Wednesday, August 28, 2013

oral trito- the feminine (subject altruist and object egoist)

In relation to the masculine the skin barrier was sensitive to multiple airborne things. Klein has written of being attacked by “swarms” in one of her idiosyncratic descriptions of unconscious phantasy. Additionally, this image is one that recurs in cartoons, horror films, and other religious myths:

‘I will fling you on land, dashing you down on the bare ground. I will let all the birds of the air settle upon you and all the wild beasts gorge themselves on your flesh. Your flesh I will lay on the mountains, and fill the valleys with the worms that feed on it. I will drench the land with your discharge, drench it with your blood to the very mountain-tops and the watercourses shall be full of you. When I put out your light I will veil the sky and blacken its stars.’
(Ezekiel 32: 4-7)

Dealing with the trito stage at its summit in the trito phallic I’ve made the formulation that the subject egoist internalizes the moral father as the guilt conscience and social feeling to make the closest approximation to altruism (in the SE).  In contrast, the subject altruist internalizes the fostering father as a superego that demands individual assertion which is punishable by guilt and is the closest approximation to egoism (in the SA). 

Along with the active-egoism and passive altruism binary in the ego drives there are specific forms of aggression (destructive or hate drives) that take an active-passive form (i.e. to castrate or be castrated). In the phallic trito the aggressive drive seems to take not the body but, an extension of it in, the form of a knife. The SE experiences a twinge or stab of conscience as an expression in the passive form, and I’ve encountered a few hysterics who have felt the active form in the desire to stab someone. Along with the trito anal stage in which aggressive feelings regarding the penis and men’s urination ability crop up in women it appears that this might be a structural form of the trito stage. Thus while multitudes, swarms, or many people or things threaten the skin ego in the masculine passively, it appears that feminine emerges in aggression towards many people or things. It's possible that a principle of father sky and mother earth that is represented in myth might account for the lack of perfect symmetry (i.e. it's not necessarily aggression towards flying swarms).

In the Odyssey I traced the oral trito to the man eating giants that Odysseus encounters after Aeolus. Along with the many rocks that were hurled at Odysseus' men and ships there was another form of aggression mentioned: “the Laistrygones speared men like fish and then carried home their monstrous meal”. The act of taking home the men to make them into a meal can be differentiated qua aggressive impulse from the Cyclops in that the Polyphemus just picked up and ate the men.

Since psychosexual development is the slow interweaving of egoism and altruism through multiples stages I imagine that the early stages of aggression in the feminine or affection in the masculine aren’t major overt forms of it. Instead, I think that the form of aggression here is routed through hunger. Towards this I want to offer up the myth of Erysikhthon

Callimachus, Hymn 6 to Demeter 65 ff(trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"Let us not speak of that which brought the tear to Deo! . . . Better to tell - a warning to men that they avoid transgression - how she made the son of Triopas [Erikhthonios] hateful and pitiful to see.
Not yet in the land of Knidos, but sill in holy Dotion dwelt the Pelasgians and unto thyself they made a fair grove abounding in trees; hardly would an arrow have passed through them. Therein was pine, and therein were mighty elms, and therein were pear-trees, and therein were fair sweet-apples; and from the ditches gushes up water as it were of amber. And the goddess loved the place to madness, even as Eleusis, as Triopion [in Karia], as Enna [in Sicily].
But when their favouring fortune became wroth with the Triopidai (sons of Triopas), then the worse counsel took hold of Erysikhthon. He hastened with twenty attendants, all in their prime, all men-giants able to lift a whole city, arming them both with double axes and with hatchets, and they rushed shameless into the grove of Demeter.

I think that this appearance of the double axes is interesting and may be a parallel with Hecate having double torches in the anal trito.

 Now there was a poplar, a great tree reaching to the sky, and thereby the Nymphai were wont to sport at noontide. This poplar was smitten first and cried a woeful cry to the others. Demeter marked that her holy tree was in pain, and she as angered and said: ‘Who cuts down my fir tree?’
Straightway she likened her to Nikippe, whom the city had appointed to be her public priestess, and in her hand she grasped her fillets and her poppy, and from her shoulder hung her key [as priestess]. And she spake to soothe the wicked and shameless man and said: ‘My child, who cutest down the trees which are dedicated to the gods, stay, my child, child of thy parents’ many prayers, cease and turn back thine attendants, lest the lady Demeter be angered, whose holy place thou makest desolate.’
But with a look more fierce than that wherewith a lioness looks on the hunter on the hills of Tmaros- a lioness with new-born cubs, whose eye they say is of all most terrible - he said: ‘Vie back, lest I fix my great axe in thy flesh! These trees shall make my tight dwelling wherein evermore I shall hold pleasing banquets enough for my companions.’

It's interesting that this man is challenging the gods so he can continue to have "pleasing banquets.. for his companions" and the altruistic character of this is quite obvious.

So spake the youth and Nemesis recorded his evil speech. And Demeter was angered beyond telling and put on her goddess shape. Her steps touched the earth, but her head reached unto Olympos. And they, half-dead when they beheld the lady goddess, rushed suddenly away, leaving the bronze axes in the trees. And she left the others alone - for they followed by constraint beneath their master’s hand - but she answered their angry king: ‘Yea, yea, build thy house, dog, dog, that thou art, wherein thou shalt hold festival; for frequent banquets shall be thine hereafter.’
So much she said and devised evil things for Erysikhthon. Straightway she sent on him a cruel and evil hunger - a burning hunger and a strong - and he was tormented by a grievous disease. Wretched man, as much as he ate, so much did he desire again. Twenty prepared the banquet for him, and twelve drew wine. 
For whatsoever things vex Demeter, vex also Dionysos; for Dionysos shares the anger of Demeter

This reference to Dionysus is important because it betrays a potential fixation point that comes out in his character. Similarly, Cronos coughing up the boulder or stone that was switched for Zeus and it becoming the location of Delphi leads to Apollo presiding over the temple. As a general rule, the early gods are too great and powerful to associate them with certain gifts or powers, this is given through the second generation gods. However, often these gods can't be reduced by showing them  as prey to the punishments of the superego and therefore mortals are selected.  

His parents for shame sent him not to common feast or banquet, and all manner of excuse was devised. The sons of Ormenos came to bid him to the games of Athene Itonia. Then his mother refused the bidding: ‘He is not at home: for yesterday he is gone unto Krannon to demand a dept of a hundred oxen.’ Polyxo came, mother of Aktorion - for she was preparing a marriage for her child - inviting both Triopas and his son. But the lady, heavy-hearted, answered with tears: ‘Triopas will come, but Erysikhthon a boar wounded on Pindos of fair glens and he hath lain abed for nine days.’ Poor child-loving mother, what falsehood didst thou not tell? One was giving a feast: ‘Erysikhthon is abroad.’ One was brining home a bride: ‘A quoit hath struck Erysikhthon,’ or ‘he hath had a fall from his car,’ or ‘he is counting his flocks on Othrys.’ Then he within the house, an all-day banqueter, ate all things beyond reckoning. But his evil belly leaped all the more as he ate, and all the eatables poured, in vain and thanklessly, as it were into the depths of the sea. And even as the snow upon Mimas, as a wax doll in the sun, yea, even more that these he wasted to the very sinews: only sinews and bones had the poor man left. His mother wept, and greatly groaned his two sisters, and the breast that suckled him and the ten handmaidens over and over. And Triopas himself laid hands on his grey hairs, calling on Poseidon, who heeded not, with such words as these: ‘False father, behold this the third generation of thy sons - if I am son of thee and of Kanake, daughter of Aiolos, and this hapless child is mine. Would that he had been smitten by Apollon and that my hands had buried him! But now he sits an accursed glutton before mine eyes. Either do thou remove from him his cruel disease or take and feed him thyself; for my tables area already exhausted. Desolate are my folds and empty my byres of four-footed beasts; for already the cooks have said me ‘no.’ But even the mules they loosed from the great wains and he ate the heifer that his mother was feeding for Hestia and the racing horse and the war charger, and the cat at which the little vermin trembled.

So long as there were stores in the house of Triopas, only the chambers of the house were aware of the evil thing; but when his teeth dried up the rich house, then the king’s son sat at the crossways, begging for crusts and the cast out refuse of the feast. O Demeter, never may that man be my friend who is hateful to thee, nor ever may he share party-wall with me; ill neighbours I abhor."

In Christian mythology gluttony in its earlier depictions was usually shown to be a skinny man (sometimes with a big stomach and sometimes with his neck craned over). I've been hunting for images but all I could find were one picture with the craned neck and a contemporary picture that artist says was inspired by looking at the pictures of skinny gluttons in a version of Dante's Inferno. 

The top picture has a "swarm" of birds in the background which seems like another potential link between what I've said is the masculine and feminine version of the myth.  The contemporary picture is more notable for the choice to not show the eyes and for the woman to possess a dagger but I thought I'd include it anyway.

As an aggressive impulse that is routed through hunger the repression of such an impulse (which may be through the interaction of the primitive superego imagos) would lead to the regular hunger/digestion system having restrictions. Thus, a process that would appear as self-cannibalization would occur. However, someone with a fixation at this stage is always thin, after repression then one becomes "skin and bone". As I mentioned the craned forward neck is usually present in this too and even when the person is no longer gluttonously eating his stomach still sticks out and he's sway backed.

In the masculine oral trito I suggested that the flying swarms were seen as negative for the SE but that confetti and other images of the multitudinous flying or floating objects might be positive for the OA. (This idea was taken from the parallel between the Oedipus and Bellerophon myths). I'd also like to venture the idea here that the OE might manifest this "skin and bones" image in a different way. In working with a couple women with eating disorders I have found the fantasy of withering away to the bones. In one woman the aspect of it being a passive-aggressive attack on the father was the main element ("See what you've done to me") but in the other I got the real sense that being 'skin and bone' was the ideal image of beauty for her. Along with various writings in the analytic literature of the 'body phallus' in which thin sinewy bodies are relatable to a penis, it was interesting that my patient was jealous of my thinness and in her phantasy she would be so thin that I, along with men and women alike, would be jealous of her. Neither girl had a sinewy slender body, but what distinguished them was their deep paleness.

In both cases its as if the transgression of the difference between the generations that creates the trito fixation stops some kind of physiological development. It's as if the body, as is, is chosen and future musculature won't develop on its own naturally. There are a few short women I've worked with too who have a narcissistic sense of their own beauty and I think something analogous happens in the anal (deutero?) stage as well, that might curtail their height.

Included with the myth of Erysikhthon are some variations.

"Some, too, have said that he [the constellation Ophiochus] is Triopas, king of the Thessalians, who, in trying to roof his own house, tore down the temple of Ceres [Demeter], built by the men of old. When hunger was brought on him by Ceres for this deed, he could never afterward be satisfied by any amount of food. Last of all, toward the end of his life, when a snake was sent to plague him, he suffered many ills, and at last winning death, was put among the stars by the will of Ceres. And so the snake, coiling round him, still seems to inflict deserved and everlasting punishment."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 8. 739 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :

Having the serpent coiled around the tree (or staff) shows up in many different mythologies and in this way would bring together the positive masculine version of the trito father with the negative feminine version of the father (i.e. the tree that Erysikhthon attacked is a good phallus and becomes a  bad phallus in the serpent). 

   The link of the tree and serpent to knowledge I would interpret through my claim that the oral trito stage is the first stage of the will that is measured in relation to others (i.e. the birth of self-consciousness although in the partial form discussed in a previous post).

To return to the subject altruist, there is also mention of Erysichthon's daughter and her ability to shape-shift:

"Some have the gift to change and change again in many forms . . . That gift of shape-changing Erysichthon's daughter [Mestra] also possessed"

This brings us back to Dionysus who appeared in the main myth above. His ability to shape-shift into a woman and animals features heavily in his character. Nietzsche defined the Dionysian not as shapeshifting but: 

In the Dionysian state, on the other hand, the whole affective system is excited and enhanced: so that it discharges all its means of expression at once and drives forth simultaneously the power of representation, imitation, transfiguration, transformation, and every kind of mimicking and acting. The essential feature here remains the ease of metamorphosis, the inability not to react (similar to certain hysterical types who also, upon any suggestion, enter into any role)… It is impossible for the Dionysian type not to understand any suggestion; he does not overlook any sign of an affect; he possesses the instinct of understanding and guessing in the highest degree, just as he commands the art of communication in the highest degree. He enters into any skin, into any affect: he constantly transforms himself. (Nietzsche 1982, p. 519-20)

As with all the libidinal types I think there is a type that is of the body and of the mind. What Nietzsche is drawing attention to here is that skin ego, as the first form of the ego that is measured and thus implies an awareness of self as distinct, is related to the most primal and fullest sense of mimicry or empathy with another. Along with the body sense that allows good actors to literally transform their faces and bodies in imitation of others, Melanie Klein writes of a "particularly intense interest in people" in some schizoid stage individuals  (Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms). We might say that there is a hunger to live in the bodies of others either in mimicry with our own body or with an intuitive grasp of the "sensibility" the other possesses. This trait is no doubt important for the somatic psychologist to notice 'armouring' in people despite the physiological differences in people. The armour can't be a simple measurement but is a ratio or mosaic within a moving form.     

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