Re: Truths about Lies about Lies
Sun, 3 Mar 1996 19:30:32 +0000

Dear everyone: but especially Jim Mancuso and Bill Chambers,

Jim takes me up for my comments on this thread, in which I castigated the
response to Bill Chambers' mailings for heading off into what I construed
as needless intellectualisation in order to avoid confronting the position
Bill had taken.

On his part, Bill and several others feel that I have misunderstood Bill's
intention by writing in a way which appeared to be somewhat heartless about
Bill's stance.

Oh well. Actually, I was responding to

a) on the one hand, the bitterness in Bill's postings, and what appeared to
be his rather tendentious and unfair interpretations of comments previously
posted on this thread: interpretations which I wouldn't have made from what
they said
b) on the other, a reasonable inference I drew from his comments that
people (not Jim, I hasten to add) had done him an injustice in the past, in
some very sad personal circumstances.

I was hoping, in perhaps too starry-eyed a manner, that it might be
possible to arrive at a direct confrontation of the issues on which Bill
and others seemed to be in dispute, in order to resolve it.

I did this because I found Bill's slant on a discipline, and a group of
people that I like and respect, upsetting. At the same time, as he
describes it, the circumstances of the dispute sounded apalling, and I
still wonder how any of us might have coped if we'd had the experience he
had. For Pete's sake: whatever the acceptability of his ideas in the wider
academic community at the time, according to his account the ideas were
spurned just before a tragic personal bereavement in circumstances of
penury _resulting_ from that rejection-
and no-one on this thread has acknowledged his hurt, either then or since,
in a way which would, just possibly, help the process of healing.

(A process in which both sides might wish to engage; a process which might
result in- what shall I say? better ideas? better expressed ideas? on _his_
part: I dunno, I'm not qualified to judge them; at any rate, a process in
which it might once more be possible for others to take the ideas on board
in an open manner on _their_ part.)

In this, as in life generally, maybe I'm too optimistic about the extent to
which people can forgive each other and move on from their entrenched
positions. My clinical colleagues will be the first to point out that
changing constructions, some of which are implicationally connected with
rather central constructs pertaining to LIFE and DEATH on the one hand and
to PASSION and REASON on the other, is somewhat difficult; and my own
research on personal values pertaining to one's lifetime occupation would
confirm their stance. (Uh-oh- I'm beginning to intellectualise myself...)

But, to pick up on Jim's terminology, I do believe that there is no
necessity for the grounds of INVALIDATION to remain the same for ever and
ever; nor for a single COTERIE to be the only one available in any one
discipline at any particular time; nor, indeed, for a coterie to persist
for all time.

And so the Polyanna inside me still wishes it was possible for both parties
to apologise to each other, re-examine their positions; and maybe resolve
the dispute, maybe not. But then, just get on with living. At present, so
much energy is locked up in their mutual antagonism.

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz