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The Trauma of Birth

The Trauma of Birth PDF Author: Otto Rank
Publisher: Ravenio Books
ISBN:
Category : Psychology
Languages : en
Pages : 242

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Book Description
The following arguments indicate a first attempt to apply the psychoanalytic way of thinking, as such, to the comprehension of the whole development of mankind, even of the actual fact of becoming human. It would be more correct not to use the word “apply,” for it is not a question of one of the usual works on the “Application of Psychoanalysis to the Mental Sciences”; rather it is a matter of making psychoanalytic thought productive for our entire conception of mankind and history. This finally represents the history of mind, that is, the history of the development of the human mind and of the things created by it. This particular viewpoint, still too new to be quite clearly grasped, is made accessible to us through Psychoanalysis by reason of the prodigious extension of our consciousness, which at the present time enables us to recognize part of the deepest Unconscious as such, and to understand its mode of operation. As scientific knowledge itself is no more than a conscious comprehension of previously latent facts, it is only logical that every particle of the extension of our consciousness, gained by analysis, should be converted into understanding. It is now shown at a quite definite point of psychoanalytic knowledge, which we shall soon characterize more definitely, that there is also a considerable part of organic or biological development which can be understood only from the psychical side; that is, from the side which, together with all the residue of development, includes also our own instrument of knowledge, which has suddenly become definitely more efficient through our progressive knowledge of the Unconscious. We have taken certain new individual psychoanalytic experiences solely as a starting-point for a more comprehensive view and for general knowledge; but we believe that in so doing we have opened up the way to something essentially different from the hitherto prevailing “application” of Psychoanalysis. Thus we also lay stress on the fact that we want to keep ourselves free from an overestimation of the psychoanalytic doctrine of the Unconscious as applied to therapy, without thereby departing from the psychoanalytic way of thinking. But at the same time we extend this line of thought in both directions. It is, then, no accident that Psychoanalysis, as soon as it began to develop from a therapeutic procedure into a doctrine of the Unconscious, almost simultaneously deviating from its original medical field, invaded and enriched wellnigh every mental science, and finally itself became one of the most important of mental movements of the present day. The psychic patient, from whose material and by whose help Psychoanalysis was discovered and developed, will always remain the native source for further investigation and extension of the doctrine. Yet this origin is of no more importance today than, for instance, the country from which Columbus set forth, and which furnished the bold explorer with practical means for his voyage.