On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored by Adam Phillips
**On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored by Adam Phillips**
Curiosity is always opportunism.
A repertoire might be more useful than a conviction.
People have traditionally come to psychoanalysis conversation because the story they are telling themselves about their lives has stopped, or become too painful, or both.
A phobia protects a person from their own curiosity.
The phobia, which hoards the past, can be the one place in a person’s life where meaning apparently never changes; but this depends upon one never knowing what the meaning is.
The profoundest way of recognizing something is through hiding them from ourself.
His words no longer feel like spectators.
Symptoms are a way of thinking about difficult things, thinking with the sound turned off.
The first world we find outside is, in part, a repository for the terror inside us, an elsewhere for those terrors and objects that bring us unpleasure. And that world we make outside is the world we need to get away from. It is the place, or one of the places, where we put the objects and desires we wish did not belong to us. To be at home in the world we need to keep it inhospitable.
The developmental question: what is unbearable about oneself and where is one going to put it?
What do we want most to dwell near to?
Only the impossible is addictive.
What constitutes a risk for us is an important clue as to what we value
Ruthlessness gives way to ruth.
And creativity – what Winnicott later called creative living – involved the search for, and attempt to establish, an idiom, an environment, a relationship that could survive the person’s most passionate destructiveness.
“I am in my work like a pit in its fruit.” Rilke (he becomes the seed of himself)
Ruskin: “To compose it to arrange unequal things.”
In the course of development, and apparently to different degrees, the body has to lose its overwhelming immediacy for the child, to become the child’s most paradoxical belonging. Composure would begin as the way the child responds, at least initially, to the intimated demand by the mother, in the face of the child’s desire for her, that the child alter the form of its self-presentation. An original clamour becomes a calculated social poise, a distinctive awkwardness that bears witness to the child’s struggle for acceptable forms of excitement, for ways in which he can be seen to be a desiring object without losing face.
If I can think of it, it isn’t what I want. Randall Jarrett
We can be worried but we can’t be dreamed.
Worry can be punishments for wishes.
When we worry, what are we trying to eat?
Kissing: the mouth’s elegy to itself
Perversion: knowing too exactly what one wants
Kissing involves some of the pleasures of nourishment in the absence of eating
One’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead
Each insight is the product of a specific blindness.
We are being perverse whenever we think we know beforehand exactly what we desire. To know beforehand is to assume that otherness, whether it be a person, a medium, an environment, is redundant, that it brings nothing.
To speak is always to be spoken for.
Waiting for an experience of anticipation.
Part of the fantasy of greed is to eat up one’s appetite.
It is difficult to enjoy people for whom we have waited too long.
The project of self knowledge is itself the problem, symptom masquerading as cure.
Belief is a form of cruelty.
The obstacle reminds me of what I want.
Satisfaction is the death of possibility.
Poor obstacles impoverish us.
The object of unconscious desire could only be represented by obstacles to the conscious object of desire.
The fluency of disorder, the inspirations of error.
Wittgenstein: What is the picture? How do we see the frame we bring to experience?
To know what one fears is to know what one wants.
To assent to our repertoire of fears.
Children are the people who can’t leave.
What is the unconscious problem that your belief solves for you, or the wishes that it satisfies?
In Freud’s terms we don’t believe, we wish; and above all we wish to believe.
Monotheism is linked to imperialism. It represents a triumph of the mind over the body.
It is as if the body produces and worships idols and the intellect produces the sublimated rigours of monotheism.
A symptom is always a state of conviction.