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Silverman, M.A. (2000). Landscapes in My Mind: The Origins and Structure of The Subjective Experience: Vincenzo R. Sanguineti, M. D. Madison, CT: Psychosocial Press, 1999. 181 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 69(3):588-590.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(3):588-590

Landscapes in My Mind: The Origins and Structure of The Subjective Experience: Vincenzo R. Sanguineti, M. D. Madison, CT: Psychosocial Press, 1999. 181 pp.

Review by:
Martin A. Silverman

Plato, more than two millennia ago, indicated that human beings live in the equivalent of a deep cave from which we peer out onto a world of everyday experience that seems clear and objective, but which actually consists of images distorted by the effects of looking at life from a vantage point that appears to be up close, but in reality is at a distance from what we are viewing. In modern parlance, we would say that what appears to be so is in actuality shaped in large part by the shadow of that which is projected upon it from within the depths of the cave from which we look out. In this slim volume, Sanguineti, a bold and perhaps even audacious thinker, who combines a philosophical and spiritual bent with scientific curiosity, attempts to carry out the seemingly impossible task of peeking into the cave from outside, while he unavoidably resides at the same time deep within the cave along with the rest of us.

How does he do it? He does not conduct rigorous, controlled experiments with large numbers of subjects participating in a well-defined research protocol that is then subjected to statistical analysis. Instead, he uses himself as the main, almost the sole, object of his inquiry, which consists of episodic, introspective self-examination, in connection with instances in which he glimpses himself—that is, his conscious self—in communication with his innermost self—his unconscious—which he comes to recognize as the richer and vaster part of himself by far.

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