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CHAPTER NINE: Have we lost fate?

Jacobs, Michael Karnac Books ePub

Having some years before delivered the lecture from which the previous chapter is taken, it was a surprise when I found myself honoured in a similar way, although it was quite clear this was not to be an annual memorial lecture since I was asked to deliver the first Michael Jacobs lecture myself at the University of Leicester in 2006! Nevertheless, it was a strange experience, and remains so when more distinguished people than myself deliver the lecture in subsequent years. Why did I choose Fate? Perhaps because, as I suggest in the previous chapter, any fame I might have achieved is only partly of my doing. Opportunities have come my way, Fate has played its hand; and although I might have taken those opportunities, nevertheless I would not have got anywhere without others opening doors that enabled me to find more of myself, and therefore have the privilege of following through my ideas in a more public arena than most people can. The subject also appealed because it enabled me to dig around in some of the earlier psychoanalytic literature, and to examine what others, similarly interested in the topic, had made of it. I seldom write anything new; I do, perhaps, bring the old to life.

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17 From Cosmology to the First Ethical Gesture: Schelling with Irigaray

CLAYTON SCOTT CROCKETT Indiana University Press ePub

Lenart Škof

IN THIS ESSAY I want to explore Schelling’s cosmological philosophy by comparing it to early Indian philosophy on one hand and the philosophy of Luce Irigaray on the other hand. In the first section I begin with a comparison of Schelling’s cosmogonical question from Ages of the World and the Indian Vedic cosmogonic hymn “Nasadasiya.” The basic question of this section on the “philosophy of beginning” is whence comes the creation of the world. There is no direct textual evidence in Schelling’s writings that he read this particular Vedic hymn, but there are striking similarities between Schelling’s cosmogonical concepts and Vedic early cosmological thinking that deserve our close attention. In the second section I first elaborate on ancient Indian teaching on the breath (prana) and then approach the philosophy of Luce Irigaray as presented in her later works and relate it to Schelling’s and Vedic cosmogonical questions. It is important to acknowledge a link in Irigaray’s philosophy to Indian thought (such as in her Between East and West). By analyzing Irigaray’s philosophy of cosmical/natural breath/ing I explore her recently theorized plane of gestures as an intermediate space between microcosmos and macrocosmos. In this endeavour I plea for a new philosophy of the spirit, evolving from the naturalistically understood phenomenon of breath.

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CHAPTER TEN: The seventh and last year of psychotherapy

Cleve, Elisabeth Karnac Books ePub

I want to talk with you

Douglas has turned thirteen when he starts his seventh and last year of therapy. He is a good-looking teenage boy when he returns from his summer holiday and I enjoy seeing him again. He has grown even more, his legs are longer, and he is quite a bit taller than the average boy his age. He comments on the new term by saying, “Weird how I’m here again. I just keep coming back.”

He has a new, flattering hair-style, which also makes him look older. All the hair on the sides is shaved so he only has a bunch of hair on top of his head.

He is quite appealing as he tells how the hair-style came about.

“Mum cut my hair ‘cause we were gunna go to a party. I guess she wanted me to look good ‘cause she didn’t wanna be ashamed of the family. She usually goes full throttle with the trimmer and shaves off most of the hair. If you’re lucky, you end up with a new hair-style.”

“Well, I suppose you were lucky this time.”

He agrees because he is pleased with the way he looks in his new hair-style. Both he and his parents think that the summer holiday has gone fairly well, calmer than in a long time. He recounts what he has been up to without joking about it or making things up.

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CHAPTER FOUR: CHANGE MASTERY

Kevin Cashman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The north shore of Lake Superior is really an awesome sight. The lake is an inland sea unlike any other—the largest body of fresh water in the world. Cool, fresh pine scents the air. Black, rocky cliffs form an imposing backdrop as they disappear into the water’s edge. Waterfalls tumble down rivers rushing to their destinations. As calming and refreshing as Superior is, she also is dangerously unpredictable. At a moment’s notice, her calm temperament can become a raging force, swallowing huge ships whenever she pleases. Remember Gordon Lightfoot’s song about the Edmund Fitzgerald? The Edmund Fitzgerald was one of her victims.

Growing up in Minnesota, at a young age I received serious warnings about the Great Lake from my elders: “You can only survive the cold water of Superior for four or five minutes.” In the spirit of adventure (some might say the spirit of foolishness), I decided to swim the lake.

Donning my wet suit (I’m not completely crazy), I entered the water. As I dove in, the cold water overwhelmed me. It felt breathtakingly, bone-achingly cold. In the first couple of minutes, I believed all the advice of my upbringing. I was sure I could not handle the cold. Then the water in my wet suit started to warm up and everything changed. I became intensely aware of being the only human in this huge watery mass. As I swam near the shore, I closely watched the spears of light passing through the gentle waves. When I swam further into its depth, the blackness of unbelievably deep drop-offs appeared and revealed the lake’s immensity. After a short distance, new underwater cliffs and rock formations came into view. Swimming from point to point, I met with an odd mix of feelings. Ecstatic one moment and fearful the next, I sensed that all my emotions were possible and heightened as I explored during this first-time experience.

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Chapter Three: Homo Economicus

Alper, Gerald Karnac Books ePub

Trust, above all things, was what Charlotte valued. It was what had kept her for over twenty years at the small Manhattan publishing firm that had hired her soon after she had graduated from City College. She trusted, in spite of the dismal rate of pay, that they truly believed she had the makings of a first-rate fiction editor. It was trust that was the indispensable glue for any durable, authentic relationship, and it was exactly the missing ingredient that explained the ultimate failure of her first marriage. It was what had emboldened her, only a week after she had opened up her first savings account, and against all her normal cautionary instincts, to invest in Pax World. After all, she had proudly told me, thirty-seven years ago this had been the first company to introduce socially responsible mutual friends in the United States. And for nearly twenty years, Pax World had repaid her trust, slowly but inexorably, seemingly managing itself, more reliable and trustworthy than any single person she had ever known.

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