Search Results for Melanie Klein
Melanie Klein (1882-1960) was an Austrian-born Freudian psychologist and a pioneer in psychoanalysis for children.
Klein says that part of early childhood development includes a ‘paranoid schizoid position.’
According to her theory, the child in a paranoid schizoid position tries to master his or her innate death instinct by splitting the ego into two components: one bad, the other good. The bad ego is projected onto objects (a Freudian term that includes people) perceived as threats.
This paranoid schizoid position alternates with states of depression, called the ‘depressive position.’
Although Klein primarily treated children, she traces the roots of adult neuroses and psychoses back to childhood. This is not uncommon. Just as historians look to the past to understand the present, Carl G. Gustavson notes in A Preface to History that psychiatrists also look back to try to understand the present.
Even the psychiatrist goes into the past before he dares to prescribe a remedy. When he is asked to solve a personal problem, he invariably wants a case history. Just as an individual’s personality represents the sum total of his experiences, so the present appearance and conduct of nations and institutions reflect the formative circumstances of their background.¹
Klein believed that the Oedipus complex is activated as early as age two, while Freud indicated ages three to five. Both theorists agree, however, that adults with unresolved Oedipus complexes may behave like children.
While not elaborated upon by Klein, it seems possible that a negative or pathological type of false synchronicity could play a role in adult paranoia. Here, subjects darkly interpret external stimuli as ‘signs’ that the world is ‘out to get’ them.
An extremely paranoid adult with the surname Lennon, for instance, might take this as an omen that she or he is doomed to be slain. And subsequent external stimuli (such as hearing a Beatles song in a public place) would be incorrectly interpreted by this person as direct support for their distorted expectation.
In keeping with this idea, C. G. Jung says that synchronicity may be interpreted pathologically by those deemed schizophrenic by the psychiatric diagnostic system.
Whether or not synchronicities are interpreted positively (as signposts leading to healing and humility) or negatively (as portents of doom or, alternately, as sacred signs leading to an inflated sense of one’s greatness and importance), both instances are probably related to not integrating the personal – and by implication, the collective – unconscious within everyday ego awareness.
¹ Carl G. Gustavson, A Preface to History (1955: 3).
- Notes Towards an Object-Oriented Psychoanalysis – 2 (cengizerdem.wordpress.com)
- The Nietzschean Subject (cengizerdem.wordpress.com)
- Object-Oriented Psychoanalysis and Derridean Deconstruction (#Derridagate) (cengizerdem.wordpress.com)
- Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious in Everyday Life (itsgeektome.wordpress.com)
- Mercedes: Waltz (adsoftheworld.com)
- March Is Women’s History Month (psychology.about.com)
Denial is a Freudian defense mechanism in which a harmful or painful aspect of the self (or the subjective content of a distressing experience) is denied. A very broad concept, denial can involve feelings of depression, worthlessness, crankiness and anxiety. According to Melanie Klein, denial can be followed by splitting and projection.
The concept is valuable in helping others overcome traumatic experiences, such as child abuse or, for that matter, in redirecting individuals away from damaging addictions. But the idea can be egregiously misused by non-specialists.
In everyday usage we often hear people saying that someone else is “in denial.” The criticism could refer to some problem that the denying person apparently is not addressing. But those making that judgement often don’t know the whole story behind the (allegedly) denying person’s attitudinal and behavioral choices. So a deeply spiritual person, for instance, might be accused of “being in denial” by a materialistic person who cannot understand why the spiritual person believes and behaves in a certain way.
A word of caution then. Those who say others are in denial might in some instances be telling us more about their own ignorance of the spiritual life than of the slighted person’s avoidance of things they supposedly don’t want to deal with.
Freud himself would not have seen it this way because he was a materialist who didn’t believe in God. And this was, despite all of Freud’s pioneering genius, his greatest flaw and limitation. For any psychological theory that omits the healing power of God’s love is bound to fall short, somewhere along the line.
- Defense Mechanism (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Defense Mechanisms (trueorwrong.wordpress.com)
- Don’t be in denial about denial! (livethelesson.wordpress.com)
- Getting Past HIV Denial (everydayhealth.com)
- Freud’s Not Dead; He’s Just Really Hard to Find (psychologytoday.com)
- Queen of Denial (thejaneellen.wordpress.com)
- Going Against the Herd (oswaldsobrino.com)
- Sigmund Freud: a summary (newlifeparties.com)
In Greek myth Oedipus was the king of Thebes who, in trying to avoid a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, actually unwittingly did so.
The celebrated Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud named one of his most important ideas after the tragic story of Oedipus.
According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, an Oedipal complex develops after the male infant becomes fixated to his mother during the Oedipal phase of ego development (ages 3-5).
During this time, the infant develops bizarre beliefs which only a child’s mind could produce. He sees or perhaps hears his father and mother lovemaking (called the “primal scene”) and perceives his father as a threat.
His fear intensifies when seeing the father’s penis, which leads the child to irrationally assume that he, himself, has been castrated. The child then demonizes the father and identifies with his apparently ‘all-good’ mother.
He resolves this potent complex by eventually identifying with the father and the external, worldly demands that the father represents to the child.
If his complex goes unresolved, his choice of – and demands from – lovers and marriage partners in subsequent years reflects lingering unconscious infantile, mother-based expectations, which are unrealistic and not grounded in the reality principle.
Freud believed that this was a natural process.
Current trends in psychoanalysis trace the Oedipus complex to earlier conflicts apparently present in the first few years of psychosexual ego development.
While some say that psychoanalysis is a science, others see it as a joke with little or not empirical support to validate its fanciful claims. Although the spirit of Freud’s approach is still present within psychiatry, especially with the almost unquestioned status of the concept of the “unconscious,” the actual content of many of his ideas has fallen by the wayside.
As such, most countries recognize medical psychiatry as a credible discipline (with legal powers and associated responsibilities) while giving less weight to non-medical psychologists and social workers.¹
¹ In Canada, for instance, psychiatry is covered by national health care whereas non-medical therapies (such as Jungian and other holistic psychological approaches) are not.
Search Think Free » Electra Complex, Melanie Klein, Stages of Psychosexual Development, Totem
Add to this, report errors, suggest edits or voice your opinion by leaving a comment
In most schools of psychology, paranoia is a disorder where one holds a delusional belief that one is being persecuted or in some kind of danger when, in fact, they are not.
Paranoia is sometimes accompanied with inflation.
The term might not always be used correctly because those using it might hold naïve views or possibly conceal their true and dishonorable personal or political agendas.¹
Particularly in the West, some critics of contemporary culture say we live in a “culture of fear.” They maintain that a wealthy and powerful few manipulate the media to try to generate just enough social paranoia to justify political acts (such as wars) or perhaps to sell goods and services that apparently solve fear-related issues.
These social critics add that the rich and powerful don’t want to generate too much fear because society could lapse into collective paralysis or possibly chaos, which definitely would not be good for political agendas, corporate profits and the overall economy.
Reality, however, is usually more complicated and open-ended than tidy conspiracy theories, making this view seems simplistic but not completely unworthy of consideration.
Actual cases of paranoia can be found with highly intelligent personalities. The Austria–Hungary (now Czech Republic) born mathematician, logician and philosopher Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) for instance, tragically starved himself to death in later years. At that stage in his life he wouldn’t eat anything that his wife, whom he used as a human guinea pig, didn’t taste first because he feared it would be poisoned. When his wife was hospitalized for six months he refused to eat and simply wasted away and died.
In the 1970′s the ‘New Wave’ band Devo released a popular song “Too Much Paranoia.”
More recently, some believers in extraterrestrial mind control have taken to wearing tin foil hats that apparently block the evil aliens from controlling people. To outside observers this seems to be a pretty clear case of irrational behavior arising from paranoia, not because ETs don’t necessarily exist (probably no one really knows if ETs exist or not), but to think that tin foil would protect against whatever technologies they might be capable of seems absurd.
For Melanie Klein, these feelings begin as early as the first year of life.
The Electra complex is outlined less clearly than the Oedipus complex, the counterpart complex for young boys. With the Electra complex the girl apparently envies her father’s penis, desiring it for herself to the extent of fantasizing about bearing his children—the origin of the term “penis-envy.” Her unrealistic, unattainable desire causes her to resent her mother. And the young child’s mind translates her extreme psychological discomfort into the fantastic belief that she’s been castrated by her mother.
A feminist response to this is expressed as follows:
The idea that the Electra complex is referred to most of the time as “penis-envy” shows where Freud was in his thought process. He simply thinks the male psyche is the dominant entity in human relations, and that female influence is secondary. This may be due in part to his belief that girls have weaker superegos, where morality is developed and values internalized. We develop this judicial component of our personality during the phallic stage.¹
¹ Amy Simokaitis, “Freud: Let’s Talk about Sex,” October 13, 1999. http://www.umsl.edu/~mgriffin/psy302/Simokaitis/electra_complex.html
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a Jew of Austrian parentage and the founder of psychoanalysis. He studied medicine in Vienna and then neurology and psychopathology. He was marginalized by the medical community for his interest in the idea of infant sexuality. Today he, perhaps ironically, is often frowned on as a reductionist.
Freud remains one of the great innovators of the modern age. He attempted to scientifically outline the idea of the unconscious which formerly had been represented in literature, philosophy and nineteenth-century occultism.
His psychoanalytic techniques of free association and abreaction were influenced by several other contemporaneous “doctors of the mind,” most notably Jean-Martin Charcot, but Freud made them uniquely his own.
His works were almost entirely destroyed by the occupying Nazis. In 1938 he reluctantly withdrew from Vienna to London, leaving behind several sisters, all of whom died in concentration camps.
A habitual cigar-smoker, his relationship with his daughter Anna became extremely close; she acted as secretary, friend and confidant. Freud eventually contracted jaw cancer but refused pain-killers because they dulled his mind and interfered with his work.
After Freud’s death Anna further elaborated on the idea of defense mechanisms, distinguishing herself as an important thinker in her own right.
Related Posts » Catharsis, Cathexis, Censor, Civilization and its Discontents, Ego, Electra Complex, Eros, Fromm (Erich), Icebox effect, Id, Jung (Carl Gustav), Klein (Melanie), Moses and Monotheism, Neurosis, Object, Oedipus Complex, Parapraxes, Pleasure Principle, Psychopath, Psychosis, Reality Principle, Repression, Sadism, Masochism, Secondary Revision, Stages of Psychosexual Development, Superego, Thanatos, The Future of an Illusion, Unconscious
- Mortensen tackles loquacious Sigmund Freud (upi.com)
- My hero: Sigmund Freud (guardian.co.uk)
- A DANGEROUS METHOD Blu-ray Review (collider.com)
- Sigmund Freud’s Theory of Personality Traits (marlenebertrand.wordpress.com)
- The Psychodynamic Theory (socyberty.com)
- Freud (ackermansketchpad.blogspot.com)
- Fictionalizing Sigmund Freud’s baby sister (macleans.ca)
- The Question of God – C.S.Lewis and Freud (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)
- Taproot Theatre imagines if Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis came to tea (phinneywood.com)
Most of us think of inflation as an economic term. But it’s also a psychological term, one coined by the Swiss psychiatrist, C. G. Jung.
For Jung, psychological inflation denotes the unsavory but, perhaps, temporarily unavoidable situation that can occur during the individuation process (another one of Jung’s ideas that points to a life-long process of self realization).
Inflation in the Jungian sense refers to a person’s ego-consciousness that uncritically and, often zealously, identifies with archetypal contents. This results in a loss of sensible discrimination and a regression into archetypal unconsciousness. It’s also “characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, often compensated by feelings of inferiority.”¹
Although some popular writers combine the ideas of inflation and conscious self-aggrandizement, for Jung the two are different mechanisms with different psycho-social outcomes.
Concerning religious leaders, teachers and alleged prophets, whether such figures are psychologically inflated (and trying to spread that condition to others) or, rather, genuine holy persons remains a matter of much and often heated debate.
Leon Schlamm’s excellent entry on inflation in the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, Volume 2, is freely available online for preview: http://bit.ly/qV25Um.
- Super man, super human, Godman, Guru, Hero ……. (raol1810pr.wordpress.com)
- How God Relates Inversely (mymostfavoritethings.wordpress.com)
- Carl Jung, part 8: Religion and the search for meaning (guardian.co.uk)
- Guru/ Spiritual Guide (onelightmanywindows.wordpress.com)
- Bhutan Festival tours (tashinyendaadventures.wordpress.com)
- Guru / Spiritual Guide / Master / Spiritual Teacher (olmwsimpletruths.wordpress.com)
- Running is my Guru (longleggedfly.wordpress.com)
- Album on Sikh Saint Baba Nand Singh Ji Released (prweb.com)
- The Freedom to Be Spiritual, or Religious! – Pune, India (travelpod.com)
- Sikh-Diaspora Digest:some interesting posts (preetlari.wordpress.com)
- An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #1 (sarmoung.wordpress.com)
- Rick Perry: ‘As a Christian I Have a Directive to Support Israel’ (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Michele Bachmann (R-Mars): Ultra-Fanatic (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- I thought this video was pretty funny… (michigantelephone.wordpress.com)
- LONDON: Religious fanaticism. A powder keg set to explode (jewishinfonews.wordpress.com)
- Craziest Fundamentalist Republican Wins Iowa Straw Poll (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Christie ‘thinking about running now’ (atlmalcontent.wordpress.com)
- Iowa Family Leader’s Vander Plaats is a Birther (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Kindle Daily Deal! Pig Island by Mo Hayder for $0.99! (randomizeme.wordpress.com)
- What makes a fanatic (gregoryhamel.net)
- Intercession (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Foo Fighters Counter-Protest The Westboro Baptist Church (wzlx.radio.com)
- WI GOP turns on Tommy Thompson. He’s no longer a “real” Republican in party taken over by right-wing nuts. (americablog.com)
- Do Christians Love the Bible Anymore? (instrument-rated-theology.com)
- Right brain vs Left brain by Susan Sayler (updated) (atextbookoflove.wordpress.com)
- Atheists: Outrage Does Not Suit You (anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com)
- Individuation Process (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Jung, Carl Gustav (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- The archetypes are gods: Re-godding the archetypes, by John H. Halstead (humanisticpaganism.wordpress.com)
- Saturday Morning Coffee with Carl Jung PART III (Video) (beeryblog.wordpress.com)
- Shifting between the worlds of Carl Jung (mindhacks.com)
- One becomes Two (immanence.net)
- Carl Jung’s advice (cynthiawh.wordpress.com)
- ‘Dangerous’ film probes flaws in Freud-Jung friendship (ctv.ca)
- Immanence & the World of Opposites (immanence.net)
After the Beatles’ breakup, Lennon pursued a respected musical career with hits and sleeper hits like Mind Games, Cold Turkey, Crippled Inside, Jealous Guy, Imagine, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Give Peace a Chance, Woman, (Just Like) Starting Over and Watching the Wheels.
But not all of his post-Beatles tunes were polished chart toppers. The album Plastic Ono Band, for instance, chronicles a time of soul-searching, musical exploration and a fleshing out of ideas that would in later albums come together as hit singles. That album also includes the soulful ballad, Working Class Hero and the anthemic Power to the People.
It’s sadly ironic that Lennon was murdered on December 8th 1980 by a disturbed gunman at point-blank range in New York City, considering he and his wife Yoko Ono suggested we “Give Peace a Chance.”
Lennon collaborated with other pop luminaries like David Bowie and The Rolling Stones‘ Mick Jagger, and his influence within and without the Beatles on pop music has been profound. Respected rockers like Todd Rundgren (Deface the Music, with Utopia) and the band XTC (Skylarking) have produced Beatlesque albums and songs, and Oasis’ Liam Gallagher not only looks a bit but definitely sounds like Lennon, and has publicly acknowledged Lennon’s influence by naming his son Lennon Gallagher.
With the Beatles Lennon gained notoriety by claiming that the band was more popular than Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church recently came around to forgiving him for that statement.¹
- John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ suit for sale (bbc.co.uk)
- Yoko Ono Recreates John Lennon’s ‘War Is Over’ Poster in 100 Languages (spinner.com)
- Rock Band Weekly: John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas,’ Euro singles (joystiq.com)
- Lennon’s ‘Abbey Road’ suit among auction items (pbpulse.com)
- JOHN LENNON – Murdered 30 Years Ago Today (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) (current.com)
- Royal Mint Issues Commemorative John Lennon Coin (socyberty.com)
- Lennon’s ‘Abbey Road’ suit among auction items (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- The Best of the John Lennon Tributes (rollingstone.com)
- FBI seizes John Lennon’s fingerprints in NYC (omg.yahoo.com)
- One for the Road: John Lennon (chicagoist.com)
Synchronicity is a scientific sounding term coined by the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung to represent the idea of meaningful coincidence. Whether or not synchronicity is a truly scientific concept remains open to debate.
Implicit to Jung’s idea of synchronicity is the belief that all of creation is somehow connected.
Synchronicity takes three main forms:
- The coincidence of a psychological state with a corresponding, simultaneously occurring external event with no evidence of causality.
- The coincidence of a psychological state with a corresponding, simultaneous external event that occurs at a distance, beyond the observer’s normal range of perception.
- The coincidence of a psychological state with a corresponding event that will occur in the future and which may be verified after its occurrence.
Whether or not synchronicity is a causal or acausal phenomenon is also a point of debate. Jung says it’s acausal but also suggests that the archetypes of the collective unconscious can lead toward synchronicities, implying some kind of causality.
This uncertainty might result from different understandings about the nature of consciousness—particularly, what constitutes the locus of consciousness.
Concerning ethics, synchronicity is ambiguous. Because the concept of synchronicity bears some similarity to the notion of the religious sign, it’s not surprising that different attempts have been made to link this aspect of Jungian thought to theology.
The following represents an attempt to synthesize Christian belief with the concept of synchronicity:
The natural universe, in the Jungian sense of the term natural, contains physical and spiritual dimensions. A person who acknowledges only the reality of the physical realm is incapable of recognizing how synchronicity operates in the New Testament and in our world and cannot see the power of the spiritual. By contrast, a person who goes to the other extreme, who sees reality only in the spiritual realm and denies reality in the physical world, will not spend much time bettering the world and will fall readily into superstition (Morton T. Kelsey, Christo-psychology, New York: Crossroad, 1982, p. 131).
And Fausto Intilla adds, from the perspective of natural pantheism:
If we accept the idea that our Universe really is God, well, in a infinite Caos of Energy too, there must to be a logical (but not for human brain), exact, specific, and perfectly organized …Plan.
How many significant (important) coincidences can happen to a person in his life, living in a unorganizated and stupid Universe?…I think no-one. Every synchronism in our life, is like an open-eyes-dream (Jung taught)…and we can thank the fine intelligence of our Universe…if they happen. » See in context
Some philosophers dismiss the entire notion of synchronicity with the idea of “confirmation bias.” Confirmation bias is described in Wikipedia as
a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. » Source.
However, we can turn the idea of confirmation bias right back to those who adhere to it as if it were some kind of untouchable universal principle. While the idea of confirmation bias is certainly worthy of consideration, Jung stressed that one doesn’t look for synchronicity but simply witnesses it.
Moreover, some theologians consider the possibility that a biased mind, which we all most likely have, could be temporarily informed by influences superceding one’s psychological makeup, expectations and so on. Indeed, to reduce all synchronistic experience to a humanly constructed idea of “confirmation bias” seems limiting and even unscientific.
This is especially so since parapsychological phenomena tagged as synchronicity often involve the inner experience of numinosity and the outer observing person, and not just psychologically selected or filtered data gained by the senses.
On the Web:
- Article at Earthpages.org » Synchronicity: New Age Fantasy or Face of the Future?
- Synchronicity and Poststructuralism (Ph.D. Thesis by Michael W. Clark – pdf)
- Synchronicity entry at Wikipedia
- “Synchronicity” video at Youtube by the popular 1970s and 80s British rock band, The Police:
» Akashic Records, Causality, Collective Unconscious, Divination, Gawain (Shakti), Hume (David), I Ching, Joachim of Fiore, Jung (Carl Gustav), Klein (Melanie), Koestler (Arthur), Leibniz (Gottfried Wilhelm), Miracles, Morphogenetic Fields, Ram Dass, Talbot (Michael), Unconscious
Add more, fix errors, suggest edits or voice your opinion by commenting
Black’s Medical Dictionary (39th edition) defines the unconscious as “a description of mental activities of which an individual is unaware” (p. 567).
In the West, the idea of the unconscious has an interesting history. It is found in the ancient Greek literature of Sophocles, with related concepts such as hubris, and in Shakespeare and more recent writers like James Joyce.
Philosophical debates about its character flourished in the 18th century among thinkers such as John Locke and David Hume.
More recently, Freud, Pierre Janet, Alfred Adler, Carl Jung and others have made important contributions.
Arthur Koestler says the idea of the unconscious was already known before the actual word ‘unconscious’ was coined. Koestler cites several examples where the notion of the unconscious is implied in the arts and philosophy-e.g. Dante, Kepler and Kant.
Koestler also says that consciousness and unconsciousness are not discrete states but exist along a continuum.†
From Koestler it seems reasonable to suggest that the range and character of this experiential continuum varies from person to person. In other words, some individuals consciously access different thoughts and emotions than others.
Perhaps most important is to remember that the unconscious is just a concept.
All too often it’s reified. Reification occurs when ideas are assumed to represent some real entity or thing–for instance, the sociological idea of ‘the state.’ Reified concepts may even point to detailed legal entities.
But the question remains as to whether the thing written and talked about exists as described.
A common mistake among contemporary writers is to say that Freud sees the unconscious as uniquely personal while his former protege Carl Jung sees it as collective. In actual fact both theorist recognize personal and collective aspects within their respective theories of the unconscious.
» Abyss, Active Imagination, Adler (Alfred), Akashic Records, Alice in Wonderland, Anima, Animus, Archaeology, Archetypal Image, Archetype, Aztecs, Beowulf, Censor, Collective Unconscious, Conscience, Controlled Dreaming, Deviance, Dionysus, Dracula, Dreams, Ego, Hendrix (Jimi), Hercules, Hero, Icebox effect, Id, Inflation, Jackson (Michael), Jonah, Klein (Melanie), Kraken, Lévi-Bruhl (Lucien), Madness, Madonna, Morphic resonance, Morphogenetic Fields, Numinous, Obsession, Oedipus Complex, Persephone, Pisces, Plato, Power, Pyramids, Reaction formation, Reincarnation, Representation, Repression, Secondary Revision, Self, Shadow, Splitting, Stages of Psychosexual Development, Superego, Surrealism, Symbol, Synchronicity, Szasz (Thomas), Tarot, Third Eye, Transference, Trickster
† Koestler, Arthur. The Act of Creation. New York: Penguin [Arkana], 1989: 147-177.
Add to this, report errors, suggest edits or voice your opinion by posting a comment