The chapter begins with Lucian's second-century account of a slip of the tongue, which understood a mistake to be an occurrence through which individuals could discover something as yet unknown about the interaction they were involved in, and take responsibility for it by making it meaningful. Freud's approach to blunders is also to make them meaningful, but the comparison with Lucian highlights the degree to which he tends to make mistakes private rather than situate them in a wider cultural context. Nevertheless, the slips Freud collects can be placed in the context of conversations about culture by educated Viennese circa 1900. They can then be understood as ways of negotiating togetherness. Freud's Psychopathology is shown to contain, alongside the arguments which serve primarily to vindicate Freud's theory, a different model of the unconscious: namely that of a longing to be aligned with the situation we are involved in. Situated as it is in a context of everyday encounters, this model offers a fruitful starting place for the acknowledgement of, and alignment with, the shared unfolding process in which we are always already involved. In the fourteenth century, this striving for alignment went by the name of “becoming God”.
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