My Dear Dr. Neruda,|
I can't tell you how delighted I am with your manuscript. It is not often I receive such validation in writing. I shall leave it up to your imagination to divine (if you'll pardon the expression) how it is that I am privy to a sealed document to be opened some time after your death. As is my way, dear Neruda, I wish you to live with what you have already suspected to be the case. This, of course, is why you wrote the manuscript. Dear boy, had you actually convinced yourself that such an effort would exonerate you? Ahh, it's fellows like you who, since time immemorial, render seduction so satisfying. Yet, I need do little beyond the initial setup, to be perfectly honest, as your kind does most of the work for me.
Where did you go wrong? What does it matter really; what's done is done (and how!). And the whole point is that you have to LIVE with it. "Oh miracle of miracles from the creature that thinks: we move inexorably toward truth, and on arrival, shut our eyes." Your words my boy-eat them! Your patient killed himself after whacking his wife. So? Shit happens, Rafael, my "two-sided boy," and you failed to live up to your name. Rafael, as you never tired of pointing out, means, "God will heal," and believe me, I know. I'm a bit of a two-sided phenomena myself, and can vouch for the other camp . Face it--look me in the eyes--you fucked up. You knew it all along, didn't you, but the pull was too powerful, wasn't it? Got to hand it to me though, don't you? I guess you could say I'm still crafty after all these years. Come on Doc-- it won't hurt you (it won't help either) to acknowledge your humanity, but that's the essence of the error, isn't it?
YOU became God (relax--you're not the first) which was a hell of a lot easier than humbly dealing with the situation. That's what it comes down to friend; you flunked humility 101. You deferred to your hubris (pride) and we all know you can't have two masters. Sure, you can alternate between the two stances (just like you can pretend to be two different people) but notice that you never see the two together in the same place. The time comes when alternation is no longer an option: the fiercer posture will prevail. Your evil was psychological (and by the way--thank you, my boy, for turning my energy into a disorder). The whole subject has always been vague but now, wickedly wearing sheep's clothing, it will appear in the DSM-5.
Karl Menninger a few years ago wrote a book called, "What Ever Happened to Evil?" It's professionals like you and Scott Peck that enable me nowadays to fleece freely. Your mother (and if you thought she was a loo-loo, you should 've seen mine!) quoted Shakespeare, "there's nothing in and of itself that is good or bad but thinking makes it so" (something like that) which of course, on many levels, is accurate. The true inequity, however, lies in perverse persuasion which erases the exercise of free-will. You used your brain, Neruda, but you indulged your unconscious and lost your boundaries and then your way.
Often we see an individual involved in good works who is absolutely unaware of his or her unconscious hostility. We all know what interesting things have been done in God's name! The basic ingredient of the perverse and putrid is power. Like a master chess player you controlled those you decided to cure. This was all in your tendency to replay or re-write outcomes. As, when what happened to your mother was too much to bear, you went looking for the relief and release of denial. Every child holds himself responsible for untoward family occurrences. When the attack took place you thought yourself to blame because you failed to report noticing some men sitting in a car a few hours earlier. In the same way, then, you were responsible for your patient's unhappy end. Poor Rafael; you betrayed them both and resorted to a survival stratagem fueled by fantasy and your own brilliant form of chicanery. It was all a "play it again Sam," thing--with your mother as the wished for patient--your chance to re-enact the father/lover role--your shot at the narcissistic father who finally had only you as a rival in self-absorption.
Speaking of rivals, Neruda, I might as well note how quickly you were able to reconcile yourself to your own biological rival's neutering, so to speak. Why it was almost as rapid as your father's turning to you for the provision of a male grandchild in lieu of your half-brother's testicle troubles. Ahh yes; we do tend to become what we despise. My, it's been a pleasure going on like this, and you continue to be a good listener. Oh, I almost forgot to congratulate you on your identification with the young son of your ill-fated patient. You simply swam in all those rescue fantasies and it warmed my heart so. Goodness (pardon pun) I must bring this to a close. I have much work to do and yours, my friend, has just begun. Let me conclude with your words once again. "Who are we. Why do we do what we do and can we change?"
You seem clear enough about the first two, Neruda, but your take on the change thing is a bit odd. That, no doubt, is due to its juxtaposition in relation to your father's notion of justice. Far better to change the world than meet the gaze of those who personally need you. That's it for now my fine friend--(we ARE to become fast friends, you and I). Do give your wife my regards. She has her work cut out for her.
Does she suspect she's your mother?
I suggest you write a sequel on your life together. This time dedicate it to the cabal kakos. One more thing; be a good chap and introduce me to Rafael Yglesias. I understand he's a friend of yours. His mind is most attractive to me.
As for you, my dear Dr. Neruda; You are sincerely mine,
Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion. All Rights Reserved. Comments? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org