Memories Dreams Reflections

After that second conversation in Vienna I also understood Alfred AdIer’s power hypothesis, to which I had hitherto paid scant attention.

Like many sons, Adler had learned from his “father” not what the father said, but what he did. Instantly, the problem of love (Eros) and power came down upon me like a leaden weight.

Freud himself had told me that he had never read Nietzsche; now I saw Freud’s psychology as, so to speak, an adroit move on the part of intellectual history, compensating for Nietzsche’s deification of the power principle.

The problem had obviously to be rephrased not as “Freud versus Adler” but “Freud versus Nietzsche.”

It was therefore, I thought, more than a domestic quarrel in the domain of psychopathology.

The idea dawned on me that Eros and the power drive might be in a sense like the dissident sons of a single father, or the products of a single motivating psychic force which manifested itself empirically in opposing forms, like positive and negative electrical charges, Eros as a patiens, the power drive as an agens, and vice versa.

Eros makes just as great demands upon the power drive as the latter upon the former.

Where is the one drive without the other?

After that second conversation in Vienna I also understood Alfred Adler’s power hypothesis, to which I had hitherto paid scant attention.

Like many sons, Adler had learned from his “father” not what the father said, but what he did.

Instantly, the problem of love (Eros) and power came down upon me like a leaden weight.

Freud himself had told me that he had never read Nietzsche; now I saw Freud’s psychology as, so to speak, an adroit move on the part of intellectual history, compensating for Nietzsche’s deification of the power principle.

The problem had obviously to be rephrased not as “Freud versus Adler” but “Freud versus Nietzsche.”

It was therefore, I thought, more than a domestic quarrel in the domain of psychopathology.

The idea dawned on me that Eros and the power drive might be in a sense like the dissident sons of a single father, or the products of a single motivating psychic force which manifested itself empirically in opposing forms, like positive and negative electrical charges, Eros as a patiens, the power drive as an agens, and vice versa.

On the one hand man succumbs to the drive; on the other hand, he tries to master it.

Freud shows how the object succumbs to the drive, and Adler how man uses the drive in order to force his will upon the object.

Nietzsche, helpless in the hands of his destiny, had to create a “superman” for himself.

Freud, I concluded, must himself be so profoundly affected by the power of Eros that he actually wished to elevate it into a dogma—aere perennius–like a religious numen.

It is no secret that “Zarathustra” is the proclaimer of a gospel, and here was Freud also trying to outdo the church and to canonize a theory.

To be sure, he did not do this too loudly; instead, he suspected me of wanting to be a prophet.

He made his tragic claim and demolished it at the same time;

That is how people usually behave with numinosities, and rightly so, for in one respect they are true, in another untrue.

Numinous experience elevates and humiliates simultaneously; If Freud had given somewhat more consideration to the psychological truth that sexuality is numinous–both a god and devil–he would not have remained bound within the confines of a biological concept.

And Nietzsche might not have been carried over the brink of the world by his intellectual excesses if he had only held more firmly to the foundations of human existence. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections, Page 153-154