Tuesday, May 11, 2010


He doesn't know what is underneath the water. Beasties, perhaps. Jellyfish, most definitely. Freudians have made the analogy that the conscious self is above the water where we can see it and be aware of it. Underneath the surface of the water, however, is all sorts of nasty stuff that we cannot see. We can look at the movement of the waves and appreciate any particular disturbances in the water. But we can't be sure of what is causing that movement or those disturbances. And, what's more, we have no way of knowing how deep the water goes. Sure, we can note the darkness of the water, but that only tells us that the water has at least a certain depth. We do not know what that depth is let alone what greater depths there might be. We can only see movement and color. Freud argues that we can know no more than this about the abyss that we carry around within us and that determines, either directly or indirectly, everything we do.

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