Jung’s Memories Dreams Reflections 10

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“Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before.” -C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 264

Maybe we should substitute “devices” for the word “gadgets” in the above quote. I feel very mixed sometimes about how easily I’ve accepted digital devices into every aspect of my life. It’s remarkable how my thinking and my time have been rewired as a result, and mostly I go around with only a vague sense that something isn’t right, that subtle damage is being done, despite the benefits. Jung is right to point to the unpleasant acceleration of life’s tempo–the faster we communicate, and the more “information” we process, the more we have lost time in its expansive sense, and the less we really know. How many moments in our day offer a sense of fullness and presence? The benefits of advances always exact a price. I am imagining Jung still sitting in his tower at Bollingen, cooking over an open fire and reading by lamplight, asking us progress-hungry moderns to think twice about our own sanity. It’s at least worth finding moments in which to recollect ourselves to real presence.

Breaking Bad as a Fairy Tale

The hit television series Breaking Bad begins its celebrated five-year run with a crossing of the threshold between this world and the other. This is no ordinary crossing. Like any truly initiatory experience, it is catastrophic. It takes the lead character and anti-hero, Walt, and ruptures the tender web of his human reality. This web normally protects us from confronting the primitive forces that live in the underworld. That we also want to contact these forces explains the show’s popularity.

When he breaks bad by turning from milque-toast chemistry teacher to crystal meth manufacturer, killer, and drug lord, Walt suffers an initiation. Faced as he is with a likely terminal cancer diagnosis, a son with a disability, a seemingly banal wife, a humiliating failure to live his full potential as a chemist, and the old heartbreak of a woman leaving him for his best friend, what’s to lose by turning to crime and profiting by it and becoming powerful instead of weak? Like Nietzsche he peers into a realm beyond good and evil. He sees the will to power, Machiavellian machinations, and the psychopathic failure of empathy as fundamental constituents of the world. Why then should he keep playing by civilized rules? Why be so nice? Why not break bad and enter the world that is already there just under the surface of the civilized? Seize riches. Take control. Demand compensation from the cold world that deals us afflictions without cause.

By crossing this threshold, Walt and the show itself enter the underworld. This is the same underworld as that induced by the classic fairy tales, which von Franz considers the purest literary expression of the unconscious psyche. As in fairy tales, so in Breaking Bad: the normal rules don’t apply, and certain horrible, unspeakable things happen. A man’s severed head rides across the desert on a turtle and explodes, killing and maiming DEA agents. The psychopath Tuco beats his bodyguard and friend to death just for the rush of it. In the classic fairy tale Fitcher’s Bird, a nobleman imprisons, murders, and dismembers a series of brides, and is later burned to death in his castle as punishment. Our dreams also act this bloody way sometimes, and the effect on us can be similar to the effect of watching a show like Breaking Bad, or of reading a fairy tale. Something in us breaks, and we see more, or we see differently. We see more clearly when we peer into dark places. We begin to notice, for example, the hidden ways that nice people aren’t so nice after all. We begin to understand that the cover story is not the real story. Even our best motivations are mixed up with shadowy parts of the psyche.

Initiation costs something. Or put another way, it wounds. Walt for a long time carries his breakage alone. No one else in his family is to know. It’s a heavy burden for the post-christian pilgrim to bear as he navigates his new world. He has to maintain the split and keep his day world friends and family away from his night world associates and activities. Eventually his wife joins him there in the underworld and crosses into her own badness. There is a certain intimacy then in their encounters with each other, since the illusions have been broken like false idols. On the other hand, relationship no longer even pretends to be based in empathic connection, and there is profound disillusionment and loneliness as characters face each other like Machiavellian princes vying to secure their own aims.

As the show progresses, Walt descends further and further down a spiral that recollects Dante’s infernal descent. Killing out of self-defense becomes premeditated murder in time. At one point, the viewer realizes, with nausea, that it was Walt who poisoned a young boy as part of a devilish plot to win the game of life and death. He has crossed still further, deeper, even demonic. We see that Walt vitiates all limits on the sins he will commit in order to survive. There is no higher principle than survival and dominance worth sacrificing oneself for in this world he’s entered. He is both more free and more caught as the show moves on. Each choice entangles him more deeply and forces him to even more destructive acts of violence and manipulation. We watch as he lets business partner Jesse’s girlfriend die, choking on her own vomit in a drugged out state, choosing her death over risking her bad influence on Jessie’s reliability as his dealer. This is the decision of a man who sees an individual human life as having a calculable value relative to his own aims.

Disgust is a natural reaction to some of these scenes. What else, I wonder? Does it secretly make us envious to witness someone able to act without remorse? I’ve read that we envy the psychopath even as we hate him and do not want to become him. Walt is not a pure psychopath, but in his empathy-free moments of psychopathy he acts with a calculating coldness that embodies an apparent freedom from conscience, which after all does bind us. Most of us go around much of the time full of various neurotic conflicts inside surrounding decisions, even minor ones, for which we feel guilty or conflicted. As everyone can see, the socially adjusted psychopath is often eminently successful in the business world or any world where ruthlessness and being an excellent bullshit artist go a long way. He has the advantage. He’s not bound by the usual rules and will not allow himself to be limited by feeling for the other. As a result, he lacks the neuroticism of the civilized individual.

He suffers, however, in even more awful ways, whether he knows it or not, and Walt suffers more and more too, though he is all too aware of his brokenness, at times. Freud somewhere speaks of unconscious suffering. Maybe the psychopath suffers in this way–in a sense, an inability to suffer is his problem. Unable to make contact with his own wound, he is an empty soul, to use Guggenbuhl-Craig’s term for him. In any case, the show exerts its fascination on viewers by functioning as a fairy tale and giving us glimpses of what lies below. It feeds our paradoxical appetite for what we hate to see about the world’s ugliness. It’s a work of the imagination, and I think more a fairy tale than a morality story, or a work of social commentary. Its success cannot be explained in day world terms, because it is a night world event–a true liminal space.

The Chronic

With apologies to my esteemed colleague Dr. Dre, I want to reflect a moment on what I’ll call the chronic. It’s not an easy or entirely pleasant topic. Following Dr. Jung, however, I hope to bring my tiny light into dark regions.

By the chronic I mean what persists despite our best efforts. What doesn’t go away. Old habits persist despite yearly resolutions. Relational dynamics persist. I want you to change; you want me to change; here we are, essentially the same as ever. We call health problems chronic when they won’t go away completely. Poverty and violence and other social problems certainly resist change. You get the notion.

All sorts of changes occur, of course, and therapy and other measures create profound changes, if not always what we expected or thought we wanted. But essential natures, inborn, incurable propensities and aversions, tend to exert considerable force against our heroic attempts to conquer them. I feel that I am breaking a taboo when I write this. What is more dear to us ‘Americans’ than the potential for self-transcendence? To overcome the self and its chronic conditions. It’s part of our charm to embody the potential for the new, the innocent, the hopeful. I like this and embrace it, yet sometimes reality intrudes on this very American fantasy.

To step back further, consider the quest in our country’s history to overcome ourselves. One of my favorite college courses investigated novelists from the States who returned to old world countries in an attempt, I think, to find something lost, and also to lose innocence, to revisit the shadows of ancestral lands. Many immigrants to the new world were deeply religious and intent on building a new Zion, an ocean away from the old world and its persecution, its wars, its tyrannies. All of the old chronic conditions of the old world. A new, self-transcending human being would be the citizen of this new city.

Hopping along the arc of analogy, consider now the quest for self-realization embodied and popularized in humanistic psychologies developed largely in our country. Here again we often find a struggle to overcome the chronic conditions of the self and its environment. The leap from priest to psychologist isn’t far: from preacher of repentance and new life to mentor of self-realization.

Next consider a counterfoil to these transcendental threads in our culture: According to Jung’s psychology, the dialectical development of the self in relation to the unconscious psyche demands at certain stages a loss of innocence towards reality. Things are as they are; the self is as it is; experience comes unbidden, and often frustrates our wishes. There exists a perennial blindness towards things as they are, personally and culturally, when things as they are do not suit our plans. The ego has to suffer this loss of innocence, and feel this defeat at times in order to continue developing in relation to the different parts of the psyche.

Unpleasant as this can be, it can generate a freedom to enjoy an enlivening relationship to the creative, archetypal forces in the psyche. The ego gets dethroned. We get busted out of the narcissistic prisons that we had created in an attempt to make things a little safer, and to soften the impact of life’s chronic difficulties.

I think of Jung’s famous definition of God: “God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.

Cracked open, experience becomes more expansive to include a fuller palette for self and other. Why? I don’t know, but perhaps the self is no longer unconscious opponent, oppressor, saboteur of our attempts to transcend it. The game is up. Creative types report feeling that during periods of inspiration and artistic work, other forces besides the ego are in play. I hope that what comes is a less fraught experience of one’s own nature, its depths, its curious unfolding, its contentious relationship with itself, and its struggle to define and refine itself over the course of a lifetime.


To Reveal To Conceal

“Reason is emotion’s slave and exists to rationalize emotional experience. Sometimes the function of speech is to communicate experience to another; sometimes it is to miscommunicate experience to another. Sometimes the object is to achieve access to, and permit access from, a good spirit; conversely, to deny access to a bad spirit.”

These sentences appear on the first pages of psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion’s book, Attention and Interpretation. Speech is not a simple matter of communicating something true to another. To reveal, and to conceal, and endless combinations of the two, with varying degrees of conscious intentionality, is the way things go. Bion is speaking in particular of the psychoanalytic situation, a certain kind of place, and relationship, and method of proceeding. To say that reason is emotion’s slave is a hard saying for me to stomach, given my background in philosophy. On the other hand, my reason indicates to me that Bion is right to a greater extent than is comfortable to admit.

I find strange comfort in this troubling news.

Here’s why, or here is my attempt to conceal and reveal the why. To begin, I must let you in on a little twisty journey my thinking and feeling has taken in the past few weeks.

I was re-reading Saul Bellow’s novel, Humboldt’s Gift, a favorite that I read in my 20s, I think, and immediately knew as one of those novels that would return to me over the years to put certain questions and thoughts to the fore and hopefully deepen my sense of the real. So anyway, I was reading and found that the main character, Charlie Citrine, constantly refers to Austrian mystic, philosopher, and founder of the “spiritual science” and the popular movements of anthroposophy and Waldorf schooling, Rudolf Steiner. Steiner wrote prolifically about his spiritual experiences, and Charlie finds himself drawn into Steinerian meditative exercises aimed at perceiving spiritual beings, and (thus for Charlie) overcoming the disenchanted materialism of modernity and its soulless world of matter-in-motion. I read a bit of Steiner myself after encountering Charlie’s interest, but so far haven’t been able to dig it. I feel like Steiner is pulling spiritual fantasies out of the unconscious (fine with me), but calling them literal realities, truths that can be known directly by the initiate. I have trouble with that sort of move on many levels that I won’t go into now.

Then I picked up a copy of Saul Bellow’s Letters, and found that he had carried on a correspondence with Owen Barfield–a Steinerian anthroposophist himself–on spiritual and other matters. Barfield was one of the Inklings–the Oxford-based group of writers that included J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and C.S. Lewis. I have known about him for many years, but never explored his writings in depth. In these letters (don’t you miss actual letters?) and in his fascinating books, Barfield turns out to be the more intelligent exponent of the spiritual views that may originate in Steiner, though, as C.G. Jung notes, most of what you find in anthroposophy or theosophy you can find in the ancient Indian scriptures.

Barfield specializes in “thinking about thinking,” to use his own phrase. He is also (like the other Inklings) trying to rediscover something lost to modernity and our way of apprehending reality. He finds a way to understand the world itself as animated and in fact conscious. In a word, his world is ensouled.

Rather abruptly, back to Bion. What is this talk of “good spirit” and “bad spirit”? I am so curious that he chooses these words, in a work that wants to bring precision to psychoanalytic speech. He does not elaborate the choice in these pages. For me the word spirit in this context evokes the uncanny. I imagine a hidden space, and an intense desire to invite another into this space, and at the very same moment an intense desire to block access at all costs.

In other words, I imagine an irrational moment. What struck me about Steiner and Barfield was a wish to make it all conscious, to evolve to a spiritually enlightened state and progressively reveal mysteries. Where is the irrational in this? Where is that which forever resists attempts to colonize it and know it and progress beyond it? My own sense is that the irrational factor is the very factor necessary for the ensoulment of the world. Without it, language would conquer and illuminate everything, leaving no place for unknowing, and thus no place for wonder, symbol, and relationship to the mysterious other outside oneself.

Behind Shades

Sunglasses have a way of showing up in odd places, in songs or interpersonal encounters or photos of public figures. “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top. The image of Ray Charles. A friend whose eyes are hidden behind dark lenses. Other characters who live mysteriously behind shades.

Recently I lost my regular prescription eyeglasses and had to rely solely on my prescription sunglasses to see clearly. In my therapy office, I went without glasses. I enjoy hanging out behind dark lenses in some circumstances, but while doing therapy isn’t one of them. Whether eyes meet or not or at what moments they do … all these variations are significant and interesting during a session. I explained to clients that without glasses I could see, but joked that everything is in “soft focus.”

In the days of film photography, which still continue for some of us, you could buy a soft focus filter to lend a pleasing blur to an image. My digital photo editing software can create the same visual effect. To be more accurate, my vision problem without glasses is not exactly a soft focus issue. It is closer to the blur in a portrait photo, in which the subject is in sharp focus, and whatever is going on in the background fades into a blur that suggests a dreamlike reality. Sometimes I think of this as the dreamlike background of existence–the fluid realm out of which individuation emerges and which becomes activated during developmental events in a person’s life.

One might also think of impressionistic movements in art as attempts to squint, or blur vision, in order to see reality differently. Seeing clearly has its downsides. Used destructively, it kills the imaginative faculty. As I coped with the embarrassment, frustration, and self-attack involved in losing my glasses, this blurring of vision afforded a new view of things. As focus softened, I softened, and my attitudes softened and became more fluid and capable of experiencing what was there.

Maybe not being able to see so clearly forced me to rest my eyes, half-closed, and thus experience a relaxing of my mental muscle–the muscle that tries to know and master what I encounter. In the words of Captain Beefheart, “Somebody’s had too much to think!” Relaxing the need to know and master is in fact beneficial to psychotherapy in various ways. Psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion associated each therapy session with a kind of dreaming while awake. Therapy makes a space for reverie and free association–less knowing and mastery, in other words–and thus engages the capacity to dream one’s experience into existence. This capacity undergirds psychological development and therefore therapeutic efforts by making it possible to metabolize experience.

Face Not Recognized

I finally capitulated several years after everyone else and got myself an andoid – a telephone that is “smart,” like an I-Phone but not Apple. I’ve hesitated to do so, largely on account of my discomfort with further attaching my own consciousness and daily experience to digital devices. It’s a known fact that Google wants to be the third half of your brain. Are you okay with that? How does that alter your sense of self? Particularly your sense of your own human limitations?

Those questions aside, I wanted to report a truly psychological experience brought on by tethering myself to a device. When I told my android how I wanted to keep it secure from intruders, I first chose the option “Recognize My Face.” In case you’ve not encountered facial recognition software, let me explain. The android takes photos of your face and puts the data it collects from the images into an algorithmic structure. When it captures the image, a dotted line slowly encircles the perimeter of your face, and when it finishes, that version of your face is saved. You can do this as many times as you wish, in as many different lighting situations and with as many expressions and types of eyeglasses as you choose. The more versions of you that enter the algorithm, the more likely that the android will recognize your identity at any given time.

So, when I turn my phone on, it asks me to show my face to the camera. Then it tries to match what it sees to what it has seen before. If it does, quickly the android grants access. Many times, however, because of anything from bad lighting to bed-head, it says, “Sorry Face Not Recognized.” As I read this on the screen, the photo of my face in that moment mirrors an often sorry-looking me, in one stage of dishevelment or another, or with sunglasses on and bright light behind, or whatever. I am not recognized. I have dutifully taken what feels like hundreds of self-portraits for the software, but the failure rate for access has continued to annoy.

Gradually I have become ridiculous, and screw my face up into awful contortions when the android tries to recognize me, just so it won’t. It’s as though I want to flaunt my individuality—the impossibility of summing me up in an algorithm. After all, IT doesn’t have a face. IT is a digital reality, a reality that can be reduced to zeros and ones, faceless. I, on the other hand, am not. I want to say to this device, “Guess what, you can’t know me, and you can never know me, however smart you are.”

The obvious reference here is Martin Buber, the philosopher who distinguished between “I – Thou” and “I – It” relations. A device is an It. A person is a Thou and cannot be summed up or reduced down to its elements. A Thou is a mystery who can never be fathomed.

I could argue that an It also can never be fathomed given the mysterious nature of reality, but I will save that for another posting.

Dis/connected Connection

The other day I headed up to the mountains. Just for a day. I’m lucky to live in Portland, Oregon, where that’s possible–to drive up into the wilderness and back within the space of a mere 10 or 12 hours. I gave myself a day off from my counseling practice, from family, colleagues, friends, and the familiar sights and rhythms of the city. To go away, and to come back. It’s important. It always feels good and leaves me with a reminder that “I want to do this more often.”

I left early so as to make the best of my time. The night before, in an uncharacteristic spurt of organizational prowess, I laid out everything I needed for the time away. When I woke before my alarm, I slipped out quietly into the cold air and dim light of early morning and was on my way.

It was about 20 minutes into my drive when I found myself reaching for my cell phone, only to find… no phone. Not in my pockets. Not in my bag. Not in the storage area under the armrest. Nowhere. I stopped and rifled through everywhere I could think to look. Twice. Nothing. Had it fallen out of a pocket onto the street? Was it on the table at home?

I noticed my anxiety rise as I contemplated my venture without that apparently indispensable tool, the cell phone, that only 15 years ago I did quite well without. What if I had car trouble? Or sprained my ankle on a trail? What if there were a family emergency? Or a client crisis? No one would be able to reach me, and I could reach no one, short of a pocket full of change and the rare sight of a pay phone. I reproached myself, my disorganization, my mistake.

Now, just to clarify, I don’t have a phone with lots of fancy stuff. No iPhone. No “apps.” Not even a less expensive knockoff of said device. No offense to the wonder of those technologies, but I don’t particularly want anything like that. I have a recording of the singer Tom Waits telling stories and jokes to an audience in Birmingham, Alabama, and I like it when at one point he laments the cell phone that is also a camera. “Why can’t something just be what it is?” he asks. My phone does have a camera, but it’s basic. I went for one that can take a beating too, which is fortunate, since I’ve already left it lying out in the grass on a dewy night once or twice by accident. It has a permanent defect now where the damp got in and messed up the display, but it works fine.

As the absence of the phone sunk in, I found myself driving down the freeway and country roads, slowly letting go of my anxiety at being dis/connected from the spirits of the air, those invisible transmitters of text, image, and voice, to other humans far from the actual place I inhabit at any one moment. A strange calm came over me, and a release. I was free in a new way for that day, from the fear driven by my attachment to those invisible connections. Then it was evening, and I was back. Nothing bad happened. I felt happy and refreshed and wondered whether I would leave my digital device behind on purpose next time. I thought to myself that maybe–thanks to technology–never being dis/connected means never really getting a chance to go away, and to come back, and I expect the soul wants that chance.

What Can’t be Spoken

I’ve had a little hiatus from writing here on this blog of mine. The holidays, travel, fun, stress, the usual suspects. And a certain hesitancy to pick up the virtual pen and write again. Even the word “blog” irritated me just now as I wrote that first sentence. Blog … what sort of word is that? Blog, bog, log, boggy feelings, being weighted down, a mere cog in the wheel … the associations that come to mind are not particularly pleasant. It sounds like something that gets stuck in one’s gut and needs medical intervention to remove it. “Thank God, I went into the surgecenter and got that blog removed yesterday. I feel so relieved!”

Can you feel my resistance and irritation? What can really be said, I wonder, in the end? What use are words? These are dangerous thoughts for a therapist who practices “the talking cure.” My funk will pass, I know, and likely I will write my way through it and into a space where the words mean something again. They will communicate thoughts and feelings, and I won’t feel so bloggy.

In the meantime, I will report that I have recently been perusing the websites of many local artists here in Portland, Oregon, exploring the art realm here and looking at many images of sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography. I have also been watching a few documentaries on great masters, including Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, and Louise Bourgeois. Among the many motivations, conscious and unconscious, leading me to these explorations stands a feeling that sometimes the important things cannot be spoken. They must be formed into images.

In his book, The Art of Sculpture, Herbert Read identifies the work of sculpting as the artist’s formation into image of an emotive state that exists within. Whether this is a comprehensive definition that holds true for all sculpture in all times and all places I don’t know, and don’t frankly care. For my purposes it works well. Reading this led me to take up hammer and chisel myself this past week and begin shaping a large block of aerated concrete–into what form, I don’t yet know. But something is moving now; that much is clear. There is an intelligence and an emotional reality embedded in the material, and it’s my job to notice what it wants, and to help it come into being.

Already I feel less bloggy. Something like this process I am describing often happens in therapy. Things get stuck. Words don’t come, or when they do, they don’t say what we want to say. Then an image comes, in a dream, a waking fantasy, or a piece of artistic work, and the flow of communication of thoughts and feelings comes back, and with this flow words once again mean something, and even prove indispensable.

Fear and Loathing in Therapy

I’ve been reading Hunter S. Thompson, for the first time. I’d never encountered the wild, destructive, creative force of this writer before. I’ve also been watching biographical movies about him, and of course the movie based on his book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The movie stars Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro.

It may seem curious for a depth psychologist to take an interest in the originator of “gonzo journalism,” especially since my interest is not to diagnose Thompson’s psychopathology. It would be easy to pin him down with a few diagnoses from the psychiatric Bible–the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Here is a man who suffered internally, a lot, took a lot out on those around him, indulged in consistently bad behavior, and made no apologies for his extensive alcohol and drug consumption. He would not be an easy therapy client, and as a matter of fact, he would likely never come for psychotherapy in the first place. In one of the interviews I watched, the interviewer asks about therapy and psychology. Thompson replies that he has no time for psychology; he is interested in politics.

His family and close associates give a picture of Thompson as both fiercely destructive and difficult, and keenly insightful and creative. It seems to me that his own personal madness may have given him a potent level of insight into the decadence of the society that he loved to rail against. In a poignant speech by his son Juan Thompson, in front of an audience in the author’s home town of Louisville, Kentucky, Juan says that his father taught him to see underneath the surface of things. It isn’t enough to go along with, for instance, the cover stories that we are told by the media and the government. You have to look for what is really true, even if it’s ugly and unpleasant.

I am reminded of a passage in the biblical book of Job. Job is a righteous man who’s done everything by the book. When his entire life is destroyed by tragic losses, he wonders how God could allow all this misfortune and chaos to happen. Job hadn’t done anything wrong. Towards the end of the book, God shows up and speaks to Job out of a whirlwind. At one point, God points to two wild and dangerous creatures that he’s created and says, in effect, check these two beasts out, Behemoth and Leviathan (traditionally believed to be the hippo and the crocodile). They are wild and powerful and beautiful. You can’t control them. They are fierce, and there’s nothing nice or pretty about them, but I made them. In fact, Behemoth is in some way the first of my creatures. In this passage, perhaps God is subtly revealing something of his own wildness to Job as well.

Who knows what this passage really means, but when encountering a wild force of a man, who broke all the rules, I am reminded of it. I can’t help but make the connection to psychology and its relation to wildness, or chaos. Psychology is no different from religion in that it tends to prefer the ordered, peaceful, well-behaved, and the safe. It will do what it can to enforce these values, with its diagnoses and its technologies of treatment.

Any therapy that lasts awhile is liable to encounter in some form the chaos that is part of living a human life. Not even the most sophisticated psychoanalytic theory and method will ever analyze away this element of the chaotic and uncontrollable. It’s a permanent fixture. Finding a way to relate to the Behemoth and Leviathan doesn’t come without great struggle. Destruction of self and other is all too easy to fall into. Yet for the psyche to be alive and in play, the individual has to forge some kind of creative relationship to chaos–one that gives the wildness a place in the work of individuation.

But enough, as Hunter might say, of my gibberish!