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QUOTE of the DAY DR. JEFFREY SEINFELD MEMORIAL PSYCHOANALYTIC LICENSE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
Quote of the Day
~ Mothers and mothering
If you could choose your parents,... we would rather have a mother who felt a sense of guilt—at any rate who felt responsible, and felt that if things went wrong it was probably her fault—we'd rather have that than a mother who immediately turned to an outside thing to explain everything, and said it was due to the thunderstorm last night or some quite outside phenomenon and didn't take responsibility for anything. (Donald W. Winnicott)
...There is no such thing as a baby... (Donald W. Winnicott, 1975, Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis)
What does the baby see when he or she looks at the mother's face? I am suggesting that, ordinarily, what the baby sees is himself or herself. In other words the mother is looking at the baby and what she looks like is related to what she sees there. All this is too easily taken for granted. I am asking that this which is naturally done well by mothers who are caring for their babies shall not be taken for granted. I can make my point by going straight over to the case of the baby whose mother reflects her own mood or, worse still, the rigidity of her own defenses. In such a case what does the baby see? (Donald W. Winnicott, 1971, Playing and Reality)
... If a community values its children, it must cherish its mothers. (John Bowlby)
~ Childhood and Parenthood
Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them. (Jonas Salk)
Thomas Edison was a great American inventor, but not many people know that he had been expelled from school because the teachers believed that he had mental deficiencies. His mother was not ready to take it. His mother changed her son's life by lying to him. This short story tells you about the incident that changed everything in the little boy's life. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/UU8dpec9gSM
We are in the habit of saying that it was not in our power to choose the parents who were allotted to us, that they were given to us by chance. But we can choose whose children we would like to be. There are households of the noblest intellects: choose the one into which you wish to be adopted, and you will inherit not only their name but their property too. Nor will this property need to be guarded meanly or grudgingly: the more it is shared out, the greater it will become. These will offer you a path to immortality and raise you to a point from which no one is cast down. This is the only way to prolong mortality — even to convert it to immortality. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
~ Love, Loving, and Relationships
For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks… the work for which all other work is but preparation. (Rainer Maria Rilke)
And in the naked light I saw / ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking,/ people hearing without listening,/ people writing songs that voices never shared,/ no one dared/ disturb the sounds of silence. (Paul Simon, Sound of Silence)
... My stress will be on the idea of transference as a framework, in which something is always going on, where there is always movement and activity. (Betty Joseph)
~ On Wisdom and Being Human
He who has eyes to see and ears to hear becomes convinced that mortals can keep no secret. If their lips are silent, they gossip with their fingertips; betrayal forces itself through every pore. (Sigmund Freud, 1905, The Case of Hysteria)
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. (William James)
Meaning is revealed by the pattern formed and the light thus trapped - not by the structure, the carved work itself. (W.Bion, A Memoir of the Future, Book I)
Short words are best; and the old words, when short, are best of all. (Winston Churchill)
When you take a back seat consciously and deliberately in order to show others how humble you are, you are not being humble at all. True humility is something different; it is the feeling of oneness. Humility means giving joy to others. When we allow others to get joy, we feel our joy is more complete, more perfect, more divine. (Sri Chinmoy, meditation teacher)
On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only those are really alive. For they not only keep a good watch over their own lifetimes, but they annex every age to theirs. All the years that have passed before them are added to their own. Unless we are very ungrateful, all those distinguished founders of holy creeds were born for us and prepared for us a way of life. By the toil of others we are led into the presence of things which have been brought from darkness into light. ... From them you can take whatever you wish: it will not be their fault if you do not take your fill from them. What happiness, what a fine old age awaits the man who has made himself a client of these! He will have friends whose advice he can ask on the most important or the most trivial matters, whom he can consult daily about himself, who will tell him the truth without insulting him and praise him without flattery, who will offer him a pattern on which to model himself. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
Myth is neither a lie nor a confession; it is an inflection. (Roland Barthles, in Mythologies)
I therefore claim to show not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. (Claude Levi Strauss, in The Raw and the Cooked)
~ Health and Healing
Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food. (Hippocrates, 400 B.C.).
(Hippocrates, 400 B.C.).
~ Symbols and Symbolic Life
What would live in song immortally must in life first perish. (Schiller)
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. (English Proverb)
~ Science, Art, Spirituality
Psychotherapy takes place in the overlap of two areas of playing, that of the patient and that of the therapist. Psychotherapy has to do with two people playing together. The corollary of this is that where playing is not possible then the work done by the therapist is directed towards bringing the patient from a state of not being able to play into a state of being able to play. (Donald W. Winnicott)
For the scientist the formulation of questions is almost the whole thing. The answers, when found, only lead on to other questions . The nightmare of the scientist is the idea of complete knowledge. He shudders to think of such a thing. Compare this with the certainty that belongs to religion, and you will see how different science is from religion. Religion replaces doubt with certainty. Science holds an infinity of doubt, and implies a faith. Faith in what? Perhaps in nothing; just a capacity to have faith; or if there must be faith in something, then faith in the inexorable laws that govern phenomena. (Donald W. Winnicott)
The intention [of this project] is to furnish a psychology that shall be a natural science. (S. Freud, 1895, Project for a Scientific Psychology)
I am tormented by two aims: to examine what shape the theory of mental functioning takes if one introduces quantitative consideration, a sort of economics of nerve forces; and, second, to peel off from psychopathology a gain for normal psychology. (Freud, 1895, Letter to W. Fliess)
Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. (D. W. Winnicott)
To make someone love the unconscious, that is teaching art. (Anton Ehrenzweig, 1967, The Hidden Order of Art)
The more horrifying the world becomes, the more art becomes abstract. (Paul Klee)
~ Loss, Mourning, Resilience, Compassion
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)
If we could see that everything, even tragedy, is a gift in disguise, we would then find the best way to nourish the soul (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from. (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)
It is death that endows life with its deepest, most unique meaning. (Bruno Bettelheim, after Nazi concentration camp)
Unconscious wishes are always active and ready for expression whenever they find an opportunity to unite themselves with an emotion from conscious life, and that they transfer their greater intensity to the lesser intensity of the latter. (Sigmund Freud)
~ Time, Mortality, and Immortality
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
You are living as if destined to live forever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don’t notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply — though all the while that very day which you are devoting to somebody or something may be your last. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire… How late it is to begin really to live just when life must end! How stupid to forget our mortality, and put off sensible plans to our fiftieth and sixtieth years, aiming to begin life from a point at which few have arrived! (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
No activity can be successfully pursued by an individual who is preoccupied … since the mind when distracted absorbs nothing deeply, but rejects everything which is, so to speak, crammed into it. Living is the least important activity of the preoccupied man; yet there is nothing which is harder to learn… Learning how to live takes a whole life, and, which may surprise you more, it takes a whole life to learn how to die. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
Everyone hustles his life along, and is troubled by a longing for the future and weariness of the present. But the man who … organizes every day as though it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the next day… Nothing can be taken from this life, and you can only add to it as if giving to a man who is already full and satisfied food which he does not want but can hold. So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long. For suppose you should think that a man had had a long voyage who had been caught in a raging storm as he left harbor, and carried hither and thither and driven round and round in a circle by the rage of opposing winds? He did not have a long voyage, just a long tossing about. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
It is inevitable that life will be not just very short but very miserable for those who acquire by great toil what they must keep by greater toil. They achieve what they want laboriously; they possess what they have achieved anxiously; and meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return. New preoccupations take the place of the old, hope excites more hope and ambition more ambition. They do not look for an end to their misery, but simply change the reason for it. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
Indeed the state of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but the most wretched are those who are toiling not even at their own preoccupations, but must regulate their sleep by another’s, and their walk by another’s pace, and obey orders in those freest of all things, loving and hating. If such people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
I am always surprised to see some people demanding the time of others and meeting a most obliging response. Both sides have in view the reason for which the time is asked and neither regards the time itself — as if nothing there is being asked for and nothing given. They are trifling with life’s most precious commodity, being deceived because it is an intangible thing, not open to inspection and therefore reckoned very cheap — in fact, almost without any value. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
Nobody works out the value of time: men use it lavishly as if it cost nothing… We have to be more careful in preserving what will cease at an unknown point. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
No one will bring back the years; no one will restore you to yourself. Life will follow the path it began to take, and will neither reverse nor check its course. It will cause no commotion to remind you of its swiftness, but glide on quietly. It will not lengthen itself for a king’s command or a people’s favor. As it started out on its first day, so it will run on, nowhere pausing or turning aside. What will be the outcome? You have been preoccupied while life hastens on. Meanwhile death will arrive, and you have no choice in making yourself available for that.(Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
You must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow… Just as travelers are beguiled by conversation or reading or some profound meditation, and find they have arrived at their destination before they knew they were approaching it; so it is with this unceasing and extremely fast-moving journey of life, which waking or sleeping we make at the same pace — the preoccupied become aware of it only when it is over. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 1st century A.D.)
~ Visual Quotes and Metaphors
Highlights of the ORI's 21st Annual 2012 Conference on Self-Sabotage: Jungian, Kleinian, and Fairbairnian Perspectives.
Highlights of the ORI's 2011 Annual 20th Anniversary Conference on Dialectics of Mortality and Immortality: Time as a Persecutory vs. a Holding Object.
Highlights of the ORI's 2010 Annual Conference on Psychoanalysis & Spirituality
Highlights of the ORI's 2009 Annual Conference on Eroticized Demonic Object
Demon-lover Complex (part 8)
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