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Volume 23


Volume XXIII: 
Moses and Monotheism, An Outline of Psycho-Analysis and Other Works (1937-1939)

1939A 23/3
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Editor’s note (1964) and a note on the transcription of proper names.
‘Moses and Monotheism’ consists of three essays of greatly differing length, two prefaces, both situated at the beginning of the third essay, and a third preface situated halfway through that same essay. The book took 4 or more years for completion, during which it was being constantly revised. There were acute external difficulties in the final phase which consisted of a succession of political disorders in Austria culminating in the Nazi occupation of Vienna and Freud’s enforced migration to England. The whole work is to be regarded as a continuation of Freud’s earlier studies of the origins of human social organization in Totem and Taboo and Group Psychology.

1939A 23/7
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay I. Moses an Egyptian.
The man Moses, who set the Jewish people free, who gave them their laws and founded their religion, dates from such remote times (thirteenth or fourteenth century B.C.) that we cannot evade a preliminary enquiry as to whether he was a historical personage or a creature of legend. The name, Moses, was Egyptian, coming from the Egyptian word “mose” meaning “child.” The recognition that the name of Moses is Egyptian has not been considered decisive evidence of his origin, and no further conclusions have been drawn from it. In 1909 Otto Rank published the book The Myth of the Birth of the Hero which points out that almost all the prominent civilized nations began at an early stage to glorify their heros and invest the birth of these heroes with phantastic features. An average legend brings into prominence the following essential features:   the hero is the child of the most aristocratic parents; his conception is preceded by difficulties; the newborn child is condemned to death or to exposure, usually by the orders of his father or of someone representing him; as a rule he is given over to the water in a casket; he is afterwards rescued; after he has grown up, he rediscovers his aristocratic parents and takes his revenge on his father. The two families in the myth of Moses (the aristocratic and the humble family) are both reflections of the child’s own family as they appeared to him in successive periods of his life. In every instance which it has been possible to test, the first family, the one from which the child was exposed, was the invented one, and the second one, in which he was received and grew up, was the real one. Thus it is concluded that Moses was an Egyptian, probably an aristocrat, whom the legend turned into a Jew. The deviation of the legend of Moses from all the others of its kind can be traced back to a special feature of his history. Whereas normally a hero rises above his humble beginnings, the heroic life of the man Moses began with his stepping down from his exalted position and descending to the level of the Children of Israel.

1939A 23/17
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay II. If Moses was an Egyptian:
Part I. If Moses was an Egyptian.
Part 2. Moses introduced an exclusive religion.
The idea of Moses as an Egyptian is discussed. It was Freud’s hope that the hypothesis that Moses was an Egyptian would turn out to be fruitful and illuminating; however, the first conclusion to be drawn from that hypothesis, that the new religion which he gave to the Jews was his own Egyptian one, has been invalidated by the realization of the different and contradictory character of the two religions. It remains possible that the religion which Moses gave to his Jewish people was nevertheless his own, that it was an Egyptian religion, Aten, though not the Egyptian religion. The Aten religion excludes everything to do with myths, magic and sorcery. The sun god was no longer represented by a small pyramid and a falcon, but by a round disk with rays proceeding from it, which end in human hands. In spite of all the exuberant art of the Amarna period, no other representation of the sun god has been found. There was complete silence about the god of the dead, Osiris, and the kingdom of the dead.

1939A 23/24
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay II. If Moses was an Egyptian.
Part 3. Comparison of Jewish and Aten religions.
If Moses were an Egyptian and if he communicated his own religion to the Jews, it must have been Akhenaten’s, the Aten religion. The similarities as well as the differences between the two religions are easily discernible. Both of them were forms of a strict monotheism. Jewish monotheism was in some respects even more harsh than the Egyptian. The most essential difference is that the Jewish religion was entirely without sun worship. Moses did not only give the Jews a new religion; he also introduced the custom of circumcision. Freud concludes that if Moses gave the Jews not only a new religion but also the commandment for circumcision, he was not a Jew but an Egyptian, and in that case the Mosaic religion was probably an Egyptian one and, in view of its contrast to the popular religion, the religion of the Aten, with which the later Jewish religion agrees in some remarkable respects. According to Freud’s construction, the Exodus from Egypt occurred during the period between 1358 and 1350 B.C., after Akhenaten’s death and before Haremhab’s reestablishment of state authority. If it were admitted that circumcision was an Egyptian custom introduced by Moses, that would be almost admitting that the religion delivered to them by Moses was an Egyptian one too. There were good reasons for denying that fact, so the truth about circumcision must also be contradicted.

1939A 23/30
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay II. If Moses was an Egyptian.
Part 4. Two gods and two Moses.
The Jews possess a copious literature apart from the Bible, including the legends and myths which grew up in the course of centuries round the imposing figure of their first leader and the founder of their religion. Scattered in this material there may be fragments of trustworthy tradition for which no room was found in the Pentateuch. A legend of this sort gives an engaging account of how the ambition of the man Moses found expression even in his childhood. Moses is said to have been slow of speech. This may suggest that Moses spoke another language and could not communicate with his Semitic neo-Egyptians without an interpreter. Modern historians agree that the Jewish tribes, which later developed into the people of Israel, took on a new religion at a certain point of time. But in their view this did not take place in Egypt or at the foot of a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula, but in a certain locality known as Meribah-Kadesh, an oasis distinguished by its wealth of springs and wells in the stretch of country south of Palestine, between the eastern exit from the Sinai Peninsula and the western border of Arabia. There they took over the worship of a god Yahweh, a volcano god. According to Meyer, the mediator between God and the people in the founding of this religion was named Moses. He was the son-in-law of the Midianite priest Jethro, and was keeping his flocks when he received the summons from God.

1939A 23/36
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay II. If Moses was an Egyptian. Part 5.
Efforts to see in Moses a figure that goes beyond the priest of Kadesh, and to confirm the grandeur with which tradition glorifies him, have not ceased ever since Eduard Meyer. In 1922, Ernst Sellin found in the Prophet Hosea unmistakable signs of a tradition that Moses, the founder of their religion, met with a violent end in a rising of his refractory and stiff-necked people, and that at the same time the religion he had introduced was thrown off. One of the greatest enigmas of Jewish prehistory is that of the origin of the Levites. They are traced back to 1 of the 12 tribes of Israel, that of Levi, but no tradition has ventured to say where that tribe was originally located to what portion of the conquered land of Canaan was allotted to it. It is incredible that a great lord, like Moses the Egyptian, should have joined this alien people unaccompanied. He certainly must have brought a retinue with him. This is who the Levites originally were. The Levites were the followers of Moses. It is hypothesized that 2 generations or even a century elapsed between the fall of Moses and the establishment of the new religion at Kadesh. The retention of circumcision is evidence that the founding of the religion at Kadesh involved a compromise. Moses was transferred to Kadesh or to Sinai-Horeb and put in the place of the Midianite priests. Yahweh, who lived on a mountain in Midian, was allowed to extend over into Egypt, and in exchange for this, the existence and activity of Moses were extended to Kadesh and as far as the country east of the Jordan. Thus he was fused with the figure of the later religious founder (the son-in-law of the Midianite Jethro) and lent him his name of Moses. Of this second Moses we can give no personal account except to pick out the contradictions in the Biblical description of the character of Moses. Freud concludes that the Egyptian Moses was never at Kadesh and had never heard the name of Yahweh, and the Midianite Moses had never been in Egypt and knew nothing of Aten. In order to fuse the two figures together, tradition or legend had the task of bringing the Egyptian Moses to Midian.

1939A 23/41
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay II. If Moses was an Egyptian.
Part 6. One hundred years of history suppressed.
With the setting up of the new god, Yahweh, at Kadesh, it became necessary to do something to glorify him. It became necessary to fit him in, to make room for him, to wipe out the traces of earlier religions. The man Moses was dealt with by shifting him to Midian and Kadesh, and by fusing him with the priest of Yahweh who founded the religion. Circumcision, the most suspicious indication of dependence on Egypt, was retained but no attempts were spared to detach the custom from Egypt. The patriots were brought into the Biblical stories for two reasons: 1) to acknowledge that Yahweh was worshipped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, although not under that name; and 2) to link their memory with particular localities in Canaan. Freud concluded that between the Exodus from Egypt and the fixing of the text of the Bible under Ezra and Nehemiah some 800 years elapsed. The form of the Yahweh religion changed to conform with the original religion of Moses.

1939A 23/47
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay II. If Moses was an Egyptian.
Part 7. The murder of Moses.
The murder of Moses, discovered by Sellin from hints in the writings of the Prophets, is discussed. Moses commanded and forced his faith upon the people, thus forcing the Semites to rid themselves of him. The account of “wandering in the wilderness” described in the Bible depicts a succession of serious revolts against his authority. The people began to regret and sought to forget the murder of Moses. When the Exodus and the foundation of the religion at the oasis of Kadesh were brought closer together, and Moses was represented as being concerned in the latter instead of the other man (the Midianite priest), not only were the demands of the followers of Moses satisfied but his violent end was successfully disavowed. The chronological relations of these events are discussed. Freud concludes that Jewish history is familiar for its dualities: two groups of people who came together to form the nation, two kingdoms into which this nation fell apart, two gods’ names in the documentary source of the Bible. To these, Freud adds two fresh ones: the foundation of two religions, the first repressed by the second but nevertheless emerging victoriously behind it, and two religious founders, who are both called by the same name of Moses and whose personalities we have to distinguish from each other. All of these dualities are the necessary consequences of the first one: one portion of the people had an experience which must be regarded as traumatic and which the other portion escaped.

1939A 23/54
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion:
Part I. Prefatory Notes I (Vienna) & II (London).
Two prefatory notes to Moses, His People and Monotheist Religion, are presented. Freud proposes to add a final portion to his two essays on Moses in Imago. Psychoanalytic research such as this is viewed with suspicious attention by Catholicism. If psychoanalytic work leads to a conclusion which reduces religion to a neurosis of humanity and explains its enormous power in the same way as a neurotic compulsion, we may be sure of drawing the resentment of our ruling powers down upon us. Freud does not intend these essays for public display or to cause sensationalism. He predicts that sometime in the future they may be read and evaluated without bias. The first prefatory note was written in Vienna, the second in London. When Germany invaded Austria, Freud escaped to London where he felt relatively free to publish his views on Moses. Since Freud wrote Totem and Taboo he never doubted that religious phenomena are only to be understood on the pattern of the individual neurotic symptoms familiar to him. Freud concludes that if he could not find support in an analytic interpretation of the exposure myth and could not pass from there to Sellin’s suspicion about the end of Moses, the whole thing would have had to remain unwritten.

1939A 23/59
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. Summary and recapitulation.
The historical premise concerning Moses and the Jewish religion is presented. The idea arose of a universal god Aten who is no longer restricted to a single country and a single people. Amenophis the Fourth, a Pharaoh, promoted the religion of Aten into a state religion. Under Akhenaten’s feeble successors, all that he had created collapsed. Among those in Akhenaten’s entourage there was a man who was called perhaps Tuthmosis. He was in a high position and a convinced adherent of the Aten religion, but in contrast to the meditative king, he was energetic and passionate. He turned to a Semitic tribe, foreigners, and with them sought compensation for his losses. He chose them as his people and tried to realize his ideals in them. After he had left Egypt with them, accompanied by his followers, he made them holy by the mark of circumcision, gave them laws and introduced them into the doctrines of the Aten religion. The union and founding of the religion at Kadesh were accompanied by a compromise in which the two sides are distinguishable. The one partner was only concerned to disavow the novelty and foreign character of the god Yahweh and to increase his claim to the people’s devotion; the other partner was anxious not to sacrifice to him precious memories of the liberation from Egypt and of the grand figure of the leader, Moses.

1939A 23/66
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part I. B. The latency period and tradition.
The idea of a single god, as well as the rejection of magically effective ceremonial and the stress upon ethical demands made in his name were in fact Mosaic doctrines, to which no attention was paid to begin with, but which, after a long interval had elapsed, came into operation and became permanently established. The two portions of what was later to be the Jewish people came together at Kadesh to receive a new religion. In those who had been in Egypt, the memories of the Exodus and of the figure of Moses were still so strong and vivid that they demanded their inclusion in an account of early times. The determining purpose of the other portion of the people was to glorify the new god and to dispute his being foreign. The phenomenon of latency in the history of the Jewish religion may be explained by the circumstance that the facts and ideas which were intentionally disavowed by the official historians were in fact never lost. Information about them persisted in traditions which survived among the people. These traditions, instead of becoming weaker with time, became more and more powerful in the course of centuries, forced their way into the later revisions of the official accounts, and finally showed themselves strong enough to have a decisive influence on the thoughts and actions of the people. The Jewish people had abandoned the Aten religion brought to them by Moses and had turned to the worship of another god who differed little from the Baalim of the neighboring peoples. The formation of epics pertaining to the Jewish culture is discussed.

1939A 23/72
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part I. C. The analogy.
The only satisfying analogy to the remarkable course of events that we have found in the history of the Jewish religion lies in the genesis of human neuroses. We give the name of traumas to those impressions, experienced early and later forgotten, to which we attach such great importance in the etiology of the neuroses. Researches have shown that the phenomena (symptoms) of a neurosis are the result of certain experiences and impressions which for that very reason are regarded as etiological traumas. All these traumas occur in early childhood up to about the fifth year. The experiences in question are as a rule totally forgotten. They relate to impressions of a sexual and aggressive nature. The effects of traumas are of two kinds, positive and negative. All these phenomena, the symptoms as well as the restrictions on the ego and the stable character changes, have a compulsive quality: that is to say that they have great psychical intensity and at the same time exhibit a far reaching independence of the organization of the other mental processes, which are adjusted to the demands of the real external world and obey the laws of logical thinking. A trauma in childhood may be followed immediately by a neurotic outbreak, an infantile neurosis, with an abundance of efforts at defense, and accompanied by the formation of symptoms. The phenomenon of a latency of the neurosis between the first reactions to the trauma and the later outbreak of the illness must be regarded as typical.

1939A 23/80
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part I. D. Application.
Freud’s construction of early history asserts that in primeval times, primitive man lived in small groups, each under the domination of a powerful male. The lot of his sons was a hard one: if they roused their father’s jealousy they were killed, castrated, or driven out. Their only resource was to collect together in small communities, to get themselves wives by robbery, and, when one or other of them could succeed in it, to raise themselves into a position similar to their father’s in the primal group. Totemism is regarded as the first form in which religion was manifested in human history. The first step away from totemism was the humanizing of the being who was worshipped. The reestablishment of the primal father in his historic rights was a great step forward but it could not be the end. The killing of Moses by his Jewish people, recognized by Sellin from the trace of it in tradition becomes an indispensable part of Freud’s construction, an important link between the forgotten event of primeval times and its later emergence in the form of the monotheist religions. It is plausible to conjecture that remorse for the murder of Moses provided the stimulus for the wishful phantasy of the Messiah who was to return and lead his people to redemption and the promised world dominion. Some deep motives for hatred of the Jews are analysed and include: jealousy of those people who declare themselves the firstborn, favorite children of God and their practice of circumcision which recalls castration.

1939A 23/92
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part I. E. Difficulties.
In the transference from individual to group psychology, two difficulties arise, differing in their nature and importance. The first of these is that we have dealt with only a single instance from the copious phenomenology of religions and have thrown no light on any others. The second difficulty raises the question in what form the operative tradition in the life of peoples is present. The compromise at Kadesh has been attributed to the survival of a powerful tradition among those who had returned from Egypt. In the group an impression of the past is retained in unconscious memory traces. If we assume the survival of memory traces in the archaic heritage, we have bridged the gulf between individual and group psychology: we can deal with peoples as we do with an individual neurotic. A tradition that was based only on communication could not lead to the compulsive character that attaches to religious phenomena. It would be listened to, judged, and perhaps dismissed, like any other piece of information from outside; it would never attain the privilege of being liberated from the constraint of logical thought.

1939A 23/103
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. Summary and recapitulation.
A summary and recapitulation of Moses and Monotheism is presented. Two pieces were published in Imago: the psychoanalytic starting point of the whole thing “Moses an Egyptian”, and the historical construction erected on this “If Moses was an Egyptian”. The remainder, which included what was really open to objection and dangerous, the application of the findings to the genesis of monotheism and the view of religion in general, Freud held back. In March 1938, came the unexpected German invasion of Vienna, which forced him to leave his home but also freed him from his anxiety lest his publication might conjure up a prohibition of psychoanalysis in a place where it was still tolerated.

1939A 23/105
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. A. The people of Israel.
Of all the peoples who lived round the basin of the Mediterranean in antiquity, the Jewish people is almost the only one which still exists in name and also in substance. It has met misfortunes and ill treatment with an unexampled capacity for resistance; it has developed special character traits and has earned the hearty dislike of every other people. We may start from a character trait of the Jews which dominates their relation to others. There is no doubt that they have a particularly high opinion of themselves, that they regard themselves as more distinguished, of higher standing, as superior to other people. At the same time they are inspired by a peculiar confidence in life, such as is derived from the secret ownership of some precious possession, a kind of optimism: pious people would call it trust in God. They really regard themselves as God’s chosen people, they believe that they stand especially close to him; and this makes them proud and confident. If one is the declared favorite of the dreaded father, one need not be surprised at the jealousy of one’s brothers and sisters. The course of world history seemed to justify the presumption of the Jews, since, when later on it pleased God to send mankind a Messiah and redeemer, he once again chose him from the Jewish people. It was the man Moses who imprinted this trait upon the Jewish people. He raised their self-esteem by assuring them that they were God’s chosen people, he enjoined them to holiness and pledged them to be apart from others.

1939A 23/107
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. B. The great man.
If the investigation of a particular case demonstrates to us the transcendent influence of a single personality, our conscience need not reproach us with having, by this hypothesis, flown in the face of the doctrine of the importance of general and impersonal factors. The development of monotheism was linked with the establishment of closer relations between different nations and with the building up of a great empire. A great man influences his fellow men in two ways: by his personality and by the idea which he puts forward. In the mass of mankind there is a powerful need for an authority who can be admired, before whom one bows down, by whom one is ruled and perhaps even ill treated. The origin of this is a longing for the father felt by everyone from his childhood onwards, for the same father whom the hero of legend boasts he has overcome. There is no doubt that it was a mighty prototype of a father which, in the person of Moses, stooped to the poor Jewish bondsmen to assure them that they were his dear children. And no less overwhelming must have been the effect upon them of the idea of a single, eternal, almighty God, who made a covenant with them and who promised to care for them if they remained loyal to his worship. The great religious idea for which the man Moses stood out was not his own property: he had taken it over from King Akhenaten.

1939A 23/111
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. C. The advance in intellectuality.
In order to bring about lasting psychical results in a people, it is clearly not enough to assure them that they have been chosen by the deity. The fact must also be proved to them in some way if they are to believe it and to draw consequences from the belief. In the religion of Moses, the Exodus from Egypt served as the proof; God, or Moses in his name, was never tired of appealing to this evidence of favor. The feat of the Passover was introduced in order to maintain the memory of that event. The religion of Moses brought the Jews a grand conception of God. Anyone who believed in this God had some kind of share in his greatness, might feel exalted himself. Among the precepts of the Mosaic religion there is one that is of the greatest importance. This is the prohibition against making an image of God, the compulsion to worship a God whom one cannot see. The Mosaic prohibition elevated God to a higher degree of intellectuality. All advances in intellectuality have as their consequence that the individual’s self-esteem is increased, that he is made proud, so that he feels superior to other people who have remained under the spell of sensuality. Moses conveyed to the Jews an exalted sense of being a chosen people. The de materialization of God brought a fresh and valuable contribution to their secret treasure. The Jews retained their inclination to intellectual interests.

1939A 23/116
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. D. Renunciation of instinct.
It is not obvious and not immediately understandable why an advance in intellectuality, a setback to sensuality, should raise the self-regard both of an individual and of a people. It seems to presuppose the existence of a definite standard of value and of some other person or agency which maintains it. If the id in a human being gives rise to an instinctual demand of an erotic or aggressive nature, the simplest and most natural thing is that the ego, which has the apparatus of thought and the muscular apparatus at its disposal, should satisfy the demand by an action. This satisfaction of the instinct is felt by the ego as pleasure. Instinctual renunciation can be imposed for both internal and external reasons. The religion which began with the prohibition against making an image of god develops more and more in the course of centuries into a religion of instinctual renunciations; it is content with a marked restriction of sexual freedom. God, however, becomes entirely removed from sexuality and elevated into the ideal of ethical perfection. Moses made his people holy by introducing the custom of circumcision. Circumcision is the symbolic substitute for the castration which the primal father once inflicted upon his sons in the plenitude of his absolute power, and whoever accepted that symbol was showing by it that he was prepared to submit to the father’s will, even if it imposed the most painful sacrifice on him. A part of the precepts of ethics is justified rationally by the necessity for delimiting the rights of the individual with respect to society and those of individuals with respect to one another.

1939A 23/122
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people, and monotheist religion.
Part II. E. What is true in religion.
The man Moses impressed the special character of the Jewish people on them by giving them a religion which increased their self-esteem so much that they thought themselves superior to all other peoples. Thereafter they survived by keeping apart from others. Mixtures of blood interfered little with this, since what held them together was an ideal factor, the possession in common of certain intellectual and emotional wealth. The religion of Moses led to this result because: (1) it allowed the people to take a share in the grandeur of a new idea of God; (2) it asserted that this people had been chosen by this great God and were destined to receive evidences of his special favor; and (3) it forced upon the people an advance in intellectuality which, important enough in itself, opened the way, in addition, to the appreciation of intellectual work and to further renunciations of instinct. The religion of Moses did not disappear without leaving a trace. A kind of memory of it had survived, obscured and distorted, supported, perhaps, among individual members of the priestly caste by ancient records. It was this tradition of a great past which continued to work in the background, as it were, which gradually gained more and more power over men’s minds, and which finally succeeded in transforming the god Yahweh into the god of Moses and in calling back to life the religion of Moses which had been established and then abandoned long centuries earlier.

1939A 23/124
Moses and monotheism: Three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. B. The return of the repressed.
The experiences of a person’s first 5 years exercise a determining effect on his life, which nothing later can withstand. What children have experienced at the age of 2 and have not understood, need never be remembered by them except in dreams. But at some later time it will break into their life with obsessional impulses, it will govern their actions, it will decide their sympathies and antipathies and will quite often determine their choice of a love object. It is not easy to introduce the idea of the unconscious into group psychology. Regular contributions are made to these phenomena by the mechanisms which lead to the formation of neuroses. Here again the determining events occur in early childhood, but here the stress is not upon the time but upon the process by which the event is met, the reaction to it. It is described schematically: as a result of the experience, an instinctual demand arises which calls for satisfaction. The ego refuses that satisfaction, either because it is paralyzed by the magnitude of the demand or because it recognizes it as a danger. The ego fends off the danger by the process of repression. The instinctual impulse is in some way inhibited and its precipitating cause, with its attendant perceptions and ideas, is forgotten. The formation of symptoms may be described as the return of the repressed. Their distinguishing characteristic is the greater distortion to which the returning material has been subjected as compared with the original.

1939A 23/127
Moses and monotheism: three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. B. Historical truth.
The religion of Moses only carried through its effect on the Jewish people as a tradition. A primitive man is in need of a god as creator of the universe, as chief of his clan, as personal protector. This god takes his position behind the dead fathers about whom tradition still has something to say. The idea of a single god means in itself an advance in intellectuality. When Moses brought the people the idea of a single god, it was not a novelty but signified the revival of an experience in the primeval ages of the human family which had long vanished from men’s conscious memory. We have learned from the psychoanalyses of individuals that their earliest impressions, received at a time when the child was scarcely yet capable of speaking, produce at some time or another effects of a compulsive character without themselves being consciously remembered. The same assumption is made about the earliest experiences of the whole of humanity. One of these effects would be the emergence of the idea of a single great god, an idea which must be recognized as a completely justified memory, though, it is true, one that has been distorted. An idea such as this has a compulsive character: it must be believed. Since it is distorted, it may be described as a delusion; insofar as it brings a return of the past, it must be called the truth.

1939A 23/132
Moses and monotheism: three essays (1939).
Essay III. Moses, his people and monotheist religion.
Part II. H. The historical development.
After the institution of the combination of brother clan, matriarchy, exogamy, and totemism, a development began which must be described as a slow return of the repressed. The return of the repressed took place under the influence of all the changes in conditions of life which fill the history of human civilization. The first effect of meeting the being who had so long been missed and longed for was overwhelming and was like the traditional description of the law giving from Mount Sinai. Admiration, awe and thankfulness for having found grace in his eyes, were part of the positive feelings towards the father god. A rapture of devotion to God was the first reaction to the return of the great father. There was no place in the framework of the religion of Moses for a direct expression of the murderous hatred of the father. All that could come to light was a mighty reaction against it, a sense of guilt on account of that hostility, a bad conscience for having sinned against God and for not ceasing to sin. Further development of this point takes us beyond Judaism. Original sin and redemption by the sacrifice of a victim became the foundation stones of the new religion founded by Paul. Christianity, having arisen out of a father religion, became a son religion but has not escaped the fate of having to get rid of the father. Only a portion of the Jewish people accepted the new doctrine. Those who refused to are still called Jews today.

1940A 23/141
An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Editor’s note (1964) and Preface.
An Outline of Psychoanalysis Was first published both in German and English. The Outlinemust be described as unfinished, but it is difficult to regard it as incomplete The last chapter is shorter than the rest and might have gone on to a discussion of such things as the sense of guilt, though this had already been touched on in Chapter 6. In general, however, the question of how far and in what direction Freud would have proceeded with the book is an intriguing one, for the program laid down by the author in his preface seems already to be reasonably well carried out. In the long succession of Freud’s expository works the Outlineexhibits a unique character. The others are, without exception, aimed at explaining psychoanalysis to an outside public, a public with varying degrees and types of general approach to Freud’s subject, but always a relatively ignorant public. This cannot be said of the Outline. This is not a book for beginners; it is something much more like a refresher course for advanced students.

1940A 23/144
An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part I. The mind and its workings.
Chapter I: The psychical apparatus.
The id, the oldest of the psychic agencies, contains everything that is inherited, that is present at birth, that is laid down in the constitution, therefore, instincts. Under the influence of the real external world, one portion of the id has undergone a special development: from what was originally a cortical layer, a special organization (called the ego) has arisen which acts as an intermediary between the id and the external world. The principal characteristics of the ego are discussed. It has the task of self-preservation. As regards external events, it becomes aware of stimuli, sorts experiences about them, avoids excessively strong stimuli, deals with moderate stimuli, and learns to bring about expedient changes in the external world to its own advantage. As regards internal events, in relation to the id, the ego performs that task by gaining control over the demands of the instincts, by deciding whether they are to be allowed satisfaction, by postponing that satisfaction to times and circumstances favorable in the external world, or by suppressing their excitations entirely. The long period of childhood, during which the growing human being lives in dependence on his parents, leaves behind it a special agency, the superego, in which this parental influence is prolonged. An action by the ego should satisfy simultaneously the demands of the id, of the superego and of reality. The id and superego have 1 thing in common: both represent the influences of the past, the id the influence of heredity, the superego the influence of what is taken over from other people. The ego is principally determined by the individual’s own experience.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part I. The mind and its workings.
Chapter II: The theory of the instincts.
The theory of the instincts is presented. The power of the id expresses the true purpose of the individual organism’s life. The ego has the task of self-preservation. The main function of the superego is the limitation of satisfactions. The forces which exist behind the tensions caused by the needs of the id are called instincts. The existence of only two basic instincts is assumed: Eros and the destructive instinct. The aim of the first of these basic instincts is to establish ever greater unities and to preserve them; the aim of the second is to undo connections and so to destroy them. So long as the second instinct operates internally, as a death instinct, it remains silent; it only comes to our notice when it is diverted outwards as an instinct of destruction. The whole available quota of libido is stored up in the ego. This state is called absolute, primary narcissism. It lasts till the ego begins to cathect the ideas of objects with libido, to transform narcissistic libido into object libido. Throughout the whole of life the ego remains the great reservoir from which libidinal cathexes are sent out to objects and into which they are also once more withdrawn. The most prominent of the parts of the body from which the libido arises are known by the name of erotogenic zones.

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An outline of_psychoanalysis (1940).
Part I. The mind and its workings.
Chapter III: The development of the sexual function
The development of the sexual function is presented. The principal findings of psychoanalysis are: (1) sexual life does not begin at puberty, but is clearly manifested soon after birth; (2) it is necessary to distinguish sharply between the concepts of sexual and genital; (3) sexual life includes the function of obtaining pleasure from zones of the body, a function which is subsequently brought into the service of reproduction. The first organ to emerge as an erotogenic zone and to make libidinal demands on the mind is the mouth. During this oral phase, sadistic impulses already occur sporadically along with the appearance of the teeth. Their extent is far greater in the second phase, which is described as the sadistic anal one, because satisfaction is then sought in aggression and in the excretory function. The third phase is that known as the phallic one, which is, as it were, a forerunner of the final form taken by sexual life and already much resembles it. With the phallic phase and in the course of it, the sexuality of early childhood reaches its height and approaches its dissolution. Thereafter boys and girls have different histories. The boy enters the Oedipus phase. The girl, after vainly attempting to do the same as the boy, comes to recognize her lack of a penis or rather the inferiority of her clitoris, with permanent effects on the development of her character. The complete sexual organization is only achieved at puberty, in a fourth, genital phase. A state of things is then established in which (1) some earlier libidinal cathexes are retained (2) others are taken into the sexual function as preparatory, auxiliary acts, the satisfaction of which produces what is known as forepleasure, and (3) other urges are excluded from the organization, and are either suppressed altogether or employed in the ego in another way, forming character traits or undergoing sublimation with a displacement of their aims. When this process malfunctions, disturbances of sexual life result. An example of a developmental inhibition would be homosexuality. The normal and abnormal manifestations observed by us need to be described from the point of view of their dynamics and economics. The etiology of neurotic disorders is to be looked for in the individual’s developmental history.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part I. The mind and its workings.
Chapter IV: Psychical qualities.
Psychical qualities are discussed. Psychoanalysis explains the supposedly somatic concomitant phenomena as being what is truly psychical, and thus in the first instance disregards the quality of consciousness. What Freud calls conscious is the same as the consciousness of philosophers and of everyday opinions. Everything else psychical is the unconscious. However, some processes become conscious easily; they may then cease to be conscious, but can become conscious once more without any trouble: as people say, they can be reproduced or remembered. In general, consciousness is a highly fugitive state. Everything unconscious that is capable of becoming conscious is called preconscious. Three qualities are attributed to psychical processes: they are either conscious, preconscious, or unconscious. What is preconscious becomes conscious, and in the process we may have a feeling that we are often overcoming very strong resistances. The process of something becoming conscious is linked with the perceptions which our sense organs receive from the external world. This process takes place in the outermost cortex of the ego. The inside of the ego, which comprises all the thought processes, has the quality of being preconscious. The sole prevailing quality in the id is that of being unconscious. The processes in the unconscious or in the id obey different laws from those in the preconscious ego. We name these laws in their totality the primary process, in contrast to the secondary process which governs the course of events in the preconscious, in the ego.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part I. The mind and its workings.
Chapter V: Dream-interpretation as an illustration.
We find our way to the understanding of a dream by assuming that what we recollect as the dream after we have woken up is not the true dream process but only a facade behind which the process lies concealed. The process which produces the manifest dream content out of the latent dream thoughts is described as the dream work. The study of the dream work teaches us the way in which unconscious material from the id forces its way into the ego, becomes preconscious and, as a result of the ego’s opposition, undergoes the changes known as dream distortion. Dream formation can be provoked if (1) an ordinarily suppressed instinctual impulse finds sufficient strength during sleep to make itself felt by the ego or (2) an urge left over from waking life finds reinforcement during sleep from an unconscious element. Thus dreams arise from either the id or the ego. Evidence for the share taken by the unconscious id in the dream formation is discussed. Dream work is essentially an instance of the unconscious working over of preconscious thought processes. Two peculiarities of dream work (condensation and displacement) are discussed. With the help of the unconscious, every dream that is in the process of formation makes a demand upon the ego, for the satisfaction of an instinct, if the dream originates from the id; for the solution of a conflict, the removal of a doubt or the forming of an intention, if the dream originates from a residue of preconscious activity in waking life. The sleeping ego, however, is focused on the wish to maintain sleep; it feels this demand as a disturbance and seeks to get rid of the disturbance. The ego succeeds in doing this by what appears to be an act of compliance: it meets the demand with a harmless fulfillment of a wish and so gets rid of it. This replacement of the demand by the fulfillment of a wish remains the essential function of the dream work.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part II. The practical task.
Chapter VI: The technique of psycho-analysis.
The technique of psychoanalysis is presented. It is the ego’s task to meet the demands raised by its three dependent relations: to reality, to the id, and to the superego; and nevertheless at the same time to preserve its own organization and maintain its own autonomy. If the patient’s ego is to be a useful ally, it must have retained a certain amount of coherence and some fragment of understanding for the demands of reality, however hard it may be pressed by the hostile powers. The method is only useful with neurotics, not psychotics. The fundamental rule of analysis pledges the patient to tell everything that his self-observation yields including the irrelevant, nonsensual or disagreeable. The patient is not satisfied with regarding the analyst as a helper and adviser but sees in him some important figure out of his childhood and consequently transfers on to him feelings and reactions which applied to this prototype. This fact of transference soon proves to be a factor of importance. If the patient puts the analyst in the place of his father, he is also giving him the power which his superego exercises over his ego. The new superego now has an opportunity for a sort of after-education of the neurotic. The ego protects itself against the invasion of the undesired elements from the unconscious and repressed id by means of anticathexes, which must remain intact if it is to function normally. The overcoming of resistances is the part of the work that requires the most time and the greatest trouble. Two new factors, as sources of resistance, are: (I) the sense of guilt or consciousness of built, and (2) those cases in which the instinct of self-preservation has actually been reversed and the patient aims at nothing other than self-injury and self-destruction. Standing in the way of successful psychoanalysis are the negative transference, the ego’s resistance due to repression, the sense of guilt arising from its relation to the superego and the need to be ill due to profound changes in the economics of the patient’s instincts.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part II. The practical task.
Chapter VII: An example of psychoanalytic work.
The neuroses and psychoses are the states in which disturbances in the functioning of the psychical apparatus come to expression. Neuroses have been chosen as the subjects of study because they alone seem accessible to the psychological methods of intervention. The neuroses have no specific determinants. Quantitative disharmonies are what must be held responsible for the inadequacy and sufferings of neurotics. It seems that neuroses are acquired only in early childhood (up to the age of 6), even though their symptoms may not make their appearance till much later. The neuroses are disorders of the ego. The ego, when it is feeble, immature and incapable of resistance, fails to deal with tasks which it could cope with later on with utmost ease. Instinctual demands from within, no less than excitations from the external world, operate as traumas, particularly if they are met halfway by certain innate dispositions. The helpless ego fends them off by means of attempts at flight (repressions), which later turn out to be inefficient and which involve permanent restrictions on further development. The symptoms of neurosis are either a substitutive satisfaction of some sexual urge or measures to prevent such a satisfaction or compromises between the two. The relation of the child to his mother is analyzed with regard to her as a love object and her threats to punish his masturbation with castration. The mother usually delegates the act of castration to the boy’s father. The Oedipus complex is a major event in the lives of both boys and girls. The difference between the Oedipus complex and the castration complex in females and males is discussed at length. In males, the threat of castration brings the Oedipus complex to an end; in females, it is their lack of a penis that forces them into their Oedipus complex.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part III. The theoretical yield.
Chapter VIII: The psychical apparatus and the external world.
The core of our being is formed by the obscure id, which has no direct communication with the external world and is accessible to knowledge only through the medium of another agency. Within this id the organic instincts operate, which are themselves compounded of fusions of two primal forces (Eros and destructiveness) in varying proportions and are differentiated from one another by their relation to organs or systems of organs. The id, cut off from the external world, has a world of perception of its own. The ego has been developed out of the id’s cortical layer, which, through being adapted to the reception and exclusion of stimuli, is in direct contact with the external world (reality). Starting from conscious perception it has subjected to its influence ever larger regions and deeper strata of the id and, in the persistence with which it maintains its dependence on the external world, it bears the indelible stamp of its origin. Its psychological function consists in raising the passage of events in the id to a higher dynamic level; its constructive function consists in interpolating the activity of thought which endeavors by means of experimental actions to calculate the consequences of the course of action proposed. Thus the ego decides whether the attempt to obtain satisfaction is to be carried out or postponed or if it is not necessary for the demand by the instinct to be suppressed altogether as being dangerous. This is the reality principle. Since memory traces can become conscious just as perceptions do, the possibility arises of a confusion which would lead to a mistaking of reality; the ego guards itself against this by the institution of reality testing. In the period of childhood the weak and immature ego is permanently damaged by the stresses put upon it in its efforts to fend off the dangers peculiar to that period of life. Children are protected against dangers from the external world by the solicitude of their parents; they pay for this security by fear of loss of love. The ego pathological states are founded on a cessation or slackening of its relation to the external world. The view postulating that in all psychoses there is a splitting of the ego (two different attitudes) is discussed with fetishism used as an example.

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An outline of psychoanalysis (1940).
Part III. The theoretical yield.
Chapter IX. The internal world.
The internal world is discussed. Until the end of the first period of childhood (about age 5), the ego mediates between the id and the external world, takes over the instinctual demands of the former in order to lead them to satisfaction, derives perceptions from the latter and uses them as memories. Intent on its self-preservation, the ego puts itself in defense against excessively strong claims from both sides and at the same time, is guided in all its decisions by the injunctions of a modified pleasure principle. At this age, a portion of the external world becomes abandoned as an object and is instead taken into the ego and thus becomes an integral part of the internal world. This new psychical agency continues to carry on the functions which have hitherto been performed by the people in the external world: it observes the ego, gives its orders, judges it and threatens it with punishments. This agency is called the superego and functions as the conscience. The superego is the heir to the Oedipus complex and is established only after that complex has been disposed of. So long as the ego works in full harmony with the superego it is not easy to distinguish between their manifestations; but tensions and estrangements between them make themselves very plainly visible. The superego takes up a kind of intermediate position between the id and the external world, it unites in itself the influences of the present and the past.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Editor’s note (1964).
Analysis Terminable and In terminable was written early in 1937 and published in June. The paper as a whole is pessimistic about the therapeutic efficacy of psychoanalysis. Its limitations are constantly stressed, the difficulties of the procedure and the obstacles standing in its way are insisted upon. The factors to which Freud draws attention are of a physiological and biological nature: they are thus generally unsusceptible to psychological influences. There is one respect in which the views expressed by Freud in this paper do seem to differ from, or even to contradict, his earlier ones; namely, in the skepticism expressed by him in regard to the prophylactic power of psychoanalysis. His doubts extend to the prospects of preventing not merely the occurrence of a fresh and different neurosis but even a return of a neurosis that has already been treated. The basis of this increased scepticism of Freud’s seems to be a conviction of the impossibility of dealing with a conflict that is not current and of the grave objections to converting a latent conflict into a current one. It is of interest to note that at the very beginning of his practice Freud was worried by very much the same problems as these, which may thus be said to have extended over the entire length of his analytic studies.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part I. Setting a time limit for termination.
Part II. Factors which may make analysis interminable.
From the very first, attempts have been made to shorten the duration of psychoanalyses. Otto Rank, following his book, The Trauma of Birth, supposed that the true source of neurosis was the act of birth. He hoped that if this primal trauma were dealt with by a subsequent analysis, the whole neurosis would be got rid of. To speed up an analytic treatment Freud used the fixing of a time limit for analysis. The only verdict about the value of this device is that it is effective provided that one hits the right time for it. But it cannot guarantee to accomplish the task completely. The end of analysis can mean different things. From a practical standpoint, it means that the patient and the analyst have ceased to meet each other for the analytic session. The other meaning is that the analyst has had such a farreaching influence on the patient that no further change could be expected to take place in him if his analysis were continued. A constitutional strength of instinct and an unfavorable alteration of the ego acquired in its defensive struggle in the sense of its being dislocated and restricted are the factors which are prejudicial to the effectiveness of analysis and which may make its duration interminable. Two examples are given illustrating that even a successful analytic treatment does not prevent the patient from falling ill later on from another neurosis, or, of a neurosis derived from the same instinctual root recurrence of the same old trouble. The exacting demands upon analytic therapy hardly call for a shortening of its duration.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part III. The strength of the instincts vis-a-vis the other psychical agencies.
There are three factors which are decisive for the success or failure of analytic treatment: the influence of traumas, the constitutional strength of the instincts, and the alterations of the ego. The constitutional factor is of decisive importance from the very beginning; however, a reinforcement of instinct coming later in life might produce the same effects. Twice in the course of individual development certain instincts are considerably reinforced: at puberty and, in women, at the menopause. We are not in the least surprised if a person who was not neurotic before becomes so at these times. In endeavoring to replace insecure repressions by reliable ego syntonic controls, we do not always achieve our aim to its full extent, that is, do not achieve it thoroughly enough. The transformation is achieved, but often only partially. Analysis does not always succeed in ensuring to a sufficient degree the foundations on which a control of instinct is based. The cause of such a partial failure is easily discovered. In the past, the quantitative factor of instinctual strength opposed the ego’s defensive efforts; for that reason we called in the work of analysis to help; and now that same factor sets a limit to the efficacy of this new effort. If the strength of the instinct is excessive, the mature ego, supported by analysis, fails in its task, just as the helpless ego failed formerly.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part IV. Protecting against future conflicts.
Two problems are considered: whether we can protect a patient from future conflicts while we are treating one instinctual conflict, and whether it is feasible and expedient, for prophylactic purposes, to stir up a conflict which is not at the time manifest. The first task can only be carried out in so far as the second one is; that is, in so far as a possible future conflict is turned into an actual present one upon which influence is then brought to bear. If an instinctual conflict is not a currently active one, is not manifesting itself, we cannot influence it even by analysis. In analytic prophylaxis against instinctual conflicts, the only methods which come into consideration are: (1) the artificial production of new conflicts in the transference (conflicts which lack the character of reality), and (2) the arousing of such conflicts in the patient’s imagination by talking to him about them and making him familiar with their possibility. By telling the patient about the possibilities of other instinctual conflicts, we arouse his expectation that such conflicts may occur in him. What we hope is that this information and this warning will have the effect of activating in him one of the conflicts in a modest degree and yet sufficiently for treatment. The expected result does not come about; all we have done is increased his knowledge but altered nothing else in him. An analogous experience in which children are given sexual enlightenment is discussed.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part V. Alterations of the ego affect prognosis.
The factors which are decisive for the success of the therapeutic efforts are the influence of traumatic etiology, the relative strength of the instincts which have to be controlled, and an alteration of the ego. The analytic situation consists in our allying ourselves with the ego of the person under treatment, in order to subdue portions of his id which are uncontrolled. The ego has to try to fulfill its task of mediating between its id and the external world in the service of the pleasure principle, and to protect the id from the dangers of the external world. Under the influence of education the ego grows accustomed to removing the scene of the fight from outside to within and to mastering the internal danger of before it has become an external one. During this fight on two fronts, the ego makes use of various procedures for fulfilling its task, which is to avoid danger, anxiety, and unpleasure. These procedures are called mechanisms of defense. In psychoanalysis the defensive mechanisms directed against former danger recur in the treatment procedure as resistances against recovery. Thus the ego treats recovery as a new danger. The therapeutic effect depends on making conscious what is repressed in the id. The effect brought about in the ego by the defenses can rightly be described as an alteration of the ego if by that we understand a deviation from the normal ego which would guarantee unshakable loyalty to the work of analysis. The outcome of an analytic treatment depends essentially on the strength and on the depth of these resistances that bring about an alteration of the ego.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part VI. Constitutional variables in ego, libido and free aggressiveness.
Each ego is endowed with individual dispositions and trends. The properties of the ego which we meet with in the form of resistances can be determined by heredity or can be acquired in defensive struggles. There are various kinds of resistance. There are people to whom is attributed a special adhesiveness of the libido. Another group of patients has an attitude which can only be put down to a depletion of plasticity, the capacity for change and further development. In yet another group of cases the distinguishing characteristics of the ego, which are to be held responsible as sources of resistance against analytic treatment and as impediments to the therapeutic success, may spring from different and deeper roots. Here we are dealing with the ultimate things which psychological research can learn about: the behavior of the two primal instincts, their distribution, mingling, and defusion. In studying the phenomena which testify to the activity of the destructive instinct, we are not confined to observations on pathological material. There have always been, as there still are, people who can take as their sexual objects members of their own sex as well as of the opposite one, without the one trend interfering with the other. The two fundamental principles of Empedocles are the same as Eros and destructiveness: the first endeavors to combine what exists into ever greater unities, while the second endeavors to dissolve those combinations and to destroy the structures to which they have given rise.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part VII. Factors in the analyst affect prognosis.
In 1927, Ferenczi read an instructive paper on the problem of terminating analyses. It ends with a comforting assurance that analysis is not an endless process, but one which can be brought to a natural end with sufficient skill and patience on the analyst’s part. Ferenczi makes the further important point that success depends very largely on the analyst’s having learnt sufficiently from his own errors and mistakes and having got the better of the weak points in his personality. It cannot be disputed that analysts in their own personalities have not invariably come up to the standard of psychical normality to which they wish to educate their patients. Opponents of analysis often point to this fact with scorn and use it as an argument to show the uselessness of analytic exertions. The special conditions of analytic work do actually cause the analyst’s own defects to interfere with his making a correct assessment of the state of things in his patient and reacting to them in a useful way. The termination of an analysis is a practical matter. Every experienced analyst will be able to recall a number of cases in which he has bidden his patient a permanent farewell. The purpose of the analysis is to secure the best possible psychological conditions for the functions of the ego; with that it has discharged its task.

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Analysis terminable and interminable (1937).
Part VIII. Bisexuality is the strongest resistance to analysis.
Both in therapeutic and in character analyses, two themes come into prominence and give the analyst an unusual amount of trouble. The two themes are an envy for the penis, a positive striving to possess a male genital in the female and, in the male, a struggle against his passive or feminine attitude to another male. What is common to the two themes was singled out at an early date by psychoanalytic nomenclature as an attitude towards the castration complex. In both cases, it is the attitude to the opposite sex which has succumbed to repression. The paramount importance of these two themes did not escape Ferenczi’s notice. In the paper read by him in 1927, he made it a requirement that in every successful analysis these two complexes must be mastered. At no other point in one’s analytic work does one suffer more from an oppressive feeling that all one’s repeated efforts have been in vain than when one is trying to persuade a woman to abandon her wish for a penis since it is unrealizable or when one is seeking to convince a man that a passive attitude to men does not always signify castration and that it is indispensable in many relationships in life. The rebellious overcompensation of the male produces one of the strongest transference resistances. The resistance prevents any change from taking place.

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Constructions in analysis (1937).
Part I. The analyst’s task requires constructions in analysis.
Constructions in Analysis was published in December, 1937. Three examples of constructions in Freud’s writings: the Rat Man, the Wolf Man, and the case history of a homosexual girl. It is familiar ground that the work of analysis aims at inducing the patient to give up the repressions belonging to his early development and to replace them by reactions of a sort that would correspond to a psychically mature condition. With this purpose in view, he must be brought to recollect certain experiences and the affective impulses called up by them which he has for the time being forgotten. His present symptoms and inhibitions are the consequences of repressions of this kind: thus they are a substitute for these things that he has forgotten. What we are in search of is a picture of the patient’s forgotten years that shall be both trustworthy and, in all essential respects, complete. The analyst’s work of construction, or of reconstruction, resembles to a great extent an archaeologist’s excavation of some dwelling place or of some ancient edifice that has been destroyed and buried. Only by analytic technique can we succeed in bringing what is concealed completely to light.

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Constructions in analysis (1937).
Part II. Evaluating the patient’s reactions to a construction.
Every analyst knows that two kinds of work are carried on side by side. The analyst finishes a piece of construction and communicates it to the subject so that it may work upon him; the analyst then constructs a further piece out of the fresh material pouring in upon him, deals with it in the same way and proceeds in this alternating fashion until the end. We cannot neglect the indications that can be inferred from the patient’s reaction upon offering him one of our constructions, nevertheless a straight Yes or No answer is not to be taken at face value. These Yes and No answers are both considered ambiguous. The direct utterances of the patient after he has been offered a construction afford very little evidence about whether we have been right or wrong. The indirect forms of confirmation are used. One of these is a form of words that is used with very little variation by the most different people: ~’I didn’t ever think.” This can be translated into: ‘Yes, you’re right this time, about my unconscious.” Indirect confirmation from associations that fit in with the content of a construction is likely to be confirmed in the course of the analysis. It is particularly striking when, by means of a parapraxis, a confirmation of this kind insinuates itself into a direct denial. There is no justification for the reproach that we neglect or underestimate the importance of the attitude taken up by those under analysis towards our constructions. We pay attention to them and often derive valuable information from them. But these reactions are rarely unambiguous and give no opportunity for a final judgment. Only the further course of the analysis enables us to decide whether our constructions are correct or unserviceable.

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Constructions in analysis (1937).
Part III. The distinction between historical and material truth.
The path that starts from the analyst’s construction ought to end in the patient’s recollection; but it does not always lead so far. Quite often we do not succeed in bringing the patient to recollect what has been repressed. Instead of that, if the analysis is carried out correctly, we produce in him an assured conviction of the truth of the construction which achieves the same therapeutic result as a recaptured memory. Freud is struck by the manner in which the communication of an apt construction has evoked a surprising phenomenon in the patients. They have had lively recollections called up in them, but what they have recollected has not been the event that was the subject of the construction, but details relating to that subject. The upward drive of the repressed, stirred into activity by the putting forward of the construction, has striven to carry the important memory traces into consciousness; but a resistance has succeeded, not in stopping that movement, but in displacing it on to adjacent objects of minor significance. These recollections might have been described as hallucinations if a belief in their actual presence had been added to their clearness. Freud hypothesizes that in delusions, the dynamic process is that the turning away from reality is exploited by the upward drive of the repressed in order to force its content into consciousness, while the resistances stirred up by this process and the trend to wish fulfillment are responsible for the distortion and displacement of what is recollected.

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Splitting of the ego in the process of defence (1940).<
The Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence, published posthumously, was dated January 2, 1938. The ego of a person whom we know as a patient in analysis must, dozens of years earlier, when it was young, have behaved in a remarkable manner in certain particular situations of pressure. The conditions under which this happens can be called the influence of a psychical trauma. Let us suppose that a child’s ego is under the sway of a powerful instinctual demand which it is accustomed to satisfy and that it is suddenly frightened by an experience which teaches it that the continuance of this satisfaction will result in an almost intolerable real danger. It must now decide either to recognize the real danger, give way to it and renounce the instinctual satisfaction, or to disavow reality and make itself believe that there is no reason for fear, so that it may be able to retain the satisfaction. The child replies to the conflict with two contrary reactions. On the one hand, with the help of certain mechanisms he rejects reality and refuses to accept any prohibition; on the other hand, in the same breath he recognizes the danger of reality, takes over the fear of that danger as a pathological symptom, and tries subsequently to divest himself of the fear. The two contrary reactions to the conflict persist as the center point of a splitting of the ego. An individual case history is discussed concerning this point. A small boy created a substitute (fetish) for the penis which he missed in females. So long as he was not obliged to acknowledge that females have lost their penis, there was no need for him to believe the threat of castration in punishment for his masturbation. The boy did not simply contradict his perceptions and hallucinate a penis. He effected no more than a displacement of value: he transferred the Importance of the penis to another part of the body through the assistance of regression. He had a great fear of his father.

1940B 23/279
Some elementary lessons in psycho-analysis (1940). The nature of the psychical.
Some Elementary Lessons in Psycho-analysis, written in London, is dated October 20, 1938. Psychoanalysis has little prospect of becoming liked or popular. Being conscious is only a quality of what is psychical; the psychical is in itself unconscious and probably similar in kind to all the other natural processes. Psychoanalysis bases this assertion on a number of facts, of which Freud proceeded to give a selection. (1) We know what is meant by ideas occurring to one, thoughts that suddenly come into consciousness without one’s being aware of the steps that led up to them, though they, too, must have been psychical acts. (2) The second class of phenomena includes the parapraxes, the slips of the tongues. (3) As a third example, Freud states that it is possible in the case of persons in a state of hypnosis to prove experimentally that there are such things as unconscious psychical acts and that consciousness is not an indispensable condition of psychical activity. Freud concludes that consciousness is only a quality or attribute of what is psychical, and moreover an inconstant one.

1938A 23/287
A comment on anti-Semitism (1938).
A Comment on Anti-Semitism consists almost wholly of a quotation from a source which Freud declares that he can no longer trace. It has been suggested that the quotation is in fact by Freud himself, who chose an indirect manner of expressing some rather uncongenial views. The views were written by an author who claimed that he was not Jewish. Many derogatory, as well as the following favorable remarks are made about Jews. For long centuries the Jewish people have been treated unjustly and are continuing to be judged unjustly. The Jews do not need alcohol to make life tolerable; crimes of brutality, murder, robbery, and sexual violence are great rarities among them; they have always set a high value on intellectual achievement and interests; their family life is intimate; they take care of the poor; and charity is a sacred duty to them.

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Lou Andreas-Salome (1937).
On February 5, 1937, Frau Lou Andreas-Salome died at the age of 76 years. For the last 25 years of her life she was attached to psychoanalysis, to which she contributed valuable writings and which she practiced as well. It was known that as a girl she had kept up an intense friendship with Friedrich Nietzsche, founded upon her deep understanding of the philosopher’s bold ideas. Many years later she had acted as Muse and protecting mother to Rainer Maria Rilke, the great poet, who was somewhat helpless in facing life. In 1912 she returned to Vienna in order to be initiated into psychoanalysis. Anna Freud, who was her close friend, once heard her regret that she had not known psychoanalysis in her youth, but in those days it had not been defined.

1941F 23/299
Findings, ideas, problems (1941).
A series of short disconnected paragraphs (in order by date) were printed at the end of the volume of posthumous works published in 1941 under the heading of Findings, Ideas, Problems: London, June, 1938. One dated June 16 points out that in connection with early experiences, as contrasted with later experiences, all the various reactions to them survive, of course including contradictory ones. July 12: As a substitute for penis envy, identification with the clitoris is proposed: neatest expression of inferiority, source of all inhibitions. At the same time, there is a disavowal of the discovery that other women too are without a penis. July 12: With neurotics, it is as though we were in a prehistoric landscape. July 20: The individual perishes from his internal conflicts, the species perishes in its struggle with the external world to which it is no longer adapted. August 3: A sense of guilt originates from unsatisfied love as well as from hate. The ultimate ground of all intellectual inhibition and all inhibitions of work seems to be the inhibition of masturbation in childhood. August 22: Space may be the projection of the extension of the psychical apparatus. Mysticism is the obscure self-perception of the realm outside the ego, of the id.

1938D 23/301
Anti-Semitism in England (1938).
Anti-Semitism is discussed in a letter to the editor of London’s Time and Tide. After 68 years of work in Vienna, Freud had to leave his home, saw the scientific society he had founded dissolved, his institutions destroyed, his printing press taken over by the invaders, the books he had published confiscated or reduced to pulp, and his children expelled from their professions. Freud suggested that the column should be reserved for the opinions of non-Jewish people less involved than himself. Freud was deeply affected by the acknowledgement of a certain growth of anti-Semitism even in England. Freud felt that the persecution ought to give rise to a wave of sympathy.

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

Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor

 

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