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Eifermann, R.R. (1989). 'It Suddenly Came to Me'—On the 'Occurrence' of an Idea and its Sequel. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:115-126.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:115-126

'It Suddenly Came to Me'—On the 'Occurrence' of an Idea and its Sequel

Rivka R. Eifermann


The paper presents, in a preliminary way, my observations and reflections on some aspects of the experience and the underlying psychodynamics of the sudden occurrence of new ideas, as well as its short-term and long-term sequel. I discuss a few instances pertaining mainly to the following aspects: the moment of occurrence of a new idea and the urge to share it, as well as inhibitions to sharing it immediately with others; the immediate sequel to its occurrence; the further pursuit of the new idea with the intention of making it public. The processes involved are discussed in terms of major underlying conflicts whose particular balance may determine the fate of the new idea. Specifically, I examine Archimedes' 'eureka', some aspects of Freud's work, then turning to a self-analysis of my own experiences and associative notes regarding an idea that occurred to me in the course of writing the present paper. Finally, I reflect on the occurrence of new ideas to analysts within the clinical setting, as well as on why I chose to present my own personal material in this paper.

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