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Introduction to Mythology


 

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

 

I want to state the conclusion that the beginnings of religion, ethics, society, and art meet in the Oedipus complex. This is in entire accord with the findings of psychoanalysis, namely, that the nucleus of all neuroses as far as our present knowledge of them goes is the Oedipus complex.

Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo (1913)

 

That conviction I acquired a quarter of a century ago, when I wrote my book on Totem and Taboo, and it has only become stronger since. From then on I have never doubted that religious phenomena are to be understood only on the model of the neurotic symptoms of the individual, which are so familiar to us, as a return to of long-forgotten important happenings in the primeval history of the human family, that they owe their obsessive character to that very origin and therefore derive their effect on mankind from the historical truth they contain.

Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism (1939)

 

Sigmund Freud in 1914 Freud's Iceberg Model of Human Consciousness

 

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One of the Four Most Influential Men on 20th Century Thought (along with Darwin, Nietzsche and Einstein)

 

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Iceberg Model of Human Consciousness - Tripartite Scheme Consisting of Ego, Superego and Id

 

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Most Important Idea - Human Behavior Is Mostly Controlled at the Unconscious Level

 

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Myths Originate in the Id as the Result of Complexes - Primarily the Oedipus Complex

 

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Myths Are Precursors to Religion and Social Behavior - The Most Important Myth Is the Story of Oedipus

 

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Principal Books on the Subject:

 

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Totem and Taboo (1913)

 

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Moses and Monotheism (1939)

 

 


Home Myths Legends Folktales Fairytales Fables Oral Transmission Textual Transmission Storytellers Plato Euhemerus Max Müller E. B. Tylor James Frazer Sigmund Freud G. I. Gurdjieff Giorgio de Santillana Carl Jung Evans-Wentz Joseph Campbell Marija Gimbutas Vladimir Propp Claude Lévi-Strauss Walter Burkert Bronze Age Persia and India Ancient Europe Africa and Australia Native American Modern Myths