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The conversion or transformation of libido as it performs various mental activities. Transfer of psychic intensities or values from one content to another. Replaces "sublimation." Canalization sets up a gradient so instinctual energies can do productive work. It does so via the symbol, which offers a steeper gradient than the natural one. The transformation of instinctual energy is done via an analogue of the object of the instinct: a psychic mechanism imitates the instinct and thereby captures its energy (like a power station at a waterfall). The first achievement of this by primitive man is magic. Compare with psychization, which transforms an instinctual or sensory datum, rather than energy, into an experience. The primordial images are the true force that shapes and channels instinct.

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