cathexis · /kuh-THEK-sis/ · /kəˈθɛksɪs/. noun. The concentration or charge of energy invested into an idea, person or object. From Greek kathexis (retention, holding), from katechein (to hold fast, occupy), from echein (to have, to hold), from PIE root segh- (to hold). First recorded by Sigmund Freud. See also: hypercathexis, an excessive concentration of mental energy.
“Shrinks call it cathexis,” Susan said. ¶ “Cathexis?” ¶ “A powerful emotional investment in something or someone, which in fourteen-year-old girl terms feels like love, but probably isn’t.” (Robert B. Parker)
“…bath as steam engine, body as conditioned caldron of excess libido, cathexis cathartized. His bath cools like soup in a blown-upon spoon…” (Richard Powers)
“We can try all sorts of techniques to get in touch with the hinterland of your psyche but my feeling is that, unless you your self are prepared to voyage there, it will prove impossible to extirpate this negative cathexis.” (Will Self)
“Subaltern is to popular as gender is to sex, class to poverty, state to nation. One word inclines to reasonableness, the other to cathexis—occupation through desire.” (Gayatri Spivak)