chapter  Chapter 3
19 Pages

Famous replacement children in psychoanalysis

WithKristina E. Schellinski

The history of psychoanalysis reveals that several of its founders were replacement children. Some difficult shadow aspects are examined in this chapter, from the envy of Freud to Jung’s image of a sacrificial murder. Freud lost his brother Julius when he was a toddler; Jung was born after three dead children; Spielrein lost her sister when she was 16. These pioneers were deeply interested in existential questions. The author presents her hypothesis that Freud and Jung found themselves in a collusion between two adult replacement children. Jung’s dream of two skulls on their steamer voyage in 1909 to the USA, which foreshadowed their break, can be interpreted as a mutual, mirrored projection of an image of a “dead other” in their psyche. Jung stated that his scientific work was the reflection of his inner development but he did not refer to his lost siblings in any of the hitherto published works. Yet, his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections and The Red Book abound with references to death and psychological rebirth. Jung explored the borderlands of life and death in unparalleled depths searching for the ground of his existence – and finding it in his soul. The affair between Jung and Spielrein is seen as reflecting a special kind of attraction: when one unconscious replacement child intuits the trauma of the other. Spielrein’s paper “Destruction as a Cause of Coming into Being” inspired Freud’s work on the death drive. Schellinski sees Jung’s work as his life-time’s-work-for-life; as he said: “What can be more important than to say this is what I am?”