More than anything else, Psychoanalysis, Intersubjective Writing, and a Postmaterialist Model of Mind: I Woke Up Dead (Routledge, 2019) bears witness to what’s possible when the raw pain and heartbreak of life and death are worked with in Psychoanalysis. It tells the moving story of an analyst and his patient’s relationship as they discover the uncanny and often eerie aspects of their connected lives, and their deaths.
And, yet, the book is much more. Since its invention, Psychoanalysis has worked with phenomena such as telepathy, thought transference, shared dream and trance states, mass hallucination, dissociated identities, premonitions from the future, doppelgängers, doubles, parallel lives, somnambulism, visitations from the deceased, and other paranormal phenomena. Dan Gilhooley and Frank Toich’s book is a considerable contribution to this history in Psychoanalysis that is still very much in the making. Rather than approaching these phenomena and Psychoanalysis through a biological model, as Freud did, or through a linguistic model, as Lacan did, Gilhooley and Toich approach these phenomena through quantum theory. In doing so they provide what is certainly one of the more radical revisionings of the Unconscious to date. In their hands, the Unconscious speaks to us from the future and from locations beyond ourselves just as much as it provides access to multiple universes and times. In doing so, Gilhooley and Toich offer an account of the unconscious that radically decenters the self and its identities, desires, and impulses in ways that make it possible to imagine anew what is possible in psychoanalytic treatment.
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