Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book Read: Freud Along the Ganges

A long difficult read, but quite interesting.  It explores the psychoanalytics behind the people and culture of India: Gandhi, the role of women, Radha and Krisha, Bisexuality,Bollywood, Hindu-muslim relations, the Bhagavad Gita,Buddhism,the Independence of India, and the most interesting of all: spirituality and religion of India.
Traveling in India, I often analyze the culture and its behavioral impacts therefore it was interesting to get the opinion of a fellow psychoanalyst. The author Salman Aktar definitely has extensive knowledge and experience with psychoanalysis.  At times I had to keep reading sections over and over because he would put ten or more psychoanalytic principles in one paragraph and some time has passed since my school days.

Due to the extensive psychoanalysis, I will not go into explanation as it requires a psychological background to understand the concepts.

Here are a few basic concepts, principles that are interesting:

“The Self is the dearest of all things and only through self is anything else dear."

“The self is the origin of all finite happiness, but it is itself pure bliss, transcending definition.  It remains unaffected by deeds, good, or bad.  It is beyond feeling and beyond knowledge, but it is not beyond the meditation of the Sage(The Upanishads, p.79).”

Dharma-the righteousness or duty and way of life

The Four Noble Truths of Human Life

1.)Dukkha-awryness, unsatisfactoriness, and suffering. Acknowledgment that life is full of suffering

2.)The cause of suffering: desire, attachment, and craving.  Desire for sense gratification, desire towards continuity of the self, and desire to narcissistic issues.

How to keep this in perspective

A.)   consciousness B.)One or more of five seneses plus thinking C.) Reaction of attachment, aversion, affection, or neutrality toward the thoughts that are arising.

There is no single self that is the subject of our changing experience

3.) Suffering can be eradicated with reaching a state of nirvana, which blows out or extinguishes personal desire

4.) To experience englightment following the eight fold path: Right awareness into reality of life, right thought or aspiration, right speech, speaking truthfully and compassionately, right action, abstaining from killing/lying/cheating/adultery, and misuse of intoxicants; right livelihood, engaging in occupations that promote rather than harm life; right effort, or the balanced effort to be aware, right mindfulness, seeing things as they are and right concentration or meditative attentiveness. 
Countertransference and counter reactions between student and teacher

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