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Slap, J.W. (1958). The Genesis of Moses. Psychoanal Q., 27:400-402.

(1958). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 27:400-402

The Genesis of Moses

Joseph William Slap, M.D.

With characteristic recognition of the speculative nature of his reasoning, Freud was led to believe that Moses was an Egyptian of noble origin (1). The first two arguments he offered were the derivation of the name Moses, and the Biblical story of Moses' birth in comparison with an 'average myth' (2). A hypothesis concerning the second of these arguments is here presented, based on a clinical fragment.

This line of thought was originated by the dream of a patient, an unmarried woman of twenty-one, who was subject to wide fluctuations in her weight, and given to intense infatuations with men who resembled her father in physical appearance and mannerisms. She had a brother five years younger, and she was profoundly ambivalent in her relationship with her mother.

It was at a hunting lodge. There were many couples. A pregnant, blonde woman appeared. She was completely nude. She was beautiful; a perfect Venus type. Before her I felt sexless. I overpowered her. Then she climbed on top of me in the male position and she went up and down as if we were having intercourse. The baby was transferred from her into me. She disappeared. Then I felt I was being penetrated. It was wonderful, and I felt fulfilled.

Her associations to the hunting lodge were a former 'boyfriend', an enthusiastic hunter, and a current 'boyfriend', who at the time of the dream was vacationing at a 'rustic adult camp' which was locally notorious for the promiscuous behavior of its guests. Both these men, she said, closely resembled her father.

The blonde girl was an acquaintance who had expressed disappointment about being pregnant when she met her at a social gathering the patient had attended the day preceding the dream. The patient 'seethed with anger' when she heard the woman's lamentations because she herself was so desirous of having a child.


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