We have claimed that war is always with us, that war nightmares and fantasies do not obey the time-and-space rules of the real world of political events. Yet, when I follow the record of my work from 1970 onward, transcripts of sessions that deal with the experiences of war and their immediate outcomes, these records seem to be drastically divided by a time line -- before and after the sudden alarm sounded on the quiet noon of Saturday, Yom Kippur 1973. Before, war and its effects occupied the minds of a few people, mostly as a symbol of their own inner struggle; after, war became one of the dominant themes in the groups -- war as expressed in the threat of injury, death, and mourning.
The remaining sections of this part of the book will be presented chronologically, thus underlining the profound effects of time and external events on the issues preoccupying the members of the groups.
This section begins in the spring of 1972. The year has been a relatively calm one. We all live in the atmosphere of victory and security gained by the Six-Day War. There is no mention of war in the groups. People come and go; some miss sessions due to reserve duty, but this is regarded as part of the normal rhythm of our life. In this atmosphere, Natan describes the stretching time, the blank state of mind of being continuously half-asleep while on a long period of reserve duty in the desert. He vividly presents the group with the antithesis of the alert soldier. Michal reacts, saying: "To think of you as you just