A panel presentation and discussion with the faculty of The New School for Analytical Psychology
Our discipline as a whole is grossly unprepared to deal with the uncertainties and symbolic misery of our globalized times–an exhaustion that depletes our culture’s capacity to create a sense of a meaningful future. On another level, we as solitary practitioners struggle to bear and embrace the absoluteness of not-knowing in the face of shared suffering, anxiety and the many defenses erected against it, both within our patients and ourselves. The desperate chorus of the ‘need to know’ is deafening and deadening.
These brief vignettes by the New School faculty are our own unique and differing reflections on this vast and challenging problem. Each in their own way will touch upon the psychoanalytic ethos and how its relevance today may offer us a way forward in these precarious and uncertain times.
“We largely live like the inmates of Plato’s Cave. What simulacra of meaning enthrall us, making us willing prisoners who ignore our ignorance?”
“I am interested in the subversive notion of psychoanalytic action amidst impossible global realities where there is no agency on which we can rely. Influenced by the work of Walter Benjamin and Slavoj Žižek, I will use the example of collective action that arose in a local mental health community when faced with the horror of the AIDS epidemic where each of us had to think radically on our feet in response to a terrifying and impossible demand.”
Robin McCoy Brooks
“I glimpse the un-knowable from what it is not–fierce denial and dread of death; the narcissistic currents that appropriate the uniqueness of the other, pervading both the culture and individual. Shattered by loss or tragedy, the shame of the ‘objective gaze’ may unconceal within the subject that which he cannot see in himself.”
“In the face of the Other, the psychoanalyst experiences a semiosis of nausea, vertigo, tenderness, and shame that we defensively try to capture in a coherent hermeneutical narrative. I will discuss how Laplanche’s anti-hermeneutics offers a support for ethical praxis while bearing the Other’s trauma”
Sharon R. Green