Saturday, January 26, 2013

all that you can leave behind

Whole Living Jan/Feb 2013
I won't buy the book ... the review says it all. Written by Adam Phillips, an acclaimed British psychoanalyst, the review, written by Carmela Ciuraru, says:

"... much of our "so-called mental life" is spent fantasizing about what we don't have but wish we did. We are haunted by thoughts of what might have been, whether romantically or in our career choices. "In our unlived lives," he writes, "we are always more satisfied, far less frustrated versions of ourselves." The author argues against indulging in such wistful thinking. He urges readers not to dwell on supposed missed opportunities, which might have ultimately disappointed us anyway. "The myth of our potential can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short, a continual and continuing loss," he says ... Phillips reminds us that to yearn for the unlived life is to sabotage the one we have."

hear, hear. Typically, I wouldn't just copy out of a magazine, but it is exactly what, unfortunately, a few people that I know need to come to terms with in their lives. I don't fall into this trap. I don't think that I spend my time fantasizing about 'what we don't have but wish we did.' I suppose that when one hits a certain age and I suppose that I'm creeping into that age zone, it's a normal pitfull. Especially if a spotlight is pointed at set-backs, break-ups, and frustration with not moving forward fast enough. I can see turn around, for some, to sift through the past to find a point of ... satisfaction or happiness. Of course, our memories of the past have been thoughtfully softened by our brain, and so they aren't very reliable. It's something to keep in mind.

But back to fantasy ... one of my favorite past times. No, I like to use all of the fantasy RAM for things that are more ... delectable. A little dot-dot-dot. Purely indulgent and having probably absolutely nothing to do with reality.

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