chapter
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EDITION
Pages 11

AN INTRODUCTION, AS Erik Erikson has observed, is an author's chance to put his or her afterthoughts first. In Gestalt terms, this makes for a contact boundary of a particular kind, charged and organized in particular ways, between author and reader, just before plunging into the material ahead. On the one hand there is the author, just back, so to speak, from the territory that still lies more or less hidden from the reader, caught at a moment of withdrawal or reflection after that journey, and oriented by the feelings and concerns that belong to that phase of the contact cycle: satisfaction perhaps, and a gathering excitement about sharing the journey with another person, but also quite possibly sadness and loss, apprehension about others' reception of this presentation of self, proprietorship and protection, even an anticipatory defensiveness-all those sensations and feelings, in short, that may go along with what Paul Goodman taught us to call the resistance of egotism, that fear of loss or damage to the self, a lastditch attempt to hold back from, or control at least, the crucial moment of letting go, which is the encounter itself.