Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To search only within a publication time period…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Looking for articles in a specific time period? You can refine your search by using the Year feature in the Search Section. This tool could be useful for studying the impact of historical events on psychoanalytic theories.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Willard, C. (1939). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):83-108.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Imago

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(1):83-108

Imago

Clara WillardAuthor Information

(Vol. 18, No. 1)

1.   Erlenmeyer, E. H. Notes on Freud's Hypothesis on the Taming of Fire.

2.   Freud, Sigmund. On the Acquisition of Power Over Fire.

3.   Bálint, Michael. Psychosexual Parallels with the Fundamental Biogenetic Law.

4.   Hitschmann, Eduard. Psychoanalytic Notes on Goethe's Personality.

5.   Mette, Alexander. Nietzsche's “Birth of Tragedy.”

6.   Pfister, Oscar. Instinctive Psychoanalysis Among the Navaho Indians.

7.   Sterba, Richard. On the Theory of Educational Procedures.

8.   Cohen, B. On Dream Analysis in Jewish Tradition.

3.   Bälint, M. Psychosexual Parallels to the Fundamental Biogenetic Law. Bálint maintains that the v. Baer-Haeckel biogenetic law of recapitulation is applicable also to the psyche. Like the physical, the psychosexual development of man is a phenomenon of repetition, and the soul, like the body, recapitulates the main stages of phylogenesis before reaching the final form. The phylogenetic development begins with the unicellular gametes, and in keeping with this the development of psychosexuality begins with the sort of satisfaction characteristic of gametes—oral incorporation. The higher levels follow: physically the development of the anus and muscular system, psychosexually, the anal-sadistic organization in keeping with the sexual function of the gametozytes, that is excretion. And finally the formation of sexual organs takes place with genital primacy and real genital copulation in keeping with the function of the gametozyte carriers. When these facts are taken into consideration Freud's sexual theory with its three developmental stages receives new support. Biologists independently of Freud have long subsumed these phenomena under the concept of sexuality and the biological and psychological meanings are easily reconcilable. Pregenital sexuality, like rudimentary organs, seems a residue of a long past epoch. Deprived of its biological usefulness it offers itself in the service of any chance influence. Through the pressure of Eros the soma imitates the union of the gametes, though in an improved way adapted to changed conditions. Through

- 83 -

copulation the partners, like two gametes, unite, so that Ferenczi has called the sexual partners megaloön and megalosperma. Genital union then is a regression. Evolutionary changes are not produced by environmental alterations, according to Bálint's view, but, under the influence of Eros as driving force. He reviews what takes place in the transition from thalassic existence to continental. In life in the fluid medium, the organs for life on land (with the exception of the amnion) had already begun, compelling to selection of life on land. With the development of more differentiated organic life conditions become increasingly complicated. Under the compulsion of Eros the soma is not only compelled to erotization but also to individualization, which brings with it mortality. The function of generation and mortality constitute an indivisible unity. Orgasm is not only recompense for assuming the burden of reproduction but is also consolation for lost immortality. Bálint notes particularly that after the confluence of the cells an enigmatical phenomenon takes place, reduction. The organization of the cells then becomes simpler, so that even the most highly developed cells at this stage assume an extremely primitive form. The impression is inescapable that life must regress to an earlier stage of development in order to make a new beginning. This new beginning plays a very important rôle in the living world. The development of every fertilized egg cell represents a new beginning and recent researches have shown that the potential immortality of many living creatures is reduced to the capacity of continually making this new beginning. To explain what is gained by this phenomenon reference is made to what Ferenczi has called the utraquistic quality and Bálint sees in the reduction to a more primitive form an abandonment of rigidity and acquisition of plasticity—similar to what takes place in psychoanalysis through the revival of earlier reaction forms.

4.   Hitschmann, E. Psychoanalytic Notes on Goethe's Personality.—In a lecture before the Vienna Goethe Verein, an audience more or less unacquainted with psychoanalysis, Hitschmann explains this method as applied to analysis of the personality of the creative genius. In illustration he points out the features of Goethe's life which are significant for psychoanalysis. The influence of Goethe's father, until recently neglected by biographers, was very great, and the efforts of the poet in science are traceable to this influence. The father's training led the poet to the habit of recording his experiences with such fidelity that later Goethe described his poems as “a great confession.” The details of Goethe's romantic attachments have been recounted by Bode, Rank, Springer and others. He was often in love and at all ages, and he has written the most beautiful love songs and letters in any language. He himself speaks of a recurrent puberty. Moebius attributes a periodicity of seven years to Goethe and Kretschmer believes that the poet's love adventures reveal a periodicity. Whenever his love object was taken seriously, whether Kaetchen, Lotte,

- 84 -

Fredrike, or Lilli, the affair ended in a characteristic manner. There was a period of stormy passion, then a period of doubt and self-torture and finally flight, followed by violent self-reproaches. This conflict in his love life is explicable from his ambivalent relations to his father and mother. His most lasting attachment was to Christine who represents a mother imago. She was much younger than Goethe (just as the poet's mother was younger than his father). She was of lower social status, a flower maker. After 18 years of life with her, after she had borne him several children and had lost her youth and beauty, her hold was still so strong that he married her. Goethe describes her to Count Reinhard: “Of all my writings my wife has not read a single line. The kingdom of the mind has no existence for her, she is born for housekeeping, there she lives and has her being.” In another place he writes: “I have learned from my own experience that habit may become a complete substitute for love.” A trait of Goethe's character of particular psychoanalytic significance was his narcissism, manifested from childhood. Throughout his entire life, the ideal of rounding out his personality was the guiding star of his existence. Reverence for Goethe as a personality of great force and mental power is even more widespread among German speaking nations and in the cultured world generally than is the understanding of his works, and it has been found by psychoanalysts that in dreams he is a father symbol.

5.   Mette, A. Nietzsche's “Birth of Tragedy” in the Light of Psychoanalysis.—Mette traces certain views in the “The birth of tragedy from the spirit of music” to Schopenhauer's inspiration. This, the first of Nietzsche's lengthy works, has a special interest from the fact that, with the introduction of the Dionysian motif, it adapts newer trends of thought to Schopenhauer's views, lending a voluptuous nuance foreign to all Imperativism. Nietzsche found that Schopenhauer's philosophy of aesthetics, though soulful and far-seeing, never rose above its metaphysical foundation. In Schopenhauer's aesthetics there was no place for the positive and orgastic side of life and he anxiously and suspiciously avoided all phenomena where motor distention occupies the foreground. The region into which Nietzsche penetrated was that of elementary desire to which a philosophy oriented to transcendentalism and quietism could never advance. When he opposes the rites of Dionysus to those of Apollo, Nietzsche sees in these exaggeration of the physiological conditions of drunken rapture and of the dream interpreted as profound metaphysical antinomies. He explains the peculiar development of the ancient Greeks as due to an unusual and happy capacity to abandon themselves to either one of these conditions. The flight into drunken rapture signifies metaphysically the merging of the individual in the all. In dream the “principium individuationis” is not only present, but is reflected and exaggerated in an illusory world of extraordinary completeness. This two-sided

- 85 -

capacity of the Greeks brought forth two species of artistic creations, the epic-plastic, or the Apollonian and the musical-lyric, or the Dionysian. Tragedy originated through a gradual coalescence of the Dionysian chorus with an Apollonian element. The “principium individuationis” was introduced in the form of a hero, raised to a height of ideal perfection, but at the same time the element of destruction and absorption in the all was preserved. Of the musical element Nietzsche says that at first the Dionysian artist becomes one with the grief and conflicts of the all, and reflects this in music. Then music taking on an Apollonian character becomes visible and with this resolution there is a new reflection, into a personal resemblance as ideal or example. Following Winterstein, Mette translates Nietzsche's formula into psychoanalytic language: In the Dionysian production the unconscious of the Greek artist is in the grasp of the ambivalent feelings of the Œdipus complex. In the Apollonian there is an effort to render bearable the renunciation of the beloved person, through idealization. Connection between Dionysian ceremonies and primitive initiation rites at puberty is traced and Nietzsche's Apollonian concept is explained as a sum of sublimations of homosexual incestuous tendencies. Rejecting Nietzsche's metaphysical explanation of the awe and horror of tragedy as connected with disillusion in regard to the principle of individuation, Mette refers to Freud's explanation of a similar phenomenon, “the uncanny,” produced by a glance directed backward to the childhood conflicts, so far removed from adult thought and experience.

6.   Pfister, O. Instinctive Psychoanalysis Among the Navaho Indians.—Pfister cites two instances to show that among primitive peoples there is an astonishing understanding of the latent meaning of certain manifestations of the unconscious. One example was a case of anxiety and depression which the Shaman traced to hatred of the father, symbolized by the bear, the totem animal, and treated successfully by ceremonies to overcome the hatred and fear. In the ceremonies undertaken by the Medicine man the “Mountain chant” plays a conspicuous part. Another instance was a case of sterility and the ceremonies including symbolic acts of coitus with the bear, indicated an intuitive understanding of the father fixation.

7.   Sterba, R. On the Theory of Educational Measures.—Sterba notes that the object of education is the substitution of the reality principle for the pleasure principle. In education there is one phase in which the infliction of pain or partial withdrawal of love are the only methods possible. At this stage education through gifts which result from love is impossible as the child is constantly a recipient of these awards, so to speak, and without them its existence would be impossible. Only after the mother-child unity has been dissolved to some extent can the partial or temporary restoration of this unity be used as a reward. A third phase of education is the period when the gifts of love from the parents

- 86 -

is replaced by what the outer world has to offer in the way of happy love relations, successful sublimation and narcissistic satisfaction. This period may be called the phase of depersonalization of love rewards. In this phase belongs the “after-education” in the psychoanalysis of adults, in so far as the analyst strives to dissolve the fixations to earlier objects and render accessible the satisfactions coming from the real world—in work, love, etc.

8.   Cohen, B. Dream Interpretation in Jewish Tradition.—For authorities on Jewish tradition it is not certain that dreams were believed to have prophetic significance. It was said that a dream which is not interpreted is a letter that has not been read. Though there were variations in dream interpretation, there is uniformity of attitude in so far as traditional regulations are concerned. Where there were anxiety dreams the effort was to be made to find a favorable interpretation. Failing this a day of fasting was to be observed, the only instance where a fast was permitted aside from those imposed by ritual law. Cohen infers that this exceptional permission was given so that the first meal of the day, by effecting the details of the dream, should not prevent full inward realization of the dream content.

(Vol. 18, No. 2)

1.   Winterstein, A. The Psychology of Work.

2.   Boehm, Felix. Forms and Motives of Anthropophagy.

3.   Izeddin, A. A Mohammedan Legend.

4.   Del Medico, H. An Œdipus Complex in the Eleventh Century.

5.   Schmideberg, M. Education and the Social Order.

6.   Graber, H. Psychoanalytic “Archæology” of Gotthelf.

1.   Winterstein, A. The Psychology of Work.—Winterstein confines himself to a discussion of the unconscious motivation of work, of its function in regard to the demands of the id and super-ego, and of the changes in the ethical value which has culminated in the modern ideal. The pattern of all attitudes toward work and the foundation of the valuations, Winterstein sees in the process of gaining sphincter control. When the child is trained in cleanliness and is forced to forego the pleasure of following natural demands which yield pleasure, there is resultant displeasure, modified, however, by certain partial pleasures of retention and of emptying the bowels at a set time with stimulation of the anal zone. Conditions basically the same are at the foundation of work defined in terms of displeasure and effort for the sake of possession (analogy, feces). The sadistic character of work is perhaps traceable also to the sadistic use of the excretory procedure by the child and the use of time in measuring work springs from anal sources. This first fulfillment of a duty, this training in self-restraint, where an instinctive drive is inhibited by outer

- 87 -

force and where, nevertheless, instinctive impulses find satisfaction, has the character of a compromise. This compromise lends its stamp to work which represents a conflict between the demands of society and those of the individual. Work is not only a social performance in the interest of self-preservation in the group, but it also serves the ego function in complying with the demands of the super-ego and in satisfying drives of the id. These conditions explain why working with tools, which are really extensions of the members of the body, is so much more satisfying than working with machines. The question whether man is innately work-loving or work-shy is also answered on these psychoanalytic grounds. Work before the advent of the Christian religion, was not highly regarded; it was often looked upon as punishment and as belonging to slaves who worked under compulsion. With the theory of the equality of man the workers acquired dignity. Later with the introduction of capitalism and voluntary contracts, labor attained further elevation. In proportion as the workers came to feel themselves as mere parts in a machine for production, however, and were called upon to sacrifice their personal ambitions, the feeling of resentment against the employers arose. Religions with ascetic tendencies, especially Calvinism and its derivative Puritanism, were inclined to assign a supreme value to labor. Fanatics found in self-imposed tasks a means of overcoming the feeling of inferiority and the torturing doubt of being among the “elect.” The rôle of labor in the Calvinistic religion recalls the picture of a compulsion neurosis as do other features of this religion. Even when the religious motivation was no longer universally effective, the religio-metaphysical guilt of the godless son persisted unconsciously behind a fanatical pressure to labor. The puritanical merchant still seeks to free himself from guilty anxiety by devotion to work. The capitalist business man, hungry for profit and enterprise, strives for possessions, for money, which is only a regressive and degraded anal substitute for love.

2.   Boehm, F.Forms and Motives of Anthropophagy. See Psychoanalytic Review to follow.

3.   Izeddin, A. A Mohammedan Legend.—In the vicinity of Constantinople there is a shrine in honor of the prophet Merkez Effendi (Lord of the Middle). To this shrine the followers of the Sufi cult make pilgrimages and worship with peculiar ceremonies. Izeddin finds that in the numerous legends in regard to the prophet, the family romance is elaborated in keeping with the severe censorship of monotheistic Islam. The strong repression of incest in Islamism leads to the appearance of the mother-imago only in dream and in clandestine marriage, with death as the penalty for satisfaction of the incestuous wish. Identification with the father is strongly evident in all the legends, as the Sufis become one with the prophet and with God. Paranoid trends are revealed in the claims to spiritual superiority over all other Mohammedans, to a special understanding of the esoteric faith and to ecstatic perfection. Rebirth

- 88 -

is symbolized in the birth of a child to the humble dervish Merkez and the Sultan's daughter (the mother imago); immortality, in the death of Merkez and the mother, through which the reborn hero becomes free from both parents and stands alone, released from all mortal bonds.

4.   Del Medico, H. An Œdipus Complex in the Eleventh Century.—Del Medico analyzes the character of Michael Psellus, the greatest man of his time. He was philosopher, statesman, judge, mathematician, litterateur, a universal genius of a sort met with elsewhere only at a time of the renaissance or the French revolution. His intrigues and the shadowy side of his life become of small consequence in comparison with his great literary achievements. The numerous writings which Psellus left behind him touch on all fields of human interest, history, music, geometry, philosophy, geography, belles lettres—epigrams, poems, satires, nearly five hundred letters. These all reflect the character of Psellus, but the most important document for psychoanalysis is a funeral oration pronounced, in accordance with Byzantine custom, in honor of his mother. Del Medico makes lengthy citations from this oration and from other writings of Psellus which reveal his entire family life and attachments, his relation to his father, his mother and his sister, and the course of his life up to the time when, at advanced age, he retired to the obscurity of the cloister. Del Medico compared the activities of Psellus with those of Voltaire. A man of universal knowledge he preferred to remain in the background and influence events from behind the scenes. From his mother he inherited neurotic tendencies and his relations with her gave rise to persistence of the Œdipus complex with consequent sexual repression and homosexual tendencies (probably latent). As in the case of Leonardo da Vinci the repressed sexuality was in part sublimated in a striving for knowledge. Leonardo, however, was early withdrawn from the influence of his mother and was inspired by the necessity to surpass his father, while Psellus, remaining long with his mother, found in an exhibitionistic display of his learning, compensation for his sexual shortcomings. His great narcissism is explicable from the fact that he set up a love of self as substitute for the love of an object. The social organization of the eleventh century permitted him to follow out this bent to the extreme.

5.   Schmideberg, M. Education and the Social Order.—Schmideberg notes that social organization, methods of education and economic activities are always forms of elaboration of the Œdipus complex, representing a definite form of solution manifested in the entire ideology—moral, religious, scientific, educational and economic, and constituting the “spirit of the times.” The elaboration of the Œdipus complex manifested in the matriarchal system is characterized by the extreme passivity of the father, who exercises no authority and takes little part in the economic activities. Father-daughter marriages are prohibited, but mother-son marriages are permitted. The solution of the Œdipus complex is here

- 89 -

entirely in favor of the sons and there is absence of all educational measures; the sons are never punished and even reproof may be forbidden. In the patriarchal social organization the “bad” father imposes a severe education on the sons and harsh restraints on sexual activities. Absolute monarchy is the form of government and the gods are cruel and avenging. The solution of the Œdipus complex is here in favor of the father and complete submission is demanded of the sons. With the rebellion of the sons and the feeling of guilt on the part of the father, the paternal severity is modified and the solution of the Œdipus complex takes the form of bourgeois liberalism with constitutional monarchy and the abolition of torture and slavery. The ideal here is the “good” father who strives to be the friend and guide of the sons. In religion the god of love takes the place of the god of wrath. The transition to the social organization of the present day is marked by the French revolution, in which the “death of the primal father” is actually realized. The subsequent feeling of guilt brought with it the need to turn the liberation from the father into good. A compromise was sought based on reason and justice, leading to weakening of the affects in favor of objective and abstract social views. A comparison is drawn with the picture of depersonalization. In depersonalization there is complaint of minus of intensity of feeling, and diminution of emotional coloring is a striking complaint of our times. This parallel with depersonalization is traced through the tendency to self-observation, to substitution of thinking for action, to renunciation of independence of action, to the use of long-range tools and machines, to modern methods of warfare, etc. Education in any given cultural epoch seeks to impose on the coming generation, the accepted solution of the Œdipus complex for the time and place. The origin of education is traced to a powerful emotion—anxiety. The sick, the possessed of devils, the criminal, the misbehaving child seemed supernatural and uncanny, as associated with the return of the avenging primal father. Medicine, religion and education were forms of defense against resulting anxiety. All forms of exorcism were resorted to, among them sadistic procedures. By threats and promises the effort was made to cast out the evil from the body of the victim—processes similar to that of cajoling the child or beating it until it is again normal and obedient.

6.   Graber, H. Psychoanalytic “Archeology” of Gotthelf.—Graber offers comments on Walter Muschg's book “Gotthelf, the secrets of the writer.” Gotthelf was the pseudonym of Albracht Bitzius, a poet and novelist of influence on Swiss thought. Graber finds this biography of importance, as Muschg is the first specialist in literature to apply the discoveries of psychoanalysis in presenting a character study. He finds, however, that Muschg has neglected certain important features and refers to his own study of Gotthelf in “The black spider” (See Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 24, Page 426).

- 90 -

(Vol. 18, Nos. 3 and 4)

1.   Roheim, Geza. Psychoanalysis of Primitive Cultural Types.

1.   Psychoanalysis of Primitive Cultural Types.—Roheim divides his subject into the following chapters: I. Introduction: II. Psychoanalytic technique and ethnological research: III. On the tribal character of the Somali: IV. Children of the wilderness: V. Sexual life in central Australia: VI. The totemistic ritual: VII. The psychology of Central Australian cultures: VIII. Tauhau and the Mwadare feast: IX. Doketa: X. The super-ego and the group ideal. The article appears in full in English in the Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Vol. 13, Parts 1 and 2, Pages 1-224. [Clara Willard, Washington, D. C]

(Vol. 19, No. 1)

1.   Deutsch, Helene. Motherhood and Sexuality.

2.   Jekels, Ludwig. The Problem of Double Motif Formations.

3.   Levy-Suhl, Max. The Infantile Sexuality of Mankind as Compared with the Sexual Maturity of Animals.

4.   Kelsen, Hans. Platonic Love I.

5.   Muschg, Walter. Poetry as an Archaic Heritage.

6.   Hermann, Imre. The Instinctive Life of Primates.

1.   Deutsch, H. Motherhood and Sexuality.Sexual inhibition, Deutsch notes, takes origin in the castration complex and the Œdipus complex, and in women results in frigidity. In general it may be said that the unconscious determinants of frigidity correspond to those of impotence in men. Its most frequent cause is a protest against the assumption of the passive feminine rôle—in other words the masculinity complex. Frigidity is also often due to the masochistic elements in the female libido. Fear of masochistic gratification, and the possibility of obtaining sublimated gratification from motherhood, deflect female sexuality from normal forms of gratification. Motherhood would then have to be regarded as antagonistic to sexual gratification, a view which does not agree with certain conclusions based on authentic observations, for analyses of neurotic women and girls often show an intimate association between neurotic repudiation of the female erotic response and impaired capacity for maternity. Indeed sterility and frigidity may have the same roots, and it is often observed that, as result of analysis, there is appearance of a ready consent to conception and a restoration of previously impaired sexual response. However, there is not always so intimate an association between motherhood and positive sexual response. There may be a disturbance parallel to the split in the love-life of men who disregard chaste and pure women as sexual objects and are sexually aroused only by notorious low class women. In these cases, of the

- 91 -

antithetical pair “mother” and “prostitute,” the mother is rejected as tabu and only the prostitute is accepted. Analysis reveals that this separation maintained in the conscious mind is abrogated to the deeper layers of the unconscious, for there was a time—marked by the boy's discovery of sexual secrets—when the mother herself was depreciated and accused of unfaithfulness. This split in the love-life of men has its parallel in the love-life of women, but with this difference; the woman's own ego takes the place of the man's object. The woman is herself “mother” and “prostitute,” and the whole inner conflict represents the struggle between the two tendencies, which appear to be contrary, but which, ultimately, in this case too converge in the single idea of the unworthy mother. The formulation of this unconscious thought runs somewhat as follows: “Since I have discovered my mother's rôle as sexual object, I can only think of her as a base and besmirched creature. If I am like my mother—that is, if I identify myself with her—I am as base and soiled as she.” The result is an assent to motherhood and denial of sexuality. This may take place in a variety of ways. The first way is indicated by the pre-œedipal motherhood relationship: the maternal libido, which is firmly lodged in a mother identification, reaches out to an individual of the same sex, and the man's rôle in the libidinal economy is reduced to zero. The second possible way depends on the marked masochistic tendencies, so dominant in the female libido. They may attain such great satisfaction from motherhood—from the rôle of the mater dolorosa that, due to this gratification, direct sexual satisfaction becomes insignificant. The third form of asexual motherhood is the parthenogenetic, in its various versions. It is a counterpart of the prostitution fantasy—an identification with the immaculate mother, whose maternity is perpetuated in her ego, with denial of sexuality. In illustration the analysis of a professional midwife is given and examples from literature are cited, from Balzac's “Two Women,” and Unamuno's “Tante Tula.” [Also see Bergler and Hitschmann: Frigidity in Women. Nerv. & Ment. Dis. Monograph No. 60.]

2.   Jekels, L. The Problem of Double Motif Formation.—Silberer has referred to an “autosymbolism,” which he traces to antagonistic strivings of the personality—the wish to sleep and the automatic necessity to think. Jekels elaborates this concept and derives these trends, structurally, from the conflict between the ego and super-ego. The super-ego imposes guilt and anxiety which comes to consciousness in the dream and disturbs the narcissistic need for sleep. Devices for avoiding the anxiety are either awakening, or ignoring it as far as possible and continuing to sleep. If the solution is in the direction of the ego-need for sleep, the dream may come to present a directly opposite motif in its formation. In dreams, in neuroses and in drama Jekels finds evidence of this tendency of a central psychic constellation to assume a double form in consciousness. As an example from drama he takes Shakespeare's Macbeth. In

- 92 -

the character of Macbeth the motif of the revolt against the father is symbolized and in Banquo, whose “issue should be kings,” the triumph of the sons. In the three fields drama, neurosis, and dream, there are differences in the manner in which this tendency is revealed. In the drama there is conscious recognition of the feeling of guilt which permits its expression to be moulded into socially acceptable form; in the dream the feeling of guilt is ignored as far as possible, with change of motif or awakening as result; in the neurosis the feeling of guilt is misused for the purpose of satisfying an instinctive drive. While in the second and third instances the personality is fully split, a successful analysis, as in the drama, leads to a unity of the personality, representing a satisfactory solution of the conflict.

3.   Levy-Suhl. Infantile Sexuality of Mankind as Compared with the Sexual Maturity of Animals.—Levy-Suhl studies biological evidence in support of Freud's view of early sexuality in man. Freud in numerous places in his works has given hints of a phylogenetic foundation for the infantile development of human sexuality and the subsequent latent period, citing the great changes brought about in plants and animals by the glacial period. Paleontological research has shown that very early forms of the human species existed in the tertiary period and the sexual maturity of these ancestors of man occurred at a very early stage of life, judged by our present views, at perhaps the age of four or five years. An early incidence of sexuality would therefore be a phylogenetic reversion, a historical racial memory, a recapitulation. To prove that such an early sexual development in man is probable a comparative table is given showing the ages at which, on an average, the awakened sexual instinct makes its appearance in animals of lower order.

Duration of life in years Appearance of sexuality
Man, 70 5
Horse, 30 1
Ass, 40 2 years (considered adult)
Cow, 20-30 1 1/-2 years
Pig, 18 and more 5-6 months
Dog, 15—20 9-10 months
Hippopotamus, 40 2 at latest 3 years
Camel, 35 3, about
Goat, 20 7-9 months

The elephant is the only animal which falls wholly outside of this cadre, and the period of puberty in this animal occurs at about the same age as in man. With a life span of from 80 to 120 years puberty occurs in females at 16 years and in males at 20. The elephant, however, is a species which occupies an isolated place among mammals and the blood of the elephant (not of man) gives a reaction in vitro totally different from that of all other mammals. Paleontological evidence indicates that

- 93 -

sexuality has, in this animal form, undergone the same postponement as that of man in the course of the eons. Recent studies of the Dutch anatomist have resulted in a new theory of evolutionary development, the theory of hormonal inhibition. According to Bolk, in the first forms of the human species, the original sexual hormones were fully ripe at five years of age. Thus infantile sexuality receives confirmation from a source wholly independent of psychoanalysis.

4.   Kelsen, W. Platonic Love I.—(Continued in the following number of Imago and to be abstracted there.)

5.   Muschg, W. Poetry as an Archaic Heritage.—Muschg emphasizes the view that poetry has a meaning quite other than that of an escape from the hardships of life, as an anodyne and wishfulfilling phantasy. False judgments as to art and poetry arise from the error of applying, consciously or unconsciously, the category of reality to something which has nothing to do with any present reality. Most remarkable is the contrast of the real content and substance of poetry with usual opinions regarding it. New generations of poets with their extravagances would not be rejected as defilers of the temple if there did not exist a widespread misunderstanding of the nature of poetry. Every person with common sense who judges from a merely superficial knowledge of world literature, could not feel anything but disgust for so much blood, crime, lust, and perversion, at variance with present-day cultural acceptations. Whoever has seen only this dark side must demand earnestly how any honest man could inscribe on paper such cruelty and insanity. With understanding of the real nature of poetry, however, these features, of very secondary importance, are no longer painful. Poetry has nothing to do with the modern idea of reality and its concrete nature is of quite other sort than the practical man of to-day or yesterday believes. Even though the production of Grillparzer's Bancban tragedy, for example, may have led to an Austro-Hungarian war, this has not the slightest relation to the source from which the piece had origin. The war itself would be a wholly immaterial circumstance in comparison with the hidden fact that Grillparzer, in the treatment of his theme, created a terrible reflection of the conflicts in his own life; the drama is a confused gigantic dream in which he lives out the guilt and remorse in his own soul. The whole series of his historical tragedies which have become the pride of his country and the support of a political system, like the work of every unknown poet, presents itself in this two-fold light. Poetry as original phenomenon, has most similarity with dream; it is through and through symbolic, ordered and exact within certain enigmatic pre-conditions like the dream; its predilection for historical and mythological spheres is to be explained on the same principle as dream scenery and the demand of poetry that, in its deep meaning, it should be moral or peaceful is no more warranted than it would be of the dream. Like the dream, poetic phantasies are in a certain sense bound up with reality, but not with the

- 94 -

reality of recent times. The reality which poetry reflects is an obscure and archaic reality. In very remote ages the hero of a tragedy was probably murdered and the excess preserved in song, is to that degree real. These periods, long lost in oblivion, are the earliest backgrounds of artistic play. That “art is long” can be explained only from this past actuality. In the East and South cults and rites are met with in which excesses of this sort still exist. There is nothing on earth which had not, at some time, the authority of being real—no children's games which were not once earnest and bloody, no pastime which was not once deadly earnest. Inspirations of poets are memories of these long lost times; and the older they are, the more magic their influence, the more earnest, the greater their reflected power. And even at the present time, the poet may become the victim of his own phantasies—in dream-like compulsions and in catastrophic heights of passion, which literary history seeks to hide—he may find his fate in the ancient way. Muschg likens the creation of poetry to the production of the pearl in the oyster. The whole essence of poetry lies in the original two-fold destiny of man—suffering and the creation of healing work.

6.   Hermann, Imre. The Instinctive Life of Primates.—Hermann notes that parallels important for psychoanalysis may be drawn between the psychology of man and that of apes and monkeys as revealed in their social conduct. His remarks are based on the work of S. Zukerman, who for two years studied apes confined in Monkey Hill, in the London Zoölogical Gardens, and, for a long time, observed through telescopes, apes and monkeys in the wilds of South Africa. In the very first days of life evidence of beginning sexuality is revealed. The view of original sexual passivity of women is contradicted by the sexual activity of the females among apes. The Œdipus complex is indicated by the great concern for the mothers shown by the young male apes and by the fact that the mothers copulate with them. The course of the sexual battles which from time to time disturb the equilibrium of the ape communities offer understanding of the castration complex. The loss of the sexual object by either males or females is regarded as loss of their own function, giving support to the view that there is a female castration complex. The principle of dominance of the strong male is studied in relation to the formation of the super-ego. In the dominance organization in ape societies may be recognized a sort of “general morality.” According to the principles upon which the superego is formed in man, morality in the absence of the person of authority is stronger than in his presence. The opposite is the case with apes. Hermann distinguishing between an original super-ego in man and a pseudosuper-ego based on education, calls attention to certain conduct in apes which may be indication of an early form of super-ego. When apes are separated from the mother or from the herd, there is a certain depression shown by reduction of activity and indicating a persistence of influence after separation, a certain “stabilization of separation.”

- 95 -

(Vol. 19, No. 2)

1.   Brill, A. A. Poetry as an Oral Outlet.

2.   Schilder, Paul. Psychoanalysis and Biology.

3.   Peters, Hansc. The Biology of Sex Among Spiders.

4.   Kelsen, Hans. Platonic Love, I and II.

5.   Schaeffer, Albrecht. The Fire Myth Reconsidered.

6.   Feigenbaum, Dorian. Note on the Theory of Libidinal Types.

7.   Kecskeméti, Paul. Psychology and Ontology.

2.   Schilder, P. Psychoanalysis and Biology.—Noting the progress made by Freud and others in establishing psychoanalysis as a biological science, Schilder emphasizes that the libido in psychoanalysis does not mean simply a psychic trend and that the chemical and physiological processes are essentially connected with instinct. Freud in “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” has devoted attention to the biology of protozoa and has in part based his formulation of the death instinct on processes which were observed in the reproduction and death of unicellular creatures. Under the influence of Groddeck, Jelliffe, and F. Deutsch, psychoanalysis has further studied the extensive plasticity of the organism under psychic influences, has investigated the psychogenesis of organic disease and has brought the psychic factors, which were revealed in the analysis, into immediate relation with what takes place in the organism. Reviewing important recent biological observations on cell behavior and morphological differentiations in animals of low order, Schilder correlates these facts with discoveries of psychoanalysis. Among relations indicated is the analogy of repression and the gradual reduction of the potential possibilities of developmental differences (which follows Mendel's law) with consequent structuralization. M. Hartmann showed by experiment that through reduction of the size of the system periodically by amputation the life of the system should be prolonged potentially ad infinitum without division. Schilder sees in this a property of growth and self-preservation wholly independent of reproduction by fertilization, which would correspond in analytic sense with the ego-instinct. According to Hartmann every sexually differentiated gamete (male or female) possesses the capacity for generating the opposite sex and sex determination results from a check to the development of the opposite sex. In fertilization there is conjugation of two sexually differentiated cells. In such a union, during the process of maturation, there is division of chromosomes, and by the reduction-division they are brought down to one half. After fertilization and reduction-division a new sexual tension arises which leads again to fertilization. Hartmann's formulations then necessitate a fundamental separation of sexuality from

- 96 -

other life processes and furnish foundation for Freud's dualistic postulate. Recent biological research renders improbable the existence of isogametism and favors the view of sexual differentiation in all living organisms. If the sexual function and fertilization are regarded as an effort to restore conditions before the reduction-division, an approach is made toward an organic understanding of Freud's principle of sexuality. On the other hand growth and formation of organs may be brought into connection with the ego-instinct. The functions of self-preservation and growth would lead to increases and the system would account for formation of convolutions, folds, walls, and cavities in the organism and, in keeping with the necessity to maintain the organism within certain bounds by repeated reductions, for the organs of excretion of waste. In a second section, “psychoanalysis and the nervous system,” phylogenesis, Child's gradients, postural and righting reflexes, conditioned reflexes and inheritance, agnosia as primitive psychological type, phenomena arising from pathological changes in the nervous system and brain are discussed and organic and psychoanalytic points of view are correlated. In conclusions Schilder says that in no other sphere is the relation between psychic and organic so obvious as in sleep. Sleep is a psychic phenomenon in which we withdraw from the outer world and in dream descend to the most primitive levels of life. Lesions in the sleep centers may replace the wish to sleep. The wish is then organic, so to speak, and may be reflected into the psyche. But the organic sleeping wish (the lesion) also brings the individual to deeper levels. Sleep produced by hypnotic medication acts as a medium between the psychic and organic. Poetzl and Economo have studied this phenomenon thoroughly and it need only be emphasized that what happens in sleep and dreams is firmly anchored in the organic and that organic conditions in sleep extensively influence the psychic. Sleep is a biological phenomenon; it is both psychic and organic. What happens in the organism proceeds according to laws which we find again in the psychic life and can understand there. Sometimes sleep finds immediate expression in the psyche, sometimes it is reflected there, and sometimes it takes place without any psychic manifestation. But even then it is not outside of the psyche, it follows laws similar to psychic laws and points to an inner unity with the psyche.

3.   Peters, H. The Biology of Sex Among Spiders.—Peters draws conclusions concerning the sex life of spiders from U. Gerhardt's exhaustive study of more than a hundred species. From the peculiar manner in which the sex act is accomplished he infers a possible morphological result of enforced sexual abstinence. In all species the female is larger and stronger than the male and is dominated by a fierce greed and voracity which leads her to devour her mate. The male spider, smaller, less greedy and more under the domination of the sexual instinct can only approach and conquer her by exceedingly subtle and complicated

- 97 -

devices. The possibilities of sexual union are reduced and rendered difficult, dangerous and often fatal, so that the preservation of the species seems threatened and there is evidence that in consequence certain species have disappeared. The manner in which the male approaches the female, wrapping her about in a web suggests the manner in which these creatures overcome their prey, but the females so greatly surpass the males in strength that these measures are of little protection. The conflict of instincts seems to have resulted biologically in a very strange and complicated mechanism. The tentacle, the organ for injecting the sperma into the sexual organ of the female, is absolutely separated from the testicle anatomically. Until Gerhardt made his astonishing discoveries the manner in which the sperma arrived at the tentacles was a profound mystery. He found that the tentacles absorbed the sperma which had previously been deposited on a specially constructed web by a process of rubbing the testicles against certain threads. Copulation and the filling of the testicles were found to be two entirely independent acts, separated by a considerable interval of time and it was also discovered that the tentacles were filled apparently without any direct reference to reaching the female organs. Peters assumes that originally the sperma was deposited directly in the sexual organs of the female and that the acts of ejaculation and copulation were gradually separated and became independent processes. No ground for this separation has ever been established and Peters suggests that it was due to enforced lack of satisfaction of the sexual instinct. In the phylogenetic past, because of the refusal of the sex act by the females, the male spiders became accustomed to deposit the sperma elsewhere than in the sexual organs of the females: though at one time the tentacles may have been used to convey the sperma directly from the male sex organ to the sex orifice of the female, they were later reformed into reservoirs for more permanent deposits. Peters sees evidence that the pleasure gain may have been of significance in bringing about this peculiar substitute for direct copulation.

4.   Kelsen, H. Platonic Love I and II (continued from Imago, Vol. 19, No. 1).—Kelsen discusses the Eros problem in Plato's philosophy. All speculations on “good” and “evil”—and Plato's philosophy is to be understood as essentially such a speculation—spring from the profound ethical problems which have confronted the philosophers themselves. The deep pathos which pervades Plato's works is a reflection of the dualism of his attitude toward life and of the efforts to overcome the conflicts of his personality. His Eros is not the feeling which first comes to mind when love is spoken of; it is not the mental and physical attraction which binds man and woman together and constitutes the foundation of all life. It is love between persons of the same sex, between man and man, an attachment which was not uncommon in the ancient world. Only in quite recent times has prudery been so far

- 98 -

overcome as to permit realization of this state of things in ancient Greece and to see in Plato's Eros anything more concrete than a metaphor for the love of philosophy. Numerous quotations are given from Plato's works to prove that his Eros was unmistakably homosexual. In Philebos where the war of “good” against “evil” is represented as the overcoming of desire, the principle of good appears as male and of evil as female. The existence of woman is interpreted as a punishment visited on man for his sins. In Lysis, in the dialogue on Friendship, homosexuality is indicated in unambiguous fashion. Plato sees the beauty of the youth's body as a reflection of eternal beauty and the modesty aroused on beholding it, he regards as a reflection of the awe before absolute beauty. His attitude toward pederasty brought him into conflict with Doric culture and religion. Aristotle, Plato's pupil, speaks of love of boys in connection with a pathological predisposition. The conflict in his own personality, Plato elaborated, and he finally sublimated his Eros into an idealization of chastity, love of virtue, and complete wisdom, the personification of which he found in Socrates. Recent research has brought to recognition that he was more the politician than the theoretical philosopher and it is conceded that his philosophizing about the state may be a weak surrogate to domination in the state. He put his own words in the mouth of Socrates and said that throughout his entire life he had awaited the proper moment for action and that, because this moment failed to arrive, he had followed philosophy. Even as an old man he had not relinquished his hope for an active rôle and still pursued his political and pedagogic drive. In his works on the ideal state may be easily recognized the tyrannical character which Plato had always felt as the devil in his heart.

5.   Schaeffer, A. The Fire Myth Reconsidered.—In a letter addressed to Freud, Schaeffer amplifies Freud's discussion on “The acquisition of power over fire” (See Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 25, Page 430—abstract from Int. J. Psycho-Anal., Vol. 13, P. 410) and adds comments on the sexual symbolism of fire and of the instruments for producing fire.

6.   Feigenbaum, D. Note on the Theory of Libidinal Types.—Feigenbaum offers remarks suggested by a study of Freud's “Libidinal types” (See Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 24, Page 403). The question may be raised whether the relation of the libidinal types to pathology is not further determined by the intrinsic developmental position of each libidinal phase that gives specificity to the particular type. This leads to the hypothesis that in the relation of libidinal types to pathology, the pathoplastic power of the pure types and their combinations pursues symbolically the line of phylogenetic progression. It would follow that the lowest pathoplastic power appertains to the pure, definitely erotic type, because it is rooted in the primitive stratum, i.e., the id. An

- 99 -

admixture in the direction “upwards” will then increase the pathoplastic power.

7.   Kecskeméti, P. Psychology and Ontology.—Kecskeméti offers remarks on R. Waelder's work on “Latent metaphysical foundation of the psychological schools.” Waelder divides psychological theories into two main groups, distinguished by the different position assigned to man as an ontological first principle. The characteristic of the first group is that it considers man as a thing among things and more or less subject to the laws of physics. The second group assumes that the essence of man's existence is more than a thing among things, and recognizes that we are dealing with a form of being which we do not solely and primarily perceive from without, as we do a stone, a piece of wood, or other lifeless object, but that we are dealing with an existence of which we ourselves form part. Kecskeméti criticizes Waelder's views in so far as they treat of psychoanalysis, particularly Waelder's formulation that the existence of man in psychoanalysis is a state of being driven (by instincts) and of being historically conditioned. Kecskeméti explains the special sense in which “being driven” and “conditioned historically” must be taken in psychoanalytic connection and says that to every level of experience belongs its own conception of conditioning cause, its own world form, its own language.

(Vol. 19, No. 3)

1.   Eitingon, Max. Valedictory for Sándor Ferenczi.

2.   Simmel, Ernst. In Memoriam: Sándor Ferenczi.

3.   Federn, Paul. Ego-Cathexis in Lapses.

4.   Bally, Gustav. Infantile Motor Activity Compared with Motor Activity of Animals.

5.   Schilder, Paul. The Body-Schema and Social Psychology.

6.   Laswell, Harold D. Psychoanalysis and Social Analysis.

7.   Kris, Ernst. A Psychopathic Sculptor.

1.   Eitingon, M. Valedictory for Sándor Ferenczi.—In this address delivered in memory of Ferenczi before the German Psychoanalytic Society of which Ferenczi was an honorary member, Eitingon reviews Ferenczi's work and ideals. He characterizes Ferenczi as the romanticist of psychoanalysis and its literature in contrast with Karl Abraham who is styled the classic.

2.   Simmel, E. In Memoriam: Sándor Ferenczi.—An address by Simmel at the same session of the German Psychoanalytic Society. He closes with Ferenczi's own words “We do not strive to answer the question as to whether life has beginning or end and regard the entire organic and inorganic world as a ceaseless undulation to and fro between

- 100 -

the will to live and the will to die, in which we never fully attain to either life or death.”

3.   Federn, P. Ego-Cathexis and Lapses.—(Continued.)

4.   Bally, G. Infantile Motor Activity Compared with Motor Activity of Animals.—Bally studies the developmental psychology of the ego, the origin of consciousness, and the evolution of the separation of ego and external world. To understand these problems a biological study of animal psychology before the development of speech and consciousness is necessary. In animal psychology all the motor activities have been summed up into four groups according to their functions: 1. Those of which the function is to preserve position in the medium. 2. Those connected with sexual activity. 3. Those for protecting self and destroying enemies. 4. Those for seizing and devouring prey. It is this last function which Bally finds of most importance for developing his theme. Its final goal is devouring for nourishment. This function may be divided into two phases, that of response to hunger-inciting stimuli and that directly connected with devouring. In animals of higher order the response to the stimuli, which may be called the approach to the prey, is of varying character and may change during the life of the animal, older ones becoming more adept in approaching the prey and overcoming hinndrances. But in the last phase, devouring, as in the sexual act, there is a final remainder of motor responses which is practically stereotyped throughout the animal kingdom. The nearer the animals come to the biological goal, the fewer are the variations in motor reaction, so that the whole organism may be said to serve the function—the animal is all mouth or all genital organ. It is quite otherwise in regard to the first phase, the phase of approach. The motor reactions pulse through the whole organism, each muscle seems to have separate life, every sense is alert to what may further or hinder the approach. In confirmation of these conditions Koehler's observations of chimpanzees are cited and also Pavlov's experiments with conditioned reflexes in dogs, who found that every sense impression can be associated with oral erotism. The same conditions prevail in the sexual field. The act of copulation is practically unvarying and therefore “impersonal.” In man it has nothing to do with taste or mode, though these elements have long dominated the field of sexual approach, in the form of fashion of dressing the hair, odor of the body, and, in dance, movements of the body. These variations in the first component of the oral function make their appearance (in the evolutional scale) in animals, who while young, are long protected and fed. Domestic animals are illustrative examples. These variations are to a certain degree independent of the original drive and secondary or substitute goals are set. Innocent gambols take the place of earnest pursuit, a moving leaf or a ball of paper is attacked and torn to bits—the animal

- 101 -

plays. Affect is defined as fixation on a goal and Koehler's observation is cited “Weaker affects, which, however, are of longer duration, give more time to develop intrinsic possibilities.” Strong fixation on a biological goal has long been recognized by psychoanalysis as being in the direction of the pleasure principle, while weaker affects tend toward the reality principle. The relation of learning to these two principles is discussed. Learning is of two sorts. The first, compulsory training, is directly dependent on the biological goal—the prey seeking or the sexual. If food is refused intensive performances may be imposed, but the animal is always doing something in the direction of the goal and interested only in it. In the other sort of learning, through play, the function, the activity itself receives the value of a goal, and the emotional investment no longer flows solely toward the biological goal. The tendency to repeat the function and occupation for longer periods in the same direction brings about the result that the motor activity of the field, at first immediately and unconsciously discharged, becomes stabilized and objectified. In this process, social awareness, consciousness of a self remaining constant throughout all changes, integration of tensions, and potential volition independent of immediate motor discharge are built up. In a later stage of development an experience may arise which temporarily threatens the dissolution of the ego-instance thus constructed. This menace comes from the motor activity connected with the “instinct goals,” the inner drives of sex, anger and hunger. If an instinctive goal declares itself, the tensions of the original field encroaches on the ego structure, the preservation of which is indispensable for the objective attitude, and as result anxiety arises in the ego. The development of consciousness, implying long dependence on the parents for the satisfaction of original needs, is accompanied by a retarded form of physical development and throughout life man presents a motor type which resembles that of young animals.

5.   Schilder, P. The Bodily Schema and Social Psychology.—Schilder is of the opinion that social psychology devotes attention to the psyche to the neglect of the body and he insists on the importance of the “body-schema” in social relations. The problem of the relation of our own body to the bodies of others, he sets forth, is fundamental in social psychology. The concept of the construction and form of the body does not come to us solely by way of the intellect and cognitive faculties; the image of the body is dependent on our emotional attitudes and changes with them. The genitals are always outstanding in the body-schema and interest in particular zones reveals the dominant tendencies and libidinous structure of the individual. Libidinous stimuli are of necessity social phenomena; they are directed to body images in the outer world, with which the individual is always surrounded and stands in mutual relation. Though an individual has socialized his body it nevertheless remains his own body image and social psychology

- 102 -

therefore in this respect remains the psychology of the individual; there is no body image of the community. Social life awakens the tendency of identification with others and imitation belongs in the social field. Beauty is a social good, but beauty is originally beauty of person reflected in the body image. The basis of ethics consists, not only in esteeming the value of others, but also in recognizing and respecting the unity of the body image of fellow human beings. Bodies are never isolated entities and are always the bodies and body images of personalities. The human personality is a personality with a body and only by understanding the body image can the personality be fully understood. But the personality is more than the body and the body image.

6.   Laswell, H. Psychoanalysis and Social Analysis.—Laswell sees in psychoanalysis an intensive method which may serve as complement to more extensive social analysis, permitting as it does, predictions as to the future of individuals in changed social environments. In Western civilization natural laws have been utilized in the organization of external situations and psychoanalysis suggests means for making use of the natural psychic laws, i.e., the interrelations of id., ego, and super-ego, in subjective social adjustments.

7.   Kris, E. A Psychopathic Sculptor.—Kris describes the attitude toward art of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, a schizophrenic sculptor, who enjoyed the favor of Marie Theresa. After he was seventy years old and had had several attacks of mental disease Messerschmidt changed “his style of art and began a series of busts, almost of life size, of which he completed more than a hundred. He gave them titles of emotions or situations, such as The Satirical, The Careless One, The Drowned, Etc. The physiognomies of all these busts represent motor tensions in which Kris sees a typical grimace, a stereotyped mimic constellation instead of the mimic expression implied by the names given to the busts, and he finds that the expression is a reflection of the sculptor's paranoid attitude toward the outer world. Confirmation of this interpretation of Messerschmidt's art is furnished by a study of his mental disturbance. As the cornerstone of his delusions a well-known formation is recognizable, namely, the old problem of artists—proportion, the “divine proportion” as it has been called since the 16th century, which, in Messerschmidt's case was connected with the idea of being followed by spirits. He believed that because he had arrived at perfect knowledge of proportion he was pursued by jealous gods. The grimaces which he gave to his heads were of apotropaic significance, destined to hold the pursuing spirits at bay. Kris suggests that in this evidence of regression to the magic level a possible connection may be traced with primitive cults; the grimacing heads might be regarded as autoplastic forms of masks,—as masks in statu nascendi.

- 103 -

(Vol. 19, No. 4)

1.   Federn, Paul. Ego-Cathexis in Lapses.

2.   Spitz, R. S. The Problem of Changes in Neurotic Forms.

3.   Bonaparte, Marie. Man and His Dentist.

4.   Eder, M. D. Jewish Phylacteries and Other Jewish Ritual Observances.

5.   Bornstein, Steff. The Fairy Tale of the Sleeping Beauty Psychoanalytically Interpreted.

6.   Deutsch, Helene. On Femininity.

7.   Hollós, István. Psychology of Everyday Telepathic Occurrences.

1.   Federn, P. Ego-Cathexis in Lapses.—Federn undertakes a study of the disturbances of the ego which give rise to mistakes in speech and performances. In previous studies attention has been devoted to mistakes in individual instances and to the connection of their content with the person's earlier conscious or unconscious experiences. The value of all the newer explanations of mistakes lies in regarding them, not merely as impersonal and as a refusal to function of the physiological organ of thought, but as most closely connected dynamically with the psyche. Dreams of slips and mistakes (of which examples are given) reveal a characteristic common to all slips, i.e., something takes place of itself without participation of the ego. There is one fact which might seem to be in contradiction with this view; lapses are most likely to occur just when strained attention is directed to a performance, speaking, acting, or playing, but close observance shows that just before the lapse occurs, the attention to the performance as a whole, implying both intensive and extensive participation of the ego, is diminished, perhaps remaining fixed on some detail. The disturbances of ego-cathexis are of different sorts. In “distraction” different ego boundaries are cathected at the same time. In “lack of concentration” different objects make simultaneous demands on the ego boundaries. In both cases the ego boundaries are alternately approached by foreconscious and conscious representations of objects which interfere with one another. In thinking out a new theme, it must first be regarded with concentrated and then with dissipated attention. In “absent-mindedness” the ego dwells idly on an object which disturbs the function of continuing a thought or action. If the disturbing elements are mere phantasies the condition is called “being in a dream.” When the disturbing thoughts are phantasies surging up from the unconscious the condition is called “being lost.” Lapses and mistakes in performances occur when the ego-function for a moment is occupied in such manner that the objective direction is interfered with and the ego boundaries are no longer preserved in keeping with the reality principle; or, on the other hand, the mechanisms of repression and adjustments of affects fail so that the ego boundaries include earlier situations. There observations permit an understanding

- 104 -

of the process by which the reality principle gradually came to replace the pleasure principle: little by little the representations of the object became independent of the changing relations in the ego and were thereby freed from affective factors. In explaining the equivalent of lapses in the psychosis, the relation of the ego boundaries to the unconscious is discussed. The normal ego regards that as real which comes to the bodily and psychic ego boundaries from without. In principle the relations between the outer and inner world are the same for normal and for abnormal persons. The difference consists in the fact that in abnormal persons, the ego investment has been withdrawn from many psychic processes and they seem therefore to come from without. The psychoses, then, in so far as the ego boundaries are concerned may be regarded as more permanent lapses. Federn refers in further explanation to his article “Ego-feeling in dreams” (See Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 25, Page 211, from Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. 18, Page 14).

2.   Spitz, R. S. The Problem of Neurotic Forms.—Spitz contrasts the present ideal of womanhood with the ideal of former times and traces the difference to a change in the character of her male foil. The ideal woman is no longer the voluptuous, generous type or the demonic type of Prosper Merimee or de Maupassant. Men's preferences can be much more easily determined in our own age than formerly, because of the cinematic representations which reveal the ideal of the masses with almost the precision of a chemical reaction and no one can long remain a film star who does not conform to the demands of the public, which today includes the population of the entire civilized world. Formerly the ideal was universally formed by identification with the parents, following the line of the family romance. Today the ideal is formed by a more roundabout process; there is a creative act of the masses, so to speak, then the public through projection realizes its wish formation in the movie star, and only then does the identification take place and the Greta Garbos, Marlene Dietrichs, Menjous, and Douglas Fairbanks are to be found everywhere. None of these represent an enduring ideal, such as the Venus de Milo, Apollo Belvedere, or the Hercules Farnese. The present ideal tends to small, childish, affected women, slim and boyish in form, childlike in behavior, and seemingly in need of protection. It is discovered, however, that these women are not sc weak and helpless as they appear. On the contrary, they are wonderfully shrewd, self-possessed, energetic, know exactly what they want and accomplish their purposes with a directness and strength, rare even in men. These special types are subject to change with changing fashions and in the choice of these ideals the satisfaction of certain constellations of partial drives are sought. Spitz finds that the explanation of the preference for the present ideal is to be looked for in the prevalent relation to the mother. This ideal of womanhood corresponds to what

- 105 -

the man himself was as a child and what his mother sought to make of him at the time he stood in closest relations with her. The situation of being tenderly loved by the mother is wide-spread, but the reactions are different; there are two groups of men, one of which succumbs to the ideal of the infantile woman, while the other energetically rejects this ideal. It may be concluded that those men who are positive to the infantile woman have, through too tender treatment on the part of the mother, been forced to take a weak girlish rôle in keeping with her wishes. The mechanisms made use of by these persons are very similar to those leading to overt homosexuality, which, however, is avoided through the choice of a love object in which the feminine attributes and the secondary sexual characteristics play a subordinate rôle. In keeping with these conditions the types of neuroses have changed and instead of the “grande hysterie” and monosymptomatic hysterias such as Charcot saw, the neuroses of the present day are, for the most part, mixed types of character neuroses.

4.   Eder, M. D. Jewish Phylacteries and Other Jewish Ritual Observances.—Eder gives a summary of psychoanalytic views and many references to other literature on Jewish religious investments and observances, together with clinical material from his own experiences. He says that the Jewish and Christian orthodox view of these ritual ornaments and procedures is that they are God's ordinances given to Moses on Mount Sinai. More enlightened opinion, which attempts to rationalize whatever it finds obscure, asserts that the Biblical texts are meant metaphorically only. W. Robertson Smith and Elworthy have seen the connection of the phylacteries and the shawls with sacrificial animals. J. B. Hannay recognized the full import of the sexual symbolism of all these ornaments as well as of all ritual usages. Material from Jewish patients exemplify the sexual symbolic nature of the ornaments and practices. Their phantasies demonstrate that the ornaments in question are not regarded merely as phallic or cunnic, but are connected closely with the father and mother imago, with castration ideas and with the primal scene. The patients tend to separate the wearer of the phylacteries or talith from the ornaments themselves. The phylacteries, etc., become identified with the stern, cruel and aggressive father and mother whilst the wearer is the indulgent or kind father imago. The phylacteries thus become projections of the introjected “bad” father who is ready to castrate the son and against whom the son invokes the protection of the untefillined father, seeking to propitiate the “bad” father by offering himself in the form of the kiss, reverent gesture, or prayer. The motives for the sadistic phantasies of the patients are primitive. In attacking the father in the form of the tefillin, they are attacking the totem animal.

- 106 -

The function of the phylacteries is to resolve the need of punishment by setting up an image of the living god. The ritual procedure works in this way so long as the nature of the objects of ritual worship, though unconscious, are recognized, that is to say, as the unconscious idea that the phylacteries have a symbolic nature is appreciated, though the exact meaning of the symbols remains unconscious. Eder agrees with Driberg's opinion that it is useless to substitute one culture for another by an act of compulsion and notes that compulsions are of various sorts, among them that compulsion exercised on racial minorities which have immigrated to new environments. The stranger, under the pressure of an alien environment, tends to lose his traditions; the ego becomes heterogeneous; when this takes place there is such repression of the unconscious ideas expressed in the phylacteries and talith that these lose all symbolic meaning and their symbolic virtue—are no longer superstitiously reverenced. The phylacteries, no longer representing the father-imago, have entirely lost their function and the superego has no way of tension-release except by guilt—desire of punishment and so on—the neurotic way. An outer compulsion has led to these steps and therewith to the disappearance of the original virtue without substituting anything acceptable to the ego. Religion has lost its content and is replaced by rationalization and dogma.

5.   Bornstein, J. The Fairy Tale of the Sleeping Beauty.—Bornstein gives a psychoanalytic interpretation of this fairy tale. In the long sleep of Dornröschen at fifteen years of age he traces a parallel with puberty rites of primitives. In many primitive societies the girl who attains sexual maturity is sequestered for months or years under the strict guardianship of the mother and all social contact with males is prohibited. The mother's role in the fairy tale is represented by the thirteenth wise woman and the old woman spinning in the tower. The hedge of thorns is symbolic of the barriers placed about the maiden against suitors until the arrival of the chosen prince. The tale, as a work of art with the function of mediator between the superego and the demands of the id, represents a compromise. In obedience to the superego Dornröschen is obliged to fall into the long sleep and remains far from life, but finally the id arrives at a “happy ending” proclaimed by marriage.

6.   Deutsch, H. On Femininity.—Deutsch reviews Freud's newer expositions of femininity. Though agreeing with them fully in the main, she is not entirely convinced by the examples which Freud has drawn from the life of lower animals in proof of an original passivity in women. She refers to a previous article of hers on “Frigidity and Masochism” (See Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 17, Page 586) in which she sought to make the absence of the penis in the girl responsible for feminine masochism and believes that this holds also for the origination

- 107 -

of passivity, which she regards as an integrating component in femininity.

7.   Hollós, I. Psychology of Everyday Telepathic Occurrences.—Hollós gives examples of a number of peculiar telepathic experiences of which he kept accurate notes for many years. In discussing the phenomenon with Ferenczi the term “induction of the unconscious” was suggested in analogy with certain phenomena which take place in nerve currents. By comparing instances Hollós seeks to bring these experiences under a law. In these phenomena the ideas which occurred to the patients as a sort of echo of Hollós ‘thoughts in logical manner, but were related to them much as the dream content is related to latent dream thoughts as revealed by free association. An editorial note on the article says that Hollós’ account has excited lively discussion and an invitation is extended for further contributions on the subject.

- 108 -

Article Citation

Willard, C. (1939). Imago. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):83-108

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.