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Hartke, R. (1996). Panel Report Psychic Reality, Symbolisation And Mental Space: Chaired By Rogelio Sosnik. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:579-584.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:579-584

Panel Report Psychic Reality, Symbolisation And Mental Space: Chaired By Rogelio Sosnik

Raul Hartke

The chairman opened the session by questioning whether and how the three concepts in the title of the panel could be interrelated, observing that different theories implied different answers to this. He said that to analysts ‘reality’ was a dynamic process of organisation and reorganisation of the meaning of emotional states, and questioned what the role of symbolisation might be in this process and what the relationship was between meaning and the existence of mental space. He put forward his view that symbolisation refers to the moment of separation from the original object, directing interest towards the secondary object and the relationship that connects both, leading to the identification between them in terms of meaning, where the symbol formed is the link when space-time dimensions exist in the mind. He questioned whether it was a symbol or a thought that occupied the place of the absent object. He stressed the analyst's role in creating an adequate emotional space where the linking function of the symbol could be discovered and wondered whether the mental space existed before mental functioning was established, or whether it was a by-product of the process of investing in external objects during the early stages of psychic integration.

Blum began by commenting that man—the creator of symbols—was at the same time created by them, since the higher levels of symbolisation allowed the thought and language required for the development of personality and civilisation.

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