Omnipotence of Thoughts

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The belief that ideas are all-powerful is inherent in animistic thought and belief systems but also common in obsessional neurosis, where the same kind of magical thinking occurs as a symptom. It consists in the belief that one can transform or influence the external world through one's thoughts alone. In Totem and Taboo (1912-13a), Freud emphasized that he owed the expression "omnipotence of thoughts" to "a highly intelligent man who suffered from obsessional ideas," (p. 85)—in fact, the "Rat Man" (1909d). That it was a question..