Friday, November 4, 2011

psychoanalytic basics- the sex drive

Freud's opinions on the sex drive merely leaning or having an anaclitic relation to the self-preservative instincts became more subtle over time:

It is not our belief that a person's libidinal interests are from the first in opposition to his self-preservative interests; on the contrary, the ego endeavours at every stage to remain in harmony with its sexual organization as it is at the time and to fit itself into it. The succession of the different phases of libidinal development probably follows a prescribed programme. But the possibility cannot be rejected that this course of events can be influenced by the ego, and we may expect equally to find a certain parallelism, a certain correspondence, between the developmental phases of the ego and the libido; indeed a disturbance of that correspondence might provide a pathogenic factor (Freud, p.351-2 –Introductory Lecture XXII)

The question soon became, after Freud, where jouissance was important and where the ego was important in the stages. Fairbairn writes:

Further consideration of Abraham's modification of the libido theory raises the question whether the anal are not in a sense an artefact; and the same question arises in the case of the ‘phallic phase’. Abraham's phases were, of course, intended to represent not only stages in libidinal organization, but also stages in the development of object-love. Nevertheless, it is not without significance that the nomenclature employed to describe the various phases is based upon the nature of the libidinal aim, and not upon the nature of the object. Thus, instead of speaking of ‘breast’ phases, Abraham speaks of ‘oral’ phases; and, instead of speaking of ‘faeces’ phases, he speaks of anal phases. It is when we substitute ‘faeces phase’ for anal that the limitation in Abraham's scheme of libidinal development is seen to declare itself; for, whilst the breast and the genital organs are natural and biological objects of libido, fæces certainly is not. On the contrary it is only a symbolic object. It is only, so to speak, the clay out of which a model of the object is moulded. (Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality, p. 30-1)

The oral and phallic phases, in containing two different types of jouissance, seem to represent Freud's opposition between the ego ideal and sublimation:

The formation of an ego ideal is often confused with the Previous sublimation of instinct, to the detriment of our understanding of the facts. A man who has exchanged his narcissism for homage to a high ego ideal has not necessarily on that account succeeded in sublimating his libidinal instincts. It is true that the ego
ideal demands such sublimation, but it cannot enforce it; sublimation remains a special process which may be prompted by the ideal but the execution of which is entirely independent of any such prompting. It is precisely in neurotics that we find the highest differences of potential between the development of their ego ideal and the amount of sublimation of their primitive libidinal instincts... (Freud, On Narcissism, p. 94-5).

As much as a person may have ambitions or a drive to excellence or the desire to give gifts there is a more basic and primitive process in them by which they much be inspired and that excess at the heart of systematizing or fantasy would be in some way related to the oral libido while the later differentiation of the ego that allows for ideals is related to the phallic.

Fairbairn, more simply and more deeply than Lacan captures the vast implications of this discovery:

The process of differentiation of the object derives particular significance from the fact that infantile dependence is characterized not only by identification, but also by an oral attitude of incorporation. In virtue of this fact the object with which the individual is identified becomes equivalent to an incorporated object, or, to put the matter in a more arresting fashion, the object in which the individual is incorporated
is incorporated in the individual. This strange psychological anomaly may well prove the key to many metaphysical puzzles. Be that as it may, however, it is common to find in dreams a remarkable equivalence between being inside an object and having the object inside. I had a patient, for example, who had a dream about being in a tower; and his associations left no room for doubt that this theme represented for him not only an identification with his mother, but also the incorporation of his mother's breast—and, incidentally, his father's penis.

Such then being the situation, the task of differentiating the object tends to resolve itself into a problem of expelling an incorporated object, i.e. to become a problem of expelling contents. Herein lies much of the rationale of Abraham's anal phases’; and it is in this direction that we must look for much of the significance of the anal techniques which play such an important part during the transition stage. It is important here as elsewhere to ensure that the cart is not placed before the horse, and to recognize that it is not a case of the individual being preoccupied with the disposal of contents at this stage because he is anal, but of his being anal because he is preoccupied at this stage with the disposal of contents. (ibid. 42-3)

I'm not content with these general positions and plan to use myth along with zoological findings to explicate them further but, as far as I can tell, no one has really done work to explicate these the differentiation of the other-the language use of the child as a praxis- and the bodily zones to which they relate.

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