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Symbiosis and Separation: Towards A Psychology of Culture
Richard A. Koenigsberg
A very limited number of copies are available. Please order now.
This foundational work is essential reading for anyone wishing to bring psychoanalytic insight to bear upon cultural phenomena. A limited number of copies are available at the special rate of $12.95 for the hardbound edition (list $39.95) and $9.95 for the paperback (list $25.00).
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SYMBIOSIS AND SEPARATION lays the foundation for a psychoanalytic theory of culture and politics by focusing on how objects in the external world symbolize infantile objects and fantasies.

Culture, Dr. Koenigsberg suggests, facilitates breaking from early love-objects by representing reality as a realm containing omnipotence and the possibility of unlimited gratification. Fantasies of narcissistic grandiosity are replaced by the dream of being bound in an omnipotent tie to one’s great and glorious culture. Society performs developmental functions, facilitating the displacement of psychic energy onto cultural ideals and objects.

Koenigsberg presents a psychoanalytic theory of nationalism. Separation from the maternal matrix is experienced as mutilation of one's body—loss of self. One binds to one's country to recover a part of the body experienced as lost. Nationalism seeks restoration of bodily wholeness, One’s tie to a body politic ("Hitler is Germany, just as Germany is Hitler") symbolizes the dual-unity.

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Best regards,
Orion Anderson, Editor-in-Chief
Library of Social Science
(718) 393-1104
I have read Symbiosis and Separation with great interest and have found it to offer a very thoughtful and perceptive analysis of the interplay of unconscious phantasy and cultural phenomena.
—Thomas Ogden, M.D., author of The Matrix of the Mind
Richard Koenigsberg with Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel—winner of THE SIGOURNEY AWARD—at a meeting of the Psychoanalytic Division (39) of the American Psychoanalytic Association
I read Symbiosis and Separation with a good deal of excitement. By different routes, Koenigsberg and I have lighted upon the same central springs of psychic activity. Much of my clinical work confirms his insights and theories. His findings have much in common with my own, but he carries them very creatively into the social science field. I was very impressed by this fascinating book.
—Frances Tustin, author of Autism and Childhood Psychosis
During the course of the past few decades psychoanalysis has become increasingly aware of the psychodynamic dimension of nations, groups and leaders through such works as Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Wilhelm Reich's Mass Psychology of Fascism, Ernest Becker's Escape From Evil, and most recently Richard Koenigsberg's Symbiosis and Separation.
—M.D. Faber, author of The Withdrawal of Human Projection: Separating from the Symbolic Order
I am very much intrigued by Koenigsberg's psychoanalytic theory of culture. I find a strong element of truth in what he has expressed. I want to emphasize the great pleasure I experienced in reading this book and finding it so thought-provoking.
—Bernard L. Pacella, M.D., former President of the American Psychoanalytic Association

Symbiosis and Separation: Towards A Psychology of Culture

Richard A. Koenigsberg

Table of Contents

I. The Dual Nature of the Human Ego
II. The Conversation Process as a Response to Separation
III. The Denial of Separateness
IV. Internalization
V. The Struggle for Separateness
VI. The Fantasy of Merger as a Source of Anxiety
VII. Conflict and Ambivalence Surrounding Separation-Individuation
VIII. The Transitional Object and the Struggle to Separate
IX. Culture as a Transitional Object
X. The Bodily Roots of the Symbol
XI. The Bodily Roots of Culture
XII. Repression