(I have never been so flip about writing assignments until the MOOC. Yes, I realize these are ungraded – in fact, why there is completion of them at all considering a lot of stress as of late is a bit perplexing. Certainly, Freud would be able to psychoanalyze this as the super-ego drive toward perfection especially since the ego’s instinctual nature is one of rebellion…etc etc. There is nothing wonderful about this paper, but yet I actually did do a bit of reading in order to have a better grasp for composition. A problem arose, however, when the final hit 900 words, ergo, the last paragraph had to be cut. I shall paste it here just because it is was a counter argument that had begun to form whilst writing and it made me wonder what Woolf would have said to Freud in light of society and adhering to the ‘norm’. That said, Woolf actually speaks of psychoanalysis and Freud in the few things read, but I found no mention of the case presented here)
As an aside, has anyone read Flatland? It was mentioned in ‘live lecture’ this weekend. It was the most exciting mention during the sermon – whipped out the phone and typed it in Goodreads — voila! a button appeared “Read” I pushed it and there was the eBook, free of course, as it is over 70 years old, no copyright renewal. May I just say it is fascinating, a philosophical rendering told via mathematics - so to speak. Needless to say, I now have no idea how it fit into the point of the sermon. If anyone has read, would love to read your thoughts… ~
“Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.” ~ Sigmund Freud 
Beauty, to Freud, was not nature’s bloom of a rose, per se, but a larger aesthetic, that of art. Art as product from the due diligence of ‘man’. A way that the human animal is able to address his or her ‘pleasure principals’ or sexual desires of the unconscious in a socially acceptable way.
“The science of aesthetics investigates the conditions under which things are felt as beautiful, but it has been unable to give any explanation of the nature and origin of beauty, and, as usually happens, lack of success is concealed beneath a flood of resounding and empty words. Psychoanalysis, unfortunately, has scarcely anything to say about beauty either. All that seems certain is its derivation from the field of sexual feeling. The love of beauty seems a perfect example of an impulse inhibited in its aim. ‘Beauty’ and ‘attraction’ are originally attributes of the sexual object.” 
Freud appreciated the arts for what it offered a person psychologically – a way to avoid the destructive nature of repression for the creator and a way for the observer to celebrate with an intoxicant that is beyond primal sexual instinct. Freud oft used writers as examples in Civilization and Its Discontents. He understood the power of the written word. “Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.”
“…Oh, but they [men] can’t buy literature too. Literature is open to everybody. I refuse to allow you, Beadle though you are, to turn me off the grass. Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” 
Virginia Woolf understood all too well the power of words even when that power was to be suppressed by the feminine mind. Virginia Woolf, who declared that she was no different from a man when it came to the creative arts. Woolf sounded a sentiment akin to Sigmund Freud – that in order to deal with the unhappiness of this civilization, one must address certain instincts within one’s mind or madness may ensue.
“That woman, then, who was born with a gift of poetry in sixth century, was an unhappy woman, a woman at strife against herself. All the conditions of her life, all her own instincts, were hostile to the state of mind which is needed to set free whatever is in the brain.” 
Virginia Woolf perhaps understood best of all that words allowed a psychological healing through her own experience as a writer. She was haunted by the great loss of her mother. Woolf was psychologically haunted by certain memories of her mother despite the pain and sorrow that these brought forth. It was not until she brought Mrs. Ramsay “to life” via To The Lighthouse, that Woolf was finally able to let her mother’s spirit rest.
Whilst Freud addressed the repressive nature of sexuality as a key to one’s unhappiness, Virginia Woolf focused upon the the repressive nature of the sexes. She felt that it was man’s dominating presence in the creative arts that led to the destruction of the creative mind of the feminine.
“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen….” 
Freud stated that Beauty was a necessity of civilization for it addressed an underlying need for happiness. Beauty can be product of the creative individual who sublimates his or her basic desires into something that can be enjoyed by the masses. Freud recognized that one’s profession, if a instinctual calling, can help to provide a sense of happiness.
“Professional activity is a source of special satisfaction if it is a freely chosen one — if, that is to say, by means of sublimation, it makes possible the use of existing inclinations, of persisting or constitutionally reinforced instinctual impulses.” 
Virginia Woolf saw creating fiction as the only profession that would cause her satisfaction. She knew that in order to live a life that was most true to herself, a life of personal fulfillment and happiness, could only be achieved if she answered her instinctual calling to create Beauty upon the page.
Although Woolf’s life certainly address Freud’s idea of aesthetics and its role in personal happiness within society, it must be stated that Woolf’s approach may not align with Freud’s ID/Ego/Superego. Woolf was certainly addressing her innermost drive, her Id inspired Ego, but if she were to have listened to societal norms, she would have perhaps allowed the Superego to guilt her into not becoming a writer. Virginia Woolf, however, had a strong sense of self and her battle cry against a male dominated offered no shame only freedom that rings true today:
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” ~ Virginia Woolf
 Freud, Sigmund, Civilizations and Its Discontents, Norton, 1961.
 Woolf, Virginia, A Room of One’s Own, Harcourt Inc, 1981.
 Freud, Sigmund, Civilizations and Its Discontents, Norton, 1961.