Monday, October 22, 2012

Anniversary Month


It has been 8 years I found out this outlet to my deviated brain. I had started it way before I gave therapy a shot, quit drinking, began doing pilates, had my first tattoo done, and adopted my first cat. Nobody can stop me, but me. First time ever being sued. Ha! Have been actually sued twice this year. I am no longer being assisted by a therapist and this is it. This is the moment I have to deal with these matters all by myself. 

Or do I? Adulthood is a drag. When I was a kid, I could predict that: I had never wanted to grow up. I avoid this process, anyway. How? I am simply NOT an adult. I am not quite sure whether I am a human being at all as it is hard to believe that people can be mischievous and self-seeking. I am not ready to understand that and I don't want to ever be. What to do in order not to give in, then? Well, if I knew the answer, I'd be considered a guru. 


I have majored in psychology in order to at least grasp humans as they are... oh man, how hard this is to figure out. At least, I am not down in the dumps like I used to be. I was weak and now I am plain. Neither weak, nor strong. Just plain. Whatever that means, I am not giving in. The answer is NO. 


I sometimes question my ability in writing in a language that is not my mother tongue. I pretty much grew up without a mother figure, metaphorically speaking. If she reads this, she'll get mad or disappointed or even both. However, I grew up with a tongue. My skills to orally express myself is rather frail. Hence, this blog. 


There will be more years constructing and destroying this spot on the web based on me and nobody else. Can't tell for sure whether this is working to anyone but it is working for me. Long live my Pawnshop!



Let me republish my very first entry of this blog: 


My dream future is happening right now, just as I speak (or blog). The world may become one nation while I am here trying to prepare myself to understand, be part of, and survive in this historical moment. My writings have become my instrument to conquer my space. I have seen many things in life, but not everything that there is to see. This is what brought me to this practice; the possibility of learning how to play this instrument (writing) accurately and sophisticatedly. I've always believed that writing allows one to live different experiences, breathe in distant drafts, and step on exotic soils. Writing is so powerful. Besides, I am enchanted with this media technology called webblogs. Blogs are useful reading because it is a language that entertains, amuses, and even teaches about new places, cultures, and other people's ways to see life through without killing the magic of the moment. Here, you'll read old letters I received, past emails sent, school and college projects that made me proud of my 3.8 GPA, my mad poems which will be part of a "maybe-book" named THE PAWNSHOP (got the picture?), and other epiphanies. Through my writings, I have gotten the capacity to organize this whole wide world, to plan the chaos, and give meaning to all facts in my life.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

MONDAY TEST

Transference

Transference is a phenomenon characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another. One definition of transference is "the inappropriate repetition in the present of a relationship that was important in a person's childhood." Another definition is "the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object."Still another definition is "a reproduction of emotions relating to repressed experiences, especially of childhood, and the substitution of another person ... for the original object of the repressed impulses." Transference was first described by Sigmund Freud, who acknowledged its importance for psychoanalysis for better understanding of the patient's feelings.

Occurrence

It is common for people to transfer feelings from their parents to their partners or children (i.e., cross-generational entanglements). For instance, one could mistrust somebody who resembles an ex-spouse in manners, voice, or external appearance; or be overly compliant to someone who resembles a childhood friend.
In The Psychology of the Transference, Carl Jung states that within the transference dyad both participants typically experience a variety of opposites, that in love and in psychological growth, the key to success is the ability to endure the tension of the opposites without abandoning the process, and that this tension allows one to grow and to transform.
Only in a personally or socially harmful context can transference be described as a pathological issue. A modern, social-cognitive perspective on transference, uncovered by Dr. Susan Andersen at New York University, explains how it occurs in everyday life. When we encounter a person who reminds us of someone whom we do or did like and who is or was important to us, we infer, unconsciously, that this person is indeed like our significant other (whether a lover, friend, relative, or other person). Myriad effects arise from this, including inferring that traits belong to the new person that in fact belong to our significant other. This perspective has generated a wealth of research that illuminated how we tend to repeat relationship patterns from the past in the present.
A specific theory of transference in cases of abuse, known as AMT (Abusive Multiple Transference) has been suggested by David W. Bernstein, in which abusers not only transfer negative feelings directed towards their former abusers to their own victims, but also transfer the power and dominance of the former abusers to themselves. An example is the serial killer Carroll Cole. While his father was away in World War II, Cole's mother engaged in several extramarital affairs, forcing Cole to watch. She later beat him to ensure that he would not alert his father. Cole would later come to murder many women whom he considered "loose", and those in general who reminded him of his mother.

Transference and countertransference during psychotherapy

In a therapy context, transference refers to redirection of a patient's feelings for a significant person to the therapist. Transference is often manifested as an erotic attraction towards a therapist, but can be seen in many other forms such as rage, hatred, mistrust, parentification, extreme dependence, or even placing the therapist in a god-like or guru status. When Freud initially encountered transference in his therapy with patients, he felt it was an obstacle to treatment success. But what he learned was that the analysis of the transference was actually the work that needed to be done.The focus in psychodynamic psychotherapy is, in large part, the therapist and patient recognizing the transference relationship and exploring the relationship's meaning. Since the transference between patient and therapist happens on an unconscious level, psychodynamic therapists who are largely concerned with a patient's unconscious material use the transference to reveal unresolved conflicts patients have with childhood figures.
Countertransference is defined as redirection of a therapist's feelings toward a patient, or more generally, as a therapist's emotional entanglement with a patient. A therapist's attunement to their own countertransference is nearly as critical as understanding the transference. Not only does this help therapists regulate their emotions in the therapeutic relationship, but it also gives therapists valuable insight into what patients are attempting to elicit in them. For example, a therapist who is sexually attracted to a patient must understand the countertransference aspect (if any) of the attraction, and look at how the patient might be eliciting this attraction. Once any countertransference aspect has been identified, the therapist can ask the patient what his or her feelings are toward the therapist, and can explore how those feelings relate to unconscious motivations, desires, or fears.
Another contrasting perspective on transference and countertransference is offered in Classical Adlerian psychotherapy. Rather than using the patient's transference strategically in therapy, the positive or negative transference is diplomatically pointed out and explained as an obstacle to cooperation and improvement. For the therapist, any signs of countertransference would suggest that his or her own personal training analysis needs to be continued to overcome these tendencies.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

by Maurice Merleau-Ponty

The Philosophy Of Language 

Before tracing this development in more detail, we must consider Merleau-Ponty's conception of Language. In The Structure of Behavior we have seen that the human order is characterized by its ability to disengage itself from a concrete situation. This is a movement toward language, but the theme of language as such is not developed in this work. It is in the chapter entitled “The Body as Expression and Speech” in the Phenomenology of Perception that he begins his critique of both the empiricist and the intellectualist conceptions of language. This critique is organized by Merleau-Ponty's insisting that “the word has a meaning” (PP, 177). Whereas for a consistent behaviorist, words are a response caused by a stimulus and, therefore, they have causes but they do not have meanings. In this respect, Merleau-Ponty claims that for the behaviorist, a man speaks as a lightbulb becomes incandescent, that is, without having any idea of why. On the other hand, he criticizes the intellectualist conception of language, according to which language is an envelope of thought. It is something that is added on to thought in order to make my inner ideas communicable to others; this communicability is accomplished by my adopting a certain linguistic convention. In this conception of language, there is indeed a subject and meaning, however, it is a ‘thinking subject’ and not a ‘speaking subject’. In the thought of Merleau-Ponty, speech does not simply transmit thought, rather it accomplishes, or completes, it. Nonetheless, he does not identify thought and language. He evokes those experiences in which we “cannot quite find the word” as also instances in which the thought itself remains incomplete. A very multilingual friend who uses four languages in the course of an ordinary day--one with her husband, another with her child, another in the street and yet another at work--told me that there are times when upon waking she cannot quite identify the toaster, that is, until she has first situated herself in one linguistic universe.

 Merleau-Ponty argues that it is not adequate to say that speech indicates thought “as smoke betrays fire” (PP, 182) since this would be the case only if both thought and word were given as external to one another. In fact, he claims that thought and word are intertwined. Speech is not the clothing of thought, rather it is its body. Let us note in passing that Merleau-Ponty opposed himself to Husserl's separation of “expression and indication,” long before Derrida did so in his Speech and Phenomena. Merleau-Ponty elaborates a gestural theory of language. According to him, when I speak, “I reach back for the word, as my hand reaches toward a part of my body which is being pricked; the word has a certain location in my linguistic world and is a part of my equipment” (PP, 180). To speak is to make a gesture in one direction of my linguistic world. Immediately a difficulty emerges. It is clear that I can gesture, or point, to a tree in the visual world, a world which is shared intersubjectively. However, there is not only one given linguistic world. Nevertheless, Merleau-Ponty argues that there is a shared linguistic world, one that is the product of a sedimentation; it is the sedimentation of an intersubjective practice. This shared linguistic world exists not as the natural world, but rather as what Hegel refers to as “objective spirit.” It is an institution at the interior of which one can, indeed, gesture in the direction of a word and be understood. Merleau-Ponty insists that when I understand another's speech, I do not somehow reproduce, in my own mind, his mental processes. Nevertheless, if there is an institution, then it must institutionalize something. He writes: “Our view of man will remain superficial so long as we fail to go back to that origin, so long as we fail to find, beneath the chatter of words, the primordial silence, and so long as we do not describe the action which breaks the silence. The spoken word is a gesture, and its meaning the world” (PP, 184).

When I am speaking, I avail myself of already constituted meanings. We must ask from where do these meanings come? Here Merleau-Ponty makes the distinction between a spoken language and a speaking language. The spoken language is the sedimentated world of acquired linguistic meanings that I have at my disposal. Whereas the speaking language is the expressive gesture which engenders language. He is not, however, proposing an onomatopoeic conception of the origin of language. The “original” speech does not sound like what it signifies; rather it expresses the emotional essence of our encounter with the world. We speak as we sing when we are happy. To speak is to sing the world in a melody of words. Merleau-Ponty does not accept the position that the relationship between the word and what it signifies is arbitrary; he views this relationship as being “motivated.”

But if this is the case, then how does he account for the diversity of languages? He argues that because different cultures experience the world differently, the differences of language correspond to their different emotional experiences of the world. “It is no more natural and no less conventional to shout in anger, to kiss in love, than to call a table a table” (PP, 189). His thought does not argue for a natural level of behavior upon which is superimposed an artificial, or cultural, convention. As The Structure of Behavior has shown us, the “lower” and the “higher” are not simply juxtaposed. There is, rather, a relationship of dialectical sublation between them, in such a way that everything in man is both natural and conventional, “through a genius for ambiguity, which might serve to define man” (PP, 189). The speaking language, so important for poetry, sedimentates into a spoken language; this spoken language, having lost track of its origin in an expressive experience, can give rise to the illusion that language is a purely conventional system which externalizes our “inner thoughts.” We might remark in passing that the tone of Merleau-Ponty's discussion of the “spoken language” differs sharply from the discussion of “inauthentic language” (Gerede) in Heidegger's Being and Time, where it has a distinctly negative tone, a superficiality, a flittering from one thing to the next, and so forth. For Merleau-Ponty it is simply the acquired system of meaning, without which no culture could exist. In general, when Merleau-Ponty discusses the anonymous ‘subject’ of perception, the one (on) which would translate the German Man, there is no sense of fallenness or inauthenticity. Rather it signifies either the perceiver's attachment to nature, or the speaker's (no matter how innovative the discourse) attachment to a cultural tradition. In some sense, even James Joyce does write in the English language. There is no pathos connected to Merleau-Ponty's discussion of anonymity.

Source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/merleau-ponty/

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nobody can stop me, but me. First time ever being sued. Ha! Have being actually sued twice this year. I am no longer being assisted by a therapist and this is it. This is the moment I have to deal with these matters all by myself. Or do I? Adulthood is a drag. When I was a kid, I could predict that: I had never wanted to grow up. I avoid this process, anyway. How? I am simply NOT an adult. I am not quite sure whether I am a human being at all as it is hard to believe that people can be mischievous and self-seeking. I am not ready to understand that and I don't want ever to be. What to do in order not to give in, then? Well, if I knew the answer, I'd be considered a guru. I have majored in psychology in order to at least grasp humans as they are... oh man, how hard this is to figure out. At least, I am not down in the dumps like I used to be. I was weak and now I am plain. Neither weak, nor strong. Just plain. Whatever that means, I am not giving in. The answer is NO.

Animal Collective - Daily Routine (Hills can Sea)