Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oedipus? Electra? Whatever.

“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.”                 
       —Sigmund Freud
 This is absolutely one of my favorite quotes.  Mostly because it’s true.  I know a lot of people automatically see something from Freud and roll their eyes and think “ooh, what a quack!” Sure, he was a little self-righteous and definitely had some psychological issues…but name someone, especially someone famous, who isn’t a little out of the ordinary. Ultimately, pioneers in any field are ridiculed and criticized, regardless of how valid their ideas prove to be later on. Why do you think the majority of society consists of sheep, not shepherds?  Sorry for the lame metaphor.  What I mean is, it’s easier to be a follower than a leader and not everyone has what it takes to be a leader.

Now I’m not in any way condoning Freudian thought or defending him as a human being; this man was indubitably arrogant (c’mon, he made his “followers” kiss his ring and disowned some of his students that questioned his theories) and there were numerous ethical and protocol issues with the way he ran his case studies and wrote his manuscripts.  Well, for one point in his defense, no one had any idea about the brain or how it works at this point and the ideas of conscious, subconscious and unconscious didn’t even exist until he came along.And while psychoanalysis can get a little hokey (okay….really hokey), if you take out with mommy-obsessed boys, penis-envying girls and tone down the amplitude of the extremes he takes everything to, Freud has some damn good points.  The man was a medical doctor, after all. He just got a little excited. Sexually excited, perhaps he would say.

But honestly, sexuality really does surround human existence and you can argue all you want that it’s not important, it’s not an “instinct” or “drive” and can be controlled—hell, you can even argue that drives don’t exist at all.  But good luck coming up with evidence and good luck convincing me and everyone else that has studied/is studying this stuff in detail.

Basically, my points are these: this quote is awesome. Freud was a crazy pioneer and I love him. My lunch break is nearly over because I got sidetracked—as usual.  Make of this quote what you will. My train of thought is that everybody overuses the word “love”. When you truly love someone else, you change. Not FOR them, but BECAUSE of them. And it’s not something you can control, or something you should be considered weak for. It can, however, render you defenseless against certain things, especially and mostly the other person.  No matter how well you know someone, you can never with total accuracy predict his or her actions—hell, you can’t even predict you own actions half the time. If you’re doubting me, think about how different you are from a few years ago. Think about how many times you’ve thought or said “I never thought I’d be ___” or “I can’t believe I ____”. People change, learn, grow. It’s a part of life and of human nature (yeah, there’s that phrase again). No matter how you look at it—from a psychological, philosophical or biological point of view—it’s a natural cycle. If you’re staying stagnant, there’s some kind of issue. I work in a hospital…if you need someone’s number..or, I don’t know… new organ or complex thought, lemme know. Help me help you.

Back to the point, it just made me think about how even the most selfish hard-ass can end up being in love or putting his life on the line for a child. It can suck, but EVERYONE has a weak spot (well, unless you’re a sociopath…); maybe you’re just not the one who can see it. And maybe someone else can.

Thanks, Freud. LYLAS.

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