Melancholia

    Our sixth combat is with what the Greeks call ακηδια, which we may term weariness or distress of heart. This is akin to dejection, and is especially trying to solitaries, and dangerous and frequent foe to the dwellers in the desert… (Cassian circa 416 CE)   Ajax, in Sophocles’ play, after slaughtering cattle…

Poems of disquiet

    Sabi is the color of the poem. It does not necessarily refer to the poem that describes a lonely scene. If a man goes to war wearing stout armor or to a party dressed up in gay clothes, and if this man happens to be an old man, there is something lonely about…

Buttes, Mesas, Pillars and Time

I've been reading Eugene Minkowski's Lived Time. His preoccupation is with the structure of psychopathology as far as it concerns the experience of time. He does have novel ideas especially about future orientation or what he calls the future horizon. He makes the point that Desire, Hope and Prayer are future orientated. In melancholia, desire…

Travelling and the Other

My theme is travel. Travel, travelling, making a journey is often a metaphor for the journey of life. The great narratives, Homer’s Odyssey & Virgil’s Aeneid are both about journeys. In the Odyssey, Ulysses returns to Ithaca after the Trojan War & it takes 30 years to do so. His trials and his successes are…

Karl Jaspers

 It is the centenary of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology (Allgemeine Psychopathologie)this year.  Jaspers (1883-1969) was only 30 years old when this influential text was published. Yet, the book has endured and is still in publication.  So, what is it about this book, a textbook of descriptive psychopathology that continues to make it relevant to contemporary…