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작성자  simonshin 작성일  2017.01.07 15:43 조회수 1309 추천 0
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 신현근 박사 강의안: 무의식과 원초적 환상  
첨부파일 : f1_20170107154406.pdf
 

과목: 무의식적 환상의 역할

주제: 무의식과 원초적 환상

강사: 신현근 박사

내용: 강의안

교재: Perron, R. (2001). The Unconscious and Primal Phantasies. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82:583-595.

 The Unconscious and Primal Phantasies

 

1.       Overview

1.1.     For several decades now the question of primal phantasies has, without any doubt, occupied a central place in the thinking of French-speaking psychoanalysts, who have devoted numerous studies to it.

1.2.     The reference to phantasy has been and remains central to the discussions raised by the positions adopted by Melanie Klein and her successors, as well as to the controversies arising from some of Lacans propositions.

1.3.     Apart from this, the careful study of Freuds texts which, for French psychoanalysts, constitutes the bedrock of all metapsychological reflection, has led many psychoanalysts to think about diverse issues

1.4.     All these questions can be found in Freuds work and have given rise to some intense thought and debate in psychoanalysis in French-speaking countries.

1.5.     I shall simply give a brief overview of this here from the angle of phantasy, and particularly from the angle of primal phantasies.

 

2.       The Status of Phantasy

2.1.     The real scandal of psychoanalysis, said Daniel Lagache, is not sexuality, or even infantile sexuality, but phantasy. The history of its introduction into psychoanalysis is so well-known that just a brief reminder of it here will surely suffice.

2.2.     In 1895-96, Freud was convinced he had found ‘the sources of the Nile’ of psychopathology (referring to the location of the source of this great river, which had remained a mystery throughout ancient times): every case of hysteria and, more generally, every neurosis, has its origin in a childhood trauma, and this trauma is always of a sexual nature, a seduction, in fact; that is, it involves acts of a sexual character carried out by an adult (or an older child, himself the victim of an adult) on an innocent child.

2.2.1.  At the time, Freud himself still thought that children had no sexuality; he thus postulated that, even if the child was frightened by such incomprehensible behaviour, the trauma was still ‘potential’ and would only really become traumatic at puberty.

2.2.2.  Freud attempted to convince his Viennese colleagues—who were either sceptical or scandalised—of the importance of his discovery and accumulated clinical evidence in support of his position.

2.2.3.  Yet, his doubts grew.

2.2.4.   On 21 September 1897 he wrote to Fliess: ‘I no longer believe in my neurotica … one cannot distinguish between truth and fiction that has been cathected with affect … now I have no idea of where I stand … it is strange, too, that no feeling of shame appeared’.

2.3.     If he was not ‘ashamed’ in this autumn of 1897, it was because he already had an inkling of the importance of phantasy, of ‘fiction cathected with affect’.

2.3.1.  He was on the point of discovering the real ‘sources of the Nile’ of neuroses: rather than looking for them in ‘actual’ traumatic events, it would perhaps be wiser to look for them in the workings of phantasy. He was tempted to abandon his hypothesis saying, ‘they are only phantasies’; but he pursued it, telling himself: ‘they are phantasies … so what are they about?’ In a note added in 1924 to an article of 1896, he was very clear:

2.4.     Yet during these years of what was more or less a conceptual revolution (1897-1900), phantasy remained for Freud something belonging to the order of a conscious or preconscious imaginary creation.

2.4.1.  It took a further fifteen years or so, until the metapsychological papers of 1915, for the notion of unconscious phantasy to acquire clarity, and for its role in psychical processes to be fully elucidated.

2.4.2.  It is worth pointing out that in the major work of 1900, the Traumdeutung, a real cornerstone of the edifice, the term phantasy hardly ever appears; yet, the idea is at the heart of this work since, at that time, phantasy, as well as dreams, were regarded as the expression and satisfaction of repressed wishes.

2.4.2.1.  Freud soon realised that phantasies and night dreams were the product of the return of the repressed and that the mechanisms at work in producing them were the same.

2.4.2.2.  All conscious phantasy proceeds from unconscious phantasies so that just as there are phantasies … ‘which are conscious, so, too, there are unconscious ones in great numbers, which have to remain unconscious on account of their content and of their origin from repressed material’ (1900, p. 492).

2.5.     Freud now endeavoured, taking dreams as his model, to clarify the mechanisms involved in the production of conscious phantasies (in particular day-dreams, which Daniel Lagache suggested calling fantaisies [fancies]) regarded as the return of the repressed material of unconscious phantasies.

2.5.1.  Particularly important in this respect is his commentary on Jensens Gradiva (1907) and his article on ‘Creative writers and day-dreaming’ (1908b).

2.6.     However, while an analogy may be drawn between dreams and phantasies, they cannot be said to be identical. 

2.6.1.  Unconscious phantasy, says Freud, is ‘the capitalist of dreams’; that is to say, it is at the very source of ‘latent dream-thoughts’, which, via the preconscious, reveal their manifest content after undergoing a whole series of transformations.

2.6.2.  But, above all, whereas in dreams this expression takes on a hallucinatory character, the conscious phantasy is for the subject clearly an imaginary creation, to be distinguished from reality.

2.7.     Like the dreams manifest text, conscious phantasy is, by virtue of this fact, made up of figurations, based on representations; this presupposes that unconscious phantasy itself is woven with unconscious representations (because they are repressed).

2.7.1.  The question thus arises: what distinguishes phantasy from representation?

2.7.1.1.  Freuds texts throw little light on this issue.

2.8.     One possible solution is to suppose that unconscious phantasies are indeed representations but that they constitute a very particular variety; that is to say, they are representations of action (Perron-Borelli, 1985).

2.8.1.  The work of Klein and her successors is illustrative here: all the archaic phantasies that are described are centred on a representation of action, that is, devouring, tearing, dismembering, invading and so on.

2.8.2.  But, furthermore, they are always described as if they present two symmetrical and complementary variants, active and passive (devouring/being devoured, invading/being invaded, dismembering/being dismembered etc.).

2.8.3.  As Susan Isaacs pointed out (1948), one is thus led to define a typical ‘fundamental structure’ of phantasy, comprising three terms: an agent of the action/a representation of action/an object of the action.

2.8.4.  One cannot help noticing that this ternary structure is equivalent to the grammatical structure characteristic of many languages, i.e. the structure subject (grammatical)/verb/object.

2.8.4.1.  This is, of course, not a matter of chance: this fundamental structure of phantasy is consequently a fundamental structure of thought.

2.8.5.  But it can also be noted that such a structure lends itself to a whole set of transformations: by substituting the agent of the action and by substituting the objects of the action; and by inverting the positions of the agent and the object.

2.8.5.1.  The analysis of the phantasy ‘A child is being beaten’ (Freud, 1919) provides us here with a good example.

2.8.5.2.  The agent of the action (beating) can be the father, another adult, the subject himself and so on (substitution of the agent); the person being beaten can be a brother or a sister, the subject himself, the father etc. (substitution of the object); finally, ‘X beats Y’ can always turn into ‘Y is being beaten by X’ (which is not the same thing, since the first statement puts the stress on the agent and the second on the object) and ‘Y is beating X’, which inverts the positions of the aggressor and the victim.

2.8.5.3.  The work of phantasy is essentially about the effect of these transformations.

2.8.5.4.  The subject is constituted through experiencing their modalities and thereby gives himself the possibility of assuming all the possible positions in a given phantasy figure.

2.9.     Finally, it should be noted that what we are dealing with here is a formal structure, characteristic of phantasy when it is already well-constituted; but, there remains the question of the origins of phantasy which should be looked for in an ‘original matrix of phantasy’ whose source and elements are to be found in autoerotic activity, as Laplanche & Pontalis pointed out as early as 1964 (Laplanche & Pontalis, 1985Perron-Borelli & Perron, 1987Perron-Borelli, 1997).

2.9.1.  This conception of phantasy should be seen from the dual perspectives of an ontogenetic (and is thus directly influenced by Kleinian conceptions) and structural analysis (Fain, 1971Widlöcher, 1986).

2.9.2.  It differs significantly from Lacans views in which the phantasy scene, far from being an animated scene, may be compared with the frozen image of a film projection that has stopped (the image is thus fixed, he maintained, by the defence against castration anxiety).

2.10. Such a conception considers unconscious phantasy, and its emergence at preconscious and conscious levels, as a fundamental aspect of psychic life; moreover, it draws attention to its organising role in representations as a whole and, beyond that, in the processes of symbolisation (Perron-Borelli & Perron, 1997).

 

3.       The Question of Primal Phantasies

3.1.     The first point is that unconscious phantasies were once conscious.

3.1.1.  This follows directly from Freuds first hypotheses according to which conscious representations, cathected by reprehensible wishes or ‘irreconcilable ideas’ (that is, with moral requirements) are rejected into the unconscious through repression; the metapsychological texts of 1915 would describe these mechanisms.

3.1.2.  Freuds initial concern was to bring to light the events of infantile life that gave rise to these first conscious phantasies, before they were pushed back into the unconscious.

3.1.3.  However, he was obliged to face the fact that, whatever ‘pressures’ he exerted on<a name="p0587"></a> the patients memory (pressures inherited from the period when he still had hopes for hypnotism), all too often no memory emerged.

3.1.4.  He was therefore led to wonder if certain phantasies were not unconscious from the outset.

3.1.4.1.  In 1908, he admitted: ‘Unconscious phantasies have either been unconscious all along and have been formed in the unconscious; or—as is more often the case—they were once conscious phantasies, day-dreams, and have since been purposely forgotten and have become unconscious though “repression”’ (1908a, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.009.0155a#p0161" target="_blank">161</a>).

3.1.5.  This was the origin of primal phantasies in Freuds work.

3.1.6.  But it was a formidable step forward … for if unconscious phantasies have existed since the origins of psychogenesis, and have been ‘unconscious all along’ how were they formed? …

3.2.     Three primal phantasies

3.2.1.  As we know, Freud mentioned three primal phantasies: the phantasies of seduction, of castration and of the primal scene (concerning sexual intercourse between adults, and particularly the parents), now and again adding to these the phantasy of returning to the mothers breast.

3.2.2.  It is surprising that he never gave the rank of primal phantasy to the theme of the murder of the father, in spite of the treatment he gives it in Totem and Taboo (1912-13), where he vigorously emphasises the ‘primal’ character of this phantasy, thought to be inherited from generation to generation as a mark of the guilt of the ‘primitive horde’ for killing the father.

3.3.     The phantasy of seduction

3.3.1.  It has its first roots, of course, in the early relations between mother and child.

3.3.2.  This fact was pointed out as early as the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905) and taken up again by Ferenczi at the time when he was wavering on the question of the ‘active technique’, attempting to provide it with a theoretical basis and justification (Ferenczi, 1932).

3.3.3.  The theme was to undergo many further developments with the psychoanalysis of children, particularly in Great Britain (Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Donald Meltzer, Frances Tustin etc.) but also in France (Serge Lebovici, René Diatkine).

3.3.4.  Building on these foundations, Jean Laplanche has developed a ‘theory of generalised seduction’ which affirms that, apart from the inadequate fit between the childs psychosexuality and that of the adult, what plays a more fundamental role is the gap between the object of need and the object of desire (Laplanche, 1987).

3.4.     The phantasy of castration 

3.4.1.  It is fully elucidated by Freud in the case of Little Hans (1909) and is in the foreground in the case of the Wolf Man (1918).

3.4.1.1.  We know that Freud had outlined the genealogy of the losses and separations marking an individuals history, of which castration, in the strict sense of the term, i.e. the fear of being deprived of the penis, constitutes the central moment.

3.4.1.2.  It is also the history of the stages of anxiety: anxiety related to birth, the first separation, the traumatic nature of which was underlined by Rank; anxiety about losing the object; anxiety about losing the objects love; anxiety about losing faeces; anxiety about losing the penis; death anxiety and so on (1926).

3.4.1.3.  In clinical practice, castration anxiety is constantly in evidence.

3.4.1.4.  This has led some authors to generalise the theme far beyond the reference to the loss of the penis.

3.4.2.  Lacans thought

3.4.2.1.  But is it the penis, an essential ‘anatomical detail’ but nonetheless a detail, or the phallus as the symbol of all power, knowledge and control over the world that is in question here?

3.4.2.2.  This line of investigation has been explored by authors more or less directly marked by Jacques Lacans thought (1994).

3.4.2.3.  Lacan endeavoured to redefine castration within the context of his distinction between the real, symbolic and imaginary orders, giving rise to three related terms which, according to him, should<a name="p0588"></a> nevertheless be distinguished: frustration (the actual object is lacking in the imaginary order); privation (the symbolic object is lacking in the order of the real); and castration proper (the imaginary object is lacking in the symbolic order).

3.4.2.4.  Like Freud, he accepts that castration anxiety emerges when the anatomical difference between the sexes is discovered; but, according to him, this is merely the catalyst of the much more fundamental discovery of the irremediable lack at the heart of the psyche marking the human condition.

3.4.2.4.1.  This lack comes into effect in three stages.

3.4.2.5.   First, the child perceives the mother as desiring something other than himself, namely, the imaginary phallus; consequently, he tries to be this phallus that his mother desires.

3.4.2.6.  Second, by laying down the prohibition of incest, the imaginary father deprives the mother of this imaginary phallus which is now lost in the real (it is, then, a matter of privation in the strict sense).

3.4.2.7.  It is only during a third stage, Lacan asserts, that castration proper occurs; that is, when the child, confronted with a father who is recognised as possessing the phallus, finally abandons his own desire of being the phallus (this is the phase of the ‘dissolution’ of the Oedipus complex).

3.4.2.7.1.  Does the process always have this outcome?

3.4.2.7.2.  Lacans answer to this is no: most psychopathological structures result from the refusal to accept this irremediable limitation (the most serious forms stemming from the disavowal of castration marking perverse and psychotic structures).

3.4.2.7.3.  But, in a very general way, all neurotic structures are built on the defences that aim at reducing anxiety concerning this basic lack, which is nonetheless necessary for the functioning of desire.

3.4.2.7.4.  The theory and practice of analytic treatment follow from it; the aim being to lead the patient to ‘accept castration’… This thesis led Lacan (who was given to being manipulative, and even sadistic in his practice), and certain of his followers, to practising a tyrannical treatment in which a dependent and infantilised patient finds himself dominated by an analyst who, by obliging him to ‘accept his castration’, seems to overlook his own and thereby claims to be above a law from which he alone is exempt … It is still true, however, at a theoretical level, that Lacan managed to draw attention thereby to the essential function of the theme of castration in symbolic processes, an idea which has been followed up in particular by Laplanche (1980).

3.5.     The phantas of the primal scene

3.5.1.  The third primal phantasy, the phantasy of the primal scene has received much attention from French-speaking psychoanalysts.

3.5.2.  From the very beginnings of psychoanalysis, when he formulated his neurotica, Freud had investigated with perseverance the occurrences ‘of a sexual nature’ at the origin of neuroses, i.e. ‘seductions’, sexual practices imposed on the child by an adult, or scenes of sexual intercourse between adults, already mentioned in Studies on Hysteria.

3.5.3.  It had been possible to shed light on the nature of Katherinas disturbance by uncovering the scenes of incest between her father and her sister which she had witnessed (Le Goues & Perron, 1996Perron, 1996).

3.5.3.1.  However, there was no question initially of these scenes having been anything other than scenes that were actually experienced and witnessed by the child.

3.5.4.  However, it became increasingly clear to him that, far from being an exact trace of a past event, memory is constantly remodelled, and aggregates the remnants of events according to the nature of the conflict between wishes and defences; for phantasies are ‘manufactured by means of things that are heard, and utilised subsequently, and thus combine things experienced and heard, past events (from the history of parents and ancestors), and things that have been seen by oneself’ (p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=zbk.042.0240a#p0240" target="_blank">240</a>).

3.5.5.  Thus, when ‘primal scenes’ of seduction and the observation of sexual intercourse between parents appear during treatment, how far do they arise from actual events of early childhood or from phantasies?

3.5.5.1.  Freuds analysis of the infantile neurosis of the Wolf Man (1918) bears<a name="p0589"></a>  witness in a remarkable way to his wavering between a constantly recurring doubt and affirmations that were clearly formed in reaction to this doubt (Perron, 1982).

3.5.5.2.  Freud could not bring himself to admit that unconscious phantasy was entirely the product of psychical activity itself.

3.5.5.2.1.  I admit that this is the most delicate question in the whole domain of psychoanalysis. I did not require the contributions of Adler or Jung to induce me to consider the matter with a critical eye, and to bear in mind the possibility that what analysis puts forward as being forgotten experiences of childhood (and of an improbably early childhood) may on the contrary be based upon phantasies created on occasions occurring late in life … I was the first (a point to which none of my opponents have referred) to recognise both the part played by phantasies in symptom-formation and also ‘retrospective phantasying’ of late impressions into childhood and their sexualisation after the event (p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.017.0001a#p0103" target="_blank">103</a>).

3.5.5.3.  And yet, Freud wanted to show that real occurrences were at the origin of unconscious phantasies; for nothing less was at stake than the existence of psychoanalysis.

3.5.5.3.1.  With regard to scenes from infancy he wrote:

3.5.5.3.1.1. What was argued at first was that they were not realities but phantasies. But what is argued now is evidently that they are phantasies not of the patient but of the analyst himself, who forces them upon the person under analysis on account of some complexes of his own (p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.017.0001a#p0052" target="_blank">52</a>).

3.5.6.  Unconscious phantasies, then, are based on real occurrences; they may have been completely rearranged and remodelled but they took place nonetheless.

3.5.6.1.  Yet, however thorough the analysis of an individuals past may be, it sometimes proves impossible to unearth them.

3.5.6.2.  So Freud turned towards another past, that of the species: primal phantasies are primal in the full sense of the term because they constitute a ‘phylogenetic’ heritage (Perron, 2000).

4.       The Origins of Primal Phantasies and ‘phylogenetic’ Hypothesis

<a name="ijp.082.0583a.h00003"></a><a name="h00003"></a>4.1.     If Freud felt the need to invoke the ‘past of the species’ it was because, in certain cases, he failed to find in an individuals past the events that were responsible for the neurosis.

4.2.     But there was another fundamental question that also—perhaps first and foremost—led him in this direction.

4.2.1.  Freud was convinced, just as we are today, that the human species is one, psychically as well as biologically. But what is the basis of this unity?

4.2.2.  For Freud, who was a confirmed evolutionist, there was no doubt about the answer: it was to be found in Darwin<a name="p0590"></a> (whom he had admired since his adolescent years; cf. Ritvo, 1974); in Lamarck, whose ideas on the inheritance of acquired characteristics suited him better; and, in Haeckel who offered a theoretical schema which seemed to justify his own views.

4.3.     In Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, he wrote: ‘Affective states have become incorporated in the mind as precipitates of primaeval traumatic experiences, and when a similar situation occurs they are revived like mnemic symbols’ (1926, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.020.0075a#p0093" target="_blank">93</a>).

4.3.1.  But if these ‘primaeval experiences’ were familiar to earlier generations, how is their trace communicated from one generation to another?

4.4.     Freud found his answer in the great ‘phylogenetic’ hypothesis of Totem and Taboo: one day, the sons rebelled against the father of the ‘primitive horde’ who kept all the females for himself, and they killed him. Since then, their descendants have experienced guilt and remorse for this primaeval murder, giving rise to the Oedipus complex, which explains its universality.

4.4.1.  ‘One can justifiably claim that the inherited are residues of the acquisition of our ancestors’, Freud stated in an essay which he did not publish and which was only discovered many years after (1986, p. 10).

4.4.2.  In 1915, the war, which had not been expected to last long, was lingering on.

4.4.2.1.  In July, he sent Ferenczi Chapter 12, entitled ‘A phylogenetic fantasy: overview of the transference neuroses’.

4.4.2.2.  He finally gave up the idea of publishing it.

4.4.2.3.  However, it is worth reading this essay carefully (Perron, 1993).

4.4.2.3.1.  In it we can see, better than in any other text, even Totem and Taboo, just how far his thinking was influenced by evolutionism.

4.4.2.3.2.  Moreover, in it he draws his inspiration much more from Lamarck (cited by name) than Darwin: in fact, the hypothesis is that primal phantasies are primal because they are inherited—they are ‘hereditary schemata’ that the individual has from the outset, and are therefore unconscious from the start; and yet, they are active in the manner of pre-forms analogous to ‘animal instincts’.

4.5.     Moreover, Haeckel provided him with theoretical support that he considered essential.

4.5.1.  Let us remember that Haeckel had formulated a ‘law’ whose minimum formulation was: ontogenesis is a recapitulation of phylogenesis; in other words, an individual organism develops (particularly in the course of embryogenesis) by going through the same stages as the succession of species that have preceded its own in the history of living organisms.

4.5.2.  Haeckel had formulated this hypothesis in relation to comparative anatomy, but it was soon transposed to other areas, notably the history of human civilisations in the context of ‘social Darwinism’ from which Freud was to draw inspiration.

4.5.3.  In Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood, he wrote: ‘To understand the mental life of children we require analogies from primitive times … Impressive analogies from biology have prepared us to find that the individuals mental development repeats the course of human development in an abbreviated form’ (1910, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.011.0057a#p0096" target="_blank">96</a>).

4.6.     Three years later, in ‘The claims of psychoanalysis to scientific interest’, he was more explicit: ‘In the last few years psychoanalytic writers [in a footnote he names Abraham, Spielrein and Jung] have become aware that the principle that “ontogeny is a repetition of phylogeny” must be applicable to mental life’ (1913, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.013.0163a#p0184" target="_blank">184</a>).

4.7.     Similarly, in his commentary on the case of the Wolf Man he writes: ‘the phylogenetically inherited schemata … are precipitates from the history of human civilization … This instinctive factor would then be the nucleus of the unconscious’ (1913, pp. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.013.r0007a#p0119" target="_blank">119-120</a>).

4.8.     Or again, in a note added in October 1914 to his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality:

4.8.1.  Ontogenesis may be regarded as a recapitulation of phylogenesis, in so far as the latter has not been modified by more recent experience. The phylogenetic disposition can be seen at work behind the ontogenetic process. But disposition is ultimately the precipitate of earlier experience of the species to which the more recent experience of the individual, as the sum of the accidental factors, is super-added (1905, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.007.0123a#p0131" target="_blank">131</a>).

4.9.     What remains today of these hypotheses of Freud?

4.9.1.  There are good reasons for being sceptical. When, in 1918, he cast doubt on his affirmation that the little Serguei Pankeieff had actually seen his parents having sexual intercourse, he was locating the origin of the phantasy of the primal scene in the ‘past of the species’ and no longer in Sergueis own personal past: ‘All that we find in the prehistory of neuroses is that a child catches hold of this phylogenetic experience where his own experience fails him’ (1918, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.017.0001a#p0097" target="_blank">97</a>).

4.10. Numerous criticisms have been raised.

4.10.1.      It is worth bearing in mind that Freud used the term phylogenesis in a somewhat inappropriate way; that is, to designate, not the succession of living forms in the course of the creation of the species, but the succession of forms of civilisation within the context of one species only, homo sapiens; a succession, moreover, that was a presumption, since it was based on a naïvely evolutionist anthropology that arranged civilisations in an order going from the most ‘primitive’ to the most developed, up to our own … The Lamarckian theory of the biological inheritance of individual acquisitions, already rejected by neo-Darwinians, would appear to be irrevocably undermined by modern genetics.

4.10.2.      Moreover, the hypothesis of the ‘primitive<a name="p0592"></a> horde’ (Freud, 1912-13) living initially in the golden age of plenty (Freud, 1986) is no longer accepted by prehistorians.

4.10.3.      Haeckels hypothesis, which is rather inexact as far as comparative anatomy is concerned, is scarcely tenable any longer in the way in which Freud understood it: no one still believes today that the behavioural and psychic development of the human child is a ‘recapitulation’ of the conditions that prevailed in earlier civilisations. And so on …

4.11. So, should we reject these views of Freud, regarding them as the regrettable errors and naïve opinions of a great man who had gone astray? Should we, at the same time, give up the idea of locating the origins of primal phantasies in a past that reaches ‘beyond the individual’? Perhaps not.

4.11.1.      First, because in the process of developing these hypotheses Freud put to the test and elaborated many metapsychological conceptions which otherwise remain valid.

4.11.2.      Second, and above all, because his very determination to base the history of the individual on the prehistory of humanity expressed a fundamental necessity of psychic functioning, of all psychic functioning: all history considers its prehistory as a necessary foundation, through which it alone can acquire meaning.

4.11.2.1.             This is easier to understand if we take into account the positions developed by French-speaking psychoanalysts concerning the concept of aprèscoup (Nachträglichkeit).

4.11.2.2.             In an article in which he makes a close connection between repression and après-coup, Le Guen has pointed out that repression can only be explained if one takes into account the effect of attraction of ‘primal repression’ and he adds, ‘One of the essential characteristics of the primal may well reside in the fact that it is based on absence’ (Le Guen, 1982; see also Green, 1982).

4.11.2.3.             Without any doubt, absence will always remain the necessary signifier of being.

4.11.2.4.             This idea has been followed up by many French-speaking psychoanalysts who have been more or less influenced by Lacans views on the lack and it has been seen as the very source of representations and the processes of symbolisation (Green, 1974; Guillaumin, 19821989Gibeault, 1989).

4.11.2.5.             But when Le Guen writes a few pages further on, ‘How can something that does not exist provoke an event which makes it exist?’, one may reply by saying that something which exists (a psychic process, a representation, a phantasy etc.) necessarily takes something that did not exist before as the foundation of its very existence.

4.11.2.5.1.                    Clinical experience shows this very clearly: every subject attributes himself with a personal, familial, cultural prehistory etc., which explains, justifies and provides a basis for his own history. 

4.11.2.5.2.                    Primal phantasies are constructed regressively in order to constitute this indispensable stratum of conscious and unconscious phantasies.

4.11.2.5.3.                    But if they are constructed according to the same general schema in all human beings, it is because everyone is subject to the same general conditions: everyone has a mother; each persons psyche is inscribed within the framework of a triangulation in which a second parental figure intervenes (whether—depending on the culture—it is the father, the uncle on the mothers side etc.); everyone has access to language and to the processes of symbolisation, and so on. 

4.11.2.5.4.                    Primal phantasies crystallise under general conditions.

4.11.2.5.5.                    These origins of primal phantasies enable us to gain a better understanding of their essential organising role which has been emphasised by many French-speaking psychoanalysts (see, for example, the edition of the Revue française de Psychanalyse entitled ‘Et les fantasmes originaires?’, 1991).

 

5.       Phantasy and Realiity

5.1.     At the beginning of this article I cited Daniel Lagache, who said ‘the great scandal of psychoanalysis is phantasy’. Why? In spite of familiar appearances—everyone has personal experience of conscious phantasies, day-dreams—the reason is probably the following: if we accept that psychical life as a whole is governed by unconscious phantasies and, moreover, that certain of these unconscious phantasies are primal and are unknowable directly, reality itself is seriously called into question.<a name="p0593"></a>

5.2.     In the text of the Wolf Man, Freuds increasing appeals to belief oscillate with doubt (Perron, 1982); the same oscillation can also be found in ‘Constructions in analysis’, where he makes the formidable proposition that what confirms the validity of an interpretation, and beyond that, of a construction, is that the patient and the analyst both agree to believe in it … so is analytic treatment nothing more than a mutual delusion?

5.2.1.  In this same text of 1937 Freud went as far as to write: the delusions of patients appear to me to be the equivalents of the constructions which we build up in the course of an analytic treatment—attempts at explanation and cure … (1937, p. <a href="http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=se.023.0255a#p0268" target="_blank">268</a>).

5.3.     He is certainly not suggesting by this that the psychoanalyst is deluded in his work of interpretation and construction, but simply that, like any thinker grappling with reality, he introduces an element of order by his very activity of thinking.

5.4.     This being so, we are obliged to face the problem that has haunted western philosophy for twenty-five centuries, and troubles scientific epistemology today: there is no ‘raw’ knowledge in itself; all knowledge is constructed at the intersection of theories and techniques of observation. Reality is constructed by thought. Is it anything other than what thought decides it shall be? We know that the debate between idealism and realism has taken on a new degree of intensity for quantum physics, and mathematicians are asking themselves: how is it that the world can be described mathematically?

5.5.     The psychoanalyst, for his part, can ask himself the same questions: the patients history is given a very different reconstruction at the end of the treatment than the one it had at the outset. Is it more true? Is it more real? If it is governed by the interplay of phantasies, desires and anxieties, is this new personal history anything<a name="p0594"></a> other than an unreal fiction which the patient and the analyst choose to believe in because they like it better?

5.5.1.  In a work published in 1971, Serge Viderman gave an answer to this question, which gave rise to some lively debates among French-speaking psychoanalysts (Viderman, 1971Beauduin, 1999).

5.5.2.  The analyst declines as a matter of principle any source of information that does not come from the treatment itself.

5.5.3.  He cannot therefore look to a real factual history for criteria with which he can verify the truth of this reconstruction.

5.5.4.  The question therefore is meaningless; the real history is the one that is agreed upon.

5.5.5.  This position, which has been accused of idealism (in the philosophical sense), has been much debated. If, for example, an essential part of a patients problem is centred on the murder of his father, it might be helpful to ask oneself if the father has been murdered or not … (Pasche, 1999).

5.6.     Let me offer a possible answer to this essential question.

5.6.1.  It is related to the Freudian schema of wishful hallucinatory satisfaction.

5.6.2.  According to this schema, the first representations arise when the baby realises that wishing is not enough to obtain hallucinatory satisfaction: he can, of course, suck in air and fall asleep, but soon he will wake up and cry: need is always there.

5.6.3.  He therefore comes to distinguish, as Freud says, what is only ‘inside’, the representation, from that which is also ‘outside’, perception (Freud, 1925b).

5.6.4.  Progressively he will distinguish what is ‘inside’, his own psychic reality, from that which is also ‘outside’, the reality of the world around him (which is precisely the distinction that might be erased if he hallucinates or is delirious).

5.6.5.   Reality is that which resists desire sustained by phantasy.

5.6.6.  Now the psychoanalyst functions in this way because his instrument of knowledge is his own psychical apparatus.

5.6.7.  The reality with which he has to deal is the patients psychic functioning.

5.6.8.  He cannot do with it what he likes, for, like all reality, it resists (we know this well from our clinical work!).

5.6.9.  Here we are reminded of the reply Leibniz made to Humes statement that ‘there is nothing in the intellect which is not given by the senses’. ‘Except the intellect itself’, said Leibniz.

5.6.10.      There is nothing in the patient that comes from the analyst … except the patient himself (Perron, 2000).

 

 
 
 
 
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