Projection, Presence, Profession by David Holt

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This article developed from a paper read to the Analytical Psychology Club London, May 17, 1973. It was originally published in Spring, 1975.

I want to argue that if we follow Jung in his understanding of projection we find ourselves in the presence of Being. Our journey takes us through territory familiar to the science of Being, that science which is sometimes called ontology and sometimes metaphysics. Projection is a concept central to our clinical practice. If our practice is to prove itself professionally within the mainstream of our cultural tradition, we must learn to relate it to the perennial arguments of metaphysics.

What I have to say falls under three heads. First, I want to argue the familiarity of metaphysics. Then I want to consider the language of dreams as evidence not only of projection but also of Presence. And thirdly, I shall make some suggestions as to what the recognition of Presence implies for the professional practice of psychology.

Metaphysics

To most people today metaphysics is a bad word. It is associated with vast intellectual structures, with thinking that is unrelated to experience, and perhaps most serious weakness of all, with an evasion of the need to prove. There is much contemporary use of the word metaphysics in a pejorative way, contrasted with science. Whereas it is held that science has to do with knowledge that can be proved, metaphysics is held to be purely speculative.

My interest in metaphysics has always been interwoven with my interest in Jung. I came to Jung intellectually a few months before I came into Jungian analysis, while I was a student at Oxford just after the war and I was reading modern history. I was very much influenced by the historian-philosopher R. G. Collingwood. His book An Essay on Metaphysics had a big influence on some of my generation. In it, he argued against the dominant trend in recent English philosophy; he held that metaphysics is a real science, and that a great deal of damage is done by those people who teach that we have outgrown metaphysics.

In this Essay he gave three historical examples of the importance of metaphysics, one of which was a reconstruction of the significance for human consciousness of those passionate arguments that went on in the early centuries of our era about the nature of the Trinity. I had been brought up by parents who had been convinced Unitarians; I’d been brought up to believe that the idea of the Trinity was a very silly idea, and I was immensely impressed by Collingwood’s argument to the contrary. I decided as a result to specialise in the study of St. Augustine.

As one of the set books for this study, I had to read Augustine’s Confessions. When I read that extraordinary autobiographical document of the soul, that unique mixture of psychoanalysis and metaphysics, I felt that I must find out what modern psychology had to say about this kind of thing. So I went along to Blackwell’s bookshop, and looked over the shelves, and there was a little book called Psychology and Religion. I bought it and read it through at a sitting. It was Jung’s Terry Lectures given in 1937. They fascinated me. I began to record my dreams. Something was set in motion…

That was the beginning of my interest in Jung, born out of an interest in metaphysics.

But I date what I think of as my adult interest in metaphysics from a dream which I had some years later, when I was 28. I was in analysis, and it is relevant that the main preoccupation of the analysis at the time was with a bad speech stammer. The dream as I wrote it down on waking was this:

Within the dream, a dream within the dream. And this inner dream is a long murder story whose function is to persuade the dreamer that he is a murderer in imminent risk of being discovered. I’d had this dream untold times before. It is indeed at the root of my worry and fear of life. But this time I ‘alter’ it to show that its grip on me is gone. It is as if at the crucial moment which contains the whole point of this story, my mind turns and says ‘No, this is not real for me’, and a clenched band is unclenched. As a result of this unclenching I see a great design, a world picture. It is made up of an intricate arrangement of an endlessly repeated theme. This theme is of a tree growing in a formal courtyard at the top of a flight of steps. These steps lead down to a square pool of water. Although the water is still, there is immense energy generated within the pool. Between the tree and the pool there flows a narrow red stream, though it is not clear in which direction, and this stream is the life of man. This theme of the tree and the pool is repeated an infinite number of times. It is as if everyone who had ever lived spent his life painting one such tree/pool picture. All the separate pictures are arranged together to form part of a great tree, but I see that in one of them ‘the direction is reversed’. This means that in one of them the direction of flow of this red stream between the tree and pool is reversed, and this reversal of direction ‘spoils’ the whole picture, and seeing it I feel an indescribable horror; it has something to do with a reversal of direction in masturbation, which is connected with the locking of my stutter.Quote close

The philosophical books in my library carry in their margins many references to that dream. It has governed my interest in metaphysics over the last two decades. For out of the “horror”~ with which I woke on the morning of April 10, 1954, has come that peculiar sense of “wonder” without which man has no interest in knowing about Being.

Working from the analysis of my own sexuality and of the many ways in which it is related to speech, I have found that the images of tree and pool and the red stream which connects them have generated a passionate, material, interest in metaphysics. In particular, they have focussed my attention on the relation between sexuality and language, and on the way in which this relationship is “conjugated” by an in and an out analogous to the movement of breathing. In analysing this “conjugation”, I have realised that the essential metaphysical attitude has nothing to do with abstract speculation, or with the building of intellectual systems for their own sake. It has to do with the question: Can we take that which is for granted? If you are satisfied that you can, then metaphysics remains a closed book and you need not bother with it. The questions of metaphysics come alive only in that moment when we begin to feel both horror and wonder in the presence of Being – (see the note at end of paper).

Now that is easy to say, but the implications are not easy to realise. Here are two passages from books whose writers have wrestled with the need to keep alive the consciousness that the verb ‘to be’ is essentially active, that it cannot be taken for granted. The first is from Marcel’s Being and Having. Writing in 1930, Marcel makes a distinction which is familiar to those of us who know how difficult it is to teach what Jung meant by the Symbolic Life. He writes:

It seems likely that there is this essential difference between a problem and a mystery: the problem is something which I meet, which I find complete before me, but which I can therefore lay siege to and reduce. But a mystery is something in which I am myself involved and it can therefore only be thought of as a sphere where the distinction between what is in me and what is before me loses its meaning and its initial validity. A genuine problem is subject to an appropriate technique by the exercise of which it is defined. Whereas the mystery by definition transcends every conceivable technique. It is no doubt always possible logically and psychologically to degrade a mystery so as to turn it into a problem, but this is a fundamentally vicious proceeding whose springs might perhaps be discovered in a kind of corruption of the intelligence.1Quote close

The same theme of a distinction between mystery and, in this case, fact, is picked up in a more recent essay from a very Anglo-Saxon collection on the general theme of religion and understanding. The title of this essay is “Love as Perception of Meaning” and the author, J.R. Jones, is commenting on a famous remark of the philosopher Wittgenstein, who said “Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is”. The ‘how’ I think corresponds to Marcel’s ‘problem’ and the ‘that’ to the ‘mystery’. Writing about this distinction, J.R. Jones tries to relate it to the problem of living:

As we face our lives and in those moments when the question arises for us whether our life has any meaning at all, when we suddenly have what might be described as an awareness of existence, and the whole question whether existence has sense arises for us, then we know perfectly well that the world is not unmysterious… When this happens to you (if it ever does happen) you know that ‘how the world is’ is not everything. There is something else, there is the existence of the world, ‘that the world is’. You suddenly see the world in a way which makes you conscious of the mystery of its existence, of the mystery of existence itself. And a question arises which could not have arisen before, while you were investigating the facts and taking the fact that there are facts for granted, namely the question of the meaning of this latter fact. What does it mean that the world should exist, that anything should exist, that there should be facts at all? This is not a question that further knowledge of the facts of the world would enable us to answer. It is a mystery. We can become aware of this mystery, deeply and disturbingly. But the paradoxical thing is that you can have this experience without detriment to your confidence as a scientist. For ‘how the world is’ remains untouched, the facts are unchanged, and ‘how the world is’ remains completely unmysterious. In other words, what I am saying is that it both makes sense to be confident that there is no unfathomable mystery within the world, and at the same time to recognise that the world itself is the profoundest mystery.2Quote close

As I understand metaphysics, it is concerned with the interaction of these two kinds of experience – the experience of how the world is, and the experience that the world is. This is what I mean by the familiarity of metaphysics. Metaphysics remains strange, alien, absurd, unnecessary, so long as we claim to be able to take ‘that which is’ for granted. But should that claim begin to wear thin, then metaphysics emerges as urgent and necessary, as having to do with what is quite literally a matter of life and death: the need to conjugate the how and the that of the world one with the other.

What has this to do with projection? I want to suggest that ‘becoming aware of our projections’, and ‘learning to withdraw our projections’, have to do with the same experience as metaphysics: the problem of what to make of being-in-the-world when we realise that we cannot take ‘that which is’ for granted.

The Language of Dreaming

One of the uses of dream analysis is to recognise the projections we are making. I dream of someone I know, and in analysing the dream I become aware of a distinction between the subjective and objective content of the dream image. It is a familiar instrument in our clinical practice. But do we really know what we mean by this distinction between a subjective and objective content?

I began asking myself this question insistently some thirteen years ago when I had served as a guinea pig in one of the experiments which were then starting on the physiology of sleep and dreaming. The experimenter was at that stage checking the hypothesis that our eyelids flutter when we dream. I slept in a corridor of a hospital, wired up to an EEG machine, and every time the graph showed my eyes flickering I was shaken by the shoulder and asked if I had been dreaming. It was an experience which has had a lasting effect on my attitude to dreaming.

Since that night I have found that my thinking about dreams returns again and again to the threshold between waking and sleeping where we establish that we have dreamed, the threshold whose transactions we share when we set ourselves to remember our dreams, to write them down, and to discuss them with an interpreter. Thinking about this threshold has confirmed for me the fundamental importance of Jung’s remark that dreams have us as well as our having them. For this is surely what characterises our most direct and immediate experience on the threshold between waking and sleeping. There is a presence beyond the threshold, on its further side, which works to seize our attention, just as we on this side work to hold onto it. This is the two-way transaction which we refer to as dreaming, a reciprocal effort to hold and to be held, to put into words and to be put into words. This is where much of our thinking about projection has its source.

What happens to this two-way movement, on the threshold between sleeping and waking, when it becomes fixed in the verbal record of the dream as we write it down, or present it to others for their comments? Let us consider a dream of exemplary brevity: “I dreamed of my father, but it wasn’t my father”.

We can recognise in such a dream a structure and an ambiguity with which we are familiar in a wide range of our dreams. Let us compare the language of that dream, “I dreamed of my father, but it wasn’t my father”, with the way we might say in a waking situation “I thought I saw my father in the crowd but I looked again and saw it wasn’t”. Is ‘father’, in the phrase ‘it was not’, being used in the same way in both examples? And if there’s a difference in usage how do we understand that difference?

It seems to me that a great deal hangs on how we answer that question. We could, if we were so minded, derive the entire division between Freud’s and Jung’s interpretation of dreams from our respective answers. I think that many of our contemporary arguments as to the role of dream interpretation in analysis relate to this question. In the waking example language is being used to flow in one direction only, while in the dream example language somehow insists on flowing simultaneously in two contrary directions. In the waking example the word father refers to a particular man in the crowd. If we like to use the word, I ‘project’ this name onto him. But when I look again I find that I have projected it onto the wrong person. So I unpin my label; I withdraw my projection – the man I thought was my father is not my father. But in the dream example it is different. The man is both my father and not my father.

Indeed, in a short dream like this we might say that the whole point of the dream is that the word father is being used differently from its waking use. If we follow Jung’s advice and assume that the dream is saying something which could not be said otherwise, we find ourselves confronted by a meaning which manages to be both extraordinarily simple and simply extraordinary. For although it is recognized that the person dreamed of is not my father, this does not negate the statement that he is my father: it complements it. The fact that he is presented and recognised as not my father seems to contribute an extra quality to the affirmation that he is my father. The withdrawal of the projection does not result in a separation between the word father and the person to whom it refers, as when a label is unpinned and removed, but it serves rather to raise a question as to the direction in which meaning flows. Does meaning flow from the word to the person referred to, or from the person to the word?

This is the question which I believe lies behind the idea of projection. But to ask this question we need space, space of a very special kind, the space of metaphysics. For if we are to do justice to our experience of language on the threshold between waking and sleeping, we must allow this question as to the directional flow of meaning to open up into a more comprehensive questioning of the relation between language and all that which is. We have to make room in our lives for the question: “Which comes first, language or being?” Then we can at the very least entertain the idea that ‘that which is’ may express the meaning of the word, rather than the other way round. Or, to put it in terms of this dream, we have to be able to wonder whether we may have known the meaning of the word father before we knew father. This is the “wonder” which sustains metaphysics.

Let us now move round to another position and look at this idea of language as moving in two contrary directions from the point of view of Jung’s hypothesis – and he insisted that it was a hypothesis – of ‘the’ unconscious.

This dream of my father who is not my father illustrates one characteristic of the language of dreams which is so familiar that it is always in danger of being overlooked. It incorporates both an affirmation and a negation in such a way as to ground what is said beyond the laws of logical contradiction – as if the language of dreaming is always grounded in the antithetical sense of a primal word. This kind of saying or sounding of something which is beyond the laws of contradiction is what the psychology of ‘the’ un-conscious is all about. Whenever we say the unconscious, we affirm a negation. It is round this affirmation in negation and negation in affirmation that the psychology of the unconscious is centred.

This concept of ‘the’ unconscious is essential to Jung’s psychology. But it has a serious drawback, a drawback which makes itself felt when those of us who have come to psychology through the surrender implicit in illness or breakdown try to talk psychology to those who have never needed to make this surrender. To us it is self-evident that when we talk about the unconscious we are primarily trying to allow something to say itself. Whatever we speak or write about the unconscious is grounded in our experience of a symptom or breakdown that made of our body or our living the expression of something which could not be said otherwise. But to those who have not been ill or broken, or who heroically refuse to surrender to illness or breakdown, this is not self-evident. To them, however much we protest otherwise, talk of the unconscious is either talk about something, or else it is quite literally nonsense.

One way or another, most of my adult life has been involved with this problem, and I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that for me Jung’s hypothesis of the unconscious must be related to a comprehensive theory of language and imagination. At the heart of this theory, if it is to satisfy my own experience of language as sustained by the contrary movements of breathing, there must be recognition of an affirmation in negation or negation in affirmation more fundamental than the experience of logical contradiction. Such recognition I can find only in the metaphysical concept of Being.

I can explain something of what I’m getting at if I now give names to these two contrary movements of language. One of these movements is familiar, indeed for many people today it is the only kind of language there is: it points – ‘there is my father’. It assumes that the world ‘out there’ exists independent of language. It takes that which is for granted; it takes the fact that there are facts for granted. All that language needs to do is to point and say ‘there it is’. This movement I call indicative.

The other movement is the movement which I believe comes towards us, over the threshold on which dreams are constituted, and it is not so easy to recognize. Indeed, so pervasive and so subtle is the grip which the language of indication has over our consciousness today, that it is wise never to underrate our own resistance to recognizing that it has a contrary. For most of us the essential characteristic of this other movement of language is that it sounds – we can only hear it when we cease taking ‘that which is’ for granted. My thesis is that this is what we do when we try to withdraw projections. We hear this other movement of language only when we allow that which is to speak to us, and we can do this only by allowing our need to know the world to interact with the contrary need to let the world be. When we feel this need to let the world be, we realise that language is indeed all that we understand by indicating and pointing, and yet also a power with an altogether different direction, a power which makes of that which is a presence. This movement of language I call ‘presential’.

This is a deliberately unfamiliar word, used to draw attention to a quality in experience which we are today in the habit of overlooking. I derive it from various sources, but would mention in particular a writer who has helped me much in my approach to language. Philip Wheelwright, in his book, Metaphor and Reality, makes no mention of Jung, but he is interested in many of the ideas which pervade all Jung’s thought. Here is a passage in which he speaks of the relation between language and reality in the experience of peoples whom we call primitive. He approaches the problem through literature.

From the cumulative evidence of ancient literary remains, the general negative conclusion can be accepted as true-namely, that early man, unlike ourselves, did not split his world into a law-abiding physical universe on the one hand and a confused overflow of subjective ideas on the other – i.e. into an outer and an inner. Nature and self, reality and fantasy, for him were radically interpenetrative and coalescent. The nearest early man came to envisage his world dualistically was to distinguish between the sacred and the secular. But the distinction was largely fluid and shifting, except where it might become stabilised by definite rituals, taboos, stories and priestly authority. Nevertheless, in this fluid and ready interplay between the secular and the sacred, the latter must have been an ever-present reality. Probably an outstanding and frequently recurring fact about an early man’s world as experienced (for the world and the experience were not conceived as two) was his sense of a hovering, latent presence or presences within, amidst, or behind the familiar things that surrounded him. His world, we may say, was presential. By this word I mean something fairly close to what Rudolph Otto has called ‘the numinous’. The word ‘presential’ has the advantage, however, of avoiding specifically religious connotations, although by no means excluding them; it will therefore be better suited to describe that quality of the world which the primitive myth-maker, the man of religious sensitivity, and the developed poetic consciousness all have in common.3Quote close

And we might also add, the man who dreams.

This idea of the world as presential is the idea which sustains metaphysics. The mode of experience of the primitive is presential, and if we are to maintain contact with our own primitivity, we must learn to cultivate a metaphysics appropriate to the culture in which we live. And at the heart of metaphysics is this recognition that when the verb ‘to be’ talks about itself, saying and hearing conjugate one another in a common presence. Being is a sounding and we do not hear that sound unless we learn so to use our own words as not to drown the saying of the things round us.

This Being which is the subject matter of metaphysics is always present in a way that can never be satisfied by pointing. ‘Father’ will always mean infinitely more than I can ever say because his presence speaks in a direction contrary to what I say about him. I think in that context of what Jung used to say about never being able to exhaust the meaning of archetypes. That which is always negates anything we can say about it, because it is moving in a different direction to our saying. Things aren’t just there – they are present, and this presence isn’t a state, it’s an activity. What is projects itself. It makes itself manifest, and this making manifest, this ‘epiphany of Being’, as somebody has called it, can be spoken of only in language which recognizes that it is divided against itself, simultaneously and contrarily indicating its own self-presenting.

This division of language against itself is, I believe, what we struggle with in projection and the withdrawal of projection. For the science of Psyche and the science of Being complement each other. Psyche, like Being, is more original, more fundamental than the act in which a subject recognizes an object and points and says ‘there it is’. Psyche makes possible the recognition of Being, and this recognition is prior to the distinction between ‘I’, and ‘Other’. More, it sustains and makes possible this distinction because it grounds our being in the world and the being of the world in a common presence. It is this presence which both enables and proves the withdrawal of projection as between ‘I’ and ‘Other’. For the withdrawal of projection and the recognition of Being are the same.

Presence and the Profession of Psychology

What does this interpretation of projection imply for our professional practice? I want to suggest two conclusions: the need to explore auditory rather than visual metaphors in talking about our work, and following on from that, a new understanding of the gravity of fantasy.

Our usual formulations of how projection works derive from a root metaphor of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. We talk of projecting an inner content onto an outer object or person. Withdrawal of a projection is described as an internalisation, an activation of some inner potential. But when we are asked by our critics to locate this inner and outer, I for one begin to wonder whether the language we are using is adequate for a scientific (by which I mean shared and public) exploration.

In my own case-work presentations I am trying out a new metaphor. I still use the distinction between inside and outside, but I find that it helps to bring alive the problem of projection, especially for audiences who have not analysed, if alongside and complementing images of within and without, I invoke the idea of reality as word.

Words exist between mouth and ear. If reality is word, then ‘to be’ is always both spoken and heard. Instead of distinguishing between a within and a without, we can distinguish between the saying and the hearing of what is.

It cannot be too strongly emphasised that this is not a metaphor which we can visualize. Probably we come closest to it in our experience of music. To make use of it in analytic dialogue we need to think of projection as evidence of energies which are vibratory as well as perspectival.

Energies of this kind are familiar in some of the mysteries and theologies which centre on the power of the word. As I have suggested, my own way into them has been through analysing the relation between stammer and masturbation. It is a way that has taught me to distinguish between the word as indicative of what is, and the word as presenting what is. In making this distinction I have been able gradually to make ‘room’ for the projections which interest me in my body (see note at end of the paper).

But for good or ill, the more present my body has become to me, the more its rhythm has been caught up in the beat of a resonance which I cannot call mine. Metaphysics has imposed itself on my analysis of the psyche in insisting that ‘body’ be related to ‘creation’. It has taught me to understand body as the one place in which ‘I am’ can make the distinction between microcosm and macrocosm.

Here, in the traditional distinction between microcosm and macrocosm to which Jung has once again drawn our attention, the visual and auditory explorations of projection meet. In making the distinction between microcosm and macrocosm I realise that the world cannot be taken for granted. I realise that the world depends on an act of creation, and that I am called to participate in that act, an act which is always both inside and outside what is both said and heard. The professional use we make of this distinction, and all that it implies for our understanding of the relation between psyche and soma, is dramatically enlarged when we consider it not only through the imagination of the eye, which is interested in perspective, but also through the imagination of the ear, which is interested in vibration.

It is enlarged by allowing fantasy to play on Being with a freedom that can be generated and controlled only within a metaphysical experience of reality. More than fifty years ago, in the preface to his translation of Psychological Types, H.G. Baynes wrote of the psychology of individuation in words which look forward to Jung’s later emphasis on the microcosm and macrocosm.

To Jung the psyche is a world which contains all the elements of the greater world, with the same destructive and constructive forces – a pluralistic universe in which the individual either fulfils or neglects his essential role of creator.4Quote close

Within the body of the same book, Jung wrote:

Fantasy it was and ever is which fashions the bridge between the irreconcilable c1aims of object and subject, of extraversion and introversion.5Quote close

We do not begin to understand the importance Jung attached to fantasy unless we realise that for him the psyche has access to the same metaphysical energies as sustain Being. The distinction between subject and object, inner and outer, is always relative to this fact. In fantasy we can draw on a resourcefulness that is prior to the distinction between I and it, and it is from within this resourcefulness that we reconcile the claims of object and subject, by recognising projection as the presence of Being.

But it is no light matter to find oneself with access to the metaphysical energies that sustain Being. If that is what fantasy provides, then we have need of a very special gravity in our work. To train ourselves, and others, in the free play of fantasy as Jung taught it, requires a discipline which is metaphysical as well as scientific.

In defining this discipline, we must surely start by admitting that the energies we invoke when we talk of ‘the’ unconscious are constitutive of ‘that which is’. Only when we admit this do we allow for the gravity of fantasy. But once we have made this allowance we will find that the language of our profession becomes simpler, less plagued by mystification. For the language of metaphysics is not obscure. It is as familiar as the verb ‘to be’.

For instance, this resourcefulness on which we draw when we invoke energies that constitute Being: what is it? In our tradition we have been taught to call it by names which are as familiar as our own, for all their metaphysical depth: names like hope, and love, and faith.

When we start talking about our case work in language such as this, we will recognise certain very obvious connections between our modem methods of analysing the psyche and older traditions of analysing the metaphysical ground of behaviour: connections which we overlook only because they are so obvious. For example, we would realise that in talking about fantasy and the active imagination we are talking about faith. Not faith in the derogatory modem sense of an inferior kind of knowing, but faith as understood within the unbroken metaphysical tradition that links us to archaic man – faith as an activity which is presupposed by all knowing. This is the activity which lets the world be, which allows Presence to sound.

Once we realize this connection between fantasy and faith we will be better able to define the professional status of our discipline. Fantasy is essential to psychology precisely because psyche cannot take the world for granted. In using fantasy, the science of psyche does what all other sciences need to do, though few would today admit to the need: it studies the metaphysical activity on which its knowing feeds. In professing an interest in psyche, we commit ourselves to the study of projections made before knowing can begin. This is not a commitment for which we can train ourselves within the enclosed circle of a science called “analytical psychology”. The peers in whose judgement our work must prove itself are all those – and only those – who understand that both world and psyche are believed before they are ever known.

Note

The editors of Spring asked me to develop further the connection between this dream and the argument of my paper. To do so in detail would involve writing about my personal analysis in a way which would be inappropriate. But some amplification is perhaps possible with reference to what Hillman has written about masturbation in his genial essay on Pan. There he writes:

The suppression of masturbation is a physical act is also the suppression of its psychic counterpart, and when this suppression begins, the battle over masturbation becomes an interior theological dispute echoing the Judaeo-Christian refusal and reformation of nature ‘in here’.Quote close

The link between my dream and my interest in metaphysics is given by an “interior theological dispute” which may be the same as that to which Hillman refers. This interior dispute was at the heart of my analysis over many years. I would define it as the dispute about what the Christian faith that sustains so many of my world’s projections has done to the relation between language, body, and nature. The more I have learned to join in this dispute, the more have my being in the body, and my being in the world, come together.

As far as my being in the body is concerned, this coming together has been furthered through the analysis of experiences common to both phallus and throat. The dream I have quoted, with its horror at the connection between “a reversal of direction in masturbation” and “the locking of my stutter”, gave a decisive impetus to-this analysis. Over subsequent years, it led me to discover my body as the coordinate of projections that are both sexual and verbal.

As far as my being in the world is concerned, this coming together had two stages. The first entailed realising how much of the “taken for granted” quality of our natural world presupposes a shared belief in the Christian doctrine of creation as sustained by the word of God understood as person. The second entailed recognition that for me this word had been broken, and in some way put into reverse. For many years I found it impossible to talk about this putting into reverse of the creative word, because the hearing of the world to which I tried to speak seemed to be locked in a kind of stammer of the ears similar to what I can experience in my own throat. This stammer of the ears I would now identify with the denial of metaphysics.

So if stammer is to become speech, and masturbation intercourse, I need to share with my world a rediscovery of metaphysics as a first stage in understanding what the broken Christian word has done to the relation between body and nature. This paper is an attempt at such sharing.


1 Gabriel Marcel, Being and Having (London: Collins Fontana), 1965, p.116.

2 J.R. Jones in Religion and Understanding, ed. D.Z. Phillips (Oxford: Blackwell), 1967, pp.145-46

3 Philip Wheelwright, Metaphor and Reality (Indiana University Press), 1968, pp.134-45

4 C.G. Jung, Psychological Types (London: Kegan Paul), 1946, p.xii

5 Ibid., p.69