Sex Repression as Child May Be Neurosis Cue (continued) | The Missionary And The Mirrors

so horrifying and difficult to understand otherwise.

After about the age of 5 -- give or take a year -- the child enters into an apparent period of "latency", during which his sexual activity appears to decrease. Actually, it does not -- it simply is more strongly repressed. The reason for it is the Oedipal situation.

Very simply, the Oedipal situation is this: A child experiences undeveloped but definite sexual desires. If a boy, these tend naturally to be directed toward his mother. If a girl, toward her father.

Such desires lead the child into "rivalry" with the parent of the same sex -- boy with father, girl with mother. Since father is important to the boy, and quite obviously bigger and stronger, this leads to feelings of anxiety and guilt. Indeed, Freud maintained that all feelings of guilt have their origin in the Oedipal situation.

Whether this is so or not should be regarded with "benevolent skepticism" for the time being. Freud further maintained that because of these guilt feelings, the entire Oedipal situation is repressed. If this is so, then it would not be remembered easily by the average man, but could be found only after a thorough search. If such a search is made, and the Oedipal situation not found, Freud's hypothesis then can be judged false. Personally, I can report it definitely was present in my own case, although I would have denied this had I not looked for it. And certainly, it seems natural enough.

Freud further reported that in every case of neurosis, he found an "Oedipal complex", and that when this was resolved, the neurosis was cured. His findings have been confirmed by thousands of other observers now, in documented case studies kept on record at the Psychoanalytic Institute in Chicago and other places all over the world.

Those who have sexual problems, or emotional disturbances, may find it worth while to give a thorough exploration to this area. In my own case and those of others personally observed, the results have been of value.

(This is the Second of a series on the Life and Works of Sigmund Freud, by Dr. Coulter. The next article will take up "The Super-ego".)


By Doug Simcoe

Once a gentle missionary sailed to Darkest Africa
To teach the savage natives the Divinity of Men.
Among the many trinkets which he brought with him as gifts,
He had a large supply of mirrors from the local 5-&-10.

The savages seemed Peaceful, but their "war-paint" made them
As they turned out to receive him with a roasted side of beef.
And, encouraged by their friendliness, the missionary handed them
All mirrors, being careful first to give one to their chief.

But as each gazed in his mirror, he gave forth a scream of
Stood transfixed in utter horror at beholding such a face;
Then they from them flung the mirrors, shouting each one to the other,
"Scatter! Run! Retreat! Take cover! There are devils in this place!"

The missionary in dismay attempted to allay their fear
Exhorting, "There is no devil here, 'tis each yourself you see."
But with senseless rage and hatred, drove they him with spears
and curses
From the village. He escaped their wrath by diving in the sea.

And so the gentle missionary returned from Darkest Africa,
Reflecting, "How like savages we civilized folk have been;
Our hates and fears are mirror-smashing. Life this truth doth
urge upon us:
Free is he who knows that seeing is more see-er than seen."