This book is the second novel, by Peter Stickland, a writer from the UK, and Marc Melchert, a psychotherapist from Switzerland. Once again, they offer us a window into the stories and dreams that arise out of the therapy sessions of their characters, Alex and Stefan.
You are invited to share in the private reflections of these two men, getting close to their reveries, both conscious and unconscious, and learning about how they wrestle with the complex themes that arise during therapy.
They discover shared aspirations and conflicting philosophies. They invent provocative and precarious strategies to hide vulnerability. They distract each other from discovering hidden anxieties. Despite these tricks, it is their search for the truth, their generous friendship and their analytical insights that help them find some kind of path through the complexities that face them.
I am also worried that there will be no trace of me when I’m gone. When artists die, their objects, their art, keep their spirit alive.
For analysts, the analysing is over when they’re gone!
This we all have and we often refer to it as a feeling of “emptiness.” I call it the void, as it is the interface between two polarities. Nothing of either side exists in this vacuum, but both sides begin here. It is more accurate to say that they exist and do not exist – they are “neither this nor that” and yet they are “this as well as that,” simultaneously. It is barely possible to describe this strange place, but still we desire to be there and at the same time we fear it.
That is why I think we should circle around it – trying not to fall into it and trying not to get stuck between the polarities.
I am reminded of the disagreement Alex and I had about the meaning of
the Taoist saying “wei wu wei.”
He said it meant “effortless doing.”
I said it meant “doing out of the right motive.”
Now I have a new possibility: “keeping the right level and balance of our neurotransmitters.”