Thursday, November 03, 2005

A review of Freud's "Psychoanalysis".

I am not sure if Freud's approach in psychoanalysis is superstitution or rational genius.

How does one manage to go beyond the awake and aware mind and remain rational and scientific? I think the key lies in Herr Freud's self-psychoanalysis, which he forbade others to do. I also think that we tend to project our own needs and interests onto this body of work, especially if we become deeply involved in it. For instance, literary critic Harold Bloom projects Shakespeare onto Freud.

You know what "Psychoanalysis" reminds me of? The Blue Book of Alcoholics Anonymous! Here is the same trial and error, trial and success, but in the hands of one man. Here is the same modesty and egotism combined, the same supple and wry awareness of fallibility and of genius insights having fallen into one's hands. And here too is the surprise at having discovered something genuinely new under the sun.

It is customary to opine about the good and bad aspects of Freud's work. This is like giving a compilation of one's projections and biases. The simplicity of Freud's approach stands in stark contrast:

"You may regard psychoanalytic treatment as a continued education for the overcoming of childhood-remnants."

In other words: grow up! become as full a human being as you can! accept you life and your death for what they are.

Here there is a bittersweet and severe wisdom - in common with Cicero's letter on Old Age - which gains flavour the longer we savor it.


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