June 11, 2014

PHILLIPS: Analysis should do two things that are linked together. It should be about the recovery of appetite, and the need not to know yourself. And these two things--

INTERVIEWER: The need not to know yourself?

PHILLIPS: The need not to know yourself. Symptoms are forms of self-knowledge. When you think, I'm agoraphobic, I'm a shy person, whatever it may be, these are forms of self-knowledge. What psychoanalysis, at its best, does is cure you of your self-knowledge. And of your wish to know yourself in that coherent, narrative way...

--Adam Phillps in the Paris Review -- this is an excerpt of an excerpt from kottke.org. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the goal of desiring less knowledge. For me, the sticking point is always accountability; if I can understand an urge, rationalize it, "hammer at an emotion until it becomes a thought" as one therapist once put it, than it is controlled, and if it's not, "who knows what would happen". The full Paris Review interview is interesting but not a "must-read", IMO.