Cutting-Edge Research
in Kyoto University


Can You See Me? The unconscious origin of the self.

“Something Is Watching Me All the Time”

Can you see me? When I was born I was not afraid of being seen, but how about now? I get embarrassed and anxious when I am seen. Certain people may even feel a false sense of fear that they are being watched by an evil organization. At one extreme it could be said that the subjectivity of the act of seeing is analogous to the power of the modern political establishment, and must be overcome. Where can we find, then, that simple sense of being seen that must have once been ours? An enormous unconscious mechanism seems to be at work behind the loss of this sense. I am engaged in research to clarify these matters from a psychoanalytic perspective. One student in my laboratory has chosen to present their results as a piece of artwork on it. At the time of birth, humans have a desire to verify their “self.” This desire may emerge as the cry: “Can you see me?”

Kazushige Shingu, MD
Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies