Taboo and emotional ambivalence taboo includes o the

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Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence Taboo includesoThe sacred (or unclean) character of person or thingsoThe kind of prohibition which results from this characteroThe sanctity (or uncleanness) which results from a violation of the prohibition Objects of taboo are many: Direct taboos aim at oProtection of important persons – chiefs, priests, etc. oThe safeguarding of the weak – women, childrenoThe provision against the dangers incurred by handling or coming in contact with corpses, by eating certain foodsoThe securing of human beings against the wrath or power of Gods and spiritsoThe securing of unborn infants and young children They submit to the prohibitions (without raising questions) as though they were a matter of course and feel convinced that any violation of them will be automatically be met by the serious punishment – automatically punished Taboo prohibitions among the Australians into three classesoAnimals – against killing and eating them oHuman beings – the person tabooed is restricted oImposed on trees, plants, houses, and localities – appear to follow a rule that anything that is uncanny or provokes dread for any reason becomes subject to taboo Obsessional prohibitions of neurotics – liable to displacement oExtend from one object to another along whatever paths the context may provide Taboo usages and obsessional symptoms is most clearly shown:o1. The fact that prohibitions lack any assignable motiveo2. The fact that they are maintained by an internal necessityo3. The fact that they are easily displaceable and that there is a risk of infection from the prohibited objecto4. The fact that they give rise to injunctions for the performance of ceremonial acts Ambivalent attitude towards their taboos – in their unconscious there is nothing they would like more than to violate them, but they are afraid to do so, they are afraid precisely because they would like to do so fear is stronger than desireoThe desire is unconsciousThe most ancient and important taboo prohibitions are the two basic laws of totemism: not to kill the totem animal and to avoid sexual intercourse with members of the totem clan of the opposite sexoThese must be the oldest and most powerful of human desires Anyone who violates a taboo, becomes a taboo himself – because he possess the dangerous quality of tempting others to follow his example

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