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By Neville Symington

Born of wide-ranging scholarship, a lifetime's psychoanalytic perform and deep own dedication and fight, this ebook will problem expert practitioners within the box and all those that take a significant curiosity in figuring out the human psyche.

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Various philosophers (such as John Macmurray and Isaiah Berlin), and psychologists and psychoanalysts (for instance, Roy Schafer--see Chapter 7) have stressed the need to replace Freud's mechanistic metapsychology with one based on human freedom and choice. I believe, however, that this switch in metapsychology requires a different ontological presupposition. I have said above that the dual nature of reality is something that the mind cannot comprehend, though reflection reveals it to be a fact.

A theory of symbolism makes no sense without this ontological assumption. In psychoanalysis, for instance, what are known as "transference interpretations" are symbolic comments that depend upon this ontology. I was treating a woman in brief therapy who was trying to decide whether to marry Anthony or not. She was speaking like this: "He is very kind . " "He does help me to think clearly . " "You see I do like looking after him. " She answered: "Ithink it's myself I am trying to persuade . " So it seems that I stand as a symbol for her own self.

We all are that one substance, though the concept of existence is not one that is arrived at through sense perception but through an inner act of understanding (and not through an act of faith in the religious sense). So in his ontology there is no possibility of our existence being dissolved, because we are it. The pitfall of Spinoza's ontology is that there is a danger of individuality and variety evaporating. It is, however, an ontology to be preferred to the Judeo-Christian one, because it is consistent with the autonomy present in living things.

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