Monday, January 24, 2011

Significant Moments: The President, Secret Intelligence and The Ego and the Id


Albert Rothenberg, M.D. first described or discovered a process he termed "homospatial thinking," which consists of actively conceiving two or more discrete entities occupying the same space, a conception leading to the articulation of new identities. Homospatial thinking has a salient role in the creative process in the following wide variety of fields: literature, the visual arts, music, science, and mathematics. This cognitive factor, along with "Janusian thinking," clarifies the nature of creative thinking as a highly adaptive and primarily nonregressive form of functioning.

There is a section of my book Significant Moments whose manifest content describes President Nixon and the Watergate affair.  In my fictionalized account, the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office was carried out by CIA operatives.

Superimposed on the text is the metaphor of the tripartite ego as conceived by Sigmund Freud, with the conscious ego (the executive function of the ego) represented in the manifest text by The President of the United States and the Id (the unconscious) represented in the manifest text by "secret intelligence."

In "The Ego and the Id" Freud analogized the mind to a rider on horseback.  The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the id, which contains the passions . . . in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces.  (Note that the Latin word "Id" is the word "It" in English.)

In the manifest text (below) the President represents the rider and "secret intelligence" represents the horse.

Another theme: note how I use the word "censorship" in two senses.  First, censorship is used in the manifest text to indicate the obliteration of a portion of a written or tape-recorded text.  In psychoanalysis Freud used the word "censorship" to indicate the repression of unconscious thoughts by the conscious ego.

Incidentally, President Nixon's lawyer Leonard Garment (a friend of Bob Strauss, by the way) underwent a course of psychoanalysis when he was a young man.

Note that I play on the word garment as referring both to Leonard Garment, the President's lawyer, and to an article of clothing which covers the genitals (as the conscious ego conceals the sexual thoughts or urges of the Id).  My father worked as a cutter in the garment industry and was a member of The Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.

The following text contains numerous quotations relating to the opera composer Richard Wagner.  In several of his essays -- in a remarkable foreshadowing of later psychoanalytic theory -- Wagner implicitly compared the orchestra in an opera (the netherworld of the theater) to the unconscious mind and the visible singers and the action that transpires on stage to the conscious mind.  

(If I might say so myself, I thought it was ingenious of me to use psychoanalytical metaphors to describe the break-in of a psychoanalyst's office.)
_____________________________
In any case, . . .
Ernest Newman, Wagner as Man and Artist.
. . . Dr. E. . . .
Cosima Wagner's Diaries (Saturday, May 18, 1878).
. . . true to the role of a sleuth . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . had learned too much, . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . while the . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Evil Genius.
. . . President of the United States . . .
Cosima Wagner's Diaries (editors' notes).
. . . lost face and then tried to save it, either . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . by dissembling . . .
William Shakespeare, King Richard III.
. . . or by ascribing the disastrous outcome . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . of that dissembling . . .
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.
. . . to the machinations of . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . the meaner Press—
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
. . . which was ready . . .
Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers.
. . . and eager, as always and everywhere, to pull down anything or anyone elevated by nature above it.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
Without . . .
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People.
. . . the ability of a government to keep secrets . . .
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
. . . said the President . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . I should not be able to guide and direct public affairs in the way I consider best serves the common weal.
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People.
But in the end, the . . .
Felicity Barringer, Journalism’s Greatest Hits: Two Lists of a Century’s Top Stories.
. . . CIA psychiatrists . . .
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
. . . as it turned out—
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . .seemed to admire Ellsberg.
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
Some had praise for his courage, . . .
K.R. Eissler, Crusaders.
. . . although no one . . .
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis.
. . . dared to join him publicly or to give him official support.
K.R. Eissler, Crusaders.
This reaction made . . .
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will.
. . . the President . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.

. . . furious.
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will.
I can see him now, and hear his . . .
H.G. Wells, Experiment in Autobiography.
. . . convoluted rhetoric and almost surrealistic thoughts, . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . like . . .
Gore Vidal, 1876: A Novel.

. . . Joyce’s Ulysses—strains of presidential consciousness.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
Something had to be done at once.
Joseph Conrad, The Rescue.
But what could . . .
Jean-Denis Bredin, The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus.
. . . The President’s Men . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All The President’s Men.
. . . do? Was not the press outside of the government’s control? The . . .
Jean-Denis Bredin, The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus.

. . . Administration . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . sought to navigate between the imperatives of its foreign policy and those of its domestic policy. What could it do . . .
Jean-Denis Bredin, The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus.
. . . to appease . . .
Emile Gaboriau, The Honor of the Name.
. . . those screaming treason?
Jean-Denis Bredin, The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus.
The simple facts of an . . .
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
. . . intermezzo of the most shameful and insidious kind . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . are now known to be as follows.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
Several members . . .
Henry Adams, Democracy: An American Novel.
. . . of the President’s . . .
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.
. . . staff hit . . .
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote.
. . . on the idea of . . .
Henry Adams, Democracy: An American Novel.
. . . sending a message to . . .
Wilkie Collins, A Rogue’s Life.
. . . Mr. Nixon, . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . representing the profile . . .
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
. . . as "very superficial" and underscoring their belief that the CIA could do a better job. They wrote: "We will meet tomorrow with the head psychiatrist . . . to impress upon him the detail and depth we expect."
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
Thereafter they . . .
Jack London, Created He Them.

. . . arranged a meeting . . .
Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister.
. . . with the President.
Jack London, The Unparalleled Invasion.
How the . . .
L. Frank Baum, The Emerald City.
. . . attorney for . . .
Elden LaMar, The Clothing Workers In Philadelphia: History of Their Struggles for Union and Security.

. . . the President . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
. . . would have liked to have a full record of that meeting!
Elden LaMar, The Clothing Workers In Philadelphia: History of Their Struggles for Union and Security.
In preparing this
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
. . . account of the meeting . . .
Ralph Connor, The Doctor.
. . . the editors . . .
Mark Twain, Roughing It.
. . . had to contend with a number of . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
. . . transcript pages . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . which have been blocked out in . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
. . . the original manuscript . . .
The Diary of Richard Wagner: The Brown Book — 1865-1882 (editor’s introduction).
. . . to prevent disclosure of the truth;
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . presumably.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.
The quality of the ink used in these . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
. . . censorship . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.

. . . operations leaves no doubt that they were performed at some later date, but by whom is an unsolved question.
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
Mr. Nixon thoroughly disapproved . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . of proceeding with . . .
Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son.
. . . any action, . . .
Edgar B.P. Darlington, The Circus Boys in Dixie Land.
. . . but his staff . . .
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Ambitious Guest.
. . . urged him to . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Evil Genius.
. . . carry it out.
Edgar B.P. Darlington, The Circus Boys on the Mississippi.
They then crossed the line into contemplation of criminal activity. "In this connection," they continued, "we would recommend that a covert operation be undertaken . . . ”
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
. . . in stealthy haste . . .
Richard Wagner, Gotterdammerung.
. . . to examine all the medical files still held by Ellsberg's psychiatrist . . .
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
—and discover, as far as opportunity allows, whether there is . . .
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Modern English Version).
. . . something in those files, something that . . .
Kristine Williams, When The Stars Walk Backwards.
. . . would serve as a . . .
Richard Wagner, My Life.
. . . weapon that . . .
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People.
. . . might be . . .
H.G. Wells, A Moonlight Fable.
. . . good enough to attack him with.
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People.
The President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . cut off the discussion. “No, no, no,” he said, his voice rising.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
It’s insanity!
Robert Ludlum, The Prometheus Deception.
In the foregoing . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Friday, February 9, 1883) (editors’ emendation).
. . . the offensive word . . .
Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister.

. . . sanitized . . .
The Oxford English Dictionary.

. . . has been . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Friday, February 9, 1883) (editors’ emendation).
. . . inked over . . .
Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection.
. . . with the word . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . insanity.
Jack London, The People of the Abyss.
With the help of various chemical processes . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
. . . the editors . . .
Mark Twain, Roughing It.
. . . succeeded in bringing most of the obliterated passages . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
. . . in the . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Evil Genius.

. . . tapes, transcripts, and notes of . . .
Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Professions.
. . . Nixon’s . . .
Mark Twain, Christian Science.
. . . six-year . . .
Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Professions.
. . . Presidency . . .
International Psychoanalytic Association Newsletter.
. . . back to light, and they are now included in the text with an identification.
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Translator’s Introduction).
Have you lost your . . .
Richard Wagner, Gotterdammerung.
[left blank]
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Sunday, February 11,1883) (editors’ emendation).
. . . senses?
Richard Wagner, Gotterdammerung.
Let us be silent, let us be silent . . .
Richard Wagner, Letter to Judith Gautier.

. . . said the President, . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . nothing, not a single word of this disastrous business must be made public.
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People.
Leave it unrevealed!—
Richard Wagner, Parsifal.
Added at the bottom of the page:
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Sunday, February 4, 1883) (editors’ emendation).
. . . the reader might be overwhelmed by the tone and ignore the substantive support for the President’s version.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
From what I can gather, . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . Ellsberg had been psychoanalyzed . . .
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
. . . for several years;
Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Mucker.
. . . a couple of Government . . .
Zane Grey, The Young Forester.
. . . agents had attempted to grill. . .
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
. . . Mr. Fielding, . . .
Horatio Alger, Cast Upon the Breakers.
. . . the psychiatrist, but he had demurred, invoking the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship.
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
And there it stood.
John Le Carre, The Night Manager.
Let us remember that . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Case of Wagner.
A physician has . . . to possess . . . the subtlety of an agent of police or an advocate in comprehending the secrets of the soul without betraying them —
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human.
How much did . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . the President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . suspect or know?
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
“To be honest, I have no idea. I believe the . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Prometheus Deception.
. . . full extent of the . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . operation was . . .
Henry James, Confidence.

. . . concealed from him
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers.
Partly to protect the president from knowing too much about wet work and other sordid business, to provide him with plausible deniability . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Prometheus Deception.
. . . in the face of . . .
Henry James, In the Cage.
. . . the powers and limitations . . .
Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Guardian Angel.
. . . inherent in the constitution . . .
Karen Horney, New Ways in Psychoanalysis.
. . . that is, . . .
Henry James, In the Cage.
. . . the restrictions . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . inherent in the office.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
That’s standard operating procedure in intelligence outfits worldwide. And partly, I’m sure, because the president is considered by the permanent intelligence community to be a mere tenant of the White House. A renter. He moves in for four years, maybe eight if he’s lucky, buys new china, redecorates, hires and fires, gives a bunch of speeches, . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Prometheus Deception.
. . . and large dinner-parties, . . .
Jane Austen, Emma.

. . . and then he’s gone. Whereas the spies remain. They’re the permanent Washington, the true inheritors.”
Robert Ludlum, The Prometheus Deception.
It . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.

. . . is very difficult for Americans—who are, on the whole, accustomed to open and direct dealing—to give full weight to this . . .
Raymond A. Bauer, Alex Inkeles, & Clyde Kluckhohn, How the Soviet System Works.
. . . principle of preservation . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.

. . . as I call it.
Anthony Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.
Perhaps only those who have had fairly intimate and sustained contact with . . .
Raymond A. Bauer, Alex Inkeles, & Clyde Kluckhohn, How the Soviet System Works.
. . . the underground ways . . .
Richard Wagner, ‘The Capitulation’ (sketch for a planned farce).
. . . of secret intelligence . . .
Edith Wharton, The Reef.
. . . have a picture that approaches imaginative reality. The deviousness of behavior, the disposition to “read between the lines” and to interpret the acts of others at several different levels, the whole system of wheels within wheels—all of this is so foreign to American experience and psychology that it is all too easy to laugh it off as “E. Phillips Oppenheim stuff.”
Raymond A. Bauer, Alex Inkeles, & Clyde Kluckhohn, How the Soviet System Works.
As for the evidence . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Law and the Lady.
Well, I say, . . .
Jack London, At the End of the Rainbow.

. . . it’s not . . .
John Galsworthy, Beyond.
. . . like the overture of an opera in which all the themes are announced.
Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession.
Explaining the origin of . . .
David Berlinski, Has Darwin Met His Match?
. . . covert operations . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . by an appeal to . . .
David Berlinski, Has Darwin Met His Match?
. . . tangible evidence . . .
Jack London, Burning Daylight.

. . . is rather like explaining the origin of Don Quixote by an appeal to the physical properties of ink and paper.
David Berlinski, Has Darwin Met His Match?
The functional importance of the . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . . the presidential office . . .
Ronald C. White, Jr., Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural.
. . . in this field . . .
William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

. . . is manifested in the fact that normally control over . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . .domestic-intelligence-gathering activities by the FBI, the CIA and military intelligence units. . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . devolves upon it. Thus in . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . . the President’s . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . relation to . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . . covert operations . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . he is . . .
Anthony Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.
. . . like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength while the . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.

. . . President of the United States . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . uses borrowed forces. The analogy may be carried a little further. Often a rider, if he is not to be parted from his horse, is obliged to guide it where it wants to go; so in the same way . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . . the President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . is in the habit of transforming the . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . . intelligence community’s . . .
James Risen, Probe Faults CIA on 9/11 Terrorist.
. . . will into action as if it were . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.
. . . his own.
Anthony Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset.
But then . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . as the saying goes, . . .
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds.
. . . the President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . is not master in . . .
Sigmund Freud, A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis.
. . . his . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id (editor’s note).
. . . own house.
Sigmund Freud, A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis.
Chief’s orders . . .
John Le Carre, The Night Manager.
. . . were to . . .
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent.
. . . use undercover operatives with no White House ties, . . .
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
. . . to break into . . .
Jack London, The People of the Abyss.
. . . the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . and tell them . . .
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
. . . the job . . .
Edgar B.P. Darlington, The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings.
. . . concerned a traitor who was passing information to the Soviet embassy. Except for the fact that the Russians subscribe to the New York Times, this was untrue.
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream.
How much, to repeat, did . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . the President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . know of all this?
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
As always—
Henry James, The Ambassadors.
. . . the short answer is that we don’t know.
Think Tank: A Few Questions, Mr. Shakespeare.
The President . . .
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.
. . . liked the passage from Nietzsche that . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . the Secretary of State . . .
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent.
. . . quoted to him: “ ‘I did this,’ says my Memory. ‘I cannot have done this,’ says my Pride and remains inexorable. In the end—memory yields.”
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
As to the moral part of his character, . . .
Alexandre Dumas, Ten Years Later.

. . . the President, . . .
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.
. . . as a matter of routine, . . .
Jack London, The Sea Wolf.

. . . Amalgamated . . .
Elden LaMar, The Clothing Workers In Philadelphia: History of Their Struggles for Union and Security.
. . . Fiction and Truth.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Fiction and Truth.
In Nixon the . . .
Bruce Mazlish, In Search of Nixon: A Psychohistorical Inquiry.
. . . good reasons . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . and the . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . real reasons . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . would embrace . . .
H.G. Wells, A Moonlight Fable.
. . . interlace, part and unite; like a dance.
The Diary of Richard Wagner 1865-1882 — The Brown Book.
The subject . . .
Joe Klein, The Running Mate.
. . . of covert . . .
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.
. . . action had been . . .
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence.
. . . broached gingerly . . .
Joe Klein, The Running Mate.
. . . darkly, . . .
Richard Wagner, Gotterdammerung.
. . . and almost as a . . .
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.
. . . bothersome subplot of the greater drama, the quest to get . . .
Joe Klein, The Running Mate.
. . . the President’s . . .
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.
. . . political . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . future squared away.
Joe Klein, The Running Mate.
Whatever the . . .
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.
. . . President knew . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
. . . the order of the acts . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago (Excerpt from “Hamlet”).
. . . had been . . .
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
. . . schemed and plotted,
And nothing . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago (Excerpt from “Hamlet”).

. . . could . . .
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
. . . avert the final curtain’s fall.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago (Excerpt from “Hamlet”).
In the end, . . .
Edgar B.P. Darlington, The Circus Boys Across the Continent.
. . . the President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . would be forced to . . .
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage.
. . . stand alone . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago (Excerpt from “Hamlet”).
. . . on the political stage, . . .
Alexandre Dumas, The Black Tulip.
. . . accountable for the . . .
Charles Dickens, Hard Times.
. . . deeds of others.
Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy.
The attorney for . . .
Elden LaMar, The Clothing Workers In Philadelphia: History of Their Struggles for Union and Security.
. . . the President . . .
Robert Ludlum, The Parsifal Mosaic.
. . . later described . . .
Booth Tarkington, Penrod.
. . . Nixon as a stage manager . . .
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days.
—nothing more!
John Galsworthy, The Dark Flower.
. . . of a run of rehearsals for a play he had failed to take part in.
John Le Carre, The Night Manager.
It is plain that denial and hypocrisy . . .
K.R. Eissler, Discourse on Hamlet and HAMLET.
. . . two qualities that are present . . .
LuxSonor Semiconductors, Inc., The LuxSonor LS188.
. . . in every individual . . .
Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents.
. . . are also . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . the very foundations of society
K.R. Eissler, Discourse on Hamlet and HAMLET.
To take an analogy from . . .
Sigmund Freud, An Outline of Psychoanalysis.
. . . psychoanalysis—
Leonard Garment, Crazy Rhythm.
We see the ego, Freud wrote, "as a poor thing, which is in threefold dangers: from the external world, from the libido of the id, and from the severity of the superego." Exposed to anxieties corresponding to these dangers, the ego, for Freud, is a beleaguered, far from omnipotent negotiator earnestly trying to mediate among the forces that threaten it and that war with one another. It labors to make the id tractable to the pressures of the world and of the superego, and at the same time tries to persuade the world and the superego to comply with the id's wishes. Since it stands midway between id and reality, the ego is in danger of "succumbing to the temptation of becoming sycophantic, opportunistic, and mendacious, rather like a statesman who, with all his good insights, still wants to keep himself in the favor of public opinion."
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Richard Nixon:

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career.
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns...