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Rangell, L. (1974). A Psychoanalytic Perspective Leading Currently to the Syndrome of the Compromise of Integrity. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:3-12.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:3-12

A Psychoanalytic Perspective Leading Currently to the Syndrome of the Compromise of Integrity

Leo Rangell

Man advances his knowledge in two directions. With the electron microscope he narrows down past the cell towards the molecule and atom. Standing next to a space ship, with the widest angle ever achieved by man, he can now see the earth as a globe. Both views have one thing in common: neither see a man.

Psychoanalysis was the breakthrough which provided a lens to specifically see the size of a man. Sitting alongside a human mind the psychoanalyst sees in both directions as well, how a man does, and does not, look inwards, and why he reaches for the sky. In sifting what I would say at the brief moment of this valedictory, I have chosen to take a long view, of the forest rather than a tree, to look back at the state of our science from the beginning and to bring it up to this current pressing moment in our history. I also wish to relate our field to its neighbouring terrain. Contrary to opinions often held, an analyst is never without seeing and being exquisitely in touch with the outside world. But his is a unique view, an inside-out one, through the intrapsychic process in man.

Four years as President of this International Association results, to put it mildly, in a stimulus overload. From this veritable mountain of interpersonal exchange—I am tempted to say barrage—'perspective' will be my unifying theme. Many of our problems stem from a failure to keep in mind sizes, the relative proportions of elements with which we deal.

Approaching the end of its first century of existence, psychoanalysis has undergone an uneven, stormy, never-uninteresting history during its eventful life.

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