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Carl Jung: The so-called “dulling of affect” in dementia praecox

Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group


999 conflicdts

Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche

Daily psychological experience affords proof of this statement.

The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm which is not easily disturbed, or else a brokenness that can hardly be healed.

Conversely, it is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed in order to produce valuable and lasting results.

Since our experience is confined to relatively closed systems, we are never in a position to observe an absolute psychological entropy; but
the more the psychological system is closed off, the more clearly is the phenomenon of entropy manifested.

We see this particularly well in those mental disturbances which are characterized by intense seclusion from the environment.

The so-called “dulling of affect” in dementia praecox or schizophrenia may well be understood as a phenomenon of entropy.

The same applies to all those so-called degenerative phenomena which develop in psychological attitudes that permanently exclude all connection with the environment.

Similarly, such voluntarily directed processes as directed thinking and directed feeling can be viewed as relatively closed psychological systems.

These functions are based on the principle of the exclusion of the inappropriate, or unsuitable, which might bring about a deviation from the chosen path.

The elements that “belong” are left to a process of mutual equalization, and meanwhile are protected from disturbing influences from outside.

Thus after some time they reach their “probable” state, which shows its stability in, say, a “lasting” conviction or a “deeply ingrained”
point of view, etc.

How firmly such things are rooted can be tested by anyone who has attempted to dissolve such a structure, for instance to uproot a prejudice or change a habit of thought. In the history of nations these changes have cost rivers of blood.

But in so far as absolute insulation is impossible (except, maybe, in pathological cases), the energic process continues as development,
though, because of “loss by friction,” with lessening intensity and decreased potential. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 50