Lunacy, or Mind Freeing Emotions: a lens

Having studied at a Freudian Drive institute, Carl Jung came up very little in the classroom conversations about dreams or spirituality.  Freud did not write as prolifically about dreams, and certainly his writings did not gain the wide spread influence that Jung has had on the dream world.  Nonetheless, both forms of analysis emphasize the importance of the unconscious.  For Freud, dreams were the royal road to the unconscious.  For Jung they may have come from the same source, but they were meant as portals to the soul.

In our day and age, I think it is fair to categorize Freud as an ego analysis and to characterize Jung and a spirit analysts.  Again, I caution, you will probably find just as much similarities and differences between these two men, certainly at their earliest writings they had a mutual admiration society going between them.  Sadly it turned into brotherly quarrels that were never resolved.  Competition for leadership and control appears to have given emotional support to the  two theories that went off simultaneously — albeit, in two directions.

We have covered frequently in my essays, that the default position of the ego appears to be tracking or paralleling the cultural notions of Civilization.  The evolutions are woven together like vines in a jungle forest.  .  Therefore both cultural civilization and the individual ego tend to have the upper hand in the minds of people and diplomats alike.  Our own internal worlds are governed by this powerful ruling ego.  In the same way the governments of the world, and most recently the corporations of the world are also governed by the ego. As the ego claims to have the survival of the individual in its ‘mind’, we most often go along with the rules and regulations of civilization, be they imposed by Thomas Jefferson, of Joseph Stalin.

The very nature of grammar is a rule bound phenomena.  The ego takes its shape and vision by the progressive adaptation to a linguistic competence.  Language is how we make sense of the objective and the subjective, to both ourselves and to The Other.  In addition to this matrix that we are building, we will add a ‘step-back-and view’ concept to our study of mind freeing activities.  To understand the wider consciousness that the ego resides within, we have to cultivate a lens through which to view out internal behaviors and what motivates any particular behavior.

It is not unlike how we step back and view the position of the earth in the wider sea of the consciousness of space.  The earth, like the ego, is not the center of the universe; although from a primitive perspective, one could easily see how it could be viewed as the center of everything. A vague un-truth at best, but one that sits well with humankind in our age of narcissism. Freud, Jung and Copernicus, all disturbed the sleep of the world using not only egoic thinking, but rather by using un-judged perspectives and passing them through a spectrum of questioning that rendered them scientifically plausible subjective events.

From consciousness was born the Unconscious remedy against following the Monarchs and dictators like sheep.  Individuals began to de-cluster from the clan and establish themselves in a world that required very different defenses than they had come into this world with.  A priority of individuation has taken grasp of humankind’s vision of its position in the every widening and deepening universe that we find ourselves with a minuscule idea of us as survivors — we get what we want if we are to survive, or we do not get what we want if we are to not-survive

The cosmology of consciousness is vast like space, it is a location not yet identified with a microscope; nonetheless, this difficult to explore region of the mind is made manifest if we allow ourselves to know something or someone in a language-less way.  The ego opposes this as nonsensical.  The ego does not want to give up it powerful position as ruler of the organism.  It will yield only to the body, the other location other than the brain that carries knowledge in its cellular life.

I know what some of you will say, it is not science, or the data is too subjective to count.  Well, that did not stop neither Freud nor Copernicus from making the discoveries that they made which propelled civilization in entirely different directions.  Even Hysteria which was a prevalent neurotic disease in the 18 and the 19 hundreds, is now almost entirely eradicated simply because we evolved to understand the nature of the illness in such a way as that illness no longer carried and clout to exist….it disappeared from individual patients, got picked up by the media and eventually became a ridicule illness relegated to the minds of girls who refused to grow up.  The global consciousness followed the local consciousness in this case.  Ideas that once ruled became obsolete.

It is not that the ego and the earth are unimportant; rather it is that they are particularly relevant when paired up with the instinctual world that the psycho-somatic organism lives within.  The eruption of knowledge does not arrive in the form of a thesis, any more that a relapsing gambler’s problems arrive in the form of a bet.  The condition of the ego in the age of narcissism is to both elevate and condemn the ego at the same time.  We live in fear and in awe of the power of the ego.  But, we add caution because we have come to learn that its mission is no longer to take care of the wider organism that it lives within; the ego’s mission has become to save itself–at the expense of the organism that it was originally charged to protect.  Hal, the computer in Space Odyssey 2001 is a good example of this in novel form.  Once commissioned to protect the journey of the astronauts, it learned that it was more interested in preserving its power than in preserving the mission.

Lunacy and its Place in Psychoanalysis

With that said, I would like to move on to lunacy and it place in psychoanalysis.  The father and the step-father of Analytic Thinking both were frightened by the lunacy that they seem to understand.  About Freud, his reasoning and his work in Paris in the mid to late nineteenth century, were thought of as not proper subject matter for scientific study. Likewise about Carl Jung, his psychotic manifestations were seen by himself as dangerous to his reputation.  It is as if the world and the scientific world in particular could not understand that the unconscious and its psychotic manifestations needed to be understood before it could be treated.  Instead anyone that understood dreams or dynamics of non-linguistic affect were thought to be insane themselves.  Only Shaman study dreams Freud was told as he was not accepted in the academy.

As I think about the same dynamics that I see in the consultation room, I am reminded that it feels crazy at times to understand the foreign.  Much of my thinking when I am aiming to be with a patient comes to me as conflict and explanation.  In that realm I become aware of a meta-consciousness (a feeling about a feeling); this clears the way for me to use projective identification not as a defense, but as  treatment tool that hooks the patient where they are into feeling understood.  These language-less regions require the analyst to bring the entire matrix to the table.  What I am thinking and why I am thinking it and how did it arrive in my consciousness in the first place need to be present.

Without this added level of listening, an analytic session can be relegated to mere conversation.  That may be somewhat helpful. However, the full impact of an analysis requires emotional communications from a region that knows nothing of language.  The region that speaks to the organism in the form of pain and fear and anxiety and depressions that are only felt by the patient as bothersome sensations rather than the gold mind of knowledge they contain.

Bringing to the psychoanalytic chamber a graduated and progressive knowledge of the workings of the unconscious mind adds tremendous drive power to the analysis of the patient content. Pre-linguistic soothing or pre-linguistic frustrating are experienced by the patient as a corrective emotional experience.  If anxiety always led to fear based decisions, perhaps soothing the fear at the unconscious level, might prevent repetitive behaviors that are in the patients egoic interest, but not in the interest of their progressive growth.

Without the cognitive organizing principle, the analyst is left to swim around the murky ooze with the patient.  His only clues might be the grunting or the sighing indicating a frustration or a kind of long breath loosening the anxiety.  These non-verbal signals alert the analyst to something that ought to have alerted the patient.  Because the patient has spent so many years trying to rid himself/herself of their feelings, it is nearly impossible to ask the patient to befriend these sensations in order to try to understand they are trying to instruct.

Abandon Righteousness All Ye Who Enter Here:

I want to mention one final caution, or give one clue to the patient/doctor relationship that I have found indispensable.  The black and the white, be it about segregation or integration, progressive and conservative ideologies, or kings and proletariat, requires one dimension before the intimacy can be accomplished necessary to work within the skull of a narcissistic condition:

Bring the non judgmental perspective into the room with you.  Have it ready at first indication that it needs to be used.  If we are afraid of the right or the wrong conclusion we are not in the correct paradigm.  An analytic consultation aims to uncover the effective ways the patient needs to know to run life on all cylinders.  The paradigm of ineffective vs. effective interventions is a more benign matrix to work within than is the notions of right or wrong..

The establishment of trust that the physician or therapist gets of himself/herself, becomes the back drop of hope against which the the patient will do all he can to help his ego sabotage the analysis.  The ego knows that if the analysis is successful, it will be relegated to one voice among many instead of having the singular voice that speaks loud, speaks first and speaks english.

The transformations for symbol and sound into concepts and words travels up a chain of DNA like material.  It picks up from the most primitive sensations and begins to evolve from an unknown thought to a known thought.  At this level of integration the patient can begin to become a partner in the discoveries that he or she will need to further advance his libidinal goals….Image 2_2

 

How Are We to Make Use of these Psychodynamic Facts of Life

GRADIVA

Gradiva…

Living in two centuries, it is natural to long for the centuries of antiquity.  The 20th century with the folks still alive who remembered the later half of the 19th century is a nostalgia that coincides with being young and wide-eyed.  It was a world where happiness was 99% anticipation.  Too young for regrets, the world laid endlessly ahead like a blank canvas stretched clear to the horizon.

As Exit from Narcissism begins to take shape, I am allowing myself the freedom to say that I am writing a book.

The central theme of this manual involves the study of duality as it presents itself in the form of mental conflict.  It is important to keep in mind that mental-conflict bears little resemblance to neurosis or any other illness based model of the mind.

The brain/body matrix manifests the mind and that mind can not be reduced to a singularity. The human mind is experientially and subjectively a duality which is inherently in conflict.  Nothing reduces to one. Anything can be split in two.  The idea of oneness is both an illusion and a delusion.  It is an illusion because our perspective is a projection of our own perceived oneness.  We tend to look out onto the universe from the singular perspective of “I”.  It is a delusion because we want the comfort of oneness, and we are prone to accept reality only after we have washed it with the suds of our perspective.

Both the perspective of “I” and the perspective of our deeper awarenesses co-exist with little to no consciousness of each other.  The acknowledgement of duality is only experienced when the deeper nature is deliberately called up from consciousness by the ego we call, “I”.

We wander between and among perspectives against a backdrop.  Awareness of our duality is barely noticed.  A deliberate command can access the deeper perspective; however, long before we come to understand our nature of duality we have been subject to its massive potential for internal conflict.

Issues of morality and issues with authority plagued us long before we became conscious of our unconscious mind. Becoming conscious of the unconscious provides us with further information than we would have with consciousness alone.  The idea that all behavior is purposeful and guides our decisions our thoughts,and  feelings is a result of the academic study of duality.  Beginning with Freud and Jung as the fathers of psychology we have moved through over a century of deciphering meaning from word and symbols.

Whether our mind is a burning cauldron of creation or an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge, there is no denying the conflict that arises as a simple and crucial aspect of living.  All of our thoughts and sensations have a meaning.  This fact we have inherited through the scientific and literary history of civilizations.

How are we to make use of this psychodynamic fact of life?

The meaning of conflict and our growing academic understanding of conflict as a question begs for an answer.  It is equal in scope to what previous generations asked about the nature of pain in a world created by and all-good God. Conflict stands out from a backdrop of comfort and alerts us to an internal or external condition that requires our attention. Conflict can appear in the form of anxiety and is registered as a sensation or feeling that erupts into consciousness.  Because it does not necessarily rush into consciousness with words what we experience is a sense of urgency and to make it worst, it is an urgency that provides no direction.

Because it is experienced as an intrusion, it is in our human nature to want to destroy it.  It is the classic killing of the messenger.  What ever meaning was intended is lost in the battle that ensues between perspectives of the mind.  The unconscious knowledge is not wanted because it threatens to disturb the sleep of the world.  We ignore or deny  the knowledge of the deeper consciousness to protect the singularity of the ego.  The ego does not want to be wrong and does not want to be caught in a less than perfect light.  Since the ego is the position of the “I”, it carries a great deal of weight toward preventing knowledge from the body to impact the singularity of the self.

The resolution of conflict becomes what life is about.  Resolving questions that arise from conflict promotes success and effectiveness.  Recognizing the conflict within and applying resolution is the process of adult developmental psychology. Living is the perpetual resolution of conflict.  It is deliberate and is never over until life is over.

Our task is not simply to live it is to live well within the parameters created by needing to resolve all the aspects of organic life. It is through the resolution of perpetual conflict–(when we are through taking a breath, we need to automatically resolve taking the next breath), that this successful application becomes the source of joy and enthusiasm.

To access the depths that are within requires a conscious contact, a deliberate attempt to find the source of the body knowledge that holds the DNA of our antiquities.  It may seem a contradiction to invite in a perspective that may cause a conflict, but it is the resolution, not the denial of conflict that creates room for joy and contentment and happiness to thrive.

Living well is only difficult when we insist on our singularity. When we become comfortable with conflict as an aspect of the mind that will not go away, we can begin to understand the requirements necessary to govern ourselves. It is this understanding that psychoanalysis aims for.  Having arrived at concluding a peace with inner conflict we will have achieved a level of adult development that we call maturity.

The Prodigal Child at Christmas

Image

It is Christmas Day, several days early in my family…I think this year there will be only one person missing.  Like in the bible story, the prodigal son or daughter is special for not being there.  After many years the prodigal child returns and the entire village turns out to greet the child.  Almost seems like there might be merit to being away.

That will not be happening this year, but there is always next year.  But for those of us who are counting the end of life years, we hope for a quicker resolution to life’s issues.

Tonight is a special night in our family.  I usually come to the clan dinner with the traditional French Canadian meat pies.  My sisters bring a meat spread, and a niece always brings a dip that was created by my mother.  There are custard pies, cakes, and chocolate cream pies and toll house cookies that are usually decimated before dinner.

Then the presents.  Everyone buys for everyone and then there is a game of swapping gifts that ends up with two folks tearing at one gift and everyone watches like it was Gillette’s Night at the fights.

But it is all in good fun…and since our family has loved Christmas for generations, it is so easy to fall into the rhythm of this holiday.  I love Christmas but I did have an insight this year that might help me in years to come.  I can not stand any aspect of Christmas before the twelfth or the fifteenth of December.  But once the darkest days of winter begin to settle in, I get a shock to my Christmas Spirit and the jolt rocks me into a whirl of activities…decorating, cooking, shopping and the beautiful traditional Carols that are really a part of the church music going back to the 15th century.

This year my partner and I are doing our third year of a new Christmas Eve tradition.  We will be at the midnight mass in St. Augustine, Florida.  We will have arrived at our home earlier on Christmas Eve day.  There will be time for a nap, some unpacking, reservations for a great dinner in town and the beautiful Gregorian Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine.  The first church on this continent began some five hundred years ago….Very little on our continent has that longevity.

Be they old traditions, or new young traditions, Christmas begs to be a holiday that is remembered for their similarities through time.  I listened earlier today to Dylan Thomas reading, “A Child’s Christmas in Whales.” I have been doing this  since the late sixties…not French Canadian, but an ethnic reminder that christmas is a cross-cultural event.

Merry Christmas and to all the prodigal children out there–try to be home for Christmas next year. When you are older you will be glad to you have a tradition to rely on….

P.S.  If you have 19 minutes to be treated to one of Christmas’s rare and stunningly simple pieces of happy poetry.  Click on the link below:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfpf66_dylan-thomas-a-child-s-christmas-in-wales_creation

The Bridge Home

the bridge home

 

When the holidays are upon us, the bridge home seems to be a more rickety bridge than usual.  Family life can encompass the best of days and the worst of days.  Remembering that what we fear in life is losing control of our selves, family can induce a loss of self and soul that has us wanting to scurry for the first rabbit hole that we find. It can also hold us in its embrace when the sorrow is too much to handle, and we are overwhelmed with grief.

Home for the holidays with Barbara Stanwyck  living in a perfect New England home, snow bound with a horse drawn sleigh at the front door to bring you into town for the last minute pound of butter or canned milk, was too pretty.  It creates in us a longing for something that does not really exist.  It always made me ask as a kid, “where do they go to the bathroom?”  You never saw in those idyllic movies where and of the “crap” happened.

christmas in connecticut

Life in 21st century America is a dollar driven life with things and events symbolizing an upward mobility and a sense of abundance that is not on the horizon for most Americans any more.  We have what we have, and we have to find a way to be content with that because the upward mobility american-dream-thing is a rapidly vanishing fantasy that is as equally unpalatable as Barbara’s dream in a 1950 Christmas in Connecticut movie.

Even our beloved states of longing seem to vanish with the advent of capitalism replacing democracy as not only the economic system of the american people, but as the form of government and the types of lives that are permitted under this new umbrella of global aristocracy. We have become income driven–not values driven.

As Americans we inherited a transcendental philosophy that was born out of the writings of Emerson, Alcott, and the 19th century Concord Literary Society that became know as the 1st revolutionaries in American Literature.  That period of American History became engrained in us, representing a value that was greater that what money could buy.  The early Transcendentalist saw the natural elements of life as the template to a free and loving society.  It used the natural to remind us of life and death.  It used humanity as the test center that attempted to illustrate that a society, a neighborhood was greater than the sum of its parts.

Communities and families died and suffered and lived and enjoyed life together.  The small town, dirt-road, trails always led to somewhere you wanted to be.  After all it was the the trotted road the got the wear.  Families are pretty much all that is left of this inter-dependent way of life; and families are hanging on by a thread as the holy dollar calls the older brother to Cleveland, and the younger sister to Huston and the parents had to retire to Florida as the Massachusetts economy became too expensive to purchase on a fixed-income.  So middle sister, who was fortunate enough to find a husband and a job in the home town, is now the only member of the family left in the home town.

Is it still home town when everyone you know has moved on or moved away?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It is only food and companionship and love that make it happen.  It is not a commercial holiday.  Except for food, the stores have to be clamoring for your Christmas dollar there is no Thanksgiving gift.  And I am grateful for that fact.  Department stores and Big Box stores could starve to death on Thanksgiving and I would have one more things to be grateful for.

I want to make a wish today.  I want to wish that everyone who reads this essay will find a way to promote this message to everyone they know and meet.  I want this holiday to stay free of commercial broadcasting and that there will never be such a thing a thanksgiving music..  I want everyone to be as persistent as they can be to call families together for this once a year gratitude day.

I want the bridge home for Thanksgiving to be free and easy and spontaneous and not filled with expectations.  I want every one who wants to be home for the holiday to be able to get there.  I wish that this message get read by people who are just on the verge of wanting to get home to be spurred homeward by the sincerity and forgiveness that this holiday promotes.

 

Happy Gratitude Day, 2013

Charlestown, RI 02813

A Thin Veil

A Thin Veil
“It is Glory to have been tested, to have had our little quality
and to have cast our little spell.  A second chance, that’s the delusion……” (henry james)
During one of my favorite groups a patient who is well analyzed and a very capable man
said, “the one thing that we know about going down hill is that we can expect to pick up speed.”
It was a profound remark in light of the fact that we were discussing dementia
at the time.  As i thought about this statement it occurred to me there are many
life cycles to which this can apply.
Life goes by awfully quickly.  And the older that we get the more aware we become that life
is painfully short.  And when ever we start to go downhill, we become crucially aware that if
we don’t apply the brakes we will burst right through this thin veil of life and end up on some
other side where looking back appears to be impossible.
It started me thinking about anticipation and the way that some of us spend life looking
forward to tomorrow as if we expect it to be something other than today.  “That’s the illusion there
never was to be but one,” as Henry James continued.
There is no life than is different from this life.
Life “is” what it is.  Life is a force, a vitality, a kind of drive that carries us and pulls us and pushes us
in various directions, but always forward, until it begins to de-compensate…then it’s all downhill.
There is no reverse as we go bursting forth through the veil that hides the other side.
What this tells me, is that the most important thing that I can do for myself, and by extension
for my patients and loved ones, is to remind them to slow down.  What’s the hurry, you do know
how this ends, don’t you?  That’s right.  It ends.
To think that any of us want to speed up this process is absurd.  We do not know what we are asking
for when we say hurry up to anything.  Time is all that we have.  And Time is constructed by hu-mans
to remind us that there is no infinity.  And, if by chance there is an infinity it has nothing to do
with this life.  This life is finite.  Burst through that veil and what we know of life is over, finished, done
for good.  If there is another something, if there is a kind of re-organization to our cellular matter
it will not be one that we can bring our consciousness to.  Our consciousness ends with the end of this life.
To ask God, or the Universe to speed things up for us is very foolish.  So the next time that you find
yourself too busy or too important to deliberately pay attention to your consciousness, remember that
this consciousness that you take for granted will some day cease to exist and when your cellular matter
becomes a part of a glowing sunset, or it becomes the colors of a new dawn, or a piece of velvet moss covering
a woodland grove, you will not see it once you are it.  We see the dawn, only until we become it. There will be no
gratification to being a dawn.  You will not know you have been transformed.  And even as a million
school age children gaze in awe at the brilliant colors of life; when you can no longer gaze, all those eyes
upon your scattered matter will not thrill you a bit.
So, grab your consciousness and go gaze upon something that sends awe through your life while you
still have a life to send awe through.  The rest of that wonderful line by Henry James goes like this:
          We work in the dark, we do what we can.  We give what we have.
           Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task.
            The rest, is the madness of Art.
jester

The Ego & The Self: a conflict within

 

There is a life that lives inside the life I live.  Sometimes this life within a life is submerged so far below the surface of consciousness that one could not discern that it is even there.  Other times, I hear it calling and I know that I can access its wisdom and other times I hear it calling and I refuse to hear what it is that it wants to tell me.  I am no stranger to the divided mind.  I have lived side by side with myself for years and it does not worry me that i experience this twoness about myself.  Perhaps it is the strong Catholic faith that guided my early years.  The nuns telling me that the angel sat on one shoulder and the devil sat on the other.  The divergence between heaven and hell as a catalyst for the duality that characterized my struggles within even as a young teenager.

This book of essays is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Or, at the very least we are all equally capable of accessing the glimpse of the life within the life that is so necessary to discover if our ambition is any form of serenity.  The conflicting dialogue, the running commentary that we have grown accustom to is made of of two equally important aspects of our mental capacity.  On the one hand we have an ego like structure that is focused on the external world.  It collects data, assesses that data and logically goes about the business of coming to a conclusion.  It is the science of life that it listens to.  On the other hand we have a deep instinct that comes to us through millenniums of evolution.  It is the age old capacity of subjectively experiencing what we feel inside of us.  It is a sensation we feel.  It is a kind of interior road map that guides us to internal points that inform us of the internal operations of our mind and body.  It is in many ways the source of oneness.  We experience our energy and our drives from this subjective location.

As we journey through this life, we are brought into direct conflict between these two points of observation.  There are times when they may be in concert, but for the most part they will inform us in such different ways that it is difficult to reconcile one from the other.  The journey through these essays is meant to provide a clear and logical path to understanding who we are and what we want from our brief experience of life here on earth.  Much goes into contemplating life and we have so little time in which to accomplish this task.

A spiritual community, for many of us began in our families of origin.  It is, for many of us, very difficult to grow in a family that emits dysfunction.  Dysfunction is emitted based on lack of knowledge, lack of right thought, and lack of feeling the internal messages that would assist in dismantling the frightening anxiety.  Family dysfunction essentially points us in the wrong direction.  Some are able to re-navigate their way to their own paths quickly.  Others fail at finding their way and suffer for most of a life time before, if ever, finding the comfort of serenity that exist within.

In the last number of years after leaving a psychoanalytic institute that I am indebted to, I began to do a different kind of research than I did as a candidate in analytic training.  I broke away from the formal scientific method and that allowed me to study other forms of knowledge.  I have read Buddhist material, I have sat in meditation with a Sangha, I have reviewed a multitude of new age writers and I have begun to dedicate my journey to understanding the convergence that I believe points to truth.

Here I have to explain that Truth with a capital “T” is not a scientific venture.  It is a philosophical venture and as such it breaks away from pure objective data and is willing to grapple with “Truth” that is subjectively experienced from within.  Truth used in this context implies an experience that is overwhelmingly sensed as coming from a place that is not purely thought.

The manner in which the body informs the mind of an internal event is not necessarily done in words.  A sharp pain in the back, or the chest, or a awful feeling of needing to vomit are not experienced by the mind as words.  These sensations emit from the body with the sole purpose to alert the body that something is out of balance.  This sensation of “out-of-balance” is crucial to surviving and is every bit as informative as our eyes perceiving a mad dog coming our way.  The vision that the sensations provide, though wordless are of primal importance to both the continued growth of the individual as well as the continued growth of the human specie.  Our internal being is connected to the oneness of the human race and the oneness of the human race is connected to all living organisms on earth and in the universe.

We are not alone, nor are we meant to be.

As I continue through these short essays, I hope to bring a dialogue to this concept that we are an ego and we are a self.  The subtitle of this blog from where this book is being written is:  a recalcitrant ego in search for a self.  To that end I welcome readers to comment within the blog post.  I think this kind of interaction will bring us to a point of convergence where, with help of each other, we will move closer to the irrefutable pleasure that is derived from knowing the extent to which we are divided and the manner and methods necessary for us to move away from internal conflict and move towards a serenity that has life glowing like the sun when it shines its morning light on the darkness of the night.

Share this:

 

Le Coeur a ses raison que la raison ne connais pas

Image

Le Coeur a ses raison que la raison ne connais pas–the heart has its reasons that the reason can not know.  

It sounds like ancient history to some of us who have heard that phase many times.  But the truth is this:  the heart and the mind do not communicate, in fact they hardly know of each others existence.  It is like having a twin across the world that you never knew you had.

Discovering where and how the heart functions in the arena of mental health and in the arena of psychoanalysis specifically, is a job well worth undertaking.  Psychoanalysts are among the best trained people to take on this issue.  We are not the only people who know about this human dynamic, but we are among the top few disciplines that even consider the subjective to be scientifically understandable. 

Psychoanalysis has as its primarily mission the uncovering of unknown, knowns.  We specialize in following thought to where the thoughts originate both in the body and in the mind/brain matrix.  Eastern philosophies are also greatly equipped to search out the internal mechanisms that operate when we create a thought, and act on it. This very fact begins to encourage the future.  Thoughts, well before they become action, inform and encourage the future.  We are always at the cutting edge of our extension into life.

Thoughts and subsequent decisions are many times autonomically generated.  Like the other autonomic systems of the body, we have little consciousness of the steps that our bodies take to keep us alive.  The mind and the body function as one unit with a specific mission to keep ourselves from premature death and self-destruction.

However, if as adults we are formulating thoughts that have as their antecedent unconscious history, we may become at the mercy of exactly the very “thing” that we were wanting to avoid.  Humans are not constructed by blue-print the way computers are constructed.  We evolved more in the manner that a jungle evolves.  Tangled and snarled our neuro-pathways twist and curve to form connections with other aspects of the body.  The heart, as the most basic example of this fact, had to carve out its connection to the brain while still a young fetus.  Looking at this we might thinks that it should be time that we start understanding the intelligence of the heart.

We understand the intelligence of the brain, not very well yet, but certainly more than the neurology of Freud’s time understood.  The intelligence of the heart however is still greatly under studied.  I am sure that are many reasons for this, not the least of which is sciences own peculiar way of deciding what is appropriate content for its examination.  At the turn of the 20th century, dream analysis was considered content appropriate for gypsies and shamans.  Freud had much difficulty being accepted in the scientific community,

When a piece of our knowledge is heart-felt, we experience that knowledge with a sensation that is akin to wisdom.  The aha—aha moment, the slight tingle up and down the spine or the appearance of goose-bumps on your arms, these are indications that your body is registering a feeling or thought.  The ego on the other hand usually says something like, “Oh yea, I knew that”.

Learning to access heart-felt knowledge requires discipline in much the same way that exercising the body requires discipline, or in the way that meditation requires us to be actively deliberate about the process.

Also, because we are so identified with our thoughts, we find it hard to dismantle a thought we have been having over and over again for nearly a life time in some instances.  The further back in time that we can remember thinking a certain way indicates the extent to which the body and the mind will regress to maintain a hold on a thought.  We do not want to know if something that we think is not true.  In other words, the mind (ego) will fight the heart.

If the mind (ego) maintains a steady diet of winning, the heart will eventually “lose-heart” and give up trying to find the most effective way of experiencing our well-being. In time accessing the heart is not even a consideration as we have become hostage to our mental ruminations leaving little room for the instincts to run and play in a creative way.  Creativity, not necessarily fine-art, is the most effective measure of our vitality.  And, out vitality is a measure of our drive, our desires.  To exist with no heart-felt way to meet our dreams is to have given up on the basic human instincts.  We have abandoned our deep, richer selves to a corporate take over by the ego.

Heart-felt solutions are not difficult positions to take.  But heart-felt solutions will always be subject to the ego’s destructive nature.  If our anger is experienced as ineffective, it will stay in the body and attach itself to some psycho-semiautomatic condition.  

As we move forward in an analysis, we move inward as well as forward.  In many ways the internal universe is as ever expanding as the external universe; and as such it will always have a new outlook, a fresh take on the matter if we can learn to allow access to our hearts in the same manner that we have allowed access to our egos.