In psychoanalytic therapy, "the third" is the space where two different truths come together to form a new understanding that is shared between two people. Finding the third is a process of struggle and commitment, and the ability to find it coincides with a more evolved state of being for both participants. It means each person can make space for the other's truth while holding on to their own. Jad Abumrad explains it here in, How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany.
"We can choose to walk through it, dragging our carcasses of our prejudice and hatred... our dead rivers and smokey skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it." Kirsten Dirksen's beautiful film takes us around the world to look at how people are living with and responding creatively to the pandemic. How will we live? Urban prepping and rural resilience.
Spending time in the natural world can be a valuable antidote to the psychological impacts of having to shelter at home. Consider this article from The Atlantic How to get high on soil
Stories about how we should live our lives can be seductive, they provide guidelines for achieving a supposedly happy life by appealing to the parts of us that want security and safety, usually through social acceptance. But they can also be harmful-promoting the development of a false self amongst those who uncritically adhere to these narratives, and social dissonance and distress amongst those who live lives that challenge social convention. Paul Dolan, social and behavioral psychologist at the London School of Economics, explores this in The money, job, marriage myth.
Power, culture, status, race, gender, hierarchies, identity, politics- we all shape and are shaped by the world around us. We have many theories for analyzing and talking about this, many of which perpetuate a sense of alienation. Instead, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie uses story, which is universal. Listen to her below.
"Think of people as people, not as abstractions who have to conform to bloodless logic, but as people- fragile, imperfect, with prides that can be wounded and hearts that can be touched."
"The invisible labor that makes creative life possible." https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/opinion/summer-lying-fallow.html
Psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach, talks about staying with difficult emotions and becoming more present in her podcast episode The Courage To Love
Psychoanalyst Stephen Seligman writes,
"Psychoanalysis has always prized authenticity, introspection, and deep contact. It insists that emotional cruelty and trauma are as real as physical pain, that the truth matters, and that the deeper truths matter the most. It offers a serious but imaginative method that values curiosity and a historical sensibility, pushing against the forces that keep us from seeing what is hidden in plain sight. In a retrograde moment like ours, the analytic ethic provides a strong source of resistance."
Read the full article here The New Psychoanalysis
Terry Gross interviews primatologist Frans de Waal, who studies primates and their emotional lives, with a special interest in reconciliation behaviors. Sex, Empathy, Jealousy: How Emotions and Behavior of Other Primates Mirror Our Own.