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39. Review of Groddeck’s’Die psychische Bedingtheit und psychoanalytische Behandlung organischer Leiden (1917)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

IT will certainly not have escaped the attentive reader of psycho-analytic literature that we consider the unconscious as the layer of the mind nearest to the physical; a layer that commands instinctual forces which arc not at all, or only to a much lesser extent, accessible to the conscious. Psycho-analytic case histories tell of intestinal disturbances, catarrhs of the throat, anomalies of menstruation, etc., which have developed as reactions to repressed wishes, or which represent such wishes disguised and unrecognizable to the conscious mind. Although the paths linking these phenomena to normal and pathological physiology have always been left open(here I refer, for instance, to the repeatedly stated identity of the mechanism used in hysteria and when expressing emotion), psycho-analysis has confined itself mainly to the study of the physical changes in hysteria conditioned by mental processes,

Dr. Groddeck, in this pamphlet, is the first to make the courageous attempt to apply the results of Freud’s discoveries to organic medicine, and this first step has already led him to such surprising results, new points of view and fresh perspectives, that at least the heuristic value of the step appears beyond any doubt. We have therefore no justification whatever for rejecting out of hand anything from Groddeck’s statements which might startle us now. What he describes is mostly not hypothesis, but fact. He reports that in a great number of purely organic illnesses, such as inflammations, tumours, and constitutional anomalies, he has succeeded in demonstrating that the illness has developed as a defence against unconscious ‘sensitivities’, or that it is in the service of some other unconscious tendencies. He has even succeeded through psychoanalytical work, that is through making such tendencies conscious, in improving, even curing, very severe organic illnesses such as goitre, sclerodcrmia, and cases of gout and tuberculosis. Groddeck is far from assuming the role of a magician, and he states modestly that his aim was merely to create, through psycho-analysis, more favourable conditions ‘for the it by which one is lived’. He identifies this ‘it’ with Freud’s unconscious.

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5. Disease- or Patho-Neuroses. [1916/17]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

A STUDENT, aged twenty-two, came to see me complaining that he was much bothered by’ sadistic’ (in part, masochistic) phantasies. He also informed me that recently he had had a testicle removed because of tubercular degeneration. Months later he came again and asked me whether, on the advice of a surgeon, he should permit the second testicle, now also diseased, to be removed. It struck me that the patient’s mood was not, as one might have expected, depressed, but peculiarly excited, almost elevated. His request that I should give him psychoanalytic treatment after the operation—’ since, after removal of the organic libido, the pathological displacements in the mind can be resolved more easily and with less disturbance’ —seemed incongruous with the tragedy of the situation. He had conceived the idea after reading some psychoanalytical literature. I had to leave the decision about the operation to the surgeon, and could hold out no hopes of psychotherapy proving advantageous. The castration was carried out within the next few days.

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SEXUAL THEORY: The Scientific Significance of Freud's Three, Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. [1915].

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

THE ‘Three Essays’ show us Freud, the psychoanalyst, for the first time engaged in synthetic work. Here the author endeavours for the first time to bring together, to classify, to co-ordinate the immeasurable wealth of experience yielded by the dissection of so many thousand minds, in such a fashion that there may result from it the clearing up of a great psychological domain. That he should choose sexuality as the object of his first synthesis was due to the nature of the material for observation that he had at command. He analysed patients with psycho-neuroses and psychoses and always discovered some kind of disturbance of the sexual life to be a fundamental cause for these ailments. Further researches connected with psycho-analysis convinced him that sexuality plays a far greater and more complicated part in the psychic activity of normal and healthy people also than had hitherto been considered possible—so long as one could only assess the evident manifestations of sexuality and was unaware of the unconscious. It appeared, therefore, that sexuality, in spite of its immense literature, is, in comparison with its importance, a very neglected chapter of human knowledge, and one that certainly deserves to be submitted to a thorough examination from a new point of view.

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17. Mathematics (c. 1920)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

1. Pcs and cs: Organs for ucs psychic qualities.

Ucs: Organ for physiological qualities(perception-recollection).

Sense organs: Organs for physical qualities. (Qualities are distinguishable quantities,)

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2. (i) Psychic reality is arithmetically

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3. Contrast between the purely introspective mathematicianand the purely extraspective primitive Naturmensch, man ofaction.

Mathematician—knocked down.

No idea of mathematics—skilful.

Skill demands an immensely precise calculation.2

Even a dog can do that.

Thinking animals. Introspection into their own Physis.

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4. Pure mathematics is autosymbolism(Silberer).

5. A priori knowledge about the processes of the brain(mind).

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6. Mathematics is instinct.

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7. Mathematician not necessarily clever.(Idiots): peculiarcombination(introspection).

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8. Genius: combination of strongly-developed introspectionwith strong instincts.

(i) Manifestations of instinctual beings are elaborated by a(syst.) cs capable of combination.

(ii) Genius elaborates his own inst. ‘ideas’.3

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27. On Falling Asleep during Analysis. [1914].

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

PATIENTS sometimes complain of sleepiness during analysis (at the height of resistance), and even threaten that they will go to sleep. In this way they express their dissatisfaction with the aimless, senseless, and wearisome treatment. The doctor explains the significance of their threat, upon which they mostly cheer up again in proof that the right nail has been hit on the head. One of my patients, however, was not content with the threat, but really fell asleep once or twice. I quietly let him be and waited, knowing (if only from consideration of the expense of the time slept away) that he could not sleep peacefully for long—knowing, too, that this time he intended to reduce ad absurdum my method of letting him talk and of keeping silence myself. I kept silent, therefore, and the patient slept quietly enough for about five minutes; then, however, he started up and continued the work. He repeated this three or four times. On the last occasion of this kind he had a dream the interpretation of which justified the assumption that the patient chose this peculiar form of resistance because by it he could also give expression to unconscious passive homo-erotic phantasies. (A phantasy of being overpowered during sleep.) The wish of many patients that one should hypnotize them is to be explained similarly.

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