Bears and beers

Freud in his book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life explores how words aren’t just related to singular meanings but that they can morph and join together into different forms or become related in wrong spellings to other words. I just had a memory of one of my recent analytic sessions where I was recounting a dream from the previous night and I was telling my analyst how in the dream I was lying on his couch about to start analysis and he had handed me a beer in a glass that belonged to my grandmother. In the session we looked at what a beer represented for me and I first had to admit that I aways made the confusion in spelling between that of bear and beer. In texts I will always suggest going for a bear, unless I consciously go back to recheck the spelling. Then I talked about how going for a beer (bear) represented the idea of intimacy with a male friend. A kind opportunity of bonding in some ways – a kind of liquid hug. My analyst handing me a beer in a glass that belonged to my grandmother seemed inappropriate – too intimate. I realised that I was crossing a line and speaking about it was crossing a line with my analyst. Marking out lines are important to articulate our relationships and marking out divisions create our fundamental relationship to language but it is also important to question those lines too. In psychoanalysis there is a dramatic and violent term for it – ‘symbolic castration’ and questioning and examining the lines and divisions in our individual dissected embodiment of the process gets right to the kernel of who we are and who we are becoming15590564_941829305950672_573409901747809164_n


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