Lesson 7: INTEGRATION WITH EXTERNAL REALITY

Lesson 7: INTEGRATION WITH EXTERNAL REALITY

An individual’s internal reality corresponds to a collection of processes, representations, and affects that are essentially (but not only) unconscious, which Sigmund Freud referred to as “psychical reality.” It thus contains the representations of the world that the subject has formed, fantasies stemming from unconscious desires, and universal fantasy structures: the primal fantasies. For the analyst, it has an existence and efficiency that are comparable to physical reality.
External reality, also called material reality, subsumes the objects of our physical environment, the subject’s body, and the subject’s inscribed place in society.
These two concepts exist in a dialectical and sometimes paradoxical relation throughout Freud’s work. They presuppose a theorization of each one taken separately and of their interconnection. In other words, what is at stake is knowing how material reality becomes internalized and how a reality that is initially completely subjective is gradually constituted as external.

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