Love 9: Complexes

If we are to follow Freud on the topic of love, we know the underlying theme of it, beneath all flesh, down to the bone: father-mother-child at the initiation of our being, so of our selfhood’s universal Big Bang, so thence relationships, because father-mother is a relationship, as is mother-child, as is, secondarily but essentially (and ominously), that of child-father. And from these relationships, there is the formation of the domain and range of the relation, the subject and object, if the relation is symbolic (verbal or read), the subject and subject, if the relation is real, the object and object, if the relation is imaginary.

Anyway, to this complex Freud gave a name, a classical motif or archetype: the Oedipus complex, after the Ancient Greek story, wherein Oedipus Rex unknowingly sleeps with his mother, instantiating the tragedy of some mystical curse placed upon his father. A complex is fundamentally a set of relationships, subjects and objects. The fact that we require both subjects and objects derives from the need to specify at times a directionality to relationships, thus creating functions and inverse functions (the inverse determined by what mystics sometimes call intentionality), from one point to another, points given subjectivity or objectivity depending on the functional intent. And so we can get more and more precise with our definition of the complex. But I hope you get the point, which is …

Where is Love in within the complex? 

Love’s a thing, definitely born of and/or dependent on relationships, subjects and objects. And if a complex is defined as fundamentally a set of relationships, subjects and objects, then Love must be born of and/or dependent on complexes. Note the plural. Within this platonic realm of the mathematics of Love, there is no proof that could curtail that plural. That plural reads plain. Not necessarily singular … But it’s better to zoom in on this paragraph’s opening position. Which is to zoom in on how Love derives from complexes. Lacan would say the mother fundamental is displaced into a (m)other symbolic object via the imaginary, primordial, practically mytheopoetic fantasy of the primal scene, the child witnessing the sexual intercourse real mother/father . The basic relationships generate secondary relationships, objects and subjects via the function of the mother fundamental’s displacement through a disruption of the ordinary Oedipal complex.

Still, that’s just one example. What about the Hera-Zeus-Swan complex? What of the Lancelot-Guinevere-Arthur complex? What of the story that no one dares call a complex, but is, and must be interrogated, and the nature of its particular brand of love unearthed. Can you guess what it is?


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