from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the concentration of libido or emotional energy on a single object or idea
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the process of investing mental, emotional, or libidinal energy or significance in an object, person, or idea.
- n. the emotional or libidinal energy invested in an object, person, or idea.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (psychoanalysis) the libidinal energy invested in some idea or person or object
A cathexis is conceived to be analogous to an electric charge which can shift from one structure except in so far as it becomes bound – or to troops which can be deployed from one position to another.
I believe the first time and until today the last time I saw the word "cathexis," it was in a piece by Norman Mailer.
It's the same mentality that chose to render Freud's Besetzung by "cathexis," Fehlleistung by "parapraxis," and Ich by "ego."
Generally speaking, it is only those of us, such as creative scientists and Classical poets, who are in an active, efficiently productive quality of practical intellectual relationship with the principles adopted by deceased important thinkers of the past, who find in that fully efficient, if immortal quality of efficient social relationship in the form of a dialogue with minds from the past, the effect of what we sense as "cathexis" with those relevant minds living in the past.
A parenthetical remark from Craig Keller: "One barely cognates Lubitschian mise-en-scène; apprehension happens faster than you can incant 'cathexis-anti-cathexsis!!!'"
It is the cathexis that makes love both exquisite and painful but it is the "will to nurture one's own and another's spiritual growth" that makes it endure.
There was a ton of cathexis going on in that relationship.
According to Peck, love is "the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." hooks goes on to discuss the importance of not confusing affection and/or cathexis investment of feeling and emotion in another with love.
I wrote cathexis, but it should have be catharsis, for the theatrical context.
But this collective cathexis that created Obamamania is obviously a deep desire for authenticity, and he is the natural repository of our hidden hopes.