12 December 2006

Counselling is the opposite of centralisation

(copy of a letter)

In a way it is interesting that the basic psychological manoeuvre of ‘counselling’ etc is so precisely the inverse of what goes into becoming centralised in a bad situation, in the way that produces remarkable developments and may lead to a higher level.

The recommended technique is not to think about what you have lost or been deprived of, and to have lots of interaction with other people. Your sense of identity is supposed to be derived from your acceptability to other people, and will inevitably reinforce your belief in society as a source of significance. And you are supposed to ‘move on’, not to remain in the same state of bereavement.

Well, I swore that I would never move on, I would always be trying to get back the same things in life I had always been aiming at. And I had to cut out of my life absolutely any vulnerability to what other people thought of me.

I had seemed for a long time to be accepted as a respectable bourgeois person; old-fashioned middle-class schoolteachers had been ‘friendly’ to me as if I was one of their club of that sort of person, and was going to continue to be in my future academic career.

But I was breaking a fundamental taboo, which persons of that kind never broke, in not waiting for society to tell me that I was the sort of person who should be entitled to the sort of life which I needed to have.