Misreading Freud and Lacan

freud

Lacan

I have read vastly into Freud and Lacan who are all time popular psycho-analysts and whose theories are popular as jargon in the field of literary theory. It was when I started reading the Bible, I began to have second thoughts about them and I wanted reinterpret their theories with the light of Christian Apologetics.

First of all I would like to take the Freudian concepts of the ID, EGO and SUPEREGO. The ID according to Freud is the primary seat of passion and the stronghold of the libido. The EGO refers to the culture and language assimilated from the family. The SUPEREGO refers to the laws imposed by the society. What Freud has failed, is his efforts to integrate these concepts. It’s still a mystery to this day about how language is learnt by humans. The theories of language are rather vague and hazy. From a Freudian point of view we have to be an acrobat and tight-rope-walk on the ID, EGO and SUPEREEGO. Any loss of balance would be insanity and thus we have psychopaths and sociopaths who are not able to adjust these three states. From a Christian perspective, Christ made creation as a wholesome being. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve our psychological states became fragmented. After the entry of Christ and his shedding of blood on the cross and his offering of salvation, we are made whole beings once again. Such a type of consciousness, I would like to define as a neologism: CHRISTANONSCIOUSNESS or Christ plus consciousness. The Freudian fragmentation of consciousness is considerably reduced and we become parts of Christ as his brides.

Next I would like to take the Freudian concept of the Libido. Libido for Freud is the sexual drive. Here Freud fails to consider that we are humans and not animals. Incest is rare in society. Again Freud has misinterpreted the Libido to arise from birth. The libido begins only at the state of puberty. Parental relationship like, touch, sharing of emotions and care develops not the sexual organs but the mind. Freud was madly focused on the genitals which I think has been a red-herring. Love, emotions and care, I would like to say are responsible for the growth of psycho-emotivity of the person. A bad childhood can create psychological problems later on. Lack of development of psycho-emotivity can make individuals into psychos and sociopaths. It’s very interesting to observe how Christ treated mentally deranged people. He treated them with love, empathy and respect and healed their afflictions totally. Notable is the man from Gadarene. Cure for Christ was not altering the function of neuro-transmitters but wholesome.

Next I would like to raise all hue and cry against the preposterous theory of Freud called the Oedipus complex. It’s ironic to note that Freud made it from Legend. According to the legend, the play of Sophocles, Rex the king marries his mother and kills the father. For Freud the Oedipus complex meant the transference of the child from the breast of the mother to desire the father. I would blatantly ask Freud whether any child in the world will have sexual desires for the mother at such an early phase of development. We are not born into sex and sex develops later on in life. At this stage of life we are in a process known as Christomasy, a word coined from Christ and Geomancy (reading the earth through divination). Development at this phase of life is emotional and psychological rather than sexual. I would also like to use another term for the process of weaning and that would be the circumcision complex. The circumcision complex refers to the weaning of the child from the mother. And the child after weaning has to come to terms with the partial independence of the body.

Next I would like to deal with Freud’s most baffling theory—the castration complex. Castration complex closely related to the Oedipus complex is the reaction of threats put by the father to taboo the sexual activities of the child. The child comes to confront the laws of the society—that is prohibition against incest and murder. Its true when sexual feelings are opened at puberty, there might be a tendency to masturbate. It’s a part of nature after the Adamite sin. Here the parents can guide the activities of the child to recreational pursuits. Again Freudian sexuality is chauvinistic. It does not address the nature of feminine sexuality. Freud does not say that the female child desires the father and wishes to kill the mother.

Next I would like to take up the Freudian conceptuality of the Oral Anal and Phallic Phases. The Oral phase is marked by desire of the Mother’s breast and pleasure in oral simulation. Does the child connote it sexually? The answer is definitely no. The next Freudian phase is the Anal when there is a fascination for defecation. Shitting is more biological than sexual. I would beg to disagree with Freud by saying that sodomy is not learnt at this stage. I am sure that the child will not have fantasy for sodomy. The next stage is the phallic. Here the phallus for the child is more a biological tool rather than a sexual one. The genitals attain a connotation of sexuality only at a later stage of development that is puberty.

Next I would like to take Lacan’s concept of the gaze. For Lacan the gaze is sexual also termed by him as scopophilia or the pleasure of looking. Again I take this to be very chauvinistic. I would like to ask the question why males are fond of looking. The feminine on the other hand is stimulated by love, touch and care. I would like to call this as maternality. The Bible is very clear about the gaze. Christ has repeatedly emphasized that it is not enough that you don’t do adultery but lust not with your eyes. If your eyes are cloudy pluck them out. In reality this Christian ideal is very difficult to put into practice. What we can do only is to ask God for forgiveness.

Next of all Lacan’s controversial concepts is the Mirror stage. It is the stage that occurs from 6 to 18 months when the child learns to recognize the self as an image. This is an atrocious blasphemy. The sense of the self develops through language and cognition. Yes, the emotive concepts of the self have to be guaranteed by the mother with loving gestures, tender care and emotional speech. Only then can the child develop into a wholesome being.

Again Lacan the notorious French psychoanalyst has fragmented the ego into the real, imaginary and the symbolic realms. The real for Lacan is an ideal state of being before the development of language. The self of the child is looked after by the parents. This was originally the state of Adam and Eve in paradise. The next stage is the symbolic order where the child enters into the realm of language. The child’s reality from plenitude is desire and lack. Is that a problem? Not at all! For a child who has been well looked after it is not emotional or sexual problem. Deviancy occurs due to a bad childhood. The next stage is imaginary a stage for the development of narcissism. The person at this stage will have fantasy for herself or himself and also for celebrities. From Christian viewpoint it is better to be rooted in Christ and accept Christ as our ideal. Christ is loving celebrity who has to be coated with worship, honor and respect. After all we are made to do the same. Social, intellectual and physical bonding will help to reduce the self prophesied narcissism of Lacan.

Analysis of Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams

Freud was a master psychiatrist known for his epoch making work: the interpretation of dreams. He has introduced us to concepts like the unconscious, ID, Ego and Super Ego. He is also noted for introducing the oedipal conflict.
Dream in the ancient world were regarded as emanating from divine agencies. The present day view of dreams is that they emanate from the psychical contents of the repressed in the unconscious.
There are many types of dreams like hypermnesic dreams, dreams based on organic stimuli and those that are based on sensory stimulus.
Hypermnesic dreams are certainly enigmatic. Let me illustrate with an example. A musician composed a piece of music. Months letter when he was delving on musical manuscripts, he came across the same composition. Hypermnesic dreams are not based on memory and they are in fact a supernatural manifestation. Psychiatrists have not fully understood the phenomenon of hypermnesic dreams.
The next typology is those that are based on sensory stimulus. For example while a person is sleeping and the clock bells, he might wake up and think that it is an ambulance shrieking. A person, who falls out of bed while asleep, might think that the place has been struck by an earthquake.
The next classification is that of organic stimuli. Physiological stimulus like a sickness can induce dreams. For example: a person suffering from pulmonary disease might dream that a heavy stone is falling down on his chest. A person suffering from toothache might dream of his gums being pierced with a nail. A neurotic person might imagine beasts taunting him.
The next classification is prophetic. Let’s take the example of the Pharaoh’s dream. In a dream he saw seven robust bovine creatures and later on he saw seven famished bovine creatures eating the plump bovine creatures. Joseph was called to interpret the dream and he said that there will be seven years prosperity followed by seven years of famine. A prophetic dream is induced by the divine and modern day psychiatry has no explanation for it. The book of Revelation in the Bible is pregnant with prophetic and apocalyptic content.
While dreaming, there is a free reign of ID. There is immorality and anarchy. For example a person dreams of constantly copulating with neighbor’s wife. Another person might dream of being a lesbian voyeur. The ID is chaotic and anarchic and gives a free lasso to imagination.
There are instances when dreams contain infantile material. For example: in my childhood I used to wet my clothes with feces and urine. As I grew older, this dream produced anxiety in me. Going to the toilet is a pathetic anxiety for me.
Freud has categorized dreams into condensation and displacement. Condensation is symbolic with mass of symbols. In one dream of mine, I was driving a van on the way to buy cigarettes. I was driving all along a grassy path and I never reached my destination. This dream could symbolize aimlessness in life. Displacement is one of escapism from life. The dreamer does not want to face realities in life. For example when I dream of paradise, I am escapist and I don’t want to face realities in life.