The most difficult concept to grasp is that our psyche bears within itself the records of its hundreds of thousands of years of evolution and development just as does our body. Just as the body has remnants of a tail and gill slits which bear silent testimony to the path along which it has traveled to reach its present estate, so does the psyche bear similar evidences of its origin; and just as the body in its development has brought into its present structure only these vague reminders of its past, but is what it is today only because of that past, so the psyche, while it, too, contains vague reminders of what has been, is what it is only because of its past, a past on which the present has been constructed. This past, the historical past of our psyche, is always growing, for as soon as the material
WHITE WA. PSYCHANALYSIS AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(22):1591–1596. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270060001001
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