Positive Transformation in Cognition, Emotion and Behavior after loss

Raghubir Singh Pirta
Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla

Pages:9 – 31
The essay begins by tracing loss of object in psychoanalytic work of Sigmund Freud on
grouping, mourning, and moralizing tendencies in human mind. Problem is presented
in the first part, a narrative on pain of separation fueling radical transformation in minds
suffering loss of loved one. Focus then changes to positive aspect, colloquially known
as fire of biraha or pain of separation burning inside. Second part is elaboration of fire
of biraha, and proposes some transformations in cognition, emotion and behavior of
those who suffer from loss of object, ideas, identity or even place. Based on underlying
processes, these transformations are tentatively classified as, antithetical, metaphorical,
artifactual, dissipative, and simulative. Third part of essay evaluates main concepts in
view of other authorities, a synthesis is perceptible on affectional systems having origins
in early bond between infant and mother. In the end, the essay looks from functional
perspective on mourning facilitating processes of rejuvenation after loss in persons or

Keywords: Attachment. Love. Metaphor. Separation. Mourning. Superego. Ambivalence.
Functionalism. Group selection.

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