With much emphasis on “mirrors” in social media these days, I thought of Jacques Lacan.
Lacan did not write large volumes on his work in psychotherapy —
In fact : he resisted writing. Jacques Lacan’s focus was on real time dialogue. It was his belief that the real meanings of a client psych, pertaining to therapy, revealed themselves in client-therapy dialogue.
A clients motives, intentions, and associations can be interpreted in the context of linguists chosen of that moment — interpreted by a trained- psychoanalyst.
Here is a good introduction to the linguistically and analytical concepts of
Ego and Phenomenology
a crucial one in Lacan’s eyes, is that the ego is an object rather than a subject. In other words, the ego, despite conscious senses to the contrary, is not a locus of autonomous agency, the seat of a free, true “I” determining its own fate.
Lacan’s “I” differs from much of the first person phenomenology I rattle on about here because much of what is Written on Pennsylvania Echoes is about Zen and self therapy for Wellness and Day to day work.
Lacan created his “phenomenological other” or “phenomenological third” as a metaphor of an abstract observer in the client-annalist-session continuum (Gestalt)
- Some therapist, including Gestalt allow or encourage the taping of a session.
One can do this in there own self therapies, such as
- real time journaling
- or with alone with a Mirror –
In this regard, the viewer of the session later– fills the role of phenomenological third … but in a fresh new objective circumstance.
this type of “heuristics ” allows for further analysis of process and/or tenants
of the taped client-therapist session or self therapy session.
Ego and the Mirror
Lacan theorized that children develop a sense of self,
-that is academically constructed “Ego”–
by comparing this development to the outside world, as if looking into a mirror.
Experienced during the so called “Mirror stage” is a constant of depthless superficial reflections. This includes dreams sensations, and desires.
within this infant “Mirror stage” of dependency on parents –
the child experiences narcissistic (conquering), confident, curious and helpless tensions that bind an integrated sensation of a whole self or “me”.
My Thoughts on Lacan’s Mirror Metaphor
The fast pace of today’s technology filled world, overmarketing and growing violence can leave one feeling as if he is fragmented , fake , narcissistic….
or depend on to many things – or people. Some describe themselves as lost inside the reflection of a mirror or conforming to fit a vision of an outside world that doesn’t even seem real to them anymore.
I don’t think it needs to be this way for those who chose to find an integrated self/other and confident self/other sense self-autonomy.
questioning what do I have control of ; what ought I control; and what controls me… It really comes down to:
- Deciding (decision making),
- Esteem (ethics to prioritize compare decisions )
- and Wholeness (Oneness in deciding , acting , and sensing )
Its to let go of the mirror, little by little, and experience the world more as a lens. This requires, at times a first, second and third point of view.
Be a lens and less a mirror —