While Freud was developing a particular contour of psychoanalysis in the West, another doctor-turned-analyst – Girindrasekhar Bose (1886-1953) – was developing the coordinates of A New Theory of Mental Life in India far away from the Western metropolis, . Bose was in conversation with Freud between 1921 and 1937, through a series of letters.
Bose repeatedly offered Freud a way to rethink the central and original tenets of psychoanalysis like repression, Oedipality, castration and the unconscious roots of gendering.
Meanwhile Freud repeatedly tried to reduce Bose’s re-theorization of psychoanalysis to a particularity and peculiarity of the Indian psyche.
In effect, Bose was offering Freud (and the West) an alternative to Freud’s An Outline of Psychoanalysis, this being An Indian outline of psychoanalysis Indian. In this endeavor Bose drew on resources not from Greek tragedy – but from a medieval form of spirituality called Sahajiya.
In this talk Anup Dhar puts Bose and Freud (and by default east and west, North and South, colonizer and colonized) in dialogue to work towards a spiritualized outline of psychoanalysis (and against a medicalized and religious one).