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[Xmca-l] CoExperiencing as a Philosophy of Practice.
Vasilyuk is developing the *philosophy of Practice* as a psychotechnical
He says in his historical outline of the different *basic foundations* on
which psychology has relied [from suggestibility to *becoming aware* to
*emancipation* to reliance on learning to reliance on experiencing to the
current reliance on experiencing [as existential/humanistic] which is
intersecting with todays reliance on productively producing internal
psychological transformations oriented to enriching the meaning of being.
Vasilyuk says the task exploring the changing reliances of psychology as a
practice is not to describe the *factual* history of psychology and the
reliances of psychotherapy but to elicit the logic of history. In other
words to *listen* to the evolving IMPLICIT plot that gives meaning and
direction to the subsequent acts of the development of psychology. (page 11)
One of the key elements Vasilyuk identifies is the concept of *cultural
mediation of experiences*. He says:
Historically cumulative experiencings with standard situations crystallize
in various SYMBOLIC FORMS; when a person experiences crises, his
consciousness might get connected to these symbolic forms, an so the
process of experiencing, without losing its personality-oriented
uniqueness, gains ADDITIONAL DEPTH AND PRODUCTIVITY. (page 18).
It is this additional depth and productivity as symbolic that Vasilyuk is
generating within his evolving implicit *plot* oriented to transforming
psychology in order to enrich the meaning of being. This is also the theme
Vasilyuk is relying on in his other article *Prayer, Silence, and
Psychotherapy*. This is the living symbol of prayer on the boundary of
experiencing and silence/stillness.
Here is Vygotsky exploring the *depth* of symbolism in his own words:
Ophelia's tragedy [a personification] is exactly LIKE a lyrical
accompaniment, that towers over the entire play, which is full of the
dreadful torment of INEXPRESSIBILITY, of the most profound dark,
mysterious, and SACRED melodies that in some incomprehensible and
miraculous way REVEAL AND EMBODY what is most exciting, most allusive, and
touchingly important, what is DEEPEST AND DARKEST, but what is most tragic
that is OVERCOME and enlightened, and what IS MOST MYSTICAL in the entire
play. Thus tragedy turns into PRAYER .... as though with an oblational and
expiatory and PRAYERFUL light, it gives religious illumination to the
tragedy." (page 61 of Vasilyuk's article.)
Vasiliuk then comments: "No matter how much the devotees of Marxist
materialism try to conceal Vygotsky's religiosity from themselves and us,
it is perfectly obvious that THESE words [LP -1st order words] could only
have been written by a person with deep personal EXPERIENCE with prayer."
To sum up, I am MARKING [for orientation purposes] the concept of
*cultural mediation OF experience* which is a KEY ELEMENT of coexperiencing
psychotherapy AS philosophy of practice. I believe that the same *symbolic
gravity* can be expressed through changing images. The plot of "falling
away from* and *returning to* can be expressed in multiple symbols such
as turning away from God, turning away from the natural sublime, turning
away from one's true authentic self, These images are expressing different
*reliances* but are sharing the same symbolic plot as the cultural
mediation of experiencing. The IMPLICIT deepening of coexperience that is
now emerging in Russia since the 1980's that Vasilyuk is plotting may be
implicitly enveloped in this same mytheme of falling away from *the source*
and then the return to this *source.
The book *The Religious and Romantic Roots of Psychoanalysis* by Suzanne
Kirschner has plotted this particular myth flowing through Western ways of
experiencing the meaning of being. She is tracing the roots of the
emergence of Freudian psychoanalysis but it is the more general philosophy
of practice as including this KEY ELEMENT of cultural mediation as
deepening coexperiences that I am highlighting.
As Vasilyuk says: the task is to LISTEN FOR *the evolving IMPLICIT
plot that gives meaning and direction to the subsequent acts of the
*development* of psychology [including the KEY symbolic element that
*deepens* experience beyond the personal existential.