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oedipus.jpgEveryone has heard of the Oedipus complex, thanks to Dr. Freud. He thought the complex a vital step in the development of human sexuality. In summary, the OC is the desire of the male child to have his mother all to himself, and push father out of the threesome. It is based on the Greek story about how Oedipus unknowingly killed his father and married his mother, thus siring his children via his own mother. When this was finally pieced together, his mother commits suicide and he puts out his eyes.

Freud concentrated on the 2nd part of the story; the kill father/possess mother part. It suited his needs and his theory. The first part of the story of Oedipus has a more primal and relevant aspect to it.

When Oedipus is born his parents hear from the oracle they have given birth to monster: he will kill his father and marry his mother. They are horrified. He is abandoned on a hillside and left to die. They also maim his feet, just to make sure everyone can identify him as different and see him for the outcast he is. But he doesn’t die. He is found and raised by another family – and the prophecy is heard again -. “This boy is a monster; he will kill his father and marry his mother!” Wherever he goes he doesn’t fit in and he is ostracized.

He is unable to form lasting bonds with other people until he unknowingly kills his father and takes his place as the king.

A boy who is born different, who is rejected by his parents as awful, who grows up apart, and has intimacy issues – does this sound familiar?

I think the first part of the Oedipus complex is more relevant to male sexual development. Having been rejected by his primary love objects, he longs to connect but is fearful he will hurt/be hurt in the process.

So that is a more basic issue in the Oedipus complex.

The possession of the mother figure can be seen less literally. It is a symbolic desire for spiritual rebirth in the psychic process of becoming a whole individual.

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