Images of Hope
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152 pages

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This is a book about hope. Part 1 is a compact but necessarily limited attempt to describe the actual structure and concrete forms of hope and hopelessness; Part 2 is an exploration of a psychology of hope, the beginning of an investigation of what psychic forms and dynamisms move most toward hope and against hopelessness; and Part 3 is an analogous effort to suggest the outlines of a metaphysics of hope.



Publié par
Date de parution 28 février 1974
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268160869
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Images of Hope
Images of Hope
William F. Lynch, S. J.
Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame Press edition 1974
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Copyright 1965 by William F. Lynch, S.J.
First edition 1965 Helicon Press
First paperback edition 1966 New American Library
Reprinted in 1977, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2011
Published in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lynch, William F., 1908-1987.
Images of hope.
Reprint of the ed. published by Helicon, Baltimore
Bibliograhy: p.
1. Hope. I. Title.
BD216.L9 1974 234 .2 73-20418
ISBN 10: 0-268-00536-2 (cl.)
ISBN 13: 978-0-268-00537-5 (pbk.)
ISBN 10: 0-268-00537-0 (pbk.)
ISBN 9780268160869
This book is printed on acid-free paper .
This e-Book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who notice any formatting, textual, or readability issues are encouraged to contact the publisher at .
To Dr. Leo H. Bartemeier
I wish gratefully to acknowledge the generous permission that has been given me to quote from the following works: Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell, Harcourt, Brace, courtesy of Brandt and Brandt; Collected Poems, 1909-1962 by T. S. Eliot, Harcourt, Brace and World; The Wish to Fall Ill by Karin Stephen, Cambridge University Press; The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry and Schizophrenia as a Human Process by Harry Stack Sullivan, W. W. Norton; Poetics of Music by Igor Stravinsky, Harvard University Press; The Image, or What Happened to the American Dream by Daniel J. Boorstin, Atheneum; On Not Being Able to Paint by Marion Milner, International Universities Press; Judgment and Reasoning in the Child by Jean Piaget, Routledge, Kegan-Paul and the Humanities Press; Identity and the Life Cycle by Erik Erikson, International Universities Press; Perfectibility and the Psychoanalytic Candidate by Leslie Farber, The Journal of Existential Psychiatry; Schizophrenia and the Mad Psychotherapist and Despair and the Life of Suicide by Leslie Farber, The Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry; The Double-Bind Hypothesis of Schizophrenia and Three-Party Interaction by John H. Weakland, in The Etiology of Schizophrenia , Basic Books; A Catholic Neurosis? by Sebastian Moore, O.S.B., reprinted by permission of The Clergy Review . I would like to add a final word of thanks to the many other authors who have helped me, by their writing, in working out these ideas.
I am deeply honored to introduce Images of Hope to those human beings who, whatever their professional or occupational designation, minister to mental illness, and to all those human beings who must at some stage receive these ministrations.
Early in my friendship with Fr. William F. Lynch, he was present when I read a paper on despair and suicide-a paper which contained these lines by T. S. Eliot from East Coker:
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing
At the time I was concerned with the demonic appearances of false hope as it tempts, entraps, and exhausts the despairer in his gropings toward relief. But in the context of this preface, T. S. Eliot s lines now seem to me to catch the predicament of an age grown so suspicious of hope that it can seriously consider such an absurd admonition. Wait without hope, indeed! Without hope we not only cannot wait, we cannot even put one foot in front of the other. Our plight, nevertheless, is that we would almost rather do without hope than submit again to those hollow sentimentalities which have passed themselves off as hope.
The author is well aware of the degradation both the word and the experience have undergone, for he speaks of the supreme irony that for many people hope really means despair . When we say that someone has hope we usually mean he is in serious trouble. So I urge the reader to suspend his understandable queasiness as he first brushes against the word in the opening pages of this work. If it will help, I can assure him the author will not recommend hope in the manner of all those grinning evangelists from the sciences, churches, Madison Avenue, Tin Pan Alley, and television-who preach optimism and happy endings as the only alternative to our pervasive pessimism. And just as vigorously, he will dispute all the romantic efforts to make of hope a self-induced and interior thing, unrelated to the life we live.
Though it by and large escapes the fashion of despair, psychiatry still shares the general skittishness around the subject of hope. Since hope is seldom mentioned in psychiatric and psychoanalytic writings, it would seem we prefer to take the matter for granted in our theory-which is different from honoring the taken-for-granted quality of hope when it is present in our lives. It is as though we fear that any explicit attention to the issue would subject those of us who deal with mental illness to charges of emotionalism, religiosity, or worse. For example, when therapist and patient-in the face of almost overwhelming hopelessness-nevertheless persist in their therapeutic pact, we describe their mutual dedication in terms of transference and counter-transference, meaning these two people could endure this treatment because they were attached to each other. Yet if Fr. Lynch with his usual tact were to suggest such attachment could hardly exist without hope to sustain it, we might reluctantly agree, though still apprehensive our agreement might land us in metaphysical or religious domains outside our competence.
Much of our reluctance, I am sure, would be due to the deficiency this book hopes to remedy: we have no psychology of hope. And without such a psychology, we lack an adequate vocabulary with which to discuss the place of hope in our existence. As a result we limit our considerations to hopelessness itself, about which we have abundant theory and language, and come increasingly-like the rest of our society-to regard hope merely as one of those fortuitous and beneficent feelings which come and go in any successful treatment. Unfortunately, in this emotive view of hope as mere feeling, we injure the necessary dialectic between hope and hopelessness which is true of both ordinary and disordered life. But far more seriously, the actual treatment of mental illness derives its techniques from this same emotive view. However, I must postpone any evaluation of this distressing consequence until I sketch, however crudely and incompletely, the outlines of the psychology of hope contained in this volume.
Hope, according to the author, is the very heart and center of a human being. And with this passionate statement he has already passed beyond the constraints of the emotive view. Hope must be tied, he says, to the life of the imagination, for the nature of hope is to imagine what has not yet come to pass but still is possible. To use an expression from Martin Buber, hope imagines the real, thus distinguishing this form of imagining from the unreal absorptions of day dream and phantasy whose object is transient and solitary self-aggrandizement. Moreover, in addition to reckoning with the real which is still only possibility, such imagining must claim and be claimed by the imagination of another if it is to fulfill itself in hope. Since hope cannot be achieved alone, imagination must be admitted to be dialogic in character. In other words, we imagine with . Even the novelist or poet grimly describing the absolute hopelessness of the human condition is still imagining this landscape with his reader; and though he conceals the fact, he must possess some hope to achieve his description. The momentum to hope, in this psychology, is supplied by wishing , which Fr. Lynch employs in the most honorable sense of the verb. Wishing, as I understand him, would include imagination, mutuality, judgment, passion-in short, a joining of all that is human in a move toward what is not yet but could be.
With the outlines of this conception of hope in mind, we can now return to the emotive view of hope as feeling in order to consider its effect on the treatment of mental illness. In the last few decades we have witnessed a proliferation of electrical, surgical, and chemical devices, all of which would dispel the hopelessness present in every mental illness and in its place provoke a feeling of well-being or hope. Each device pursues its own characteristic way, but in all these techniques it is clear that the mood or feeling sought is internal, private, and unrelated to the world. Shock and lobotomy require a temporary or permanent assault on memory and imagination and perception, the premise being that when there is no apprehension of the troubled nature of a given existence, the hopelessness associated with that apprehension will give way to a more optimistic mood. Implicit in this approach is another premise which, I believe, both Fr. Lynch and I would oppose: namely, that hopelessness, having no privileges of its own, must be considered solely as encumbrance. Instead, we would propose that hopelessness, being more than a feeling, raises its own questions-valid and invalid-which must be contended with if renewal is to occur.
The newer drugs offer to tranquilize our miseries at the same time that they brighten our mood, such improvements usually being accompanied by a dulling of those faculties essential for imagination and relation. Those who advocate these drugs hope that this chemically induced lifting of spirits will provide the beginnings of a responsible life in the world, although there is mounting evidence this is a false hope which cannot be

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