WHEN Professor Freud of Vienna made his early discoveries in the realm of the neuroses, and announced that the basis and origin of the various symptoms grouped under the terms hysteria and neuroses lay in unfulfilled desires and wishes, unexpressed and unknown to the patient for the most part, and concerned chiefly with the sexual instinct, it was not realized what far- reaching influence this unpopular and bitterly attacked theory would exert on the understanding of human life in general. For this theory has so widened in its scope that its application has now extended beyond a particular group of pathologic states. It has in fact led to a new evaluation of the whole conduct of human life; a new comprehension has developed which explains those things which formerly were unexplained, and there is offered an understanding not only of the symptoms of a neurosis and the phenomena of conduct but the product of the mind as expressed in myths and religions. This amazing growth has proceeded steadily in an ever-widening fashion despite opposition as violent as any of which we have knowledge in the past. The criticism originally directed towards the little understood and vih much disliked sexual conception now includes the further teachings of a psychology which by the application to it of such damning phrases as mystical, metaphysical and sacrilegious, is condemned as unscientific. To add to the general confusion and misunderstanding surrounding this new school of thought there has arisen a division amongst the leaders themselves, so that there now exist two schools led respectively by Professor Sigmund Freud of Vienna and Dr Carl Jung of Zurich, referred to in the literature as the Vienna School and the Zurich School It is very easy to understand that criticism and opposition should develop against a psychology so difficult of comprehension, and so disturbing to the ideas which have been held by humanity for ages; a psychology which furthermore requires a special technique as well as an observer trained to recognize and appreciate in psycho- logic phenomena a verification of the statement that there is no such thing as chance, and that every act and every expression has its own meaning, determined by the inner feelings and wishes of the individual. It is not a simple matter to come out boldly and state that every individual is to a large extent the determiner of his own destiny, for only by poets and philosophers has this idea been put forth not by science; and it is a brave act to make this statement with full consciousness of all its meaning, and to stand ready to prove it by scientific reasoning and procedure Developed entirely through empirical investigation and through an analysis of individual cases, Freudian psychology seems particularly to belong to that conception of Max Mullet’s that” An empirical acquaintance with facts rises to a scientific knowledge of facts as soon as the mind discovers beneath the multiplicity of single productions the unity of an organic system.” I Psychoanalysis is the name given to the method developed for reaching down into the hidden depths of the individual. to bring to light the underlying motives and determinants of his symptoms and attitudes, and to reveal the unconscious tendencies ‘which lie behind actions and reactions and which influence development and determine the relations of life itself. /The result of digging down into the hidden psyche has been to produce a mass of material from below the threshold of consciousness, so astonishing and disturbing and out of relation with the previously held values, as to arouse in any one unfamiliar with the process the strongest antagonism and criticism. Although originally studied only as a therapeutic method for the sick it was soon realized through an analysis of normal people how slight were the differences in the content of the unconscious of the sick and of the normal The differences observed were seen to be rather in the reactions to life and to the conflicts produced by contending forces in the individual. These conflicts, usually not fully perceived by the individual, and having to do with objectionable desires and wishes that are not in keeping with the conscious idea of self, produce marked effects which are expressed either in certain opinions, prejudices, attitudes of conduct, faulty actions, or in some definite pathologic symptom. As Dr Jung says, he who remainsJiealthy has to struggle with the same complexes that cause the neurotic to fall ill. In a valuable book called “The Neighbor,” written by the late Professor N Shaler of Harvard University, there occurs this very far-reaching statement: “jit is hardly too much to say that all the important errors of conduct, all the burdens of men or of societies are caused by the inadequacies in the association of the primal animal emotions with those mental powers which have been so rapidly developed in mankind.” This statement, reached by a process of reasoning and a method of thought and study entirely different from psychoanalysis, nevertheless so completely ex presses in brief form the very basis of the postulates developed through psychoanalysis that I quote it here Such a statement made in the course of a general examination of human relations does not arouse opposition nor seem to be so difficult of acceptance. It appears to be the individual application of these conceptions that has roused such bitter antagonism and violent denunciations. Rightly understood and used, psychoanalysis may be compared to surgery, for psychoanalysis stands m the same relation to the personality as surgery does to the body, and they aim at parallel results. It is well recognized that in the last analysis nature is the real physician, the healer of wounds; but prior to the development of our modern asepsis and surgical technique the healing produced by nature was most often of a very faulty and imperfect type hideous scars, distorted and crippled limbs, with functions impaired or incapacitated, resulted from the wounds, or else nature was unable to cope with the hurt and the injured one succumbed Science has been steadily working for centuries with the aim of understanding nature and finding means to aid and co-operate with her so that healing could take place with the least possible loss of function or permanent juicy to the individual. READ MORE
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