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Ikonen, P. Rechardt, E. (1984). On the Universal Nature of Primal Scene Fantasies. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 65:63-72.

(1984). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 65:63-72

On the Universal Nature of Primal Scene Fantasies

P. Ikonen and E. Rechardt


The scope of this paper is limited to inspecting primal scene fantasies, their meaning and function, as part of the primary organizing fantasies in the psychosexual development of the human being. The aim is to examine how primal scene fantasies, throughout life, reflect the shaping of oedipal sexuality. An infant cannot cathect the use of genital functions or their psychic contents by practising them with his more knowledgeable parents or caring persons. In order to alleviate this deprivation the child creates fantasy self objects, proto fantasies of his sexual parents with whom, in the form of primal scene fantasies, he then tries to work out his sexual libido.

In our opinion, the formless, psychically non-structuralized impulses of genital-oedipal sexuality tend to awaken an inner state of mind at any stage of life in which the infantile primitive dynamics, helplessness and readiness to destroy, are again repeated. Not only oral desire and the breast alone are 'good' or 'bad'. The same

dynamics apply to every impulse for which the actual capacity for psychic work is insufficient. The new inner impulses brought along with progressing psychosexual development can create such a situation.

The unstable cathexis of genital-oedipal sexuality is the universal fate of a human being. The child cannot participate in the sexual activities of adulthood, and is unable to cathect his genital functions under real conditions and with real partners. The cathectic wound thus inflicted on the self and the exclusion experienced are essentially bound together. The theme of inclusion or exclusion, so intertwined with the primal scene fantasies, concerns not only object relations, but self-esteem as well.

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