论自恋 i

论自恋 i
Sigmund Freud

On Narcissism: an Introduction
– 91 –
The disturbances to which a child’s original narcissism is exposed, the
reactions with which he seeks to protect himself from them and the paths
into which he is forced in doing so—these are themes which I propose to
leave on one side, as an important field of work which still awaits
exploration. The most significant portion of it, however, can be singled out in the shape of the ‘castration complex’ (in boys, anxiety about the penis— in girls, envy for the penis) and treated in connection with the effect of early deterrence from sexual activity.


Psycho-analytic research ordinarily
enables us to trace the vicissitudes undergone by the libidinal instincts
when these, isolated from the ego-instincts, are placed in opposition to them; but in the particular field of the castration complex, it allows us to infer the existence of an epoch and a psychical situation in which the two groups of instincts, still operating in unison and inseparably mingled, make their appearance as narcissistic interests.


It is from this context that Adler
[1910] has derived his concept of the ‘masculine protest’, which he has
elevated almost to the position of the sole motive force in the formation of character and neurosis alike and which he bases not on a narcissistic, and therefore still a libidinal, trend, but on a social valuation.


research has from the very beginning recognized the existence and
importance of the ‘masculine protest’, but it has regarded it, in opposition
to Adler, as narcissistic in nature and derived from the castration complex.


The ‘masculine protest’ is concerned in the formation of character, into the genesis of which it enters along with many other factors, but it is
completely unsuited for explaining the problems of the neuroses, with
regard to which Adler takes account of nothing but the manner in which
they serve the ego-instincts. I find it quite impossible to place the genesis of neurosis upon the narrow basis of the castration complex, however powerfully it may come to the fore in men among their resistances to the cure of a neurosis. Incidentally, I know of cases of neurosis in which the ‘masculine protest’, or, as we regard it, the castration complex, plays no pathogenic part, and even fails to appear at all.1

– 92 –
Observation of normal adults shows that their former megalomania
has been damped down and that the psychical characteristics from which we inferred their infantile narcissism have been effaced. What has become of their ego-libido? Are we to suppose that the whole amount of it has passed into object-cathexes? Such a possibility is plainly contrary to the whole trend of our argument; but we may find a hint at another answer to the question in the psychology of repression.


We have learnt that libidinal instinctual impulses undergo the
vicissitude of pathogenic repression if they come into conflict with the
subject’s cultural and ethical ideas. By this we never mean that the
individual in question has a merely intellectual knowledge of the existence of such ideas; we always mean that he recognizes them as a standard for himself and submits to the claims they make on him.
Repression, we have said, proceeds from the ego; we might say with greater precision that it proceeds from the self-respect of the ego.

The same impressions, experiences, impulses and desires that one man indulges or at least works over consciously will be rejected with the utmost indignation by another, or even stifled before they enter consciousness.2 The difference between the
two, which contains the conditioning factor of repression, can easily be
expressed in terms which enable it to be explained by the libido theory.


We can say that the one man has set up an ideal in himself by which he
measures his actual ego, while the other has formed no- 93 –
such ideal. For the ego the formation of an ideal would be the conditioning factor of repression.1This ideal ego is now the target of the self-love which was enjoyed in childhood by the actual ego.


The subject’s narcissism makes its
appearance displaced on to this new ideal ego, which, like the infantile
ego, finds itself possessed of every perfection that is of value.


As always where the libido is concerned, man has here again shown himself incapable of giving up a satisfaction he had once enjoyed. He is not willing to forgo the narcissistic perfection of his childhood; and when, as he grows up, he is disturbed by the admonitions of others and by the awakening of his own critical judgement, so that he can no longer retain that perfection, he seeks to recover it in the new form of an ego ideal.


What he projects
before him as his ideal is the substitute for the lost narcissism of his
childhood in which he was his own ideal.2



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