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Rank, O. Sachs, H. Payne, C.R. (1915). The Significance of Psychoanalysis for the Mental Sciences. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(4):428-457.

(1915). Psychoanalytic Review, 2(4):428-457


The Significance of Psychoanalysis for the Mental Sciences

Otto Rank, Hanns Sachs and Charles R. Payne

Further, this viewpoint, like the parallelization with the dream, has been in no way appreciated exclusively by psychoanalysis. The view that myths in addition to their manifest meaning—which is not always comprehensible without further study—must have another secret meaning, that only thus are they to be explained, is of great antiquity; perhaps as old as the myths themselves, which, even when they appeared, just like dreams, may have aroused a strange incomprehension, so that it was concluded to attribute objective reality to the tale in order to believe it. It is now, according to various psychoanalytic results, very probable even if not unconditionally demonstrable, that the process, which in an early stage of rich development, is called myth formation and which later separates into cultistic, religious, artistic, philosophic endeavors, took its beginning at a period when man no longer dared confess openly his naive faith in the psychic reality of his wishes and appetites, thus, at a time which we recognize in the development of the individual as the beginning of the repression.

With this insight, a second important principle of psychoanalytic investigation of myths is given.

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