Sigmund Freud

THE POWER OF A SHARP MIND

Apparently, some people are devoted to hopeless causes.
It seemed that to publish a book entitled “The interpretation of dreams” in 1900 could be, at a superficial sight, the end of Freud’s credit as a neurologist and a physician; not to mention the insistent remarks about another fixation of his, focusing on the causes and consequences of sexuality removal, definitely a topic even more unpleasant than the peculiar one of dreams.
Taking account of all the unusual and morbid interests of this bizarre character, it would have been easy to foresee him a destiny of social alienation, and cultural isolation, bordering upon illegality and, what’s more, a charge of obscenity.
On the contrary, Freud has become the symbol of the great intellectual and clinical adventure whose discoveries could trespass the borders of psychiatry and psychology in order to become the fundamentals of both artistic jargon and everyday language.
Freud started his practice as a psychoanalyst in his Vienna study, in 1985, working in utter isolation, so that his person represented the whole Psychoanalytic movement. However, he surely possessed the charismatic leader’s charm, because he could draw about himself an ever-increasing number of physicians rather quickly.
By the spreading of Freudian theories and the expanding of the fundamentals of interpretation, psychoanalysis actually had become a global initiation approach to life, changing into an almost eschatological vision of salvation.
The following rejection of this part of the Freudian thought makes us sometimes forget what this different approach to mental diseases meant to the physicians of the time; what a hope it could be for psychiatrists, confined as well as their patients in the most disquieting halls of the mental hospitals of the time, to admit that mental disease could possess its own logic, which could be understandable, and could, moreover, be explained on the basis of psychodynamic factors, such as, for instance, the removal of traumatic memories. In lieu of a strait-jacket, dialogue.
Freud precisely distinguished among several processes the human mind operates by in the field of defensive mechanisms: negation, by which parts of our mind can be removed and completely erased from our conscience, and projection, which implies the presence of removed contents, although perceived as external to our psyche.
By discovering this process that belongs to the human mind, he could set up the cultural bases on which mental diseases had become a ground for exploration, through the unveiling of a symbolic language performed by a rational mind.
It’s our view of man that changed along with the demonstration of what seems (according to its own term logic) by itself, indemonstrable: the existence of an unconscious part of the human psyche you can indirectly get back to – through dreams as well – which reminds us we don’t rule our home, as awareness is the lighthouse enlightening just a slightest part of mental processes.
All that remains is a mysterious world to be explored, crossed, understood and, partly, brought back to light. If not understood, it operates blindly; if understood, it can take in some kind of mediation.
It is clear that this land is so disquieting and unfriendly by itself, because everybody knows he has his inner ghosts, which need to be known only to be overstepped.
However, who can state that afterwards it will be possible to get back without being overwhelmed by our dark side itself, come to resonance with the Other’s shadow?
Everybody working with diseases knows that there is a limit beyond which getting in touch with the others’ weakness, in the form of a physical or psychic disease, recalls our inner weakness. And especially speaking about Freud, we realize that in addiction to being an explorer in an utterly unknown land (the unhealthy human psyche) and very dangerous too, he dared to venture in a field considered very unseemly from a social point of view (unconscious, sexuality), still willing to keep the full dignity of his profession as a neurologist, to gain recognition in the scientific field, objective and demonstrable, and surely not to be mistaken for a quack.
From a graphological point of view, there is an obvious interest in showing the personality resources which supported Freud in facing such a disturbing situation, not only without being personally devastated, but, on the contrary, creating about himself the great cultural ferment which gave way to psychoanalysis.

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