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Melville's Sunday III

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  • Melville's Sunday III

    Allowing another's imagination to take over their thoughts and all they project upon another is something we do all the time. Whether these thoughts and/or projections represent some reality depends upon all sorts of things.

    By titling his final work as he did, Melville had realized that many of us do this without knowing it and do a great deal of "good" by getting others to go along with us. This common activity becomes a "con" when those who go along with us recognize that we've got an unspoken or "hidden" agenda, usually resulting in the exchange of dollars.

    When we hide what we're actually up to and are aware that what we're saying isn't the case, we cross a line that makes us con-men. If we are aware and "fool," we're conning others. If everything we do is in the service of other's ignorance, need for our "charm" or some weakness we've detected in them we're living the life of a con-man.

    More soon.
    Barrett L. Dorko

  • #2
    Awareness varies. You may have noticed this. In this world there's a lot to be aware of. You may have noticed this too.

    Awareness of various body positions and parts is something therapists know about, but not the only thing. Other things might be picked up at weekend CEU courses or reading and thinking throughout your life. Attending weekend courses is easier. Especially if they provide lunch.

    Our awareness of how we're saying or not changes over time. I glommed on to the work of Breig and Wall and the idea of ideomotion early in my career. Melville wrote of phantom sensation (via Ahab's peg leg) in 1849, though it didn't enter the medical literature until after the American Civil War in 1865. Turns out, he was cognizant of what many amputees aboard sailing ships knew. He knew it was a common phenomena, of course, he probably didn't know why it was the case. That's what research and researchers are for.

    I contend confidently that I am neither.

    Phantom sensation is a small part of the book Moby-Dick, but it means something to me.
    Barrett L. Dorko


    • #3
      I have the impression now that success often comes with some degree of sociopathy. This brings to mind what was said on TV some time ago - "Sales is about what you don't say."

      Depending upon what is meant by "success" this tends to vary. Maybe you can think of some examples.

      Melville wrote his last book about how easily we are given the impression of others - by what they say, dress and act like. Those trying to influence us change their "look" accordingly. I always wore a tie while teaching. Was this to impress others? I wore a tie while treating patients because (I said) I "respected the work and my patients." I read it in a story once. Maybe it was true.

      It made for some rapport in any case.
      Barrett L. Dorko


      • #4
        Especially if they provide lunch.

        Shows how out of touch you are. Nowadays, you're lucky if you get tea and coffee in the morning. "Lunch is on your own"
        " I speak Spanish to God, French to women, English to men, and Japanese to my horse."------Buckaroo Banzai


        • #5

          You're right. There's not enough in providing lunch any longer.

          There never was a Mayberry

          Andy Griffith
          I thought you might like that quote Gary cause you remember he used to play something other than Matlock. You may even know that he made A Face In The Crowd prior to that.
          Barrett L. Dorko


          • #6
            Well, nobody wrote about examples of "success." I realize that this becomes kind of elusive.

            Anyway, I'd say that Melville wrote of people that "masquerade" as something they're not. My grandson Charlie (age 31/2) wore a Spider-Man costume the last couple of days - including the Cleveland Zoo. No one thought he actually had Spider-Man's skill's. They thought he was cute.

            He was. He always knew what he looked like.
            Barrett L. Dorko


            • #7
              Melville (I assume) knew what he appeared like. I suppose he wore clothes, and they were stylish for the time, as they might have been afforded. He didn't hide what he was, and might have known that fashion (a part of the culture) was far more powerful than anything he might overcome.

              I heard about carnival games today, and I suspect that Melville was aware of them. I gave my daughter a bit of "advice" (as only a father can give) before she went off to play in the All-Ohio State Fair Band as a teenager: "Don't date any carney guys."

              It seemed to work.

              What advice would you give to a young therapist today?
              Barrett L. Dorko


              • #8
                Hi Barrett!

                Thanks for your insights on Griffith's A Face in the Crowd, one of his better films that seems to be enjoying a revival of sorts based upon those who are finding parallels to our current political climate.

                Your point about appearance is a good one. I often tell my athletes about a line my mother would use about those who try to disguise their roots or disrespect their backgrounds.

                As a kid growing up in an area of Chicago known as the "Back of the Yards," a reference to the Chicago stockyards (where my father worked for a while herding cattle into the slaughter shoots), this point about disguising where we came from always struck home whenever she would say:

                Downtown shoes, stockyard feet.

                Here's that interesting scene when Griffith's inadvertently reveals how he feels about people who have bought into his image:



                • #9

                  The way therapists feel about patients is more complex. I've written a great deal about how many in the profession begin by saying, "I just wanted to help others."

                  This might be true, though it's not my reason. I wanted to know. I've assigned "helping others" to a wonderful perk.
                  Barrett L. Dorko