Tuesday, June 16, 2015

the earth vs. the machine

I've had a few patients now who have had the same fantasy structure. They are alone in nature, there is attention to the light there, and there is oneness with it.

Then there is the idea that nature is being hurt by machines (1. oil equipment sucking the earth dry, 2. roads and machines and trash that piss nature off, and 3. nature feeling sad and betrayed).

In this pre-object earth without the representations of other humans there, I've been surprised that things appear (the machines, the roadways).

I guess that an autistic child's preverbal cathexis of things must occur.

But still, is the first form of the father really things? If so, is this a similar mechanism to a masculine woman who identifies with the father (even though she isn't necessarily lesbian), but instead the autistic child identifies with things?

The fantasy of being alone on the earth in unity, precedes the appearance of the machines, so it's clear that this is the mother imago. I'm not sure about proto and deutero yet.

This also raises the question about whether the thing must appear in Space or whether Space is at the next stage. Tustin's autistic shapes are ones without Space as it is normally conceived, but none of these patients are talking about autistic shapes or relations of sensation. So, maybe they are defused proto and lack the deutero connection to this...

Still, despite these many uncertainties, I'm now convinced that there is a stage before the auto-erotic. It may be the birth stage, but I don't see or feel any imagery to argue for this. If it's not, and it's a later stage, then the idea that there is yet an earlier birth stage and potentially an earlier stage in the womb is quite a surprise.

As a further note, I continue to see more people who are very isolated and have the notion that the people who died in their lives may have done so because they got close to them. So, Fairbairn's schizoid conflict and Klein's phantasy of the breast being sucked of its previous liquid have borne out in some cases. I think that because of psychic bisexuality, that the phantasy isn't the same for everyone at this stage. The oil rig sucking the earth, is different than the roads that trash it. Also, why some people who are very alone have the idea that their love hurts others, it doesn't come up for all. For one, the idea of their being an ice wall between her and others is central, and she doesn't have problems being around others, while the others report strong anxiety.


Friday, June 12, 2015

death anxiety

For a while now I've been theorizing that in the altruistic complexes (Antigone and Bellerophon) we have the person idealizing someone over themselves. In Antigone, the subject altruist makes the reputation or name of another, or another's happiness, as more important than her own. In the Bellerophon complex, the object altruist self-sabotages because he doesn't want to put his name first and fears usurping another who is idealized. In both cases, I've also got the impression that placing one's name first brings about pity for the parental substitute who may be displaced. However, this is still putting the matter in egoistic terms.

To be clear, at the phallic stage egoism enters into the altruistic pole. This egoism is qualitatively different than the egoism the belongs to the egoistic pole, but the two intermix and even an altruist with a developmentally blocked egoistic pole will still show egoism. The qualitative difference is to be seen in how competitive the person might be, as well as their relationship to taking on leader positions and their willpower.

I've worked with a few object altruistic patients who show a lack of stick-with-it-ness or a lack of will power in their life. While the Cartesian would say that the person chooses and they have chosen not to stick with anything, I am more of an empiricist and would say that if we never see willpower expressed than why pretend the person has it. These object altruists, have a tendency to talk about the magic and mystery of life, of the universe, and certain sub-cultures. These idealizations, of course, represent the ego drive idealizations of the social body in various ways, all the way down to the auto-erotic and maybe earlier birth stage. At these earlier stages, the world with humans as a part of it, or the world/universe alone (without representations of people) is the Other of the ego drive.

With one of these object altruists the connection of finally reducing the idealization of the social body/parental substitutes to become an individual who feels guilt, or "owing it to oneself" to have some kind of self-reliant existence, was strongly connected to death anxiety. To "cut the umbilical cord," as he put it, meant dreams in which he would die. He was able to candidly talk about how this fear was connected to living for oneself in some way.

Since then I've seen several others who come to this struggle point. (Of course, you can never tell them what they need to do, and I can't imagine how any CBT therapists could have success with being goal oriented with them.). I've interpreted what my one patient was so candid about expressing, when I hear the object altruists talking about being at the tipping point. And, I've been rewarded with them reporting an intense anxiety following this interpretation.

In a parallel way, some of the egoistic patients I see will struggle between choosing their life as addicts vs. consolidating their altruism to live for their family and not for themselves.

Of course this is the father complex or phallic trito stage that I've outlined in Economics.    

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I don't want, to want anymore
It even sounds funny to me
How casual goodbyes, and escaping highs
make up the height of history