chapter  THREE
12 Pages

The analyst's inner task

ByNeville Symington

The mind cannot conceptualize matter without form. Astronomers believe that after the Big Bang there was no atomic structure but only radiation—protons, electrons, and neutrons—and then slowly, under the powers of gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear force, these elemental particles formed themselves into atoms. This is an analogy whose purpose is to orientate the imagination in a certain direction. Feelings in the primordial state are amorphous, having no form. It is a state of affairs extremely frightening to the individual. The transformation of proto-feelings into feelings takes a long time. It may take months or years. The second obstacle in reaching his own feelings is the presence in the analyst of unbearable feelings. When a patient approaches an analyst, he always has some feelings that he asks the analyst to bear. The analyst is only able to do this if he feels comfortable with such feelings.