In our world, Sigmund Freud developed his theory of the libido – an unstoppable force that compels us to sexual conquest and creative acts. This is a widely excepted idea across many universes.
But in a world where the Nazis did not conquer Vienna; where the cabaret scene mixed with the mathematicians at Kurt Gödel’s pub, and Niels Bohr wrote a musical parody of the quantum to be sung in beer halls after midnight, Freud expanded his theory in a different direction.
In his 1958 work “Whimsy as the Fountain of Youth,” Freud hypothesized that an equally powerful counter-force, the urge to play, drives us to the other extremes of human behavior. To make toys that have no practical use; to write silly songs of no artistic value; to stare at clouds until shapes emerge. To do meaningless things for the sheer experience of play. He called this inner force “Eronysus,” and said that at every creative moment of our lives we face a choice: whether to strive for artistic greatness and depth, which corresponds with the sexual urge; or to abandon striving in favor of purposeless play, which he believed contained the capacity to heal all mental trauma.
That theory will be put to the test in February at the All Worlds Fair with the appearance of Dr. Wilhelm Frankl, the greatest NeuroAnalyst in the Consortium of Seven Rings. Freud’s last living disciple, Dr Frankl will set up his fMRI machine behind the fourth pillar in the mist, where he will spend a 30 minute session locating your Eronysus center (usually found behind the fourth quadrant of the parietal lobe) and stimulating it. You will feel your traumas fall away as you are pushed, driven, into acts of unaccountable whimsy that serve no tangible purpose, but render the terrible memories of your childhood and past rejections powerless in your life.
Dr. Frankl will only be able to serve two patients an hour, and accepts no liability for damaging truths you may inadvertently express during your period of rampant playfulness. He regrets that he will be unavailable to patients in our universe for further consultation after the All Worlds Fair.