Ethics, Ethos, and Dualities: Self and Culture, Talking in Tongues

Ethical considerations are experienced as a softly murmuring subtext in the analytic situation. The question of ethics and ethos opens the question of self and culture. Living ethically involves awareness of cultural norms as well as personal judgment, and therefore implies a permeable boundary betw...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of religion and health
Main Author: Molofsky, Merle
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2007]
In:Journal of religion and health
Year: 2007, Volume: 46, Issue: 1, Pages: 51-62
Further subjects:B creative use of the self
B self and culture
B transference-countertransference matrix
B Apollonian
B ethic of honesty
B Dionysian
B unconscious cultural bias
B ethic of relatedness
B duality
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Ethical considerations are experienced as a softly murmuring subtext in the analytic situation. The question of ethics and ethos opens the question of self and culture. Living ethically involves awareness of cultural norms as well as personal judgment, and therefore implies a permeable boundary between self and world. Right and wrong, self and society are de facto dualities, rigid splits or means of balance, perpetual conflict or reconciliation. Western culture has been shaped by the duality of the Dionysian and the Apollonian. In this dualistic tension, is there potential for balance between intoxication and logic in contemporary psychoanalysis? Do psychoanalysts share a common ethic? How do we reconcile the Apollonian ethic of honesty (M. Guy Thompson, The Ethic of Honesty, Rodopi, Amsterdam and New York: 2004) with the Dionysian ethic of the creative use of the self in the transference-countertransference matrix? Using clinical examples and the spiritual and ethical considerations of writers such as Rumi, Martin Buber, and Dostoevsky, psychoanalytic thinkers such as Joyce McDougall, and traditional sources such as Zen Buddhism and the Talmud, this essay examines the effect of the cultural biases of the analyst in the analytic situation, and the hidden ethical dilemmas we face. Is it possible to maintain a "purity of intention" as we maintain respect for the boundaries of the analysand while exploring and utilizing deep countertransferential responses?
ISSN:1573-6571
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of religion and health
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s10943-006-9086-x