When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste
—Shakespeare, Sonnet XXX
Albert L. Dussault, Phd.,Lic.,MHC
MINDFULNESS in PSYCHOANALYSIS
If I let the solitude win, I begin
to hear a dictation of words coming from someplace
inside of me that feels more cellular than cerebral;
nonetheless, it is cerebral and instinctual and all somatic.
The words come from my heart, my soul, my ego, my id, my self,
my duality, my divided mind; and these words open
in my consciousness much like a lotus or any flower
opens in sunshine.
The crystals of sunshine form a pattern that are reflected
inside the cells of my being, and form a message entwined
with my evolution, and indeed, the evolution of our
humanity. This DNA like cluster of cells renders new
form and new meaning much like an old fashioned
kaleidoscope renders new geometric designs.
We are after all a geometric design of sorts, and we are
the most lucky kind because we have a consciousness
with which to view and re-view the cellular/vibrations
that make up life in our small and contained universe.
From where do we receive new thought? How is the old
conservative thought employed to evolve forward with
additional skills at surviving? Why is every decision
a cluster of conflict with pros and cons attached from top to
bottom? How do I decide among competing delights or
Here follows yet another plug for Psychoanalysis: We
discover who we are by banishing the fear of self-knowing.
From Socrates forward, “know-thyself” has been a mantra
for civilizations, but self-knowledge comes with a large
price to be paid off with coins of Pride and Humiliation.
As ego/id creatures, pleasure and aggression are the
guiding forces, the drives of human evolution. The jungle
that has been weaved (see Eddilson) by eons of compressing
and de-compressing energy is a tangle of information
that we use consciously and unconsciously to move along
the business of survival and success. They are the same,
survival and success. The pressure from the compressed energy
forms a fusion, a bond and becomes a diamond in the rough.
That diamond is you.
What we do for success is what we do for survival.
Ambition tends to conflict with peaceful contemplation; &
slowing the self to an imposed pace allows for heart-felt inner connections
to have space in the hard-drive arena of the ego. So far, humanity’s evolution
has not managed to avoid inner conflict. It seems that the art and science
of living implore us to be deliberately aware of the divided mind (see John Sarno).
Consequences of pleasure frequently conflict with
“civilization and its discontents” (see Freud).
The conflict arising from the pleasure seeker in competition
with the ego’s definition of what a good person is and should be.
Fatal consequences may occur, like beheadings, torture,
burning at the stake and other forms of medieval punishment
imposed by Divine Rule (see King Henry VIII).
The elevation of consciousness to a higher power status
is bringing about an awareness to the construct of cultural
& ethical lag. This idea stems from past moral condition
based on a politically demanding, and mean-spirited authority called
Yahweh, or God. This ancient construct is built into the
fabric of mankind. As as specie looking for conscious understanding
of our surrounding we see conflict between pleasure and the consequences of pleasure.
This was a point that Freud made clear late in his life (1939).
He began to see the inner workings of conflict as a means to resolving both
going forward and going forward with pleasure and peace.
We pretty much all want that resolution and modern psychoanalytic
thought is at the cutting edge of resolving philosophy with humanity.
Resolution of this conflict is the work of millenniums. It is the work of Evolution.
One system of thought, the philosophical tradition, is erudite and sophisticated and
rides above the consciousness of common man. It is the stuff of thinkers more than of doers.
The clinical corner of psychoanalysis, however, is a very different arena.
The minds of men burn with false creation, and recalcitrant resistances
are not “cured” or even reviewed by brilliant suggestions and interventions. We just do not like to
look at our “selves”. We possess these selves with a rightness and a righteousness
that is as grounded in survival. Evolution moves at a pace of molasses and
we have no patience for waiting. Most of us want what we want when we want it.
And some of us, get what we want—for good or bad.
There are times when this message of hope for change becomes
a national movement, but on an individual basis it can be as
trite as to butter or not butter.
What do I want and what is good for me become the saddle we are strapped onto.
And hang on for the ride because there never was to be but one.
For good or for bad we move either toward light or towards darkness.
And for all of our good-intentions, many of our directions are decided by our unconscious wishes
becoming human action—withholding, divisiveness, impulse
seeking, gratification seeking actions these run havoc in
the mind, sounding like chaos more than like answers.
“Our passion is our task and our task is our passion, the rest is
the madness of Art (see Henry James).