Coping with Neurosis

Quote about Wolfgang Giegerich’s book “Neurosis: The Logic of a Metaphysical Disease” – Neurosis, according to the thesis of this ground-breaking book, comes from the soul, even is soul; the soul in its untruth. Indeed, both it and the modern field of psychology are successors of the soul-forms that preceded them, religion and metaphysics, with the difference that psychology’s reluctance to recognize and take responsibility for its status as such has been matched by the neurotic soul’s clinging to obsolete metaphysical categories even as the often quite ordinary life disappointments of its patients are inflated with ABSOLUTE importance. The folie à deux has been on a massive scale. Owing their provenance to the supplement they each provide the other, psychology and neurosis are entwined in a Gordian knot, the cutting of which requires insight into the logic that pervades both. Taking up this sword, Giegerich exposes and critiques the metaphysics that neurosis indulges in even as he returns psychology to the soul, not, of course, to the soul as some no longer credible metaphysical hypostasis, but as the logically negative life of the mind and power of thought. Using several fairy tales as models for the logic of neurosis, he brilliantly analyses its enchanting background processes, exposing thereby, in a most lively and thoroughgoing manner, the spiteful cunning by which the neurotic soul, against its already existing better judgement, betrays its own truth. Topics include the historicity of neurosis, its soulful purpose as a general cultural phenomenon, its internal logic, functioning, and enabling conditions, as well as the Sacred Festival drama character of symptomatic suffering, the theology of neurosis, and “the neurotic” as the figure of modernity’s exemplary man. Unquote

I don’t think there is any shame or ought to be any offense regarding neurosis. It’s the human condition. It’s perhaps fundamentally caused by the moral sense and values of human nature being alienated from those of the numinous. Are the ideas of the soul as metaphysically numinous obsolete in our empirically scientific age? Belief in the soul for me is belief in Truth, belief in Logos. Is the possible justified true belief that the soul in untruth IS the metaphysical logic of neurosis. More importantly is to balance neurosis with health, escaping the neurotic trap to dance with Neurosis – to exist in the moral autonomous space between the ups and downs, the back and forth with truth and untruth, health and disease, wholeness and fragility.

Existential neurosis is most evident in attempting an intimate soul mate experience. Two souls overcoming power struggle, the dominance/submission dynamic, learning to accept unshared and unabated metaphysical values. Two souls dancing together in that existential space between relationship health in harmony with combined good judgement being and becoming faithful to shared truth and between disease,  relationship neurosis. It takes two unique individuals already aware and accepting of their own and each others health and disease. It is also a dance between isolation and differing evaluations and evolved insights into intimacy. Challenging!

With our evolved logic in this scientific age and coping with possible obsolete metaphysical conditions and with historical and philosophical insights into Logic, can the logically negative life of mind and the power of thought be counterbalanced by something unconsciously and logically positive? Like the instinctual dynamic toward Eros – the life of the libido, the body, the anima, the elan vitae?


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