Monday, November 10, 2003


sublimation - (chemistry) a change directly from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming liquid
chemical science, chemistry - the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions
transformation, transmutation, shift - a qualitative change
sublimation - (psychology) modifying the natural expression of an impulse or instinct (especially a sexual one) to one that is socially acceptable
psychological science, psychology - the science of mental life
alteration, change, modification - an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another; "the change was intended to increase sales"; "this storm is certainly a change for the worse"; "the neighborhood had undergone few modifications since his last visit years ago"
SUBLIMATION: The redirection of sexual desire to "higher" aims. Freud saw sublimation as a protection against illness, since it allowed the subject to respond to sexual frustration (lack of gratification of the sexual impulse) by taking a new aim that, though still "genetically" related to the sexual impulse, is no longer properly sexual but social. In this way, civilization has been able to estimate "social aims above sexual (ultimately selfish) aims" . This is not to say that the "free mobility of the libido" is ever fully contained: "sublimation is never able to deal with more than a certain fraction of libido".
Perhaps I'm missing something here. What exactly is the problem with gratifying one's libido? Could it not be that sublimation is in fact unhealthy in and of itself, rather than a protection against illness? Let's see...what if one were hungry but sublimated the appetite into music? Would that be a healthy response? And what is selfish about sex? Personally, my sentiment was that there's no greater closeness (provided the parties involved are close in other ways as well) and that sex is (well, should be) a gift from one person to the other. I suppose if one held that it were shameful then yes, a substitute would be preferable...but this presupposes that sex is wrong and shameful. which it isn't. And if it deals with only a 'fraction', what use is it?! *sigh*...and here I was extolling sublimation just a few weeks ago...well, I've changed my mind, so there.

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