This week several of my friends have asked me why I seriously don’t consider changing lanes. All of these friends, who posed this question – and incidentally almost simultaneously – have benefited from some of my special skills, such as performing old fashioned Freudian/Lacanian psychoanalysis on them or teaching them Iyengar yoga. My best friend can testify. He’s been through the whole machinery and on both accounts came out the other side successfully.
It occurred to me, however, that I’m not sure he has ever understood any of it. But the good news is that he knows that understanding as such is one of my least priorities. Where these matters are concerned I prefer the process of getting there – or pretending to get there – to arriving at some ‘concrete’ self-knowledge. In fact, I’m more interested in observing how knowledge, more often than not, eludes us. On the other hand, I don’t worry too much. Since I don’t have the papers to prove that I’m a bona fide practitioner of either psychoanalysis (for some 10 years) or yoga (for some 20 years), I like to reserve myself the right to justify through that why I failed, should I fail. So, why not changing lanes in spite of missing diplomas, or perhaps because of everything else? While pondering this question, I’ve decided to ask my friends why they trust me to take them places they’ve never experienced before. Here’s what they said, almost in unison, about what they found fascinating and worth the while in my ‘teachings’.
Relating to psychoanalysis:
1. The fact that I rarely fall for bullshit.
2. The fact that I always allow the other to know where I’m at.
3. The fact that I always allow the other to know where he or she is at in relation to statement 2.
4. The fact that I always know why people articulate stupidities even when they are not stupid.
5. The fact that I always see a projection even when it’s not transparent – this is often related to statement 4.
6. The fact that, relating to 4 & 5, I always say, “cut the crap”. The result is remarkably efficient, every time.
7. The fact that I can always identify the situation when the statement, “if it’s not about your mother, then it’s certainly not about me, but yourself” is true.
8. The fact that I always play free agent, even when I’m not – having or not having diplomas or being in some other such constraints doesn't bother me.
Relating to yoga:
1. The fact that I only need to say it once in order for it to work: “stretch it mentally – the physics of it comes later.”
Lists. Yes, they always have the potential to turn into mission statements. Thus I say this to you – special friends – you know who you are – that if I go professional, next time I ask you: “the couch or the mat?”, I’ll follow with this: “we can talk about the price later”.