Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nietzsche and Reich

I came to psychoanalysis from philosophy, but psychoanalysis is the heir of philosophy so long as one considers Nietzsche and Marx as the last philosophers/first psychologist and sociologist.

I believe the only thing of value I really have is an instinct for what Reich calls self-regulation (genital character) or Nietzsche calls being a master (as opposed to slave).

Following this instinct (although never being able to access it for myself) I've been able to stay with what is important.

Reich writes:

The basically different attitude toward the world, toward people, toward one's own experiences which characterizes the genital character, is simple and matter-of-course. It is immediately self-evident, even to people who are structurally far different. It is a secret ideal of everyone, and is always the same even though given various names. Nobody would deny the desirability of the capacity to love, or of sexual potency... Nevertheless, no other part of my theory has endangered my work and existence as much as the contention that self-regulation is possible, that it does exist naturally, and that it might conceivably become universal. Function of the Orgasm, p.158-9

And tell me that Nietzsche isn't talking about the same thing.

to have to fight the instincts— that is the formula of decadence: as long as life is ascending, happiness equals instinct (TI, p.479)

Carved from wood that is hard, gentle, and fragrant… he enjoys the taste of what is wholesome for him; his pleasure in anything ceases when the bounds of the wholesome are crossed wtp, p. 520 [1003]

The most spiritual men feel the stimulus and charm of sensuous things in a way that other men— those with ‘fleshy hearts’— cannot possibly imagine and ought not to imagine: they are sensualists in the best faith. Because they accord the senses a more fundamental value… the strength and power of the senses— this is the essential thing in a well-constituted and complete man: the splendid ‘animal’ must be given first— what could any ‘humanization’ matter otherwise! Wtp, p.537-8 [1045]

The sum of the inner movements which a man finds easy, and as a consequence performs gracefully and with pleasure, one calls his soul; – if these inner movements are plainly difficult and an effort for him, he is considered soulless 157 (daybreak)

a well-turned-out human being, a ‘happy one,’ must perform certain actions and shrinks instinctively from other actions; he carries the order, which he represents physiologically, into his relations with other human beings and things. In a formula; his virtue is the effect of his happiness (TI, p.493)

“[The noble] as rounded men replete with energy and therefore necessarily active, that happiness should not be sundered from action- being active was with them a necessarily a part of happiness... all very much the opposite of ‘happiness’ at the level of the impotent, the oppressed, and those in whom poisonous and inimical feelings are festering, with whom it appears as essentially narcotic, drug, rest, peace, ‘sabbath,’ slackening of tension and relaxing of limbs, in short passively” GM 475

“The emancipated individual, with the actual right to make promises, this master of a free will, this sovereign man- how should he not be aware of his superiority over all those who lack the right to make promises and stand as their own guarantors, of how much trust, how much fear, how much reverence he arouses- he ‘deserves’ all three... this power over oneself and over fate, has in his case penetrated to the profoundest depths and become instinct, the dominating instinct. What will he call this dominating instinct, supposing he feels the need to give it a name? The answer is beyond doubt: this sovereign man calls it his conscience” GM 496

“To be incapable of taking one’s enemies, one’s accidents, even one’s misdeeds seriously for very long- that is the sign of the strong, full natures in whom there is an excess of the power to form, to mold, to recuperate and to forget... here alone genuine ‘love on one’s ‘enemies’ is possible- supposing it to be possible at all on earth” GM 475

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