The Divided Self An Existential Study in Sanity and


The Divided Self An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness ✅ The Divided Self An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness pdf ✈ Author R.D. Laing – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Dr Laing's first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible In this with case studies of schizophrenic patients he succeeds brilliantly but he does through a vision of sani Dr Laing's Self An PDF ↠ first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible In this with case studies of schizophrenic patients he succeeds brilliantly but The Divided Kindle - he does through a vision of sanity and madness as 'degrees of conjunction and disjunction between two persons where the one is sane by common consent' he offers Divided Self An eBook ☆ a rich existential analysis of personal alienationThe outsider estranged from himself and society cannot experience either himself or others as 'real' He invents a false self and with Divided Self An Existential Study PDF \ it he confronts both the outside world and his own despair The Divided Self An Existential Study PDF \ disintegration of his real self keeps pace with the growing unreality of his false self until in the extremes of schizophrenic breakdown the whole personality disintegrates.

  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • The Divided Self An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness
  • R.D. Laing
  • English
  • 14 May 2015
  • 9780141189376

About the Author: R.D. Laing

Ronald David Self An PDF ↠ Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular the subjective experience of psychosis Laing's views on the causes and The Divided Kindle - treatment of serious mental dysfunction greatly influenced by existential philosophy ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient Divided Self An eBook ☆ or client as valid descrip.



10 thoughts on “The Divided Self An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness

  1. Rachel Rachel says:

    Me OMG this book is diagnosing all my problems111Husband Then why is it so small?He was being funny but he was also making a valid point The explanation is that this book gets at the root cause of so many thingsThe psychology classes I took in college were such awkward mashups of psychoanalysis and behaviorism at once oversimplifications and obfuscations If I'd known psychology could be like this I might have majored in itThe philosophy classes I took in college were about things than about being about essence than existence I guess in traditional terms certainly about object than about subject They provided fascinating intellectual exercise but they seemed so irrelevant If I'd known philosophy could be like this I might have majored in itAs it was the best I could do was major in English which suited me just fine But I'm pretty sure this book exemplifies what I was really trying to get at

  2. JJVid JJVid says:

    From a foundation of ontological insecurity in which the 'self' is divided from the body the schizoid personality finds refuge within the safe haven of incomprehensibility Never feeling secure within a monistic holistic sense the divided self fractures into semi autonomous entities which serve to shield the person from an imagined external threat of annihilation When your sense of being of life and self worth are threatened by the very notion of becoming perceived it bodes you well to become enigmatic and misunderstood For when you are rendered incomprehensible to the Other you face no fear of destruction no fear of being killed no anxiety of becoming 'found out' and subseuently rejected Laing postulates that schizophrenia is a reaction to the basic insecurity of rejection; that by adopting the persona of a false self by hiding behind a masuerade the true self is immune from all attacks Lock yourself behind impenetrable walls and you have no fear of extinction Yet isolation is sure to destroy as well In absence of connection to the world without the self is surely to die You murder yourself to prevent others from murdering you It is a damning futile attempt to preserve the 'self' by starvingI can't help but think the strategy of disclosing one's own identity by fabricating a false self to portray outwardly is a normal natural stratagem To an extent we all wear a mask Usually we mask ourselves to hide seemingly undesirable traits for the time being until we feel comfortable with fuller expression With the schizoid turned schizophrenic however this mask is a Medusa's head petrifying others before they have the chance to petrify us in turn Have you had the anxious notion that someone sees you too clearly sees your for who you really are with all your faults foibles and detriments? And isn't such a situation absolutely petrifying? Reverting to the masuerade is consoling You can't ever feel insecure in this situation if the persona you project is not the 'self' which you believe to be YOU It becomes than a comfort to hide so well to become invulnerable by being not you But when 'you' become 'not you' what basis do you have for relating to the world? To others? How can you truly 'live' by not being yourself? In what sense are you truly alive after you've murdered your 'self'?

  3. Maica Maica says:

    This work resonates what I had been thinking for years it's like a treasure chest filled with things that one knew with great familiarity An in depth description and analysis on the phenomenon of the Divided Self It goes right into the heart of the situation the inner world and the dynamics of the Divided Self The writing is simple and concise philosophically insightful and psychologically satisfying Somehow the ontologically secure person is the ideal that the self needs to strive for

  4. Kira Kira says:

    After a second or third read I can't remember I still consider this the best phenomenological psychology I've ever readThe case studies showed a combination of empathy and rationality that I find rarely in any written works about people His studies of Joan and of Julie which conclude the book are tough for me to read without raising strong emotionsSpeaking as a student of philosophy though Laing's early work is best when he speculates and phenomenological speculation may be one of the safer forms In particular how are we to answer this uestion what is a perspective of experience which does not constitute the feeling of self identity over time? Frankly it reminds me of Sartre's claim that any ego empirical or transcendental must be constituted on the basis of an impersonal field of experience Williams James seems to have come to the same conclusion in his later work To read particular accounts of experience shifting from this impersonal field to one persona or another puts flesh on these philosophical bones to say the leastIt may be intolerably crass to cite HP Lovecraft the author of gothic fiction in an attempt to appreciate psychiatric case studies of real human beings but bear with me HPL claimed that correlating the total contents of one human mind would be terrible enough to drive one mad Perhaps that was true for him It seems to me that it is far terrifying repeatedly to move between a normal kind of correlation a personal self and the impersonal field

  5. Jesse Jesse says:

    One cannot go too long in this life without meeting people who have or less lost their humanity try saying Hello to everyone you meet today on the street; you will invariably be met with not a few mute lips and stone faced grimaces This is called alienation and schizophrenia is the psychological term for it I like to call it the Madonna syndrome because the primary symptom is not identifying with what one projects oneself to be Hence schizophrenics are everything in fantasy because they are nothing in reality; self willing their death so as to preserve their life from external death it is the imagination that has destroyed reality No one outside of Laing chose to talk about this topic with the understanding that what schizophrenics were doing and saying wasn't insane but a mere reflection of their personal and perhaps our larger social tragedy As a result Laing was labeled an anti psychiatrist and stigmatized as a crazy lefty but for those who really want to understand what happens to individuals in an individualist ie alienated society there is no better resource in all of psychological literature than Laing's book here

  6. Mat McNeil Mat McNeil says:

    RD Laing was only twenty eight years old when he penned his magnum opus which is a brilliant and visionary orientation to mental illness informed by the masters of existential phenomenology Jaspers Sartre et al and a work which made him a counter culture star For Laing as for Foucault mental illness cannot be imputed to biological defect alone Such a conception amounts to a scapegoat as it outright vindicates society at large and other environmental dynamics from the fundamental role it plays Mental illness then is a product of our social relations master slave dynamics within family and society which inevitably cause some to become ontologically insecure The ontologically insecure person is affectively cut off from experience withdrawn unto himself enclosed inside a central citadel which is impenetrable to others Laing suggests that what the schizophrenic attempts to accomplish is a death inside life as affective engagement becomes impossible and withdrawal becomes a desperate mode of existence Such people are hopelessly oriented to life since the very experience and look of another is felt to be shattering and suicidal He suggests that we need to meet the schizophrenic in the fog of his loneliness and break the tyranny of otherness so suffused in him since the schizophrenic lives under the specter of an 'interiorized other' This would involve going outside the confines of conventional psychotherapy we need to integrate MDMA into therapy in my opinion Real toads invade imaginary gardens in this fine work pulled from your worst acid trip

  7. Paul Ataua Paul Ataua says:

    Revisited “the Divided Self” after 40 years Working with schizophrenics back then it was like our bible It was an approach that didn’t just start from noting down all the abnormalities and then bombarding the person with Thorazine It tried to understand the differences to make sense of what seemed to make no sense I am not sure it got everything right and maybe it was replacing one mistaken interpretation of schizophrenia with another mistaken interpretation but it was one hell of an attempt to break away from the rigid “this person is mad and nothing makes sense” approach It certainly helped me along the path to listening and to not euating difference with abnormality

  8. Ben Loory Ben Loory says:

    one of the best books i've ever read about the workings of the mind; right up there with Consciousness Explained The Mind of a Mnemonist A Little Book about a Vast Memory and The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind one of those books that presents the mind as a place and not just a bunch of terminologyon the other hand it makes me want to check myself into a mental hospital ASAP but hey pros and cons

  9. Rowan Rowan says:

    This book blew my goddamn mind Of course now I'm convinced I'm schizophrenic but then again

  10. Brandt Brandt says:

    As an introduction to this review the actual process that RD Laing undertakes is one of empathically describing the lived experience of his patients that struggle with schizophrenia in a relatable way Moreover Laing attempts to place the foundations of schizophrenic presentation within the family constellation Notwithstanding this particular summation my intent is to respect the specific nature of Laing’s endeavor while attempting to abstract his existential comportment and relatedness into a generalized overview towards the givens of existenceThe “problem” according to Laing begins with the terminology utilized in exploring the lived experience of others How can language be used to accurately depict thought? How can the significance and relevance of a person’s situation be conceptualized and isolated for this particular person client in relation to another particular person counselortherapist? Obviously the answer is not to be found in the vocabulary of psychology; nor can it be found in an objective isolation of an individual from their inherently subjective positioning Words may have meaning; however this meaning is lost in abstracta in such words as “mind and body psyche and soma psychological and physical personality the self the organism” Laing 1969 p 17 Instead of strengthening the relationship between two people these words externally objectivize the lived experience of humanity Further attempts to fuse these words together such as “psycho physical psycho somatic psycho biological psychopathological psycho social etc etc” inappropriately internalize the lived experience of this individual; this person; this being for themselves Conseuently the concretum must come from the subjective existence of the individual; their being in the world From the existential perspective this means relating to the person as being capable of making their own choices being responsible for their actions and being capable of experiencing autonomy Hence any theory that attempts to synthesize the individual as conditioned responses and learned behaviors is just as preposterous as any person whose lived experience is envisaged as a robot a computer a mind only with no body or even as an inhuman animal; “Life without feeling alive” Laing 1969 p42 Therefore Laing’s thesis contends that a theory of humanness that is what makes this individual human will lose its importance if it looks at humanity as merely a machine or “an organismic system of it processes”Laing 1969 p 21 Perhaps one of the intriguing aspects of the text is Laing’s exposition of ontological insecurity Laing presents the term “ontology” as “the best adverbial or adjectival derivative of ‘being’” as opposed to the way it is used by Martin Heidegger1949 Jean Paul Sartre1956 and Paul Tillich1952 Laing 1969 p 40 ff1 Hence ontological insecurity is defined as an utter lack of the self efficacy and self validating certainties that secure a personal encounter with the givens of existence From this position Laing describes three forms of anxiety encountered by the ontologically insecure person; viz engulfment implosion and petrificationOf particular interest Laing describes the lived experience of an ontologically insecure person suffering from the anxiety of implosion asThe individual feels that like the vacuum he is empty But this emptiness is him Although in other ways he longs for the emptiness to be filled he dreads the possibility of this happening because he has come to feel that all he can be is the awful nothingness of just this very vacuum Laing 1969 p47 This presentation seems consistent with Viktor E Frankl’s notion of the existential vacuum being “the mass neurosis of the present time” Frankl 2006 p 129 Moreover Laing suggests that in the petrification and depersonalization mode of ontological insecurity the individual becomes “an it without subjectivity” Laing 1969 p 48 As a result Laing proposes that from the ontologically insecure position the an individual attempts to retain their identity and autonomy by dehumanizing other’s the stronger the urge to continue the process This dehumanization of others further results in the accompanying negation of one’s own humanity; thus the ontological insecurity is increased The representative culmination is characterized by a depersonalized individual that can be used manipulated and acted uponFrom an existential perspective this means that feelings of frustration and hatred cannot be fully explained by the classical psychoanalytical mode of aggressive and libidinal drives through transference Instead these feelings must be considered as arising from an existential stance of allowing a person to choose the person they are; to become the person they want; and to accept the responsibility of self definition Therefore an environment in which the person can take responsibility and an appeal and comportment toward autonomy is exposed by Laing to be an important condition in the process of becoming Moving to the second part of the text Laing provides insightful definitions of the embodied and unembodied self Whereas the embodied person feels their body as real alive and substantial the unembodied feeling is characterized by a sense of separation between their mind and body Laing interprets the embodied and unembodied self as “basic existential settings” Lang 1969 p 69 Hence the position of the person as an unembodied self is characterized by the feeling that one is of an object in a world of objects rather than their own individual beingContrariwise the embodied self recognizes their position as a duality of mind and body that culminates in the understanding that they had a beginning and will have an end In this respect one’s self is revealed in and through the actions one takes This is also consistent with the Sartrean 1956 existential stance that existence precedes essence Moreover the participation of the embodied self is characterized by active participation in life in spite of the existential anxiety inherent in existenceThis presentation is not to suggest that there is an autotelic end point or teleological perfection Indeed this is why the process of being is seen from the existential perspective of becoming As Laing suggests 'A man without a mask’ is indeed very rare One even doubts the possibility of such a man Everyone in some measure wears a mask and there are many things we do not put ourselves into fully In ‘ordinary life’ it seems hardly possible for it to be otherwise Laing 1969 p 101 Moreover existential identity reuires others to recognize the individual as a person concomitant with one’s own recognition of self Hence it is impossible to consider the idea of perfection outside of a relationship with others Or as Lang writes “the self can be ‘real’ only in relation to real people and things” Laing 1969 p 152 Therefore the existential task is to become aware of one’s authentic ‘self’ and to see the freedom of choice the individual has from the multitude of possibilities in the givens of existence As a final reminder Laing explains that ultimately “Personal unity is a prereuisite of reflective awareness that is the ability to be aware of one’s own self acting relatively unself consciously or with a simple primary non reflective awareness” Laing 1969 p 214 Happy ReadingReferencesFrankl VE 2006 Man’s search for meaning Boston MA Beacon PressHeidegger M 1949 Existence and being London England Vision PressLaing RD 1969 The divided self New York New York Pantheon BooksSartre J P 1956 Being and nothingness Trans Barnes H London England RiderTillich P 1952 The courage to be London England Nisbet

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