On Semiology, Psychoanalysis, and Phenomenology: Remembering What We Once Knew

Photo 1978 by Sophie Bassouls. Since childhood, since the earliest memories of youth, we have been aware of an implicit, nonverbal, unarticulated aspect of experience. This experience, contrary to what education insisted, was not primarily contemplative, but rather, emotive. Beneath the rational cognition, quite plunging and undulating, pushing and pulling, was the fundamental essence ofContinue reading “On Semiology, Psychoanalysis, and Phenomenology: Remembering What We Once Knew”

Theodor Reik: Listening With The Third Ear, Part 2

In his 1982 contribution to psychoanalysis, Freud and Man’s Soul, Bruno Bettelheim describes an American psychoanalysis that has become sanforized, impersonal, and theorized beyond any semblance of human empathy. Through an ideologically-driven (and Bernaysian promoted) translation by Strachey, self-serving presentation, and overt misrepresentation of Freud’s thoughts and words, psychoanlysis had strayed far from Freud’s intentions. PossiblyContinue reading “Theodor Reik: Listening With The Third Ear, Part 2”

The Evolution of Erich Fromm

“Fromm had an unparalleled ability to write for the public; the ability to express sensitive, complicated, and often paradoxical thoughts in a graspable way, while maintaining a very intelligent conversation. Fromm was a man interested in actively incorporating his ideas and making them accessible to the man on the street.”      Erich Fromm wasContinue reading “The Evolution of Erich Fromm”

Reik & Fromm on Dogma

The Dogma of Christ (1930) In 1955 Erich Fromm reluctantly published an essay he had written as a student when he was 30 years old. The topic was a psychoanalytic discussion of Christ, inspired by his teacher, Theodor Reik. Whereas Reik made a traditional analysis of an individual Christ, we find here a young FrommContinue reading “Reik & Fromm on Dogma”

Theodor Reik Part 4: Dream Analysis & The Compulsion to Confession

Dream analysis for Reik, as for Freud, was of fundamental significance in self-analysis of the psyche. The emotional and iconic nature of the dream is one that is somehow closest to alchemy and analogical thought. Described by Freud as “the royal road to the unconscious,” Reik proposes dream analysis to be the cornerstone of self-analysis.Continue reading “Theodor Reik Part 4: Dream Analysis & The Compulsion to Confession”

The Uncanny (Das Unheimliche), the Doppelgänger, and the Automaton

The uncanny is that sense of real, yet unreal, unfamiliar yet known, supernatural, and inconsistent with the common experience. First described by the German psychiatrist, Ernst Jentsch (1906), the phenomenon is said to be familiar in the works of writer E.T.A. Hoffmann, most notably in his story The Sandman. The Sandman was celebrated in Jacques Offenbach’s 1851Continue reading “The Uncanny (Das Unheimliche), the Doppelgänger, and the Automaton”