Omnipotence of Thoughts

From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
Revision as of 02:30, 18 May 2006 by Riot Hero (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

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..