Quantitative Unconscious Theory

Quantitative unconscious theory––where physics meets psychoanalysis


The theatre of ultimate complexity has long been the province of physics. Astronomical distances and the infinite conglomeration of infinitesimal particles interacting to form tangible matter, matter's transient interrelation with energy, and the very substance of reality itself––these complex questions have been considered, and in many cases rightly answered by physicists. Now, due to technological advances such as fMRI, MEG and PET scanning, psychology has entered the realm of hard quantitatively demonstrable science, its propositions, so long relegated to proof by instrumental validity, that is, one can see it is science because it works, are now subject to the full light of scientific enquiry. Finally, the human psyche is no longer an ineffable soul or essence––it can be understood. Do not be fooled my friend, this is both a happy and unhappy fact––for the essence of the human equation is to be found above and below. Now, the soil from which the heights of human achievement spring, and human depravity and illness alike, will be available to direct observation.


The curative dilemma psychoanalysis adeptly tackles––to find the specifics of unconscious content and reveal them to consciousness…this scientific "art" which cures neurosis by way of talk––to uncover unconscious content and alter the pathogenic transference structure, to defeat symptoms by finding the deeply hidden and revealing this thing to consciousness––this single effective bit of magic whereby the worst illness can be CURED without drugs…can now be made available through quantitative assessment. Unconscious content can be typologically, quantitatively identified. The complexity of the neuronal system can be simplified through a judicious combination of physics and psychoanalysis.


There are many factors which influence the formation of neurotic symptoms. The complexity which results from the interactive proliferation of dynamic brain circuitry, seems to make the task of discerning a clear picture of symptomatic genesis via systemic activity impossible, however, the situation finds a close analogy in classical physics. In physics, the problem of reducing the enormous complexity of gravitational influence upon the motion of celestial bodies has been solved through what is known as perturbation theory. In a perturbation theoretic approach, a single dominant influence is used as a sort of approximate guess to define the operation of the system. In the case of the motion of the Earth, the gravitational effects of the sun would comprise that factor. This reduction of influences produces a fairly accurate guess to define the activities of the system. The approach has many uses in physics, including applications in string theory, the calculations for which are so very complex, that such an approach is essential (Greene, 1999).


My usage of Native Psychoanalysis has confirmed the factual and effective basis of psychoanalytic metapsychology, and, demonstrated the practical fruitful application of those concepts in removing neurotic symptomatology, many thousands of times (Norman, 2011). The method of psychoanalysis, has clearly identified the major unconscious contributors to the creation of neurosis, in articulating the basis of symptomatic formation, and its relation to unconscious content of a most specific type. So, the perturbation theoretic guess by which the complex mental system will be simplified and defined, the demonstrably accurate guess, the perturbation theoretic simplification is close at hand: psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis works. Those who claim otherwise, are beautiful for this view, but, entirely incorrect. By using psychoanalytic metapsychology in a specific way, the neuronal system in its active dynamism can be, in the main, defined as to its operational dynamic, even before the specific results of detailed experiments are collected. Those results will serve to create but a further sharpening of the systemic picture, which has already been functionally defined. In this paradigm, which sits midway between psychology and neuroscience by way of physics, we stress the mental system using our knowledge of psychoanalytic psychology to reveal its operation and modes of functioning.


Although neuropsychoanalysis has made much headway in locating the classical Freudian systemic components in the sphere of brain anatomy (Kaplan-Solms & Solms, 2002; Solms, 2013; Carhart-Harris & Friston, 2010), I propose a more direct approach, and have divided the mental system into three functional systems, each of which is DIRECTLY involved in the creation of the unconscious to conscious transference by which balance, reality, and neurosis are created (Norman, 2013 quantitative). These systems, make clear, the unconscious dynamism of human defense, and allow us to derive the systemic signature associated with each specific type of pathogenic unconscious content. In the brain, there will be specific patterns of energetic activity expressed across active brain anatomy, such that, the nature of conscious/unconscious systemic balance/imbalance, and, the type of unconscious idea which is causing illness can both be ascertained. It is in defining and understanding the associative mental systems of psychical defense, along with a clear overview, a clear system wide picture of the entire dynamic of illness, defined in specific, that neurosis, and also, normal mental functioning can be best understood.


––Rich Norman




Carhart-Harris, R. L., & Friston, K. J. (2010). The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of  Freudian ideas. Brain. Advance Access published February 28, 2010. doi:10.1093/brain/awq010


Greene, B. (1999). The elegant universe. N.Y.: W.W. Norton and Co. Ltd.


Kaplan-Solms, K., & Solms, M. (2002). Clinical studies in neuropsychoanalysis: Introduction to a depth neuropsychology. London.: Karnac Press.


Norman, R. (2011). The tangible self. O'Brien, OR.: Standing Dead Publications.


Norman, R. (2013). The quantitative unconscious: A psychoanalytic perturbation-theoretic approach to the complexity of neuronal systems in the neuroses. The Black Watch: The Journal of Unconscious Psychology and Self-Psychoanalysis. Retrieved from: www.thejournalofunconsciouspsychology.com


Solms, M. (2013). The conscious id. Neuropsychoanalysis. 15 (1): 5-19.