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Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIII, 1986: Mysticism as Defense in Javanese Shadow-Play Theater: The Story of Dewa Ruci. Jeanette DeBouzek. Pp. 273-287.. Psychoanal Q., 58:176-177.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLIII, 1986: Mysticism as Defense in Javanese Shadow-Play Theater: The Story of Dewa Ruci. Jeanette DeBouzek. Pp. 273-287.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:176-177

American Imago. XLIII, 1986: Mysticism as Defense in Javanese Shadow-Play Theater: The Story of Dewa Ruci. Jeanette DeBouzek. Pp. 273-287.

Anita G. Schmukler

Freud reminded us that while we require a dreamer's associations to uncover the latent meaning of a dream, we can also glean significant information from symbols, which have a fixed meaning, independent of the dreamer's associative links. The unconscious similarities between dreams, myths, and folklore have been set forth since the inception of psychoanalytic thought. In this paper, the author examines a Javanese shadow-play from a psychoanalytic perspective. Water, wind, light, and fire are significant symbols in the story. Their meaning is integrated with the dynamics of the tale of Dewa Ruci, involving preoedipal and oedipal conflict. In addition, traditional beliefs and proverbs are cited to support literary evidence. De-Bouzek

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also directs her attention to sociocultural perspectives, and demonstrates that the Dewa Ruci story expresses Javanese ideals, while it also represents an effort to resolve unconscious conflicts in both an individual and a group context. For the refined Javanese, quieting one's passions is an ideal, and "mysticism is purportedly practiced to calm one's inward feelings." Here we have one defensive aspect of the activity defined as "mystical experience."

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIII, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 58:176-177

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