Saturday, 23 August 2008

Complicated principles which seem important right now #129

But if one source of strangeness, in Freud's view, is the unacceptable- made strange, defamiliarised, as a defensive measure- the other source, less amenable to psychoanalytic (or any other) description, is what might be called the unintelligible: whatever in our experience does not seem subject to our sense-making; whatever baffles, or inspires because it baffles, our powers of representation. This other unconscious- that which is out of bounds, but not by law (repression), like the fact of one's infancy, or the fact of one's forthcoming death, or the future itself- is a way of describing both the limits of what we know and the areas of our lives in which knowing, and the idea of expertise, may be inappropriate.
Adam Phillips, Terrors and Experts

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