The Meaning of Illness

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So far psychoanalysis, if I understand it rightly, uses the con- cept of neurosis. But I suspect that for you, too, this word repre- sents the whole of human life. It certainly does so for me. The It, which is mysteriously connected with sexuality, with eros or whatever you chose to call it, shapes man's nose and hand as well as his thoughts and emotions; it expresses itself as much in pneumonia as in cancer or in a compulsion neurosis or in hyste- ria : and heart failure or cancer caused by It activity are as much the object of psychoanalytic treatment as are hysteria or neu- rosis.

There are no basic differences that force us to attempt psychoanalysis here and not there. It is rather a practical ques- tion, a question of personal judgment that decides where psy- choanalysis treatment should stop. I use the expression treatment because I do not believe that the doctor's function should extend beyond treatment; it is not he who brings about the cure, it is the It.

And this is the point where I doubt whether I have the right to call myself a psychoanalyst publicly. It is not possible, while advancing such ideas, to use a terminology that differs from the one you have developed. It cannot be replaced, and it suits my purpose, too, if the concept of the unconscious is enlarged.

If one extends this meaning, as one must when considering the psychoanalytic treatment of so- called organic illnesses, one goes beyond the frontiers laid down by you for psychoanalysis. In this event I shall have to add a sec- tion to my projected book dealing with the confusions in my re- lation to psychoanalysis, and this will most probably not be understood.

I am afraid that I have not made myself completely clear when I talk about my It as shaping the individual, causing it to think, act, and fall ill. The matter may become clearer if I men- tion a few examples. A woman patient wakes up in the morning with a badly swol- len upper lip; the swelling is due to Herpes rash. In answer to my question when it started she gives the previous day as the date, and my visiting hour as the time. During that visit I jok- ingly told the patient, whom I have been treating for years for polyarthritis, that her lips were too thick and this meant that she had repressed a passionate desire to kiss.

An hour after es- tablishing this the swelling of the lip disappeared. This prompt reaction can certainly be called hysterical, too. But then one has to call all sorts of things hysterical, among others her poly- arthritis that led to a double-sided patella luxation. Her case history would be too detailed to tell in this context in full, but it shows that her It created her polyarthritis in order to prevent her from running away.

In the last few years I have followed carefully the various deteriorations and improvements of her joint complaint and have been able to effect some changes in the condition of her joints by stirring up and removing resistance against myself. In the case of another lady, whose condition I have observed for years, I was able to bring out and remove a latent phlebitis by a similar kind of psychological experimentation. I have also gathered experience in the field of obesity and slimming and of child growth.

Of interest, too, are changes in the size of the nose which can be influenced psychologically. The reaction of the mucous membranes to the influence of psychological repres- sion in the form of colds, bronchial catarrh, diarrhoea etc. I would like to quote a few more examples. One of my patients suffers from retinal bleeding.

Strangely enough, this always happens in autumn. The patient had completely forgotten that at the age of nine he had thrown stones at a wooden statue of Christ placed at the exit of the village. How strong the effect of this forgotten event must have been can be gathered from the fact that the patient fainted after communicating this bit of in- formation. There were, moreover, oedipal and castration com- plexes which hardly need to be enlarged upon. Since then there has been no bleeding for five years, except once very slightly on the day before he was drafted into the army, at a crossroads, opposite a crucifix.

It became apparent, moreover, that the man had again completely forgotten his childhood experience and that even my reminding him of it could not revive his memory of it ; it only came back a few days later. In this connection I will make some observations on a ble- pharitis which was linked with masturbation complexes. The analytical treatment of a fairly sizable goiter was successful in so far as the left side of the goiter disappeared completely, the right side by about three quarters.

Finally I want to mention a patient whose It produced syphilis symptoms, very characteristic rashes, ulcers on the penis and neck, sore throat and a positive Wassermann test. Everything, including the Wassermann the name was a contributory factor, by the way disappeared in the course of the psychiatric treatment. The case is doubly interesting be- cause during the treatment the It produced temporarily, for hours or days, temperatures of 40 degrees C.

The patient suffered from sclerodermia. The revival of this process at a time when I was already aware of the It's activities made me think of treating the matter by analysis. The result was a cessation of the pro- cess and a complete healing of the newly affected areas. The analysis, moreover, uncovered the history of the origins and development of his sclerodermia in a way that I found convinc- ing; it had started on the left leg and was connected with the attempt to squash a younger sibling in his mother's womb. The love for his own and other people's legs played a decisive part in this.

Later, under the influence of repressing sadistic and pregnancy fantasies, the arms and the skin of the belly were affected too. I can well imagine that you might disavow anyone who held such a theory as somebody who does not fit into the psychoanalytic circle in your sense of the term were he to call himself a psychoanalyst. I do not want to expose myself to this. I would be very grateful to you, therefore, if you could let me know what you think of this.

I shall adjust my position accordingly and, in the book, give a clear description of what excludes me from the official school of psychoanalysis. I would have to do this publicly, if you told me that I am going beyond the limits of psychoanalytic practice. Yet person- ally, even though I came to psychoanalysis by a way other than through your writings, I shall always have to consider myself your disciple whose respect and gratitude I beg you not to reject.

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Yours truly Dr. GeorgGroddeck Vienna, 5. I shall therefore make the experiment : I understand that you are requesting me urgently to supply you with an official confir- mation that you are not a psychoanalyst, that you do not belong to the members of the group, and will be able to call yourself something special, and independent. Obviously I am doing you a service if I push you away from me to the place where Adler 5 , Jung 6 and others stand.

Yet I cannot do this; I have to claim you, I have to assert that you are a splendid analyst who has understood for ever the essential aspects of the matter. The dis- covery that transference and resistance are the most important aspects of treatment turns a person irretrievably into a member of the wild army.

Xo matter if he calls the unconscious 'It'. In my article on the unconscious which you mention there is an inconspicuous footnote: 'We are reserving for a different context the mention of another notable privilege of the i'cs. The same point of view even caused him to undertake a biological experiment for me which is to demonstrate that a consistent application of Lamarck's 9 theories of evolution turns into a conclusion of psy- choanalytic thought. Your new observations are so much in keeping with the arguments contained in this paper that we can only wish that at the time of our publication we will be able to refer to your ideas as already published.

Thus, while I would like to hold out both my hands to you to receive you as a colleague, there is only one disturbing circum- stance, the fact that you have not managed to overcome the tri- vial ambition of claiming originality and priority. If you are so sure of the autonomy of your acquisitions why do you still need originality? Anyway, can you be sure in this respect? You must be 10 or 15 or perhaps 20 years younger than I am Could you have absorbed the main ideas of psychoanalysis in a cryptomnestic way?

In a way similar to my discoveries relating to my own originality? What's the use of struggling for priorities against an older generation? I regret this point of your information particularly since ex- perience has shown that an untamed ambitious individual sooner or later jumps up and turns into an eccentric to the detri- ment of science and of his own career. I liked the examples you gave me from your observations very much and hope that much of it will survive the test of strict in- vestigation.

The whole field is not at all strange to us, yet examples like that of your blind man have never before been given. And now the second objection! Your experience does not take you any further than the realisation that the psychological fac- tor is of an unimaginably great importance also in the origin of organic diseases?

Yet does it cause these illnesses by itself, does this invalidate the distinction between mental and somatic in any way? It seems to me as wilful completely to spiritualise nature as radically to despiritualise it. Let's leave it its extra- ordinary variety which reaches from the inanimate to the organic and living, from the physical life to the spiritual.

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Cer- tainly, the unconscious is the proper mediator between the somatic and the mental, perhaps the long-sought 'missing link'. Yet because we have seen this at last, should we no longer see anything else? I am afraid you are also a philospher and of the monistic inclination which discards all the beautiful differences in nature in favour of the temptation offered by unity.

Can we get rid of differences like that? I would, of course, be very pleased if you answered me. In any case I am very interested to know how you will take my letter which may sound much more unkind than was the intention on which it is based. Yours truly F r e u d June? If I understand the matter correctly, researches in the psy- choanalytic field have so far led people to derive from the un- conscious important aspects of human life in religion, language, art, technology, daily life, in physiology, and patho- logy.

Yet there is still, at least apparently, a contrast between the unconscious and consciousness, as if there were two forces at work. Even in psychoanalytic circles many phenomena of life are apparently still claimed as pure products of consciousness, as if the unconscious had nothing to do with them. Con- sciousness is merely a tool of the unconscious, serving essen- tially similar purposes of communication as language or gesture. It often seems to me also as if the unconscious wants us to preserve our feeling of omnipotence by way of consciousness, and is playing a very gay yet also very cruel game with us, i.

It will never be possible to uncover the connection, but occasionally the observer succeeds in seeing something that looks like the face or the hand of the unconscious. The connec- tions between choice of profession and the unconscious have been pointed out. Yet somebody's way of walking, posture, movements, and the shape of a hand often enough betray our conditioning by unconscious forces. Pavlov's experiments 10 produced some dark hints as far as digestion is concerned; we have known about it for quite some time with regard to breath- ing, heart beat, pulse, and the digestive juices, and the Abder- halden experiments" show us the direction in which medical chemistry somehow gets involved with the unconscious.

I am surprised that the question of the conditioning of consciousness is avoided again and again, and that this avoidance is called exact science while it is really exact stupidity. Surely there is nothing to be lost by asking whether thinking takes place out- side the context of everything else, whether we think, act and are formed out of our own, somehow extra-wordly omnipo- tence, or whether we belong to the circle of natural phenomena and are lived by the will of forces which we can see quite well in reflection.

Psychoanalysis is not afraid of going back to prenatal times and it is right to do so. Yet why does it always and persist- ently cling on to the organ of the brain, and why does it not want to see that ceteris paribus semen and ovum always produce hands, eyes, brains? Surely there is no question of con- sciousness and conscious intention here. And if the unconscious manages this, then perhaps it will also be able to bring on a corn or guide a gesture of the hand or change the human chemistry in such a way that it becomes vulnerable to germs. Isn't this ajoke?

I do not consider myself a monist; when I am honest with myself I notice that I take pleasure in the colourful interaction of all forces without always realising. Yet when I perceive that the word science too is nothing but a game, I do not let myself be persuaded that it is all seriousness. And when I have grasped the fact that ovum and sperm make up the whole of human life including its sciences then I am no longer prepared to be pushed back into the well-defined boundaries of a stupidity which cannot see that life exists before the brain.

Occasionally I am tempted to take somebody by the ear and show him an embryo. I also imagine that it is as important and as intoxicat- ing to go in search of the unconscious as it is to count and recount the fibres of a muscle or to copy out of old books that there are tubercle bacilli. That the frontiers of science and mysticism get blurred for me in the process, as do the frontiers of body and mind which, for the Greeks, in their heyday, did not exist, by the way , I do not consider a disaster, certainly not for me, because it interests me, and not for my patients, for I help them as far as I am able to, like other doctors, and as for what happens in the world at large I do not consider myself im- portant enough.

I shall probably not go off" on a wild goose chase, because I am too much bound up with practical things; everything with me ultimately gets channelled into the treat- ment of patients. And with regard to this I work on the hypo- thesis that the It makes people ill, because it is pursuing some purpose which it finds useful. When a person has bad breath, his unconscious does not want to be kissed, and when he coughs, it wants something not to happen, and when he vomits, it wants to get rid of something harmful, and when there is a corn, I invariably find a painful spot underneath the corn which the unconscious wants to protect by horny skin.

And when somebody gets gout in the legs it can be proved that he has a reason for walking carefully in order not to stumble over something; and when somebody loses his sight then he has merely taken a little too far a habit of the It, which is not to notice most things. For it is not true that we always see merely a fraction of what we could see; the It does not allow us to see, to see consciously what is in front of us. Renectorially, is anyone not laughing?

You must have found as often as I have that the object we see, but do not perceive, is an obstacle to the well- being of our subconscious. My letter has grown immensely long. Vet I must first thank you once more for yours. It told me what I hoped it would. And thank you even more for everything else, for what you are and what you are doing. Yours most sincerely Groddeck Esorbato, I sent it on to Ferenczi and had to wait rather a long time for its return, which is the reason for my answering it late. I believe that you should consider yourself somebody who is close to us inspite of the fact that your position on the question of the distribution between the somatic and the mental is not quite ours, and you should help us in our work.

Our journals are open to you. We would be pleased to have contributions from you, perhaps some preludes to your more substantial works. In expectation of these and with best wishes for the contin- uation of your work Yours sincerely Freud Baden Baden, 3. Essentially this is a repetition of what I have already told you in my letters. Yet it may interest you a little to see these fruits of your suggestions. I shall certainly make use of this. Today merely some remarks to while away the time. First on the subject of male pregnancy. Recently I treated a gentleman who suffered from gout.

One morning he complained of a new attack. It had started right at the beginning of a walk. He could not remember whether he went straight to the street or through the park first. Associations : Park - Parkin, the name of a hair growth product which his brother used; as a student he himself used a brown hair growth oil, his landlady was angry because the bedding had brown stains. Question, whether he ever dirtied his bed. He laughs and tells me: after his wife had given birth a second time, which lasted a whole night, he had dreamed the following night that he had to push something out of his body, he had pushed and pushed and when he woke up the child was lying between his legs, in the form of a stool.

In the latest issue of Imago ls there is a paper by Levy 14 on the story of paradise. The interpretation of apple as breast is prob- ably right; as important, perhaps more important, is the apple as symbol of the behind Italian mele. In German apple is quite commonly used with this meaning. Even more striking is the peach peach cheeks particularly for the eye.

The iconographical representations of the Fall of Man offer a rich field. Herr Levy misses the most interesting bit of the curse, the interpretation of 'it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel' limpness postcoitum and stork's tale. I have a lot of material on this subject and want to draw attention to the fact that people get hoarse - for ever, too - when they have got something that can only be told in whispers, a mysterious complex which, on one unconscious level, they want to communicate, while on another they struggle against it.

Stopping in the middle of a sentence belongs to the same syn- drome—or stopping in the middle of a word while writing. Very interesting are the voice changes from soft to loud during con- versation. In childhood complexes the voice usually goes up for individual words only. If you could make use of a collection of small human traits like these I would have a try. Yours truly Groddeck PS. In case you think that Ferenczi or any of the other gentle- men would be interested in the pamphlet I would gladly send one to them.

I do not know their addresses, however. Vienna, Octover7, Dear Colleague, Many thanks for sending me your paper 15 which I found in- teresting and important in spite of the reservations you know. I gratefully accept your offer to send me more copies of your paper. My copy went to Ferenczi Budapest Hotel Royal who is going to report on it.

I would like to have a second copy for myself, and a third one should circulate in the group in order to get people interested in your work. The contributions which you promised will be accepted readily and printed as soon as the present difficulties are over.

It would seem to me particularly to the point to have a short mani- festo in line with your latest work which presented to the rea- dership of the journal what is new and surprising about your experience, and which would introduce you yourself most effec- tively. You know that my interest in your lists of observations is great, and I am only uncertain about the appropriate length. Ferenczi has already sent in his report on it.

Your interesting remark 16 on the analysis of Rosmersholm 11 has prompted me to reread the play and discuss it with my only assistant at the moment, Dr. Sachs We agree that we cannot give in to you. Everything seems to speak against the notion that Rebecca West's confession is fictitious. Sachs believes that this would cut offthe play's vital nerve. I believe that the honest excitement of the passage where she explains how one is pushed further and further against one's will in such a way speaks against your assumption.

To get Rosmer over the bridge is a symbol of an aim and not in itself an aim for which one might give one's life. It is merely meant to imply that he brushes aside his wife's suicide. His impotence can certainly be established, yet Ibsen did not bring it up again, did not make it the centre of his play. Today I saw a lady of 44 who wanted psychiatric treatment, yet I had to diagnose multiple sclerosis neuritis in the past, bladder trouble.

I have sent her away, yet I am now asking you whether you could take on a case like this in which there is strong evidence of a psychological influence. I am willing to have a try with the lady patient you mention. The costs are, all inclusive except for heating Marks a day according to the size of the room. This includes treatment. So you haven't changed your views about Rebecca West. Ibsen was too careful in his works to let us assume that he had introduced bothjust for fun. I have found that with Ibsen's writings one always comes up against new problems, both aesthetic and psychoanalytic, with every new reading.

Nora 20 in particular is a good example of that. This apparent suffragette lies to a degree which normally one only comes across in lecture rooms, and she sermonises her husband, whom she knows to be drunk, in private in a way which would only be justified if the circum- stances were quite different. It is a malicious mocking of the public which, as we know, thoroughly fell for it too. The play's vital nerve is in my view not altered by my interpretation, the entire play merely appears in a new- light and the pathos is changed into dramatic irony.

As soon as he notices the disproportion in Ibsen between means and re- sults one realises, I believe, that he does not write bourgeois plays but comedies. He probably knew this and was thoroughly familiar with the silent laughter of the ironist. It is an ironical tragedy that a splendid woman like Rebecca should perish be- cause of the milieu of Rosmersholm and a 'noble human being'.

With warmest wishes, Your ever loyal disciple Groddeck Baden Baden, The book made its obligatory round of the publishers and was in turn sent back to me with polite rejections and thanks. I have now given up hope of finding somebody who might publish it, yet I would like you to have a look at it before it disappears for good. Maybe Ferenczi, too, might be interested, and have a glance at it. I would be happy to reward him for his kind criticism of my pam- phlet 24 with a few hours' happy reading. In my provincial isolation I do not hear anything about the happenings in the outside world.

Is that true? I had got so used to this pleasure, yet for months now I have been unable to get a copy. I have entered into negotiations with a publisher again, probably without result, yet I want to have another try. The book seems to produce displeasure everywhere, at least I interpret your silence as a sign of dislike.

The meaning of illness: a phenomenological approach to the patient-physician relationship.

While preparing my talks 25 for publication I came across some which deal with the subject of Moses, Book I 26 , others on Struwwelpeter 21 and on a few Klinger pictures If you could use these for Imago I could send them to you. But perhaps you have material enough on hand. With all best wishes I remain Yours most sincerely Groddeck Vienna, 7.

If you would like me to I could confirm every- thing essential in it from my own experience. We shall put it into the journal. I hope it is merely the precursor of other contributions. As for your novel, may I make the suggestion that the choice of a less whimsical 29 title might help its publication? Yours sincerelv Freud Vienna, 8.

But you are wrong: I liked it. In parts I was most amused. The characters of old English humourists are well-drawn. In one respect it seems to us to resemble that model of all humorous novels, Don Quixote. I admired your talent for graphic description, which is unusual, particularly in the railway scenes. Now I do believe with you that the book will not be to everybody's taste. So many clever, frank, and playful ideas are not easy to digest. And yet you should try and have it published.

Worse products have been published in the name of analysis. Contributions of yours to Imago will always be welcome. At the moment, we have not got any paper but we are trying to get some. Yours sincerely Freud Baden Baden, 2. The novel is now on its way to the publishers, I hope it will be printed. I am making use straightaway of your invitation to contribute to your journals. Neither the Bible nor Struwwelpeter materialised, however, but the sulphurous smoke 50 may find its admirers, too.

Will you please decide for yourself whether it is to be Imago or the jour- nal. I have the impression that the article, earthy as it is. With sincere gratitude and loyalty Yours ever Groddeck Baden Baden, 7. If it is of no use I beg you to excuse my eagerness. As for the novel, I have to report that it has been rejected once again.

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Rejections are not accompanied by detailed reasons, they start with high praise of the first part and end with the ver- dict that the analytical part breaks up the artistic form and therefore destroys the whole. The latest publisher even main- tained that I am losing myself in crass materialism. The fact that you mentioned the work in your last letter gave me back my courage. The question of a title is always difficult. I will cast around for something else. But I am not very hopeful.

Everybody who reads it is somehow- brought up against his own repressions and then resistance starts. I am writing an article on symbolism 32 which is meant for Imago; but it is becoming long and will only appeal to a few people. With warmest wishes Yours ever Groddeck Vienna, If we had money and paper our pub- lishing house would put an end to your novel's perambulations.

I have one reservation about the most recent analysis you sent us 33 which I would like you to help me destroy. I believe I can recognise the half-ironical patient of your analysis; there cannot easily be two such people. He is also too well-versed in your way of printing and expression as well as with your article on hell.

Now so far we have tried not to allow people to doubt the documentary character of an analysis.

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It would open the door to many abuses. Moreover, the semi-fantastic character of your analysis the justification of which I personally recognise might embarrass us vis-a-vis the public. Tell me what you think of this and whether you could preserve the core of this 'analytic delirium' in a thoroughly serious critical form for publication 3 With warmest regards Yours Freud Baden Baden, And a few more words will show you what strange things happen sometimes. The analysis really happened as I wrote it down, yet it could only turn out the way it did because the patient is my stepson who has been living in my house ever since he was in his eighth year.

He is gifted with a highly imitative, lyrical talent which might perhaps turn crea- tive one day. During the war he broke down with a grave neu- rosis and has been in treatment with me for the last two years with many interruptions. The imitation of my person which has obviously contributed a lot to Thomas Weltlein plays a large part in the symptoms of his neurosis and probably in their causes too. Treating him has its attractions and its difficulties because of the close ties.

Perhaps one day I shall have time to write down his case history: it is characterised by neurotic com- plexes, which produced a series of boils on the face and back, and is a typical example of the condition which originally made me learn to analyse patients suffering from so-called somatic ill- nesses. I tried to work out why I did not immediately claim my copy- right in the essential points, but invested my stepson with traits for which I am responsible and not he, even though he formally produced them under analysis.

The revision shows you that this is due to the Christ myth. Something inside me warned me, but just as you sensed the distortion from the form of the article, so did some friends to whom I showed it. And I myself had an uncomfortable feeling about it. This has now gone since I have honoured the truth. I am very grateful to you for having taken this burden from me.

I would like to say something special about the article. The essential thing about it - for me at least — is its interpretation of the crucifixion. It struck me quite early on - probably in con- nection with an etching by Felicien Rops 35 — and for years I have been carrying it around with me, as well as lots of other ideas about the New Testament.

I have decided to work it into the second part of Thomas Weltlein, which will probably remain unwritten, and to take it over into the revision of my talks. I am firmly convinced that in the next two years somebody will treat the Christ theme, and often I still find myself a prey to the priority madness. Now it is merely a practical question for you and me whether the interpretation should be published in one of your journals or whether it is better to wait. You can tell how this matter preoccupies me from the fact that I first put it into the mouth of my stepson and that I am also hiding behind your back and burdening your journal with it.

I believe this is obvious enough. Please, do not publish the article. So now I have said it. It was not easy. Yet I am always satis- fied once I decide to admit an unworthy action and to make up for it. I am glad that you are understanding. Now I would like to say a lot of nice things to you, for instance that I am once again reading your books and enjoying them. And then that I am pleased to know somebody in Vienna who is interested in me, without knowing me. Would you be pleased if I joined one of the psychoanalytic societies? I won't quite fit. I know that already; yet I can say that I am easy to get on with.

MEANING OF ILLNESS

Finally a word on my novel. I receive one rejection after the other. Would it be possible to publish it in the psychoanalytic publishing house if I myself bear the costs? But what about paper - if I am immodest, please forgive me. You have to take part of the blame for that because you are friendly to me and that is something new for me -at least on the part of doctors. With warmest regards Yours Groddeck Vienna, 9. I have already handed on your valuable contribution to the editors of the journal. By the way. But do you know how high the costs are these days? One sheet one Mark, i. Give me the good news that figures like these do not matter to you!

Then I would make the suggestion that for the title you should simply use the name of the hero and underneath put: a psy- choanalytic novel. You ask if we would profit from having you for instance in our Berlin group. I would think so; one could then meet during our conferences the next one is going to be held in The Hague, on September 8. My warmest regards. You are right, there is very little good will in the world. Yours Freid Baden Baden, 21 May, Dear Professor, I gladly offer you my forgiveness after the event, am very grateful for the publication of my piece and only regret that your idea about 'the son clings on to the mother', and 'fixated' and cruafixus did not get into the article.

If it is not immodest I would like to ask you to add it in a footnote. I have applied to be admitted to the Berlin group. It would be good to meet you sometime, and The Hague is not totally out of my reach. For years I have considered asking you to be my very welcome guest here for a few weeks. Yet one has to wrestle with a wish like this before one can express it. Surely, one is allowed to harbour wishes. Thomas VVeltlein, a psychoanalytic novel -that's simple and good. Many thanks. The question of money can be solved, though not from my own means; yet I have friends - particularly in Holland - who will help me and therefore as soon as there is a prospect of paper, I can deposit the 20, Mark where and how you wish.

From my own circle of acquaintances I can reckon on a few hundred copies sold, so that even under the worst conditions the loss will not be too great for the backer. Would you like to have a try? I have changed a few small details, but I believe that you will be pleased with the changes.

My work on symbols is resting at the moment. If it succeeds it will interest you, but the question is, will it succeed? Warmest regards gratefully yours ever Groddeck The Hague, I shall try and make myselfcleartoyou. When so-called healthy people are asked to look at the objects in their sitting-room and then to close their eyes and name the objects they generally leave some things out. When one analyses why these specific things are not con- sciously perceived, it turns out that they are parts of repressed complexes.

So there is a censor while we are awake. If in the case of highly visual people the repressed complexes become too intense, censorship is strengthened and the eye is rendered short-sighted.


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If this is still not enough, the uncon- scious destroys the retina with bleeding. The process is the same in a different field, like the formation of anti-toxins to overcome toxins, or like fever and pus forma- tion to overcome infection. When the repressions are resolved, censorship can be reduced and retinal bleeding is stopped. Ceteris paribus: when are you coming to Baden Baden? For me this attempt at sorting out the terminology is necessary because otherwise I shall be constantly misunder- stood.

After this test I hope to be considered worthy of the diploma of psychoanalysis and shall return, my conscience cleared, to my own gibberish which I find easier to handle and which leaves me the freedom to think what I must think. The congress had a rather unpleasant consequence for me. The old experience that words put chains on thought was confirmed to such an extent that my fear of technical terms and strict defini- tions has become even greater than before.

Did Rank 38 tell you the title he has found for the novel? Der Seelensucher [the seeker of souls]. I like it, but I do not want to change anything without your approval. By way of explanation I must add that I introduced a story about a silhouette into the first chapter where Thomas Weltlein is called a seeker of souls which domin- ates the novel; the whole of the silhouette is printed on the title page. To make the acquaintance of Rank was especially plea- sant for me. The few words he said during the congress expressed clearly and resolutely what he was thinking, and that is a gift I find interesting.

Otherwise I followed you round during the congress in a semi-trance; like somebody who is in love. And thinking back on this now I am glad that I am still young enough to have strong feelings, when it is worth while. My wish now is to be to- gether with you once in peace. But the prospects are not favour- able. I am stuck here and have to earn money and you are probably in a similar position. It has already disappeared into the editorial file and will leave it hopefully to be put into the second number of the new volume.

Of course I know everything about your novel and approve of Rank's title. This moment a pretty cover illustration is being devised. I cannot quite understand why you should feel a martyr be- cause you had to accept our terminology. A residue of your first letter to me, a little bit of chalky dust from the gate through which you came into our little town!

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I said jokingly that you turned dogmatic and fantastic at the end of your fine, original, and freely sceptical article and invested our unconscious, which until then had been mutually understood though, thank God, provisional and indeterminate, with the most positive qualities from secret sources of knowledge. Now every clever person comes to a point where he starts to turn mystical, where his most personal thinking begins.

But couldn't you perhaps change a few things in these last sentences, make a sacrificio d'emozione? It will be acknowledged with thanks. Your words about the attractive prospect of a fuller exchange of ideas between the two of us have found a strong echo in me. Yet your resigned postscript is correct too. I am in the position of the Sybil of Cumae who wants more money for the last third of her wisdom than for the whole. I, too, am so impoverished that I have to sell the remainder of my working time and strength dearly; fortunately it is no longer a full third.

The analogy also does not hold in that I do not meet any of the now so rare kings. Thus I gather money from colleagues and trades- men. With warm regards Yours Freud P. My daughter is still in Berlin and will be pleased about your kind mention of her. Baden Baden, I beg you to cut the whole paragraph and finish the article with the words: 'emerges, that the psychoanalysis of the organic has the same theoretical laws and practical results as the psychoan- alysis of neurosis'.

The matter is thus deferred, yet it is not over and done with since without ado and quite cheerfully I can forego the accuracy here where it would be quite misplaced, whereas I shall have to find an outlet for my mysticism, without which I cannot exist, somewhere else. This brings me to a matter I have mentioned several times before. For some years now I have been hatching out a book which will set out calmly and lucidly what I am thinking.

I plan to shut myself away for some months in winter and get down to this work, but I am afraid you won't be very pleased with it because there will be a lot of mysticism and fan- tasy in it. It will be good for my relationship with you, if nothing else, to have brought this sea monster to light. I feel like a child whom people believe to have been good while it is really plan- ning to do all sorts of things it knows will not be approved of by its parents, and this is why I want you to get to know the work.

It will decide whether you can continue to allow me among your ranks. I am well aware that behind this fear of losing your approval there is the wish to be free again. Yet this wish will not have any influence on my work, particularly now that your letter has drawn my attention to the danger of emozione. The wish to be great is still there in me and sticks its head out where it shouldn't. Then I find it difficult to be silent, merely because one doesn't quite know whether what one says is right. Too often I have had the experience that things which only one person can say have remained unsaid because of excessive caution.

And at 50 one can still utter a cheeky opinion that would appear impossible at 60, and as an unknown person one does not carry the fetters of a past and of having been an authority. Perhaps I am mistaken and the book is not as dangerous as all that. In any case I beg you not to come to a final verdict about me yet as far as my medical activities are concerned. I have got a very tight hold of you and it would cost me a piece of my fur if I were shaken off.

I hope my protestations of love are not too monotonous. But I am really assured since I saw your understanding smile that personifies so accurately the saying: 'do not judge! I understand well that you want to make up for it the econ- omic approach! Yet I do not at all share your threatened fears, rather I believe that we shall ask you to give us this hereti- cal work too, if things continue to be all right for our publishing house. I am myself a heretic who has not yet become a fanatic. I cannot stand fanatics, people who are capable of taking their narrowmindedness seriously.

By holding on to one's superiority and by knowing what one is doing one can do a lot of things which are against the tide. The courage you intend to show I like very much, too. I, too, do not intend to give you up easily. If nothing else, it is characteristic of my condition. The whole thing deserves the name 'product of laziness'. Meanwhile the proof copy of The Seeker of Souls has arrived. Cover and title page are marvellous and the whole lay-out is dignified. I am very glad to see the fool run around in such good clothes.

Now we have to wait and see what the world has got to say about it. I have not yet received your new work and shall thus be able to look forward to it a little longer. I wish I could somehow give you back part of the joie de vwre I have received from you. Vet I can only do what good boys do for their fathers, namely resolve to work well and prove worthy of them. On Monday I shall go on holiday, for the first time in 6 years, to the Black Forest, a little house away from people, ac- companied by my assistant only, without servant and without running the risk of seeing anybody.

She will cook and I shall chop wood and sweep rooms; we shall roam about the forests, feed birds and deer and sleep a lot. And if the heavens are mer- ciful I shall start the book on the unconscious. Something popu- lar. A few years ago I had the urge to write it, now I have to force myself. I shall not be able to collaborate on the children's book I was asked to by the publisher.

Outside the boys are setting offbangs and rockets and yet the night is as warm as if it were April. Every now and then the wind shakes the trees in front of my window and life is really very nice. With warmest greetings as ever in gratitude and devotion Groddeck Vienna, 9. The 'fool' 45 looks good in his clothes. He will give pleasure to many people and anger many others. Ferenczi has asked to greet him Very envious of your forest journey, yet is there no other time of the year?

The five letters 47 are charming. I have firmly decided not to let you go to another publisher. You are irresistible. Particu- larly when you talk about yourself. I must tell you that my daughter, who is so far the only reader apart from myself and who came back from The Hague somehow adversely influ- enced, has had the same impression.

Now I am very interested to see the sequel. Will you be able to melt the difficult material into a liquid flow again, and will you succeed, with all your capriccios, in making the piece of ground that you jump off from appear as distinctly? Your style is enchanting, your speech like music. To talk about something more serious: I understand very well why the unconscious is not enough to make you consider the It dispensable. I feel the same. Yet I have a special talent for being satisfied with the fragmentary. For the unconscious is merely something phenomenal, a sign in place of a better ac- quaintanceship, as if I said: the gentleman in the havelock whose face I cannot see distinctly.

What do I do if he appears without this piece of clothing? For ages now I have been recom- mending in the inner circle that the unconscious and the pre- conscious should not be opposed, but rather the coherent Ego and the repressed material split off from this. But that does not solve the difficulty either. The Ego is deeply unconscious, too, in its depths, and yet fused with the core of the repressed ma- terial. The more correct notion thus seems to be that the cate- gories and hierarchies observed by us only apply to relatively superficial layers, and not to the depth for which your 'It' is the right name.

L'D We shall talk about it further when the little book yours is ready. Yet how could we manage that? Could you get away for a few days in summer. You also said that I was getting away from eroticism. Do come here for a few weeks. Whenever it suits you. I know it is often tiresome to be some- body's guest. But one can really be at ease in Marienhohe.

Nobody is disturbed or allows himself to be disturbed. Like everybody else you will get your meals sent to your room and when you need company at meals or otherwise you can tell me and I shall eat with you. For years now I have spent the whole day there; my own house is nothing but a place to sleep in for me. The patients - there are never more than fourteen - you will not notice, nor is there a smell of iodine or medicine. And you will be in Baden Baden. I have seen much of the world, but there is no more beautiful spot than Baden Baden.

I myself, a Prussian, emigrated here, and I have as little love for the South Germans as they have for me. But the scenery here is beautiful. The only difficulty is that you will be with a lover. But I am still young in this, and I shall behave as I did in The Hague, when I was satisfied with seeing you and talking to you oc- casionally. If my information is correct, you are accustomed to having your daughter with you.

I hope she will be kind and accept my invitation and persuade you too. Please, give her my regards. The words and the drawing of the repressed Ego and It have had their effect on me and will bear fruit. Thank you very much! I have a woman patient who has been labelled heart disease and chronic kidney infection.


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