expressing ourselves LO29347

Date: 10/17/02

Replying to LO29310 --

Dearest At,

>This is an important point. Far too many people are influenced by a system
>in which they have no say. It is then when civilisation begins to

I have been thinking and learning in some newoldfields;-) about the above
and these 'outsideinside' people;-)...

' I have as much difficulty as ever in expressing myself clearly and
concisely...and this difficulty has caused me very great loss of time: but
it has had the compensating advantage of forcing me to think long and
intently about every sentence, and thus I have often been led to see
errors in reasoning and in my own observations or those of others. There
seems to be a sort of fatality in my mind leading me to put at first my
statement and proposition n a wrong or awkward form.'

By losing time Darwin gained something else, it is because his efficient
wished for competence breaks down - he cannot immediately write as he
would want to, clearly and concisely - that something else comes through,
a different kind of attentiveness. His error - the wrong and awkward forms
of is writings takes at first - become his gift. It was the loss of time
he would write about, and that would enable him to write. In his writing
habits Darwin finds himself doing something that creates a sense of loss,
of the waste of time, as though that experience of loss, the waste of
time, were itself a kind of source, ironically, of more life, of better
sentences. The obstacle proves the instrument, the loss a calling. Losing
time he finds something else. The losing is an art; it inspires a new
quality of attention.

Freud observed how his one and a half year old grandson dealt with the
loss of his mother, '....he was impressed by the child's inventiveness,
the way the child transformed the mother's absence into a pleasurable
game. ' The child had a wooden reel with a piece of string tied round
it...what he did was to hold the reel by the string and very skilfully
throw it over the edge of his curtained cot, so that it disappeared into
it at the same tie uttering his expressive O-o-o-o. He then pulled the
reel out of the cot again by the string and hailed the reappearance with a
joyful 'da!' (there). This then was the complete game. disappearance and
return. As a rule one only witnessed the first act, which was repeated
untiringly as a game in itself, though there was no doubt greater pleasure
was attached ot the second act. (For Freud) the explanation became
obvious, related to the child's great 'cultural achievement' the
instinctual renunciation...which he had made in allowing the mother to go
unprotesting. He compensated himself so to speak, by himself by staging
the disappearance and return of the objects within his own reach.'

Freud's account contains word that convey one overarching discovery, just
as the child discovers through his loss. Freud celebrates the little child
as an artist who, 'discovering his artistry; and not merely (or bitterly)
actively re-enacting with his toys what he has unavoidably had inflicted
upon him.' This blessed child-artist-creator-man is ' trying out his new
freedom, to live well in the absence of his mother, to make and take
things up...' Freud wondered, his biographer wonders, I wonder, we all
might wonder at the child. "What is it inside us that can turn an absence
into a pleasurable open space, that makes improvisation out of

At, I might quote Kierkegaard at them ;-) ...the thought of death is a
good dancing partner.


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