Tip: To quickly go to the Table of Volumes from any article…
PEP-Web Tip of the Day
To quickly go to the Table of Volumes from any article, click on the banner for the journal at the top of the article.
For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.
Cooper, P.C. (2004). The Abyss Becoming Well: Psychoanalysis and Reversals in Perspective. Psychoanal. Rev., 91(2):157-177.
(2004). Psychoanalytic Review, 91(2):157-177
The Abyss Becoming Well: Psychoanalysis and Reversals in Perspective
Paul C. Cooper, M.S., NCPsYAS
“Therefore, you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”
“It is like water turned to ice; all the ice is water, but it cannot be used to quench thirst.
This is mortal illness, before which ordinary physicians are helpless.”
-Pai- chang (In T. Cleary, 1997, p. 9)
The water well embodies a multifaceted and powerful mythology. This discussion touches on a few variations from world spiritual traditions as they interact with conceptualizations derived from psychoanalytic experience. In ancient China whole cities would be relocated, reoriented, rebuilt, or redesigned, but, wells remained immovable and unchanged in design, form, and location. They came to represent a symbol of constancy and life. The Taoist I-ching, or Book of Changes, asserts: “The well from which water is drawn conveys the further idea of an inexhaustible dispensing of nourishment” (Baynes, 1992, p. 185).
In Christian traditions the water from the baptismal font both cleanses away the stain of original sin and unlocks the gateway to spiritual life. The well forms the center of a concentric circle and functions as a place of meeting, a place where life happens and things change. Deals are made, marriages arranged, and gossip exchanged at the well. Taverns function as contemporary wells, “watering holes” that intoxicate.
[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]