Wednesday, April 15, 2015

phallic symbols post from psyart

We had a previous thread on phallic symbols and I related them to the deep objects of perfection (egoism) and death (altruism). I thought I'd add a couple more examples that I've found.

When someone talks about their truck having 'balls' it's a reference to the power of the vehicle. This isn't the only form of power though.

In my book, The Economics of Libido, I argue for 4 basic libidinal positions along two poles. Along the egoistic pole, I point out that someone can be narcissistic or possess an attitude of superiority (arrogance, vanity) about their physical or intellectual potency (subject egoism) as well as about their beauty, aesthetic refinements, or judgement of the lack of virtues in others (object egoism). Power, perfection, and relating to others by competing with them is what's important here. 

Additionally, I point out that someone can masochistically put the desires of others before her own (subject altruism) or masochistically desire the approval of others or have the need to be liked or be seen as interesting by others (object altruism). The former is tied to “people-pleasing”, being “self-effacing” etc. and the latter is tied to being a “people person”, endearing, and wanting to be the centre of attention but not for admiration of one’s skills or potency but to share enthusiasm, or to be interesting. In the book I point out that there are also egoistic versions of masochism and so would be better to contrast narcissism with echoism. Belonging, death, and relating to others by restoring them to their idealized state or lifting their spirits or mood is what's important here.

I've had a couple female patients whose interest in shoes was a phallic symbol. There was a "displacement below from above" and feet were associated with being disgusting and ugly while the clean shoes they compulsively collected were attributed with clean, beautiful, and perfect properties. I want to be clear,  this isn't to say that every person who collects shoes has this motivation.

I've had some male and female patients who took the loss of belonging to their group of friends very hard and the death of that connection resulted in romanticizing the past and other cultures. I think it's often seen in Wes Anderson movies in which commodities from other times and places are given prominence and have an idealized and magical quality. For the object altruist this is in contrast to the dead present, the dead local scene.

The tattoo of the dead beloved, rituals erected to honor their memory, and in some cases, giving up one's life (expressing one's own desires) to carry on his or her legacy are examples of phallic symbols in subject altruism.

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