Contradiction in thinking!
- I want to explain a little more about contradiction in thinking. Thought processes project our experiential and subjective interpretations on the outside world and objectifies them into a model. It is just like reflecting your face in a mirror. The reflected image simply shows an external form, with the right and left side reversed, and so inaccurate. In the same way that you may have difficulty properly moving the razor while shaving yourself while looking in the mirror, you may have difficulty by fixating on a thought and believing it to be true just as it is. So I always warn neurotic patients that actions and thoughts may not always reflect each other accurately. Such being the case, thoughts must be limited to the role of giving proper orientation to action.
Metaphorically speaking, looking in a mirror, one looks only at the limited area of one's face that one is going to shave. One handles the razor using the natural movement of one's hand. As patients try harder to go to sleep, they get more sleepless, or as they try harder to forget their misery, their focus on them makes the misery stronger. As they try harder to suppress obsessions, they have much more trouble with them. All these matters can be said to be a result of the patients' being caught in the trap of the contradiction in thinking.
- We are very often deceived by the contradiction in thinking. Neurotic patients often say that they would accept death from any other disease, but they do not want to die from this particular illness. Or they say that they will try hard to bear up under any other anguish, but they simply cannot stand this anguish. One fellow with the symptom of compulsive handwashing cried out that he wanted to cut off his hands.
None of these patients is aware that these problems issue from a contradiction in thinking that causes them to deceive themselves. Actually, they cannot endure other forms of anguish and they don't want to die from any disease. In this way, the patients seek to justify idleness, laziness and avoidance of responsibility through the self deception and self justification of excuses concocted through this contradiction in thinking.
The essence of nervousness and therapy.