Foundations > Irrationality and The Unconscious

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Ellen-Marie’s rough for Radiance
Ellen-Marie’s rough for Radiance
Ian’s rough for Tides
Ian’s rough for Tides
 
 
A model of human behaviour in which everyone steadily pursued their self-interest in an objective and enlightened manner would, I fear, be so imprecise as to be useless. The truth is that, in public as in private life, we continually come up against instances of people acting against their own best interests. Let us explore some examples. My daughter phoned recently to say that she had had to revise her holiday plans after finding that she had locked herself out of her flat, her spare keys being with her boyfriend several hundred miles away, and herself having been forced to stay with a friend.

Reason goes no further than to explain such an event in terms of distraction, loss of concentration, fatigue, overwork etc. A synchronous approach, however, at once asks two questions: why did the tiredness etc manifest in this way, rather than one of a hundred others? And: what is the symbolic significance of such a situation? Notice the two assumptions which underpin this response. First, the belief that nothing is random – i.e., that a significant (as against trivial) event such as locking oneself out of one’s house means something; the act has a message for its perpetrator. Second, that to grasp that meaning, one has to understand the symbolism of the elements involved: the key, the home. Nor can one simply read the symbolic meaning of dream elements from a dictionary of symbols. To do so would be to attempt to intrude the rationalist’s method, whereas it is the intuitive’s which is needed. On the contrary – we must treat each situation as unique. What we need is a good intuition about what is involved, not a good dictionary.
 
 
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