Vol. 11\Five Lectures\Leonardo\Hysteria\Dreams\infantile sex.\ Repression\Transference\Narcissism\homosexuality\language\Object choice\ love\instincts\
EDITORS NOTE: These lectures were written after Freud returned from his first trip to America to give a presentation at Clark University.
9ff) Freud begins with a historical account of the development of psychoanalysis, he refers to Breuer's contributions and the Anna O. as well as the Dora case studies.
16) Freud makes a generalized statement: "hysterical patients suffer from reminiscences." That is, symptoms are residues and mnemic symbols of traumatic experiences. (17) Symptoms also require 1) the suppression of powerful emotions as opposed to allowing their release. The result being that each strangulated affect is put in an abnormal condition. (19) 2) States of consciousness deal with pathological chains of events. Freud writes:
"The study of hypnotic phenomena has accustomed as to what was at first a bewildering realization that in one and the same individual there can be several mental groupings, which can remain more or less independent of one another, which can `know nothing` of one another and which can alternate with one another in the hold upon consciousness."
21) Freud refers to Charot and Janet in terms of their influence on his own work. He also criticizes them for their over dependence upon notions of heredity and the a belief in the degenerative results of hysteria. That is, that hysteria was an illness of the `feeble- minded.`
22) Freud notes that he came to the idea of insisting that the patients, while conscious, could and, in fact, did remember the forgotten experiences from a man named Bernheim. This notion that Freud admits to have borrowed is said to have resulted in the discovery of the resistences--i.e., (24) that there is something that compels certain experiences to remain unconscious and hence the notion of repression as a pathogenic mechanism of hysteria was born. This resulted in the dichotomization of pleasure and unpleasure in Freud`s psychological understanding. (27) And finally, the notion that symptoms are substitutes for repressed ideas was also introduced.
30) Freud notes that the greater the resistance in allowing an idea becoming conscious, the greater the distortion of that idea. Owing to the nature of symptoms, however, the distorted symptom must have a certain similarity to what we are in search of and if the resistance were not to great we should be able to guess the latter from the latter. IN other words, the idea that occurs to the patient must be in the nature of an allusion to the repressed element--i.e., indirect representation, Freud refers to the nature of jokes as an example.
31) Freud defines COMPLEX: as a group of interdependent ideational elements cathected with an affect.
32) Freud argues for the usage of FREE ASSOCIATION to get at the meat of the complexes. etc.
33) Discussion of dream interpretation. "The interpretation of dreams," he writes, "is in fact the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious...."
34f) Problems in dream interpretation: there is the problem of undue dismissal of dreams which are similar to the problems in suffers of hysteria and their free associations.
35) Analysis of dreams: there is a tendency to disregard the apparent connections between elements in the manifested dream and the rather to collect the ideas that occur to the individual in connection with each separate element of the dream by free association in accordance to psychoanalytical procedure and thus arrive at the latent dream thoughts.
36) dream work
37) Anxiety dreams: "Anxiety is one of the ego's reactions in repudiation of repressed wishes that have become powerful; and its occurrence in dreams as well is very easily explicable which the formation of the dream has been carried out with too much of an eye to the fulfillment of these wishes."
40) In this case Freud`s reference to symptoms is one that points to the erotic life of infants as well as that wishful impulses are in nature erotic instinctual components.
To the question as to why it is that mental excitations other than the erotic should not lead to such phenomenon as repression and the formation of symptoms Freud responds: "I can only answer that I do not know why they should not, and that I should have no objection to their doing so; but experience shows that the do not carry this weight, that at most they support the operation of sexual factors but cannot replace them."
41) Freud notes that other traumatic experiences may be infantile in nature yet the wishful impulses of infantile period are sexual in nature [i.e., children are polymorphously perverse].
42f) Freud`s theory of sexuality is outlined. In sum, Freud believes that the child is born erotic in nature without any defining means of expression; it only through maturation that sexuality becomes canalized in ways that are sanctioned by culture [i.e., the social construction of sexuality]. Freud mentions in passing the import of such notions as 1) the erotogenic zones, 2) auto-eroticism, 3) sado- masochism, 4) the inherent bisexuality of children, and so on.
45) He points out how instincts become subordinated by the genital zone and the object choice takes over auto-eroticism. Quoting the "law of General Pathology" Freud notes that "every developmental process carries with it the seed of a pathological disposition, in so far as that process may be inhibited, delayed, or may run its course incompletely." Freud claims that the same is true even in the case of the development of the sexual function.
46) PERVERSIONS: Freud notes that some instinctual components in perversions are observable in the neuroses as vehicles of complexes and constructors of symptoms, but in neuroses they operate unconsciously but in the case of perversions fixations occur which an excessively strong manifestation of such instincts at an early age.
49) In this lecture we come upon one of the first occurrences of Freud`s ideas of a reality principle.
He begins by suggesting that a regression to earlier phases of sexual life in the result of two factors: 1) the temporal--in which the libido or the erotic needs to turn back to stages of development pervious encountered, and 2) the formal--in which the original and primitive methods of psychical expression is employed in the manifestation of earlier erotic needs.
50) Freud points out that since life is generally unsatisfactory (due to the pressures of internal reparations) people entertain a phantasy life to make up for the insufficiencies of reality through the production of wishfulfillments. Such phantasies reveal a great deal of the "constitutional essence" of a subject's personality and his or her repressed impulses. A person who is energetic and successful, notes Freud, makes phantasy into reality and when this fails he or she turns from reality and withdraws into the more satisfying world of phantasy. The contents of such phantasizing is then transformed in to symptoms if the individual should fall ill. Freud notes that artistic endeavors are one way out of this trap.
51) Freud refers to the "transference". He writes "the part of the patient's emotional life which he can no longer recall to memory is experienced by him in his relation to his physician...." That is, the repressed aspects of a person's emotional life is transferred onto the figure of the analyst or, indeed, any person to whom the ill person attaches him or herself. This is a form of behaviour that arises spontaneously in all human relationships.
52) Freud deals with some intellectual problems that have to do with the acceptance of psychoanalysis in 1908. First, he notes that people are not accustomed with viewing of mental life from a perspective of strict and universal application of determinism [I ask in 1992 whether this is truly desirable?]. Second, Freud notes that people are ignorant of the peculiarities that distinguish the unconscious mental process from the conscious ones. Freud characterizes the difference between the unconscious and the conscious with the following statement: "An unconscious wish cannot be influenced and it is independent of any contrary tendencies, where a conscious one is inhibited by whatever else is conscious and opposed to it."
53) Psychoanalysis, notes Freud, sees repression as the replacement of commonsensical `condemning judgment`. Freud also notes that psychoanalysis allows for the revelation that unconscious instincts may be employed for `useful` purposes. In other words, psychoanalysis can allow for a lessening of the degree of social constraints on the unconscious impulses.
Editor's note: 59) 1) Freud was known to often compare himself to Leonardo [megalomaniac]. 2) There were a great deal of corrections and additions involved in this text. 3) This text does not contain the first instance of psychoanalytical methods in terms of the lives of historical figures, yet it was the first full length and large scale excursion into biography (probably because this article suffered from a great deal of ridicule).
61) Strachey, the editor, notes that Freud made a major mistake in the translation of the word nibbo (kite) into geier (vulture). Thus Leonardo's phantasies, as Freud saw them, of a hidden bird must be discarded. The connection of the word mut to the Egyptian goddess also refers to a vulture and not a kite.
62) Therefore Freud`s theory that the bird of Leonardo's phantasy stood for his mother cannot be directly supported from the Egyptian myth and the question of his acquaintance with that myth ceases to be relevant. Still, the questions and considerations raised by this supposed connection are of interest on their own.
The main body of the text, however, is not affected by these mistakes--i.e., Leonardo's emotional life during infancy); the conflict between science and art in Leonardo`s life; the deep analysis of Leonardo`s psychosexual life; etc. Most importantly, the text includes the first full emergence of the concept of narcissism.
63) Freud justifies biographical analysis of `great men` from the psychoanalytical perspective as he "believes there is no one so great as to be disgraced by being subject to the laws which govern both normal and pathological activity with equal cogency."
64) Freud notes that there is evidence to suggests that Leonardo suppressed his art in preference for his researches into the natural sciences. A Description of Leonardo`s physical and emotional character states that he was "radiantly happy and pleasure-loving".
69f) Freud discusses Leonardo`s sexuality and characterizes it as frigid, chaste, and heterosexual (73).
74) Freud speculates that Leonardo controlled his emotional being and sublimated his erotic instincts through scientific research. Freud writes: "he did not love and hate, but asked himself about the origin and significance of what he was to love or hate." (75) Therefore, Freud continues, he converted his passions into a thirst for knowledge-- it is described as an almost religious passion. (77) Yet it is likely that instincts with such excessive strength was inherent in Leonardo at childhood and was probably reinforced from the original sexual instincts such that they could later take the place of the same. Therefore, Freud notes, Leonardo would be able to place as much passion in his researches as others would in their love-objects. (78) What Freud is pointing out is that there must have been some degree of sublimation of the sexual instincts.
79) Freud here notes that children who undergo a prolonged period of sexual researches that are terminated by a wave of energetic sexual repression develop the `instinct` for research in three definite manners:
82) Referring childhood memories, Freud notes that unlike conscious memories of maturity, childhood memories are not fixed at the moment of experience and afterwards repeated, but are only elicited at a later age from which childhood is already past; in the process, such memories are altered and falsified and are thus put into the service of later trends, so that generally speaking they cannot be sharply distinguished from phantasies. [SEE: `Screen Memories` in Psychopathology, vol. 6] (84) Nonetheless, Freud notes that childhood memories, whether phantasies of not, cloak pieces of evidence of the most important features of the individual's mental development but it is the analyst's task to undo the distortions.
94) Freud offers the reader a discussion of hermaphroditism in mythology--he sees it as a worthy expression of divine perfection.
99) Psychogenesis of homosexuality: (conditions for the onset of homosexuality) [very stereotypical to people of today]
About smiles and how oral eroticism is related to homosexuality. Freud also brings in further discussion of the vulture phantasy.
110) Freud suggests that the smile depicted in the Mona Lisa painting may have awakened a infantile trance memory Leonardo had of his mother.
119) Freud notes that repetition with pedantic exactness is a preservation of affective notions. In contrast, an indifference of detail (in art) robs all emotion and suggests further that something is being concealed and suppressed.
123) Freud discusses the father complex and the connection it has to belief in a personal God. That is, he notes that God is nothing more that an exalted Father and that it is often the case that young individuals loose their beliefs when the father's authority is broken. Therefore, concludes Freud, the roots of religion in the parental complex and the need for religions is also found in this same complex. That is, god and nature are seen as sublimations of one's mother and father or as "rivals and restorations of the young child's ideas of them."
Protection against neurotic illnesses are offered by religions and this occurs through the removal of parental complexes--upon which the guilt of individuals and whole societies depends--and disposes of it while the unbeliever must grapple with it on his own. [SEE: Group Psychology, Vol. 18: 142--last chapter]
125) Freud looks that the human desire to fly and makes several connections including the following: 1) the connection back to phantasy of the stork and childbirth; 2) stork as a large phallus--e.g., volgen = to bird; male sexual acts--from the German vogel meaning bird. Thus, concludes Freud, the desire to fly is the result of an infantile longing to be capable of sexual activity which is represented through phantasies of flight.
Freud (130) here justifies what he calls pathography--that is, biographical investigations from the psychoanalytical perspective.
131) Summary of the analysis of Leonardo: One's mother's kisses and caresses led Leonardo to preconscious sexual maturity which excited his instinct to knowledge and thus placed an emphasis in his life on the oral erotogenic zone. As a result, Freud believes that Leonardo developed a homosexual attitude in his manifested ideal of love for young boys--as a result of his mother fixation [see above].
1) material at the disposal of the investigator; 2) chance circumstances of events; 3) background influences of the subject; 4) subject's reported actions may not be actual fact or even be a faithful representation of the original motivations, conscious or unconscious, transformations and developments.
Freud also notes the continued need to account for psychosexual development and a degree of freedom exists here that psychoanalysis cannot resolve via its own means.
136) Freud refers to the somatic aspects of an individual's life and motivations in terms of how they limit what psychoanalysis can discern. He suggests that mental structures are only afterwards built upon the source of repressions and tendencies towards as well as the capacity for sublimations in organic functions. The nature of the artistic function, he continues, is also inaccessible along the lines of research available to psychoanalysis in that it deals with sublimations. Freud concludes the article with the following justifications for biographical investigations: "Our aim remains that of demonstrating the connection along the path of instinctual activity between a person's external experiences and his reactions."
141) Freud begins this presentation by noting three ways through which psychoanalysis can be reinforced: 1) in terms of internal progress, psychoanalysis can be reinforced by a) analytical knowledge, and b) in terms of technique; 2) psychoanalysis must (1910) increase its acceptance so that its authority as a field of study is better recognized; 3) finally, psychoanalysis must also reinforce itself via the general effect of its work.
145) Freud then suggests a need to modify its techniques according to the nature of diseases and the dominant instinctual trends of the patients`. In other words, for example it is necessary to perceive and treat suffers of hysteria differently than does with phobias.
146) Here Freud notes the importance of authority, when he writes: "You cannot exaggerate the intensity of people's inner lack of resolution and craving for authority. The extraordinary increase in neuroses since the power of religions have waned may give you a measure of it." [power/religious]
148) The general effect of psychoanalytical work, Freud notes, or the success of the treatment "must occur equally with the community."
155) In dreams, a thing can represent its opposite, i.e., the dream work disregards negation and employs its own means of representation for expressing contrary ideas. Freud claims that this kind of behaviour is identical with a peculiarity of the oldest languages known to us. That is, several languages, ancient Egyptian [Freud never clarifies which dialect] for instance, employ a single word but it has two antithetical meanings.
Another example, also of the Egyptian, employ compound words to represent the antithetical. That is, two sound units are combined to form a compound which represents only one aspect of the two original meanings. (157) Freud notes that the aim of such practices is the expression of one of the meanings of the contradictory parts, rather than any attempt to form a third concept. The motivations of such linguistic behaviour, Freud speculates, is due to the fact that our concepts owe their existence to comparisons. Therefore, Freud suggests, (158) that humanity was not able to acquire its oldest and simplest concepts except as contraries to their contraries. Thus such ideas were only learned by degrees in attempts to separate the two aspects of the antithesis and thus be able to maintain one notion without the conscious compulsion of the other.
This linguistic practice of antithetical meanings is said to be one of the 'oldest roots` of language and that in the subsequent development of the mind and language, Freud believes, this ambiguity disappeared. That is, a word which originally had two meanings was later separated into two words with distinct meanings, through a process whereby which each of the two opposed meanings take over a particular phonetic reduction (modification) of the original root. For example, Freud notes the word "ken" originally meant both strong and weak had been separated into "ken" strong and "kan" weak.
Freud refers to A. Bain's Logic (1870) and notes that the essential relativity of all knowledge, throughout, or consciousness cannot but be shown through language. If everything we know is viewed as a transition from something else, every experiences must have a double meaning or otherwise for every meaning there must be two aspects.
166)Freud begins by pointing out the necessary conditions required for neurotic men to love others: (he notes that the combinations often appear to be incomprehensible)
169) Freud notes that the psychological origins of a need for such object choices are derived from infantile fixations of tender feelings towards the mother. He also notes that such love relationships represent one consequence of such infantile fixations--i.e., the maternal characteristics are projected onto the loved objects chosen later in life. In this light, all such love objects are easily recognizable as mother surrogates. This observation, Freud points out, goes far to explain why there are such long series of love objects-- i.e., no mother surrogate can ever truly satisfy and there is also that need for a third party.
172) Rescue motif: this motif is a result of the parental complex, in which the rescue is used to pay the parent back what is thought to be their due. In terms of women, the male identifies himself with his father and the notion of pay-back can take on the meaning of `making a child`. To a woman, in contrast, the pay-back can take the form of giving birth to a child--pays back the father???.
Freud begins by noting that the affects of men which are of a strongly libidinous nature are exhibited by impotence, although a strong psychical inclination to perform sexually is present. Because this situation only arises through the attempts of certain individuals, Freud makes the assumption that there must be some feature of the that individual's sexual objects that are the root of such inhibitions and that the subjects is not consciously aware of what it is.
180) For instance, notes Freud, an incestuous fixation on one's mother or sisters, which has never been consummated, plays a prominent part in this pathogenic material and is its most universal content. That is, the problem emerges out of the development of the libido before it assumes the form which we take to be its normal termination.
According to Freud, there are two currents necessary to ensure the `normal` attitude toward love: a) affectionate is deemed the older of the two trends; it is formed on a basis of the interests of self- preservation instinct and is usually directed to members of the family. The affectionate trend corresponds to a child's primary object choice; b) the sensual (181): appears at puberty; it follows earlier paths and cathects primary infantile object choices but it runs into obstacles erected as incest barriers and consequently external object choices are made upon which one's affections eventually fall.
181) There are two factors that result with the failure of such psycho-sexual development, they are as follows: 1) Frustrations in reality which opposes new object choices and thus reduces its value; 2) attraction, to infantile objects that one should relinquish yet become fixed.
182) If these two factors are of sufficient strength, the libido turns away from reality and is taken over by imaginative activity. The libido therefore strengthens the patient's first object choices and become fixated. The incest taboo, however, causes these objects to be unconsciously repressed and masturbatory activity strengthens incestuous objects through the substitutive phantasies that are formed. The result is total impotence and the onset of actual weakening of the sexual organs. In cases of impotence of less severity, the sensual current does not lie wholly behind the affectionate current. Thus sexuality is forced to avoid the affectionate current even if a great deal of sexual pleasure is elicited. Therefore, the sexual current seeks objects that do not recall incestuous figures. If a person makes an impression that might lead to as high psychical estimation of him or her, (183) this impression does not find issue in sexual excitation, but in affection which has no erotic effect. That is, what they love, they cannot desire; and, what they desire, they cannot love. Thus the main protective measure which humans (men in particular) have a recourse to in this split in love is found in the debasement of the sexual object. In other words, as soon as debasement occurs, sensuality is freed up.
(184) Freud notes here that psychical impotence is due to a failure of the affectionate and the sensual currents to merge and transform one another to bring about love.
185) To Freud the love behaviour of men in the civilized (Western) world bears the stamp of psychical impotence. That is, the man almost always feels his respect for the women acts as a restriction on his sexual activity. Thus it is only possible for such men to develop full potency when he is with a debased object. This, Freud claims, is partially due to the intrusion of perverse sexual components which the man does not venture to satisfy with a woman he respects. Therefore, Freud's conclusion is this: (186) "anyone who is to be really free and happy in love must have surmounted his respect for women and have come to terms with the idea of incest with his mother or sister." In women, in contrast, there is little need to debase their sexual objects, but a condition of forbiddenness in the erotic life of women is comparable to the (187) need on the part of men to debase their sexual object. Such forbiddenness is deemed comparable in that it may result with frigidity--or problems of a psycho-sexual nature.
187) Freud notes that it is very easy to demonstrate that the psychical value of ones erotic needs are reduced as soon as their satisfaction becomes an easy task. He notes that obstacles are often needed in so far that it requires a heightening of libido (the notion being that without obstacles love is worthless). (188) This, Freud claims, is characteristic of both nations and individuals. That is, in general the "psychical importance of an instinct rises in proportion to its frustration." (189) Thus, Freud presupposes that there is something in the nature of the sexual instinct which makes it itself unfavorable to realize its complete satisfaction. He claims that there are two factors that might account for this: 1) due to the incest taboo, etc. the final object choice is always a surrogate of the original one; and, 2) the sexual instinct has the greatest number of components--all of which cannot be taken up (society's rules, etc.) --"good" and "bad" elements alike.
190) Freud writes the following: "thus we may perhaps be forced to become reconciled to the idea that it is quite impossible to adjust the claims of the sexual instinct to the demands of civilization; that in consequence of its cultural development, renunciation and suffering, as well as the danger of extinction in the remotest future, cannot be avoided by the human race."
193) Freud notes that the man who is the one who breaks the barriers of virginity is likely to be the man that a woman takes into a lasting relationship. He claims that what happens is a kind of "sexual bondage" characterized by a high degree of dependency on another person and the willingness to suffer the greatest sacrifices of his or her own interests. It is important to note, however, that this turn of events occurs in gradations.
195) Freud speaks of primitives in terms of their attitudes towards virginity. He claims, form some unknown source, that virginity is taboo in such cultures and that it is usually some appointed person other than a woman's husband that perforated the hymen.
196) Freud claims that primitives hold virginity as a taboo for the following reasons: 1) the blood is associated with the seat of life and virginity is connected to the taboo over menstruation. (197) 2) The taboo may also have roots in anxiety produced by something not understood by the male portion of the population. (198) 3) Finally, Freud notes that the virginity taboo is connected to the general taboo on intercourse and a general dread of women. We must take this with a grain of salt--it may indeed be the case the western cultures have this in their psychical background, yet it would be an injustice to other cultures to generalize all or any of these characteristics onto them.
200) Nonetheless, Freud claims that for primitive persons a taboo is instigated where there is a fear of some real of imagined danger. (202) The reasons behind the practice of having another man other than the husband break the hymen is speculated upon. Freud suggests that the reason for such practices may be due to a belief that when the hymen is broken the woman is often left unsatisfied and most likely does not feel well disposed towards the man who brought this bleeding and pain (no wonder she's pissed off!). (206) At any rate, Freud relays the belief that any man who would enter the life of such a woman should be spared the bitterness that goes along with "defloration" and the result is the taboo on virginity. (208) Freud concludes that "defloration" may have one of two results: 1) bind the woman into a lasting relationship to the man; or 2) unleash an archaic reaction of hostility towards the man --such hostility can assume pathogenic forms that are frequently exposed by the appearance of inhibitions in the erotic side of married life. (Extremely simplistic and reductionistic appraisal).
EDITOR'S NOTE: 210) This is the first instance of the usage of the notion of the `ego instincts` as expressly identified with the self-preservation instincts. Freud ascribes to them a vital part of the function of repression.
211) Hysterical blindness is the topic of this article. (213) Such blindness, Freud claims occurs as a result of certain ideas connected with the function of sight that come into opposition to other, more powerful, ideas from the ego and the result is that the former are repressed.
214) That is, the conflict between sexual instincts and those instincts of self preservation--the "ego instincts."
217) Freud writes: "Psycho-analysts never forget that the mental is based on the organic, although their work can only carry them as far as this basis and not beyond it."
Basically a warning message regarding untrained and unqualified individuals practicing psychoanalysis .