Know It All?

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Adult                            -                                 Child
Rigid                           -                                 Flexible
Solid                            -                                 Liquid


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Go too far in one direction and you become a statue. Too far in the other and you are unable to maintain a form at all.


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The teacher-student encounter runs parallel to an inner tension between the states of being a knowledgeable adult and an unknowing child.

In every adult there is a child who constantly leads us on to new things.

The adult's knowledge makes him rigid and inaccessible to innovation.

The unknowing child's irrational experimentation, his naive openness, must be retained as a living potential in every adult if he is to remain emotionally alive.  

Thus the adult is never completely grown up; if he is to be somewhat healthy psychically, he must always keep a certain childlike unknowingness.

One often meets teachers who seem to have lost every trace of childishness, who have even fewer childish traits then the average healthy adult. Such teachers have become "only-teachers," who confront unknowing children almost as their enemy. They complain that children know nothing and do not wish to learn; their nerves are torn by their students' childishness and lack of self-control.

For this kind of teacher children are the Other, that which he himself wishes never to be.

A dynamic teacher must have a certain childishness in himself, just as a doctor must have a vital
relationship to the pole of illness.

He must not only transmit knowledge but also awaken a thirst for knowledge in the children, but this he can only do so if the knowledge-hungry, spontaneous child is still alive within him.

When [the teacher's childishness is repressed and projected onto the pupils] learning progress is blocked. The children remain children and the knowing adult is no longer constellated in them ... Children are his enemies, representing the internally split pole of the archetype, whose reunification is attempted through power.

[Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig]
Power In The Helping Professions, p.104-6

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2 comments:

  1. There are, however, genuine "wounded healers" among analysts; they are therapists in whom the archetype is not split. They are, so to speak, themselves constantly being analyzed and illumined by their patients.

    Such an analyst recognizes time and again how the patient's difficulties constellate his own problems, and vice versa, and he therefore openly works not only on the patient but on himself. He remains forever a patient as well as a healer.

    [Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig]
    Power In The Helping Professions, p.129-130

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  2. Any archetype includes opposite elements, e.g. therapist/patient, healer/healed.

    If [...] a therapist defines herself or himself as a "healthy person without ailment," this archetype gets split away and the therapist becomes just a therapist and the patient just a patient. Sadly, the patient then loses the opportunity of healing the self through the functioning of the healer archetype.

    In order to prevent such a splitting off of the archetype, the therapist first has to recognize the patient that exists within herself or himself.

    [Hayao Kawai]
    Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy, p.98

    ReplyDelete