All posts tagged Sudhir Kakar

The elephant in the forest

In his recently published autobiography, the Indian psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar reflects on the nature of the psyche, drawing on his own life and the lives of his clients:

‘The unconscious may be more like an elephant which you can’t really control and which is mostly good-natured. It is not the headstrong horse of Freudian imagery which can be controlled with difficulty by the rider, the conscious part of the mind. The elephant is much stronger than the mahout [the driver of the elephant] and goes where it will though the mahout can nudge it in certain directions. There is certainly no point in getting into a fight with the elephant, a fight the mahout is sure to lose.’

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