I thought I would add the last paragraph of Alex Kozulin's review of
By choosing the literary model of human experiencing, Vasilyuk affirms his
adherence to the humanistic, rather than scientific approach to human
psychology. His work can also be seen as a blueprint for the future
convergence of humanistic psychology with Vygotsky’s cultural-historical
theory of human development .
This premonition that some new convergence is on the horizon. The coming
intersection forming a hybrid character.
Do others agree that we may be moving in the direction of a *literary
The discussion of White's narrative approach [using Bruner's notion of
scaffolding] may be an example.
Vasilyuk's key understanding as expressed in his concept of consciousness
that has two essential aspects [and their relations]
*stratigraphy* as layered registers of depth or height. Each *layer* is a
*structure* of the smallest molecule as unit of consciousness IS a *mental
image* A mental image having the structure of the two magnetic poles and
the dynamic of consciousness moving within this dynamic *image* like the
flow of plasma. Depth of layers AND mental images interact generating
Vasilyuk's philosophy of practice as 1st order word that is originating
within the liminal spaces on the boundaries OF humanistic THEORY and
cultural historical THEORY of human development.
Consciousness as the originating site of meaning-GENERATION forming within
co-experiencing *situations*. In other words situated consciousness as
This is a fragment but does express a *tone*
On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 7:58 PM, Larry Purss <email@example.com
Mike, the declaration that cultural mediation [in particular the symbolic
level] is a key element can put aside psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
and turn to Vygotsky's own way of including this symbolic level of
coexperiencing. Listen for the implicit movement marking the felt sense
having *fallen away* from a *source* and then finding one's way back to
*source* [and in this return entering *deeper* levels. I am referring to
page 62 of Vasiliyuk's article "Prayer Silence, Psychotherapy".
Vygotsky is exploring a *deeper* layer for experiencing suffering. Not a
hedonistic flight from suffering, not masochistic consolation, not
platitudes [always a silver lining] but a spiritual sublimation of
Elevating and deepening into the layer of experiencing the *source* by
transforming this suffering by return to the eternal.
Vygotsky images his life as *my star* in the heavens *marked* by sorrow.
His personal life and his Jewish life *marked* by sorrow. BUT this star
IN THE HEAVENS. So the meaning of suffering [the falling away from the
source] is not in fleeing from the suffering but in returning to the
*source* [the eternal, the deepest layer of consciousness] . The meaning
*found* in the ELEVATION of suffering, elevtion on the wing OF A PRAYER
GOD. The transformation of suffering IN GOD.
Vygotsky's metaphor is a personal particular *image* expressing a deeply
felt layer of experience. But within the particular unique felt image
is a general [not universal] plot [mytheme] that is historically
traceable developing symbolic cultural imaginary.
The plot can shift what is *source* [God, sublime, the *self*] and this
can be historically traced[including the work of experiencing the
true *self* in psychology].
Suzanne Kirschner has traced these transformations in this myth from
religious origins, transformed within the Romantic movement, and shifting
into psychological theories today.
The point I am offering is that Vygotsky as Vasilyuk his project was
touched by this mytheme. Peirce in his speculative musings, also was
into this mytheme.
I am not suggesting this plot is fundamental or foundational but the
yearning for this plot to be universal envelops and embodies us into this
particular myth and is experienced as a deeply felt *truth*. It is only
of the *key elements* but it is a significant one of the keys to the
philosophy of practice.
The shift to secular themes [such as naturalism] does not change the
underlying plot structure but does change the images that *have us*.
Vygotsky saw his *star* ELEVATED to the heavens that transforms suffering
which is the experience existing within a symbolic truth,
Thanks for your continuing explication of your reading of Vasiliuk.
aside psychoanalysis and psychotherapy for a moment, I am totally behind
that *cultural mediation OF experience* which is a KEY ELEMENT", plus
co-experiencing as the necessary condition for that cultural mediation.
On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 4:17 PM, Larry Purss <firstname.lastname@example.org
Vasilyuk is developing the *philosophy of Practice* as a
He says in his historical outline of the different *basic foundations*
which psychology has relied [from suggestibility to *becoming aware*
*emancipation* to reliance on learning to reliance on experiencing to
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
Vasilyuk says the task exploring the changing reliances of psychology
practice is not to describe the *factual* history of psychology and
reliances of psychotherapy but to elicit the logic of history. In
words to *listen* to the evolving IMPLICIT plot that gives meaning and
direction to the subsequent acts of the development of psychology.
One of the key elements Vasilyuk identifies is the concept of
mediation of experiences*. He says:
Historically cumulative experiencings with standard situations
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
generating within his evolving implicit *plot* oriented to
psychology in order to enrich the meaning of being. This is also the
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,
touchingly important, what is DEEPEST AND DARKEST, but what is most
that is OVERCOME and enlightened, and what IS MOST MYSTICAL in the
play. Thus tragedy turns into PRAYER .... as though with an oblational
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
it is perfectly obvious that THESE words [LP -1st order words] could
have been written by a person with deep personal EXPERIENCE with
To sum up, I am MARKING [for orientation purposes] the concept of
*cultural mediation OF experience* which is a KEY ELEMENT of
psychotherapy AS philosophy of practice. I believe that the same
gravity* can be expressed through changing images. The plot of
away from* and *returning to* can be expressed in multiple symbols
as turning away from God, turning away from the natural sublime,
away from one's true authentic self, These images are expressing
*reliances* but are sharing the same symbolic plot as the cultural
mediation of experiencing. The IMPLICIT deepening of coexperience that
now emerging in Russia since the 1980's that Vasilyuk is plotting may
implicitly enveloped in this same mytheme of falling away from *the
and then the return to this *source.
The book *The Religious and Romantic Roots of Psychoanalysis* by
Kirschner has plotted this particular myth flowing through Western
experiencing the meaning of being. She is tracing the roots of the
emergence of Freudian psychoanalysis but it is the more general
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.
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch