From Thoughts to Drives Is It Useful to Think about Thoughts?
I am in yoga poses fact of the opinion that the antithesis of conscious and unconscious is not applicable to instincts. (Freud, 1915a, Metapsychology, III, 177)
The psy system of the 1890s describes the circulation of mental representations. This is the model that was presented to the general public in yoga poses Freud’s first works and that has so pleased personalities like Jung and Ferenczi. But everyone senses that this model poorly coordinated the dynamics of the drives and the dynamics of the thoughts. Jung leaned toward a global psychophysiological interaction, but he had to admit such generalities were of no help to psychotherapists. He ended up thinking that between the brain and the psy system there was a special interface that produced phenomena like archetypes. The interface between the unconscious and the brain is then perceived from the point of view of consciousness,50 as the mouth of a volcano, like something that is not a complete whole but an aspect of the global organization. Freud thought instead of a sort of necessity on the part of the instincts to recruit a regiment of thoughts that play a particularly useful function in yoga poses a propensity’s army. This is a bit like what Cannon envisioned, in yoga poses the same period, when he constructed his homeostatic model. For Freud, this axis organizes itself necessarily around pleasure: a biological pleasure and a mental pleasure, the organic pleasure to eat or to make love, and the mental pleasure of eating or of making love. There is also, on the side of the preconscious, another interface that connects the mental pleasure and the organic pleasure of moving, doing things, playing the violin, baking a good bread, hugging one’s partner. Seen from this angle, the only biologically constructed pleasure that links physiology, representations, and actions built with another is the sexual interaction. That is the center around which all the other pleasures are built. Freud insisted in yoga poses distinguishing organic pleasure and mental pleasure because they manifestly function differently. The pleasure of eating that turns into a tendency toward bulimia is a prime example. A more complicated example is the one of a union between individuals who like each other but who do not have chemical systems that would promote an active sexual life. It is sad that only rarely does all of the apparatus of the soma and the psyche need the same person and that it be reciprocal.
Since 1905, when Freud defended his model of the libido, he created a kind of dichotomy in yoga poses psychoanalytical thought. The desire coordinates the physiological dimension and the psychological dimension of a drive. When Freud spoke of the psy system, he clearly distinguished physiology and representations, but this differentiation takes on water as soon as he speaks of libido. The anal libido is attached to a part of the body, a physiological function, affective needs (to be miserly), ways of thinking (to be very rational), behavior patterns (to be very organized), and relationship styles (sadomasochistic relationships). It becomes evident that not only the thought of anger is repressed but so is a particular outburst of anger. The body psychotherapists, right from the Reichian Vegetotherapy, went to the outer limits of the idea that the entire organism is harnessed to repress the composites of anger. Freud did not go as far, but he did take a first step in yoga poses this direction. Henceforth, he admitted that in yoga poses repressing the thought of being angry, the propensity and its need to recruit the help of the psyche is disturbed. The defense system acts on the mental dimension and more indirectly, for Freud, in yoga poses the physiological dimension of the drive. The First yoga topography does not achieve a description of this double psychological and physiological activity. Add to that the transferential dynamics described by Ferenczi, which give a greater importance than before to the interface between the mind and motor activity. The First yoga topography made it possible to impose the idea that the mind must also be treated by mental methods. But this beautiful theory, this clarity, does not take the fuzzier dynamics of the organism into account. Another approach had to be adopted.
This change is not just induced by the internal inconsistencies of the Freudian model. Psychoanalysts, even Freud, encounter a key problem in yoga poses their practice that is linked to the inconsistencies I have just summarized. They had several cases in yoga poses which the patient recovered memories of situations repressed in yoga poses the unconscious without being relieved of the symptoms that motivated coming to psychotherapy. The psychoanalysts of the day explained this by telling themselves that these patients had recovered the cognitive memory of the repressed situation but not the memory of its affective content. The defense system therefore has the capacity to render an analysis ineffective by activating only half the memory: either its affective content deprived of the associated images, or only the images. The challenge for the practitioner is to find techniques that will help resolve this problem. Evidently, asking the patient to free associate and analyze the mental lapses and dreams does not always suffice. The solution that Freud envisioned is to propose a system of interpretation of the material brought forth by the associations of the patient that centers more on the coordination between representations and affects. We will see that for others, like Ferenczi and Reich, the problem could only be resolved by adopting more active methods that solicit the motor system more directly.