Stuff that dreams are made of

2.03: The Economy of Ideas

Last line from the JPB item linked before:

And finally, in the years to come, most human exchange will be virtual rather than physical, consisting not of stuff but the stuff of which dreams are made. Our future business will be conducted in a world made more of verbs than nouns.

Stuff that dreams are made of… there is the clue… to psyberspace.

BUT… Information is as much a real product as material goods – it arises not only out of dreams but hard work. I think it un-psychological to not see the real thing and then to see into it imaginatively. It is particularly skewed to selectively imagine.

That is central to my whole way of doing therapy. It goes back to the “seduction theory”. Must dig up an article I wrote on that. To put it simply: just because it really happened does not mean we should neglect our dreams.

One thing I loved about this article is the opening quote from Jefferson. JPB certainly found the right bit to quote.

Movie: A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

“Plot Outline: John Nash, diagnosed as paranoid-schizophrenic, goes on to win a Nobel Prize for work on game theory.”

Warning: Spoilers ahead:

Of course I was entertained. That said, this is the second time in a short time I have seen such a form of inner aggression in the name of a psychological solution on the screen. Fight Club was the other movie – similar in concept.

The characters in John Nash’s psyche (as shown in the movie) had little connection with his own history and dynamics. In a way his isolation in the outside world spills into his inner life and in the name of sanity he treats his inner child, except for one parting moment, not unlike his own real son – with neglect.

As a therapist I have worked with people with similar dynamics. It is almost a law of the inner world that these characters have good intentions poorly executed. Role reversal and re-education can make them effective players in the soul.

So, I found it less than satisfying that these potentially interesting and rich aspects of the psyche – the best friend, the inner child, and the great protector were all dismissed as having no value.

It is a folly to interpret the symbolic as literal. Are there hidden codes in magazines? Are they dangerous? Yes. The consumer society promoted in the magazines kills people. He was not so silly really! A case of category confusion.

On the positive side, Nash’s solution was far better than the one the psychiatric system was trying to impose. Still, I would have liked to have been his therapist!

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa . [dead] . Now

“Most probably it was Sigmund Freud’s influential essay on Leonardo’s homosexuality and Freud’s consequential analysis of the Mona Lisa which was the direct or proximate impetus for Duchamp’s image. But, whereas Duchamp seems to imply that the picture fuses artist and sitter, male and female, Freud suggests that the Mona Lisa (specifically her smile) is a manifestation of Leonardo’s submerged memory of the birth mother from whom he was estranged at age four and who Freud theorizes expressed an unnatural affection toward her young son. In fact, Freud refutes the notion that there is a physiognomic similarity between the artist and the sitter, but goes on to suggest that the device of the smile was obviously so meaningful to the artist, using it frequently in his works of the time, it must have repressed significance. The person behind the Mona Lisa, Freud suggests, may have had such a smile, a smile that evoked long ago suppressed memories of his mother. Indeed, as Freud is quick to point out, this seems to have been a persistent theme: Vasari even noted that at the earliest age Leonardo was known for having created images of smiling women:

Let us leave the physiognomic riddle of Mona Lisa unsolved, and let us note the unequivocal fact that her smile fascinated the artist no less than all spectators for these 400 years. This captivating smile had thereafter returned in all of his pictures and in those of his pupils. As Leonardo’s Mona Lisa was a portrait, we cannot assume that he has added to her face a trait of his own, so difficult to express, which she herself did not possess. It seems, we cannot help but believe, that he found this smile in his model and became so charmed by it that from now on he endowed it on all the free creations of his phantasy.

“(Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci: A study in psychosexuality. tr. A.A. Brill. New York, Vintage Books, [1955] Originally published by Freud in 1910, p. 79.)”

Psychotherapy Online with Walter Logeman

Psychotherapy Online with Walter Logeman

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