Re: [xmca] L. I. Bozhovich and perezhivanie

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sun Dec 02 2007 - 12:59:14 PST

Gee, Dot-- I didn't think you were using a WRONG term, I figured you might
be aiming for something slightly different from
defamiliarization/decentration. I was confused by my sense that you
might be using two terms intended to be synonymous that I thought were
antonyms, but these are big, unfamiliar words and when one doesn't know the
territory well, its easy to get confused.
The Frankl metaphor of retina and soul is pretty amazing.

I am sure everyone is appreciative of you thoughtful notes. Those who are
not interested know where the delete button is, lets hope!!

On Dec 2, 2007 12:43 PM, Dot Robbins <> wrote:

> Everyone, sorry my messages are so long.
> Mike, thank you, and yes I believe you are correct that I may be using
> the wrong terms...please let me give some context first.
> When Plenum was publishing a book I had, Plenum was sold to Kluwer, and
> the manuscript was lost. The title of the book should have contained the
> word "metatheoretical" and not "metaphor," and the book was simply various
> parts put together, from the confusion. So, I never dreamed of framing
> Vygotskian thought as a "metaphor" and never had the goal of "holism." But,
> it took a direction that was different for me....the un(sub)conscious (as
> the seat of creativity). Vygotsky interested me in this in Psychology of Art
> starting on p. 72. And, since my deep interest is in language, all of this
> led me to people who write on the conscious and unconscious as a unity, such
> as Lacan (I do not ascribe to his Freudian side). This led me to the
> collaboration of neuroscientists working together with the Dala Lama on all
> of these areas (all of which is connected with personality, identity, etc).
> By the way, the Dala Lama mentions Vygotsky in Destructive Emotions. This
> led me to many
> people, such as Joseph LeDoux (Synaptic Self, for example, who also
> mentions Luria), and synaptogenesis, for me, the synaptic transmission
> between neurons, with multiple "firing potentials" that makes it all
> possible. This led to trying to understand the "gap," "still-point," the
> Buddhist "emptiness." I see it being discussed in so many places, including
> Frankl, D. Leontiev, Jean-Luc Nancy, etc. So, I have now been thrown
> squarely into "metaphor," but it is not a goal, just a tool. What happens in
> order to reach the moment of catharsis and the newly "converted form"? I
> don't know, and I can't imagine anyone knows it. It is something like this,
> from V. Frankl " "Precisely at the place of its origin, the retina of the
> eye has a 'blind spot,' where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. Likewise,
> the spirit is 'blind' precisely at its origin---precisely there, no
> self-observation, no mirroring of itself is possible; where the spirit is
> 'original' spirit, where it is fully
> itself, precisely there it is also unconscious of itself." (Man's Search
> for Ultimate Meaning, p. 37). So, to the terms that I am trying to find to
> capture the idea of a "firing potential," which aims at catharsis. I really
> like your term decentering, Mike. Here is another term deautomatization.
> Here is a quote, that mentions another hero of mine, S. Eisenstein, who knew
> Vygotsky/Luria/Leontiev well: "Process is at the heart of the perception
> of signs in particular in the creation and recreation of signs based on
> structural oppositions. As Eisenstein says: 'The classical structure of
> musical works, of dramas, of films or paintings is almost invariably derived
> from a struggle of opposites, linked by the unity of conflict.' The role of
> conflict, of opposition of deautomatization ('making strange') was central
> to Eisensteins contemporaries, the Russian Formalists (in particular, V.
> Sklovskij and Ju. Tynjanov). In his article "Art as Device" (1919) Sklovskij
> advanced the
> view that artistic communication was based on 'making strange"
> (ostranenie) and making difficult (zatrudnenie) perceptions that have become
> automatized, thus enabling the receiver to derive new information through an
> active process." (Herbert Eagle, "Eisenstein as a Semiotician of the Cinema
> in R. W. Bailey, L. Matejka, and P. Steiner (Eds.) The Sign: Semiotics
> around the World. Michigan Slavic Publications. 1978. pp.173-193.
> Disobjectivation was explained by Dimitry Leontiev in an article I am
> attaching. It was used by A. N. Leontiev. It is the unedited paper, but the
> book is listed with the edited version. Perhaps I am not using that word
> correctly either. I so appreciate this help.
> Dereflection--in logotherapy this term is used as the opposite of
> "hyperreflection," of one's own situation. And, there is the paradoxical
> intention, regarding imagining the thing you fear the most (used in
> therapy). So, I think you are correct Mike, that I have used the wrong term.
> My thinking was this: When Viktor Frankl was in the concentration camp, the
> way he survived was by imagining his life as it was, and as it should be.
> This triggered a new reality that helped him survive to actually live that
> reality later. This is what attracted me to the term: "Treatment
> [logotherapy] had to give back to the patient his trust in the unconscious,
> by having him realize how much more musical his unconscious was than his
> conscious...what therapy has to achieve is to convert an unconscious
> potentia into a conscious actus, but to do so for no other reason than to
> restore it eventually as an unconscious habitus" (Frankl, pp.44).
> Thanks to everyone for help and support.
> warmly,
> Dot
> Dorothy (Dot) Robbins
> Professor of German
> Russian Orphanage Vyschgorod
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Received on Sun Dec 2 13:00 PST 2007

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