THE ASSOCIATION METHOD, THE FAMILIAR CONSTELLATIONS, and EXPERIENCES CONCERNING THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF THE CHILD

THE ASSOCIATION METHOD, THE FAMILIAR CONSTELLATIONS, and EXPERIENCES CONCERNING THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF THE CHILD

by Carl Jung, A. A. Brill
     
 

An excerpt from the beginning of the third chapter:

EXPERIENCES CONCERNING THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF THE CHILD

Ladies and Gentlemen : In the last lecture we have seen how important for later life are the emotional processes of childhood. In to-day's lecture I should like to give you some insight into the psychic life of the child through the analysis of a…  See more details below

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An excerpt from the beginning of the third chapter:

EXPERIENCES CONCERNING THE PSYCHIC LIFE OF THE CHILD

Ladies and Gentlemen : In the last lecture we have seen how important for later life are the emotional processes of childhood. In to-day's lecture I should like to give you some insight into the psychic life of the child through the analysis of a 4-year-old girl. It is much to be regretted that there are doubtless few among you who have had opportunity to read the analysis of " Little John" (Kleiner Hans), which has been published by Freud during the current year.* I should properly begin by giving you the content of that analysis, so that you might be in a position to compare for yourselves the results of Freud with those obtained by me, and to observe the marked, even astonishing, similarity between the unconscious creations of the two children. Without a knowledge of the fundamental analysis of Freud, much in the report of the following case will appear to you strange, incomprehensible, and perhaps unacceptable. I beg you, however, to defer final judgment and to enter upon the consideration of these new subjects with a kindly disposition, for such pioneer work in virgin soil requires not only the greatest patience on the part of the investigator, but also the unprejudiced attention of his audience. Because the Freudian investigations apparently involve an indelicate discussion of the most intimate secrets of sexuality many people have had a feeling of repulsion and have therefore rejected everything as a matter of course without any real proof. This, unfortunately, has almost always been the fate of Freud's doctrines until now. One must not come to the consideration of these matters with the firm conviction that they do not exist, else it may easily come to pass that for the prejudiced they really do not exist. One should perhaps for the moment assume the author's point of view and investigate these phenomena under his guidance. In this way only can the correctness or incorrectness of our observations be affirmed.

* Jahrbuch F. Psychoanalytische nnd Psychopathologische Forschungen, Band I, Denticke, Wien.

We may err, as all human beings err. But the continual holding up to us of our mistakes,—perhaps they are worse than mistakes,—does not help us to see things more distinctly. We should prefer to see wherein we err. That should be shown to us in our own sphere of experience. Thus far, however, no one has succeeded in meeting us on our own ground, and in giving us a different conception of the things which we ourselves see. We must still complain that our critics are persisting in complete ignorance and without the slightest notion about the matters in question. The only reason for this is that our critics have never taken the trouble to become thoroughly acquainted with our method; had they done this they would have understood us.

The little girl to whose sagacity and intellectual vivacity we are indebted for the following observations is a healthy, lively child of emotional temperament. She has never been seriously ill, and never, even in the realm of the nervous system, had there been observed any symptoms prior to this investigation. In the report which will now follow we shall have to waive a connected description, for it is made up of anecdotes which treat of one out of a whole cycle of similar experiences, and which cannot, therefore, be arranged scientifically and systematically, but must rather be described somewhat in the form of a story. This manner of description we cannot as yet dispense with in our analytic psychology, for we are still far from being able in all cases to separate with unerring certainty the curious from the typical.

When the little daughter, whom we will call Anna, was about 3 years old, she once had the following conversation with her grandmother:

Anna: "Grandma, why have you such withered eyes?"

Grandma: "Because I am old?"

A. "But you will become young again."

G. "No, do you know, I shall become older and older, and then I shall die."

A. "Well, and then?"

G. "Then I shall become an angel."

A. "And then will you again become a little child ?"

The child found here a welcome opportunity for the provisional solution of a problem. For some time before she had been in the habit of asking her mother whether she would ever have a living doll, a little child, a little brother. This naturally included the question as to the origin of children. As such questions appeared only spontaneously and indirectly, the parents attached no significance to them, but received them as lightly and in appearance as facetiously as the child seemed to ask them. Thus she once received from her father the amusing information that children are brought by the stork. Anna had already heard somewhere a more serious version, namely, that children are little angels...

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014907538
Publisher:
OGB
Publication date:
08/15/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
825 KB

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