I’m struck increasingly that particularly in my activist life,which is an increasing part of my life again,its not just politics and the social,in all its aspects that are important,but psychology too…….in a whole variety of ways that i will undoubtedly talk about more on my blog in future.
One of those ways is the way in which a variety of psychological theories an approaches develop dichotomies and spectrums in their analyses or as their analytical tools.Perhaps,and i have not checked this i’m thinking of say Jung’s Analytical Psychology,Enneagram theory and Wilhelm Reich,etc.although i’m not particularly linking those approaches in any unitary fashion.
In a populist form this sometimes comes out in newspapers and magazines that offer a kind of questionnaire or testing procedure as a route to say personality type,but it has more serious forms and uses too.
One such dichotomy is for me a tension between intellect and emotion.It is a tension for me,for at least two reasons.Sometimes,maybe often it seems to me such dichotomies are a way of increasing the stereotyping of people,so women often get seen as more emotional,and men as more intellectual.That said,and without wishing to collude with such stereotyping,that i reject,it seems to me that often the two things ARE seperated in order to tarin,socialise our gender/sexual identities in different ways.Rather than men being more intellectual,and women more emotional by nature,i suggest that is the way certain forms of capitalist society would have it.I suspect that class and particularly capitalist society might want,encourage,prefer it that way so that woemn can be made or kept subservient,always the carers,and that men are trained into”cold”intellect,where intellect excercisse power over emotion,head over heart,and that we men end up being divided from,alienated from our own emotions,denied our emotional intelligence.
The other dimension for me,is that i never want to accept the terms of the question.I refuse it.I claim little or nothing that is special about myself-it is not false humility that leads me to say and to believe i am just an ordinary man.I like to think however that i am quirky,a fully paid up member of the”awkward squad”,what psychiatric assessments of me have described as eccentric.In that sense its not difficult to embrace my own melancholy,alienation,awkwardness and shyness as a gift.
When i have asked myself this question about the emotion/intellect dichotomy in the past i struggle with an answer.It remains the case now.Actually,i like to think that at another level,in another way the tension dissappears-because i do not experience emotion and intellect as contradictory most of the time,and i suspect the tension arises because of the nature of the particular conumdrum or problem i mignt be facing at any particular time,not from anatural tension fom emotion and intellect themselves.Perhaps the notion of dialectic is part of,if not all the explanation.For its seems to me that firstly,thesis and antithesis lead to synthesis,which of course can lead to another level of paradox.equally,it seems to me,that when i feel something,exploring and analysing it allows some constructive unity and forward movement.
At each end point,i feel like a lucky man-that in my emotions i have so many tears:it reminds me that i am still very much alive,it enables me to hold on to what i hope is tenderness and affection.Thought and analysis does not analyse those feelings away.f anything it heightens them and sharpens them,and in the struggle i refine and learn too.
it enables me to confirm my simple concern with my sisters and brothers in humankind,and to sign myself in”love and rage”,lost….however lost or found i might be.
Like the title of the blog says:”LOSTbutnotreturning”.i do not want to come back.