chapter  10
20 Pages

Mental functioning and free thinking

BySusann Heenen-Wolff

This chapter highlights the tension resulting from unconscious and conscious thinking, that is, between the two principles of mental functioning and suggests that it is within this tension that the capacity to think can emerge, and gradually become stronger and enriched. The Sigmund Freudian discoveries in regards to mental functioning left us rather at a loss as to how one might imagine “freedom” of the individual, especially the freedom to command one’s capacity for perception and thinking. The patient acquires a mental functioning characterised by a freer circulation between the drive desires and the demands of reality, between pleasure and unpleasure. The tension, the relation between these two principles of mental functioning is the mulch on which thought can originate, structure itself, nourish, and enrich. Critical philosophy has taught us that the integration of new knowledge or information can pose a hazard for narcissism, the intellectual functioning can then be questioned and create an experience of unpleasure.