The Archaeology of the Ancient Roman Bedroom

Phallus at Dionysos Temple Delos
Phallus at Dionysos Temple (Delos)

Hellenistic Roman occupied Jerusalem was influenced by the Greek culture. Travelers making there way to and from these destinations left behind commodities and religious symbols that influenced the people who lived there. The Greek temple of Dionysos, the Temple at Delos had duel standing phallic pillars (erect male phallus with testicles). According to archaeological record these temples were sites of fertility festivals where wine was drank and also other intoxicating mediums being used in orgies to celebrate male power of potency. Dionysus was the God of the vine, grape harvest, wine making, wine, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theater. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theater itself. His procession is made up of the wild female followers (maenads) and bearded satyrs with erect penises; some are armed with the thyrus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and he thus symbolizes the chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.

Phronographic Oil Lamp
Pornographic Oil Lamp

Erotic pornography of the time also depicted and supported images of sexual practices in the Roman Hellenistic world. These images indicate there were predominately male dominated sexualized norms (patriarchy). Particularly exclusive to these male dominated sexualized norms were the appetites and behaviors of the wealthy classes. Wealthy men, who could do almost anything to either sex, provided they were socially inferior. In this sense pedophilia was tolerated (pederasty) if it was performed by an elite (superior) on a servant or slave (inferior). Therefore, sexual behavior was based on male control and power, mostly but not exclusively over women, and at times involves what looks like subjugation and humiliation as the oil lamp (pictured above) depicts a violent aggressive sexualized scenario. This can be seen in images and inscriptions from bedrooms and brothels. The disc-shaped oil lamps (shown above) across the Mediterranean portray sexual positions in which the male was considered the active and the woman passive.

Erotic Bas Relief
Pornographic Bas Relief (Pompeii)
Fresco of Priapus
Fresco of Priapus (Pompeii, 1st c. CE)

Wealthy men were almost free to penetrate almost anyone they chose – a woman, a boy, or lower-class man. This is how the widespread depictions of homosexuality in the Roman world must be understood, where rich men included in their household teenage boy-slaves, preferably curly-haired slaves imported form Asia Minor, who were particularly prized for their sexual usage. They were pursued and penetrated like women, then discarded and replaced when they reached manhood and grew facial hair; they never penetrated their masters. That kind of exploitation might well explain some of the anger Paul expresses in his letter to the Romans on the topic. (Romans 1:26-31)

“That is why God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature (anal sex); and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.

And just as they did not approve of holding God in accurate knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mental state, to do the thing not fitting, filled as they were with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, badness, being full of envy murder, strife, deceit, malicious disposition, being whispers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, self-assuming, inventors of injurious things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, false to agreements, having no natural affection, merciless.”

Since these pagan Greek religious symbols were culturally transmitted to Hellenistic Roman occupied Jerusalem, where Jews shared in the atmosphere of the society, it was up to Herod Antipas to make sure order was maintained. Herod did an excellent job at maintaining order by allowing enough freedom to both the Jews and the citizens of the Hellenized society to practice those behaviors they felt befitting.

Was there a cultural divide between the abuses of the wealthy Jewish priests and those of the elite ruling authority? Both, it appears, maintained levels of narcissism in that oppressions existed within patriarchal maintained households, even outbreaks of violence were possible between both camps.

Phallus on Wall
Phallus on Wall (inscription says “Here dwells happiness.”)

The widespread abuse and violence toward lower-class men, women, and children were tied very closely to narcissism. Not unlike today, those who controlled the wealth had the power to maintain and own land and with it those commodities of human possession. Slaves, women, and children were viewed as property and could be disposed of as the owner of the house saw fit. Thus, the power of the phallus was composed of male land owners. Evidence supports belief in the power of male authority, as penises were inscribed on walls both inside and outside of houses. These symbols were placed there as a form of protection and as a symbol of power of the male land owners who lived in them.

Advertisements

Crucifixion Nails as Amulets; Fetishized Motifs and Historical Forms of Kleptomania (edited for correctness)

Crucifixion.jpg
Roman Crucifixions

Crucifixion was a particularly brutal means of social control. During the first centuries of the common era in Roman occupied Jerusalem, in this region Rome occupied the city of Jerusalem and Roman procurators and Jewish high priests collaborated in keeping Jerusalem’s potentially unruly crowds from potentially exploding out of control. This was a high priority agenda for the government, especially during the time of the Passover, since Hellenistic non-believing citizens co-habitated with religious Jewish citizens. Not

Roman Ankle
Crucified Ankle (4th c. CE)

much evidence exists in the way of the actual remains of the crucified Christ, but a Roman nail driven through the skeletal fragmented remains of a first century citizen ankle shows that the nails were driven through the ankles in order to adequately securing the offender to the cross. Thus these nails have become amulets of protection of the risen Christ. Amulets that served as protection against evil and wrong doing, in various Christian orders across the world, due to the religious belief in the divine right of Jesus Christ as ruler.

Through out history faithful servants and followers, marauders and thieves either hoping for protection from evil and wrong doing or to secure financial gain, have stolen the physical remains of bodies as well as articles belonging to those bodies (evidence left behind) from the high profile deaths and have endowed them with special powers, similar to the Shroud of Turin. These preserved amulets and relics were regarded as highly sacred remains as they were believed to hold connections to their former owners,

St Catherine of Siena's Severed head 2
The Severed Head of St. Catherine

and as such, these relics were believed to be embodied with the same special powers of those that possessed them. Throughout history there has been discovered evidence of the confiscated body parts of various religious leaders by men of the cloth who believed such relics held sacred power, and as such, these holy men could proclaim divine right. The body of Saint Catherine is believed to have been dismembered and scattered across Italy.

Connections to Kleptomania and the stealing of powers for self-protection can therefore be understood in the light of unconscious fantasized wishes with fixed repetition behaviors.  (Please refer to: Kleptomania; Recuperating the stolen treasures of infancy ) Often times serial killers will keep a memento from the crime scene, often a personal

Ed Gein Crime Scene Photo
Photo taken from Ed Gien Crime Scene

possession of the victim, even a photograph may be taken. These mementos are thought to serve the perpetrator as trophies, as symbolized forms of reconfirming the person’s possessed phallic power and may be used as a way of warding off fear and castration anxiety from some infantile trauma received in early childhood. Similar types of behavior are expressed in young adolescents with symbolized commodity consumption. The hottest trends in gaming, Christmas toys, clothing, and jewelry are forms of commercialized fetishes in which the individual is able to adhere to social group standards and exult themselves in social groups, elevating them as “worthy” of acceptance. If you think back to a time from your early childhood you might recall a time in which the hottest trending toy was being marketed. This toy was believed to be the “status quo” endowing someone with social class and power. If it was not received at Christmas, this “perfect” Christmas gift, you may have suffered feelings of “unworthiness,” rejection, or non-acceptance. This fantasy of the “perfect” gift, the “idealized” toy runs a congruent theme with the “idealized” love object and promotes themes that distort truth and obscure reality.

Unconscious fantasized wishes which stem from feelings of inferiority due to infantile trauma from the primal scene are believed to contribute to dysfunctional behaviors which give rise to various mental illness, repetition drives, and violent crime. (Please refer to  Primal Scene Fantasies and The Misfiring of Oedipus; A Case Study) To reiterate my previous sediments, sometimes the commodity of choice is a human body. With regard to rape, the stealing of a woman’s body by a man, places the male’s inferior status as triumphant and rewarded, and as one more superior or at least on the same level as superior as that of the phallic father of the early symbolic space of childhood development. The angry violent themes that are promoted by rape may involve some of

Acid Attack - Female Victim
Attacked Female

the most grotesque violent acts of sadism toward a hated love object. Physical acts of penetration by knife or some other sharp object for example. In some violent rape and murder cases a beautiful woman’s face may be demarcated with slashes, chemical burns, or some other type of graffiti in an attempt at taking power back from objectified love object. Thus, these acts are tied closely to personal envies in which perpetrators believe that they rightfully deserve that “beautiful” person‘s love, and when it is not forthcoming, a stealing back of the power is demonstrated.

“Hatshepsut has become one of the most celebrated and controversial women of Egypt and the ancient world in general.”

When I read of acts that are attempts at erasure, I think of the female Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut whose name means “Foremost of Noble Women” or “She is First Among Noble Women.” As humans our first encounter with this “Noble Woman” is our mothers,  and as a woman in a class of patriarchal rulers she was not allowed to become pharaoh but was awarded the status of Regent in governing her young stepson’s affairs, Thuthmose III, at the time of the death of his father, Pharaoh Thuthmose II. During her marriage to Thuthmose II she was elevated to the position of God’s Wife of Amun. This endowed her with the highest honor a woman could attain in Egypt after the position of queen. This bestowed more power on her than most queens ever knew and under her rule, Egypt flourished. Indicating that Thuthmose II may have chosen her as God’s Wife of Amun for very specific reasons. Hatshepsut established new trade routes and the by-product was increased trade and economic growth for Egypt. Egyptians were enlightened with exotic luxurious they had never known before. At some point she had stopped depicting herself as a woman, and assumed a male form in reliefs and statues, thereby assuming male

hatshepsut
An artist’s rendering of Hatshepsut

phallic power. For reasons that remain obscure today, all monuments that were devoted to her, all inscriptions, and physical images were removed from Egyptian monoliths, temples, and monuments. It is believed the male priests which oversaw the various religious temples of the time, colluded with Thuthmose III when he assume his rightful place as ruler, to have her “female obscenity” erased, as women were not endowed with the divine right to preside over any throne at the time; political, religious, or otherwise. This could be viewed as an act of Kleptomania by the political and religious authority of the time, a stealing back of phallic power most likely exerted by temple priests who felt emasculated by a woman who proved to be more insightful as ruler. Today in the study of political history, Hatshepsut is one of the lesser known, but more influential and successful leaders that have succeed in an atmosphere of patriarchal rule and female hatred. (Please refer to Why The Act of Love Can Be Called A Delusion and The Schizophrenia of Religion)

Please refer to the following link for more historical proof of women as hated objects. The Story of Anne Hutchinson

Understanding Perverse Scenarios and the Sadomasochistic Themes that Promote Them

Ramon Casas - Nude Woman
Artwork by Ramon Casas Spanish artist. “Nude Woman”

The symbolic meaning of a fetish can be deciphered only through an interpretive reading of the perverse scenario in which it appears, most men do not regard their fetish or their fetishistic perversion as anything to worry about. They will resist attempts to inquire into its meaning. After all, a man’s fetish is his ally. He creates it because it protects him from becoming conscious of some wishes and fantasies that would otherwise frighten and humiliate him. The perversion holds at bat the anxieties, depression, and madness that might otherwise afflict him. How then might we decipher the code of the perverse strategy if the very value of its secrecy is in managing to keep everybody happily entranced by a comforting deception?

Many of the m en who use specialty houses, message parlors, and alleyways as the settings of enacting their perverse scenarios do so in an effort to keep their domestic life uncontaminated by their perverse wishes and desires. Moreover, by making use of commercialized settings, standardized props, and professional humiliators and dominators (the collections agent), they allow the personal elements of the perversion to be impersonalized and thereby accomplish a more extensive disguise than if they were to leave these dangerous matters to chance. However, it is also true that many perverse scenarios are enacted in domestic surrounding. The sexual partner of the fetishist, the dehumanized, fetish zed love object, is often a wife or girlfriend or neighbor. And if we leave out the helpless children and family pets and barn animals and corpses who are sometimes enlisted as fetish objects, the customary partner is a consenting or at least a cooperating adult. Though the domestic perverse enactments are as precisely ritualized as those performed on standardized stages with standard props and experienced hired actors, they bring out the personal them3s of a perverse scenario in much finer detail and with much greater clarity.

In a perverse enactment one perversion, say exhibitionism, appears to be more dominant than all the others. However, embedded in each script are always elements from some of the other perversions, if not as crystal-clear enactments, then as whispered hints, fleeting shadows, secondary props, and background tonalities. Each man creates a personal script in which the various nuances of fethisism, transvestism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, masochism, and sadism might be muted in the first act and then perhaps highlighted in the second or third. In every script something or someone is treated as a fetish object, which is why fetishism is considered the prototype of all sexual perversions.

And always there is at least a thread of sadomasochism. The more adept we become at reading perverse scripts, the more we come to realize that every perversion is an effort to give some expression to while yet controlling, the full strength of potentially murderous impulses to chew up, tear apart, explode, hack to pieces, burn to ashes, rip through to create one hole out of mouth, belly, anus, and vagina. By violating every boundary between one body part and another, the pervert totally eliminates the distinction between the sexes and with it all distinctions between child and adult generations. With its sadomasochistic nuances, the perversion makes apparent its paradoxical essence. Perversion is a social transgression that regulates aggression and thereby protects the structures of the social order – most of the time. It is for this reason society has moved away from over regulating sexual fetishes and declassifying them as mental illnesses.

Only when the perversion can no longer sufficiently disguise or regulate the underlying shameful, frightening, forbidden, and dangerous unpredictable impulses, fantasies, and wishes to do outright madness, rampage, violence, rape, mutilations, incest, and murder result.

Furthermore, the sadomasochistic motifs that are an integral part of every perverse scenario are also disguises for still deeper layers of meaning. What looks like a seeking for pleasure in pain or humiliation will turn out to be a ritualized re-enactment of an infantile trauma. The underlying aim of the vast majority of sadomasochistic enactments is not pleasure in pain but a repetitive cycle of losing love and finding love, of castration and restitution, of abandonment and reunion, of death and resurrection.

In analyzing cases one must seriously consider the effects of early infantile trauma on the extent and level of the patient’s castration anxiety. Good analyst are keenly aware of how a man’s feminine wishes and fantasies influenced his perceptions of the female genitals. Revealing details to how primal scene trauma may have manifested perverse scenarios can help one decode the encrypted perverse actions of men. One must reach backward in time to bring the traumas of early infancy forward and into the sway of present behavior. Since our usual orientation in time makes us aware only of a forward-moving process, it is always much easier to imagine how an event that occurs earlier in life might influence what comes later. The law of causality insists that what comes earlier causes what comes later and not the other way around. It take a bit more imagination and an appreciation of the ingenuity of human memory to discern how later events might influence the way a person comes to interpret his past. The analogy of the crochet pattern is often used to describe the forward and backward movements of human recollection and fantasy. All the analysts remarked at this possibility of retroactive trauma even if they did not make explicit how it functioned in their patient’s perversion.

In a general way, most contemporary analysts appreciate that the trauma of the primal scene puts the earlier infantile traumas into anew perspective by transposing them into a situation where they are given erotic and genital interpretation. What was once a trauma of oral deprivation, for example, becomes a trauma of genital insufficiency. The primal scene trauma consists not only of the sadomasochistic, submission-dominance fantasies the child attributes to the parents’ sexual behavior, but of his exclusion from this exciting imagined scene and his having to acknowledge his own anatomical inferiority compared with his mighty parents. Most children survive this inevitable childhood mortification by advancing their moral and intellectual life. The child’s wounded narcissism will be healed as he identifies with both parents’ authority and power to recognizes that he must postpone to the future any fulfillment of adult sexual desire. However, the child who is predisposed to perversion in adulthood is the child who is already too traumatized to be able to endure the knowledge that his mother experiences an active desire for the father. In most cases of perversion we find that the parents have colluded with the child’s wish to obliterate knowledge of the father’s role in the mother’s life by conveying the impression that the father does not count. In other cases we discover a tyrannical hyper-masculine father who was terrified his unconscious feminine wishes.

The fundamental wish in a perversion is to obliterate all knowledge of the differences between the child and adult generations. The perverse adolescent or adult will arrange his perverse scenario so that he may live forever in the never-never land where there are no real or significant differences between the sexes and no difference between infantile sexuality and adult sexuality.

To be successful a perverse script must enable several triumphs at once. First, the script must arrange to skip over the primal scene mortification, which it accomplishes in two basic ways: by erasing parent-child differences and by reducing genital sex to mother-baby gratifications. Therefore, the usual perverse scenario consists of the protagonist taking on one or both parental roles in the primal scene while someone else is the excluded child. The pervert is conscious of transgressing the sexual codes of his society, but the excluded other is some unconscious representative of society itself —- usually a father or mother, the analyst, or the straight person who doesn’t have the recipe for Great Sex.

Second, the perverse strategy must arrange for a rectification of the earlier traumas. In this subplot the actors are a child and a parent, with a reversal of roles so that a once abused and traumatized child now assumes the role of the abusing parent. The sexual partner, the “loved one,” is treated to the humiliation of being excluded, cast away, abandoned. The sexual partner is also a child subjected to physical or mental abuse but now with the protagonist disguised as a parental caregiver and love giver.

Third, whenever possible the perverse strategy must arrange for a reunion between a child and the beloved almighty one who has gone away, abused, tormented, defiled, and demeaned him.

The Great Sex in a male perversion uses the penis and the vagina but reduces sex to infantile acts of peeping and exhibiting, diapering, and spanking, urinating and defecating, submitting and dominating and on infinite variety of personal variations on those infantile themes, thus, enabling a rectification of both levels of trauma, the early infantile trauma and the oedipal primal scene trauma.

It is important the reader be aware of the negative effects of drawing conclusions from superficial “news” or “gossip.” The only sure way to understand the full depth of an analysis is in the therapeutic space of the psychoanalytic situation. Thus, we may evaluate behavior and even a crime scene evidence, draw our conclusions based on the degrees of sadism toward the sexual partner, but conclusive evidence in understanding the roots of such behavior lies in the personal testimony of the perpetrator themselves.

On the Perverse Scenarios, Fetishes, and Phallic Power

Woman

“Men sometimes feel that their penis controls them, leads them astray, causes them to beg favors at night from women whose names they prefer to forget in the morning. Whether insatiable or insecure, it demands constant proof of its potency, introducing into a man’s life unwanted complications and frequent rejection. Sensitive but resilient, equally available during the day or night with a minimum of coaxing, it has performed purposefully if not always skillfully for an eternity of centuries, endlessly searching, sensing, expanding, probing, penetrating, throbbing, wilting, and wanting more. Never concealing its prurient interest, it is man’s most honest organ.” ~ Gay Talese, Thy Neighbor’s Wife (on a Victorian gentleman)

Fetishism exemplifies the perverse strategy. The fetish is designed to divert attention from a whole story by focusing attention on a detail. By focusing our attention on the penis and protesting that the penis is man’s most honest organ, Talese is, all unwittingly, demonstrating the perverse strategy. The fixation of a male’s attention to his penis is a measure of his defensive avoidance of something else: perhaps some other, less illustrious body part, perhaps some bodily experience less easily focused and more softly diffuse than a hard, manly erection, perhaps the less than manly wish to be the submissive one who is penetrated by a penis. Very likely the manifest “prurient” interest of a penis that is “endlessly searching, sensing, expanding, probing, penetrating, throbbing, wilting, and wanting more” are there to disguise the man’s unconscious desires to submit, to be vulnerable to open his body to being passively penetrated and probed – just like a woman or a baby. But then Talese must have realized all this. Does he not wonder whether the penis is “insatiable or insecure”? Why does it demand proof of its potency? We assume that them ore a man insists on the deception of the eternally erect penis, the more frightened he is of his passive, feminine longings. In perversions, the sexual enactments that grip the attention of the actors and the anonymous spectator (the imagined or actual audience) are there to permit a secret fulfillment of imagined or actual audience) are there to permit a secret fulfillment of wishes and fantasies that are experienced as shameful and frightening.

“At the hearts of men, lie insatiable desires.” 

Classical Myth and Sexual Defiance in Ancient Greece & the “Splitting” of Christian Literature

 

castillo
Callisto being seduce by Zeus in female form.

The “Earthly Abomination” referred to Revelations 17 verse 5 is nothing more than a permutation symbolic representation of one of the oldest surviving plays by Aeschylus tragedies. In one of his trilogies, the Oresteia, the killing of Clytemnestra in Aeschylus’ play functions to conceal the traumatic mise-en-scène of primal fantasy thought and patriarchal “civilization” – the incorporation of the raped and murdered pregnant body of Metis. The major psychoanalytic point about this symbolic representation is that it is represented instead of silenced from the literature so we can make sense of the social problems which revolve around narcissistic fixed states of personality and gender identity issues.

“The father can father forth without the mother.
Here she stands our living witness. Look —
{Exhibiting Athena}
Child sprung full-blown from Olympian Zeus,
Never bred in the darkness of the womb.” ~Aeschylus, Oresteia

Does this symbolic representation of parthenogenesis in classical Greek literature reveal clues regarding homosexual love or inter-sex babies? A gay cupbearer on Mount Olympus? Same-sexed male lover with transgender issues known as Hermaphroditus? While tolerance is often presented as a sign of civilization’s advancement, a reading of Greek mythology reveals greater acceptance of homosexuality in ancient Athens than can be boasted within today’s world religions. These mythical examples from classical literature indicate that homosexuality and transgender issues have been with us for quiet some time.

The Parthenogenesis and Zeus

Zeus, who sired countless demigods by every peasant girl in need of an explanation to

zeus-and-ganymede-theft-of-fire-1878-christian-griepenkerl
Zeus and Ganymede

her parents, Zeus famously selected the young mortal Ganymede to serve as his cup-bearer on Mount Olympus. The relationship provided the foundation of the custom of pederasty, the practice of Greek men at the time maintaining erotic relationships with adolescent young boys on the side. Zeus is depicted with Ganymede in the artwork by an unknown artist (pictured above).

The parthenogenesis representation of the father being able to father without the mother is a clear indication that homosexuality and transgender issues that have been with us probably since the dawn of our existence. A child springing full-blown from the breast of Zeus plays with homosexual, transgender fantasies and ones in which we see the reversal of penis envy as being represented as womb envy or a male envying the capacity to bring forth life of his own through an absent vaginal cavity. The act of pederasty in which men maintained sexual relationships with feminine looking young adolescent boys is also symbolic of fantasized wish fulfillment of homosexuality and transgender identity issues. Does this represent a form of closure in recuperating the lost territory of Oedipus?

“The myth thus structures a complex constellation of phantasies between women on both vertical and lateral axis and in this way does not limit or fix these psychic relations to one particular model.” ~Amber Jacobs, On Matricide

Theories on matricide were major break throughs in psychoanalytic thought because it discredited Freud’s notions of the phallic power of the penis and transferred the phallic power to the maternal breast. In this vein, Jacob’s interpretation opened up avenues in which one can perceive the various possibilities this type of misfiring creates in personality disorders and gender identity disorders. We can see how the theme of “re-

Hermaphroditus
Sculpture of Hermaphroditus

establishing one’s rightful position” or “the stealing back of one’s power” through acts of rape, murder, even suicide (a romance fantasy) as explained in the form of kleptomania by Louise Kaplan. It allows us to easily perceive the connections between the various psychic constellations of identity stemming from a basic misfiring of the primal mise-en-scène which gives rise to permutations of psychic fantasy structures tied to delusions like anorexia, cutting, sadomasochism, and excessive body manipulations.

Permutations of Gender in Greek Mythology

Hermaphroditus was perhaps the earliest literary reference to an intersex person. This myth concerns the child of Hermes and love goddess Aphrodite, who as a youth encountered the nymph Salmacis, who attempted to seduce the youth and asked the gods that their forms be permanently joined creating a permutation of the genitalia. The creature of both sexes, male and female, was frequently depicted in classical art as a figure with womanly breasts and form but with male genitalia.

The Mythical Symbolics of The Paranoid Schizoid Position

“She dreamed she bore a snake,
She swaddled it like a baby, laid it to rest
She gave it to her breast to suck
Blood curdled the milk with each sharp tug.” (Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers)

In Clytemnestra’s dream of the newborn infant/snake devouring her breast is symbolic of a repudiation of the breast and its female attributes, much like we see in homosexuality, transgender issues and other paranoid delusional psychic states.

Regarding myths that run parallel to similar themes found in Christian religious literature, The Book of Revelations describes a pregnant woman and a great-fiery colored dragon:

“…..a great sign was seen in heaven a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon was beneath her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars and she was pregnant. And she cries out in her pains and in her agony to give birth.” (Rev. Chap. 12:1-2)

This symbolic theme is followed by another “sign,” a great-fiery colored dragon. This dragon represented the original serpent, the one called “Devil” or “Satan.” Funny the two signs should follow sequentially back-to-back in the mythical story. The fiery dragon is then hurled to earth, and the pregnant woman flees to an Earthly wilderness where she hides. Her son is “caught away” (this process may be perceived as the act of rapture) to God and to his throne. This male child is the symbolic representation of the “Good Sheppard,” and the remaining ones of her seed are the ideal representation of “The Faithful Servants.” This is where the two myths diverge in literary structure but we can definitely understand the parallels.

“Now when the dragon saw that it was hurled down to the earth, it persecuted the woman that gave birth to the male child.”……”And the dragon grew wrathful at the woman, and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” (Rev. Chap. 12:13&17)

And-on-her-forehead-was

The envies and paranoid delusions of fixed unconscious fantasies which give rise to acts of hatred can be understood when one perceives another as the “ideal” or the “image of perfection” in which a person seeks to restore and vindicate themselves. For example, The Good Wife. The Good Mother (the good breast). The Good Samaritan. The Faithful Servant. When people perceive these images as symbols of perfection that engender envies, hostilities, and jealousies, these feelings invoke hatred and can give rise to repudiations when what one wants is not given freely, say The Good Breast or The Perfect Servant. This can drive repetition behaviors. Repetition behaviors like humiliating and dehumanizing individuals in the acts of domestic violence, serial rape, and serial murder.

The above referenced literary symbolic depiction in Revelations chapter 12 verse 13 and 17, indicate the splitting of the paranoid schizoid position (The Good Breast and The Bad Breast). This position carries the psychic delusional structure that not all people are human and as such, those who are not for me (The Bad Breast) deserve to be devoured, chewed-up, torn apart, torn out, disemboweled, ripped off, grabbed, snatched, swindled and poached. This black and white delineation is a fantasy structure when in reality it is more like a colorful kaleidoscope array of difference and variations because we all sometimes fall from the silvery graces of our gods, and sometimes we are embodied with the light of grace and style of heavenly rule. This objectification of people as things, objects to be destroyed or manipulated (The Bad Breast) indicates an individual’s issues with object relations in early childhood development. In fact some of the oneiric  of the Bible reveals itself as nothing more than man’s attempt at mastering the black and white delineations of splitting the mythical omnipotence of tyrannical rulers and authority figures (The Good Breast and The Bad Breast) as the Bible represents itself as war time literature. Literature of a time when mutual relations broke-down and divisions were created.

Delusions, Entitlements, and Prostitutes

The Great Whore

During the 1800’s and early 1900’s there was a motivational force of power that depicted woman with themes as emasculating, viraginous, and penis-envying. (Kaplan, 1991). In 1904 the English author and occultist Aleister Crowley’s writing which were based on the mystical system of Thelema made reference to these independent phallic woman. In The Book of Thoth, based on a mystical system of Thelema, this female’s numinosity is depicted as warrior riding a Beast; in her left hand she holds the riens that control the Beast, representing the passion which unites them. In her right she holds aloft the cup, the Holy Grail aflame with love and death. In this cup are mingled the elements of the sacrament of the Aeon. In ancient Babylon, this female essence was also personified as a woman riding a beast and was described as being girt with a sword and riding the Beast. She is often referred to as a sacred whore, and her primary symbol is the Chalice or Graal. Her consort is Chaos, the “Father of Life” and the male form of the Creative Principle (phallic). Similar themes and symbols are described in the Bible book of Revelations, represented as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. These symbols represents Death and the symbolic right to the power of execution and represents the destructive judgment of God‘s wrath. In reality, with regard to psychoanalysis and identity, it is an individual’s inability to navigate narcissistic loss in re-establishing their dominance. This theme can be rooted in delusional fantasy states of the paranoid schizoid like rape and murder.

Women who possess this essence, however, are rooted in biblical myth as scarlet women, whores and prostitutes. Anne Hutchinson because of her strong influence and

Mother of Abominations - Seal of Babalon
Mother of Abominations – The Ancient Seal of Babylon

intellectual powers was labeled a “Jezebel” by the male pastors she upstaged during the early colonization of America. The logical reasoning for the mythical manifestation of this belief, during the nineteenth century, is rooted in the idea that “Sex is a form of violence,” and as a form of violence will inevitably leave one vanquished and one victorious. Thus, the historical tradition of patriarchy, left in the path of strong women who conquer, is left feeling quivering, vanquished, and dismantled in the balance of female phallic power. Some men, and women for that matter, feel threatened at the very presence of a woman possessing a penis. Like the awkwardness of viewing a transgender male naked, and dressed as a woman, she not only has become something feared, but something gravely misunderstood. In an interview with Jonah Weiner, rock star Post Malone was quoted as saying, “People hate you for what they don’t understand you for. It’s about pushing for equality – in both directions.” Society has moved towards liberating sexual equality by declassifying certain behaviors like sexual sadomasochism and homosexuality simply because when performed as consensual sex, no one is left offended, including society. This move has become a progressive theme in which consenting parties, to once believed depraved acts, are given protection under U.S. Constitutional Law today to practice such acts freely as long as consent, by both parties, are freely given.

The delusional belief in the omnipotent-all powerful “Great Mother,” explained by

Cleopatra-Print-C12180709_1220872531
Cleopatra

Melanie Kline as the ambivalent breast, have been typically rooted in the power relations found within certain social, political, and religious organizations. Beliefs that target marginalized groups as “evil” or “lunatic,” which have given rise to Delusions of Satan, are rooted in the same type of paranoia that spawn the blood baths of ISOL and other religious conflict. Unfortunately, this same belief is rooted in many different forms of mental illnesses like men who batter there wives and children. All these myths, fantasies, and legends are rooted in one theme “War.” To the victor goes the spoils. To the vanquished goes the humbling realization that they are no longer the “Great Mother’s” number one. Thus, the re-establishing and repositioning of the child’s position echoes clues from the past. From a past that had originally declared their oedipal superiority in relation to the great omnipotent mother, and an individual’s failure to navigate their narcissistic loss of defeat. These failures can stem from learning disabilities or from anxieties (castration anxiety) acquired in the early childhood triadic structure of the symbolic space. These same delusions can apply to the phallic father of the oedipal phase as well, and which give rise to the perversions that are now becoming declassified as mental illness. It spells out on overriding theme; Entitlements. With this belief of entitlements comes the message, “I have the right to take whatever I want.”

In American politics it is the anatomy of a fake news scandal, the inside web of conspiracy of self-promoting lies and deceptions. The black propaganda at targeting groups that threaten your existence because they do not support your agenda. The saddest thing to witness is the swiftness in which these lies are taken in as truth in the absence of common sense and logical reasoning, even by some of the most powerful faces of U.S. politics. The fact that these lies are taken in as truth by so many people, reflects society’s level of ignorance as a by-product of living the trauma induced by our civilized establishment and the inability to creatively imagine the alternate possibilities.

Referenced Quote:
Weiner, J (November 30, 2017) “The Paranoid Confessions of Post Malone” Rolling Stone Magazine, Volume 1301, p. 54-57.

 

Violent acts of penetration and enactments of fantasized sexual kleptomania; When infatuation becomes a fetish

Orlan's Art paris-journiac.jpg
Orlan in one of her sadomasochistic themes in performance art depicting the aggression of excessive body manipulations

In watching an episodes of Criminal Minds entitled “Hashtag” there was a social media stalker who kills young men and women after leaving a terrifying watermark image on the targeted person’s published social media selfies. This mark symbolized the “Mirror Man,” acts of ostension similar to the “Slender Man” crimes in which two girls were compelled to stab a friend. These watermark images meant that “Mirror Man” had selected his next target. These themes got me to think about how they are not so unlike the mirrored reflection of the symbolic space in which every person is left marked by the family interactions in early childhood. Demarcation of our individual perceptions, whether real or imagined, leave us with those things which become peculiar to our essence and way of being. In this particular Criminal Minds episode, the repetitive stabbings, similar to repetitive punching, may be symbolic to the act of sexual intercourse and can be viewed as an attempt at sexual penetration. Sex is a form of benign violence when its practiced as consensual sexual relations. When it is not, it can be psychoanalytically read as “recuperating that which was lost or not given freely.” That is to say, an attempt of recuperating the “lost territory” usually epitomized as Oedipus.

In kleptomania, the act of stealing material inanimate objects is perceived as a way of “recuperating that which was not freely given in early childhood,” and which is connected to Erik Erikson’s first stage of infancy where the child’s main interactions are with the “maternal order.” Here the child begins his first understandings of the world through the mirror image of Mother. In the absence of feeling loved, nurtured, accepted, protected, and safe, the child may form unconscious and fixed drives which are closely connected to the fantasy of re-establishing those very sentiments that were missing from early childhood development. The narcissistic lost of recuperating “lost territory” from early childhood. Some simple explanations are explained below and both representations may cross over gender boundary lines. These simple explanations act only as guides and as such can sometimes become blurred, especially when gender identities are not stable :

Regarding Women: The female fetish equates to genital reassurance, a substitutes for the women’s absent penis; and the stolen commodity in kleptomania is an item of vengeance, a compensation for her stolen penis. The female is interested in feeling emasculated from her deprivation, those who she imagines have what she does not have; a penis. “What they took from me, I am entitled to steal from them.” In my opinion, equates quite simply to castration anxiety.

Regarding Men: The male fetishist is interested in achieving erection and penetration. The male suffers from castration anxiety, and attempts made at stealing material goods is an attempt to acquire the superior genital equipment of the father. These behaviors where traditionally viewed by Freud as stemming from a real imagined fear of “losing the penis” but can be more accurately viewed as a fear of “being too small, too inadequate, too insignificant to satisfy the Other(s).” In short, feelings of phallic power. This can be represented in symptoms like Kleptomania, serial rape, serial murder, and most recent in some forms of mass Murder-Suicides as attempts at recuperating their phallic loss through criminal acts.

The Men’s Journal of American Health (2015, November), and which the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health included in its archives, conducted a study of various random mass-murder suicides. These acts performed mostly by white males were tied closely feelings of narcissistic loss stemming from feelings of castration. In these acts there seems to be a theme of trying to recuperate that which was lost or not freely given. Although these behaviors are not fetishes, the themes that are responsible for them run congruent to fetishized behaviors.

In Kleptomania we see a very similar theme of expressed behavior; trying to recuperate and acquire that which was not freely given. Modes of sexual behavior that repeat the same fetishized themes and fantasies filled wish fulfillment gratifications where individuals are used as props, objects to be manipulated and disposed of at any time. In one psychoanalytic case, a young woman who was rejected by a prospective male suitor as lover, went on a series of one night stands in which she imagined through these enactments she was having sexual relations with the particular male suitor who rejected her. These enactments could be viewed as a way of recuperating that which was lost and viewed as attempts at restoring or recuperating the love that was never freely given. This young woman had confided to her therapist that the prospective male suitor was a substitute teacher in college who had just graduated college and took on the temporary position for the money. On the day she had first meet this prospective male suitor, she arrived home excited about having encountered him and feeling like he might be interested in her conveyed her emotions to her mother, at which point her mother demeaned her and said, “What would he ever want with you? What could you ever possibly have that he would want?“ Through these harsh and cruel words she introjected not only from her mother’s belief that she was unworthy, but also the prospective male suitor‘s belief in her unworthiness as began to treat her as harshly in class.

In groups of friends, these modes of behaviors may be considered “flings” which may be nothing more than a sexual excursions or more accurately described in psychoanalysis, substitution and surrogacy for recuperating that which was lost. When an individual engages in a sexual relations with another partner as a means of alleviating and assuaging the painful wound of narcissistic loss stemming from the withholding of romantic love, feelings that would be ascribed to the acceptance, nurture, feelings of being wanted, and feelings of worth. These “flings” can become ritualized in an individual’s behavior as the “one night stand” in which a person engages in repetitive sexual intercourse with strange men or women as a way of substituting, through surrogacy, the lost love of infancy (childhood), of recuperating a love that was never freely given and of which is responsible for the individual‘s repetition behaviors and drives. Thus, the inference made regarding this form of repetitive behavior can be viewed as a form of ritualized fetish, an act of idolatry in which one may fantasize about the romantic love of another, or it can be the enactment of obtaining the withheld love from childhood and one in which the object has now become a symbol. A sex symbol.

To elaborate further on infatuation the first stages of romantic love, in the beginning of a person’s attraction to another, in his or her perceptions of that other, there lies this fantasized notion of perfection, superiority, angelic glory. When one believes these fantasized delusions, behavior may become repeated and ritualized as a form of idolatry. In the beginning stages of love’s attraction the person can do no wrong, they are perceived as angels and holy saviors, superior in every way (Nat Geo Mag, February 2006). These types of sexual behaviors can become manifest and are sometimes commonly played out during the therapeutic situation of psychoanalysis when one is undergoing therapy and recovery. (Benjamin, 1998). It is for this reason , many sages and bards have concluded “Love is merely a madness…” as Shakespeare went on to further elaborate more deeply, “and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do, and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love, too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.” The stage of infatuation which marks the beginning stages of love clings so closely to mental illness, and as such, we humans are at risk, at any given moment in time, of undergoing a chemical surge in our brain chemistry. A chemical surge so powerful that it may induce not only delusions and fantasies, but paranoid delusions and fantasies as well (Hill, 1995).

To re-iterate these strong feelings stemming from the lost territory of the symbolic space, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke in her first elegy in her Duino Elegies wrote about feelings of dejection in the cast-off state of rejection, despair and neglect. “Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders? And even if one were to suddenly take me to its heart, I would vanish into its stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains to destroy us. Every Angel is terror. And so I hold myself back and swallow the cry of a darkened sobbing. Ah, who then can we make use of?” (Kline, 2001)

Thus the repetitive sexualized behaviors of some anaylsands, as they work through therapy, represents a phase of “working through” the block mourning and can serve as a means of reinforcing their self-worth and re-establishing self-esteem, overcoming obstacles and surmounting challenges. In cases where the patient’s self-worth and self-esteem, which is usually been fractured or severely compromised, these enactments may be viewed as signs of progress in re-establishing inner psychic balance, control, and dominance.

However, a polar opposite to these very enactments of these unconscious fixed behaviors is the enactments of extending ferocious hate. In these enactments we see instead the deprived and neglected child, who eventually grows-up to become an adult, one who feels that the only way to be held is to chew-up, tear apart, tear out, disembowel, rip off, grab, snatch, swindle and poach all with an inner sense of entitlement: “What was not given to me freely, I am entitled to take.” These fetishized enactments manifest in the violent crimes of serial rape and serial murder. As in the repetitive stabbing of a victim by a perpetrator, or even the ritualized act of cutting into the flesh as we see in cases of excessive body manipulations. It is for this reason that medical hospitals and doctor’s offices may be the hiding places for people who fail to see the patient as a human being but rather as an object to mastered.

References:
Benjamin, J. (1998). Like Subjects, Love Objects: Essays on Recognition and Sexual Differences. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Hill, F. (1995). A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Kline, A.S. (2001). The Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Retrieved from Poetry In Translation on November 21, 2017 http://www.poetryintranslation.com/klineasrilke.php
Knafo, Danielle & Feiner, K. (2006). Unconscious Fantasies and The Relational World. Hillside, NJ: The Analytic Press, Inc.
Oliffe, John L., (RN, PhD); Han, Christina S.E., (MA); Drummond, M., (PhD); Sta. Maria, Estephanie, (BA); Bottorff, J. L., (PhD); and Creighton, G., (PhD). (2015, November). Men, Masculinities, and Murder-Suicide. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. Retrieved from the internet on November 21, 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594088/
Shakespeare, W. (1993), As You Like It. Retrieved from online digital library The Complete Works of William Shakespeare on November 21, 2017. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/ Act 3; Scene 2 “Love is merely a madness.”
Slater, Lauren (2006, February). This Thing Called Love. National Geographic Magazine. Pages 32-49.