at home in Freiburg
A 50th-anniversary revaluation
7. Seminar of 1 and 3 March 1966
‘Unburdening and burdening are possible only through the human being’s ecstatic being-outstretched’
|Martin Heidegger and Medard Boss|
on the Feldweg south of Messkirch
Inner Circle Seminar No. 223
Sunday 6 March 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Heidegger’s seminars in Zollikon fifty years ago were contemporary with the epochmaking work of Szasz in The Myth of Mental Illness in
Our seminars are about the same length as Heidegger’s. Like his, they are in four parts; though in his case these are spread over two weekday evenings and in ours over one Sunday.
On 1 March 1966, Boss compares the seminars to a kind of group therapy intended to enable a more adequate view of the nature of being human. As in Freudian analysis, ‘resistance’ has arisen, in the form of the objection that Daseinsanalysis is anti-scientific: first, because Heidegger’s discussion of natural science is (allegedly) valid only for classical, not nuclear, physics; second, because psychotherapy is in any case not a procedure like physics.
Heidegger questions whether the seminars are a ‘cure’. He recalls that ‘semen’ means a seed, and hopes these evenings may succeed in strewing a seed that will come up here and there. He says a philosophical seminar is always in the situation of Socrates, who said that what is most difficult is always to say the same thing about the same thing.
He now repeats his explanation that physics objectifies nature, and argues that this is even more so for nuclear than for classical physics. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle does not change this.
Heidegger demonstrates how a discussion of ‘stress’ in a journal of psychosomatic medicine is couched in the objectifying language of physics. He discusses how this negative critique can become a positive one by showing how the language of his own Being and Time can open up the discourse on ‘stress’ in a way appropriate to human science. He quotes Hölderlin: ‘... we are a conversation.’ ‘Stress’, he stresses, makes sense only as part of this ‘conversation’, whether as a burdening’ or an ‘unburdening’.
On 3 March, Heidegger reiterates that ‘stress’ belongs to ‘the constitution of human existence determined by thrownness, understanding, and language’. He discusses Plügge’s account in the psychosomatic journal of being ‘stressed’ by the sound of his neighbour’s children but not his own. Heidegger summarises his paradigmatic daseinsanalytic opening up of the concept of ‘stress’ in the sentence: ‘Unburdening and burdening are possible only through the human being’s ecstatic being-outstretched.’ In our own seminar we shall try to do justice to what he means.
Psychotherapists who have attended have declared these seminars revelatory for their practice and thinking. Most of us – even if we call ourselves existential therapists and phenomenologists – have been corrupted and confused by the ideology of scientism. In these seminars we strive, through dialogue, to do justice to Heidegger’s clarifying vision. If we cannot, then our ‘therapy’ remains technological tinkering and our righteousness is as filthy rags.
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/