Commonplace…

Further filtering mechanisms:

In an effort to focus my reading a bit I’ve decided to make part of this journal a commonplace book, a personal anthology of quotations from my reading with perhaps some brief reflections on my part. I’m hoping to make this a daily exercise, which may well make it tedious for other people to slog through, so I’m going to make it an opt-in feature for all of you. If you want to read postings like the one below, comment on this and I’ll add you to the list of recipients – if not, do nothing and you won’t be bothered by them.

“…in thinking about phobias it’s worth taking seriously the difference between a phobic situation and a phobic object like an insect. A phobic situation, broadly speaking, one can choose to avoid, but a a phobic object can turn up unexpectedly. One might say, for example, that a person who imagines that his hate could turn up at any moment, like an unwanted guest – who has to live in a state of continual internal vigilance to ensure that he will always be fair – might choose an object rather than a situation. A situation phobia is a controlled temptation. And clearly the availability of, the potential for access to, the phobic object or situation is an essential factor, because it signifies access – and a person’s attitude to this proximity – to otherwise repressed states of mind or versions of oneself.”
Adam Phillips – First Hates in On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored

…and then the phone rings

0 Comments +

  1. Count this aritstocrat in on your new renaissance cure for TV stupor. I’m not sure that I see a difference between the phobic object and situation–it seems possible to place oneself in relation to either in the same way. Can we really control access, or just our relation to it?

  2. That is an amazing quote, and speaks to me in unfortunately familiar terms — ones that might prove helpful kicking up on down the road.

    And yes, please, I’d like to be privy to your quotes, Fella.

  3. In the rest of the passage he’s contrasting an agoraphobe with a person who is phobic about spiders: an agoraphobe can can decide never to go outside, but a spider might just appear no matter what the phobic person might do.

  4. opting in

    I would like to be included. Will I be able to opt out later if it turns out that your tastes bore me? [You don’t know me, so I feel I should add that my question is meant in a good-natured, saucy kind of way, rather than in an obnoxious I-don’t-see-you-as-a-person-just-as-an-electronic-toy kind of way.]

  5. In the rest of the passage he’s contrasting an agoraphobe with a person who is phobic about spiders: an agoraphobe can can decide never to go outside, but a spider might just appear no matter what the phobic person might do.

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