Posts tagged "Sigmund Freud"

Another Week Ends: Silent Treatment, 1st-World Problems, Rectify & Rev, Robinson’s Lila, Phillips’ Freud, Heresy Help, Tragic Soccer, and Soviet Propaganda

1. Under the auspices of “How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship”, The Wall Street Journal issued a perceptive and even quite touching treatise on how the dynamic of demand and withdrawal comes to poison so many loving relationships. The article starts out with the same old line about judgment and expectation snuffing out affection (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), and ‘law’ making bad things worse, with some token men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus thrown in–but it doesn’t end there. That is, while some of the diagnosis (and rather patronizing advice) falls under the heading of the perilously…

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Christian Battle Lines and the Narcissism of Small Differences

I became a Christian during summer camp at age eleven, and few experiences since then can compare to the bliss of that first night and the month or so following it. I still remember, though distantly, the thrill of morning devotionals and a general sense of wonder at the strange, unmapped new territory of Christianity.

Walker Percy wrote that every explorer names his island Formosa, “beautiful”, and such Christianity was to me. After a time, however, I started hearing an internal voice, one that said, roughly, why do morning devotionals for ten minutes – you could do them for thirty. So…

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Looking Inward, East of Eden: The Old Story of Unspectacular Evil

Yet another profound look into a chronicled book-for-the-ages from Lynn MacDougall. This is part one of a new series:

“A child may ask, ‘What is the world’s story about?’  And a grown man or woman may wonder, ‘What way will the world go?  How does it end and, while we’re at it, what’s the story about?”

I’m in my second reading of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The first foray into this work was motivated by Mumford and Son’s “Timshel,” a reference to the story.  Late nights reading, bent pages, pens and highlighters later, I’m fairly sure my family was ready to…

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All Aboard the Murder Train: Sigmund Freud Visits The Cabin in the Woods

Another wonderful one from new contributor Charlotte Getz:

If you haven’t seen Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods yet, then you might be like me – you don’t just watch a scary movie, scream, and then roll over and go to sleep. No. You ingest it. Your skin soaks it up like toxic rays that, by the time you should have long been asleep, have charred your whole being black and left you at the mercy of the feral wilderness of your imagination… Yet…the very next night, that trailer for (another) movie featuring a nighty-clad little girl being exorcized in a…

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Walker Percy on Naming Sparrows and Self

This comes from the scientist-novelist’s essay, “Naming and Being,” in which he talks about symbols and meaning–and how humans derive their special meaning from naming and being named. In doing so, Percy also catches on to modern anxiety’s root cause: the human awareness and fear in the face of something unnameable. One is, as Freud might say, “afraid of nothing,” while at the same time, as Kierkegaard might say, afraid of “a summons to an authentic existence.” Anxiety, as Percy pronounces, is also the experience of the strange, unnameable self. Though we can categorize quite well any other thing, including…

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Adam Phillips on Why You Are a Fundamentalist

From the psychoanalyst’s essay, “On What Is Fundamental” from his book On Balance:

And yet, of course–and this is the kind of move that psychoanalysis has made all too available to us–we are all fundamentalists about something. There must be, psychoanalysis might tell us, to put it in as silly a way as possible, a fundamentalist in all of us; we may think of ourselves consciously so to speak as liberals and modernists, but what these relatively new forms of self-description are up against is a more old-fashioned, even archaic inner fundamentalist.

…We are free to speak (as the democrat defends) so…

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Sigmund Freud’s Unpopular Refusal to Flatter Mankind

A few weeks ago, The Topmost Apple featured an article from Prospect Magazine entitled “Freud: The Last Great Enlightenment Thinker,” and it was too rich not to post here as well. The piece, written by John Gray, explores the intellectual disdain that Sigmund Freud’s ideas continue to inspire, especially from those who claim such special allegiance to The Enlightenment, and it does so in a way that is remarkably accessible (sort of makes one realize how obtuse such articles tend to be). The gist of Gray’s argument is that, “Freud’s ideas are rejected today because they imply that the human…

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Populist, Piggishly Nostalgic Do-It-Yourselfers: Our Pictures of Ourselves in 2011

The Atlantic has always done a splendid job with immediate meta-cognition, at taking a few steps back from the cogs of the e’er-turning world “spinning madly on,” and communicating not only what’s going on, but what’s going on behind what’s, uh, going on. It’s hard not to celebrate journalism that is doing this kind of work–and we’re completely unbiased here–the kind that looks deeply into what we’re looking at everyday anyways, and asks what frameworks are at play. The news behind the news, in other words. It’s not always good news, but there’s something good about analyzing what greater narratives…

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Sigmund Freud and the Moral Importance of Emotional Transparency

For whatever reason, it’s never been fashionable to note the uncanny congruencies between Sigmund Freud and St. Paul. Yet they are there if you look: they both assert that ‘inheritance’ is a key factor in human behavior, they both paint the inner life as a conflict between forces over which we don’t necessarily always have control. In fact, the more one studies Freudian categories, the more eerily the concept of the ‘superego’ dovetails with Paul’s understanding ‘conscience’ or ‘Law,’ ‘id’ with ‘flesh,’ etc. The parallels are limited, of course, as the two men come to radically different conclusions on the…

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Understanding Decision Fatigue: Dieting, Shopping, Poverty and Willpower

A veritable goldmine of relevant material in John Tierney’s “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” in The NY Times Magazine this past week. We’ve written about “ego depletion” a number of times before – the verified psychological phenomenon of self-control being a depletable resource – but Tierney does a fine job of drawing out the implications, both positive and negative. Of particular note is the way compassion so automatically flows out of an understanding of the human will as having (severe) limitations. It comes through loud and clear, especially when he talks about how trade-off-related decision fatigue informs the cycle…

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From The New Yorker

Do You Have A Zombie Plan? Part V

As I promised in the last post, we now venture into the many fearful layers of our psyche … the land of the walking dead.

Sigmund Freud once wrote an interesting little ditty called “The Uncanny“.  In it, he set up an inner conversation between what he called Heimlich and Unheimlich. Heimlich, says Freud, is what one would call the “homely” or how one feels as one returns to the “old home fires” of the psyche.  The equivalent of the Norman Rockwell painting in your life or the old Christmas fire with green and red textures, scarves, top hats, and…

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