Eros and Thanatos

Eros and Thanatos: a dialectical relationship between two vitally opposed elements

Eros and Thanatos at a poker table.
Dr. Freud, off to the side, sipping a whiskey.

A soul soars:
Suspended between the reality that would have it ash,
an unnecessarily crazy love
And a death that kills those who are already dead.

Dr. Freud is tired,
his beard grows,
His eyes look for the black goggles.
Eros waits in vain,
Thanatos already spreads the stench of a dumpster.

In this dance,
among oriental pipe fumes
And whiskey gone bad,
A soul,
Seduced by a black cat of real night,
Surrenders to the will of a gnat,
And lives,
lives beyond,
beyond,
beyond,
ad libitum, beyond…

Miracles are acts of will:
What you want is already yours.

Eros,
Thanatos,
Freud:
rest in peace.
The eternal is on your poker table;
the now,
blond, green-eyed creature,
is here,
In my bed,
Lying next to me.


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A brief note on Freud’s contribution to defining the concepts of Eros and Thanatos

Eros and Thanatos are complex concepts in Freudian psychology. According to Sigmund Freud, Eros represents the instincts of life, including survival, reproduction, and pleasure. In contrast, Thanatos symbolizes the death drive, the innate need for destruction and aggression. Freud believed that these opposing forces play a crucial role in shaping the psyche of each individual.

Freud proposed that the interaction between Eros and Thanatos influenced human behavior and personality development. He argued that Eros drives behaviors that promote love, creativity, and growth, while Thanatos is responsible for destructive tendencies and aggression. Understanding the dynamic relationship between these two drives is essential to understanding human nature and the complexities of the psyche.

Freud's couch, where he psychoanalyzed his patients, also analyzing the role of Eros and Thanatos in their psychopathologies
Freud’s famous couch with his chair at the head of it. According to the psychoanalytic setting, the analyst must always be out of the patient’s field of vision.

From Freud’s perspective, individuals constantly struggle to balance these conflicting forces within themselves, which can manifest in various ways in their thoughts, emotions, and actions. This ongoing internal conflict between Eros and Thanatos shapes human experiences and relationships, contributing to the complexity of the human psyche.

For further information

Beyond the Pleasure Principle (Dover Thrift Editions: Psychology) (English Edition)
  • "Perfect for students on a tight budget wanting a copy they can mark up with their own notes, or for anyone interested in just reading the text
  • " — University of St
  • AndrewsThis controversial 1920 publication marks a turning point in the celebrated philosopher's theoretical approach
  • Previously, Freud considered most behavior attributable to sexual impulses
  • In this volume, he expands his theory beyond these creative impulses to discuss the impact on human psychology of the death drive, or "Thanatos," which he defines as "an urge inherent in all organic life to restore an earlier state of things


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Last update on 2024-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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