Prurient Erotic Confessionals

In sum, and by virtue of the struggle between repression and truth, the former seeks to contain and suppress the latter, whereas the latter seeks to evade and free itself from the former, until finally, the latter “encompasses” the former. Nevertheless, and as Freud wrote, repression is “individual in its operation, but it is also exceedingly mobile.” Notice how Israel ends up second place in Eurovision, or how Volodymyr Zelensky ends up in one place after another. It demonstrates both the individual focus and the mobility of repression. Freud added: “Repression acts…in a highly individual manner.” 

Freud also wrote: “The process of repression is not to be regarded as an event which takes place once, the results of which are permanent, as when some living thing has been killed and from that time onward is dead; repression demands a persistent expenditure of force, and if this were to cease the success of the repression would be jeopardized, so that a fresh act of repression would be necessary.” Repression eventually meets “an unceasing counter-pressure” which in turn means that “the maintenance of a repression involves an uninterrupted expenditure of force, while its removal results in a saving from an economic point of view.” 

Conventional thinking prompts the idea or notion that repression “can lead to an apparent complete suppression which corresponds to a strong self-control” as Carl Jung wrote. But as Jung added: “Unfortunately, however, self-control has its limits which are only too narrowly drawn.” However, and as Jung wrote, there are essentially two functions or operations going on amidst the transformation through the course of time of the individual’s psychic and sexual energies, or the “libido.” As Jung wrote: “Where this operation succeeds without injury to the adaptation of the individual it is called sublimation. Where the attempt does not succeed it is called repression.” 

Education and the integration of the unconscious with the conscious through education is what facilitates sublimation as opposed to repression. In turn, this struggle between repression and truth plays out and surfaces on a number of levels. There is both the psychological level whereby the unconscious pushes its contents and “riddles” onto the conscious level, and then there is the social level whereby sexuality is front and center. As Jung wrote: “On the one side, our culture undervalues most extraordinarily the importance of sexuality; on the other side, sexuality breaks out as a direct result of the repression burdening it at every place where it does not belong, and makes use of such an indirect manner of expression that one may expect to meet it suddenly almost anywhere.” 

The fact of the matter is that “the idea of the intimate comprehension of a human soul, which is in reality something very beautiful and pure, is soiled and disagreeably distorted through the entrance of the indirect sexual meaning.” In a sense, indirect sexual meaning arises from a particular process, namely, the process whereby “repressed and denied sexuality forces upon the highest soul functions” and in turn we get “prurient erotic confessionals” almost everywhere we look. Also, the sexuality and the sexual meaning of a particular case and situation can either have an intoxicating effect or a toxic effect, and it is this emotion or feeling of intoxication in some cases which is the subject and focal point of great works of art, literature, philosophy, and poetry. As a result, intoxication is the epitome of elevated and lofty thought, given that poetry is the otherworldly language by which elevated thought is expressed. And while the intoxication of elevated thought and sublimation can be evasive, the intoxication supersedes and shrouds everything else if it can be grasped. As Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote in a short poem titled “The Vine-Shroud”:

“Flourishing vine, whose kindling clusters glow

Beneath the autumnal sun, none taste of thee; 

For thou dost shroud a ruin, and below

The rotting bones of dead antiquity.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s