The Self in Transformation: Psychoanalysis, Philosophy, & the Life of the Spirit

By Herbert Fingarette | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
THE CONSUMMATORY PHASE:
Mystic Selflessness

I

THE ACCEPTANCE OF GUILT AND THE ASSUMPTION OF RESPONsibility lead to a new mode of spiritual existence. We have seen that this involves a reorganization of psychic structure and function, a transformation of the Self and of the relationships with the world. In practice, only a limited area of life and of the psyche are thus transformed. There are always unexplored areas remaining into which one could, at least in principle, extend the arena of insight, responsibility, and transformation. Moreover, the phaselike retrogression and progression of the "working-through" process is a lengthy and yet a necessary labor if the areas already opened up are to be made secure and if they are to be cultivated so that the new roots grow deep. Psychoanalysis, as Freud said, is terminated in practice but is interminable in principle. 1 And so it is with all spiritual knowledge and transformation.

Nevertheless, the temporal processes of working through and of reaching to new areas of insight are not our main concern in this book. We shall do as is so often done: we shall treat the process as if it were a wholesale, once-for-all

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