Missing Out – In praise of the unlived life.

ID-10036688

         Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

             by Adam Phillips,

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2012,     page 29 of 204   

“We need to bear with, to know about, our frustrations not simply to secure our satisfactions but to sustain our sense of reality.  In the psychoanalytic story, if we don’t feel frustration we don’t need reality; if we don’t feel frustration we don’t discover whether we have the wherewithal to deal with reality.  People become real to us by frustrating us; if they don’t frustrate us they are merely figures of fantasy.  The story says something like:  if other people frustrate us the right amount, they become real to us, that is, people with whom we can exchange something; if they frustrate us too much, they become too real, that is, persecutory people we have to do harm to; if they frustrate us too little, they become idealized, imaginary characters, the people of our wishes; if they frustrate us too much, they become demonized, the people of our nightmares.  And these, we might say, are two ways of murdering the world:  making it impotent or making it unreal.  If this was quantifiable we would say that the good life proposed by psychoanalysis is one in which there is just the right amount of frustration.  It is, however, rather like Lear’s kingdom, not quantifiable.  But it seems as though it is all the wrong kinds of frustration that make our lives what they are; that so much depends on what each of us makes of the too much and the too little we get.  As Lear says, ‘The art of our necessities is strange’ (III.2).  There are tragic solutions to frustration.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s