Szasz, Laing and Antipsychiatry--Again.
Existential Analysis 2009, Jan, 20, 1
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A year before his death in August 1989, R.D. Laing was living quietly in Going, Austria, when he confided the following dream to his friend and follower, Theodor Itten. He dreamt that he is in a football (soccer) match, and that he is "both sides." The match only ends when the game "turns into a dance." As guest editor of the journal in which Itten's recollections were first published (Janus Head 4.1), I played small part in bringing this dream fragment to public attention, and in retrospect, am glad I did. It struck me then that this brief oeneric interlude sums up many of the vexing, sometimes tragic contradictions in Laing's life, but gave them a playful, indeed joyous resolution. Why? Because in the dream (as reported to Itten), Laing did not identify with any individual player or team member, i.e. a captain or a goal keeper. Nor did he adopt a corporate identity, becoming one team as opposed to the other. Instead, he conveyed the impression that in some sense, he was everybody, on both sides, and probably implicated in the action, the game itself ^ i.e. the offensive and defensive maneuvers from both sides of the field, which turned from being an adversarial contest into a dance (Itten, 2001). Unfortunately, beyond identifying it as a football match, Laing did not describe the visual palette of the dream, nor report on the affect that accompanied it. Finally, he left no "free associations" by means of which we could interpret it, and resolve the obvious questions it begs. "Well, Ronnie, if you are both sides, then the whole notion of winning becomes moot, doesn't it? If you are both sides, then no one wins or everyone wins." Correct?
- 2,99 €
- Category: Psychology
- Published: 01 January 2009
- Publisher: Society for Existential Analysis
- Print Length: 12 Pages
- Language: English