leituras comentadas, novembro 2015

mudei um pouco as coisas nesses posts mensais de leituras comentadas.

a verdade é que preciso mesmo organizar minhas leituras, senão me perco.

(por exemplo, li erich fromm com tanta familiaridade que não sei se é por já ter lido ou apenas porque concordamos em quase tudo!)

então, a partir de agora, além de listar os livros lidos, vou resumir suas ideias principais e compartilhar meus comentários e anotações — que, às vezes, são muito, muito extensos.

ou seja, querida pessoa leitora, esses posts de “leituras comentadas” não serão mesmo para todo mundo. se os livros te interessam, maravilha. se não, pule tudo sem dor na consciência.

para facilitar, já no topo, a lista dos livros lidos em novembro. para os comentários e citações, é só ir descendo.

só queria dizer que demorei quatro dias inteiros escrevendo esse post gigantesco que quase ninguém vai ler. tomara que valha a pena. ao menos, foi delicioso reencontrar todas minhas recentes leituras.

* * *

livros lidos em novembro, 2015

  1. free will, de mark balaguer, 2014, inglês. 8nov15.
  2. breakdown of will, de george ainslie, 2001, inglês. nov15.
  3. “autobiografia”, de sigmund freud, 1925, alemão. (trad: paulo césar de souza) 21nov15.
  4. além do princípio do prazer, de sigmund freud, 1920, alemão. (trad: paulo césar de souza) 21nov15.
  5. o eu e o id, de sigmund freud, 1923, alemão. (trad: paulo césar de souza) 21nov15. releitura.
  6. escape from freedom, de erich fromm, 1941, inglês. 18-21nov15.
  7. the whisperer in darkness, de h. p. lovecraft, 1930, inglês. nov15. releitura.
  8. at the mountains of madness, de h. p. lovecraft, 1931, inglês. nov15. releitura.
  9. livro de ruth, anônimo, c.VI-IV aec, hebráico. nov15. releitura.
  10. primeiro livro de samuel, anônimo, c.630–540 aec, hebráico. nov15. releitura.
  11. rosencrantz & guildenstern are dead, de tom stoppard, 1967, inglês. 23nov15.
  12. the man in the high castle, de philip k. dick, 1962, inglês. 25nov15.
  13. strangers to ourselves: discovering the adaptive unconscious, de timothy d. wilson, 2004, inglês. 20nov15.
  14. why freud was wrong: sin, science and psychoanalysis, de richard webster, 1995, inglês. 27nov15.
  15. freud (the great philosophers), de richard webster, 2003, inglês. 30nov15.
  16. santo agostinho em 90 minutos, de paul strathern, 1997, inglês. (trad: maria helena geordane, 1999.) 30nov15.

* * *

livre-arbítrio

para a “prisão liberdade”, que eu pesquiso, pesquiso e nunca escrevo, li mais dois livros sobre livre-arbítrio.

parece zoação mas os livros filosóficos sobre livre-arbítrio falam extamente sobre isso mesmo.

parece zoação mas os livros filosóficos sobre livre-arbítrio falam extamente sobre isso mesmo.

* * *

free will, de mark balaguer, 2014, inglês. 8nov15.

apesar de ser um volume da série the mit press essential knowledge, que deveria apresentar temas e ideias filosóficas, o autor escreve especificamente para defender a ideia de que, ao contrário do que afirmam alguns neurocientistas, sim, nós temos livre-arbítrio.

como introdução simplificada, o livro é bom. comparado aos outros tantos que li sobre esse tema, foi meio redundante.

* * *

“We want [free will] in connection with a certain subset of our conscious decisions … what we can call torn decisions … a conscious decision in which you have multiple options and you’re torn as to which option is best … you have multiple options that seem to you to be more or less tied for best, so that you feel completely unsure—or entirely torn—as to what you ought to do. And you decide while feeling torn.”

“For a decision to be a product of my free will …, two things need to be true. First, it needs to have been me who made the decision; and second, my choice needs to have not been predetermined by prior events. In other words, it needs to be the case that (a) I did it, and (b) nothing made me do it.”

“[T]he psychological studies don’t show—in fact, they don’t even come close to showing—that our torn decisions are always caused by unconscious factors. And this is what they would need to do in order to show that we don’t have free will. Think about it. If you believe in free will, you don’t have to say all of your torn decisions are the products of your free will. You only have to say that some of them are. Suppose that you make, on average, five torn decisions a day. And now suppose that, on average, two of these decisions are caused by unconscious factors—in other words, by things that you’re completely unaware of and that are completely out of your control. For instance, maybe you decided to order chocolate ice cream because you subconsciously hate your mother (because, unbeknownst to you, when you were a toddler, she used to bite your fingers and toes until they bled) and because the color of the vanilla ice cream subconsciously reminded you of her teeth. And maybe you bought a Coke at lunch because you were subconsciously motivated by some stupid billboard you saw on your way to work without even realizing it. Still, that leaves three other torn decisions that you made today. And maybe those decisions weren’t caused by unconscious factors.”

“[T]he psychological studies on subconscious motivations … don’t show that we don’t have free will. At most, they show that we exercise our free will a bit less often than we might have thought.”

“[T]o say that we have free will is to say that the following hypothesis is true: At least sometimes, when we make our torn decisions, nothing causes us to choose in the ways that we do.”

* * *

breakdown of will, de george ainslie, 2001, inglês. nov15.

ainslie busca responder a seguinte pergunta: por que as pessoas voluntariamente agem de maneira prejudiciais aos seus interesses, como fumar, usar drogas, jogar, etc?

pra começar, considerei a questão limitada e preconceituosa. por que seria uma decisão irracional, digamos, a pessoa fazer o enorme sacrifício de se negar ao real e imediato prazer que ela sente ao fumar hoje em prol de diminuir as chances de ter câncer de pulmão em futuro que ela pode nem mesmo chegar a ver? quem sou eu, aqui, de fora, de longe, pra me colocar na posição de árbitro-supremo e determinar categoricamente que os anos que vida que essa pessoa pode vir a ter (que não sei se existirão) valem mais do que o prazer que ela sente (que eu não tenho como mensurar)?

morar em cidades grandes e utilizar veículos automotores, em oposição a morar no campo e fazer tudo a pé, seguramente nos tira alguns anos de vida, mas será irracional considerar que as vantagens que auferimos compensam os anos que perdemos? aliás, há muitas indicações de que homens castrados podem viver até quinze anos mais: seremos irracionais todos os homens que preferimos as delícias do sexo, do gozo e da paternidade em troca desses longos quinze anos?

enfim, para poder continuar a ler, tive que colocar essas questões de lado e fiquei decepcionado ao ver que elas aparentemente nunca foram seriamente consideradas pelo autor.

para responder sua pergunta, ainslie propõe a teoria do desconto hiperbólico (hyperbolic discount), uma fórmula que busca calcular e prever como as pessoas valorizam mais seu prazer imediato ou próximo do que o futuro ou distante.

tenho uma amiga fumante que sempre joga o peso de suas decisões para o seu eu-do-futuro, “ah, a eu-do-amanhã resolve isso!”, e ainslie parece ter escrito o trecho abaixo explicitamente para ela:

“In this way I’ll be like a group of people rather than a single individual; often these people will be as different as Jekyll and Hyde. An agent who discounts reward hyperbolically is not the straightforward value estimator that an exponential discounter is supposed to be. Rather, it is a succession of estimators whose conclusions differ; as time elapses, these estimators shift their relationship with one another between cooperation on a common goal and competition for mutually exclusive goals. Ulysses planning for the Sirens must treat Ulysses hearing them as a separate person, to be influenced if possible and forestalled if not. To take an everyday example: You may hate to go to bed at a prudent hour, even though you hate even worse getting up in the morning without enough sleep. Your mind this morning curses your mind of last night and tries to forestall your expected mind of tonight, but runs up against the effect of hyperbolic discount curves: Your mind holds a population of reward-seeking processes that have grown to survive in contradiction to each other, and that endure despite each other. You keep on staying up late when the chance is at hand and the morning is far away — unless you can do something to bring the incentives to sleep, which are larger in the long run, to bear on your evening self.”

* * *

freud: transferência, ego, pulsão de morte

continuei minhas leituras e releituras das principais obras de freud, nas excelentes traduções de paulo césar de souza, e, quando possível, comparando com as traduções inglesas do volume da coleção great books of the western world (da qual falei aqui.)

chickenfeelings

* * *

“autobiografia”, de sigmund freud, 1925, alemão. (trad: paulo césar de souza, 2011.) 21nov15.

não é uma autobiografia em si, mas uma autobiografia intelectual de freud, desde suas primeiras ideias até o estado atual (1925) da psicanálise. naturalmente, não pode ser lido como texto objetivo, mas como um texto polêmico e defensivo, quase o discurso de um líder militar-religioso conclamando os soldados e fieis ao bom combate.

* * *

o trecho abaixo poderia ser usado como exemplo na prisão verdade:

“A percepção de que a obra do principal nome da neuropatologia alemã [W. Erb] não tinha maior relação com a realidade do que, digamos, um livro de sonhos “egípcio”, desses que são vendidos em nossas livrarias baratas, foi algo doloroso, mas contribuiu para minar um pouco mais a ingênua fé na autoridade, de que eu ainda não estava inteiramente livre.”(88)

ironicamente, muitos de seus discípulos, fãs e seguidores passaram por processo parecido ao se darem conta de que as teorias freudianas, oferecidas por ele como ciência e articuladas como discurso científico, também não passam de, digamos, excelente literatura — e, por isso, eu, como escritor de ficção, considero freud um dos meus mais talentosos e bem-sucedidos colegas, apesar de suas frequentes (e até engraçadas) afirmações de que está fazendo ciência.

* * *

nos seus escritos sobre transferência (segundo alguns autores, sua grande ideia e maior contribuição), freud me ajudou a entender melhor um fenômeno estranho que me acontecia: as muitas pessoas que subitamente se aproximavam de mim, maravilhadas e submissas, me alçando ao posto de quase líder religioso e guru-que-tudo-sabe e que, não mais que de repente, se convertiam em inimigos ferozes, espalhando ao mundo que eu era uma fraude e um charlatão, sem que eu tivesse, na verdade, feito nada (nem mesmo interagido com elas!) para merecer nem os elogios nem os xingamentos.

como disse oswaldo montenegro, no comentário que se tornou meu mantra pessoal, “todo artista precisa saber que ele nem é tão bom quanto dizem seus fãs, nem tão ruim quanto dizem seus desafetos.”

que a transferência acontece comigo, isso é fato. como não sou nem guru nem médico, e não me proponho nem tratar nem curar ninguém (sou apenas um artista pensando em voz alta), o fato de algumas pessoas me verem e me buscarem como um guru que vai ajudá-las é um problema que preciso resolver ou, no mínimo, tentar minimizar.

“Em todo tratamento analítico se produz, sem que o médico faça qualquer coisa para isso, uma forte relação emocional do paciente com a pessoa do analista, que não pode ser explicada pelas circunstâncias reais. É de natureza positiva ou negativa, varia do amor-paixão plenamente sensual a extremos de rebeldia, amargura e ódio. Isso que abreviadamente chamamos de transferência logo toma no paciente o lugar do desejo de cura e se torna, enquanto permanece afetuosa e moderada, veículo da influência médica e verdadeira mola impulsora do trabalha analítico em conjunto. Mais tarde, se se torna passional ou se converte em hostilidade, vem a ser o principal instrumento da resistência.” (124)

“[U]ma análise sem transferência é algo impossível. Não se deve crer que a análise cria a transferência e que esta ocorra somente nela. É um fenômeno humano geral, decisivo para o êxito de toda influência médica, e inclusive governa as relações de uma pessoa com seu ambiente humano.” (124)

“O analista torna o enfermo consciente de sua transferência, esta é dissolvida quando ele o convence de que, em sua conduta transferencial, revivencia ligações emocionais que têm origem em seus primeiros investimentos objetais, no período reprimido de sua infância. Dessa maneira, a transferência passa de mais forte arma da resistência a melhor instrumento da terapia analítica. Sua utilização é sempre a parte mais difícil e mais importante da técnica psicanalítica.” (125)

* * *

além do princípio do prazer, de sigmund freud, 1920, alemão. (trad: paulo césar de souza, 2013) 21nov15.

(também beyond the pleasure principle, in the major works of sigmund freud — great books of the western world, volume 54, trad: c. j. m. hubback.)

entre 1997 e 1999, quando mergulhei na obra de freud, propositalmente deixei além do princípio do prazer para depois. afinal, todas as pessoas diziam que era difícil. até ernest jones, um dos maiores fãs de freud e autor da biografia mais puppy-eyed que já li na vida, considerava esse texto mal explicado (cap.26 da edição em um só volume, ver leituras de agosto). agora, porém, nesse novo mergulho em freud, achei que não podia mais adiar.

não só gostei, como não achei mais confuso ou mal explicado que os outros livros de freud. (a gente só precisa ficar se lembrando, claro, que sacações, brilhantes ou não, não constituem ciência.)

uma das mensagens principais, que o objetivo de toda vida é a morte, me pareceu uma das grandes sacações filosóficas do século xx.

(como não leio alemão, li duas traduções desse texto e do seguinte. abaixo, as citações vão em português, mas com algumas frases da tradução inglesa quando achei que me soavam melhor.)

“Se é lícito aceitarmos, como experiência que não tem exceção, que todo ser vivo morre por razões internas, retorna ao estado inorgânico, então só podemos dizer que o objetivo de toda vida é a morte, e, retrospectivamente, que o inanimado existia antes que o vivente.” (204)

[sobre a criação da vida] “A tensão que sobreveio, na substância anteriormente inanimada, procurou anular a si mesma [strove to attain an equilibrium]; foi o primeiro instinto, o de retornar ao inanimado. Era fácil morrer, para a matéria então vivente; provavelmente bastante breve, cuja direção era determinada pela estrutura química da jovem vida. Assim, por longo tempo a substância viva pode ter sido repetidamente criada, sempre morrendo com facilidade, até que decisivas influências externas mudaram de forma tal que obrigaram a substância ainda sobrevivente a desviar-se cada vez mais do curso de vida original e fazer rodeios cada vez mais complicados até alcançar a meta da morte. Tais rodeios rumo à morte … nos ofereceriam hoje o quadro dos fenômenos da vida.” (205)

“A morte é um arranjo de conveniência, uma manifestação de adaptação às condições de vida externas, pois, a partir da divisão das células corporais em soma e plasma germinativo, uma ilimitada duração de vida individual se tornaria um luxo inconveniente. Surgindo essa diferenciação nos pluricelulares, a morte se tornou possível e adequada.” (215)

Well+mom+he+s+not+wrong+cred+goes+to+the+name_350310_5465561

* * *

o eu e o id, de sigmund freud, 1923, alemão. (trad: paulo césar de souza, 2011) 21nov15. releitura.

(também the ego and the id, in the major works of sigmund freud — great books of the western world, volume 54, trad: joan riviere.)

releitura de um texto clássico de freud que, me lembro bem, li com muita, muita dificuldade aos 22 anos.

o que me interessa em freud não é a aplicação terapêutica dessas ideias para a psicanálise, mas seu poder explicativo para as ciências humanas.

“Como formação substitutiva do anseio pelo pai, [o Super-Eu] contém o gérmen a partir do qual se formaram todas as religiões. O juízo acerca da própria insuficiência, ao comparar o Eu com seu ideal, produz o sentimento religioso de humildade que o crente invoca ansiosamente. No curso posterior do desenvolvimento, professores e autoridades levam adiante o papel do pai; suas injunções e proibições continuam poderosas no ideal do Eu, e agora exercem a censura moral como consciência. A tensão entre as expectativas da consciência e as realizações do Eu é percebida como sentimento de culpa. Os sentimentos sociais repousam em identificação com outras pessoas, com base no mesmo ideal do Eu. [Social feelings rest on the foundation of identifications with others, on the basis of an ego-ideal in common with them.] Religião, moral e sentimento social — os conteúdos principais do que é elevado no ser humano — foram originalmente uma só coisa.” (46-47)

“[O] Id é totalmente amoral, o Eu se empenha em ser moral, e o Super-Eu pode ser hipermoral e tornar-se cruel como apenas o Id vem a ser. É notável que o homem, quanto mais restringe sua agressividade ao exterior, mais severo, mais agressivo se torna em seu ideal do Eu. Para a consideração habitual é o oposto, ela vê na exigência do ideal do Eu o motivo para a supressão da agressividade. … [Q]uanto mais um indivíduo controla sua agressividade, tanto mais aumenta a inclinação agressiva do seu ideal ante o seu Eu. É como um deslocamento, uma volta contra o próprio Eu. Já a moral comum, normal, tem o caráter de algo duramente restritivo, cruelmente proibitivo. Daí vem, afinal, a concepção de um ser superior que pune implacavelmente.[But even ordinary normal morality has a harshly restraining, cruelly prohibiting quality. It is from this, indeed, that the conception arises of an inexorable higher being who metes out punishment.]” (68)

sobre a tríade ego, super-ego e id (ou, como traduz paulo césar de souza, Eu, Super-Eu e Id), acho irresistível citar allen esterson:

“[Freud] observes that the ego’s ‘three tyrannical masters are the external world, the super-ego and the id’, but since this is saying little more than that man’s consciousness is governed by his environment, his conscience and his innate instincts, it is hardly a great revelation.” (citado em why freud was wrong, de richard webster, p.292, ver abaixo.)

freud é um escritor brilhante justamente por conseguir descrever para pessoas leitoras do século xx, no vocabulário científico que se tornou canônico, conceitos ancestrais, ocasionalmente brilhantes ou úteis, errados ou nocivos, mas sempre completamente a-científicos (no sentido de que não são falsificáveis).

chickenfreud2

* * *

erich fromm: quase um alter-ego

escape from freedom, de erich fromm, 1941, inglês. 18-21nov15.

na aba desses três livros de freud, li erich fromm, um pensador que, em sua longa obra, tentou fazer uma síntese entre freud e marx. ele já foi imensamente popular no brasil, nas décadas de sessenta e setenta, todos os seus livros saíram aqui, em várias e várias edições, até que…. puff! sumiu, talvez uma vítima do des-idealismo dos anos oitenta e noventa.

(na verdade, isso tudo é suposição não-substanciada minha, baseada nas várias edições do livro e no fato de estarem fora de catálogo há décadas. eu adoraria ler um estudo sobre a recepção de fromm no meio acadêmico brasileiro!)

a tese do livro é simples: psicologicamente apavorado com as possibilidades que sua própria liberdade lhe oferece, o ser humano prefere se refugiar em todo tipo de grupo, religião, até totalitarismo. (ou, como disse sartre, “o homem está condenado a ser livre”)

minha cópia está toda sublinhada: o conteúdo me pareceu imensamente familiar. será que é porque eu concordo com quase tudo (tirando uma certa ingenuidade otimista anos sessenta que chega a ser fofa) ou será porque eu já li esse livro, ou outros do fromm, quando era jovem e internalizei tudo? sinceramente, que eu saiba, foi o primeiro livro dele que li.

* * *

epígrafe:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself only, what am I? If not now — when?” Talmudic Saying Mishnah, Abot

* * *

o problema principal do livro: é possível sem livre sem ser só?

“Each step in the direction of growing individuation threatened people with new insecurities. Primary bonds once severed cannot be mended; once paradise is lost, man cannot return to it. … The result of this disproportion between freedom from any tie and the lack of possibilities for the positive realization of freedom and individuality has led, in Europe, to a panicky flight from freedom into new ties or at least into complete indifference. … Does freedom from all primary ties make the individual so alone and isolated that inevitably he must escape into new bondage? Are independence and freedom identical with isolation and fear? Or is there a state of positive freedom in which the individual exists as an independent self and yet is not isolated but united with the world, with other men, and nature?” (52, 53, 283)

e uma tentativa de resposta:

“We believe that there is a positive answer, that the process of growing freedom does not constitute a vicious circle, and that man can be free and yet not alone, critical and yet not filled with doubts, independent and yet an integral part of mankind. This freedom man can attain by the realization of his self, by being himself. … There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties but as a free and independent individual. (53, 283)

* * *

as transformações culturais que marcam o fim da idade média e o começo da renascença deixam o homem europeu livre e só, preparado para se tornar o trabalhador que o capitalismo precisa:

“The individual is freed from the bondage of economic and political ties. He also gains in positive freedom by the active and independent role which he has to play in the new system. But simultaneously he is freed from those ties which used to give him security and a feeling of belonging. Life has ceased to be lived in a closed world the centre of which was man; the world has become limitless and at the same time threatening. By losing his fixed place in a closed world man loses the answer to the meaning of his life; the result is that doubt has befallen him concerning himself and the aim of life. He is threatened by powerful suprapersonal forces, capital and the market. His relationship to his fellow men, with everyone a potential competitor, has become hostile and estranged; he is free—that is, he is alone, isolated, threatened from all sides. Not having the wealth or the power which the Renaissance capitalist had, and also having lost the sense of unity with men and the universe, he is overwhelmed with a sense of his individual nothingness and helplessness. Paradise is lost for good, the individual stands alone and faces the world—a stranger thrown into a limitless and threatening world. The new freedom is bound to create a deep feeling of insecurity, powerlessness, doubt, aloneness, and anxiety. These feelings must be alleviated if the individual is to function successfully.” (80-81)

mas a liberdade nunca é igual para todas as pessoas:

“[Esse homem agora livre] felt alone and anxious. But he was also free to act and to think independently, to become his own master and do with his life as he could—not as he was told to do. However, according to the real life situation of the members of different social classes, these two kinds of freedom were of unequal weight. Only the most successful class of society profited from rising capitalism to an extent which gave them real wealth and power. They could expand, conquer, rule, and amass fortunes as a result of their own activity and rational calculations. This new aristocracy of money, combined with that of birth, was in a position where they could enjoy the fruits of the new freedom and acquire a new feeling of mastery and individual initiative.” (119)

protestantismo fornece a base ideológica do nascente capitalismo, como já ensinou weber:

“Protestantism was the answer to the human needs of the frightened, uprooted, and isolated individual who had to orient and to relate himself to a new world. The new character structure, resulting from economic and social changes and intensified by religious doctrines, became in its turn an important factor in shaping the further social and economic development. Those very qualities which were rooted in this character structure— compulsion to work, passion for thrift, the readiness to make one’s life a tool for the purposes of an extrapersonal power, asceticism, and a compulsive sense of duty—were character traits which became productive forces in capitalistic society and without which modern economic and social development are unthinkable.” (121-122)

a pessoa age para aliviar a ansiedade de sua impotência:

“Activity in this sense assumes a compulsory quality: the individual has to be active in order to overcome his feeling of doubt and powerlessness. This kind of effort and activity is not the result of inner strength and self-confidence; it is a desperate escape from anxiety.” (111)

o “empregado” não é mais uma pessoa: ele é uma ferramenta sendo “empregado” para realizar uma tarefa que é do interesse do seu “empregador”:

“The relationship between employer and employee is permeated by the … spirit of indifference. The word “employer” contains the whole story: the owner of capital employs another human being as he “employs” a machine. They both use each other for the pursuit of their economic interests; their relationship is one in which both are means to an end, both are instrumental to each other. It is not a relationship of two human beings who have any interest in the other outside of this mutual usefulness.” (139)

e tudo o que mais queremos é justamente encontrar algum “empregador” que nos “empregue” como uma ferramenta para realizar seus objetivos! (ver prisão trabalho)

“To have a job — regardless of what kind of a job it is — seems to many all they could want of life and something they should be grateful for.” (152)

get a job

* * *

fala-se muito que o trabalhador manual “vende” seu corpo ao mercado de trabalho. fala-se pouco que os trabalhadores do terceiro setor, na prática, “vendem” sua personalidade:

“Man does not only sell commodities, he sells himself and feels himself to be a commodity. The manual labourer sells his physical energy; the business man, the physician, the clerical employee, sell their “personality”. They have to have a “personality” if they are to sell their products or services. This personality-should be pleasing, but besides that its possessor should meet a number of other requirements: he should have energy, initiative, this, that, or the other, as his particular position may require. As with any other commodity it is the market which decides the value of these human qualities, yes, even their very existence. If there is no use for the qualities a person offers, he has none; just as an unsaleable commodity is valueless though it might have its use value. Thus, the self-confidence, the “feeling of self”, is merely an indication of what others think of the person. It is not he who is convinced of his value regardless of popularity and his success on the market. If he is sought after, he is somebody; if he is not popular, he is simply nobody. This dependence of self-esteem on the success of the “personality” is the reason why for modern man popularity has this tremendous importance. On it depends not only whether or not one goes ahead in practical matters, but also whether one can keep up one’s self-esteem or whether one falls into the abyss of inferiority feelings.” (140-141)

* * *

de que adianta liberdade de expressão se não temos nada a expressar? se já internalizamos o ponto de vista do Poder? (ver também meu texto elogio à liberdade de expressão.)

“We fail sufficiently to recognize … that although man has rid himself from old enemies of freedom, new enemies of a different nature have arisen; enemies which are not essentially external restraints, but internal factors blocking the full realization of the freedom of personality. …. [W]e feel that freedom of speech is the last step in the march of victory of freedom. We forget that, although freedom of speech constitutes an important victory in the battle against old restraints, modern man is in a position where much of what “he” thinks and says are the things that everybody else thinks and says; that he has not acquired the ability to think originally—that is, for himself—which alone gives meaning to his claim that nobody can interfere with the expression of his thoughts. … We neglect the role of the anonymous authorities like public opinion and “common sense”, which are so powerful because of our profound readiness to conform to the expectations everybody has about ourselves and our equally profound fear of being different. In other words, we are fascinated by the growth of freedom from powers outside ourselves and are blinded to the fact of inner restraints, compulsions, and fears, which tend to undermine the meaning of the victories freedom has won against its traditional enemies.” (124-125)

* * *

como a linguagem publicitária nos imbeciliza e coloca a própria democracia em perigo (falo um pouco sobre isso em o horror da publicidade):

“The sales talk of the old-fashioned business man was essentially rational. He knew his merchandise, he knew the needs of the customer, and on the basis of this knowledge he tried to sell. … [Modern advertising] … does not appeal to reason but to emotion; like any other kind of hypnoid suggestion, it tries to impress its objects emotionally and then make them submit intellectually. This type of advertising impresses the customer by all sorts of means: by repetition of the same formula again and again; by the influence of an authoritative image, like that of a society lady or of a famous boxer, who smokes a certain brand of cigarette; by attracting the customer and at the same time weakening his critical abilities by the sex appeal of a pretty girl; by terrorizing him with the threat of “b.o.” or “halitosis”; or yet again by stimulating daydreams about a sudden change in one’s whole course of life brought about by buying a certain shirt or soap. All these methods are essentially irrational; they have nothing to do with the qualities of the merchandise, and they smother and kill the critical capacities of the customer like an opiate or outright hypnosis. They give him a certain satisfaction by their daydreaming qualities just as the movies do, but at the same time they increase his feeling of smallness and powerlessness. As a matter of fact, these methods of dulling the capacity for critical thinking are more dangerous to our democracy than many of the open attacks against it, and more immoral—in terms of human integrity—than the indecent literature, publication of which we punish.” (149-150)

* * *

é normal ser bem-ajustado a uma sociedade doente? talvez os neuróticos sejam os mais saudáveis, pois ainda não se renderam:

“[T]his feeling of individual isolation and powerlessness … is nothing the average normal person is aware of. It is too frightening for that. It is covered over by the daily routine of his activities, by the assurance and approval he finds in his private or social relations, by success in business, by any number of distractions, by “having fun”, “making contacts”, “going places”. But whistling in the dark does not bring light. Aloneness, fear, and bewilderment remain; people cannot stand it for ever.” (155)

“[T]he person who is normal in terms of being well adapted is often less healthy than the neurotic person in terms of human values. Often he is well adapted only at the expense of having given up his self in order to become more or less the person he believes he is expected to be. All genuine individuality and spontaneity may have been lost. On the other hand, the neurotic person can be characterized as somebody who was not ready to surrender completely in the battle for his self. To be sure, his attempt to save his individual self was not successful, and instead of expressing his self productively he sought salvation through neurotic symptoms and by withdrawing into a phantasy life. Nevertheless, from the standpoint of human values, he is less crippled than the kind of normal person who has lost his individuality altogether. … [T]he stigma attached to the neurotic person seems to us to be unfounded and justified only if we think of neurotic in terms of social efficiency. As for a whole society, the term neurotic cannot be applied in this latter sense, since a society could not exist if its members did not function socially. From a standpoint of human values, however, a society could be called neurotic in the sense that its members are crippled in the growth of their personality. Since the term neurotic is so often used to denote lack of social functioning, we would prefer not to speak of a society in terms of its being neurotic, but rather in terms of its being adverse to human happiness and self-realization.” (160-161)

* * *

a consciência é um feitor de escravos — os escravos somos nós, mas quem é o senhor?

“”Conscience” is a slave driver, put into man by himself. It drives him to act according to wishes and aims which he believes to be his own, while they are actually the internalization of external social demands. It drives him with harshness and cruelty, forbidding him pleasure and happiness, making his whole life the atonement for some mysterious sin.” (118)

o poder invisível da tirania da consciência: como podemos nos rebelar contra nós mesmas?

“With the political victories of the rising middle class, external authority lost prestige and man’s own conscience assumed the place which external authority once had held. This change appeared to many as the victory of freedom. To submit to orders from the outside (at least in spiritual matters) appeared to be unworthy of a free man; but the conquest of his natural inclinations, and the establishment of the domination of one part of the individual, his nature, by another, his reason, will or conscience, seemed to be the very essence of freedom. Analysis shows that conscience rules with a harshness as great as external authorities, and furthermore that frequently the contents of the orders issued by man’s conscience are ultimately not governed by demands of the individual self but by social demands which have assumed the dignity of ethical norms. The rulership of conscience can be even harsher than that of external authorities, since the individual feels its orders to be his own; how can he rebel against himself? … [I]nstead of disappearing, authority has made itself invisible. Instead of overt authority, “anonymous” authority reigns. It is disguised as common sense, science, psychic health, normality, public opinion. It does not demand anything except the self-evident. It seems to use no pressure but only mild persuasion. Whether a mother says to her daughter, “I know you will not like to go out with that boy”, or an advertisement suggests, “Smoke this brand of cigarettes—you will like their coolness”, it is the same atmosphere of subtle suggestion which actually pervades our whole social life. Anonymous authority is more effective than overt authority, since one never suspects that there is any order which one is expected to follow. In external authority it is clear that there is an order and who gives it; one can fight against the authority, and in this fight personal independence and moral courage can develop. But whereas in internalized authority the command, though an internal one, remains visible, in anonymous authority both command and commander have become invisible. It is like being fired at by an invisible enemy. There is nobody and nothing to fight back against.” (189-190)

* * *

se não sabemos quem somos, sempre podemos ser o que os outros esperam que sejamos:

“The loss of the self and its substitution by a pseudo self leave the individual in an intense state of insecurity. He is obsessed by doubt since, being essentially a reflex of other people’s expectation of him, he has in a measure lost his identity. In order to overcome the panic resulting from such loss of identity, he is compelled to conform, to seek his identity by continuous approval and recognition by others. Since he does not know who he is, at least the others will know—if he acts according to their expectation; if they know, he will know too, if he only takes their word for it.” (230)

* * *

o fenômeno da transferência não se restringe à psicanálise e pode ser visto em todas as esferas da atividade humana: estamos todas, em maior ou menor grau, em busca de amigos mágicos invisíveis.

“I am referring to the kind of persons whose whole life is in a subtle way related to some power outside themselves. There is nothing they do, feel, or think which is not somehow related to this power. They expect protection from “him”, wish to be taken care of by “him”, make “him” also responsible for whatever may be the outcome of their own actions. Often the fact of his dependence is something the person is not aware of at all. Even if there is a dim awareness of some dependency, the person or power on whom he is dependent often remains nebulous. There is no definite image linked up with that power. Its essential quality is to represent a certain function, namely to protect, help, and develop the individual, to be with him and never leave him alone. The “X” which has these qualities may be called the magic helper. Frequently, of course, the “magic helper” is personified: he is conceived of as God, as a principle, or as real persons such as one’s parent, husband, wife, or superior. It is important to recognize that when real persons assume the role of the magic helper they are endowed with magic qualities, and the significance they have results from their being the personification of the magic helper. … This need for the magic helper can be studied under experiment-like conditions in the psychoanalytic procedure. Often the person who is analysed forms a deep attachment to the psychoanalyst and his or her whole life, all actions, thoughts, and feeling are related to the analyst. Consciously or unconsciously the analysand asks himself: would he (the analyst) be pleased with this, displeased with that, agree to this, scold me for that? In love relationships the fact that one chooses this or that person as a partner serves as a proof that this particular person is loved just because he is “he”; but in the psychoanalytic situation this illusion cannot be upheld. The most different kinds of persons develop the same feelings towards the most different kinds of psychoanalysts. The relationship looks like love; it is often accompanied by sexual desires; yet it is essentially a relationship to the personified magic helper, a role which obviously a psychoanalyst, like certain other persons who have some authority (physicians, ministers, teachers), is able to play satisfactorily for the person who is seeking the personified magic helper. The reasons why a person is bound to a magic helper are, in principle, the same that we have found at the root of the symbiotic drives: an inability to stand alone and to fully express his own individual potentialities. … The intensity of the relatedness to the magic helper is in reverse proportion to the ability to express spontaneously one’s own intellectual, emotional, and sensuous potentialities. In other words, one hopes to get everything one expects from life, from the magic helper, instead of by one’s own actions. The more this is the case, the more is the centre of life shifted from one’s own person to the magic helper and his personifications. The question is then no longer how to live oneself, but how to manipulate “him” in order not to lose him and how to make him do what one wants, even to make him responsible for what one is responsible oneself. In the more extreme cases, a person’s whole life consists almost entirely in the attempt to manipulate “him”; people differ in the means which they use: for some, obedience; for some, “goodness”, for others suffering is the main means of manipulation. We see, then, that there is no feeling, thought, or emotion that is not at least coloured by the need to manipulate “him”; in other words, that no psychic act is really spontaneous or free. This dependency, springing from and at the same time leading to a blockage of spontaneity, not only gives a certain amount of security but also results in a feeling of weakness and bondage. As far as this is the case, the very person who is dependent on the magic helper also feels, although often unconsciously, enslaved by “him” and, to a greater or lesser degree, rebels against “him”. This rebelliousness against the very person on whom one has put one’s hopes for security and happiness, creates new conflicts. It has to be suppressed if one is not to lose “him”, but the underlying antagonism constantly threatens the security sought for in the relationship. If the magic helper is personified in an actual person, the disappointment that follows when he falls short of what one is expecting from this person—and since the expectation is an illusory one, any actual person is inevitably disappointing—in addition to the resentment resulting from one’s own enslavement to that person, leads to continuous conflicts. These sometimes end only with separation, which is usually followed by the choice of another object who is expected to fulfill all hopes connected with the magic helper. If this relationship proves to be a failure too, it may be broken up again or the person involved may decide that this is just “life”, and resign. What he does not recognize is the fact that his failure is not essentially the result of his not having chosen the right magic person; it is the direct result of having tried to obtain by the manipulation of a magic force that which only the individual can achieve himself by his own spontaneous activity.” (196-200)

* * *

faz muito tempo que sou fascinado por pessoas que simplesmente não têm nenhuma opinião própria: só fazem replicar e amplificar o que leram e ouviram, sejam os editorais da carta capital ou da veja. verbalizam opiniões sobre tudo, mas nunca suas próprias. meu desejo é simplesmente sacudi-las e dizer, “por favor, me fala qualquer coisa, qualquer coisa, desde que seja uma coisa SUA, que você pensou, que você sentiu!” (eu desenvolvo esse tema na prisão verdade.)

“Let us suppose we are on an island where there are fishermen and summer guests from the city. We want to know what kind of weather we are to expect and ask a fisherman and two of the city people, who we know have all listened to the weather forecast on the radio. The fisherman, with his long experience and concern with this problem of weather, will start thinking, assuming that he had not as yet made up his mind before we asked him. Knowing what the direction of the wind, temperature, humidity, and so on mean as a basis for weather forecast, he will weigh the different factors according to their respective significance and come to a more or less definite judgment. He will probably remember the radio forecast and quote it as supporting or contradicting his own opinion; if it is contradictory, he may be particularly careful in weighing the reasons for his opinion; but, and this is the essential point, it is his opinion, the result of his thinking, which he tells us. The first of the two city summer guests is a man who, when we ask him his opinion, knows that he does not understand much about the weather nor does he feel any compulsion to understand anything about it. He merely replies, “I cannot judge. All I know is that the radio forecast is thus and thus.” The other man whom we ask is of a different type. He believes that he knows a great deal about the weather, although actually he knows little about it. He is the kind of person who feels that he must be able to answer every question. He thinks for a minute and then tells us “his” opinion, which in fact is identical with the radio forecast. We ask him for his reasons and he tells us that on account of wind direction, temperature, and so on, he has come to his conclusion. This man’s behaviour as seen from the outside is the same as the fisherman’s. Yet, if we analyse it more closely, it becomes evident that he has heard the radio forecast and has accepted it. Feeling compelled, however, to have his own opinion about it, he forgets that he is simply repeating somebody else’s authoritative opinion, and believes that this opinion is one that he arrived at through his own thinking. He imagines that the reasons he gives us preceded his opinion, but if we examine these reasons we see that they could not possibly have led him to any conclusion about the weather if he had not formed an opinion beforehand. They are actually only pseudo reasons which have the function of making his opinion appear to be the result of his own thinking. He has the illusion of having arrived at an opinion of his own, but in reality he has merely adopted an authority’s opinion without being aware of this process. It could very well be that he is right about the weather and the fisherman wrong, but in that event it would not be “his” opinion which would be right, although the fisherman would be really mistaken in “his own” opinion. The same phenomenon can be observed if we study people’s opinions about certain subjects, for instance, politics. Ask an average newspaper reader what he thinks about a certain political question. He will give you as “his” opinion a more or less exact account of what he has read, and yet—and this is the essential point— he believes that what he is saying is the result of his own thinking.” (213-215)

“The right to express our thoughts, however, means something only if we are able lo have thoughts of our own: freedom from external authority is a lasting gain only if the inner psychological conditions are such that we are able to establish our own individuality. … (By original I do not mean, let me repeat, that an idea has not been thought before by someone else, but that it originates in the individual, that it is the result of his own activity and in this sense is his thought.)” (266-267)

* * *

a gente não pensa o que pensamos. de quem são nossos pensamentos?

“The suppression of critical thinking usually starts early. A five-year-old girl, for instance, may recognize the insincerity of her mother, either by subtly realizing that, while the mother is always talking of love and friendliness, she is actually cold and egotistical, or in a cruder way by noticing that her mother is having an affair with another man while constantly emphasizing her high moral standards. The child feels the discrepancy. Her sense of justice and truth is hurt, and yet, being dependent on the mother who would not allow any kind of criticism and, let us say, having a weak father on whom she cannot rely, the child is forced to suppress her critical insight. Very soon she will no longer notice the mother’s insincerity or unfaithfulness. She will lose the ability to think critically since it seems to be both hopeless and dangerous to keep it alive. On the other hand, the child is impressed by the pattern of having to believe that her mother is sincere and decent and that the marriage of the parents is a happy one, and she will be ready to accept this idea as if it were her own. In all these illustrations of pseudo thinking, the problem is whether the thought is the result of one’s own thinking, that is, of one’s own activity; the problem is not whether or not the contents of the thought are right. As has been already suggested in the case of the fisherman making a weather forecast, “his” thought may even be wrong, and that of the man who only repeats the thought put into him may be right.” (216-217)

nem sabemos que estamos fingindo aquilo que não sentimos:

“[E]arly in his education, the child is taught to have feelings that are not at all “his”; particularly is he taught to like people, to be uncritically friendly to them, and to smile. What education may not have accomplished is usually done by social pressure in later life. If you do not smile you are judged lacking in a “pleasing personality”—and you need to have a pleasing personality if you want to sell your services, whether as a waitress, a salesman, or a physician. Only those at the bottom of the social pyramid, who sell nothing but their physical labour, and those at the very top do not need to be particularly “pleasant”. Friendliness, cheerfulness, and everything that a smile is supposed to express, become automatic responses which one turns on and off like an electric switch. To be sure, in many instances the person is aware of merely making a gesture; in most cases, however, he loses that awareness and thereby the ability to discriminate between the pseudo feeling and spontaneous friendliness.” (268-269)

* * *

acúmulo de fatos não é conhecimento (desenvolvo esse tema na prisão verdade e no exercício de empatia cultivar o não-conhecimento):

“The pathetic superstition prevails that by knowing more and more facts one arrives at knowledge of reality. Hundreds of scattered and unrelated facts are dumped into the heads of students; their time and energy are taken up by learning more and more facts so that there is little left for thinking. … The individual feels helplessly caught in a chaotic mass of data and with pathetic patience waits until the specialists have found out what to do and where to go. The result of this kind of influence is twofold: one is a scepticism and cynicism towards everything which is said or printed, while the other is a childish belief in anything that a person is told with authority. This combination of cynicism and naivete is very typical of the modern individual. Its essential result is to discourage him from doing his own thinking and deciding.” (273, 276)

* * *

queremos o que queremos? somos as donas das nossas vontades? (perguntas assustadoras!)

“What has been said about the lack of “originality” in feeling and thinking holds true also of the act of willing. To recognize this is particularly difficult; modern man seems, if anything, to have too many wishes and his only problem seems to be that, although he knows what he wants, he cannot have it. All our energy is spent for the purpose of getting what we want, and most people never question the premise of this activity: that they know their true wants. They do not stop to think whether the aims they are pursuing are something they themselves want. In school they want to have good marks, as adults they want to be more and more successful, to make more money, to have more prestige, to buy a better car, to go places, and so on. Yet when they do stop to think in the midst of all this frantic activity, this question may come to their minds: “If I do get this new job, if I get this better car, if I can take this trip—what then? What is the use of it all? Is it really I who wants all this? Am I not running after some goal which is supposed to make me happy and which eludes me as soon as I have reached it?” These questions, when they arise, are frightening, for they question the very basis on which man’s whole activity is built, his knowledge of what he wants. People tend, therefore, to get rid as soon as possible of these disturbing thoughts. They feel that they have been bothered by these questions because they were tired or depressed—and they go on in the pursuit of the aims which they believe are their own. Yet all this bespeaks a dim realization of the truth—the truth that modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want. In order to accept this it is necessary to realize that to know what one really wants is not comparatively easy, as most people think, but one of the most difficult problems any human being has to solve. It is a task we frantically try to avoid by accepting ready-made goals as though they were our own. Modern man is ready to take great risks when he tries to achieve the aims which are supposed to be “his” but he is deeply afraid of taking the risk and the responsibility of giving himself his own aims. Intense activity is often mistaken for evidence of self-determined action, although we know that it may well be no more spontaneous than the behaviour of an actor or a person hypnotized. When the general plot of the play is handed out, each actor can act vigorously the role he is assigned and even make up his lines and certain details of the action by himself. Yet he is only playing a role that has been handed over to him.” (277-279)

* * *
a verdadeira felicidade está no criar e não no possuir:

“We produce not for a concrete satisfaction but for the abstract purpose of selling our commodity; we feel that we can acquire everything material or immaterial by buying it, and thus things become ours independently of any creative effort of our own in relation to them. In the same way we regard our personal qualities and the result of our efforts as commodities that can be sold for money, prestige, and power. The emphasis thus shifts from the present satisfaction of creative activity to the value of the finished product. Thereby man misses the only satisfaction that can give him real happiness—the experience of the activity of the present moment—and chases after a phantom that leaves him disappointed as soon as he believes he has caught it—the illusory happiness called success.” (288-289)

tintinininnsmouth

* * *

lovecraft: releituras para desanuviar

the whisperer in darkness, de h. p. lovecraft, 1930, inglês. nov15. releitura.
at the mountains of madness, de h. p. lovecraft, 1931, inglês. nov15. releitura.

a nova edição anotada dos melhores contos de lovecraft, por leslie klinger, continua na minha mesinha de cabeceira, para reler nas últimas horas da noite, quando já não tenho mais concentração para ler pensadores como freud e fromm.

0329_ndread

ninguém usa adjetivos e advérbios como lovecraft. em the whisperer in the darkness, ele consegue gelar minha espinha simplesmente descrevendo um pedaço de mato na nova inglaterra.

tintininrlyeh

para quem quer começar, at the mountains of madness é uma de suas melhores e mais representativas histórias, e minha editora, a hedra, está com quase toda a obra de lovecraft em catálogo, em edições caprichadas.

the_proselytizer_267015

* * *

a bíblia: releituras para desanuviar

livro de ruth, anônimo, c.VI-IV aec, hebráico. nov15. releitura.

primeiro livro de samuel, anônimo, c.630–540 aec, hebráico. nov15. releitura.

além de lovecraft, meu outro livro de cabeceira, para ler nas últimas horas da noite, também é um livro de terror, a bíblia, a história de como o mundo afundou nas trevas da intolerância e do monoteísmo.

da primeira vez em que li a bíblia de capa a capa, utilizei a de jerusalém, que é maravilhosa. agora, nessa releitura, estou usando a do peregrino, também excelente. (diria que ambas são igualmente boas, mas eu tenho leve preferência pela de jerusalém por ser mais forte nas informações historiográficas e arqueológicas.)

ruth é um livrinho bobo, sem nada de especial, tirando o fato de algumas estudiosas contemporâneos fazerem uma leitura lésbica de sua história: duas mulheres sozinhas, fieis uma à outra, andando pela terra santa, etc.

tintinatthemountainofmadness1

o livro de samuel é um dos meus preferidos.

pra começar, ele faz parte de um conjunto, com uma narrativa contínua descrevendo a história dos reis de israel, composto pelos dois livros de samuel e pelos dois livros de reis — em algumas bíblias, tratados como os quatro livros de reis.

o livro leva o nome de samuel, último juiz de israel, mas deveria se chamar (pelo menos, eu penso nele como) o livro de saul, pois ele começa quando o povo exige a samuel um rei, como todos os outros povos tinham, e termina com a morte desse rei: saul, primeiro rei de israel.

além disso, apesar de ser o antagonista, ele é o único personagem retratado com verdadeira grandeza humana.

um dos meus trechos preferidos, logo no comecinho, é o chamado de samuel ao serviço de deus:

“O menino Samuel oficiava com [o sacerdote] Eli diante do Senhor. A palavra do Senhor naquele tempo era rara e as visões não eram abundantes. Um dia Eli estava deitado em seu quarto. Seus olhos começavam a apagar-se e não podia ver. A lâmpada de Deus ainda não se apagara, e Samuel estava deitado no santuário do Senhor, onde estava a arca de Deus. [aquela mesmo do Indiana Jones] O Senhor o chamou:

— Samuel, Samuel.

Ele respondeu:

— Estou aqui!

Foi correndo onde estava Eli e lhe disse:

— Estou aqui; venho porque me chamaste.

Eli respondeu:

— Não te chamei volta a deitar.

Samuel foi deitar, e o Senhor o chamou outra vez. Samuel se levantou, foi aonde estava Eli e lhe disse:

— Estou aqui, venho porque me chamaste.

Eli respondeu:

— Não chamei, filho; volta a deitar.

(Samuel ainda não conhecia o Senhor; a palavra do Senhor ainda não lhe fora revelada.)

O Senhor tornou a chamar pela terceira vez. Samuel se levantou, foi aonde estava Eli e lhe disse:

— Estou aqui, venho porque me chamaste.

Então, Eli compreendeu que era o Senhor quem chamava o menino, e lhe disse:

— Vai deitar. E se alguém lhe chamar, diz: “Fala, Senhor, pois teu servo escuta.”

Samuel foi e deitou em seu lugar. O Senhor se apresentou e o chamou como antes.

— Samuel, Samuel.

Samuel respondeu:

— Fala, Senhor, pois teu servo escuta.

E o Senhor lhe disse etc etc” (1Sm 3, 1-11)

* * *

o enredo do primeiro livro de samuel é simples:

deus indica saul, samuel unge saul, saul combate os inimigos de deus.

em um dado momento, deus, sempre carinhoso, manda que saul extermine todo um povo, até as mulheres, as crianças e os animais. saul, demonstrando ter consciência e humanidade, não consegue e, ao fazer isso, torna-se o antagonista do livro!

saul ainda argumenta que não matou os animais porque pretendia oferecê-los em sacrifício a deus. e deus responde com uma frase que é a súmula da barbárie do velho testamento:

“obedecer vale mais que um sacrifício” (1Sm 15, 22)

na bíblia, a desobediência é sempre o pior crime.

(não é a toa que satanás virou o símbolo máximo do mal não por ter feito nada nenhuma maldade em si, mas simplesmente por ter desobedecido. falo mais disso na prisão obediência. alias, lendo a bíblia, as maldades de satã não chegam aos pés das do próprio deus, que, em um dado momento, afoga o mundo inteiro!)

enfim, deus retira o seu favor de saul e unge (em segredo) o jovem guerreiro davi — aquele mesmo que tocava harpa e que matou golias.

perder o favor de deus faz com que saul enlouqueça. pressentindo seu rival, ele começa a perseguir davi, que se vê obrigado a fugir do país e se juntar a um bando de foras-da-lei para não morrer.

nesse meio tempo, davi acaba ficando amigo de jônatas, filho de saul e herdeiro do trono, que começa a espionar o próprio pai, permitindo assim que davi escape de algumas emboscadas.

na verdade, alguns estudiosos teorizam que o afeto entre davi e jonas era mais que simples amizade:

“jônatas se afeiçoou a davi e o amou como a si mesmo. … fizeram um pacto, porque jônatas o amava como a si mesmo; tirou o manto que levava e o deu a davi e também sua roupa, a espada, o arco e o cinturão.” (1Sm 18, 1-4)

e eu leio esse trecho e só consigo lembrar o seinfeld dizendo que uma das maiores vantagens de ser gay era, se você namorasse alguém do seu tamanho, automaticamente dobrar seu guardarroupa!

por fim, o primeiro livro de samuel acaba quase em um cliffhanger: o povo de israel sofre uma dura derrota no campo de batalha, os inimigos reconquistam muitos territórios e ainda matam saul e jônatas, rei e príncipe-herdeiro. enquanto isso, davi, o ungido de deus, está no exterior, de mãos atadas, em um bando aliado aos inimigos de israel.

conseguirá nosso herói voltar para sua terra, assumir o trono e guiar seu povo para mais perto do seu bondoso deus genocida?

continua no segundo livro de samuel…

* * *

com exceção de jônatas, ninguém faz boa figura no primeiro livro de samuel:

o povo de israel parece uma criança mimada, exigindo um rei só porque todo mundo na rua também tem; deus continua o velho deus vingativo e filha-da-puta do velho testamento, despeitando os próprios seguidores e tirando sua graça de saul por motivos bárbaros; saul, depois que perde o favor de deus, enlouquece e começa a perseguir davi, um fiel súdito que nada fizera contra ele; davi, perseguido por saul, não hesita em se aliar aos inimigos do seu povo e cometer assassinatos em massa ao lado deles.

com figuras sagradas como essas, quem precisa de demônios?

chickenfortinbras

* * *

duas ficções decepcionantes

rosencrantz & guildenstern are dead, de tom stoppard, 1967, inglês. 23nov15.

uma releitura de hamlet, de shakespeare. os personagens título, meros coadjuvantes da peça original, os amigos de infância de hamlet que o rei encarrega de espioná-lo, são agora os protagonista e assistimos ao drama de hamlet pelas bordas, através de seus olhos.

32-funny-Hamlet-cartoon

li a peça antes de assistir uma montagem, mas não me empolguei.

86cab5fa2908d4fb3bcd6bb699bc1e56

* * *

the man in the high castle, de philip k. dick, 1962, inglês. 25nov15.

um romance de ficção científica e história alternativa, recém-adaptado para uma série da amazon, do mesmo autor de blade runner, passado em um estados unidos que perdeu a segunda guerra mundial e foi dividido entre japão e alemanha.

parece interessante mas, sei lá, não me empolguei e larguei no meio.

o trecho abaixo, porém, me impressionou: é quase um solo. há quanto tempo sabemos que os loucos estão no poder?

“A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this? And—how many of us do know it? Not Lotze. Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up. I suppose only a few are aware of all this. Isolated persons here and there. But the broad masses… what do they think? All these hundreds of thousands in this city, here. Do they imagine that they live in a sane world? Or do they guess, glimpse, the truth…? But, he thought, what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it? He thought, It is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. No, he thought. That isn’t it. I don’t know; I sense it, intuit it. But—they are purposely cruel… is that it? No. God, he thought. I can’t find it, make it clear. Do they ignore parts of reality? Yes. But it is more. It is their plans. Yes, their plans. The conquering of the planets. Something frenzied and demented, as was their conquering of Africa, and before that, Europe and Asia. Their view; it is cosmic. Not of a man here, a child there, but an abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Güte, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again. This is an interval, ein Augenblick. The cosmic process is hurrying on, crushing life back into the granite and methane; the wheel turns for all life. It is all temporary. And they—these madmen—respond to the granite, the dust, the longing of the inanimate; they want to aid Natur. And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate—confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man. What they do not comprehend is man’s helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn’t it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small… and you will escape the jealousy of the great.”

* * *

wilson: nós somos o que fazemos

strangers to ourselves: discovering the adaptive unconscious, de timothy d. wilson, 2004, inglês. 20nov15.

minha amiga diana goldemberg está se tornando uma das minhas melhores indicadoras de livros. (não tem ninguém que eu ame mais na vida do que pessoas que me indicam grandes livros.)

depois de me indicar o milgram, que li em setembro, ela me indicou scarcity: why having too little means so much, de sendhil mullainathan e eldar shafir, em novembro.

aí, só ao me informar sobre o livro, eu já ouvi falar de outros dois que exploravam temas semelhantes que me interessam muito: thinking, fast and slow, de daniel kahneman, e strangers to ourselves: discovering the adaptive unconscious, de timothy d. wilson.

li os três, um depois do outro, e serão todos inestimáveis para o livro das prisões. (sobre os dois primeiros, falo nas leituras de dezembro.)

wilson é um psicólogo social cujo trabalho mais citado é um artigo no qual demonstra as dificuldades que as pessoas têm em perceber seus próprios processos mentais introjetados. com base nisso, ele afirma que, muitas vezes, outras pessoas, por estarem observando nosso comportamento de fora, conseguem saber melhor que nós o que estamos sentindo.

como somos péssimas em introjeção, wilson recomenda que nos autoavaliemos mais por nossas ações do que por aquilo que “sabemos” de nós mesmas. e, quando olharmos para dentro, que seja não para descobrir uma pretensa “verdade” mas para construir uma autonarrativa que nos contemple.

(não é a toa que seu novo livro, lançado esse ano, seja praticamente uma sequência desse: redirect: changing the stories we live by.)

* * *

como se chama uma relação interpessoal onde as pessoas envolvidas não se enxergam o que realmente são, mas, ao contrário, veem uma à outra de acordo com suas necessidades e conflitos infantis?

“In Janet Malcolm’s book Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession, one analyst poses the following question to another: “What would you call an interpersonal relationship where … the persons within that relationship don’t see each other for what they objectively are but, rather, view each other in terms of their infantile needs and their infantile conflicts?” The analyst replies, “I’d call that life.””

* * *

nosso corpo se autorregula para evitar os extremos da felicidade e da infelicidade: ou seja, como dizia o provérbio, não há mal que tanto dure, etc. a má notícia é que experiências extremamente prazeirosas acabam funcionando como marcadores de felicidade contra o qual serão comparadas (talvez desfavoravelmente) futuras experiências prazeirosas:

“The sad fact is that there may be a cost to extremely pleasurable experiences. They are wonderful when they occur, but they give us a new reference point against which all future experiences are compared, and many of them will suffer by comparison. … It is to people’s advantage to react emotionally to their environments, such that emotions vary from moment to moment. It is also to people’s advantage to have mechanisms in place to keep them away from the emotional extremes. … [It] is not good for us to be depressed or euphoric for long. This state of affairs might seem dismaying, because it implies that there are limits to the happiness any event can bring us. Actually, there is both good news and bad news. The good news is that if humans are programmed to avoid prolonged emotional swings to the positive or negative ends, then there are protective mechanisms that keep us from experiencing prolonged negative states. … People possess physiological and psychological mechanisms that, basically, rain on their parades.”

* * *

boas corretoras imobiliárias prestam mais atenção na linguagem corporal de potenciais clientes do que naquilo que falam. não é que as pessoas mintam: é que elas, de fato, não sabem o que querem.

“On the initial visits, the agent pays close attention to her clients’ emotional reactions as they walk through the houses, trying to deduce what they are really looking for. Often, she says, she determines that people like something quite different from what they have described. One couple said they had to have an older house with charm and would not even consider a newer house. My agent noticed, however, that the couple perked up and seemed happiest when she took them to modern houses. The couple eventually bought a house in a new development outside of town, rather than the older house in the city they said they had always wanted. My agent’s wisdom is shared by other real estate professionals, so much so that there is a common saying in the business: “Buyers Lie.” Buyers, of course, do not deliberately misrepresent what they want. Rather, they may not be fully aware of their preferences or have difficulty articulating them.”

* * *

as pessoas elaboram explicações para seus próprios comportamentos que são, muitas vezes, simplesmente falsas, mas que passam a ditar a pauta de futuras emoções:

“Because people have too much faith in their explanations, they come to believe that their feelings match the reasons they list. If they generate several reasons why their dating partner is pretty unexciting (“He has really nice taste in upholstery”), they infer that they are not all that in love—even if they were in love before. In other words, they construct a story about how they feel that is based on reasons that are not entirely trustworthy. … Sometimes people have mistaken beliefs about the nature of their feelings, particularly when their feelings conflict with cultural feeling rules (“people love their ponies,” “my wedding day will be the happiest time of my life”), personal standards (“I am not prejudiced at all toward African Americans”), or conscious theories (“I must love him because he conforms to my idea of Mr. Right”). … [sobre um experimento onde pessoas foram convencidas a trabalhar de graça para uma organização filantrópica] The real reason most people agreed was that the experimenter was quite persuasive and made it hard to say no, as evidenced by the fact that all students did agree to the onerous request. Instead of saying, “I did it because the guy twisted my arm,” though, people mistakenly inferred that their behavior was a reflection of a strong attitude—stronger than they had actually felt before. In other words, they engaged in self-fabrication. It is quite common for people to overlook situational influences on their actions and infer that they acted on the basis of their internal states—so common that this phenomenon is called the fundamental attribution error.”

* * *

nossos processos cognitivos tendem a encarar aquilo que sabemos que aconteceu como sendo mais previsível e inevitável do que era ou nos parecia antes que acontecesse. (por isso, aliás, como historiador, acho tão importante fazermos também uma história contra-factual das coisas que poderiam ter acontecido. desenvolvo esse tema na prisão patriotismo.)

“One way the human sense maker works is by coming to view an event as more predictable and inevitable after it occurs.”

* * *

uma antiga teoria sobre as emoções que está sendo re-avaliada: choramos não porque estamos tristes, mas ficamos tristes em resposta ao nosso choro. sob esse aspecto, torna-se ainda mais importante disciplinarmos nossos comportamentos para, assim, disciplinarmos nossas emoções:

“[O psicólogo William] James argued that the perception of environmental events triggers bodily responses, which then trigger conscious emotions; “we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble.” In his famous example, we do not meet a bear and run because we are afraid; we meet a bear, run, and then experience a post-hoc fear that played no causal role in our fleeing—much like the “whoosh” of fear I experienced after regaining control of the rental car. … [T]he issue is whether the conscious experience of emotion is necessary for adaptive responses to environmental threats. James’s theory suggests that it may not be, and thus turns the entire issue of the function of emotions on its head. Maybe conscious emotions serve no function at all, but are a by-product of nonconscious cognitive processes that size up the environment and trigger adaptive behaviors—like heat that is released as a by-product of a chemical reaction, but does not cause the reaction. … “The brain states and bodily responses are the fundamental facts of an emotion, and the conscious feelings are the frills that have added icing to the emotional cake.” [Ledoux, J., in The emotional brain. The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life. 1996]”

* * *

outras pessoas muitas vezes conseguem avaliar melhor o que alguém está sentindo do que ela mesma, porque observam o que a pessoa de fato está fazendo enquanto a própria pessoa se perde em introspecções imprecisas:

“Over a century ago, William Carpenter argued for the existence of such “unnoticed” feelings, such as “the growing up of a powerful attachment between individuals of opposite sexes, without either being aware of the fact.” Carpenter noted that “The existence of a mutual attachment, indeed, is often recognised by a bystander … before either of the parties has made the discovery … the Cerebral state manifests itself in action, although no distinct consciousness of that state has been attained, chiefly because, the whole attention being attracted by the present enjoyment, there is little disposition to introspection.” … Whereas feelings and attitudes can reside out of sight, they appear to have a greater potential to reach awareness—if people can succeed in finding them through the smoke screen of their conscious theories about how they feel. This is often a matter of being a good observer of how one acts (e.g., how one responds in the presence of African Americans), rather than a matter of looking inward and introspecting about one’s feelings.”

* * *

a principal fonte de autoconhecimento não é a introspecção, que é traiçoeira e dada a adotar falsas explicações que sempre nos beneficiem, mas a observação de nossos próprios comportamentos:

“[O]bservations of our own behavior are a major source of self-knowledge. … The key … is to analyze our behavior in the same way an outside observer would: we look at our behavior and make an educated guess about why we did it. This is a truly radical proposition. Can it really be the case that when trying to decide what is in our hearts and minds, we are in no better position than a stranger who observes us from the outside? … It’s like the old joke about two behaviorists who have just made love. One says to the other, “I know it was good for you, but was it good for me?””

* * *

sendo assim, ao mudarmos o modo como agimos, podemos mudar quem de fato somos. o que importa é o que fazemos:

“Aristotle suggested that “We acquire [virtues] by first having put them into action … we become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.” William James offered similar advice: “Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience in the direction of habits you aspire to gain.” In other words, the first step to changing our nonconscious inclinations is to change our behavior. … “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” —Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night (1966) … [T]he more frequently people perform a behavior, the more habitual and automatic it becomes, requiring little effort or conscious attention. One of the most enduring lessons of social psychology is that behavior change often precedes changes in attitudes and feelings. Changing our behavior to match our conscious conceptions of ourselves is thus a good way to bring about changes in the adaptive unconscious. … Part of the credo of Alcoholics Anonymous, for example, is “Fake it until you make it.” … The “do good, be good” principle is one of the most important lessons psychology has to offer. If you do not like something about yourself or are feeling down, it can be helpful to alter your behavior in a more positive way. … The more my self-definition changes, the easier it becomes to act in yet more extroverted ways automatically, rather than having to force myself to make the effort. Automatic selves produce automatic actions.”

* * *

devemos olhar dentro de nós não para descobrir “a verdade” sobre nós mesmas (que não existe) mas para construir uma narrativa que dê conta da nossa experiência de pessoas humanas:

“Introspection is more like literary criticism in which we are the text to be understood. Just as there is no single truth that lies within a literary text, but many truths, so are there many truths about a person that can be constructed. … The analogy I favor is introspection as a personal narrative, whereby people construct stories about their lives, much as a biographer would. … The process of free association and interpretation is not just an uncovering of the client’s true past, but a construction of a narrative that provides a healthy, coherent explanation of the client’s life. … The key is to understand that introspection does not open magic doors to the unconscious, but is a process of construction and inference. Once this is understood, the question becomes when this process of construction is likely to be helpful and when it is not.”

aliás, não existe autonarrativa verdadeira:

“The postmodernist perspective has been useful in highlighting the influence of culture and society on self-constructions and the extent to which people can adopt different personas in different circumstances. … Perhaps the answer is to adopt the postmodernist perspective that it is pointless to judge self-narratives by their accuracy or historical truth. According to this view, there is no “true self”; rather, in modern life people live in multiple crosscurrents of conflicting social forces, and they construct many narratives specific to particular relationships and cultural circumstances. It makes no sense to judge one of these narratives as “truer” than another.”

mas existem autonarrativas mais úteis que outras:

“Self-stories should be accurate in a simple sense: they should capture the nature of the person’s nonconscious goals, feelings, and temperaments. … Another definition of a good narrative is that it meet a peace-of-mind criterion, or the extent to which people have a story that allows them to stop thinking about themselves so much. … Once an experience is explained coherently, and assimilated into a life story, people no longer think about it very much. This is not necessarily a good thing when the event is positive, because the event loses its ability to cause pleasure more quickly than we might like. It is a good thing for events that cause pain, because rumination and thought suppression are replaced by a coherent story that requires no further elaboration. … Ruminators are worse at solving problems related to their distress, focus more on negative aspects of their past, explain their behavior in more self-defeating ways, and predict a more negative future for themselves.”

a chave é sair de si: as pessoas mais bem-resolvidas são as que não passam todo seu tempo se “resolvendo”, se perguntando quem são, para onde vão, etc.

“[S]ome psychotherapists argue that the best sign of when therapy should be terminated is when the client stops thinking so much about himself or herself. … People who constantly question and revise their narratives, particularly about negative life experiences, are likely to dwell on these experiences. … What matters is that people commit themselves to a coherent self-narrative that corresponds reasonably well to their adaptive unconscious. … [A] self-narrative that meets the accuracy, peace-of-mind, and believability criteria is likely to be a quite useful one, precisely by avoiding too much introspection. Consider Robert Zajonc, an eminent social psychologist who has never quite understood all the fuss about self-psychology. “I don’t think of my self, as such,” he once said. “I may think of my schedule, my obligations, my meetings, but I don’t really spend too much time asking,‘Who am I?’” He may be on to something. A good self-narrative need not be constantly retold.”

uma boa autonarrativa requer prática:

“It may seem odd to end a book on self-knowledge with the advice that people should think less about themselves and try to change their behavior instead. To fashion a satisfying, functional, self-narrative, however, and to establish a desirable pattern of habitual, nonconscious responses, the best advice is to practice, practice, practice.”

* * *

porque freud estava errado

finalmente, chegamos no grande livro do mês, talvez do ano.

FreudCartoonScreen

há tempos eu procurava um bom livro que mostrasse o outro lado das polêmicas freudianas e, quem diria, acabei topando com esse na liquidação da livraria leonardo da vinci, no centro, que tristemente fechará no final do ano.

why freud was wrong: sin, science and psychoanalysis, de richard webster, 1995, inglês. 27nov15.

freud (the great philosophers), de richard webster, 2003, inglês. 30nov15.

(o segundo livro é um resumão do primeiro.)

fiquei tão empolgado que acabei fazendo uma coisa que raramente faço:

parei tudo.

ao longo de dois dias, eu literalmente não fiz mais nada a não ser ler esse livro: não saí de casa, não li mais nada, não naveguei na internet, desmarquei compromissos, dormi pouco.

é um livro amplo, generoso, ambicioso, que vai muito além de freud, e cujo tema é a própria busca pelo conhecimento através da razão.

livro bom antes de tudo, é aquele que confirma nossos preconceitos e intuições: eu sempre amei freud como escritor, crítico literário e cientista social, mas também sempre me pareceu autoevidente que tudo aquilo que ele apresentava como “ciência comprovada por observações empíricas” era tão ficcional quanto qualquer história que eu inventasse.

naturalmente, isso não tira o poder de suas muitas sacações, mas modifica a maneira como deve ser lido. (para mim, freud e schniztler, médicos judeus vienenses, literatos e observadores da mente humana, estão no mesmo nível de grandeza — amo ambos profundamente.)

nesse aspecto, o que webster faz, enciclopedicamente, é fornecer subsídios históricos, factuais, empíricos para desmontar completamente todo o edifício pseudocientífico construído por freud e seus continuadores.

seria realmente impossível resumir o alcance desse livro. minha cópia está toda sublinhada mas, como li em papel, eu teria que praticamente redigitar o livro inteiro para compartilhar minhas notas com vocês.

disponíveis no site do autor, o prefácio e a introdução antecipam algumas das teses que o livro tentará demonstrar. as citações abaixo vem ou dos links acima [wfww] ou do livrinho freud, da coleção the great philosophers [f(tgp)], que é naturalmente bem inferior.

* * *

uma das teses principais de webster: o pensamento freudiano (e também o marxismo, existencialismo, etc) é basicamente uma remixagem do pensamento judaico-cristão, onde apenas o vocabulário foi atualizado e cientifizado para tornar-se mais palatável ao mundo contemporâneo:

“The confident assumption which is generally made by modern rationalist thinkers is that the propositions about human nature which are contained in such theories as Marxism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, functionalism, and structural anthropology, are of a quite different order to the propositions about human nature which are contained within the Judaeo-Christian theory which they effectively replace. Whatever judgement may be passed on particular theories, it is at least generally assumed that modern thinkers have succeeded in freeing themselves from the superstitious and theological modes of thought which dominated those intellectuals who belonged to an era of faith. It is, however, just this assumption which needs to be questioned. For although such secular theories as psychoanalysis and structural anthropology have evidently shed the theism of Christianity, it is not at all clear that they have repudiated the view of human nature which was once associated with creationist theology, and with Judaeo-Christian doctrines of sin and redemption. Modern theorists of human nature, indeed, trapped as they are within a culture which has systematically mystified its own strongest traditions, are rather in the position of the mariner who sets out to sea without a chart. When he lands at a different point on the same continent from which he originally set sail, there is always the danger that he may fail to recognise this, and announce instead that he has discovered a new world. In the last hundred years such thinkers as Marx, Freud, Sartre and Lévi-Strauss have, I believe, repeatedly made just such a voyage. Setting out from a culture alienated from its traditional beliefs, disconsolately counting the small change of its new spiritual poverty, they have returned richly laden with belief and certainty in order to announce the discovery of the Brave New Worlds of dialectical materialism, of psychoanalysis, of existentialism and of structuralism. Many thinkers have greeted these discoveries with relief and enthusiasm. But because of their profound lack of familiarity with the orthodoxies of their own culture, they have often failed to recognise that the New Worlds in question are in reality but part of the old religious continent which was once their own, and that what they have embraced are not fresh theories of human nature but Judaeo-Christian orthodoxies which have been reconstructed in a secular form, safe from the attacks of science precisely because they are presented as science. Any culture which is founded upon the internalisation of a body of sacred doctrine, but which allows that body of doctrine to fall into obscurity, is always in danger of recreating old errors in new secular forms, and of allowing unexamined forms of irrationalism to determine its very definition of rationality. It is to this danger that our own culture has succumbed over and over again during the past century. [wfww]

Again and again Freud has been hailed … as the bringer of cultural and intellectual liberation. Yet if Freud has indeed established himself as one of the most significant messianic figures in modern intellectual culture this is perhaps itself a reason for preserving our scepticism about his mission. For from the time of Moses to the time of Marx it has been one of the characteristics of messianic prophets that their apparent willingness to attack established authorities has concealed a deeper adherence to orthodoxy than their followers have ever suspected. Frequently, indeed, the movements of liberation which they have led have actually ended by redoubling the very forms of repression they have ostensibly opposed. [wfww]

* * *

o maior mérito de freud foi reconhecer a existência da imaginação humana em toda a sua complexidade emocional:

“If psychoanalysis has attracted some of the most lively intellectuals of the twentieth century it is not, I believe, because of the truth which psychoanalytic theories contain, or their explanatory value. It is perhaps because psychoanalysis is, with the increasingly fragile exception of literary criticism, the only branch of the human sciences which even begins to recognise the existence of the human imagination in all its emotional complexity. In this respect it might well be said that the incorrect theory elaborated by Freud has been infinitely preferable to no theory at all, and in the vast desert of twentieth-century rationalism it is scarcely surprising that many have seen, in the drop of imaginative water which is contained in Freud’s theories, a veritable oasis of truth.” [wfww]

* * *

webster cita vários e vários exemplos da tendência de freud de construir hipóteses com base em nada, forçá-las goela abaixo das pessoas pacientes e, daí em diante, tratar essas hipóteses como fatos comprovados e observados cientificamente.

no caso dora:

“Freud … is able to convince himself that when Dora says ‘no’, her very vehemence indicates that she really wants to say ‘yes’. He subsequently decides that his patient is suffering from the effects of masturbation, and claims that her catarrh confirms this. … Freud forces Dora to confess that she had been a bed-wetter. When he puts pressure on her to solve the enigma of her illness ‘by confessing that she had masturbated, probably in childhood’, Dora is unable to comply, saying that she can remember no such thing. A few days later, however, Freud notices that she is fingering her reticule and immediately construes this as a ‘step towards the confession’: “Dora’s reticule, which came apart at the top in the usual way, was nothing but a representation of the genitals, and her playing with it, her opening it and putting her finger in it, was an entirely unembarrassed yet unmistakable pantomimic announcement of what she would like to do with them – namely, to masturbate.” Although Freud’s conclusion that Dora had masturbated in childhood is based purely on ill-informed medical conjecture, and on a speculative interpretation of a common form of fidgeting, he now proceeds to talk about ‘the occurrence of masturbation in Dora’s case’ as something which has been ‘verified’.” [f(tgp)]

no caso do homem-lobo, onde é criticado até por seu admirador, erich fromm:

The classic example of Freud’s technique of reconstruction is provided by the case of the Wolf Man. The primal scene which Freud describes, according to which his parents woke him from his slumbers by repeatedly having sexual intercourse in front of him, clearly has its origins in Freud’s theoretical preconceptions. It bears no discernible relationship to the dream from which Freud purports to derive it, and the links and interpretations by which he claims to do so are forced and implausible. It may be noted, indeed, that this particular reconstruction has stretched beyond breaking-point the credulity even of some of Freud’s followers. As the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm has written: ‘To form a hypothesis about what actually happened when the boy was one-and-a-half from a dream which says nothing more than that the boy saw some wolves, seems to be an example of obsessional thinking with complete disregard for reality.’ Even Fromm’s judgement is too generous, however. For, although the primal scene is indeed a hypothesis, the crucial factor is that Freud himself treats it as though it were an established fact and makes it into the keystone of the entire analysis. When Freud builds on this foundation by claiming that, at a late stage of the analysis, ‘there emerged timidly and indistinctly, a kind of recollection that at a very early age … [the patient] must have had a nursery-maid who was very fond of him’, his very language gives rise to suspicion, as does his claim that the case was now rapidly resolved. … Even Erich Fromm has recognised Freud’s habit of effectively constructing ‘facts’. He writes that the account of the Wolf Man’s dream ‘is actually a testimony to Freud’s capacity and inclination to build up reality out of a hundred little incidents either surmised or gained by interpretation, torn out of context and used in the service of arriving at conclusions that fit his preconceived idea’. [f(tgp)]

sobre a interpretação dos sonhos:

A similar observation might be made of Freud’s techniques of dream interpretation, which depended on construing all dreams as cryptic forms of wish-fulfilment. As Fliess manipulated numbers, so Freud juggled with symbols until even the most frustrating or tragic dream could be interpreted as secretly fulfilling some wish or desire of the dreamer – usually, though not always, a sexual wish. Freud thus argues that whenever steps, staircases and ladders appear in dreams, they are ‘unquestionably’ symbols of copulation: It is hard not to discover the basis of the comparison: we come to the top in a series of rhythmical movements and with increasing breathlessness, and then, with a few rapid leaps, we can get to the bottom again. Thus the rhythmical pattern of copulation is reproduced in going upstairs.48 The fact that this argument could be applied to practically any form of rhythmical muscular exercise, from paddling a canoe to polishing a floor, is ignored. When Freud goes on to write that women’s hats ‘can very often be interpreted with certainty as a genital organ (usually a man’s)’, that the same is true of overcoats and ties, and that not only tools and weapons but all forms of luggage and some kinds of relatives (particularly sons, daughters and sisters) frequently symbolise genitals, as do noses, eyes, ears and mouths, it is difficult not to suspect a kinship between Freud’s interpretive strategies and Fliess’s arithmetic.[f(tgp)]

na prática, freud criou uma teoria que lhe permitia inventar o que bem entendesse sobre a vida íntima de seus pacientes:

One of the reasons that the data of psychoanalysis sometimes appears to be so persuasive is that Freud, enraptured by his theories, had devised a method which, to a considerable extent, allowed him to create his own data. Instead of theories being based on observations, ‘observations’ were sometimes derived from theories.[f(tgp)]

* * *

algumas das grandes invenções de freud, como o fato de nosso inconsciente influenciar nossas vidas, e a divisão de nossa psique em ego, super-ego e id, não passam de velho senso-comum rearticulado em linguagem pseudocientífica para o século xx:

Freud’s belief that he was constructing a genuine science remains crucial to any understanding of how psychoanalysis developed. For it was his relentless and reductive scientism which, coupled with his compulsive need for fame, led him deeper and deeper into a labyrinth of error. It is quite true that Freud pointed to the poets as the precursors of psychoanalysis. But the whole point of this claim was to suggest that psychoanalysis had succeeded in translating ‘poetic’ insights into human nature into a ‘hard’ scientific register. In practice such insights were incorporated into psychoanalysis only after they had been both technicalised and medicalised. Again and again Freud strangled in false science the very poetic truths he had glimpsed in imaginative literature. When it comes to psychological insight, the common wealth of our literary tradition remains richer by far than psychoanalysis, and this should be recognised more widely than it is. [f(tgp)]

Yet, partly because of the way in which he used the aura of science and medicine to gain intellectual authority for his theories, Freud sometimes seems to be regarded as the only possible source for any deep insight into human nature. Although the idea that human motives are often unconscious is an ancient one, Freud is persistently credited with this ‘discovery’. [f(tgp)]

When, in 1923, Freud revised his theory of personality by adding to it his tripartite division of the mind into ‘id’, ‘ego’ and ‘superego’, the undoubted appeal of these hypothetical entities arose directly from concepts which were already well established. In practice Freud was doing little more than reformulating in technical terms the idea that the human self is wrought out of a conflict between the conscience and unbridled instincts. Indeed, Freud himself was obliged to recognise the objection which was most commonly made against his ego psychology – that it ‘comes down to nothing more than taking commonly used abstractions literally, and in a crude sense, and transforming them from concepts to things’ [f(tgp)]

* * *

na prática, muitas das ideias de freud, como o complexo de édipo e o malvado id tentando nos dominar, não passam de novas roupagens da velha teoria do pecado original, de agostinho:

Rooted as he was in the rationalism of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, which has always upheld the supremacy and the divine origin of reason, Freud remained passionately committed to a secularised version of the same rationalism. ‘We have no other means of controlling our instinctual nature but our intelligence,’ he wrote; ‘… the psychological ideal [is] the primacy of the intelligence.’ ‘Our mind,’ he observed, ‘… is no peacefully self-contained unity. It is rather to be compared with a modern State in which a mob, eager for enjoyment and destruction, has to be held down forcibly by a prudent superior class.’51 [f(tgp)]

Freud genuinely believed that he was using science to sweep away superstition and introduce a new view of human nature. His real achievement in creating psychoanalysis, however, was to hide superstition beneath the rhetoric of reason in order to reintroduce a very old view of human nature. By portraying the unconscious or the ‘id’ as a seething mass of unclean instincts, and seeing men and women as driven by dark sexual and sadistic impulses and a secret love of excrement, Freud in effect reinvented, for a modern scientific age, the traditional Christian doctrine of Original Sin. At the same time, through psychoanalysis, he offered to all who followed him a means of redemption. [f(tgp)]

If, in the twentieth century, psychoanalysis rapidly attained the status and power of an orthodoxy, it was for no other reason than that it was a form of orthodoxy itself – a subtle reformulation of Judaeo-Christian doctrine in secular form, safe from the attacks of science precisely because it was presented as science. [f(tgp)]

* * *

como matar o grande pai que te ensinou que o seu grande desejo é matar o seu grande pai?

Freud, however, has proved more difficult to vanquish than many of his opponents have calculated. As Walter Kendrick has written, ‘How can you simply kill the Father who taught you that his death must be your desire?’ [wfww]

* * *

lembrete: não ler mais explicadores & mastigadores

santo agostinho em 90 minutos, de paul strathern, 1997, inglês. (trad: maria helena geordane, 1999.) 30nov15.

quando webster aponta que algumas teses freudianas são, basicamente, releituras de agostinho de hipona, fiquei com vontade de reler velho pecador (“senhor, dai-me castidade, mas não agora!”) só que, sério, eu não recomendo que ninguém leia as confissões e a cidade de deus nem UMA vez, quem dirá duas.

então, baixei esse livrinho de agostinho mastigado. é sempre uma decepção enorme. preciso parar de ler esses explicadores e mastigadores. não vale a pena.

* * *

recomendando livros

muita gente me recomenda livros, especialmente depois de textos como esse, e eu agradeço, mas simplesmente não consigo dar conta de tantas recomendações.

então, eu peço:

se quiser me recomendar um livro, diga ALGUMA COISA sobre o livro que desperte meu interesse para correr atrás dele.

não adianta só dizer o título, ou que ele “mudou sua vida”, etc. afinal, todo livro mudou a vida de alguém, mesmo os piores livros, mesmo as piores pessoas.

mas por que você acha que EU me interessaria por ESSE livro?

* * *

a mesma ressalva de sempre

fazer listas de livros reforça uma ideia que considero muito problemática:

que “ler é bom”, que todas deveríamos “ler mais”, que ler é uma atividade intrinsecamente melhor do que a maioria das outras, etc.

mas ler um livro não é mérito, não é vantagem alguma, não é algo para se gabar.

mais importante, simplesmente ter lido um livro não significa que a pessoa leitora o entendeu, que tirou dele qualquer coisa de relevante, bela, prazeirosa ou útil.

listar os livros que eu li faz tanto sentido quando listar os vagões de metrô que eu viajei. (aliás, quase sempre, o 1022 e o 1026, que operam na linha um e são os últimos vagões de suas composições.)

e daí, não?

apesar disso, incrivelmente, as pessoas pedem e perguntam.

enfim, a verdade é que trabalho com livros. para mim, pessoalmente, esse tipo de lista é relevante e me ajuda a sistematizar as leituras.

então, apesar do efeito negativo de divulgar listas assim, aqui vão alguns dos livros que eu li em setembro e outubro de 2015.

* * *

convenções da lista: título, autor, data da escritura, idioma original. (organizador, tradutor, data da organização e/ou tradução) data da leitura.

§ 2 respostas para leituras comentadas, novembro 2015

  • alexcastro disse:

    acho que, hoje em dia, são livros escritos de forma muito rebuscada, de leitura muito difícil e só para pessoas de interesses bem específicos.

  • Pedro disse:

    Alex, pq vc n recomenda ler “cidade de Deus” e “Confissões”?

    Abraço!

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