Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for the ‘Culture Vulture’ Category

“The Question of G-d”

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on January 11, 2013

This book, by Dr. Nicholi, is the basis for Mark St. Germain’s play “Freud’s Last Session,” in which, as per previous post, I will be one of the “Talkback” speakers. In preparation for my début, I have given myself homework to read this book and watch the PBS series of the same title. I have also purchased the script of the play (available for $8.00 on Amazon), that I plan to read after I have done my background exploration.

As I begin this book, I am struck by the following paragraph:

      “None of us can tolerate the notion that our worldview may be based on a false premise and, thus, our whole life headed in the wrong direction. Because of the far-reaching    implications for our lives, we tend to dismiss and contradict arguments for the worldview we reject. I hope each reader will critically assess the arguments of both Freud and Lewis and follow Sir Francis Bacon’s advice to  ‘Read not to contradict….but to weigh and consider.’ ”

Dr. Nicholi concludes this part of the prologue by saying:  “It is my hope that Freud and Lewis can jointly guide us through just such an examination.”

I will continue to post as I read this book, but my first fear is that Dr. Nicholi has made Freud’s view on religion more central to Freud’s contribution than his theories related to the process of mining the unconscious. If lay people walk away from this play thinking that Freud was set to make people atheists than they will miss the point that Freud’s theory on religion fit into a much broader theory of the human mind. One does not have to accept Freud’s ideas about religion to gain from his ideas about self-sabotage and the primacy of one’s parental relationships. Likewise, I suspect that C. S. Lewis has brought us far more than his views on religion. His writings are so prolific that it would be sad to think of him only in these terms.

Maybe this will be my opening statement. I will have less than five minutes to introduce the “Talkback”. I will probably spend hours thinking about those five minutes. Time well spent, meaningfully spent, I should say, given the gravity of this topic.

See also…http:,0,4591570.story

Posted in Book Reveiw, Cultural Activities, Culture Vulture, Freud, My Events, Teaching Psychoanalysis | 7 Comments »

Fowler Touches: Los Four

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on December 5, 2011

  Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, highlights LA artists. The Fowler  showed an art group called ‘Los Four’ with a moving quote:

“We are talking about our stories, a humanist tradition in art, which is very much a part of growing up in California. And they’re telling stories-a narrative content-and basically, art that is figurative and not abstract….So they were East Side stories, but really in  a larger context, they were California stories. It was quite an impact in all the art world, because we brought back….emotionalism.”

       Frank Romero, oral history interview, January 17-March 2, 1997, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.

I think the same could be said for psychotherapy/psychoanalysis. Psychotherapists, such as myself, work to bring back emotionalism, so that creativity can thrive. Our goals cross mediums and cross cultures. That’s nice.

Posted in Culture Vulture | Leave a Comment »

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