- Sep 2013
instinct of death
conflicting instincts: (1) to preserve living substance (join into larger units) and (2) dissolve units into primaeval, inorganic state
Eros: (from Wikipedia) <u>Sigmund Freud</u> In Freudian psychology, Eros is strictly the sexual component of our life, not to be confused with libido which Freud referred to as our life force, the will to live. It is the desire to create life and favors productivity and construction. In early psychoanalytic writings, instincts from the Eros were opposed by forces from the ego. But in later psychoanalytic theory, Eros is opposed by the destructive death instinct of Thanatos (death instinct or death drive). In his 1925 paper "The Resistances to Psycho-Analysis", Freud explains that the psychoanalytic concept of sexual energy is more in line with the Platonic view of Eros...than with the common use of the word "sex" as related primarily to genital activity. He also mentions the philosopher Schopenhauer as an influence. He then goes on to confront his adversaries for ignoring such great precursors and for tainting his whole theory of Eros with a pansexual tendency. He finally writes that his theory naturally explains this collective misunderstanding as a predictable resistance to the acknowledgement of sexual activity in childhood. However, F.M. Cornford finds the standpoints of Plato and of Freud to be "diametrically opposed" with regard to Eros. In Plato, Eros is a spiritual energy initially, which then "falls" downward; whereas in Freud Eros is a physical energy which is "sublimated" upward.
Carl Jung In Carl Jung's analytical psychology, the counterpart to Eros is Logos, a Greek term for the principle of rationality. Jung considers Logos to be a masculine principle, while Eros is a feminine principle. According to Jung: "Woman’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos. The concept of Eros could be expressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness, and that of Logos as objective interest." This gendering of Eros and Logos is a consequence of Jung's theory of the anima/animus syzygy of the human psyche. Syzygy refers to the split between male and female. According to Jung, this split is recapitulated in the unconscious mind by means of "contrasexual" (opposite-gendered) elements called the anima (in men) and the animus (in women). Thus men have an unconscious feminine principle, the "anima", which is characterized by feminine Eros. The work of individuation for men involves becoming conscious of the anima and learning to accept it as one's own, which entails accepting Eros. This is necessary in order to see beyond the projections that initially blind the conscious ego. "Taking back the projections" is a major task in the work of individuation, which involves owning and subjectivizing unconscious forces which are initially regarded as alien. In essence, Jung's concept of Eros is not dissimilar to the Platonic one. Eros is ultimately the desire for wholeness, and although it may initially take the form of passionate love, it is more truly a desire for "psychic relatedness", a desire for interconnection and interaction with other sentient beings. However, Jung was inconsistent, and he did sometimes use the word "Eros" as a shorthand to designate sexuality.