Fixation is a a psychoanalytic term that describes an individual becoming stuck on an object (a Freudian term that includes people) associated with a given phase of libidinal development.
Fixation is often marked by infantile attitudes and behavior, the compulsive choosing of objects and a general decrease of energy since available energy is diverted into an object of the past.
Freud’s theories have been criticized for not being able to explain genuine religious or paranormal experiences. But these types of experiences – or, at least, the personal interpretation of them – arguably can be colored by our psychological underpinnings.
So New Age and religious enthusiasts who dismiss all that Freud has to say often seem to have unresolved personal issues that can hinder their spiritual development. By the same token, reductive Freudians who can’t see that there’s more to life than what goes through the senses and the nervous system could be equally as stuck.
Charles Rycroft, A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, Harmondsworth: Penguin 1977, p. 52.
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