chapter  1
15 Pages

Introduction

Making suffering sufferable
WithPaul Marcus

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores a large gap in psychoanalytic thinking and practice, namely, developing the rudiments of a psychoanalytically infused psychology of flourishing. It explains that psychoanalytic psychology is rooted in the ancient religious "spirituality" and "wisdom" that flowered during the Axial Age, that "pivotal age" from 800 to 200 bce when the spiritual foundations of society were established. The book deals with what is most important to the average person in terms of everyday existence: in other words, how to live the "good life.” The book focuses on suffering that is mainly self-inflicted and neurotic, the bailiwick of psychoanalytic theory and treatment, as opposed to psychologically coping with a natural disaster or a genocidal attack. It describes the suffering in love, work, faith, mental anguish and old age.