Many of the views expressed in this paper have been stated previously by others in some form. When a science is making rapid
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality, thoughts which first expressed by single individuals quickly become common property. Thus no one who attempts to put forward to-day his views on hysteria and its psychical basis can avoid repeating a great quantity of other people's thoughts which are in the act of passing from personal into general possession.
It is scarcely possible always to be certain who first gave them utterance, and there is always a danger of regarding as a product of one's own what has already been said by someone else. I hope, therefore, that I may be excused if few quotations are found in this discussion and if no strict distinction is made between what is my own and what originates elsewhere.
Originality is claimed for very little of what will be found in the following pages. The Oedipus complex—psychic representation of a central, instinctually motivated, triangular conflictual constellation of child-parent relations—is said to be superseded or to lose manifest importance, temporarily, during latency.
The German word Untergang literally means a going under, going down. Spengler's famous book, The Decline of the Westwhich was published just a few years earlier inLoewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality the German title Der Untergang des AbendlandesAbendland being the land of the evening, the occident, Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality region of the earth where the sun sets.
It seems clear that Freud was concerned about this challenge to the genetic centrality the Oedipus complex.
Freud states in his paper that the phallic phase, being that of the Oedipus complex, does not directly proceed on to the definitive genital organization, but submerges versinkt and is replaced by the latency period. Freud stresses the importance of castration and of the ego's defenses against castration anxiety.
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality speaks of the relinquishment of oedipal object cathexes and their substitution by identification with parental authority, which forms the nucleus of the superego; of desexualization and sublimation of the libidinal strivings of the complex, and of aim inhibition and transformation of these strivings into tender impulses.
He implies that the ideal norm, never attained, would be such destruction as contrasted with repression. Insofar as it is repressed, the complex persists unconsciously in the id and will later show its pathogenic effects. The title of my paper is meant to call to mind two different problem areas. It repeatedly requires repression, internalization, transformation, sublimation, in short, some forms of mastery in the course of life— granting that the foundations for such repeated mastery are established during latency and that the forms and levels of mastery are likely to vary with changing levels of experience and maturity.
Seen in this light, there is no definitive destruction of the Oedipus complex, even when it is more than repressed; but we can speak of its Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality and the various forms in which this occurs.
What Ernest Jones tells us about Freud's paper and the exchange between Freud and Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality in regard to it constitutes a significant precedent.
To a significant extent,
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality interest has shifted away from this nuclear conflict of the transference neuroses and onto the narcissistic neuroses I am using Freud's nosological classification here in which oedipal conflicts are held not to be central, and narcissistic aspects of classical and character neuroses.
In what follows I shall consider certain facets of the content of the Oedipus complex and of its resolution, and then some aspects of the decrease of interest in the complex.
I hope to show Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality increased understanding of preoedipal issues, far from devaluating oedipal ones, may in the end help to gain deeper insight into them. The active words destruction, demolition, which Freud has used in referring to the dissolution of the Oedipus complex, may be heard as reverberations of that dominant feature of the oedipal conflict, parricide, the destruction of the parent by the child.
A parricide—that is, one who commits an act of parricide—is defined as follows: Parricide, strictly, is the murder of a parent near relative; it includes the murder of one who represents symbolizes a parent, mother or father, and even the serious betrayal of an entity or group standing for parental authority.
It is a parental authority that is murdered; by that, whatever is sacred about the bond Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality child and parent is violated. The bond is most clearly exemplified for us by the relationship to biological parents. In a patriarchal society the murder of the father, patricide, is the Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality of the crime of parricide.
For Freud, the father was the foremost provider and protector, as well as the castrator if his authority and predominance were challenged. A brief clinical illustration will help to set the stage for the discussion to follow. A student, working for a degree in the same field as his father's, had trouble in completing his thesis. He was brilliant; the thesis so far had progressed well. His father had died about a year earlier. The patient began to procrastinate; he felt strongly that he needed support and advice from his thesis advisor.
But he knew quite well that he was perfectly capable of finishing the work on his thesis without help. He chided himself for his delaying techniques. In part, these took the form of paralyzing doubts about the originality of his work, regarding which, at other times and for good reasons, he had no doubts. He also wanted encouragement and support from me, but he kept telling me that it was wholly his
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality, not the advisor's or mine.
Becoming independent, taking responsibility for the conduct of his own life, was one of the themes that had come up repeatedly during the analysis. As he continued, over several hours, to insist that completing the thesis was his and no one else's responsibility, but that he could not bring himself to work on it, it dawned on me that he might be speaking of responsibility also in a sense not consciously intended by him. In addition to or underneath the meaning of responsibility as accountability to himself, as self-autonomy, perhaps he was Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality about being responsible for a crime.
It would be a crime he wished to delay, avoid, or undo. An interpretation along these lines led to further work on his relationship with his father, his murderous impulses and fantasies regarding him, his ambitions and fears of outdistancing him, Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality on his guilt about these ambitions in part already fulfilled and about his father's death.
In this case, in so many others, preoedipal currents and those belonging to the positive and negative Oedipus complex were inextricably blended. The clinical example puts in bold relief the ambiguity of adult responsibility and autonomy as considered in the light of the Oedipus complex and its vicissitudes in the course of life. In the process of and being an adult, significant emotional ties with parents are severed.
They are not simply renounced by force of circumstances, castration threats, etc. Be that as it may, in the course of what we consider healthy development, this active urge for emancipation comes to the fore already in early phases of the separation-individuation process. In the oedipal struggle between the generations, the descendant's assuming or asserting responsibility and authority that belonged to the ascendants arouses guilt in the descendant although not only It looks as if opponents are required with Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality the drama of gaining power, authority, autonomy, and the of guilt can be played out.
In analytic work, and particularly as revived in the transference, we see this in magnified form. I focus here on that aspect of the mastering of the Oedipus complex that leads to the constitution of the superego and is more than repression or, as I would say, different from repression. In considering this from the particular angle I wish to emphasize, it is no exaggeration to say that the assumption of responsibility for one's own life and its conduct is in psychic reality tantamount to the
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality of the parents, to the crime of parricide, and involves dealing with the guilt incurred thereby.
Not only parental authority is destroyed by wresting authority from the parents and taking it over, but the parents, if the process were thoroughly carried out, are being destroyed as libidinal objects as well all this, as I have already mentioned, pro tempore. Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality spoke of dealing with the guilt for the crime of parricide.
The organization of the superego, as internalization or narcissistic transformation of oedipal object relations, documents parricide and at the same time is its atonement Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality metamorphosis: To the extent to which patients and others insist on cruel, inflexible standards and demands and persist in unconsciously dealing with love objects as incestuous objects, they fight against bearing and mastering the guilt of
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality by internalizing atonement.
Need for punishment tends to become inexhaustible if atonement, reconciliation, is not eventually brought about by mourning which leads to a mature superego and to the possibility of nonincestuous object relations the word atone literally and in many contexts means: In an important sense, by evolving our own autonomy, our own superego, and by engaging in nonincestuous object relations, we are killing our parents.
We usurping their power, their competence, their responsibility for us, and we are abnegating, rejecting them as libidinal objects.
In short, we destroy them in regard to some of their qualities hitherto most vital to us. Parents resist as well as promote such destruction no less ambivalently Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality children carry it out.
What will be left if things go well is tenderness, mutual trust, and respect—the signs of equality. This Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality on, more than on anything else, the predominant form of mastery of the Oedipus
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality. Seen the perspective of parricide, guilt, and responsibility, repression of the complex is an unconscious evasion of the emancipatory murder of the parents, and a way of preserving infantile libidinal-dependent ties with them.
Parricide is carried out, instead of being sidestepped, in that Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality activity in which aspects of oedipal relations are transformed into ego-superego relations internalizationand other aspects are, Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality with external objects, restructured in such a way that the incestuous character of object relations gives way to novel forms
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality choice.
These novel object choices are under the influence of those internalizations. Insofar as human beings strive for emancipation and individuation as papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality as for object love, parricide—on the plane of psychic action—is a developmental necessity.
We take for granted that this murder renders us guilty and calls for atonement. But when Freud equates the sense of guilt with need for punishmenthe takes too superficial a view on the matter and appears to ignore his own deeper insight that more than repression is involved in superego development.
Punishment is sought to evade or undo guilt.
It is hoped that punishment will extinguish guilt, but it does Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality work for any length of time and more punishment is needed. Punishment, whether inflicted by others or by oneself, is too much in the service of repression of the sense of guilt although it may serve other purposes too. Guilt, in other words, may and often does lead to a need for punishment.
Similarly, anxiety often leads to defense against it in various forms, but anxiety is not therefore to be equated with a need for assuaging or eliminating it. Nor is anxiety, in its primary function, a signal to induce flight or repression, but a sign of internal conflict and danger which may be dealt with in a number of ways.
Guilt, whether conscious or not, is a sign of internal discord more specific than anxietywhich may lead to a variety of internal and external actions, only one of which, a short circuit, is punishment with its strong masochistic components.
Bearing the burden of guilt makes possible to master guilt, not in the hasty form of repression and punishment, but by achieving a reconciliation of conflicting strivings. Completing his thesis was, for my patient, to a significant degree the outcome of reconciling parricide with love for his father, and of reconciling his quest for emancipation and self-responsibility with his desire for identification and becoming one with his father.
I understand his eventual ability to complete the thesis in time as well as other positive developments as a confluence and integration of conflicting needs rather than mainly as evidence of defense against one or the other of these currents.
By same token, I disagree with the characterization and classification of sublimation as a form of successful defense Fenichel,p. It is not Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality to be certain that such confluence occurred.
In this case I relied on the patient's more even mood, a certain unpressured resolve, and his balanced awareness—manifest only at significant moments—of the different elements. Their convergence is an inference I drew, no less and no more than repression is an inference we draw from given signs.
By acting responsibly, by completing his thesis on his own, the patient is guilty of parricide. At the same time, he submits to his father whose strong interest in the patient's career choice had acted as a command.
If we add to this the less-well-explored intricacies of the Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality oedipal conflict, the complexities of the Oedipus complex tend to become overwhelming. To master all of Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality currents permanently and without the aid of degrees and waves of repression appears to be beyond human capacity.
In neurotic illness, however, repression and other defenses have
Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality the mainstay of the attempt at mastery. Responsibility to oneself within the context of authoritative norms consciously and unconsciously accepted Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality assimilated from parental and societal sources is the essence superego as internal agency.
I stress here only certain relevant aspects of self-responsibility. It involves appropriating or owning up to one's needs and impulses as one's own, impulses and desires we appear to have been born with or that seem to have taken shape in interaction with parents during infancy. Such appropriation—notice that I use the same word as when I of appropriating parental authority—such appropriation, in the course of which we begin to develop a sense of self-identity, means to experience ourselves as agents, notwithstanding the fact that we were born without our informed consent and did not pick our parents.
To begin with we were more or less fortunate victims, and it may be claimed that in some sense this remains true as long as we live, victims of our instincts and of those of others, not to mention other forces of nature and social Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality. When I speak of Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality our desires and Loewald papers on psychoanalysis and sexuality of course are active forces themselves— I do not mean repressing or overpowering them.
I mean allowing, granting them actively that existence which they have in any event, with or without our Following the lead of the word responsibility, one may say that appropriation consists in being responsive to their urgings, acknowledging that they are ours. A harsh, unyielding superego is unresponsive and in that sense irresponsible. Unless modified, it leads to self-destruction or to its having to be bribed and corrupted.
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