All of Me

I just took a hardcover from one of the shelves a few steps from where I’m seated, opened it, and was surprised by what I saw on the flyleaf: I bought it one year ago today. In a way, that day feels like yesterday. In another way, it feels like many years ago. Much can change in a person’s life in a year. Over a beer or glass of wine, one might talk about what one has done or experienced in the last twelve months. If I were the one speaking, I would probably focus on things that have happened outside of my own mind. But for me, the last ten or twelve months have been all about mind experience. That’s interesting: the book I just took from the shelves is entitled, In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis, by Casey Schwartz. I believe a year ago today was a sunny day in Seattle. While I was out during lunchtime running errands, I decided to spend a few minutes in my favorite bookstore. The moment I was inside the store, my body knew where I wanted to go. I felt as if I had the shelves to myself. There appeared to be few people, and all of me seemed focused on what I was experiencing. The place could’ve been filled with people and I would’ve felt alone in the building. The psychology section on the second floor was familiar to me, and I could probably have found it blindfolded that afternoon. A book was waiting for me, and my body made sure the hardcover and I met. Looking back on last May, I read several books on psychoanalysis, then in June I started to search for a psychoanalyst, and in mid July I found myself on the couch for the first time. What I remember most clearly about the book I walked home with that day was the author’s ability to immerse herself in what she was writing about. She dedicated several years of her life to the project. I remember what happened later on during May 2 of last year, when I prepared myself coffee and read the first several chapters of In the Mind Fields: there were a series of moments in which I felt alive, completely present, as if all of me were experiencing the book. I must have been yearning for meaningful inner experience, which has not been lacking in my life since I started to speak on the couch.

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