Jane’s experience on the sofa gave the book its title: Cosmic Laughter; represented the explosion of primitive emotions associated with libidinal and/or aggressive impulses caused by the sudden change of the mother’s breast (analyst in the transfer) from a satisfying object to an unsatisfying one. The reestablishment of the relationship with the nursing mother in the transference in therapy thus had a restorative effect on the ego and enabled her to initiate fundamental changes in her relationship with other objects. Progress in analysis led Jane to move towards ambivalence with objects, as well as an increased ability to correct contradictory ego states rather than regress to an autistic position (a psychoanalytic concept that Vaık Volkan considered before the “paranoid-schizoid” position). If we look at it from a Kleinian perspective, I think we can call it a “depressive position.” In Jane’s case, the experience of cosmic laughter prompted reflection and action to break the symbiotic bonds (see Mahler).
Books that I think should be read for in-depth understanding: M.Klein:
Envy and Gratitude Winnicott:
Game and Reality O. Kernberg:
The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression Mahler:
The Psychological Birth of the Human Offspring