Anxiety is the momentary experience. Sometimes our defenses momentarily breakdown which makes us experience anxiety. Anxiety can be an important experience because it can reveal core issues of human psychology. Human anxiety does have a close affinity to the core issues. Our defenses keep us unaware of our unconscious experience and our anxiety does not succeed in breaking through our repression. Anxiety cal tells us a good deal about our self because we are anxious in a situation in which our core issues are in play. Anxiety always involves the return of the repressed. People often feel anxious when some repressed painful or frightening experience happen to be resurfaced. A person who is abandoned by his parents is likely to become anxious when one of his best friends goes to the movie with another friend because it makes him relieve the abandonment. Abandonment from friends takes him back to his parents’ neglect and put him into the anxious psychological state.
Core issues stay with us throughout life and they determine our behavior in destructive ways of which we are usually unaware. Only through core issues the amount of anxiety is measured. It is anxiety that can reveal our core issues. The relation between anxiety and core issues can be related to the following examples:
Fear of intimacy is the chronic and overpowering feeling that emotional closeness will seriously hurt or destroy us. It aware that we can remain emotionally safe only by remaining at an emotional distance from others at all times.
It is the believed that our friends and loved ones are going to desert us or don’t really care about us.
It is the nagging feeling that our friend and loved ones can’t be trusted.
The belief that we are less worthy than other people and therefore don’t deserve attention, love or any other of lives rewards.
This core issue makes us more very vulnerable to the influence of other people. It does not let us sustain a feeling of personal identity, to sustain a sense of knowing ourselves.
Oedipal complex does not allow us to develop matured relationship with our peers. It is the dysfunctional bond with a parent of the opposite sex.
For psychoanalyst, dreams reflect repressed human desires and wishes especially, those desires which don’t have an easier outlet. Dreams result from the free expression of unconscious. During sleep, repressed experiences and emotions take the forms of a dream for its expression. Even in our dreams, there is some censorship and some protection against frightening insights. All the forms of wishes and desires can’t be expressed in dreams; these kinds of dreams are called dreams having latent content. Latent dreams can’t be readily recognized through the process of displacement and condensation. Dreams displacement occurs whenever we use a “safe” person, event or object to represent a more threatening person, event or object. In displacement, one form of a dream is substituted by another form. Condensation occurs during a dream whenever you use a single dream image or event to represent more than one unconscious wound or conflict. For example, any dream related to fighting with a bull might represent psychological conflicts both at home and at work. A single dream, the event may thus be a product of both displacement and condensation.
Displacement and condensation both occur while we dream, these processes are referred to collectively as primary revision. While interpreting our dream, our goal is to recall the manifest content and try to uncover the latent content. We may forget certain parts of the dream or remember those parts some are differently from how they actually occurred. This process which takes place when we are awake is called secondary revision.
Dreams always manifest themselves in the form of images. Human beings outlet their sexual desire through disguised imagery to get social approval. Repressed sexual desires pass on and get position and dream symbols. These symbols tend to reveal the deep psychological makeup of each human being. Our sexuality is an important reflection of our psychological being. Our dreams about our gender roles or about our attitudes toward ourselves and others as sexual beings are also revealing to have a good interpretation of our dreams; we need to be aware of the male and female imagery that can occur in them. Male imagery or phallic symbols include tower, rockets, gun, arrows, swords and the light. Phallic symbols represent all vertical things or objects which remind us penis. If someone dreams holding his friends at a gun point, he might be expressing his unconscious sexual aggression toward that friend. Seeing these particular dreams may have multiple interpretations including his sexual jealousy toward that friend to decide correct interpretation more data in the form of other similar dreams.
Female imagery or yonic symbols can include caves, rooms, cups or enclosures and containers of any kind. All concave images work as female imagery. Female imagery can also include milk, fruit and other kinds of food as well as the containers in which food is delivered such as bottles and cups. For example, if someone dreams being hungry or looking for food, it might be the expression of his or her an unconscious need for emotional nurturing. Similarly, these two kinds of imageries individuals can perceive some fluid changeable, dangerous and deeper images. These imageries are often called flying image. Images of dancing, riding and flying function as symbols of sexual pleasure. All frightening or disturbing dreams are relatively safe outlets for unconscious wounds, fears, guilty, desires and unresolved conflicts.
The meaning of death
Our relationship to death is a principle organizer of our psychological experience. Death is the subject of our common psychological experience that is troublesome. Many theorists have direct approach defining death as a subject of human experience. Some consider it as an abstraction. For Freud, death is a biological drive, which he calls the death drive of Thanatos. Human beings have a death drive. Freud saw self-destructive behavior in an individual. He saw individual destroying themselves psychologically. He thinks there must be some natural and unavoidable relations between psychological and physical self-destruction. So, the concept of death drive is an abstraction, an idea that operates only on the conceptual level. There is no connection of death to the concrete world of experience. Though the concept of death drives rest on biology, it takes our thoughts and our feelings out of the everyday world of action. Individual respond to the death in various ways because of differences in their psychological makeup. Fear of death is closely connected to a number of other psychological realities. Death is very similar to the fear of being alone. It is an ultimate abandonment.
The meaning of sexuality
Sexuality, in general, refers to the desires and activities related to the sex. Traditionally, sexuality is regarded as the biological needs and it is discharged only when people have the intercourse. However, Sigmund Freud has different ideas and assumption regarding sexuality. He states it as a drive in us that he relates to Eros. This drive stands opposite to another drive Thanatos and it always seeks for pleasure. Sexuality is natural in us. So sexuality and our identity are related. The sexuality in us influences the way we think and act. In fact, it is an incapable human reality that shapes our whole personality. Sexuality is also influenced by the particular culture in which we are living our culture sets the rule and regulation for the sexual conduct. It also defines what is normal and what is abnormal regarding the sex.
Lacan was a powerful French psychoanalyst of the 20th century. He is regarded as the propounded of the modern psychoanalysis. However, in the field of psychoanalysis, he did not invent entirely new theory or idea. He rather reformulated Freudian psychoanalysis. According to the Lacan, a child undergoes various stages of experiences. The stages of development are:
Imaginary stage: It is also called a mirror stage. It occurs during 6-18 months. It is a stage of complete unity between child and mother not only but also unity between the children and objects or images surround the child. The child cannot distinguish between his own body and things around it. The child is the pack up sensations.
Symbolic stage: It is a governed stage. It is the stage of the language. Language is used to fulfill the lack. But language itself is governed by lack. Lacan’s famous statement is unconscious is structured like language is the example of the symbolic stage. A child fulfills his lack through dream and some symbolic object or image. A true mother is not achievable so he tries to replace with the girl to like his mother.
Real stage: the real stage is the stage where one never reaches. There is not reality around us. What we called reality is merely colored by the ideologies. The meaning society has created for us are just the creation of society. The reality always remains behind the curtain. What we see is always the curtain.
Tyson, L. (2013). Critical theory today. Kathmandu: Ekta publications.