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Book Summaries Psychology

Part 2: Confuse Desire and Reality – the Perfect Illusion (The Art of Seduction)

The uncanny is what is familiar but what is ultimately not real. Think of theater or dreams or deja vu. The message here is to create this kind of aura, to resemble a great figure of the past, perhaps a Greek statue, to use props, to use vaguely familiar language. Essentially, to role play. Society envies actors for the freedom to have to fit into certain roles.

We wish we could slip out of reality in this way. Often, we find that it is hard to get what we want. Each person has their own objectives and motivations. But if you can identify what your target is repressing, some deep desire that they are ashamed of, and to manifest it in real life, then you are taking them on a journey that is on the border between fact and fiction, between their deepest, hidden thoughts and the external world. Casanova used to travel with props and acted as if he was in a theater in front of his adoring fans. 

This is not to say you should always aim for grand spectacles, it may be subtle things, the way you dress, your manner, or how you speak. 

Learn to use the power of the uncanny. 

For this uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and old—established in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression. This reference to the factor of repression enables us, furthermore, to understand Schelling’s definition of the uncanny as something which ought to have remained hidden but has come to light…. •. . . There is one more point of general application which I should like to add. . . . This is that an uncanny effect is often and easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions of the thing it symbolizes, and so on. It is this factor which contributes not a little to the uncanny effect attaching to magical practices. The infantile element in this, which also dominates the minds of neurotics, is the over accentuation of psychical reality in comparison with material reality—a feature closely allied to the belief in the omnipotence of thoughts.

SIGMUND FREUD, “THE UNCANNY,” IN PSYCHOLOGICAL WRITINGS AND LETTERS

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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