« 上一頁繼續 »
images or anatomical structure. It is inherited in the structure of the brain. It does not yield inborn ideas, but inborn possibilities of ideas, which also set definite bounds to the most daring phantasy. It provides categories of phantasy-activity, ideas a priori, as it were, the existence of which cannot be determined without experience. In finished or shaped material it appears only as the regulative principle of its shaping, i.e. only through the conclusion derived a posteriori from the perfected work of art are we able to reconstruct the primitive foundation of the primordial image. The primordial image or archetype is a figure, whether it be daemon, man, or process, which repeats itself in the course of history, wherever creative phantasy is freely manifested. Essentially, therefore, it is a mythological figure. If we subject these images to a closer investigation, we discover that they are, in a sense, the formulated resultants of countless typical experiences of our ancestors. They are, as it were, the psychic residua of numberless experiences of the same type. They depict millions of individual experiences in the average, presenting a kind of picture of the psychic life, distributed and projected into the manifold shapes of the mythological pandemonium. These mythological forms, however, are in themselves themes of creative phantasy that still await their translation into conceptual language, of which as yet there exist only laborious beginnings. Such concepts, for the most part still to be created, could provide us with an abstract, scientific understanding of the unconscious processes which are the roots of the primordial images. Each of these images contains a piece of human psychology and human destiny, a relic of suffering and delight which has happened countless times in our ancestral story, and, on the average, follows ever the same course. It is like a deeply graven river-bed in the soul, in which the waters of life, that had spread hitherto with groping and uncertain course over wide but shallow surfaces, suddenly become a mighty river, just when that particular concatenation of circumstances comes about which from immemorial time has contributed to the realisation of the primordial image. The moment when the mythological situation appears is always characterised by a peculiar emotional intensity; it is as though chords in us were touched which had never resounded before, or as though forces were unchained of whose existence we had never dreamed. The struggle for adaptation is a laborious matter, because we have constantly to be dealing with individuals, i.e. atypical conditions. It is no wonder then, that at the moment when a typical situation occurs, either we are suddenly aware of a quite extraordinary release, as though transported, or we are seized upon as by an overwhelming power. At such moments we are no longer individuals, but the race, the voice of all mankind resounds in us. The individual man, therefore, is never able to use his powers to their fullest range, unless there comes to his aid one of those collective presentations we call ideals, which liberates in his soul all the hidden forces of instinct, to which the ordinary conscious will can alone never gain access. The most effective ideals are always more or less transparent variants of the archetype. This is very noticeable in the fact, that such ideals have so great a liability to allegorisation, e.g. the motherland as the mother, wherein of course the allegory contributes not the smallest motive-power, which finds its source in the symbolic value of the motherland-idea. The corresponding archetype in this case is the so-called “participation mystique” of the primitive with the soil on which he dwells, and which alone holds the spirit of his ancestors. Exile spells misery.
Every relation to the archetype, whether through experience or the mere spoken word, is “stirring,” i.e. it is effective, it calls up a stronger voice than our own. The man who speaks with primordial images speaks with a thousand tongues, he entrances and overpowers, while at the same time he uplifts the idea he is trying to express above the occasional and the transitory into the sphere of the ever-existing; he exalts personal destiny into the destiny of mankind, thus evoking all those beneficent forces which have enabled mankind to find rescue from every hazard and to outlive the longest night.
That is the secret of effective art. The creative process, in so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in an unconscious animation of the archetype, and in a development and shaping of this image till the work is completed. The shaping of the primordial image is, as it were, a translation into the language of the present, thus enabling every man to be stirred again by the deepest springs of life which would otherwise be closed to him. Therein lies the social importance of art; it is constantly at work educating the spirit of the age, since it brings to birth those forms of which the age stands most in need. Recoiling from the unsatisfying present the yearning of the artist reaches out to that primordial image in the unconscious which is best fitted to compensate the insufficiency and one-sidedness of the spirit of the age. This image it seizes; and while raising it from deepest unconsciousness brings it into relation with conscious values, thereby transforming its shape, until it can be accepted by contemporary man in accordance with his powers.
The nature of the work of art permits conclusions about the character of the period from which it sprang. What was the significance of Realism
and Naturalism to their age? What was the meaning of Romanticism or Hellenism? They were tendencies of art which brought to the surface that unconscious element of which the contemporary mental atmosphere had most need. The artist as educator of his time—that is a subject about which much might be said to-day.
People and times, like individual men, have their peculiar tendencies or attitudes. The very word “attitude” betrays the necessary one-sidedness which every definite tendency postulates. Where direction is, there must also be exclusion. But exclusion means, that such and such psychic elements which could participate in life are denied their right to live through incompatibility with the general attitude. The normal man can endure the general tendency without injury; hence, it is the man of the by-streets and alley-ways who, unlike the normal man, cannot travel the broad high-way, who will be the first to discover those elements which lie hidden from the main streets and which await participation in life.
The artist's relative lack of adaptation becomes his real advantage, for it enables him to keep aloof from the main streets the better to follow his own yearning and to find that thing which the others unwittingly passed by. Thus, as in the case of the single individual whose one-sided conscious attitude is corrected by unconscious reactions towards selfregulation, art also represents a process of mental self-regulation in the life of nations and epochs.
I am aware that I have only been able to give certain intuitive per: ceptions, and these only in the barest outlines. But I may perhaps hope, that what I have been obliged to omit, namely, the concrete application to poetic works, has been furnished by your own thoughts, thus giving flesh and blood to my abstract intellectual frame.
Beyond the pleasure Principle. By Sigm. FREUD, M.D., LL.D. Authorized
translation from the second German edition by C. J. M. HUBBACK. The International Psycho-Analytical Press. pp. 90. Price 6s.
The theory of Psycho-analysis has been built up on the assumption that all mental process is dominated by the pleasure-principle. States of pain and of pleasure are correlated with states of tension and relaxation in the psychic life, and the psychic apparatus endeavours to keep the quantity of excitation as low as possible or at least constant. It is obvious, however, that the pleasureprinciple does not entirely dominate psychic processes for many of these are not accompanied by pleasure. All that can be maintained is that there is in the psyche a strong tendency towards pleasure which is, however, often frustrated by opposing forces or circumstances.
In examining the conditions which may lead to frustration of the pleasureprinciple Freud draws mainly on psycho-analytical experience and enumerates (1) the coming into action of the reality-principle, (2) the conflicts and dissociations during the development of the ego, and the pain caused by the return of the repressed material into consciousness, (3) pain of a perceptual order, perception of the urge of unsatisfied instincts or of something in the external world which may be painful in itself or may arouse painful anticipations. It is in the investigation of the psychic reaction to external danger that he finds the new material which leads him to infer the existence, in the psychic life, of a tendency more primitive and more fundamental than the pleasureprinciple.
The necessity for postulating something beyond the pleasure-principle” would seem to have become urgent when psycho-analysts were confronted with the most striking peculiarity of the “battle-dreams so common in the traumatic neuroses of war. In these dreams the patient goes through again the terrifying experience which led to his break-down; and analysis fails to reveal any kind of wish-fulfilment in the dreams or to provide any evidence that the pleasure-principle has been at work in their formation.
Freud has suggested that the absence of the wish-fulfilment tendency may perhaps be explained by supposing that the dream-function suffers dislocation and is diverted from its usual ends, or by relating the painful nature of these dreams to the masochistic tendencies of the ego. But such explanations are obviously unsatisfactory and Freud looks around for other examples of mental process with which to compare the repetition of painful experiences so characteristic of dreams in the war neuroses.
He finds a tendency to repetition exemplified sometimes in the play of young children. He tells of a game, invented by a boy of eighteen months old, which he had an opportunity of studying. This child was deeply attached to his mother, yet he never cried when she went out and left him for hours at a time. The game he played consisted in flinging into the corner of the room, or under the bed, his toys and other things that he could lay his hands on. This
frequently repeated action was accompanied by a long drawn out exclamation which was interpreted as meaning " go away." On one occasion he was observed to fling away a wooden reel, which had a string attached to it, and then pull it back by the string, greeting its reappearance with an exclamation of joy. This Freud regarded as the complete game: disappearance and return; and he thinks it was connected with “the child's remarkable cultural achievement -the forgoing of the satisfaction of an instinct -as the result of which he could let his mother go away without making any fuss."
It does not seem as self-evident as Freud supposes that there was any connection between the game and the experience of the mother's departure and return; but, accepting this interpretation, he asks: “How does it accord with the pleasure-principle that the child repeats this painful experience as a game?” Not because of the pleasure of the return, because the first act, the going away, was played by itself as a game and far more frequently than the whole drama. Various conjectures are put forward in reply to the question, but a decisive answer is postponed until some further examples of the repetition of painful experiences are examined.
One of the best illustrations of such repetition is to be found in the course of psycho-analytical treatment. In the transference situation the patient repeats, as a current experience in relation to the analyst, those past experiences which are under repression and unable to get into consciousness as recollections. Although what is repressed has suffered that fate because of its painful nature, and its revival in the form of repetition in the transference brings pain to the conscious, it none the less, as a rule, brings pleasure to the unconscious system, and the pleasure-principle is not contravened. But it is a remarkable fact that the tendency to repetition brings up from the past, amongst other experiences, some which could not, at any time, have been satisfactions, even of impulses afterwards repressed.
The early blossoms of the infantile sex life“ perished in most painful circumstances and with feelings of a deeply distressing nature.” Frustration of impulses, disappointment, jealousy and failure in the sphere of the affections were the lot of childhood, but notwithstanding the pain which accompanied them, these experiences are repeated in the transference with the same unpleasant consequences. It is as if there were a compulsion to repetition which annuls or displaces the pleasure-principle, and necessitates a reproduction of the distressing situations of days long past. A similar compulsion to repetition may be observed in the lives of many normal persons. Psycho-analysis has long maintained that the “fate” which seems to dog the footsteps of some people throughout their lives is, for the most part, of their own making and is determined by influences in earliest childhood.
This, then, is what Freud finds “beyond the pleasure-principle”: a repetition-compulsion, “more primitive, more elementary, more instinctive than the pleasure-principle which is displaced by it” (p. 25). To this compelling force he relates the dreams of 'shock' patients, the play impulse in children, the transference phenomena of repetition and what may be called the “destiny-compulsion" of normal people; but he guards against ascribing too much to the operation of this repetition-compulsion and reminds us that only in rare cases can we recognize its workings in a pure form, without the co-operation of other motives.
It may be questioned whether the evidence adduced by Freud is sufficient to justify the conclusion that the compulsion to repetition is an essential Med. Psych. III