Rom J Psychoanal 2020, 13(1):67-84
DOI: 10.2478/rjp-2020-0007

Abstract: In this paper, the author tries to underline some aspects about one of the most important secrets: the secret of our own mortality. It is a paradox, all of us know that we will eventually die, but this knowledge is quite unbearable and makes us anxious, which is why it is very difficult for us to represent our death. This secret of mortality is related to what Freud called “the biological rock” – our supreme and ultimate limit! – which represents the constitutional, biological dimension of the human being in its uniqueness and the way in which our psyche manages this reality, impossible to change. The first part of paper is an exploration in the nature of secrets, healthy and pathogenic ones, known or unknown, conscious and unconscious. There are secrets which represent the intimate core of every person, what Winnicott called “an incommunicado element”. This is very precious, secret and sacred, and allows us to maintain a constant creative dialogue with ourselves and others while also ensuring our psychic sanity. There are also other secrets, pathogenic ones, which we encounter in the perverse, narcissistic structures and that disturb the relations with others. There is a third category of secrets which we call ‘The secrets of Polichinelle’. They are like taboo subjects, as nobody touches them, but everybody knows them. In this category we find all the secrets connected to sexuality and, as a normal extension of them, the secrets linked to our own mortality. In the second part of the paper, the author presents some vignettes from a case, which illustrate the theme of loss and the difficulty in accepting the limits set by the biological rock.


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