It was suggested in Chapter 7 that it might be useful to distinguish between the process of psychoanalysis and its other aspects, there summarily labelled ‘content’, without any attempt to characterise content, though content would have to include at least some account of what people think, feel and do, how they behave and respond: the findings of psychoanalysis. Another aspect of psychoanalysis would have to do with formulations about the ‘structure’ of the mind, metapsychology, allied inevitably to its metaphysics, i.e., its ontology and epistemology. These three aspects of psychoanalysis, process, content and structure, will be found to be interrelated but in what way they are interrelated is beyond the scope of this paper.
Obviously a great deal has been known about human responses and behaviour and for a very long time, though what is known may be repeatedly lost: denied, repressed, forgotten or simply ignored, only to be rediscovered at a later time. I am referring of course to what great thinkers, writers and artists have known about and dealt with. Freud himself quoted extensively from the work of earlier writers and artists. The list in James Strachey’s Standard Edition of the ‘works of painting and sculpture, music, drama, poetry, fiction, as well as some myths, legends and fairy tales’ quoted or discussed by Freud runs to over seven pages and contains several hundred entries (S.E. 24:187-94). Such material would not have been so ready to hand had not the ‘content’ of the mind already been largely known and also common property. Lévi-Strauss makes essentially the same point:
At every step, or almost every step, we met notions and categories, in perfectly explicit form—such as those of the oral and anal character—which psychoanalysts cannot claim to have discovered: they have done no more than rediscover them.
Better still, Totem and Taboo complete was anticipated in a significant advance by the Jivaro Indians in the myth which for them takes the place of Genesis…. From a psychological perspective the plot of the