PTI_of-CFS_Mark_for_PTI_site_TEAL

Illuminate. Discover. Change.
Menu

Volume 14


Volume XIV: 
A History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology, and Other Works (1914-1916)

1914D 14/3
On the history of the psycho-analytic movement (1914).
Editor’s note (1957).
The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement was written in 1914. The aim of the paper was to state clearly the fundamental postulates and hypotheses of psychoanalysis, to show that the theories of Adler and Jung were totally incompatible with them, and to draw the inference that it would lead to nothing but general confusion if these contradictory sets of views were all given the same name. In order to make the essential principles of psychoanalysis perfectly plain, Freud traced the history of their development from their preanalytic beginnings.

1914D 14/7
On the history of the psycho-analytic movement (1914).
Part I. Early history. Freud working alone.
Psychoanalysis is Freud’s creation; for 10 years he was the only person who concerned himself with it’ and all the dissatisfaction which the new phenomenon aroused in his contemporaries has been poured out in the form of criticisms on his head. In 1909, in the lecture room of an American University, Freud had his first opportunity of speaking in public about psychoanalysis. The theory of repression is the corner stone on which the whole structure of psychoanalysis rests. It is the most essential part of it; and yet it is nothing but a theoretical formulation of a phenomenon which may be observed as often as one pleases if one undertakes an analysis of a neurotic without resorting to hypnosis. In such cases, one comes across a resistance which opposes the work of analysis and in order to frustrate it pleads a failure of memory. The history of psychoanalysis proper, therefore, only begins with the new technique that dispenses with hypnosis. The theoretical consideration of the fact that this resistance coincides with an amnesia leads inevitably to the view of unconscious mental activity which is peculiar to psychoanalysis and which, too, distinguishes it quite clearly from philosophical speculation about the unconscious. It may be said that the theory of psychoanalysis is an attempt to account for 2 striking and unexpected facts of observation which emerge whenever an attempt is made to trace the symptoms of a neurotic back to their sources in his past life: the facts of transference and of resistance. Another product of psychoanalytic work is the hypothesis of infantile sexuality, a theoretical inference legitimately drawn from innumerable observations. At first, Freud felt that patients’ descriptions of infantile sexual traumas were based on reality, only later finding that such traumatic scenes were usually created in phantasy (becoming part of psychic reality).

1914D 14/25
On the history of the psycho-analytic movement (1914).
Part II. The early psychoanalytic movement.
From the year 1902 onwards, a number of young doctors gathered round Freud with the express intention of learning, practicing and spreading the knowledge of psychoanalysis. The small circle soon expanded, and in the course of the next few years often changed its composition. In 1907, it appeared that psychoanalysis had unobtrusively awakened interest and gained friends, and that there were even some scientific workers who were ready to acknowledge it. Freud repeatedly acknowledged with gratitude the great services rendered by the Zurich School of Psychiatry in the spread of psychoanalysis, particularly by Bleuler and Jung. In Jung’s work on occult phenomena, published in 1902, there was already an allusion to Freud’s book on dream interpretation. In the years following 1907, when the schools of Vienna and Zurich were united, psychoanalysis made the extraordinary surge forward of which the momentum is felt even today; this is shown by the spread of psychoanalytic literature and by the constant increase in the number of doctors who are practicing or studying it’ as well as by the frequency of the attacks made on it at Congresses and in learned societies. Hand in hand with the expansion of psychoanalysis in space went an expansion in content; it extended from the field of the neuroses and psychiatry to other fields of knowledge. Another path led from the investigation of dreams to the analysis of works of imagination and ultimately to the analysis of their creators.

1914D 14/42
On the history of the psycho-analytic movement (1914).
Part III. Departures of Jung and Adler.
Two years after the first private Congress of psychoanalysis, the second took place at Nuremberg in March, 1910. Freud considered it necessary to form an official association because he feared the abuses to which psychoanalysis would be subjected as soon as it became popular. At this Congress, 3 local groups were constituted: one in Berlin, under the chairmanship of Abraham; one in Zurich, whose head had become the President of the whole Association; and one in Vienna, the direction of which Freud made over to Adler. Two secessions took place which caused Freud unhappiness: Adler and Jung. The Adlerian theory was a system which emphasized the egoistic constituent in libidinal instinctual impulses. Adler’s secession took place before the Weimar Congress in 1911. In 1912, Jung boasted that his modifications of psychoanalysis had overcome the resistances of many people. Jung’s arguments rest on the optimistic assumption that the progress of the human race has always pursued an unbroken line. The development of the periodicals devoted to psychoanalysis was traced. The first was a series of monographs entitled Papers on Applied Mental Science; the second was 4he Yearbook for Psychoanalytic and Psychopathological Researches; the third was the International Journal for Medical Psychoanalysis and the fourth was Imago. The first task confronting psychoanalysis was to explain the neuroses; it used the 2 facts of resistance and transference as starting points, and, taking into consideration the third fact of amnesia, accounted for them with its theories of repression, sexual motive forces in neurosis, and the unconscious.

1914C 14/67
On narcissism: an introduction (1914).
Editor’s note.(1957).
On Narcissism: an Introduction is among the most important of Freud’s writings and may be regarded as one of the pivots in the evolution of his views. It sums up his earlier discussions on the subject of narcissism and considers the place taken by narcissism in sexual development; but it goes far beyond this. For it enters into the deeper problems of the relations between the ego and external objects, and it draws the new distinction between ego libido and object libido. Furthermore, most important of all, perhaps, it introduces the concepts of the ego ideal and of the self-observing agency related to it, which were the basis of what was ultimately to be described as the super ego. In addition to all this, at 2 points in the paper it touches upon the controversies with Adler and Jung. One of Freud’s motives in writing this paper was, no doubt, to show that the concept of narcissism offers an alternative to Jung’s nonsexual libido and to Adler’s masculine protest.

1914C 14/73
On narcissism: an introduction (1914).
Part I. Discussion of narcissism in various conditions.
The term narcissism is derived from clinical description and was chosen by Paul Nacke in 1899 to denote the attitude of a person who treats his own body in the same way in which the body of a sexual object is ordinarily treated. Psychoanalytic observers were subsequently struck by the fact that individual features of the narcissistic attitude are found in many people who suffer from other disorders; it seemed probable that an allocation of the libido such as described as narcissism might be present far more extensively, and that it might claim a place in the regular course of human sexual development. A pressing motive for occupying ourselves with the conception of a primary and normal narcissism arose when the attempt was made to subsume what we know of dementia praecox or schizophrenia under the hypotheses of the libido theory. The extension of the libido theory receives reinforcement from our observations and views on the mental life of children and primitive peoples. A unity comparable to the ego cannot exist in the individual from the start; the ego has to be developed. The autoerotic instincts, however, are there from the first; so there must be something added to autoeroticism, a new psychical action, in order to bring about narcissism. Freud contended that we may repudiate Jung’s assertion that the libido theory has come to grief in the attempt to explain dementia praecox, and that it is therefore disposed of for the other neuroses as well.

1914C 14/82
On narcissism: an introduction (1914).
Part II. Narcissism in organic disease, hypochondria, and erotic life.
Certain special difficulties seem to lie in the way of a direct study of narcissism. The chief means of access to it will probably remain in the analysis of the paraphrenias. Hypochondria, like organic disease, manifests itself in distressing and painful bodily sensations, and it has the same effect as organic disease on the distribution of libido. The hypochondriac withdraws both interest and libido from the objects of the external world and concentrates both of them upon the organ that is engaging his attention. The difference between paraphrenic affections, and the transference neuroses appears to lie the circumstance that, in the former, the libido that is liberated by frustration does not remain attached to objects in phantasy, but withdraws on to the ego. Megalomania would accordingly correspond to the psychical mastering of this latter amount of libido, and would thus be the counterpart of the introversion on to phantasies that is found in the transference neuroses; a failure of this psychical function gives rise to the hypochondria of paraphrenia and this is homologous to the anxiety of the transference neuroses. Since paraphrenia frequently, if not usually, brings about only a partial detachment of the libido from objects, we can distinguish 3 groups of phenomena in the clinical picture: 1) those representing what remains of a normal state of neurosis; 2) those representing the morbid process; and 3) those representing restoration, in which the libido is once more attached to objects, after the manner of a hysteria, or of an obsessional neurosis.

1914C 14/92
On narcissism: an introduction (1914).
Part III. Ego-ideal, inheritor of narcissism.
Psychoanalytic research has recognized the existence and importance of the masculine protest, but it has regarded it, in opposition to Adler, as narcissistic in nature and derived from the castration complex. We have learned that libidinal instinctual impulses undergo the vicissitude of pathogenic repression if they come into conflict with the subject’s cultural and ethical ideas. For the ego, the formation of an ideal is the conditioning factor of repression. This ideal ego is the target of the self4ove which was enjoyed in childhood by the actual ego. Sublimation is a process that concerns object libido and consists in the instinct’s directing itself towards an other than sexual satisfaction. Idealization is a process that concerns the object; by it that object is aggrandized and exalted in the subject’s mind. There is a special psychical agency which performs the task of seeing that narcissistic satisfaction from the ego ideal is ensured and constantly watches the actual ego and measures it by that ideal. Delusions of being watched present this power (watching, discovering, criticizing) in a regressive form, revealing the origin of the ego ideal. Self-regard appears to be an expression of the size of the ego. The self-regarding attitude is discussed for normal and neurotic people. The relations of self-regard to erotism (libidinal object-cathexes) may be expressed after 2 cases are distinguished: whether the erotic cathexes are ego-syntonic or have suffered repression. The development of the ego consists in a departure from primary narcissism and gives rise to a vigorous attempt to recover that stage. This departure is brought about by means of the displacement of libido on to an ego ideal imposed from without; and satisfaction is brought about from fulfilling this ideal. The auxiliary relation of the sexual ideal to the ego ideal is discussed. The ego ideal binds not only a person’s narcissistic libido, but also a considerable amount of his homosexual libido, which is in this way turned back into the ego.

14/105
Papers on metapsychology (1915). Editor’s introduction (1957).
Freud published his first extended account of his views on psychological theory in the seventh chapter of The Interpretation of Dreams. The 5 Papers on Metapsychology form an interconnected series. They were all written in a period of some 7 weeks between March 15 and May 4, 1915. He wrote 7 other papers, too, but they were never published and it seems probable that Freud destroyed them. The subjects with which 5 of the last 7 papers dealt were: consciousness, anxiety, conversion hysteria, obsessional neurosis, and the transference neuroses in general. The collection of 12 papers would have been a comprehensive one, dealing with the underlying processes in most of the principal neuroses and psychoses as well as in dreams, with the mental mechanisms of repression, sublimation, introjection, and projection, and with the 2 mental systems of consciousness and the unconscious.

1915C 14/111
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
Instincts and their vicissitudes (1915). Editor’s note (1957).
In Instincts and their Vicissitudes, Freud describes an instinct as a concept on the frontier between the mental and the somatic, the psychical representative of the stimuli originating from within the organism and reaching the mind. In a number of passages, Freud expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of psychological knowledge about the instincts. The instincts make their appearance at a comparatively late point in the sequence of his writings. But the instincts were there under other names. Their place was taken, to a great extent, by such things as excitations, affective ideas, wishful impulses, endogenous stimuli, and so on.

1915C 14/117
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
Instincts and their vicissitudes (1915).
The vicissitudes of instincts are discussed. By the pressure of an instinct, we understand its motor factor, the amount of force or the measure of the demand for work which it represents. The aim of an instinct is in every instance satisfaction, which can only be obtained by removing the state of stimulation at the source of the instinct. The object of an instinct is the thing in regard to which or through which the instinct is able to achieve its aim. By the source of an instinct is meant the somatic process which occurs in an organ or part of the body and whose stimulus is represented in mental life by an instinct. The essential feature in the vicissitudes undergone by instincts lies in the subjection of the instinctual impulses to the influence of the 3 great polarities that dominate mental life. Of these 3 polarities, we might describe that of activity-passivity as the biological; that of ego-external world as real; and finally that of pleasure-unpleasure as the economic polarity.

1915D 14/141
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
Repression (1915). Editor’s note (1957).
In his History of the Psychoanalytic Movement Freud declared that the theory of repression is the cornerstone on which the whole structure of psychoanalysis rests. The concept of repression goes back historically to the very beginning of psychoanalysis. In the account given in the Studies on Hysteria, the term actually used to describe the process is not repression, but defense. The form of repression which Freud had chiefly in mind here was that which occurs in hysteria. The special problem of the nature of the motive force which puts repression into operation was one which was a constant source of concern to Freud, though it is scarcely touched on in the present paper. In particular, there was the question of the relation between repression and sex, and to this, Freud in his early days gave fluctuating replies. Subsequently, however, he firmly rejected any attempt at sexualizing repression.

1915D 14/146
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
Repression (1915).
One of the vicissitudes an instinctual impulse may undergo is to meet with resistances which seek to make it inoperative. Under certain conditions, the impulse then passes into the state of repression. Repression is a preliminary stage of condemnation, something between flight and condemnation; it is a concept which could not have been formulated before the time of psychoanalytic studies. Repression does not arise in cases where the tension produced by lack of satisfaction of an instinctual impulse is raised to an unbearable degree. It has become a condition for repression that the motive force of unpleasure shall have acquired more strength than the pleasure obtained from satisfaction. Repression is not a defensive mechanism which is present from the beginning. The essence of repression lies simply in turning something away, and keeping it at a distance, from the conscious. We have reason to assume that there is a primal repression, a first phase of repression, which consists in the psychical representative of the instinct being denied entrance into the conscious. The second stage of repression, repression proper, affects conscious mental derivatives of the repressed representative, or such conscious trains of thought as, originating elsewhere, have come into associative connection with it. The motive and purpose of repression is nothing else than the avoidance of unpleasure. The mechanism of repression does not coincide with the mechanisms of forming substitutes. The mechanisms of repression have at least this one thing in common a withdrawal of the cathexis of energy.

1915E 14/159
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915). Editor’s note (1957).
The concept of the existence of unconscious mental processes is one that is fundamental to psychoanalytic theory. Freud was never tired of insisting upon the arguments in support of it and combating the objections to it. Freud’s interest in the assumption was never a philosophical one; his interest was a practical one. He found that without making that assumption, he was unable to explain or even to describe a large variety of phenomena which he came across. By making that assumption, he found the way open to an immensely fertile region of fresh knowledge. In The Interpretation of Dreams, the unconscious was established once and for all.

1915E 14/166
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Chapter I. Justification for the concept of the unconscious.
We have learned from psychoanalysis that the essence of the process of repression lies, not in putting an end to the idea which represents an instinct, but in preventing it from becoming conscious. When this happens we say of the idea that it is in a state of being unconscious. The assumption of the existence of something mental that is unconscious is necessary and legitimate. It is necessary because the data of consciousness have a very large number of gaps in them; both in healthy and in sick people, psychical acts often occur which can be explained only by presupposing other acts, of which nevertheless, consciousness affords no evidence. At any given moment consciousness includes only a small content, so that the greater part of what we call conscious knowledge must be, for very considerable periods of time, in a state of latency, that is to say, of being psychically unconscious. The assumption of an unconscious is, moreover, a perfectly legitimate one, inasmuch as in postulating it, we are not departing a single step from our customary and generally accepted mode of thinking. In psychoanalysis there is no choice for us but to assert that mental processes are in themselves unconscious, and to liken the perception of them by means of consciousness to the perception of the external world by means of the sense organs.

1915E 14/172
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Chapter II. Various meanings of ‘The Unconscious’-The topographical point of view.
The attribute of being unconscious (Ucs) is only one feature that is found in the psychical and is by no means sufficient to characterize it fully. The unconscious comprises acts which are merely latent, temporarily unconscious, but which differ in no other respect from conscious ones. A psychical act goes through 2 phases as regards its state, between which is interposed a kind of testing (censorship). In the first place the psychical act is unconscious and belongs to the system Ucs; if, on testing, it is rejected by the censorship, it is not allowed to pass into the second phase; it is then said to be repressed and must remain unconscious. If, however, it passes this testing, it enters the second phase and henceforth belongs to the second system, the conscious (Cs) system. It is not yet conscious, but it is capable of becoming conscious. In consideration of this capacity for becoming conscious we also call the system Pcs the preconscious.

1915E 14/177
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Chapter III. Unconscious emotions.
The antithesis of conscious and unconscious is not applicable to instincts. An instinct can never become an object of consciousness, only the idea that represents the instinct can. Even in the unconscious, moreover, an instinct cannot be represented otherwise than by an idea. If the instinct did not attach itself to an idea or manifest itself as an affective state we could know nothing about it. The use of the terms “unconscious affect” and “unconscious emotion” has reference to the vicissitudes undergone, in consequence of repression, by the quantitative factor in the instinctual impulse. We know that 3 such vicissitudes are possible: either the affect remains, wholly or in part, as it is; or it is transformed into a qualitatively different quota of affect, above all into anxiety; or it is suppressed, i.e., it is prevented from developing at all. In every instance where repression has succeeded in inhibiting the development of affects, we term those affects (which we restore when we undo the work of repression) unconscious. It is possible for the development of affect to proceed directly from the unconscious system; in that case the affect always has the character of anxiety, for which all repressed affects are exchanged. Often, however, the instinctual impulse has to wait until it has found a substitutive idea in the conscious system. The development of affect can then proceed from this conscious substitute, and the nature of that substitute determines the qualitative character of the affect.

1915E 14/180
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Chapter IV. Topography and dynamics of repression.
Repression is essentially a process affecting ideas on the border between the unconscious (Ucs) system and the preconscious Ucs) or conscious (Cs). The idea either remains uncathected, or receives cathexis from the Ucs, or retains the Ucs cathexis which it already had. Freud proposed that when we have succeeded in describing a psychical process in its dynamic, topographical, and economic aspects, we should speak of it as a metapsychological presentation. In anxiety hysteria a first phase of the process is frequently overlooked, and may perhaps be in fact missed; on careful observation, however, it can be clearly discerned. It consists in anxieties appearing without the subject knowing what he is afraid of. In the second phase of anxiety hysteria, the anticathexis from the system Cs has led to substitute formation. The third phase repeats the work of the second on an ampler scale. The system Cs now protects itself against the activation of the substitutive idea by an anticathexis of its environment, just as previously it had secured itself against the emergence of the repressed idea by a cathexis of the substitutive idea. A great deal of what we have found in anxiety hysteria also holds good for the other 2 neuroses. In conversion hysteria, the instinctual cathexis of the repressed idea is changed into the innervation of the symptom. As regards obsessional neurosis, the anticathexis from the system Cs comes most noticeably into the foreground.

1915E 14/186
Papers on metapsychology (1915). The unconscious (1915).
Chapter V. The special characteristics of the system Ucs.
The nucleus of the unconscious (Ucs) system consists of instinctual representatives which seek to discharge their cathexis, the wishful impulses. There is, in this system no negation, no doubt, no degree of certainty: all this is only introduced by the work of the censorship between the Ucs and the preconscious Pcs) system. Negation is a substitute, at a higher level, for repression. In the Ucs there are only contents, cathected with greater or lesser strength. The characteristics which we may expect to find in processes belonging to the system Ucs are: exemption from mutual contradiction, primary process (mobility of cathexes), timelessness, and replacement of external by psychical cathexes. Unconscious processes only become cognizable by us under the conditions of dreaming and of neurosis, when processes of the Pcs system are set back to an earlier stage by regression. The processes of the system Pcs display an inhibition of the tendency of cathected ideas towards discharge. It devolves upon the system Pcs to make communication possible between the different ideational contents so that they can influence one another, to give them an order in time, and to set up a censorship or several censorships.

1915E 14/190
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Chapter VI. Communication between the two systems.
The unconscious (Ucs) system is continued into what are known as derivatives; it is accessible to the impressions of life, it constantly influences the preconscious Pcs) system, and is even, for its part, subjected to influences from the Pcs. Among the derivatives of the Ucs instinctual impulses, there are some which unite in themselves characters of an opposite kind. On the one hand, they are highly organized, free from self-contradiction, have made use of every acquisition of the conscious (Cs) system and would hardly be distinguished in our judgement from the formation of that system. On the other hand, they are unconscious and are incapable of becoming conscious. A very great part of this preconscious originates in the unconscious, has the character of its derivatives, and is subjected to a censorship before it can become conscious. The Ucs is turned back on the frontier of the Pcs, by censorship, but derivatives of the Ucs can circumvent this censorship, achieve a high degree of organization and reach a certain intensity of cathexis in the Pcs. When, however, this intensity is exceeded and they try to force themselves into consciousness, they are recognized as derivatives of the Ucs and are repressed afresh at the new frontier of censorship, between the Pcs and the Cs. Thus the first of these censorships is exercised against the Ucs itself, and the second against its Pcs derivatives.

1915E 14/196
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Chapter VII. Assessment of the unconscious.
An assessment of the unconscious is presented. In schizophrenia, we observe a number of changes in speech. The patient often devotes peculiar care to his way of expressing himself. Some reference to bodily organs or innervation is often given prominence in the content of these remarks. In such symptoms of schizophrenia, as are comparable with the substitutive formations of hysteria or obsessional neurosis, the relation between the substitute and the repressed material nevertheless displays peculiarities which would surprise us in these 2 forms of neurosis. In schizophrenia, words are subjected to the same process as that which makes the dream images out of latent dream thoughts; to what we have called the primary psychical process. They undergo condensation, and by means of displacement transfer their cathexes to one another in their entirety. The character of strangeness of the substitutive formation in schizophrenia is the predominance of what has to do with words over what has to do with things. The conscious presentation comprises the presentation of the thing plus the presentation of the word belonging to it, while the unconscious presentation is the presentation of the thing alone.

1891B 14/205
1926G
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
The unconscious (1915).
Appendix A: Freud and Ewald Hering.
Appendix B: Psycho-physical parallelism.
Appendix C: Words and things.
Among Freud’s seniors in Vienna was the physiologist Ewald Hering who offered the young man a post as his assistant at Prague in 1884. Hering’s influence may have contributed to Freud’s views on the unconscious. Freud’s earlier views on the relation between the mind and the nervous system were greatly influenced by Hughlings Jackson. The chain of physiological events in the nervous system does not stand in a causal connection with the psychical events. The physiological events do not cease as soon as the psychical ones begin; on the contrary, the physiological chain continues. The final section of Freud’s paper on theThe Unconscious seems to have roots in his early monograph on aphasia (1891). We learn to speak by associating a sound image of a word with a sense of the innervation of a word. We learn to speak the language of other people by endeavoring to make the sound image produced by ourselves as like as possible to the one which gave rise to our speech innervation. We learn to spell by linking the visual images of the letters with new sound images, which for their part, must remind us of verbal sounds which we already know. We learn to read by linking up in accordance with certain rules the succession of innervatory and motor word presentations which we receive when we speak separate letters, so that new motor word presentations arise. There corresponds to the word a complicated associative process into which the elements of visual, acoustic, and kinesthetic origin enter together. A word, however, acquires its meaning by being linked to an object presentation.

1917D 14/219
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
A metapsychological supplement to the theory of dreams (1917).
Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams resolves itself largely into a discussion of the effects produced by the state of sleep on the different systems of the mind. It is the study of dreams which has taught us what we know of the psychical characteristics of the state of sleep. Dreams only show us the dreamer in so far as he is not sleeping; nevertheless they are bound to reveal, at the same time, characteristics of sleep itself. A dream tells us that something was going on which tended to interrupt sleep, and it enables us to understand in what way it has been possible to fend off this interruption. A dream is, therefore, among other things, a projection: an externalization of an internal process. The narcissism of the state of sleep implies a withdrawal of cathexis from all ideas of objects, from both the unconscious and the preconscious portions of those ideas. The completion of the dream process consists in the thought content, regressively transformed and worded over into a wishful phantasy, becoming conscious as a sense perception; while this is happening it undergoes secondary revision, to which every perceptual concept is subject. The dream wish is hallucinated, and, as a hallucination, meets with belief in the reality of its fulfillment. Dreams are a residue of mental activity, made possible by the fact that the narcissistic stage of sleep has not been able to be completely established. In dreams, the withdrawal of cathexis affects all systems equally.

1917E 14/237
Papers on metapsychology (1915).
Mourning and melancholia (1917). Editor’s note. (1957).
Mourning and Melancholia may be regarded as an extension of the paper on narcissism which Freud had written a year earlier, in 1914. Just as that paper had described the workings of the critical agency in cases of paranoia, so this one sees the same agency in operation in melancholia. The implications of this paper were destined to be more important than the explanation of the mechanism of one particular pathological state, though those implications did not become immediately obvious. The material contained here led on to the further consideration of the critical agency; and this in turn led to the hypothesis of the superego and to a fresh assessment of the sense of guilt. Along another line, this paper called for an examination of the whole question of the nature of identification. Freud seems to have been inclined at first to regard it as closely associated with, and perhaps dependent on, the oral or cannibalistic phase of libidinal development. In Mourning and Melancholia, he speaks of identification as a preliminary stage of object choice, the first way in which the ego picks out an object and adds that the ego wants to incorporate this object into itself, and, in accordance with the oral or cannibalistic phase of libidinal development at which it is, it wants to do so by devouring it. What Freud seems later to have regarded as the most significant feature of this paper was, however, its account of the process by which in melancholia an object cathexis is replaced by an identification.

1917E 14/243
Papers on Metapsychology (1915).
Mourning and melancholia (1917).
Melancholia, whose definition fluctuates even in descriptive psychiatry, takes on various clinical forms, the grouping together of which into a single unity does not seem to be established with certainty; and some of these forms suggest somatic rather than psychogenic affections. The correlation of melancholia and mourning seems justified by the general picture of the 2 conditions. Mourning is regularly the reaction to the loss of a loved person. In some people the same influences produce melancholia instead of mourning and we consequently suspect them of a pathological disposition. The distinguishing mental features of melancholia are a profoundly painful dejection, cessation of interest in the outside world, loss of the capacity to love, inhibition to all activity, and a lowering of the self-regarding feelings to a degree that finds utterance in self-reproaches and self-reviling, and culminates in a delusional expectation of punishment. The disturbance of self-regard is absent in mourning; but otherwise the features are the same. Melancholia borrows some of its features from mourning, and the others from the process of regression from narcissistic object choice to narcissism. The most remarkable characteristic of melancholia is its tendency to change into mania. In mania the ego has recovered from loss of the object. This makes available all of the anticathexis which the painful suffering of melancholia has drawn to itself from the ego and bound. The accumulation of cathexis which is at first bound and then, after the work of melancholia is finished, becomes free and makes mania possible must be linked with regression of the libido to narcissism.

191SF 14/261
A case of paranoia running counter to the psycho-analytic theory of the disease (1915).
A case of paranoia running counter to the psychoanalytic theory of the disease is presented. A lawyer consulted Freud about a case which had raised some doubts in his mind. A young woman had asked him to protect her from the molestations of a man who had drawn her into a love affair. She declared that this man had abused her confidence by getting unseen witnesses to photograph them while they were making love, and that by exhibiting these pictures it was now in his power to bring disgrace on her and force her to resign the post she occupied. The view had already been put forward in psychoanalytic literature that patients suffering from paranoia are struggling against an intensification of their homosexual trends, a fact pointing back to a narcissistic object choice. And a further interpretation had been made: that the persecutor is at bottom someone whom the patient loves or has loved in the past. The girl seemed to be defending herself against love for a man by directly transformingthe lover into a persecutor: there was no sign of the influence of a woman, no trace of a struggle against a homosexual attachment. She later revealed that her department in the business was under the direction of an elderly lady whom she described as like her mother. The white-haired elderly superior was a substitute for her mother. In spite of his youth, her lover had been put in the place of her father. It was the strength of her mother complex which had driven the patient to suspect a love relationship between these ill-matched partners, however unlikely such a relationship might be.

1915B 14/275
Thoughts for the times on war and death (1915).
Chapter I. The disillusionment of the war.
In the confusion of wartime in which we are caught up, relying as we must on one-sided information, standing too close to the great changes that have already taken place or are beginning to, and without a glimmering of the future that is being shaped, we ourselves are at a loss as to the significance of the impressions which press in upon us and as to the value of the judgments which we form. We cannot but feel that no event has ever destroyed so much that is precious in the common possessions of humanity, confused so many of the clearest intelligences, or so thoroughly debased what is highest. The individual who is not himself a combatant feels bewildered in his orientation, and inhibited in his powers and activities. Two things in this war have aroused our sense of disillusionment: the low morality shown externally by states which in their internal relations pose as the guardians of moral standards, and the brutality shown by individuals whom, as participants in the highest human civilization, one would not have thought capable of such behavior.

1915B 14/289
1915G
Thoughts for the times on war and death (1915).
Chapter II Our attitude towards death.
Appendix: Letter to Dr. Frederik Van Eeden.
Our attitude towards death is discussed. To anyone who listened to us, we were prepared to maintain that death was the necessary outcome of life, that everyone owes nature a death and must expect to pay the debt. In reality, however, we were accustomed to behave as if it were otherwise. We showed an unmistakable tendency to put death on one side, to eliminate it from life. The civilized adult can hardly entertain the thought of another person’s death without seeming to himself hardhearted or wicked. This attitude of ours towards death has a powerful effect on our lives. Life is impoverished, it loses in interest, when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked. It is evident that war is bound to sweep away this conventional treatment of death. Death will no longer be denied; we are forced to believe in it. People really die; and no longer one by one, but many, often tens of thousands, in a single day. Death is no longer a chance event. Our unconscious is just as inaccessible to the idea of our own death, just as murderously inclined towards strangers, just as divided (that is, ambivalent) towards those we love, as was primeval man. But how far we have moved from this primal state in our conventional and cultural attitude towards death. War strips us of the latter accretions of civilization, and lays bare the primal man in each of us.

1916A 14/303
On transience (1916).
Transience is discussed. The proneness to decay of all that is beautiful and perfect can give rise to 2 different impulses in the mind. The one leads to the aching despondency felt by the young poet, while the other leads to rebellion against the fact asserted. Transience value is scarcity value in time. Limitation in the possibility of an enjoyment raises the value of the enjoyment. Mourning over the loss of something that we have loved or admired seems so natural to the layman that he regards it as self-evident. But to psychologists, mourning is a great riddle, one of those phenomena which cannot themselves be explained but to which other obscurities can be traced back. Mourning comes to a spontaneous end. When it has renounced everything that has been lost, then it has consumed itself, and our libido is once more free to replace the lost objects by fresh ones equally or still more precious.

1916D 14/311
Some character-types met with in psycho-analytic work (1916).
Chapter I. The ‘exceptions’.
Some character types met with in psychoanalytic work are discussed. Psychoanalytic work is continually confronted with the task of inducing the patient to renounce an immediate and directly attainable yield of pleasure. The patient is not asked to renounce all pleasure, only such satisfactions as will inevitably have detrimental consequences. There are individuals who resist such an appeal on a special ground. They say that they have renounced enough and suffered enough, and have a claim to be spared any further demands; they will submit no longer to any disagreeable necessity, for they are exceptions and, moreover, intend to remain so. There is a common peculiarity in the earlier experiences of these patients’ lives. Their neuroses were connected with some experience or suffering to which they had been subjected in their earliest childhood, one in which they could look upon as an unjust disadvantage imposed upon them. The privileges that they claimed as a result of this injustice, and the rebelliousness it engendered, had contributed not a little to intensifying the conflicts leading to the outbreak of their neurosis.

1916D 14/316
Some character-types met with in psycho-analytic work (1916).
Chapter II. Those wrecked by success.
Psychoanalytic work has furnished us with the thesis that people fall ill of a neurosis as a result of frustration. What is meant is the frustration of the satisfaction of their libidinal wishes. For a neurosis to be generated there must be a conflict between a person’s libidinal wishes and his ego, which is the expression of his instinct of self-preservation and which also includes his ideals of his personality. Privation, frustration of a real satisfaction, is the first condition for the generation of a neurosis. There are some people who collapse on reaching success: One such person is Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. An extensive analysis of Lady Macbeth is presented. The practicing psychoanalyst knows how frequently, or how invariably, a girl who enters a household as servant, companion or governess, will consciously or unconsciously weave a daydream, which derives from the Oedipus complex, of the mistress of the house disappearing and the master taking the newcomer as his wife in her place. Psychoanalytic work teaches that the forces of conscience which induce illness in consequence of success, instead of, as normally, in consequence of frustration, are closely connected with the Oedipus complex, the relation of father and mother, as perhaps is our sense of guilt in general.

1916D 14/332
Some character-types met with in psycho-analytic work (1916).
Chapter III. Criminals from a sense of guilt.
In telling Freud about their early youth, particularly before puberty, people who have afterwards often become very respectable have informed him of forbidden actions which they committed at that time. Analytic work brought the surprising discovery that such deeds were done principally because they were forbidden, and because their execution was accompanied by mental relief for their doer. He was suffering from an oppressive feeling of guilt, of which he did not know the origin, and after he had committed a misdeed this oppression was mitigated. His sense of guilt was at least attached to something. These people might be described as criminals from a sense of guilt. The preexistence of the guilty feeling had been demonstrated by a whole set of other manifestations and effects. This obscure sense of guilt was derived from the Oedipus complex and was a reaction to the 2 great criminal intentions of killing the father and having sexual relations with the mother.

1916B 14/337
A mythological parallel to a visual obsession (1916).
A mythological parallel to a visual obsession is presented. In a patient of about 21 years, the products of unconscious mental activity became conscious not only in obsessive thoughts but also in obsessive images. The 2 could accompany each other or appear independently. At one particular time, whenever he saw his father entering the room, there came into his mind, in close connection, an obsessive word and an obsessive image. The word was father arse; the accompanying image represented his father as the naked lower part of a body, provided with arms and legs, but without the head or upper part. The genitals were not indicated, and the facial features were painted on the abdomen. Father arse was soon explained as a jocular Teutonizing of the honorific title of patriarch. The obsessive image is an obvious caricature. It recalls other representations which, with a derogatory end in view, replace a whole person by one of his organs; it reminds us, too, of unconscious phantasies which lead to the identification of the genitals with the whole person, and also of joking figures of speech, such as “I am all ears.” According to a Greek legend, Demeter came to Eleusis in search of her daughter after she had been abducted, and was given lodging by Dysaules and his wife Baubo; but in her great sorrow she refused to touch food or drink. Thereupon her hostess Baubo made her laugh by suddenly lifting up her dress and exposing her body. In the excavations at Priene in Asia Minor some terracottas were found which represented Baubo. They show the body of a woman without a head or chest and with a face drawn on the abdomen: the lifted dress frames the face like a crown of hair.

1916C 14/339
A connection between a symbol and a symptom (1916).
A connection between a symbol and a symptom is proposed. Experience in the analysis of dreams has sufficiently well established the hat as a symbol of the genital organ, most frequently of the male organ. In phantasies and in numerous symptoms the head too appears as a symbol of the male genitals. Patients suffering from obsessions express an amount of abhorrence of and indignation against punishment by beheading far greater than they do in the case of any other form of death; and in such cases the analyst may be led to explain to them that they are treating being beheaded as a substitute for being castrated. It may be that the symbolic meaning of the hat is derived from that of the head, in so far as a hat can be regarded as a prolonged, though detachable head. This leads to a symptom of obsessional neurotics: when they are in the street they are on the look-out to see whether some acquaintance will greet them first by taking off his hat (a meaning of abasement before the person saluted) or whether he seems to be waiting for their salutation. The neurotics’ own sensitiveness on the subject of greeting therefore means that they are unwilling to show themselves less important than the other person thinks he is. The resistance of their sensitiveness to explanations suggests that a motive related to the castration complex is present.

19191 14/341
Letter to Dr. Hermine Von Hug-Heilmuth (1919).
A letter to Dr. Hermine von Hug-Hellmuth is presented. The diary of a little girl shows clear and truthful views of the mental impulses that characterize the development of a girl in our social and cultural stratum during the years before puberty. We are shown how her feelings grow up out of a childish egoism till they reach social maturity; we learn what form is first assumed by her relations with her parents and with her brothers and sisters and how they gradually gain in seriousness and inward feeling; how friendships are made and broken; and how the secret of sexual life begins to dawn on her.

Abstracts of the Standard Edition of 
the Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud

Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor

 

Share This Page: