Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology/Chapter 9
ON SOME CRUCIAL POINTS IN PSYCHOANALYSIS
Correspondence between Dr. Jung and Dr. Loÿ appearing in “Psychotherapeutische Zeitfragen.” Published by Dr. Loÿ, Santorium L'Abri, Territet-Montreux, Switzerland, 1914.
From Dr. Loÿ.
12th January, 1913.
What you said at our last conversation was extraordinarily stimulating. I was expecting you to throw light upon the interpretation of my own and my patients' dreams from the standpoint of Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams." Instead, you put before me an entirely new conception: the dream as a means of re-establishing the moral equipoise, fashioned in the realm below the threshold of consciousness. That indeed is a fruitful conception. But still more fruitful appears to me your other suggestion. You regard the problems of psychoanalysis as much deeper than I had ever thought: it is no longer merely a question of getting rid of troublesome pathological symptoms; the analysed person gets to understand not his anxiety-experiences alone, but his whole self most completely, and by means of this understanding he can build up and fashion his whole life anew. But he himself must be the builder, the Analyst only furnishes him with the necessary tools.
To begin with, I would ask you to consider what justification there is for the original procedure of Breuer and Freud, now entirely given up both by Freud himself and by you, but practised by Frank, for instance, as his only method: I mean "the abreaction of the inhibited effects under light hypnosis." Why have you given up the cathartic method? More particularly, has light hypnosis in psychocatharsis a different value from suggestion during sleep, long customary in treatment by suggestion? that is, has it only the value which the suggestionist contributes, or does it claim to possess only the value which the patient's belief bestows upon it? To put it another way, is suggestion in the waking-state equivalent to suggestion in hypnoidal states, as Bernheim now asserts, after having used suggestion for many years exclusively in hypnosis? You will tell me we must talk of psychoanalysis, not of suggestion. But I really mean this: is not the suggestion, by means of which the psychocatharsis in the hypnoidal state produces therapeutic effects, (modified naturally, by the patients' age, etc.) the main factor in the therapeutic success of the psychocatharsis? Frank, in his "Affektstörungen," says: "these partial adjustments of effect, suggestibility and suggestion, are almost altogether omitted in the psychocathartic treatment in light sleep, in so far as the content of the reproduced presentations is concerned." Is that really true? Frank himself adds: "How can meditation upon the dreams of youth in itself lead to the discharge of the stored-up anxiety, whether in hypnoidal states or under any other conditions? Must one not suppose, with much greater probability, that the anxiety-states would become more pronounced through such concentration upon them?" [I have noticed that myself, and much more than I at all liked.] One does indeed say to the patient: "First we must stir up, then afterwards comes peace." And it does come. But does it not come in spite of the stirring-up process, because gradually, by means of frequent talks under light hypnosis, the patient gets such confidence in the doctor that he becomes susceptible to direct suggestion, and that produces at first improvement and finally, cure? I go still further: in an analysis in the waking-state, is not the patient's belief that the method employed will cure him, coupled with his ever-growing trust in the doctor, a main cause of his cure? And I ask even further: in every systematically carried-out therapeutic treatment, is not faith in it, trust in the doctor, a main factor in its success? I will not indeed say the only factor, for one cannot deny that the physical, dietetic and chemical procedures, when properly selected, have a real effect in securing a cure, over and above the obvious effect of their indirect suggestion.
From Dr. Jung.
28th January, 1913.
With regard to your question as to the applicability of the cathartic method, the following is my standpoint: every method is good if it serves its purpose, including every method of suggestion, even Christian Science, Mental Healing, etc. "A truth is a truth, when it works." It is quite another question whether a scientific physician can answer for it to his conscience should he sell little bottles of Lourdes-water because that suggestion is at times very useful. Even the so-called highly scientific suggestion-therapy employs the wares of the medicine-man and the exorcising Schaman. And please, why should it not? The public is not even now much more advanced and continues to expect miracles from the doctor. And truly those doctors should be deemed clever—worldly-wise in every respect—who understand the art of investing themselves with the halo of the medicine-man. Not only have they the biggest practices—they have also the best results. This is simply because countless physical maladies (leaving out of count the neuroses) are complicated and burdened with psychic elements to an extent scarcely yet suspected. The medical exorcist's whole behaviour betrays his full valuation of the psychic element when he gives the patient the opportunity of fixing his faith firmly upon the doctor's mysterious personality. Thus does he win the sick man's mind, which henceforth helps him indeed to restore his body also to health. The cure works best when the doctor really believes in his own formulæ, otherwise he may be overcome by scientific doubt and so lose the correct, convincing tone. I, too, for a time practised hypnotic suggestion enthusiastically. But there befell me three dubious incidents which I want you to note:—
1. Once there came to me to be hypnotised for various neurotic troubles a withered peasant-woman of some fifty years old. She was not easy to hypnotise, was very restless, kept opening her eyes—but at last I did succeed. When I waked her after about half an hour she seized my hand and with many words testified to her overflowing gratitude. I said: "But you are by no means cured yet, so keep your thanks till the end of the treatment." She: "I am not thanking you for that, but—(blushing and whispering)—because you have been so decent." So she said, looked at me with a sort of tender admiration and departed. I gazed long at the spot where she had stood and asked myself, confounded, "So decent?"—good heavens! surely she hadn't imagined, somehow or other. . . . This glimpse made me suspect for the first time that possibly the loose-minded person, by means of that notorious feminine (I should at that time have said "animal") directness of instinct, understood more about the essence of hypnotism than I with all my knowledge of the scientific profundity of the text-books. Therein lay my harmlessness.
2. Next came a pretty, coquettish, seventeen-year-old girl with a harassed, suspicious mother. The young daughter had suffered since early girlhood from enuresis nocturna, which, among other difficulties, hindered her from going to a boarding-school abroad.
At once I thought of the old woman and her wisdom. I tried to hypnotise the girl; she laughed affectedly and prevented hypnosis for twenty minutes. Of course I kept quiet and thought: I know why you laugh; you have already fallen in love with me, but I will give you proof of my decency in gratitude for your wasting my time with your challenging laughter. I succeeded in hypnotising her. Success followed at once. The enuresis stopped, and I therefore informed the young lady later that, instead of Wednesday, I would not see her again for hypnosis till the following Saturday. On Saturday she arrived with a cross countenance, presaging failure. The enuresis had come back again. I remembered my wise old woman, and asked: "When did the enuresis return?" She (unsuspecting), "Wednesday night." I thought to myself, There it is again, she wants to show me that I simply must see her on Wednesdays too; not to see me for a whole long week is too much for a tender, loving heart. But I was quite resolved to give no help to such annoying romancing, so I said, "To continue the hypnosis would be quite wrong under these circumstances. We must drop it for quite three weeks, to give the enuresis a chance to stop. Then come again for treatment." In my malicious heart I knew I should then be on my holiday and so the course of hypnotic treatment would come to an end. After the holidays my locum tenens told me the young lady had been there with the news that the enuresis had vanished, but her disappointment at not seeing me was very keen. The old woman was right, thought I.
3. The third case gave my joy in suggestion its deathblow. This was the manner of it. She was a lady of sixty-five who came stumbling into the consulting-room with a crutch. She had suffered from pain in the knee-joint for seventeen years, and this at times kept her in bed for many weeks. No doctor had been able to cure her, and she had tried every possible remedy of present-day medicine. After I had suffered the stream of her narrative to flow over me for some ten minutes, I said, "I will try to hypnotise you, perhaps that will do you good." She, "Oh yes, please do!" leaned her head on one side and fell asleep before ever I said or did anything. She passed into somnambulism and showed every form of hypnosis you could possibly desire. After half an hour I had the greatest difficulty in waking her; when at last she was awake she jumped up: "I am well, I am all right, you have cured me." I tried to make timid objections, but her praises drowned me. She could really walk. Then I blushed and said, embarrassed, to my colleagues: "Look! behold the wondrously successful hypnotic therapy." That day saw the death of my connection with treatment by suggestion; the therapeutic praise won by this case shamed and humiliated me. When, a year later, at the beginning of my hypnotic course, the good old lady returned, this time with the pain in her back, I was already sunk in hopeless cynicism; I saw written on her forehead that she had just read the notice of the re-opening of my clinic in the newspaper, that vexatious romanticism had provided her with a convenient pain in the back so that she might have a pretext for seeing me, and again let herself be cured in the same theatrical fashion. This proved true in every particular.
As you will understand, a man possessed of scientific conscience cannot endure such cases without embarrassment. There ripened the resolve in me to renounce suggestion altogether rather than to allow myself passively to be transformed into a miracle-worker. I wanted to understand what really went on in the souls of people. It suddenly seemed to me incredibly childish to think of dispelling an illness with charms, and that this should be the only result of our scientific endeavours for a psychotherapy. Thus for me the discovery of Breuer and Freud was a veritable deliverance. I took up their method with unalloyed enthusiasm and soon recognised how right Freud was, when at a very early date, indeed so far back as the Studien ueber Hysterie, he began to direct a searchlight upon the accompanying circumstances of the so-called trauma. I too soon discovered that certainly some traumata with an obvious etiological tinge are opportunely present. But the greater number appeared highly improbable. So many of them seemed so insignificant, even so normal, that at most one could regard them as just providing the opportunity for the neurosis to appear. But what especially spurred my criticism was the fact that so many traumata were simply inventions of phantasy which had never really existed. This perception was enough to make me sceptical about the whole trauma-theory. (But I have dealt with these matters in detail in my lectures on the theory of psychoanalysis). I could no longer suppose that the hundred and one cathartic experiences of a phantastically puffed-up or entirely invented trauma was anything but the effect of suggestion. It is well enough if it helps. If one only had not a scientific conscience and that impulsion towards the truth! I found in many cases, especially when dealing with more mentally gifted patients, that I must recognise the therapeutic limitations of this method. It is, of course, a definite plan, and convenient for the doctor, since it makes no particular demands upon his intellect for new adaptations. The theory and practice are both of the pleasantest simplicity: "The neurosis is caused by a trauma. The trauma is abreacted." When the abreaction takes place under hypnotism, or with other magical accessories (dark room, peculiar lighting, and the rest), I remember once more the wise old woman, who opened my eyes not merely to the magic influence of the mesmeric gestures, but also to the essential character of hypnotism itself. But what alienated me once for all from this relatively efficacious indirect method of suggestion, based as it is upon an equally efficacious false theory, was the perception I obtained at the same time that, behind the confused deceptive intricacies of neurotic phantasies, there stands a conflict, which may be best described as a moral one. With this there began for me a new era of understanding. Research and therapy now coincided in the attempt to discover the causes and the rational solution of this conflict. That is what psychoanalysis meant to me. Whilst I had been getting this insight, Freud had built up his sexual theory of the neurosis, and therewith had brought forward an enormous number of questions for discussion, all of which I thought deserved the profoundest consideration. Thus I have had the good fortune of co-operating with Freud for a long time, and working with him in the investigation of the problem of sexuality in neurosis. You, perhaps, know from some of my earlier work that I was always dubious somewhat concerning the significance of sexuality. This has now become the exact point where I am no longer altogether of Freud's opinion.
I have preferred to answer your questions in rather nonsequent fashion. Whatever is still unanswered, let me now repeat: light hypnosis and complete hypnosis are but varying grades of intensity of unconscious attraction towards the hypnotist. Who can here venture to draw sharp distinctions? To a critical intelligence it is unthinkable that suggestibility and suggestion can be excluded in the cathartic method. They are present everywhere and are universal human attributes, even with Dubois and the psychoanalysts who think they work on purely rational lines. No technique, no self-deception avails here—the doctor works nolens volens—and perhaps primarily—by means of his personality, that is by suggestion. In the cathartic treatment, what is of far more importance to the patient than the conjuring up of old phantasies, is the being so often with the doctor, and confidence and belief in him personally, and in his method. The belief, the self-confidence, perhaps also the devotion with which the doctor does his work, are far more important things to the patient (imponderabilia though they be) than the recalling of old traumata.
Ultimately we shall some day know from the history of medicine everything that has ever been of service; then perhaps at last we may come to the really desirable therapy, to psychotherapy. Did not even the old materia medica of filth have brilliant cures?—cures which only faded away with the belief in it!
Because I recognise that the patient does attempt to lay hold of the doctor's personality, in spite of all possible rational safeguards, I have formulated the demand that the psychotherapeutist shall be held just as responsible for the cleanness of his own hands as is the surgeon. I hold it to be an absolutely indispensable preliminary that the psychoanalyst should himself first undergo an analysis, for his personality is one of the chief factors in the cure.
Patients read the doctor's character intuitively and they should find in him a human being, with faults indeed, but also a man who has striven at every point to fulfil his own human duties in the fullest sense. I think that this is the first healing factor. Many times I have had the opportunity of seeing that the analyst is successful with his treatment just in so far as he has succeeded in his own moral development. I think this answer will satisfy your question.
From Dr. Loÿ.
2nd February, 1913.
You answer several of my questions in a decidedly affirmative sense. You take it as proved that in the cures by the cathartic method the main rôle is played by faith in the doctor and in his method, and not by the "abreaction" of real or imaginary traumata. I also. Equally I am at one with your view that the cures of the old materia medica of filth, as well as the Lourdes cures, or those of the Mental Healers, Christian Scientists and Persuasionists, are to be attributed to faith in the miracle- worker, rather than to any of the methods employed.
Now comes the ticklish point: the augur can remain an augur so long as he himself believes the will of the gods is made manifest by the entrails of the sacrificial beast. When he no longer believes, he has to ask himself: Shall I continue to use my augur's authority to further the welfare of the State, or shall I make use of my newer, and (I hope) truer convictions of to-day? Both ways are possible. The first is called opportunism; the second the pursuit of truth, and scientific honour. For a doctor, the first way brings perhaps therapeutic success and fame; the second, reproach: such a man is not taken seriously. What I esteem most highly in Freud and his school is just this passionate desire for truth. But again, it is precisely here that people pronounce a different verdict: "It is impossible for the busy practitioner to keep pace with the development of the views of this investigator and his initiates." (Frank, "Affektstörungen Einleitung.")
One can easily disregard this little quip, but one must take more seriously one's self-criticism. We may have to ask ourselves whether, since science is an undivided, ever-flowing stream, we are justified in relinquishing on conscientious grounds, any method or combination of methods by means of which we know cures can be achieved?
Looking more closely at the fundamental grounds of your aversion to the use of hypnosis (or semi-hypnosis, the degree matters nothing) in treatment by suggestion, (which as a matter of fact every doctor and every therapeutic method makes use of willy-nilly, no matter what it is called); it is clear that what has disgusted you in hypnotism is at bottom nothing but the so-called "transference" to the doctor, which you, with your unalloyed psychoanalytic treatment, can get rid of as little as any one else, for indeed it plays a chief part in the success of the treatment. Your insistence that the psychoanalyst must be answerable for the cleanness of his own hands—(here I agree with you unreservedly)—is an inevitable conclusion. But, after all, does anything more "augurish" really cling to the use made of hypnosis in psychotherapeutic treatment, than to the quite inevitable use made of the "transference to the doctor" for therapeutic ends? In either case we must perforce "take shares" in faith as a healing agent. As for the feeling which the patient—whether man or woman—entertains for the doctor, is there never anything in the background save conscious or unconscious sexual desire? In many cases your view is most certainly correct; more than one woman has been frank enough to confess that the beginning of hypnosis was accompanied by voluptuous pleasure. But this is not true in all instances—or how would you explain the underlying feeling in the hypnotising of one animal by another, e.g. snake and bird. Surely you can say that there the feeling of fear reigns, fear which is an inversion of the libido, such as comes upon the bride in that hypnoidal state before she yields to her husband wherein pure sexual desire rules, though possibly it contains an element of fear. However this may be, from your three cases I cannot draw any ethical distinction between the "unconscious readiness towards the hypnotist" and the "transference to the doctor" which should avail to condemn a combination of hypnotism and psychoanalysis as a method of treatment. You will ask why I cling to the use of hypnotism; or rather of hypnoidal states. Because I think there are cases that can be much more rapidly cured thereby, than through a purely psychoanalytic treatment. For example, in no more than five or six interviews I cured a fifteen-year-old girl who had suffered from enuresis nocturna from infancy, but was otherwise thoroughly healthy, gifted, and pre-eminent at school: she had previously tried all sorts of treatment without any result.
Perhaps I ought to have sought out the psychoanalytic connexion between the enuresis and her psychosexual attitude and explained it to her, etc., but I could not, she had only the short Easter holidays for treatment: so I just hypnotised her and the tiresome trouble vanished. It was a lasting cure.
In psychoanalysis I use hypnosis to help the patient to overcome "resistances."
Further, I use light hypnosis in association with psychoanalysis, to hasten the advance when the "re-education" stage comes.
For example, a patient afflicted with washing-mania was sent to me after a year's psychocathartic treatment by Dr. X. The symbolic meaning of her washing-ceremonial was first made plain to her; she became more and more agitated during the "abreaction" of alleged traumata in childhood, because she had persuaded herself by auto-suggestion that she was too old to be cured, that she saw no "images," etc. So I used hypnosis to help her to diminish the number of her washings, "so that the anxiety-feeling would be banished"; and to train her to throw things on the ground and pick them up again without washing her hands afterwards, etc.
In view of these considerations, if you feel disposed to go further into the matter, I should be grateful if you would furnish me with more convincing reasons why hypnotic treatment must be dispensed with; and explain how to do without it, or with what to replace it in such cases. Were I convinced, I would give it up as you have done, but what convinced you has, so far, not convinced me. Si duo faciunt idem, non est idem.
Now I want to consider another important matter to which you alluded, but only cursorily, and to put one question: behind the neurotic phantasies there stands, you say, almost always (or always) a moral conflict which belongs to the present moment. That is perfectly clear to me. Research and therapy coincide; their task is to search out the foundations and the rational solution of the conflict. Good. But can the rational solution always be found? "Reasons of expediency" so often bar the way, varying with the type of patient, for instance children, young girls and women from "pious" catholic or protestant families. Again that accursed opportunism! A colleague of mine was perfectly right when he began to give sexual enlightenment to a young French patient, a boy who was indulging in masturbation. Whereupon, like one possessed, in rushed a bigoted grandmother, and a disagreeable sequel ensued. How to act in these and similar cases? What to do in cases where there arises a moral conflict between love and duty (a conflict in married life)?—or in general between instinct and moral duty? What to do in the case of a girl afflicted with hysterical or anxiety symptoms, needing love and having no chance to marry, either because she cannot find a suitable man or because, being "well-connected," she wants to remain chaste? Simply try to get rid of the symptoms by suggestion? But that is wrong as soon as one knows of a better way. How to reconcile these two consciences: that of the man who does not want to confine his fidelity to truth within his own four walls; and that of the doctor who must cure, or if he dare not cure according to his real convictions (owing to opportunist-motives), must at least procure some alleviation? We live in the present, but with the ideas and ideals of the future. That is our conflict. How resolve it?
From Dr. Jung.
4th February, 1913.
You have put me in some perplexity by the questions in your yesterday's letter. You have rightly grasped the spirit which dictated my last. I am glad you, too, recognise this spirit. There are not very many who can boast of such tolerance. I should deceive myself if I regarded my standpoint as that of a practical physician. First and foremost I am a scientist; naturally that gives me a different outlook upon many problems. In my last letter I certainly left out of count the doctor's practical needs, but chiefly that I might show you on what grounds we might be moved to relinquish hypnotic therapy. To remove the first objection at once, let me say that I did not give up hypnotism because I desired to avoid dealing with the basic motives of the human soul, but rather because I wanted to battle with them directly and openly. When once I understood what kind of forces play a part in hypnotism I gave it up, simply to get rid of all the indirect advantages of this method. As we psychoanalysts see regretfully every day—and our patients also—we do not work with the "transference to the doctor" but against it and in spite of it. It is just not upon the faith of the sick man that we can build, but upon his criticism. So much would I say at the outset upon this delicate question.
As your letter shows, we are at one in regard to the theoretical aspect of treatment by suggestion. So we can now apply ourselves to the further task of coming to mutual understanding about the practical question.
Your remarks on the physician's dilemma—whether to be magician or scientist—bring us to the heart of the discussion. I strive to be no fanatic—although there are not a few who reproach me with fanaticism. I contend not for the application of the psychoanalytic method solely and at all costs, but for the recognition of every method of investigation and treatment. I was a medical practitioner quite long enough to realise that practice obeys, and should obey, other laws than does the search after truth. One might almost say practice must first and foremost submit to the laws of opportunism. The scientist does great injustice to the practitioner if he reproaches him for not using the "one true" scientific method. As I said to you in my last letter: "A truth is a truth, when it works." But on the other hand, the practitioner must not reproach the scientist if in his search for truth and for newer and better methods, he makes trial of unusual ways. After all, it is not the practitioner but the investigator, and the latter's patient, who will have to bear any injury that may arise. The practitioner must certainly use those methods which he knows how to use to greatest advantage, and which give him the best relative results. My tolerance, indeed, extends, as you see, even to Christian Science. But I deem it most uncalled for that Frank, a practising doctor, should depreciate research in which he cannot participate, and particularly the very line of research to which he owes his own method. It is surely time to cease this running down of every new idea. No one asks Frank and all whom he represents to become psychoanalysts; we grant them the right to their existence, why should they always seek to cut ours short?
As my own "cures" show you, I do not doubt the effect of suggestion. Only I had the idea that I could perhaps discover something still better. This hope has been amply justified. Not for ever shall it be said—
"The good attained, is oft of fairer still
The enemy, calling it vain illusion, falsehood's snare."
I confess frankly were I doing your work I should often be in difficulties if I relied only on psychoanalysis. I can scarcely imagine a general practice, especially in a sanatorium, with no other means than psychoanalysis. At Dr. Bircher's sanatorium in Zürich the principle of psychoanalysis is adopted completely, by several of the assistants, but a whole series of other important educative influences are also brought to bear upon the patients, without which matters would probably go very badly. In my own purely psychoanalytic practice I have often regretted that I could not avail myself of the other methods of re-education that are naturally at hand in an institution—this, of course, only in special cases where one is dealing with extremely uncontrolled, uneducated persons. Which of us has shown any disposition to assert that we have discovered a panacea? There are cases in which psychoanalysis operates less effectively than any other known method. But who has ever claimed psychoanalysis should be employed in every sort of case, and on every occasion? Only a fanatic could maintain such a view. Patients for whom psychoanalysis is suitable have to be selected. I unhesitatingly send cases I think unsuitable to other doctors. As a matter of fact this does not happen often, because patients have a way of sorting themselves out. Those who go to an analyst usually know quite well why they go to him and not to some one else. However, there are very many neurotics well suited for psychoanalysis. In these matters every scheme must be looked at in due perspective. It is never quite wise to try to batter down a stone wall with your head. Whether simple hypnotism, the cathartic treatment, or psychoanalysis shall be used, must be determined by the conditions of the case and the preference of the particular doctor. Every doctor will obtain the best results with the instrument he knows best.
But, barring exceptions, I must say definitely that for me and for my patients also, psychoanalysis proves itself better than any other method. This is not merely a matter of feeling; from manifold experiences I know many cases can indeed be cured by psychoanalysis which are refractory to all other methods of treatment. I have many colleagues whose experience is the same, even men engaged altogether in practice. It is scarcely to be supposed that a method altogether contemptible would meet with so much support.
When once psychoanalysis has been applied in a suitable case, it is imperative that rational solutions of the conflicts should be found. The objection is at once advanced that many conflicts are intrinsically incapable of solution. That view is sometimes taken because only an external solution is thought of—and that, at bottom is no real solution at all. If a man cannot get on with his wife he naturally thinks the conflict would be solved if he were to marry some one else. If such marriages are examined they are seen to be no solution whatsoever. The old Adam enters upon the new marriage and bungles it just as badly as he did the earlier one. A real solution comes only from within, and only then because the patient has been brought to a new standpoint.
Where an external solution is possible no psychoanalysis is necessary; in seeking an internal solution we encounter the peculiar virtues of psychoanalysis. The conflict between "love and duty" must be solved upon that particular plane of character where "love and duty" are no longer in opposition, for indeed they really are not so. The familiar conflict between "instinct and conventional morality" must be solved in such a way that both factors are taken satisfactorily into account, and this is only possible through a change of character. This change psychoanalysis can bring about. In such cases external solutions are worse than none at all. Naturally the particular situation dictates which road the doctor must ultimately follow, and what is then his duty. I regard the conscience-searching question of the doctor's remaining true to his scientific convictions, as rather unimportant in comparison with the incomparably weightier question as to how he can best help his patient. The doctor must, on occasion, be able to play the augur. Mundus vult decipi—but the cure is no deception. It is true there is a conflict between ideal conviction and concrete possibility. But we should ill prepare the ground for the seed of the future, were we to forget the tasks of the present, and seek only to cultivate ideals. That is but idle dreaming. Do not forget that Kepler cast horoscopes for money, and that countless artists have been condemned to work for wages.
From Dr. Loÿ.
9th February, 1913.
The selfsame passion for truth possesses us both when we think of pure research, and the same desire to cure when we are considering therapy. For the scientist, as for the doctor, we desire the fullest freedom in all directions, fullest freedom to select and use the methods which promise the best fulfilment of their ends at any moment. Here we are at one; but there remains a postulate we must establish to the satisfaction of others if we want recognition for our views.
First and foremost there is a question that must be answered, an old question asked already in the Gospels: What is Truth? I think clear definitions of fundamental ideas are most necessary. How shall we contrive a working definition of the conception "Truth"? Perhaps an allegory may help us.
Imagine a gigantic prism extending in front of the sun, so that its rays are broken up, but suppose man entirely ignorant of this fact. I exclude the invisible, chemical and ultra-violet rays. Men who live in a blue-lit region will say: "The sun sends forth blue light only." They are right and yet they are wrong: from their standpoint they are capable of perceiving only a fragment of truth. And so too with the inhabitants of the red, yellow, and in-between regions. And they will all scourge and slay one another to force their belief in their fragment upon the others—till, grown wiser through travelling in each others' regions, they come to the harmonious agreement that the sun sends out light of varying colours. That comprehends more truth, but it is not yet the Truth. Only when a giant lens shall have re-combined the split-up rays and when the invisible, chemical and heat rays have given proof of their own specific effects, will a view more in accordance with the facts be able to arise, and men will perceive that the sun emits white light which is split up by the prism into differing rays with different peculiarities, which rays can be recombined by the lens into one mass of white light.
This example shows sufficiently well that the road to Truth leads through far-reaching and comparative observations, the results of which must be controlled by the help of freely chosen experiments, until well-grounded hypotheses and theories can be put forward; but these hypotheses and theories will fall to the ground as soon as a single new observation or experiment contradicts them.
The way is difficult, and in the end all man ever attains to is relative truth. But such relative truth suffices for the time being, if it serves to explain the most important actual concatenations of the past, to light up present problems, to predict those of the future, so that we are then in a position to achieve adaptation through our knowledge. But absolute truth could be accessible only to omniscience, aware of all possible concatenations and combinations; that is not possible, for the concatenations and their combinations are infinite. Accordingly, we shall never know more than an approximate truth. Should now relationships be discovered, new combinations built up, then the picture changes, and with it the entire possibilities in knowledge and power. To what revolutions in daily life does not every new scientific discovery lead: how absurdly little was the beginning of our first ideas of electricity, how inconceivably great the results! Time and again it is necessary to repeat this commonplace, because one sees how life is always made bitter for the innovators in every scientific field, and now is it being made especially so for the disciples of the psychoanalytic school. Of course, every one admits the truth of this platitude so long as it is a matter of "academic" discussion, but only so long; just as soon as a concrete case has to be considered, sympathies and antipathies rush into the foreground and darken judgment. And therefore the scientist must fight tirelessly, appealing to logic and honour, for freedom of research in every field, and must not permit authority, of no matter what political or religious tinge, to advance reasons of opportunism to destroy or restrict this freedom; opportunist reasons may be and are in place elsewhere, not here. Finally we must completely disavow that maxim of the Middle Ages: "Philosophia ancilla Theologiæ" and no less, too, the war-cries of the university class-rooms with their partisanship of one or other religious or political party. All fanaticism is the enemy of science, which must above all things be independent.
And when we turn from the search for Truth back once more to therapeutics, we see immediately that here too we are in agreement. In practice expediency must rule: the doctor from the yellow region must adapt himself to the sick in the yellow region, as must the doctor in blue region to his patients; both have the same object in view. And the doctor who lives in the white light of the sun, must take into consideration the past experiences of his patients from the yellow or blue region, in spite of, or perhaps rather because of, his own wider knowledge. In such cases the way to healing will be long and difficult, may indeed lead more easily into a cul-de-sac, than in cases where he has to do with patients who, like himself, have already come to a knowledge of the white sunlight, or, one might say, when his patient-material has "already sorted itself out." With such sorted-out material the psychoanalyst can employ psychoanalysis exclusively; and may deem himself happy in that he need not "play the augur." Now, what are these psychoanalytic methods? If I understand you aright, from beginning to end it is a question of dealing directly and openly with the basic forces of the human soul, so that the analysed person, be he sick or sound or in some stage between for health and sickness flow over by imperceptible degrees into one another shall gradually have his eyes opened to the drama that is being acted within him. He has to come to an understanding of the development of the hostile automatisms of his personality, and by means of this understanding he must gradually learn to free himself from them; he must learn, too, how to employ and strengthen the favourable automatisms. He must learn to make his self-knowledge real, and of practical use, to control his soul's workings so that a balance may be established between the spheres of emotion and reason. And what share in all this has the physician's suggestion? I can scarcely believe that suggestion can be altogether avoided till the patient feels himself really free. Such freedom, it goes without saying, is the main thing to strive for, and it must be active. The sick man who simply obeys a suggestion, obeys it only just so long as the "transference to the doctor" remains potent.
But if he wishes to be able to adjust himself to all circumstances he must have fortified himself "from within." He should no longer need the crutches of faith, but be capable of encountering all theoretical and practical problems squarely, and of solving them by himself. That is surely your view? Or have I not understood correctly?
I next ask, must not every single case be treated differently, of course within the limits of the psychoanalytic method. For if every case is a case by itself, it must indeed demand individual treatment.
"II n'y a pas de maladies, il n'y a que des malades," said a French doctor whose name escapes me. But on broad lines, what course, from a technical point of view, does analysis take, and what deviations occur most frequently? That I would gladly learn from you. I take for granted that all "augurs' tricks," darkened rooms, masquerading, chloroform, are out of the question.
Psychoanalysis—purged so far as is humanly possible from suggestive influence—appears to have an essential difference from Dubois' psychotherapy. With Dubois, from the beginning conversation about the past is forbidden, and "the moral reasons for recovery" placed in the forefront; whilst psychoanalysis uses the subconscious material from the patient's past as well as present, for present self-understanding. Another difference lies in the conception of morality: morals are above all "relative." But what essential forms shall they assume at those moments when one can hardly avoid suggestion? You will say, the occasion must decide. Agreed, as regards older people, or adults, who have to live in an unenlightened milieu. But if one is dealing with children, the seed of the future, is it not a sacred duty to enlighten them as to the shaky foundations of the so-called "moral" conceptions of the past, which have only a dogmatic basis; is it not a duty to educate them into full freedom by courageously unveiling Truth? I ask this not so much with regard to the analysing doctor as to the teacher. May not the creation of free schools be looked for as one task for the psychoanalyst?
From Dr. Jung.
11th February, 1913.
The idea of the relativity of "Truth" has been current for ages, but whether true or not, it does not stand in the way of anything save the beliefs of dogma and authority.
You ask me, or indeed tell me—what psychoanalysis is. Before considering your views, permit me first to try and mark out the territory and definition of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is primarily just a method—but a method complying with all the rigorous demands insisted upon to-day by the conception "method." Let it be made plain at once that psychoanalysis is not an anamnesis, as those who know everything without learning are pleased to believe. It is essentially a method for the exploration of the unconscious associations, into which no question of the conscious self enters. Again, it is not a kind of examination of the nature of an intelligence test, though this mistake is common in certain circles. It is no cathartic method, abreacting real and phantastic "traumata," with or without hypnosis. Psychoanalysis is a method which makes possible the analytic reduction of the psychic content to its simplest expression, and the discovery of the line of least resistance in the development of a harmonious personality. In neurosis, straightforward direction of life's energies is lacking, because opposing tendencies traverse and hinder psychological adaptation. Psychoanalysis, so far as our present knowledge of it goes, thus appears to be simply a rational nerve-therapy.
For the technical application of psychoanalysis no programme can be formulated. There are only general principles, and, for the individual case, working rules. (Here let me refer you to Freud's work in volume I. of the Internationale Zeitschrift fur Ärztliche Psychoanalyse.) My one working rule is to conduct the analysis as a perfectly ordinary, sensible conversation, and to avoid all appearance of medical magic.
The leading principle of the psychoanalytic technique is to analyse the psychic material which offers itself then and there. Every interference on the part of the analyst, with the object of inducing the analysis to follow some systematic course, is a gross mistake in technique. So-called chance is the law and the order of psychoanalysis.
Naturally in the beginning of the analysis the anamnesis and the diagnosis come first. The subsequent analytic process develops quite differently in every case. To give rules is well-nigh impossible. All one can say is that very frequently, quite at the beginning, a series of resistances have to be overcome, resistances against both method and man. Patients having no idea of psychoanalysis must first be given some understanding of the method. In those who already know something of it, there are very often many misconceptions to set right, and frequently one has to deal also with many reproaches cast by scientific criticism. In either case the misconceptions rest upon arbitrary interpretations, superficiality, or complete ignorance of the facts.
If the patient is himself a doctor his special knowledge may prove extremely tiresome. To intelligent colleagues it is best to give a complete theoretic exposition. With foolish and limited persons you begin quietly with analysis. In the unconscious of such folk there is a confederate that never refuses help. From the analysis of the very earliest dreams the emptiness of the criticism is obvious; and ultimately of the whole beautiful edifice of supposedly scientific scepticism nothing remains, save a little heap of personal vanity. I have had amusing experiences here.
It is best to let the patient talk freely and to confine oneself to pointing out connexions here and there. When the conscious material is exhausted we come to the dreams, which furnish us with the subliminal material. If people have no dreams, as they allege, or if they forget them, there is usually still some conscious material that ought to be produced and discussed, but is kept back owing to resistances. When the conscious is emptied then come the dreams, which are indeed, as you know, the chief material of the analysis.
How the "Analysis" is to be made and what is to be said to patients depends, firstly, upon the material to be dealt with; secondly, on the doctor's skill; and, thirdly, on the patient's capacity. I must insist that no one ought to undertake analysis except on the basis of a sound knowledge of the subject, that necessitates an intimate understanding of the existing literature. Without this, the work may be bungled. I do not know what else to tell you beforehand. I must wait for further questions. In regard to questions of morality and education let me say that these belong to the later stages of the analysis, wherein they find—or should find—solutions for themselves. You cannot compile recipes out of psychoanalysis.
From Dr. Loÿ.
10th February, 1913.
You write that a solid knowledge of the psychoanalytic literature is necessary for an initiation into psychoanalysis. I should agree, but with a certain reservation: the more one reads the more one notices how many contradictions there are among the different writers, and less and less does one know until one has had sufficient personal experience to which view to give adherence, since quite frequently assertions are made without any proof. For example, I had thought (strengthened in the view by my own experience of suggestion-therapy) that the transference to the doctor might be an essential condition in the patient's cure. But you write: "We psychoanalysts do not build upon the patient's faith, rather do we have to deal with his criticism." And Stekel writes, on the other hand (Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 3rd year, vol. IV., p. 176, "Ausgänge der psychoanalytischen Kuren"): "Love for the doctor can become a power essential to recovery. Neurotics never get well for love of themselves. They recover out of love for the doctor. They give him that pleasure." Here again, surely, stress is laid on the power of suggestion? And yet Stekel too thinks he is a psychoanalyst pure and simple. On the other hand, you say in your letter of Jan. 20th that "the doctor's personality is one of the main factors in the cure." Should not this expression be translated: "When the doctor inspires respect in the patient and is worthy of his love, the patient will gladly follow his example and endeavour to recover from his neurosis and fulfil his human duties in the widest sense"? I think one can only emerge from all this uncertainty by means of much personal experience, which will indicate also which way best suits one's own personality and brings the greatest therapeutic success. This is a further reason for undergoing analysis oneself, to recognise fully what one is. I was decidedly in agreement with your definition of psychoanalysis in its first (negative) portion: psychoanalysis is neither an anamnesis nor a method of examination after the fashion of a test for intelligence, nor yet a psychocatharsis. In your second (positive) part, however, your definition: "Psychoanalysis is a method of discovering the line of least resistance to the harmonious development of the whole personality," seems to me valid for the patient's inertia, but not for the releasing of the sublimated libido with a view to the new direction of life. You consider that the neurosis causes a lack of singleness of aim in life, because opposing tendencies hinder psychic adaptation. True, but will not this psychic adaptation eventuate quite differently according as the patient, when well, directs his life either to the avoidance of pain merely (line of least resistance) or to the achievement of the greatest pleasure?—In the first case he would be more passive, he would merely reconcile himself "to the emptiness of reality" (Stekel, loc. cit., p. 187). In the second he would be "filled with enthusiasm" for something or other or some person or other. But what will determine this choice of his as to whether he will be passive rather than active in his "second life"? In your view, will the determining factor manifest itself spontaneously in the course of the analysis, and must the doctor carefully avoid swaying the balance to one side or other by his influence? Or must he, if he does not renounce the right to canalise the patient's libido in some particular direction, renounce the right to be called a psychoanalyst, and is he to be regarded as "moderate" or altogether as "wild"? (Cf. Furtmüller, "Wandlungen in der Freudschen Schule," Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, vols. IV., V., 3rd year, p. 191.) But I think you have already answered this question, since in your last letter you write: "Every interference on the part of the analyst is a gross mistake in technique. So-called chance is the law and the order of psychoanalysis." But, torn from its context, perhaps this does not quite give your whole meaning. With regard to detailed explanation of the psychoanalytic method before the beginning of the analysis, I think you agree with Freud and Stekel: give too little rather than too much. For the knowledge instilled into a patient remains more or less half-knowledge, and half-knowledge engenders "the desire to know better" (than the analyst), which only impedes progress. So, after brief explanation, first "let the patient talk," then and there point out connexions, then after the exhaustion of the conscious material, take dreams.
But there another difficulty confronts me which I have already pointed out in our talks: you find the patient adapting himself to the doctor's tone, language, jargon, whether from conscious imitation, transference, or even resistance, when he can fight the analyst with his own weapons; how then can you possibly prevent his beginning to produce all manner of phantasies as supposedly real traumata of early childhood, and dreams supposedly spontaneous which are in reality, though not designedly, directly or indirectly suggested? I then told you that Forel ("Der Hypnotismus") made his patients dream just what he wanted, and I have myself easily repeated the experiment. But if the analyst desires to suggest nothing, should he remain silent for the most part and let the patient speak except that in interpreting dreams he may lay before the patient his own interpretation?
From Dr. Jung.
18th February, 1913.
I cannot but agree with your observation that confusion reigns in psychoanalytic literature. Just at this moment different points of view are developing in the theoretical conception of the analytic results; not to mention many individual deviations. Over against Freud's almost purely causal conception, there has developed, apparently in absolute contradiction, Adler's purely final view, but in reality the latter is an essential complement of Freud's theory. I hold rather to a middle course, taking into account both standpoints. That discord still reigns round the ultimate questions of psychoanalysis need not surprise us when we consider the difficulty. The problem of the therapeutic effect of psychoanalysis is bound up in particular with supremely difficult questions, so that it would indeed be astonishing if we had yet reached final certitude. Stekel's statement to which you refer is very characteristic. What he says about love for the doctor is obviously true, but it is a simple affirmation, and not a goal or plumb-line of the analytic therapy. If his statement were the goal, many cures, it is true, would be possible, but also many calamities might result which are avoidable. But the aim is so to educate the patient, that he will get well for his own sake and by reason of his own determination, rather than to procure his doctor some sort of advantage; though of course it would he absurd from the therapeutic standpoint not to allow the patient to get better because in doing so he does the doctor a good turn also. It suffices if the patient knows it. But we must not prescribe for him which path he should take to recovery. Naturally it seems to me (from the psychoanalytic standpoint) an inadmissible use of suggestive influence if the patient is compelled to get better out of love for the doctor. And indeed such compulsion may sometimes take bitter revenge. The "you must and shall be saved" is no more to be commended in nerve-therapy than in any other department of life. It contradicts the principle of analytic treatment, which shuns all coercion and desires to let everything grow up from within. I do not, as you know, object to influencing by use of suggestion in general, but merely to a doubtful motivation. If the doctor demands that his patient shall get well from love of himself, the patient may easily reckon on reciprocal services and will without doubt try to extort them. I can but utter a warning against any such method. A far stronger motive for recovery—also a far healthier and ethically more valuable one—consists in the patient's thorough insight into the real state of affairs, the recognition of how things are now and how they ought to be. The man of any sort of worth will then discern that he can hardly sit down at ease in the quagmire of his neurosis.
With your rendering of what I said about the healing power of personality I cannot entirely agree. I wrote that the doctor's personality has a power for healing because the patient reads the doctor's personality: not that he produces a cure through love of the doctor. The doctor cannot prevent the patient's beginning to behave himself towards his conflicts just as the doctor himself behaves, for nothing is finer than a neurotic's intuition. But every strong transference serves this same purpose. If the doctor makes himself charming he buys off from the patient a series of resistances which he should have overcome, and whose overcoming will certainly have to be gone through later on. Nothing is won by this technique; at most the beginning of the analysis is made easy for the patient (though this is not quite without its use in certain cases). To be able to crawl through a barbed wire fence without some enticing end in view testifies to an ascetic strength of will which you can expect neither from the ordinary person nor from the neurotic. Even the Christian religion, whose moral demands certainly reached a great height, thought it no scorn to represent the near approach of the Kingdom of Heaven as goal and reward of earthly pain. In my view, the doctor may well speak of the rewards which follow the toils of analysis. But he must not depict himself or his friendship, in hints or promises as reward, if he is not seriously determined to keep his word.
In regard to your criticism of my outline-definition of the conception of psychoanalysis, it must be observed that the road over the steep mountain is the line of least resistance only when a ferocious bull waits for you in the pleasant valley-road. In other words, the line of least resistance is a compromise with all demands, and not with inertia alone. It is prejudice to think that the line of least resistance coincides with the path of inertia. (That's what we thought in the days when we dawdled over Latin exercises.) Inertia is only an immediate advantage and leads to consequences which produce the worst resistances; as a whole, it does not lie in the direction of least resistance. Life along the line of least resistance is not synonymous with a man's regardless pursuit of his own egoistic desires. He who lives thus, soon painfully perceives that he is not moving along the line of least resistance, for he is also a social being, and not merely a bundle of egoistic instincts, as some people rather like to depict him. This is best seen among primitive men and herd-animals, who all have a richly developed social sense. Without it, indeed, the herd could not exist at all. Man as herd-animal has therefore by no manner of means to subject himself to laws enforced on him from without; he carries his social imperatives within himself, a priori, as an inborn necessity. As you see, I here put myself in decided opposition to certain views—I think quite unjustified—which have been put forth here and there inside the psychoanalytic movement.
So the line of least resistance does not signify eo ipso the avoidance of unpleasure so much as the just balancing of unpleasure and pleasure. Painful activity by itself leads to no result but exhaustion. Man must be able to take pleasure in his life, or the struggle of life has no reward. What direction the patient's future life should take is not ours to judge. We must not imagine we know better than his own nature—or we prove ourselves educators of the worst kind. Psychoanalysis is but a means of removing stones from the path, and in no way a method (as hypnotism often pretends to be) of putting anything into the patient which was not there before. So we renounce any attempt to give a direction, and occupy ourselves only with setting in proper relief all that analysis brings into the light of day, in order that the patient may see clearly, and be in a position to draw the appropriate conclusions. Anything that he has not himself won, he does not in the long run believe in; and all that he has received from authority keeps him still infantile. He must rather be put in such a position as will enable him to take control of his own life. It is the art of the psychoanalyst to follow the patient's apparently mistaken paths without prejudice, and thus to discover his strayed and separated sheep. Working on a system, according to a preconceived scheme, we spoil the best results of the analysis. So I hold fast to the maxim you quote from me: "Every interference on the part of the analyst is a gross mistake in technique. So-called chance is the law and the order of psychoanalysis."
You surely recognise that the schoolmaster-view never releases us from the attempt to correct Nature and the desire to force upon her our limited "truths." In nerve-therapy we get so many wonderful experiences—unforeseen and impossible to foresee—that surely we ought to dismiss all hope of being infallibly able to point out the right path. The roundabout way and even the wrong way are necessary. If you deny this you must also deny that the errors in the history of the whole world have been necessary. That indeed were a world-conception fit for a schoolmaster. For psychoanalysis this view suits not at all.
The question as to how much the analyst involuntarily suggests to the patient is a very ticklish one. Undoubtedly that has a much more important place than psychoanalysts have till now admitted. Experience has convinced us that the patient rapidly avails himself of the ideas won through the analysis, and of whatever comes to light through the shaping of the dreams. You may obtain all manner of such impressions from Stekel's book: "Die Sprache des Traumes" ("The Language of the Dream"). I had once a most instructive experience: a very intelligent lady had from the beginning extreme transference phantasies which appeared in well-recognised erotic forms. Nevertheless she entirely declined to admit their existence. Of course she was betrayed by the dreams in which my own person was hidden behind some other figure, and often difficult to unveil. A long series of such dreams forced me at last to say: "So you see it is always like that, and the person of whom one has really dreamt is replaced and hidden by some one else in the manifest dream." Till then the patient had obstinately contested this point. But this time she could no longer evade it, and had to admit my rule—but only that she might play me a trick. Next day she brought me a dream in which she and I appeared in a manifest lascivious situation. I was naturally perplexed and thought of my rule. Her first association to the dream was the malicious question: "It's always true, isn't it, that the person of whom one is really dreaming is replaced by some one else in the manifest dream-content?"
Clearly, she had made use of her experience to find a protective formula by means of which she secured the open expression of her phantasies in an apparently innocent way.
This example aptly shows how patients avail themselves of insight gained during analysis; they use it symbolically. You get caught in your own net if you give credence to the idea of unalterable, permanent symbols. That has already happened to more than one psychoanalyst. It is therefore fallacious to try to prove any particular theory from the dreams arising in the course of analysis. For this purpose the only conclusive dreams are those derived from demonstrably uninfluenced persons. In such cases one would only have to exclude the possibility of telepathic thought-reading. But if you concede this possibility you will have to subject very many things to a rigorous reexamination and, among others, many judicial verdicts.
But although we must do full justice to the force of suggestion, we must not overrate it. The patient is no empty sack into which you may stuff whatever you like; on the contrary, he brings his own predetermined contents which strive obstinately against suggestion and always obtrude themselves afresh. Through analytic "suggestions," only the outward form is determined, never the content—this is always being freshly impressed upon my notice. The form is the unlimited, the ever-changing; but the content is fixed, and only to be assailed slowly and with great difficulty. Were it not so, suggestion therapy would be in every respect the most effective, profitable, and easiest therapy,—a real panacea. That, alas! it is not, as every honourable hypnotist will freely admit.
To return to your question as to how far it is conceivable that patients may deceive the doctor by making use—perhaps involuntarily—of his expressions: this is indeed a very serious problem. The analyst must exercise all possible care and practise unsparing self-criticism if he would avoid, as far as possible, being led into error by patients' dreams. It may be admitted that they almost always use modes of expression in their dreams learnt in analysis—some more, some less. Interpretations of earlier symbols will themselves be used again as fresh symbols in later dreams. It happens not seldom, for instance, that sexual situations which appear in symbolic form in the earlier dreams, will appear "undisguised" in later ones, and here again they are the symbolic expression of ideas of another character capable of further analysis. The not infrequent dream of incestuous cohabitation is by no means an "undisguised" content, but a dream as freshly symbolic and capable of analysis as all others. You surely only reach the paradoxical view that such a dream is "undisguised" if you are pledged to the sexual theory of neurosis.
That the patient may mislead the doctor for a longer or shorter time by means of deliberate deception and misrepresentation is possible; just as occasionally happens in all other departments of medicine. Therewith the patient injures himself most, since he has to pay for every deception or suppression, with aggravated or additional symptoms. Deceptions are so obviously disadvantageous to himself that in the end he can scarcely avoid the definite relinquishment of such a course.
The technique of analysis we can best postpone for oral discussion.
From Dr. Loÿ.
23rd February, 1913.
From your letter of 16th February I want first to single out the end, where you so admirably assign to its proper place the power of suggestion in psychoanalysis: "The patient is no empty sack, into which you can cram what you will; he brings his own predetermined content with him, with which one has always to reckon afresh." With this I fully agree, my own experience confirms it. And you add: "This content remains untouched by involuntary analytical suggestion, but its form is altered, proteus-fashion, beyond measure." So it becomes a matter of a sort of "mimicry" by which the patient seeks to escape the analyst, who is driving him into a corner and therefore for the moment seems to him an enemy. Until at last, through the joint work of patient and analyst—the former spontaneously yielding up his psychic content, the latter only interpreting and explaining—the analysis succeeds in bringing so much light into the darkness of the patient's psyche that he can see the true relationships and, without any preconceived plan of the analyst's, can himself draw the right conclusions and apply them to his future life. This new life will betake itself along the line of least resistance—or should we not rather say, the least resistances, as a "compromise with all the necessities," in a just balancing of pleasure and unpleasure? It is not we who must arbitrarily seek to determine how matters stand for the patient and what will benefit him; his own nature decides. In other words, we must assume the rôle of the accoucheur who can bring out into the light of day a child already alive, but who must avoid a series of mistakes if the child is to remain able to live and the mother is not to be injured. All this is very clear to me, since it is only the application to the psychoanalytic method of a general principle which should have universal validity: never do violence to Nature. Hence I also see that the psychoanalyst must follow his patient's apparently "wrong roads" if the patient is ever to arrive at his own convictions and be freed once and for all from infantile reliance on authority. We ourselves as individuals have learnt, or can only learn, by making mistakes, how to avoid them for the future, and mankind as a whole has created the conditions of its present and future stages of development quite as much by frequent travel along wrong paths as along the right road. Have not many neurotics—I do not know if you will agree, but I think so—become ill partly for the very reason that their infantile faith in authority has fallen to pieces? Now they stand before the wreckage of their faith, weeping over it, in dire distress because they cannot find a substitute which shall show them clearly whither their life's course should now turn. So they remain stuck fast betwixt infancy which they must unwillingly renounce, and the serious duties of the present and future (the moral conflict). I see, particularly in such cases, you are right in saying it is a mistake to seek to replace the lost faith in authority by another similar faith, certain to be useful only so long as the belief lasted. This applies to the deliberate use of suggestion in psychoanalysis, and the building upon the transference to the doctor as the object of the analytic therapy. I am no longer in doubt about your maxim: "Every interference on the analyst's part is a gross mistake in technique. So-called chance is the law and the order of psychoanalysis." Further, I am entirely in agreement with you when you say that altruism necessarily must be innate in man considered as a herd-animal. The contrary would be the thing to be wondered at.
I should be much disposed to agree that not the egoistic, but the altruistic instincts are primary. Love and trust of the child for the mother who feeds it, nurses, cherishes and pets it,—love of the man for his wife, regarded as the going out towards another's personality,—love for offspring, care for it,—love for kinsfolk, etc. The egoistic instincts owe their origin to the desire for exclusive possession of all that surrounds love, the desire to possess the mother exclusively, in opposition to the father and the brothers and sisters, the desire to have a woman for himself alone, the desire to possess exclusively ornaments, clothing, etc. But perhaps you will say I am paradoxical and that the instincts, egoistic or altruistic, arise together in the heart of man, and that every instinct is ambivalent in nature. But I have to ask if the feelings and instincts are really ambivalent? Are they exactly bipolar? Are the qualities of all emotions altogether comparable? Is love really the opposite of hate?
However that may be, in any case it is well that man bears the social law within himself, as an inborn imperative; otherwise our civilised humanity would fare badly, having to subject themselves to laws imposed on them from outside only: they would be impervious to the inheritance of the earlier religious faiths, and would soon fall into complete anarchy. Man would then have to ask himself whether it would not be better to maintain by force an extreme belief in religious authority such as prevailed in the Middle Ages. For the benefits of civilisation, which strove to grant every individual as much outward freedom as was consistent with the freedom of others, would be well worth the sacrifice of free research. But the age of this use of force against nature is past, civilised man has left this wrong track behind, not arbitrarily, but obeying an inner necessity, and we may look joyfully towards the future. Mankind, advancing in knowledge, will find its way across the ruins of faith in authority to the moral autonomy of the individual.
From Dr. Jung.
At various places in your letters it has struck me that the problem of "transference" seems to you particularly critical. Your feeling is entirely justified. The transference is indeed at present the central problem of analysis.
You know that Freud regards the transference as the projection of infantile phantasies upon the doctor. To this extent the transference is an infantile-erotic relationship. All the same, viewed from the outside, superficially, the thing by no means always looks like an infantile-erotic situation. As long as it is a question of the so-called "positive" transference, the infantile-erotic character can usually be recognised without difficulty. But if it is a "negative" transference, you can see nothing but violent resistances which sometimes veil themselves in seemingly critical or sceptical dress. In a certain sense the determining factor in such circumstances is the patient's relation to authority, that is, in the last resort, to the father. In both forms of transference the doctor is treated as if he were the father—according to the situation either tenderly or with hostility. In this view the transference has the force of a resistance as soon as it becomes a question of resolving the infantile attitude. But this form of transference must be destroyed, inasmuch as the object of analysis is the patient's moral autonomy. A lofty aim, you will say. Indeed lofty, and far off, but still not altogether so remote, since it actually corresponds to one of the predominating tendencies of our stage of civilisation, namely, that urge towards individualisation by which our whole epoch deserves to be characterised. (Cf. Müller-Lyer: "Die Familie.") If a man does not believe in this orientation and still bows before the scientific causal view-point, he will, of course, be disposed merely to resolve this hostility, and to let the patient remain in a positive relationship towards the father, thus expressing the ideal of an earlier epoch of civilisation. It is commonly recognised that the Catholic Church represents one of the most powerful organisations based upon this earlier tendency. I cannot venture to doubt that there are very many individuals who feel happier under compulsion from others than when forced to discipline themselves. (Cf. Shaw: "Man and Superman.") None the less, we do our neurotic patients a grievous wrong if we try to force them all into the category of the unfree. Among neurotics, there are not a few who do not require any reminders of their social duties and obligations; rather are they born or destined to become the bearers of new social ideals. They are neurotic so long as they bow down to authority and refuse the freedom to which they are destined. Whilst we look at life only retrospectively, as is the case in the Viennese psychoanalytic writings, we shall never do justice to this type of case and never bring the longed-for deliverance. For in that fashion we can only educate them to become obedient children, and thereby strengthen the very forces that have made them ill—their conservative retardation and their submissiveness to authority. Up to a certain point this is the right way to take with the infantile resistance which cannot yet reconcile itself with authority. But the power which edged them out from their retrograde dependence on the father is not at all a childish desire for insubordination, but the powerful urge towards the development of an individual personality, and this struggle is their imperative life's task. Adler's psychology does much greater justice to this situation than Freud's
In the one case (that of infantile intractability) the positive transference signifies a highly important achievement, heralding cure; in the other (infantile submissiveness) it portends a dangerous backsliding, a convenient evasion of life's duty. The negative transference represents in the first case an increased resistance, thus a backsliding and an evasion of duty, but in the second it is an advance of healing significance. (For the two types, cf. Adler's "Trotz und Gehorsam.")
The transference then is, as you see, to be judged quite differently in different cases.
The psychological process of "transference"—be it negative or positive—consists in the libido entrenching itself, as it were, round the personality of the doctor, the doctor accordingly representing certain emotional values. (As you know, by libido I understand very much what Antiquity meant by the cosmogenic principle of Eros; in modern terminology simply "psychic energy.") The patient is bound to the doctor, be it in affection, be it in opposition, and cannot fail to follow and imitate the doctor's psychic adaptations. To this he finds himself urgently compelled. And with the best will in the world and all technical skill, the doctor cannot prevent him, for intuition works surely and instinctively, in despite of the conscious judgment, be it never so strong. Were the doctor himself neurotic, and inadequate in response to the demands of the external life, or inharmonious within, the patient would copy the defect and build it up into the fabric of his own presentations: you may imagine the result.
Accordingly I cannot regard the transference as merely the transference of infantile-erotic phantasies; no doubt that is what it is from one standpoint, but I see also in it, as I said in an earlier letter, the process of the growth of feeling and adaptation. From this standpoint the infantile erotic phantasies, in spite of their indisputable reality, appear rather as material for comparison or as analogous pictures of something not understood as yet, than as independent desires. This seems to me the real reason of their being unconscious. The patient, not knowing the right attitude, tries to grasp at a right relationship to the doctor by way of comparison and analogy with his infantile experiences. It is not surprising that he gropes back for just the most intimate relations of his childhood, to discover the appropriate formula for his attitude to the doctor, for this relationship also is very intimate, and to some extent different from the sexual relationship, just as is that of the child towards its parents. This relationship—child to parent—which Christianity has everywhere set up as the symbolic formula for human relationships, provides a way of restoring to the patient that directness of ordinary human emotion of which he had been deprived through the inroad of sexual and social values (from the standpoint of power, etc.). The purely sexual, more or less primitive and barbaric valuation, operates in far-reaching ways against a direct, simple human relationship, and thereupon a blocking of the libido occurs which easily gives rise to neurotic formations. By means of analysis of the infantile portion of the transference-phantasies, the patient is brought back to the remembrance of his childhood's relationship, and this—stripped of its infantile qualities—gives him a beautiful, clear picture of direct human intercourse as opposed to the purely sexual valuation. I cannot regard it as other than a misconception to judge the childish relationship retrospectively and therefore as exclusively a sexual one, even though a certain sexual content can in no wise be denied to it.
Recapitulating, let me say this much of the positive transference:—
The patient's libido fastens upon the person of the doctor, taking the shape of expectation, hope, interest, trust, friendship and love. Then the transference produces the projection upon the doctor of infantile phantasies, often of predominatingly erotic tinge. At this stage the transference is usually of a decidedly sexual character, in spite of the sexual component remaining relatively unconscious. But this phase of feeling serves the higher aspect of the growth of human feeling as a bridge, whereby the patient becomes conscious of the defectiveness of his own adaptation, through his recognition of the doctor's attitude, which is accepted as one suitable to life's demands, and normal in its human relationships. By help of the analysis, and the recalling of his childish relationships, the road is seen which leads right out of those exclusively sexual or "power" evaluations of social surroundings which were acquired in puberty and strongly reinforced by social prejudices. This road leads on towards a purely human relation and intimacy, not derived solely from the existence of a sexual or power-relation, but depending much more upon a regard for personality. That is the road to freedom which the doctor must show his patient.
Here indeed I must not omit to say that the obstinate clinging to the sexual valuation would not be maintained so tenaciously if it had not also a very deep significance for that period of life in which propagation is of primary importance. The discovery of the value of human personality belongs to a riper age. For young people the search for the valuable personality is very often merely a cloak for the evasion of their biological duty. On the other hand, an older person's exaggerated looking back towards the sexual valuation of youth, is an undiscerning and often cowardly and convenient retreat from a duty which demands the recognition of personal values and his own enrolment among the ranks of the priesthood of a newer civilisation. The young neurotic shrinks back in terror from the extension of his tasks in life, the old from the dwindling and shrinking of the treasures he has attained.
This conception of the transference is, you will have noted, most intimately connected with the acceptance of the idea of biological "duties" By this term you must understand those tendencies or motives in human beings giving rise to civilisation, as inevitably as in the bird they give rise to the exquisitely woven nest, and in the stag to the production of antlers. The purely causal, not to say materialistic conception of the immediately preceding decades, would conceive the organic formation as the reaction of living matter, and this doubtless provides a position heuristically useful, but, as far as any real understanding goes, leads only to a more or less ingenious and apparent reduction and postponement of the problem. Let me refer you to Bergson's excellent criticism of this conception. From external forces but half the result, at most, could ensue; the other half lies within the individual disposition of the living material, without which it is obvious the specific reaction-formation could never be achieved. This principle must be applied also in psychology. The psyche does not only react; it also gives its own individual reply to the influences at work upon it, and at least half the resulting configuration and its existing disposition is due to this. Civilisation is never, and again never, to be regarded as merely reaction to environment. That shallow explanation we may abandon peacefully to the past century. It is just these very dispositions which we must regard as imperative in the psychological sphere; it is easy to get convincing proof daily of their compulsive power. What I call "biological duty" is identical with these dispositions.
In conclusion, I must deal with a matter which seems to have caused you uneasiness, namely, the moral question. Among our patients we see many so-called immoral tendencies, therefore the thought involuntarily forces itself upon the psychotherapist as to how things would go if all these desires were to be gratified. You will have discerned already from my earlier letters that these desires must not be estimated too literally. As a rule it is rather a matter of unmeasured and exaggerated demands, arising out of the patient's stored-up libido, which have usurped a prominent position, usually quite against his own wish. In most cases the canalisation of the libido for the fulfilment of life's simple duties, suffices to reduce these exaggerated desires to zero. But in some cases it must be recognised that such "immoral" tendencies are in no way removed by analysis; on the contrary, they appear more often and more clearly, hence it becomes plain that they belong to the individual's biological duties. And this is particularly true of certain sexual claims, whose aim is an individual valuation of sexuality. This is not a question for pathology, it is a social question of to-day which peremptorily demands an ethical solution. For many it is a biological duty to work for the solution of this question, to discover some sort of practical solution. (Nature, it is well known, does not content herself with theories.) To-day we have no real sexual morality, only a legal attitude towards sexuality; just as the early Middle Ages had no genuine morality for financial transactions, but only prejudices and a legal standpoint. We are not yet sufficiently advanced in the domain of free sexual activity to distinguish between a moral and an immoral relationship. We have a clear expression of this in the customary treatment, or rather ill-treatment, of unmarried motherhood. For a great deal of sickening hypocrisy, for the high tide of prostitution, and for the prevalence of sexual diseases, we may thank both our barbarous, undifferentiated legal judgments about the sexual situation, and our inability to develop a finer moral perception of the immense psychologic differences that may exist in free sexual activity.
This reference to the existence of an exceedingly complicated and significant problem, may suffice to explain why we by no means seldom meet with individuals among our patients who are quite specially called, because of their spiritual and social gifts, to take an active part in the work of civilisation—for this they are biologically destined. We must never forget that what to-day is deemed a moral law will to-morrow be cast into the melting-pot and transformed, so that in the near or distant future it may serve as the basis of a new ethical structure. This much we ought to have learnt from the history of civilisation, that the forms of morality belong to the category of transitory things. The finest psychological tact is required with these critical natures, so that the dangerous corners of infantile irresponsibility, indolence and uncontrolledness may be turned, and a pure, untroubled vision of the possibility of a moral autonomous activity made possible. Five per cent, on money lent is fair interest, twenty per cent, is despicable usury. That point of view we have to apply equally to the sexual situation.
So it comes about that there are many neurotics whose innermost delicacy of feeling prevents their being at one with present-day morality, and they cannot adapt themselves to civilisation as long as their moral code has gaps in it, the filling up of which is a crying need of the age. We deceive ourselves greatly if we suppose that many married women are neurotic only because they are unsatisfied sexually or because they have not found the right man, or because they still have a fixation to their infantile sexuality. The real ground of the neurosis is, in many cases, the inability to recognise the work that is waiting for them, of helping to build up a new civilisation. We are all far too much at the standpoint of the "nothing-but" psychology; we persist in thinking we can squeeze the new future which is pressing in at the door, into the framework of the old and the known. And thus the view is only of the present, never of the future. But it was of most profound psychological significance when Christianity first discovered, in the orientation towards the future, a redeeming principle for mankind. In the past nothing can be altered, and in the present little, but the future is ours and capable of raising life's intensity to its highest pitch. A little space of youth belongs to us, all the rest of life belongs to our children.
Thus does your question as to the significance of the loss of faith in authority answer itself. The neurotic is ill not because he has lost his old faith, but because he has not yet found a new form for his finest aspirations.
- "Psychoanalysis." Nervous and Mental Disease, No. 19. Monograph series.
- See Author's preface to "The Psychology of Dementia Præcox."
- Thus a patient, who had been treated by a young colleague without very much result, once said to me: "Certainly I made great progress with him, and I am much better than I was. He tried to analyse my dreams. It's true he never understood them, but he took so much trouble over them. He is really a good doctor."
- Defined in the Freudian sense, as the transference to the doctor of infantile and sexual phantasies. A more advanced conception of the transference perceives in it the important process of emotional approach [Einfühlung] which at first makes use of infantile and sexual analogies.
- "Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses." Monograph Series, No 4, last edition.