EXCERPTS FROM AND SUMMARIES OF R4's HISTORY AND SESSIONS
History Male, 22 years' old, single, university education. Severe sexual problems affecting his mental and physical health. Severe aggressiveness towards his environment and particularly his mother.
R4's description of his mental condition before the Sessions: My homosexual relationship with X has been going on for about a year now. After each physical encounter with him I feel anxious and very insecure. I've noticed that I also sink into a state of inactivity, confusion and complete inertia. I think that breaking up with A was what drove me to X. (My affair with A was deeply emotional and sexual. It was her decision that we break up. The result was quite a few weeks of depression.)
A's leaving me led me to change tactics. I avoided long affairs and started associating with corrupt women (that is, 'easy' women without of course being prostitutes). At the same time I met X and decided to act out the fantasies which have been an integral part of my sexual activity since the day A and I separated. (During the sexual act, in order to reach orgasm, I create an atmosphere which I shall call corrupt, depraved; an atmosphere where I have homosexual fantasies. At other times these fantasies assume the form of a whole myth, for instance that the woman I'm making love with is a depraved whore or suchlike.)
I feel very tired and exhausted. I sleep till lunch-time and when I wake up I want to go back to sleep. There are moments when I want to finish with this world once and for all. No goal in life. A feeling of self-destruction rules my life. (I squander my money for no reason, I go out at night, I neglect my studies.) Endless wandering on short and long trips without aim, or rather with the aim of going to bed with as many women as I can. (The only male I go with is X, who is some years younger than me. Men in general don't interest me, nor do I want to strike up the kind of relationship with any of them that I have with X.) I feel unbearable anguish and I cannot stand going on in the same way every day. I have neither courage nor hope. Complete deadening of the intellect. (I think this stagnation came on very slowly, almost without my realizing it.) Refusal to complete a whole lot of projects whose success would be a certainty. (The only thing I've managed to do is to get my university degree with low marks.) I consider the cause of my downfall to be A who, with her unacceptable desertion, threw me into a vicious circle of misery. With each day that passes I become more and more submerged in intellectual and emotional stagnation. I'm suffocating. I decide to seek psychiatric help.
Session I I feel cold. Rapid pulse beat and pain in the jaw. Slight nausea and some dizziness. An unknown sensation begins from the depths of my bowels and spreads to my whole body. These symptoms frighten me. It's as if I'm losing control over my body. This doesn't last long. Suddenly I feel frightened and want to break the whole thing off. I think that I'm going to change after the Session, that I'll no longer be the same. That frightens me very much. The symptoms recede; as they do, I look at the doctor and become startled. His face is all veins, nerves and bones! It's like some hideous illustration in an anatomy book. The doctor tells me that it's an illusion. It doesn't last long. Now my head is empty. Next I want to speak about my relationship with A. Simultaneously I want to refer to my homosexual activity. Finally I tell the doctor that I prefer to talk about A. (I'm embarrassed to speak to the doctor about X.)
I describe my relationship with A in detail (I emotionally relive the years we spent together). I note that when I started off with A, I was unable to make love to her for three months (I couldn't get an erection). I'd lie down and though I'd feel aroused at first, when I'd try to enter her I'd no longer have an erection. Finally, one evening when I went to visit an uncle of mine, I found the maid of the house there. Nobody else was in the house just then. The maid asked me to make love in a very depraved way. I accepted. That night I succeeded in making love (I ejaculated inside her). The next day I lay with A and was able to make love again. From then on I had no problem.
I tell the doctor that when I met A, I constantly talked to her about my mother. Now, under the influence of the drug, I'm astonished at how much I insisted on discussing my mother with A. I also tell the doctor that I feel a strange fear in front of women. I'm afraid that if I go to bed with them, I won't be able to 'make it'. I consider sex as a duty imposed on me by God knows whom. It is with difficulty that I can find the entrance to the female genitals. This is something which is revealed to me for the first time. I've been with many women and I had never been aware of the fact that a great and strange fear gripped me within.
I realize that when I did it to my uncle's maid, I felt pleasure because I humiliated her. I relive the scene and see the girl in front of me doing whatever I ask her to do to me. She looks corrupt and that excites me very much.
The Session continues with events from my childhood which suddenly come to mind and which I relive with great emotional intensity (faces, colours, places, countrysides, houses, all suddenly come up to the surface). I have the feeling that in the midst of all this I'm desperately looking for my mother and can never find her anywhere. She was never really at my side. She was always going out or travelling. She was never at home. I grew up with the household servants and my grandmother. I feel that they give me love but I desperately long for my mother. Nor is my father around during this period (about three to eight year's old). A feeling of great loneliness overcomes me and I begin to sob and ask for my mother. I realize that the anguish I feel in my effort to pinpoint my mother somewhere and the phase I went through when A abandoned me are the same.
The Session ends with the following image. I am with my mother in the garden of our house. I'm five years' old and I'm holding her by the hand. Suddenly she leaves me and goes towards a group of friends who are just entering the garden. (As I am vividly reliving this incident, I lift my arm high in mid-air as I did when I was five years' old. At the same time, I feel my body becoming smaller.) The instant my mother lets go my hand to run towards her guests I feel lost and start to cry. I cry as I did then and the doctor urges me to do so without embarrassment. I have the feeling that even when I don't cry, the same anguish of feeling'lost' dominates me in everyday life as well. A constant feeling of anguish, that is my life. I tell the doctor that I love my mother very much. (This is in contradiction with my everyday feelings where I behave very hostilely towards her and frequently feel that I hate her.) I speak of her very tenderly. It is extraordinary, but I discover that I love her very much and somewhat desperately. I could never have believed that beneath my aggressiveness towards her such a great and desperate love was hidden. I say "desperate" because not once did she realize it nor did she ever spend any time with me. Not once did she caress me nor did she take any interest in her child. My grandmother and the servants were just protectors. Much loneliness in those years. I tell the doctor that I feel I need her just as much even now that I'm no longer five but 22 years' old!
I feel tired. My life seems like a vast loneliness in which I constantly search for my mother. Deception and loneliness! I don't think I knew a thing about myself. I am very satisfied with the Session. It's as if I'm living and thinking in another dimension:
Session 4 I try to analyse the remorse that rules my life. I think: a lifetime of remorse! Love, remorse! Corruption, remorse! (Remorse because of my relationship with X; remorse because I'm incapable of forming a unique relationship where I could give all my love. I note that now, while I have been undergoing Sessions, I have formed a relationship with a very intellectual and beautiful blond woman. A was also blond and very intellectual.) Remorse then about everything! I feel that whatever I do in life fills me with remorse. I am a tangled ball of thread. I don't know why I do what I do, what its purpose is, what the final aim of my every action or thought is. I believe that there must be some final objective in all this, some point where my life will become worthwhile. I haven't found it. (The drug acts within thirty minutes. I have the usual bodily spasms that I have in every Session as well as the pain in the jaw.)
In the room there is a painting of a classically beautiful blond woman. I look at it. I feel that it radiates purity. I try to define the purity of the portrait. To me this picture definitely expresses the sense of goodness which I've been searching for all my life. There's nothing depraved about it. Nevertheless, I refuse to accept the blond woman it portrays. I say: "I cannot have sex with that woman. Her purity stops me. It's only in corruption that I can become aroused."
The doctor asks me what I mean by purity. I show him the portrait again. (As I look at it, a feeling of serenity fills me which, however, is interrupted by anguish and laboured breathing.) I say: "That picture is one great lie!" I shout it vehemently as if I thought it the whole truth of my life and suddenly I discover that it has deceived me, mocked me! I have the impression now that the woman in the painting is mocking me. I'm profoundly convinced that the purity I seek in every woman is a tremendous fraud! (I realize that though I go with corrupt women of low intellect, I'm really looking for purity and innocence - rather muddled ideas.)
Suddenly the thought occurs to me that the blond woman in the painting is a very bad woman. When the doctor asks me if only that particular blond is bad, I answer that all blondes are bad. I'm confused. I don't know what to feel in front of the portrait. (I tell the doctor that I soon become indifferent even to the women I keep company with because they don't give me what I want, that which only the blond in the portrait can give me, purity.)
I relive an experience with a blond girlfriend of mine. I had lain down on the bed with her and I had no erection. "To hell with her purity," I tell the doctor. Purity and blond women are associated. Only blondes can love me and yet I have difficulty making love with them. "Pure, blond women," I say to the doctor, "are innocence, the intellect, while depraved women (usually dark-haired) are the flesh which corrupts." Suddenly, sexual desire for the woman in the portrait takes hold of me. I feel that I want her immensely but that I am impotent. I feel terribly guilty for desiring her in this sexual way. As I'm looking at the portrait I start to cry. The more I look at it, the sadder but also the calmer I feel. Suddenly I discover that the woman in the painting is my mother. With this realization my body goes into spasms. Spasms in the belly, arms, legs ... Spasms everywhere. I realize that these spasms also occur in my everyday life, though there not so strongly of course. (I am fidgety and jiggle my feet or play with my fingers; even in sleep my body never relaxes.) These spasms are very disagreeable. So finally the fact is this. All blond women (including A and the woman I'm now dating whom I shall call 'M') are images of my mother. A woman who is corrupt isn't my mother (and yet only with such a woman can I feel aroused and fulfil my need for sexual pleasure). I realize that sex with blondes is almost forbidden because it's as if I'm making love with my mother.
Final deep realization: I desperately try to find purity (which I've somehow associated with my mother) and when I do find it, I try to replace it with depravity. I destroy what I desperately seek. (I relive the incident with the blond girlfriend of mine. After we went to bed and I couldn't get aroused, I began to fantasize her as a whore, a woman who goes to bed with many men, who is capable of every perversion and so forth. In this way she ceases to represent my mother and this allows me to have sex. Yet after ejcaulating I felt deep disappointment and loneliness because there was no emotional fulfilment. In some strange way, sexual gratification and emotional fulfilment don't coexist.)
Session 5 I speak about the happiness I've felt in my life. I consider the happy moments to be minimal (even those I believed happy I don't accept as such now). There is something indeterminate and unknown behind happiness which never lets me savour it to the full. I feel the need to shut my mouth and not say a word to the doctor. Anxiety creeps over me and I cannot speak. (I'm afraid that if I do speak, that will lead me onto the revival of unpleasant experiences.) I'm breathing like an asthmatic. Vague fear and anguish.
During the third hour of the Session, I go back to my childhood again where I relive pleasant events (strolls with my nanny and grandmother at the age of four). I consider the years from the age of four until ten happy ones (I am the centre of attention of my grandmother and family friends). When I am ten, my grandmother dies. I am terribly alone. Once more I relive the moments with her but although I feel happy near her, I have the feeling that something doesn't let me complete my happiness. My mother isn't with me. I wander about in that period for about one to two hours, referring in detail to various childhood incidents. Then I return to the present and speak about the women who attract me sexually.
I tell the doctor that I'm attracted to women of low intellect and social class (I associate illiteracy with depravity). On the other hand, intellectuality is associated with purity. Even that fellow X is almost illiterate! M (the girl I'm dating now) is intellectual but I deny her the right to be! When I make love with her, I fantasize that she's illiterate and degenerate. My contradictory attitude and the way I act in life leave me flabbergasted ... I discover that I'm full of contradictions, that I don't see the world as it is, but as I want it to be. There is a force within me that distorts and corrupts everything. It's as if I deny reality, although I have my doubts as to what reality is. Finally, I didn't ever see either A or M as they really were but as I wanted them to be (non-intellectual, corrupt, idiotic and so on). In reality the former was a woman of character and a good person, M is intellectual and serene.
Amazed and very sad about my contradictory life I tell the doctor that I was totally ignorant of the motives of my behaviour. I feel remorse for having behaved as I did towards women. The object of the Sessions is to help me rid myself of the anxiety my problems create in me. In actual fact, however, they reveal to me a truth that I was unaware of. And as I'm speaking to the doctor about all this, I start to cry like a baby. I'm a little man who, as he progresses in the Sessions, discovers how emotionally small he is.
A basic realization I made during the Session is that I want every woman I make love with to be completely non-intellectual (because my mother is moderately intellectual) and corrupt (my mother is the personification of purity - at least that's what I want to believe). The contradiction is obvious. Every woman I make love to I strive to differentiate from but also to associate with my mother. A feeling of having wasted my life searching for something which I simultaneously deny.
Session 6 I will call this Session the Session of Light. I give it this name because the horizon of my inner world began to clear and because this is how I'd like to express the multi-dimensional world which appeared before me. It's as if this Session opened a door onto a vast avenue. A sunbeam penetrated the semi-darkness of my unconscious. At last I was able to see my holy and all-powerful mother more clearly. As soon as the drug began to act I saw A's and my mother's face on the same plane. I felt deeply that all these years A has been a total substitute for my mother. And then, with that thought, came the light! I stopped having anxiety (the Session had begun with a strong dose of anxiety and dyspnoea). I started to cry and my crying had a cathartic effect on my whole being. I cried because I couldn't believe this total association of the two persons and it was as if I were being cleansed of selfdelusions and illusions. My face felt clean and fresh, as if a gentle breeze were brushing against it. I can say with certitude that I had entered another atmosphere, lighter, with more oxygen, a most limpid atmosphere which separated me from things around me and from the doctor (he didn't exist for me).
I had literally slipped out of my body and was dangling in the void - a brand new and indescribably beautiful and free feeling. It was my first contact with the environment without obstacles, without that weight on my shoulders which made me wearily tolerate the world. Now I accepted this world, these surroundings, this furniture, those people walking out in the streets, with my senses unobstructed and my soul free.
As difficult as a person finds it to grasp what the surface of the moon looks like at close range if he's never been there, that's how difficult, and more, it seems to me to describe the feelings from my experiences during the sixth Session. The world I found myself in was a world of new sensations where the subjective element had completely disappeared to be replaced by a brand new identification of the self with its surroundings. Then once again I came face to face with the total association of A with my mother. This continued for a long time. A need for my mother grew in me. I wanted to put my arms around her and never let her go. I realized that A, the woman I had loved so much, could not in herself give me the unlimited attention and tenderness I craved. For a moment I felt that A was a stranger. Who was this woman I had idealized to the point where I demanded the total devotion and love which only one person in the world could give me, my mother!
A is now standing in the corner of the room. I have put her there all of a sudden as if wanting to judge her, to compare her with the other woman, my mother, who is standing diametrically opposite her. Comparison between the two women will prove crushing for A. There just is no comparison.
In the hours that elapse, I will destroy once and for all a whole myth. Feelings of anger, sadness, love and hatred (all that I have felt for my mother, for A, and the world) will succeed each other for a few minutes. The cause of this dramatic change of feelings is the two women. In the light of this new emotional environment it will take me quite some time before I manage to clarify my position in relation to them. I will go through frantic longing for A, for the days when we first met (which I insist on believing ideal). Then my attitude will change. I will look at A with the eyes of a stranger. She will cease to mean anything to me; perhaps I shall even feel indifferent towards this 'stranger' who intruded into my life and who rejected me in the end. Then I will reach the point where I can face her exactly as she is, stripped of myth, disrobed, unmasked. I will be able to see her clearly as A. Here, at this point, and as all her good deeds, her vain efforts, pass like lightning through my mind, here I will love her. For the first time, a disinterested love is born within me. I don't expect any reciprocation because I have no need of it. I no longer expect her to give me all that my mother gave me. But did my mother really give my anything?
I turn and look at my mother. That woman gave me absolutely nothing. Yet I wanted her to give me both tenderness and boundless acceptance. As an adult I sought the same things from A and now from M. Neither they nor the other women gave me the excessive devotion I wanted. I turn and look at the portrait of the blond woman on which now appear the faces of my mother, of A and M as well as all the women I have associated with in my life. For me the blond woman in the portrait is the ideal mother, that is, she has all my mother's characteristics plus all those my mother lacks (meaning that the blond in the picture can give me tenderness).
That is the ideal which, in fact, I will never find: the woman who is my mother idealized. The ideal woman-mother will never say no to me. She will wait for me on the threshold of our home day and night. She will be faithful and mine. She'll forgive all my wayward ways because a mother always forgives her child. Beneath the weight of this infinitely great delusion, I understand now why A left me. I always asked for more, and still more. What a ridiculous, what a comic little man I am! Suddenly I feel that I am making love with the ideal woman-mother of the portrait. It is an intercourse complete in every way and an absorption of my body into hers. There are no boundaries between us. We are one.
This ideal woman had appeared clearly to me and I began to laugh loudly (so loudly that even the doctor joined in my laughter). And as I was dangling outside my body, judging my antics, I saw the laughter on my face. It was a horrible contortion of disgust, bitterness and sarcasm. For once in my life I can see and judge without the burden of my blind subjectivity.
Nonetheless, for one moment I want to turn back, to stop this draining discovery. Nostalgia for my past overwhelms me. It's frightening but my old way of life beckons to me not to abandon it. I want to stop this draining discovery of the truth. I see everything, that for so many years constituted my faith, crumbling. I don't want to renounce it. Herein lies the great problem of changing. I'm afraid to exist beyond what I was. But I cannot possibly turn back, I cannot say nothing exists beyond my ridiculous affairs, beyond my wretched acts and the tragic way I behave towards myself and the world. No more can I close the shutters, block out the sun and turn on the electric light. When you manage to face yourself just once, when you can take yourself by the hand and lead yourself to the stage I've arrived at, there is no turning back.
Session 9 Absolute calmness and serenity. Nothing perturbs my mind. No thoughts. No images arise from the past. I don't even want to talk. I feel wonderful, lying on the couch. I remain thus, motionless and mute, for about five hours. When the doctor tries to get me to talk, I refuse to do so very aggressively. He tells me that I'm resisting. I don't accept that. The Session ends exactly as it began, in a state of absolute and utter physical and mental inertia. I feel very rested.
From R4's diary Coming home after the ninth Session, I realize that I really did resist. Generally, I resist in every Session. The form my resistance takes varies from Session to Session. Many times I laugh non-stop or I insist on reliving happy incidents from childhood or I give way to analyses of various events which have nothing to do with my basic problems. During the ninth Session I resisted because I felt that if I gave rein to my memory, I would relive painful events. I realize this. However (and this is strange) as I approach M in bed, the same serene feeling which immobilized me on the medical couch for five hours returns. I feel a certain power flowing within me and impelling me towards M. We make love and I feel perfectly happy. I didn't fantasize at all. I accepted M as she really is. I felt that there were no boundaries between us. I ejaculated without pain. For the first time I feel that for the sexual act to be complete, there must be emotions. Without emotions the act is incomplete. It is as if I accepted my mother totally, as if I made love with my mother.
Session 10 I have lost my whereabouts. My joints ache. I feel a tingling through my whole body. The walls seem to be moving and pressing upon me. A feast of colours fills my visual field. The reality of my surroundings seems like a distant dream which comes and goes through air pockets. I cannot concentrate on the prob lems which torment me. I am being absorbed by, I'm merging into, the world of the external environment. I feel I'm becoming one with the vase, the chair, the carpet ... I'm suffocating. I feel panicky ... Everything freezes. I don't know what's causing all this. I reach out to touch the doctor. I want to reassure myself of his existence here, of something which suggests human life. My breathing becomes shallow. I'm bathed in sweat. My body is stuck in the foetal position. I can't move it. Multi-coloured im ages appear before me ... a large forest with thick foliage. A bird appears in the sky (I no longer see the ceiling of the room). The bird comes down and circles over my head.
I feel unprotected. The presence of the bird, however, is reassuring. Slowly I am transformed into a nestling. I am the little bird, the baby of the big bird flying above me. As the minutes go by, this feeling becomes a certainty. My body is covered with down ... Nothing makes me feel human. I want to believe in something and cannot. I'm lost. I'm a piece of meat, a bird. Panic grips me together with a feeling of great loneliness. I raise my eyes towards the sky of this primeval era. I look for the strange, enormous bird. I try to find it ... Slowly I begin to find myself back in the room. I touch my body and recognize it as my own. Next I feel that I am in a nest. I touch my body and feel it covered with slimy down. Around me there is straw. A feeling that I am surrounded by thousands of dangers ... The colours are now green. I can distinguish trees and bushes. This is an endless forest.
At this point I try to get up and fly ... I feel I have wings ... My body is stuck in the foetal position and I can't move it. I fall back onto the couch. Finally I manage to stand on my trembling legs. I tell the doctor that I'm going to fly. I approach the window but the doctor, with a gentle gesture, makes me come back to the present. I fall onto the couch and feel like a bird again. Then I feel pain in my jaw (the same pain that I feel in every Session). I also feel pain where the forceps left scars. I am in great pain and cry. One minute I feel I'm a bird and the next a new-born baby. Somebody is pulling me and hurting me. I see white. I can dimly see white gowns and smell on operating theatre ... I'm being born ... They're pulling me out with the forceps.
Unbearable cold ... much cold. I start to cry in a voice I cannot recognize. It's the voice of a new-born baby ... I try to speak in my own voice but it's as if my vocal cords will produce nothing but a baby's cries. With difficulty I put my fingers to the wounds left by the forceps. I'm in great pain and feel cold ... I'm leaving the warmth in a state of panic. I'm shouting, crying, thrashing about ... I'm covered in saliva and fluids ... I don't want to come out ... But come out of where? Where are they pulling me out from? I can hear the sound of instruments. I'm cold, trembling ... I can smell chloroform. I don't want to come out ... I don't want to be born ... I want to go back. I'm unable to speak. I don't want to move from where I am. I refuse to accept the power exerted upon me by those who are pulling me out.
Suddenly I go back to being a bird. I am on a branch of a tree. I can hear a whole lot of noises but I can't tell where they're coming from. I can see, am almost bombarded with, colours ... Strange and frightening sounds can be heard from the depths of this forest. I can hear the leaves stirring beneath the wind. I've lost all contact with my real self. (In no other Session have I had an experience so intense and so long-lasting.) My surroundings have altered completely and my eyes see nothing by foliage and plains ... I'm not a human being. The doctor is saying something. I don't listen ... I don't pay attention ... I'm lost ... I don't exist.
Slowly everything abates. My mind becomes emptied of colours. Hot sweat streams down my face. My body, my joints are relaxed. I lie down exhausted. (Before, I was either lying down or kneeling or curled up on the couch.) Slowly I return to the present but again I find myself being absorbed by the leather covering of the couch ... I feel that I am leaving my body. It's as if I've broken the boundaries between myself and the matter surrounding me. Everything that stretches out before me, assuredly some god has placed it there with masterly skill. I don't know which god it is ... Anyway, someone has made everything function this way.
I can see before me endless horizons covered with thick vegetation. I feel I'm sitting on the ground. I'm the continuation of the ground, I am part of this ground. No problem affects me. I'm far removed from the ideas of homosexuality, love, mother, father. Everything that I thought I had discovered is only one side of that terrifying past of mine. I'm experiencing an evolution of cataclysmic proportions. I am within everything and I am everything. I hear melodies which harmonize with the colours of this eternal and indestructible nature ... I'm discovering the divine in every particle of matter. I get up from the couch and approach the window. With just this object, this sole proof that I exist apart from nature, I feel I am escaping into the infinity of earth. I am the absolute master of my movements now. I can see the trees in the garden of the clinic clearly. All is perfect, properly arranged, utterly beautiful and still. In the world reigns an awesome equilibrium. I have calmed down. I am happy.
I wouldn't have wanted to die before experiencing this union with the world around me. Now I am almost ready to die ... It is of no consequence because I can feel the eternity of matter. Everything exists, everything in inconceivable harmony. I breathe easily ... I feel blissful. It is a feeling which has nothing to do with joy, nor even with the greatest human happiness. What I feel is beyond any known emotion.
It is a state, a perfect state, even beyond sensual pleasure. There is nothing excessive in this bliss which, in another language, I would call αψοβία.21 There is no fear, no anxiety or anguish. It is Democritus who used the wordαψοβία and said that perfect bliss lies beyond sensual pleasure ... I am beyond heaven and hell. I am motionless and eternal.
Session 13 In the room there is a large mirror. I want to get up from the couch and look at myself in the mirror. As I'm moving towards it, I feel my body undergoing a change. There is a languor in the movements, the steps, in the general 'rhythm' of my body. These languorous movements are the movements of a woman. I look at myself in the mirror but my face is not my own. Gradually I notice that it has assumed female features ... Finally, my mother's face appears in place of my own. The same thing happens with my body. I am, but at the same time I am not, me ... When I look at myself again, I am a woman and that woman is my mother.
For quite some time I stand in front of the mirror looking at this transformation. A feeling of serenity fills me but at the same time this serenity is broken by difficulty in breathing and anxiety. It is that inner anxiety which never leaves me. (The only Session until now in which I've felt absolute happiness and serenity was the tenth, in its last hours.) When the doctor asks me what I feel, I analyse my condition thus: My inability to unite with the woman who is the image of my mother compels me to identify with her.
As I'm describing this need of mine, I see a vulva in front of me. It disgusts me. This disgust at the vulva stops me from penetrating it. I interpret my identification with my mother as being the result of my inability to enter her. Suddenly I feel that I am afraid of the female genitals. Simultaneously, I am suffocating with an unfulfilled love whose object is the possession of the female-maternal body. (At this point, the feeling that I am my mother has become very strong. I touch my body and think I'm touching my mother's body. Even my skin gives off her scent.) This deep identification lasts for about half an hour during which I constantly repeat that I cannot accept the female genitals. The female genitals are my mother's genitals. I cannot possibly accept them. The more the minutes go by, the more I realize that the female genitals arouse great fear in me. (I had never thought that I was so afraid of them, I who have been to bed with so many women.)
Now the vulva has flooded my field of vision (it comes and goes as if seen through a zoom lens). I feel dizzy and start to spin when, in fact, I remain motionless on the couch. An uncontrollable force is hurling me towards the enormous vulva (the whole room has become one enormous vulva). My heart begins to pound and my body breaks into strong muscular spasms. Never before have I felt those spasms so strongly. It's very disagreeable. I'm heading unwillingly for some bottomless pit. The pit is in the vulva. I try to put a stop to this unpleasant situation. In vain. It is the first time since the tenth Session that I cannot control myself (there also, all resistance was futile). I don't want to approach the vulva but at the same time I've almost completely been sucked into it. For a fraction of a second I want to stop falling into it. Everything seems dim and distant ... I'm overcome by spasms. Saliva fills my mouth. I am inside the vulva. I feel awful. (My body assumes the foetal position. I can't move any more. I look at my hands. They are whitish and pink. I can see my nerves and veins through the skin.)
In answer to a question from the doctor I say that I am in the womb and that somebody is punching me in the ribs continually (where I feel the spasms). I'm afraid of the dark. I'm in pain and tossing about. It's my mother who's making these jerking movements and I'm moving with her. A terrible feeling. As if I'm in water and sinking. The spasms don't stop. I tell the doctor that it's horrible in here, that I can't stand this jolting and these spasms which are being imposed on me from without. Suddenly I see the big vulva again. It has now taken the form of electric wires. That is what causes the spasms. It's as if I'm being hit by a low voltage electric current. This goes on for quite a while during which I analyse the feelings of fear and pain over and over again. I mostly repeat the same words and live through the same spasmodic state. I realize that I'm afraid of the female genital organs because they represent the awful situation in the womb and that every contact with the female genitals brings it back. Now I understand why I feel a little pain at orgasm. That pain is the same as the pain I feel now. Orgasm is a state similar to the spasms I experienced in my mother's uterus. The spasms now spread to the abdominal area and the lower back. This lasts for quite a while. Then I calm down and try to analyse the experience from this Session which lasted about six hours.
Thoughts after the 13th Session: Looking at my life, I notice that my emotional state resembles the jerky line on a cardiogram. My whole life has been an agonizing spasm. When I meet a woman, at any place, any time, I feel an irresistible, destructive attraction which paralyzes my intellectual powers and physical resistance. No, it isn't desire but a kind of helpless abandonment to the superior power of her presence in my life. Woman has a destructive effect on my being. Planning contact with her body (before it even happens) creates in my very guts a feeling of pleasurable abandonment to the unattainability of the goal. But even as I'm in the process of gratifying my uncontrollable desire for intercourse with her, this same desire consumes itself in the motions of sexual contact, without any emotional fulfilment. When my penis enters her, I come up against the spasms I experienced in the 13th Session.
All the agony in my life (non-existent sleep or nightmares, fear that I'll be judged negatively by my fellow human beings, constant tension, aggressiveness, nastiness) springs from my inability to find fulfilment in the sexual act. Something just isn't right there. There's something wrong with my whole life. Now I don't dare speak of the sexual freedom I always preached. What I called freedom (to try everything, every perversion, every act) is a desperate attempt, a trick, a game in the dark. This whole process of freedom in sex now takes on the form of a procession advancing towards the centre of the drama. My life seems like an ancient Greek tragedy except that Catharsis never comes. I can see myself imploring God-Mother, a God who has made his decision and can on no account change it. Desolate and shattered within, I drifted from body to body, confusing my reality with that of others. I believed myself to be a proud buck, free to try everything, to act without restraint. The Sessions have cleared up this picture, revealing in its place a hunch-backed cripple, entangled in the nerves of the uterine membrane, dragging himself around some dark point of confusion and disorder, of spasms and sobbing which have dominated and oppressed him since the day of his conception.
I can see clearly what it was that drove me to homosexuality. In the sexual act with a man, I was looking for a woman, although of course I didn't find her. The homosexual act is in essence heterosexual. I think it is an unconscious masquerade. In the active role I put on the mask of the man-father while my passive partner has female characteristics which are determined by passiveness, submissiveness and pain. I am the victimizer and her the victim (in other words, the woman is essentially the man's victim). When I am the passive partner, I wear the mask of my mother. I become my mother and my partner the oppressor-father. And I was led to this kind of sexual contact because the genital organs of a woman reminded me of the spasms and unconsciously caused me pain and fear.
It has been three weeks since the 13th Session. I am sitting in front of the open window of my room breathing in the spring air. I think of all those spring evenings (of every spring in my life) which excited my senses for no definite reason. On such evenings there was always a desire to be alone beside the body of some woman. At the same time there was also the need to run away: to disappear, to flee, to go far away from all these stimuli, these women who sway by in the streets. Suddenly I feel myself being annihilated. Agony and expectancy and emptiness. As I'm sitting there I suddenly feel the spasms and my mouth full of saliva (exactly as in the Session). Not in the least a pleasant situation. I am reliving a past state without the help of a drug.
I let myself go for a little, then I get up and change position. With this, the sudden revival of the intra-uterine situation ceases. That night, I sleep peacefully.
Session 14 I repeat to the doctor that at one point I had a good relationship with my mother. When? I realize that when I first met A, she herself represented that good relationship. I made love with her without fantasizing. When she abandoned me I entered a period of bad relations with the female sex which I now call bad relations with my own mother. And now, in this Session, I want to be on good terms with her again. I need to be reconciled with the female genitals, reconciled with my mother, to the situation I lived within her. Indeed, that is why I have never stopped associating with women, even if in a corrupt way. Something keeps me near them. That some thing which they promise me kept me from turning exclusively to men. I tell the doctor: "... I'm negotiating. All these years I've been negotiating with my mother. It's as if I'm negotiating with the genitals of all women. I want there to be peace between us."
I relive the days when A left me. I'm lying sick on the crumpled sheets of my bed. Sick and lonely. Submerged in anguish and nausea. (My nausea and anxiety are similar to what I felt in the 13th Session when I relived the spasms of my mother's body when I was -a foetus.) In front of me now there appears a huge vulva. Horror seizes me at the sight of it. My nausea increases. I cannot bear to look at it. The doctor asks me whose vulva it is. I tell him it's A's. I consider it to be the vulva of a whore. Then I say that it isn't A's vulva but a whore's. A has a good vulva in the sense that it isn't repulsive like the one which is now filling my field of vision. I realize that the genital organs of women do not always engender the same feelings in me. Sometimes I accept them and other times I find them repugnant. I say: "... In the first phase of my relationship with A, I ejaculated inside her without pain. Our sexual relations were very good. It was a period of good relations with my mother (the association between A and my mother is total and crystal clear). I was, then, on good terms with A's vulva, with my mother, with my mother's uterus." At this point my body assumes the foetal position again and I feel serene for a minute or two. Then spasms jolt me as they did in the 13th Session.
Then I speak again of all the years I've lived and I feel very bitter. I realize that the pain I feel during ejaculation every time I have intercourse with women is, in fact, the revival of the intra-uterine spasms. I feel as if all these years I've been expecting something to happen. I explain my homosexual activity with X as the only way to avoid facing the female genitals and the pain they cause me, it now being clear that the female genitals symbolize life and spasms within the uterus. Clearly, then, the sexual act is nothing less than the return to the intra-uterine world.
An image appears before me. Women dressed in black pass by silently. They give me the feeling that they have been passing by for years and years. They make the same movements. They don't speak. No gestures, no words. I understand that they are bearers of some message. They want to communicate something to me. They are bearing my mother's message.
The image is so vivid that I think they are in the room with me. Suddenly I ask them: "What news have you brought me?" They don't answer but I understand that they have brought me nothing new. All these women have now assumed the faces of girls and women I had at times been sexually involved with. I relive some of the moments I spent with them. They all bring me the same news: "She doesn't want you. She doesn't accept you!" Their words mean that no matter what I do, I'll always return to the hell of the intra-uterine spasms.
Suddenly they all disappear. A feeling of serenity fills me while at the same time I think with great titillation of a sexual experience I had with one of those girls. She was blond and blue-eyed (like my mother). I relive the act with her. A pleasurable feeling comes over me and I feel my body growing smaller. I remain motionless on the couch for a few minutes in a state of absolute tranquillity. My hands and fingers have a pink hue. I am a new-born baby. Then I feel something like threads and water in my mouth. I have become a foetus, very fragile and very happy. Perfect serenity and warmth surround me. I am in the womb. Serenity within the womb. Suddenly the spasms start anew and then serenity again ... and then spasms. This continues for quite a while. I realize that the serenity with the womb is short-lived but it does exist. I tell the doctor how unhappy I feel that the spasms won't let me feel and exist in total serenity.
After the 14th Session: All my life I have been searching for innocence. This innocence is a subjective state - the serenity of the accepting womb. That is where I want to return. I return through sex, intellectual work, art, as well as by other means. Everything (actions, thoughts, decisions) is aimed at that serenity. It is, I would say, the goal I have to reach. I realize, however, that the road leading to it is closed. The spasms close it. To reach serenity presupposes surmounting the spasms. That is essential. Nevertheless, spasms and serenity (as I lived the latter in the 14th Session) coexist and disproportionately so. As there were more spasms than serenity, I feel that my body and mind are dominated by them, while the moments of serenity become lost somewhere in my memory.
If I analyse all my acts, I would say that they are spasmodic acts which aim at serenity. I make decisions without considering that they may lead to catastrophic results. I am constantly being buffeted about. I always have the impression that something is going to happen to me, something unpleasant. For instance, that I have left the water heater on and the house will catch fire or that even though I have done my job well, someone will assail me and judge me or that when I am in the country where absolute quiet prevails, I think that some explosion will disrupt this tranquillity. I've never had peace of mind. I've always expected some disaster to befall me. There is a deep relationship between the intra-uterine spasms and my everyday behaviour. Every step I take I feel sure they will strike me. (I interpret my lack of self-confidence and my fear as dread of feeling the spasms again.) In the 14th Session I saw myself living like a frightened foetus for 22 years. A feeling that though I am out of the womb, I am in fact stamped by it like a man who is buffeted about and doesn't know what's going to hit him next.
The cause of my behaviour towards women (constantly changing women, seeking their company, conquering and humiliating them or idolizing them) is my hope 'that one of them will accept me in a state of serenity. The feeling that through the sexual act I would return to the 'good environment' of the womb existed deep inside me (the symbolism is very clear in the 14th Session). Now, through the tremendous experience of the Sessions, I would say that every sexual experience contained a great deal of agony and anticipation (agony because nothing new ever happened or seldom happened, anticipation that some day I would finally ejaculate in a state of serenity).
Outcome of the 14th Session: Two days after the Session I make love with M without fantasizing. I feel pleasure during the act and almost no pain during ejaculation.
Excerpt from R4's diary Homosexuality is a perversion but every perversion serves some specific end. Perversion is a necessity. I have become deeply aware of that since the Session ... Nevertheless, my life feels empty. After every ejaculation, whether
it was with X, whether it be with corrupt women or with the help of fantasies, I have felt alone and desolate. The object of this perversion is to avoid the female genitals, that is, to avoid contact with the maternal body. Until the fourth Session I had no idea of the motives which impelled me to orgiastic parties, to those desperate attempts to overcome the unconscious fear my mother aroused in me. The Sessions make me try now to explain the various events in my life and what prompts me to act this way or that way.
My memory, even when I'm not under the influence of the psychedelic, has greatly improved. I'm beginning to remember incidents in my life that I had completely forgotten. Something new is going on within me. I am undergoing an existential change. I cannot say that I am free of the ghosts of my past. I can say, however, that I am changing day by day. Before, the slightest thing would drive me out of my mind; now there is some degree of conscious control. My relations with people around me have changed. My anxiety had decreased. I accept myself more than before. My fantasies, though, have not gone away (perhaps they never will) because their aim is to negate pain. The fantasies are my defence.
I must put down what happened a little while ago and try to analyse it. I had often suggested to M that we go to bed with another woman. I wanted to see her make love with a woman. Yes, this too was within the corrupt scheme of my ego. There are moments when no powers of realization can restrain this need of mine.
We met N at a reception. She was dark-haired (the opposite to M who is blond like my mother). The wine we drank brought us closer together and I felt that this woman and I were alike. In her eyes I saw the same self-destructive force. That evening I disregarded the Sessions and my efforts to purge myself of my vices. You don't leave one neighbourhood without knowing how the other one is. Perhaps my ignorance of something better is the reason for this fault in me. I'm not acquainted with anything better to leave what is probably worse but which is my very nature. My nature is pain and spasms which I must avoid. To achieve this I choose the most painless way - corruption.
When we undressed, I felt that the atmosphere was not in the least tense. For just one second, reflecting on the detrimental effect such an act might have on M, I wanted to stop this new regression of mine. I turned and looked at N. She was standing naked in front of the mirror caressing her body. She was caressing herself as if nobody else was there and as if her own body was foreign to her. I realized that this woman was as lonely as I was when I fantasized. (There is loneliness in fantasizing as projections and identifications operate and my ego hardly exists.)
I tried to remember the happy moments of serenity I lived in the womb, that Good and Beautiful feeling of tranquillity and innocence, but the fantasies overwhelmed me. The Good and the Beautiful 22 is my mother and I don't want my mother. Suddenly I felt lonely before Ns body. Lonely even before touching her, even before ejaculating. Finally, the act took place in a whirl where I hardly existed. Each one of the three of us was alone in his or her own world. I participated with all my senses but I didn't feel that I came into contact with anything definite.
In spite of that, I felt pleasure. But while the act lasted, I observed the movements of our bodies. Each body tried to bury itself somewhere, to hide somewhere, to find something. I started off carried away by a mood for great pleasure and I ended up in momentary pleasure. I played a part which, by the time it was all over, I had already rejected. I felt like Heliogabalus, the corrupt and depraved emperor of Rome who, having alienated his body in every kind of debauchery, died butchered in the sewers of Rome. After ejaculating, I felt that my life too had ended in the anonymous sewers of my mother's spastic womb. The furniture around me had become ugly. No place could fool me any longer; no peaceful place existed for me. While the caresses last I feel happy because these caresses promise some end, an orgasm that will fulfil me emotionally. But nothing like that happens to me. In actual fact, corruption doesn't help me return and ejaculate into complete emotional acceptance; it only helps me approach this goal.
During the sexual act with the two women, I realized that I didn't come into direct contact with my mother. What happened was the following process of identification and projection which I was aware of. When N caressed M, I identified with N and approached M as a woman. That is, I became N, a woman, and ceased to be myself, a man. The source of my great sexual arousal was N, not M, and that was because I was now N and by extension my mother. In other words, the process was actually a homosexual act on my part as well. I also observed that when N caressed me, she assumed a male form and I remained a woman (my mother).
The above emotional interpretations did not occur under an LSD Session.
Session 15 I begin the Session by explaining to the doctor what happened to me with M and N. I analyse once again the emotions that had ruled me during the three-fold sexual act. I relive the scenes and feel that the whole process gave me pleasure and that the moment of ejaculation was less painful than usual. (The drug is acting potently. I am fully alert emotionally.) After the act I always feel desolate and unfulfilled emotionally. I stress that I don't regret what I did with the two women and that through this act I managed to feel pleasure and not pain, even though I did use identifications. I arrive at the same conclusions as those I wrote in my diary except that during this Session I feel that my ejaculation into M gave me pleasure. (I didn't feel the usual pain or rather there was pain but it was minimal by comparison.)
I try to analyse the word corrupt, the essence of corruption. I arrive at a definition. Corruption is anything that does not remind me of my mother. (I note that with few exceptions my relationships have been with women of low intellect and low social class. The idea of the difference in class is to put as great a distance as possible between woman and my mother. The fewer points they have in common, the less they are associated.) I clarify the meaning and the essence of corruption still further. Corruption is the state that promises me the Good. (What happened with the two women was corruption, as was what happened with X, as are my fantasies. But all these things occur so that I may satisfy a need which aims at the Good and the happiness-serenity of my intra-uterine life.) It's very strange how confused these meanings are within themselves and with each other. My final goal is always the Good.
Right now I cannot question the fact that there's less pain in corruption. For me, a woman who is corrupt is more desirable than a woman of good morals (morality is associated with my mother).
Suddenly I relive the moment I reached orgasm with M and I feel I'm leaving the hospital couch and following the path of my sperm which leads me directly into the womb. I realize that the sexual act is a direct return to my mother's womb. I find myself in the midst of spasms and of very brief periods of serenity which is interrupted by the spasms. I would say that my life in the womb was 90% spasms and 10% serenity. The sexual act with a woman - and particularly at the moment of ejaculation - leads me physically and emotionally to the same proportion of spasms and serenity. The sexual act is the trajectory of my sperm on top of which I ride. When sperm enters any woman, I also enter astride it. But I don't enter the specific vagina of the specific woman I'm making love with: I enter my mother's vagina. This realization has an astounding effect on me. It's as if I've suddenly seen the light. I scarcely believe it. I relive this feeling of returning again and again for quite a few minutes during which I have lost all sense of time and place.
The doctor asks me: "Do you always have to go back there? Can't you separate the woman you're making love with from your mother?" I answer that his question makes me feel a strange dizziness and fear. I try to conceive of what would happen if every woman I've been with or will go with didn't represent my mother; if every vulva wasn't the image of her vulva; if, in other words, the form of every vulva didn't symbolize my mother's womb. And while I'm wondering about all this, I suddenly feel very perplexed. It's as if the doctor had asked me a question that was completely unrealistic. It's as if he'd asked me: "Can you become what you're not?" And while I'm feeling the blank that his question created in me, I see a woman at the far end of the horizon. (I have left my body and the room and am in the open air.) This woman represents objective beauty and all that is beautiful. (I am very alert emotionally. My mind is crystal clear. I have the impression that my senses have never functioned so completely, so keenly, so clearly.)
I find it very difficult to describe what is happening to me. The whole question is being faced from a very different angle. To describe it is almost impossible as the experience is subjective. I believe, however, that I have reached the borderline of my own emotional life and that I'm standing on the threshold of another world, another form of life.
I had stopped speaking and sat up on the couch. Before me lay an azure landscape. In the centre of it stood the woman, tall and perfectly proportioned in body and form. She was gazing steadfastly into the distance. She didn't look at me. I told the doctor that this woman represented objective beauty. I felt small and insignificant in front of her. I also felt that though she was beside me and I could see her, thousands of kilometres separated us. There was a time vacuum between us. I wanted to speak to her but I couldn't because I was certain that she wouldn't hear me. This woman had nothing to do with my mother. She wasn't a substitute of hers. A shiver of awe went through me. This woman had none of the emotional characteristics of the human race. She symbolized a free world of which I was emotionally ignorant. Her walk didn't give the impression of movement but of meaning. Looking at her, I thought that she walked in that sphere of justice, self-sufficiency, goodness and calmness which the ancient Greeks speak of. She was Plato's Idea of The Good and the Beautiful - an Idea-Reality.
My need to follow her compelled me to get up from the couch, but with every attempt to do so, a heaviness immobilized me. As if all my human emotions were weighing me down. As if I were afraid to detach myself from them. I didn't speak. I was almost dazzled by her beauty. Later I told the doctor that I tried to follow her, that I wanted to follow her, that I wanted to throw off the burden of my emotions. I said that I'd like to make love with this woman who was not a substitute for my mother. Consciously and for the first time I had, thanks to the Sessions, come face to face with a woman who wasn't my mother.
All Sessions essentially held a revelation. But this one was one of the greatest. In this Session I experienced the following feelings: (a) Return to the womb through my sperm. (b) Separation of woman from mother and the emotional consequences of this. If I make a distinction between woman and mother, where shall I return?
I remained for quite a while in this state of azure where the woman symbolized complete separation from my mother. I saw her walking on without knowing me. (If she had been my mother or a substitute of hers she should have known me.) Everything before me is azure. I can smell, taste, feel. The atmosphere around her is very light and clear. Nevertheless, this world she moves in is foreign to me. I follow her at a distance which is short yet also infinitely long. She shows me the way to a much better world. She tells me: "Cut yourself off from the past and come with me. Begin a new life without the bad memories of the past. Cut the umbilical cord." The world she shows me is something completely independent of my mother. An irrevocable breach with the past. But wasn't it to make this world mine that I began the Sessions? Don't I analyse myself so that I may be free of pain and fear? Yes, but now I can feel how much the centuries weigh upon me, how much emotions stifle me, how frighteningly bound I am to my familiar environment. Even if I follow this woman, in her presence I'll be alone with no way of returning. I feel that I exist only in the past, the given past, meaning my mother and her womb.
All of a sudden I begin to feel afraid. As if I've lost my way. I search for my mother. I want my mother. I compare my mother with this woman. Every comparison proves to be to my mother's detriment. But I want my mother and anything that reminds me of her. For me, my mother's looks are beauty, even if she is a little plump, even if she has a terrible walk, even if she did torture me in her belly and fill my life with pain ... I am ready to renounce the stranger's invitation, ready to curl up again in the spasms of my intra-uterine world. My life is agony and spasms. Nothing more.
And yet I try to follow the stranger again. I feel her body next to mine. I want to make love with her but I don't feel in the least bit aroused. Everything about the touch of her is cold - just the way you feel when you touch an ancient Greek statue. Suddenly I decide to ejaculate inside her. Everything is cold. It's as if my body doesn't exist, as if it has identified with my sperm which passes through her body and falls, solidifies (I feel that I've become cubes of crystal) and falls (I fall) from the other side of her body into chaos ... With a woman who is not my mother there can be no return. Return must necessarily be to none other than the womb I knew and the memory of which I have retained. Never mind if it's painful. It's enough that some place exists, the only place I can return to.
I move back in time to my mother's rooms. A well-known environment which oppresses me but which simultaneously spells security for me. The furniture which fills her house begins to gleam like small yellow lights. A colour both warm and sick which expands on my visual field, replacing the free, azure horizon and blotting out the strange woman. The glimmer of the yellow lights imposes itself upon me. The stronger the lights shine the more sorrow grows within me. I begin to cry without knowing why, I feel very sad. Suddenly I feel that I'm a traitor. Yes, I'd wanted to betray my mother and her world. I wanted to betray myself. I feel sad that even the thought of following the stranger passed through my mind! It's ridiculous but that's how it is.
I relive the spasms again and curl up on the couch like a foetus. I accept them though with pain, yet at the same time I need them. I cannot live without them. Simultaneously, however, I want to stop them, I want to change my way of life, to be free of them. I toss from side to side full of anxiety. I'm astounded at this tragi-comic realization. What is happening is so contradictory, so illogical! Then I decide that I will refuse to continue being the victim of the spasms. I've been out of the womb for so many years - this whole story of returning must be a fantasy. I can deny my past! I must do it! I must try!
The spasms come periodically after a short respite of absolute immobility and serenity. I make a conscious decision to neutralize these attacks. I cannot check the first wave of spasms. Nor the second. For a moment there, while I'm lying motionless expecting fresh attacks, I try to tell my body to refuse to move. For a fraction of a second I refuse to feel an attack which is on the verge of shaking my body. I succeed but immediately afterwards waves of spasms rack my whole body. I cannot stop them or at least not alone. I stop resisting and let myself go. It is impossible to stop the spasms. I feel like a child's toy which you wind up: now it's still, now it claps its hands and stamps its feet. I start to cry as the azure stranger appears on the horizon again. I cry because I cannot change, because I'm losing the beauty and serenity, the freedom beyond my total dependence on my mother's body, forever. I don't think I have ever cried with such despair. Gradually everything subsides. I will never make The Good and the Beautiful my own, but I know it exists.
Session 17 The Session begins and I am deeply conscious of the fact that it's impossible for me to smash the intra-uterine world. The image which keeps passing before my eyes is that of a small white dot-cannonball (myself) which traverses the dark world of spasms, determined to smash the inner shell of the egg-womb and to emerge into the light. (Light symbolizes breaking the chains which keep me immobilized and forever dragging myself along in the same emotional ratio of anxiety to serenity.) This white mini-cannonball (myself) sets off with force and conviction on its outward trajectory, towards the liberation of my ego from my mother's ego. (Conviction is created by a new love affair or professional plans which give me hope, or finally by any act which promises me a better tomorrow ...) The cannonball passes through all the atmospheres and states of spasms (corruption, homosexuality, halffinished jobs, a life wasted by anguish ...) and disintegrates on the inner surface of the egg without ever piercing it and getting out.
More deeply still, I feel in this Session that my personality is essentially that of my mother's. All my life I have tried in one way or another to create an ego of my own, but with no success. Of course, I have my own physical being but at bottom this being functions with my mother's emotions. I see her as a block of stone sitting on me, dominating me. I am literally crushed beneath her vulva. (I have also experienced these feelings in previous Sessions, though not as intensely as I'm experiencing them now.) I see that my perpetual fatigue is my mother's fatigue. (She is always complaining of being ill and tired without there really being anything the matter with her. The same with me - always tired, always sick. A mental illness binds us. My being and hers are almost the same thing.)
The more the Session progresses the more I can feel my physical and emotional dependence on her. As if the umbilical cord has not been cut. Within me there is an uncontrollable force that drives me to this or that act, this movement or that decision. I realize that this force is very powerful and emanates from the body, from the womb of my mother. I am an ant trapped in an inverted glass. I can feel it and I have difficulty breathing. Must I then live in this trap forever? I want to act for myself and yet I act for her. Unbelievable. These Sessions are a bright sunbeam which illuminates the darkness of my ignorance. Never before have I correlated things so 'different' from one another as in these Sessions. It's as if my mind is being liberated and my senses awakened all at once.
Next I speak of the necessity of corruption. It is the only way I can overcome the spasms. Whatever it is that can take me closer to my goal, that is what I'll pursue. I consider the entire sexual act as a way of returning to the womb (regardless of whether the method is called heterosexuality or homosexuality, corruption or the Good). I ask the doctor: "Is it not tragic that a person who fears the terrible vulva of his mother becomes the vulva himself solely because his final goal is union with his mother's body?" It's laughable to speak of morality when there's so much pain ... I have undergone a series of Sessions. I've relived my life since the time of conception. I've felt pain again and again and again ... There have been periods in my life where I've abstained from all sexual contact for weeks ... In despair I either held myself back or I threw myself into destruction and the agonized quest for the return ... And now, I can definitely say that in the name of that return I'll always be ready to try anything. There is always hope, no matter how many disappointments I suffer, because hope is interwoven with my need to return to that place, that original place - the womb - or even beyond it ... till I find serenity , absolute and eternal ... Yes, death is perhaps the final return ...
Session 18 The Session begins with fear. I feel very afraid and want to be near my mother. I'm a broken man who wants to be at his mother's side. Deep love for this woman begins to grow within me. Wherever I go I'll need her, tremendously.
She has given me some moments of happiness. I want to go to her and become one with her, to get inside her. I feel that my body is exactly like her body and that her agonies are my agonies. How can I explain it? It would be inadequate to say that I am an extension of her body, indissolubly bound to her being. My mother and I are one and the same. An enormous problem, as in this total identification there is both security and insecurity.
A strong feeling takes hold of me. As if I must steer my life to some goal. I want to reach that goal and there to prostrate myself before my mother and weep at her feet. That's the point I want to reach: to kneel down and weep before my great mother. (I can see her clearly in front of me, imposing and great, ready to accept my tears. This image is followed by feelings of my own insignificance and adoration for her.) Like a child I want to go to her side and weep. I want to weep out of happiness, complete happiness which she will give me. That's how I want to die. I want to die beside her. I cannot possibly imagine myself dying far from her. I want her to be the one to close my eyes. (I had always said to M that I wanted her to close my eyes when I died but in fact it is my mother I see doing this.)
I feel that I want to see my mother with a great deal of love. I should already have done that. I should already have gone to her, fallen before her and told her: "I've come at last! At last I've seen you with love!" These are the words I want to say to her. "Mother, I want you," and then she ... she would take me in her arms where all pain would disappear. It's enough that she'll be at my side and she'll give me strength, strength to exist, strength to breathe! "I am a part of you! I am a state of happiness!" In other words, with one and only one simple word, with just one sentence: "Mother, I want to be with you!" Can one utter simpler words than that?
Now I have the feeling that my mother is good and that I too am good. I feel that her goodness is a prerequisite for mine. The more goodness she gives me or has given me, the better I have become. I want to tell her that it's not worth our quarrelling with each other, it's not worth ruining our lives telling each other off. It's not worth our crying and shouting because whatever I do in my life I do for her; even what I'm writing now I'm writing for her.
At this point this intense love, this belief that my mother gives me much love and acceptance, diminishes. Essentially, I realize that what I'm looking for is to return through the sexual act to a womb which would give me more serenity than what it actually gave me. I realize that since the beginning of the Session I've been desperately revolving around my mother's goodness because that's the only thing that interests me. I deliberately forgot the percentage of anxiety.
Now I can see the members of my family one by one and I feel proud to be descended from people of intellect. I love my father because my father is strength and strength is security. I often think that if my father dies, I won't be able to live. Now, under the influence of the drug, I see both myself and my father as beings that move about in space, that come and go without having any control over their length of stay on Earth. I feel that around me many things are moving about and that if you remove one thing, another will remain. If my father departs life, I will remain. If I go, he or my child will remain. (Suddenly I want to have a child - a very strong feeling.) Then again I suppose that if my father dies, I'll remain alone. A power impels me to unite with him, to unite with all my ancestors. In actual fact I do feel united with them. I see myself with my father and mother around the fire. I feel that I am settled. Settled? But what can being settled be? You've settled down, they tell you, congratulations! But where? You've made a home, you've done your job well, you've succeeded socially. You're settled!! But no. That's not how people become settled or at least that's how they think of themselves as being settled. Actually, there are a great many things which are never settled.
Suddenly I raise my voice and shout to the doctor: "Listen! I can reach a place which is far more settled that the one I think of as being settled ... and that place is somewhere where I'll feel completely secure. It will be a place that is noiseless and silent and serene. It will be my mother's womb, not as I experienced it but as I wanted or ought to have experienced it. And if this had really existed, then I too would be able to find a similar place in the world and settle down but that's out of the question."
And again my mother appears before me in full, as if she is three metres away from me. I feel myself becoming sexually aroused at the sight of her. Really, I love women just as I love my mother. Her power is my whole being. And she's never known her power. She doesn't know how much power she has over me. She and I are eternal.
Again an image where my father and mother are bending over me. I feel I'm a baby in a cradle. All three of us have something which unites us in eternity, as if we are tied to each other by invisible threads. Behind us is a long line of ancestors. I feel that I am carrying this line within me and that it weighs me down and gladdens me simultaneously. I cannot visualize myself cut off from it.
The line becomes lost in time. The first persons in this long line are my parents, then my grandparents, then my great-grandparents and still one generation beyond them (I know their faces from photographs and portraits). Then the line continues with unknown people who become more and more distant. I do not know them by sight but I know them emotionally. All of them have passed on to me messages and various other things which I cannot make out clearly and which are something like hopes and pain and joy altogether. They tell me: "We have thought but we cannot be the only ones who do the thinking. You too must think for us. Even if you want to, you cannot forget that we existed before you did. Since you were born, you too have an obligation to think." My God, before me there appears a large main avenue where people move about in different periods of time. The avenue of the human species ad infinitum. And I am there with them and I must do something - definitely I must. Action! Action! I can't avoid movement and action in this life.
I can see the people wearing masks and pretending that nothing that has occurred during all these centuries interests them. Most of these people are a facade. They give me the impression that they have deliberately blindfolded themselves. But beyond the facade and our antics, fate certainly exists.
Now I feel afraid. I feel very afraid, alone as I am on the avenue. I try to be united as I was a short while ago with my mother and father. Nothing. Anguish and great fear grip me. Something exploding within me is making me afraid. The spasms begin and there's water in my mouth. My arms become stiff and my body starts moving into the foetal position again. No! Not again ... I don't want to. I'm resisting greatly, dispelling these symptoms. I just manage to stop myself from vomiting. I want to get away. I try to think of something else ...
The spasms continue, as do the sick feeling and dyspnoea, but in front of me now I see ancient Thebes. Yes, Aeschylus' "Seven against Thebes" comes to mind. Eteocles is standing at the seventh gate waiting for his brother, to kill him in defence of his city, his security. He cries: "now the gods have renounced me!" Which gods? Now the gods have renounced me. I cry out too and begin to weep. I feel very afraid. There is no one beside me. Yet Thebes is mine and I must defend it. I mustn't let my brother take it from me. Closed up inside Thebes, the people are weeping and wailing (I weep too). Thebes is in turmoil and spasms rack my body again. Thebes is the womb and I'm in the womb again and suffering and yet I don't want to live without it, cannot live without it. Inside Thebes there is great agony, outside it loneliness and fear. Fear within and without. That's where I was born, that's where I'll end up. This thought fixes itself in my mind. My legs and arms are trembling. I'm surrounded by people who point at me and say: "Here is the writhing foetus! Here the homosexual!" A sudden feeling that I am my mother. No! I don't want to be ... I'm not my mother. To be homosexual means to have my mother's body.
I feel myself being absorbed by my gigantic mother who is crushing me. I feel like a foetus and a woman and a man all at the same time, the man trying to exist independently with his own attributes and not being able to do so because he is being assimilated into his mother. I'm tired of trying to detach my material and mental being from hers. That woman has been destroying me for years. This city of Thebes is stifling me. I want to get out and get away, to cross over ... Where? I want to get away from the spasms and the blood that covers my eyes. I want to cut away from the past, to be free, to escape ... to die! I try to find my mother, to find the path that will lead me back to her. Death.
I saw an image of a formless mass of flesh, blood and fluids. I saw my death somewhere in the future. A death identical to my intra-uterine life and my birth. I saw my body being abandoned in the vortex and the dust of an uncontrollable gallop towards the, to me, absolutely forbidden beauty of serenity. Speechless, I saw my body growing old, small, slowly reaching its end ... And there, in a landscape of sand and garbage, it spewed out its last breath among the spasms, the turmoil and dizziness it had once felt in its mother's womb. I could not tell whether the death that appeared before me was the intra-uterine state I had experienced or an inevitable re-enactment of this. Nevertheless, speechless and terrified, I saw the past repeating itself in the future. I saw a man, his hands thrown up in despair, running ... running and throwing behind him his useless clothes, his suitcases, his furniture, his possessions, his intellectual works, all his useless culture ... running with the desperation of a condemned man, knowing that at some moment his legs would give, his arms would fall down feebly, and his eyes would sing into a primeval, fearful darkness.
The image lasted for quite a few minutes and it gave me the impression of an irrevocable decision. Twice in my life I have escaped death in car accidents. I don't know why I write this... "a mass of flesh, blood and fluids in the garbage."
Session 19 (The Father) My effort to make this written record of my autopsychognosia sessions would be incomplete if I didn't mention the Session of the Father. This Session clarified for me the symbolism of the homosexual act, what my father symbolizes in this act, the role of my identification with my mother, and more generally I lived the terrible oppression I felt subjected to by my father.
I begin the Session by describing to the doctor how inhibited I feel in my father's presence. It's impossible for me to feel free, to express myself, and as a rule I disappear whenever I catch sight of him. As the Session progresses I remember events from my childhood and adolescence. My refusal to go to school, to do whatever my father tells me to do is all-embracing. I get my education grudgingly, I do athletics reluctantly, but I finally realize that there were many things in my life that I didn't do for the simple reason that my father wanted me to do them. I look upon him as an adversary, the adversary and obstacle to my great desire to be alone with my mother. The father is at the mother's side and that prevents the son from being the one who monopolizes her love and attention. I see and feel him as a lord seated on his chair, dominating everything and making everyone obey his own wishes whether they want to or not. I feel an urgent need and desire to take him down from his pedestal! I want to take his place, I want it to be me who dominates, me who possesses my mother, me who gives orders.
This realization is astonishing as until then I'd thought that whatever decision I made in my life I made it because I wanted to and for no other reason. Now I see that my actions are the result of a command (positive or negative). My father wants me to become such-and-such? No! I'll become exactly the opposite, even if in my soul I crave to become what he too wants. Very irrational.
I realize that the great love I feel for him is basically the need to become him and be with my mother. By loving my father I satisfy two emotions. First, through imitating him completely I become him and get close to my mother. Second, my love derives from a need for the protection he gives me. I love him because he protects me. At a certain moment in the Session I stop being myself and become him. I see that my general behaviour in life is to imitate him in every respect, for instance liking the colours he likes, dressing as he does, becoming learned like him ... becoming his very image! I notice that I've succeeded up to a point ... Everybody says that I resemble him ... But I feel that I will never reach him! I cannot reach him.
At this point I stop interpreting my feelings towards my father and start to tremble. I'm very cold. The doctor brings me a blanket and covers me ... Suddenly I'm transported to a place I cannot recognize ... It's in the open air ... It's cold ... I'm dressed in rags ... An enormous eye appears before me. It is a big, clear, cold eye that looks at me condescendingly. I still feel very cold. It's as if the eye is telling me: "You will never attain my wisdom ... No matter how much you try, you will never reach me!" I drag myself along in front of this eye. I'm a ragamuffin, a slave. I feel like a slave in every sense of the word. Beside me are other slaves. I do not know them. All of us (a line of ragged slaves) are in front of a house which looks like an ancient Greek structure. Inside the house, behind a window, the eye looks at me ... Bit by bit the eye becomes part of a face which I begin to see clearly. It is the face of an ancient Greek.23 The ancient Greek looks at us ... mocks us. We are all slaves before him, unworthy in the presence of his greatness. We are on the march. We have stopped in front of his house but they will certainly take us from here and lead us far away ... to places fit for slaves to live in.
I feel sorrow for myself and love for the Eye. I turn and look at the ancient Greek. Silently, I ask for his help. His answer is a cold look, like a thunderbolt ... He is not bad but he is cognizant of our worthlessness ... We are not worthy of being helped. He doesn't hate us; he simply renounces us. He says: "Years will pass, centuries, and you will still be where you are, wretched creature!" He says it somewhat bitterly, not nastily. This man seems to be beyond all emotion. He is a superhuman full of futile compassion.
This image occupies me for about an hour. I describe my feelings to the doctor. I describe the ancient Greek and try to see what he symbolizes. My first impression is that I'm living in another era, thousands of years ago. My second impression is that the Eye and the ancient Greek are my father. He has my father's gentleness, his air, and he is the symbol of strength and wisdom which I'll never be able to reach! I realize that in everyday life, without ever having been aware of it, I've always felt like by father's slave and humble servant. This is a purely subjective feeling because my father has never behaved in an authoritarian manner towards me. ... He has always been kind, affable, affectionate and helpful towards me. But just the fact that he is my father is enough for me, his child, to feel like and inferior being. I feel I cannot possibly reach my father. My father oppresses me in my thinking; my life, my decisions. I try to refuse to do what he tells me to do, but that doesn't save me. I am under his power. My obstinancy, my refusals, my aggressiveness towards him only make me even more of a clown! In front of him I am a clown.
At this point I feel the spasms beginning. I see my body in pain and covered in rags. I'm full of inferiority complexes. Whatever I go to do is a failure in advance. I don't complete anything in my everyday life. I'm a clown, a ragamuffin and destitute beggar in front of my father. (All these feelings are completely unknown to me till that moment. In fact, I had always thought that I had my own personality. Now I compare it to my father's and I see that I am a zero. His position, his power prevent me from believing that I too can become something.)
The Session continues with interpretations. Now and then I relive the sensation for the Eye. I have completed the picture at last. The son and the father. The two adversaries. Object and cause of the struggle: the mother. The father possesses the mother thus preventing the son from approaching her. The final aim of my love for my father is to conquer my mother. I detect erotic and sensual elements in my love for my father.
At this point (third hour of the Session) I begin describing the homosexual act to the doctor. Everything becomes clear. My body grows thinner and becomes my mother's body. In the passive role I am my mother and the active partner is my father. Weakness and strength! The symbolism of the active partner is definitely clear. The active partner is my strong father, my protective, hateful, beloved father ... I try to analyse what exactly happens at the moment of orgasm. Is my ejaculation a return to the womb or is my entire self the womb which reaches auto-orgasm? I realize that it is the latter. Identifying with my mother makes me function like my mother, like a woman. My sperm goes nowhere. It returns to my own body. I feel base and humiliated. The humiliation of my person is what the passive part in the homosexual act is. God, how humiliated I feel! I am my mother! I'm humiliated like my mother! The female is always an object of humiliation. I'm convinced of that. The active partner is ultimately hateful because he is a power that imposes itself upon me. I do not accept this power. I reject the imposition of power on me as much as I may seek it.
And yet, the purpose of the homosexual act is for me to feel less pain. By becoming my mother (in the passive role) I avoid entering the womb - my orgasm is my mother's orgasm. In the active role I am my strong, powerful father and the passive partner is my mother ... At bottom the act is a heterosexual fantasy.
Fear In every Session I was overcome by anxiety. I felt afraid. It's certain that the fear inhibited me. It began with a feeling of emptiness inside me; anguish whose cause I was ignorant of in the beginning but which, as the Sessions progressed, began to become clear, finally culminating in the fear and agony of the intra-uterine spasms. I was afraid to relive the disagreeable situation of the spasms (electrodes) which literally shook me. In the 13th, 14th and 15th Sessions I relived the womb with about the same intensity. At certain time, however, the spasms were fewer. But even when I knew the cause of my fear, that didn't prevent me from feeling fear and emptiness each time a Session began. At the same time I detected the same quality of fear in my everyday life. I'm afraid of the colour red, I'm afraid of blood in general. It arouses fear in me and a nauseous feeling whose cause I cannot explain completely on the basis of the quality of anxiety I felt in the Sessions and particularly during the moments I relived the jolting of the spasms. Perhaps this nausea, this anguish which sometimes reaches extreme anxiety and which is provoked by certain external stimuli (mostly unknown) does not have the same cause, that is, it is not due to the spasms.
Thoughts on the quality of fear: (a) I'm afraid of whatever causes me pain, and by that I mean emotional and physical pain. I don't know precisely if the neutralization of physical pain automatically leads to the erasure of emotional pain. Physical pain, of course, is a kind of memory of pain, but its intensity is a fact. The spasms of my intra-uterine life - and this is something I feel deeply - have worn my body out to such an extent that there are moments where I fee( completely listless and this in turn brings about total mental torpor. The physical fatigue that I feel has a direct effect on my mental state (feeling that I have been beaten up and harassed immeasurably and that I can barely drag myself around even if I sleep fourteen hours a day). (b) If neutralizing the memory of physical pain (neutralizing the spasms) results in the erasure of mental agony, then I'm afraid I'm left with few hopes or at least with fewer possibilities of becoming someone other than the person who was born. (It's a question of fighting the past not only with knowledge but with will. I don't know, however, if there is any margin for will in a suffering body and equally suffering mind.) (c) Result of the Sessions: I can control my everyday fear more easily. I consider this result fundamental. In some cases, however, any attempt at control is a failure. The intensity of the fear and anxiety is such that it nullifies all thought of control.
21 Translator's note: From the ancient Greek, meaning the 'absence of fear'.
22 Translator's note: in the ancient Greek sense.
23 R4's note: The bronze statue of Poseidon in the Archeological Museum of Athens, Greece.