“The disease called man”--Nietzsche

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“The disease called man”--Nietzsche

Postby coberst on January 3rd, 2008, 6:39 am 

“The disease called man”--Nietzsche

Aristotle said that all men seek happiness. Freud said that the goal of the pleasure-principle is happiness. Man’s desire for happiness sets at odds to the reality-principle. It is the reality-principle that propels the world into tomorrow. Humans naturally seek what they wish but “reality imposes on human beings the necessity of renunciation of pleasures”.

Therein lay the rub an the rub is called repression.

Freud says that the whole edifice of psychoanalysis is constructed on the theory of repression—the essence of society is the repression of the individual--the essence of the individual is repression of him or her self—Freud’s theory is that the phenomena dreams, neurotic symptoms, and errors are caused—i.e. the principle of psychic determinism—they are meaningful because this means there is purpose or intention—“since the purport of these purposive expressions is generally unknown to the person whose purpose they express, Freud is driven to embrace the paradox that there are in a human being purposes of which he knows nothing, involuntary purpose”—i.e. unconscious ideas.

Neurosis is “the disease called man” Nietzsche. “Neurosis is an essential consequence of civilization or culture.” Brown

“Between “normality” and “abnormality” there is no qualitative but only a quantitative difference, based largely on the practical question of whether our neurosis is serious enough to incapacitate us for work.” The difference between “neurotic and healthy is only that the healthy have a socially useful form of neurosis.”

Freud defined psychoanalysis as “nothing more than discovery of the unconscious in mental life”—the other hypothesis is that “some unconscious ideas in a human being are incapable of becoming conscious to him in the ordinary way, because they are strenuously disowned and resisted by the conscious life”.

Norman Brown tells us that to comprehend Freud one must understand “repression”. “In the new Freudian perspective, the essence of society is repression of the individual, the essence of the individual is repression of the self.”

Freud discovered the importance of repression when he discovered the meaning of the “mad” symptoms of the mentally deranged, plus the meaning of dreams, and thirdly the everyday happenings regarded as slips of the tongue, errors, and random thoughts. He concludes that dreams, mental derangements, and common every day errors (Freudian slips) have meaningful causes that can be explained. Meaningful is the key word here.

Since these psychic phenomena are unconscious we must accept that we have motivation to action with a purpose for which we are unconscious (involuntary purposes). This inner nature of which we are completely unaware leads to Freud’s definition of psychoanalysis as “nothing more than the discovery of the unconscious in mental life.”

Freud discovered that sapiens have unconscious causes which are hidden from her because they are disowned and hidden by the conscious self. The dynamic relationship between the unconscious and conscious life is a constant battle and psychoanalysis is a science of this mental conflict.

The rejection of an idea which is one’s very own and remains so is repression. The essence of repression is in the fact that the individual refuses to recognize this reality of her very own nature. This nature becomes evident when it erupts into consciousness only in dreams or neurotic symptoms or by slips of the tongue.

The unconscious is illuminated only when it is being repressed by the conscious mind. It is a process of psychic conflict. “We obtain our theory of the unconscious from the theory of repression.” Freud’s hypothesis of the repressed unconscious results from the conclusion that it is common to all humans. This is a phenomenon of everyday life; neurosis is common to all humans.

Dreams are normal phenomena and being that the structure of dreams is common to neurotics and normal people the dream is also neurotic. “Between “normality” and “abnormality” there is no qualitative but only quantitative difference, based largely on the practical question of whether our neurosis is serious enough to incapacitate us for work…the doctrine of the universal neurosis of mankind is the psychoanalytical analogue of the theological doctrine of original sin.”

Quotes from “Life against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History” Norman O. Brown

If you do not perceive your self to be a cauldron of conflict does that mean that the science of psychology is just a bunch of baloney?

If you look and cannot see it does that mean it does not exist?

Must we prepare our self in order to see?
coberst
 


Postby erythrophyte on March 30th, 2008, 2:28 am 

It may be of benefit to post the entire quote rather than a snippet since doing so may shed more light on the issue. Taking Nietzsche out of context is something that is discouraged, for his work must be understood as a whole else it will most likely be misconstrued and used to such colourful ends. Can you please provide the location of this quote in Nietzsche's works? I'm having difficultly finding it.

Thank you.
erythrophyte
 


Postby coberst on March 30th, 2008, 3:41 am 

erythrophyte wrote:It may be of benefit to post the entire quote rather than a snippet since doing so may shed more light on the issue. Taking Nietzsche out of context is something that is discouraged, for his work must be understood as a whole else it will most likely be misconstrued and used to such colourful ends. Can you please provide the location of this quote in Nietzsche's works? I'm having difficultly finding it.

Thank you.


This snippet came from Brown's book refered to in the OP and I cannot find anything that places it into context.
coberst
 


Postby rrushius on March 30th, 2008, 11:07 am 

i cannot find that Nietzsche quote myself, and frankly it rings no bell at all... But erythrophyte is right; most Nietzsche quotes seem somewhat meaningless if taken out of context, although in this case it seems understandable what the point is. Lately, however, I have heard a lot of Nietzsche quotes which made no sense at all--from someone I heard a Zarathustra misquotation; "If man has the possibility to do bad, he should do it..." This is an completely incorrect quotation. The person who quoted it had not read Nietzsche directly but had read a summary of his ideas. I would warn even against that in the case of Nietzsche; it is not a philosophy that can be summarized so easily--try reading him directly and you'll see.

For example I have never met anyone that has read some kind of summery of Nietzsche who understood what I meant by the separation of the reason from the instincts. Had they read Nietzsche directly, I assume they would have no difficulty with this concept.
rrushius
 


Postby erythrophyte on March 30th, 2008, 11:36 am 

coberst wrote:This snippet came from Brown's book refered to in the OP and I cannot find anything that places it into context.


I've managed to track down the full quote. It's from Thus Spoke Zarathrustra in the Second Part in Section 18, entitled "On Great Events". It's a couple of pages long, so I will just quote the text surrounding the quote:

And this is the story of Zarathrustra's conversation with the fire hound:
"The earth," he said, "has a skin, and this skin has diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called 'man'. And another one of these diseases is called 'fire hound': about him men have told each other, and believed, many lies. To get to the bottom of this mystery I went over the sea, and I have seen truth naked - verily, barefoot up to the throat. Now I am informed concerning the fire hound, and also concerning all scum- and overthrow devils, of whom not only old women are afraid. (tr. W. Kaufmann)


If my understanding is correct, when Nietzsche is referring to 'man' as a disease he refers to 'man' in terms of the masses who are not artists, philosophers or saints, for only these rare individuals have, in Kaufmann's words, "overcome themselves, sublimating their impulses, consecrating their passions and given style to their characters..." As such, these individuals have become truly human or super-human; they have 'overcome' the 'disease'.

In light of this, perhaps the applicability of this quote is of lesser importance than intellectual integrity. Picking bits and pieces from texts and using them out of context is deplorable, especially in Nietzsche's case because his details are easier to understand than his whole picture. Nietzsche even explicitly states in Genealogy of Morals, Section 8, that he assumes that his readers have read his earlier works in a slow and careful manner.

Cheers.
erythrophyte
 



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