Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Musings

"When the satisfaction or the security of another person becomes as significant to one as is one's own satisfaction or security, then the state of love exists" (Sullivan, 1940)

“Such mutuality, however, seems clearly an ideal, not a normative practice. No matter how mature and healthy, all love relationships are characterized by periodic retreats from mutuality to self-absorption and demands for unconditional sensitivity and acceptance.” (Mitchell, 1984)

Among its other important components, I still contend that the analytic relationship is one of love. And as Mitchell notes, and Benjamin reminds us, it is almost impossibly difficult to hold for long the tension between mutual recognition and negation of the other; instead we are always falling to one side (usually negation). This realization of how easily we fall, I think, is in sharp contrast to Orange and Levinas putting the (suffering) other above ourselves, making psychoanalysis, with this impossible ideal, once again the impossible profession. I think that love might just be in the striving, not the success, to recognize the other.

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