From these examples Freud proposes that the solution of the problem of this latency in the monotheistic religion could be sought in a particular psychological situation.

As a result of the circumstances a discrepancy was able to grow up between written record and the oral transmission of the same material - tradition. So the phenomenon of the latency in the history of the Jewish religion may be explained by the fact that the facts and ideas which were intentionally disavowed by the 'official' historians were in fact never lost. As Sellin proposes there was actually a tradition about the end of Moses that flatly contradicted the official account and was far nearer the truth. So these traditions, then instead of becoming weaker rather became stronger and forced themselves into the later revisions of the official accounts. So while the people abandoned the religion brought to them by Moses, some trace of it remained alive, to eventually change Yahweh into the Mosaic God. National epics, serving such a purpose have come to light in other peoples - Germans, Indians, Finns - so was this the tool used by the Jews also. That combined with the attraction of the past as representing an ideal, when present surroundings, could explain men looking back at this Mosaic doctrine for a 'return' to this time of 'bliss' - not unlike regression to time of childhood common in neuroses. It seems here that there was no epic, handed down, but rather a tradition reproduced with a faithfulness for which the instance of the epic can offer no counterpart - are there more appropriate analogies?

C. The Analogy

This analogy is met with in psychopathology - in the genesis of human neuroses (an important difference is though that this is a psychology of individuals, as opposed to religion which is a part of group psychology). Research has shown that what we call the phenomena of a neurosis are the result of certain experiences and impressions that for that very reason we regard as aetiological traumas. Freud proposes therefore two tasks (1) to discover the common characteristics of these experiences and (2) to discover those in common with neurotic symptoms.


(a) All these traumas occur early in childhood up to the fifth year - of particular interest are impressions from the time when the child is beginning to talk.
(b) The experiences in question are as a rule totally forgotten; this infantile amnesia is usually broken by a few mnemic residues - 'screen memories'.
(c) They relate to impressions of a sexual and aggressive nature and no doubt early injuries to the ego.

(2) With respect to common characteristics of neurotic phenomena:

(a) The effects of trauma are of two kinds, positive and negative. The former attempts to bring the trauma into experience again ('fixation') and the latter follow the opposite aim, that nothing of the forgotten traumas shall be remembered and nothing repeated ('avoidances' and 'defensive reactions')
(b) All these phenomena, the symptoms as well as the restrictions on the ego and the stable character-changes, have a compulsive quality.

Having established these points, Freud looks at the role of latency in relation to them. A trauma in childhood may be followed immediately by a neurotic outbreak, an infantile neurosis, with many symptoms, alternatively it may run a latent course (supported by a physiological period of latency) and not until later does a change take place with which the neurosis becomes manifest - often at the eruption of puberty or later. This latent neurosis is more typical and can be seen as an attempt at a cure in re-uniting those parts of the ego that have been split off, with the rest - although invariably it is unsuccessful without the help of psychoanalysis.

Freud then describes an exemplar case of a boy, whose neurosis lay latent until puberty.

D. Application

So, the formula for neurosis proposed by Freud can be summarised as follows: Early trauma - defence - latency - outbreak of neurotic illness - partial return of the repressed. He then proposes that this can be applied equally to the life of the human species. Starting with a strong male lord thousands of years ago, who exercised his power with violence, and owned as property all the women. His sons, if rousing their father's jealousy were driven out, their only resource therefore being to collect together into small communities, whilst the youngest son was often favoured, protected by the mother's love. The other sons may perform parricide, and then argue over their father's heritage. In time they are likely to realise that for a social organisation to function, they need to recognise mutual obligations, define institutions which are inviolable and renunciate instinct - i.e. the beginnings of morality and exogamy and totemism. The first step from, totemism was the humanizing of being who was worshipped. Polytheism then reflected the conditions of the sons before - numerous mutually restrictive and occasionally subordinated to a

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