A ‘Substitute’ for Szasz?


‘Substitute’ for Szasz?

Anthony Stadlen

[Note (10 October 2021)
I found this today online as an ‘Anthony Stadlen quote’.
I apparently wrote it on 8 September 2013 in a circular newsletter for my seminars. It must have been announcing Inner Circle Seminar No. 194, Towards an Existential Understanding of Mourning: Freud, Rilke, Andreas-Salomé, which Karin Weisensel and I were to conduct a week later on 15 September 2013, addressing Freuds theory of mourning and his brief essay ‘Transience’, in which he outines his theory and reports a conversation of his with two people who may, or may not, have been Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé. See: 

Today is the first anniversary of the death of Thomas Szasz (15 April 1920 - 8 September 2012), who conducted three wonderful Inner Circle Seminars in his 80s and 90s, and whose work we examined in detail in many seminars.

What is happening when we mourn him, if we do?

Freud claims in his essay ‘Transience’ (1915) that mourning is a ‘great riddle’ for ‘psychology’. Why, he asks, does our ‘libido’, once ‘diverted’ from our ‘ego’ onto its ‘object’, ‘cling to’ the ‘object’ even when it is ‘lost’, and when ‘a substitute lies ready to hand’?

This bizarre, pseudo-scientific, and dehumanised question may be a little difficult to answer in the present instance.

What ‘substitute’ could there ever be for Thomas Szasz?

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