Illuminate. Discover. Change.

Volume 21

Volume XXI: 
The Future of an Illusion, Civilization and its Discontents and Other Works (1927-1931)

1927C 21/3
The future of an illusion (1927).
Editor’s note (1961) and
Part I. Civilization rests upon renunciation of instinctual wishes.
The Future of an illusion began a series of studies which were to be Freud’s major concern for the rest of his life. Human civilization presents 2 aspects to the observer. It includes all the knowledge and capacity that men have acquired in order to control the forces of nature and extract its wealth for the satisfaction of human needs, and, all the regulations necessary in order to adjust the relations of men to one another and especially the distribution of the available wealth. One gets an impression that civilization is something which was imposed on a resisting majority by a minority which understood how to obtain possession of the means to power and coercion. It is only through the influence of individuals who can set an example and whom masses recognize as their leaders that they can be induced to perform the work and undergo the renunciations on which the existence of civilization depends. All is well if these leaders are persons who possess superior insight into the necessities of life and who have risen to the height of mastering their own instinctual wishes. But there is a danger that in order not to lose their influence they may give way to the mass more than it gives way to them, and it therefore seems necessary that they will be independent of the mass by having means to power at their disposal.

1927C 21/10
The future of an illusion (1927).
Part II. Consequences of instinctual renunciation.
Part III. In what does the peculiar value of religious ideas lie.
Every civilization rests on a compulsion to work and a renunciation of instinct and therefore inevitably provokes opposition from those affected by these demands. The fact that an instinct cannot be satisfied is a frustration. The regulation by which this frustration is established is called a prohibition, and the condition which is produced by this prohibition is called a privation. The privations which affect everyone include the instinctual wishes of incest, cannibalism, and lust for killing. People will be only too readily inclined to include among the psychical assets of a culture its ideals. The narcissistic satisfaction provided by the cultural ideal rests upon pride in what has already been successfully achieved and is also among the forces which are successful in combating the hostility to culture within the cultural unit. A different kind of satisfaction is afforded by art to the participants in a cultural unit; it offers substitutive satisfaction for the oldest and still most deeply felt cultural renunciation. A store of religious ideas was created, born from man’s need to make his helplessness tolerable and built up from the material of memories of the helplessness of his own childhood and the childhood of the human race. The possession of these ideas protects him in 2 directions, against the dangers of nature and Fate, and against the injuries that threaten him from human society itself.

1927C 21/21
The future of an illusion (1927).
Part IV. Origins of religion.
Freud tried to show that religious ideas have arisen from the same need as have all the other achievements of civilization: from the necessity of defending oneself against the crushingly superior force of nature. To this, a second motive was added: the urge to rectify the shortcomings of civilization which made themselves painfully felt. When the growing individual finds that he is destined to remain a child forever, that he can never do without protection against strange superior powers, he lends those powers the features belonging to the figure of his father; he creates for himself the gods whom he dreads, whom he seeks to propitiate, and whom he nevertheless entrusts with his own protection. Thus his longing for a father is a motive identical with his need for protection against the consequences of his human weakness. The defense against childish helplessness is what lends its characteristic features to the adult’s reaction to the helplessness which he has to acknowledge, a reaction which is precisely the formation of religion.

1927C 21/25
The future of an illusion (1927).
Part V. The psychological significance of religious ideas.
Part VI. Religious ideas are illusions.
Religious ideas are teachings and assertions about facts and conditions of external or internal reality which tell one something one has not discovered for oneself and which lay claim to one’s belief. Since they give us information about what is most important and interesting to us in life, they are particularly highly prized. Religious teachings base their claim to belief firstly because they were already believed by our primal ancestors; secondly, we possess proofs which have been handed down to us from these same primeval times; and thirdly, it is forbidden to raise the question of their authentication at all. Illusions are derived from human wishes. Freud maintains that religious doctrines are psychological illusions and are therefore insusceptible of proof.

1927C 21/34
The future of an illusion (1927).
Part VII. Relations between civilization and religion.
Religion has performed great services for human civilization. It has contributed much, but not enough, towards the taming of the asocial instincts. It has ruled human society for many thousands of years and has had time to show what it can achieve. If it had succeeded in making the majority of mankind happy, in comforting them, in reconciling them to life and in making them into vehicles of civilization, no one would dream of attempting to alter the existing conditions. However, there is an appalling large number of people who are dissatisfied with civilization and unhappy with it. Civilization has little to fear from educated people and brain workers. In them, the replacement of religious motives for civilized behavior by other, secular motives would proceed unobtrusively; moreover, such people are to a large extent themselves vehicles of civilization. But it is another matter with the great mass of the uneducated and oppressed, who have every reason for being enemies of civilization. Either these dangerous masses must be held down most severely and kept most carefully away from any chance of intellectual awakening, or else the relationship between civilization and religion must undergo a fundamental revision.

1927C 21/40
The future of an illusion (1927).
Part VIII. Religion is a substitute for rationality.
When civilization laid down the commandment that a man shall not kill the neighbor whom he hates or who is in his way or whose property he covets, this was clearly done in the interest of man’s communal existence, which would not otherwise be practicable. The primal father was the original image of God, the model on which later generations have shaped the figure of God. God actually played a part in the genesis of that prohibition; it was His influence, not any insight into social necessity, which created it. Men knew that they had disposed of their father by violence, and in their reaction to that impious deed, they determined to respect his will thence forward. The store of religious ideas includes not only wish fulfillments but important historical recollections. The analogy between religion and obsessional neurosis has been repeatedly demonstrated. Many of the peculiarities and vicissitudes in the formation of religion can be understood in that light. It is proposed that certain religious doctrines should cease to be put forward as the reasons for the precepts of civilization. The religious teachings are viewed as neurotic relics and Freud states that the time has come for replacing the effects of repression by the results of the rational operation of the intellect.

1927C 21/46
The future of an illusion (1927).
Part IX. Is rationality possible.
Part X. Relation of religion to science.
A believer is bound to the teachings of religion by certain ties of affection. It is certainly senseless to begin by trying to do away with religion by force and at a single blow. Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis, so mankind will surmount this neurotic phase. The primacy of the intellect lies in a distant future, but probably not in an infinitely distant one. It will presumably set for itself the same aims as those whose realization you expect from your God, namely, the love of man and the decrease of suffering. Our mental apparatus has been developed precisely in the attempt to explore the external world, and it must therefore have realized in its structure some degree of expediency. It is itself a constituent part of the world which we set to investigate, and it readily admits of such an investigation. The task of science is fully covered if we limit it to showing how the world must appear to us in consequence of the particular character of our organization. The ultimate findings of science, precisely because of the way in which they are acquired, are determined not only by our organization but by the things which have affected that organization. The problem of the nature of the world without regard to our percipient mental apparatus is an empty abstraction, devoid of practical interest. Science is no illusion. But it would be an illusion to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.

1930A 21/59
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Editor’s introduction. (1961).
The main theme of Civilization and Its Discontents, the irremediable antagonism between the demands of instinct and the restrictions of civilization may be traced back to some of Freud’s very earliest psychological writings. The construction of dams against the sexual instinct during the latency period of childhood is organically determined and fixed by heredity, rather than being solely a product of education. The history of Freud’s views on the aggressive or destructive instinct is a complicated one. Throughout his earlier writings, the context in which he viewed it predominantly was that of sadism. Later on, the original independence of the aggressive impulses was recognized. The independent sources indicated, were to be traced to the self-preservative instincts. Impulses of aggressiveness, and of hatred too, had from the first seemed to belong to the self-preservative instinct, and since this was subsumed under the libido, no independent aggressive instinct was called for. This was so in spite of the bipolarity of object relations, of the frequent admixtures of love and hate, and of the complex origin of hate itself. It was not until Freud’s hypothesis of a death instinct that a truly independent aggressive instinct came into view in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In Freud’s later writings, the aggressive instinct was still something secondary, derived from the primary self-destructive death instinct, although in the present work the stress is much more upon the death instinct’s manifestations outwards.

1930A 21/64
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part I. Man’s need for religion arises from feelings of helplessness.
It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement, that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life. However, we are in danger of forgetting how variegated the human world and its mental life are. One objection to Freud’s treatment of religion as an illusion was that he had not properly appreciated the true source of religious sentiments, which were in an oceanic feeling of something limitless, of being one with the external world as a whole. The genetic explanation of such a feeling concludes that originally the ego includes everything and later it separates an external world from itself. Our present ego feeling is only a shrunken residue of a much more inclusive, all embracing feeling which corresponded to a more intimate bond between the ego and the world about it. Thus, although we are willing to acknowledge that the “oceanic” feeling exists in many people, it is not the origin of the religious attitude, which can be traced back to the feeling of infantile helplessness.

1930A 21/74
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part II. Man copes with unhappiness through diversion, substitution and intoxication.
The question of the purpose of human life has been raised countless times; it has never yet received a satisfactory answer. Men strive after happiness. This endeavor has two sides: it aims at an absence of pain and unpleasure, and at the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure. One of the methods of averting suffering is the chemical one, intoxication. Another technique is the employment of displacements of libido which our mental apparatus permits of and through which its function gains so much in flexibility. In another procedure, satisfaction is obtained from illusions, which are recognized as such without the discrepancy between them and reality being allowed to interfere with enjoyment. Another procedure regards reality as the sole enemy and as the source of all suffering, with which it is impossible to live, so that one must break off all relations with it if one is to be happy in any way. Happiness in life can be predominantly sought in the enjoyment of beauty. The man who is predominantly erotic will give first preference to his emotional relationships to other people; the narcissistic man, who inclines to be self-sufficient, will seek his main satisfactions in his internal mental processes; the man of action will never give up the external world on which he can try out his strength. Religion restricts the play of choice and adaptation, since it imposes equally on everyone its own path to the acquisition of happiness and protection from suffering.

1930A 21/86
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part III. Man’s conflict with civilization: Liberty versus equality.
Suffering comes from three sources: the superior power of nature, the feebleness of our own bodies, and the inadequacy of the regulations which adjust the mutual relationships of human beings in the family, the state and society. Civilization describes the whole sum of the achievement and the regulations which distinguish our lives from those of our animal ancestors and which serve two purposes: to protect men against nature and to adjust their mutual relations. We recognize as cultural all activities and resources which are useful to men for making the earth serviceable to them and for protecting them against the violence of the forces of nature. The first acts of civilization were the use of tools, the gaining of control over fire and the construction of dwellings. Psychoanalytic experience regularly testifies to the connection between ambition, fire, and urethral eroticism. We recognize that countries have attained a high level of civilization if we find that in them everything which can assist in the exploitation of the earth by man and in his protection against the forces is attended to and effectively carried out. Beauty, cleanliness, and order occupy a special position among the requirements of civilization. No feature seems better to characterize civilization than its esteem and encouragement of man’s higher mental activities, his intellectual, scientific, and artistic achievements, and the leading role that it assigns to ideas in human life. Foremost among those ideas are the religious systems; next come the speculations of philosophy; and finally what might be called man’s ideals-his ideas of a possible perfection of individuals, or of peoples, or of the whole of humanity and the demands he sets up on the basis of such ideas.

1930A 21/99
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part IV. Two pillars of civilization: Eros and Ananke.
After primal man had discovered that it lay in his own hands, literally, to improve his lot on earth by working, it cannot have been a matter of indifference to him whether another man worked with or against him. The other man acquired the value for him of a fellow worker. Man’s discovery that sexual love afforded him the strongest experiences of satisfaction, and in fact provided him with the prototype of all happiness, must have suggested to him that he should continue to seek the satisfaction of happiness in his life along the path of sexual relations and that he should make genital eroticism the central point of his life. With the assumption of an erect posture by man and with the depreciation of his sense of smell, it was not only his anal eroticism which threatened to fall victim to organic repression, but the whole of his sexuality, leading since then to a repugnance which prevents its complete satisfaction and forces it away from the sexual aim into sublimations and libidinal displacements. The love which founded the family continues to operate in civilization both in its original form, in which it does not renounce direct sexual satisfaction, and in its modified form as aim-inhibited affection. In each, it continues to carry on its function of binding together considerable numbers of people, and it does so in a more intensive fashion than can be effected through the interest of work in common. The tendency on the part of civilization to restrict sexual life is no less clear than its other tendency to expand the cultural unit.

1930A 21/108
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part V. Security at the cost of restricting sexuality and aggression.
Psychoanalytic work has shown us that it is precisely the frustrations of sexual life which people known as neurotics, cannot tolerate. The neurotic creates substitutive satisfactions for himself in his symptoms, and these either cause him suffering in themselves or become sources of suffering for him by raising difficulties in his relations with his environment and the society he belongs to. Men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved, and who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures whose instinctual endowments include a powerful share of aggressiveness. The existence of this inclination to aggression is the factor which disturbs our relations with our neighbor and which forces civilization into such a high expenditure of energy. In consequence of this primary mutual hostility of human beings, civilized society is perpetually threatened with disintegration. The communist system is based on an untenable psychological illusion, for in abolishing private property, we have in no way altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggression, nor have we altered anything in its nature. Because of civilization’s imposition of such great sacrifices on man’s sexuality and aggression, civilized man has exchanged a portion of his possibilities of happiness for a portion of security.

1930A 21/117
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part VI. Arguments for an instinct of aggression and destruction.
The theory of the instincts is the one part of analytic theory that has felt its way the most painfully forward. At first the ego instincts (hunger) and the object instincts (love) confronted each other. The introduction of the concept of narcissism convinced Freud that the instincts could not all be of the same kind. Besides the instinct to preserve living substance and to join it into ever larger units, there must exist another, contrary instinct seeking to dissolve those units. Thus, as well as Eros, there was an instinct of death, the activities of which were not easy to demonstrate. A portion of the instinct is diverted towards the external world and comes to light as an instinct of aggressiveness and destructiveness. Sadism and masochism are examples of Eros and the death instinct appearing as allies with each other. Even where it emerges without any sexual purpose, the satisfaction of the instinct through destructiveness is accompanied by an extraordinarily high degree of narcissistic enjoyment. The inclination to aggression is an original, self-subsisting instinctual disposition. It constitutes the greatest impediment to civilization. Civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then places, peoples, and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. The work of Eros is precisely this. The aggressive instinct is the derivative and the main representative of the death instinct which we have found alongside of Eros and which shares world dominion with it. The evolution of civilization must present the struggle between Eros and Death, between the instinct of life and the instinct of destruction, as it works itself out in the human species.

1930A 21/123
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part VII. Development of the superego and its severity.
Civilization obtains mastery over the individual’s dangerous desire for aggression by weakening and disarming it and by setting up an agency within him to watch over it, like a garrison in a conquered city. There are 2 origins of the sense of guilt: one arising from fear of an authority, and the other, later on, arising from fear of the superego. The first insists upon a renunciation of instinctual satisfactions; the second, as well as doing this, presses for punishment, since the continuance of the forbidden wishes cannot be concealed from the superego. The severity of the superego is simply a continuation of the severity of the external authority, to which it has succeeded and which it has in part replaced. Since civilization obeys an internal erotic impulsion which causes human beings to unite in a closely knit group, it can only achieve this aim through an ever increasing reinforcement of the sense of guilt. If civilization is a necessary course of development from the family to humanity as a whole, then there is inextricably bound up with it an increase of the sense of guilt, which will perhaps reach heights that the individual finds hard to tolerate.

1930A 21/134
Civilization and its discontents (1930).
Part VIII. Conclusions about effects of civilization upon psyche.
The superego is an agency which has been inferred by Freud; conscience is a function which Freud ascribes, among other functions, to that agency. This function consists in keeping a watch over the actions and intentions of the ego and judging them, in exercising a censorship. The sense of guilt, the harshness of the superego, is thus the same thing as the severity of the conscience. In the developmental process of the individual, the program of the pleasure principle, which consists in finding the satisfaction of happiness, is retained as the main aim. Integration in, or adaptation to, a human community appears as a scarcely avoidable condition which must be fulfilled before this aim of happiness can be achieved. The development of the individual seems to be a product of the interaction between two urges, the urge towards happiness, which is usually called egoistic, and the urge towards union with others in the community, which is called altruistic. It can be asserted that the community evolves a superego under whose influence cultural development proceeds. The cultural superego has set up its ideals and set up its demands. Among the latter, those which deal with the relations of human beings to one another are comprised under the heading of ethics. The fateful question for the human species seems to be whether and to what extent their cultural development will succeed in mastering the disturbance of their communal life by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction.

1927E 21/149
Fetishism (1927). Editor’s note. (1961).
Fetishism was finished at the end of the first week of August, 1927 and was published in the autumn of 1927. The paper is of importance as a bringing together and enlarging on Freud’s earlier views on fetishism. Its major interest lies in a fresh metapsychological development which it introduces. For several years past Freud had been using the concept of disavowal especially in relation to children’s reactions to the observation of the anatomical distinction between the sexes. In the present paper, basing himself on fresh clinical observations, he puts forward reasons for supposing that this disavowal necessarily implies a split in the subject’s ego.

1927E 21/152
Fetishism (1927)
Freud had an opportunity of studying analytically a number of men whose object choice was dominated by a fetish. The most extraordinary case seemed to be one in which a young man had exalted a certain sort of shine on the nose into a fetishistic precondition. The fetish, which originated from his earliest childhood, had to be understood in his native English, not German. The shine on the nose was in reality a glance at the nose. The nose was thus the fetish. In every instance, the meaning and the purpose of the fetish turned out, in analysis, to be the same. The fetish is a substitute for the penis: the woman’s (the mother’s) penis that the little boy once believed in and does not want to give up. The fetish achieves a token of triumph over the threat of castration and serves as a protection against it. It also saves the fetishist from becoming a homosexual, by endowing women with the characteristic which makes them tolerable as sexual objects. Because the fetish is easily accessible, the fetishist can readily obtain the sexual satisfaction attached to it. The choice of the fetish object seems determined by the last impression before the uncanny and traumatic one – In very subtle instances both the disavowal and the affirmation of the castration have found their way into the construction of the fetish itself. In conclusion, Freud says that the normal prototype of fetishes is a man’s penis, just as the normal prototype of interior organ is a woman’s real small penis, the clitoris.

1927D 21/160
Humour (1927).
Humor is discussed. There are two ways in which the humorous process can take place. It may take place in regard to a single person, who himself adopts the humorous attitude, while a second person plays the part of the spectator who derives enjoyment from it; or it may take place between two persons, of whom one takes no part at all in the humorous process, but is made the object of humorous contemplation by the other. Like jokes and the comic, humor has something liberating about it; but it also has something of grandeur and elevation, which is lacking in the other two ways of obtaining pleasure from intellectual activity. The grandeur in it clearly lies in the triumph of narcissism, the victorious assertion of the ego’s invulnerability. The rejection of the claims of reality and the putting through of the pleasure principle bring humor near to the regressive or reactionary processes which engage our attention so extensively in psychopathology. In a particular situation the subject suddenly hypercathects his superego and then, proceeding from it, alters the reactions of the ego. A joke is the contribution to the comic by the unconscious. In just the same way, humor would be the contribution made to the comic through the agency of the superego. If the superego tries, by means of humor, to console the ego and protect it from suffering, this does not contradict its origin in the parental agency.

1928A 21/167
A religious experience (1928).
In the autumn of 1927, G. S. Viereck, a journalist, published an account of a conversation with Freud, in the course of which he mentioned Freud’s lack of religious faith and his indifference on the subject of survival after death. This interview was widely read and brought many letters. One was from an American physician who wrote to tell Freud of his religious experience. The physician described a woman who was in the dissecting room and he thought that God would not allow such a thing to happen. For the next several days, he meditated and then received the proof that he needed that there is a God. Freud thinks that the doctor is swayed by the emotion roused in him by the sight of a woman’s dead body which reminded him of his mother. It roused in him a longing for his mother which sprang from his Oedipus complex; this was immediately completed by a feeling of indignation against his father. His ideas of father and God had not yet become widely separated; his desire to destroy his father could become conscious as doubt in the existence of God and could seek to justify itself in the eyes of reason as indignation about the illtreatment of a mother object. The outcome of the struggle was displayed in the sphere of religion and it was of a kind predetermined by the fate of the Oedipus complex: complete submission to the will of God the Father. He had had a religious experience and had undergone conversion. This case may throw some light on the psychology of conversion in general.

1928B 21/175
Dostoevsky and parricide (1928). Editor’s note. (1961).
The essay on Dostoevsky and Parricide falls into two distinct parts. The first deals with Dostoevsky’s character in general, with his masochism, his sense of guilt, his epileptic attacks and his double attitude in the Oedipus complex. The second discusses the special point of his passion for gambling and leads to an account of a short story by Stefan Zweig which throws light on the genesis of that addiction. The essay contains Freud’s first discussion of hysterical attacks since his early paper on the subject written 20 years before, a restatement of his later views on the Oedipus complex and the sense of guilt, and a sidelight on the problem of masturbation. Above all, Freud had an opportunity here for expressing his views on a writer whom he placed in the very front rank of all.

1928B 21/177
Dostoevsky and parricide (1928).
Four facets may be distinguished in the rich personality of Dostoevsky: the creative artist, the neurotic, the moralist, and the sinner. Dostoevsky called himself an epileptic, and was regarded as such by other people. It is highly probable that this so-called epilepsy was only a symptom of his neurosis and must be classified as hysteroepilepsy. Dostoevsky’s attacks did not assume epileptic form until after his eighteenth year, when his father was murdered. Prior to that, however, he suffered in his early years from lethargic, somnolent states, signifying an identification with someone whom he wished dead. Parricide, according to a well-known view, is the principal and primal crime of humanity as well as of the individual. It is the main source of the sense of guilt. It comes from the Oedipus complex. What makes hatred of the father unacceptable is fear of the father; castration is terrible, whether as a punishment or as the price of love. The addition of a second factor to the fear of punishment, the fear of the feminine attitude, a strong innate bisexual disposition, becomes the reinforcement of the neurosis. The publication of Dostoevsky’s posthumous papers and of his wife’s diaries has thrown a glaring light on the period in Germany when he was obsessed with a mania for gambling, which no one could regard as anything but an unmistakable fit of pathological passion. If the addiction to gambling, with the unsuccessful struggles to break the habit and the opportunities it affords for self-punishment, is a repetition of the compulsion to masturbate, we shall not be surprised to find that it occupied such a large space in Dostoevsky’s life. In all cases of severe neurosis, the efforts to suppress autoerotic satisfaction and their relation to fear of the father are well known.

1928B 21/195
Dostoevsky and parricide (1928). Appendix: A letter from Freud to Theodor Reik.
A few months after the publication of Freud’s essay on Dostoevsky, a discussion of it by Theodor Reik appeared in Imago. Freud wrote to Dr. Reik in reply. Reik argued that Freud’s judgment on Dostoevsky’s morals was unjustifiably severe and disagreed with what Freud wrote about morality. Freud acknowledged that all the objections deserve consideration and must be recognized as, in a sense, apt. We may expect, wrote Freud, that in the history of a neurosis accompanied by such a severe sense of guilt, a special part will be played by the struggle against masturbation, as evidenced by Dostoevsky’s pathological addiction to gambling. Freud wrote that he holds firmly to a scientifically objective social assessment of ethics. He included Dostoevsky the psychologist under the creative artist, as Reik suggests. Freud wrote that, in spite of all his admiration for Dostoevsky’s intensity and preeminence, he does not really like him because having become exhausted with pathological natures in analysis, he finds himself intolerant of them in art and life.

1929B 21/199
Some dreams of Descartes: A letter to Maxime Leroy.(1929).
While Maxime Leroy was preparing his book on Descartes, he submitted a series of the philosopher’s dreams to Freud for his comments. Descartes’ original account and interpretation of the dreams seem to have occupied the opening pages of a manuscript known as the ‘Olympica’. It was seen by the seventeenth century abbe, Adrien Baillet, who published a paraphrased translation, containing some quotations from the original Latin. Freud states that the philosopher’s dreams are what are known as dreams from above. That is to say, they are formulations of ideas which could have been created just as well in a waking state as during the state of sleep, and which have derived their content only in certain parts from mental states at a comparatively deep level. That is why these dreams offer, for the most part, a content which has an abstract, poetic, or symbolic form. Analysis of dreams of this kind usually leads to the position that the analyst cannot understand the dream but the dreamer can translate it immediately because its content is very close to his conscious thoughts. It is those parts of the dream about which the dreamer does not know what to say that belong to the unconscious.

1930E 21/207
The Goethe Prize (1930).
In a letter to Dr. Alfons Paquet, Freud asserts that the award of the Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt has given him great pleasure. The address delivered in the Goethe house at Frankfurt is presented. Freud’s life work has been directed to a single aim. He has observed the more subtle disturbances of mental function in healthy and sick people and has sought to infer from signs of this kind how the apparatus which serves those functions is constructed and what concurrent and mutually opposing forces are at work in it. Goethe can be compared in versatility to Leonardo da Vinci, who like him was both artist and scientific investigator. Goethe approached psychoanalysis at a number of points, recognized much through his own insight that has since been confirmed, and some views, which have brought criticism and mockery down upon us, were expounded by him as self-evident. Thus he was familiar with the incomparable strength of the first affective ties of human creatures. Goethe always rated Eros high, never tried to belittle its power, followed its primitive and even wanton expressions with no less attentiveness than its highly sublimated ones and has expounded its essential unity throughout all its manifestations no less decisively than Plato did in the remote past.

1931A 21/215
Libidinal types (1931).
Libidinal types are discussed. As the libido is predominantly allocated to the provinces of the mental apparatus, we can distinguish three main libidinal types: erotic, narcissistic, and obsessional types. Erotics are those whose main interest is turned towards love – The obsessional type is distinguished by the predominance of the superego. In the narcissistic type, there is no tension between ego and superego and there is no preponderance of erotic needs. The subject’s main interest is directed to self-preservation; he is independent and not open to intimidation. There are mixed types too: the erotic obsessional, the erotic narcissistic, and the narcissistic obsessional. These seem to afford a good classification of the individual psychical structures. In the erotic obsessional type, it appears that the preponderance of instinctual life is restricted by the influence of the superego. The erotic narcissistic type is perhaps the one we must regard as the commonest of all. It unites opposites, which are able to moderate one another in it. The narcissistic obsessional type produces the variation which is most valuable from a cultural standpoint; for it adds to independence of the external world and a regard for the demands of conscience, a capacity for vigorous actions, and it strengthens the ego against the superego. When people of the erotic type fall ill, they will develop hysteria, just as those of the obsessional type will develop obsessional neurosis. People of the narcissistic type are peculiarly disposed to psychosis.

1931B 21/223
Female sexuality (1931). Editor’s note (1961) and
Part I. Female Oedipus complex differs from male.
Female Sexuality is a restatement of the findings first announced by Freud 6 years earlier in his paper on “Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes”. This paper, however, lays further emphasis on the intensity and long duration of the little girl’s pre-Oedipus attachment to her mother. During the phase of the normal Oedipus complex, we find the child tenderly attached to the parent of the opposite sex, while its relation to the parent of its own sex is predominantly hostile. The development of female sexuality is complicated by the fact that the girl has the task of giving up what was originally her leading genital zone, the clitoris, in favor of a new zone, the vagina. There are many women who have a strong attachment to their father. Where the woman’s attachment to her father was particularly intense, analysis showed that it has been preceded by a phase of exclusive attachment to her mother which had been equally intense and passionate. Except for the change of her love object, the second phase had scarcely added any new feature to her erotic life. The duration of this attachment had been greatly underestimated. In several cases it lasted until well into the fourth year, so that it covered by far the longer part of the period of early sexual efflorescence.

1931B 21/227
Female sexuality (1931).
Part II. Girl’s pre-Oedipal motives for turning away from mother.
A woman’s strong dependence on her father takes over the heritage of an equally strong attachment to her mother. A female’s first love object must be her mother. But at the end of her development, her father should have become her new love object. One thing that is left over in men from the influence of the Oedipus complex is a certain amount of disparagement in their attitude towards women, whom they regard as being castrated. The female acknowledges the fact of her castration, and with it, too, the superiority of the male and her own inferiority; but she rebels against this unwelcome state of affairs. From this divided attitude three lines of development open up. The first leads to a general revulsion from sexuality. The second leads her to cling with defiant self-assertiveness to her threatened masculinity. Only if her development follows the third, very circuitous path does she reach the final normal female attitude, in which she takes her father as her object and so finds her way to the feminine form of the Oedipus complex. The range of motives for turning away from the mother include: failure to provide the girl with the only proper genital, failure to feed her sufficiently, compelling her to share her mother’s love with others, failure to fulfill all the girl’s expectations of love, and an arousal of her sexual activity and then a forbidding of it.

1931B 21/235
Female Sexuality (1931).
Part III. Girl’s pre-Oedipal sexual aims toward mother.
The girl’s sexual aims in regard to her mother are active as well as passive and are determined by the libidinal phases through which the child passes. The first sexual and sexually-colored experiences which a child has in relation to its mother are of a passive character. It is suckled, fed, cleaned, and dressed by her, and taught to perform all its functions. A part of its libido goes on clinging to those experiences and enjoys the satisfactions bound up with them; but another part strives to turn them into activity. The sexual activity of little girls in relation to their mother is manifested chronologically in oral, sadistic, and finally even in phallic trends directed towards her. Girls regularly accuse their mother of seducing them. The turning away from her mother is an extremely important step in the course of a little girl’s development.

1931B 21/240
Female sexuality (1931).
Part IV. Critique of analytic literature on female sexuality.
Female sexuality is discussed. Abraham’s description of the manifestations of the castration complex in the female is still unsurpassed; but Freud would have been glad if it had included the factor of the girl’s original exclusive attachment to her mother. Freud is in agreement with the principal points in Jeanne Lampl-de Groot’s important paper. In this the complete identity of the pre-Oedipus phase in boys and girls is recognized, and the girl’s sexual (phallic) activity towards her mother is affirmed and substantiated by observations. In Helene Deutsch’s paper on feminine masochism and its relation to frigidity, the girl’s phallic activity and the intensity of her attachment to her mother are recognized. Helene Deutsch states further that the girl’s turning towards her father takes place via her passive trends. Fenichel rightly emphasizes the difficulty of recognizing in the material produced in analysis what parts of it represent the unchanged content of the pre-Oedipus phase and what parts have been distorted by regression. Some writers are inclined to reduce the importance of the child’s first and most original libidinal impulses in favor of later developmental processes so that the only role left to the former is merely to indicate certain paths, while the psychical intensities which flow along those paths are supplied by later regressions and reaction formations.

19261 21/247
Dr. Reik and the problem of quackery. A letter to the ‘Neue Freie Presse’ (1926).
A letter to the Neue Freie Presse concerning Dr. Reik and the problem of quackery is presented. Freud acknowledged that he availed himself of Reik’s skill in particularly difficult cases, but only where the symptoms lay in a sphere far removed from the physical one. Freud never failed to inform a patient that Reik was not a physician but a psychologist. His daughter Anna has devoted herself to the pedagogic analysis of children and adolescents. Freud never referred a case of severe neurotic illness in an adult to her. In The Question of Lay Analysis, Freud tried to show what psychoanalysis is and what demands it makes on the analyst. The conclusion was drawn that any mechanical application to trained analysts of the section against quackery in the criminal code is open to grave doubts.

1929A 21/249
Dr. Ernest Jones (on his 50th birthday) (1929).
Dr. Ernest Jones, on his fiftieth birthday, is discussed and praised. Among the men who met at Salzburg in the spring of 1908 for the first psychoanalytical congress, Dr. Jones delivered a short paper on “Rationalization in Everyday Life.” The contents of this paper hold good to this day: psychoanalysis was enriched by an important concept and an indispensable term. In his various responsibilities (such as professor in Toronto, physician in London, founder and teacher of a Branch Society, director of a Press, editor of a journal, head of a training institute) he has worked tirelessly for psychoanalysis, making its findings known and defending them. He wrote, among others, “Papers on Psycho-Analysis” and “Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis.” Presently he is not only indisputably the leading figure among English-speaking analysts, but is also recognized as one of the foremost representatives of psychoanalysis as a whole, a mainstay for his friends and a hope for the future of psychoanalysis.

1931D 21/251
The expert opinion in the Halsmann case (1931).
The expert opinion in the Halsmann Case is discussed. If it had been objectively demonstrated that Philipp Halsmann murdered his father, there would be some grounds for introducing the Oedipus complex to provide a motive for an otherwise unexplained deed. Since no such proof has been adduced, mention of the Oedipus complex has a misleading effect. The Opinion of the Innsbruck Faculty of Medicine seems inclined to attribute an effective Oedipus complex to Phillip Halsmann, but refrains from defining the measure of this effectiveness, since under the pressure of the accusation the necessary conditions for an unreserved disclosure on Philip Halsmann’s part were not fulfilled. The possible influence of emotional shock on the disturbance of memory with regard to impressions before and during the critical time is minimized to the extreme, in Freud’s opinion unjustly. The assumptions of an exceptional state of mind or of mental illness are decisively rejected, but the explanation of a repression having taken place in Philipp Halsmann after the deed is readily allowed, in the opinion of the Innsbruck Faculty of Medicine. A repression of this kind, occurring out of the blue in an adult who gives no indication of a severe neurosis, the repression of an action which would certainly be more important than any debatable details of distance and the passage of time and which takes place in a normal state or one altered only by physical fatigue, would be a rarity of the first order.

1930C 21/254
Introduction to the special psychopathology number of ‘the medical review of reviews’ (1930).
An introduction to the special psychopathology of the Medical Review of Reviews is presented. The popularity of the name of psychoanalysis in America signifies neither a friendly attitude to the thing itself nor any specially wide or deep knowledge of it. Although America possesses several excellent analysts and at least one authority, the contributions to our science from that vast country are exiguous and provide little that is new. Psychiatrists and neurologists make frequent use of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method, but as a rule they show little interest in its scientific problems and its cultural significance. There is a general tendency in America to shorten study and preparation and to proceed as fast as possible to practical application. There is a preference, too, for studying a subject like psycho-analysis not from the original sources but from second-hand and often inferior accounts.

1931C 21/256
Introduction to Eduardo Weiss’s ‘Elements of Psychoanalysis’ (1931).
An introduction to Edoardo Weiss’s Elements of Psychoanalysis in presented. All who know how to appreciate the seriousness of a scientific endeavor, how to value the honesty of an investigator who does not seek to belittle or deny the difficulties, and how to take pleasure in the skill of a teacher who brings light into darkness and order into chaos by his exposition, must form a high estimate of this book and share Freud’s hope that it will awaken among cultivated and learned circles in Italy a lasting interest in the young science of psychoanalysis.

1930B 21/257
Preface to ‘ten years of the Berlin psycho-analytic institute’ (1930).
The preface to Ten Years of the Berlin Psycho-analytic Institute is presented. The Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute has three functions within the psychoanalytic movement. First, it endeavors to make psychoanalytic therapy accessible to the great multitude who suffer under their neuroses no less than the wealthy, but who are not in a position to meet the cost of their treatment. Secondly, it seeks to provide a center at which analysis can be taught theoretically and at which the experience of older analysts can be handed on to pupils who are anxious to learn. Third, it aims at perfecting psychoanalytic knowledge of neurotic illnesses and therapeutic technique by applying them and testing them under fresh conditions. Ten years ago, Dr. Max Eitington created this institute from his own resources, and has since then maintained and directed it by his own efforts.

1932B 21/258
Preface to Hermann Nunberg’s ‘General theory of the neuroses on a psycho-analytic basis’ (1932).
The preface to Hermann Nunberg’s General Theory of the Neuroses on a Psychoanalytic Basis is presented. This volume by Nunberg contains the most complete and conscientious presentation of a psychoanalytic therapy of neurotic processes at this time. Those who expect to have the relevant problems simplified and smoothed over will not find satisfaction in this work but those who prefer scientific thinking and can appreciate it or who can enjoy the beautiful diversity of mental happenings will value this work and study it assiduously.

1931E 21/259
Letter to the burgomaster of Pribor (1931).
A letter to the mayor of Pribor (formerly Freiberg, Austria) is presented, in which he thanks the city for the celebration and the commemoration of the house of his birth with a plaque in his honor. Freud left Freiberg at the age of 3 and visited it when he was 16, during his school holidays, and never returned to it again. At 75, it is not easy for him to put himself back into those early times. But of one thing, Freud feels sure: deeply buried within him there still lives the happy child of Freiberg, the first-born son of a youthful mother, who received his first indelible impressions from this air, from this soil.

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

Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Editor


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