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Freud, S. (1912). Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, July 4, 1912. The Sigmund Freud-Ludwig Binswanger Correspondence 1908-1938, 90-91.

Freud, S. (1912). Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, July 4, 1912. The Sigmund Freud-Ludwig Binswanger Correspondence 1908-1938, 90-91

Letter from Freud to Ludwig Binswanger, July 4, 1912 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

4 July 1912
Vienna IX, Berggasse 19


Prof. Dr. Freud

Dear Dr. Binswanger,

The contributions to my self-analysis that you have lavished on me took me quite by surprise, and I hope to learn something from them. I dare not contradict you about the will to power — but know nothing about it. I have long suspected that not only the repressed but also the dominant aspect of our life, the essence of our ego, is unconscious though not inaccessible to the conscious.1 I deduce this from the fact that the conscious is only a sense organ, directed towards the outer world, so that it is attached at all times to a part of the ego which is not perceived.

If you are right about the will to power, then the displacement to my psychic sphere took place because I lacked all means needed for attaining the more direct aims: strength, beauty, money, etc.

My motive for refusing expressions of thanks is more obvious to me. This trait has already been brought to my attention. In most cases it has roughly the significance of Schiller's ‘I want no thanks, dear lady’.2 In other words, since the age of 14 I have had to strive to provide financial support for those I love: mother and sisters, later wife and children, and today, of course, the entire libido of the old man is expended on handing out money. So there are motives enough for inhibiting claims to love based on such gifts. This also applies to the dream used as a paradigm in my short essay ‘On Dreams’ in the Grenzfragen.3

Anyway, thank you for finding me so interesting.

You have certainly coined the right word for Adler. Since I have not received the book I am taking the excessive personal liberty of not reading it. Unfortunately Jung is implicated by association. You know that I do not share your view about the medical monopoly of psychoanalysis. But to side against Pfister in this way is especially cruel. Everything I hear about Jung and the goings-on in Zurich adds up to the same impression.4 I don't know if you have already heard that I have had Pfister in Vienna for a week.5 My grand patient,6 who made his acquaintance last summer, allowed him to help her wean herself of an addiction.

Jones is here at the moment; I am preparing his very intelligent

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