Michael Eigen The Psychoanalytic Mystic

ISBN 13: 9781883881313

The Psychoanalytic Mystic

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9781883881313: The Psychoanalytic Mystic

Most psychoanalysts tend to be anti-mystical or , at least, non-mystical. Psychoanalysis is allied with science and, if anything, is capable of deconstructing mystical experience. Yet some psychoanalysts tend to be mystical or make use of the mystical experience as an intuitive model for psychoanalysis. Indeed, the greatest split in the psychodynamic movement, between Freud and Jung, partly hinged on the way in which mystical experience was to be understood. Michael Eigen has often advocated and encouraged a return to the spiritual in psychoannalysis-what Freud called the oceanic feeling. Here he expands on his call to celebrate and explore the meaning of mystical experience within psychoanalysis, illustrating his writing with the work of Bion, Milner, and Winncott. Like Bion, he explicitly relates psychoanalysis to faith. Both patient and analyst are immersed in each other and this immersion restores and enriches, and drains. Each has the chance to use their minds and feelings creatively. Each has to hold faith that something good will come of their work together. Professor Eigen, who received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the Graduate Faculty in 1974, has maintained this passion through a career that includes nineteen books, hundreds of journal papers, and forty years of work in clinical psychology. He is currently Associate Clinical Professor in NYU's Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and also a training and control analyst at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) where he has served on the Board of Directors.

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About the Author:

Michael Eigen is a psychologist and psychoanalyst. He is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University, and a Senior Member of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He is the author of a number of books, including 'Toxic Nourishment', 'The Psychoanalytic Mystic', 'Feeling Matters' and 'Flames from the Unconscious'.


"'Winnicott did not need an other world mysticism. The real of this world was more than enough' writes Eigen; true also of this deeply creative and moving thinker in his new book, The Psychoanalytic Mystic. And like the authors he admirers and uses as 'lenses' - Winnicott, Lacan, Bion, Milner - Eigen has not only assimilated the works of his intellectual tradition, they have travelled a dense journey into his unconscious and returned in the form of spontaneous original thinking, as rare as the authors he admirers. Do we know of any one who writes like an evocative amalgam of William Blake, Mark Twain, Freud, and Raymond Chandler? His voice is unique; his vision is singular yet embracing, his mysticism is of this earth yet transcendent, and each of his chapters is a wonderful 'spot in time'". -- Christopher Bollas

"At at time when contemporary psychoanalysis asks us to choose, with insufficient irony, between sexuality and relationships Michael Eigen, in this inspired book, adds the third term that might make the debate intelligible again. It is mysticism - not exactly sexuality, not quite aggression - that is the unacceptable in psychoanalysis; and it is the mystic - as both external and internal object - that is the true critic of psychoanalysis. The Psychoanalytic Mystic is unusually illuminating." -- Adam Phillips

"Michael Eigen is a mystical psychoanalyst and in this numinous work he makes us believe in the possibilities of both mysticism and psychoanalysis. Heart-stopping in its beauty and poignancy, Eigen's book, in Winnicott's words, 'carries all the sense of the real'. The Psychoanalytic Mystic is that rare combination, a treat for the senses and a feast for the mind." -- Mark Epstein

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