Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 958485

Shown: posts 1 to 23 of 23. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Lives Like Loaded Guns

Posted by sigismund on August 13, 2010, at 19:17:38

Anyone interested in Emily Dickinson?

She's an appropriate subject for the psych board, isn't she?

I've been interested for a long time, but some of the poems are completely obscure to me, which fact was explained somewhat by this review.........

http://www.economist.com/node/16740445

 

Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns

Posted by sigismund on August 13, 2010, at 19:21:51

In reply to Lives Like Loaded Guns, posted by sigismund on August 13, 2010, at 19:17:38

"Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds"

 

Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns sigismund

Posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:34:44

In reply to Lives Like Loaded Guns, posted by sigismund on August 13, 2010, at 19:17:38

> Anyone interested in Emily Dickinson?
>
> She's an appropriate subject for the psych board, isn't she?
>
> I've been interested for a long time, but some of the poems are completely obscure to me, which fact was explained somewhat by this review.........
>
> http://www.economist.com/node/16740445

I like her work a lot. I am not surprised that she suffered from epilepsy.

the one I like the most....

We grow accustomed to the Dark
When light is put away
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye

A MomentWe uncertain step
For newness of the night
Thenfit our Vision to the Dark
And meet the Roaderect

And so of largerDarkness
Those Evenings of the Brain
When not a Moon disclose a sign
Or Starcome outwithin

The Bravestgrope a little
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead
But as they learn to see

Either the Darkness alters
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight
And Life steps almost straight.


 

this one's interesting too....

Posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:46:14

In reply to Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns sigismund, posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:34:44

I FELT a cleavage in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind I strove to join 5
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.

 

another...

Posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:52:27

In reply to Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns sigismund, posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:34:44

I MEASURE every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.

I wonder if when years have piled
Some thousandson the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;

Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.

The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies,
Death is but one and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.

There s grief of want, and grief of cold,
A sort they call despair;
There s banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.

And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly, yet to me
A piercing comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,

To note the fashions of the cross,
Of those that stand alone,
Still fascinated to presume
That some are like my own.

 

Re: another...

Posted by sigismund on August 14, 2010, at 19:04:36

In reply to another..., posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:52:27

Did you study this at school? It's a good place to learn it.
I did King Lear and it was the best thing about my education.
My King Lear teacher was a man at the end of his life, unhappy, brilliant and alcoholic.
He was wonderful.
My son's King Lear teacher was the first woman to be admitted to Engineering in our state.
She was optimistic and rational and quite unsuitable to teach it, and she returned the favour by saying that it was a terrible play to teach kids.
When we went to the teacher parent meetings everyone would say 'Don't talk about King Lear', but before too long my son would crack and he'd say to the teacher 'My father thinks it's the best thing ever written'.

 

Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns obsidian

Posted by sigismund on August 14, 2010, at 19:07:34

In reply to Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns sigismund, posted by obsidian on August 14, 2010, at 8:34:44

And so of largerDarkness
Those Evenings of the Brain
When not a Moon disclose a sign
Or Starcome outwithin

The Bravestgrope a little
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead
But as they learn to see

Either the Darkness alters
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight
And Life steps almost straight.

You remember some time back you were upset and asked if it got any better and I said that it gets worse? ED seems to have the balance right.

 

Re: another... sigismund

Posted by obsidian on August 15, 2010, at 10:18:28

In reply to Re: another..., posted by sigismund on August 14, 2010, at 19:04:36

> Did you study this at school? It's a good place to learn it.
> I did King Lear and it was the best thing about my education.
> My King Lear teacher was a man at the end of his life, unhappy, brilliant and alcoholic.
> He was wonderful.
> My son's King Lear teacher was the first woman to be admitted to Engineering in our state.
> She was optimistic and rational and quite unsuitable to teach it, and she returned the favour by saying that it was a terrible play to teach kids.
> When we went to the teacher parent meetings everyone would say 'Don't talk about King Lear', but before too long my son would crack and he'd say to the teacher 'My father thinks it's the best thing ever written'.

your son sounds like fun :-)
I didn't study Emily Dickinson. I don't really remember what I studied in English class. She's just one of the interesting ones when I search around.

 

Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns sigismund

Posted by obsidian on August 15, 2010, at 10:29:05

In reply to Re: Lives Like Loaded Guns obsidian, posted by sigismund on August 14, 2010, at 19:07:34

it goes back and forth

people adapt, I guess to most things. It's how we're built.
I used to be more resolute. I used to think things would get better if I just kept going. I've resigned myself a bit. My body is tired with all the stress.

but I really know that things are much better than they were, and I can appreciate that.

 

Re: another... sigismund

Posted by obsidian on August 15, 2010, at 10:36:55

In reply to Re: another..., posted by sigismund on August 14, 2010, at 19:04:36

I never read King Lear. I looked it up.

I copied this:

Freud asserted that Cordelia symbolizes Death. Therefore, when the play begins with Lear rejecting his daughter, it can be interpreted as him rejecting death; Lear is unwilling to face the finitude of his being. The plays poignant ending scene, wherein Lear carries the body of his beloved Cordelia, was of great importance to Freud. In this scene, she causes in Lear a realization of his finitude, or as Freud put it, she causes him to make friends with the necessity of dying[12]. It is logical to infer that Shakespeare had special intentions with Cordelias death, as he was the only writer to have Cordelia killed (in the version by the anonymous author, she continues to live happily, and in Holinsheds, she restores her father and succeeds him).

must be an interesting play.

 

Re: Cordelia obsidian

Posted by vwoolf on August 15, 2010, at 16:54:45

In reply to Re: another... sigismund, posted by obsidian on August 15, 2010, at 10:36:55

Interesting thread. I think literary analysis is a very helpful way of looking at psychology.

I acted as Cordelia in a student drama production when I was about fourteen, and over the years have often found her voice coming back to me, pure, logical, honest, brave, intransigent - a female version of the mythical hero.

Thank you for the references to Freud's paper on Lear - it has been very useful to go back to it. I had forgotten that he saw her as a symbol of death. Funny also that until this minute I had never been aware that there were incestuous undertones in her relationship with her father. I have felt so close to her, and yet have been very blind.

Lots of food for thought here.

 

Re: Cordelia vwoolf

Posted by sigismund on August 16, 2010, at 1:19:28

In reply to Re: Cordelia obsidian, posted by vwoolf on August 15, 2010, at 16:54:45

Well then you are quite familiar with the ethical heart of the play, the vision of Heaven, spoken thus.........

KING LEAR
No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.

EDMUND
Take them away.

KING LEAR
Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
The good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see 'em starve
first. Come.

A gratifyingly pessimistic view of the world, given the outcome.

 

Re: another... obsidian

Posted by sigismund on August 16, 2010, at 1:40:32

In reply to Re: another... sigismund, posted by obsidian on August 15, 2010, at 10:36:55

>Freud asserted that Cordelia symbolizes Death. Therefore, when the play begins with Lear rejecting his daughter, it can be interpreted as him rejecting death; Lear is unwilling to face the finitude of his being. The plays poignant ending scene, wherein Lear carries the body of his beloved Cordelia, was of great importance to Freud. In this scene, she causes in Lear a realization of his finitude, or as Freud put it, she causes him to make friends with the necessity of dying[12]. It is logical to infer that Shakespeare had special intentions with Cordelias death, as he was the only writer to have Cordelia killed (in the version by the anonymous author, she continues to live happily, and in Holinsheds, she restores her father and succeeds him).

I don't know. I suppose I disagree. Lear does say early on (FWIW) 'while we unburthen'd crawl toward death', though what is going on in Lear's mind early on in the play is a mystery to me and (I thought) something I would just have to accept as the given in the play. The last scene is truly wonderful, but I don't think Lear has made friends with the necessity of dying. Rather he sees humanity naked and alone, without any comfort or protection whatever, not even from virtue (Albany, Edgar, Kent, Cordelia) which is either behind the eight ball (Albany, Edgar) or absolutely unrewarded (Kent Cordelia).

One thing I had not realised (and was pleased to notice) was the extent of the black humour in the play which centres on Albany who plays the straight man to the appalling events as they unfold. As in
'This shows you are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge
But Oh, poor Gloucester, lost he his other eye?'
'Both, my Lord, Both.
This letter madam .................'

I had the Paul Scofield radio version which was done for his 80th birthday. My son and I would listen to it in the dark.

"King Lear"

That's the Paul Scofield/Peter Brook film, which is my favourite, though it works best for me as words

 

Re: Cordelia

Posted by sigismund on August 16, 2010, at 2:07:27

In reply to Re: Cordelia vwoolf, posted by sigismund on August 16, 2010, at 1:19:28

Roman Polanski's "Macbeth".
Now there's a thought.
Anyhow, who can resist

SEYTON
The queen, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 

Re: Cordelia sigismund

Posted by gardenergirl on August 16, 2010, at 21:58:24

In reply to Re: Cordelia vwoolf, posted by sigismund on August 16, 2010, at 1:19:28

That has always been my favorite passage.

> Well then you are quite familiar with the ethical heart of the play, the vision of Heaven, spoken thus.........
>
> KING LEAR
> No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
> We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
> When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
> And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
> And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
> At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
> Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
> Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
> And take upon's the mystery of things,
> As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
> In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
> That ebb and flow by the moon.
>
> EDMUND
> Take them away.
>
> KING LEAR
> Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
> The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?
> He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
> And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
> The good-years shall devour them, flesh and fell,
> Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see 'em starve
> first. Come.
>
> A gratifyingly pessimistic view of the world, given the outcome.
>
>

 

Lear

Posted by sigismund on August 17, 2010, at 17:51:17

In reply to Re: Cordelia sigismund, posted by gardenergirl on August 16, 2010, at 21:58:24

Now that he's started on Lear there'll be no end to it!

My favourite passages are the curses
(You sulphurious and thought executing fires!)
but particularly the medieval feel of this one. Paul Scofield gets the tone of it just right.

>Let the great gods
>That hold this dreadful pudder o'er our heads
>Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
>That has within thee undivulged crimes unwhipped of justice. Hide thee, thou bloody hand,
>Thou perjured, and thou simular of virtue
>That art incestuous. Caitiff to pieces shake,
>That under covert and convenient seeming
>Has practiced on man's life. Close pent up guilts,
>Rive your concealing continents and cry
>These dreadful summoners grace.

If I was starting a band, that's what I'd call it....Summoners Grace.

The other of course is the prayer, the absolute centre of the play

>Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are
>That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm
>How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
>Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
>From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
>Too little care of this! Take physic pomp;
>Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
>That thou mayst shake the superflux to them
>And show the heavens more just.


They are deeply moral passages, and the second one is as political as all sh*t.

 

Re: Lear sigismund

Posted by vwoolf on August 18, 2010, at 1:49:03

In reply to Lear, posted by sigismund on August 17, 2010, at 17:51:17

I read an interesting paper recently on the relationship between language and the development of self-agency, and seeing these quotes from Lear reminded me of it and made me wonder if Lear's language could be seen to develop in this sense through the action of the play. Or any other character in any other book for that matter, it doesn't have to be Lear.

The author (Knox) describes the developmental stages as follows:

1. Physical agency - an awareness that actions produce changes in the physical environment.
2. Social agency - actions produce behavioural and emotional mirroring responses in other people.
3. Teleological agency - sense of purpose, actions seen as goal directed. Capacity to choose action to bring about desired outcome. Intention not yet recognised as separate from action. (I think maybe Lear is at this level when he asks his daughters to confess their love for him? Language at this level is often very concrete, as in the curses you cite above).
4. Intentional agency - recognition of intentions as distinct from actions. Actions are seen as caused by prior intentions and actions. Actions can change mental states. (Perhaps this is where Cordelia is in her response?)
5. Representational agency - actions seen as caused by intentions which are also recognised as mental processes. Mind is represented to itself, so intentions are not just means to an end, but mental states in themselves. (Or is Cordelia here?)
6. Autobiographical self - organisation of memories as personally experiences, linked to self-representations and awareness of personal history.

I think we often function at different developmental levels in our daily lives and particularly in therapy. I certainly do, and it's interesting to watch how my language changes accordingly. What do you think?

 

Re: Lear vwoolf

Posted by sigismund on August 18, 2010, at 3:05:28

In reply to Re: Lear sigismund, posted by vwoolf on August 18, 2010, at 1:49:03

>What do you think?

Well, I'll have to have a think while I reread the play.
I always used to do this once a year but it's been a while.
(I like to read it outloud, but maybe the Paul Scofield radio version is a thought.)

I'm immediately intrigued by
>5. Representational agency - actions seen as caused by intentions which are also recognised as mental processes. Mind is represented to itself, so intentions are not just means to an end, but mental states in themselves.

I guess that in therapy I was putting all kinds of unpleasant emotions into my therapist with a range of challenging behaviour and emotion (fun stuff).
That's certainly not
3.Teleological agency
in the sense that any actions I was performing were kind of useless as real world activities as opposed to psychic processes (in which case it might have made sense).

So maybe it's relevant whether we are talking about actions or feelings?

 

Re: Lear sigismund

Posted by vwoolf on August 18, 2010, at 4:10:13

In reply to Re: Lear vwoolf, posted by sigismund on August 18, 2010, at 3:05:28

I think its about your interactions with the outside world, and your ability to think about these interactions, and to relate them to yourself as a whole integrated person. The interactions themselves are governed by emotions.

If you were putting emotions into your therapist with the scope of unloading the uncomfortable emotions in yourself, or acting out without mentalizing this in any way, this would be on a lower developmental level, (probably teleological agency) than if you were able to think about what you wanted to do rather than actually doing it (representational agency). I certainly recognise that development in my own therapy.

What the author is trying to do is track psychological development as it happens in therapy through investigating these stages. She seems to think that they are natural developmental stages, and so the therapist should not try to inhibit acting out, for example, but should tolerate it in the expectation that the client will mature to a higher stage in due course. For example, did your therapist tolerate your challenging behaviour, and did it eventually change into intentions that you were able to think about rather than act on?

 

Re: Lear vwoolf

Posted by sigismund on August 18, 2010, at 22:16:47

In reply to Re: Lear sigismund, posted by vwoolf on August 18, 2010, at 4:10:13

>She seems to think that they are natural developmental stages, and so the therapist should not try to inhibit acting out, for example, but should tolerate it in the expectation that the client will mature to a higher stage in due course.

That sounds right.


>For example, did your therapist tolerate your challenging behaviour, and did it eventually change into intentions that you were able to think about rather than act on?

She pointed out what she thought I was doing.
I found the level of abstraction made it a little difficult to grasp.
I think it did evolve into an awareness of my intentions, but perhaps I didn't feel it was me doing it, which is a worrying thing to say.

ie Why are you doing this? Because you can?

The thing is I would feel like an alien had taken me over, that I was subject to a force, and it would take a given amount of time to sort itself out.
The beginning of the automated process would always fill me with dread.
I was doing therapy 5 times a week and perhaps that had something to do with the intensity.

 

Natural growth and development through therapy

Posted by vwoolf on August 19, 2010, at 6:45:04

In reply to Re: Lear vwoolf, posted by sigismund on August 18, 2010, at 22:16:47

> The thing is I would feel like an alien had taken me over, that I was subject to a force, and it would take a given amount of time to sort itself out.
> The beginning of the automated process would always fill me with dread.

I know that feeling.

Did it change for you over time? Did it begin to feel as if it you were less out of control? As if the things you did and said belonged to you more? They did for me, not all the time and in all situations, but certainly much more than before. I think this is what Knox was talking about as the final developmental phase which she calls the autobiographical self, in which the various parts of the self are experienced as belonging to the self rather than as alien.

One of the reasons her ideas resonate for me is that they are not about illness/health, but about natural development and growth, and in that sense therapy can be seen as a part of a process of life-long learning.

You speak as if you are no longer in therapy. Were you seeing a classical psychoanalyst?

 

Re: Natural growth and development through therapy

Posted by sigismund on August 20, 2010, at 23:06:54

In reply to Natural growth and development through therapy, posted by vwoolf on August 19, 2010, at 6:45:04

I'm not in therapy any more. It's many years ago now.
It was certainly psychodynamic therapy and not psychoanalysis, although I've no real idea of the difference.
The books she had came from the Tavistock and that part of the British psychoanalytic thingo that did child psychotherapy. Winnicott, Bion, Margaret Mahler. Those sort of people.

That feeling of feeling committed to a role one would rather (at least in some senses) avoid is very interesting.
I'm unclear now as to the answer to
>Did it change for you over time? Did it begin to feel as if it you were less out of control?
because it didn't happen all the time though when it did it would last perhaps a week, meaning 5 sessions.
If I was to guess about the effect it had on me, I'd say I found it easier to accept difference, that I was so resigned and ground down by the horrible business that I no longer cared who was in control.
I'm certain it improved my parenting, as it bloody well should have, it being so painful.
After enough of this you can wonder if you are interesting enough to justify it.
Let's talk about Hitler and Stalin instead, which I did, they being infinitely more interesting :)

What I'd wish for my kids is to be transparent, just there, aware and neutral, watching....not being as if they are talking to someone not there, not reacting to old patterns that are no longer relevant, not wasting precious youth on such a scrambled lot of suffering whicht was all about something so sterile....who is in control.
And perhaps I have reason to feel more confident about their future.

 

Re: Natural growth and development through therapy sigismund

Posted by obsidian on August 21, 2010, at 9:37:47

In reply to Re: Natural growth and development through therapy, posted by sigismund on August 20, 2010, at 23:06:54

What I'd wish for my kids is to be transparent, just there, aware and neutral, watching....not being as if they are talking to someone not there, not reacting to old patterns that are no longer relevant, not wasting precious youth on such a scrambled lot of suffering whicht was all about something so sterile....who is in control.
And perhaps I have reason to feel more confident about their future.

what a lovely thing to want for your children...to not be hampered by the confusion of it all.
you are a good person sig, which of course I knew already. :-)
speaking about perspective...
I'm always thankful for people who can have some, given what I've experienced.


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