I was employed as a swimming coach for two pools in the mud, that hadn’t been filled in yet, in a dream two days ago. One of the pools was filled with water, its boundaries formed, and a very strong young woman arrived there to swim. A clearly tough teenager, bikini-clad, she began to complain that her father had kicked her to discipline her. I began to smile at that and said, “Sorry, I shouldn’t say this, but it just amuses me because I do kickboxing and we get kicked all the time.”
In the dream, there were no repercussions for insensitivity and everything went, as we say “swimmingly”.
It has taken a long time, not far from being the longest time ever for analyses to be made, for stuff to be thunk through. I’ve finally managed it, however, an understanding of my natural states, and what makes me think the way I do.
First structural level of difficulty: the conviction that I’m not nearly sensitive enough, but that I were I to attain a sufficient level of sensitivity, the world would be mine, indeed I would be able to thoroughly redeem it. Until then, I had to constantly second guess myself and put myself through a program of self-scrutiny.
The successful people, it seemed to me, were those who could convey the flavor and the texture of their moods to those around them, so that others would understand these implicitly and leave those people alone. The nature of this formulation was that I would achieve sensitivity — so as to be free of the burden of having to keep trying to attain a greater degree of sensitive awareness. My aim was not to be a better person, but not to have to worry about fitting in — that was, to win the right to be insensitive, by proving that I could be very sensitive, if necessary.
This bizarre psychological complex has defined my sense of purpose in relation to what I consider to be “Western culture”. To try to make myself more in tune with it, in order not to have to be in tune with it, has been my stressful, underlying preoccupation for so long. I didn’t realize it was possible to give up this endeavor until now.
Psychology is stranger than fiction. We allow ourselves to be programmed with certain notions; ideas that promise us specific results, without even realizing what the program is, or why particular results ought to be logically anticipated and expected.
My father lies stetches out his legs behind this, of course, and as I surmised whilst writing my memoir, this is unrelated to any Oedipus complex (which means, of course, it is — and suddenly my image has taken on gargantuan modernist proportions).My responsibilities were elsewhere, to redeem my father from the legacy of an insensitive mother. This was the knot my memoir attempted to undo — although I didn’t have a name for the dilemma at the time, nor was I able to express it by means other than a sketchy outline. I had to be sensitive for him, so that I would be free to swim, so far as familial responsibilities go.