Yesterday NZ Time was Freud’s birthday



I wrote a post on Freud’s birthday once before.

that was 2006.  I wrote a few more after that. And I’d like to mention this one, 2018, 12 years after the other one:

Freud and individualism in the 20th century 

I changed my tune on Freud.

I’ve been imagining the world lately as if there is no unconscious just people in action.  Moving in the moment.  Its hard to do, but an interesting process.

Playing with Moreno’s idea that the psyche is outside the body.


The unconscious is a slippery idea by its very nature, if we become gradually more aware of our own dynamics, more conscious then we realise that there was stuff going on unconsciously before. I recall the day, for example, when I realised my mountaineering was associated with escape from social difficulty, originally in the family. Moreno talks of the unconscious all the time, though he belittles the idea occasionally and claims he surpassed it with the notion of warm up.

“The unconscious lives on as a by product of the warming up process.” Who Shall Survive? page liv.

“The antiquated couch was transformed into a multi-dimensional stage, giving space and freedom for spontaneity, freedom for the body and for bodily contact, freedom of movement, action and interaction. Free association was replaced by psychodramatic production and audience participation, by action dynamics and dynamics of the groups and masses.

❊ the couch is in the stage
❊ sexuality is in spontaneity
❊ the unconscious is in the warm up
❊ transference is in the tele


With these changes in the research and therapeutic operation the framework of psychoanalytic concepts, sexuality, unconscious, transference, resistance and sublimation was replaced by a new, psychodramatic and sociodynamic set of concepts, the spontaneity, the warming up process, the tele, the interaction dynamics and the creativity. These three transformations in vehicle, form and concept, however, transcended but did not eliminate the useful part of the psychoanalytic contribution. The couch is still in the stage – which is like a multiple of couches of many dimensions, vertical, horizontal and depth – sexuality is still in spontaneity, the unconscious is still the warming up process, transference is still in the tele; there is one phenomenon, productivity-creativity, for which psychoanalysis has given us no counterpart.” Who Shall Survive? page 120

❊ productivity-creativity


In Psychodrama Volume 1 Moreno is quite happy to use the word unconscious again, especially when seen as co created in what he terms “intimate ensembles”:

See the full quote here

Therapy can make the unconscious conscious. In the same way, in couple therapy the repeating patterns the couple enact are revealed. The formerly unconscious becomes conscious. For example, a classic role description used in Imago therapy is the hailstorm and the turtle. The more one partner storms the more the other hides in their shell. Such dynamics are well understood by therapists but the couple may be totally oblivious to this co-created dynamic. To really see it in action and to reverse that cycle both parties need to be present.

Book: The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes by Richard Panek

Book: The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes by Richard Panek

I leafed through this book today. I like the theme, but I think the analogy of a story with two protagonists is taken a bit far. Still, looks like it could be fun. Might get it yet!

Some reviews follow.

Continue reading “Book: The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes by Richard Panek”

Transference and Tele: Section I, Transference

This is the second post while doing a close reading of Moreno’s lecture on Tele, “given by the author during his European journey, May- June, 1954.”

Note: I continue to edit these posts, they are a work in progress for now, not really be good blogging practice. If anyone comments or there are track backs, I will not change what I wrote so conversations make sense.

First Post
Transference and Tele (tag).

Quotes from the lecture, some research on Google and my detailed comments follow.

Continue reading “Transference and Tele: Section I, Transference”

Fractal Freud

Found this image while looking for Compressionism. Which is a whole ism about what Stanislav Groff called Systems of Condensed experience. I see it as something Freud named as transference – carry-over. Fractals, a pattern in one time and place resonates with a pattern in another. OK, a very brief post – a big idea.

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa . [dead] . Now

“Most probably it was Sigmund Freud’s influential essay on Leonardo’s homosexuality and Freud’s consequential analysis of the Mona Lisa which was the direct or proximate impetus for Duchamp’s image. But, whereas Duchamp seems to imply that the picture fuses artist and sitter, male and female, Freud suggests that the Mona Lisa (specifically her smile) is a manifestation of Leonardo’s submerged memory of the birth mother from whom he was estranged at age four and who Freud theorizes expressed an unnatural affection toward her young son. In fact, Freud refutes the notion that there is a physiognomic similarity between the artist and the sitter, but goes on to suggest that the device of the smile was obviously so meaningful to the artist, using it frequently in his works of the time, it must have repressed significance. The person behind the Mona Lisa, Freud suggests, may have had such a smile, a smile that evoked long ago suppressed memories of his mother. Indeed, as Freud is quick to point out, this seems to have been a persistent theme: Vasari even noted that at the earliest age Leonardo was known for having created images of smiling women:

Let us leave the physiognomic riddle of Mona Lisa unsolved, and let us note the unequivocal fact that her smile fascinated the artist no less than all spectators for these 400 years. This captivating smile had thereafter returned in all of his pictures and in those of his pupils. As Leonardo’s Mona Lisa was a portrait, we cannot assume that he has added to her face a trait of his own, so difficult to express, which she herself did not possess. It seems, we cannot help but believe, that he found this smile in his model and became so charmed by it that from now on he endowed it on all the free creations of his phantasy.

“(Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci: A study in psychosexuality. tr. A.A. Brill. New York, Vintage Books, [1955] Originally published by Freud in 1910, p. 79.)”