GENERAL THEORY OF THE NEUROSES
WE have learned that the libidio goes through an extensive development before it can enter the service of reproduction in a way which may be regarded as normal. Now I wish to present to you what importance this fact possesses for the causation of neuroses.
I believe we are in harmony with the teachings of general pathology in assuming that this development involves two dangers, inhibition and regression. In other words, with the universal tendency of biological processes toward variation, it must necessarily happen that not all preparatory phases of a given function are equally well passed through or accomplished with comparable thoroughness. Certain components of a function may be permanently held back in an early stage of development and the complete development is therefore retarded to a certain extent.
Let us seek analogies for these processes from other fields. If a whole people leaves its dwellings to seek a new home, as frequently happened in the early periods of the history of mankind, their entire number will certainly not reach the new destination. Setting aside other losses, small groups or associations of these wandering peoples would stop on the way, and, while the majority passes on, they would settle down at these way‐ stations. Or, to seek a more appropriate comparison: You know that in the most highly evolved mammals, the maie seminal glands, which originally are located in the far depths of the abdominal cavity, begin to wander during a certain period of intra-uterine life until they reach a position almost immediately under the skin of the pelvic extremity. In the case of a number of male individuals, one of the paired glands may as a result of this wandering remain in the pelvic cavity, or may be permanently located in the canal through which both glands must pass in their journey, or finally the canal itself may stay open
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Publication information: Book title: A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Contributors: Sigmund Freud - Author. Publisher: Horace Liveright. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1920. Page number: 294.
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