I’ve been thinking recently about psychoanalyses and it’s practice. I’ve been wondering how those fellows think they can see through someone’s outer shell as though it were composed of clear glass. That they figure they can view the workings of the mind, heart and soul functioning and ticking away like the wheels and inner mechanisms of a large clock; what an odd concept.
Seems to me you can live close and personal with someone for a lifetime and still be surprised by their ever changing thoughts, moods, hopes, fears, joys and pains.
A few pages of knowledgeable sounding scientific terms and diagnosis do not fully describe, analyze, encapsulate and wrap up in a bow an individual’s life.
This, for that matter, may also be the case for an animal’s life, his desires, experiences and joys.
So lets say I was a psychoanalyst who claimed to have successfully analyzed my friend Woofie. His report might read somewhat like...
“It turns out this patient has a dual personality split between two opposite extremes. One side is composed of being a sweet, loving household pet and companion. The other is of being a wild, carefree animal, free as the wind wanting to roam the countryside seeking adventure around every corner and over each new hill.
He is aware of both personality types and their associated conflicts so he tries his best to keep the wild and wooly Woofie in check until we are off on our morning run. But at times he finds it difficult in returning to a tame, compliant and obedient pet again.
As a therapist I must admit that I, and probably a great many others, sometimes feel similar inclinations.
I especially felt the call of the wild as a kid. At times I thought: why live in houses, go to school, wear clothes and be the very same as all the other trained humans?
But I kept those thoughts mainly to myself, especially around adults.
Personal freedom, self determinism and individuality are frowned upon in so many areas of our society such as education, the corporate world and military. Their views seem to be that human zest, enthusiasm and creativity need to be hammered down, programed and molded into identical units. Cogs in a machine you could say.
Well this is a surprising development. As a psychoanalyst, with these thoughts and ideas I somehow appear to being swayed from my firm beliefs of fitting in, adapting to society and one’s environment and so advancing civilization. Where are these strange and alien influences coming from?
However, on my animal side I’m thinking: who needs civilization, higher education, indoctrination and the thousands of years we’ve spent sinking into this unnatural robotic life of conformity and slavery?
We were born to be free, to taste, savor, experience and enjoy life. Lets run with the deer, soar with the birds, swim jump and play with the dolphins, living life as we were meant to.
Oh my. Where is my objective viewpoint? I find myself in this awful dilemma here. I’m afraid this split dual personality may be contagious. It seems to be affecting my professional scientific judgment. You could almost say it’s bringing out the animal in me!
What if more people felt this way? What would become of our training, dedication and never-ending efforts, our polite societies of well mannered ladies and gentlemen, fashion, protocol, traditional social rituals - our whole world?
Coming back to this specific case, I most sincerely regret that I must revise my opinion of it being a successful conclusion. In fact I tend to question who has been psychoanalyzing whom in this quite bizarre occurrence.
Perhaps it could have been a major mistake for me to venture into the animal kingdom with this therapy in the first place.
At this point and time I wish to suggest that we refrain from any further similar experiments outside of our own species.
In fact, with this being such a highly sensitive and dangerous avenue to pursue, I hereby suggest that we delete all records, reports, and documentation of the above for the good of our professional practice, civilization, species and general wellbeing.
We must maintain order.
Please ignore, delete and destroy all of the above information.
You never read this.
No such record exists.”
Dan O’Connor can be reached at email@example.com