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 The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself

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Lyssa
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PostSubject: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:24 pm

This book by Goux called 'Oedipus, Philosopher' is an excellent and important one on so many levels. There's much wisdom here. After doing away with Freud's interpretation of it in terms of sex, Goux shows the Aryan undercurrents running through this myth.
(Although he gets Nietzsche wrong, this book is really invaluable to any Indo-European.)

It deals with,

1. What it means to Know Thyself, and how absent fathers lead to a rupture in initiation of ancestral wisdom in a young man that leaves him with a false sovereignty. The myth of Oedipus as the Avoidance of Initiation by a father.
In my mind, I contrast this with Satyr's Puer Complex.

While the Puer remains infantile because of the absent father, the Oedipal, uses the over-rational anthropocentring as a 'Prosthetik' to stay on top. This reflective posturing is the root of modern 'atomic'/Stirnerite individuality, that I have elsewhere differentiated as the selfish from the more authentic individuality of the self-ish.


2. How the birth of Philosophy itself is related to the Oedipal failure of sacred initiation from father to father, and thus, why Plato comes to restore the art of Royal Initiation - Ars Regia and the real meaning of Know Thyself.
The undercurrent of the Dumezilian I.E. tripartite structure in the Oedipus myth shows what really was at stake in Plato's Republic.


3. How Heraclitus and Xenphanes were really proto-Oedipal, and (although he gets Nietzsche wrong) how Freud, Hegel, Nietzsche are continuities of this Oedipal complex that IS The Philosopher. That IS Greece.


4. How the Tragic and the Philosophic are entwined together.


5. What does it mean to be a Philosopher? What does it mean to Know Thyself? What does it mean to be an Aryanist or an Indo-European Individual?


This book is a must read.

Excerpts below.


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:25 pm

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"When Perseus sets off to find the land of the Gorgons, he first arrives among the Graeae and tricks them into showing him the way; they direct him to the nymphs, who give him a pair of winged sandals, a pouch, and a "cap of darkness" to make him invisible. And even the killing of Medusa is not his final trial: the struggle with the sea dragon to deliver Andromeda still lies ahead.

Whereas all the heroes of our reference myths win victory only (at some point or another) in bloody battle, by the power of the sword or spear, Oedipus alone triumphs through sheer intelligence, with his explanation of the famous riddle that is itself a trial by language. His is not a martial victory. The myth is clear on this point, at least in the version Sophocles adopted-which was the prevailing version in his day, if the iconographic evidence can be believed. Oedipus does not kill the Sphinx in an act ofwarrior's daring. The Sphinx kills herself: she commits suicide by flinging herself into the abyss as soon as the riddle is solved.

If the Sphinx disap- pears, it is because she does away with herself. Hers is not a physical defeat. Her self-destruction is an act of spite committed by a dishonored creature whose secret has been exposed. The Sphinx is not killed, she is offended by Oedipus's answer. Here a parallel with the Sirens is compelling. These bird-women first lose their wings to the Muses in a singing competition. Later on they commit suicide because their songs, drowned out by the music Orpheus makes on his lyre, have failed to attract the returning Argonauts. This act of spite is called for by the Sirens' bitter, insurmountable defeat in a nonmartial contest carried out by means of the singing voice.

The parallel is all the more inevitable in that the Muses themselves are credited with having taught the Sphinx the riddle she proposes, and the Sphinx is sometimes described as a "singer who chants her riddles," or as a virgin or bitch who inflicts mortal wounds with her "lyreless song." Not to mention the fact that one of the words for riddle also designates a certain kind of fisherman's net,4 reinforcing the connection with the marine world of the Sirens.

Oedipus's victory over the Sphinx, which establishes his reputa- tion, bears witness above all to his reason. Sophocles does not fail to stress this trait, while perhaps hinting discreetly at what is at stake. In the words of the chorus: "We saw him then, when the she-hawk swept against him, saw with our own eyes his skill [sophos], his brilliant triumph-there was the test-he was the joy of Thebes!" Oedipus is not a courageous warrior who has fought in hand-to-hand combat against the adversary; he is an intelligent man, a sophoswhohas solved a riddle. He knew the correct answer to a trial by language. He shed light on the logogryph. He did not become the victor, and then king, by brute force; he earned his victory by solving a problem of the mind. Oedipus's power in the city-state is the power of intelligence. Oedipus is the sophos-king.As he himself says of his exploit: "The flight of my own intelligence [gnomei kyresas] hit the mark."

Oedipus's is the intelligence of an autodidact. Oedipus has received no instruction; he has not been initiated in advance into any sacred science. The priest recognizes that Oedipus has suc- ceeded, shortly after arriving before the city, without having been given any information, any lesson (oud' ekdidachtheis). But the priest attributes this success to the help of a god. 'X god was with you, so they say, and we believe it - you lifted up our lives". Prosthek means addition, supplement, something added, aid, assistance. However, a little later, in an angry response to Teiresias, Oedipus depicts his own success quite differently, as contrary to the methods of the priests of Apollo whom he mocks almost openly.

"When the Sphinx, that chanting Fury, kept her deathwatch here, why silent then, not a word to set our people free? There was a riddle, not for some passerby to solve-it cried out for a prophet. Where were you? Did you rise to the crisis?Not a word, you and your birds, your gods-nothing. No, but I came by, Oedipus the ignorant, I stopped the Sphinx! With no help from the birds, the flight of my own intelligence (gnomei kyesas) hit the mark."

The autodidactic intelligence of young Oedipus achieves victory where the sacred knowledge of old Teiresias failed. Oedipus does not consult the birds, those signs from heaven, that language sent by the gods to reveal their will; he relies only on his own reflection. The power of his young intelligence wins out over the ancestral knowledge of the deciphering of signs. Neither human initiation nor divine assistance has been necessary. Oedipus has succeeded all by himself.

Oedipus's victory over the Sphinx is a mythic anomaly. Not only is the confrontation not imposed by an authority (the dispatcher king), but the victor is an autodidact, an atheist, and an intellectual.

We may suspect that there is a link of mythic causality between this distortion of the heroic profile and the other features that constitute the striking anomaly of Oedipus's adventure (patricide and incest), and that articulating this link thoroughly will enable us to go beyond previous analyses and understand more deeply the inner meaning of the Oedipus myth.

Contrastive analysis leads to the following proposition: the one who does not kill the female monster in a bloody battle is the one whose destiny is to marry his own mother. It is as if the violent p d victorious confrontation with the Medusa or the Chimaera is an obligatory struggle without which access to a nuptial union accept- able to the gods cannot be achieved. The killing of the female monster-and not merely her elimination by intelligence-would be the condition of nonincestuous marriage. That is what our differential reading would teach us. Oedipus is the one who, despite all the appearances of success in his encounter with the Sphinx, does not achieve complete and normal success in the decisive phase of the killing of the female monster. It is as if explaining the riddle was not a complete and adequate trial, not sufficient to endow the hero with the full capacity to marry the princess. The hero has to fight, has to shed blood, in a struggle that mobilizes the energy of his entire being. He has to pierce with his sword or decapitate the horrible, dangerous, monstrous female who is herself the offspring of the serpent-woman, the immortal Echidna. Oedipus's adventure lacks this lethal act.

Why would the killing of the female monster be the condition of nonincestuous marriage?

The Sphinx is the unthought element of Freudian psycho- analysis, a riddle unresolved by the Freudian movement. The riddle of the Sphinx? An expression to be taken in two senses: the riddle that the Sphinx proposes, and the one that the Sphinx herself constitutes. Oedipus thought he had resolved the first and Freud the second. But what if neither had found the answer?

Moreover, the bloody murder that should have been accomplished in the feminine sphere (the hazardous victory over the female monster) takes place in the masculine sphere instead (the killing of the old man, Layus). When Oedipus encounters the Sphinx, he has already lived through the moment of murder, but in a displaced and
perverse way, for the outburst of aggressiveness was directed toward his own father rather than the female monster. Thus the anomaly of a confrontation with a king that fails to produce an imposed trial (and a manly decision to accept the challenge) reverberates in the anomaly of a victory over the monster in which the warrior's physical strength plays no role, and then in the incestuous outcome of the marriage. Avoidance of initiation has already begun in Oedipus's encounter with Laius.

What the regular myth exposes that psychoanalysis misses is the function of sacrifice. Sacrifice allows the protagonist simultaneously to accept the task designated by royal authority and to pledge his manhood to the deadly struggle that is the bloody initiatory separation from the monster-mother. Thus, where cer- tain of Freud's commentators attempt to locate a "desire for castration" (a term that cannot avoid an oddly perverse accent), the regular myth situates a desire for heroism, risk, and sacrifice, a desire whose instituting resonance has an ethical sense that con- forms better to the fundamental desire. The quest for a trial, the daring risk of one's life (and such a quest is indeed at issue in Perseus's boasting or Bellerophon's) is more constitutive than interdiction. And it is by defiantly seeking the trial that the young hero meets the initiatory death (or symbolic castration) that allows him to be reborn, animated by a new, nonincestuous desire directed toward the bride.

On the level of the hero's relation to the feminine, our differen- tial myth analysis of the Oedipus plot allows us to spell out the following lesson: it is the protagonist who does not kill the female monster in a bloody struggle who marries his own mother. On the level of the hero's relation to the masculine, we can say that the protagonist on whom the trial had not been imposed (by a dispatcher king) is the one who kills his own father. Incest and patricide thus appear as perverse and distorted but perfectly rule- governed results of two deficiencies, or lacunae, concerning the relation to the feminine and the masculine elements respectively.

The myth of Oedipus is not a myth of paternal interdiction, but a myth of the absence of the trial-imposing king."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:27 pm

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"Notwithstanding the absence of a father whose thundering voice might reinforce this vital obstacle by giving it the articulated force of an edict, the obstacle remains fully present, experienced in absolute anguish. It is the scene in which Freud himself is caught up that doubtless leaves him in his ignorance. He sees the father as the muscular bearer of the law, forbidding the cult of maternal idols and of any incestuous imagination, and he thinks that the cause of the obstacle lies there. He does not know that an apparently paternal interdiction may hide another that is not paternal, and not maternal either; rather, like the gods of Egypt, it does not even have a human face.

The symbolism of the Sphinx, for example, a seductive woman and a devouring dog, indicates this as clearly as possible. In the Sphinx, who is a guardian, there is room for no law of a paternal cast. It is a matter of a vital defense and not of a commanding edict issued by an angry father. The Sphinx still plunges into animality, even if, in her very morphology, the creature realizes the articulation between humanity and animality. According to a !general theme, divine teramorphic or teranthropomorphic beings are the ones who perform the tortures of initiation. They are always superhuman beings carrying out a sacred act in the name of the gods. The Sphinx, and not a father, is the being to whom is imputed the torture and death of the son-because of the desire she arouses. It is significant that in certain versions, the Sphinx is held to be an animal that makes young people uneasy because of the sexual relations she would seek to have with them.

Here can be read the young man's dangerous desire for a negative, dark, animal femininity, for a horrifying union in which he risks being completely annihilated. There, again, the episode of the Sphinx is the meeting with the mystery of sexuality and of death, in which the young man has to run the risk of disappearing. He has to experi- ence the fact that his own desire for the dark mother is lethal. It is this confrontation alone that allows, after a symbolic death, the hero's rebirth with a new identity.

In the struggle against the frightful beast, dragon, or Medusa, the hero develops his masculinity; he mobilizes inner forces that transform his infantile dependence into a concentrated and combative manhood. That is why, in the paradigmatic myth of the hero, it is the force of arms and not merely shrewdness that determines the victory over the female monster. In the case of Oedipus, it appears clearly that his full manhood has not been mobilized, that it is the intelligence of the head and not the courage of the chest (to go back to Plato's distinction) that made success possible. To fill out this distinction, we might add that his erotic drives have not been tested or surmounted either, since Oedipus was not seduced by the "lyreless songs" of the winged virgin; he short-circuited her dis- turbing charms with a well-chosen word. Thus, it is against a false power that the myth warns: the power that does not result from a genuine combat, the power that is not the achievement of monstricide but the intellectual avoidance of seduction by the monster, and the philosopher's dispensation from the task of murdering her.

The myth of Oedipus the king is a myth of avoidance of initiation. To put the point in more Freudian terms, but terms that Freud himself was unable to develop, it presents the complete critical tableau of the fantasmatic orientation that is founded on the avoidance of symboliccastration. The avoidance of castration is the Oedipal neurosis."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:30 pm

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"The myth teaches what can happen when the telestic process is arrested by the reflective intellect. Oedipus, placed in the position of a postulant at the threshold of a sanctuary guarded by the Sphinx, ought to have died in his capacity as son of his own mother. That is how he would have found the bride. But to say that Oedipus, by avoiding the trial of true matricide, was unable to succeed in liberating the bride, is also to say that he is fated to remain entirely the prisoner of his own mother. Whereas through his intelligent response he appears to escape the clutches of the singing temptress forever, his destiny remains tightly controlled by his mother in the most realistic and most profane way possible. The tragedy of Oedipus is the vengeance of the desire for the mother when this desire has not been burned away, transfigured in depth by the trial, but only set aside by the reflective response, by monocentered self-consciousness. The Sphinx avenges herself for not having been killed. Deaf to the seductive voices of the enchant- resses that draw young men into a mortal embrace, Oedipus has called a halt to all fascination in responding with a pure, cold concept. That is what leads the Sphinx to kill herself. The fate that pursues Oedipus is not vengeance for a murder accomplished,but spite for a deadly but also regenerative act that has not been carried out. The nuptial feminine that is the beast's prisoner (or as certain myths state clearly, that lies within the monster) has not been separated, disengaged, brought to autonomous existence. It is this absence of the monster-mother's murder, this nonmatricide, that pursues Oedipus.

Oedipus's destiny. He is the one who does not liberate the bride. The suicide of the Sphinx is a spiteful lover's anger, turned in- ward, the anger of the black monster that will now never be enacted by a metamorphosis capable of liberating the nuptial truth of the feminine.

Thus, it is natural for the modern Oedipal world-which draws its sustenance from the permanent suicide of the Sphinx, constituted as the inaugural and continuing victory of philosophical reason and self-consciousness to maintain an incomplete and, as it were, involuted and atrophied sensitivity to the feminine. Unlike the true hero, who went down into the depths, into the abyss, where he killed the reptilian monster and found the genuine treasure, Oedipus remains incredulous and detached in the face of the seductions and terrors of the return: he avoids descent and matricide, instead of accomplishing them victoriously. Oedipus,

who believed that the anthropological perspective (the human face) could forever close the anguishing opening, is pursued by the spite of the Sphinx, and not by her desire for justice. Nevertheless, this spite is as terrible as vengeance."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:32 pm

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"In every premodern society, one encounters some more or less complex ritualization through which, when young people reach a certain age, they cease to be regarded as children, are promoted to full-fledged membership in the adult world, and viewed as capable of procreating in their turn, via marriage. But if this adolescent initiation is particularly important by virtue of the ideas and images it puts into play, the rites and myths it enacts, it is also important because it constitutes the model for all initiations, even those that no longer involve the passage from puberty to adult- hood, strictly speaking. Scholars have shown that there are no major differences, in terms of the fundamental symbolics involved, between the initiation rite of puberty, heroic or royal initiation rites, and initiation into sacred mysteries. Whether what is at stake is the passage from childhood to adult membership in the commu- nity, admission into a secret brotherhood (of warriors or shamans, for example), royal investiture, or entry into the arcane secrets of a religion based on mystery, the various modes of initiation are closely related, whatever differences may be manifested-and these may be considerable-in the degree of symbolic elaboration and in the details of the ritual scenarios. It is noteworthy that the general principle of initiation remains constant even when different "en- trances" or "sacralizations" and very diverse religious traditions are involved. In varied forms, the themes of separation, descent into the world of the dead or regression back to the womb, bloody trial, provisional death, reception of a secret teaching, renaissance, and resurrection, can always be found.'

The central phase, the deepest core of every initiation is con- stituted by the rite that provides a pathetic symbolization of the neophyte's death (a return to chaos or hell, to the bowels of the earth, the primordial womb, and so on), followed, after a period of uncertainty and mourning, by the initiate's return among the living, as in a "second birth." The initiate is someone who is born a second time. The death traversed by the postulant corresponds to a phase of disaggregation, dismembering, and fragmentation with- out which the recomposition of identity on a new basis cannot occur. The novice is supposed to be swallowed by a monster, cut into pieces, burned, and so forth. He undergoes an ordeal that is supposed to leave an indelible trace, or some substitute for bodily mutilation, such as circumcision, the extraction of a tooth, scari- fication, the tearing out of hair.

But the descent into the world of the dead is also what permits contact with the ancestors. No resurrection takes place without some revelation of knowledge. The young man's assimilation into a community of adult men coincides with the acquisition of a new identity (by way of a name, a form of dress, special obligations and duties) that is made possible by his reception of a sacred teaching. The community's most venerable traditions, its mystic relations with divine beings from the beginning of time, are transmitted to the new initiate. Gradually, the most secret core of the world view of the group to which he belongs is revealed to him: the founding myths of the tribe, the history of the great ancestor whose existence and timeless adventures are at the origin of the line to which his initiation connects him. This traditional knowledge is acquired in the course of ceremonies and trials that use various techniques (fasts, drugs, isolation) to bring about an emotionally intense encounter with the things held to be sacred, and in which fear (before the mystery) plays an important role.

Metaphors of gestation, regeneration, and the birth process make the initiation a form of birth: not the first, physical birth by extraction from the mother's body, but a second birth, by way of the spirits, the ancestors, the fathers. This latter aspect of initiation reveals one of its essential dimensions: becoming a "man" (aner, vir) in a sense means ceasing to be one's mother's child so as to become one's father's son-not so much the son of one's own real father as of the dead fathers, the ancestors. It means becoming a descendant of the founding male line, heir to the eponymous founding hero. Only the son of the fathers can become a father in his turn. Thus, at bottom the ritual passage at puberty is a violent uprooting from the world of mothers, and a symbolic incorpora- tion into the company of fathers and the chain of ancestors. Only this regendering through the fathers and inscription into their genealogy allows access to manhood and makes marriage and procreation possible.

The simply parental or familial description of the puberty rite, matrix of all initiations, is thus straightforward: violent separation from the mother, and incorporation into the fathers' world, with the acquisition of the status of "manhood" that makes marriage and procreation possible. Initiation is a passage and a break: from a close relation with the mother's world to a nonincestuous (exogamous) liaison with a woman, the ancestors serving as intermediaries. Shattering the mother-child symbiosis, the father introduces himself as a third party into this more or less murky two-way relationship; he cuts their union to the quick (wounding both mother and child, for both experience the separation as a loss) in order to bring the son to birth in a new kinship, defined now by symbolic paternity.

This process, which is at the heart of initiation, accounts at multiple levels for the violence that necessarily presides over an initiation, whether that violence is visibly manifested in a rite (by the extraction of teeth, a bodily incision, torture of any sort) or in more spiritualized forms (fear, the dark night of the soul). Something must be cut: a powerful vital link, an umbilical cord, must be painfully and irreversibly severed. A way of being has to die, has to be killed, so a new way of life can appear. What is severed is a certain relationship of fusion with the maternal dimension.
"

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:35 pm

Seems like a good read. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out.
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:45 pm

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"No concept in Freudian doctrine can come to terms with this monster. And Jung, seeking the meaning of this dangerous creature, was right to look to the mother, to the dark, enveloping, stifling mother who binds and captivates her son, holds him back, traps him in the numberless coils of her reptilian attachment. Indeed, it is only at the end of a bloody battle against this oppressive and devouring female monster, only when the son has mobilized all his manly energies to kill her, to free himself from her, that he can marry the princess, the girl he has been promised, who is not his mother, and whom the dragon was holding prisoner or to whom she was blocking access. To kill the monster after making the hazardous trip back to the dark lair where she lives is thus for the hero to sever a bond, to make a vital sacrifice, to inflict a bloody cut that allows the protagonist to become the spouse of the girl who had been the monster's prisoner.

The victory over the monster, a typical, universal exploit of countless mythological heroes, thus has the deep meaning of matricide. It is matricide and not, as Freud thought, patricide, that is universally held to be the most difficult task, the central exploit that constitutes the hero as "man" (vir), authorizing him to marry and qualifying him for royal status. The great initiatory trial, the trial in which the postulant risks death in order to emerge from childhood and become a man, is this struggle that takes place in dark and cavernous depths, and not a killing of the father carried out in the broad daylight of tribal polemics.

To be sure, what is killed so perilously and obscurely in this matricide is not the mother "in person" (or even an imaginary representation of her person)-and that is why Freud, who tended to personalize the unconscious conflict excessively in order to present it as a family drama, was never able to recognize the central, nuclear position of matricide. What is confronted and consumed is a negative dimension (accessible only through metaphors that are always inadequate): a shadowy, dark, devouring reptile, a monster inhabiting cavernous, watery depths, a dimension that myth alone can conceptualize-let us not shy away from this paradoxical word. When Hesiod speaks of Echidna, the (immortal) mother of (mortal) monsters, with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a snake, a denizen of deep sea caves, he touches on an imaginal concept that is potentially more powerful, through the complex of meanings it organizes...

What Freud did not perceive, and what is nevertheless signified in the myths of the prototype hero, is that the nuptial outcome is possible only by way of such a violent combat. The desire for the mother is a deadly desire. The return to the cavern, to the uterus, to hell, requires that the hero engage in a confrontation in which his own life is at stake. H e can emerge triumphant only if he breaks the powerful bond, delivers himself from the lethal attachment through an act of bloody violence directed against the monster-mother, an act that is also a sacrifice of his own attach- ment. This matricide alone constitutes the liberation of woman-it gives access to the bride, once the dark maternal element has been separated from the bright nuptial feminine element.

Now, what is striking in this operation is that the father appears to have no part in it. Access to the feminine is not achieved by obedience to a paternal law that would make the mother taboo and would oblige the hero to seek his bride elsewhere; the matricidal victory is what yields the reward of nuptial access, what provides the gift of the nonmaternal feminine. If a father figure (but one who, in the standard myth, is not the hero's own father) has a part in this confrontation, he is not the agent of prohibition, but plays the role we have identified as that of the dispatcher king. This king imposes a trial by virtue of an authority whose source is royal prestige rather than law. He stimulates the young hero's sense of honor, his love of competition, by challenging him to succeed in a trial deemed perilous and virtually impossible. Emulation rather than coercion impels the young man to rush headlong into battle.

The plot of the monomyth is thus very different from the Oedipal conflict. Neither the paternal dimension nor the maternal one plays the same role. The Oedipus myth is organized around the causal sequence patricidejincest, while the monomyth is resolved in the sequence matricide + engagement. With Oedipus, the killing of the father leads to the tragedy of incest, whereas with the prototype hero the triggering injunction of the dispatcher king leads to the victory over the monster-mother that opens the way to the nuptial bond.

According to Freud, in the Oedipus complex the father, by brandishing the threat of castration, becomes the one who prohibits access to the desired mother. However, Lacan is determined to show that that desire for the mother is not the most radical form of desire, nor is the threatened paternal castration the most radical form of castration. Rather than revealing the true nature of desire (the object of true desire is impossible and not simply forbidden) and reaching the most decisive form of castra- tion (a confrontation with the lack of the Thing, more terrible than the paternal threat), the Oedipus complex constitutes a veil that dissimulates the overwhelming radicality of that desire and that castration.

The Oedipus complex has the function of repressing castration. Faced with the absence of the Thing (the primordial object of desire that the mother situates but with which she cannot be identified), the Oedipus complex positions paternal conflict as a veil. The Oedipal subject is protected by the paternal threat (which makes him believe that the object of his desire for absolute jouissance is simply forbidden) from the radical confrontation with castration and death. To desire according to the Oedipus complex is to elude the fundamental desire of the masculine subject, which requires passing through castration."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:47 pm

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"It is impossible to understand anything at all about the Oedipus story without taking into account the meaning attributed to the Sphinx as a psychopompos or guide of souls, a meaning amply attested by her insistent presence on tombs, and one that uncovers an ambivalence at the symbolic level neglected by conventional interpretations. It is remarkable that the later fascination exercised by the Oedipus legend should have tended to cover over (while never completely effacing) the Sphinx's original funerary and initiatory role, whereas this role and this role alone holds the key to the meaning of the Oedipean trial.

The Sphinx is a severer of heads. This phenomenon deserves to be pondered. It is by decapitating that she kills, so as to drag the soul into the other world. She tears off the head, the locus of human reason. Confronted with the divine Sphinx, man is obliged to renounce what has been his source of pride. She assures passage into an elsewhere that human intelligence cannot comprehend. She allows man to cross the great threshold that separates life from death and that surpasses his comprehension. Hence the riddle, which is a trial that involves the head and that requires its sacrifice.

But the sacrifice of the head is precisely the sacrifice that Oedipus is unwilling to make. He reasons; he reflects; he refuses to allow himself to be robbed of his thinking ability, refuses to give up his power to reason. Oedipus philosophizes. Oedipus does not want to lose his head. Weak-footed, Oedipus is strong-minded; he is not intimidated by the Sphinx's insidious question, for to him her enigmatic profundity, the secret hiding places of meaning, the rich obscurity of hidden revelations of the initiatory arcanum (the cryptophoric symbol, in a word) is all superstition. No dimension of meaning can resist clarification, no riddle can be divine, no enigma can transcend the reflection of which a human head is capable. Keeping his wits about him, holding his head up, trusting in his own intelligence, denying the unknown, Oedipus affirms the autonomy and self-sufficiency of his own human reason. As for the head severed by the Sphinx, it is the sacrifice made by the secular ego in order to gain access by death, and after resurrection, to a higher identity.

Is it not Oedipus who, prefiguring and typifying Greek destiny, rationalized the terrible and agonizing encounter to such an extent that the riddle, a trial by language, became the sole and sufficient moment of initiatory passage?"



Quote :
"If, instead of seeking to distinguish among these trials as so many disparate versions of an ill established mythic figure, we consider them in their totality, it is eminently clear that they correspond quite precisely to the three functional domains (the sacred, war, agricultural and sexual fertility) that Georges Dumtzil repeatedly designated in his pathbreaking studies that seek to demonstrate the recurrence and the fundamental structuring role of these domains in the Indo-European cultural arena.

Caresses, blows, and questions: the first trial concerns sexual desire, the second, physical strength, and the third, intelligence.

The three functional domains described by Dumezil are all here, in inverse order. The meaning of the trials is becoming clear: they appeal, in a graduated and systematic way, to the three virtues that characterize Dumezil's three functions. By resisting the seductress's caresses, the hero must demonstrate the virtue of temperance, must surmount his lustful tendencies. By standing up to blows, the hero must prove his courage and physical strength. Finally, by answering questions, the hero must deploy all the resources of his knowledge and intelligence.

It is not hard to pinpoint a very resistant structure here that must have belonged to the mythicoritual mechanisms of initiation in the cultural arenas Dumezil analyzed. As he indicated, and as his followers demonstrated in greater detail, the Indo-European king is situated above the tripartite functionality, as it were: the king accomplishes the synthesis of the three functions in his own person. Neither priest nor warrior nor farmer, he belongs to each of these groups simultaneously, even as he is situated above all of them.

As Dumezil showed, one of the salient features of the exploit in almost all Indo-European myths is the tripartite nature of the adversary. The three-headed demon of Indo-Iranian legend kills the god Indra; the stone giant with the three-cornered heart slays the god ThBrr; the three snakes of the three hearts of Mech appear in Irish myth; Heracles kills the three-headed Geryon; finally, in what is no doubt a later formula, the Celtic hero Clichulainn kills three superhuman brothers in succession, as one of the Horaces kills the three Curiatii in the Roman legend. Dumezil even adds the tarvos trigaranos, "bull with three cranes," of Gallic imagery.

Three levels of initiation correspond to the three types of functional trials (the sacred, war, fertility) that the postulant must traverse in order to become a king, or more broadly speaking, an accomplished man. An increasing number of indications prove that not only royal investiture but very probably also to a great extent rites of passage marking the entry of young men into adult life were originally conceived within a trifunctional perspective.
In the Cretan system, for example, at the point where the young man passes into adult society he ritually receives three objects - a steer, battle garb, and a bowl-each of which has a place in the functional framework. In this view, then, the goal of the initiatory rite of passage at puberty or upon royal investiture was the production of accomplished men, men who symbolicallyunited the qualities corresponding to the three functions: the sacred, war, and agrarian productivity."



Quote :
"The Sphinx, as the myth tells us, consists of three components: the head of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle. It is clear that, without pushing the mythological data too far, we can connect each of these parts with one of Dumtzil's three functions. The woman is the seductive component corresponding to the sexual trial that is characteristic of the third function. The lion's body is related to the values of warriorlike strength proper to the second function. As for the eagle's wings, through their affinity with the heavens and with the animal associated with Zeus, they constitute a no less clear symbol of the first function.

The Sphinx thus has the manifest significance of "triple adversary," much more strikingly even than does the three-headed Geryon.

To undergo the trial of the Sphinx, to vanquish this monster authentically,is to demonstrate possession of the three major qualities that correspond to the functional tripartition.

First, temperance, which allows the protagonist to avoid giving in to the sensual provocation of a woman.

Second, courage, the ability to mobilize the warrior's fury, the power to fight against a lion and like a lion.

Finally, intelligence, understanding of higher and divine matters, knowledge of the sacred dimension with which the riddle is most directly concerned.

Only victory over this adversary who is at once single and triple allows the neophyte to become an initiate, a complete man (teleios anthriipos) who integrates within himself the qualities corresponding to the three functional levels."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:55 pm

Interesting, Lyssa, I'm going to see if I can find that one.

As a tangent, I got an early critique of Freud's Oedipus while in India.   One of these sages  or perhaps a 'sage' told me the story of Ganesh.  There are a number of versions of course, but a number have Parvati creating Ganesh parthenogenetically, then stationing him outside the door, where he is not supposed to allow anyone entry.   Well, Gee whiz, down from the mountain comes, not unexpectedly Parvati, Shiva who demands entry three times, then pissed off cuts the young god's head off.   Once he finds out it is Parvati's son and in some sense his also, he sends servants out to bring him the first head they can find.   And it ends up being an elephant head.  

Now I see no reason to say This is the real dynamic in families.   But it certainly covers one kind of dynamic and one that will play out most families on some level.   So it wasn't that Freud was wrong, merely that he was oversimplifying, and in a way that blamed the child for any sense of aggression, etc. He found a set of myths that supported his positions, but there were many others that did not.   As if the child was not born into a situation with tremendous undercurrents and dynamics and competition already.   Freud's read often ended up stifling.   This was not simply his fault, since his peers shut him down hard when he first proposed that there was some degree of commonplace sexual abuse in families.   He was more or less shunned, changed his mind and this affected is ideas around Oedipus and Electa complexes.   See Masson's

The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory
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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:01 pm

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"Oedipus has not manifested and tested the virtues of the second and third functions. If he has demonstrated his intelligence through his response to the Sphinx's riddle (and this apparent
victory itself turns out to be suspect), he has not gone through the sacred ordeal to confront his own aggressive, warlike power or the dangerous powers of sexuality. The two crimes that he will later discover he has unwittingly committed are the correlatives of his defective initiation, which is to say, also, of the avoidance of matricide.

We must linger, however, over one suspicion. Does Oedipus genuinely succeed in the first-function trial, and only that one, dispensing himself from the other two (by an evasion with grave consequences), or is there not even in his apparent intellectual victory over the Sphinx something dubious, irregular, even profanatory, in mythic terms?

Oedipus would be the protagonist whose one and only probative success apparently (in the eyes of all) lies in his reckoning with the riddle (thus already exposing himself, according to mythic logic, to two functional crimes); but he succeeds in this test only by an impious and, as it were, sacrilegious stratagem. Isn't Oedipus's reply a challenge to the Sphinx, a disavowal of initiation through intellectual presumptuousness, rather than a genuine success in the supreme trial?"



Quote :
"in the standard myth, the trials are gradu- ated, the protagonist has to begin by succeeding in the first two trials, those involving temperance and courage, before he faces the third. And even more importantly, he always needs the help of gods or wise men in order to succeed. To be precise, in the typical mythicoritual configuration, the neophyte always has to learn the response from a wiser initiator and remember it until the moment comes when he needs it in the trial. He never invents it himself. This detail points to the context of transmission that the initiatory passage constitutes, For the traditional mind, to know is to inherit knowledge, to receive it respectfully from the divine masters, and not to it oneself. That Oedipus found the solution to the enigma all by himself, without being instructed by gods or men, may appear to our modern minds as an eminent proof of his high intelligence. To the traditional mind, this can only be the gravest sign of a sacrilegiousrupture in the initiatory transmission, the very proof of the irregularity of the passage, a scandalous feature of Oedipus's presumptuousness and intellectual self-satisfaction.

This sacrilegious posture thus at bottom amounts to nothing less than a denial of the lofty mysteries shielded by the Sphinx. Oedipus offends the Sphinx and leaves her destitute; this is much more significant than the fact that he solves the riddle she poses. H e does not kill the Sphinx; he dismisses in a word everything she stands for, namely, the initiatory passage itself. But we must not overlook the meaning of the reply, "Man": man and not the divine, whether celestial or monstrous. Thus, what Oedipus disavows is the sacred itself, an element that belongs initially to the first function but that concerns them all, and an element without which the initiation itself loses its meaning.

Nietzsche understood that the actions that define the figure of the Theban hero must not be considered in isolation but rather must be regarded as a threefold unity. "Oedipus, his father's murderer, his mother's lover, solver of the Sphinx's riddle! What is the meaning of this triple fate?" The "triple fate" is a mysterious trinity whose coherence we are beginning to perceive. Nietzsche is not mistaken when he infers that, inscribed within what he calls "the terrible triad of Oedipean fates," there are three ways to "break the consecrated tables of the natural order." Two of these are patricide and incest; that much is self-evident. But Nietzsche was able to see that solving the riddle is no less grave a transgression. He discerns an "unnatural wisdom" in Oedipus's response. For its part, the differential logic of the myth has also revealed an anomaly in Oedipus's victory. He has triumphed in a single word, without the help of the gods; his action has resulted in the Sphinx's suicide, not her bloody murder. Profanation, sacrilege: here is the real meaning of Oedipus's attitude toward the creature that presides over initiation. There is some indication that Sophocles may be suggesting such a crime, indirectly, when at the end of the second episode (before we know what Oedipus is guilty of) the chorus condemns the "pride" [hubris] that "breeds the tyrant" and insists: "But if any man comes striding, high and mighty in all he says and does, no fear of justice, no reverence for the temples of the gods-let a rough doom tear him down, repay his pride, breakneck, ruinous pride!" The victory over the Sphinx would reveal that lack of reverence.

The episode of the Sphinx, despite its appearance of legitimate victory, is a perversion of a first-function virtue. Oedipus "climbed the height of wisdom"; he was "the man who unraveled the beast-woman's dark riddle"; but the entire differential economy of the myth that we have uncovered, as well as the immediate outcome of the victory over the Sphinx, bears witness to the deceptive and perverted nature of Oedipus's success. The two other components of his fate, murderous violence against the father and incest with the mother, correspond unambiguously to the perversion of the two other functional virtues.

If initiation is intended to establish harmony within the individual and justice within the royal spirit through the hierarchized equilibrium of the three virtues that correspond to the three func- tions, a deficiencyin the initiation will result in an imbalance and a fall. It is consistent that the tragedy was able to appropriate a myth in which an avoided-though apparently successful-initiation leads to a chain of catastrophes. Oedipus is the perverted figure of the legitimate archaic king. He brings the three powers together in criminal form. The discovery of his imposture is the mainspring of the tragic reversal."


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:05 pm

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"The avoidance of initiation is also a liberation. It opens up a new horizon. It defines a subject who, in his disruption and his dis- proportionality, can live out other possibilities. The adventure of Oedipus inaugurates the era of the hero whose identity is not defined by a tradition and a transmission, a hero with whom a new mode of subjectivity emerges.

The modern subject, the subject whose designs evolve gradually from Protagoras to Descartes and Nietzsche, is initially determined by the posture of Oedipus. The metamythical transposition of incestuous desire and patricide clearly results in the two comple- mentary tendencies that pervade the philosophical impulse in its most modern form: to constitute itself as a subject who possesses nature, matter, the Earth; and to do so through an autonomous will to power that owes nothing to the directives of any authority.

The two tyrannical tendencies that the initiatory crisis was supposed to destroy, the dream of patricide and the dream of incest, turn out to be surreptitiously maintained in their full vigor and virulence. Instead of being seared away and deactivated, these tendencies survive, deferred and transposed. They are at the origin of an insatiable curiosity, a desire to see, to reveal, to profane the deepest mysteries, to raise the veil, to see the naked truth, to penetrate the secrets of nature or matter, in order to become master and owner. And all this by oneself, by an autodidactic reflection that excludes all traditions and revelations. The radical and insistent tendency of philosophizing thus emerges from the beginning in a cryptic form, through the passion of Oedipus. And it is remarkable that the philosophy of the Moderns, that of Descartes and Nietzsche, car- ries this dual tendency to extremes, to its very limit, and thus makes it possible to disclose, after the fact, the Oedipean core of this insistence, whereas the Ancients, with Plato and Aristotle, still fell short of what was programmed by the posture of Oedipus.

When Plato describes the tyrant as a disordered being who dreams of being united with his mother and who kills his father, he contrasts this figure with that of the true philosopher-king, a man formed by a fitting education, a man who respects his father and submits to reason, a man in whom the three functional virtues corresponding to the three parts of his soul are arrayed hier- archically in a harmony and equilibrium known as justice. The philosopher-king, unlike the tyrant, whose power has no legit- imacy, has actually undergone the qualifying trials of sovereign investiture.

Behind this Platonic image of the initiate of royal rank we can easily see its archaic origin, its ritual and mythic extraction. Plato is transposing the tripartite economy of the initiatory trial and the status of the sovereign as the synthesis of the three functions. Plato has recuperated the philosophical impulse in order to reinvest it at once in a traditional schema, creating the figure of the philosopher-king.

But according to the same tripartite economy, Oedipus as seen by Sophocles is precisely the philosopher-tyrant, the noninitiate who usurps the royal function and who, through the rigorous mechanism of disruption of the hierarchical virtues, cannot help but fall into the abyss of patricide and incest. For Sophocles, who remains faithful to the sacerdotal vision of truth (in the tragedy, it is Teiresias whose position proves to be right in the end), the philosopher can be only such a disordered tyrant, since through intellectual presumptuousness he has avoided authentic initiation.

The philosopher has no way of reinscribing himself, as Plato would have it, within the framework of the functional tripartition. He is the one who dangerously subverts the tripartition, and he cannot help but come to a tragic end. Oedipus, the sophos, cannot long remain in the king's place; he has not undergone the trials of the triple initiation that would have made him a living synthesis of the three functions."


Quote :
"But it is Oedipus, still, whose posture delineates the symbolic conditions of exit from this archaic regime. Hence the historical power of the Oedipus myth: in him a new subjectivity takes shape, a subjectivity that breaks free from the conditions of the trifunc- tional hierarchy to invent a new form of being and thinking. This is why the Oedipus myth played such a decisive role in Greece. This is why Oedipus is the paradigmatic hero of Hellenic reason. Greece marks the passage from a traditional mode of symbolizing, dominated by the tripartite ideology (thus corresponding to a military- sacerdotal type of power) to a new mode that distorts that archaic framework in order to invent philosophy, politics, the individual, the juridical subject, and the democratic debate among free and equal citizens. This historic passage is not simple. It is hazardous. And it is experienced by many as a sacrilege that will be punished, sooner or later, by the !gods. The tragedy of Oedipus lies at this turning point. Oedipus typifies the new subject, the one who subverts the tripartition and owes his power to a source other than that of the traditional investiture.

Although Sophocles, in his "reactionary" fear, predicts that only unhappiness and perdition can be the outcome of such presumptuousness in conformity with the myth, Oedipus is the symbolic precursor of the philosophical posture that will persist into our day, giving Western culture its historical uniqueness. Sophocles himself, toward the end of his long life, may have perceived the grandeur of Oedipus's position, and with Oedipus at Colonus, despite tragedy and death, he finally made Oedipus a figure of the future.

Greece is the European society in which it is most difficult to relocate the principles of the tripartite ideology characteristic of the Indo-European arena. The "Greek miracle" is the abandonment of that rigid framework, a development that leads to an exit from that ideology into an extraordinary drift. But it has also been supposed that this change of direction corresponds to a specific internal evolution, and not to the massive intrusion of external elements that would have completely dislocated these frameworks.' The Oedipus plot, as we have analyzed it, provides astonishing cor- roboration of this point of view.

Occupying a pivotal place in this break, it reveals both the archaic, tripartite Indo-European framework and the Greek inflection of the exit from that framework. The Oedipus myth is the myth of the Greek exit from the ideology of the functional tripartition. It reveals by what stance, at what risks, with what tensions and contradictions the subversion of that hierarchical system can come about. And it is of course of the highest significancethat this exit was inscribed symbolically, that it could be expressed in an imaginal configuration, could be presented in the precise and rigorous mechanisms of a plot.

We shall not attempt to reestablish here all the historical conditions that may have contributed to such a change. Among the factors that played a determining role, the disappearance of the priestly class is doubtless crucial.' If this view is correct, the disappearance of the priestly class led in turn to the plurifunctionality of the second function and then of the third. The traditional conception of sovereignty was then modified in the direction of secularization. The Greeks maintained the tripartite and hierarchical division of the ideals and virtues (as Plato attests, and also Plutarch), but the highest ideal (wisdom) was detached from its ancestral bond with priestly sovereignty. It was at this point that philosophy could be born.

On the one hand, this reading of history implies that the acquisition of wisdom was no longer subordinated to the long chain of a tradition faithfully transmitted by specialists of the sacred, but it also implies, conversely, that this shift led the Greeks to accord the highest place to reason, since philosophical reflection retained the preeminent place that had been outlined by its sacerdotal antecedent."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:18 pm

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"Oedipus is an "everyman" who becomes the sovereign ruler through his intel- ligence alone; not having been initiated, he stands apart from any knowledge transmitted by the sacerdotal institution, and apart from any investiture. Oedipus is a king who is not consecrated, who has not undergone the trials of the sacred.

He reigns in opposition to Teiresias and not with him or under his spiritual jurisdiction. Teiresias here is indeed the mythical representative of a sacerdotal function that in actual fact has long since disappeared. Hence the unparalleled historical and ideological privilege of the Oedipus myth as a tool for getting at the deep significance of the Greek transformation, or better still, for grasping the originality of the Greek response in its reworking of the Indo-European tripartition Greece had inherited. The myth, and then the tragedy, initiate an anxious interrogation of which certain questions can be rendered as follows: "What happens when the sovereign is no longer an initiated, consecrated king?" Or, in different but related terms: "What happens when the philosopher, newly arrived on the scene, claims to replace the priest of Apollo?" These are the uncertainties that are put into play, explored, problematized, in the story of Oedipus.

But it is not only the disappearance of the sacerdotal caste and of the sovereign's initiatory investiture that can be recognized in the profound contemporaneity with which the Oedipus myth is invested. In parallel to the dissolution of the archaic way of life, the dissolution of the institution of the genos is precipitated. The genos included all those who maintained the cult of a common ancestor; the genos had its leader, its patrimony, its rites, its justice. Starting with the Draconian code, the state took the place of the genos in judging individual responsibility, and this brought about equality among individuals belonging to different generations. Some scholars have regarded the freeing of sons with respect to their fathers as an essential factor in the Greek mutation.

The autodidactic and individualistic tendency that characterizes philosophical thought in its very essence is clearly inscribed in this liberation of the sons from the authority of the father and the fa- thers. First with Protagoras or Socrates, and then in its later phases (Descartes, Nietzsche), philosophy can be viewed as a thought of the son.

The distance between Teiresias and Oedipus is the distance between two forms of knowledge, two ways of reasoning, two irreconcilable modes of sovereignty. The one is the wise old man, priest of Apollo, knower of destinies and interpreter of divine signs, custodian and transmitter of a timeless wisdom; the other is the brash young philosopher who believes only in his own reflection, who believes only in man, and who takes as certainties only facts that methodical investigation has provided him. It is this profound opposition that Sophocles allows us to perceive in the stormy encounter between the two irreconcilable figures. The old man is the initiate; the young man claims to have transcended the initiatory mode of knowledge through autonomous reflection."



Quote :
"What has not been noted up to now (not even by Nietzsche, though he described with his celebrated acuity the opposition and complementarity between the two gods) is something that a telestic decoding brings to light: the fact that Apollo and Dionysus typify the two complementary aspects, active and passive, of every initiatory passage. Dionysus is the god who has been torn to pieces, dismembered, chopped up (by beings "born of the breed of Earth," like the Sphinx) and who, thanks to Zeus, has been brought back to life, resuscitated. He has thus undergone the central negative trial of all initiation scenarios, death followed by resurrection, a second birth after the torture of dismemberment. Apollo, on the other hand, is the god who has killed the (female) dragon; he has maintained his integrity, but he is obliged to purify himself after the killing by spending a prolonged period of time in the service of a king. Apollo thus embodies the active, positive aspect of the trial.

He destroys the monster from afar, with an arrow shot from his silver bow, and he retains his full identity, his distance. Apollo is the god of healing and education. His trial does not deprive him of his head or his limbs, but gives him access to (his) center and (his) self: the Delphic navel.
Apollo and Dionysus thus typify, in contrasting and complementary figures, the two aspects that every initiatory trial combines in a segmentable oxymoron: kill / be killed - the victorious defeat, the losing victory. The neophyte has to die by the claws of the monster and he has to kill the monster. The distinction of two figures, Apollo and Dionysus, both patrons of male initiation, is made to order to render that contradiction thinkable.Oedipus subverts the trial in a direction that ignores Dionysus and exasperates Apollo. His response, reduced to a single word that suffices to offend the Sphinx, implies an emotional disengage- ment, a distance with respect to the sacred that excludes all Dionysiac participation (through which the neophyte is moved, overwhelmed, gripped, possessed, carried away, but also dismembered like the god himself) and that rests upon an Apollonian pretension through which Oedipus exasperates the god by competing with him in the elucidation of the riddle. Oedipus purports to get through the trial on the strength of clarity and distance alone, without sacrifice. Oedipus is not killed and he does not kill. He purports to succeed without injury, without torture, without muti- lation, through pure intelligence shorn of emotions, stripped of the mystery whose threshold the Sphinx is protecting. Oedipus thus purports to elude the Dionysiac ordeal and dismemberment by rivaling Apollo in the register that belongs to that god, the register of distance and clarifying light."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:28 pm

(One of my most favourite images of Apollo, the Scorcherer...)


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"But who is Apollo? He is the god of light, of pure science, of theoretical knowledge. It is he who adjusts distances to things, who grants mortals the purity of vision requisite for knowledge. Science, no less than just action, requires purification. The cruder passions must be silenced, or sublimated, if pure contemplation is to be possible-calm contemplation, undertaken with clarity and detachment. Such a distance division, while it allows man to know the world's harmony, its beauty, and its sovereign order, carries with it the need for emotional disengagement and separation, perhaps the very separation that permits a clear distinction between the viewer and the visible realm, between sight and the thing seen. And that is whyApollo is perceived as a cold, always-distant god, the god of the horizon, the god of the far-reaching gaze (or arrow).

Oedipus claims for himself the existential orientation that is typified by the luminous configuration of Apollo, but he goes too far, carries it to excess, in an exclusive inclination that becomes profanatory. What constitutes the Oedipean excess properly speaking is the unidimensionality of the Apollonian passion. "To shed full light": the young Oedipus's unique guiding motto is thus a maxim that exceeds a legitimate ambition for pure and detached knowledge and becomes a conquering presumption. "To shed full light" means not only to welcome the clear light one is given, the illumination offered by the god to a mortal who has proved capable of achieving a purified vision; it means taking the place of the god and causing this light to shine oneself, projecting it violently wherever there are shadows, in an indiscreet inquisition that leaves no room for mystery, no sheltered space for the sacred obscurities.

Oedipus's role, rather, is to exercise his profanatory intellect in such a way as to dissolve the legitimacy of the initiation itself. He embodies enlightened intelligence, the strong mind, the freethinker who, through the light he purports to shed on all things, desacralizes the ritual of the solemn and an- guishing trial and thus achieves a victory against initiation rather than within initiation. He desecrates the threshold, offends the Sphinx instead of penetrating toward the mystery she is defending The conquering desire to shed full light, and to do this oneself, eludes any real confrontation with what can only remain obscure in the trial, and with what necessarily implies a transmission-that is, the reception of a wisdom that does not have its source in the neophyte hero himself.

...the Apollonian excess of a hero who solves the riddle of the Sphinx by the clear light of his intelligence alone, and then, in continued conformity with this stance, wants to shed full light on the king's murder by a methodical and rational investigation, but manages only to reveal himself in this light, in a self-knowledge that destroys him. Here, again, the precept "know thyself," an Apollonian precept, is turned back against the hero. All the features of the Oedipean deviation, including those that may also be legitimately perceived as conquests of thought opening up a new figure of knowledge, are Apollonian in their nature.

The avoidance of initiation is a drama of deferral. What has not taken place according to the regular forms-because the power of the god has been ignored and the traditions mocked-makes a violent return into the reality of secular existence at an unexpected moment. This is the revenge of the sacred. Instead of a ritual death that ensures a new birth and the consecrated nuptial union, there is a mutilation leading to infirmity or actual death. Oedipus puts his eyes out himself. Pentheus is decapitated by his own mother. These acts are deferred and disordered substitutes for the initiatory severing. Both indicate that access to alterity, to transcendence, has not been achieved.

Reflective arrogance, an Apollonian fault, governs Oedipus's entire destiny. That is why, at a particular cultural moment, Oedipus can become a prototypical image of the philosopher, or rather of the philosophic risk."



Quote :
"Philosophy, as it came into being in ancient Greece, found itself in an ambiguous position. In its ultimate goals, as in certain of its procedures, it resembled the initiations of the mystery religions, but it also participated in the controversies of the agora: it adopted the conventions of public discussion and presented itself as direct preparation for the exercise of political power. Thus, philosophy was able to draw upon a past in which wisdom was still identified with the initiatory progression, but it was also prepared to transpose this traditional aspect completely, to the point of unrecognizability, in order to reach a conceptual rationalism that excluded the symbolist dimension. Discussion, argumentation, polemics among equals, the confrontation of individual viewpoints leading to the recognition of divergences, and, more importantly, to the possibility of an agreement [homologia], were to become the rule of the intellectual game as of the political game. Thus, in place of a mysterious wisdom that entails a long internal progression allowing aspirants to achieve, through an ordered series of trials, a vision of Truth inaccessible to ordinary mortals, and a vision itself presenting various degrees of symbolic expression and understanding there appeared another form of wisdom, one exercised and dispensed in the public square, in the assembly and the marketplace, in lucid discussions among equal interlocutors, in free dialogue in which each participant in turn could contribute his point of view and defend it.

In political and social practice, the reciprocal and reversible relation between legitimately equal points of view replaces a nonreversible relation that implied an authority, a hierarchy, a multiplicity of levels. Truth is now nothing but a human point of view, and no longer a revelation or a vision that shakes and marks the person who experiences it ritually. A certain sacrificial notion of truth (through an initiation, an injury, or a violent impression that establishes a connection with the gods and the fathers) is undone. The presumptions of philosophic reason, however unprecedented, were inscribed in a wandering, a straying from the traditional path, that tradition had already consigned to a plot, that of the hero who, appearances notwithstanding, manages to avoid the trials of the triple initiation and becomes king all the same, but whose secret usurpation is finally brought to light."


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"Oedipus is the dramatic type who exemplifies a new posture that philosophy takes on. Let us call it "anthropocentering" to avert the misunderstanding that the term "anthropocentrism" might entail. For it is no longer a question of unwittingly attributing human qualities to the world, of projecting onto being an array of motives, feelings, and intentions that belong to the human soul alone. Quite to the contrary, it is a matter of recognizing that such projections have already been made, and of withdrawing those investments that had charged the universe, unduly, with human pathos, in order to restore them to the self. "Anthropocentering" is thus the exact opposite of "anthropocentrism."

Oedipus is emblematic of the movement by which the human subject, recognizing itself as the source and agent, withdraws what it had projected onto the external world, with the result that in a single two-sided operation of deprojection, the subject discovers the world as an object (rather than a sign) and situates himself as a subject.

Xenophanes of Colophon offers the earliest evidence we have of this move when he recognizes that the gods (at least the gods as people imagine them to be) are only projections emanating from man. The gods merely borrow their features, naively, from their inventors. "The Ethiopians say of their gods that they are snub- nosed and black; the Thracians claim that they have blue eyes and red hair."' The withdrawal of projections leads to a recognition that the beings earlier viewed as supernatural are products of the human imagination. This philosophical revolution, which persists right up to Feuerbach and Nietzsche, is the revolution wrought by Oedipus. If his answer to the Sphinx's riddle proves fatal to the winged virgin (without bloodshed), it is because the answer "man" typifies the anthropocentering move whereby all gods, demons, or other monsters are recognized as mere products of the human imagination, related back to man, and thus disavowed as independent beings with powers of their own. Oedipus's incredulity is what kills the Sphinx. She does not have to be killed in bloody hand-to-hand combat, as Bellerophon kills the Chimaera or Perseus kills Medusa. Oedipus has only to withdraw his projective belief by reducing every enigma to man, by establishing man as the unique source and agent; this is all it takes to make the Sphinx vanish before his eyes. The simple hand gesture by which Oedipus points to himself (brings the question back to himself) brings about the monster's immediate disappearance.

Thus, Oedipus can be taken as the emblem of the passage to a culture centered on man. He typifies the critical mutation achieved by the Greeks: the transition from myth to reason, the birth of the individual as an autonomous agent and juridical subject, the search for consensus, democratic debate as the basis of politics, and so on."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:19 am

Lyssa wrote:
(One of my most favourite images of Apollo, the Scorcherer... (reminds me of Apaosha))


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I like that a lot
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:54 pm

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"The gesture by which Oedipus situated himself so as to respond to the "riddling bitch," pardian of the initiatory threshold, and the belief that he could abolish her with the word "man" in a presumption of auto-initiation, are what institute, in a counter-effect, the difference between what will later be called consciousness and unconsciousness.

Oedipus's posture is a perversion of the Apollonian principle that enjoins self-knowledge. It is as if the Sphinx's conqueror was committing himself to the path of the wrong self-knowledge, knowledge that wounds the divine instead of honoring it. The Delphic instruction to "know thyself," a precept issuing from the center, the navel of the Earth, would concern the difficult access to a divine self within the soul, and not the specular view of one's mortal visage... in the specular inclination of Narcissus, as in a speculative orientation that is more intellectual than aesthetic. This would be the perversion of Oedipus-and of philosophy.

Thus the same Teiresias, the blind old priest of Apollo, Teiresias the initiate, warns against at least two misinterpretations of the Delphic pronouncement. Authentically Apollonian self-knowledge is neither Narcissus's version nor Oedipus's. It is not fascination with one's own image in the mirror. It is not abstract reflexivity, either, not consciousness of self by self that reduces the soul to its cogitating focalization and refers truth back to the "I," or to generic man. Egocentering of that sort, in which the inflation of the intellect and the self-importance of the ego are reinforced, leads to the negation of the gods and the denial of all teaching."



Quote :
"The enigma, in its very formulation, concerns the counting of feet (pous), a word that is at the root of the name "Oedipus" itself (Oidipous, swollen foot) and the index of his identity. It is thus with a reference to himself, in an act of self- knowledge and self-identification, that Oedipus resolves (or believes he resolves) the riddle of the winged virgin. He becomes a "tyrant," that is, an autocrat without a royal heritage, a sovereign who has conquered power himself instead of receiving it as a legitimate heir.

The rite of passage (royal investiture) is a sacred pedagogy that calls for the reception of a teaching. No neophyte is formed without a master whose word is respected, whose own received wisdom is recognized and venerated. Oedipus typifies the protagonist who stakes a claim to knowledge by reflection alone and without sacrifice, the one who intends to think for himself, and not to receive from someone else a tradition transmitted from generation to generation. He denies the knowledge of the fathers and wise men (the patrios logos) as well as the help of the gods. His refusal of all authority is expressed in the mythic ideogram of patricide."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:07 pm

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"More than any other, the figure of Socrates is highly indicative of the autodidactic and individualist tendency of philosophical thought, and that is why this figure is often taken for an authentic beginning. Socrates is typically portrayed as the philosopher who received no teaching, the one who found truth in himself and by himself. A legend about Socrates' father offers an almost trans- parent indication that the attitude might be connected with a withdrawal of paternal authority.

Plutarch tells us that oracular instructions conveyed to Socrates' father "bade him let the child do whatever came into his mind, and not to do violence to his impulses or divert them, but allow them freeplay. ..surely implying by this that he had a better guide of life in himself than a thousand teachers and attendants."'

The real father's withdrawal, his retreat, his effacement, not to say his deficiency, thus permits access to an internal guide who is worth more than all the masters and teachers together. As a child, Socrateswas left to his own devices. His father did not restrain him in any way, did not impose on him the yoke of any authority. The child was to find in himself, on his own, the guiding principle that would replace that external authority. The scene of the father's withdrawal, the scene of the son liberated from all external tutelage, thus is situated at the beginning of the formation of philosophical thought. The autonomy of the son gives birth to philosophy. If this new mode of thought is one of the major factors in the Greeks' break with the past, it is because it corresponds to an antipatriarchal agitation that can be detected in other characteristic features of Greek civilization, including the establishment of democracy.

If Socrates has none but an internal master, his teaching, in turn, proceeds from a position of nonmastery: the "empty" place that is his, and that constitutes the originality of his language. His way is to impose no preexisting knowledge, no dogma; to say that he knows nothing; to limit himself to urging his interlocutor to find the truth within himself. If Socrates was not formed by the dictatorship of the father, he was not destined to occupy the place of the patriarchal master or hierophant; rather, his is a paradoxical place, a nonplace, from which he will incite his interlocutor, by questioning rather than asserting, to think for himself, to discover truth within himself, apart from all imposed traditions and dogmas. What makes Socrates unique, what makes him the founder of philosophical interlocution, is this elision of the father that produces a new relation to discourse and to others and fosters the dialogical procedure for the search for truth."


Quote :
"Through his questioning, he succeeds in proving that every human being, whoever he may be, whatever his apparent inferiority, is capable of finding in himself the noble stand most difficult truths. In a paradox that embraces the full inaugural singularity of his position, Socrates is a professor of autodidacticism. He teaches only one thing, even to the servant child, and that is to get along without teachers - an approach that is not devoid of a striking subversive potential, even in the realm of politics.'

If one legend has it that Socrates' father imposed nothing on him because the child had an internal guide, Hegel recalls another legend that is no less significant. In another remarkable exception to the Athenian rule, it is said that Socrateswas never initiated into the Eleusian mysteries. Socrates, the wisest of the Greeks, is de- picted as the only one who was not introduced to the mysteries, who did not receive their revelation.

All these features are completely consistent. Socrates found his principles of conduct and truth by himself and in himself. No father, no master, no hierophant taught him a thing. On this point at least, his resemblance to the Oedipus figure is peculiarly revealing.

Socrates, the noninitiate, introduces a new form of initiation, however: a form based on a relation of self to self, on one's own knowledge of oneself. It is certainly not a matter of reducing the "self" to an insulary ego. Socrates does find a guide within himself; however, he views this guide as a divine other, different from himself. The philosopher venerates his god, his "demonn-the personal and individualizedmessenger of a higher god, who for his part remains without relation to man. The inner confrontation between Socrates and his own god is the basis for a new morality. If Socrates is accused of no longer believing in the gods of the city-state, it is because instead of worshipping the divinities the city has adopted, he puts his own "demon" first: a form of worship, as Apuleius astutely observed, "that is nothing but the initiation into the mysteries of philosophy.'

The discipline of philosophy is born of an internalizing movement that makes auto-initiation possible, a movement summed up in the injunction to "know thyself." Philosophy is no longer an introduction, performed by a qualified priest, to the mysteries of an external and socialized god; it is the recognition of an internal, individuated god, a form of moral consciousness that is still personalized but that nevertheless places man in an ethical situation of autonomy rather than heteronomy. Socrates is the first individual. He is also, in another sense, the first free-thinker. He replaced the traditional hetero-initiation by philosophical auto-initiation.

In all these respects there is an affinity between Socrates and Oedipus. They are both situated at the moment of deprojection that brings back to the subject what had first been attributed to external reality or expected from the accomplishment of rites. The world is no longer invested with cryptophoric signs that attest to the multiple presence of gods: it is in man himself, and only in man, that the basis for all meanings can be found. Hegel masterfully highlighted this kinship between Socrates and Oedipus when he identified Oedipus's mythic response to the Sphinx with the imperative "know thyself" that inaugurates philosophy in its Socratic trajectory."



Quote :
"However, if Socrates presents a dangerous resemblance to the "wise man" who was able to solve the riddle on his own, Plato's philosophy, even as it puts Socrates in his well-known place, nevertheless provides a mechanism that offers protection against the Oedipean radicalism.

Behind the Platonic notion of justice as the harmonious maintenance of hierarchic subordination, and behind the figure of the philosopher-king as the one who bears a complete image of this harmony in himself through the very constitution of his soul, it is not difficult to see the conceptual extension of the Indo-European principle of the monarch as a living synthesis of the three functions. Through an extremely fertile conceptual undertaking, Plato transposes the ancient and traditional principle of sovereignty onto the new figure of the philosopher. The difficult pedagogical path that leads to the formation of a philosophic soul is comparable to an initiation, and like an archaic initiation the new form has to recognize and move through the three stages so as to complete the process and harmonize it hierarchically. Plato's philosophy can thus be construed as a way of salvaging a timeless tradition on a new level after the disappearance of the social frameworks that had preserved that tradition - most notably the disappearance of priests and the initiated king.

At this point, Xenophon produces a formulation whose trifunctional value is immediately manifest: "The man who is foremost in endurance [karteria] when the hour comes for toil [ponein], in valour when the contest calls for courage [andreia], in wisdom [gnome] when the need is for counsel - he is the man, I think, who may fairly be regarded as the perfect embodiment of goodness [agathos pantelos]."
Three domains of activity and three corresponding virtues are clearly iden- tified and ordered in this remarkable formulation: work, which requires endurance; battle, which requires bravery; deliberation, which requires judgment, that is, intelligence. It would be hard to be more explicit and more concise. The perfectly accomplished man is the one who is capable of participating in each of these domains of activity and excelling in each.

The formula Xenophon uses to designate such a man is remarkable. If to designate a virtuous man Plato readily and regularly uses the expression agathos aner, which is generally translated as "good man," Xenophon's expression moves to the superlative level: aner agathospantelos, "peerless," or better yet, "a perfectly accomplished man." The word we are focusing on here is pantelos, constructed from pan (entirely, fully, in everything, completely) and telos, which indicates the idea of accomplishment, completion, realization, and whose root is found in a large number of composite terms used in the vocabulary of initiation. The noun panteleia, moreover, means "complete achievement," "perfect initiation."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:15 pm

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"Plato's teaching, intended to define and shape the royal soul, extends the determination of royalty as a synthesis of the three functions in the strict sense. The soul of the philosopher-king is the soul that realizes in itself a harmonious and hierarchical equilibrium among the three heterogeneous elements that make it up: this achievement corresponds to the ritual power to combine and assemble the three functional levels, to unite them within the being of a single exceptional individual. For Plato, the rational element (the inner man) does not have to be capable of breaking the strength and boldness of the lion within the soul-that would be at once dangerous and impossible. But the reasonable element must be able to channel that resource of aggressiveness and anger in order to maintain its dominion over the soul's most obscure, most changeable, most voracious elements: the strange and disquieting polycephalic beast.

A person who cannot depend upon the lion, a person who cannot count on having the lion on his side in the form of noble rage, a person who cannot bind the lion to the just cause of reason, is in danger of being overwhelmed by its powerful, undirected energies; worse still, such a person would be abruptly deprived of any ability to dominate the polycephalic beast, for in the absence of such a ferocious, ardent, vigilant guard, the creature is always ready to burst forth and invade the reasonable element. Unless it forms an alliance with the leonine element, the wise and properly human element is doubly threatened by the lower forces: it risks being crushed both by the disoriented power of the lion, transformed into lawless brutality, and by the now-unbridled and unguarded voraciousness of the polycephalic beast. In such a case, all the bestial elements, good or bad, are thus in league against the fragile rational element, which succumbs to their devouring and destructive passions.

To become a wise man, a philosopher or a king requires a fierce struggle against the bestial elements in his own soul, where greed, cruelty, the desire to dominate, and the unbridled desires of sensual jouissance are all rooted. These desires, in all their dangerous power, in all their disquieting depth, must therefore be portrayed in such a way as to become perceptible in their greatest disarray so that they will finally be resisted and turned into docile allies instead of destructive forces.

Now, with respect to Plato's triple-souled monster, what meaning can be attributed to Oedipus's response to the riddle posed by that triple-headed monster known as the Sphinx?

Oedipus's mistake is that he reduces the trial to the riddle, and thus humanizes the confrontation of mystery. The Sphinx's riddle belongs to the realms of intelligence and language, to the sagacity that is properly human. Its solution is always "man." On the contrary, the trial of combat (and that of sexuality) cannot be reduced to what is human; it is rooted in what is nonhuman within man, an alterity that reason can deal with but cannot fully comprehend.

The initiatory beast is a monstrous, terrifying, dangerous composite of the three powers, whereas the initiated king is a harmonious, pacific, and fertile symbol of these same powers. Their confrontation is a duel between one tripartite unity and another. The beast and the king are at once identical and different. The monstrous unity is the composite conflictual adversary offering the union of three in one as an obstacle and a problem-as obscurity. The king is the virtuous adversary: having first confronted this monstrous interaction as alterity and strangeness, he has succeeded in penetrating its obscurities and in appropriating its multiple and dangerous energies for his own accomplishment.

The fabulous tripartite being is thus an esoteric image of man (his interior, his soul), just as the visible man is only an exoteric form of the monster, a mere cover, a superficial envelope. The response "man" can thus be interpreted as a profanatory neglect of the two other components, the polycephalic beast and the irascible lion. This very gap and the same unidimensionality turn up in the mode of victory that characterizes Oedipus, a purely intellectual victory, unlike Bellerophon's victory over the Chimaera. Oedipus's "humanism" is, then, that illusion and that neglect: it is the reduction of everything in man to man-the reduction of the multiform monster of the soul to what is simply its noblest but most fragile face, its human face, bearer and symbol of the superior element of reason.

If Oedipus had tried all the components of his own soul, down to its voracious and polycephalic depths and its leonine strengths, if he had been truly initiated, instead of knowing only, by autoreflection (a speculative redoubling that leaves out his constitutive inhumanity), he would have known that "man" is not the last word in the solution to the riddle of man's soul. Far from protecting him against the monstrous, Oedipus's humanist illusion hurls him headlong into its depths.

Man and inner man (ho entos anthropos) are not the same. The cryptic soul is not all human; it has dark, disturbing depths, unfathomable instinctual resources that elude humanity and plunge into the dangerous darkness of animality. Reason, the privileged attribute of inner man, is not a simple and readily available capacity to know and understand. It is a force, an authority; it allows the soul's animal components to be tamed. We can see what a mistake it would be, from Plato's viewpoint, to confuse the inner (divine) man with man as a whole, to overlook the essentially monstrous structure of the soul and forget that the properly human part of the soul is only one element in a larger composite; it is a mistake to suppose that one can ignore that composite, neglect it, deny it, suppress its existence by means of thought.

Oedipus detaches this reasonable element, glves it a kind of autonomy and independence (by self-reflection), to such an extent that the lion and the multiform beast find themselves unchained, released, liberated. Patricide and incest, even involuntarily committed, are the most searing and profound expression of that liberation, itself involuntary, unpremeditated, of two nonhuman elements. When Oedipus gets angry and kills Layus, it is the lion element that is rebelling against the head. When Oedipus manages to share the queen's bed, it is the concupiscent element that is secretly satisfied. Each of Oedipus's involuntary crimes embodies a return of a part of the Sphinx, the return of an unconsumed and unconfronted element of the tripartite monster that represents the monstrosity of the soul itself in its cryptic profundity."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:22 pm

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"No philosopher allows us to appreciate the Oedipean strategy better than Descartes. In this sense, it is appropriate that Descartes's thought should be viewed as the starting point for the philosophy of the modern era. With Descartes, the very order of his method (his approach, the step-by-step advance he would like to make on secure ground), rigorously repeats the sequence of significant moments in Oedipus's story.

Let us look closely at the Cartesian gesture. It might be summed up in three movements. What is the role of the "I," the "I" that produces the Discourse on Method?

1. It denies all masters, and asserts the superiority of the auto- didactic position over any transmission of knowledge.

2. It dissolves, suppresses, removes any indistinct and obscure thoughts by the acute form of self-consciousness we know as the cogito.

3. As a consequence of the two preceding moves, it takes up a position as "master and possessor of nature" - or claims as much. We need not insist: it is quite clear that beneath the intellectual rigor of Descartes's philosophemes we rediscover with astonishing precision the no less rigorous sequence of mythologemes that constitute the Oedipean posture.

Murder of the father, response to the Sphinx, possession of the mother: Descartes gives a perfected ontological dimension to the protophilosophical mechanism typified by the Oedipus myth. Each of these three great moments in the heroic Oedipean drama can be recognized in the three great moments of Descartes's undertaking.

"Cogito ergo sum" has to be understood as a victory cry; the shout of the successful "patricide," the exultation of the son who now knows that he no longer depends upon ancestors or anyone else in order to stand on his own two feet. And to walk with assurance. Without limping.
Descartes is a hero because he mobilizes all the wellsprings of his being in order to constitute himself and take possession of himself."


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:29 pm

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"The Sphinx is thus, for Hegel, the symbol of symbolism, of that unconscious symbolism that is not an allegorical cloak, a disguise for a truth that could be stated and thought differently, but one that is an enigma in itself, a radical incongruence between the signifying materiality and the mind.

And this is where the Oedipean moment intervenes. For it is but a short step from the (male) Egyptian Sphinx to the (female) Greek Sphinx. All the more so in that Egypt is not first or solely the land described by geographers and historians; it is also the regime of a certain symbolic relation: the regime in which the spirit is still a slave to its own obscurity.

Now, Oedipus is the one who confronts this symbol of symbolism. He finds the riddle's answer in man - that is, he finds there the answer to every riddle, the response to the very principle of the enigmatic. The monstrosity of unconscious symbolism disappears.

The animal figure is no longer merged, in a disturbing hybridization, with the human figure. Man can represent only himself, whether as body in a plastic form or as spirit in a self-reflective philosophy. Oedipus does not respond to just one particular riddle.

He challenges and moves beyond the regime of unconscious symbolism by making man the source of all meaning. That is why Hegel purely and simply identifies Oedipus's response, "man" (the position of an essential anthropocentering before the alterity of the enigmatic), with the Apollonian and Socratic formula "know thyself." The light of consciousness, which is consciousness of self, obliterates all enigmatic alterity, suppressing the dimension of the unconscious."


Quote :
"The decisive moment: when "thought embraces itself" (and this is one of Hegel's definitions of philosophy), it shatters the symbolist and mythic form that had dominated the free expression of the spirit. The symbol, unlike the concept, is an inadequate expression of thought. It attests to a lack of appropriation between an idea and a form that is supposed to signify it. It is only when the spirit has been able to liberate itself from the perceptible and reach a state in which it can be "for itself," can reflect itself, can attain subjectivity and interiority, that it divests itself of all symbolist expression. Thus, Oedipus, through his response, accomplishes not just a philosophical gesture but the philosophical gesture par excellence: the reflective movement of thought, the act of self-consciousness through which subjectivity knows itself. Oedipus's response to the Sphinx is the advent of philosophy, its beginning, its inauguration. Thought has finally approached itself. The deceptive Oriental unity of spirit and nature is shattered. Oedipus is the founder of philosophy: the prototypical philosopher. It is thus remarkable that Hegel should have discerned a turning point in historical life that is characterized at one and the same time as the exit from Egypt, the response of Oedipus, and the birth of Western philosophy-a philosophy itself originally determined as a humanism, a new posture based on anthropocentering.

Hegel's conviction that the Sphinx was an Egyptian figure rather than Greek is not in conflict with the disclosure of an unnoticed articulation between the Platonic topology of the soul and Hegelian thought. The Hegelian exit from Egypt, via Oedipus's response to the Sphinx, is the break with a hierarchical, sacral world in which heteronomy reigns-a world in aspective, anterior to perspective. Plato was always convinced that in the Egyptians' world he had found the ideal separation of the social functions, the canonical hierarchy whose principle he was constantly defending. In the Laws, Plato explicitly valorized Egypt - immutable, hierarchical, and hieratic - against unstable and democratic Greece. A break in historical memory even allowed him to believe, it seems, that the principle of social tripartition was Egyptian in origin.

Plato and Hegel valorize the exit from that Egypt differently, but for both it is associated with an implicitly or explicitly Oedipean posture. Whether an Indo-European or an Egyptian structure is involved is not important in this regard: the Oedipean gesture of anthropocentering is what brings man out of a hierarchical regime and introduces him into a regime of democratic humanism, whether this is a matter for regret or rejoicing. The monstrous structure that expresses the spirit's alterity with respect to itself (and man's religious humility in the face of that cryptic alterity) will occupy the same position in both cases, although the will to dissolve this intimate alterity through reflective reason is judged differently.

Thus, Plato and Hegel are opposed on the same imaginary and conceptual terrain. The former maintains that the soul is a triune monster, an irreducible composite of heterogeneous beings that requires a principle of authority to stay in harmony, and the latter attributes to the rational and properly human element so exclusive a privilege that he can believe monstrosity has been left behind once and for all-in a historic rupture that has as its emblem the magnified victory of Oedipus.

The humanization of the soul in its entirety, which Plato would have viewed as a dangerous mistake, becomes a historic step that leaves the symbolic and unconscious depths behind. The human spirit conquers its autonomy in an act of reflexivity that leads to a new moment in history. Anthropocentering forever disqualifies the Egypt of the Sphinx."

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:30 pm

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"In the Oedipus figure, this armature is articulated in three acts that we can formulate here as abstractions: (I) Eviction of the Father; (2) Promotion of Man (and of the Ego); (3) Possession of the Mother. With Descartes, as we have seen, these three acts are readily recognizable, although in a specific ontological form that methodically stresses the place of the ego. It is striking that a similar movement, albeit through a different (though parallel) set of concepts, structures Nietzsche's thought: (I) Death of God; (2) Advent of the Superman; (3) Total domination of the Earth.

It is as if Nietzsche had taken to the extreme, on a conceptual level that is no longer that of the mythic image but that remains linked with it by close and necessary ties reflecting the lasting strength of a powerful structure, the originally Oedipean program of philosophy."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:33 pm

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"It is worth noting that [Freud's] unconscious drives boil down to two: death-dealing aggressiveness and sexual libido. Thus, what Plato in his figurative language calls the "lion" and the "polycephalic beast" occupy the very site where the two fundamental drives of the Freudian Unconscious are identified. The unconscious is Oedipean both in its structural institution (the cleavage between the "human" element and the two others) and in its pulsional content: a humanist failure to recognize the two tendencies, aggressive and sexual, that are the underlying factors in Oedipus's double crime. Once he has identified the unconscious, Freud cannot help but discover Oedipean desires.

For the scene of the enraged father is the "exit from Egypt," the moment when what the monster was threatening to accomplish is imputed to the father. Freud starts with this moment of humanization in depicting the relation between consciousness and the unconscious, son and father, son and mother, and so on. But an anterior threat, a more fundamental, prehuman threat that is surmountable only by the bloody killing of the female monster, remains unknown to Freud. Hence his failure to recognize masculine desire in its most radical aspect - and also the nonmaternal feminine this desire liberates."

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:50 pm

Kovacs wrote:
Interesting, Lyssa, I'm going to see if I can find that one.

As a tangent, I got an early critique of Freud's Oedipus while in India.   One of these sages  or perhaps a 'sage' told me the story of Ganesh.  There are a number of versions of course, but a number have Parvati creating Ganesh parthenogenetically, then stationing him outside the door, where he is not supposed to allow anyone entry.   Well, Gee whiz, down from the mountain comes, not unexpectedly Parvati, Shiva who demands entry three times, then pissed off cuts the young god's head off.   Once he finds out it is Parvati's son and in some sense his also, he sends servants out to bring him the first head they can find.   And it ends up being an elephant head.  

Now I see no reason to say This is the real dynamic in families.   But it certainly covers one kind of dynamic and one that will play out most families on some level.   So it wasn't that Freud was wrong, merely that he was oversimplifying, and in a way that blamed the child for any sense of aggression, etc.  He found a set of myths that supported his positions, but there were many others that did not.   As if the child was not born into a situation with tremendous undercurrents and dynamics and competition already.   Freud's read often ended up stifling.   This was not simply his fault, since his peers shut him down hard when he first proposed that there was some degree of commonplace sexual abuse in families.   He was more or less shunned, changed his mind and this affected is ideas around Oedipus and Electa complexes.   See Masson's

The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory



The Ganesh myth I interpret this way.

Shiva - the penetrating Dionysian ego, [I]

Shakti - naked power, kundalini. [Am]

Ganesh usually associated with the Swastika - the labyrinthine threshold to the unconscious.
The elephant head is symbolic of the calm of consciousness, slow-moving.

The myth then means access to naked power by the ego requires a regulation. A labyrinthine inertia allows a slow initiatory assimilation, prevents consciousness becoming aware of itself too quickly. Rather, proper assimilation allows spontaneity, unhesitant mastery which is what the union of Shiva-Shakti represent as One I-AM.


Nietzsche wrote:
"The classical style is essentially a representation of this calm, simplification, abbreviation, concentration - the highest feeling of power is concentrated in the classical type. To react slowly; a great consciousness; no feeling of struggle." [WTP, 349]

When the consciousness of the 'I' is great (the I AM), the feeling of power is highest - to fight without having to struggle... the Fasci-nating ego.

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:13 am

Lyssa wrote:


While the Puer remains infantile because of the absent father, the Oedipal, uses the over-rational anthropocentring as a 'Prosthetik' to stay on top. This reflective posturing is the root of modern 'atomic'/Stirnerite individuality, that I have elsewhere differentiated as the selfish from the more authentic individuality of the self-ish.


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Quote :
"Puer aeternus. Latin for eternal child, used in mythology to designate a child-god who is forever young; psychologically it refers to an older man whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level, usually coupled with too great a dependence on the mother. [The term puella is used when referring to a woman, though one might also speak of a puer animusor a puella anima.]
The puer typically leads a provisional life, due to the fear of being caught in a situation from which it might not be possible to escape. His lot is seldom what he really wants and one day he will do something about itbut not just yet. Plans for the future slip away in fantasies of what will be, what could be, while no decisive action is taken to change. He covets independence and freedom, chafes at boundaries and limits, and tends to find any restriction intolerable."(Sharp, 1991)

The Freudians call it the Peter Pan syndrome, which is the title of Dan Kileys book from 1983. Marie-Louise von Franz characterizes the puer aeternus:

Quote :
"Precisely because the puer entertains false pretensions, he becomes collectivized from within, with the result that none of his reactions are really very personal or very special. He becomes a type, the type of the puer aeternus.
He is merely the archetype of the eternal youth god, and therefore he has all the features of the god: he has a nostalgic longing for death, he thinks of himself as being something special, he is the one sensitive being among all the other tough sheep. He will have a problem with an aggressive, destructive shadow which he will not want to live and generally projects, and so on. There is nothing special whatsoever. The greater the identification with the youthful god, the less individual the person although he himself feels so special."
(von Franz, 2000, p.121)

A teenage boy who refuses to accept responsibility might become a grown-up who refuses to accept responsibility. Yet, not all of them will become a bum or an alcoholic. Rather, their irresponsibility is typically hidden behind a respectable faÁade. The most characteristic feature of the puer is that he will never take root in the presence but keep hovering like a helium balloon in his life. Even if he is capable of carrying a job, he is incapable of taking a passionate interest in it.
For instance, should the puer work as a software developer, he will take no real interest in algorithm technique or the advanced features of the programming language. Instead he will adopt a strangely indifferent attitude, as if he were floating in the air, even if the company risks going out of business. It is merely a provisional job, anyway. In case he is married, it is a provisional arrangement, too.
The prevalence of the puerile syndrome explains why people in the present era so often change their partner. Several authors have noted their proclivity for short-lived romantic attachments (cf. Yeoman, 1998, p.28). Neither the puer nor the puella have the aptitude for a genuine emotional attachment. They have no strong passion for anything or anybody, but remain dissolute and unfaithful in the general sensethe effects of an eerie and amoral incapacity.


The puerile society:

I maintain that the puer aeternus syndrome is an enormous problem of our time. It even poses a threat to Western civilization. It underlies the prevailing cultural and moral relativism in the Western world. The puer aeternus refuses to strike down his roots in our historical heritage; he has no love for our great cathedrals nor for our ideational heritage. Cultural unfaithfulness and a puerile form of immaturity in the population has given rise to an ideology of multiculturalism according to which anything goes. There is a belief that all cultures, theories, religions, personalities, and ethnic groups, are mixable because they arent essentially different. The ideology of sameness impedes individuation, keeping people locked up in the Kindergarten of uniformity.
Yet, the current sameness ideology builds on a puerile form of indifference toward all expressions of culture and ethnicity. The puer aeternus, due to his lack of zest for learning, never develops a proper understanding of anything.

Relativism means that there really is no such thing as right or wrong. Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton has adopted the word oikophobia (ecophobia) and defines it as the repudiation of inheritance and home. He says that it is a stage through which the adolescent mind normally passes, but that in adulthood it is a feature of some, typically leftist, political impulses and ideologies which espouse xenophilia (preference for alien cultures) (cf. Wiki: Oikophobia).

Former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in a recent interview
(Dec 24, 2014) that Sweden belongs to the immigrantsnot the Swedes. When he flew over Sweden he could see that there is plenty of space(!) for new inhabitants.

A Prime Minister who says such things about his own country and people cannot be of sound mind. There is a complete lack of objectivity, a monumental naivetÈ, as well as the characteristic lack of grounding in culture. Yet, Reinfeldt, as the self-professed quisling of the modern era, is not an uncommon example of the many representatives of the puer aeternus in politics. It must needs lead to the disintegration of culture. The following clear-sighted excerpt was written more than 70 years ago, by sociology professor Pitirim Sorokin (1889-1968). Sorokin says that when any socio-cultural system enters the stage of its disintegration, it first enters a phase of inner self-contradiction and an irreconcilable dualism. It soon becomes formless in that it develops a chaotic syncretism of undigested elements taken from different cultures:

Quote :
"An emergence of a chaotic syncretism in a given integrated culture is another general symptom of its disintegration. The classical example is given by the overripe sensate culture of Greece and Rome. In that stage it became, in the words of Tacitus, the common sink into which everything infamous and abominable flows like a torrent from all quarters of the world. [...]
This all-pervading syncretism is reflected in our mentality, in our beliefs, ideas, tastes, aspirations, and convictions. The mind of contemporary man is likewise a dumping place of the most fantastic and diverse bits of the most fragmentary ideas, beliefs, tastes, and scraps of information. From Communism to Catholicism, from Beethoven or Bach to the most peppy jazz and the cat-calls of crooning; from the fashion of the latest movie or best-seller to the most opposite fashion of another movie or best-sellerall coexist somehow in it, jumbled side by side, without any consistency of ideas, or beliefs, or tastes, or styles [...]
Viewed from this standpoint, our intellectual life is but an incessant dance of jitterbugs. Its spineless and disjointed syncretism pervades all our social and mental life. Our education consists mainly in pumping into the mind-area of students the most heterogeneous bits of information about everything [...] Our ethics is a jungle of discordant norms and opposite values. Our religious belief is a wild concoction of a dozen various Social Gospels, diversified by several beliefs of Christianity diluted by those of Marxianism, Democracy, and Theosophy, enriched by a dozen vulgarized philosophical ideas, corrected by several scientific theories, peacefully squatting side by side with the most atrocious magical superstitions [...]
This jumble of diverse elements means that the soul of our sensate culture is broken down. It appears to have lost its self-confidence. It begins to doubt its own superiority and primogeniture. It ceases to be loyal to itself. It progressively fails to continue to be its own sculptor, to keep unimpaired the integrity and sameness of its style, that takes in only what agrees with it and rejects all that impairs it. Such a culture loses its individuality. It becomes formless, shapeless, styleless." (Sorokin, 1957, pp.241-54.)

On account of an ongoing cultural dissolution, the pueri aeterni are today on the increase. The IS warriors who travel from Europe to join the Islamists, are mostly recruited from the puer group. They are typically described as lost youth who have suddenly found a passionate connection with life, namely to become part of the murderous machine.
The characteristic neurotic solution of the puer consists in the compulsive descent from his aeronautical lifestyle:

Quote :
"The strange thing is that it is mainly the pueri aeterni who are the torturers and establish tyrannical and murderous police systems. So the puer and the police-state have a secret connection with each other; the one constellates the other. Nazism and Communism have been created by men of this type. The real tyrant and the real organizer of torture and of suppression of the individual are therefore revealed as originating in the not-worked out mother complex of such men. (von Franz, 2000, p.164)


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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:10 pm

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:48 am

I read this about a year ago, more or less.

Good read.

It's about how the story of Oedipus is an aberration of a mono-myth of royal investiture. The myths of Jason, Perseus, and Bellerophon were the standard ones symbolizing the successful initiation into manhood via carnivorous combat with a female monster ( E.g., Medusa ). The female monster represented the snare of the maternal framework upon the son.

Freud mistakenly viewed the story of O. as the myth representing the male psyche in general, but the book shows that to be erroneous. The mono-myth of the Hero is representative of the general male psyche; the ultimate desire for the damsel, as opposed to the mother.

Oedipus, Philosopher - Goux
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:17 pm

Satyrs
Quote :
However, regarding the relations between Dionysus and the Sphinx, certain iconographic documents are extremely informative. The Vagnonville bowl is noteworthy in this respect. It provides the missing link in our effort to establish the ritual and mythic connection between the "dog who speaks in riddles" and the young god of resurrecting drunkenness. A Sphinx is seated atop a tumulus that is being attacked with picks by two Satyrs. The sepulchral character of the mound is beyond question. As in similar cases, here a stone base pierced with holes supports a mound of earth.This bowl, mentioned by Jane Harrison, is not the only one of its type. A black, red-figured bowl painted by Myson also shows two Satyrs destroying a tomb with picks. A Sphinx is seated atop the tumulus.  Similar representations of horse-tailed Satyrs working to break open a tomb by force are found in numerous other instances, without the Sphinx but with an additional element that provides the key to the meaning of the scene: from the earth, through the tomb, the head and shoulders of a young girl arise. What we see in these virtually canonical images is the ascen- sion (anodos) of Kore. A number of vases represent this anodos, the mythic moment when a young girl, still enclosed within the rounded contours of a tumulus, reaches upward, her body half free from the earth, her hands or arms raised. Her emergence is greeted by the ecstatic dance of goat-footed Pans and horse-tailed Satyrs. Dionysus himself, with his thyrsus, awaits the moment of break- through. A winged Eros is sometimes represented. In certain cases there seems to be some contamination between Kore's ascent within the sepulchral mound and Pandords emergence from the vase that contained her; this would explain why the Satyrs or Pans use either a pick or a hammer similar to the one used by Hephaes- tus. But this contamination only strengthens the meaning attached to the image of the young girl. Pandora is a virgin in the process of being born; what is more, her emergence from the vase is the birth of the first woman.17

Quote :
We may deduce then that the Sphinx represented on the Vagnonville bowl or the one painted by Myson is not simply a dis- quieting monster, a Ker haunting a tomb. The presence of two Satyrs who are making the same gestures and who possess the same attributes as the ones breaking open the mound from which a Kore will emerge attests to a more specific function. By juxtaposing these images, we can reconstitute a crucial fragment of a ritual and mythic drama that resituates the Oedipus story within a broader complex that has not been analyzed as such up to now. As we have surmised, the Sphinx and the young girl are closely connected. The Sphinx guards a tumulus in which the young girl is held prisoner (contained). The neophyte finds himself confronting this guardian during the course of his telestic itinerary. But only the final inter- vention of Dionysus's Satyrs to break open the mound with picks or hammers can make Kore's anodos possible, can allow the young girl to emerge from the chtonian depths in which she had been enveloped. Here we have both the satyric phase of the Dionysian drama and the final phase of the young man's initiation: the deliverance of the girl who is to be his bride. But a purely intellec- tual confrontation with the Sphinx does not suffice to achieve this end. There is no doubt about it: the neophyte has to be "killed by the Sphinx, has to suffer difficult and painful trials that amount to a form of death, a descent into Hades-even if that "descent" begins with the protagonist being wafted aloft in the claws of the winged guardian.
In the Oedipus story, the protagonist uses unconventional means to triumph over the Sphinx (he succeeds without the help of the gods, through reflective intelligence alone), and he does not make it to the final phase of the telestic itinerary. He does not liberate the young girl who is kept inside the tomb by the monster. For the Sphinx to be truly vanquished, the intervention of Dionysus is required; the hubris of an autonomous Apollonian reflection does not suffice: this observation more than confirms our interpretation of the Oedipus myth as a tragedy of failed initiation.
We should also recall that the famous circular representation of Oedipus seated in front of the Sphinx, who is perched on a sort of column, comes from the inside of a bowl whose exterior represents a series of horse-tailed (nonithyphallic) Satyrs. In this scene, which is not easy to interpret, one of the Satyrs seems to be attempting to strike a young boy, while another bears an amphora. Here again the association to my knowledge neglected up to now on a single bowl between the Sphinx (in a central and interior position) and a family of Satyrs (around the external wall of the bowl) would be hard to pass off as an effect of pure chance. It offers an astonishing corroboration of a situation we have pre-
viously encountered: a monument with the Sphinx perched on top and a joyous band of Satyrs frolicking around the base. There is even a curious vase painting in which a seated Satyr replaces the Sphinx on her pedestal in front of Oedipus. It is as if the triggering of the satyric phase had to coincide with the moment of response . There is thus a close connection between the Sphinx and the Dionysian Satyrs in their function as markers of the final phase of initiation. If the Sphinx was originally intended to be positioned on top of a tumulus (the tomb of a Kore to be delivered from the power of Hades), we can understand why representations of "Oedipus be- fore the Sphinx" constantly depict her seated on an artificial sup- port, a sort of pedestal or column, rather than a rock. In certain representations, the column is particularly large, evoking a burial monument. It may be that the Sphinx is a guardian of tombs in some general way, and that she is used in this sense as a figure of sepulchral ornamentation. But when the tomb in question is one that Satyrs are about to break open, we can only conclude that the motif of rebirth is involved. And the resemblance with Kore's reascension is so striking that we need hardly hesitate to see these representations as depicting the emergence into daylight of the girl delivered from the kingdom of the dead and promised to a fruitful coupling by the joyous announcers of spring's renewal and the return of sexual fervor.
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:16 am

Rich symbolisms.

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:26 pm

Sphinx in Never Ending Story

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:33 pm

Americana

Rejecting and hating the mother, denying the self its own flesh. The only flesh allowed to manifest is pure masculine energy, an atomistic individuality. Such investment in air and spirit to create flesh requires the miniscule amount of flesh of all who shared in its willed creation to congregate together in their affirmation of the denial of nature. A religion, a constitution, a nation of Peter Pan syndrome - floating above indifferently. A society which uproots all its young men from the feminine and pay her attention only when necessary. The feminine seen as base, the necessary act of procreation seen as dull and base or below their concern.

The West, recoiling from accusations of racism, has pulled their men down from the clouds and to earth where the vengeance of woman is unleashed upon them. A massive historical and immoderate correction in America for the years they floated above and left their women alone - alone to be lazy house sitters without a rooted purpose to their complacent lounging. Modern men, adapted to the Peter Pan lifestyle, are confused. Without a history, without roots to fall back on, they do not know how to respond. There is nothing for them to protect and nothing for their defense.

Capitalism, now without the men to give it connection to nature (competition), has now become money referencing itself. Like Fixed's self-valuing, it has turned into value valuing itself. Money valuing money for money's sake. Value, being perceived as lofty and disconnected from the individual who holds it. Value, in the nihilistic conception, being a universal but invisible force.
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:01 pm

For the American Oedipus, he has participated in idea(l)s which his own nature cannot live up to. His own indifference to nature has caused himself to publicly adopt idea(l)s that would previously prove fatal to himself if he hadn't backed them honestly, independently or even rootedly with his own family.

Participating in lofty intellectualism, when he's called to demonstrate on Earth the manifestation of what he professes, he quickly finds himself having fallen short. What then follows is either an attempt to reconcile the two or a rejection of the obligation towards an honest display.

In the former case, depending how unwisely he ventured into knowledge which he could not compensate for, he experiences a visceral burning away of his very being as he tries to focus his nature towards growing up to the heights he had previously professed. The excess and bloat gets stripped away and in his frenzy to reach, he finds himself getting rid of his own organs in a desperate attempt to rescue his integrity, thinking that organ may serve still as more footing for his ascent. The end becoming integral truth at any cost. Perhaps, another attempt to avoid being killed by the Sphinx when it pulls him back down to Earth. Or, to avoid matricide.

For the latter case, you get classic nihilism. The lying and hypocrisy as one who dismisses their obligation to back their words with a worldly demonstration.

The third option being to abandon what knowledge he thought he had and had professed before. A task he will hesitate to consider if he has taken emotional stock and pride in it. To avoid the costs of either choice, he may selectively move between the first and third, to enter into a mental state of limbo and amnesia, where he is knowledgeable and passionate at one time but then complacent and dumb at another.
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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:17 pm

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:28 am

Triad.

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Plato wrote:
"Let [the soul] be likened to the composite inborn power of a pair (ζεῦγος) of winged horses and of a charioteer. However, both the horses and the charioteers of the gods are all good, and of good descent; but as for those of the others, it is a mixed affair; and first of all our driver leads an ill-assorted pair (συνωρίς), and secondly one of the horses is himself noble and of like descent, but the other is quite the opposite, and of opposite descent: so that difficult indeed and troublesome is of necessity the driving for us [mortals]." [Phdr. 246a–b]

Katha Upanishad wrote:
"Know the self as a rider in a chariot,
and the body, as simply the chariot.
Know the intellect (buddhi) as the charioteer, and the mind (manas), as simply the reins.

The senses, they say, are the horses,
and sense objects are the paths around them.
When a man lacks understanding (vijñāna),
and his mind (manas) is never controlled (ayukta); His senses do not obey him,
as bad horses, a charioteer.

When a man has understanding,
is mindful and always pure;
He does reach that final step,
from which he is not reborn again." [KaU, 3.3–8]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The I.E Oedipal Complex and Know Thyself Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:55 am

Tracing the progress of decadence within Indo-Europe itself, it becomes clear how the tendency towards nihilistic invention in Vedantic systems, and tendency towards nihilistic discovery in Platonic systems can be traced back to where the tension lay in their respective world-views.

Among the post-Vedics, the world was an uncertain flux, forms breaking down and re-assembling again, and thus religion was a constant sacrificial process of building up forms broken by entropy, that piling up the fire altar symbolized. One had to "re-Build" the self back. Soon the ritual came to enclose and censor the self within pure-referential technicality.

Among the late-Greeks, the world was a certainty of a higher order harmony, and thus religion was a constant process of 'quieting' the body to discover within oneself the certain order of that harmony. One had to "re-Discover" the self back. Platonism soon came to enclose and censor the world from without, in referenceless-transcendentalism.

In the former, the self was closed off in an open world.
In the latter, the world was closed off in an open self.

In the former, the concept of self turned nihilistic in pure subjectivity of Creating meaning from the self;
in the latter, the concept of world turned nihilistic in pure objectivity of Extracting meaning from the world.

In the former, the self was found an illusion in a fluxious world of temporality, thus anchored in Nothing and resulting in self-fashioning will to art and detached disinterested contemplation;
In the latter, this world was found an illusion in a changeless world of eternity, thus anchored in Something and resulting in self-discovering will to truth and intrusive self-interested action.

The root of all this is reflected in the different conception of the horse, chariot, reins, metaphor in the common I.E. inheritance.

While the Indic system maintains a neutral view of the "reins", the "horses" - the sense capacity, the Greek system assigns a negative view to the reins and horses as *already* good and evil - the unconscious animaline is experienced as a threat and irrational danger by the time of Parmenides:

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Accordingly in the Dionysian branch, the hierarchy of Becoming is Rheason > Passion > Appetite [reason is passion's excess/fulfilment and passion is the appetitive excess/sublimation].
Rheason is the vitality of the animaline unconscious.
One holds a neutral view on the senses.

and in the Apollonian branch, the hierarchy of Being is Reason > Passion > Appetite [reason rules passion and passion rules appetite].
Reason is the intelligence of the human conscious.
One holds a skeptical view of the senses.

This ties in with Goux' Oedipal complex of what results in bypassing the initiation with the monstrous unconscious, where like in Platonism as Goux points, the Apollonian truth is already assumed, resulting in the tragedy of intrusive nature (incest), and the Alexandrianism of an optimistic quest to penetrate nature.

This difference has today culminated in

- The dis/ease of post-modernity's subjective will-to-art Inventive mode of fashioning self, true to transitory reality, and,

- The dis/ease of modernity's objective will-to-truth Discovery mode plundering nature for its changeless ready "inner truth".

In Schizophrenia and Paranoia resp.

Whether by confluence or parallel independent development or autonomous self-logic, Indo-Europe was beset with the imbalance of both branches, resolved finally only in Nietzsche who corrects Platonic petrifaction and Schopenhauerian liquifaction into a Lethe-al 'Innocence of Becoming'.

Heidegger 'corrects' Platonic petrifaction and Nietzsche's 'liquefaction' into 'Aletheia of Being'.

The difference being, to N., lethe-argy is a problem of the degree of world determining man - premeditated power of religious domestication to the familiar; solution is in art, and the vital power of one's spirit and will that determined one's being.
To Heidegger, lethe-argy is the problem of the degree of man determining world - blind power of technological estrangement from the familiar; solution is in religion and, and the vital power of one's language that preserved one's being.

N. is a scientific ancient standing with the Rig-Vedic and Heraclitean world view who wants to sanctify the entropic power of life, the flux that has been demonized as evil.

Heidgger is a mystical existentialist standing with the Vedantic and Parmenidean world view who wants to sanctify the resistive power of life, the flow that has been demonized as evil.

Nietzsche fights against Xt. mysticism; Heidegger fights against Scientific nihilism.

In short, N : Heid;

Becoming vs. Being
Knowledge as Art vs. Truth as Knowledge
Science vs. Religion
Magic vs. Mysticism
Spirit-will vs. Language
Lethe vs. Aletheia
Philosopher vs. Poet
Satyr vs. Saint
Edge vs. Middle
Sphinx vs. Hestia
Domination vs. Dwelling
Self-trust vs. Self-care
Sense vs. Essence
Moira vs. Dike



Back to the main subject,

The nihilistic development of the two I.E. branches in detail:


Quote :
"The agnicayana is a complex ritual technology whereby the patron constructs an immortal, extracorporeal self for himself. This immortal self is ‘projected into another ontological sphere, into a loka [“world”] other than the earthly one’, and will be accessible only after death.

In ancient India, there is not one immortal self, but there are as many selves as ritual actors. The ritual performance through which immortality is attained is not regarded as the operation of a particular subject, but derives its efficacy from nothing other than itself. The ritual event is thus foregrounded, whereas the human element is ‘decentred’. Nonetheless, each such performance con- tributes to constructing an individual, immortal self. That is, because the divine self (daiva ātman) is the result of one’s ritual, such a self is individually specific in that it correlates with one’s ritual performances in this world.

In Timaeus, immortality is in essence a process of depersonalisation. It is a return to the primordial moment when all individual souls created by the demiurge were exactly identical to one another (41e). The soul’s diversification into distinct human beings, man and women, animals and lower living creatures results from the individual souls’ behaviour in their successive reincarnations. The individual’s pursuit of immortality, the training for becoming immortal, can thus be seen as the attempt to reabsorb one’s individual chain of reincarnation in a way that corresponds to the reverse order of the development and history of this universe. After death, the individual who has perfected himself by following his immortal soul and living a philosophical life will return to the star with which it was originally associated (42b).

Immortality is represented differently in the two texts under scrutiny.

The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa describes an external, disembodied self, the immortality of which is precarious. The ritual construction of one’s divine self correlates with the quality and quantity of the ritual per- formed, which determines the kind and duration of the ritually constructed divine life. Immortality is not won once and for all, but is provisional and reversible; once the patron dies, his ritually constructed divine self needs his progeny’s ritual acts to continue to exist.

Conversely, in Plato’s Timaeus man’s immortality is a given. The ‘immortal principle of soul (ἀρχὴν ψυχῆς ἀθάνατον)’ (69c) is planted in one’s own constitution. It is true that immortality needs to be regained, as it were, by strenuous bodily and intellectual exercise. Nonetheless, it can be attained precisely because it is already there. In ancient India, on the other hand, there appears to be an ontological rupture between man’s predicament and immortality. Being mortal by definition, man can obtain immortality not by centralising all his efforts on his immortal core – such a thing is in fact absent – but through ritually fashioning a substitute body. For Plato, the path to immortality consists in cultivating something which is already in ourselves; for Yājñavalkya, immortality is a ritually constructed extracorporeal residence.

Even though both kinds of immortality can be fully realised only post-mortem, they differ as to the degree to which they inform the present life. In order to attain their final, sidereal immortality, Plato’s disciples must cultivate their rational soul in this life. A more rational and therefore ethically just behaviour seems to be this training’s necessary outcome. For the ancient Indian practitioners, the pursuit of immortality happens entirely through and within the highly technical domain of ritual. Once he has built a divine body for himself, nothing would seem to change in the sacrificial patron’s daily life. In short, while Plato’s search for immortality emphasises this life, Yājñavalkya’s ritual technology is centred on this ritual.

We must however avoid reading the above observations through the conventional lens magnifying a reified view of the Greek and the Indian traditions. It would be especially misleading, I believe, to read the correlation between immortality and ethics in Plato and the apparent absence of ethical implications in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, as well as the former’s emphasis on self-definition and the Indian centrality of a ritual-cum-knowledge, as reinforcing the die-hard stereotypes about rational Greece and mystical India. While the differences identified above are, in my opinion, real, they do not readily fit that old-fashioned yet still partly dominant model. In this respect, note that Plato’s fundamentally positive belief in the teleology of the cosmos and the highest soul’s immortality appears as more mystically oriented, and perhaps farther removed from our modern sensibility, than the Brāhmaṇas’ vision of a precarious immortality, always in need of reinstatement." [Paolo Visigalli, Technologies of self-immortalisation in ancient Greece and early India / ex. in Richard Seaford, Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought]


In Platonic nihilism, immortality is through discovery of self in a permanent world; in Vedantic nihilism, immortality is through fashioning of the self in an impermanent world.


Quote :
"Not only the classicist, but even the layman with a casual interest in Greek philosophy is familiar with the allegory which Plato employs in the Phaedrus to describe the nature of the soul in terms, as he says, that are ‘within human power’:

Let [the soul] be likened to the composite inborn power of a pair of winged horses and of a charioteer. . . (246a).

Both classical scholars and cultivated laymen alike, on the other hand, have seldom been aware of a strikingly similar allegory occurring in one of the most celebrated works of the final period of Vedic literature, the Kaṭha Upaniṣad:

Know that the Self is the rider in a chariot, and the body is the chariot; and know that the intelligence is the charioteer, and the mind is the bridle. They say that the senses are the horses, and the sense objects are their lanes. . . (KaU 1.3.3)

For their part, Indologists have taken due notice of the puzzling similarity from early on, albeit with differing assessments. Already a century ago, in connection with the Kaṭha passage, Keith observed that ‘the contrast with the Platonic metaphor of the Phaidros is as obvious as the parallel’, further on passing his judgement that in spite of the interesting parallelism ‘the details of the two [metaphors] are perfectly distinct, for Plato uses the conception to illustrate the struggle between the rational and the irrational elements in the soul, and his distinction of θύμος and ἐπιθυμία has no real parallel in the Upaniṣads’. On the other hand, Belvalkar and Ranade evidently did not share his caution, as they enthusiastically aver that ‘the extraordinary resemblance of the two descriptions down to the smallest details staggers us, and we must confess we do not know how to account for it’. Almost in between there is Radhakrishnan’s opinion that ‘in spite of difference in details, the Kaṭha and Plato agree in looking upon intelligence as the ruling power of the soul . . . and aiming at the integration of the different elements of human nature’. More recently McEvilley, who must be credited with the first serious attempt to posit with amplitude and lucidity the question of possible reciprocal influences between early Greek and Indian thought in his path-breaking essay on The Shape of Ancient Thought, confines himself to observing that ‘the similarity in imagery is intriguing’ but answers Friedländer’s wondering whether the figure might have travelled from the Far East to Plato with the milder suggestion of a possible common Indo-European heritage.

Let [the soul] be likened to the composite inborn power of a pair (ζεῦγος) of winged horses and of a charioteer. However, both the horses and the charioteers of the gods are all good, and of good descent; but as for those of the others, it is a mixed affair; and first of all our driver leads an ill-assorted pair (συνωρίς), and secondly one of the horses is himself noble and of like descent, but the other is quite the opposite, and of opposite descent: so that difficult indeed and troublesome is of necessity the driving for us [mortals]. (Phdr. 246a–b)

It is worth noticing, with Robin, that although ζεῦγος is the word usually employed for a pair of horses, in applying the metaphor to the human soul Plato makes use of the word συνωρίς instead (which I have accordingly translated as ‘ill-assorted pair’) to signify that the human horses are not really paired, or ‘on the same par’, so to speak, but they are extrinsically conjoined (συν-ωρίζω) in spite of their different natures.


The steering of the chariot

Both the Phaedrus and the Kaṭha agree in stressing the need for disciplined steering of the chariot in order to reach the journey’s destination. The notion of discipline is conveyed in the Kaṭha through the metaphor of the ‘subjugated’ (yukta) horses, and we have already drawn attention to the close lexical, semantic and conceptual relationship obtaining between the terms employed for subjugating and restraining the horses on the one hand and some key concepts of the burgeoning school of Yoga as a method for subjugating and restraining psychic faculties on the other. The seamless integration of the chariot imagery in the conceptual array of proto-Yoga, which is unparalleled in the Phaedrus, speaks for the native status of the metaphor in the Kaṭha, as we have already remarked.

However, we may perhaps discern some faint echo of it in the lexical usage of the Platonic dialogue. The Sanskrit term yoga, literally meaning a ‘yoke’, is linguistically cognate to the Greek ζεῦγος which designates the pair of divine horses harnessed to the chariot. Although the figurative meaning of ‘subjugation’ is ostensibly absent in the Platonic passage, it may not be devoid of significance that, as we pointed out, Plato employs a different word (i.e. συνωρίς) to designate the unruly pair of human horses of opposite temperaments; so that by implication the word ζεῦγος seems to acquire the additional value of connoting the divine horses as unanimous and obedient to the charioteer: that is to say, ‘subjugated’ in the same sense as yukta.

But the most notable point of similarity with respect to the steering of the chariot is without doubt the one concerning the difficulty caused by the opposition between good and bad horses, although such opposition wears quite different aspects in either case, for in the Phaedrus one horse is congenitally good and the other the reverse, whereas the horses of the Kaṭha do not admit of an internal disparity, but they are only susceptible of being, all of them, well-behaved, or else ill-behaved. This divergence stems from the different symbolic function of the horses, and above all from the paramount difference in the underlying ontology; nevertheless, even the coincidence of the mere idea of the antithesis is worthy of note.

The charioteer, on the other hand, severally corresponds to the mind (manas), the intellect (buddhi) or the soul in different texts both Indian and Greek.

What interests us more is that both in the Kaṭha and in the Phaedrus the charioteer represents the rational faculty: buddhi / vijñāna in the Indian text and νοῦς / διάνοια in the Greek one, viz. the intelligent (or ‘intelligible’, in Scholastic parlance) aspect of the soul (τὸ λογιστικόν, according to the psychology of the Republic).

The bridle, which represents the mind in the Kaṭha, is not expressly mentioned in the Phaedrus, but is implied in the Greek word for ‘charioteer’, which is ἡνίοχος, i.e. ‘he who holds the reins’ (ἡνία).

As for the horses, their correlates are totally different in India and Greece, for in the Indian tradition they stand for the indriyas, i.e. the ‘faculties’ without distinction (in the earliest period), and later, at the time of the Maitrāyaṇīya, when the rising Sāṃkhya cosmo-psychology had started distinguishing between sense organs and action organs, the latter ones.On the Greek side, in the Phaedrus the two horses represent the irrational aspects of the soul[/color], which would later be called in scholastic parlance the irascible and the concupiscible (τὸ θυμοειδές and τὸ ἐπιθυμητικόν according to the psychology of the Republic). In the proem of Parmenides according to Sextus’ interpretation, the mares likewise stand for desires and irrational impulses of the soul.

The distinction of three aspects of the soul – τὸ λογιστικόν, τὸ θυμοειδές and τὸ ἐπιθυμητικόν – finds no equivalent in the ancient Upaniṣadic psychology. However, the rudiment of an analogous conception may perhaps be seen in the stereotyped pair kāma and krodha (‘desire’ and ‘anger’) which occurs several times in the Bhagavad Gītā in the capacity of arch-enemies of jñāna (‘knowledge’). For example, in a passage which calls to mind the chariot allegory through the use of certain words and images, Kṛṣṇa admonishes Arjuna as follows:

This is desire (kāma), this is anger (krodha), fostered by the element of ardour (rajoguṇa) . . . as fire is enveloped by smoke and a mirror is clouded by dust . . . in the same way is knowledge obfuscated by this relentless opponent of the knower . . . the senses, the mind and the intellect are its abode, as they say, and through them it deludes the embodied [soul] by obfuscating knowledge. Therefore, restrain (niYAM) the senses in the first place, and then kill that iniquitous destroyer of knowledge and science. (Bhagavad Gītā 3.37–41)

Admittedly, the Bhagavad Gītā properly speaking is no Upaniṣad, being embedded in the Mahābhārata epos, datable after the close of the Vedic period, and for that reason must on all likelihood be ascribed to a later time than the Phaedrus. Nevertheless, the couple of kāma and krodha already occurs in one of the most ancient Upaniṣads, in a passage enumerating as components of the (world-immanent) universal Self, in addition to the faculties and the elements, also kāma-krodha and their opposites (BU 4.4.5).

In general terms, it may be observed that the Indian tradition is more interested in articulating the physio-psychic complex in its entirety, in order to account for the ordinary, world-affirming sensory experience as well as for its opposite, the extraordinary, world-negating practice of sensory restraint (yoga) leading to the suprasensory. For its part, the allegory of the Phaedrus only contemplates the nature of the soul with its essential components, the intelligible, the irascible and the concupiscible, represented by the joint agency of the charioteer and the pair of horses.

Against the backdrop of all the varying degrees of similarity between the allegorical correlates examined above, one item of the allegory has been left unreviewed thus far, which appears in one way or another in all Indian texts, but is conspicuously absent in the Greek ones: namely, the idle passenger on the chariot. In all of them (except for the odd Chāgaleya) its regular correlate is the soul: for the soul, according to the standard Indian view, coincides neither with any of the several psychic functions signified by the different parts of the chariots, nor with their joint agency (as is the case with the Phaedrus).

Indeed, here lies the paramount disparity between the Greek and Indian vesions of the chariot allegory, which is rooted in the widely differing ontologies of Plato and of the school of Sāṃkhya-Yoga at its dawn in the Kaṭha. Those ontologies diverge essentially with respect to where they set the boundary line between the respective pertinences of body and soul. According to Plato, the soul is tripartite in its functions, this tripartition being reflected in the image of the charioteer and the pair of horses; but, according to the same image, it is up to the rational faculty to oversee the other two. On the other hand, in the Indian texts one meets the distinct figure of the rathin, that is to say, literally, the ‘owner of the chariot’, or he who makes use of the chariot as an instrument, while remaining distinct and detached with respect to it. The reason for this is that, according to the dualistic psychology of Sāṃkhya-Yoga, there exists a radical opposition between the soul ( puruṣa), which is the pure luminosity of awareness as the horizon of the appearance of objects, and nature (prakṛti), which is the physical substrate of the outer world as well as of the inner physio-psychic complex, inclusive of the rational, volitional and desiderative faculties. To put it succinctly, the intellect is part (indeed, the best part) of the soul, according to Plato, whereas it is non-soul, but merely a part of the body, according to Sāṃkhya-Yoga." [Paolo Magnone, Soul chariots in Indian and Greek thought: polygenesis or diffusion? / ex. in Richard Seaford, Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought]

In Platonic nihilism, intellect is purely of the soul; in Vedantic nihilism, intellect is purely of the body.

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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