Wednesday, December 30, 2015


There still remains a tension between masturbation as part of the phallic stage and its relation to an earlier stage that is removed from ego and object drives with external objects.

It's not so troubling to me because there isn't a problem with confluence between different stages. A person can receive transferences from more than one stage or phase at the same time.

The troubling thing at the moment is the difference between the part-ego stage and the previous auto-erotic stage.

Given that the part-ego stage involves a part-relation to people vs. their memories, then masturbation that imagines past partners or loves who were real external people seems like the candidate here.

In contrast, the auto-erotic, and its relation to internal Space and phantasy, suggests that masturbation would be based upon sexual scenes and acts which one hasn't experienced but seem exciting.

However, this once again leads us to the part-ego stage where the increased intellectual capacities lead to more fantastic creations...

In the ego (social) drives, I've discussed this as having an author who spends more time writing about his or her imaginary world then being connected to people in external Space. Such an author can have stories that are set in our world, and I see the part-ego stage as having a further rivalry with the world as such, so that, sci-fi, fantasy, and other creations are much more interesting to them.

So, it's possible that the auto-erotic stage gives us masturbation that is "perverse" in the light sense of a man, for example, who watches types of pornography that he hasn't experiences but are exciting for him (anal sex, bondage stuff, etc.). However, truly perverse stuff (bestiality, necrophilia, etc.) might require the added penchant to negate this world for another more fantastical one, in the part-ego stage.

These are just thoughts, and will require being matched up with psychic bisexuality and clinical data before they are worth much...

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Klein's sketch of the mind and social ontology

Klein continues to be one of those writers, who with Freud, Nietzsche, Hegel, Reich, etc., that one can always return to and find more than what one has remembered.  

This is Klein in the Psychoanalysis of Children:

The small child's super-ego and object are not identical; but it is continually endeavouring to make them interchangeable, partly so as to lessen its fear of its super-ego, partly so as to be better able to comply with the requirements of its real objects, which do not coincide with the unrealistic commands of its introjected objects. Thus we see that on top of the conflict between the super-ego and the id and the opposition between the various requirements made by the super-ego itself, composed as it is of quite different imagos that have been formed in the course of development, the ego of the small child is burdened with this difference between the standards of its super-ego and the standards of its real objects, with the result that it is constantly wavering between its introjected objects and its real ones—between its world of phantasy and its world of reality. 249-50

The tendency the individual has to secure from the external world a tranquillization of his fears of imaginary dangers from within and from without is, I think, an important factor in the repetition-compulsion (cf. Chapter VII.). The more neurotic he is, the more this tendency will be coloured by his need for punishment. The conditions to which the securing of such a tranquillization from external sources is attached will be increasingly unfavourable in proportion as the anxiety connected with his early danger-situations is powerful and his optimistic trend of feeling weak. In extreme cases only very severe punishments, or rather unhappy experiences which he feels as punishments, are able to fill the place of the imaginary punishments which he dreads. P. 277

Similarly, her relation to her home, which is equivalent to her own body, has a special importance for the feminine mode of mastering anxiety, and has, besides, another and more direct connection with her early anxiety-situation. As we have seen, the little girl's rivalry with her mother finds utterance, among other things, in phantasies of driving her out and taking her place as mistress of the house. An important part of this anxiety-situation for children of both sexes, but more especially for girls, consists in the fear of being turned out of the house and being left homeless. [fn: The fear of becoming a beggar child or a homeless orphan appears in every child analysis. It plays a large part in fixating the child to its mother, and is one of the forms taken by its fear of loss of love.] p. 263

What my work has added to this is that the parental imagos that comprise the superego are based upon instinctual renunciations, the negation of the finite mother into perfection and death, and possible adaptations (deutero phases) the produce the combined parent imagos. The deutero phases are based upon maternal seductions or rejections that make a new renunciation of sexuality or aggression and split the paternal imago. The impression that the child is seeing complex dynamics between the parents is not needed.

Additionally, the characterological and ego based aspects are better explained in my account. Klein mentions the epistemophillic drive, but the distinctions between internal and external Space, having affective connections vs. seeing others as "ideas" and wishing towards objects vs. seeing the efficacy of one's actions or the responses of others over time, etc. provide a better understanding of functions and how they can breakdown. 

The depersonalization involved in social ontology means that it's not just the child's relation to the house, but that the volar level also means a relation to society at large. Klein talks about the child being a beggar child, but it obviously can't conceive of this relation based upon observing power dynamics in some atomistic way. However, to say that the child has the sense of authority in relation to others in a social group at this stage, and that he or she can either be a part of it, rival the authority, have the loss of this authority, etc., then we can talk about the individual being abject, monstrous, etc.    
As I've shown, the idea of authority and its relation to society increases at the anal stage to a sense of one's relation to civilization. It's not about being part of society in the most basic way, as at the volar, but a question of whether one is a citizen that follows basic laws or is attracted to an under group (subaltern), criminal elements, or is just trying to basically survive and make it as a citizen.    

There's the level of discourse in these relations, in which certain laws or behaviors become known to affect one's acceptance by society or civilization. However, there are some impulses that are related to this based upon development (for example, cannibalistic impulses at the volar, death and robbing at the anal). 

It's possible that the volar stage house is a natural cathexis for the child and part of development, but it is a deutero phase development and thus not part of the natural, universal, development shared with animals. 

Clinically, especially working with substance abuse, one will be able to find many patients who are living out these various relations to society. Whether it's a person who is couch-surfing and has no security, a woman who is not allowed to leave the house and is kept like a prisoner by her boyfriend, a person who is doing monstrous things (like neglecting their children), spending each day just surviving in terms of scrounging for drugs, food, etc., or someone who can't tolerate being under any boss/employer and can put in a few days before seeing how the boss/manager isn't smart and therefore they have to quit, or someone who others ask for help at work and who can't say no, so they do the work of others but don't get paid more and feel taken advantage of, and then will quit from not being appreciated, etc....... there are these situations and many more that can intimate a volar level engagement.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

symbols, symbols, symbols

I haven't looked at myths for a while now. I've recently returned to find a few parallels.

I pointed out long ago that Oedipus and Bellerophon both shared the lion as a symbol as well as self-blinding or being blinded.

I also pointed out that Heracles has his wife stolen by a centaur and that this leads to his death which is accomplished by fire. On the object altruist side, Ixion tries to ravish Zeus's wife who turns out to be a cloud fashioned into Hera's image by Zeus. From the cloud comes the race of centaurs. He ends by being stuck to a wheel and being spun around.

At the phallic deutero the SE and OA share the horse, but both go on to have their symbols of castration in fire and spinning, respectively. I've encountered both of these symbols in both dreams but also in associative work in which the patient can affirm them as a feeling in self-statements.

On the feminine side, I've recently encountered hair as a symbol of the parental imago (like the Lion is for the masculine). The golden fleece in Jason seems to culminate there, but I'll have to look further into Antigone and Electra to see if the parallel is found there. I also think about Game of Thrones, V for Vendetta, and other cultural objects where having one's hair cut or cutting it oneself appear as symbolic of big moments of shame or rebirth.

In the myth of Perseus the winged shoes or flying is important, as it is with the harpies (before the Fleece) in the myth of Jason. In The Piano (1993) I first had my attention drawn to wings as a symbol. The movie Maleficent also features them, along with their castration. The subject altruist has them in the representation of angels, while the object egoist has them in representations that have a little more pride or narcissism.

Additionally, I've pointed to the polyphallic as a feminine symbol after seeing that Heracles labors seem to represent repression of the feminine in him.

I hope to find the corresponding symbols to feminine phallic deutero castration.

Additionally, the horse is the parental imago, which means that I need the symbol for the phallus there. Conversely, I need the symbol of the parental imago for the phallic deutero in the feminine. The serpent in both Perseus and Jason seems to be the likely candidate.

Anyway, more to come...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The phallic stage and the ties to one's trade or profession

"The bond between a man and his profession is similar to that which ties him to his country; it is just as complex, often ambivalent, and in general it is understood completely only when it is broken: by exile or emigration in the case of one's country, by retirement in the case of a trade or profession".

-Primo Levi


Friday, December 4, 2015

paternal foreclosure Death vs. Sacrifice

In working in substance abuse, the deep object of Death was one of the first things I was impressed by. I've given the examples before of the altruistic person who loves and wants to help the addict, while the addict again might almost die from an overdose, will disappear, will ruin his or her reputation again.

For some time I've taken this as the "borderline" version, or the version in which the paternal function is gone.

I've recently had a patient who clued me into something I should have seen earlier. When the paternal function exists (i.e. power is transcribed to the father imago) then the Death object changes to one in which the parental-substitute sacrifices themselves for one and doesn't just die or disappear...