Page:Totem and Taboo (1919).djvu/230

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218
TOTEM AND TABOO

The first result of our substitution is very remarkable. If the totem animal is the father, then the two main commandments of totemism, the two taboo rules which constitute its nucleus, — not to kill the totem animal and not to use a woman belonging to the same totem for sexual purposes, — agree in content with the two crimes of Oedipus, who slew his father and took his mother to wife, and also with the child’s two primal wishes whose insufficient repression or whose re-awakening forms the nucleus of perhaps all neuroses. If this similarity is more than a deceptive play of accident it would perforce make it possible for us to shed light upon the origin of totemism in prehistoric times. In other words, we should succeed in making it probable that the totemic system resulted from the conditions underlying the Oedipus complex, just as the animal phobia of “little John” and the poultry perversion of “little Arpád” resulted from it. In order to trace this possibility we shall in what follows study a peculiarity of the totemic system or, as we may say, of the totemic religion, which until now could hardly be brought into the discussion.

acquired his ailment sounds remarkably like the totem theory of the Aruntas mentioned above. He had heard from his father that his mother at one time during her pregnancy had been frightened by a dog.