16 May 2014

Dr. Epictetus Will See You Now

Carlo Strenger, Individuality, the Impossible Project (Madison: International Universities Press, 1998), pp. 54-55:
The psychoanalytic insistence on the tragic dimension of life entails a model of freedom. The influence of the past and of the total dependence in childhood must be accepted. The losses, pains, and traumas of the past must be acknowledged and mourned; we must all come to terms with the fact that we had the particular childhood we had, even though it does not correspond to our needs and desires. Denying the past only enslaves us by turning it into a perpetual present. The attempt to undo and avoid pains, trauma and unfulfilled desire con­demns us to be unconsciously tyrannized by the past (Wollheim, 1984). The psychoanalytic ethic is stoic: We must accept the limits of our power.
A related post: Must I Whine as Well?