Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unconscious Fantasies

I have become interested in fantasies and their role in creating meaning in life. I have started a new book, ``Unconscious Fantasies and the Relational World,'' by Danielle Knafo and Kenneth Feiner. The book provides a detailed examination of three important fantasies (from psychoanalytic perspective): Primal scene, family romance, and castration, but the authors push beyond the classical interpretations. Here is a quote on ``Fantasy as Absence''.

In our view, all fantasy derives from an absence---a gap or a lack---that is filled with imaginative mental processes. It is important to note that absence due to separation or loss need not be distinguished from the absence of wish gratification.
Indeed, fantasizing is a built-in, spontaneous function of our brains that reflects the continuous activity (psychic work) of the mind. Early studies conducted by Gestalt psychologists of cognitive and perceptual processes shed light on the mind's tendency toward completion and closure. ..... We understand these findings as demonstrations of the way our minds continue to work out problems and complete unfinished business in the absence of conscious effort. This activity does on during sleep as well as in waking life. ---- pp. 24,25, Unconscious Fantasies and the Relational World

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