Thursday, July 18, 2013

oral trito (continued)

In a previous post I had made the connection between the oral trito stage, Zeus exchanging a stone for himself, Apollo (who is associated with the stone), and the myth of Marsyas:  


The god of prophecy. Apollo exercised this power in his numerous oracles, and especially in that of Delphi. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Oraculum) The source of all his prophetic powers was Zeus himself (Apollodorus states, that Apollo received the mantikê from Pan), and Apollo is accordingly called "the prophet of his father Zeus." (Aeschyl. Eum. 19).

Zeus was not swallowed by Cronos but exchanged for a stone put in swaddling clothes which was later spit out to become the stone at the oracle at Delphi. Apollo later defeated a serpent that guarded Delphi and took control of it. 

The swaddling of the stone is a clear reference to the skin of the child and in psychoanalysis we know of skin erotism and what would be important in ego development (ego in the sense of the subject in Lacanian terms) as the differentiation of inside and outside. 

This connection to the skin is also seen in the myth of Marsyas:

MARSYAS was a Phrygian Satyr who first composed tunes for the flute. He obtained his instrument from Athena, who had invented the device but discarded it in her displeasure over the bloating effect on the cheeks. Later, in hubristic pride over the new-found music, Marsyas dared challenge the god Apollon to a contest. The Satyr inevitably lost, when, in the second round, the god demanded they play their instruments upsidedown--a feat ill-suited to the flute. As punishment for his presumption, Apollon had Marsyas tied to a tree and flayed him alive. The rustic gods in their pity then transformed him into a mountain stream"

In these we find 3 important connections to the oral trito.

The first, of course, is Marsyas being flayed alive and the skin being the source of anxiety or pain.

The second is that the flute is a phallic symbol and provides a tie to the father imago that distinguishes the trito stage.

The third is that the reference to the bloating or perhaps puffy expression on the cheeks that the flute has is definitely something I've noticed about people of the oral trito stage. There are a few "loners" that I've worked with who were 'thin-skinned' but also very much projected the feeling that they stood apart from everyone else. They seem to be found along the masculine pole of subject egoist and object altruist and, strangely, the difference seems to be apparent in that the object altruists have dimples along with big cheeks while the subject egoists have puffed out cheeks that also continue lower into their jaws.

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