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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/638

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and was borrowed from the terminology of chem- istry. Literally, it means the act of refining and purifying or freeing from baser qualities. The process of such sublimation in psychoanalysis is an unconscious one, that is, it takes place without the subject's knowledge. It is the end result of psycho- analysis, since no patient can be said to have been cured, until he has successfully sublimated. Sub- Umation may be defined as the unconscious con- ducting of the repressed emotions to a higher, less objectionable and more useful goal. It is tne capac ity for replacement or exchange of the original (re- pressed) aim for a secondary social, religious, scientific or artistic aim. It is really a transfer- ei^ce of basic instincts to other interests." Accord- ing to Freud, who is quite frank and outspoken in this matter, sublimation is the directing of sexual cravings toward other aims of a non-sexual nature. In his view also the sexual impulse is the driving force behind civilization. "Nay," he says, "psycho- analysis claims that these same sexual impulses have made contributions whose value cannot be overestimated to the highest cultural, artistic and social achievements of the human mind." Over the extent of the part played by the sex factor in human life a split has occurred in the ranks of the psychoanalysts, some of whom repudiate the ex- treme views propounded by Freud on this subject. Nevertheless, even those who do not go to the length of Freud's position, make exaggerated con- cessions to his theory.

This overemphasis of sex is one of the most loath- some aspects of the psychoanalytic theory. Under its irrevent touch everything becomes slipiy and reminiscent of the ooze and murk in which the repulsive monsters of the deep disport themselves. Every human instinct revolts against this desecra- tion of things that are held sacred by our race. Spontaneously vehement indignation is aroused at the blunt statement of Dr. A. A. Brill, that "Every activity or vocation not directed to sex in the broadest sense, no matter under what guise, is a form of sublimation." By its doctrine of sublima- tion, psychoanalysis has gone further than any other theory in degrading man. It falls as a ruinous blight upon human ideals. It takes the glamor out of life and leaves it like a faded and dead flower. Where we were wont to see high idealism, lofty inspiration, splendid consecration, pure devotion to duty and magnificent heroism, there, according to this vile interpretation of human nature, after all is nothing but a disguised manifestation of the sex urge. Only a foul and diseased imagination would be willing to follow the tortuous paths and nasty byways into which a detailed exposition of this theory would of necessity lead us. We sum up the case in the words of Mr. R. H. Hingley, who writes: "Actors, ministers, surgeons, physicians, artists, poets, may all give their reasons for the vocations they have accepted. But these reasons will be very different from those crude primitive tendencies which psychoanalysis claims to be the motive power of their various activities. These tendencies are indignantly denied and wrathfully repudiated. They link up the finest and noblest achievements of human nature to its basest and most degraded forms. "At the bottom of every human activity, however, fair and exalted it may seem, there lies something sinister, something per- verse. At the core of every flower of life we find curled up the hideous canberworm of sex. That is what psychoanalysis would make of life."

DiffiAMS. — The dream occupies a very important position in psychoanalysis. For the diasnosis of the morbid condition it is of incalculable value.


More than any of the previously mentioned indi- cations it helps to disclose the hidden complex. In the dream the imconscious is particularly active and the ordinary inhibitions of the conscious are very much relaxed. The dream, therefore, is the key to the storehouse of the unconscious and opens up windows into the deepest and most remote recesses of the mind. It took Dr. Freud some time to recognize and fully appreciate the role of the dream. Of the gradual development of this under- standing Dr. A. A. Brill tells us: "At first Freud paid no more attention to the dreams which his patients narrated than any other intelligent man of the time. But gradually as he listened to them he began to see that they must have some place in the vital economy of the mind, for every- thing in the physical or mental spheres must have a function. In time he was convinced that the dream is not a mere jumble, a senseless mechanism, but that it represents frequently in symbohc form the person's inmost thoughts and desires, that it represents a hidden wish. He thus developed his jnonumental work, the greatest in the century, in my opinion. The Interpretation of Dreams.' He found that the dream offered the best access, that it was the via regiu as he put it, to the unconscious ; that it was of tremendous help not only in the treatment, but also in the diagnosis."

The cornerstone of Freud's theory of dreams is the hypothesis that all dreams are the fulfilment of a wish, especially of such wishes which we wotdd disown and indignantly repudiate in our waking hours. The dream in this way answers a two- fold biological function, it protects sleep against interruption through the unsatisfied desire and af- fords a fictitious gratification to repressed cravings. Freud expresses this office of the dream in technical language as follows: "Dreams are thts removal of sleep-disturbing psychic stimuli by way of hallu- cinated satisfaction."

In the dream vengeance, hatred, jealousy, envy and other evil passions, which consciousness habit- ually holds in check, come to the fore and find a vicarious satisfaction by enacting scenes in which the unconsciously entertained wishes bom out of these passions are realized. Yet even here these vile tendencies dare not appear in their native form and their unmitigated ugliness; for, though during sleep the vigilance of the censor relaxes it does not entirely cease. The dream, therefore, makes use of symbols in order to evade the censor. Withal on account of the partial eclipse of the censorship, the symbolic disguise may be less rigid and the under- lying wish can be more easily recognized than in the incidents of our wakeful life.

To unlock the real meaning of the dream is the aim of dream interpretation which in psychoanalysis has been brought to a very high degree of perfec- tion. Still it is fraught with great difficulties by reason of the disguise and the symbolic substitu- tions to which thB dream has recourse. Dreams have two contents, the manifest and the latent. The former is obvious to the dreamer; the latter can only be revealed by minute analysis. Only the latent content is of value in the investigation of the unconscious.

The d3Tiamic of the dream has received much at- tention on the part of the psychoanalyst. The fac- tors energetic in the dream are dramatization, dis- tortion, displacement and symbolic representation, all of which have but one aim, to nullify the watch- fulness of the censor. These very devices which outwit the censor also render the interpretation a laborious task. The numerous gaps, the jarring incongruities and the slender threads by which