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Inner Universes and External Worlds - Melanie Klein

Hobrechtstrasse 66 Berlin, 12047
The Self


In her essay "Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms" (1946) Melanie Klein gives a detailed description of the hypothetical psychic processes occurring in the first three months of life. 

Klein conceives the early ego's lack of cohesion as a constant fluctuation between tendencies toward integration and tendencies toward disintegration. Our most important psychic function as newly-born human beings is to deal with profound anxiety, which "arises from the operation of the death instinct within the organism, is felt as fear of annihilation (death), and takes the form of persecution." 

In a sense, it is by deflection of the death drive—its projection outwards— that we create objects, and relate to them. Trying to avoid our fears, we create a complex reality of object relations which opens the gateway to the experience of the external world as we know it.

Wednesday, July 12, 19:00 - 20:30:

Unconscious Phantasy and the Death Drive

During the first lecture we will explore the earliest hypothetical structure of the human mind called "schizoid-paranoid position". This fundamental psychic constellation can be perceived as the first great achievement of a newly-born of having emerged out of the primal chaos of bodily excitations, and creating the first phantasmagorical image of the reality. 
We will discuss the following questions::

What is the first hypothetical psychic structure of a human being and how does it function?

How does the external reality emerge out of the primordial chaos of bodily excitations?

What is a death drive and how does it influence our development?

What does it mean to integrate the ego?

Wednesday, July 19, 19:00 - 20:30 

A Lonely Superego

During the second lecture we will look closely at the fluctuations between the schizoid-paranoid position and the depressive position. We will analyse the evolution within the perception of the object, and how it ends up changing our understanding of the external world and its complexity. According to the Kleinian theory, the most important moment in a life of a newly-born is when, with the passage of time, they discover that "what once was split into two different [objects], turns out to be one and the same". 
We will discuss the following questions::

Why does the perception of the external reality get more and more complex with time?

How does time perception change in accordance with ego development?

Why do we feel lonely even when we are surrounded by other people?

Why is it not possible to overcome depressive anxieties and how do they shape a human subject?

About the presenter:

Adam Łuczakis pursuing a Master's degree at the Berlin University of the Arts (The Universität der Künste Berlin, UdK). He explores the relationship between psychoanalysis, culture and art, and is at the beginning of his psychoanalytic education.

Cover photo: Adam Łuczak

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