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Lander, J. (1950). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 19:291-292.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:291-292

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Joseph Lander

October 30, 1949. THE CONSECRATION OF THE PROPHET. Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.

Arlow analyzes the character from the Old Testament—whom God designated prophet—as an individual functioning in the role of divine spokesman, with the transformation of that individual's personality by virtue of his unique calling. The study is not of any particular prophet but rather of the psychological model—a type of individual who had the conviction that he was God's mouthpiece. Prophecy in the sense of prediction is not essential to the Biblical concept of the prophet. His function is closely allied to that of the poet and the artist. Utter submission to the will of God leads to a peculiar mixture of meekness and grandeur. Feeling is withdrawn from all other relationships and reinvested in the special relationship with God: the prophet's entire life centers around this pivotal point. The prophet's concept of God is linked to his relationship with his father, toward whom he shows profound ambivalence. Much of the material suggests sublimated passive homosexuality as a basis for the bond. 'At the time of consecration, the prophet temporarily breaks with reality and like the schizophrenic, gives up all emotional ties with his fellow man.' But unlike the schizophrenic, the prophet succeeds in reestablishing bonds with the real world. Because he represents an ego ideal, a deeply felt need of the people, he finds mass acceptance: the true prophet correctly divines and expresses the dreams and aspirations of his people.

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