DEEP THOUGHTS III
A forum for ideas expressed
in a single sentence, or less.
Back to Self Psychology Page | Deep
Editors: George Atwood and David Klugman
1. Isolated minds are Descartesmentalized.
a. In a life constituted entirely by lies, the only authentic action
possible is suicide.
b. In a life constituted entirely by lies, the ultimate act of compliance
3. One result of psychoanalysis is that problems do not disappear from,
but rather into our lives.
4. The theory that mutual recognition necessitates a destruction of
omnipotence in order to make room for the otherness of the Other, may be at
risk of universalizing what is only one route to a sense of the Other as an
independent center of experience and initiative: traumatic impingement on
early organizations of subjective life (retrospectively identified as
omnipotence in need of being destroyed) and the response to the trauma of
forming a lastingly reified image of oneself and one's experience being
insulated from contact with the Other, mirroring the Cartesian binary that
separates the intrapsychic from the intersubjective.
David Klugman and George Atwood
5. A contemporary debate in psychoanalysis is anchored at a personal level
by widely contrasting attitudes toward what is possible in human life:
Cartesian thinking, which posits the isolation of the mind and the duality of
mind and body, arises from an unconscious attitude of resignation and even
cynicism as to the possibility of healing a breach in relatedness; certain
trends in post-Cartesian thought, positing interdependence and approaching
mind-body relations phenomenologically, reflect an attitude of hope that
sustaining relations to others can be restored and that personal fragmentation
can thereby be brought together in an embracing unity.
George Atwood and David Klugman
6. If your parent ORDERS you to be independent, you should respond by
saying: "If a Greek man comes up to you and says, 'all Greeks are liars,
do you believe him?'"
Christopher Atwood (age 11)
7. As our ancient, arboreal ancestors learned to see color to better
distinguish poisonous from nutritious fruit, they relied on pigments (colors)
previously evolved by the flowering, fruiting plants to attract the
pollinating affections of the flying insects - - in that very successful,
primeval competition that finally defeated the hegemony of the ferns - - and
so the sky turned blue as the wasps and bees danced.
Tom Atwood (from Why the Sky is Blue)
8. From having little to having nothing takes one's life away.
9. Schools of psychotherapy that view psychological dilemmas as ultimately
composed of pathogenic "narratives" over which the patient should
acknowledge his or her "authorship" or agency paradoxically
encourage a disavowal and intellectualization of these dilemmas - for in
viewing one's life only as an aesthetic object, a kind of novel to be "reauthored"
or otherwise manipulated, one ceases to feel it as a lived reality.
(a) Kleinian game: "I'm rubber, you are glue;
you say bounces off of me,
and sticks to you."
(b) Kleinian greeting: "You feel fine,
how am I?"
11. Solipsism is a fantasy of the traumatized.
Classic Deep Thoughts
1. [O]ne of the greatest difficulties encountered in bringing about
favorable change is this almost inescapable illusion that there is a perduring,
unique, simple existent self, [which is] in some strange fashion, the
patient's, or the subject person's, private property.
Harry Stack Sullivan - 1950
2. An analyzable patient is a patient with whom the analyst can maintain
the illusion of neutrality.
Merton Gill - 1982
Responses and submissions to Deep Thoughts may be posted on the Self Psychology Bulletin Board or sent by email.
Back to Self Psychology Page | Deep