that the technique of psychoanalysis allows more detailed analyses of these impulses, as though they were symptoms of neurosis - taking as a starting point the excessive apprehensiveness and solicitude associated with these taboos concerning rulers. These point in turn to both over affection and hostility towards rulers - emotional ambivalence. Freud cites as the strongest support for this, the taboo ceremonials themselves. These ceremonials unmistakably reveal their double meaning, since obsessional act here, is ostensibly a protection against the prohibited act and applies to the conscious part of the mind, but Freud then argues that it is in fact actually a repetition of the prohibited act, and as such represents the unconscious part of the mind. Freud finished by suggesting that these relationships with rulers may also have a reciprocal relationship with the father complex.

(c) The Taboo on the dead, is manifest in the consequences that follow contact with the dead, and in the treatment of mourners. A common feature against those who have touched the dead, being prohibition of touching food themselves, this observance hinting at the contagious power of the taboo. However Freud cites additional examples to hint at other aspects of the taboo - for example laying thorn bushes around beds to keep the dead person's ghost at a distance. Other observations (such as strict solitude for widows and widowers) hint at the danger of the bereaved to temptation to find a substitute for the lost one. Another widespread observance is the prohibition against uttering the name of the dead person, an obvious explanation being that savages regard a name as an essential part of a man's personality, so uttering the name is clearly a derivative of having contact with him. Psychoanalytic practice also often reports the importance of names in unconscious mental activities. Unsurprisingly, therefore, obsessional neurotics behave exactly like savages in their 'complexive sensitiveness' to names.

Contagious power aside, there is also the obvious taboo of horror roused by dead bodies and the changes in them, however to account for all the details of the taboo, it seems important to mention that they are afraid of the presence or the return of the dead person's ghost, so the ceremonies are to keep him at distance or drive him off. In the words of Wundt (1906) they are victims to a fear of "the dead man's soul which has become a demon." - confirming the idea that fear of demons is the essence of taboos.

The hypothesis that after death those most beloved are transformed into demons raises questions though - such as why would primitive men attribute such a change of feeling to those once so dear to them? And why make them into demons? Westermarck (1906-8) and others cited as a motive the fact that primitive peoples emotional life is very ambivalent, and therefore after such a painful bereavement savages should be obliged to produce a reaction against the hostility in their unconscious. In primitive peoples defence against this hostility is dealt with by displacing it onto the dead themselves - 'projection'. So, once again it is found that the taboo has come from a basis of an ambivalent emotional attitude.

(4) So, having explained the taboo on the dead, Freud proceeds to increase understanding of taboos in general. In doing so he raises various points, firstly, that projection, as described above, is not only used in defence but also has roles in the projection of internal perceptions of emotional and thought processes. Furthermore Freud suggests that from the researches documented thus far, it seems that the primitive men's psychical impulses are more ambivalent than those of modern civilised man, and that as this ambivalence diminished, taboo (the symptom of the ambivalence and a compromise between the two conflicting impulses) slowly disappeared.

Despite maintaining essential similarities between taboo prohibitions and moral prohibitions, Freud does not deny that there must be a psychological difference between them. Indeed, he sees the next task as being to explain the difference between a neurosis and a cultural creation such as taboo. Whilst he maintains that both have a fear of death or illness, or other punishment if a rule or taboo is violated, he argues that in cultural creations, the emotions are determined by showing consideration for another person without taking him as a sexual object. Therefore the fact that is characteristic of the neurosis is the preponderance of the sexual over the social instinctual elements.

To conclude, Freud cites this as support for the importance of the study of psychology of neuroses, in developing an understanding of the growth of civilization.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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