Thursday, December 01, 2005

Native Tradition and Psychoanalysis

I will begin this entry in my weblog by quoting two very similar quotes from two very disparate sources. The famous Great Blasket writer, Muiris Ó Súilleabháin penned the first quotation that comes to my mind, and it runs: '... mar a deir an seanráiteas, is goirt iad na deora a shileann, ach is goirte ná san na deora ná sileann.' An English translation would run thus: 'Bitter the tears that fall, but more bitter still the tears that fall not.' I think he was returning at the time of penning these lines to the island of his birth as a very young boy, his father having died, to the home of his grandfather. There is a lot of truth in this statement - unexpressed grief will surely wreak havok on the prson by way of psychosomatic illness. What put this quotation in my mind was the hearing of another quotation from a modern psychoanalyst and this one runs thus: "Sorrow that does not end in tears makes other organs cry." I was attending a series of lectures on Psychoanalysis at Trinity College here in my home town, Dublin city, Ireland. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name of the psychiatrist or psychoanalyst who uttered these profound words, but I was stunned by how close they were to my favourite quote from Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Muiris penned these words in his famous autobiography, Fiche Bliain ag Fás which was translated widely into other languages. The English version is called Twenty Years a-Growing and is well worth a read. It should not surprise us much that traditional wisdom of ancient civilizations contain much that is wholesome to the soul and the spirit. No wonder Carl Gustave Jung turned to the study of the mythologies and beliefs of the ancients. I also enclose a picture I took recently at Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir - The Blasket Island Interpretive Centre - at Dún Chaoin (Dunquin) in the Dingle Peninsula. The picture simply depicts a to-scale model of the original village on the island. I shall enclose some other pictures related to this area over the next few posts. Until we meet then: beir bua agus beannacht!

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