Initiation Aliquis Story

Today I was reading Freud, and there he was – at his best – giving us another astonishing example of his insightful analysis. This time Freud analyzed a case of forgetting a foreign word.

Many of you probably heard how psychoanalysts believe that people do not forget without a reason. Psychoanalysis suggests that people forget due to repression that hails from their ego which refuses to accept person’s unconscious desires.

Freud describes how an acquintance of his was once telling a story and wanted to finish it with a quote in Latin but failed to do so as he could not fully remember the quote he had intended to use. The missing word in the quote was ‘aliquis’.

Freud’s analysis unfolds as follows. He asks his interlocutor to tell anything that comes to mind should he think of ‘aliquis’. The man cited names of some random saints, famous religious leaders, told a story of how consolidated blood in some known cathedral turned to liquid at a certain day of the year and sometimes there was a delay that triggered agitation among citizens, he also mentioned St. Augustine and St. Januar. The very word ‘aliquis’ reminded the man of liquid, halidom, and relic.

After the man stopped Freud asked him what else he could think of. The man said that the thought that just crossed his mind was personal and he felt it was unnecessary to vocalize it. Freud agreed to suspend analysis if the man was unwilling to talk on unpleasant for him subject but warned that in that case he cannot find out the meaning of man’s forgetfullness. The man decided to put his pride aside for the sake of their quest for meaning, and gave up that the thought concerned one lady he knew.

Freud did not need any further explanations as he already gathered enough material: blood, saints with calendar names symbolizing monthly periods of time, blood that is bound to become liquid at certain times, and agitation that arrives if this does not happen. Freud had to only ask the man if he happened to be concerned about the said lady not yet having her monthly period. The man was in awe as this in fact was true – he was indeed worried about that.

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