The Broken Connection: On Death and the Continuity of Life

The Broken Connection: On Death and the Continuity of Life

The Broken Connection: On Death and the Continuity of Life

The Broken Connection: On Death and the Continuity of Life

Excerpt

We live on images. As human beings we know our bodies and our minds only through what we can imagine. To grasp our humanity we need to structure these images into metaphors and models. Writers, artists, and visionaries have always known this--as have philosophers and scientists in other ways. Depth psychologists, however, take on the special and perhaps impossible task of bringing order to this dazzling array of images and the equally impressive range of feelings associated with them.

To create this order, psychologists and social theorists make their own choices of models or paradigms. We, too, require prior structures that seem relatively reliable as guides and maps to the terrain of imagery and feeling. In other words, psychologists do not simply interpret or analyze; we also construct; we engage in our own struggles around form. We are much concerned with narrative, and we inevitably contribute to the narrative of whatever life we examine.

But something has gone seriously wrong with everyone's images and models. When we invoke God and the devil, dialectical materialism and the perfectibility of man, or libido and death instinct, we perceive something familiar and perhaps explanatory or even moving--but these images rarely lead to an exhilarating sense of illumination or truth. We have difficulty seeing ourselves and our experienced work in the models handed down to us. At the same time we feel nagged if not threatened by a new wave of millennial imagery--of killing, dying, and destroying on a scale so great as to end the human narrative. We sense that our models should address that threat, but we do not know just how.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.