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Quote of the Week
(May 16, 2022)

[As a preface to consideration of the nature of intelligence and consciousness in non-human organisms:] There is no doubt that we can be manipulated by psychic contents we are unaware of — and that we may eventually become aware of them as psychic contents (thereby gaining at least a degree of freedom with respect to them). We also have good reason for believing that, the more coercive and unavailable to us such contents may be, the more deeply and organically we will discover them to have penetrated our lives. The child systematically and cruelly abused by a parent may grow into adulthood with, for example, obsessive anxieties, disturbing thoughts, or compulsive urges that, however “ridiculous”, prove almost miraculously resistant to conscious alteration, even over the course of many years of hard work by extraordinarily intelligent sufferers.

In such cases it is difficult not to believe that the ideational, emotional, and volitional “complexes” have partly rooted themselves in some aspect of the growing child’s corporeal being, forming a kind of psychosomatic organ. And the medical profession’s inability to stabilize a historically oscillating consensus about the best treatment — it is, of course, pharmacological … or, no, is it psychological instead? — testifies to the seemingly inextricable psyche-soma nexus.

(from “From Bodily Wisdom to the Knowing Self, Part 2: Psyche, Soma, and the Unity of Gesture”)

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