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Cowen, J. (1961). A Commentary on Ontic Perspectives. Am. J. Psychoanal., 21(1):92-97.

(1961). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 21(1):92-97

A Commentary on Ontic Perspectives

John Cowen, DPM, CHB, M.B.

Dr. Hora began his lecture by saying that beyond all the daily routines of life man also is faced with the task of adjusting to the fundamental order of things. He feels it to be desirable, therefore, to bring about an integration of the psychodynamic and sociodynamic perspectives into a broader existential viewpoint. Toward this goal, modern philosophical schools, including those of existential psychoanalysis and of ontology, have already made contributions which are amplified, I believe, in recent publications by a neurologist, Sir Russell Brain; by a psychoanalyst, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann; and by a theologian and philosopher, Martin Buber. Thoughts that appear to be common to these three authors and to Dr. Hora are related to:

1. The significance of dialogue as an authentic response to one's fellow man.

2. The problems of estrangement, objectification and existential anxiety.

3. Existential guilt.

4. The way to a religious orientation based on experiencing the transcendental.

In the psychoanalytic situation as in all human encounters, Hora goes on, patients appear as people with specific ways of experiencing life and of responding to deep stirrings of their inner potentialities. Or, as Binswanger says, human beings have specific ways of “being-in-the-world,” and, in rare cases, of being affected by a mystical experience which some would equate with a religious experience. Both of these could be included in the expression “experiencing the transcendental.

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