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.

Le Coeur a ses raison que la raison ne connais pas

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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.

Sur Le Lac Sainte Jean

 The concept of self-love seems to be under perpetual attack, from the right, the left, and the center.  It seems that self-love, narcissism and selfishness or selflessness are all concepts that manage to disguise the authentic meaning of self love.  For me I find it easier to lump all aspects of self-love under the umbrella of managing ones life.  

    Management is an executive function that has come primarily under the influence of the ego, that aspect of ourselves that we generally think of when we call ourselves by our first name.   Repeat to yourself the following: “My Ego’s name is___(Al)______________.”  That give you a clear sense, and a sense that you can continue to clarify anytime you decide that it is necessary to check in with yourself to make sure that you are on the track for knowing what you want and what you want to do in life.  Without that compass to due north we are, indeed lost in a sea of consciousness.
   The management of self-love will never be satisfying if it emits exclusively from the ego.  Therefore it is of primary importance to we seekers that we know how to subjectively look within for data and information that comes from the other aspects of our organism other than the left-brain ego.  For starters the best way to access our more primal instincts is to simply stop as much thinking in english as we can, calm our bodies by taking simply a few deep breaths, to ensure that we are preparing ourselves for the transition to the search within instead of the objective and perpetual scanning of all that is outside of us. Then calmly ask yourself this question.
                    
               If I could have anything and everything that I wanted what would that be?  If I were able to permit no resistances to
     my most heartfelt desires what would that look like?  
 
  There has to be no moral, no religious, no social or civilized judgements about your most inner and most personal wants.  This simple exercise in Letting-Go of Fear requires abject honesty with yourself and perhaps with your analyst, but with no one else, not your beloved partner, not your priest or minister….this is entirely a personal inventory that will help to guide you toward finding the star that you want to hitch a ride from. Keep in mind we are lost in
a sea of consciousness until we know our true north.
 
   Self-Love is a state of human affairs where by we understand that the primal objective of life is to successfully survive.  Self-love begins with an ability to access our survival instincts.  These instincts however are hidden under the shadow of the ego and getting to these instincts means that we have to be prepared to have a discussion with the aspect of us that is the Ego.  The Ego, as chief executive of the human organism, will not relinquish power readily.  So, you have to be prepared to go into the bosses office and be entirely straight, entirely honest with what you want for yourself and you must be able to fight off
the powerful intimidating and over-whelming feelings that the Ego will erect as a defense against you wanting to consult the wider sea of consciousness.
 
   Once in the presence of our deeper instincts rather than solely in the presence of the Ego, we can look at forgiveness, compassion we can see that Love is an action that we take, not a thing we have.  We can embrace all aspects of what we want because what we want is as good for ourselves as it is good for people and critters around us.  Narrow in on the positive feelings that would erupt if you were living exactly the way you would like to live your life.  And begin
to believe that you can and will have what you want once you know how to handle the pressures and the stresses of your own ego.
 
   All conflict in life is within the ego.  The metaphor that I have been using about ego induced conflict is this:  “You are going to a horse race with only two horses racing.  You decide to bet $1000 on one horse and to hedge your bet you bet $1000 on the other horse.”   That is the consequence of winning a battle within the ego…there can be no winner and no looser.   
 
   Quiet the mind for a moment, let yourself access anything and everything that you want and place no restrictions whatsoever on that desire….open your eyes and go on living as if nothing happened.
   Then simply let your dreams unfold.Image
 

The Act of Writing as a Means of Transcending the Ego & Accessing the Human Spirit

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The Self as we know ourselves consists of an idea of who we are.  This idea of who we are is not who we are, at least it is not the entirety of who we are.  The soul of humankind is well hidden, as if eclipsed by the Ego.  Although it is present at all times, it if far easier to see the idea of ourselves which we have invented through the years than it is to see the spirit that connects us with all other sentient beings.

 

The idea that we are alone is an idea that stems from the Ego.  It comes into belief because as we grow to experience the world we perceive, wrongly that we are separate from all else that we see.  This feeling of separation appears to be the reality of the human condition; but in fact it is a rather elaborate distortion that clamps onto our consciousness and prevents us from seeing the most elaborate miracle of life–that we are all connected in a oneness, that we are all a member of the stuff that the universe is made of.  We are not separate, we are not only witnesses to the universe, we are the universe.

 

This idea that we are one with the universe does not reconcile with the idea of the ego that it is a separate condition and as such must protect itself from connections with other sentient beings.  In fact this separation is the source of fear.

 

In this essay i would like to demonstrate that the closer we become to the nature of our spirit, the less we need the ambitions of the ego.  By not needing the ambitions of the ego we become free to experience the wonders of the universe from within rather experiencing the world as if it was entirely outside of us.

 

This slight shift in perception organizes our minds in such a manner that what is seen is experienced as part of the oneness of the universe.  The need for fear is lessened and the condition of the spirit takes over where the self-creation of our ego was previously in total control.

 

 

It may seem strange to some readers that the act of writing which is a product of the ego can lend itself to accessing the soul or the spirit hidden in the shadow of the ego.  But writing being just another form of thought production has the capacity to view the internal spirit as well as the external world.  In part this is the case because writing can become an automatic condition.  Some writers have declared that their writing has come to them in the form of a dictation.  They might say that it feels as if the words were be dictated and the hand is simply taking dictation.  

 

In this form of automatic writing, the ego has little to do with what is being produced.  As such the material that that emits from the process is one in which the ego has had little or no contact with its content.  When writers speak of this kind of automatic writing they frequently consider that an entity outside of them is communicating.  I do not agree with this perception.  

 

The dictation comes from within as if it were coming from the ego, but the source of the dictation is from spirit not from ego.  At first it may seem to the writer that the words are not so different than when writing from the ego, but in time a subtle difference occurs and the language become more precise, the words are less deliberate and the product can seem to the author as if it were written by someone else.  In fact in rereading what is written, it can feel to the author as if he were reading this for the first time.  The uncanny feeling of thinking that the material has come from another source can be one of the first indications that this kind of automatic writing is taking place and that the ego has been temporarily displaced.  

 

In these situation there appears to be no censor.  There is no judgement taking place that demands of the author that he/she change anything.  Instead the words keep coming and the pages fill themselves up with words and phrases that eventually concludes in a finished product that is unrecognizable to the ego, but nonetheless feels very familiar.

 

In this way, writing can act as a bridge to the spirit, to that knowledge that is built into the very fabric of being.  There is no need to attempt to do away with the ego as if it were a bad energy.  The ego has its place in our individual worlds and is the source of important human dimensions such as language.  The ego because of its central place in our psyche maintains a default position.  In other words we do not need to deliberately invite in the ego.  It is there as a consequence of our birth and our DNA.

 

The spirit on the other hand, can only become visible to us when we intentionally  invite it in.  Consider the Spirit as that which function between you and another sentient being, be that another human, an angel, a god or your dog or cat.  The Spirit is the dynamic that exist between you and the other.  It is invisible tissue in the same way that a thought has no matter and a feeling has no matter, but we nonetheless experience thoughts because there is  “spirit” that connects that thought to you in some permanent manner.

 

Gradiva

Professor Freud, among his multitude of articles in his 23 volume opus, wrote a piece about a man’s delusion that became attached to a statue in Pompey.  Freud follows the protagonist through his internally tortured delusion until he meets a woman while obsessively visiting Pompey.

The article shows Freud’s versatility, in as much as the piece is really a critique of a piece of literature.  He follows the protagonist, Norman Rhienhold, in much the same way that he would analyze a patient.  Psychoanalysis as an applied theory has frequently been used in the study of literature. 

The watercolor that accompanies this post came from my unconscious.  It was not until it was done that I recognized the man in the park looking at the statue was Norman from the short story of Gradiva.Image

Gratitude, and the ego as a seed in the soul

Gratitude and greed occupy the same space in the psychic apparatus.  If the container is filled with greed or envy there is no room for gratitude.  If the container is filled with gratitude there is no room for greed or envy…It is that simple.  It is a law of physics.  Two piece of matter can not occupy the same space and by extension it appears that two pieces of information can not occupy the same psychic space.  The Greek word  “Psyche” is our word “Soul”.   Contrary to what many think, Freud dedicated his life to the study of Man’s soul.  In this later part of my life, as I begin to have time to open my self to newer 21st century models of mental conditions, I find that the earlier wisdom acquired in the study & practice of modern psychoanalysis have bearing, if not direct implications on these principles.

Our souls are the most important part of us while we are alive and living in form. The soul of man gives us our humanity at the only place where it touches our divinity.  Through religion we have learned to associate the term soul with that part of us that will transcend life and perhaps attains a life everlasting.  But for my purpose in this essay I will use the more generic aspect of the word.  I mean by the soul of man, the very essence of man.  I mean to refer to the totality of the experience of man. My soul is my experience of me at exactly the psychic location where it touches my connection with the cosmic.

Our experience known as the soul is often not experienced directly.  Rather it points to as a location or a phenomenon that is concerned with as Bruno Bettelheim say, ” not just man’s body — but most of all with the dark world of the unconscious which forms such a large part of living man — or, to put it in classical terms, with the unknown netherworld in which, according to ancient myths the souls of men [and women] dwell.”

As human beings we experience ourselves first and foremost by identifying with the part of the psychic apparatus know as the “ego.”  The ego of the human mind  is not directly connected to the soul.  The ego is detached from the field of consciousness that is our more profound existence or experience of being.  The ego, although not discoverable in time and space as a physical entity is a construct that we use to explain a host of primary  and secondary functions of the brain.  We can not open the brain and locate the ego.  The ego, like the soul does not exist in form.

The ego ought not have a bad wrap.  It is a cluster of functions which contribute to our essential humanness.  For example, language is thought to be the highest function of the ego.  The ego is responsible for our being able to develop language. The ego is also responsible for other functions such as perception and motility.  It is a cluster of brain functions rather than a specific location.  And as such remains an important aspect of our ability to function in civilization and society.  Some say it is actually the aspect of man directly responsible for his ability to build civilization and culture.  But again, it is important that we see it for what it is, not a location in the brain as much as the name given to a cluster of functions.

In my ramblings about psychoanalysis and man’s soul, i seem to find myself always contending with a duality.  As much as I acknowledge the oneness of the mind/body matrix, it seems that in experience I am always struggling with a concept that can only be explained by forming comparisons of by juxtaposing one experience against another.

Even in the concept of greed vs gratitude it seems that the experience of one is felt to be one thing and the experience of the other quite another thing.  However, if I were only concerned about the comparisons of two things it would seem logical, (they are different because they are different).  But, what  I am trying to understand  is if the experience of one comes from a different place than the experience of the other.

I have rambled or, if you wish, free associated, to this notion of duality in our experience of ourselves in many of my writings through the years.  I keep doing so because i have experience in me what I would like to call, an exit from narcissism. In my years of practicing my own brand of dynamic psychoanalysis, I have run up against classical conditions in this science that seem to take over the definition and attempt to make it fit the science rather than pursue what appears to me the more logical approach which is to follow the experience into a phenomena that is no longer science, but is nevertheless a direct outgrowth of the science and may point to a newer model or theory of human existence.  And although not science, nonetheless an important dimension of humanness that can only be arrived at with subjective conclusions. The scientific “objective” can only go so far in helping us to understand our humanity.  Poetry, music, & our relation to nature and to animals, for example,  point to a subjective awareness that provides a profound acquaintance with the subjective that can not be quantified objectively.

As I ponder gratitude, I am aware that the very experience of gratitude fills my consciousness with a sense of expansion, with a feeling that is both grand and humbling at the same time.  Gratitude is connected not only with me experiencing myself but with me experiencing a wider sense of connectedness that includes a feeling of well-being and a feeling of inter being with all of creation.  To put it more simply gratitude is a sensation that consequenses a feeling of totality and oneness and well being all laced with that kind of giddiness that one feels as a joyful child.  By comparison greed feels very intra- psychic. I shrink to greed, not expand to it.  Greed is small minded.  Greed worms it way through me and settles into a corner of my life and i experience it as an undigested piece of toxic lead.  I think about it and i can experience the thought as mental, as a calculation, perhaps even as a manipulation of truth.

But, the profound difference is not in the verbal attributes that i can ascribe to the difference between gratitude and greed, but rather in the felt location from which each experience comes.  I want to give one more example of the experience of the objective vs the experience of the subjective:

Charlotte, my youngest granddaughter,  is falling asleep in my arms… That is an objective statement of a experience I might be having in a given moment.

However, the experience of having my beautiful, angelic, sweet and loving granddaughter in my arms being so comfortable that she is soothing herself to sleep, is a subjective experience that comes from an entirely different location in my experience.  And no amount of objective verbal data or description can convey the experience.  In other words my human experience in that moment can not be objectified.  It is as if my soul, the aspect of me that is closest to the divine is activated and a flood of emotions and sensations converge on me and provide me with a feeling not representable through the ego.

As I write my free associations, I am conscious of my intention.  I am hopeful to find a verbal way of describing the long, slow and at times painful way for an adult to emerge from the condition of narcissism.  Having spent the bulk of my career specializing in the treatment of narcissistic disorders, I am interested in the specific manner in which one can successfully emerge from this human condition.

As I begin to write more seriously about this topic, I keep on returning to Freud’s works and specifically to his treatment of the psyche in his writings.  Of great concern is the notion that Freud meant for the entire backdrop of his science to be understood as an ego growing in a field of consciousness that he understood to be the soul of man.  But when his translations to english took on a more generic term than “soul” Freud did little to challenge this mistranslation.

As a result we have been seeing the ego as a mental construct that was to have some kind of physical, brain-like antecedent. When we attempt to locate the ego in the brain, of course, there is no such organ.  But if instead we were to consider the ego as an outgrowth of the soul, then the entire apparatus of the ego could be worked with as a metaphor for a seed found in a large, wild, field of cosmic consciousness that every human being has access to.  This line of thinking has many possible ramifications including its intersection with eastern philosophy.

The Myth of Sisyphus: regression in service of the ego

_1010421I awoke with my mind already in high gear.  Even before stepping out of bed my thoughts were scrambled and my feelings were in a state of chaos.  Nothing appeared right.  And everything appeared tinged with a sense of fear that I would not be able to do my life correctly. There was no one specific thought that dominated the noise in my head; but rather, a series of thoughts that each had me grimacing with fear & worry.  My energy was entirely out of touch with my being.

Mostly it sounded something like this:  if I am this miserable now, how bad must I have been earlier so that this awful NOW is my Karma.  I have a frown on my face and I am reluctant to allow myself to smile. Often, when the ego is so rapidly moving to a tune of urgency, I am unable to stop the process or slow down the merry-go-round enough to get off.  In those times, I have to deliberately awaken to a separate reality.  I need to regress, if you will, in service of the ego.

I might for example try to listen to some music, or listen for the silence at the end of a Zen chime or gong.  While listening to eight minutes of cello and piano music that I had previously composed and recorded I am bombarded with egoic thoughts  My ego might drift in and out of telling me that I have to rush through this exercise because I am wasting time becoming relaxed.  My ego might threaten me with phrases like:  this music is embarrassing, what would so and so think if he saw you listening to this childish exercise, & you are being ridiculous, do something productive.  I have to battled each one of these phrases with a simple nod and a smile that I am noticing just how eager my ego is to disturb my peaceful state of mind.

In short time, I find that I like the sensation in my body.  It is becoming comfortable and none of the previous thought and feelings of worry are present.  And if one of these thoughts do crop into consciousness, I simply smile at it and say, sorry, I am not going there.  It really feels like a struggle between my being–my consciousness, and my ego.  If I stay comfortably ensconced in the lullaby of being, I discover that if I do not need to engage in a fight with my ego, my ego backs down.

I might compare this to road rage.  When I use to feel that a car was encroaching on my territory I would engage with that car in a battle of who is the strongest, the most persistent.  Through out these bouts of road insanity, I was carried out of my stream of consciousness into a location in my head that demanded I fight and stay the course and above all stay deeply involved with the thought that I was right.

The egoic presence is a warrior ever standing guard and waiting for the moment to engage.  It is forever scanning the world to look for something to judge badly and by so doing think that it has the upper moral hand.  The ego, the part of me that i mostly know by my first name, Al, is confusing what it needs to stay dominant with what my organism needs to stay content and peaceful.  The ego grew with the same pace as my physical development.  It was the perceiving, organizing, protecting, defensive aspect of me that kept me safe, that is, kept my identity safe.  As the chore of keeping my identity safe became confused with the chore of keeping my organism safe, my ego developed its current practice of keeping my identity, my thoughts and emotions and opinions safe from encroachment.  In other words, it became engaged in keeping my ego identity safe and forfeited the job of keeping my organism safe  There is a phrase we use in psychoanalysis called, “regression in service of the ego.”  This phrase was developed in 1952 by a then prominent psychoanalyst, Ernst Kris.  Essentially he talk about a feeling of elation that is used as motivation in the creative process.  He speaks of this sensation as feeling as if it comes from outside, from an as outside agent.  His thought was that this was some kind of psychotic regression to some pre-egoic condition.  I have a different take on it. My feeling is that it feels like it comes from outside the self because it is coming from the wider consciousness that is actually outside the prevue of the ego…Or, I might say it comes from the soul of the self rather than from the rational ego.

There are many folks who feel a need, so desperately, to keep their identity in tact that they lose all contact with the higher principles of peace and contentment and happiness.  The ego in its uncanny fashion differentiates  itself from the wider sense of self and  diminishes the value of contentment in the face of maintaining its own righteousness and place of permanence in the psyche.

Creativity and sensitivity to one’s experience of freedom and joy are activities that are built, or discovered, outside the agency of the ego.  In that way we often hear people talk about channelling another source, or being inspired by a muse.  In fact the source of creativity is the self, but the self that lives outside the ego.  The ego need not be dismantled in order to tap this source.  It is just that one needs to learn to NOT rely on old egoic positions and instead be ready to capture ideas that are free floating and less tied to convention. The source is the divine in us.  It is the great “I AM” of creation and we exist as co-creators.  It is not up to the universe to bring us joy.  It is our task, indeed our purpose in life, to bring joy to the universe.  We live in the paradise that we create by flowing down stream, or we are condemned like Sisyphus  to be rolling the bolder of life  forever uphill.

Good Morning, Page: or Good, morning page…..

a pseudo monk pondering from the book of life

10:30 a.m., Sunlessday, 9/27/09

I seem to “lack” confidence in my “practice” of meditating.  “I am not good at it.”

I do “not” do it enough, I do not go “deep” enough.  It takes years to get better.   Or, my favorite lately, “I’ll probably only be a “C” student at this too.”

Fact is,  i can awaken as a miserable, impossible to get along with myself, self-involved, non-believer.  And by the way, from there it only gets worst, not better.

….Eckahart Thich Nhat-Hicks, along with Freud and Jung, Thomas, Aristotle, Abraham, and all the saints; are the new Masters of the Universe.  And, like in Bonfire of the Vanities, I feel I am a burnt-out, out of luck, Zen-less, neophyte once again at a new altar promising piety and peace in a world more filled with greed and envy and violence than any the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary could have envisioned (walls white & red-hot of steel closing in on you from top and bottom and all sides, was one of my favorite).  By the way the caveat was added that in Hell the body was never destroyed therefore the anticipation of the end of pain would never happen.

I think that i actually preferred the sexual interest the roman catholic priest had in my genitals, it was in the very least, less violent.

Today, I awaken with no desire, a non attached ego, a slightly quivering heart and a sense of dread that “2012″ might indeed be the only way to approach collective consciousness.  I have awakened this morning to the fullness of my cynicism, I am back to being a student of nihilism.  Of course, i know that I am not the only nut-job to meditate & find the eternal void to be smack in front of me while every one else sits with a moaning – Lisa, half-smile pasted as a semi-look of bliss on their faces.  But, that I may not be alone, is not exactly comforting.

Does anyone else out there ever get so discouraged, that despite all the beautiful possibilities, all the promise of unlimited manifestation, stillthe ego can come in, take over and be in charge for what feels like an eternity.

It is like the walls of the mine/mind have caved in on themselves.  Let’s see if I am able to carve a way back to sanity…I think the canary may still be alive.

Dr. Albert Dussault

http://www.iphotoimpression.com

aldussault@cox.net