Here we have an instance of displacement: the complex must under all circumstances assert itself.

Since, for many people, the sexual complex cannot be acted out in a natural way, it makes use of by-ways.

During puberty it takes the form of more or less abnormal sexual fantasies, frequently alternating with phases of religious enthusiasm (displacements).

In men, sexuality, if not acted out directly, is frequently converted into a feverish professional activity or a passion for dangerous sports, etc., or into

some learned hobby, such as a collecting mania.

Women take up some kind of philanthropic work, which is usually determined by the special form of the complex.

They devote themselves to nursing in hospitals where there are young assistant physicians, or they develop strange eccentricities, a prim, affected behaviour which is meant to express distinction and proud resignation.

Artistic natures in particular are wont to benefit by such displacements.

There is, however, one very common displacement, and that is the disguising of a complex by the superimposition of a contrasting mood.

We frequently meet this phenomenon in people who have to banish some chronic worry.

Among these people we often find the best wits, the finest humorists, whose jokes however are spiced with a grain of bitterness.

Others hide their pain under a forced, convulsive cheerfulness, which because of its noisiness and artificiality (“lack of affect”) makes everybody uncomfortable.

Women betray themselves by a shrill, aggressive gaiety, men by sudden alcoholic and other excesses (also fugues).

These displacements and disguises may, as we know, produce real double personalities, such as have always excited the interest of psychological writers (cf. the recurrent problem in Goethe of “two souls,” and among the moderns Hermann Bahr, Gorky, and others).

“Double personality” is not just a literary phrase, it is a scientific fact of general interest to psychology and psychiatry, especially when it manifests itself in the form of double consciousness or dissociation of the personality.

The split-off complexes are always distinguished by peculiarities of mood and character, as I have shown in a case of this kind. 14  ~Carl Jung, CW 3, Para 105

 

 

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