Oedipus Myth

Jocasta is the Virgin, or animal self, or moral code of the individual. Laius is the Father, or moral code of society. Oedipus is the Son, or blend of individual and societal moral codes. The Oedipus myth is disturbing for two reasons. First, that Oedipus is the son of Laius makes clear the conflict between the individual and society. By contrast, if Oedipus were not the son of Laius, then the situation would be one of society's code being replaced by a superior competing societal moral code. Second, marriage between son and mother puts mother in an obviously superior role. Soul rules and spirit serves. This is even more clearly an attack on society, since society has no control over the soul. For society to control the individual, it is essential that the soul, or female element, be made subordinate to the spirit, or male element.

One of the main distortions of the myth involves Jocasta's death. She cannot have committed suicide, since the soul is perfect and in any case incapable of feeling guilt, which is strictly a matter of the spirit. Nor can Jocasta have been murdered by the people, who represent society itself, as opposed to the moral code of society, which is represented by Laius. The people can kill the body, but only a spiritual entity can kill the soul. But Laius was already dead, which implies that Jocasta was murdered by Oedipus, who was too blind to see that he had done right to kill Laius and then become his mother's consort. Of course, matricide would have brought down the persecution of the Furies, as it did for Orestes. That is, severe depression is the typical consequence of spirit excessively repressing the desires and hence failing to obtain bodily pleasure via their satisfaction, thereby effectively killing the soul. Without a soul to generate desire and to be fed with pleasure, spirit has no purpose. Shiva without Shakti is a corpse.

The myth ends with a plague upon the land, which signifies that society is weakened by the assertion of individualism. The punishment of Oedipus is probably part of the myth's distortion, and serves as a warning for would-be individualists. Only the intelligent should try to think for themselves, whereas stupid people are best off remaining conformists to the rules of society. When stupid people try to be individualists, they risk producing a blind son like Oedipus, which will just increase their unhappiness.