School Of Psychoanalysis - Jung
( Originally Published 1920 )
Dr. Carl G. Jung of Zurich, Switzerland, one of Freud's disciples, has developed his master's views, broadening them out in certain respects but imparting to them in other respects a great deal of vagueness.
Freud's conception of the libido does not satisfy Jung. He conceived that urge as a force reaching far beyond the confines of sexuality or love even in their broadest sense. To him this force is a mysterious thing, similar to Bergson's Vital Urge, and which manifests itself not merely through sex and other hedonist activities, but through organic growth and development, and through all mental and intellectual activities.
He agrees with Freud that the instinct of reproduction is at the basis of hundreds of manifestations which at the present day seem to have completely lost all the sexual significance they once had, but he refuses, on account of their present character, to designate them as sexual.
In place of a sexual viewpoint, Jung introduces into abnormal psychology an energic viewpoint.
The first manifestation of the libido or vital energy is the instinct of nutrition. From this stage the libido slowly develops through the many activities of the act of sucking into the sexual function. Hence he does not consider the act of sucking as a sexual act. The pleasure derived from sucking the mother's nipple cannot be considered as a sexual pleasure but as a nutritional pleasure, for Jung does not see anywhere any evidence that pleasure in itself is sexual.
It is because the libido attaches itself to an object or withdraws itself from it that the object interests us or appeals to us. The object itself is indifferent. The neurotic has no conscious reason for the outflow or the withdrawal of his libido, but when there is an exaggerated interest for one object, there is a consequent lack of energy elsewhere.
The second point on which Jung disagrees with Freud is the meaning of the childish manifestations of sexuality which Freud calls "polymorphous per-verse" because of their similarity to the abnormal phenomena of adult life known as perversions.
Jung refuses to use the word perverse in connection with those infantile activities. They are to his mind the gradual enfoldment of sexuality. He divides life into three periods: the presexual period extending to the third or fourth year, in which the libido is mainly occupied with nutrition and growth, and corresponds roughly to the caterpillar stage of the butterfly.
Then comes the prepubertal stage, from the fourth year to the age of puberty, followed by the period of maturity.
In the presexual stage, the "polymorphous per-verse activities arise from the general broadening of the libido which is no longer at the exclusive service of nutrition and begins to flow through many other channels. The childish habits are abandoned gradually, which means that a large amount of libido is withdrawn from them.
If on the other hand the libido in its extension from nutrition to sex is arrested or retarded, a fixation may result, creating a disharmony, for the physical growth of the child cannot wait and never stops. A discrepancy arises between the infantile character of the child's emotional life and the needs of the more mature individual and the seed is sown for some maladaptation of the neurotic type.
The child uses up a great amount of energy in day dreaming which compensates him for the thousand things which the world is denying him or rather taking away from him.
As the human being passes from childhood into adulthood, the increasing demands which life makes upon him compel him to abandon the world of fancies in which he spent so many hours. There again there may be a lingering of the libido in the phantasy stage and this leads to a condition called introversion. The introvert is characterized by the fact that his libido is turned toward his own personality and that he regards everything from, the point of view of his personality. The introvert lingers on situations and experiences which are a thing of the past, which are no longer of any import and which obscure to him the actual situation he should face.
This constitutes another form of maladaptation to practical life with its various social aspects.
The dominant factor in the child's life are the parents.
At this point, Jung again disagrees with Freud. Jung admits that there are many neurotic persons, who, in their infancy and childhood, showed unmistakable neurotic traits which in later life became more deeply marked. And he realizes also that the parents wield on the child's destiny, by their affection or lack of affection, wrong example, etc., an influence which is decisive for the child's future.
The child's mentality may be so moulded by early influences that in later life he will constantly seek in the actual world conditions which dominated in the family circle and will never be satisfied until he thinks he has drawn near that goal.
But the adult is not conscious of those influences and may actually consider himself absolutely free from such tyranny, the more so as he often realizes the profound outward difference between present and past conditions and fails to notice their essential similarity.
Therefore, Jung does not consider that the actual parents are the actual factors in a subject's attitude to life and its problems, but rather the distorted, often idealized, images of the parents, the father imago and the mother imago.
To Jung, the Oedipus Complex is a purely symbolic situation in which the mother has absolutely no sexual significance for the child.
It is not the mere existence of this complex, Jung writes, which characterizes the neurotic, for every-body has it in his unconscious, but the neurotic's strong attachment to it. This so-called fixation is probably a normal phenomenon. The fact that the neurotic seems markedly influenced by it shows that it is less a matter of fixation than of a peculiar use which he makes of his infantile past. He exaggerates its importance and attributes to it a great artificial value.
The jealousy which even very young children may show toward their father more or less corresponds to the displeasure which certain animals, dogs, for example, show in regard to strangers approaching their masters or the caresses their masters may lavish on other dogs, cats, etc. Children probably appreciate their mother most as a source of food, protection and physical comfort. Later, when eroticism begins to develop, the male child tends to prefer the mother, the female child the father, the male child experiencing something akin to sexual jealousy toward his father, the female child toward her mother.
As puberty is attained, male and female child free themselves from their too exclusive attachment for their parents and upon the extent of their detachment depends their future well being.
This disentanglement is often accompanied by a severe struggle and a mental and physical crisis which Jung designates as the stage of self-sacrifice. In that period the childish tendencies and forms of love are sacrificed in order that the energy they consume may be freed and turned toward self-fulfilment aims.
We now reach another important point whereon Jung separates himself from Freud.
To Freud the many repressions which take place before and during the stage characterized by Jung as the stage of self-sacrifice result in the accumulation of unconscious material constantly seeking an outlet. Hence to Freud, dreams are in their essence a symbolic veil for repressed desires which are in conflict with the ideals of the personality.
To Jung the dream is a subliminal picture of the psychological condition of the individual in his waking state. It represents a résumé of the subliminal association material which is brought together by the momentary psychological situation. The volitional meaning of the dream which Freud calls the repressed desire is to Jung a means of expression.
The activity of the consciousness, speaking biologically, represents the psychological effort which the individual makes in adapting himself to the conditions of life. His consciousness endeavours to adjust itself to the necessities of the moment. In other words, there are tasks that the individual must perform, obstacles he must overcome. In many cases he is at a loss to find a solution and hence tends to refer to previous experiences of a more or less similar nature. We always try to understand the unknown which lies in the future in terms of the known which happened in the past.
As Jung sees no reasons for supposing that the unconscious follows laws different from those ruling conscious thought, he believes that the unconscious arrives at an understanding of the unknown by assimilating it to something which is known. When America was first discovered by the Spaniards, the Indians took the horses of the conquerors for huge pigs, for they were familiar with the appearance of pigs, had never seen horses and hence drew comparisons between the unknown horses and the well known pigs.
Hence the wealth of symbols used in dreams.
It is then the present conflict which, according to Jung, dominates our dream states and supplies their content.
And it is the present conflict, too, Jung thinks, which causes the onset of the neurosis. Jung rejects the Freudian view according to which the infantile past is the direct causes of the neurosis.
Jung thinks that the regression to infantile or childish forms of thought or action is prompted by the patient's desire to withdraw as far as possible from the present.
The conflict is produced by some important task which is essential for the fulfilment of the individual's destiny and which the subject refuses to perform.
A sensitive and somewhat inharmonious character will always meet with special difficulties and with greater obstacles than a perfectly normal and more resistant individual. For the neurotic, there are no established ways, as his aims and tasks are apt to be of a highly individual character. He tries to follow the more uncontrolled half-conscious ways of normal people, not fully realizing his own critical nature which imposes upon him more effort than the normal person is required to exert. There are children who show their increased sensitiveness and inadaptability in the very first weeks of their life by their difficulty in taking the breast, by their exaggerated nervous reactions.
This predisposition is the cause of the first resistances against adaptation. In such cases the libido does not find its appropriate outlet and replaces modern and acceptable forms of adaptation by some abnormal, primitive forms.
Infantile fantasies determine the form and further development of a neurosis but they do not constitute the origin of the neurosis. The fact that the patient himself may consider infantile fancies as the cause of his neurosis does not prove that he is right in his belief or that a theory following the same belief is right either. The fact that infantile fancies are exaggerated and put into the foreground is simply a consequence of the stored-up energy or libido.
The psychological trouble in neurosis and neurosis itself can be considered as an act of adaptation that has failed. A neurosis is, from a certain point of view, an attempt at self-cure.
Jung's view of the neurosis does not prevent him from adhering to the Freudian mode of analysis. The analyst, according to Jung, must not imagine that, by unravelling the infantile fancies he is unearthing the end roots of the disease. But he 'must uproot those fancies because the energy which the patient needs for his health, that is, for his adaptation, is attached to them.
By means of psychoanalysis the connection between the conscious life and the libido in the unconscious is re-established. Thus this unconscious libido is placed anew at the service of conscious activity. Only in this way can split-off energy become again available for the accomplishment of the necessary tasks of life.
To Jung, psychoanalysis is no longer a, mere reduction of the individual to his primitive sexual wishes but "a high moral task of immense educational value. It should not occupy itself with conflicts for which an external solution can be found unless it can adjust them through an internal solution. For example, some man dissatisfied with his home life may think that all his difficulties would disappear if he married another woman. But the old Adam would probably bungle the new union as it bungled the old one. A real solution for many such conflicts only comes from within, and only then because the patient has been brought to a new standpoint.
For example, the conflict between love and duty must be solved upon that particular plane of character where love and duty are no longer in opposition. The familiar conflict between instinct and conventional morality must be solved in such a way that both factors are taken into account and this is only possible through a change of character.
Jung regards the question of the doctor's remaining true to his scientific convictions as rather unimportant in comparison with the question as to how he can best help his patient.
The analyst must be a teacher of ethics. Young neurotics must be made to realize that their search for a more valuable personality is often a cloak for the evasion of biological duty. Older patients looking back too obstinately toward the sexual valuation of youth may be simply retreating from a duty which demands the recognition of social values. In most cases the "canalization of the libido" for the fulfilment of life's simple duties suffices to reduce to nothing many exaggerated desires.
At the same time, Jung calls our attention to the fact that the question is not as simple as that and cannot always be solved in terms of "morality." "Immoral" tendencies cannot always be removed by analysis. On the contrary, some of them appear often more clearly and hence one must come to the conclusion that they belong to the individual's biological duties. This is no longer a problem for pathologists but for sociologists. This is especially true of certain sexual claims. Nature does not content herself with theories. At the present day we have no real sexual morality, only. a legal attitude toward sexuality. Just as the early Middle Ages had no business e hies but only certain prejudices and a legal standpoint.
This obscure feeling that a new, more progressive world is needed constitutes, at times, a part of the neurotic complication. We must not forget that the moral law of today will be cast tomorrow into the melting pot to the end that it may serve at some future time as the basis of some new ethical structure.
So it comes that there are many neurotics whose delicacy of feeling prevents them from being in agreement with present-day morality and who cannot adapt themselves to civilization as long as their moral code has gaps, the filling of which is the crying need of the age.
Jung thinks that in many cases neurotics are neurotics, not because they are unsatisfied sexually or have not found the right mate or because they still are suffering from a fixation on their infantile sexuality: the real cause for their neurosis is, in many cases, their inability to recognize the work that is waiting for them„ of helping to build up a new civilization.
In the past nothing can be altered, and in the present very little, but the future is ours. The neurotic is ill not because he has lost his old faith but because he has not as yet found a new form for his finest aspirations.