The Father, The Phallus, and The Sword: Toward Trust in The Erotic Father

Magagna-McBride, Mary Jo (2011) The Father, The Phallus, and The Sword: Toward Trust in The Erotic Father. Doctoral thesis, Meridian University.


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Fathers wound excessively when they betray trust in the sensuous nature of the world. Response to this betrayal of trust is an impulse to revert to uniformity. This study's Research Problem asked: What psychological sacrifices and creative transgression of taboo are required to transmute the father wound? The study's hypothesis was that disidentification with rebellious father enactments along with the ritualized expression of father hatred could serve as critical components in the process of transmuting the father wound. The literature review considers fathering from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives. In addition, concepts of soul, trust, the natural attitude, the erotic principle, transcendent capacity, alterity, adaptive identities that relate to father wounding, categorical emotions, symbology of the phallic father, and mythological patricide are reviewed. The existing literature reveals little about the relationship between disidentification from the effects of the father's wound and transmuting it. The research methodology utilized Imaginal Inquiry. Audio-visual presentations were employed to evoke categorical emotions such as anger and grief. The ritual enactment of patricide addressed the participant's need to assert him or herself and confront the wounding father. The Cumulative Learning indicates that (1) identifying, (2) then sacrificing an adaptive identity that inhibits confronting the troublesome father, and (3) reuniting with a trustworthy intrapersonal paternal element are serviceable components in a process for transmuting the father wound. The learnings were these: (1) fathers' bodies are buried objects in the psyches of paternally troubled adults; (2) a paternally wounded child is twice tethered: first to an introject of the wounding father and second to a corresponding adaptive identity; (3) disidentifying from the wounding father requires engaging with a powerless adaptive identity and also with ambivalence about freedom from the known; and (4) concomitant with the child/adult's need to forgive the wounding father is a deeply held longing for forgiveness from the father. Transmuting the father wound enables an individual to reach out to the world and meet the challenge to trust its diversity. Trusting the potential inherent in the variegated world of others benefits the individual, his or her community, and the broader culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Critical Theory
Programs: Psychology
Depositing User: Mary McBride
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 22:34
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2017 22:34

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