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Twenty-Second Sitting Or if they repeat.

Ahhh! (That was a pleasant, good morning ahhh, not an ahhh I must implode now.) It is a beautiful morning (or afternoon or something) of a beautiful day, and I don't completely remember what happened last night, as my handwriting is too messy for me to read. I'm going over the little chart now, the one that I have written on the back of the envelope containing the letter She most recently sent, which lists all the various days of my visit and the major events that occurred on them. Perhaps I should just publish this in lieu of the book itself; it is much shorter and has a friendly bus-schedule-like quality. Obviously some major archetypal material there.

As I'm feeling actually sane for the moment, and nothing's grabbing my attention from said chart, I guess I should talk about Jung a bit, maybe so as to set just a bit of actual sort-of scholarly grounding behind the symbolic effluvia introduced early on in this book but not yet raised to mythological status over this part of the story. This should, or might in some diseased fantasy world, provide some direction and structure and all for the rest of the book, thereby providing it a last meal of sorts (consisting mostly of Saltines). Okay, okay. Now, first off, don't get me wrong: I'm not a "Jungian." I mean, I've got to say that while I find Jung to be a most wise and sensible fellow, I find most Jungians to be basically stupid. So there's that. Anyone who knows anything about Jung's actual therapeutic goals, though, should be able to see that they accord quite a bit with what has been advocated here. To be healthy, says He, is to be "whole," whatever that means. So if in fact you are a smelly DOG who wants to devour the world, then damn it you can't just pretend you aren't; you can't convince yourself that you love everyone and be virtuous in all thought and deed. "Irritability, bad moods, and outbursts of affect are classic symptoms of chronic virtuousness." (p. 625) "...in the unconscious is everything that has been rejected by consciousness." (p. 615) What this means is that if you're a DOG, and you refuse to in any way be a DOG, then you'll end up more completely DOGlike, because these undesirables will come out in ways that you won't be able to control. My dreams, if I must tell you, are, on the whole, pretty mundane, except for... no, I can't tell you yet about my teeth. The point is that I don't dream about killing Him with sharp spikes, okay? But He, on His moral high horse alleging (so I hear) that there is no integrity in what I'm doing, what does He dream about? I'm frankly too scared to call Him up and ask.

But enough stupid, inept counter-pseudo-moralizing on my part. There's another part to this Jung-thing. Completeness is basically a healthy thing, meaning that it's a "purpose" that we as human beings "inevitably" have, or should have, or would have if we had a clue, but there's also the more commonly held ideal of perfection. Now the reason I downplay this here, the reason I purposely don't edit key sections, the reason I don't take out the long boring parts of this book to make it more concise and worthwhile per page to read, is because it was such a pervasive (and kind of destructive) motivating force in my youth, one that needed to be balanced out. It's quite possible that I've tilted too far the other way at this point; it's far too easy for me in producing a product of any kind to stray from my original intentions and pronounce the result not as a failure but as a success in some different goal. So while I understand the origin of the concept of perfection, i.e. some things are better for some purposes than others, and you can imagine some even better, and better, etc., I don't fully understand it as a motivating factor anymore; it seems a lame empty abstraction. I mean, if you want your room clean, maybe you'd want it perfectly clean, but in setting yourself to the extreme task you'd be violating the context in which your original desire arose, e.g. you want your room clean so as to keep clutter from distracting you from the projects you've taken on. So as soon as you spend too much time cleaning...

She, on the other hand, can't fully understand what I'm talking about with completeness, or how that contrasts with doing everything you do as well as you can possibly do it. I'm not even sure I can depict her problems with the concept, because I don't fully understand her point of view. But let's just say there is a contrast and draw a connection to my competing advice to RELAX yet to, well, not relax, to get moving and fulfill whatever purposes you have by whatever happenstance picked up. The point of relaxing is to free oneself from a certain conception of something as a problem or threat, which is what (usually) causes tension. So you gain a little distance, see the other side of the issue, gain proper ambivalence, and all is right with the world. Obviously the drive to perfection, the motivation to really do something all the way, involves at least a temporary suppression of outlooks depicting the desired goal as shit. So there you are.

So says Jung (p. 561): "...Completeness,... though imperfect by itself, forms the necessary counterpart to perfection. For, just as completeness is always imperfect, so perfection is always incomplete, and therefore represents a final state which is hopelessly sterile. `Ex perfecto nihil fit,' say the old masters, whereas the imperfectum carries within it the seeds of its own improvement. Perfectionism always ends in a blind alley, while completeness by itself lacks selective values."

No, I don't know Latin either. Whatever. So if I'm in the mood I can justify why She and I are perfect for each other by reducing us to each being dominated by one of these basically incompatible but nonetheless complimentary goals. Of course, if I do this around Her, She refuses to fit into such a small compartment and makes me defend myself until it ceases to be worth it. Ah, My Love.

So what I'm doing in this section of the book, the kind of therapy I'm putting myself through to return to this stuff which undoubtedly had a great deal of effect on Me, but which out of fear of being totally psycho-lonely-suicidally depressed I've buried away in memory somewhat, what I'm doing is trying to, well, maybe, get so I can cope in such a way as to do right to both complimentary goals, to become whole unto myself without maybe requiring that I leap off into either Great Beyond. This requires converting the necessary Crud into Tripe, getting an attitude towards romance and culture and religion that is neither the bunk I was entrained with nor the pissy reaction of disillusionment. So I must spout: if It's all right there in front of Me; if I've really got My Own "whole story," then I should be able to come to terms with things (after the appropriate catharsis) and bounce back, ready to perfect myself in being an energetic, harmonious, cheerful, and otherwise cool guy. And then I can bamboozle my way into a high paying job that requires Me to do nothing but be My wonderful Self, and I'm set. Foody for Marky, yeah, Man! If She dies, buy Yourself another, yee haw. Upgrade even.

See, obviously I haven't yet reached the height of sensitivity, and am certainly much more out of touch with myself than, say, 100 pages back or so. Therefore, I just can't end the book quite yet, though I tell you you're free to pretend it's over and WALK OUT ON ME LIKE THE CALLOUS, SELF-ABSORBED BITCH/BASTARD (to be gender-cautious in my insults) YOU ARE. Ah, projection is a lovely thing. Now excuse Me while I go incorporate more objects as part of my ever-swelling SELF (i.e. I must eat). The waste matter will of course be deposited on these pages.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]