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Sex in the Psyche


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Sex in the Psyche


Humans have an animal nature and an X nature; we have an instinctive force compelling us to survive and to replicate and another force that often works in opposition that compels us to rise above the mundane because we are god-like. We have the power to explore distant planets provide that our latrine does not mal-function. Some have identified this coupling as the organic coupled with the superorganic, and some, as gods with anuses.


Freud labeled our attempt to integrate the organic with the superorganic as “sublimation”; the attempt by humans to heal the ever present war between the organic and superorganic. Sublimation introduces the concept of infantile sexuality, which raises the hackles of all self-respecting gods with repressed anuses and genitalia.


I suspect that one might usefully think of the animal instinctive force as a hydroelectric dam that holds and releases water to drive the turbines that convert the potential energy represented by the stored water into the kinetic energy developed by the turbines in the form of electricity.


Energy for survival and replication is like the river feeding the reservoir contained by the dam. The water stored must constantly flow through the turbines because the energy river is constantly feeding the reservoir; thus there is a constant kinetic energy forced on the animal nature that floods the creature with kinetic energy and must be utilized.


This kinetic energy flowing within the infant is utilized to sustain life and to be dissipated by the child in their childish replication, i.e. sexual, modes; these childish modes of replication, i.e. sexual activity, displays itself in five forms: the oral that is from birth to eight months, the anal from eight months to two years, phallic two to six years, and latency six to twelve. Adult humans utilizes this same energy in ‘a more sophisticated and direct manner’.


“Sublimation is the use made of bodily energy by a soul which sets itself apart from the body;” and as Swift says it is “lifting up of the soul or its Faculties above Matter”. Sublimation is the human effort to direct the “lower bodily” functions toward “higher values”.


Sublimation is an attempt to relate the organic with the superorganic; to heal the war between body and soul. The poet and the astronaut represent the human effort to rise above the body. Sublimation directs the kinetic energy that the body provides for replication and sustenance toward higher values.


Quotes from “Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytic Meaning of History” by Norman O. Brown

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