Everything without End

The founder of psychoanalysis didn’t know what to think. He expected the next patient, who would lie on the couch, to arrive any minute. This day, like every day, would be a long one, and then, after finishing work in the consulting room, his scientific work, as he called it, would beckon him, and he might remain with his books and papers and pen until early in the morning. At 9:56 am, Freud imagined that someone he used to know very well, a former colleague and friend, entered the room without knocking, walked to the couch, and lay down on it, as if this time were reserved for him. If only this were real, Freud thought to himself, and Carl Jung had been willing to be analyzed on the psychoanalytic couch. Everything could’ve turned out differently. The word everything took a long time to disappear from his immediate thoughts. Maybe it remained. Psychoanalysis was everything to Freud. Jung could’ve become the one to lead their fellow psychoanalysts into the future. Instead, he went his own way. In Freud’s imagination, as he waited for his next patient, Jung spoke on the couch about how he struggled with his own dreams. These final words of the imaginary Jung were so real to Freud that he momentarily forgot what time it was. He had to get back to work. Maybe he was still learning what the work of the mind was all about.

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