Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Significant Moments: Speaking of Life In Military Metaphor -- Part 1

Albert Rothenberg, M.D. first described or discovered a process he termed "homospatial thinking," which consists of actively conceiving two or more discrete entities occupying the same space, a conception leading to the articulation of new identities. Homospatial thinking has a salient role in the creative process in the following wide variety of fields: literature, the visual arts, music, science, and mathematics. This cognitive factor, along with "Janusian thinking," clarifies the nature of creative thinking as a highly adaptive and primarily nonregressive form of functioning.

There is a section of my book Significant Moments whose manifest content describes a day I spent alone in contemplation of my past.  At about mid-day I take a walk and contemplate the mountains.

Superimposed on the text are wartime images or allusions that are in no way represented in the text: allusions to the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, and World War II.  The subtext refers to the violent death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. in a plane crash (1999).  The writing also contains a quote from a Shakespeare sonnet that refers to my distress about litigation.  (I had suffered several legal setbacks in the 1990s in the District of Columbia Courts.)

My use of military and wartime references as a metaphor is based on the following quote from a section in Significant Moments that discusses the life and personality of Friedrich Nietzsche.

He spoke of life in military metaphor: as a war with battles, retreats and campaigns.
--Leonard Shengold, Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation.

Note the use of "glaciers" as both a metaphor ("glacial slowness") and as a literal idea.  Psychoanalytically, the mountains covered by glaciers may symbolize the cold, unrewarding breast of the mother.

The section of Significant Moments was posted previously and appears at the following link:

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