Adam Phillips: Going Sane Maps of Happiness



It starts unpromisingly The first section is a maddeningly redundant exploration of how vague and slippery our concept of sanity is Get on with it Then Phillips hits his groove doing some REAL digging holding up the mystery jewel sanity and trying to discern its nature in the ight it refracts on childhood sex and worth triple the cost of admission on its own merits money Phillips articulates the notions that have bounced around my mind for years but find devastating clarity in his fearless cheerful crafting The final section is only his stab at defining what a modern sanity might The Wedding Band (Save the Date, lookike Is it the cagey compliance of superficial sanity Or the uestioning challenge of deep sanity In typical Phillips fashion it s a bit of both depending One needs to be able to Chinas Search for Democracy lie to the Gestapo and tell the truth to one s friends This book is already making myife better some awesome bits and some real rubbish Blas Blas Blas This books dives in to a fascinating subject but the author uickly Imaginary Citizens lost me in hisouacious ramblings You From Rumspringa to Marriage ll also getost if you don t have a strong psychoanalytic background and are well read on the topic Not for Xuyên Mỹ (Bất Hạnh Là Một Tài Sản, lay peopleike me This book had a Una vida absolutamente maravillosa lot of potential but it ended up being pretty disappointing The concept is intriguing how do we define sanity Why is easier to say that someone is mad than it is to say that they re saneUnfortunately most of the book is sort of a morass of poorly organized writing and amorphous concepts that flow into one another without any real sense of what the author is trying to say It wasn t until the final chapter that I really felt that I had a grasp on what Phillips is trying to say about sanity and by then it was really tooate I was really intrigued by this book when I picked it up and I wish that it hadn t been so confusing and poorly written What an intoxicating marvel Poetry mix with psychology and Cuentos reunidos language here to explore the world of madness and sanity Phillips argues that there are definitions for madness in our culture than there are for sanity We bothove and are terrified of those eccentrics in our midst fearing that we are heading down the same slope while also somewhat jealous of their freedom He begins with a dive into Extreme Teaming literature with Hamlet a central figure This is followed by aook at our relationship to our sanity from a range of views Sane sex greed He ends with an attempt at a definition for sanity Critics have assailed him for his Definitely Not Sexy lacklustre exploration of theiterature I personally found his insights and the poetry of his Organization Development in Healthcare language well as I said intoxicating He does on occasion write in a very dense style where hisove for spinning Ethnographic Research language seems to outweigh his desire to communicate the idea Was his editor intimidated by this man s ability But overall the book is a must for anyone interested in exploring the human psyche and most definitely writers What a powerful book The final chapter is incredible Even though in places Phillips becomes aittle repetitive by the end his message becomes resoundingly clear Sometimes it gets slippery because throughout his essay he references two different kinds of sanity superficial and deep Superficial sanity is the generic cultural sanity that demands compliance conformity and adaptation As a school teacher I am part of the system that stresses this in our culture But deep sanity challenges this premise by probing that society and its spawn culture are really artificial constructs that do not have the authority over an individual s uest for identity Phillips opens the study by noting how a convicted murderer who had been confirmed schizophrenic needed to be found sane prior to his execution in order for the sentence to be interpreted as punishment That is the schizophrenic needed to be confirmed sane prior to the State taking his The Nordic Varieties of Capitalism life so that his death would have meaning for those who remain His first chapter then moves to a study of Hamlet which is appropo for me this summer his tragedy Phillips exploresies in his personal artistry and bedazzlement not being understood a misunderstanding freuent among artists in essence Hamlet challenges the tribal custom of revenge killings and is overcome by his uestioning its efficacy For Phillips this shows that he is deeply sane rather than mad as Polonius calls him mad or madness appears 36 times in the play a word that in that decade was a neologism Phillips has chapters on sanity in sexual relationships on financial matters as well as on autism schizophrenia and depression But read please the final chapter It made me sit up straight and challenged my own assumptions about society and the need to fit in To end I feel the importance not to be dependent on others to respect the randomness of existence and to ive for meaning regardless of the costs Appetite and fear are inextricably connected and all crea. Being sane has ong been defined simply as that bland and nebulous state of not being mentally ill While writings on madness fill entire ibraries until now no one has thought to engage exclusively with the idea of sanityIn a society governed by indulgence and excess madness is the state of mind we identify wi.

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T we think we want and what we think we are capable ofThe sanity of True Genius we must assume is that the True Genius is a fallen creature who can write who can describe things from the point of view of the unfallenThe sane genius transforms everything that might disturb us the wildest dreams into something that is familiar and reassuringThe horrifying the dispiriting the bizarre are made utterly convivial by the sane True GeniusSanity checks the madnessonly the sanity of True Genius can manage and bear madnessMadness reuires genius to make it viable Indeed that may ultimately be what genius is what sanity has to be a talent for transforming madness into something other than itself of making terror comfortingSanity is this talent for not etting whatever frightens us about ourselves destroy our pleasure in Under His Skin life and this for Lamb is essentially ainguistic talentThank goodness for great fiction and the courage it takes to read it But then to see and understand the truth in fiction and apply it to our ives is where the trouble begins for most of us Figuring out what makes one tick is key to enjoying a healthy and satisfying ife Exploring all options that come to mind is critical to developing an understanding of what one truly wants This does not mean to act out every fantasy or dream one holds It means to investigate the idea the possibilities to extend the behavior out by using reasoning in order to consider the conseuences To think we ever have Investigating the Supernatural life all figured out is insane at best To understand and accept that the best we can hope for is a muddling through is infinitely sane The infantile pleasures of beingoved adored stroked held cuddled infinitely attended to and responded to and thought about of only sleeping eating and playing these are the truly satisfying pleasuresIt is in fact a form of madness to not know to forget to attack and trivialize what really makes you happyThe sane adult is aways smuggling his childhood into the future refashioning his childhood pleasures as Sturm-Liouville Problems legitimate adult interestsIt is the madness of modern human wanting not to want to know about its own wantingThe deeply sane must not betray their desire the superficially sane accommodate their desire to the needs of othersThe superficially sane tend to convince us that we are the products of our environments arguing that if you give people the right upbringing and education you will make them well adjusted The deeply sane on the other hand tell us that there is always to us than our environments that there is something within us call it genius or aife force or instincts or genes that exceeds the world that we find and to which we must pay our most serious attention because it is driving us one way or another into what we are and will beThe sane person s first acknowledgement is that her Make Me Yours (Make Me, life is moved byuck than by judgment she sees her relationships as coincidences rather than destinies her talents as unearned gifts her bodily ife as genetically contingent her parents as giving her a good or a bad chance and so on The only necessities her ife has are the ones she ascribes to them The second acknowledgement of the sane is that they are peculiarly animals who are often unconscious of what they want and that some of the wants they are most conscious of serve to obscure their keener satisfactions And this is because their third acknowledgment is that what they most want they must not have because it is forbidden themSanity should not be our word for the alternative to madness it should refer to whatever resources we have to prevent humiliation I had a number of issues with this book which can be summed up as mostly relating to AP s interpretations of sex too straight off Freudian mental health disorders ike autism and schizophrenia which I felt he mostly just used as imagery for his own devices and repetitive use of certain words eg ineluctably However AP s vision of sanity is a rather charming one perhaps best illustrated by this uotation from the very ast pages The kindest thing a sane adult can do is assume that other people can make choices while being mindful of the areas of people s Collecting Shakespeare lives in which choice does not apply and that humiliating another person is the worst thing we ever do That Iike Amazing read Almost every sentence could stand alone as a uote There is no useless phrase or idea in this whole book It is a trove of wisdom which made my jaw drop several times I got this book from the The Phenomena and Diosemeia of Aratus library and used a scanner to save three of the chapters for me to readater because each successive idea rippled my brain and I HAD to read it over again to fully integrate it This is a book that is to be perceived by the intuition as well as the intellect it must appeal to your soul and if it resonates keep reading Others might not agree with Phillips words but their oss. To essentials focusing on how we as human beings parents overs as people to whom work matters can make space for a sane and well balanced attitude to iving In a world saturated by tales of dysfunction and suffering he offers a way forward that is as down to earth and realistic as it is uplifting and hopeful.

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Tures are endangered by the fundamental project of meeting their needs But the human creature meets his needs in both senses unlike every other animal He must meet his needs in order to survive and over time he will have to become acuainted too with what he will earn to call his needs And what he will meet unlike any other animal is the exorbitance the hubris of his appetites Indeed the stories he will be told about his appetite explicitly in words and implicitly in the way his appetite is responded to by other people is that it is at east potentially way in excess of any object s capacity to satisfy He will be told in short that he is by nature greedy He will discover whether or not this is uite his experience that he apparently always wants than he can have that his appetite the ifeline that is his nature that is at once so intimate and so obscure to him can in the end drive him mad He may be sane but his appetite is not This is what it is to be a human being to be at Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance least at the outset too demandingSatisfactions are of course possible but disappointment and disillusionment are unavoidable At best one can develop a bearable sense of one simitations at worst one is driven mad Given one s appetite given the ways we have inherited of describing it one becomes realistic or one The Intentional Brain lives in the no man sand of the tantrum and the grudge To talk about appetite in other words is to talk about whatever it is that we have to complain about Adam Phillips Going Sane p 101 102All the new thinking Punishing the Art Thief like all the old thinking agrees that there is something catastrophic about being a person The catastrophe isocated in various places in our being born at all in our being condemned to death in our vulnerability as organisms or in our cruel injustices as political animals in the scarcity of our natural resources or in our greedy depredation of them in our Fall or in our hubris But all these catastrophes one way or another are Maryland in Black and White linked to our appetites as creatures who want and who are driven by what is at once necessary and missing from ourives Our wants may be constructed given form by the Teaching Machines language available in the culture but that we want is not in doubt It is whether our wanting has catastrophe built into it whether our wanting is such that ruinous frustration or ruinous aggression is inevitable or is indeed a necessity to keep wanting on the go or whether our wanting is made unbearable only by the ways in which it is responded to that is now in uestion Theanguage of sanity and madness provides a vocabulary for asking and answering uestions about appetite Adam Phillips Going Sane p 120 121The sane adult is protective and not only of children but of himself and others in a way that avoids covertly undermining the strengths of those who are apparently in need of protection The friends of the born nurse Are always getting worse as WH Auden wrote The sane adult assumes that it is possible for people to get pleasure from who they happen to be and that part of this pleasure is bound up with versions of self reliance that are not merely a or ess bitter denial of a need for other people The two most dispiriting forms of modern relationship are the protection racket and the sadomasochistic contract in which respectively one person s strength depends on the other person s weakness or one person s pleasure depends upon the other person s suffering The sane person s project is to find appealing ways of being weak and strong or to find alternative pleasures to the pleasures of power and of helplessness The way most people are prone to see what they call human nature now makes even the thought of alternative forms of pleasure and excitement sound hopelessly na ve It would be part of the sane person s sanity to want new forms of pleasure in which neither one s kindness nor one s excitement are overly compromised one emblem of this might be those gay men who experiment in coming without getting an erection The sane person knows that being able to only be a nice person is the death of sexual excitement and that being able to only be nasty is too isolating Adam Phillips Going Sane p 234 235 Those of us who don t find madness inspiring are surprisingly short of options and at present there is not much help availableBeing impelled to record notes while reading is always the most promising sign that once again I have stumbled onto a very important book There is so much good to retain in Going Sane But the reader should not be so naive as to not expect a bit of disjointed rhetoric when addressing the subject of sanity Such a wide ranging topic that would be difficult at best to pin down and keep focussed on There are diversions to be expected in a concept so insanely complicated to explain Imagining possibilities for ourselves involves telling stories about what we think we are ike wha. Th most keenly Though ultimately destructive it is often credited as the wellspring of genius individuality and self expression Sanity on the other hand confounds us One of the world's most respected psychoanalysts and original thinkers Adam Phillips redresses this historical imbalance He strips our ives back.

WikipediaPhillips is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books He has been described by The Times as the Martin Amis of British psychoanalysis for his brilliantly amusing and often profoundly unsettling work; and by John Banville as one of the finest prose stylists in the language an Emerson of our time