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April 1961

Psychoanalysis of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Author Affiliations

Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Washington.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(4):321-330. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710100001001

Freud's epochal discovery of the unconscious and its forces confronted the Victorian era with devastating facts. Reason had harnessed steam, electricity, and sex. Man was certainly master of a rapidly expanding world which built vast political and academic empires. It was just a matter of time before the natural sciences would have unveiled all the world's secrets and triumphantly subjugated their energies for the benefit of all. Homo sapiens celebrated his finest hour. Logos was God and rationalism the new universe religion in whose service man worshipped none other than himself. Freud stepped onto this brilliant scene as a disturber of the peace. His doctrine of the powerful irrational severely threatened the feeling of rational omnipotence. The postulated role of unconscious impulses in human affairs constituted at once a serious threat to the security and an insult to the narcissism of the individual. The new con

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