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Mann, D. (1992). The Infantile Origins of the Creation and Apocalyptic Myths. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 19:471-482.

(1992). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 19:471-482

The Infantile Origins of the Creation and Apocalyptic Myths

David Mann


This paper is divided into two parts. The first part outlines a hypothesis proposed by Trevett in his 1957 paper where he suggests that the creation myth in the Book of Genesis is rooted in the neonate's experience of the breast. Trevett's paper is summarized and then elaborated upon using Winnicott's 'moments of illusion' and pictorial representations from Medieval manuscripts of God creating the world. In the second part of the paper it is suggested that the apocalyptic vision in the Book of Revelations is rooted in birth trauma. Various apocalyptic myths are described and the Book of Revelations is interpreted as evidence of this. Further evidence is deduced from a nineteenth-century painting of the apocalypse and from current scientific concepts of the end of the universe. It is suggested that, despite the evidence of the world's continual survival, the popularity and ubiquitous nature of the apocalyptic visions can be understood when considering that the long expected apocalypse has in fact already happened: the anticipated end of the world is the end of the womb world.

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