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harm if it is not. For sublimation develops the crank and pest as well as the reformer. In every half-baked
reform movement you find those who are striving to sublimate for a thwarted instinct or purpose.
 The historian, Higginson, put it well when he said substantially, "There is a fringe of insanity around all
Sublimation is the mark of the personality that will not admit defeat even to itself. The one who does admit
defeat becomes resigned or seeks illicit compensation,--other men, other women, drink. Freud and his
followers believe that the neurasthenic or hysteric is striving to find compensation through his symptoms or
that he seeks to fly from the situation that way. I believe that the symptoms of the neurasthenic and hysteric
often find a use in this way, but are not caused by an effort for compensation. That is, a neurasthenic may
learn that his or her pains or aches give advantages in sympathy, relief from hard tasks or disagreeable
situations; that they cover up or are an excuse for failure and inferiority,--but the symptoms arise originally
from defects in character or because of the physical and social situation. Nevertheless, it is well to keep in
mind, when dealing with the "nervous," that often enough their weaknesses are related to something they may
gain through them. This I have called elsewhere "Will to power through weakness," and it is as old as Adam
and Eve. The weak have their wills and their weapons as have the strong.
The highest sublimation, in the face of an insuperable obstacle to purpose or an inescapable life situation,
finds a socially useful substitute in philanthropy, kindness, charity, achievement of all sorts; the lowest seeks
it in a direct but illicit compensation for the self and in a way that merely increases the social and personal
confusion; and a pathological sublimation in part, at least, manifests itself iii sickness. These are the three
leading forms, but it must be remembered...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11