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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 19 (1977) 3, 175 - 186

Short report

Eros and Culture

F. van Hest

The ancient Greek named the cosmic strength to promote the harmonious grow, unification, beauty and happiness, Eros. He was the child of Necessity and Inventiveness. He was operating on the contrary of death — Thanatos — and even won the victory, witness the many sarkofages on which a triumphal Eros was shown. He was serviced in mystery-services, where his relationship with the other mysteryheroes, Orfeus, Narcissus and Dionysos became visible.
Freud refound Eros as one of two explanationprinciples for living; after a life of seeking in which the results of his experiences raised from the simple biological explanationprinciples (hunger and sexuality) — to the immaterial, but also the exact matter concerning the principles Eros and Thanatos. Freuds pupil Wilhelm Reich discovered the strength of sexuality as an element in social proportions. His way of thinking unveiled how economie and social power, often in a bidden way, oppress the human sexuality and human happiness and on the other hand sexual strength could propose as a source in presenting society and individual their happiness again.
Reich was also one of the founders of grouptherapeutics, which through unawareing processen mobilized the sexual energy in her cosmic style. As to where Reich saw in the singular sexuality the only cause for all individual and social behaviour, Herbert Marcuse went foreward in his analysis of the human situation.
The oppressive strength threatning human happiness and which is more active than ever before in our technological, one-dimensional, 'common' life, could only be withdrawn by the Great Refusal, feeded by Eros. To Marcuse Eros took the shape of sensory perception, sensuality and sensegiving all together. Fantasy and creativeness belongs with the biologica) eroticism to her most important instruments. In this way the exessive oppressed tendenses in the established realityprinciple (t.w. technological realityprinciple) was transformed and approach realityprinciple and desireprinciple each other. For the psychiatry these thoughts leed to two complementary consequences.
Where human happiness has got two pillars — society and individual — it is her task not to fall into decay in making the same mistakes as her surrounding society. For psychiatry as an organisation this means an inventation to be/to stay alert of concealed oppressed tendenses. Her way of organisation will be a playful anarchy which will escape every reality of now. The individual therapy should have the interest of having beside as a base, the legitimacy of an on Eros based Desireprinciple.