Illuminate. Discover. Change.

Volume 19

Volume XIX: 
The Ego and the Id and Other Works (1923-1925)

1923B 19/3
The ego and the id (1923).
Editor’s introduction. (1961).
The Ego and the Id appeared in the third week of April, 1923, though it had been in Freud’s mind since at least the previous July. The Ego and the Id is the last of Freud’s major theoretical works. It offers a description of the mind and its workings which is at first sight new and even revolutionary; and indeed all psychoanalytic writings that date from after its publication bear the unmistakable imprint of its effects, at least in regard to their terminology. The forerunners of the present general picture of the mind had been successively the ‘Project’ of 1895, the seventh chapter of the Interpretation of Dreams and the metapsychological papers of 1915. A simple scheme underlay all of Freud’s earlier theoretical ideas: functionally, a repressed force endeavoring to make its way into activity but held in check by a repressing force, and structurally, an unconscious opposed by an ego. In the structural picture of the mind, what had from the first been most clearly differentiated from the unconscious had been the ego. It now began to appear that the ego itself ought partly to be described as unconscious. Being conscious was hence forward to be regarded simply as a quality which might or might not be attached to a mental state. In The Ego and the Id, the 2 main ideas consist of 1) the thesis of the threefold division of the mind and 2) the genesis of the superego.

1923B 19/12
The Ego and the id (1923).
Preface and Part I: Consciousness and what is unconscious.
The division of the psychical into what is conscious and what is unconscious is the fundamental premise of psychoanalysis; and it alone makes it possible for psychoanalysis to understand the pathological processes in mental life, which are as common as they are important, and to find a place for them in the framework of science. Being conscious is in the first place a purely descriptive term, resting on perception of the most immediate and certain character. A psychical element is not as a rule conscious for a protracted length of time. Very powerful mental processes or ideas exist which can produce all the effects in mental life that ordinary ideas do, though they themselves do not become conscious. The reason why such ideas cannot become conscious is that a certain force opposes them, that otherwise they could become conscious, and that it would then be apparent how little they differ from other elements which are admittedly psychical. The state in which the ideas existed before being made conscious is called repression, and we assert that the force which instituted the repression and maintains it is perceived as resistance during the work of analysis. We obtain our concept of the unconscious from the theory of repression. The latent, which is unconscious only descriptively, not in the dynamic sense we call preconscious; we restrict the term unconscious to the dynamically unconscious repressed. In each individual there is a coherent organization of mental processes called ego; consciousness is attached to this ego. The ego controls the approaches to motility and from this ego proceeds the repressions by means of which it is sought to exclude certain trends in the mind not merely from consciousness but also from other forms of effectiveness and activity. Resistance, which is also found in the ego, is unconscious, and behaves like the repressed. A part of the ego may be unconscious, and this unconsciousness belonging to the ego is not latent like the preconscious.

1923B 19/19
The ego and the id (1923).
Part II: The ego and the id.
All our knowledge is invariably bound up with consciousness. We can come to know even the unconscious (Ucs) only by making it conscious. Consciousness is the surface of the mental apparatus. All perceptions which are received from without and from within are conscious (Cs). The real difference between a Ucs and a preconscious (Pcs) idea (thought) consists in that the former is carried out on some material which remains unknown, whereas the latter (the Pcs) is in addition brought into connection with word presentations. These word presentations are residues of memories; they were at one time perceptions, and like all mnemonic residues they can become conscious again. We think of the mnemonic residues as being contained in systems which are directly adjacent to the perceptual conscious (Pcpt Cs) system, so that the cathexes of those residues can readily extend from within on to the elements of the latter system. The distinction between Cs and Pcs has no meaning where feelings are concerned; the Pcs drops out and feelings are either Cs or Ucs. We can look upon an individual as a psychical id, unknown and unconscious, upon whose surface rests the ego, developed from its nucleus the Pcpt system. Pictorially, the ego does not completely envelop the id, but only does so to the extent to which the system Pcpt forms its surface. The ego is not sharply separated from the id but part merges into it. The repressed ego merges into the id as well, and is merely a part of it. The ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world through the medium of the Pcpt Cs; in a sense it is an extension of the surface differentiation. The ego is first and foremost a body ego. Not only what is lowest but also what is highest in the ego can be unconscious.

1923B 19/28
The ego and the id (1923).
Part III: The ego and the super-ego (ego ideal).
The ego ideal or superego is not firmly connected with consciousness. The transformation of an erotic object choice into an alteration of the ego is a method by which the ego can obtain control over the id. The transformation of object libido into narcissistic libido implies an abandonment of sexual aims. Behind the ego ideal there lies hidden an individual’s first and most important identification, his identification with the father in his own personal prehistory. In both sexes, the relative strength of the masculine and feminine sexual dispositions is what determines whether the outcome of the Oedipus situation shall be an identification with the father or with the mother. The broad general outcome of the sexual phase dominated by the Oedipus complex may be taken to be the forming of a precipitate in the ego, consisting of the 2 identifications of father identification and m6ther identification in some way united with each other. The modification of the ego retains its special position; it confronts the other contents of the ego as an ego ideal or superego. The superego is not simply a residue of the earliest object choices of the id; it also represents an energetic reaction formation against those choices. The ego ideal is the heir of the Oedipus complex. It is easy to show that the ego ideal answers to everything that is expected of the higher nature of man.

1923B 19/40
The ego and the id (1923).
Part IV: The two classes of instincts.
Two classes of instincts are distinguished, one of which, the sexual instincts or Eros, is by far the more conspicuous and accessible to study. It comprises not merely the uninhibited sexual instinct proper and the instinctual impulses of an aim inhibited or sublimated nature derived from it, but also the self-preservative instinct. The second class of instincts is called the death instinct. It appears that, as a result of the combination of unicellular organisms into multicellular forms of life, the death instinct of the single cell can successfully be neutralized and the destructive impulses be diverted on to the external world through the instrumentality of a special organ. The sadistic component of the sexual instinct would be a classical example of a serviceable instinctual fusion and the sadism which has made itself independent as a perversion would be typical of a defusion. Love is regularly accompanied by hate (ambivalence); in human relationships, hate is frequently a fore-runner of love. It seems a plausible view that the displaceable and neutral energy, which is no doubt active both in the ego and in the id, proceeds from the narcissistic store of libido, that is desexualized Eros. This displaceable libido is employed in the service of the pleasure principle to obviate blockages and to facilitate discharge. This displaceable energy may also be described as sublimated energy. The transformation of erotic libido into ego libido involves an abandonment of sexual aims, a desexualization.

1923B 19/48
The ego and the id (1923).
Part V: the dependent relationships of the ego.
The ego is formed out of identifications which take the place of abandoned cathexes by the id. The first of these identifications, the superego, owes its special position in relation to the ego, to 2 factors I) it was the first identification and one which took place while the ego was still feeble, and 2) it is the heir to the Oedipus complex. The superego is always close to the id and can act as its representative towards the ego. Part of the sense of guilt normally remains unconscious, because the origin of conscience is intimately connected with the Oedipus complex, which belongs to the unconscious. A sense of guilt expresses itself differently under different conditions. The normal, conscious sense of guilt is based on the tension between the ego and the ego ideal. The sense of guilt is excessively strongly conscious in obsessional neurosis and melancholia but remains unconscious in hysteria. The obsessional neurotic, in contrast to the melancholic, never performs self-destruction. The id is totally nonmoral; the ego strives to be moral, and the superego can be super-moral and then become as cruel as only the id can be. The ego owes service to 3 masters and consequently, is menaced by 3 dangers: from the external world, from the libido of the id, and from the severity of the superego. The great significance which the sense of guilt has in the neuroses makes it conceivable that common neurotic anxiety is reinforced in severe cases by the generating of anxiety between the ego and the superego  (fear of castration, of conscience, of death). The id has no means of showing the ego either love or hate.

1923B 19/60
The ego and the id (1923).
Appendix A: the descriptive and the dynamic unconscious.
Appendix B: The great reservoir of libido.
In the descriptive sense there are 2 kinds of unconscious: the latent unconscious and the repressed unconscious. Unconscious, in its dynamic sense, covers only one thing, the repressed unconscious. The fact that the latent unconscious is only descriptively unconscious does not imply that it is the only thing that is descriptively unconscious. In this book Freud speaks of the id as “the great reservoir of libido”. This appears to contradict his reference to the ego as such a reservoir in a number of other writings both before and after this. The contradiction is diminished if we consider other passages where he indicates that it is the undifferentiated ego-id that is the original “great reservoir” and that after differentiation the ego becomes a storage tank for narcissistic libido.

1923D 19/69
A seventeenth-century demonological neurosis (1923).
Editor’s note (1961) and introduction.
A Seventeen-Century Demonological Neurosis was written in the last months of 1922. Freud’s interest in witchcraft, possession and allied phenomena was of long standing. Freud passes beyond the discussion of an individual case and of the limited demonological problem to a consideration of some of the wider questions involved in the adoption by males of a feminine attitude towards the father. The neuroses of childhood have taught us that a number of things can easily be seen in them with the naked eye which at a later age are only to be discovered after a thorough investigation. We may expect that the same will turn out to be true of neurotic illnesses in earlier centuries, provided that we are prepared to recognize them under names other than those of our present day neuroses. The demonological theory of those dark times has won against all the somatic views of the period of exact science. The states of possession correspond to our neuroses, for the explanation of which we once more have recourse to psychical powers. In our eyes, the demons are bad and reprehensible wishes, derivatives of instinctual impulses that have been repudiated and repressed.

1923D 19/73
A seventeenth-century demonological neurosis (1923).
Part I: The story of Christoph Haizmann the painter.
The story of Christoph Haizmann the painter, who presented with a demonological neurosis, is discussed. On August 29, 1677 in a church in Pottenbrunn, he was seized with convulsions and later admitted these were due to a previous pact with the Devil in which he agreed in writing to belong to him in body and soul after 9 years. This period would expire September 29, 1677. After the painter had undergone a prolonged period of penance and prayer at Mariazell, the Devil appeared to him in the sacred Chapel at midnight September 8, the Nativity of the Virgin, in the form of a winged dragon, and gave him back the pact, which was written in blood. After a short time the painter left Mariazell in the best of health and went to Vienna, where he lived with a married sister. On October 11, fresh attacks began, some of them very severe. They consisted in visions and absences, in which he saw and experienced every kind of thing, in convulsive seizures accompanied by the most painful sensations. This time, however, it was not the Devil who tormented him; it was by sacred figures that he was vexed. In May, 1678, he returned to Mariazell and told the reverent Fathers that his reason for returning was that he had to require the Devil to give him back another earlier bond, which had been written in ink. This time once more the Blessed Virgin and the pious Fathers helped him to obtain the fulfillment of his request. He entered the Order of the Brothers Hospitallers and was again repeatedly tempted by the Evil Spirit, who tried to make a fresh pact. These attempts were repelled and Brother Chrysostomus died of a hectic fever peacefully and of good comfort in 1700.

1923D 19/79
A seventeenth-century demonological neurosis (1923).
Part II: The motive for the pact with the devil.
The motive for Christoph Halzmann’s pact with the Devil is discussed. He signed to a bond with the Devil in order to be freed from a state of depression, which had been brought on by the death of his father. The bonds mention no undertaking given by the Devil in return for whose fulfillment the painter pledges his eternal bliss, but only a demand made by the Devil which the painter must satisfy. The painter was to be bound to the Devil, as his son, for 9 years. At the end of that time, the painter was to become the property, body and soul, of the Devil. The train of thought which motivated the painter in making the pact seems to have been this: his father’s death had made him lose his spirits and his capacity to work; if he could only obtain a father substitute he might hope to regain what he had lost; in return for the painter’s soul the Devil was to become his father for 9 years.

1923D 19/83
A seventeenth century demonological neurosis (1923).
Part III: The devil as father-substitute.
The Devil is discussed as a father substitute. The Devil first appeared to Christoph Haizmann as an honest elderly citizen with a brown beard, dressed in a red cloak and leaning with his right hand on a stick, with a black dog beside him. Later on, his appearance became more and more terrifying: he was equipped with horns, eagle’s claws, and bat’s wings, and finally he appeared in the chapel as a flying dragon. We know that God is a father substitute. The evil demon is regarded as the antithesis of God and yet is very close to him in nature. God and the Devil were originally identical. The pact that Haizmann made with the Devil was for 9 years. The number 9 is of great significance for neurotic phantasies. It is the number of months of pregnancy. Although the 9 appears as years, it could be interpreted as months. The female sexual character of the Devil is stressed by introducing large pendulous breasts. It is concluded that what the painter is rebelling against is his feminine attitude to his father which culminates in a phantasy of bearing him a child.

1923D 19/93
A seventeenth century demonological neurosis (1923).
Part IV: The two bonds.
A remarkable detail in the story of Christoph Haizmann is the statement that he signed 2 different bonds with the Devil. It is unusual for anyone to sign a bond with the Devil twice, in such a way that the first document is replaced by the second, but without losing its own validity. Freud’s view is that when the painter first came to Mariazell he spoke only of one bond, writ-ten in the regular way in blood, which was about to fall due. In Mariazell, too, he presented this bond in blood as the one which the demon had given back to him under compulsion from the Holy Mother. The painter left the shrine soon afterwards and went to Vienna, where he felt free till the middle of October. Then, however, he began once more to be subjected to sufferings and apparitions, in which he saw the work of the evil spirit. He again felt in need of redemption, but was faced with the difficulty of explaining why the exorcism in the Holy Chapel had not brought him a lasting deliverance. He invented an earlier, first bond, which was to be written in ink, so that its supersession in favor of a later bond, written in blood should seem more plausible. He could not avoid the awkward result that he had redeemed one, the blood bond, too soon (in the eighth year), and the other, the black bond, too late (in the tenth year).

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A seventeenth-century demonological neurosis (1923).
Part V: The further course of the neurosis.
The further course of the neurosis of Christoph Haizmann is presented. Examination of the painter’s diary affords deep insight into the motivation or exploitation of his neurosis. Until October 11, he felt very well in Vienna, where he lived with a married sister; but after that he had fresh attacks which fell into 3 phases: First, temptation appeared in the form of a finely dressed cavalier, who tried to persuade him to throw away the document attesting his admission to the Brotherhood of the Holy Rosary. An ascetic reaction appeared. On October 20, a great light appeared, and a voice came from it, making itself known as Christ, and commanded him to forswear this wicked world and serve God in the wilderness for 6 years. The painter’s phantasies of temptation were succeeded by ascetic ones and finally by phantasies of punishment. The painter signed a bond with the Devil because, after his father’s death, feeling depressed and unable to work, he was worried about making a livelihood. This pact still did not help him. Finally, with his entrance into a Holy Order, both his internal struggle and his material needs came to an end. In his neurosis, his seizures and visions were brought to an end by the return of an alleged first bond. It was concluded that all he wanted was to make his life secure. He followed a path which led from his father, by way of the Devil as a father substitute, to the pious Fathers of the Church. The painter’s wretched situation in life would not have provoked a demonological neurosis if his material need had not intensified his longing for his father.

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Remarks on the theory and practice of dream-interpretation (1923).
Parts I -VI.
In interpreting a dream there are several choices concerning technical procedures: 1) a chronological procedure in which the dreamer brings up his associations to the elements of the dream in the order in which those elements occurred; 2) starting from one particular element of the dream, for example, the most striking piece of it or the piece with the most sensory intensity; 3) asking the dreamer what events of the previous day are associated in his mind with the dream he has just described; and 4) leaving it to the dreamer to decide with which associations to the dream he shall begin. When the pressure of resistance is high, one may succeed in discovering what the things are with which the dream is concerned, but not what they mean. When the resistance is kept within moderate limits, the familiar picture of the work of interpretation comes into view: the dreamer’s associations begin by diverging widely from the manifest elements, so that a great number of subjects and ranges of ideas are touched on, after which, a second series of associations converge from these on to the dream thoughts that are being sought. Dreams from below are provoked by the strength of an unconscious (repressed) wish. Dreams from above correspond to thoughts or intentions of the day before which have contrived during the night to obtain reinforcement from repressed material that is debarred from the ego. The interpretation of a dream falls into 2 phases: the phase in which it is translated and the phase in which it is judged or has its value assessed. One should not let the second phase influence the work of the first phase. Deciding on the value of a correctly translated dream is difficult and all other indications, including those of waking life, must be taken into account.

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Remarks on the theory and practice of dream-interpretation (1923).
Parts VII & VIII.
The question of the value to be assigned to dreams is intimately related to the other question of their susceptibility to influence from suggestion by the physician. The fact that the manifest content of dreams is influenced by the analytic treatment stands in no need of proof. Latent dream thoughts have to be arrived at by interpretation and can be influenced or suggested by the analyst. A portion of these latent dream thoughts correspond to preconscious thought formations, thought formations with which the dreamer might well have reacted to the physician’s remarks. They are perfectly capable of being conscious. One never exercises any influence on the mechanism of dream formation itself, on the dream work in the strict sense of the word. Every true dream contains indications of the repressed wishful impulses to which it owes the possibility of its formation. With these and with material which refers to scenes from the dreamer’s past, it is often difficult to prove that they are not the result of suggestion; but the way in which fragments fit together like a complicated jigsaw puzzle finally convinces us that this is not so. It may well be that dreams during psychoanalysis succeed in bringing to light what is repressed to a greater extent than dreams outside that situation. But it cannot be proved, since the 2 situations are not comparable: the employment of dreams in analysis is something very remote from their original purpose. Positive transference gives assistance to the compulsion to repeat.

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Remarks on the theory and practice of dream-interpretation (1923).
Part IX.
Dreams that occur in a traumatic neurosis are the only genuine exceptions and punishment dreams are the only apparent exceptions to the rule that dreams are directed towards wish fulfillment. In the latter class of dreams we are met by the remarkable fact that actually nothing belonging to the latent dream thoughts is taken up into the manifest content of the dream. Something quite different appears instead, which must be described as a reaction formation against the dream thoughts, a rejection and complete contradiction of them. This must be ascribed to the critical agency of the ego which has been temporarily reestablished even during sleep, and which replaces the objectionable dream wish with a punishment dream. Astonishment is sometimes expressed at the fact that the dreamer’s ego can appear 2 or more times in the manifest dream, once as himself and again disguised behind the figures of other people. During the course of the construction of the dream, the secondary revision has evidently sought to obliterate this multiplicity of the ego, which cannot fit in with any possible scenic situation but it is reestablished by the work of interpretation. Separation of the ego from an observing, critical, punishing agency (an ego ideal) must be taken into account in the interpretation of dreams, and often accounts for the multiple appearances of the ego in the same dream.

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Some additional notes on dream-interpretation as a whole (1925).
Editor’s note (1961). (A). The limits to the possibility of interpretation.
The limits to the possibility of interpretation of dreams are discussed. Dreaming is an activity of play or phantasy. When a dream deals with a problem of actual life, it solves it in the manner of an irrational wish and not in the manner of a reasonable reflection. There is only one useful task, only one function, that can be ascribed to a dream, and that is the guarding of sleep from interruption. A dream may be described as a piece of phantasy working on behalf of the maintenance of sleep. It is on the whole a matter of indifference to the sleeping ego what may be dreamt during the night so long as the dream performs its task, and that those dreams best fulfill their function about which one knows nothing after waking. No one can practice the interpretation of dreams as an isolated activity: it remains a part of the work of analysis. If one practices dream interpretation according to the sole justifiable technical procedure, one soon notices that success depends entirely upon the tension of resistance between the awakened ego and the repressed unconscious. Because resistance is often strong, only a certain portion of a patient’s dream products can be translated and often only incompletely. Since many incomprehensible dreams become understood in the light of knowledge obtained later in the analysis it is justifiable to assert that dreams are quite generally mental structures that are capable of interpretation, though the situation may not always allow an interpretation being reached. When the interpretation of a dream has been discovered it is not always easy to decide whether it is a complete one. In that case, we must consider the meaning proved which is based on the dreamer’s association and our estimate of the situation, without feeling bound to reject the other meaning.

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Some additional notes on dream-interpretation as a whole (1925).
(B). Moral responsibility for the content of dreams.
Moral responsibility for the content of dreams is discussed. The manifest content is a deception, a facade. When the content of the dream is spoken of, what must be referred to can only be the content of the preconscious thoughts and of the repressed wishful impulse which are revealed behind the facade of the dream by the work of interpretation. Our interest in the genesis of manifestly immoral dreams is greatly reduced when we find from analysis that the majority of dreams are revealed as the fulfillments of immoral, egoistic, sadistic, perverse or incestuous, wishful impulses. Dreams do not always offer immoral wish fulfillments, but often energetic reactions against them in the form of punishment dreams. In other words, the dream censorship can not only express itself in distortions and the generation of anxiety, but can go so far as to blot out the immoral subject matter completely and replace it by something else that serves as an atonement, though it allows one to see what lies behind. One must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one’s dreams. The ethical narcissism of humanity should rest content with the knowledge that the fact of distortion in dreams, as well as the existence of anxiety dreams and punishment dreams, afford just as clear evidence of his moral nature as dream interpretation gives of the existence and strength of his evil nature.

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Some additional notes on dream-interpretation as a whole (1925).
(C). The occult significance of dreams
The occult significance of dreams is discussed. There would seem to be 2 categories of dreams with a claim to being reckoned as occult phenomena: prophetic dreams and telepathic dreams. In Freud’s opinion, there is no validity to prophetic dreams. Telepathy is not a dream problem: our judgment upon whether it exists or not need not be based on a study of telepathic dreams. Freud believes that there may be some truth to the phenomenon of telepathy. He mentions a class of material which is exempt from doubts which are otherwise justified: unfulfilled prophecies by professional fortune tellers. An example is given in which a fortune teller predicted that a woman would give birth to 2 children by age 32. The woman remained childless but in analysis at age 43 it became evident that her dominant unconscious wish at the time of the prophecy had been to have 2 children before age 32 as her mother had done and thus to satisfy her wish for her own father by putting herself in her mother’s place. Freud concluded that the strongest unconscious wish had made itself manifest to the fortune teller by being directly transferred to him while his attention was being distracted by the performances he was going through. If there are such things as telepathic messages, the possibility cannot be dismissed of their reaching someone during sleep and coming to his knowledge in a dream.

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The infantile genital organization: An interpolation into the theory of sexuality (1923).
The infantile genital organization is discussed. The main characteristic of the infantile genital organization is its difference from the final genital organization of the adult. This consists in the fact that, for both sexes, only one genital, namely the male one, comes into account. What is present, therefore, is not a primacy of the genitals, but a primacy of the phallus. The small boy perceives the distinction between men and women, but to begin with he has no occasion to connect it with a difference in their genitals. The driving force which the male portion of the body will develop later at puberty expresses itself at this period of life mainly as an urge to investigate, as sexual curiosity. Many of the acts of exhibitionism and aggression which children commit, and which in later years would be judged without hesitation to be expressions of lust, prove in analysis to be experiments undertaken in the service of sexual research. In the course of these researches the child arrives at the discovery that the penis is not a possession which is common to all creatures that are like himself, and concludes that the lack is due to castration. The significance of the castration complex can only be rightly appreciated if its origin in the phase of phallic primacy is also taken into account. The child believes that it is only unworthy female persons that have lost their genitals. Women whom he respects, like his mother, retain a penis for a long time. The sexual polarity of male-female finally seen at puberty appears in different transformations in childhood sexual development. The earliest antithesis is subject-object; later in the sadistic anal stage it is active-passive; and in the stage of infantile genital organization it is male-genital-castrated.

1924B 19/149
Neurosis and psychosis (1924).
Neurosis and psychosis are discussed. Neurosis is the result of a conflict between the ego and its id, whereas psychosis is the analogous outcome of a similar disturbance in the relations between the ego and the external world. All the analyses show that the transference neuroses originate from the ego’s refusing to accept a powerful instinctual impulse in the id or to help it to find a motor outlet, or from the ego’s forbidding that impulse the object at which it is aiming. In such a case the ego defends itself against the instinctual impulse by the mechanism of repression. The repressed material struggles against this fate and creates a substitute representation, the symptom. The ego finds its unity threatened and impaired by this intruder, and it continues to struggle against the symptom, just as it fended off the original instinctual impulse. The etiology common to the onset of psychoneurosis and of a psychosis always remains the same. It consists in a frustration, a nonfulfillment, of one of those childhood wishes which are forever undefeated and which are so deeply rooted in our phylogenetically determined organization. The pathogenic effect depends on whether the ego remains true to its dependence on the external world and attempts to silence the id, as in the transference neuroses, or whether it lets itself be overcome by the id and thus torn away from reality, as in the psychoses. A third group of illnesses, the narcissistic neuroses, are characterized by a conflict between the ego and the superego. The thesis that neuroses and psychoses originate in the ego’s conflicts with its various ruling agencies needs to be supplemented in one further point. One would like to know in what circumstances and by what means the ego can succeed in merging from such conflicts, which are certainly always present, without falling ill. This is a new field of research, in which economic considerations and the ego’s capacity to avoid a rupture by deforming itself will be 2 important factors.

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The economic problem of masochism (1924).
The economic problem of masochism is discussed. Masochism comes under observation in 3 forms: as a condition imposed on sexual excitation, as an expression of the feminine nature, and as a norm of behavior. We may, accordingly, distinguish an erotogenic, a feminine, and a moral masochism. The first, the erotogenic masochism, pleasure in pain, lies at the bottom of the other 2 forms as well. Its basis must be sought along biological and constitutional lines. The third form has been recognized as a sense of guilt which is mostly unconscious; but it can already be completely explained and fitted into the rest of our knowledge. Analysis of cases shows the subjects in a characteristically female situation; they signify, being castrated, or copulated with or giving birth to a baby. The clinical description of feminine masochism is discussed along with a theoretical explanation of erotogenic masochism. Feminine masochism is based on the primary, erotogenic masochism, on pleasure in pain. Erotogenic masochism accompanies the libido through all its developmental phases and derives from them its changing psychical coatings. The fear of being eaten by the totem animal (father) originates from the primitive oral organization; the wish to be beaten by the father comes from the sadistic anal phase which follows it; castration enters into the content of masochistic phantasies as a precipitate of the phallic stage or organization; and from the final genital organization there arise the situations of being copulated with and of giving birth. The third form of masochism, moral masochism, is chiefly remarkable for having loosened its connection with what we recognize as sexuality, and does not need a loved one as one of its conditions. Individuals with this type of masochism give an impression of being excessively morally inhibited although not being conscious of this ultramorality. Moral masochism is unconscious. The expression “unconscious sense of guilt” means a need for punishment at the hands of a parental power. The wish to be beaten by the father is very close to the wish to have a passive (feminine) sexual relation with him and is only a regressive distortion of it. The sadism of the superego and the masochism of the ego supplement each other and unite to produce the same effects.

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The dissolution of the Oedipus complex (1924).
The dissolution of the Oedipus complex is discussed. The Oedipus complex reveals its importance as the central phenomenon of the sexual period of early childhood. After that, its dissolution takes place; it succumbs to repression and is followed by the latency period. In one view, the Oedipus complex goes to its destruction from its lack of success. Another view is that the Oedipus complex must collapse because the time has come for its disintegration. Both of these views are compatible. Freud believes that what brings about the destruction of the child’s phallic genital organization is the threat of castration. To begin with, the boy does not believe in the threat or obey it in the least. It is not until the child observes the female genitals that his unbelief is broken down. The child’s ego turns away from the Oedipus complex and the object cathexes are given up and replaced by identifications. The authority of the father or the parents is introjected into the ego, and there it forms the nucleus of the superego, which takes over the severity of the father and perpetuates his prohibition against incest, and so secures the ego from the return of the libidinal object cathexis. The libidinal trends belonging to the Oedipus complex are in part desexualized and sublimated and in part inhibited in their aim and changed into impulses of affection. The whole process has preserved the genital organ (averted its loss) and has paralyzed it (removed its function). This starts the latency period. The ego’s turning away from the Oedipus complex can be called repression. This process is equivalent to a destruction and an abolition of the complex. Here is the borderline between normal and pathological; if the ego has not achieved much more than a repression of the complex, the latter persists in an unconscious state in the id and will later manifest its pathological effects. The connections between the phallic organization, the Oedipus complex, the threat of castration, superego formation and latency period justify the statement that the destruction of the Oedipus complex is brought about by the threat of castration. In female children the Oedipus complex is gradually given up because the wish for a child (formerly a wish for a penis) is never fulfilled.

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The loss of reality in neurosis and psychosis (1924).
The loss of reality in neurosis and psychosis is discussed. In a neurosis, the ego, in its dependence on reality, supresses a piece of the id, whereas in a psychosis, this same ego, in the service of the id, withdraws from a piece of reality. For a neurosis, the decisive factor would be the predominance of the influence of reality, whereas for a psychosis it would be the predominance of the id. In a psychosis, a loss of reality would necessarily be present, whereas in a neurosis, it would seem, this loss would be avoided. Every neurosis disturbs the patient’s relation to reality in some way and serves him as a means of withdrawing from reality. The neurosis consists in the processes which provide a compensation for the portion of the id that has been damaged. Neurosis is characterized as the result of a repression that has failed. When a psychosis comes into being, something analogous to the process in a neurosis occurs, though, of course, between different agencies of the mind. In neurosis, a piece of reality is avoided by a sort of flight, whereas in psychosis it is remodeled. In psychosis, the initial flight is succeeded by an active phase of remodeling; in neurosis, the initial obedience is succeeded by a deferred attempt at flight. Neurosis does not disavow reality, it only ignores it; psychosis disavows it and tries to replace it. In psychosis the transforming of reality is carried out upon the memory traces and ideas and judgments previously derived from reality and is continually being enriched with fresh perceptions. This task of procuring perceptions to correspond to the new reality is effected by means of hallucination. It is probable that in psychosis the rejected piece of reality constantly forces itself upon the mind as the repressed instinct does in neurosis. Distinctions between neurosis and psychosis are a result of the topographical difference in the initial situation for the pathogenic conflict, namely whether in it the ego yielded to its allegiance to the real world or to its dependence on the id.

1924F 19/191
A short account of psycho-analysis (1924).
A brief history of psychoanalysis is presented. Psychoanalysis initially had only the single aim of understanding something of the nature of the functional nervous diseases. The importance of hypnosis (later to be replaced by the method of free association plus interpretation) in the origin of psychoanalysis and in the study of the neuroses is discussed. Contributions of Breuer and Freud to the development of psychotherapy through introduction of the cathartic method are outlined and the mechanisms of repression and resistance are presented. A theory which accounts for the origin, meaning, and purpose of neurotic symptoms includes emphasis on instinctual life, on mental dynamics, on the fact that even the apparently most obscure and arbitrary mental phenomena invariably have a meaning and a causation, the theory of psychical conflict and of the pathogenic nature of repression, the view that symptoms are substitutive satisfactions, the recognition of the etiological importance of sexual life, and the beginnings of infantile sexuality. The significance and meaning of dreams in psychotherapy and methods of interpretation are discussed. Psychoanalytic theory began to grow (with the development of many journals) and attracted followers. A list of concepts which enable the physician to deal with analytical material includes: libido, object libido, narcissistic or ego libido, and Oedipus complex. The importance of psychoanalysis for psychiatry drew attention from the intellectual world through its relation to normal behavior. Study of the psychical functions of groups of peoples (group therapy) allowed psychoanalysis to be proclaimed as ‘depth psychology’. The stresses imposed on our mental faculties by civilization are discussed and it is concluded that it is predominately the sexual instinctual impulses that have succumbed to cultural suppression. If the mental apparatus can be divided into an ego, (turned towards the external world and equipped with consciousness) and an unconscious id (dominated by its instinctual needs), then psychoanalysis is to be described as a psychology of the id.

1925E 19/213
The resistances to psycho-analysis (1925).
The resistances to psychoanalysis are discussed. Psychoanalysis derives nothing but disadvantages from its middle position between medicine and philosophy. Doctors regard it as a speculative system and refuse to believe that, like every other natural science, it is based on a patient and tireless elaboration of facts from the world of perception; philosophers, measuring it by the standard of their own artificially constructed systems, find that it starts from impossible premises such as the existence of unconscious mental activity, and reproach it because its most general concepts lack clarity and precision. Psychoanalysis proposes that there should be a reduction in the strictness with which instincts are repressed and that correspondingly more play be given to truthfulness. By its theory of the instincts, psychoanalysis offended the feelings of individuals in so far as they regarded themselves as members of the social community. Psychoanalysis disposed of the fairytale of an asexual childhood. It demonstrated that sexual interest and activities occur in small children from the beginning of their lives. The idea is, in general, unacceptable to adults who have energetically repressed their own memories of this period. The strongest resistances to psychoanalysis were not of an intellectual kind but arose from emotional sources.

The resistances to psychoanalysis (1925).
Appendix: Extract from Schopenhauer’s ‘The world as will and idea’.
An extract from Schopenhauer’s The Word as Will and Idea is presented. In his later works, Freud made several references to the emphasis which Schopenhauer laid on the importance of sexuality. Schopenhauer wrote that the relation of the sexes is really the invisible central point of all action and conduct. It is the cause of war and the end of peace, the basis of what is serious, and the aim of the jest, the inexhaustible source of wit, the key to all allusions, and the meaning of all mysterious hints, or all spoken offers and all stolen glances, the daily meditation of the young, and often also of the old, the hourly thought of the unchaste, and even against their will the constantly recurring imagination of the chaste, the ever-ready material of a joke, just because the profoundest seriousness lies at its foundation. Sexual passion is the most perfect manifestation of the will to live, its most distinctly expressed type; and the origin of the individual in it, and its primacy over all other desires of the natural man, are both in complete agreement with this.

1925A 19/227
A note upon the ‘Mystic writing-pad’ (1925).
The Mystic Writing Pad is a slab of dark brown resin or wax over which is laid a thin transparent sheet, the top end of which is firmly secured to the slab. The transparent sheet contains 2 layers, which can be detached from each other except at the top end. The upper layer is a transparent piece of celluloid. One writes with a pointed stylus upon the celluloid portion of the covering sheet which rests on the wax slab. If one wishes to destroy what has been written, all that is necessary is to raise the double covering sheet from the wax slab by a light pull. If, while the Mystic Pad has writing on it, the celluloid is cautiously raised from the waxed paper, the writing can be seen on the surface of the latter. The Pad provides not only a receptive surface that can be used over and over again, but also permanent traces of what has been written. The ‘Mystic writing pad’ is used as a concrete representation of Freud’s views on the functioning of the perceptual apparatus of the mind. The unusual capacity of the mental apparatus to contain an unlimited receptive capacity for new perceptions and nevertheless lay down permanent memory traces is divided between 2 different systems: A perceptual conscious system Pcpt. Cs.) which receives perceptions but retains no permanent trace of them, while the permanent traces of the excitations which have been received are preserved in ‘mnemonic systems’ lying behind the perceptual system. The perceptual apparatus consists of 2 layers, an extemal protective shield against stimuli whose task it is to diminish the strength of excitations coming in, and a surface behind it which receives the stimuli, namely the Pcpt Cs. The Pad solves the problem of combining the 2 functions (permanent and temporary memory) by dividing them between 2 separate but interrelated component parts or systems. The layer which receives the stimuli (Pcpt Cs.) forms no permanent traces; the foundations of memory come about in other adjoining systems.

1925H 19/235
Negation (1925).
Negation is discussed. The content of a repressed image or idea can make its way into consciousness on condition that it is negated. Negation is a way of taking cognizance of what is repressed. To affirm or negate the content of thoughts is the task of the function of intellectual judgment. The function of judgment is concerned in the main with 2 sorts of decisions. It affirms or disaffirms the possession by a thing of a particular attribute; and it asserts or disputes that a presentation has an existence in reality. Judging is the intellectual action which decides the choice of motor action, which puts an end to the postponement due to thought and which leads over from thinking to acting. Judging is a continuation, along the lines of expediency, of the original process by which the ego took things into itself or expelled them from itself, according to the pleasure principle.

1925J 19/243
Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes (1925).
Editor’s note. (1961).
From early days Freud made complaints of the obscurity enveloping the sexual life of women. One result of this obscurity was to lead Freud to assume very often that the psychology of women could be taken simply as analogous to that of men. But in fact over a long period, Freud’s interest had not been directed to psychology. A number of previous papers make passing reference to different aspects of feminine sexual development, but Freud’s new thesis is fully stated for the first time in this paper. It is the synthesis of the various pieces of knowledge, derived from widely separated historical strata of Freud’s work, which gives its importance to the present paper.

1925J 19/248
Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes (1925).
Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes are studied. The analyses of neurotics should deal thoroughly with the remotest period of their childhood, the time of the early efflorescence of sexual life. In boys, the situation of the Oedipus complex is the first stage that can be recognized with certainty. At that stage a child retains the same object which he previously cathected with his libido during the preceding period while he was being nursed. He regards his father as a disturbing rival and would like to get rid of him and take his place. The Oedipus attitude in boys belongs to the phallic phase; its destruction is brought about by the fear of castration. The prehistory of the Oedipus complex in boys includes an identification of an affectionate sort with the father and masturbatory activity. The masturbatory activity makes its first appearance spontaneously as an activity of a body organ and is brought into relation with the Oedipus complex at some later date. Observation of the primal scene at this stage and its impact is discussed. In little girls the Oedipus complex raises one prohlem more than in boys. In both cases the mother is the original object, but girls abandon it and instead take their father as an object. The first step in the phallic phase for little girls is the discovery of the penis and immediate envy of what she considers a superior organ. After a woman has become aware of the wound to her narcissism she develops a sense of inferiority. Even after penis envy has abandoned its true object, it continues to exist: by an easy displacement, it persists in the character trait of jealousy. In boys, the Oedipus complex is destroyed by the castration complex; in girls, it is made possible and led up to by the castration complex. Other consequences of penis envy are a loosening of the girl’s relation with her mother as a love object and discovery of the inferiority of the clitoris. The intense current of feeling against masturbation appearing in girls is discussed in relation to her narcissistic sense of humiliation which is bound up with penis envy-that she cannot compete with boys and should give up. Thus her recognition of the anatomical distinction between the sexes forces her away from masculinity to the development of femininity. Further views are presented on the difference in the Oedipus complex of boys and girls.

1923F 19/261
Josef Popper-Lynkeus and the theory of dreams (1923).
The essential part of Freud’s theory of dreams, the dream censorship, was discovered independently by Josef Popper-Lynkeus. Freud started out from the strange, confused, and senseless character of so many dreams, and hit upon the notion that dreams were bound to become like that because something was struggling for expression in them which was opposed by a resistance from other mental forces. In dreams hidden impulses were stirring which stood in contradiction to what might be called the dreamer’s official ethical and esthetic creed. To the mental force in human beings which keeps watch on the internal contradictions and distorts the dream’s primitive instinctual impulses in favor of conventional or of higher moral standards, Freud gave the name of dream censorship. What enabled Freud to discover the cause of dream distortion was his moral courage. In the case of Popper, it was the purity, love of truth and moral serenity of his nature.

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Dr. Sandor Ferenczi (on his 80th birthday) (1923).
Dr. Sandor Ferenczi was discussed on his fiftieth birthday. Ferenczi has repeatedly played a part in the affairs of psychoanalysis. He was born in 1873 and has been the leader of the Budapest Psychoanalytical Society for 10 years. Ferenczi, as a middle child in a large family, had to struggle with a powerful brother complex and under the influence of analysis, became an irreproachable elder brother, a kindly teacher and promoter of young talent. Ferenczi’s analytic writings have become universally known and appreciated. Ferenczi’s scientific achievement is impressive above all from its many-sidedness. Besides well-chosen case histories and acutely observed clinical communications, we find exemplary critical writings, as well as effective polemical writings. But besides all these, there are the papers upon which Ferenczi’s fame principally rests, in which his originality, his wealth of ideas and his command over a well-directed scientific imagination find such happy expression, and with which he has enlarged the discovery of fundamental situations in mental life: ‘Introjection and Transference’, including a discussion of the theory of hypnosis; ‘stages in the Development of the Sense of Reality’; and his discussion of symbolism.

192SF 19/273
Preface to Aichhorn’s ‘Wayward Youth’ (1925).
The preface to Aichhorn’s Wayward Youth is presented. None of the applications of psychoanalysis has excited so much interest and aroused so many hopes, and none, consequently, has attracted so many capable workers, as its use in the theory and practice of education. The volume by August Aichhom is concerned with one department of the great problem, with the educational influencing of juvenile delinquents. The author had worked for many years in an official capacity as a director of municipal institutions for delinquents before he became acquainted with psychoanalysis. Two lessons may be derived from the experience and the success of August Aichhorn. One is that every such person should receive a psychoanalytic training, since without it, children must remain an inaccessible problem. The second lesson is that the work of education is not to be confused with psychoanalytic influence and cannot be replaced by it.

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Josef Breuer (1925).
On June 20, 1925, Josef Breuer died in Vienna in his eighty-fourth year. He was the creator of the cathartic method, and his name is for that reason indissolubly linked with the beginnings of psychoanalysis. Breuer was a physician. It was in 1880 that chance brought into his hands an unusual patient, a girl of more than ordinary intelligence who had fallen ill of severe hysteria while she was nursing her sick father. It was only 14 years later, in the joint publication of Studies on Hysteria that the world learned the nature of the treatment of this celebrated first case. Freud’s share in the Studies lay chiefly in reviving in Breuer an interest which seemed to have become extinct, and in then urging him on to publication. A kind of reserve which was characteristic of him, an inner modesty, surprising in a man of such a brilliant personality, had led him to keep his astonishing discovery secret for so long. A purely emotional factor had given him an aversion to further work on the elucidation of the neuroses. He had come up against something that is never absent, his patient’s transference on to her physician, and he had not grasped the impersonal nature of the process. Besides the case history of his first patient Breuer contributed a theoretical paper in the Studies which is far from being out of date.

1922E 19/283
Preface to Raymond De Saussure’s ‘the psycho-analytic method’ (1922).
The preface to Raymond de Saussure’s The Psycho-analytic Method is presented. Dr. de Saussure has conscientiously studied Freud’s writings and in addition he has made the sacrifice of coming to Freud to undergo an analysis lasting several months. This has put him in a position to form his own judgment on the majority of those questions in psychoanalysis which are still undecided, and to avoid the many distortions and errors which one is accustomed to finding in French as well as in German expositions of psychoanalysis. The excellent dream which Dr. Odier has put at the author’s disposal may give even the uninitiated an idea of the wealth of dream associations and of the relation between the manifest dream image and the latent thoughts concealed behind it. Today psychoanalysis is beginning to arouse in a larger measure the interest of professional men and of the lay public in France as well.

1923G 19/285
Preface to Max Eitingon’s ‘report on the Berlin psychoanalytical policlinic’ (1923).
The preface to Max Eitingon’s Report on the Berlin Psychoanalytical Policlinic is presented. If psychoanalysis has a value as a therapeutic procedure, if it is capable of giving help to sufferers in their struggle to fulfill the demands of civilization, this help should be accessible to the great multitude who are too poor themselves to pay an analyst for his laborious work. This seems to be a social necessity particularly in our times, when the intellectual strata of the population, which are especially prone to neurosis, are sinking irresistibly into poverty. Institutes such as the Berlin Policlinic make possible the education of a considerable number of trained analysts, whose activity must be regarded as the sole possible protection against injury to patients by ignorant and unqualified persons, whether they are laymen or doctors.

1924G 19/286
Letter to Fritz Wittels (1924).
A letter to Fritz Wittels, who had written a biography of Freud, is presented. Freud neither expected nor desired the publication of a biography of himself. In some respects, Freud thinks there are positive distortions in the work and he believes that these are the outcome of a preconceived notion on the part of the author. Wittels inferred that Freud has often been compelled to make detours when following his own path. Freud acknowledged this. Freud also has no use for other people’s ideas when they are presented to him in an inopportune moment. A list of suggested emendations is enclosed by Freud. These are based on trustworthy data, and are quite independent of his own prepossessions. Some of them relate to matters of trifling importance, but some of them may cause the author to modify certain inferences.

1923H 19/289
Letter to Senor Luis Lopez-Baliesteros y de Torres (1923).
A letter to Senor Luis Lopez-Ballesteros y de Torres, the Spanish translator of Freud’s work, is presented. Freud is able to read in Spanish because of his youthful desire to read Don Quixote in the original of Cervantes. Because of his ability to read Spanish, he is able to test the accuracy of the Spanish version of his works, the reading of which invariably provokes a lively appreciation of the correct interpretation of his thoughts.

1924A 19/290
Letter to ‘Le Disque Vert’ (1924).
In a letter to Le Disque Vert, a French periodical, Freud states that 2 of Charcot’s lessons left him with a deep impression. One was that a person should never tire of considering the same phenomena again and again (or of submitting to their effects). The other was that a person should not mind meeting with contradiction on every side provided one has worked sincerely.

1925B 19/291
Letter to the editor of the ‘Jewish press centre in Zurich’ (1925).
In a letter to the editor of the Jewish Press Center in Zurich, Freud states that he stands apart from the Jewish religion, as from all other religions. They are of great significance as a subject of scientific interest, but he has no part in them emotionally. On the other hand, he has always had a strong feeling of solidarity with his fellow people, and has always encouraged it in his children as well. He has always regretted that his education in Hebrew was lacking.

1925C 19/292
On the occasion of the opening of the Hebrew university (1925).
Although Freud was unable to attend the opening of the Hebrew University, he wrote a message concerning this occasion. He states that a University is a place in which knowledge is taught above all differences of religions and of nations, where investigation is carried on, which is to show mankind how far they understand the world around them and how far they can control it. The opening of this university is a noble witness to the development of the Jewish people who have endured 2,000 years of persecution.

1924H 19/293
Editorial changes in the ‘Zeitschrift’ (1924).
Editorial changes in the Zeitschrift are discussed. Dr. Otto Rank has acted as editor of this journal ever since its foundation in 1913. Dr. Rank’s place will be taken by Dr. S. Rado of Berlin. Dr. Rado will be supported by Dr. M. Eitingon and Dr. S. Ferenczi as advisors and collaborators. At Easter, 1924, Dr. Rank accepted an invitation which took him to New York. On his return home he announced that he had decided to transfer his activity as a teaching and practicing analyst to America, at least for a part of the year. This was the reason for the change in editor.

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

Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor


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