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Philosophy, Arts, Therapies: PATh! A path toward a human protective life through Philosophy, Arts and Therapies! An innovative, interdisciplinary and humanistic approach for a life with meaning and freedom. Every paper opens a new path for self-awareness, meaningful communication with significant others, solidarity and creativity as the healthiest approach to human growth. Philosophy as well as the arts contains the potential for humans to exceed the limits of physical existence and transcend self so that man rises above mundane needs to reach elevation. It is when emotional and spiritual transcendence occurs through the innate healing qualities of philosophy and arts that man can become a man. Moreover, the fathers of psychoanalysis, humanistic and existential psychotherapies, i.e. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan, to mention a few, supported their theories and practice through philosophical currents and some of them, i.e. Carl Jung, Rollo May etc., derived profound inspiration from the arts.
Philosophy, Art, Therapy
Volume 1
Special Edition
Therapies: Theory & Practice
Co-editor: Dora Psaltopoulou PhD, MA-CMT
Part Two/ Μέρος Δεύτερο
Therapies in Theory & Practice
Co-editor Dora Psaltopoulou
Opening Notes to the English Special Edition Dora Psaltopoulou 5
i The Concept of Therapy in Ancient Greek Texts and Dance Practices Anna Lazou 7
ii Aesthetics & Therapeutic Practices Anna Lazou-Ioanna Mastora 25
iii Die „grosse Vernunft“ des Leibes und das Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffen. Eine Interpretation
zur vierten Rede Zarathustras Nikolaos Loukidelis 33
iv Qu’est-ce qu’on sublime? Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor 43
v Participatory Art in Dialogue with Agricultural and Post-Industrial Land Emilia Bouriti 73
vi Acting Code Christos Prosylis 79
vii Dramatherapy Workshop. A Myth on Modern Fluid Reality. Portraying Elements of the
Odysseus Myth through the Dramatherapy Approach Fofi Trigazi 85
viii Comments on the History of Culture. How did we evolve into this: Sex(es) and Gender(s)?
Vuk Trnavak, Marijana Bojic 87
New Books & Research on Philosophical Anthropology, Art & Medicine Anna Lazou 103
Critical Book Reviews: Atkins, P. (1992) Creation revisited: Chaos, Consciousness
& Nothingness Dimitrios Galanis-Kolintzas 105
Music & Arts Therapies in Healthcare Settings
Selected Articles from the 2019 C.A.I.P.T. Pre-Conference 121-292
Music & Arts Therapies in Healthcare Settings. Presentation of CAIPT Pre-Conference 2019
Dora Psaltopoulou 121
Union and collaboration in the arts therapies Richard Hougham 125
Dramatherapy in Greece Spread-Application-Education Stelios Krasanakis 129
i The Impact of Music on Elderly People Suffering from Depression, Melancholia and/or
Nostalgia Angeliki Chatzimisiou 135
ii Vocal-Development Music Therapy (Vocal-Dev) and early symbolization in adult psychiatric
patients Xanthoula Dakovanou 145
iii Drama and Movement Therapy. The Sesame approach Rosina-Eleni Filippidou 153
iv The essential role of Music Auditory Training for the Rehabilitation of Dyslexia
Argyris V. Karapetsas, Rozi M. Laskaraki, Maria D. Bampou 161
v “The Little Drummer”: A Clinical Case Study Vasiliki Liali, Dora Psaltopoulou,
Makaria Psiliteli, Chrysa Lampropoulou 167
vi Music Family Through the Family /Systemic Approach Olympia Pampoukidou 179
vii The use of voice in healing: Breast cancer and trauma Elena Pasoudi,
Xanthoula Dakovanou, Dora Psaltopoulou, Elsa Stournara 187
viii Music Therapy and Autism: Μoving towards Meaningful Communication.
Vignettes from a Relevant Case Dora Psaltopoulou, Nikoleta Gamagari 197
ix The therapeutic relationship as a fundamental condition for change in music therapy
Dora Psaltopoulou, Apostolis Laschos 213
x The Contribution of Psychodynamic Music Therapy in Children who have been Sexually
Abused Dora Psaltopoulou, Katerina Mavrodi 223
xi “Dark Sessions” a MUsic therapy clinical intervention for substance abuse rehabilitation
Dora Psaltopoulou, Andreas Asimakopoulos, Alan Turry, Theano Chatzoudi,
Stelios Giouzepas 239
xii Music Therapy: Music at people’s service Krzysztof Stachyra 247
xiii Music Training for Aural Rehabilitation in Children with Cochlear Implants: Current Trends
Dimitra Trouka, Georgios Papadelis 257
xiv The use of Mandala Assessment Research Instrument (MARI ) into Guided Imagery and
Music (GIM) sessions Vasiliki Tsakiridou 267
xv The Effects of Neurodevelopmental Delay in Body Image Perception Through Arts (Painting)
Anastasia Varsamopoulou 277
Members of the Editorial Board 293
Philosophy, Arts, Therapies: PATh!
A path toward a human protective life through Philosophy, Arts and Therapies! An
innovative, interdisciplinary and humanistic approach for a life with meaning and
Every paper opens a new path for self-awareness, meaningful communication with
significant others, solidarity and creativity as the healthiest approach to human growth.
Philosophy as well as the arts contains the potential for humans to exceed the limits of
physical existence and transcend self so that man rises above mundane needs to reach
elevation. It is when emotional and spiritual transcendence occurs through the innate
healing qualities of philosophy and arts that man can become a man. Moreover, the
fathers of psychoanalysis, humanistic and existential psychotherapies, i.e. Sigmund
Freud, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan, to mention a few, supported their theories and practice
through philosophical currents and some of them, i.e. Carl Jung, Rollo May etc., derived
profound inspiration from the arts.
Helen, a 19 years old young woman, who suffered from schizophrenia of puberty, said
after three months of a very fruitful, interactive music therapy process, that music therapy
was the third way for her. As she was already on heavy medication and verbal
psychotherapy, she felt that music therapy that helped her most was this third way of
treatment. I couldn’t agree more with her and, as a matter a fact, I would like to outbid by
stating that all creative arts therapies are this third way as they offer the appropriate
ground for non-threatening relationships, sublimation into symbolic realms, playfulness,
creativity and many more interesting ways for self-growth and transcendence.
In this PATh’s Special Edition, several articles on music interventions and creative arts
therapies are selected according to their impact on the participants of the pre-conference
of CAIPT (Creative Arts Interconnection, Paideia-Therapy) under the title Music & Arts
Therapies in Healthcare Settings.
Each paper or opening speech opens new paths for self-discovery, for effective support
and treatment of all kind of pains and wounds of people in need, as well as for evidence
of the wonderful contribution of philosophy and arts at the service of humanity.
Moreover, every paragraph tells a story about the author’s journey in this polyphonic,
multifaced world of the creative arts therapies and therapists.
Since, unfortunately, only music therapy has been academically established at some
Greek universities, I would dare to call this special issue of PATh a pioneering work, as it
opens the path for the official recognition and growth of creative arts therapies in the
academic world of the country.
Dora Psaltopoulou, 2020
The Concept of Therapy in Ancient Greek Texts
& Dance Practices
Anna Lazou
In the context of the research effort of the Ancient Orchesis Study Group to reconstitute
the philosophical and wider cultural presuppositions that define the ancient Greek dance
culture, from which the Greek-speaking and Roman world was removed, to return with
the Renaissance in a new European context, along with the recognition of the basic
anthropological, on the one hand, aesthetic, on the other hand, criteria and principles of
art and, in particular, of dance expression, we attempt a review of certain concepts like
θεραπεία, κάθαρσις, ἔρως and finally δρᾶμα, χορός & ὄρχησις -which stand for
characteristic phenomena of ancient Greek culture. This article plays the role of an
introduction into the philosophical-historical investigation and understanding of concepts
of intrinsic importance in the question about relating philosophy with art and therapy in
the ancient world.
Key words: Therapy, orchesis, embodiment, poetry, drama, dance, catharsis,
interdisciplinarity, education, ancient Greek culture, eros, Persians, Eumenides,
Aeschylus, Sophocles
Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach of Ancient Greek Culture
In the beginning of human civilization, art and philosophy were incorporated in the
established efforts of therapy & healing of the suffering man. This practically meant that
the ‘therapist’ of the community or tribe used all mental and physical skills available in
combination with every art form that was available (music, painting, and dance in
particular), with its unique intention to ‘cure’. Later, with the progress and increase of
knowledge in human societies, these branches were separated. Philosophy became mainly
a logical search of truth through concepts, art became autonomous with the main goal of
aesthetic pleasure and the healing practices became medicine. We reached the 21st
century AD, to ‘rediscover’ and state once more the ancient bonds that unite philosophy,
art and healing. So, for example, now there are psychoanalytic methods in use of the
creative writing aiming at a psychological kind of therapy, there are also plays conveying
philosophical ideas, which they implement on stage (let us remember here Sartre e.g.),
but there are also trends in the medical community who talk about the need for a more
‘holistic’ approach to therapy, beyond the strict confines of biochemistry and
pharmaceutical medicine. Given our intention to contribute fruitfully and authentically to
a more effective approach of the links between philosophy, art and healing (therapy), all
of us who have contributed to this journal with our research, as members of the same
research community, we strive to bring to the fore the promising ‘wholeness’ and
reconsider the object of our research with a fresh and authentic look.
In my opinion, the constant and uninterrupted history of the interest for the
understanding, interpretation, and knowledge of all the elements that illuminate the
values and deeds of ancient Greek culture can be explained by the perspective of its
physicality, the uses, and functions of the human body in relation to them. Studying and
understanding this perspective is not limited to access to the literary sources of ancient
writers, even in a wide historical spectrum, but also involves other sciences and methods,
which will be briefly presented as an attempt to found a systematic methodological
approach in this area of research (Lazou, 2019).
In this regard, one of the essential tools for the philosophical understanding of the
subject, I consider to be provided by the interdisciplinary or interpretive archaeological
research that focuses on how the art of depicting the body conveys or translates structures
and functions of human society and the era that produces these artistic forms. The method
of interpretive archeology (ΙA) e.g., uses concepts produced by power relations and by the
ways that culture incorporates human activity (agency) and tangible experience. In
contrast to the semantic and linguistic expression of kinetic systems as relations of bodies
in space and by reference to wider environments - abstract systems of continuously
changing relations, ΙA provides physicality with historical depth and perspective of
changes in social life forms, but at the same time watching the solid or static object of the
image, that is preserved as it is, even worn or broken in the excavation soil. We will then
see an application of this interpretive approach to ancient or -even- lost dance
descriptions, with the example of one of the many monuments depicting dance, the
famous Oinochoi of Dipylos (Annibaldis, Vox, 1976; Powell, 1988).
To return to the
methods of Interpretive Archeology that considers images and objects as supposed
vehicles of description translation of authentic realities, and how it is applied in the
case of the understanding of the Oinochoi of Dipylos, the interest is transferred from the
epigraphic text to the construction of Oinochoi itself, in its very shape and image. The
working hypothesis here is that in earlier historical eras where these works were
produced, there were simultaneously changing perceptions and practices of the body
associated with the changing forms of life biocosm or ‘lifeworld’.
In a thorough
Previous publications focusing on both the theoretical premises as well as practical applications of the
orchesis method of the Athens study group of orchesis, are taken over by Irini Kosma and the author during
the International Colloque of Theatre Translation, in Belo Horizonte, on May, the 30th, 2016 and was
recently published by T. V. Ribeiro Barbosa et a. (edit.), Teatro e traducao de Teatro, Estudos v. 1, Belo
Horizonte Minas Gerais University Publication, 2017. Another version of that paper accompanied by a
demonstration of the teaching technique was presented by Irini Kosma and the author, during the World
Dance Congress of CID on June, the 30th July, the 2nd, 2016, in Athens, while in June 2018, with Dr.
Ath. Sakellariades, we presented a more advanced form of the research about ὄρχησις during the Ioannina
Symposium, How the Brain Learns, organized by the Medical School and Universities of Ioannina and
Western Greece (Consciousness and Form in Philosophy and the Art of Dance). Cf. Λάζου, 2019.
Here the term ‘biocosm’ is to be related in reference to the late Jurgen Habermas’ key concept of
‘Lifeworld’ meaning the particular way of understanding human beings within nature and society as arising
from a systematic net of communicative actions. See, mainly, Habermas, J. (1984). The Theory of
Communicative Action, Vol. 1, Heinemann, London; Habermas, J. (1987). The Theory of Communicative
Action, Vol. 2, Polity Press, Cambridge, U.K. Alternatively, the term reminds of the ‘Biocosm Hypothesis’
as the new evolution theory of the cosmic regeneration developed by the philosopher and biologist James
N. Gardner supporting that intelligent life is the ‘architectural’ cause of the Universe. See Gardner, J.
approach of the archaic Corinthian angiography by Michael Shanks (1995), the work of
the archaeologist is presented as a description of different techniques of depicting the
bodily self, at that time, which should be explicitly correlated with the ideological
structure underneath the dominant technology of power therefore. This technology of
power is always alive in human societies as a struggle with violence, barbarism,
threatening alienation or inferiority and social exclusion, according to interpretations of
anthropologists such as Jean-Pierre Vernant and René Girard and thinkers such as Gilles
Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Michel Foucault, etc., relevant explanations float on an
inaccessible ocean of movements and actions of the human bodies, but also animals, as
well as gods and monsters. While the complexity of the meanings of the movements
remains as high as the complexity of the language codes, it is the power of the object, the
material rescued product, that allows the world of agents to survive through time and
conveys valuable information of their expressive aesthetics to the present. We attempt a
theoretical approach of these concepts as representative but also as phenomena
characteristic of the ancient Greek dancing and therapeutic culture.
Ὄρχησις (‘dancing with song’)
What is orchesis and why is it important for the study of the ancient Greek drama?
Human dancing, which, in ancient Greece represented every kind of movement of the
feet, hands, head or even the eyes, did not constitute a self-contained art. It was combined
with music and the recitation of lyrics, even with an individual or a collective dramatic
Literature and more specifically, poetry, was tightly linked with music and dance, from
the earliest eras of its existence. Greek poetry’s evolution was very much influenced by
the appearance of dance -as the use of the word πους, which means foot, indicates, among
other elements, a part or a metrical unit of a verse. Regarding to this, a fragment of
Libanius, a Greek teacher of rhetoric of the Sophistic school, is frequently cited:
“Dancing is not made complete by songs, rather it is for the sake of dancing that the
songs are worked out”.
Recent research
about ὄρχησις focuses on the poetic as well as
(2003). Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory of Evolution: Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe,
Inner Ocean Publishing. This is connotation does not connect with my use of the term ‘biocosm’.
Lib. Or. 64.88 [(trnsl.) M.E. Molloy, Libanius and the Dancers, Olms-Weidmann, 1996: 86-87]. Cf. Lib.
Or. 64.4-5: a refutation of a lost work by Aelius Aristides, in which the latter might have been engaged as
well as in the discussion about the relationship between the verbal and the kinetic components in
pantomimic dancing and possibly in Greek dance in general. Citation by Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi (2013,
28, note 58).
It is well known that ancient Greek dramas combine speech with music and movement, the intention of
that presentation being to show how Orchesis studies might contribute to a deeper understanding of the
ancient dramas. Subsequently, with Irini Kosma we have attempted to highlight how ὄρχησις can stimulate
and enrich the procedure of teaching, dramatizing and translating the Greek dramas by means of a
contemporary body movement language either on stage or in class. Finally, we have aimed to feature the
contribution of studying ὄρχησις to the evolution of the contemporary dramatic literature and performing
arts. The word ὀρχῆσθαι has a much more extensive sense in the Greek language than the English term to
dance. The term οrchestés (dancer) was regularly used in Greek texts for the pantomimic dancer or actor,
while the Latin term is Pantomimus. Cf. Lucian, De Salt., 67.
on the philosophical texts of antiquity but also taking into account more principles and
criteria of the interdisciplinary investigations, such as i) religious and cult rituals and
myths, ii) various dance practical skills and dexterities, iii) aesthetic excellence, iv)
social, educational and therapeutic functions of body and dance practices, v) self
knowledge and personal development and vi), the philosophical interpretation of human
dancing activity and other theoretical presuppositions. As the working hypothesis of this
research approach is to be taken the significance of the organic unity of three elements -
spoken word (λόγος), melody (μέλος) and physical movement (κίνησις)- that incorporates
in rhythmic forms of spoken word the primary identity of these three aspects appearing in
the ancient Greek civilization that is expressed both in the forms and the way of life
(athletics, education, politics, medicine, everyday life), as well as in specific artistic
creations (theatre, sculptures, paintings and poetry). Secondarily, philosophical thought
emerges to seal the summit and unprecedented threedimensional identity of ancient
Greek art and culture. The multidimensionality and interdisciplinarity of the orchesis
research may be paradigmatically illustrated by the investigation of ἔρωςas a concept in
ancient literature and a cultural phenomenon.
Ἔρως (‘love, desire’)
The focus on the theme of ἔρως is due to its uniqueness, variety and multidimensional
use in almost all aspects and expressions of the ancient Greek cultural structure, but also
to its timeless dominance - through its transformations in almost all historical periods
until today.
Ἔρως is referred to by the tragic poets as a wise entity or being, but also as a natural
force inherent in every living creature, that continues and explains its attractive
relationship with other beings of the world. On the basis of this main axis of meaning of
the concept, the relationships in which love engenders beings and especially human
beings, acquire many different qualities and particularities that enrich the content of a
complex and largely realistic psychology of the myths that the dramas of tragic poetry
deal with. As well as a series of concepts describing or interpreting human functions and
situations of life (friendship, war, state, education, etc.) ἔρως too occupies a wide range
of texts and interests of the corpus of the ancient Greek literature, presenting both a
philosophical, as well as a cosmological and psychological thematic scope.
If we were to draw a general conclusion as to how dramatic poetry approaches the issue
of έρως, before we see the corresponding subject in epic and lyrical poetry, or in the
platonic dialogues, we could reasonably formulate the view that ἔρωςin our three tragic
poets is a popular theme, both as a constitutive force of the mythical plot, as well as an
anthropomorphic deity explaining the human sufferings being dealt with.
In the famous stasimon of Sophocles’ Antigone, which can be compared to similar
thematic choruses of Medea and Hippolytus by Euripides, there is a climax of gloomy
and negative forces with which tragic poetry connected ἔρως.
It is a factor of eras,
Ἔρως ἀνίκατε μάχαν, Ἔρως, ὃς ἐν κτήμασι πίπτεις, ὃς ἐν μαλακαῖς παρειαῖς νεάνιδος ἐννυχεύεις, φοιτᾷς
δ᾽ ὑπερπόντιος ἔν τ᾽ ἀγρονόμοις αὐλαῖς· καί σ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἀθανάτων φύξιμος οὐδεῖς οὔθ᾽ ἁμερίων σέ γι᾽
ἀνθρώπων. δ᾽ ἔχων μέμηνεν. σὺ καὶ δικαίων ἀδίκους φρένας παρασπᾷς ἐπὶ λώβᾳ σὺ καὶ τόδε νεῖκος
ἀνδρῶν ξύναιμον ἔχεις ταράξας· νικᾷ δ᾽ ἐναργὴς βλεφάρων ἵμερος εὐλέκτρου νύμφας, τῶν μεγάλων
πάρεδρος ἐν ἀρχαῖς θεσμῶν. ἄμαχος γὰρ ἐμπαίζει θεὸς, Ἀφροδίτα. (Sophocles’ Antigone, 441b.C, v. 781-
tribulations and misfortunes, as dominant in both the realms of immortal gods and mortal
A common place among the poets -traditional or artful- concerns the fragility of
the victims of love, as victims of an unpredictable and irresistible attack, while the poetic
icons are complemented by numerous illustrations of similar issues in vases and
Ethics of sexuality is a central theme within the Greek thought - at least concerning the
free males - as a form of relationship expressing the exercise of the individual’s freedom
of power and as an access to truth. The access to truth is characteristic of human nature
and is revealed through man’s relationship with the other human beings and thus the
realization of man’s ability to discover and preserve the connection between ἔρως and
In philosophical literature ἔρως is identified as the power that tends to integrate and attain
immortality. As a primary attraction, it is a force capable of classifying and giving life to
everything. It forms different steps, from a fine sky to a tangible land, on each level there
being a different form of love. And to get to the essence of love, we must learn how to
climb a ladder starting from beauty; beauty existing in the bodies, souls, in actions, and
the laws of nature, in science and in art, and further on we reach the beautiful as a pure
idea, in the abstract form of beauty, fine and flawless, but which also coincides with what
is good (ἀγαθόν), just (δίκαιον) and truth itself (ἀληθές).
Claude Calame furthermore makes a systematic inquiry into the sexuality of ancient
Greeks and attempts to outline the physiognomy of the power that the Greeks deified
with the name ἔρως.
He starts from the physiology of love, he then studies literary
expressions and artistic depictions, and goes on to examine the institutions that support
love, as well as the places where ἔρως exercises its power.
The glorification of love,
Compare with Sappho (630 570 π.Χ.), fr. 130 εις E. Lobel & D. Page (ed.), Poetarum Lesbiorum
Fragmenta, Oxford University Press, Oxford,1955. Cf. «µηδὲ κρεισσόνων θεῶν ἔρως ἄφυκτον µµα
προσδράκοι µε. ἀπόλεµος ὅδε γ᾽ πόλεµος, πορα πόριµος·» (Aeschylus, Προμηθεύς Δεσμώτης, v. 895
904), «Phaedra: τί τοῦθ δὴ λέγουσιν ἀνθρώπους ἐρᾶν; Nurse: ἥδιστον, παῖ, ταὐτὸν ἀλγεινόν θἅμα
(Euripides, Hippolytus, 428 b.C., v. 347 8 & 392) and «λεπτός—ἀλλἐπίφθονος λόγος διελθεῖν, ὡς Ἔρως
σἠνάγκασε τόξοις ἀφύκτοις τοὐμὸν ἐκσῷσαι δέμας. ἀλλ οὐκ ἀκριβῶς αὐτὸ θήσομαι λίαν· ὅπῃ γὰ»
(Euripides, Medea, 438 b.C., v. 530), «ἔρωτες ὑπὲρ μὲν ἄγαν [στρ. ἐλθόντες οὐκ εὐδοξίαν οὐδ ἀρετὰν
παρέδωκαν ἀνδράσιν· εἰ δἅλις ἔλθοι Κύπρις͵ οὐκ ἄλλα θεὸς εὔχαρις οὕτως. μήποτ δέσποιν’͵ ἐπἐμοὶ
χρυσέων τόξων ἐφείης ἱμέρῳ χρίσασἄφυκτον οἰστόν. στέργοι δέ με σωφροσύνα͵ [ἀντ. δώρημα κάλλιστον
θεῶν· μηδέ ποτ ἀμφιλόγους ὀργὰς ἀκόρεστά τε νείκη θυμὸν ἐκπλήξασἑτέροις ἐπὶ λέκτροις προσβάλοι
δεινὰ Κύπρις͵ ἀπτολέμους δεὐνὰς σεβίζουσὀξύφρων κρίνοι λέχη γυναικῶν.» (ibid., v. 627-662).
See Calame, Cl. (2013). The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece, Princeton University Press: the author in
this recently published study of his, offers a synthetic outlook in the investigation of sexuality using both an
anthropological and a linguistic approach of Eros revealing its functions in initiation rites and celebrations,
educational practices, the Dionysian theater of tragedy and comedy and in real and imagined spatial
settings plus the difference between men and women love practices and rituals.
One of Calame’s earlier studies entitled Eros in ancient Greece, published by Metaichmio, Athens, 2006.
This book is related to an earlier article of his, Love in Ancient Greece: Social Figures (Ο έρωτας στην
αρχαία Eλλάδα: κοινωνικά σχήματα), published in Archeology & the Arts, v. 10 on Eros in antiquity and
Byzantium (1984). The author focuses on the theatrical and poetic depictions of love in lyric and epic
poetry. In that earlier article of Claude Calame, love and sexuality had been explicated both as a concept
with a central function in the system of concepts with which ancient society represented its origins and
activity but we see it in practice through the descriptions that ancient Greeks gave to their sexual life, so
that love becomes one of the main foundations of the social relations that these sexual customs and morals
however, does not only mean depicting love affection but also exploring it by means of
the concept of social practice. Poetry and iconography motivate their recipients to reflect
on the functionality of love by means of the institutions of the city.
Ὄρχησις throws its light on ἔρως in Sophocles’ Antigone
The third stasimon of the third episode of Sophocles’ Antigone, following the dialogue
between Creon and Haimon, praises love, the driving force in everything, in the tragic
context of the opposition between the customary law and the laws of the city. This
vicarious anthem begins with a definition of love. Initially, the predominant concept,
έρως, is presented and then it is analyzed. The choral system chosen by the poet is
strophe and antistrophe. In the strophe, love emerges as a creative force for life (verse
781-790), while the antistrophe is related to the plot itself, so, there is an evolution from
the general to the particular. In fact, the features of the personified winged deity are
outlined and its omnipotence and dominance in the terrestrial and heavenly world are
emphasized. The extent of έρωςdominance coincides with the intensity in which έρως
acts are expressed through verbs indicating movements (πίπτεις, φοιτᾷς, μέμηνεν,
παρασπᾷς, νικᾷ, ἐμπαίζει) and epithets (ἀνίκατε, ἀγρονόμοις, ἀθανάτων, ἁμερίων,
εὐλέκτρου, ἄμαχος) identifying images that signify the irresistible nature of love. The ode
starts with the word ἔρως, which is repeated in the same position of the next verse and
ends with the invocation of the name of Aphrodite (θεὸς, Ἀφροδίτα). The chorus
attributes the characteristics of the personified deity: a) it is invincible in the battle,
therefore allpowerful, b) ‘fills’ the creation with its momentum, c) overnights on the
tender cheeks of the maidens, d) ‘travels’ around in the sea and in the fields, e) captures
without distinction mortals and immortals, f) fools anyone who gets caught by ἔρως.
The culmination of ἔρωςessence, i.e. madness to which ἔρως (δ᾽ ἔχων μέμηνεν) leads to,
has as a reasonable consequence the antistrophe, that follows. In particular, it is
emphasized that: a) ἔρως vanquishes’ (φρένας παρασπᾷς) the mind of the righteous, b)
has brought the dispute (νεῖκος) between father and son to the royal family, γ) ‘the desire
on the eyelids of the beautiful bride’ (βλεφάρων ἵμερος εὐλέκτρου νύμφας) wins over
(νικᾷ) and love presiding together with the major institutions (pudency - αἰδώς, justice -
δίκη, νέμεσις), goes beyond the power of the natural and the moral laws that regulate the
order of the universe. Ἔρως, under the auspices of the playful goddess Aphrodite, has a
superhuman impact and an irresistible power. Following the escalation of the
determinations of its essence, ἔρως moves to a transition from tenderness and lightness to
cruelty and reverence. Love leads to madness, surpassing the power of the natural and
moral laws that regulate the order of the universe, having a catastrophic impact. It is even
mentioned in the desperate father-son confrontation and in the erotic madness inspired by
Aphrodite. With a unique stability in the use of verbal terms and references, one might
claim, this chant retains its inwardness and depth of philosophical meaning, while
establish with their polymorphy. The author examines the centrality of sexuality in explanations of ancient
Greek society in analogy with the socio-anthropological analysis of forms of power in societies like in the
work of Maurice Godelier about the Papua tribes of the New Guinea Highlands (The Making of Great Men:
Male Domination and Power among the New Guinea Baruya, Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural
Anthropology, CUP, 1986). See Cl. Calame, Ο έρωτας στην αρχαία Eλλάδα: κοινωνικά σχήματα, ibid.
dancing with a rhythmical series of steps and gestures that indicate this content, follows
as a logical consequence of the very idea of its poetic structure and the actual meaning of
the words.
Investigating the way of life, the texts and sculptures of the ancient Greeks, we realize
that it is inconceivable to interpret dramas and tragic poetry leaving aside expressive
movements or some kind of bodily expression but with a static engagement of speech
only. Having solely read the text, we feel the vibrations that are reproduced by it and lead
to the undisputed conclusion that the chorus is moving and even dancing as there is no
other way to express these concepts. Thus, we conclude that the essence of its meaning
lies in the somatization of speech, by ‘dancing’ and ‘singing’ the words and syllables.
Through the reconstruction of a bodily meaningful whole consisting of steps and
gestures, while being a kind of dance that belongs to the contemporary era, specifies and
illuminates at the same time the actual functions of dancing and chanting as a
diachronically meaningful human activity with both therapeutic applications and artistic
values (combining beauty with creativity). But this effort is mainly and basically
interdisciplinary, it is a way of connecting or translating theory into practice and vice
versa, or even ‘reading’ with the body, and its language those procedures and forms of
understanding that concern the mind and its conscious elaborations of reality. What is
important in this experiment of revival is to learn how to connect and critically reconsider
the established knowledge of the past and expressing this new conjunction with a
beautiful series of meaningful movements.
As archaic painters insist on the repeatability and order of the depicted, imposing an
organic regularity on the forms, their society also insisted on the emergence of structured,
subtle actions, thus imposing a steady group of correlations that encapsulate and
inactivate conflicts and threatening contrasts. A similar tactic of opposing forces can be
seen in the structure of ancient choruses as metrical poetic rhythmical forms. If today, for
example, we want to represent one of these choruses, we must move from the ‘body’ of
the text to the ‘body’ of concepts and the human subjects that inspired or created them;
ultimately, of course, to the systems of these subjects’ relations. In our own tangible
representation, we will set the boundaries and rules of new relationships and
interpretations that concern us.
By reference - among many examples - to the example of a sociological interpretation of
a subject, such as the erotic behavior of a past civilization, a theme that literally involves
the ‘ancient body’, I try to show the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of the
study, from which valuable information can be obtained allowing for a comprehensive
training on the issues involving the human body with its physicality and beyond the
textual philological -historical- linguistic approach. In addition, how poetry and vase
representations or sculpture depicted the human body, alongside with how the
philosophical reflection spoke of it, contribute to one thing: to provide valuable material
to the socio-historical understanding of the meaning and use of the body.
Such as it is also exacerbated by the three volumes of a study by Michel Feher et al., compared with the
work of Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter: Feher, M. et al. (1989). Fragments for a History of the
Human Body (3 vols), New York (NY), Zonar; Crary, J. & Kwinter, S. (eds.), (1992). Incorporations, New
York (NY), Zonar.
The visual images of the depicted bodies refer to relationships and imply moral, political
relations - sociology insists on relations of power and the dynamic imposition of a system
of relations on another: complexes of actions and tools, choices and technical
possibilities, personal motives and environments - frameworks, concepts and perceptions
of the self and the body, which are therefore suited to the indicated interests and
Interdisciplinary Research and the Cooperative Practices of Art & Philosophy
At this point I would like to refer in an introductory way to certain theoretical
presuppositions supporting those collective efforts in arts and humanities that I propose
with my approach.
We suppose that in the various instances of cooperative relationships that compose the
web of such social designs, as in the artist-creation relationship, therapist and patient or
philosopher and student etc., there is a specific connection of normative or ethical
parameters that can be diagnosed and which determine the special quality and
psychological content to these (John-Steiner, 2000; Lazou, 2016, 38). According to such
a point of view the common characteristics allowing for a methodological convergence of
these areas derive from their cooperative and dialectical nature. Recent literature
following this line of approach also shows the influence of sociopsychology of Lev
in theater in education (Davis, Ferholt, Grainger Clemson, Jansson,
Marjanovic-Shane, 2015), while its most specific therapeutic model is the theater of the
oppressed by Augusto Boal (Boal, 1995). Litterally, in The Psychology of Art (Vygotsky,
1971 [1925]) and during his early phase of the exploration of consciousness under a
cultural-historical perspective characterized now as yet unexplored though- Vygotsky
attempts to reconcile the marxist approach to the human being with recent behavioral
trends in the Soviet scientific psychology (Pavlov, Bekhterev). Similar applications
deriving from these theories can be seen in the field of children education (Kontopodis,
Wulf, Fichtner, 2011).
In the philosophical-psychological premises of these studies we find a non-cartesian
explication of the self, which attributes particular priority to the human subject, socially
selfidentified and places the tangible existence of people at the center of events and
phenomena under investigation. Such theories (in which we compile the literary criticism
of Mikhail Bakhtin, the anthropolinguistics of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson and
Antonio Damasio’s Neuroscience) focus on the relation between mind and language and
develop through socio-psychology the idea of the collective identity of the self.
Concluding this introductory note, within the limits of my article, we owe a special
mention to Ludwig Wittgenstein, as the philosopher who, although belonging to the
These ideas have been already stated in 2016, in my article in Greek for the collective volume Lazou, A.-
Patios, G. (eds.), Art, Philosophy, Therapy, vol. A΄ (Lazou, 2016: 117-162).
Recently (Jornet & Cole, 2018, Leontyev, [1979] 1997) the philosophical inspiration to the whole of
Vygotsky’s thinking development from his early phase up to the end of his life- through Spinoza’s theory
of emotions as he refers to Spinoza as early as in his doctoral thesis, The Psychology of Art.
John-Steiner, 2000, 124. A respectable number of young scholars of education follow this direction
today, which Blunden places historically and philosophically, as we have seen, in the german-idealistic
romantic roots of Marxism.
tradition of analytical thought, distances himself from the philosophy that attempts to
extract the meaning of words from the logical context of propositions and, on the
contrary, considers the meaning of a word as revealed through the explanation or
description of the way in which the word operates and is performed within a language
game, that is, in the social context of an act and its appropriate rules.
Moreover I would like to point to the interdisciplinary and holistic approach as necessary
for the understanding of concepts like catharsis, mimesis, orchesis and drama as well as
their function. According to Andy Blunden, the unified concept of human activity
arising from the combination of hegelian social philosophy, the
marxist analysis of social phenomena and Vygotsky/Leontiev’s social psychology
(Blunden, 2010a, 14),
allows the application of an interdisciplinary field of research and
explanation of all cultural products -art, science and philosophy, all theoretical-practical
forms of expression, outside the hermeneutic vicious circle. Vygotsky, in Blunden’s
outlook, believes and emphasizes that everyday concepts can be true because they
represent different institutions of the social structure - art, religion, economics, politics,
science, philosophy- demonstrating the intersection of different and multiple
universalities of understanding, in the experience of life (Vygotsky, 1987, 285 [Cited by
Blunden, ibid], Blunden, ibid, 162). The concept of understanding, as used here, is to be
considered as different from the hermeneutic cyclicality,
when in fact the interpreter-
reader encounters texts of different historical origin or different cultural traditions,
although, for Blunden, and for us, the essence of understanding lies in the relation of the
elements to each other, in their sharing of a common meaning.
I believe that the above constitute a systematic theoretical premise guiding our study of
how to approach concepts like catharsis, orchesis and drama and relevant phenomena of
ancient art and therapeutic practices. More particularly these concepts are to be connected
with their social and historical background in parallel with their philological and textual
appearance, in order to be fully illustrated and successfully used in artistic, educational
and/or therapeutic expeditions.
Experiential Examples
I am going to list moments - or situations out of my personal experience, where art and
philosophy were interacting in order to illustrate their impact in educational practice with
Blunden attempts a synthesis of concepts derived from the hegelian ethics in terms of Tätigkeit that
draws from Goethe and suggests a process of externalization of the subjective spiritual world, through
practical work. In his comments on the Phenomenology of Spirit by Hegel, mentions that “ubrigens ist mir
alles verhasst, was mich bloss belehrt, ohne meine Tätigkeit zu vermehren oder unmittelbar zu beleben
[Goethe to Schiller, December 19, 1798]).” (Cf. The Origins of Cultural Historical Activity Theory,
[Blunden, 2010c: ~andy/works/originschat.htm; Blunden, 2009, et al.])
Influenced by Georgi Plechanov, Lev Vygotsky in the Russian Pre-Revolution years was involved in the
controversies of Symbolists, Formalists, Futurists and Domists, while he turns his attention to issues of
interpretation and semiology in his work Psychology of Art. Andy Blunden supports that in this work
Vygotsky does not seem to have been so influenced by Hegel as much as by Plechanov (Blunden, 2010,
Where the cyclicality of the interpretive act of ancient languages is determined, between whole and part
and vice versa (Gadamer, [1960] 2005, 291-293. Quoted by Blunden, ibid., 186). Cf. Gadamer, H.-G.
2005 [1960]. Truth & Method, Continuum, New York, NY.
emphasis on the therapeutic key role of their combinatory presence. These experiences
may be classified according to two different ways -or paths- that art and philosophy can
be interconnected: a) The first path -how to understand and approach art through
philosophy, along with other issues vital to human life, has become a popular and
widespread issue in the history of ideas and recent aesthetics. The timeless interests of
philosophy to define art and some related phenomena of the human culture prove the
practicality and applicability of philosophy through art - and specifically the art of theater
- in everyday life (Pelegrinis, 2002; 2008). b) The reverse path -how to enrich, shape or
transform philosophy through art, whether investigation of the classical philosophical
questions can be illuminated and even transformed by applying art in teaching, is a recent
and still open question for examination. In this respect our examples constitute a rather
original experiential material, based on which our theoretical documentation attempts to
establish conditions of systematic negotiation.
i Aeschylus’ Persians
As a starting point of my practical experimentation and reflection on art, philosophy and
I consider Aeschylus’s Persians, a performance by Mirka Gementzakis and a
Symposium at the University of Gävle, in Sweden (1988), when I presented for the first
time the discussion about the so-called body-mind problem and tried to recognize in the
actor’s relationship with the body a model for solving the well-known philosophical
problem. Then, I was given the opportunity to study the relevant presocratic notions of
body-mind (soul/ψυχή) identity imprinted in Aeschylus’ poetry and thus connect the
dramatic figure of Xerxes, as one example - from the field of drama- nevertheless, of the
inseparable bodily-mental whole, which is justified by the theatrical depiction of the
hero’s mental illness by Aeschylus poetic metaphors; I later analyzed further the
hypothesis of considering the actor on stage as a paradigmatic instance of human nature
as an integral whole, in opposition to the newer positivistic divisive approach (Lazou,
In our example, of the stage action of the tragic actor, we find with him ideally, the
material for such findings: If the psychological states, our linguistic structures describing
mental events (mental attitudes or intentional states) ‘resist’ the explanatory power of the
language of natural science (naturalized epistemology) and whether the modern
conceptual schemes adopted by the actor and the spectator necessarily presupposes the
use of a natural language and the physical scenery practice, then only with reference to
natural facts and terms can the actor understand and represent the mental state of the
tragic hero.
My examples are drawn from four areas of experiential activity, which span over a period of about three
decades: from the creation and coordination of the Theatrical Initiative of Youth Drys within the Cultural
Student Group of the University of Athens (1991-2008), the activities of research and art of in Athens
School of Philosophy DRYOS TOPOI (2004 until today), the organization of the self-financed University
Festival ECO-STUDENT FORUM at the University of Athens (2011-2013) and from a series of
international experiential workshops for life learning and non-formal education in collaboration with many
different institutions (2007 - present).
The actor who is expected to incorporate the dramatic persona of Xerxes in Aeschylus’
Persians (normally a male actor), attempts to understand the text, the instructions and
perceptions of the director, transform these perceptions into an action understandable
respectively to the audience. The actor is worried about ‘how to play’ Xerxes and his
psychic disease, observes the way that the poet describes the behavior and supposed
mental state of the dramatic -at the same time- historical personality.
In the process of working with the text, one perceives that understanding the term
‘φρένες in the literary context of its use alone is not enough for the theatrical act of
representing a mad hero, as Xerxes appears in the play; further reference to specific facts
and events is required that concern neurophysiology and physical anatomy, the actual
physical structure of the human body that is the actor’s tool of artistic representation.
The use of the term ‘φρένες’ and the homonymous as well as synonymous words and
phrases in the text of the Persians indicate moreover the metaphorical denotation of
mental states and specifically the mental pain and passion of the hero referring to
particular physical events and body metaphors:
- 749-750: θνητὸς ὢν θεῶν τε πάντων ᾤετ᾽, οὐκ εὐβουλίᾳ,
καὶ Ποσειδῶνος κρατήσειν· πῶς τάδ᾽ οὐ νόσος φρενῶν
εἶχε παῖδ᾽ ἐμόν;
- 765: Μῆδος γὰρ ἦν πρῶτος ἡγεμὼν στρατοῦ·
ἄλλος δ᾽ ἐκείνου παῖς τόδ᾽ ἔργον ἤνυσεν·
φρένες γὰρ αὐτο θυμὸν ᾠακοστρόφουν.
- 845: ΒΑ. δαῖμον, ὥς με πόλλ᾽ ἐσέρχεται κακῶν
ἄλγη, μάλιστα δ᾽ ἥδε συμφορὰ δάκνει,
ἀτιμίαν γε παιδὸς ἀμφὶ σώματι
ἐσθημάτων κλύουσαν, νιν ἀμπέχει.
- 991: ΞΕ. ἴυγγά μοι δῆτ᾽ [ντ. γ.]
ἀγαθῶν ἑτάρων ὑπορίνεις,
‹ἄλαστ᾽ἄλαστα στυγνὰ πρόκακα λέγων.
βο βο ‹μοιμελέων ἔντοσθεν ἦτορ.
The literary analysis and interpretation of the theatrical text feeds the actor with certain
tools for a deeper understanding of the material related to the role. The focus is on
working with the terms appearing in the text and the variant meanings that indicate
different ‘ways’ of understanding the intentions of the poet in relation to the historical
data of certain linguistic uses of the period that the text had been created.
Dealing with language descriptions as well as working out how to render with the
physical/bodily acts, at the same time the actor deals with various conceptual forms (the
actor’s, the director’s, the poet’s, the spectator’s, the scientist’s, etc.); as to how f.e. to
understand, describe and finally represent -rather than imitate- Xerxes’ ‘mental illness’
(‘νόσος φρενῶν’) in a persuasive way on stage (Lazou, 2009).
ii Eumenides
The second example of the therapeutic uses of drama refers to Aeschylus’ Eumenides on
the occasion of my participation to the stage production of this drama by the Orchesis
Study Group of Dora Stratou Theatre, in 2012-13 in Athens. In tragedy, ‘therapy’ as
restoration of the disturbed balance with a consequent painful process of purification
takes place first within the limits of family relations and then extends to the limits of the
city. In order to understand further the political message of this specific Aeschylus’
tragedy, we should start from invetigating the house-city relationship it narrates. This
therapeutic -in the above sense- process is remodeled in an exemplary way in Eumenides.
If, following the literature on the subject, we assume that Oresteia is a political project
that historically coincides with the emergence of cities as a result of previous struggles
mainly about -among others- the issue of justice, then a reasonable conclusion would be
that the moral-philosophical ideas and the conflicts among the human persons, they
imply, are presupposed and have explanatory significance as to the actions of the heroes
and their choices in the mythical plot. These are the deepest ideas that constitute the truth
about human reality that are channeled through the poetic text, into the action of the
heroes, but above all into the masterful operation of the 12-member group of Aeschylus
chorus. The chorus represents thoughts and feelings, conveying knowledge and
information and mediating between the world of the people attending (audience of the
citizens) and the world of myth and heroes (the actors and dancers in the orchestra).
Eumenides is a drama of transformation; we may recognize in the fear caused by Erinyes
to Orestes, and then in the transgressors of the primordial institutions of law, a trick
aimed at reaching a consensus between rival forces that appear as adversaries in a court
founded and organized by a deity, Athena. It is the reconciliation between adversary
powers in society that finally balance and cure the tragic pathos of revenge and violence.
Throughout the evolution of the tragic myth, with the aim of purification at the end, it is
revealed how the good, light and balance derive from the profane, impure and terrible.
Thus, from this transformation that takes place in the context of the Eumenides, it is
knowledge and truth being produced by a process of dark rivalry.
What should be further emphasized in relation to the therapeutic and educational
functional role of drama especially in the case of Eumenides, is the priority of the system,
the whole (laws, choral group actions, institutions and traditions, the city), over the
individual act or the individual character. The grid -or flow- of events, according to
which the stage actions of the hero (Orestes), trying to bring about a dramatic situation in
consistence with the tragic ethos and poetic intellect, in order to test their correctness and
efficiency, develop here with the purpose of highlighting the moral lesson coming out of
the disastrous consequences of human mistakes. In Eumenides -this grid is not composed
of the actions and commands of gods (Apollo-Athena), who intervene occasionally in the
plot, but from the dominant throughout the play action of the chorus -as Erinyes being
transformed to Eumenides- while the main hero, Orestes, is finally forced to accept as
inevitable the logic of tragic ethos, rationalizing the irrational, understanding the
supernatural and ultimately paying the price with his own body, with pain and
Conclusions about the Therapeutic Uses of the Tragic Chorus
in Aescylus’ Persians & Eumenides
In archaic Greece, where Aeschylus
was born, everything that is at stake around
people’s lives is closely linked to the demand for the moral unity that the institution of
the family and the solidarity and interdependence of its members ensure. Hence the idea
of hereditary guilt and transferable punishment, a common feature of early civilizations,
composes the context of actions and poetic compositions of both dramas. Thus we see
evil starting from the act of the ancestor and darkening the mind of the son and his
grandson. The vengeful spirit leads the victim to the criminal act. Even the evil spirit of
the house, Alastor, contributes to this.
The afterlife for the soul, however, which was imagined by the theologians and the
interest in the fate of the dead after death are not found in his works. For him everything
is fulfilled in this world.
There is faith in justice and the power of souls, as well as in the world of demons and
their action. They are the forces of evil that always act and influence the judgment and
actions of man. Surely Aeschylus is difficult to convince us that he reconciles the guilt of
the perpetrator with the imposition of his unjust act by a higher power. On the one hand
he accepted the action of the demons and on the other in his choruses he interprets the
world of his heroes in a higher way, invoking the existence of a rational justice, a harsh
moral law represented by the action of gods. Certainly, in his time a progress was made.
Arbitrary divine powers were replaced by the idea of secular Justice, but this was linked
to the existing primitive conception of the family and thus a new social ethic was not yet
established. Only later, under the influence of Greek rationalism, did the weight of
religious sentiment diminish and the religious law change, giving the individual the
opportunity for personal responsibility and personal rights.
Aeschylus lived in the world of faith in the demons but tried to give them a higher
interpretation as we see in Eumenides and to show through Athena how the world can be
transformed into a new world of rational justice. The other two poets, Sophocles, and
Euripides, being ‘children’ of another era, challenged the existence of older beliefs
through logical and moral arguments. Ancient family conflicts that constitute more or
less- the ground of the transformative procedure from hybris to rehabilitation, liberation
and therapy of the hero among the gods and the chorus (as the collective action of the
many) in Aeschylus’ dramas, become less important than the rights of the individual and
the independent of the family circle circumstances, for both Sophocles and Euripides.
The heroes of Aeschylus are guilty of a primordial crime (Xerxes, Orestes) but many of
the Sophocles and Euripides’ heroes (Antigone, Oedipus, Alcestis or Hippolytus) are
genuinely innocent, and their misery is brought to them by divine plans or their enemies
in society. The Aeschylian setting of the transformation is more drastically ‘therapeutic’
placing mental disease or revengeful passion at the center of the procedure. It is not about
Aeschylus was born in 525 BC. in Eleusis and is mentioned as a follower of Pythagoras and with
possible participation in the Eleusinian mysteries.
a rational choice in moral action that saves or liberates the hero’s soul which would show
a direct influence of the philosophical doctrines that later dominated but poetry itself with
its spiritual activity and imitative power to cure the wounded consciousness of the hero,
that prevails in Aeschylus, in contrast to the rationality of the next centuries with the
subsequent degradation of the great drama. Religion and cult practices invoking those
traditional myths known and perhaps unpredictedly established in popular consciousness
with a high pedagogical role embedded in them and had only to be transformed into
Aeschylus’ dramatic techniques with a unique indeed poetic skill so that would help
people connect the old with the newer perceptions and to some extent reconcile it. The
‘newer’ beliefs concerned philosophical inquiry as the cornerstone of the interpretive
approach to life and were manifested in the Platonic world affecting the evolution of
theatre somehow dissolving its older therapeutic functions.
Aeschylus’ dramas introduce on the hand, a strong relationship between justice and
medical healing; this allows us to recall the relevant medical metaphors of Aristotle in the
discussion of problems of politics and ethics, as to music and theatre (tragedy). Mainly
based on the Aristotelian notions of equality, freedom and justice, measure or mediation,
we may start understanding the very notion of therapy as an ongoing process of balancing
and restoring the social and physical conflicts of individuals and social groups (Λάζου,
Further Therapeutic Applications of the Dancing Revival of Antiquity
Which is therefore the core of the therapeutic function of tragedy and Greek drama
according to modern philosophical approaches and theories? Our work hypothesis directs
us to the investigation of dance as a constitutive element of Greek drama and wider
cultural heritage. Apollonian rationality and Dionysian ekstasis - as aspects of the same
primordial human condition - function in a complementary way by the alternation of
order and discipline with expressiveness and ecstatic freedom. Indeed, in dance, man acts
both as a unit and as part of a collective entity, despite the pain and suffering involved in
the effort of integration of the opposed aspects -partial / totality- which means nothing
else but the pain of life. Only in dance one can seek solace for this conflict situation. The
role and functions of dance in the chorus schemata are representative examples of the
‘healing’ process of the tragic drama.
Dionysian elements of dancemore particularly- are therapeutic both because of the
psychological and its biological functions and influences, as well as for its socio-political
dimensions. We discover the healing power of dance in the views attributed to ancient
Greek writers up to the early antiquity, in parallel with the historical -social, educational,
and political- uses of dance during this period (Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon,
Plotinus, Athenaeus, Lucian, Plutarch, Nonnus and Libanius). The fact that the dances
were of religious nature and had social functions (therapeutic, political, and educational),
or philosophical connotations, may be regarded as an essential element of their meaning
and not as a restriction in applying a universal system of concepts in dance interpretation
(References to Friedrich Nietzsche, James Miller, Evangelos Moutsopoulos eta.).
Λάζου, 2015; Lazou, 2006.
To move on to the issue of dance and the way we are called today to understand it, as a
vehicle for overcoming fear following the example of Eumenides, we will refer to
Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy of tragedy: Nietzsche insists on the central role of the
choral performance and its emotional impact on participants. Thanks to his emphasis on
tragedy as a theatrical art and its documentary function, as reflected in the song and the
dance, Nietzsche appears as a forerunner of contemporary trends in the philosophical
critique of tragedy.
The aesthetic-therapeutic uses of modern dance, theater can be examined and
philosophically justified as overcoming the pain of the human condition through the art
of dance -starting with the Nietzschean approach of the Dionysian. This perspective is
mainly found in the Birth of Tragedy, while in Nietzsche’s attitude towards art and its
metaphysical-ontological dimension there are a series of philosophical references to
dance but also to ancient drama and art in general: Through the conception of an
artistically defined metaphysics” Nietszche of the Birth of Tragedy captures the concept
of man as a means for selfcreation. Thus, man as an artist-creator guarantees to be both
an implementer and a spectator of a process intrinsic and at the same time- greater than
Recently, there is a discussion about revival or in other words- reconstruction of ancient
tragic choruses and dances with the help of technological and scientific possibilities and
with the purpose of aesthetic crystallization on theatrical stage or in virtual reality, of
relevant research as an attempt to capture linguistically and illustratively, the rhythmic
and musical process that took place far in the past, all the way expressing by means of
movements and gestures, but also with vocal sound, emotions and thoughts of ancient
people. Is this project ‘therapeutic’ of our contemporary world and individual lives? Can
we face the horror of the real state of humanity in contemporary society with the
therapeutic vehicle of tragic dance, reviving in the orchestra or in an educational dance
procedure, so that we lead ourselves towards a new transcendence of the human
negativity? In another sense, following the historical heritage of an Isadora Duncan or an
Eva Palmer of the 20th century, may we recognize in modern dance revival of antiquity
the medical -literally and metaphorically- uses and applications of ancient dance and
These questions, also taking under consideration the great educational and
philological/linguistic applications of the studies in orchesis and ancient drama, today,
lead to specify the beneficial effects of such studies to the fields of translation and
adaptation of classical dramas, offering more liberties by applying to the suffering,
thinking, liberating therefore dancing body- of the contemporary man.
The aesthetic directions and criteria in today’s revival of ancient cultural forms can be
given now a moral meaning, therapeutic in the broad sense, relevant with the needs of
the modern man and even beyond scientific fidelity. It can be seen as a part of the self-
analytical, self-aware and self-healing of the human being that penetrates into the
collective unconscious in order to dig out the forgotten sources of the vital part of the
soul and remember the everlasting harmony of the dream world of a unifying identity
with the whole. In view of certain contemporary developments in the fields of performing
arts, the identification of the body with its somatosensory sensibility, the discovery of the
semiotic-phenomenological body, the methodological significance of ‘embodiment’ for
the understanding of ancient art and the liberation of the artist from the unique meaning
and the text-centered interpretation, I propose to ‘move away’ of the idea of the learning
brain and ‘approach’ the idea of the learning dancing body, where the body (sense -
mind) is that entity that thinks and remembers, by playing and representing, speaking,
translating and contemplating.
After all, it is good to remember that Sophocles, one of the three ancient Greek tragedians
whose plays have survived, renown as the great innovator of ancient drama, was himself
a poet, dancer and musician of the highest quality, at the same time, a reality that might
use as a justification for attempting an all including orchestic interpretation of the famous
stasimon on Eros by means of music, words AND dance- as therapy and education of
the people.
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philosophical Approach of the Tragic Chorus in the Example of Eumenides), A. Lazou-Ι.
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Photos of Orchesis Study Group
& Dryos Topoi Research & Artistic Ensemble Activities
Aesthetics & Therapeutic Practices
Anna Lazou, Ioanna Mastora
The concept of art is not only associated with that of the beautiful’ but can also be used
as an important therapeutic tool. Its significance has been emphasized by eminent ancient
philosophers such as Plato and Plotinus, who pointed out its role in approaching the
divine. However, in modern science, art has also a therapeutic character since its
applications have been compatible with psychology and counseling. This practice has its
roots in ancient Asclepieia, healing temples, where medical treatment was combined with
arts and aesthetics such as theater. Based on the ancient and modern findings of different
humanities, especially philosophical and psychological counseling, experts use practical
and applied ways that enhance the quality of human life (Knapp & Tjeltveit, 2005). In
addition, theoretical and practical knowledge are applied to all age categories, the general
education, and the practice of creative arts.
Key words: arts, medical treatment, healing, philosophy, consulting, Asclepieia
Philosophical and historical review
The beginnings of this approach are initially found in the philosophical thought of
who claims that nature imitates the idea, but art is not only an imitation, but
something also that had been supported by Plato (Plato, Rep., X, 597).
On the contrary, the creation of a thing is based on the inner species that the maker has
within him (Plotinus, Enneades, I, 6, 3, 6-16). Plotinus’ influences originate in Egyptian
mysticism. He argued that art, in addition to mimicking nature that is an imitation
(reflection) of the idea, has the additional property of directly communicating with the
idea, due to the artists ability to directly communicate with the idea of divinity. Plotinus
tries to fit the experience of beauty into drama of ascent to the first principle of all. In
this respect, Plotinus aesthetics is inseparable from his metaphysics, psychology, and
The three basic principles of Plotinus’ metaphysics are called by him ‘the One’ (or, equivalently, ‘the
Good’), Intellect and Soul (see V 1; V 9.). These principles are both ultimate ontological realities and
explanatory principles. Plotinus believed that they were recognized by Plato as such, as well as by the
entire subsequent Platonic.
As in the case of virtue, Plotinus recognizes a hierarchy of beauty. But what all types of beauty have in
common is that they consist in form or images of the forms eternally present in intellect (I 6. 2). Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
According to the philosopher, not everyone sees the various subjects in the same way,
looking at them with the eyes (the senses), but when one recognizes the imitation of a
real text within the intellect, is led to the memory of truth, from which love derives
(Plotinus, Enneades, II: 9 16, 45-48). In addition, he emphasizes that the imitation that
takes place through the artwork should not be ignored, as otherwise the artist could be
considered as an absolute creator of something that is not in line with his ontological
system (Anton, 1967-1968, 94).
He also introduces the so-called imaginary (imagination), which is not intellectual (i.e. a
product of pure, realistic thinking), but neither sensation (since it is a reason for arousing
emotions and not a sensory stimulus) (Pollit, 1974: 57). It is no coincidence, that both in
ancient times and nowadays, artists are surrounded by a mist of mysticism. According to
Plotinus, people, while still alive, can with ecstasy (the posture that is outside, that is, the
escape outside the material body, therefore also of the material world, that is, the
distorted world, the world of imitation of ideas) leave the body and approach the deity
(absolute truth, that is the ideas according to Plato, in a broader sense). Plotinus narrates a
similar experience, saying that many times I came out of my body inside myself, seeing
all things from the outside (I am not myself) and the wonderful beauty (IV, 8, 1 etc.).
In the ancient times, people resorted for healing to Asclepieia,
where experimental
therapeutic methods were provided, though combined with religious elements. There
were also special buildings and facilities for other uses such as theatrical spaces and
conservatories, baths, stadiums, which contributed to the physical exercise and recreation
of patients (Melfi, 2007). The preliminary treatment for admission into the Asclepieions
was katharsis or purification. It consisted of a series of cleansing baths and purgation,
accompanied by a cleansing diet, which lasted several days.
One of the most important monuments is the Asclepieion of Epidaurus, the largest
sanatorium in the ancient world. Many people know Epidaurus only for the ancient
theater but are unaware of the existence of one of the most important monumental
ensembles of Greece. The sanctuary of Asclepius was an organized sanatorium, a medical
center that marked the transition from the theological to the real medical, based on the
diagnosis, the application of appropriate treatment on the guidance and supervision of the
Divine (Stavropoulos, 2000).
Asclepieia spread the medical and surgery science not only in Greece, but also in the
wider Mediterranean region, with the creation of over than 300 subsidiary sanctuaries.
Those spread medical science through therapeutic worship in Attica, the Aegean islands,
Marseilles, in Taranto, Pergamon, Cyrene, in Africa, on the island of Tiberias in Rome
(also known as the island of Asclepius since antiquity). There was a temple dedicated to
Asclepius, nowadays also functioning as a hospital Ospedale San Giovanni Calibita
Asklepieion (Ancient Greek Ἀσκληπιεῖον, Asklepieion; Ἀσκλαπιεῖον in Doric dialect; Latin aesculapīum)
healing temples, often located in secluded locations -like the surrounded modern spas- or mountain
Fatebenefratelli, where special reference is made to the findings from the ancient
The experiential approach of art opens new ‘paths’ in education of all levels and in
lifelong learning (Mastora, 2013 & 2015). It is proven by philosophical knowledge as a
method with excellent results in all phases of the history of civilization - from antiquity to
the present - and with deep roots in the distant past of human history. The excellent
architecture and acoustic theater that we all know was an important aspect of worship and
healing. According to Soranos (2nd cent. AD), those who suffered from nervousness
should watch tragedies and those who suffered from melancholy should watch comedies.
Galen (2nd cent. AD) attributed to Asclepius the instruction that those who had mental
disorders should watch pleasant spectacles and musical events. Some of the patients were
cured at this stage and did not need to undergo the main treatment based on sleep’; the
priests administered specific herbs to the patients who sacrificed animals to the god.
Then, they entered the avaton’ (ἄβατον) and were forced to sleep on the sacrificed
animal. Especially in Epidaurus, the patient was forced to cross a twisted underground
corridor, under the dome. The priests visited them at night, disguised as Asclepius. At
times, the gods sacred animals, snakes, and dogs, licked the sick to heal them. Patients
were easily persuaded, as they were under the influence of substances. Under their
influence, patients had strange dreams. In the morning, based on the patients narration,
the priest would then interpret the dream and prescribe a cure. The priests used the
beneficial properties of magnetism, with the help and support of the ritual process, which
framed the treatment and led the candidate patient to his subconscious, where the
treatment and restoration of his health took place.
Modern medical science has not yet explained how the brain persuades the body calling
this mystery placebo. It is the ineffective medication that produces fictitious or real
improvement, because only the one, who follows it, believes that it will cure him/her. The
same term is used for placebo administered under simulation conditions (Finniss et al.,
However, the ‘sleeping’ practice may even have been used in surgeries, such as opening
an abdominal abscess or repairing a wound. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the
patient should indeed be asleep due to the use of hypnotic substances such as opium
(Askitopoulou et al., 2002). A famous Asclepieion was founded in Pergamon, in the 3rd
cent. B.C., from Archias of Pergamon, who had been healed in Epidaurus and considered
it right to introduce the cult of Asclepius in Asia Minor.
Pausanias also mentions the hymns that had to do with the treatment of Telephos, the son
of Hercules and Avgi, daughter of Aleos.
In 293 BC, it was the turn of the Romans to
Furthermore, clinically relevant evidence demonstrates that placebo effects can have meaningful
therapeutic effects, by virtue of magnitude and duration, in different patient populations. Although
substantial progress has been made in understanding placebo effects, considerable scientific work remains
to be done in both laboratory experiments and translational clinical trial research, with the ultimate aim of
harnessing placebo effects to improve patient care (Finniss et al., 2010). https://www.ncbi.nlm.
He was abandoned by his grandfather on the mountain but a deer undertook to breastfeed him until some
shepherds found him and raised him. Growing up, the oracle of Delphi ordered him to go to Teuthrania.
There, he found his mother, the wife of King Teuthrantas, who adopted him, gave him his wife, his
join the cult of Asclepius, establishing an Asclepieion on one of the islands of the river
Tiber. The cause was an epidemic that broke out in the city. The Romans fled to
Epidaurus, from where they received a sacred snake’, which they carried to their
homeland and settled in the sanctuary of their new god (Compton, 2002).
In Attica, the cult of Asclepius came from Epidaurus. First in Piraeus and then in Athens,
where, on the initiative of a Telemachus from Acharnes, in 420/19 BC, a sanctuary was
founded on the southern slope of the Acropolis, near the theater of Dionysus (and in
Marathon, the tomb of Asclepius is adjacent with the temple of Dionysus). The priests of
Eleusis hurried to spread that the god was initiated in the Eleusinian Mysteries and lived
in the temple of Demeter, until his own sanctuary was built. The Athenian Asclepieion
gained a great reputation and operated until the end of the 5th cent. A.C., when the
Christians turned it into a church in honor of the healing saints. After all, the ‘role’ of the
healer Asclepius was succeeded in the Christian religion by many holy healers.
Modern Innovative Methods in Education
In antiquity, illness was seen as the result of complex and negative interactions of
environmental, social, psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical factors and health
care seems to have aimed at normalizing conflicts and restoring harmony between those
Nowadays, therapeutic practices and counseling through aesthetic and artistic education
are addressed to specialists, scientists and professionals, who wish to expand their
knowledge and use a new different pedagogical, artistic and psychotherapeutic approach,
such as dance therapy, drama therapy, music therapy as well as other forms of alternative
therapies and practices and apply them to professional environments of education and
counseling psychology. In fact, many scientists believe that counseling through
philosophy serves people even in areas such as decision making (Knapp & Tjeltveit,
2005). Philosophical counseling deals with values and beliefs and helps to identify,
clarify, analyze and sometimes change them. It serves as a means of rational conflict
resolution and is very useful in guiding an organizational change.
The educational
methods and teaching-learning techniques applied use as an original combination of
traditional and innovative forms of education and include:
- theoretical lectures;
- presentation of kinetic and expressive forms and systems with individual examples and
teaching practical skills to the trainees;
- use of audiovisual media and materials in theoretical and experiential laboratories;
daughter, Agriopi, and made him his successor. The Achaeans came to the area, thinking it was Troy,
attacked, repulsed and were forced to leave. Achilles, however, overtook and wounded Telephos, whose
wound, according to the oracle, could only be closed by the one who injured him. After wandering,
Telephos located Achilles. Thetis’ son put a magic herb in his wound and made her heal. In turn, Telephos
showed the Achaeans the right course for Troy.
- encouragement of improvised creativity in writing, creative writing and participation in
a collective artistic work;
- analysis, collection of empirical data;
- implementation and evaluation of therapeutic practices;
- the correlation of the learning experience with everyday life and modern problems;
- cooperation, interdisciplinary approach, production of the ‘thematic field of the project
to be processed, which is closer to the trainees’ interests and skills (painting, dance,
photography, theater, music, etc.).
The trainees gain experience of the therapeutic practices through art and the know-how
strategies of their application, to
1) improve their interdisciplinary and specialized knowledge for the utilization of the
applied arts in education and counseling, in order to respond more fully and effectively;
2) distinguish psychological trends and directions in the field of art and education;
3) identify the most important philosophical currents that support the relationship
between art and education;
4) coordinate their scientific specialization with the experiential application and action in
modern professional environments;
5) cultivate their creativity through traditional and contemporary arts (visual and
documentary); and
6) apply an ongoing self-formative assessment.
Philosophy and Consulting
Learning Outcomes. i Theoretical training in the fields of philosophy and psychology, ii
Skills for resolving emotional conflicts, verbal communication, iii Dialectical and social
interaction and self-development, iv Ability to handle psychoanalytic tools.
Introduction to Fine and Performance Arts
Learning Outcomes. i Theoretical training in the history and philosophy of art with
emphasis on the ancient legacy and the ancient Greek drama, ii Skills of aesthetic
awareness of verbal communication, in fine and performing arts.
Experimental Education Laboratories for all Age Categories
Learning Outcomes (by age category). i.Training in methods of handling psychological-
educational needs, ii Ability to manage group and social contents and relevant activities.
Therapeutic Practices
Learning Outcomes. i Introduction and theoretical training in therapies with the use of
fine arts, ii Skills in design and practical application of modern therapeutic practices and
New Technologies
Learning Outcomes. i Knowledge of methods and tools, ii Ability in digital recording and
evaluation applications using new technologies.
Educational methods and activities
i Theoretical lectures-distant learning seminars, ii Collaborative method-interactive
teaching (educational visits), experiential workshops (artistic creation), iii Study and
analysis of the relevant literature. This procedure concerns those involved in the
development and implementation of programs in the following:
• Private and public pedagogical institutes and institutions,
• Private and public counseling psychology programs,
Art workshops and schools of art education (actors, dancers, musicians, artists),
• Training programs of Company executives,
Lifelong learning programs of Municipalities and other cultural organizations and
Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy centers that wish to integrate new psychotherapeutic
techniques through the arts.
Summarizing from the above, it is understood that art, apart from its philosophical
aspects, which consists in the relationship between humans and the divine, has been
inextricably linked since antiquity with health treatments, healing and cure. Nowadays, in
the context of Philosophical Counseling, it is possible to create educational interventions
that will combine art, philosophy and new technologies in order to manage emotional
problems and self-development.
Anton, J. (1967-1968). Plotinus concentration on the functions of the artist, Journal of
Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 26: 94.
Askitopoulou, H., Konsolaki, E., Ramoutsaki, I., Anastassaki, E. (2002). Surgical cures
by Sleep Induction as the Asclepieion of Epidaurus, International Congress Series
1242(2002): 11-17.
Compton, T. (2002). The Association of Hygieia with Asklepios in Graeco-Roman
Asklepieion Medicine, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 57(3):
Christopoulou-Aletra, H. Togia, A., Varlami, C. (2010). The ‘smart’ Asclepieion: A total
healing environment, Archives of Hellenic Medicine. 27 (2): 259-263.
Finniss, D.G., Kaptchuk T.J., Miller F. & Benedetti, F. (2010). Biological, clinical, and
ethical advances of placebo effects. Lancet (London, England), 375(9715): 686-95.
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Change, Josse-Bass Inc. Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Knapp, S. & Tjeltveit A.C. (2005). A Review and Critical Analysis of Philosophical
Counseling. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, American Psychological
Association 2005, Vol. 36, No. 5: 558-565.
Melfi, M. (2007). I santuari di Asclepio in Grecia, Roma, LErma di Bretschneider.
Pollitt, J.J. (1974). The Ancient View of Greek Art: Criticism, History, and Terminology,
Yale University Press, New Haven & London.
(1994). Teachings for Openings: Pedagogy as Dialect, Pedagogy in the Age of Politics:
Writing and Reading (in) the Academy, (eds.) P.A. Sullivan and D.J. Qualley, NCTE
(National Council of Teachers of English). Reprinted with Permission.
Lazou, A. & Mastora, I. (2015). Ancient Dance and Athletism, Essays in History-
Philosophy and Education, Arnaoutis Publications, Athens. Under the auspices of the
UNESCO International Dance Council.
Mastora, I. (2000). The cultivation of Aesthetic Education through sport and dance,
Giossos, I. (ed.). Olympic and Sports Education, Pedagogical logos, Propompos
________ (2013). Aesthetic Gymnastics, Theory of Science, Arnaoutis Publications,
Kyklos Group (Eudoxos).
Stavropoulos, S. (2000). The Asclepieia of the Peloponnese, Journey to the sacred
worship and healing centers of the Peloponnese: Olympian and local medical deities,
Aiolos pbs.
Plotinus, 7 volumes, Greek text with English translation by A.H. Armstrong, Cambridge,
MA: Loeb Classical Library, 196888.
(2004). Neoplatonic Philosophy. Introductory Readings, translations of portions of the
works of Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus and Proclus, J. Dillon and Ll.P. Gerson (eds.),
Indianapolis: Hackett.
Die „grosse Vernunft“des Leibes und das Über-sich-hinaus-
Eine Interpretation zur vierten Rede Zarathustras
Nikolaos Loukidelis
Die aktuelle Situation der Nietzsche-Forschung zeichnet sich durch besondere
Lebendigkeit aus. Nietzsches Werk und seine Person stehen überall auf der Welt im
Zentrum eines regen, vielseitigen und wachsenden Interesses, das sich u. a. in der
Erscheinung von hoch spezialisierten Untersuchungen manifestiert. Diese
Untersuchungen bauen zwar auf vorherigen auf, die bereits wichtige Sachverhalte geklärt
und bemerkenswerte Interpretationen vorgelegt haben, versuchen aber zugleich sie zu
ergänzen und nicht selten zu widerlegen. Dabei lässt sich auch die Wirksamkeit von
verschiedenen Forschungstraditionen bzw. Forschungsgruppen feststellen, die einen
spezifischen methodischen Ansatz anwenden und sich oft sogar institutionalisiert haben,
indem etwa ihre Resultate in einem eigens zur Verfügung stehenden Rahmen
veröffentlicht werden.
Ein markantes Beispiel hierfür ist die Quellenforschung, deren Herausbildung Mazzino
Montinari viele wichtige Impulse verdankt und deren dynamische Präsenz u. a. in den
letzten Bänden der Nietzsche-Studien dokumentiert wird.
Ihre Aufgabe besteht in der
sich historisch-philologischer Mittel bedienenden Rekonstruktion des Dialogs, den
Nietzsche mit verschiedenen Autoren und Traditionen geführt hat. Dabei kommt dem 19.
Jahrhundert besondere Bedeutung zu, da es Nietzsche trotz seiner Selbstinszenierung
als unzeitgemäßer Denker tief geprägt hat.
Zwei weitere aktuelle Richtungen sind hier zu nennen. Die erste ist im Rahmen der
Verfassung eines Nietzsche-Wörterbuchs entstanden. Gemeint ist die unter der Leitung
von Paul van Tongeren und Herman Siemens stehende Nietzsche Research Group, die in
der Form des ersten Bandes des Wörterbuchs bereits ein fruchtbares Zeugnis ihrer Arbeit
vorgelegt hat.
Die in Rede stehende Forschungsgruppe wendet primär einen
semasiologischen Ansatz an. Dies bedeutet, „dass an erster Stelle nicht der Begriff,
sondern der signifiant steht und als Lemma verwendet wird“ (Tongeren u. a. 2004, XI f.)
und dass der Akzent auf die „Verschiebungen von Bedeutungen, [die] neue[n]
Siehe die Rubrik Beiträge zur Quellenforschung, die aus Abhandlungen und Nachweisen besteht.
Dieser erste Band wurde zu einem bedeutenden Teil von Gerd Schank verfasst (Tongeren u. a. 2004,
IX), der inzwischen unerwartet verstorben ist.
Bedeutungen sowie die Verknüpfung von Bedeutungen und Konnotationen“ (ebd., XII)
in Nietzsches Werk gelegt wird.
Die zweite Richtung stellt der sich in Vorbereitung befindende Kommentar der Schriften
Nietzsches dar, der von Jochen Schmidt, Barbara Neymeyer und Andreas Urs Sommer
verfasst wird.
Dieses Vorhaben widmet sich gezielt vor allem Nietzsches Büchern (und
nicht Entwürfen oder literarischen Projekten, die zeit seines Lebens nicht veröffentlicht
wurden bzw. für die Veröffentlichung nicht bestimmt waren) und sein Ziel besteht in der
Beleuchtung der Form und des Inhalts dieser Bücher durch eine Kontextualisierung. Der
in Rede stehende Begriff wird hier in einem weiten Sinne gebraucht: gemeint ist nicht nur
der Kontext des einzelnen Buches, sondern auch der des entsprechenden Nachlasses, der
Lektüren und Begegnungen Nietzsches und der allgemeinen historischen Situation, in der
das jeweilige Buch entstanden ist.
Wenn man dazu berücksichtigt, dass der Ansatz der Kontextualisierung aktuell durch
Werner Stegmaier bestärkt wird, der ein gut fundiertes Programm für eine neue
Nietzsche-Philologie im 21. Jahrhundert formuliert,
dann kommt man um so natürlicher
zu dem Schluss, dass die eben angeführten Forschungsrichtungen (Quellenforschung,
Nietzsche-Wörterbuch, Nietzsche-Kommentar) eine noch bis zum Ende des 20.
Jahrhunderts vorherrschende Tradition der Nietzsche-Forschung in den Hindergrund zu
verdrängen tendieren. Gemeint ist die systematische Nietzsche-Interpretation, zu der
Untersuchungen von Karl Löwith, Arthur Danto, Jean Granier und Josef Simon um nur
wenige wichtige Interpreten anzuführen
zuzuordnen sind. Auch wenn niemand an der
Legitimität und der Notwendigkeit von systematisch orientierten Interpretationen zweifelt
und viele Studien dieser Art immer noch erscheinen, gibt es in der Tat gegenwärtig ein
Zurückgehen ihrer Zahl, das wenigstens vier Gründe hat.
Erstens hat die systematische Nietzsche-Interpretation bereits viele Beiträge vom
bleibenden Wert geliefert, so dass oft der Eindruck entsteht, in vielen Themen sei bereits
ein befriedigender Konsens erreicht. Ein repräsentatives Beispiel hierfür ist Wolfgang
Müller-Lauters Rekonstruktion des Willens zur Macht.
Zweitens hat der systematische
Nietzsche-Interpret des 20. Jahrhunderts nicht wenige Male seine eigenen Interessen und
Ansichten in Nietzsche derart hineingelegt, dass dabei Nietzsches Gedankenwelt und
Selbstverständnis aus dem Blick gerieten. Das gilt etwa für einen großen Teil der
Insofern durch die Rekonstruktion des semantischen Feldes, „in dem ein Wort seine Bedeutung(en)
erhält“ (ebd., XII), diese festgelegt werden, „kommt“ zusätzlich zum semasiologischen „ein
onomasiologischer Ansatz zum Tragen“ (ebd.), der zur Erschließung von vielen in Nietzsches Werk
vorkommenden Begriffe beiträgt.
Das unten folgende Referat über den von der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften getragenen
Nietzsche-Kommentar basiert auf einem Vortrag, den Andreas Urs Sommer am 20. Mai 2009 im Berliner
Nietzsche-Colloquium gehalten hat. Zum Konzept des Kommentars vgl. auch http://portal.uni-
Nach diesen Ausführungen ist es leicht ersichtlich, dass die Quellenforschung als ein selbstständiger Teil
des kontextualistischen Ansatzes betrachtet werden kann.
Stegmaier, 2007; Stegmaier, 2009.
Exemplarisch sei hier jeweils eine aus der Feder dieser Interpreten stammende Studie erwähnt: Löwith,
1956; Granier, 1969; Danto, 1980; Simon, 1985.
Müller-Lauter, 1971, 10 ff., 66 ff., 95 ff.; Müller-Lauter, 1999a.
klassischen zweibändigen Monographie von Martin Heidegger.
Drittens ist bei
Nietzsche ein durchaus antisystematisches und sogar antitheoretisches Moment
vorhanden, das er durch Inhalt und Form seiner Schriften bewusst pflegt und den
vorsichtigen Interpreten skeptisch gegenüber groß angelegten Rekonstruktionen stimmt.
Und viertens sind wichtige Aspekte von Nietzsches Werk wie versteckte Verweise auf
von ihm rezipierte Autoren, die verschiedenen Nuancen seiner sorgfältigen Wortwahl
und der Zusammenhang zwischen den einzelnen Teilen seines Werkes (z. B. zwischen
den Aphorismen der Morgenröthe) bei weitem noch nicht erschlossen.
Es ist deswegen folgerichtig, dass sich viele Forscher primär diesen Themenbereichen
zuwenden, und man darf auf die entsprechenden Ergebnisse gespannt sein. Es wäre
trotzdem einseitig, wenn die Nietzsche-Forschung sich nur auf eine derartige
Erschließung von Nietzsches Werk beschränken würde, so grundlegend und ertragreich
diese Erschließung auch sein mag. Denn Nietzsches „Leidenschaft der Erkenntniss“ (s. z.
B. M 429, KSA 3, S. 265, FW 123, KSA 3, S. 479)
bezieht sich auch auf Inhalte
Inhalte, die ihn im 20. Jahrhundert zu einem wichtigen Gesprächspartner für Vertreter so
unterschiedlicher Disziplinen wie Physik, Biologie, Psychologie, Soziologie, Klassische
Philologie, Literaturwissenschaft und Philosophie gemacht haben und es wäre
bedauernswert, wenn diese Inhalte in der Nietzsche-Forschung nicht weiter
hervorgehoben, rekonstruiert und gegebenenfalls auch kritisiert würden. Dabei muss man
freilich sich besonders davor hüten, den inneren und äußeren Zusammenhang des
Nietzscheschen Werkes zu vernachlässigen. Vielmehr sollte dieser Zusammenhang bei
der Darstellung nicht nur berücksichtigt werden, sondern einer ihrer wichtigsten
Stützpunkte sein.
Der vorliegende Beitrag versucht, eine im eben vorgetragenen Sinne systematisch
orientierte Interpretation zur vierten Rede Zarathustras zu liefern. Er ist zwar aus der
ursprünglichen Absicht hervorgegangen, diesen Text in seiner Ganzheit heranzuziehen
und eine umfassende Interpretation von ihm vorzulegen. Da aber die Realisierung einer
solchen Absicht den Rahmen dieses Beitrages sprengen würde, wird hier versucht, an
Hand der Kommentierung von nur drei Passagen aus der vierten Rede, die im Laufe der
Darstellung zitiert werden, einige bedeutende Aspekte von ihr hervorzuheben.
Besondere Aufmerksamkeit wird dabei den Formeln der „grossen Vernunft“ des Leibes
und des Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffens geschenkt werden.
Schon bei einer ersten Lektüre der vierten Rede Zarathustras fällt die Gleichsetzung von
Leib und Selbst
auf. Am charakteristischsten kommt sie in der folgenden Textstelle zur
Heidegger, 1989a; Heidegger, 1989b. Vgl. auch die entsprechenden Bände der Heidegger-
Gesamtausgabe, z. B. Band 43 und 48.
Zu dieser Formel Nietzsches vgl. Montinari, 1982; Brusotti, 1997.
Eine umfassende Untersuchung zur vierten Rede sollte sich auch mit den einschlägigen Ausführungen
von Ludwig Giesz, Karl Jaspers, Friedrich Kaulbach, Stephan Grätzel, Günter Abel, Annemarie Pieper,
Wolfgang Müller-Lauter, Volker Caysa, Volker Gerhardt, Christian Schmidt und Eckhard Frick ausführlich
auseinandersetzen (Giesz 1950, S. 23 ff., Jaspers 1974, S. 218 ff., 314, Kaulbach 1980, S. 13 ff., 289 ff.,
Grätzel 1989, S. 118 ff., Abel 1990, S. 105 ff., Pieper 1990, S. 149 ff, Müller Lauter 1999b, S. 126 ff.,
Caysa 2000, 271 ff. Gerhardt 2000, Schmidt 2008, S. 138 ff., Frick 2009, S. 208 ff.). Im vorliegenden
Beitrag muss darauf abgesehen von gelegentlichen Bezügen verzichtet werden.
Zu dieser Gleichsetzung vgl. Giesz 1950, S. 27 ff.
Sprache: „Hinter deinen Gedanken und Gefühlen, mein Bruder, steht ein mächtiger
Gebieter, ein unbekannter Weiser der heisst Selbst. In deinem Leibe wohnt er, dein
Leib ist er.(Za I, Von den Verächtern des Leibes, KSA 4, S. 40). Bekanntlich gibt es in
unserem alltäglichen Sprachgebrauch eine klare Unterscheidung zwischen Leib und
Seele, die sich auch in vielen philosophischen Theorien (z. B. in der Lehre Descartes’)
widerspiegelt. Die Frage die sich also hier erhebt, lautet: Wie kann Nietzsche einem
ziemlich fest etablierten Leibverständnis widersprechen und diesen Begriff mit dem des
Selbst gleichsetzen, dem traditionell der Seele zugeschriebene Eigenschaften wie
Unausgedehntheit und Unsichtbarkeit zukommen?
Die Antwort auf diese Frage tritt deutlich zu Tage, wenn man Nietzsches Aufnahme des
physiologischen Modells von Wilhelm Roux berücksichtigt, wie es in seinem Werk Der
Kampf der Theile im Organismus (Roux, 1881) dargestellt wird. Roux eignet sich ein
wichtiges Motiv vorsokratischen Denkens, das des Kampfes, an. Auch wenn er dabei die
Bedeutung Heraklits anerkennt (Roux, 1881, 65),
orientiert er sich vor allem an
Empedokles, der annahm, dass der Kosmos insgesamt und die in ihm wirkenden
einzelnen Wesen „durch die Kräfte der Liebe und des Hasses“ (ebd., 1) gestaltet werden:
„In diesem mit zwei einander entgegenwirkenden Kräften versehenen Stoffgemenge
musste ein lang dauernder Wechselkampf [Hervorhebung, N. L.] stattfinden, aus welchem
blos die dauerfähigen Aggregationen schliesslich allein übrig bleiben konnten, da alle
gebildeten Gruppirungen so lange immer wieder gelöst werden mussten, so lange in der
Wechselwirkung noch stärkere Conglomerate sich bilden konnten“ (ebd.). Empedokles
hat auf diese Weise nach Roux als erster das Prinzip des Kampfes für die „Entstehung
sogenannter zweckmässiger Einrichtungen auf rein mechanische Weise“ (ebd., 2)
fruchtbar gemacht, das viele Jahrhunderte später Alfred Wallace und Charles Darwin
wissenschaftlich fundierten und zur Erklärung der Entstehung der Arten gebrauchten
(ebd., 3). Die Wirksamkeit desselben Prinzips behauptet nun Roux auch fürs Innere des
einzelnen Organismus, und zwar für die Vorgänge auf der Ebene der Zellteile, der Zellen,
der Gewebe und der Organe (ebd., 64 ff.). Nietzsche, der sich bekanntlich sowohl für die
Vorsokratiker als auch für die zeitgenössische Physiologie interessierte, hat sich mit
Roux’ Buch intensiv auseinandergesetzt.
Im Umkreis dieser Auseinandersetzung
die folgende nachgelassene Aufzeichnung entstanden:
„Am Leitfaden des Leibes erkennen wir den Menschen als eine Vielheit belebter Wesen,
welche theils mit einander kämpfend, theils einander ein- und untergeordnet, in der
Bejahung ihres Einzelwesens unwillkürlich auch das Ganze bejahen.
Unter diesen lebenden Wesen giebt es solche, welche in höherem Maaße Herrschende als
Gehorchende sind, und unter diesen giebt es wieder Kampf und Sieg.
Vgl. auch das berühmte Polemos-Fragment (Kirk u.a. 1999, S. 193).
Dazu ausführlich: Müller-Lauter, 1999b.
Roux’ Buch entnimmt Nietzsche wahrscheinlich sogar ein Argument für folgende Feststellung: „Wir
nähern uns heute allen jenen grundsätzlichen Formen der Weltauslegung wieder, welche der griechische
Geist, in Anaximander, Heraklit, Parmenides, Empedokles, Demokrit und Anaxagoras, erfunden hat [...][.]“
(Nachlass 1885, 41[4], KSA 11, S. 679)
Die Gesammtheit des Menschen hat alle jene Eigenschaften des Organischen, die uns
zum Theil unbewußt bleiben zum Theil in der Gestalt von T ri eb en bewußt werden.“
(Nachlass 1884, 27[27], KSA 11, 282)
Im eben zitierten Text tritt eine Bedeutung des Leibbegriffes deutlich zu Tage und eine
weitere wird impliziert. Es handelt sich zum einen um den Leib als Gegenstand der
Physiologie, in dem eine Vielheit von lebenden Wesen, ein Kampf dieser Wesen mit
einander und daraus entstehende Gebilde zu beobachten sind. Zum anderen wird
behauptet, dass „[d]ie Gesammtheit des Menschen [...] [durch] alle jene Eigenschaften
des Organischen“ (ebd.) durchtränkt ist, was bedeutet, dass Phänomene wie Denken,
Fühlen und Wollen, die in der Tradition oft für Akte einer vom Leib klar unterschiedenen
Entität gehalten wurden, nun als Produkt einer im Organischen wurzelnden
psychophysischen Einheit aufgefasst werden.
Diese Einheit ist als Organisation und
Zusammenspiel“, als Herrschafts-Gebilde, das Eins bedeutet, aber nicht eins ist zu
verstehen (Nachlass 1885-1886, 2[87], KSA 12, 104). Sie stellt das Geschehen, das wir
selbst sind, dar, d.h. unser Selbst.
Hiermit ist nicht nur die Frage nach der Gleichsetzung von Leib und Selbst beantwortet.
Zugleich wird klar, was Nietzsche mit den folgenden in der vierten Rede enthaltenen
Worten meint: „Der Leib ist eine grosse Vernunft, eine Vielheit mit Einem Sinne, ein
Krieg und ein Frieden, eine Heerde und ein Hirt“ (Za I, Von den Verächtern des Leibes,
KSA 4, S. 39). Die Formel der „grossen Vernunft“ des Leibes weist auf das Geschehen
hin, das wir selbst sind und das sich durch Merkmale wie Pluralität, Agonalität, Über-
bzw. Untergeordnetsein und Fluktuation auszeichnet. Diese Merkmale sind auch in den
Formeln „Vielheit mit Einem Sinne“, „Krieg und Frieden“, „Heerde und Hirt“
In der vierten Rede begegnet uns sogar ein Versuch, der Grundtriebfeder der großen
Vernunft des Leibes auf die Spur zu kommen. Das wird deutlich, wenn man die Stelle
berücksichtigt, in der Nietzsche den Verächtern des Leibes attestiert, dass selbst ihre
Leibverachtung ein Ausdruck ihres Leibes ist:
„Noch in eurer Thorheit und Verachtung, ihr Verächter des Leibes, dient ihr eurem
Selbst. Ich sage euch: euer Selbst selber will sterben und kehrt sich vom Leben ab.
Nicht mehr vermag es das, was es am liebsten will: über sich hinaus zu schaffen. Das
will es am liebsten, das ist seine ganze Inbrunst.
Aber zu spät ward es ihm jetzt dafür: so will euer Selbst untergehn, ihr Verächter des
Untergehn will euer Selbst, und darum wurdet ihr zu Verächtern des Leibes! Denn nicht
mehr vermögt ihr über euch hinaus zu schaffen.“ (Za I, Von den Verächtern des Leibes,
KSA 4, S. 40 f.)
Dazu vgl. Loukidelis 2009, S. 37 ff.
Die vorliegenden Ausführungen zum Verhältnis Nietzsche-Roux haben sich auf den klassischen Aufsatz
von Wolfgang Müller-Lauter (Müller-Lauter 1999b, insbesondere S. 105, 111, 127 f.) gestützt. In ihnen
sind jedoch die Anlehnung von Roux an Empedokles sowie die Bedeutung der Aufzeichnung 27[27] vom
Nachlass 1884 für Nietzsches Konzeption des Leibes stärker zum Vorschein gekommen.
Bei der oben angedeuteten Grundtriebfeder handelt es sich um das Über-sich-hinaus-
Schaffen. Es stellt einen konkreten Impuls dar, der auf eine Disposition des Leibes zum
Schaffen zurückgeht. Dieser Impuls offenbart sich im Akte der Zeugung. Damit sind
erstens die geschlechtspezifische Dimension des Terminus gemeint, zweitens Leistungen
des Geistes und der Kultur und drittens die Selbstgestaltung des Menschen: „Ein höheres
Wesen als wir selber sind zu schaffen, ist u ns er Wesen. Über u ns hi na us
sch a f f e n ! Das ist der Trieb der Zeugung, das ist der Trieb der That und des Werks“
(Nachlass 1882-1883, 5[1], KSA 10, S. 209).
Das Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffen gehört
neben dem Übermenschen, dem Willen zur Macht und der ewigen Wiederkunft zu den
wichtigsten Formeln von Also sprach Zarathustra.
Eine umfassende Befassung mit ihr
steht in der Nietzsche-Forschung noch aus. Im Folgenden sollen einige Bausteine zu ihrer
Rekonstruktion vorgelegt werden.
Was die Entstehung des Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffens betrifft, sind zum einen der
Schopenhauersche Willens- und der platonische Erosbegriff von großer Bedeutung (s.
etwa WWV I, Viertes Buch, § 60, Symp. 201d-212a) und zum anderen liegt es nahe, die
Wirksamkeit von Impulsen zu vermuten, die von Nietzsches Beschäftigung mit der
zeitgenössischen Physiologie ausgehen.
Systematisch betrachtet soll zwar die
Bedeutung der menschlichen Sexualität im umfassenden Sinne des Wortes und der
Formen ihrer Sublimierung bei Nietzsche herausgearbeitet und betont werden. Eine
Heranziehung der entsprechenden Theorien Freuds würde sich bei der Rekonstruktion der
oft bruchstückartig vorgetragenen Thesen Nietzsches als durchaus hilfreich erweisen.
Wichtiger aber noch ist, dass man alle Antriebe, die Zeichen einer Steigerung des
Lebensdarstellen, ins Auge fasst,
ihnen in Nietzsches Werk nachspürt
und sie
ausführlich thematisiert.
Mit einem Wort kann man das Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffen als das kreative Potenzial im
Menschen bezeichnen, das ihm deutliche Signale zur Gestaltung seines Lebens gibt. Eine
Verdrängung dieses Potentials resultiert nicht nur in ein Gefühl des Unerfülltseins,
sondern führt oft zu einer psychosomatisch bedingten Krankheit. Nietzsche wurde mit
dieser Tatsache in seinem eigenen Leben mehrmals konfrontiert. Ein charakteristisches
17 Vgl. ferner Za I, Von tausend und Einem Ziele, KSA 4, S. 75, Za I, Von Kind und Ehe, KSA 4, S. 90, Za
II, Auf den glückseligen Inseln, KSA 4, S. 111 f.
18 Zwischen dem Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffen und dem Begriff des Übermenschen besteht ein enger
Zusammenhang (dazu s. N 1882-1883, 5[1], KSA 10, S. 209, Za I, Von den Verächtern des Leibes, KSA 4,
S. 40 f., Za II, Auf den glückseligen Inseln, KSA 4, S. 111 f.). Arnold Gehlen hält den mit dem Über-sich-
hinaus-Schaffen zum Ausdruck gebrachten Sachverhalt sogar r die eigentliche Grundlage des
Übermenschen und des Willens zur Macht und der ewigen Wiederkunft (Gehlen 1997, S. 323 f.). Ob diese
Auffassung berechtigt ist, muss hier dahingestellt bleiben.
Dazu vgl. z. B. das folgende Exzerpt aus Schneider 1880: „‚Alle Handlungen der Larven kurz vor der
Verpuppung gehen nicht auf die eigene Erhaltung, sondern auf die des fertigen Insektes hinaus, sie
entsprechen nicht den Bedürfnissen des Larvenstadiums, sondern denen des vollständig entwickelten
Thiers‘ usw. Schneider I p. 58“ (Nachlass 1883, 7[237], KSA 10, S. 314).
Unter den zahlreichen Studien zum Verhältnis Nietzsche-Freud ragt Gasser 1997 heraus.
Wertvolle Bemerkungen hierzu findet man in Gehlen 1997, S. 321 ff.
Solche Antriebe werden z. B. in N 1887, 9[102] genannt; ein charakteristischer davon ist der Rausch (s.
auch GD, Streifzüge eines Unzeitgemässen, 8).
Beispiel dafür ist in einem bedeutenden Brief an Wilhelm Vischer-Bilfinger überliefert,
in dem sich Nietzsche damals Professor für klassische Philologie in Basel „um die
durch Teichmüllers Weggang erledigte p h il osoph isch e Pr of es su r “ (Brief vom –
vermutlich Januar 1871, KSB 3, S. 175) bewirbt. Seine Bewerbung begründet er zum
großen Teil durch die Schilderung eines Grundproblems seiner Basler Existenz. Er teilt
nämlich mit, dass er „in einem eigenthümlichen Konflikt“ lebt, der seinen „Körper
erschöpft“ und sogar bis zu unerträglichen „Leiden anwächst“ (ebd.). Der Konflikt
besteht darin, dass er zwar „[v]on Natur auf das Stärkste dazu gedrängt [ist], etwas
Einheitliches philosophisch durchzudenken und in langen Gedankenzügen andauernd und
ungestört bei einem Problem zu verharren“, sich aber „durch den täglichen mehrfachen
Beruf und dessen Art hin und her geworfen und aus der Bahn abgelenktfühlt, so dass
seine „eigentliche Aufgabe“, nämlich die p h il o s op h i s ch e [...] zu einer
Nebenthätigkeit erniedrigt wird“ (ebd.).
Abgesehen von dieser persönlichen Mitteilung
finden seine Beobachtungen zur Entstehung von psychosomatisch bedingten Krankheiten
durchaus Eingang in sein Werk, wie etwa folgende Passage nachweist:
„Jenes verborgene und herrische Etwas, für das wir lange keinen Namen haben, bis es
sich endlich als unsre A u fg a be erweist, dieser Tyrann in uns nimmt eine
schreckliche Wiedervergeltung für jeden Versuch, den wir machen, ihm auszuweichen
oder zu entschlüpfen, für jede vorzeitige Bescheidung, für jede Gleichsetzung mit
Solchen, zu denen wir nicht gehören, für jede noch so achtbare Thätigkeit, falls sie uns
von unsrer Hauptsache ablenkt, ja für jede Tugend selbst, welche uns gegen die Härte der
eigensten Verantwortlichkeit schützen möchte. Krankheit ist jedes Mal die Antwort,
wenn wir an unsrem Rechte auf u ns re Aufgabe zweifeln wollen, wenn wir anfangen,
es uns irgendworin leichter zu machen. Sonderbar und furchtbar zugleich! Unsre
Erl e icht erun g en sind es, die wir am härtesten büssen müssen! Und wollen wir
hinterdrein zur Gesundheit zurück, so bleibt uns keine Wahl: wir müssen uns
sch w ere r belasten, als wir je vorher belastet waren ...“ (MAM II, Vorrede, 4, KSA 2, S.
373 f.)
Aus den obigen Ausführungen geht unmittelbar hervor, dass Nietzsche zu den
Vordenkern einer psychosomatischen Anthropologie gehört. Sowohl ersterer als auch
letztere plädieren für eine Überwindung der traditionellen Trennung zwischen Leib und
Seele und betonen zugleich die Bedeutung des ungelebten Lebens für die Entstehung von
Nietzsche hat zu jener Zeit unter einer „Magen- und Darmentzündung“ (Brief an Franziska und Elisabeth
Nietzsche vom 6. Februar 1871, KSB 3, S. 181) gelitten. Pia Daniela Volz meint, dass diese Entzündung
„nicht nur als Reaktion auf die Überanstrengung durch die Professur [...], sondern auch als Nachwirkung
der Dysenterie anzusehen“ ist (Volz 1990, S. 120), die infolge einer im September 1870 zugezogenen
Infektion auftrat (ebd., S. 119 f.).
Anders als bei einer einseitigen Orientierung am kranken Menschen, wie
sie meistens in der Literatur zur Psychosomatik vorkommt, richtet sich Nietzsches
Interesse am Umgang des Menschen mit seiner Kreativität nicht nur auf
Grenzsituationen, sondern auf die Lebensgestaltung überhaupt.
Die Art und Weise, wie
jeder von uns mit den Impulsen des Über-sich-hinaus-Schaffens in sich umgeht, ist für
ein gelungenes Leben von entscheidender Bedeutung.
Nietzsches Schriften und Briefe werden nach den folgenden Ausgaben zitiert:
Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Einzelbänden. Herausgegeben von
Giorgio Colli und Mazzino Montinari. München/Berlin/New York, 21988. (KSA)
Sämtliche Briefe. Kritische Studienausgabe in 8 Bänden. Herausgegeben von Giorgio
Colli und Mazzino Montinari. München/Berlin/New York, 1986. (KSB)
Folgende Abkürzungen werden gebraucht:
WWV I: Arthur Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, Erster Band, in:
Werke, Erster Band, herausgegeben von Ludger Lütkehaus, Zürich, 1988.
Symp.: Platon, Symposion, in : Ioannes Burnet (Hg.), Platonis Opera. Tomus II (1901), S.
151-222, Oxford, 21910. Zitiert wird nach der Stephanus-Paginierung.
Übrige zitierte Literatur
Günter, A. (1990). Interpretatorische Vernunft und menschlicher Leib, M. Djurić (επιμ.):
Nietzsches Begriff der Philosophie, Würzburg: 100-130.
Brusotti, M. (1997). Die Leidenschaft der Erkenntnis. Philosophie und ästhetische
Lebensgestaltung bei Nietzschevon Morgenröthe bis Also sprach Zarathustra, Berlin/New
Caysa, V. (2000). Leib/Körper, (Hg.) H. Ottmann, NietzscheHandbuch. Leben-Werk-
Wirkung Stuttgart.
Danto, A.C. ([1965] 21980). Nietzsche as Philosopher, New York.
Frick, E (2009). Psychosomatische Anthropologie. Ein Lehr- und Arbeitsbuch für
Unterricht und Studium, unter Mitarbeit von Harald Gündel, Stuttgart.
Gasser R. (1997). Nietzsche und Freud, Berlin/New York.
Gehlen A. ([1940] 131997). Der Mensch. Seine Natur und seine Stellung in der Welt,
Vgl. hierzu Frick 2009, S. 52, 224 f. Frick integriert in seiner Konzeption auf bemerkenswerte Weise den
Selbstbegriff der vierten Rede Zarathustras (Frick 2009, 208 ff.).
Zu diesem Thema vgl. Schmid, 1992.
Gerhardt, V. (2000). Die „grosse Vernunft“ des Leibes. Ein Versuch über Zarathustras
vierte Rede, in: Ders. (Hg.), Friedrich Nietzsche. Also sprach Zarathustra, Berlin: 123-
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Grätzel, S. (1989). Die philosophische Entdeckung des Leibes, Stuttgart.
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Philosophierens, Berlin/NewYork.
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Kirk, G.S., Raven, J.E., Schofield, M. (Hg.), [(1957), 21999]. The Presocratic
Philosophers. A Critical History with a Selection of Texts, Cambridge.
Löwith, K. ([1935] 21956). Nietzsches Philosophie der ewigen Wiederkehr des Gleichen,
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Springmann/Asmus Trautsch (Hg.): Was ist Leben? Festgabe für Volker Gerhardt zum
65. Geburtstag, Berlin: 35-39.
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Ders., Nietzschelesen, Berlin/New York: 64-78.
Müller-Lauter, W. (1971). Nietzsche. Seine Philosophie der Gegensätze und die
Gegensätze seiner Philosophie, Berlin/New York.
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und Wille zur Macht. Nietzsche-Interpretationen I, Berlin/New York: 25-95.
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Roux auf Friedrich Nietzsche, in: Ders., Über Werden und Wille zur Macht. Nietzsche-
Interpretationen I, Berlin/New York: 97-140.
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Erläuterungen zu Nietzsches erstem „Zarathustra“, Stuttgart.
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Nietzsche-Studien 21: 50-62.
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Verfügbarkeit des leiblichen Selbst, in: V. Caysa/Κ. Schwarzwald Schwarzwald (Hg.),
Experimente des Leibes, Berlin/Münster/Wien/Zürich: 133-150.
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der thierischen Triebe und deren Entstehung, Entwickelung und Verbreitung im
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_______ (2009). Nietzsche im 21. Jahrhundert. Mittel und Ziele einer neuen Nietzsche-
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biographische Untersuchung, Würzburg.
Qu’est-ce qu’on sublime?
Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor
Les satisfactions substitutives
Sublimer avec sa connotation idéalisante, reste le plus souvent assimilé à renoncer à une
réalisation pulsionnelle pour assurer son propre bonheur. L’époque ne porte t’elle pas à la
régulation chimique des humeurs et à l’affirmation que le meilleur des mondes est à
portée de main pourvu que l’on sache appliquer les bonnes recettes en matière de gestion
Oubliant que le bonheur vient en général au détour d’autre chose et que lui courir après
risque fort d’engendrer non seulement la déception mais le découragement de se voir
incapable d’y accéder, la cuisine du bonheur n’en continue pas moins de faire florès. Le
résultat est promis au prix modique du petit carnet où les mauvaises expériences du jour
se voient soigneusement consignées opposées aux bonnes mais avec les meilleures
méthodes pour augmenter la proportion dans le bon sens le jour d’après.
La psychanalyse, à l’inverse, se voit accusée de cultiver le malheur, soupçonnée de
gratter indéfiniment cela fait mal au lieu d’aider par de bons conseils à positiver
l’expérience quotidienne. Qu’a-t-elle en effet à offrir en matière de cette légitime quête
du bonheur?
Freud a rappelé de multiples fois le fait que les satisfactions substitutives’, l’art et
l’attitude esthétique, mais aussi le labeur intellectuel, l’activité de l’esprit et plus
généralement tout ce qui résulte de la transposition des pulsions de telle sorte que le
monde extérieur ne puisse plus leur opposer de déni ou s’opposer à leur satisfaction et il
s’avance même jusqu’à dire que “La destinée alors ne peut plus grand-chose contre vous
(Freud, 1930).
Perspective néanmoins immédiatement nuancée par le rappel que cette démarche ne
protège pas des coups de la destinée, pas plus que de la souffrance corporelle, et qu’elle
n’est pas accessible à tous en raison du degré de culture impliqué, encore qu’elle puisse
être étendue, selon le mot de Voltaire, au fait de cultiver son jardin’, c’est-à-dire
d’exercer un métier librement choisi.
Il est intéressant de voir que dans ce passage de Malaise’, Freud est très proche d’une
avancée décisive sur la sublimation et sa fonction mais qu’il continue à opposer ces
satisfactions plus délicates et plus élevées à l’“assouvissement des désirs pulsionnels
grossiers et primaires, et surtout qu’il y affirme que la psychanalyse n’est pas encore en
mesure d’en expliquer les mécanismes métapsychologiques. Cette modestie freudienne
doit être réinterrogée et il faut clairement marquer que la psychanalyse ne se désintéresse
nullement du bonheur (Mijolla-Mellor S. de, 1992) ou de la guérison de la souffrance
psychique. Je développerai dans ce qui suit la manière dont je conçois sa force efficace
soit la capacité d’investir le manque dont elle dote le sujet. Une telle capacité lui confère
en droit une ouverture illimitée et en fait un authentique facteur de progrès.
L aspiration indéfinie au progrès est la marque de l’appartenance érotique de la
sublimation dans la mesure où il s’agit à un niveau ‘désexualisé d’une quête d’objets, qui
auraient pour caractéristique de se situer dans la dépendance du Moi. On sait toutefois
que Freud dans Au-delà du Principe de Plaisir, est loin d’une telle perspective puisqu’il
parle d’une illusoire “pulsion de perfectionnement”, bien éloignée de l’optimisme de Lou
Andréas Salomé quant à l’avenir ‘prométhéique de l’homme (Andreas-Salomé, 1913). Il
distingue la tendance au développement comme conséquence des forces extérieures qui
poussent à l’adaptation et la “poussée inlassable à se perfectionner toujours plus” qui
n’apparaît que chez une minorité. Cette différenciation, sans qu’il la précise d’ailleurs,
reprend celle qu’il a depuis longtemps établie entre les sujets qui subissent la sublimation
par la voie de la civilisation et ceux qui, par leurs sublimations individuelles créent ou
relancent la précédent.
Ces derniers présentent, de manière plus ou moins accentuée,
une tendance à être incapables de se satisfaire d’une situation établie et à vouloir toujours
aller de l’avant.
Cette apparente ‘pulsion de perfectionnement’ va être ramenée par Freud du spirituel à
l’organique, car elle ne fait finalement que manifester à l’échelon individuel la
particularité qui est celle des pulsions de vie en général, à savoir de compliquer le
parcours qui va vers la mort.
De la même manière que les cellules germinales répètent indéfiniment le jeu auquel elles
doivent leur apparition, on peut penser que les sublimations poursuivent, à leur niveau, un
effort semblable en liant, par exemple, les éléments de pensée entre eux et en faisant
toujours surgir à nouveau des questions qui en relancent d’autres.
La comparaison pourrait être poursuivie à partir de l’‘immortalité’ de la communauté
scientifique opposée à la vie nécessairement éphémère de ses membres. Le ‘progrès’
prend ainsi un tout autre sens, ainsi que Freud le note dans un ajout de 1923 à Au-delà du
Principe de plaisir. Il ne s’agit pas de ce mouvement “qui se hâte vers l’avant afin
d’atteindre le plus tôt possible le but final de la vie” car celui-ci poursuit une réalisation
pulsionnelle immédiate contrairement au but visé par le perfectionnement.
Paradoxalement le progrès serait lié au mouvement inverse qui “se hâte vers l’arrière
pour recommencer ce même parcours en partant d’un certain point et en allonger ainsi la
durée”. Ce qui sur le plan dynamique apparaît comme une aberration, se conçoit en
revanche d’après la suite du propos de Freud. En effet “la voie rétrograde qui conduit à la
pleine satisfaction est, en règle générale”, écrit-il, “barrée par les résistances qui
maintiennent les refoulements de sorte qu’il ne reste plus d’autre solution que de
progresser dans l’autre direction de développement qui est encore libre, sans l’espoir
d’ailleurs de pouvoir achever le processus et d’atteindre le but” (Freud, 1930).
On a toutefois dans ce passage une représentation métapsychologique du fonctionnement
de la sublimation que l’on pourrait décrire comme un phénomène de reflux qui, trouvant
Processus croisé dans lequel j’ai proposé de voir une ‘ruse de la civilisation’.
la voie permettant d’aller vers arrière barrée, devrait rebondir en avant avec d’autant plus
de vigueur que l’intensité du flux rétrograde était élevée. encore, la primauté de la
dimension économique s’affirme déterminante car le schéma topique et dynamique est le
même pour tous.
Il s’agit toujours de la même tentative impossible pour réduire l’écart entre le plaisir
exigé qui est en fait la satisfaction complète, et le plaisir obtenu, limité, car “toutes les
formations substitutives et réactionnelles, toutes les sublimations ne suffisent pas à
supprimer la tension pulsionnelle persistante”.
D’où vient alors que certains individus semblent habités par une soif de progrès et
parviennent effectivement à des résultats dont ils font profiter une civilisation sans en être
eux-mêmes pour autant satisfaits?
A cette question dans laquelle se résume la notion de sublimation, Freud donne en 1920,
sous une forme élargie et à partir d’un modèle de type ‘biologique’, une réponse qui
prolonge ses premières définitions de la capacité de sublimer:
il s’agit de l’intensité de
la pulsion chez quelques-uns d’où le fait que la prétendue ‘pulsion de perfectionnement’
soit loin d’être le lot de chacun.
Les conditions dynamiques de son apparition, écrit-il, sont, il est vrai, généralement
présentes mais les conditions économiques ne semblent favoriser ce phénomène qu’en de
rares cas. Le caractère éthéré et ‘sublimé’ que connote le terme de sublimation apparaît
décidément bien peu apte à rendre compte d’un processus qui ne doit son existence qu’à
la violence pulsionnelle.
Toutefois, pour mieux préciser le schéma dynamique évoqué plus haut, il faudrait pouvoir
se figurer les voies par lesquelles le flux libidinal se précipite dans son mouvement de
rebond. Peut-être est-il possible à ce niveau également d’imaginer un processus
dynamique, tel qu’un appel (au sens où on parle d’un ‘appel d’air’) constitué par un vide
ou un manque.
Nous développerons ce point ultérieurement à partir de l’hypothèse que les instances
idéales et le travail de deuil qui en sous-tend la formation par le biais des premières
identifications constituent pour la libido un appel de ce type.
En 1920, Freud insiste de manière plus générale sur cette sorte de fuite en avant que
constitue tout mouvement de progrès. Il en vient même jusqu’à l’identifier au processus
de formation d’une phobie: “les processus en jeu dans la formation d’une phobie
névrotique, qui n’est pas autre chose qu’une tentative de fuite devant une satisfaction
pulsionnelle, nous fournissent le modèle de la naissance de ce qui se présente comme
‘pulsion de perfectionnement’”. Cette assimilation, quelque peu réductrice de la pulsion
de perfectionnement à la phobie repose sur fait commun de l’inhibition, que Freud
définira dans ‘Inhibition, symptôme, angoisse’ en 1926, comme ce que le Moi s’impose
pour éviter de se trouver envahi par l’angoisse née des revendications de la libido. La
comparaison se limite en fait à décrire la genèse de la pulsion de perfectionnement et non
son fonctionnement qui se différencie de la phobie par son aspect dynamique opposé au
renfermement de cette dernière.
Cf. Chapitre V-1 “Genèse de la capacité de sublimer”.
Peut-être en revanche que tout progrès est en fait le résultat d’une fuite avant, bien loin
d’être un mouvement naturel de progression. Mais quels sont les contenus spécifiques des
sublimations au pluriel et comment retracer leur origine pulsionnelle?
Sublimer le sexe qu’on n’a pas
Le lien direct entre sublimation et abstinence sexuelle repose pour Freud sur une
dichotomie absolue entre le domaine sublimé et le domaine sexuel, sans tenir compte de
la reconversion possible de l’un dans l’autre. Cette position radicale est liée à une
définition restreinte de la dimension du sexuel, fréquente sous sa plume opposant le
plaisir sexuel assouvissant des ‘désirs pulsionnels grossiers et primaires’ aux activités
sublimées mais aptes à fournir seulement un plaisir affaibli. Paradoxe que ce retour à une
définition à la fois moraliste et physiologique de la sexualité, bien différente de celle de la
psychosexualité, telle qu’on la trouvait explicitée dans A propos de la psychanalyse dite
sauvage: “En psychanalyse, le terme ‘sexualité’ comporte un sens bien plus large, il
s’écarte tout à fait du sens populaire et cette extension se justifie au point de vue
génétique. Nous considérons comme appartenant au domaine de la sexualité toutes les
manifestations des sentiments tendres découlant de la source des émois sexuels primitifs,
même lorsque ces émois ont été détournés de leur but sexuel originaire ou qu’un autre but
non sexuel est venu remplacer le premier.” (Freud, 1910 k)
L’image d’un organisme multipolaire ou, pour reprendre celle chère à Freud d’une amibe,
peut nous éclairer: De même que l’extension du pseudopode de celle-ci dans une
direction se fait cessairement aux dépens des autres, le choix que le sujet peut faire,
parmi les nombreuses directions de sa libido, implique des abandons au moins
momentanés. Le processus sublimatoire ne fait que suivre ce mécanisme général qui
caractérise le destin des pulsions, il en subit la loi dans la mesure où les sublimations ne
sont jamais acquises une fois pour toutes et que le processus de désublimation peut
ramener la libido à sa forme originelle.
Si l’on considère la multiplicité bisexuelle chez tout sujet, on peut donc partir de
l’hypothèse que l’énergie libidinale qui nourrit les sublimations n’est pas nécessairement
soustraite à la vie sexuelle du sujet mais provient de sa constitution originairement
Sur le plan dynamique, une telle hypothèse s’inscrit dans le jeu entre sublimation et
refoulement, tel que Freud le décrit dans “Un souvenir d’enfance de Léonard de Vinci”:
“Le refoulement sexuel a bien aussi lieu, mais il ne réussit pas à entraîner dans
l’inconscient une pulsion partielle du désir sexuel. Au contraire, la libido se soustrait au
refoulement, elle se sublime dès l’origine en désir de savoir.” (Freud, 1910 c, mars).
C’est avec la même précocité que l’un des deux pôles de la bisexualité subit soit un
refoulement - qui conduit le sujet à assumer une identité sexuelle, manifestée d’abord
dans les caractères sexuels psychiques et secondairement dans le mode du choix d’objet-
soit une sublimation.
Le quantum de libido en cause va donner lieu ou bien à un Ersatz sous la forme de
symptôme, ou bien à une dérivation sublimatoire qui conserve la marque de son origine.
C’est le ‘choix de la sublimation’, choix qui se produit dès l’origine, est
déterminant. Le plus souvent bien entendu, c’est une ‘solution’ mixte à la fois
symptomatique et sublimatoire qui se dessine.
Comment sortir de l’alternative entre vie sexuelle et sublimation que nous a laissée
Freud? Si l’on part de l’hypothèse d’une libido bisexuelle, celle-ci peut donc soit
s’exprimer dans le symptôme, soit se réaliser avec un objet d’amour, soit être sublimée.
Mais la complexité du jeu des identifications et les significations multiples de l’élection
de l’objet, qui peuvent n’être qu’apparemment conformes à un choix homo ou
hétérosexuel, rendent presque impossible d’appréhender synthétiquement une
représentation de ces diverses issues.
Le point de vue de Freud est que les issues sublimatoires sont compatibles avec la vie
sexuelle dans la mesure où elles empruntent leur énergie libidinale à la voie ‘abandonnée
lors du choix de la position sexuelle. En revanche, la sublimation peut en un second
temps gagner davantage de terrain et absorber la libido venue des deux pôles de la
bisexualité, donc aux dépens de la vie sexuelle elle-même. De même les sublimations
peuvent se défaire et renvoyer le sujet à l’obligation de disposer autrement du stock d’une
libido bisexuelle gérée au moyen d’identifications et de courants libidinaux opposés.
Dans cette perspective, la part de libido consacrée aux activités sublimées s’avère non
seulement variable d’un individu à l’autre mais modifiable en fonction des aléas que
traverse chaque sujet dans sa vie sexuelle, sentimentale ou professionnelle.
Cette conception du destin de la bisexualité s’accorde avec ce que Freud pose dans Le
Moi et le Ça (Freud, 1923 b, fin 1922) concernant l’existence de quatre courants
libidinaux composés à partir d’un courant négatif et d’un autre positif, chacun visant
séparément le père et la mère. Lors de la destruction du complexe d’Œdipe, ces courants
s’associent pour former d’une part une identification avec le père prenant le relais tant du
penchant libidinal vers la mère que de l’hostilité envers le père et d’autre part une
identification avec la mère venant à la place du penchant hostile à son égard et de
l’attachement envers le père. Jeu complexe en effet, car il ne répond pas du tout à
l’attente qui serait que le Moi absorbe l’objet aimé auquel il a renoncé, mais qui donne
une idée de la possibilité de faire coexister des destins de pulsions contradictoires.
De la même manière, la sublimation s’établit dans une situation non d’exclusion mais de
coexistence avec les autres issues possibles. Comment sublimer le sexe qu’on n’a pas?
On sait que la sublimation de leur part féminine ou plutôt maternelle, est fréquemment
évoquée chez les créateurs. Il est en effet d’usage courant d’exprimer la création en
termes de maternité fantasmatique et peu d’auteurs, hommes ou femmes, échappent aux
métaphores de grossesse, d’accouchement ou de couvade lorsqu’ils évoquent la
production de leurs œuvres. Ils n’en parlent pas en termes d’acte sexuel sauf les poètes
lorsqu’ils évoquent leur Muse - comme si cette maternité parthénogénétique constituait
en elle-même une sorte de sublimation de la sexualité.
Partant de l’hypothèse du lien entre le pôle de la bisexualité opposé au sexe
anatomiquement défini et la sublimation, on peut s’interroger sur la relation entre la
‘passivité’ féminine et l’intuition de l’artiste ou la représentation de l’œuvre comme un
enfant de l’esprit.
Christian David (1975) fait un rappel des différents auteurs qui se sont exprimés sur ce
thème, notamment: Stoller à propos de la corrélation entre ‘1’extrême féminité’ et le
talent artistique, Meltzer qui souligne l’usage du terme brain child à propos de la
créativité, Winnicott à propos des origines de la créativité et Ehrenzweig qui donne
l’indifférenciation sexuelle structurale comme catalyseur de la création. La position de
Winnicott qui fait de la bisexualité une position du soi mérite particulièrement attention:
Pour lui l’élément masculin fait (does) alors que l’élément féminin (chez les hommes
comme chez les femmes) est (is) (Winnicott, 1975). Ce qui signifie pour lui que l’élément
féminin dans les deux sexes correspond à l’identification primaire du bébé au sein,
identification qu’il a par ailleurs décrite et dont on sait qu’elle inaugure non seulement
toutes les expériences d’identification qui vont suivre mais constitue aussi la base de la
découverte du soi et du sentiment d’exister.
L’opposition entre l’élément féminin et l’élément masculin repose donc sur la différence
présente entre le sentiment de soi tel qu’il s’élabore dans cette relation primaire à la mère
d’une part,
et d’autre part la motion pulsionnelle qui fait suite à l’établissement de ce
sentiment, tel qu’à partir de lui l’enfant puisse reconnaître et viser un objet: “After being-
doing and being done to. But first, being;” écrit Winnicott (1975). On conçoit dans ces
conditions que la totalité de la bisexualité soit nécessaire à la création.
La capacité de sublimer reposerait donc sur l’intégration de ces deux éléments tandis que
leur clivage, quel que soit le sexe envisagé, serait un facteur d’inhibition. Il faut bien voir
que l’intégration dans cette perspective ne signifie pas l’établissement d’une sexualité à la
fois homo et hétérosexuelle.
Bien au contraire, l’homosexualité effective, qu’elle soit d’ailleurs inhibée dans sa
réalisation ou pratiquée, correspondrait plutôt à une carence de cette intégration de la
bisexualité impliquant que le sujet devrait se compléter lui-même aux dépens de son
C’est donc de l’élément bisexuel non clivé mais intégré qu’il peut y avoir sublimation.
Le lien entre sublimation et bisexualité est formulé, chez les autres auteurs précédemment
cités, essentiellement à partir de remarques concernant le rôle de la féminité dans la
création chez l’homme, alors que Freud s’intéresse davantage à celui qu’il établit chez la
femme entre masculinité et intellectualité. Dès 1896, à propos d’une comparaison sur le
rôle de la bisexualité dans les deux sexes, il note que chez un sujet ‘purement viril’ la
sexualité produit plaisir et perversion, alors que chez un sujet purement féminin elle
engendre déplaisir et défense névrotique. La conclusion qu’il tire de cette idée sans la
développer est intéressante: “C’est de cette manière que se confirmerait d’après ta [il
s’adresse à Fliess] théorie la nature intellectuelle des hommes.” (Freud, 1950 a-
1897/1902, Lettre du 6/12/96)
L’investissement sublimatoire de l’activité de penser formerait la ‘nature intellectuelle’,
lié au pôle masculin, opposé au refoulement (féminin selon Freud à cette époque) et, par
voie de conséquence, rattaché à l’autre issue, celle de la perversion. Dans ce contexte il
ne s’agit pas bien sûr de structure perverse telle qu’elle sera définie ultérieurement mais
Celle que Freud décrivait dans la phase hallucinatoire de satisfaction du désir, et dans laquelle la mère ou
le sein ne constituent pas un objet puisque l’objet est confondu avec le sujet lui-même.
Tel est par exemple le point de vue de Joyce McDougall pour qui la femme homosexuelle est celle qui
“rencontrant des obstacles à une évolution harmonieuse n'a pas pu réaliser l'intégration de son
homosexualité. A cette lacune correspond la faille dans le sentiment d'identité, les angoisses de la relation
avec autrui et les graves inhibitions dans l'activité sublimatoire.” (Mc Dougall, 1972)
plutôt d’un prolongement du polymorphisme sexuel infantile non entravé par le
refoulement. Le lien entre perversion et sublimation réapparaîtra dans la suite sous la
forme de cette aptitude particulière à sublimer que Freud reconnaît aux homosexuels.
Critiquant dans les Trois Essais sur la théorie de la sexualité la formule par laquelle les
invertis définissent leur nature (“un cerveau de femme dans un corps d’homme”), l’auteur
proteste: “Nous ne savons pas ce que c’est qu’un cerveau de femme.” (Freud, 1905 d)
Attribuer un sexe au cerveau, ou du moins lui reconnaître une appartenance sexuée, peut
sembler en effet difficilement démontrable, mais pour Freud c’est carrément le fait qu’un
cerveau puisse fonctionner autrement que sur un mode masculin d’activité et d’emprise
qu’il conteste! Ainsi, tout en ajoutant que ces distinctions sont plus conventionnelles que
scientifiquement justifiées, peut-il écrire à propos de la jeune homosexuelle qu’il traite:
“On pouvait aussi rapporter à la nature masculine quelques-unes de ses qualités
intellectuelles ainsi que l’acuité de son intelligence et la froide clarté de sa pensée.”
(Freud, 1920a)
Cette misogynie, propre en partie à son époque, fait que Freud néglige les
développements sublimatoires de la féminité de l’homme comme si la féminité chez un
sujet masculin ne pouvait aller que vers une issue perverse ou para-perverse
(homosexualité) ou être sinon refoulée.
Dans le même texte il évoque l’analyse de la jeune fille homosexuelle aux qualités
intellectuelles si développées, il fait aussi part du cas d’un jeune homme artiste, aux
dispositions incontestablement bisexuelles, chez qui l’homosexualité avait fait son
apparition en même temps qu’un trouble de travail. Comme pour la jeune homosexuelle,
la position dite inversée de l’Œdipe occupe le devant de la scène, le sujet s’identifiant au
parent de sexe opposé et se ‘désistant’ de son identité sexuelle pour plaire au parent de
même sexe. Pour le jeune artiste, la réalisation de cette inversion dans l’homosexualité
effective marque la fin de la sublimation. On peut donc en déduire que la sublimation
s’appuyait antérieurement sur le même élément que celui qui se trouve réalisé dans
l’homosexualité effective: l’élément féminin opposé au sexe anatomiquement défini.
On voit dans cet exemple que la sublimation est mise en échec, non pas en raison d’une
concurrence liée à la réalisation sublimatoire elle-même, mais parce que l’élément
féminin de la bisexualité du jeune homme se trouve utilisé pour la satisfaction sexuelle
directe (puisque le renoncement aux femmes est suivi d’une position homosexuelle) et
donc retiré de la voie sublimatoire où il s’était précisément engagé.
Dans un autre cas, sous un aspect un peu différent c’est en fait le