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Solutions and Ideas from Ira Einhorn's new book Prelude To Intimacy

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  • J. Nayer Hardin
    Linkable edition of this article on http://www.computerhealth.org/einhornwritingsamples.htm EXCERPTS FROM: PRELUDE TO INTIMACY - BY IRA EINHORN AVAILABLE AS A
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 17, 2005
      Linkable edition of this article on
      http://www.computerhealth.org/einhornwritingsamples.htm

      EXCERPTS FROM: PRELUDE TO INTIMACY - BY IRA EINHORN

      AVAILABLE AS A HARD COPY OR AN EBOOK

      http://www.lulu.com/content/162719

      Who Am I - Pages 19-20
      Impact of the 60's - Pages 53-55
      Networking - Page 16
      Healing - Pages 62-63
      American Society - Page 63 - 64
      Culture - Page 75
      Europe and Ghosts - Pages 100-101
      Prison Life - Page 81
      Reading - Page 88
      Creativity - Page 90
      Stress - Page 96-98
      Vulnerability - Pages 107-108
      Computers - Page 172


      For more information contact:
      James Sorrells

      Email: redemp@...

      FROM: PRELUDE TO INTIMACY BY IRA EINHORN

      Who Am I - Pages 19-20

      According to Jungian typology, I am an intuitive/feeling person. I'm
      not conscious of "thinking" all that much. Rather, most of the time
      my mind is clear, and I act intuitively without much conscious
      thought or deliberation. Things emerge for me, often instantly,
      rather than being mulled over, for I live fully in my body. I also
      grasp things as a whole. Hence, I am blessed to be able to work on
      very complex problems, even in areas of human endeavor in which I
      have little factual knowledge. On the other hand, for me the more
      factual knowledge the better. I have always literally devoured books
      and as much high-level information as I could get my hands on.
      Whereas I love complexity and complex problems, I have always lived
      simply and love the unencumbered. For me, there is no contradiction
      between my intellectual interests and how I choose to live my life.
      In fact, one supports the other.
      When the paranoia of my situation would arise, it came from an
      emotional, visceral response of fear and danger which would then
      obsessively plague my normally clear mind for a time. Those emotions
      would play and replay their neuro-endocrinological dance, usually
      damping out after a day or two. At that point, the incident would be
      finished, and I could return to my normal, two drinks above par,
      life, no less enjoyable in Europe than in the U.S., at least on a
      basic level. But, I have never lived on a basic level.

      Impact of the 60's - Pages 53-55

      The sixties were still fresh in everyone's mind, and most of the
      people I had associated with in Eire had had some taste, however
      small, of possibilities loosed by the experiences of that time. The
      smell of change had been in the air, and many had experienced what
      they considered to be a superior way of living together. A mode of
      life we associated with a change in consciousness, a sense that the
      discreet boundaries of the reigning framework somehow limited
      awareness and the behavior that flows from awareness, i.e.,
      virtually everything. Sounds abstract but it isn't. Just think of
      the difference between waking up with a smile on your face or a
      scowl, the feelings evoked by bright sunlight versus dark, heavy
      clouds, the way the world looks when you are elated in contrast to
      the way it looks when you are depressed.
      When I worked with business executives to any depth, I would explain
      these differences with the implication that if they lost their
      temper during the course of the day, it was best to write off the
      next couple of hours. Anyone truly in touch with themselves knows
      that decisions are not a process of the mind, alone. The body is
      deeply involved in all important decisions, and the increasing
      denial of this truth in the developed world is part of our
      increasingly pathological behavior. In spite of the goodies –
      consumer products – that surround us in ever-larger amounts, it is
      obvious to more and more people that our way of life is both
      destructive and without meaning. Disease patterns, drug use, and the
      utilization of mind-altering prescription drugs are examples, but
      the escalating, dysfunctional behavior of young people (murder,
      suicide, drug use, etc.) is the clearest indicator of the problem;
      the younger you are, the less protection you have against your
      environment. It takes a while to learn how to suppress what is
      actually happening; the young are always the best indicators of the
      future.
      The awareness of the importance of the body in decision-making is
      known to anyone who has studied or practiced eastern philosophies or
      who has utilized any of the arts emerging from the human potential
      movement; recent work at the edge of western thought is confirming
      such ideas. Doubters should turn to Damasio's Descartes' Error:
      Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (1994). The mind is a latecomer
      to the evolutionary process, the neo-cortex in particular, and
      floats upon a vast pool of embodied knowledge that we are now
      ignoring at our peril. The brain is a part of a biological system of
      daunting complexity, a player in a complex game. To think of it – or
      us – as a whole as merely complex computers is to practice
      destructive reductionism. The failures of AI (artificial
      intelligence) to live up to claims and expectations should make us
      aware of how easy it is to mistake our projections and metaphors for
      reality. But, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water.
      Clearly defined logical problems, a very small subset of what human
      beings face, are best solved by known mental techniques. Deep Blue's
      recent victory over Garry Kasparov is a perfect example. The
      problem is the over-reaching of the brain into areas where it is not
      sovereign – the hubris of thought, not the use of it.
      The issue can be understood under the rubric of context, whether we
      are dealing with personal mental states manifest as a smile or a
      scowl or external surrounds like the sun or clouds. We have all had
      numerous experiences in which changes in context produced dramatic
      changes in behavior, however temporary. Discussions on issues like
      these led me to form a seminar on the history of the context that
      presently determines or at least influences life in the western
      world.

      Networking - Page 16

      My life in England was a very rich mix of different milieus in a
      heady brew of 60s explosion and English hospitality, a whirl that
      often began with mid-morning tea and ended with a 3:00 a.m. Chinese
      dinner with Heathcote Williams , John Michell , and Francis Huxley .
      Wales (Stafford Beer , George Andrews and others), Cornwall (Colin
      Wilson ), and Bath (Peter Gabriel ) were integral parts of the
      circuit at various times. And, I rarely was in London without seeing
      Arthur Koestler for a long session of drinking and marvelous
      conversation.
      When one's roots and interconnections are cut away, a black hole can
      await. I had run a huge network for years that had provided
      information of all sorts to an international group of scientists,
      scholars, writers, political activists, and corporate leaders. It
      was financed - it may surprise some - by Bell of Pennsylvania, and
      it evolved from my work with Andrija Puharich and Uri Geller on
      psycho-kinesis and consciousness. The network grew to include people
      in 25 countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain, people with
      instant planetary recognition among the cognoscenti. Information
      flowed to me, and I redirected it, aided by Pennsylvania Bell for
      the duplication and mailing. When something happened in many "edge"
      disciplines, I heard about it, quickly. I was not only in the flow,
      I was the conduit for much of the flow.

      Healing - Pages 62-63

      All of this aided my adaptation, a process I went through a number
      of times, and one does learn, painful though it might be. As
      Nietzsche wrote, "That which does not kill me will make me strong."
      A kernel of truth in that statement but one that does not fully
      cover the situation. I have indeed become very strong, but the
      fractures lie within and must be healed if the being is to remain
      whole.
      This healing is a slow practice that few understand and that
      requires the help of another. It is a work of continual repetition,
      a return to the site of the trauma which is sutured onto those
      childhood tropisms that dwell deep in the realm of the pre-verbal,
      the chora, after a term employed by Julie Kristeva, a French
      psychoanalyst, feminist, and author of many books. It is difficult
      to describe for it is a process that is ongoing. It became possible
      for me only when I had a life partner.

      American Society - Page 63 - 64

      How arcane, you might say, how recondite, how beside the point, but
      think of what is going on in American life and increasingly
      throughout the world where the market-oriented consumer society is
      rooting out all the old world patterns and destroying every rhythm
      that resists. Norman Mailer's words ring clear: "We live in a time
      that is interrupting the mood of everything alive."
      Consider this: 90% of American families are described as being
      dysfunctional; over 50% of marriages fail; the incidence and
      prevalence of stress-related illnesses are growing exponentially;
      job security is a dream of the past; sexuality, one of the major
      forms of release available to contemporary city-dwellers, who are
      cut off from trees, grass, and bird-song, is now fraught with peril
      and ringed round with the odor of death; child abuse is endemic;
      pedophilia is on the rampage; destructive substances are available
      anywhere and everywhere there is money to pay for them; teenage
      crime is a growth industry (think on the sad case of Malcolm X's
      grandson), and perhaps worst of all, teenage suicide, a devastating
      response to this spreading illness of infinite consumption, grows by
      leaps and bounds.
      A long list that adds up to total fragmentation and a continually
      increasing stress on every one of us no matter how rich we may be
      and how protected we feel. That is the problem that clearly links my
      struggles to the common experience, extreme though my situation may
      seem. The problems of stress and the affect of sundering and
      fragmentation on a system is non-linear; it lives in the world of
      Thom , Prigogine , or the Santa Fe Institute , i.e., complexity
      theory, rather than the linear world of Newton or Lagrange. Like the
      climate, the change can be sudden. The climate in not just going to
      change in the far-distant future, it is changing before my very eyes
      as I write. The operative terms are catastrophe (in a mathematical
      sense) , strange attractors , and far-from-equilibrium systems.
      The problems I have wrestled with for one-third of my life are
      increasingly the daily problems faced by everyone, but please do not
      misunderstand me: this is not a how-to book but rather a report from
      the frontier, like my fifth novel, a snapshot of an emerging world.
      This is the world we are all living in, though few are as yet
      willing to admit the extent of the problem, and most reach for
      partial, non-achievable, utopian solutions or retreat
      into "quietism, cynicism or despair," to quote a letter from Martin
      Jay , professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley
      to my erstwhile alias, Eugene Mallon.

      Culture - Page 75

      Culture is the organic process of a lived life: it grows us and we
      grow it. It is not a suit of clothes that one can change at will.
      Living with a woman who grew up in a totally different culture than
      mine, whose language of the heart is not English, has only
      reinforced that awareness for we spent twenty-four hours a day
      together and did so with short breaks for almost ten years. That is
      more time together than most marital partners spend in their
      lifetimes. I know about cultural differences and expectations from
      the experience we shared as deeply as any two could manage, breaking
      down walls of difference that separate even the most devoted lovers.
      Most of what we do in life is not thought about but is rather a by-
      product of the culture that creates us. Like mother's milk, we take
      it in without thinking yet still find ourselves at times stymied by
      the small tropisms out of which a life is fashioned. It did not stop
      Annika and me, but what work it required, what patience! Who today
      will take the time? Who is allowed the time? It should not come as a
      surprise that many are beginning to talk about a post-emotional
      society and that more and more people, who supposedly love each
      other, treat their loved ones as replaceable throwaways, to be used
      up and disposed of. Most of the women friends that Annika met in
      France merely tolerate their mates. No one has spoken of love to
      her. How very sad.

      Europe and Ghosts - Pages 100-101

      I had finally become a person to talk to rather than a Svengali of
      sex, for which I was thankful. I knew it was just the beginning,
      however, for what we had done together, with all its attendant past
      associations, had to be parsed, worked through, brought out into the
      light of day. Otherwise, buried memory festers and spreads
      malignancy throughout the being, a problem that was to become a
      large part of my life's work. After a number of years in Europe, I
      realized that most of Europe was full of hungry ghosts, unresolved
      memories of the horrors of the Holocaust that weighed heavily on
      everyone, slowing draining the life away.
      The corpse of the Holocaust needs to be disinterred, autopsied, and
      given a decent burial, an impossible task for over forty years
      because the trauma was too large to face, and the focus on the Cold
      War eclipsed all else. Now, it is surfacing slowly, perhaps too
      little, too late. European leaders are too busy pretending about a
      United Europe to pay attention to the real problem: unresolved
      memories of traumatic proportions. They are as out of touch with the
      problem as was President Chirac in the recent election that brought
      an extreme rightist to great prominence.
      Europe is paralyzed, and American hegemony is not the entire reason
      for the problem. I spent six years studying the Holocaust and
      repressed memory. I wrote a novel about it called Cantor Dust. I
      have also spent ten years with a woman who is wrestling with the
      same problem on a personal level, so the problem became mine and
      slowly absorbed all my time, resist though I might. The terrain is
      relatively unmapped, and the work is the most difficult I've ever
      encountered, but the effects of not dealing with the problem are
      everywhere in this Europe without a soul. During 1996-97, I spent
      much time with a Holocaust survivor, a man whose life was an emblem
      of the problem that few really understand, an awareness that my
      reading of some of the vast literature made all too clear. I had
      just begun an intensely focused study of the psychological roots of
      the problem and had written 40 pages of a new novel when Friday,
      June 13, 1997 erupted into my life.

      Prison Life - Page 81

      What a metaphor of our times: a TV in virtually every "cell," but no
      light to read by! In addition, if I am extradited I will spend the
      rest of my life in an American prison. I repeat: In spite of these
      circumstances I am a happy man for I love and am loved at a level I
      had not thought possible, and I have lived out that love with a
      wonderful woman in an almost ten-year struggle against our
      respective backgrounds.

      Reading - Page 88

      Reading is life's blood for me. It nourishes me like food, extends
      my range, and allows me to experience emotions in a quiet room that
      when encountered later, I can better deal with. I am not that
      concerned with its ontological status for I know how to use it and
      do. I enjoy a good critical argument, but I prefer a good poem or
      novel. I find the imaginative act more important than the critical
      act and know that Melville or Proust or Joyce will still be read
      when Derrida is a distant memory; it is the lasting I'm concerned
      with when I teach and when I read: it says something about value and
      depth.

      Creativity - Page 90

      Yet granted that understanding of limits, I must say that the
      creative life is always pushing against the limits, exploring the
      edges, conquering new territory. That seems to be the function of
      creativity: opening up new possibilities that others will later
      structure into more coherent wholes. It is a form of a gift to the
      whole for once the light bulb is imagined, it is the property of all
      of us – to use and forget that it was invented at a discrete time
      and place by someone, for that is how we are: very forgetful.
      Creativity is a blessing, but it is also a burden for it creates a
      restlessness that tends to disrupt the smooth surface of ordinary
      life that the majority seems to settle into whenever the opportunity
      allows.

      Stress - Page 96-98

      Stress may now be an academic discipline, complete with all the
      accoutrements that go with it: endowed chairs, journals,
      conferences, etc. But when I began to study stress, it was still a
      battle over the work of Hans Seyle , whose research led me back to
      Claude Bernard , Hughlings Jackson , W.B. Cannon , Kurt Goldstein's
      work on the organism as a whole, Arthur Koestler's brilliant
      overview in Insight and Outlook, and a small library of other books.
      I developed a basic theory that I presented to many audiences, and I
      often used methods of presentation that induced what I was speaking
      about, methods based on my study of Artaud and Brecht. One such
      talk at a well-known, elite psychiatric institute produced a near
      riot and led to hours of discussion, much admittance of guilt, and
      finally to a commitment to run a drug counseling center that was
      being created in the building in which I lived, just fifty feet from
      my apartment!
      Stress is the key concept necessary to the understanding of modern
      life; it lies at the basis of a whole series of family-related
      illnesses and is a large factor in alcoholism and drug addiction.
      Stress is itself addictive as I first noticed when people who spent
      most of their time in the city visited any of my summer retreats:
      they couldn't stand the peace and quiet for it enabled or forced
      them to listen to themselves (their bodies) as stimulus replacement
      for the constant drone of the city. What they heard was often
      devastating. The same effect can often be observed in high-strung
      people when they receive a massage. Stress is so endemic in
      contemporary life that its absence may be noted and missed.
      Pollution is a form of environmental stress, just as stress is a
      form of body pollution. Stress can be thought about in terms of
      information that the body can't handle while pollution is material
      the environment can't reabsorb within the context of its functioning
      cycles. They both produce pathologies in terms of "normal"
      functioning. Sufficient overload of either will produce a bodily
      distress, such as certain types of cancer or a change in the
      environment, even a climatic change. Most contemporary behavioral
      pathologies have a high stress component as part of their syndrome.
      The fear of stillness and silence that seems to be spreading is an
      obvious stress response as is the incessant listening to TV news.
      When you live for a period of years as I have, without media, you
      became intensely aware of how stressed most people are, how unable
      to sit quietly or live without noise.
      Techniques for stress reduction have become a growth industry.
      Embracing stress and using overload consciously is one way of
      producing psychic breakthroughs, but it is not to be recommended for
      it is extremely dangerous and rarely successful, yet that was what I
      was in the midst of with my exquisite nymph. Some deep trauma was
      playing itself out again and again, obsessively as trauma will, and
      my willingness, my allowing, had become part of a process that was
      hard to grasp, like trying to swallow the ocean.
      The process continued as before, and the tenderness increased as did
      the warmth both inside and outside of bed. An opening was occurring,
      a crack in the mirror that was certainly related to the altered
      state and the sexual frenzy…but don't ask me how. Most people will
      find what I am describing hard to believe, but I am a veteran of the
      60s, and I have spent an enormous amount of time exploring the
      various realms of human consciousness with an armada of tools,
      including the most powerful psychedelics then available. I am used
      to daylong excursions into psychic spaces that would frighten most
      people to death. A group of us worked on and off for a while with
      DMT, a psychedelic that zips you out of your body in a microsecond.
      I've learned how to sit quietly and observe in the midst of some
      very strange states. I have also had extensive experience with
      hypnotism, out of body (OOB) experiences, eidetic imagery, tantric
      Buddhism, and a number of other esoteric techniques. I worked
      closely for a number of years with Andrija Puharich who spent his
      life studying such states and the powers attendant upon them. My
      local neighborhood in Philadelphia, Powelton Village, was often a
      dumping ground for very disturbed former psychiatric in-patients,
      ambulatory schizophrenics, a number of whom I spent much time with.

      Vulnerability - Pages 107-108

      Vulnerability is something that most men of my generation – I was
      born in 1940 – have a difficult time recognizing, let alone
      expressing out loud. We were taught to suppress it, present a strong
      face, tough it out, etc. To change such deeply engrained character
      traits is not an intellectual decision but the deep emotional work
      of a decade. Work that involved great struggle for I was opposing a
      long tradition, reinforced by millennia of the religious tradition
      from which I issued. To admit deep need and vulnerability to a woman
      was an emotional experience of great intensity, one that opened up
      deeper possibilities for both of us and led us into depths that few
      ever touch for real love and sharing is out of style nowadays. The
      busy life that most people now lead fosters functional relationships
      of mutual tolerance rather than love. A sad substitute for the
      intimate involvement that is possible with another.
      But that was the experience of a more mature man. In 1985 I was
      still leading my American life though I lived in Eire, in reduced
      circumstances to be sure. The forces of habit run deep for they are
      burned deep into the physiology, an integral part of the body's
      structure. It is as difficult to change a deeply engrained habit as
      it is to change one's voice or one's gait. It can be done, but the
      work is enormous and few succeed. Think about all those years lying
      on the psychoanalytic couch with success in some cases to be sure,
      but rare and after years of intense work. We are creatures of habit!
      Change is more difficult than the superficial psychobabble of the
      last thirty years would lead us to imagine. Possible, but very
      difficult.

      Computers - Page 172

      Then, miracle of miracles, my newfound friend took me to a computer
      shop in the next town and before I knew it, I was keying in my novel
      on a small word-processing computer. I got up early every morning
      with the goal of keying in one chapter. Since I am not a touch
      typist, it took time, but I had time. In eight weeks it was done. I
      now had a completed novel, stored on a computer no less, and the
      rest of my life to live. The writing had been a way forward, a new
      path to follow. Deep inner work was to replace what I had lost, a
      focus for my enormous energy and omnivorous reading, but that was
      only one point of support. I needed two others, a place to live and
      someone to share it with. I began to formulate a wish on that long
      train ride back to London, a wish that soon became the beginning of
      a new reality.
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