And I wonder how Dylan’s invitation
differs from that of the Stones. And I consider now that Dylan’s Ruthie offers fulfillment
of Desire—what I want and not what I need. What I need represents only what I know, but what I want
satisfies my sense of Being. This private Self, which Winnicott says is the
ultimate source of all creativity, and must be retained and kept personal and
secret; it is revealed only in action: in the use of objects created because
they are there to be created. That private self must remain always unseen--
though I think it is always available to be witnessed in play: the experience
of all imaginative living. Winnicott says “It is joy to be hidden but disaster
not to be found.” What I need is discoverable but what I want is
forever hidden. Terry Eagleton argues that “Desire makes us what we are . . .” and
Eagleton adds after St.
Thomas and Jacques Lacan, “acts as the organizing principle of all our actions,”
and is the yearning for happiness. However, as humans we cannot achieve
happiness because we live in this world that demands self-contradiction and compromise.
What we want
derives from our True Self, our Core Self, that must be protected
and kept isolate by the necessary false selves that develop to protect that
Core. None of us live in Eden and we all drape ourselves with leaves. Our False
polite and socialized selves--
inevitable and exist to defend our True Selves. Adam Phillips argues that
“Obedience is the unforbidden pleasure that gives us something by forbidding us
of ultimate value.” Obedience facilitates getting what we need, but cannot
fulfill what we want. We derive our earthly pleasures—our needs--by creating a
forbidden world that has its source in our Core Self—that part that remains
omnipotent, free, and out of communication with the rest of the external world.
It might be realized in our creativity but must never be seen in itself for
fear of its corruption.
In his essay.
“On Communication,” Winnicott theorizes that that Core is forever isolate. Winnicott
suggests that, “In health there is a core to the personality that corresponds
to the true self of the split personality; I suggest this core never
communicates with the world of perceived objects, and that the individual person
knows that it must never be communicated with or be influenced by external
reality.” This core self may address subjective objects--
those it has found [even
created] wholly within--
it may not be communicated with by external objects at risk of its being
altered. “Although healthy persons communicate and enjoy communicating, the
other fact is equally true, that each individual is an isolate, permanently
non-communicating, permanently unknown, in fact unfound.” One defends, Winnicott
says, against communication in order to protect the core (True) self. He says, “I
am postulating that in the healthy (mature, that is, in respect of the
development of object-relating) person that there is a need for something that
corresponds to the state of the split person in whom one part of the split
communicates silently with subjective objects.” One part of that split part is the
True Self and it must be carefully defended to remain True.
Ruthie knows me because she knows
herself. But she doesn’t really know what I want: she knows that I, like
everyone else, wants.