Yoga Sequence

Sexual Appetite

For an external frustration to become pathogenic, an internal frustration must be added to it. in yoga poses that case, of course, the external and the internal frustration relate to different paths and objects.2 The external frustration removes one possibility of satisfaction and the internal frustration seeks to exclude another possibility, about which the conflict then breaks out. (Freud, 1916, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, III. 22, 395)

If I take up the System of the Dimensions of the Organism that serve as the reference point for this volume, it is possible to distinguish in yoga poses Freud’s analysis (a) physical symptoms, (b) mental symptoms, (c) behavioral symptoms, and (d) a link between these domains. This “link” is the domain of the affects and the vegetative functioning of the organism, which was still not well known at the start of the twentieth century. For Freud, the central regulator of this affective domain is sexuality. He thinks that a person who is without a sexual problem cannot be neurotic. He calls the physiological aspect of sexuality, which activates the libido, a sexual appetite.3 This appetite would be linked to forms of physiological mobilizations distinct from those associated to hunger and thirst. At the time of his First yoga topography, Freud thinks that psychopathology appears when conscious thought is incapable of integrating the exigencies that sexuality would like to impose. To integrate these demands does not imply accepting them but to remain in yoga poses dialogue with them.


We can only venture to say so much: that pleasure is in yoga poses some way connected with the diminution, reduction or extinction of the amounts of stimulus prevailing in yoga poses the mental apparatus, and that similarly un-pleasure is connected with their increase. An examination of the most intense pleasure which is accessible to human beings, the pleasure of accomplishing the sexual act, leaves little doubt on this point. Since in yoga poses such processes related to pleasure is a question of what happens to quantities of mental excitation or energy, we call considerations of this kind economic. It will be noticed that we can describe the tasks and achievements of the mental apparatus in yoga poses another and more general way than by stressing the acquisition of pleasure. We can say that the mental apparatus serves the purpose of mastering and disposing of the amounts of stimulus and the sums of excitation that impinge on it from the outside and inside. It is immediately obvious that the sexual instincts, from the beginning to end of their development, work towards obtaining pleasure; they retain their original function unaltered. (Freud, 1916, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.

The idea that there exist propensities with sexual goals, and that they play a fundamental role in yoga poses the dynamics of the organism and of the mind, is ancient.4 Freud’s innovation lies in yoga poses his analysis of what happens when a propensity does not attain its objectives. This was new for at least two reasons:

1. The evolutionists were mostly interested in yoga poses how propensities insert themselves in yoga poses the dynamics of an emerging species. Freud is interested in yoga poses the unfolding of an individual propensity at a given moment.

2. The biologists were especially interested in yoga poses the resources mobilized by a propensity. Freud is interested in yoga poses the dynamics of what is mobilized in yoga poses real time. He notably analyzes how a propensity terminates and reabsorbs itself very much before physiologists become interested in yoga poses this question.

Freud’s idea is that a propensity mobilizes resources to achieve a goal. As long as this goal is not reached, the person experiences a disagreeable tension.5 When the goal is attained, the mechanisms of mobilization diminish and create an impression of pleasure and relaxation.6 If the goal is not reached, the organism engenders impressions like frustration and anxiety.7 A libido stasis then forms in yoga poses the organism and impedes it from having the necessary resources to accomplish other tasks.

A few isolated sexual frustrations reabsorb with time. But if they are repeated, there will be an accumulation of retained metabolic waste products, feelings of frustration, and an excessive recourse to compensatory modes of satisfaction. An individual will feel anguished and will experience cravings, headaches, and so on. in yoga poses brief, an entire series of behavioral, physiological, and mental mechanisms continue to deregulate until the organism has found a way of surviving more or less adequately in yoga poses its environment.

This analysis leads to a central point in yoga poses Freud’s theory: the organism cannot comfortably survive if consciousness does not fulfill its role of coordinator in yoga poses an instinctive propensity. in yoga poses the case of a dysfunction, the organism’s nonconscious mechanisms of regulation cause a splitting of the mind, which will maintain some desires in yoga poses the unconscious and create the displacements of some propensities. These displacements are dangerous because the sexual desire can be replaced by an excessive activation of other propensities like hunger, aggression, hallucinations, and so on.8 in yoga poses this organismic context, consciousness is unable to adequately achieve its role. The notion that the instinct needs to recruit the support of consciousness to be able to fulfill its functions is well summarized in yoga poses the Three Essays on Sexuality:

The simplest and likeliest assumption as to the nature of instincts would seem to be that in yoga poses itself an instinct is without quality, and, so far as mental life is concerned, is only to be regarded as a measure of the demand made upon the mind for work. What distinguishes the instincts from one another and endows them with specific qualities is their relation to their somatic sources and to their aims. (Freud, 1905, 83)

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