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Psychoanalysis: breath & balance

This is important stuff.

Maybe, as important as anything can be moving us toward self guided health care, and ever evolving toward emotional maturity. The mental gymnastics that the ego or conscious mind puts us through is counter-stabilized  with breath and balance.

The instincts do not remain in the shadow of the object when the body is consulted for sensations. But that really only works from the position of stillness. Getting to still point with mantra and breath is a fundamental aspect of getting to health. Of course, life also happens between sessions of any practice. It is the balance we learn before hand that steadies us in a moment of body-pain. Sometime our own body pain, or even the body pain of others we live with can activate the lack of balance (mental, emotional & physical).

The return of the repressed and the return of the repetition compulsion activates and ignites fear which then takes our breath out of balance and everything feels wrong.

With the crown of your head high, your shoulders relaxed and a deep breath filling all of your lungs, slowly let out more breath than you took in. Breath like you are conducting the figure 8.

 

Why?  Because a well analyzed life includes a connection with the body-unconscious where our ancestry, experiences and memories are stored like in a freezer until some heat, some return of the repressed ignites the muscles, cells, bones of sensation and demands of us that we pay attention.  The needle on the gage reads low energy.  Going too much further without replenishing and we risk running out of gas only half way to our destination.

 

Below is an example of a meditation–it is constructed of non-mentated gestures and lines that I filled in with color and mood.  Well-being is a state of no effort because it takes as its starting point a moment of stillness. Therefore,  a better chance of leading to clarity than if we attempt to move through chaos….contour-and-gesture-1


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Thoughts on Christopher Bollas’s, “Generational Consciousness”*

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My grandmother left Canada with hope. The potato famine and poverty of Canadian farming pushed them south at the end of the 19th century. Her generation came here with opportunities to cultivate, and with full knowledge that she was leaving the previous generation behind, a loss taken to ensure survival. There must have been great strength garnered from the courage it took to migrate, leaving family, home, and all that is familiar behind for better prospects.

They arrived in America at a time of great innovation and rapid advances. There were no airplanes, no cars, electricity was a new technology when they got here in the late 1800’s by their new millennium

My parents, on the other hand, arrived to their 20’s and, saw the failure of that generation to be able to sustain the progress. They arrived to their generational subculture at a world of a Great Depression, soup lines, stock market crash and a most devastating world war, culminating by the dropping of two atomic bombs.

My folks inherited the failed dreams of their immediate past. I was born in a time of prosperity. Though my family was poor, the world felt promising. We were the generation that could have its cake and eat it too. We inherited the hope of peace, but just as your generation arrived in the world, our radical peace movement and hippie communes failed to sustain itself, and the cycle started over again where like my mother you were born into a generational failed dream. Generations are defining,  we shape the generation and the generation shapes us.  We bring individual goals and ambitions to the world but in addition to our individual view of our times, the times that we live in have a kind of sociological perspective that become a part of our psychic experience.

Bollas points out that it is not until young people are in their 20’s that they begin to identify with the cultural norms of their generation. At about this age, children begin to see themselves as belonging to the future generation. They are accomplishing a transition between where they came from and where they are going in the outside world and in the subjective world of the self.
Christopher Bollas says this:  “The sense of isolation can be severe, but solace may be found through recognizing that he or she is part of a mass sub-culture, a new adolescent subculture forming out of the abyss between generations.” When you are exit-ing your family of origin; and at the same time emerging into an adult, the process is almost entirely an unconscious one.  The experience is as much about loss as it is about forward movement.

The norms of the New Generation must be incorporated or the child becoming an adult fails the transition process and begins to doubt their ability to become capable participants in the New World order.  When the anxiety to separate from one generation is difficult to tolerate, the individuation of the child suffers. This process then settles itself into the consciousness as a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.

The massive difference between generations is not perceived except in retrospect. In hindsight we radically recognize the difference between the 1950s and the 1960s; yet, 1958 at the time did not look all that different from 1962.  Likewise, if you were born in the 60’s you have a memory of your parents generation and a sense of belonging and remembering first- hand the 70’s and the 80’s. The future decades all seem about the same save for a few technological advances that may stand out.

Christopher Bollas seems to be saying that there is a collective consciousness that assigns us to the generation that we belong too.  If a child assigns himself to the wrong (previous) generation because of fear of separation, success in the new generation becomes more difficult.

To this very difficult but natural set of complexes, we can add, in some cases; the generation that you came from makes it difficult for the transition to run smoothly. A consciousness of differences between generational norms allows a parent to assist rather than hamper the transitional process.  On the other hand, jealousy of youth, or fear of separating in the parent can retard the child’s development. The child may fear reprisal and abandonment from the parent’s generation and then attempts to remain the child of the previous generation rather than an adult in his or her own generation.

The consequences of not moving forward, of not letting go, obscure the possibilities of the future, and security and a false sense of safety are sought to mitigate the affects of fear and loneliness.

Christopher Bollas has written a bold new sociological take on the psychoanalytic process of separation and individuation.  His essay goes on to describe, in beautifully written language, the multitude of facts, fictions and symbols that enter the consciousness of a human during this delicate, but at time violent attempt to become a self….

From readings in, On Being a Character, 1992, “Generational Consciousness”.


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poetry in motion

Leonard Cohen has a way of summing things up for me.  Not much more to be said about a life well lived, albeit, very heavy at times; and often, more mindless than mindful.

First there was the meditation involved with creating the template–totally mindless.  I was absorbed in the quality of the feel, as the pen and ink dug into the paper and at times seems to effortlessly glide over the page so that a single stroke felt like it went clear across the pad and down the center to the very bottom of the page.

Then there were those comments when what to write went blank.  It went blank for months.  Gibberish. Then one day the journal was open to this unfinished page and Cohen’s meditation looked like it would barely fit on the page but it did. I thought it might sit well as an edited image.  It comes together as text-and-image and combines a number of moods while fulfilling its mission to be published.

Serenity is the outcome, but it seems too far away when I am carrying a grand-piano down a mountain of theory.  I am sitting with a young girl, fair and beautiful as she crawls to the couch.  I almost do not want to let her go there; but I do, and she emerges walking, maybe a half-inch taller than when she arrived; but how much growth can we really expect in an hour.  I hope she waters a few of the seeds awakened while we sat by the sea, chatting and untangling backlashes from yesterday’s fishing lines.  The wind seems to blow westerly in every season, and to every season we attach a new moment adding them up with an abacus left dusty besides the slide-rule, made of wood and brass. But here, I am the instrument of research.

Her life opened like a book on our laps.  I don’t count the way I use to. I don’t count on things and other objects–no, I think on myself now. And, I  thank myself graciously for the compassionate care that I often find capable of giving to myself.

I settle into that place of relative silence and slowly she enters, tentative at first, willing, ambivalent and scared.  But, she is strong and she does not want to let on that she is so vulnerable that she does not think she can take one more step.  Exhaustion and fear and insomnia and disease and helplessness and hopelessness will devour her if she takes even one more step toward life.  The piano is too heavy to carry.

She is addicted to the tune, that is how I know she will come back.
poetry in motion in brown


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Making the Body Conscious: Like a River Flows

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Understanding is a means toward acceptance.  Herein lies the center of our subjectivity and the center of our serenity.  Enjoying a deep sense of mindful breathing is one tool that we humans have to connect with the source of our mentations and our emotions.

Breathing is our first experience of life in the world beyond the womb.  Mindful breathing is our best attempt at gaining both understanding and acceptance as our mind grows toward maturity and impermanence.  Neither of these concepts are reversible and we either flow or rage toward these inevitable ends.

Because breathing is central to the experience of life making its unconscious, autonomic components conscious is our first step into the wildly active world of the human subjective. Conscious breathing is an experience that brings us closer to the primal sense of the subjective.

As we mature, we bump into life’s many intrusions and obstacles, some so powerful that they derail us from our mission:  to live in peace with ourselves and to the extent possible with those in our world.  Conscious breathing allows us to interpret the natural pace of our lives.  Turning our attention to our breath can add a pause when we are racing, our can add a nudge when we are lost in a status quo.

Breath like a river flows……….


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Schedule: Mindfulness in Psychoanalysis 5/1/14

 

office 16 trenton

Hello–Family, Friends, Clients and Interested Folks:

This is being e mailed to people familiar with my practice or
my writing. It is a reminder of my practice hours and practice days
in Rhode Island, and it includes information on the groups that
are on-going in my practice, Mindfulness in Psychoanalysis.
This memo includes information on how to reach me.

web-site:
https://onlinetalktherapy.wordpress.com

Mobile Phone: 401 447 5765

We are leaving St. Augustine in the morning and heading toward
the Shenandoah Valley–my definition of Gods’s Earth. I love photographing
in that region, so we will spend a day meandering through that country side
and we will be back in Rhode Island on Saturday or Sunday this weekend.

Mindfulness in Psychoanalysis will be back in full swing as of Monday May 5th
at 16 Trenton Street in Providence, RI…..
For the time being all my face to face consultations will be held at the Providence office….
The Charlestown site is temporarily closed, as my friend Michael has his music studio
in what had been my Charlestown office. I am enjoying this and as long at it works for Michael and Bernie and I, we plan to continue this arrangement at The Lake.

INDIVIDUAL ANALYTIC CONSULTATIONS:
In-person Consultations: Tuesday Wednesday and Thursdays Providence Office
By phone Consultations by appointment @ mutually convenient times

ANALYTIC GROUPS:
Groups have been operating and there will be no changes in the group schedule
between now and the 20th of June. If you are interested in joining a group or know
someone you want to refer to a group, this is a great time to do this….
Groups operate on
Tuesday Evenings: from 6:30 to 8:00, &
Wednesday Evenings: from 6:00 to 7:30

There will be seven groups between now and June 20th. This is a nice small cluster
of groups if some one is wanting to try this modality. Although these two groups have
been operating for well over 25 years, the core of the group is always changing and
evolving. A seven week trial is a small number of sessions to commit to, enough
groups to be able to tell if you can benefit from the modality; yet, not so many groups
that the commitment feels overwhelming.
You can write to me about this or call any time to discuss an involvement in an
analytic group.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Rhode Island. We will be staying at The Lake
through July 31…..

 

saturated in augustine

dr. al dussault
aldussault@gmail.com

mindfulness in psychoanalysis
web-site:
https://onlinetalktherapy.wordpress.com
blog:
http://freeassociations.wordpress.com/

 

 


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For a New Beginning, a poem by John O’donohue

For a New Beginning

 

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,

Where your thoughts never think to wander,

This beginning has been quietly forming,

Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

 

For a long time it has watched your desire,

Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,

Noticing how you willed yourself on,

Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

 

It watched you play with the seduction of safety

And the gray promises that sameness whispered,

Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,

Wondered would you always live like this.

 

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,

And out you stepped onto new ground,

Your eyes young again with energy and dream,

A path of plenitude opening before you.

 

Though your destination is not yet clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning

That is at one with your life’s desire.

 

Awaken your spirit to adventure;

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

 

This is a poem written by a man from Ireland.  From what I understand he was a priest who studied philosophy and was drawn to the mystic, Meister Eckhart.  The man who wrote this poem is:  John O’Doanhue.

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I like the religious simplicity and I like how this simplicity dovetails nicely with information from the raw materials of the Law Of Attraction.  Of course, I have written in other places that the Law of Attraction dovetails nicely with the laws of the philosophy and science of modern psychoanalysis.  The package is a good beginning for a New Year.

 

“…where your thoughts never think to wander,” is a great phrase.  It reflects the idea that a thought could have a thought.  This is referred to as a meta-thought.  But we are awkwardly close to the medical model provided by John Sarno in his book, The Divided Mind.

 

Listening to ourselves think it is not difficult to subjectively assess that we have competing thoughts.  We call these competing thoughts “ambivalence”.  Ambivalence implies a sort of equal pressure to go this way and to got that way at the same time.  No one can for get the scare-crow who when asked directions by Dorothy picks up his straw filled arms and points them in opposite directions…he felt so ambivalent that he did not think that he had a brain.

Another great line is, “…waiting until you are ready to emerge”.  We are aware that desire and manifestation are nearly equivalent concepts, as one leads rather naturally from one to the other.  The act of wanting something activates in us an urge forward that begins to propel us in the direction of the person, place or thing that we are wanting.  He ends the poem with the very essence of human capability, “For your soul senses the world that awaits you.”  Again, we are able to approach this line from a number of perspectives.  Psychoanalytically the soul might be the unconscious aspect of being human—the emotional autonomic system, if you will.  It might also refer to the soul as that aspect of humankind that contains the ethics that have evolved from the beginning.  The Commandments’ of God made manifest so that human kind might live in societies and civilizations with the least amount of self-imposed destruction.

 

Finally, in Law of Attraction parlance, we hear the phrase, “to allow,” as meaning in addition to desire we must be prepared to let-in, to allow the manifestation to take place.  Wanting something as an empty wish is not at all like desiring in a way that will make the object much more likely to appear.

 

Empty wishes are probably the worst case scenario for we humans attempting to get something for ourselves from the universe.  An empty wish sounds more like a complaint than a desire…”gee, I wish I could do that……..”

A desire has aggression attached it.  I want one of those and I am going to find a way to get it.  I want more love in my life and I am going to find a way to apply more actions of love to the people, places and things in my life.

 

Desire is strong.  It is the first drive, libido, infused with the second drive, aggression.  The fusion of what we want and a motivation to get it creates in us an allowance for the thing to happen.

 

Practice this on something small that you want to acquire.  Practice this activated motivation over a particular food you may want to have.  “I have not had apple pie in ages, I want a piece of apple pie.”  Not, “I never get apple pie, everybody is always out of it when I want some.”

 

Can you hear the distinction, one is ready to search, the later is defeated before it starts.  So, let the unconscious through, allow yourself to let yourself know what you want and allow yourself to go for it, finally, prayer is a wonderful, soft and entirely inexpensive way of connecting to the Great Universal principles….don’t be afraid to pray.  It will not make you less of a man or less of a woman to allow yourself to connect with the soul of the matter—the solemnity of the great mysteries on the universe, all that we do not know.


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Dual Drive Theory: a practical application

Below is a link to a recent study that begins to confirm the dual aspect of the human reality.  Good/Bad, Hot/Cold, Blue/Red, the duality of our experience is a subjective experience that is confirmed by sciences that study the subjective…
If the heart and the body are the subjective, then the mind and the ego are the imperative.
Western Civilization has been obsessed with the study of the imperative — wars, conflict, human to human suffering and injustices, these are the imperatives.  The subjective is the feeling a grandparent has when he or she first holds yet another generation in its arms.  It is characterized by hope where the ego is characterized by fear.
The ego evolves keeping pace with survival of the fittest, the heart and the instincts are a portrait of an alligator gently carrying a delicate egg in its mouth as it maneuvers toward a safe spot to lie the egg and wait for the next generation to crack out of its shell.
Even an alligator is a two thing–thing.  It has the capacity to nurture and the capacity devour with rage. The dual drives are the center-piece of psychoanalysis.
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a new study suggests that we all have the same bodily sensations associated with our feelings regardless of culture or language — because the mind-body connection is biological, and is linked to our very drive for survival.o-BODY-EMOTIONS-900
It hardly ever ceases to amaze me, the human condition is both ever evolving and static at the same time.  We can only appreciate the complexity of human dynamics when we experience the dual nature of our natures.  The divided mind is a fact of life.  The complexity of the conflict is exacerbated by not recognizing that we are getting two commands at the same time, neither of which is aware that the other is giving a dramatically different solution to the presented conflict.
At a point in time when we are left with two distinct internal voices we often choose to crawl under a blanket and see no light, as if by not seeing light we can stop those voices from overwhelming us.  The voice of the ego, the voice of right and wrong has the fullest presence in our minds.  I like to say that it speaks english, it speaks loudest and it speaks first.
With that dynamic operating the voice of the instinct the subjective tense, if you will, brings us to a less chaotic place.  But it does not appear to have strength behind it.  The voice of the ego is very strong, the imperative tense,  but it sounds like a voice of authority, in fact, often the voice of a punishing authority.
Fearing the consequences of not listening to the ego we can choose to end the ambivalence by simply ignoring the voice of the heart, the body–where the sounds are more sensation than they are linguistic utterances.  The voice of the instinct/heart/body are felt wishes from internal sensations….that come from ancestral knowledge–D N A knowledge.  It might sound like….”Oh…I don’t know if I like that idea…..but what other choice do I have?” This voice is not going to badger us.  It simply says its piece, it tells us something quietly, mindfully.  The heart has no defense to make.  It presents its truth and rests its case.
The heart felt voice is an instinct that a different response is needed than the one we have been use to relying on.  Since our ego has been so tolerant of us and has taught us to walk and talk, and drive a car and get an education and make a living, we had better use it as the default position.  So, we set the ego on default and consequently barely ever hear the sensations speak.
I seem to always return to the same point.  That is because when we come full circle, we do return to the same point.  The ego badgers us with its information and tries to scare us into some dramatic action–let’s have a family intervention, that will wake up the absentee member.  The heart simply lies around inside waiting to be asked for an opinion and when it is asked for an opinion it always gives a simple answer…like, “Yes there is a tremendous amount of drama going on at the moment, but doing nothing is what you need to do for yourself.
When ever we feel an urgent need to act, it is a message from the body/instinct/heart–“Listen to what the urgency is doing to you…do not do what the urgency is telling you to do, the urgency is simply an alert, not a call to action.
Urgency is a sensation that alerts us to we being in a negative position with the world and with ourselves.  Like its partner in crime, “anxiety” urgency is more of a dramatic STOP sign than it is a call to action.
Let the urgency guide you toward a quick meditative 20 seconds of centering.  Forget what it is telling you to do, and instead go listen to its meaning.  It means–stop, look both ways, use caution, proceed slowly!!!!!!!!!!
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dr. al dussault
aldussault@gmail.com
mindfulness in psychoanalysis