05/22/2019, 11:34, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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An Unexpected Essay (Part I)

Author: Nicholas Fox Weber


When a lay person is psychoanalyzed, one of the astonishing surprises is the discovery of the unpredictable way that things happen. You professionals may say that sequences of thoughts and events are, in fact, predictable, or at least understandable, or, if neither of those, analyzable. But those of us who think we are doing unusually well simply when we have sufficient cognition to deduce that, if our opponent at tennis hits a deft drop shot over the net, deliberately manipulating it to fall softly at the front of the forecourt, we have to run like hell in order to reach the ball and still have a chance to win the point, are far less apt to know in our everyday lives why one event or feeling has led to another. If some further intuitive recognition of cause and effect inspires us to return the taunting drop shot at a sharp angle and win the point, we are surprised to discover ourselves that much more astute. We laypeople, you see, are unlikely to know why we respond as we do to a lot in our lives. The reasons for reactions more profound than those in a game of tennis elude us.

You ask, perhaps, why my analogy is coming from tennis. It is above all from your questions, at least in my experience, that those of us who believe in the analytic process make the greatest progress. We will get to the tennis issue later.

When I say “a lay person,” I mean people like me, one of those highly educated, sufficiently fortunate, neurotic individuals who chooses to be psychoanalyzed in the most traditional sense of the word. To amplify on what that sentence means, I will explain my own particularities to you.

Let’s start with “highly educated”:...

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