CHAPTER VI

Complementary identity

Rabbi Kabia (in Roman captivity) to his favourite pupil, Simeon ben Yochai: ‘My son, more than a calf wishes to suck, does the cow yearn to suckle?

In accounts of experience and action in imagination, dream, and phantasy, it is always necessary to extend our account explicitly or by implication to a whole ‘nexus’ of others, imaginary, dreamed, phantasied, or ‘real’. I shall try to bring the relation between these others and self into sharper relief.

The most significant theoretical and methodological development in the psychiatry of the last two decades is, in my view, the growing dissatisfaction with any theory or study of the individual which isolates him from his context. Efforts have been made from different angles to remedy this position. One may note, however, that there are formidable pitfalls. A schema may falsely fragment reality. There is a distinction between fragmentation that does violence to personal reality, and a legitimate analysis of one aspect of a situation at a time. One does not wish to sever ‘mind’ and ‘body’, ‘psychic’ and ‘physical’. One must not treat ‘persons’ as ‘animals’ or ‘things’, but one would be foolish to try to disrupt man from his relation to other creatures and from the matter that is his matrix. It is immensely difficult not to subject unwittingly F

-65-

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Self and Others
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to Second Edition ix
  • Preface to First Edition xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Part One - Modes of Interpersonal Experience 1
  • Chapter I - Phantasy and Experience 3
  • Chapter II - Phantasy and Communication 18
  • Chapter III - Pretence and Elusion 29
  • Chapter IV - The Counterpoint of Experience 39
  • Chapter V - The Coldness of Death 53
  • Part Two - Forms of Interpersonal Action 63
  • Chapter VI - Complementary Identity 65
  • Chapter VII - Confirmation and Disconfirmation 81
  • Chapter VIII - Collusion 90
  • Chapter IX - False and Untenable Positions 107
  • Chapter X - Attributions and Injunctions 132
  • Appendix 154
  • Selected Bibliography 161
  • Index 165
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