93 Chapters
Medium 9781855754119

CHAPTER FIVE. Election Rape

Eigen, Michael Karnac Books ePub

You will think I’m paranoid but I can’t help putting together the way Bush stole the election and 9/11.” Carla was referring to the presidential election year 2000. “They bullied, lied, cheated on every level. Blocking voters from voting: getting voters off the lists, creating obstacles getting to polls, creating problems at the polls, bad ballot forms, bad ballot counts, discrediting credentials ... Bullying. Baker’s face bore a hole through me. I had nightmares about his face and Pataki shouting at vote counters in Florida. No wonder I was turned off by politics when I was a teen.

“I feel raped by the Supreme Court! What do kids learn from the Supreme Court? They learn to do anything to win, screw others to get power. Lie and cheat and bully. Not only is being a rapist OK, it’s mandatory. It’s part of what one does to win. May the best rapist win. At Bush’s inauguration the streets were lined with the violated.

“They bombed us with the election, then 9/11 came. I thought: violence to violence, mirror images, violence trapped in a magnification lens. Monster, monster on the wall, who’s the evilest of all? There is a grotesque mirror in the soul and once you fall in you can not get out of it.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781782201540

Chapter Nine - Jumping in

Eigen, Michael Karnac Books ePub

Jan Niemira (JN): Should we just jump in?


Michael Eigen (ME): Yes.

JN: What do you recall as most valuable about your training experience? Do you remember learning something that struck you as particularly important? Did anything strike you as unimportant? And is there anything you've had to unlearn?

ME: I had a lot of supervision and control work, yet the most important thing was being left alone to do what came out of me with patients. When I wasn't interfered with too much, I could learn how to be with people.

I should make special mention of New Hope Guild, a private clinic in Brooklyn, New York, where I worked for many years. Not only did it give me a chance to become myself, but I met my wife there! Every week the head of the clinic, Sherman Schachter, had clinical meetings with the staff. These weekly meetings on clinical issues were important for many reasons. It gave us all a chance to hear something about what other therapists were doing and exchange feedback in an open atmosphere. I learnt a lot about complexities of dependence. The atmosphere was one of being devoted to the patient, supporting the therapist–patient relationship. There were plenty of patients waiting to be seen with all kinds of problems: masochism, acting out, anxiety, depression, paranoia, and what they called chronic schizophrenia. Character disorder was a popular category. This usually meant people so wounded and damaged they would need help possibly all life long: deep, supportive help, a kind of help, so to speak, deeper than analysis.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781782200383

Chapter 6: Faith and Catastrophe

Eigen, Michael Karnac Books ePub

Chapter Six

Faith and Catastrophe

Disaster or catastrophe must be recognized as a fundamental category of human existence. Death and debility can strike at any time. Things do not go as we want. We worry about survival. We worry about how well we will survive.

The sense of disaster permeates our beings. It runs through our bodies. It is part of the atmosphere we breathe. We are told not to be afraid, but fear is part of our equipment. We are taught from early on to lie about fear, to make believe we are not afraid, to act as if everything is normal. It is normal to feel danger as part of situations. Fear and danger can heighten sensitivity to moment-to-moment living and make us feel more alive.

Too often Freud is caricatured as imagining people ought to be untroubled pleasure-seekers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The world he portrayed was riddled with pain and sorrow, anxieties and wounds. If libido was a great river of pleasure, it met with endless obstacles. If sensitivity yielded to bliss, it was also subject to terror, injury, and rage.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490809

Appendix 4: O-grams

Eigen, Michael Karnac Books ePub

Figure 1. O-gram no. 1 (Bion, 1994b, p. 323).


Figure 2. O-gram no. 2 (Bion, 1994b, p. 325).

Bion writes favourably about the structure and function of ideograms. He quotes a book that writes of Chinese characters as poetry (1994b, p. 323). He likes the idea of opposites combined in a single image, diverse directionality in a figure. It connotes richness of experience. The ideogram-like hierarchies that he sketched I have called O-grams. Each begins or ends with O alone beneath all processes and branches above it.

In Chapter One (pp. 23–24), I wrote about some of the relationships between Bion’s O-grams and the Kabbalah and the structure of the sephirot. In O-gram no. 1, O subtends “root”, which branches off to instrument, God, stone, language, paint. From a primordial O-sense, tools, spirit, expressive materials (language, paint, stone) emerge, and from these, music, religion, sculpture, poetry, and painting. Bion quotes from Ernest Fenollosa’s work on Chinese characters, “My subject is poetry …” He gravitates towards expressive gestures, expressive needs, contact with life, and the press to mine what this contact gives rise to. In the beginning, there is O. And O gives rise to experience pressing for survival and culture, a kind of complex monism. By saying, “in the beginning”, I have already misappropriated O, which might not have beginning or end.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781910977125


Eigen, Michael Editora Karnac ePub

Da última vez, comecei dizendo que a essência da Cabala é amar a Deus com todo o seu coração, toda a sua alma, toda a sua força. A essência da Torá e a essência da Cabala a esse respeito são as mesmas. Esta é a essência: amar a Deus com todo o seu coração, toda a sua alma e força. Mencionei que isso soa como um mandamento. Você deve, você irá, você tem que. Mas é mais, você é. Amar a Deus com tudo o que você é lhe define. Você é esse amor e em relação a esse amor.

É uma descoberta. Se você faz essa descoberta, se ela acontece, se vem até você como, oh, meu Deus, eu Te amo com todo o meu coração, toda a minha alma e força, é um fato. Não é um fato vindo do exterior, mas do profundo interior. Schopenhauer diz que a música é o sonho mais profundo do mundo. Também pode-se dizer que esse sonho, essa música, expressa esse amor.

Da última vez falei do meu rabino histórico e fabular preferido, Rabino Akiva. Não vou falar muito dele hoje, mas falamos sobre sua kavannah, sua devoção e sua percepção, seu sentimento no fim da vida, quando sua pele estava sendo arrancada pelos romanos, de que finalmente ele podia dar tudo para Deus, amar a Deus com toda a sua força, com tudo o que havia nele, tudo que ele era. Em outra parte, a Bíblia diz: “amai a Deus com todo o seu coração, toda a sua alma e toda a sua mente”. Então, há uma mudança de força para mente. Elas são ambas importantes e é um desafio. Como se pode fazer isso? O que é “tudo”? O que “tudo” seria? Os rabinos dizem com a boa e a má inclinação. Amar a Deus com a boa e a má inclinações. E como seria isso?

See All Chapters

See All Chapters