THE SUBCONSCIOUS LANGUAGE by Theodore Thass-Thienemann


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A scholarly example of a relatively new branch of the psychological sciences called psycholinguistics, this particular study does not, as may have been expected, have to do with the private meanings individuals give words. What is examined is our objective language, the etymologies of which indicate certain truths about our collective unconscious. The thesis is, in other words, that we do not speak through our language, but that our language speaks through us. Beneath the innocuous surface meanings of words today lie latent, repressed meanings that concern the three basic sources of all anxieties, guilts, and frustrations--birth, death, and the sexual act. To look into the etymologies of representative words is to throw light on present-day psychic realities, just as Freudian investigations into the early childhood years throw light on adult conflicts. With ready references to literature, the Bible, Existence-philosophy, anthropological studies, this deals with traditional Freudian Oedipal themes, extending them into a cultural pattern of matristic-patristic tensions. The psychological fantasies found in these first meanings of words are rich, wild and exciting. But this is by no means pop psychology like Eric Berne's. It is a difficult, semi-technical opus, rewarding for a limited, oriented audience.

Pub Date: May 5th, 1967
Publisher: Washington Square Press