Freud

Freud In several of his books, including Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis and On Dreams, Freud combines the topics of forgetting a proper name and dream analysis, formulating a thesis that helps to clarify his theories on both. He describes in psychoanalytic terms the mechanisms behind forgetting of a proper name and how they relate to the methods used in dream analysis. By looking at the two topics from a joint perspective, we can gain a greater understanding of them and how they relate to other areas of psychoanalysis. The tendency toward forgetting of a proper name is an important theme in Freuds work. He explained the way in which forgetting something like a name was actually a substitute for forgetting something that, unconsciously, an individual does not wish to remember. He described the unconscious force that prompted this forgetfulness as a “counter-will”, or an unconscious desire parallel to an individuals conscious desire.

According to Freud, there is a connection between what one consciously forgets and what one unconsciously wants to forget. When a person has some unpleasant thought or issue that they wish to banish from their mind, the will to forget may “miss its target”, and the wish to forget may manifest itself in some other way. In this case the individual may forget something seemingly unconnected to the thought they wish to banish, such as a proper name. Freud gives some relevant examples of this phenomenon in Introductory Lectures: “For instance, if we have temporarily forgotten a name, we are annoyed about it, do all we can to remember it and cannot leave the business alone. Why in such cases do we so extremely seldom succeed in directing our attention, as we are after all anxious to do, to the word which (as we say) is on the tip of our tongue and which we recognize at once when we are told it? Or again: there are cases in which the parapraxes multiply, form chains, and replace one another..” (ILp 35-36) It is in this line that understanding the preconscious becomes important. “Preconscious” describes a division of the mind that falls in between repression (unconscious) and recognition (conscious).

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Freud described thoughts in the preconscious as having crossed the threshold from the unconscious mind, but not yet having caught the eye of consciousness (IL p366). The preconscious is an important element in the dynamic between an individuals conscious intention and their counter-will, because it falls somewhere in the middle and may be the most manifested part of the phenomenon. For instance, when a proper name is forgotten, this is a function of repression. The individual unconsciously wants to forget one thing, but the counter-will resists by forgetting another. It is when a name is “on the tip of the tongue” but still unclear that countless other irrelevant names will come to mind; these irrelevant names are the inhabitants of the preconscious. The case detailed in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, in which Freud discusses his own experience with the forgetting of a proper name, is a good example of a clear analysis of the mechanism Freud saw behind this phenomenon.

He explains the situation, and will later go on to fully analyze its significance: ” The name that I tried without success to recall in the example I chose for analysis in 1898 was that of the artist who painted the magnificent frescoes of the Four Last Things in Orvieto Cathedral. Instead of the name I was looking for Signorelli the names of two other painters Botticelli and Boltrafio thrust themselves at me, though they were immediately and decisively rejected by my judgment as incorrect. When I learn the correct name from someone else, I recognized it at once and without hesitation (PEL p2). When he tries to remember the forgotten name, and later remembers it and brings it back to his consciousness, he plunges into a maze of explanations of how and why the particular substitutions occurred. This is where I find Freud to be stretching the limits of reasonable deduction; it is my opinion that the chart he included in Psychopathology of Everyday Life is unconvincing at best. The chart, however, manages to lead him from the substituted name to the source of the repressed material.

Whether the chart and its analysis was superfluous to this discovery or not is something of which I am not convinced. The way he uses the first few letters of his mixed up words to relate them to each other and tie everything together seemed too orderly and simplified to be the product of something as willful as the unconscious mind, but it did seem to work in validating his points on the issue. Comparing and contrasting the phenomenon of forgetting proper names and all that it entails with the practice of dream-analysis is challenging and adds another dimension to our understanding of both. Though study of both is focused on a part of the mind other than the conscious thoughts, there is a distinction between the roles played by the unconscious and the preconscious in these phenomena. In dream analysis, the dream-thoughts are recognized as unconscious material, waiting in the unconscious mind to be revealed to the dreamer in sleep. Much of this material could not be recognized by the individual in any form other than a dream, either because it is repressed or it has not yet reached the conscious level of recognition.

In forgetting of a proper name, however, the answer seems to be “on the tip of the tongue”, or just out of reach of the conscious mind. In this case both the material that is forgotten and the material that the memory substitutes is found in the preconscious mind, the state in between conscious and unconscious thought. The significant tie between these two realms of thought can be found in hypnosis. In a hypnotic state induced by suggestion, and individual is made able to access both preconscious and unconscious thoughts, and to express them while not asleep. This is a valuable tool both for the psychoanalyst and for the patient; in a hypnotic state the patient has access to unconscious material that otherwise would be difficult to uncover and interpret. Understanding of the areas of forgetting a proper name and the dream work is essential to understanding much of Freuds work, and comparing and contrasting the two can help us gain an extra dimension of insight into both.

The tremendous impact of Freuds work, both culturally and clinically, is inescapable in American society. It is for this reason that it is so relevant for us to study it today.

Freud

Sigmund Freud is perhaps the most radical psychologist of the 20th century. His ideas have had an impact on almost every facet of society and his works opened human culture to a whole new approach to understanding human sexuality and how its effects play a key role in the growth of every society. Sigmund believed that human sexuality should be more liberated, because humans are naturally aggressive and modern knowledge has shown that sex tells one something about themselves. Freud was one of the first people to make a generally imaginative contribution that sex pervades everything in life, even the small gestures. His studies began in the 1890s and his ideas were gathered from years of patient/doctor sessions and various contributions from outside sources. One being from anthropologists who came to the conclusion that if people were capable of being happy with so much varied sexual grouping, than sex is something different than traditional definitions. Ultimately, Freud believed that unless sexuality, which is historically conditioned, was liberated and sublimated into society, people could never fully be happy. A deeper analytical discussion is necessary in understanding the far-reaching contributions and ideas of Sigmund Freud.

Freud believed that human sexuality began at the birth of a child instead of at an age where children could identify and reason with their culture. He argued that children do not have personal knowledge to understand the biological ongoing of sex. Therefore, he stressed that the biggest sex organ was in fact the mind, where fantasy and identity takes place; disproving that sex was biological. He claimed there were major stages of a childs growth that ultimately effected the rest of their life. Most notably were the oral stage and the anal stage. Freud argued that a childs first pleasure was when they drank milk from their mothers breast. He went on to say that children received pleasure from this and that the event was in fact a prototype of an orgasm. Freud insisted that as a person grows they never stop being a child in a sense. As we grow older, those influences that affected our minds as babies would indeed have a direct influence on our sexual behaviors as adults. Some people continue to have oral fixations as they grow, choosing to nibble on a pen or constantly eat. Some children might turn out to be homosexuals or bisexuals depending on how they are raised. This was a very radical idea of Freuds and it proved that sex was not natural and could be shaped and molded differently over time in each individual. Similarly, the anal stage also provided children with their first opportunity to gain power over their parents. Throughout potty training, defecation is seen as a gift from the child to their parents.

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They are clearly treated as pat if the infants own body and represent his first gift: by producing them he can express his active compliance with his environment and, by withholding them, his disobedience (Freud, pg. 266).
For the first time in a childs life they have leverage over their parents. This supports Freuds claims that sexuality begins at the infantile stage of growth.

We see now how certain stages of a childs life affect their adult lives. We also see how infants are attached to their parents in every development of their lives at an early stage. Freud believed that because of this, certain desires and practices stem from parental guidance. Two most notably are the wants a child has of being with their mother and that religion is born in the mother and father as a security for their child. Freud believed that even after a child grows and has become educated about sexual activity, that deep inside they really want to return to their mothers for pleasure.

But even after sexual activity has become detached from the taking of nourishment, an important part of this first and most significant of all sexual relations is left over, which helps to prepare for the choice of an object and thus to restore the happiness that has been lost (Freud, pg. 288).

This could explain why as children become adults they search for a partner that resembles there mother the fullest. The more affection a mother shows her child, the more the child will ultimately wish to return to her. The most radical idea about this is that a child might wish to have sex with their mother. They would then see their father as a threat because he is with mommy and wishes to kill him. Also, the idea of returning to ones mother could explain why as humans grow they are never fully satisfied or happy due to repressed sexual energy that society has created. The idea being with your mother is seen by society as preposterous and morally unacceptable. However, to Freud, it is seen as natural sexual energy being released. Further, from the parents Freud believed that the foundations of religion began. Freud was an opponent of religion and believed that it served only as a repressor of humanity and as security to society. Freud argued that its beginnings arose from the childhood experience.
Thus his longing for a father is a motive identical with his need for protection against the consequences if his human weakness. The defense against childish helplessness is what lends its characteristic features to the adults reaction to the helplessness which he has to acknowledge-a reaction which is precisely the formation of religion (Freud pg. 699).

Freud claimed that religion was nothing more than this, and if society could disregard of it, things in life could be seen in completely different fashions. Until this was done, humans would be repressing themselves with added moral codes.

We now begin to see where happiness falls into the equation, or lack thereof. But, first we must fully understand our human qualities before we see how society is restraining our growth as humanity. Up till now we have learned about the oral and anal stages of a childs growth and our want to ultimately return to our mothers as we grow. We have also learned from Freud that religion is nothing more than security and moral codes in society and serves as a repressor to natural human feelings. Lastly, we should understand Freuds thoughts on human aggressiveness. Freud believed that humans were not gentle creatures that wanted to be loved, and who at most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness (Freud, pg. 749). As a result, human aggression has been given various instruments throughout society to hold it together. One example is that of work which allows humans to in a way focus on other things than their aggression. Another example is sports, which allows people to vent their aggression in a civilized fashion. Ultimately, natural human aggression is another part of humanity, which has been repressed by laws, moral codes, and the culture in todays society. Similarly, there are various forms in which human sexual energy has been sublimated into society. Freud touches on the most basic forms of communication such as a tap on the butt or flirting and how these actions are methods for humans to vent their sexual energy. A person might repress their oral
Bibliography:
Freud, Sigmundd. Freudian Reader. New York Press, ew York, 1978.

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