“ Without the assumption of a collective mind, which makes it possible to neglect the interruptions of mental acts caused by the extinction of the individual, social psychology in general cannot exist. Unless psychical processes were continued from one generation to another, if each generation were obliged to acquire its attitude to life anew, there would be no progress in this field and next to no development. This gives rise to two further questions: how much can we attribute to psychical continuity in the sequence of generations? and what are the ways and means employed by one generation in order to hand on its mental states to the
The intention is to furnish a psychology that shall be a natural science: that is, to represent psychical processes as quantitatively determinate states ... subject to the general laws of motion.
Project for a Scientific Psychology
I was trained to employ local diagnoses and electro-prognosis and it still strikes me myself as strange that the case histories I write should read like short stories and that, as one might say, they lack the serious stamp of science.
Studies on Hysteria
Since we cannot wait for another science to present us with the final conclusions ... it is far more to the purpose that we should try to see what light may be thrown upon this basic problem of biology by a synthesis of the psychological phenomena. (italics original)
A part of the problem seems to be met by the inheritance of psychical dispositions which, however, need to be given some sort of impetus in the life of the individual before they can be roused into actual operation. This may be the
meaning of the poet's words:
Was du ererbt von deinen Vatern hast, Erwirb es, um es zu besitzen.
We shall probably get nearest to the truth if we think of the conscious and personal psych as resting upon the broad basis of an inherited and universal psychic disposition which is as such unconscious, and that our personal psyche bears the same relation to the collective psyche as the individual to society.
In so doing he raised it out of its sub-terranean beginnings into the clear light of collective consciousness .... A man is a philosopher of genius only when he succeeds in transmuting the primitive and merely natural vision into an abstract idea belonging to the common stock of consciousness . ... To the philosopher as well this vision comes as so much increment, and is simply a part of the common property of mankind, in which, in principle, everyone has a share .
Consciousness makes each of us aware only of his own states of mind; that other people, too, possess a consciousness is an inference which we draw by analogy from their observable utterances and actions, in order to make this behavior of theirs intelligible to us (… we attribute to everyone else our own constitution and therefore our consciousness as well, and that this identification is a sine qua non of our understanding.) This inference (or this identification ) was formerly extended … to other human beings, to animals, plants, inanimate objects and to the world at large, and proved serviceable so long as their similarity to the individual ego was overwhelmingly great; but it became more untrustworthy in proportion as the difference between the ego and these “others” widened.
Freud: Justification for the Concept of the Unconscious
In Darwin's primal horde ... there is a violent and jealous father who keeps all the females for himself and drives away his sons as they grow up.... One day the brothers who had been driven out came together , killed and devoured their father and so made an end of this patriarchal horde. United , they had the courage to do and succeeded in doing what would have been impossible for them individually. (highlighted words suggest a network of
In 1836, Lelut … claimed Socrates was mentally ill .... A similar conclusion about Blaise Pascal appeared in 1846…. another French psychiatrist, Moreau, depicted over 180 men of genius as being diseased. Soon signs of "nervous degeneration" were being discovered among most of the world's leading artists, scientists, writers, and musicians.
As Schumann put it to Clara several years later, "With so much hustle and bustle around you, I'm not surprised you cannot compose. To create something and be successful at it requires happiness and deep loneliness .”
Robert Schumann, Jugendbriefe
When [Mendelssohn] was playing his own music for Schumann, [Clara] once commented, "Robert's eyes radiate joy, and it is very painful for me to have to feel I can never offer Robert anything like that."
Schumann was silent and reserved all evening, as usual. He only mumbled, unintelligibly, when asked questions.... mostly sat in a corner next to the piano ... his head bowed down, hair hanging in his face... Clara ... answered all the questions for her husband.
Eismann: Robert Schumann, Ein Quellenwerk über Sein Leben und Schaffen
Schumann ... [when being introduced] mutely took a bow without speaking to the assembled musicians and singers.... Within twenty-four hours the musicians were so dissatisfied and hostile that some of the soloists tried to back out.
Berthold Litzmann: Clara Schumann, Ein K(u:)nstlerleben
… Schumann's chances of finding work again - had he been released from Endenich - probably would have been very limited. His experience and ability as a teacher were meager, and as a conductor he had failed. Surely Wasielewski, who lived in Bonn, told Richarz that no city in Germany would want to have Schumann as a music director. Neither would Schumann play the piano ... [he] had not been a virtuoso for many years. He might have continued to do some music criticism....
Ostwald, P.F.: Schumann: Music and Madness
( 2:i ) Infant development of the human ‘networking’ system
According to Freud, in the first years of life when speech and consciousness develop, both sex and aggression play definitive roles. How do these various instincts interact?
Are “ identification ” and “ inference ” the sole mechanisms that allow humans to understand other people and things? If so, human understanding has limitation and will become untrustworthy “as the difference between the ego and these 'others' [is] widened.” (Freud)
Freud, Jung, and their associates have examined a function in humans analogous that of “networking” in computers
The "Mirror System Hypothesis" ( Rizzolatti & Arbib 1998) might be describing this same mechanisms, as it closely matches the dynamics of Freud’s “ inference ” and “ identification ”, and of Lacan’s (1977) “ mirror stage ”.