Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death. This idea of necessary partialization is enormously useful in thinking about mental illness, socialization and maturation, art, everything. Later, Becker puts it more plainly:
When we say neurosis represents the truth of life we again mean that life is an overwhelming problem for an animal free of instinct. The individual has to protect himself against the world, and he can do this only as any other animal would: by narrowing down the world, shutting off experience, developing an obliviousness both to the terrors of the world and to his own anxieties… We cannot repeat too often the great lesson of Freudian psychology: that repression is normal self-protection and creative self-restriction —in a real sense, man’s natural substitute for instinct. Rank has a perfect, key term for this natural human talent: he calls it “partialization” and very rightly sees that life is impossible without it.
That is, we use repression and partialization —the former a truncation of the self, the latter a truncation of the world— to achieve a stable, bearable relationship with overwhelming reality. We cut the universe down to an ergonomic size, stuff it in our carry-on with our business papers; we shrink ourselves, cram ourselves in there too; it is manageable for the duration of the flight, at least, although we might fear that a change in cabin pressure will cause us to burst, to spill our secret selves, to open up to the unmediated mysterium tremendum et fascinates.
If it were possible to modify your consciousness, would you rather (1) receive supplemental human instincts, instincts to guide you in social, professional, cultural situations through which you presently muddle self-consciously, laboriously; or (2) have your lifelong, unconscious efforts at partialization undone, largely or completely, such that you were restored to the childhood state of constant wonder, awe, and fear?(via mills)
On the left: your car, which ought be heavy (but is now missing) - replaced by a title pawn slip and a false police report.
On the right: coincidence and optimism, which are lighter, in fact, than Fate.
On the left: two boxes of porn (the really degrading kind, much heavier than you would assume at first, heavier by the mile, heavier at every rest stop).
On the right: both of us laughing in slow-falling snow, you wearing that funny corduroy hat I made for you, patterned after a sauce-pot (this one is round and heavy in my hand, but slips gently onto the scale).
On the left: searching for you in alphabet city (when you were taken for your money and didn’t score, while I had to keep awake and on the interstate to get to work at seven, and you slept off your disappointment).
On the right: biscuits.
On the left: all of the things that everyone knew. Except me.
On the right: at least you didn’t fuck her.
On the left: because she wouldn’t have you.
On the right:
(my hands are empty)
(I feel lighter)
I was reminded of this yesterday when seeing my youngest Omnitrix his way through several alien life forms (which he does a lot).