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©1998-2013 Maria Helena Rowell


QUOTES
from Dr. Sigmund Freud


 

9) "Libido is an expression taken from the theory of the emotions. We call by that name the energy, regarded as a quantitative magnitude (though not at present actually measurable), of those instincts which have to do with all that may be comprised under the word 'love'. The nucleus of what we mean by love naturally consists (and this is what is commonly called love, and what the poets sing of) in sexual love with sexual union as its aim. But we do not separate from this - what in any case has a share in the name 'love' - on the one hand, self-love, and on the other, love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas. Our justification lies in the fact that psycho-analytic research has taught us that all these tendencies are an expression of the same instinctual impulses; in relations between the sexes these impulses force their way towards sexual union, but in other circumstances they are diverted from this aim or are prevented from reaching it, though always preserving enough of their original nature to keep their identity recognizable (as in such features as the longing for proximity, and self-sacrifice).

We are of opinion, then, that language has carried out an entirely justifiable piece of unification in creating the word 'love' with its numerous uses, and that we cannot do better than take it as the basis of our scientific discussions and expositions as well. By coming to this decision, psycho-analysis has let loose a storm of indignation, as though it had been guilty of an act of outrageous innovation. Yet it has done nothing original in taking love in this 'wider' sense. In its origin, function, and relation to sexual love, the 'Eros' of the philosopher Plato coincides exactly with the love-force, the libido of psycho-analysis, as has been shown in detail by Nachansohn (1915) and Pfister (1921); and when the apostle Paul, in his famous epistle to the Corinthians, praises love above all else, he certainly understands it in the same 'wider' sense. But this only shows that men do not always take their great thinkers seriously, even when they profess most to admire them.

Psycho-analysis, then, gives these love instincts the name of sexual instincts, a potiori and by reason of their origin. The majority of 'educated' people have regarded this nomenclature as an insult, and have taken their revenge by retorting upon psycho-analysis with the reproach of 'pan-sexualism'. Anyone who considers sex as something mortifying and humiliating to human nature is at liberty to make use of the more genteel expressions 'Eros' and 'erotic'. I might have done so myself from the first and thus have spared myself much opposition. But I did not want to, for I like to avoid concession to faintheartedness. One can never tell where the road may lead one; one gives way first in words, and then little by little in substance too. I cannot see any merit in being ashamed of sex; the Greek word 'Eros', which is to soften the affront, is in the end nothing more than a translation to our German word Liebe [love]; and finally, he who knows how to wait need make no concessions."

From "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" (1921) [SE, XVIII, 90-91]




10) "There is no doubt that the field of hypnotic treatment is far more extensive than that of other methods of treating nervous ilnesses. Nor is there any justification for the reproach which asserts that hypnosis is only able to influence symptoms and them only for a short time. If hypnotic treatment is directed only against symptoms and not against pathological processes, it is following precisely the same path which all other therapeutic methods are obliged to take.

If hypnosis has had success, the stability of the cure depends on the same factors as the stability of every cure achieved in another way. If what it was dealing with were residual phenomena of a process that was concluded, the cure will be a permanent one; if the causes which produced the symptoms are still at work with undiminished strength, then a relapse is probable. The employment of hypnosis never excludes that of any other treatment, dietetic, mechanical, or of some other sort. In a number of cases - namely where the symptoms are of purely psychical origin - hypnosis fulfils all the demands that can be made of a causal treatment, and in that case questioning and calming the patient in deep hypnosis is as a rule accompanied by the most brilliant success.

Everything that has been said and written about the great dangers of hypnosis belongs to the realm of fable. If we leave on one side the misuse of hypnosis for illegitimate purposes - a possibility that exists for every other effective therapeutic method - the most we have to consider is the tendency of severely neurotic people, after repeated hypnosis, to fall into hypnosis spontaneously. It is the physician's power to forbid this spontaneous hypnosis, which would seem to come about only in very susceptible individuals. People whose susceptibility goes so far that they can be hypnotized against their will, can also be protected fairly completely by a suggestion that only their physician will be able to hypnotize them."

From "Hypnosis" (1891) [SE, I, 113-14]  more about hypnosis




11) "Now I have not used hypnosis for therapeutic purposes for some eight years (except for a few special experiments) so that I habitually send back these cases with the recommendation that anyone who relies upon hypnosis may employ it himself. There is, actually, the greatest possible antithesis between suggestive and analytic technique - the same antithesis which, in regard to the fine arts, the great Leonardo da Vinci summed up in the formulas: per via di porre and per via di levare. Painting, says Leonardo, works per via di porre for it applies a substance - particles of colour - where there was nothing before, on the colourless canvas; sculpture, however, proceeds per via di levare, since it takes away from the block of stone all that hides the surface of the statue contained in it. In a similar way, the technique of suggestion aims at proceeding per via di porre; it is not concerned with the origin, strenght and meaning of the morbid symptoms, but instead, it superimposes something - a suggestion - in the expectation that it will be strong enough to restrain the pathogenic idea from coming to expression. Analytic therapy, on the other hand, does not seek to add or to introduce anything new, but to take away something, to bring out something; and to this end concerns itself with the genesis of the morbid symptoms and the psychical context of the pathogenic idea which it seeks to remove."..."I gave up the suggestive technique, and with it hypnosis, so early in my practice because I despaired of making suggestions powerful and enduring enough to effect permanent cures. In every severe case I saw the suggestions which had been applied crumble away again; after which the disease or some substitute for it was back once more."

From "On Psychotherapy" (1905 [1904]) [SE, VII, 260-61]



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