Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reviews by Hubie Goode: STILL Living With Freud? Pt. 4

After all our advances in science and medicine, Are We Still Living With Freud? Pt. 4

Despite the maelstrom surrounding him, Freud’s client list grew and grew. However, at the same time, a seed of doubt grew in his mind as to the verification of the accounts his clients gave him concerning the memories from their early lives. Though he had become fixated with the idea of patient’s early sexual experiences, he became doubtful about their veracity. He began to research his patient’s histories and discovered that indeed, many of the events he had been informed of, never really happened. His theory for the cause of hysteria began to break down. He later wrote that there were four things that really bothered him about this theory: A) His continued failure to bring his theory to a conclusion, repeatedly. B) The high doubt factor of there actually being so many fathers who were sex perverts. C) The realization that the unconscious doesn’t really define any difference between fantasy and reality. D) The total absence of sexual assault stories in cases where the mind has been invaded by the subconscious. (Basically, in cases of true loss of individual control and filtering.)

At this time, Freud believed he had failed in his work, and he even considered abandoning his search for the inner wellsprings of human action. Well, at least he had the courage to be honest with himself while keeping his feet on the ground. Freud wrote about the situation at this time and said, “At that time I would have given up on the whole enterprise, but I really had nothing else to do. Fortunately, I continued under the auspices of merely catering to the paradigm of psychic reality as well as practical reality.” (Not a direct quote)

It was at this point in time he stumbled upon something called the “Oedipus Complex”. Oedipus was a character in greek mythology who accidentally killed his father and married his own mother. Nasty stuff. Freud saw in this story a tendency for a child to be attached to a parent of the opposite sex and have hostility toward the parent of the same sex. He promoted the idea that the persistence of this complex into adulthood resulted in neurosis of many kinds. When the patient is a female the disorder is known as the Electra complex.

Over time hypnosis was abandoned, having not produced the desired results, and he began to see it as a rather weak form of therapy, as did his contemporaries. He traded that in for the practice of free association, where the patient is admonished to freely respond to words and pictures with whatever comes to mind first. Even today this free association is ascribed to Freudianism.

Freud continued his work, scrambling around in the vast darkness, and eventually formed a diagram he created of the human personality. This is where he came up with the Id, Ego and Superego models as three overlapping facets of a person’s personality. He felt the id was the dark part of the personality, a cauldron of emotions, if you will, which can only be defined in contrast to the ego. He examined it as being based on one side of the somatic realm, having to do with base instinctive needs. It is, as he stated, a collection of things thrown together in a dark room of the mind, things that only show themselves to be there as a result of what they produce in the personality. Much in the same way as Dark Matter in astrophysics can only be detected by its’ gravitational effects on surrounding physical space.

The ego is the entity with which the Id interacts with the outside world. The filter for the Id’s impulses, which keeps a person from the electric chair or life in prison. Above both of these constructs is something called the Superego, or the conscience. The ego can either respond or reject the higher orders of the Superego, this results in guilt or approval.

The Superego was the heir to the Oedipus complex, it defines itself as either belonging to the mother or the father of the individual. It might, in fact imitate the parent of choice and reveal itself as such, thusly also developing a latent hostility. So it was that Freud constructed the inner being of a human being and the “Id, Ego, Superego” became a linchpin for pop culture table talk.

Additionally, Freud also included something called “The life instinct and the death instinct”. The two are at odds with one another and their struggle feeds energy in to the dark Id unknown and accumulates there. Never having actually seen this process, he never the less placed it’s importance high in his studies due to what he assumed was the resultant personality traits. It’s nice when you have an unknown and can ascribe anything to it. But, I digress.

Freud once again turned to sex with these constructs and decided that the “Libido”, a term he coined which is still in use today, was instrumental in the operation of both the life and death instinct. This would result in masochism or sadism manifesting itself. For him, the libido was the great reality, the sexual instinct as it were. It has come to be known as the driving force behind all human action. Sex, sex, sex.

Many would see his assessment of the place libido has in the world as his legacy to mankind. No doubt, Madison Avenue and Hollywood agreed vehemently. This idea is so pervasive and has been capitalized on in so many ways that little does anyone suspect that an extreme statement made by a man who had very little observable evidence, has actually become the thing it was trying to prove. Is the sexual instinct and all it is built upon real? Or have we all been brainwashed by those who would wish it was so for their own mercenary ends?

more in part 5

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