Download PDF by Salman Akhtar, Vamik D. Volkan: Cultural Zoo : Animals in the Human Mind and its

By Salman Akhtar, Vamik D. Volkan

'This publication is an incredible contribution to tradition and to the psychoanalytic literature. The authors discover how animals, either wild and domesticated, have robust symbolic meanings in our psyches, mythology, faith, literature, artwork, song, and pop culture. From the prehistoric paintings of Lascaux to Picasso, from The Fly to the yankee eagle, the psychoanalytic perceptions are refined and suggestive, the aesthetic,  Read more...

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Extra info for Cultural Zoo : Animals in the Human Mind and its Sublimation.

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From a toddler's perspective, he can undertake many actions and accomplish many changes by himself but he often enjoys doing these together with mother. An initial empathic understanding of mother's reactions and feelings starts to develop within the milieu of these experiences (Byerly, 1993). As the toddler shares experiences and presents objects to mother to get her reaction, he starts to develop an understanding of her point of view and how she seems to see things. The child moves back and forth conceptually between a shared perspective in which he imaginatively projects onto mother what he expects her to feel, and a more differentiated perspective in which he compares and contrasts those expectations with the reactions that he actually gets from her.

In gratitude, the hunter offers thanks to the souls of the animals and to the cosmic nurturing goddess. Even where distinctions between categories are clearly drawn, they may at times be dissolved, bridged, or transcended in regressive circumstances or in creative fantasy. Repressions to earlier levels of organization may occur in situations of stress when more sophisticated conceptual or relational models don't seem to be working. A transient regressive suspension of boundaries may also occur as part of a process of creativity and inspiration.

The idea of a mother with both good and bad sides and a self with both good and bad sides can be frightening. The child starts to realize that aggressive bad impulses of his angry self might be in danger of destroying not only the fantasized bad mother but also the good mother that he needs and loves! (Kernberg, 1966). He is faced with a need to come to terms with ambivalent feelings. This leads to active efforts to master the problem both in actual interactions with mother and in fantasy. The toddler tries to cope with his opposite impulses by alternating, contradictory, back-and-forth, approach-avoidance ambitendent behaviors.

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