Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To print an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To print an article, click on the small Printer Icon located at the top right corner of the page, or by pressing Ctrl + P. Remember, PEP-Web content is copyright.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Stokes, A. (1966). On Being Taken out of Oneself. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:523-530.

(1966). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47:523-530

On Being Taken out of Oneself

Adrian Stokes

I discuss a possible reason why we like to be taken out of ourselves, a phrase applied to an apparent forgetfulness of the self's interests in identification with society, to the adoption of any wide cause, or even to the narrow preoccupation of work, indeed to any activity that seems to distract attention from the protagonists of the conflicts that we already know. 'Ourselves' of the phrase appears to be an object subjected to conscious tensions. I doubt whether we seem to forsake ourselves pre-eminently in plain object-love, in caring for our families, or in vehement preoccupation with any figure or group. These objects are closely entangled with the selves we incessantly recognize, whereas I have in mind a field of preoccupation that in contrast seems remote and free. It is this, perhaps small, element of occasional impersonality that I seek to isolate, no doubt defensive in character as are all sublimations in one aspect, and all depersonalization. But it is not the defensive aspect with which I am concerned.

We may sometimes need new activities to replace the more entangled activity which formerly took us out of ourselves. And so there comes about an ascending scale of greater and less permanence in activities that perform this service. In the case of experiences of solitude—and it is those I have in mind—many people would agree that at the top of the scale there figure, however momentarily, some contemplative states in the presence of Nature, of the sea, of trees.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.