Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Promenade Attention

On my way along the Bray promenade, I literally "snapped" some shots of walkers, drifting along. I chose this one because there was so much happening in the frame. Mother and daughter have spotted me by this time. The lovely grouping of youngsters by the pram couldn't care! Their attention is elsewhere. I wonder what they are looking at, but probably I will never know. I'm turning to Maurice Merleau-Ponty here because I really didn't notice what was going on, other than a group of people were passing. Some psychologists (of whom I might not approve) would say that was "inattention", that there is some kind of moment when the approaching objects begin to be "seen". This doesn't take account of our own subjectivity and dismisses it as if it were unreal or "false". Yet here, the visible is what is "seized upon by the eyes". It is my own construction too, not a "real" object that could be seen in common by a number of possible observers". The people have noticed the camera too, so reality is made up of a whole grouping of noticing and attention. And of course, psychotherapy is made up of noticing and attention. For client and therapist in the psycho-therapeutic space, the interaction of two fields of view will produce a third. This is one description of what Jung regarded as an "alchemical process". Merleau-Ponty in his seminal work, the Phenomenology of Perception may have found a point of agreement with Jung's phenomenology in asking the question, does consciousness ever really perceive itself and "itself in the world"?