Developing Psychic Powers
Neurology is not the only important influence on Freud's emotional energy system. Energy interchanges involving Freud's quota of affect also operate based on a principle from thermodynamics. Recall that in the definition of the quota of affect cited earlier, Freud compared this quantity of energy to an electric charge spread over the surface of a body (III, 60). As the electricity metaphor suggests, this quantity of psychic energy follows the laws that govern Newtonian physics. For example, it may be converted or transferred into different forms. Just as electricity can become light or heat, the quota of affect can find expression through a range of behaviors tears, wailing, or trembling. This commutability of emotional energy represents a departure from the purely neurologically based conception of emotion.
For Freud the emotions were part of an economy of psychic energy The economy of psychic energy governs the emotions using rules Freud learned from neurology. When repeatedly stimulated, neurons (either motor neurons or the hypothetical emotional key neurons) accumulate an electric charge that is maintained until a threshold is reached. At this point, the neuron fires, discharging the accumulated energy and causing a response in the associated system (the muscles, the brain, the emotion system, etc.). Energy may be expressed in a variety of ways depending on which path it takes (making the biceps or the triceps contract, causing the eyes to tear), but the mechanism of excitation and discharge remains the same whether it is a quota of affect or a simple neurological activation that is being processed.
It was a very difficult film, because there were a lot of special effects. A lot of explosions, a lot of car gags in the middle of real streets. I remember reading in the 1960s about a famous Dutchman. The man drove a hole in his forehead because he felt that, because of the pineal gland and the third eye of Eastern religion, that would unleash psychic powers that would transform him and make him telepathic or make him superhuman in a some way. Apparently, he really did take a drill and drill a hole into his forehead, and didn't die, and walked around, and people knew him. That certainly was part of how I generated my concept of telepathy and scanners.
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