SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

stacks, as indicated by arrows (B). In such cases they may regress to different levels, developing a neurosis or a psychosis, in accordance with the degree of regression. It is extremely instructive to study these different phases in regression and to watch how the symptoms arrange themselves in a perfectly orderly manner. In some instances the regression goes so far as to bring the patients to the foetal level. Such a patient sits in a dark corner in the foetal position with the head covered with a rag. His 'mentality' and semantic responses are similar to those of the foetus, practically none.
Regressions to the archaic level are usually hopeless of improvement, so that I shall not analyse them in this work. We are mostly interested in under-development, or in regression not further than to the autoerotic or the narcissistic semantic levels, in which treatment ir many instances yields curative results.
Jelliffe gives among others a very instructive diagram as a method of showing how the personal make-up of an individual can be plotted (psychogram). These diagrams afford excellent graphic means for orientation. One of them I reproduce on the opposite page (Fig. 3).2
The circular form of the diagram is particularly appropriate, as it shows clearly how the horizons, activities, and interests widen from the archaic (animal?) through the child and savage, to the adult socialized individual. The dips in the eye, stomach, and bladder sectors correspond to definite symptoms. In the eye sector the dip goes to the narcissistic semantic level. Whenever this patient is riding in an automobile and another car is coming close, so that a collision seems possible, the patient experiences a compulsory shutting of the eyes, a typical narcissistic semantic symptom which symbolizes that something which one cannot see cannot happen. The patient did not regress to the organ erotic level and become actually blind or deaf (psychic or rather semantic blindness or deafness) ; so the dips are not plotted to the organ erotic level. Ir the bladder and nutritive sectors we see that the curve sinks as low as the organ erotic level. These dips correspond to striking semantic symptoms. When the patient drives in her car and is held by the traffic, she has an involuntary passage of urine. The dip in the nutritive sector corresponds to the symptom that after eating certain foods the patient is able to bring them back into her mouth (selective rumination). Analysis by Doctor Jelliffe has revealed that in the case of the passage of urine when the patient is held up in traffic, her unconscious organ erotic semantic fantasy triumphs over the need for self-control, and she asserts her mastery through the early and necessary mastery acquired over the control of the bladder. Since she is prevented from doing one