The Search for the Self, Volume 2: Selected Writings of by Paul H. Ornstein

By Paul H. Ornstein

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Extra info for The Search for the Self, Volume 2: Selected Writings of Heinz Kohut: 1950-1978

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He says the findings of psychoanalysis are experienced as a narcissistic injury to mankind, especially the theory of unconscious mental life. Freud, then, speaks here about nonspecific resistance against the total edifice of psychoanalysis as a science. This same attitude was gradually recognized also as nonspecific resistance of the individual patient against analytic treatment. The individual patient, in other words, believes that he wants to recognize his unconscious thoughts and wishes with the aid of analytic treatment.

He understands now why he always had to be cold, logical, and rational; and in consequence of this understanding, he becomes capable of passionate feelings and actions. # into action. In the terms of Freud's well-known analogy he is no longer the horseman who claims that he wants to go where in fact his horse is taking him-he is now in truth the master of his horse. As I get closer to the end of these reflections I realize 538 THE SEARCH FOR THE SELF more and more how difficult it is to state the case of analysis without presenting the empirical evidence on which this science is built.

This yearning finds an apparently irresistible fulfillment for many in their total submission to a Messianic leader and to his dogmatic beliefs. It surely does not have to be explained why we feel in- PSYCHOANALYSIS IN A TROUBLED WORLD 533 stinctively repelled at the thought of advocating methods that resemble those employed by the Messianic leaders and dictators of recent history. But are we not here perhaps the victims of a prejudice? Must we not admit that there are also well-intentioned and constructive leaders who are able to employ irrational forces and to evoke irrational responsesin the service of rational and culture-building goals?

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