defense as the object of analysis

ego defense-Edit.jpgIt is always about the object of analysis.  The object of the Analysis is the process of the analysis.  All faculties of the mind/body matrix are accessed.  The subjective arena in both the patient and the analyst make up the content, the narrative if you will. There is no other content other than what is brought into the room for a semi-sacred conversation that ensues.

The defense is always the resistance to knowing more.  Closing the psychic door to additional facts and feelings is a form of isolation that the patient brings into the room and has used this defense in a multitude of other ways.  The only way we shall take interest in the resistance defense is in how it manifests itself between the patient/analyst dyad.

Why has the patient suddenly stopped coming forward?  What internal diversion caused the conversation to shift and what has it shifted to?  There is a kind of detective work to analysis, a search for clues that widen the pursuit of self-truth and self-knowledge.

Since all conflict is within and since most patients come in trying to avoid conflict, the task is huge, not insurmountable but big. The nature of trust is an aspect of the relationship that can take the longest to produce fruit.  Condemnation is feared.

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It Would Not Matter Tomorrow

It Would Not Matter Tomorrow

At least that is how he chose to bear and grin the anger, and the sadness that was exposed on his face. Everything took time to heal and somethings never healed at all. Snapped bones and disease he knew about, but the fragmented emotions they receded to a location that his ancestors called the soul. And to Caleb that was still mysterious.

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All we know now about these emotions is that they hide in the body until they can not hide. In time they become a disease that language recognizes, and from the beginning, they are a story, a narrative that forms what we call life–the force of being alive.
Maybe the genome for feelings will be discovered. Freud had hoped that chemistry would dismantle our need for neurosis, but neither Westinghouse, nor General Electric has provided much to go on.
One hundred and thirty years ago these dreams-things were the promise of charlatans. I am not sure much has changed. The more I can live with death the more I can live out my consciousness to its fullest.
………………………………………
Darkness is not sweet. You can not pretty-up a red-winged hawk flying away with a five pound Yorkie in its claws. But, shit happens. And when you are through watching that gruesome image fly away, a dear friend calls to say she is beginning treatment for lung cancer. And, did you know the boy that is maimed for life when his motorcycle slid off the road. He hit a patch of salt and sanding from winter. “No”, “he was not wearing a helmet.”

Where does healing come in? What exactly can be healed? Is it ever the mind and not the body, or ever the body and not the mind?
Essentially there are two elements that might concern us: one is light and the other is darkness. They are analogous to being awake and being asleep, to being conscious and being unconscious.
Someplace between these two polarities, we practice something called “falling ill” and “becoming well”. We exist on a plane between these extremities. The healing arts and sciences attempt to move energy along this loading line. When you fall ill you struggle to pick yourself up–this is the process of healing.

If I can help you with this process I am attempting to practice a healing scheme. I am going to use my emotions, whatever they are to understand you. And in the process of attempting to understand you, we might make a connection, a transference of energy between us. This fusion of energy might be just the additional guide that you need to discover your way back from the darkness and toward the light.
Nothing might change. But the transference of energy is felt and recognizable as a process. Guidance does not come from another’s knowing. Guidance is simply additional energy to light the way.
Good friends know this as Love

 

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Clams in Rhode Island

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It was a beautiful end of summer day.  Kathy has the Canadian Canoe with a 9.9 engine on the back.  We can row or paddle, or for long runs, Kathy uses the engine. The shallow brackish ponds curve around a landscape of the Atlantic on one side and the shoreline of southern Rhode Island on the other side.  The image above depicts our family group raking for clams

The 1st of October brings my mind into the new season.  Though we spent the afternoon in the water, it was really not warm enough for old bones to enjoy a swim.  Though each of us were so adapted to New England, I am sure we might have had we known the day would turn out as warm as it did.  My face browned with the passing of the day.

The southern migration of the popular tree swallow was in full swing and they were, we were told, on their way to Essex Cn where they converge to finish their way to the southern destination.  In New England, we understand snow-birds differently than the popular version which is to fly, drive and even train to some parts of Florida.  These birds were swirling and feeding off the pond all around us.  A flock of cormorants also converging were mingling with sea-gulls as we canoe around the ponds and marshes of Ninigret. Native American influence is fading but still visible when you look.

We brought in enough shellfish to have appetizers with dinner, a simple Sunday evening supper as was the custom in Canadian families.

Autumn and aging are at my front door.  At first, I had to adapt to the idea, then I realized the adaptations are transitions that require a new kind of deliberate intent.  Clamming on a bright, sunny, autumn day with folks you love and trust is a great source of spiritual healing.  I am talking about the kind of healing that comes from inhaling the rays of sun, merged with the aroma of the tides and the beauty of the colors the light provides.

Some days, with a bit of luck and a dose of determination, gratitude is in the air.

No Two Moments Are Alike

 

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Honesty seems to live just below the surface of consciousness.  It is not deeply fastened to the lower brain functions, it is not unconscious.  However, in the semi-conscious state where it exists, it needs to be seduced out deliberately if it is to be of any use.

I am curious about the statement that makes up the title of this mini-essay: ” No two moments are alike.”  I remember being mystified for quite some time when I first learned that no two snow-flakes were a like.  I am mystified in the same way about this recent thought that I have been having.

At this point in our collective development as humans, most of us can accept the “here & now” of current life.  We are surrounded with mindful reminders of “live for today,” “only one day matters. today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here.”  The here and now has been relegated to a  cute little phrase that is comfortable and not offensive to anyone.

Add the concept of believing in a deep and loyal commitment to oneself, and most of us run as fast as we can, taking our un-resolved self with us.  We do this from one moment to the next. And, some of us do it for a life time.  Honesty as a form of communicating between aspects of yourself is a skill that must be learned.  It is not a given that on our own we will find the route to nirvana or honesty.

Honesty is eclipsed by the ego through a myriad of defenses and coping skills that are neuronal connections.  To work with the authentic self, we must risk the emotional discomfort of shame, ignorance, guilt, arrogance, grandiosity, imperfection, and most of all a gigantic ego that demands respect while advocating complete control of the human mind.

In exchange for protecting us, the ego demands 100% entitlement to righteousness.  The ego has no use for intuition, the subjectivity, the dream-like images of what ever we can conjure up.  Matters of the heart are like Ladies in the court of Henry VIII.

The concept of deliberate intent is again being called on.  If we want to be honest with ourselves, we have to commit to a practice that is consistent and supportive.   As well, we have to be prepared to chase away the demon nay-sayers.  The one we hear outside of us and the eternal ones that come from ancestry.

Moving to honesty is a paradigm switch.  Nothing that we thought we knew applies to our discovering our own neuro-pathways.  Thinking is not particularly useful in getting there.  There may be a constitutional resistance to even wanting to know the truth as you may feel a need to punish yourself according to pre-renaissance torture treatments.  Perhaps the source of our modern day hell is the souls of men who have created human atrocities.

Hell is too frighteningly close to honesty.  It heats up the fears to such an intensity that deliberate search for the still-point is unconsciously abandoned.

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Death is Our Last Chance to Get it Right

It has been a difficult few weeks.  Life can be such an acrobat performance, the way we have to squeeze, and roll, and jump and fall, all just at the right time.  Transitions, be they challenges from the physical, mental or the emotional arenas, have a way of throwing us into a regression and making us momentarily forget that in our heart-of-hearts we are relatively well-analyzed, good people.

The storms that pass over head and sometimes right through us cause us to reflect in a deeper and maybe even new way.  The fact that adjustment to conflict is the normal state of affairs take a while for us to understand.  In fact, we do not want to understand it.  We want to believe in a state of nirvana or seventy-seven virgins, or some form of utopian projection that has life portrayed as it was in the Garden of Eden.  We want there to be a God and minions of angels some assigned to us personally.  Our very own personal archangels.  Maybe, if he was 26 and young and smooth and vibrant and inquisitive and playful and he was as attracted to me as I was to him.  Maybe that kind of angel would help me trod along.  But the angels that I do not see have not helped me yet; or, if they have they have not let me know it was them.

Essentially, even if I am able to call on archangels, at some point I have to die alone, with nothing and no one but me, myself and I, facing the grim reaper, the eternal darkness that we dread even when we hate our lives. The facing of challenges at some level is a personal and painstakingly slow process by which we get to learn that we have no control.  We have no control over any of it.  We live in a universe that lives in a universe that is so vast that the smallest atom is still a large mystery.  And yet, this is not the problem.

This grim assessment above is not the problem, it is the solution.  If we do not understand the nature of life, and the chaotic, and the conflicting, and the concentric repetitions, we will fail at death.  And frankly, death is our last chance to get it right.

As human we share with other sentient life the fact that we are driven.  There is born into us an energy, a vitality with a mission, with an aim that drives us toward what we want.  Desire is the solution to the question of conflict or challenge.  We possess no greater tool than to employ our language toward the goal of getting what we want from life.  Desire is biology.  It is our biology of hope and it is our biology of faith and it is our biology of charity and compassion.  Through wanting we improve not only the quality of our lives (while we have them to use), but we improve the entirety of the globe and beyond.

Desire manifests as creative energy characterized by a sense of obligation to the self.  Artists have an obligation to create and we are each the architect and artist of our lives.  It is a direct contradiction to what we know about life and death.  On the one hand we have no control and on the other hand desire sets in motion all kinds of actions that cause conditions to either fall in or out of our favor.

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“I want your sun

to reach my raindrops,

so your heat can raise my soul

upward like a cloud”

~ Rumi

august heat: the joy gardening @ the fountain of youth

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it must be the infectious weather.  i am outside 12, 15 hours a day.  I love the heat, the breeze and most of all being nearly naked on a wide expanse of beach and seemingly not seeing anyone, unless you consider the sky someone.  The sky with its orange and blue clouds and and pink and purple highlights throughout, it makes you wonder, am i on another planet…is this too good to be true?

a little man with a very scruffy hat sit at the beach whittling palm branches into curious shapes.  we he has a piece just right he uses a magnifying glass and the sun to etch and burn images and text onto these palm discards.  I love that so much is actually used.

in addition to just being overjoyed with the activities and the pace of this world, i am engaged in becoming younger next year.  why not?  As my useful, productive exercises produce a nice, art-felt creative looking garden, my body is shedding pounds from the heat and the labor…i become hot and restless so I just into my car, park at the beach and within five minutes, I am a fish swimming against a wave, or a wanna-be surfer that comes riding in on a wave scraping bottom–in this case bottom being my protruding stomach.  Another reason to stay in the ocean and swim off some more weight.

It is easy to be in love in this town, not because the men are beautiful and the woman are plentiful, but because everything is so romantic…small out of the way ethnic restaurants, a cove that appears private, so private you are tempted to swim bare.  a bar filled with cowboy hats and men and women two-steppin.  music from the plaza de la constitution, music from a rock club, music from a spanish guitar playing solo to no one in particular in the mournful key of A minor.  fudge and popcorn in more flavors then I knew existed.  good, good european coffee anywhere. and the churches still ring the angelus, and the choir is gregorian and the mass is high, and musical, and intellectually lectured sermons are interesting.

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It is camelot, shangria-la, Don Quixote’s adventure, the Spanish inquisition, the year is 1567, the roads are cobble-stone, a house was recently stained with cranberries.  house drawn carriages, small intimate theater, live Opera, a Picasso exhibit…….

then, i begin to crave co-creating and I start to see how I might have a different life here than I have up north.  work in a landscape company? teach software art? write my book.

gardening is so good to me.  i look at a square or a circle or a corner or a triangle and it begs to me to landscape it into something indigenous and beautiful.  then the exercise of gathering the stone, the brick, the motor, digging up roots, raking level a section–dig some deep holes and line them with a quality grade composted top soil.

then there is the nursery. there the young people know plants like I know diagnostic categories.  so i pick some long limb flowering bougainvillea that will fill a pot 4 feet high by maybe 3 feel wide.  i picked up a trellis to help the youngster to grow right into the old giant oak that stands very tall just behind the fence.  There will be an arch of bogies, and in front of the bogies, i planted a variety of flowering plants in the 4 to 8 feet range; and just in front of that is a row of rosemary that we hope to see grow into tall eatable herbs.  and the out-door whirlpool sits in the middle of this jungle-like garden.

 

Getting ready to leave, st. augustine, but would sure like to have stayed on at least one more month, Perhaps soon.

I am manifesting many wishes and most are granted with no strings attached, except to be a good man; that is, to be accountable to an examined analytic  matrix.  The contents of a each man is different, because “each” means that it is onto itself that the values mush be evaluated and attached.

Here in St. Augustine where there are many imports, from other cities in America, we experience a conservative acceptance of each other–beneath the core, I can not tell yet if there is real soul.  From the looks of it, it has to have soul; but I am too new here to thrown out any opinions.  For now, the feeling is that of being in Love…this too shall pass, I presume; but until then I am going to photograph, paint, draw, write and pray full-out for my continued manifesting and my mission to help the world to see how much beauty there lies in the least excepted places.

 

Once again Deliberate Intent is here to suggest that we can let a great deal of beauty pass us by when our heads are buried in the sand.  Beauty must be aggressively sought after.  It is a component of drive and as such it has great powers that can lie dormant for a life time, if they are not awakened..

Like the nursery rhyme where sleeping beauty is woken by a kiss from a Prince…ok, so who would not wake up for that, beauty was the passion that sent the kiss.  And what of Helen Of Troy, navies and armies were sent to fetch her home…we can go to no limits if the drive is strong enough….

To be in a place of beauty, a state of Grace, it is wise first to have examined who you are and why you like what you like and what you don’t like and why?  We need that infusion of our own reality, our subjective world has to be touched by the instincts as well as by the over-bearing ego.

Deliberately Aim for Beauty.

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