Research clearly demonstrates that many teenagers have interests in paranormal phenomena (both theoretically, and in terms of experiences and practices), something becoming a commonness. The main self-reported motives of teenagers reflect both curiosity and boredom (Mischo, 1991), but can also implies deeper issues including facing death. Spiritist and occult practices can be a modality of exploration of the limits of the symbolic and of the effects of the signifier (Le Maléfan, 2008). This production of death can also appear, paradoxically, as one form of the fantasies of immortality described by Ph. Gutton (1993) in the juvenile time. This fantasy can develop to become a temporary solution to elaborate a bereavement or a trauma. We would try to show, through clinical cases, how the adolescence, thought as a logical time close to borderline states, can subjectivate death, this « absolute master », by « psychic experiences », i.e. related to practices cultivated for more a century by psychic sciences and spiritualism.
The defence strategies of the Aids pathologies towards finitude strongly recall those building themselves up during adolescence. An ego wounded and attacked by the unbinding forces and infantile ideals trying to disentangle themselves rest in the latter. The resurgence of the fantasy of immortality coming up again and unfolding itself during puberty enables the wiping out or the misappreciation of the wound. Through some extracts from the psychoanalytic cure of a patient suffering from Aids, we shall try to show how such a fantasy is liable to emerge and also how far the psychoanalyst, with reference to the idea of a forecast death may find himself blotted out from his position of neutrality and confronted to his own belief in immortality.
We believe that the resurgence of the adolescent process in the adult treatment is not simply a mode of regressive, defensive functioning, but rather an ever active mode of functioning that can result from highly secondarized ways of functioning. The hypothesis is that one never repeats, in the proper sense of the term, in an identical way, but that there is always a conjunction with one’s current mode of being. What is really modified is the passage from growing up to growing old. Adult functioning must pass through the filter of adolescence, not only genitalitized sexualization that this implies, but also a temporal organization that includes death.