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Nacht, S. Viderman, S. (1960). The Pre-Object Universe in the Transference Situation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:385-388.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:385-388

The Pre-Object Universe in the Transference Situation

Sacha Nacht and S. Viderman

It is a truth well known to all psycho-analysts that man is motivated by two fundamental and opposing drives; one, the positive, urges him towards love, unity, construction; the other, the negative, incites him to hatred, separation and destruction. These opposing needs may be either blended, or pursue a parallel track, in one and the same individual, unless one need replaces the other, as will be pointed out later by one of the authors, when dealing with depressive states (11). Furthermore, these contradictory aspirations become apparent in the transference situation, where they reproduce the harrowing experience imposed by their alternation at a time when subject and object have already been differentiated.

It sometimes happens, however, that in the course of analysis we reach a deeper, more secret and unchanging level of the psychic structure, characterized by an intense need for absolute union, at which the individual appears to desire nothing better than a return to the original world, in which there was, as yet, no separation. It would seem that fear, mother of all human ills, first started, in this type of patient, with the feeling of separation, and that he retains both a burning desire to recover a state of union, of peace and plenty—the pre-object state par excellence —and a profound wish to be at one with the object, to be in some sense fused with it.

Philosophers of every epoch have recognized this fundamental human need for union, each interpreting it according to his own vision—whether in the immemorial Chinese philosophy of Lao-Tse, or in the pre-Socratic philosophy of Heraclitus or in certain well-known Platonic myths, without mentioning Bergson and many others.

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