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Brink, L. (1925). Imago: Zeitschrift für Anwendung der Psychoanalyse auf die Geisteswissenschaften. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(4):465-477.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Imago: Zeitschrift für Anwendung der Psychoanalyse auf die Geisteswissenschaften

(1925). Psychoanalytic Review, 12(4):465-477

Imago: Zeitschrift für Anwendung der Psychoanalyse auf die Geisteswissenschaften

Louise BrinkAuthor Information

(Vol. VII, No. 4, 1921)

1.   Narcissism as Double Direction. Lou Andreas-Salomé.

2.   The “Tri-theon” of the Ancient Hindus. P. C. van der Wolk.

3.   Character and Married Life of Henry VIII. J. C. Flügel.

4.   The Self. Dr. Geza Röheim. (Concluded.)

5.   Robert Lach's “Studien zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der ornamentalen Melopöie.” Dr. S. Pfeifer.

1. Narcissism as Double Direction.—The author considers, as Freud does, that narcissism denotes more than mere autoerotism. The self is loved as an object so that egoism really becomes a libido problem and narcissism is concerned with the perfecting of the ego. Self-love then accompanies every stage of development and forms the deep basis of object love as well as of the highest ethical and cultural aspirations of humanity. It is only in the taking possession of an object outside itself that the sexual energy can be distinguished from the ego instincts. The libido is merely the link between the desired individuality and the reaching out of the latter to conjugation with another.

The writer lays emphasis upon this side of narcissism which reaches back to the ego consciousness to identify or weld it with all as the final positive goal of the libido. This is accomplished in the taking possession of an object, in the establishment of one's own value, in narcissistic transformation into artistic creations.

In the child the distinctness of the self as an object is only becoming established, in the psychotic it is dissolving. The latter comes to the point where his ego no longer transfers to individual things and so he himself is no longer an individual. The overvaluation of a love object is narcissistically conditioned in the fact that it represents an overflow of the self-love upon the object. This is ego love although there is another sort of ego love which finds its goal only in the ego. The libidinous character of libido appears first as love is directed toward an object. The object becomes the “symbol” of all that the ego would find in it. It is the subject found again in the object as once it was

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identified with its object. The ego is seeking to go beyond this border, however, to enrich itself in its object. The pleasure to be won is both active and passive, perhaps masochistic, as it involves not only the ego at work in the center of the effort, but also the erogenous zones which are awakened to the experience. The tendencies which raise the bodily functions to higher levels are bound with the erogenous character of the entire body. There is reason, too, in this fundamental sphere why both man and woman react bi sexually. The woman must actively give forth something of herself as part of that self, which she does in the child, and the man or the boy who approaches manhood may feel compelled first to express, in a phantasy of giving birth, that more passive realization of himself before he can assume his more active object possession.

The narcissism is dangerous to object love because the self fears the division of the ego from the libido, until it finds in the end that these are reunited in the object. Love grows cold primarily not because of external causes, but because the narcissism has symbolized in the object more than the object in its real character can make good. The author points out that much that is attributed to object libido in reality is narcissistic. Friendship, where love is denied, is a sublimation of infantile elements. So also is the worship of God or any other projection into higher aims, a true “turning from below to above.” The over-valuation of the infantile wishes in their symbolization in the object lifts them into a higher form. If the narcissism is too strong, there is clash with reality; if too weak, the individual is left without courage toward the external world. The function of the overvaluation is the advance of the subject as well as the object, the stimulus of the ego to attain higher levels. Thus the overvaluation carries us on into ethics and culture. What at first is a phantasied reality must be brought forth as actual. The self-disillusionment which might result stands so close to the success of the ideal that it is easy to see why the neurotic is so subject both to doubt of himself and yet so exalted in his conception of himself. Ethical action becomes the compromise between the actual hidden infantile desire and the ideal. The latter finds its value also in the authority of the objects of the infantile love so that the narcissism carries the valuation to the highest abstract estimate of value. Thus every sublimation contains the warmth of libidinous relation, the sexual energy directed to other goals. It is necessary to become oriented in this striving after sublimation or estrangement with the self will occur. Sense of guilt and regret arise, characteristic of the neuroses, arise where the wishes are kept deeply hidden and forbidden this attainment of a higher expression. The psychotic excludes the sensitive reaction of conscience against his wishes, but refrains from action through negativism. The ego, falling victim to repression, becomes disorganized

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and lives in the world of narcissistic wish phantasy production. The healthy person, too, bears a feeling of guilt because of the acts and the failures of the ego and a feeling of being wounded in the primitive identity with the world, in which now the ego suffers disillusionment. Thus we are stimulated both to pursue the ego values and yet to give attention to the primitive material of the narcissism, which in truth is the material out of which the ethical is built. The active man dares to bring this dream material over to reality.

Art or poetry seeks not a practically directed activity, but the carrying forward from under the repression of those deepest things of childhood which in reality must be sacrificed for practical existence. The artist can go back to the original union of subject and object, lift the repression and give freedom to the impulses. If the artist fails to maintain his position in the central point of artistic creation, away from the too personal circle, then the wish fulfilment personally striven after means?. loss in his creative power. He needs to regress into the infantile, but in order to become creative with the material. This he “disembodies” from its infantile form so that it may go forward in all directions. When his work fails in this, he is likely to fall into a neurosis. He experiences childhood's hell as well as childhood's paradise. The artist cannot escape his own wish fulfilments, but puts his own narcissistic conception of character upon strange objects. The one necessity in art is the need for objectivation of the narcissistic identification. This is the fundamental unity of active and passive out of which creation of forms arises. The form must represent the deeper content, although the artist's work is subject to secondary elaboration on the part of consciousness. The sense of haste and of anxiety which accompanies artistic production is due to the fact that the content is already there. This, with the strife against the repressed material which is pressing forward and with the danger of slipping back into infantile use of the material, prevents artistic creation from being the unmeasured joy it would otherwise be. The writer compares the joy that precedes creative work, as its forerunner, to the manic state. The loss of such a feeling is like a pathological melancholia.

2. The “Tri-theon” of the Ancient Indians.—Van der Wolk has made a very interesting study of the symbolisms which surround the Hindu god Çiwa as they represent the attributes which give him an indestructible place within the hearts of his worshippers. The author was able to make his study among a secluded Hindu group living in a portion of Java where older forms of worship have been preserved unchanged from former centuries.

Van der Wolk finds that Çiwa is exclusively the god of life, although interpreters have mistakenly assumed him to be the god of destruction. The present investigator believes that the weapons and other symbolic

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objects with which he is endowed primarily represent the creative principle. In the hearts of the people he is the god of life, lord of lords, creator of heaven and earth and all that is within them, teacher and representative of the exuberant life of the tropics. The bull is therefore a fitting symbol of his nature, representing as it does the unbridled character of sex and of power. The author shows the phallic character of the various objects with which the god is provided in his statues. He finds associated with these various objects which represent the female organs, therefore, in their association, the symbolism also of the sex act. The aggressive character of many of the phallic objects, weapons, have led to the misinterpretation of the god's nature. Van der Wolk interprets the use of the weapon as signifying in the first place the violence necessary in the production of life. The sex processes, procreation and birth are likened to the releasing of life from its prison. In the representation of the female organs may be traced a development up through the well-known swastika to the Greek cross. The writer finds the sun represented, but believes this has the deeper sex significance of the female. This is preserved also in the Dutch and German languages, which account the sun feminine. From the phallic objects carried by the god Van der Wolk suggests and partially traces the development into the bishop's staff, the marshal's staff, the scepter and the Latin cross. He suggests, however, that the latter may have developed by way of the Greek cross from the swastika. He finds also the threefold male symbol, penis and testicles, which develop into the winged serpent, Hermes's staff, Christ as the two bellied fish, the winged griffon.

The song of creation of these people ascribes to Çiwa the giving of the reproductive activity to man to aid the god in the peopling of the earth, in obedience to the creative urge which dominated the god. In Çiwa and in his followers at this time reproduction was a pure, passionless function. Then Çiwa learned to love a maiden, Parvati, who, unknown to Çiwa and herself, was really his daughter. She gave to men of the love which she bore to Çiwa and thus the act of reproduction became an act of loving worship. Her symbol was the crescent, which symbol was joined to those which she already bore. Van der Wolk traces in particular this symbol in its probable transformation into or relation to the trident, the fleur de lys, the Latin cross. He refers to the presence of the crescent with the Virgin Mary and its frequent association in the Middle Ages with the horns of the bull or deer. He finds an association with the evil influence of the moon in Parvati's love to the fact that there is here a forbidden relationship, that of father and daughter.

The idea of destruction associated with Çiwa probably does come in through the further story of the jealousy of Çiwa's wife, Durga. She becomes the goddess of terror and death. She by nature is barren, but hearing that Parvati has conceived, she tears from her the germinating

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seed and under the influence of the moon brings the child to birth. Ganeça, the son, however, has an elephant's head. Hereafter he is associated in the trio. He becomes the savior of men from the evil which Durga has wrought. For she had put passion into men's hearts and thus debased sexual intercourse from its place as an act of pure worship and joy.

Various legends are told to explain the elephant's head upon the god Ganeça, one of which is that his own head was struck from him in a strife with the father, Çiwa, over Parvati, in ignorance on the part of all of any relationship. The elephant's head was set on by the father when he learned that his victim had been his own son. The trunk, however, has a very plain phallic significance. In older statues of the god it directly enters the vagina of a companion female figure, in later statues it is held in a basin as a substitute for the vagina.

Ganeça is a much beloved god and represents to the worshippers the childish ideal. He remains infantile in appearance. He is also the god most associated with the daily life. He is the mediator in the Hindu trinity, the “Tri-theon,” between the two extremes, Çiwa the overabundant giver of life and Durga the destroyer, death, because of whose interference Çiwa had condemned mankind to destruction. In Ganeça sexuality is brought again to the service both of the gods and of man himself. He is the god even of the brothel, where he functions to encourage the timid and to prevent infection and inconvenient fruitfulness. Abortion is a frequent occurrence among the Indians, not on western grounds, Van der Wolk reminds us, but because of unfavorable omens in regard to a possible pregnancy and birth.

3. Character and Married Life of Henry VIII.—Flügel makes a study of value, both historically and psychoanalytically. For it reveals in certain features of the Œdipus complex ever recurring motives for Henry's character manifestations and for his remarkable matrimonial experiences. The unconscious elements of his Œdipus situation were principally brother rivalry, the demand for a woman who sexually belonged to some one else and, as an opposing element to the latter, the demand for her chastity. Flügel shows that the attraction of a woman would cease for Henry when opposition to her possession was withdrawn.

He points out factors in Henry's early life which were fitted to lay the foundations of a strong Œdipus complex and to serve as models for his future behavior. His father had to obtain a papal dispensation in order to marry the mother because of a relationship, the marriage being desirable for the sake of establishing peace in the nation. Yet the mother's faction, the House of York, continued to menace both the father's authority and life so that Henry's hostile attitude toward his natural rival would have been unconsciously strengthened. Nevertheless, Henry showed the opposite tendency of veneration for his father in

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carrying out the latter's wishes after death. His later long struggle with the pope brought into action his dominant egotism and his arrogant usurpation of ecclesiastical as well as political authority. Henry's sexual rivalry, however, was directed more completely to the brother. It was his function to assist in the marriage of this brother, his predecessor as heir to the throne. Yet death removed the brother from the pathway as it gave into Henry's possession the young widow, Catherine of Aragon. Her marriage with Henry was not brought about, however, without a long delay through protracted negotiations to obtain the papal dispensation, which the relationship made necessary. At one time during the negotiations it was even considered that she might become the bride of Henry's widowed father.

The marriage with Catherine proved itself satisfactory at first, but could not remain so. Catherine seems not to have been able to withdraw her attachment from her own parents and her native land. She set these rather in opposition to Henry and his wishes. In other things, too, her selfishness ill-suited his egotism. Chief cause for dissatisfaction, however, Flügel points out, lay in the superstitious fear based upon the unconscious incestuous impulses. Catherine was unable to bear Henry a living child, except the one unwelcome daughter, and therefore the marriage seemed to come under the curse which the Bible and folklore pronounce upon incestuous relations.

The protracted divorce proceedings, depending upon the long conflict with the Pope, served to prolong the attraction which Anne Boleyn, Catherine's successor, exercised upon the king. For some years she refused to submit to the king's final demands. Her ultimate submission and the consequent promise of a child from her precipitated Henry's decision to take matters into his own hands, defy the pope and establish himself as authority over all, that is, not alone as father, but even as God himself. Henry's relations to Anne's sister, as well as his later suspicions against Anne of incest with her brother, all served to fulfill his unconscious demand for the brother-sister triangle associated with his first marriage. This same relationship, in one manner or another, entered into each marriage in turn. Either Henry himself was distantly related to the woman whom he took for wife, or there had been some establishment of the brother-sister connection. Jane Seymour he visited before marriage in the house of her brother; with Anne of Cleve he sought to have another betrothal dissolved before his marriage; this was accomplished before his marriage with his last wife, Catherine Parr. She was already twice a widow and had entered into an engagement with a brother-in-law of Henry through Jane Seymour. In her, at last, the conditions seem to have been fulfilled which satisfied the ambivalent Œdipus wishes. As widow she had been in the possession of another and yet she was sexually virtuous. The latter condition

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Henry finally made legally binding upon the wife of the king. Previously he had blinded himself consciously to the transgressions of the women he married; only when these were forced upon his consciousness did they lead to violent reaction upon his part. This resulted in the death of the woman and her accomplices through accusations which were not always sufficiently proved. Henry added the accusation of high treason on the part of a brother or a father representative, which manifested the hostile attitude toward the unconscious rival, whose death was brought about. The last marriage, in which the opposing unconscious conditions were finally harmonized, remained a peaceful and happy one until Henry's own death. Flügel calls attention to the constant recurrence among Henry's many mistresses and wives of the names of Henry's sisters or that of his mother or of his brother's bride.

4. The Self.—Rôheim's very valuable detailed study of the primitive valuation of the self through its various erogenous zones and the summation of this valuation into the conception of the soul is too long for abstract. It is best summarized briefly in the author's own words: “The autoerotic phase with its erogenous zones and their infusion of the body with libido finds its correspondence in the active and passive magic significance of these same erogenous zones. The magic significance is the erogeneity. The summation of these partial impulses is the corporeal soul. The doubling of the self which belongs to the narcissistic phase has its correspondence in the ejection into the eidolon, the soul, as the separated image of man, of the impulses thus summated. Thus arises the dual conception of the world in soul and body. This is nothing else than an objectivation of the inner division between pleasure principle and reality principle. To the third stage, choice of object, corresponds (a) according to the narcissistic type, the projection of the personality into the guardian spirit and external soul and the introjection of a portion of the environment in the complex represented in the idea ‘the animal in man’; (b) according to the dependent type, the finding again of the father Imago in the guardian spirit and the seeking of protection on the part of the external soul with the mother (tree, etc.). The psychic development, however, is a continuity and behind the conceptions we find the contrasting pair, pleasure-pain, as the driving force.”

Rôheim further points out, suggestively, how a union of two opposing aims finds place in this striving for reestablishment of a former condition, following Freud's lately developed thought that the sexual impulse is a seeking for the union of particles separated by the dynamic action of life, Rôheim shows that the ego libido and object libido both strive for the original condition of the undisturbed embryonic life. Or this may be defined further in terms of the antagonism between the life and the death instinct, as Freud has still more recently discussed this in pursuance of his theme.

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5. Robert Lack's “Studien zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der ornamentalen Melopöie.”—Pfeifer has made an appreciative report of a study of the ornamental structure of music. In it the author fills out, by the use of psychoanalytic interpretations, former gaps in the theory of the origin of this structure. Pfeifer himself points out still further possibilities of such interpretation which the author has overlooked or into which he has not penetrated far enough. Pfeifer finds, nevertheless, that the author not only starts from the sexual origin of music but that he has grasped the conception of the transposing of the sexual excitement into other forms of peripheral activity as well as the transposing of any form of peripheral stimulus into sexual excitement. The sexual overflow into other areas he does not quite sufficiently relate to the infantile sexual goals. Nevertheless, he has made clear the presence arid to a large extent the nature of the regression which lies in such return to other than the sexual goals. He finds in the different stages of musical development a fixing of the libido at certain regressive planes. This is represented in the stylization to which music is subjected. He recognizes the similarity of this process to hysteria and catatonia. He also lays emphasis upon the narcissistic nature of the regression, a fact which Pfeifer still more clearly points out. The question is raised concerning rhythm, whether it does not serve as a defense against the disturbances forced by reality upon the ego satisfactions. The interruptions and alterations of rhythm, especially in speech as opposed to music, would then represent adaptations to reality. Lach's study, especially as subjected to Pfeifer's critical analysis of it, forms an instructive contribution to the history of music, especially in the revelation of the unconscious factors which both further and hinder cultural development.

(Vol. VIII, No. 1)

1.   Dream and Telepathy. Sigm. Freud.

2.   The Problem of the Psychological Foundation and of the Origin of Religion. Dr. Johann Kinkel.

3.   The Primary Feelings as Conditions for the Highest Intellectual Functions. Dr. O. Pfister.

4.   Contribution to the Psychogenesis of the Talent for Drawing. Dr. Imre Hermann.

5.   The Compulsion to Symbolization. Georg Groddeck.

6.   Day Phantasies of a Six-and-a-half-year-old Girl. Albert Furrer.

1. Dream and Telepathy.—Abstracted in the Psychoanalytic Review, from the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, Vol. XI, 1924, pp. 343-346.

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2. The Problem of the Psychological Foundation and of the Origin of Religion.—Kinkel presents a brief survey of a subject upon which he promises further work. He applies the knowledge gained of different periods of development in the childhood of the individual to the religious development of mankind. He finds that the latter represents corresponding stages of thought and feeling. The characteristic attitude of the child from three to eight years of age is that of symbolic thinking. He decks out his ideas of the external world, of the forces of nature and their action, of everything about him, in terms of his own personal experiences, chiefly in the relation of these to the parent. This same symbolic method of thought is characteristic of all primitive speech and word structure but especially of cosmogonic and religious ideas. Here are found veiled symbols of the parents projected out into the larger sphere.

In this language the heaven god is common to all religions, a representative of the father. He is the Jehovah of the Hebrews appearing upon Mount Sinai. Even in the Christian religion he is kept in a remote heavenly sphere. Mother earth is likewise a parent god, and becomes the ancestress of all goddesses down to the Christian Mother of God. The union of these two original gods gives origin to the phallus cult, which expresses the infantile ideals, the child's awe before the father figure whose power is represented in this symbol.

The second period of childhood is marked by the appearance and growth of moral impulses. This represents, according to the writer, a spiritual control of the father and mother complexes. The child is coming before the world where he feels the need of support and authority. These he finds in the father and mother or their substitutes. Bound with them also, the father chiefly, are the ideas of conformity to the parent's will, punishment and reward. The child learns that it is right and fitting to obey the parent. There are present also feelings of love and reverence and often a feeling of nothingness before the father. All these traits are more prominent in religion among the lower races than in the more highly developed. The sexual feelings are not absent in building up this attitude on the part of the child. Kinkel well points out, however, that these are of an infantile rather than of an adult nature. The union demanded by the love is that rather of closeness in identification than of true sexual union. This is greatly emphasized, he reminds us, in the expressions in which Christ reiterates his union with the Father. For the male child the mother particularly represents the object of endless good to the child, love, protection, the ideal of perfect womanhood, while for the girl the father stands in a corresponding position. It is a further mark of the infantile nature of the situation that the homo- and heterosexual elements are fused in this attitude.

Humanity, after the stage of its naive, symbolic thought and emotion,

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passes similarly into a new period of social development and spiritual feeling. Its polytheism gives place to monotheism, which, however, is infantile in its basis. The belief in the one God is accompanied by a social form of the father complex, the projection of the family order upon the external world. Monotheism arose in a period of human history when the power and authority of the father in the family stood higher than it does to-day, and when the wife and children were recognized as his subjects. The older Christian picture of God repeats that of the Hebrew patriarch. The Hebrews themselves developed their monotheistic God from earlier polytheistic conceptions. Their monotheism gradually spread itself over all European peoples, with a slow relinquishment of the authority of the patriarchal father still found in the feudal lord.

Christianity introduced the ethical postulate into the monotheistic principles of faith. This is bound with the ideas of brotherly love, forgiveness, individual self-sacrifice, and is manifest in those movements of the people which look toward peace, justice for all, a paradise on earth. These are the dreams of oppressed peoples and it is to them that the Christian religion made its first appeal. The infantile father and mother ideals are projected over into the social psychology which goes hand in hand with such religious ideals. The ethical impulses also have their foundation in this parent complex. They find their support in God's “revealed will,” though the earlier fear of punishment gives place to an authoritative morality which embraces the external world.

3. The Primary Feelings as Conditions for the Highest Intellectual Functions.—Pfister chooses certain instances which have come to his attention, of a sort accessible to the observation of any sincere inquirer, which reveal how closely sublimation is bound with the primary sex impulses. Freud is right, he insists, when he asserts that sublimation cannot take place so long as the primary impulses remain under repression. To search out and release these is only to give the interest in higher things freedom and power. Pfister cites the case of a highly cultured man whose loss of pleasure in scientific and other pursuits, which he had enjoyed, was found to be due to the puritanical and brutal opposition to which his sexual impulses and his love life had been subjected In earlier years. When the repression was removed through analysis, a normal attitude toward life returned. In another patient a strongly repressed Oedipus complex had caused vacillation between a strong defense against sex, instilled in the girl through education, and a yielding to the experiences of free love, which later circumstances had brought in her way. She had been able actually to follow neither course and had developed severe symptoms from the conflict. With the unearthing of the fundamental repression and the adoption of a normal attitude toward sexuality,

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she was able to attain also to a healthy outlook upon life. Still another individual was restored to a lost ability to engage in cultural pursuits merely by being roused from an autoerotic condition through one day meeting a prostitute and experiencing a return of the heterosexual impulse.

Still another case illustrates the fact that later or less complete repression of sexuality does not so deeply injure or inhibit the capacity for sublimation. It begets rather an overheated, fanatical type. There may even be found a certain portion of the sexual present in the sublimation, perhaps ethically directed, perhaps overemphasized in some particular element; as, the looking impulse or a complete eroticism gone over into religion. True sublimation arises out of the primary eroticism plus the nonsexual disposition. Yielding to the primary eroticism alone does not bring the higher development.

4. Contribution to the Psychogenesis of the Talent for Drawing.— The writer utilizes material obtained in the analysis of those with an ability for drawing to examine this talent in the light of dynamic psychology. The latter cannot conceive the capacity for drawing or its taking of this particular direction as static gifts. In fact, it believes such latent capacity present in everyone. This artistic ability is bound up with a functional potency, the component parts of which, to result in actual potency, must experience the “inspiring act,” and this in turn depends upon the individual's psychosexual development. The artistic gift is not a separate thing but represents psychially dynamic conditions.

Certain factors, the author concludes, lead this activity into the particular pathway of drawing. There was revealed a strong primary libidinal investment of the hand. This had its association with the touching of the genital organ by the mother, the being led by the hand as a child, the obtaining of erotic stimulation by the stroking of one's own hand with the other. Onanism had been practiced. This was a factor in increasing the libidinal tone both by direct practice and also by withdrawal of the libido from the genital to the hand. Castration phantasy had also been directed toward the hand in this connection. All this had strengthened the libidinal tone of the psychic representation, a factor in the development and exercise of the artistic ability.

The fact that the patients had been considered beautiful children seems to have played its part in the determination of the artistic career. It was associated in one patient with his retreat to the feminine position when his early childish sexual activities had plunged him into fear and shame before the mother's supposed discovery of them. Narcissism, sadism, and anal eroticism were bound with the psychic development of the other patient. The impotency of both patients, in the former consisting in his shy attitude toward the female sex, was closely associated with failure in artistic success. Improved through analysis, there was a return to successful

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artistic performance. The author found in other cases indications that the early libidinal emphasis upon certain areas and certain experiences gave these a special place in choice and pursuit of any artist's career.

5. The Compulsion to Symbolization.—Groddeck himself bears witness to the truth of his thesis. For that compelling power of the unconscious which uses the symbol as “a means by which the unconscious controls our consciousness,” seems to possess his pen. His review of many examples of the manifestation of the unconscious force in the thrusting of the symbol upon consciousness and the association of symbol with symbol in the spreading of wide constellations of expression is pregnant with suggestion. He opens up, as surrounding some of the more obvious and generally accepted symbolisms of human products, rich fields of further meaning expressive of the fundamental interests of the unconscious. Poem, myth, painting; the building of the house, with all its variety of detail and practicality of device; the domestication of animals; the pursuit of agriculture and trade; all the developments and occupations of mankind, he suggests and in part points out, are expression of this compulsion to symbolism arising especially out of the unconscious significance of the sexual life, its organs and functions. Neurotic symptoms, probably also organic ones, religion, science, thinking, all are expressions of this same compulsion. The child reads symbols quickly because man is naturally constituted for the use of symbols: he is a symbolizing being. The adult has learned to repress and hide them; therefore what is lauded as healthy adult intelligence is a stupidity acquired through repression.

It is impossible to reproduce in an abstract the rapid review of vital symbolization which the author reads from familiar myths, tales, works of art, and the like. One can only suggest a few of the symbolization groups which he finds compelling the content and to an extent the form of the consciously accepted product. He follows out the punishment pronounced upon the serpent in the Garden of Eden as the representation of the ever-existing sexual strife between the male and the female. The story of Little Snow White represents the psychosexual conflict of the woman with its pitfalls and the final overcoming of the inhibiting complexes. Goethe's Fisher, Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, and more completely still the behavior and fate of the “naughty Frederick” in Struwwelpeter, reveal a symbolism rich in the elements of infantile and adult sexuality.

Groddeck answers thus the possible critic who may believe that his interpretations are too far-fetched: “No; on the contrary, all these things lie much too near to be seen without the will thereto.”

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6. Day Phantasies of a Six-and-a-half-year-old Girl.—A father gives us a very helpful insight into the conflict in regard to her place in the sexual life which may be already present in a little girl at this early age. A story elaborated for the father's amusement during his illness was made the basis for the gathering of the child's associations. These were recorded at the time and the association work was undertaken again some months later, revealing changes of significance in the unconscious motivation of the phantasy. The father offers these with his interpretation, not because either are complete in content but because they are borne out by material already obtained from the unconscious and because they accord with what he otherwise knows of his little daughter's psychosexual attitude. They also revealed, he tells us, the advisability at once of further sexual enlightenment to the child.

The phantasies which compose the related tale express in the usual overdetermined symbolism of the unconscious chiefly the little girl's “penis envy” of the boy. Prominent also is the occupation with the part the father plays in the relation to the mother with a reaction which drives the child over to the mother. The otherwise irrelevant ending of the tale concerns the symbolic castration of the father, who is represented as returning home with “the eye” destroyed by a stone thrown by a “naughty boy,” a phantasy of revenge which probably concerns the mother as well as the father.

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Article Citation

Brink, L. (1925). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(4):465-477

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