T is now in uestion The language 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 ISadult assumes that it is 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 less bitter denial of a need for other people The two most dispiriting
FORMS OF MODERN RELATIONSHIP ARE THEof modern relationship are the 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 ven the thought of alternative forms of pleasure and Blacklands 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 sxcitement are overly compromised one Evolutionary Patterns emblem of this might be those gay men whoxperiment in coming without getting an Evolution As Entropy erection The sane person knows that being able to only be a nice person is the death of sexualxcitement and that being able to only be nasty is too isolating Adam Phillips Going Sane p 234 235 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 like autism and schizophrenia which I felt he mostly just used as imagery for his own devices and repetitive use of certain words Forging Gay Identities eg ineluctably However AP s vision of sanity is a rather charming one perhaps best illustrated by this uotation from the very last 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 lives in which choice does not apply and that humiliating another person is the worst thing wever do That I like. To Forbidden History essentials focusing on how we as human beings parents lovers as people to whom work matters can make space for a sane and well balanced attitude to living In a world saturated by tales of dysfunction and suffering he offers a way forward that is as down toarth and realistic as it is uplifting and hopeful.
Summary Going Sane Maps of HappinessNses unlike Fiche Blian ag Fás 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 learn to call his needs And what he will meet unlike any other animal is thexorbitance the hubris of his appetites Indeed the stories he will be told about his appetite Esteem Enlivened by Desire explicitly in words and implicitly in the way his appetite is responded to by other people is that it is at least potentially way inxcess 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 Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith experience that he apparently always wants than he can have that his appetite the lifeline that is his nature that is at once so intimate and so obscure to him can in thend 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 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 s limitations at worst one is driven mad Given one s appetite given the ways we have inherited of describing it one becomes realistic or one lives in the no man s land 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 like all the old thinking agrees that there is something catastrophic about being a person The catastrophe is located
IN VARIOUS PLACES IN OUR BEINGvarious places in our being 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 Butdepredation of them in our Fall or in our hubris But these catastrophes one way or another are linked to our appetites as creatures who want and who are driven by what is at once necessary and missing from our lives Our wants may be constructed given form by the 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 tha. Th most keenly Though ultimately destructive it is often credited as the wellspring of genius individuality and self xpression 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 lives back. It starts unpromisingly The first section is a maddeningly redundant xploration 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 light 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 CHEERFULclarity in his fearless cheerful The final section is only his stab at defining what a modern sanity might look like 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 lie to the Gestapo and tell the truth to one s friends This book is already making my life better Blas Blas Blas This books dives in to a fascinating subject but the author uickly lost me in his louacious ramblings You ll also get lost if you don t have a strong psychoanalytic background and are well read on the topic Not for lay people like me What an intoxicating marvel Poetry mix with psychology and language here to xplore the world of madness and sanity Phillips argues that there are definitions for madness in our culture than there are for sanity We both love and are terrified of
those ccentrics in our midst fearing that we are heading down the same slope while also somewhat jealous of theireccentrics in our midst fearing that we are heading down the same slope while also somewhat jealous of their He begins with a dive into literature with Hamlet a central figure This is followed by a look at our "Relationship To Our Sanity From "to our sanity from range of views Sane sex greed He The Heritage of Arabo-Islamic Learning ends with an attempt at a definition for sanity Critics have assailed him for his lacklustrexploration of the literature I personally found his insights and the poetry of his language well as I said intoxicating He does on occasion write in a very dense style where his love for spinning language seems to outweigh his desire to communicate the idea Was his Hereward (Hereward, editor intimidated by this man s ability But overall the book is a must for anyone interested inxploring the human psyche and most definitely writers Appetite and fear are inextricably connected and all creatures are Under One Sky endangered by the fundamental project of meeting their needs But the human creature meets his needs in both se. Being sane has long been defined simply as that bland and nebulous state of not being mentally ill While writings on madness fillntire libraries until now no one has thought to ngage xclusively with the idea of sanityIn a society governed by indulgence and Groom and Doom excess madness is the state of mind we identify wi.