Psychology of the Unconscious/Part II/Chapter I

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[127]ASPECTS OF THE LIBIDO

BEFORE I enter upon the contents of this second part, it seems necessary to cast a backward glance over the singular train of thought which the analysis of the poem "The Moth to the Sun " has produced Although this poem is very different from the foregoing Hymn of Creation, closer investigation of the "longing for the sun" has carried us into the realm of the fundamental ideas of religion and astral mythology, which ideas are closely related to those considered in the first poem. The creative God of the first poem, whose dual nature, moral and physical, was shown especially clearly to us by Job, has in the second poem a new qualification of astral-mythological, or, to express it better, of astrological character The God becomes the sun, and in this finds an adequate natural expression quite apart from the moral division of the God idea into the heavenly father and the devil. The sun is, as Renan remarked, really the only rational representation of God, whether we take the point of view of the barbarians of other ages or that of the modern physical sciences In both cases the sun is the parent God, mythologically predominantly the Father God, from whom all living things draw life ; He is the fructifier and [128] creator of all that lives, the source of energy of our world The discord into which the soul of man has fallen through the action of moral laws 1 can be resolved into complete harmony through the sun as the natural object which obeys no human moral law. The sun is not only beneficial, but also destructive; therefore the zodiacal representation of the August heat is the herd-devouring lion whom the Jewish hero Samson 2 killed in order to free the parched earth from this plague Yet it is the harmonious and inherent nature of the sun to scorch, and its scorching power seems natural to men It shines equally on the just and on the unjust, and allows useful living objects to flourish as well as harmful ones Therefore, the sun is adapted as is nothing else to represent the visible God of this world That is to say, that driving strength of our own soul, which we call libido, and whose nature it is to allow the useful and injurious, the good and the bad to proceed That this comparison is no mere play of words is taught us by the mystics When by looking mwaids (introversion) and going down into the depths of their own being they find " in their heart " the image of the Sun, they find their own love or libido, which with reason, I might say with physical reason, is called the Sun, for our source of energy and life is the Sun Thus our life substance, as an energic process, is entirely Sun. Of what special sort this "Sun energy" seen inwardly by the mystic is, is shown by an example taken from the Hindoo mythology 3 From the explanation of Part III of the " Shvetashvataropanishad " we take the following quotation, which relates to the Rudra :4 [129] (2) "Yea, the one Rudra who all these worlds with ruling power doth rule, stands not for any second. Behind those that are born he stands, at ending time ingathers all the worlds he hath evolved, protector (he). (3) " He hath eyes on all sides, on all sides surely hath faces, arms surely on all sides, on all sides feet. With arms, with wings he tricks them out, creating heaven and earth, the only God (4) " Who of the gods is both the source and growth, the Lord of all, the Rudra Mighty seer; who brought the shinmg germ of old into existence may he with reason puie conjoin us." & These attributes allow us cleaily to discern the allcreator and in him the Sun, which has wings and with a thousand eyes scans the woild 6 The following passages confirm the text and join to it the idea most important for us, that God is also contained in the individual creature (7) "Beyond this (world) the Brahman beyond, the mighty one, m every creature hid according to its form, the one encircling Lord of all, Him having known, immortal they become. (8) "I know this mighty man, Sun-like, beyond the darkness, Him (and him) only knowing, one crosseth over death; no other path (at all) is there to go. (n) ". . spread over the universe is He the Lord therefore as all-peivader, He's benign " The powerful God, the equal of the Sun, is in that one, and whoever knows him is immortal 7 Going on further with the text, we come upon a new attribute, which informs us in what form and manner Rudra lived in men. (12) "The mighty monarch, He, the man, the one who doth the essence start towards that peace of perfect stainlessness, lordly, exhaustless light. [130] (13) "The Man, the size of a thumb, the inner self, sits ever m the heart of all that's born, by mind, mind ruling in the heart, is He revealed. That they who know, immortal they become (14) "The Man of the thousands of heads (and) thousands of eyes (and) thousands of feet, covering the earth on all sides, He stands beyond, ten finger-breadths (15) "The Man is verily this all, (both) what has been and what will be, Lord (too) of deathlessness which far all else surpasses " Important parallel quotations are to be found m the u Kathopamshad," section 2, part 4. (12) "The Man of the size of a thumb, resides in the midst within the self, of the past and the future, the Lord. (13) "The Man of the size of a thumb like flame free from smoke, of past and of future the Lord, the same is to-day, tomorrow the same will He be." Who this Tom-Thumb is can easily be divined the phallic symbol of the libido The phallus is this hero dwarf, who performs great deeds, he, this ugly god in homely form, who is the great doer of wonders, since he is the visible expression of the creative strength incarnate in man This extraordinary contrast is also very striking m " Faust " (the mother scene) : Mephistopheles I'll praise thee ere we separate I see Thou knowest the devil thoroughly: Here take this key. Faust That little thing! Mephistopheles Take hold of it, not undervaluing! [131] Faust It glows, it shines, increases in my hand! Mfphtstopheles How much it is worth, thou soon shalt understand, The key will scent the true place from all others' Follow it down! 'twill lead thee to the Mothers!

Here the devil again puts into Faust's hand the marvellous tool, a phallic symbol of the libido, as once before in the beginning the devil, in the form of the black dog, accompanied Faust, when he introduced himself with the words " Part of that power, not understood, Which always wills the bad and always creates the good." United to this strength, Faust succeeded in accomplishing his real life task, at first through evil adventure and then for the benefit of humanity, for without the evil there is no creative power. Here in the mysterious mother scene, where the poet unveils the last mystery of the creative power to the initiated, Faust has need of the phallic magic wand {in the magic strength of which he has at first no confidence), in order to perform the greatest of wonders, namely, the creation of Paris and Helen With that Faust attains the divine power of working miracles, and, indeed, only by means of this small, insignificant instrument This paradoxical impression seems to be veiy ancient, for even the Upamshads could say the following of the dwarf god-

Bayard Taylor's translation of "Faust" is used throughout this boot, -TRANSLATOR [132] (19) " Without hands, without feet, He moveth, He graspeth Eyeless He seeth, (and) earless He heareth He knoweth what is to be known, yet is there no knower of Him. Him call the first, mighty the Man, (20) "Smaller than small, (yet) greater than great in the heart of this creature the self doth repose . etc " The phallus is the being, which moves without limbs, which sees without eyes, which knows the future; and as symbolic representative of the universal creative power existent everywhere immortality is vindicated m it It is always thought of as entiiely independent, an idea current not only in antiquity, but also apparent m the pornographic drawings of our children and artists It is a seer, an artist and a woiker of wonders; therefore it should not surprise us when certain phallic characteristics are found again in the mythological seer, artist and sorcerer Hephaestus, Wieland the smith, and Mani, the founder of Manicheism, whose followers were also famous, have crippled feet. The ancient seer Melampus possessed a suggestive1 name (Blackfoot) , 8 and it seems also to be typical for seers to be blind. Dwarfed statute, ugliness and deformity have become especially typical for those mysterious chthonian gods, the sons of Hephaestus, the Cabin, to whom great power to perform miracles was ascribed. The name signifies " powerful," and the Samothracian cult is most intimately united with that of the ithyphalhc Hermes, who, according to the account of Herodotus, was brought to Attica by the Pelasgians. They are also called psya\oi 6soi, the great gods. Their near relations are the " Idaean dactyh " (finger or Idaean [133] thumb) , 10 to whom the mother of the gods had taught the blacksmith's art. ("The key will scent the true place from all others I follow it down ! 't will lead thee to the Mothers 1 ") They were the first leadeis, the teachers of Orpheus, and invented the Ephesian magic formulas and the musical rhythms. 11 The characteristic disparity which is shown above m the Upanishad text, and in " Faust," is also found here, since the gigantic Hercules passed as an Idaean dactyl. The colossal Phrygians, the skilled servants of Rhea,12 were also Dactyli. The Babylonian teacher of wisdom, Oannes, 13 was represented in a phallic fish form."14 The two sun heroes, the Dioscuii, stand in relation to the Cabui, 15 they also wear the remaikable pointed headcovering (Pileus) which is peculiai to these mysterious gods,16 and which is perpetuated from that time on as a secret mark of identification. Attis (the elder brother of Christ) weais the pointed cap, just as does Mithra. It has also become traditional for our present-day chthonian infantile gods,17 the brownies (Penates), and all the typical kind of dwarfs. Freud18 ls has already called our attention to the phallic meaning of the hat in modern phantasies. A further significance is that probably the pointed cap repiesents the foreskin. In oider not to go too far afield from my theme, I must be satisfied here merely to present the suggestion. But at a later oppoitunity I shall return to this point with detailed proof. The dwarf foim leads to the figuie of the divine boy, the pner eteinus^ the young Dionysus, Jupiter Anxurus, Tages, 10 and so on. In the vase painting of Thebes,19 [134] already mentioned, a bearded Dionysus is repiesented as KABEIPOΣ, together with a figure of a boy as Ilaig, followed by a caricatured boy's figure designated as HPATOAAΟΣ and then again a caricatured man, which is represented as MITΟΣ20 a Mirof really means thread, but in orphic speech it stands for semen It was conjectured that this collection corresponded to a group of statuary in the sanctuary of a cult. This supposition is supported by the history of the cult as far as it is known; it is an original Phemcian cult of father and son;21 of an old and young Cabir who were moie or less assimilated with the Grecian gods. The double figures of the adult and the child Dionysus lend themselves particularly to this assimilation One might also call this the cult of the large and small man. Now, under various aspects, Dionysus is a phallic god in whose worship the phallus held an important place; for example, in the cult of the Argivian Bull Dionysus. Moreover, the phallic herme of the god has given occasion for a personification of the phallus of Dionysus, in the form of the god Phales, who is nothing else but a Pnapus He is called sraipot or σύΥκωμος Βάκχου* 22 Corresponding to this state of affairs, one cannot very well fail to recognize in the previously mentioned Cabiric representation, and in the added boy's figure, the picture of man and his penis.23 The previously mentioned paradox in the Upamshad text of large and small, of giant and dwarf, is expressed more mildly here by man and boy, or father and son.24 The motive of deformity which is used constantly by the

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[135] Cabiric cult is present also in the vase picture, while the parallel figures to Dionysus and Jl^fs are the caricatured Miro? and IlaaToXao?. Just as formerly the difference in size gave occasion for division, so does the deformity here. 25 Without first bringing further proof to bear, I may remark that from this knowledge especially strong sidelights are thrown upon the original psychologic meaning of the religious heroes Dionysus stands in an intimate relation with the psychology of the early Asiatic God who died and rose again from the dead and whose manifold manifestations have been brought together in the figure of Christ into a fiim personality eiiduimg for centuries. We gain fiom our piemise the knowledge that these heroes, as well as their typical fates, are personifications of the human libido and its typical fates They are imagery, like the figures of our nightly dreams the actors and interpreters of our secret thoughts. And since we, in the present day, have the powei to decipher the symbolism of dreams and thereby suimise the mysteuous psychologic history of development of the individual, so a way is here opened to the understanding of the secret springs of impulse beneath the psychologic development of races Our previous trains of thought, which demonstrate the phallic side of the symbolism of the libido, also show how thoroughly justified is the term "libido" 26 Originally taken from the sexual sphere, this word has become the most frequent technical expression of psychoanalysis, for the simple reason that its significance is wide enough to cover all the unknown and [136] countless manifestations of the Will in the sense of Schopenhauer It is sufficiently comprehensive and rich in meaning to characterize the real nature of the psychical entity which it includes The exact classical significance of the word libido qualifies it as an entirely appropriate term. Libido is taken in a very wide sense m Cicero ;27 "(Volunt ex duobus opmatis) boms (nasci) Libidmem et Lsetitiam , ut sit laetitia praesentium bonorum . libido futurorum. Lsetitia autern et Libido in bonorum opmione versantur, cuin Libido ad id, quod videtur bonum, illecta et mflammata rapiatur. Natura enim omnes ea, quae bona videntur, sequuntur, fugiuntque contrana, Quamobrem simul objecta species cuiuspiam est, quod bonum videatur, ad id adipiscendum impellit ipsa natura Id cum constanter prudenterque fit, ejusmodi appetitionem stoici povTirjGiv appellant, nos appellamus voluntatem; earn illi putant m solo esse sapiente, quam sic defirriuttt, voluntas est quas quid cum ratione desiderat: qua; autem ratione adversa incitata est vehementms, ea libido est, vel cupiditas effienata, quse in omnibus stultis mvemtur" * The meaning of libido here is "to wish," and in the stoical distinction of will, dissolute desire. Cicero28 used "libido" in a corresponding sense:

  • From the good proceed desire and joy-joy having reference to some

present good, and desire to some future one -but joy and desue depend upon the opinion of good; as desire being inflamed and provoked is carried those things that have the appearance of good, and avoid the contrary wherefore as soon as anything that has the appearance of good presents itself, nature incites us to endeavor to obtain it Now where tins strong desire is consistent and founded on prudence, it is by the stoics called Bulesis and the name which we give it is volition, and this they allow to none but their wise men, and define it thus, volition is a reasonable desire, but -whatever is incited too violently m opposition to reason, that is a lust or an unbridled desire which is discoverable m all fools. The Tusculan Disputation, Cicero, page 403 [137] "Agere rem aliquam libidme, non ratione."* In the same sense Sallust says "Iracundia pars est hbidims." In another place in a milder and more geneial sense, which completely appioaches the analytical use "Magisque in decons armis et militanbus equis, quam in scortis et conviviis hbidmern habebant."* Also "Quod si tibi bona libido f uent patrise, etc" The use of libido is so general that the phrase "libido est scire" meiely had the significance of "I will, it pleases me" In the phrase "aliquam libido uiinee lacessit" libido had the meaning of uigency The significance of sexual desire is also piesent in the classics This general classical application of the conception agrees with the corresponding etymological context of the word, libido or lubido (with hbet, more ancient lubet}, it pleases me, and libens or lubens gladly, willingly. Sanskrit, litbhyati = to experience violent longing, lobhayati excites longing, hibdha-h eager, lobha-h = longing, eagerness Gothic = hufs and Old High German hob = love. Moreover, in Gothic, lubams was represented as hope, and Old High Geiman, lobon to praise, lob = commendation, praise, glory; Old Bulgarian, ljubitt = to love, ljuby = love ; Lithuanian, haup- [138] sinti to praise 20 It can be said that the conception of libido as developed in the new work of Freud and of his school has functionally the same significance in the biological teintory as has the conception of eneigy since the time of Robert Mayei in the physical realm.30 It may not be superfluous to say something more at this Doint concerning the conception of libido after we have followed the formation of its symbol to its highest expression in the human form of the religious hero.