Tag Archives: Actions

Psychoanalysis As Archaeology in Penny Dreadful

14 May

Dedicated to O…

Freud famously described psychoanalysis as archaeology, the unearthing of meaning layered deep beneath an “expanse of ruins.

In television and movies it’s closer to a detective story.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/28/arts/television/28stan.html

Penny Dreadful Dr Seward & Vanessa Ives

In their first meeting, Vanessa Ives {Eva Green} and Dr.Seward {Patti LuPone} explore the intimate relationship between {potential} patient and psychologist.

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This brilliant scene from Penny Dreadful illustrates how a alienist/psychologist/therapist/psychiatrist excavates the truth through words, gestures/body language, actions, etc. Although it is the first time that Vanessa Ives and Dr.Seward meet, the alienist sets her boundaries. Since it is a preliminary consultation, she has to assess if Vanessa will be her patient {“if I take your case”}. 

Vanessa’s gestures are psychoanalyzed {why are you scratching your hand? Why were you doing that?}. Vanessa replies shyly that she had an itch. Dr.Seward says “no, you didn’t” with conviction. To Dr.Seward, the scratching of the hand is not as it appears; it connotes nervousness/anxiety. Every gesture speaks volumes to the alienist/psychologist/psychiatrist

Vanessa sees Dr.Seward’s observations as a challenge. She says, “this is a challenge. You’ll see if I am worthy of study.” Her astute observations about Dr.Seward’s criteria are accurate. Through prelimiary psychoanalysis, the therapist is trying to assess if Vanessa is worthy of her time, energy and talents. Is she worth having as a patient?

Dr.Seward warns Vanessa, “I am not your friend or your priest or your husband. I am your doctor. You come to me to get better because you are ill- no other reason. Do you understand that?” She sets her professional boundaries clearly. The purpose of therapy is to heal Vanessa of her illness.

Dr.Seward’s compassion shines through despite her tough demeanor. She asks Vanessa, do you understand that you are ill- not bad, not unworthy- just ill? Depression often tricks a person into thinking that they are unworthy. It tells many lies. The therapist must convince the patient of their depressed state instead of internalizing a depressed identity.

She resassures Vanessa that there are “no emotions unwelcome in this room.” Vanessa is encouraged to release her emotions because it is cathartic to do so. Dr.Seward is also communicating to Vanessa that she will not be judged. She is free to speak and express herself as necessary. She also warns her, “if this process doesn’t appeal to you, the door is there.” It almost sounds like she is testing Vanessa or interrogating her at times.

The turning point is when Vanessa takes control of the narrative. She says with a smile, “you don’t want me to leave…because I scratch my hand. You find that telling…those phobias that interest you.” She assures the doctor that she might interest her as a patient. Vanessa notes that Dr.Seward doesn’t need the ten shillings but she does need interesting people to collect. Dr.Seward disagree with her by saying that she takes patients on to cure them. Vanessa asks, what the difference is between collecting and curing?

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This scene is when Dr.Seward really showcases her talents as the skilled alienist. She ends her analsysis with the metaphor of the ouroboros. {The snake eating its tail is a symbol of infinity}. In essence, Dr.Seward is telling Vanessa that she is trapped in an endless cycle of unhappiness as she constantly tortures herself.

12 Monkeys End At The Beginning

The ouroboros from the 12 Monkeys television series from Syfy

Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives):

“I already know what’s wrong with you.

You’re unhappy. You’re isolated.

You think you’re the cause of this unhappiness and are unworthy of affection so you’ve few friends.

Recently you lost something you think very important- your lover, your faith, your family, or all three.

You blame yourself for this, so it makes you neurotic and you don’t sleep and don’t eat anything healthy anyway.

You used to take care of your appearance, but you’ve lost interest in that, so you avoid mirrors.

Sunlight bothers you, so you avoid that too, about which you’re guilty because you think it’s unhealthy and even immoral not to like the sun.

You’re not a woman of convention or you wouldn’t be here, but you like to pretend you are so people don’t notice you.

But you sometimes like that as well, and can dress to draw the eye. But then you think the men who look at you are fools, or worse, to be taken in by such an obvious outward show.

So, instead you’re drawn to dark, complicated, impossible men, assuring your own unhappiness and isolation because, after all, you’re happiest alone.

But not even then because you can’t stop thinking about what you’ve lost, again, for which you blame yourself.

So the cycle goes on, the snake eating its own tail.”

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I highly recommend watching Penny Dreadful.

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These scenes convey the brilliant acting of Eva Green, Patti LuPone and the work of the creative teams behind Penny Dreadful. It also highlights the emancipating insight that one can gain from psychotherapy. I have been in psychotherapy and it is one of the best decisions I have made. The internal work is so challenging and often painful but it is worth it in terms of healing, personal development, self-discovery, growth, etc. I highly recommend it.

The key is being ready to open yourself up to examine your memory palace/the locked rooms in your mind and finding the right alienist/psychologist/therapist for you.

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P.s. I plan to do posts about the television shows Penny Dreadful; 12 Monkeys; the alienist; etc.

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Further Research…

Penny DreadfulPenny Dreadful’s Internet Movie Database Page

Eva Green..Eva Green’s Internet Movie Database Page

Patti LuPonePatti LuPone’s Internet Movie Database Page

12 Monkeys12 Monkey’s Internet Movie Database Page

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Peace & Psychoanalytic Love,

V.

Reflection for today…Love Vs. Infatuation -Chuck Klosterman

4 Nov

“I have never understood the concept of infatuation.

It has always been my understanding that being ‘infatuated’ with someone means you think you are in love, but you’re actually not; infatuation is (supposedly) just a foolish, fleeting feeling.

But if being ‘in love’ is an abstract notion, and it’s not tangible, and there is no way to physically prove it to anyone else…

well, how is being in love any different than having an infatuation?

They’re both human constructions.

If you think you’re in love with someone and you feel like you’re in love with someone, then you obviously are; thinking and feeling is the sum total of what love is.

Why do we feel an obligation to certify emotions with some kind of retrospective, self-imposed authenticity?” 

― Chuck Klosterman,

Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

Love Or Infatuation

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Please enjoy Think I’m In Love by Beck

From The Basement Version…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S1wL87JywI

Original Video Version…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7WdKAvZ2ec

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Do you agree with Chuck Klosterman?

Why or why not?

Are the concepts of love and infatuation too cerebral/intellectual and abstract?

Are they not emotive enough?

Can love truly be defined?

Why do we constantly need to define things?

Why can’t we just let them be? 

infatuation-vs-love

*Is the role of art to define love or is it the goal of life?

Are feelings of love more or less valid than thoughts of love?

{I think it all counts but I believe love is shown in actions}.

How can you prove your love?

Doesn’t infatuation sound so immature as opposed to love?

{I think love is mature and infatuation is immature}.

Is infatuation always temporary?

infatuation-definition1

{It is interesting to note that most poets/authors/musicians/artists write and sing more about love and not infatuation}. Why do you think that is?

Is infatuation dangerous?

Infatuation Vs. Love

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For more information…

Chuck Klosterman…

http://pages.simonandschuster.com/chuckklosterman 

http://twitter.com/CKlosterman

Beck…http://www.beck.com

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Time is of The Essence -Buddha

27 Feb

“The trouble is,

you think you have time.”

-Buddha

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Buddha’s reflection on time is that it is taken for granted.

Time is of the essence because death is approaching {memento mori}.

Being mindful gives us awareness of how we use our time. Hopefully our time is being used living our potential and awakening spiritually and otherwise.

The key is to live in the present moment {the now} and do your very best.

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I wonder about Buddhist conceptions of time.

I found an intriguing excerpt on Buddhist notions of time from www.tricycle.com 

Daniel Goleman: “What is the Buddhist understanding of Time? How can we relate our sense of the process of time to our experience of the present moment?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: In Buddhism, the concept of linear time, of time as a kind of container, is not accepted. Time itself, I think, is something quite weak. It depends on some physical basis, some specific thing. Apart from that thing it is difficult to pinpoint—to see time. Time is understood or conceived only in relation to a phenomenon or a process.

DG: Yet the passage of time seems very concrete—the past, the present, aging. The process of time seems very real.

HH: This business of time is a difficult subject. There are several different explanations and theories about time; there is no one explanation in Buddhism. I feel there is a difference between time and the phenomena on which time is projected. Time can be spoken of only in relation to phenomena susceptible to change, which because they are susceptible to change are transitory and impermanent. “Impermanent” means there is a process. If there is no process of change, then one cannot conceive of time in the first place.

The question is whether it is possible to imagine an independent time which is not related to any particulars, any object that goes through change. In relation to such an object, we can talk about the past of that thing, its present state, and its future; but without relation to such particulars, it is very difficult to conceive of an instant of time totally independent of a particular basis.”

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This video clip is from The Tudors.

King Henry the eighth reflects on loss.

He asks his beloved friend Charles Brandon

What loss is to man most irrecoverable?

Charles answers virtue and then honour.

Henry says that by his actions man can redeem his virtue.

He may  also find the means to recover his honour as he recovers fortune that has been lost.

Henry answers…

Of all losses time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0RME0FD1_k

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I highly recommend watching The Tudors if you haven’t seen it yet…

Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ performance as Henry VIII is unforgettable to say the least.

Long live the king!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTiL8pgNqhs

Have a surrealist day 😉

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Respect Your Love -Jimi Hendrix

12 Feb

“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.

Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.” 
Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix: A Sensitive Soul…

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This valentines day don’t get seduced by fabricated love and consumerist “romantic” marketing- in other words…fake love.

Remember…

You deserve all of someone’s heart- not just a tattered and bruised corner.

You deserve the universe- not mere crumbs.

You deserve the highest respect, reverence and compassion.

You don’t need to fight to get someone’s attention or love.

If they love you and care about you, they will give it willingly.

There will be no need for convincing.

They will see you and know who you are.

They will accept who you are without question.

They will look for you.

They will find you.

They will call you or write you and not wait for you to chase them.

They will take the initiative and make the effort if they really care.

They will swim shark infested waters- or at least the ocean.

They will climb mountains, slay dragons, go to hell and get out of hell to find you.

They will visit you in the hospital or jail- if they are brave enough they might even help you break out.

They will give you their kidney if necessary.

Remember that love is shown in actions and not hollow words.

Remember that love is loyalty and loyalty is love.

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There is a huge difference between a heart of gold and a gold-plated one.

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Please enjoy …

Chris Cornell- Arms Around Your Love…

Chris Cornell- Arms Around Your Love Official Video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu01eOXABBg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMGtZnuE1Vc

“With his arms around your love
Oh no, here comes the pain that you can’t ignore

With his arms around your girl
He’ll do all of the things you didn’t do before
You had every chance, but you closed the door

[Chorus]
Now you’re just gonna have to take it
(‘Cause if you didn’t  know)
She’s gonna make you pay for it
(Price you can’t afford)
You’re  just gonna have to take it
With his arms around your love [Repeat: x3]

Oh, yeah

Pretend that you don’t mind
But you know everything that you left behind

And it would have been alright
If you’d gave half of  the praise that you held inside
You thought she’d hang around for the ride

[Chorus]

Coming clean feels so dangerous
Just a little bit would have been enough
But you never said all the words caught in your head

As if your heart was dead
Well now its surely bled and broken up

And it would have been alright
If you’d gave half of the praise that you held inside
You thought she’d hang around for the ride

[Chorus]

(Take it) With his arms around your love
(Pay for it) With his arms around your love
With his arms around your love
With his arms around your love.”

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For more information…

Jimi Hendrix…http://www.jimihendrix.com/us/home

Chris Cornell…http://chriscornell.com/home/

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Sending you seeds of self-love, self-respect and dignity…

Peace & Namaste…