribed to the oedipal father. Conversely, the mentor may, through projective identification, have switched self and object representations and be acting the role of the phallic mother/father-substitute and be projecting his self-representation into his protégé so that the other completes the repetition for him. Additionally, it is at the phallic-narcissistic stage where the famous primal scene repetitions occur. Following Fenichel’s ego and object repetition parallel of the sexual Don Juans and the "Don Juans of achievement" I’d like to illustrate another pair (Ego Disturbances and Their Treatment, p.431). In regards to the primal scene trauma of finding the mother having sex with the denigrated father or the parallel of finding the mother renouncing her phallic image to admire the denigrated father two repetitions are salient. The first is a man who continually finds his girlfriend or wife cheating on him, or being cuckolded by another man. The other is to be pursuing one’s special knowledge or skill (the mother’s phallic image) to be found inadequate and humiliated by another person. The parallel humiliation which the child would endure from the mother’s choice of the father can also take on the form of projective identification in a repetition. A man can go around cuckolding other men or getting off on having an ‘injured third party’, but he can also go around trying to humiliate others in their professions as chef Gordon Ramsay has made a career out of.

To be clear, the object egoist's "positive Oedipus complex" is also a regression to the phallic narcissistic stage. The initial denigration of the father by the mother is transcribed to the mother and the father is idealized.

Similarly, at the phallic-echoistic/phallic deutero stage for the altruist's worry of surpassing the castrated, suffering, unhappy mother is passed on to the father (OA) or the need to rescue or save the mother is passed on to the father (SA).

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