Arguably, the common ground between the “sex instinct” and the thoughts of the “unconscious” or “subconscious” mind stems from the fact that both the “sex instinct” and the “thought-processes” of the unconscious or subconscious mind are subject to two forces stemming from both the environment and people surrounding the individual as well from the conscious level of the mind, namely, repression and resistance. There is, however, a fundamental difference between ‘repression’ and ‘resistance’ which needs to be highlighted.
On one hand, ‘repression’ amounts to the ‘banishment’ or burying of certain experiences and memories at the hands of the conscious mind. Instances where the individual forgets certain experiences and memories stem from the ‘repression’ emanating from the conscious mind. On the other hand, ‘resistance’ is the force which blocks the free flow of thought and the recollection of experiences and thoughts when the individual employs the techniques that enable the free flow of thought and the recollection of experiences and thoughts.
Hence, both the ‘sex instinct’ and the ‘thought-processes’ of the unconscious or subconscious mind seek to overcome the two major forces stemming from both the environment and people surrounding the individual as well as from the conscious level of the mind, namely, repression and resistance. Arguably, both the ‘sex instinct’ and the ‘thought-processes’ of the unconscious or subconscious mind benefit when one or the other is able to overcome the ‘repression’ and ‘resistance’ of the conscious mind, the environment, and the people which surround the individual.
Also, the ‘sex instinct’ is deeply intertwined with both a chemical process involving the entire human body and a ‘psychic energy’ known as the ‘libido.’ Little is known about the ‘libido’ other than the fact that the withdrawal of the ‘libido’ from the individual or object which induces the ‘cathexis’ or ‘fixation’ of the libido can lead to neurosis. Thus, the sole aim of the ‘libido’ is to find its object of ‘cathexis’ after it has been lost and in turn achieve ‘union’ with its object of ‘cathexis.’ Interestingly, Freud argued that more often than not, the object of “cathexis” or the “love-object” of the ‘libido’ ends up being a “mother-surrogate” who is ultimately a “maternal prototype” stemming from the libido’s initial attachment to the mother during childhood.
In turn, the environment, the people, and the conscious forces of ‘resistance’ and ‘repression’ which surround the individual all seek to divert and hinder the individual from achieving its libidinal aim of ‘union’ with its object of ‘cathexis’ or ‘love-object.’ Certain philosophers have equated the ‘love force’ with the ‘libido.’ Moreover, the ‘group mind’ or ‘group psychology’ is entirely based on the ‘love force’ or ‘Eros’ or ‘libido.’ And it is in fact ‘Eros’ and the ‘libido’ which “holds together everything in the world” as Freud argued. Yet, the paradox of the ‘libido’ is that the longer it takes for the aim of ‘union’ with the object of ‘cathexis’ to be achieved, the more likely it becomes for the libido to achieve its aim. As the expression goes: “He who knows how to wait need make no concessions.”
Furthermore, certain cases of what society considers as “sexual aberration” end up occuring due to the “inversion” of the ‘libido’ which results in the changes and transformation of the libido as a result of certain experiences and memories. Hence, certain psychoanalytic techniques such as “free association” or “hypnosis” are thought to be effective and useful in undoing the “inversion” of the libido by removing the repression and resistance of the conscious mind and in turn dealing with the experiences and memories buried in the unconscious level of the mind which led to the inversion of the libido. “Inversion” can happen to individuals who appear totally functional and intelligent, and in fact, the most intelligent and functional people happen to be the most susceptible to “inversion.”
And in more than a few instances, the “inversion” of the libido amongst highly functional and intelligent individuals is manifested through “sublimation” or the artistic and intellectual expression of the libido. Thus, the artistic or intellectual expression and manifestation of the libido is interchangeable with the “sublimation” of the libido which occurs as a result of “inversion.” Also, the higher one’s level of intellect, the less shame one feels in engaging with the subject of sexuality.