Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What a Difference an ‘e’ Makes

Psychoanalytic truths are based on observations
made by psychoanalysts in the pursuit of prying into
how you mount your armies of defense against
deep-seated fear-and-shame-induced self-views –

conscious revelations of which (made too soon)
will always be intolerable news because to know them
would abuse your psyche too sadistically to think
you could go on: ergo you must refuse to see they’re

there – the barest light suggestion they’ve a part
in why you are the way you are can, psychoanalytically,
be thought to be almost as dangerous a threat as not
to let them in at all. The mind’s a monstrous tug-of-war

you cannot win. Sin is real: it is the central noun
and verb of you: you’re made of it, and it is what
you can’t not do. Defenses are attempts to keep
from murdering the Self (with all its horrible realities) –

a Self which couldn’t otherwise abide its own existence –
unless, that is, it manages to find its weary way
to psychoanalytic help. Freud – adding ‘e’ to which
would make it freude, German word for joy – said

you can learn to turn your mountainously angry urge
to kill into a moderately gray much smaller hill:
replace your murderous ferocities with far more
tractable anxieties, and while this won’t exactly bring

you joy, it is a better self-preserving ploy than you had
undertaken in your inward/outward life before. The worst
that you’ll now face will not be that your thoughts will
overcome you with extremity, but that they’ll bore.


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