That in-the-midst-of sense...
Time recently past: too much stress since about the first of June – some of which twisted at me such that my guts started to react: I felt relatively calm but my body didn't.
I'd still like to ascribe this – partly – to current liver damage; which will hopefully be cured in August-October; which will perhaps improve the situation a bit... though yes, I know: once your body gets into certain tension/stress patterns it's there, perhaps, forever.
In any case: four or five days here in Zürich simply imploded into staying in my rented apartment, not going anywhere, cancelling everything...
then it was all calm, everything was fine.
Time present: a mixture of figuring out how to finish the Jung-Institut program in two years, or (only faintly possibly) eighteen months.
Summer, and the healthy energetics of Zürich, young people, people with leisure. A pleasant place, relaxed.
Good seminars, interesting discussions...
and, most electrically, Nancy R.'s seminar: she always has such a complex and vivid awareness of theory, possibility, existence, mind –
I undoubtedly think too much about my own mind/situation in this seminar, rather than my analysands (especially because of the anxieties of the past months); but the insights ring like huge bronze bells, and they transform the landscape. My analysands will feel the effects. A complex gamelan of developing and crossing lines, counter-lines, flashes of understanding, total or partial or transcendental.
At night, I read Robert Silverberg in his most intense period, around the late seventies, one after another: many are brilliant, but The Book of Skulls is such a shattering, powerfully made, complete thing:
and, as I was lately remembering some of the weirder traps and falls of my youth (see earlier posts connected with the Association Experiment), I could see how the dense anxieties of young men could be channeled into madness –
and how utterly clear it is at the end of that book that, even if there is no magic formula, even if the two young men who aren't dead are being lied to, they cannot possibly acknowledge it: they have fallen into doing such terrible things that they would now claim anything to be true, as long as it justified their past actions...
Because belief is, for them, now the only thing that keeps them from seeing themselves as utterly evil. So they carefully lock themselves into the shared madness... because that is the only place that is safe.
I think of how fantastically lucky I've been: even the most manipulated structures and situations, or the accidental or contrived contacts with demented and dark people in my life, have always had several easy ways out – and, glory be, I've taken them: I remember a San Francisco apartment, a group of us looking wildly at each other as the owner screamed down the stairs, just get out, get out (which was ultimately a very good idea); a New York apartment that I couldn't later find again (which was absolutely lucky for me); a car in the suburbs of Los Angeles, listening to the driver and realising just what he had done to become the thing that he had fallen to; and other moments where madness was just a few feet away –
This sense of clarity, of awareness: it holds these mad places;
but, and again I realise how stunningly lucky I've been,
it holds me safe; because I've only seen these things from outside....