Saturday, January 30, 2016

Love and work and... ?

W. Reich famously writes:

Love, work, and knowledge are the wellsprings of our lives, they should also govern it.

I've never been a fan of this as a political slogan. His heart was in the right place but it hardly strikes one as incisive enough. A young Marxist would do better to look elsewhere. 

Anyway, as an addition to Freud's examination of health it also falls short. Isn't knowledge the work of some people? Aren't those people who work in the domain of knowledge often not cut out for other types of work (i.e. lack the spatial intelligence to be a mechanic)? I can maybe see wisdom, or what humanists would call self actualization or individuation as an end. However, wisdom is often compatible with mysticism or, at any rate, is intuitive and not a conscious system of ideas. Neither is wisdom something in which one can get an ego injury. I can be humiliated regarding my work life or in my love life, but wisdom is what informs the level at which work and love interactions take place; it isn't a sphere of life itself.

I'm surprised that friendship hasn't been formally added to work and love. 

First off, it has a nice dialectical form love > work > friendship

Second off, to any clinician worth his salt, friendship is definitely an area in which a person can receive an ego injury. When I use self statements in my work, they often lead a person who is using projective identification in sexual relationships (or has become the active person who gives others the same kind of injury that he himself received) back to injuries that occurred in friendships.

Ego drive and object drive parallelism should more formally address this important area for injuries, but I'm not sure if that means the explicit creation of some amity drive.

It's interesting to speculate on the schizoid status of many analysts and how friendship may have been downplayed in its significance because they didn't want to reflect on a sign of their lack of health. 

Also in philosophy there is a strong contrast between the importance of friendship for Aristotle compared to Plato.

I'll try to write more about this again....

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