Frank Weil lectures; #4 (Reel 1)
From Cincinnati WG you see the University of Cincinnati station presents the fourth in the series of Frank L. Wild Institute lectures by Dr. Murray Levine professor and director of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Levine is the author of psychotherapy in medical practice a book which has gone through 18 editions and has been translated into three foreign languages. He was also president of the American delegation to the First International Congress of psychiatry rests in Paris these Weill Institute lectures were given at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati under the title of psychiatry and ethics. The topic of today's lecture is the conflict between the generations. Here is Dr. Maurice Levy. Now my lecture tonight will focus on the conflict between the generations. This is the only topic than the six while lectures which has been discussed
time after time this year and last year in magazine and newspaper articles and panel discussions and in lectures for a while the generation gap was discussed so frequently that I thought that it might be necessary to drop it from this series. As a. Hack. Or as repetitious. But I hope to discuss this topic in a new way as part of the broad sweep of these lectures with an emphasis on biology on psychodynamics on cultural forces and on ethics. We can base what we say on direct and act. What experience we can try to have. Our usual intermixed I should say my usual intermixture. I have some intensity of feeling some new ideas to consider and especially some touches of nonsense. So it should not I hope should not be merely a regular repetition of what you
have seen or heard in the past few years on the generation gap. Now I start now. With one of the patterns in my relation with the next generation. With our group of residents in training in psychiatry and most of whom are under the age of 30. The magic number. 30. Over the years I have insisted that in that case lowered in the group of patients each one is treating under supervision. There should be one or two of the kind. Which we have call the impossible case. Now let me explain. It's imperative that each person in training in any field learns the facts of the principles of his profession. And out of his own extensive experience during his period of training. He usually comes to see that a large part of the body of knowledge and techniques in these new fiord is sound and reliable. He comes to recognize the validity of many of the ideas of previous
generations. Ideas which were developed out of innumerable hours of hard work of hard thinking of sweat blood and tears. But we knew the conditions changed. But the culture changed as the patients change and the current people in training arced likely different from people of the older generations when they were in training. And so we urge our residents to test the validity of past conclusions and to develop new patterns if necessary. We urge them occasionally to take on a situation. Which usually years were guarded as impossible. All of that is as being out of line with the recommendations based on the work of previous generations. While this pattern. Of our saying that a resident good training always must have one or two impossible cases in these cases is relevant to our thesis
tonight. It means simply that the faculty in a program which tries to do a decent job. Must have a combination of respect for the past achievement of many generations along with an open mindedness to change whether the changes suggested by the current or older generation or by younger generations. And this is not out of righteousness but out of the fact that all our treatment methods and policies must be under constant scrutiny. For the sake. For the welfare for the sake of our patients the interests of patients makes it urgent that we see the value of using proved and tested. Plans and policies which is the battle the battle cry of the older generation. And that we see also over the value of new ideas and of change which is the battle cry of the younger generation. Now. There are
other experiences which give us leads about the generation gap. I work a psychiatrist demands constantly that we deal with gaps and conflicts. The gap the conflict between two parts of one personality may be great. Also the gap between patient and psychiatrist may be great and we have worked hard at developing a partial solution. In the form of the therapeutic alliance which I discussed last time. And the two patterns which I mentioned as being most responsible for the success of the therapeutic alliance namely the pattern of partnership. And the pattern of stringent self-scrutiny both have relevance to the solution to the problems of the generation gap. Now further in the process of supervision and professional training. There always is a potential gap in a conflict between two generations the want of younger people. Being supervised in the outer ones the
supervisors and we have looked long enough that the process of supervision and its problems since it is the crucial process in our training program. Finally. We have developed a unique seminar the non job summit. Explain the name in a moment which seems to suggest a way of furthering. The generation alliance between residence and training inspired three most of whom are under 30 and myself a part of who is much less than 30 in puns and jingles and table tennis but most of whom it is much over 30. We will return to the new summer and to similar patterns in a moment. But first I want to discuss the meeting of the psychoanalytic society in Chicago. Which I mentioned briefly in the first of these lectures and refer back to the paper I gave at that meeting which I called. The myth. Of the wise elder statesman.
I had been invited to be one of a panel of speakers that evening. It was to consist of four elders of the tribe. Each of whom had been in practice for 30 years or so. Each of us was to summarize the major trends in our work and how they changed the invitation from the program chairman to emphasize the length of our experience hinted at are inevitable wisdom. And how much we could offer the several younger generations now in practice. The temptation was great to respond with pleasure to his politeness and optimistic hope and regarded as meaning that he was a very perceptive guy. The temptation from my own to say a part of myself was to accept with pleasure the implication. That. Age and length of experience all alone. Means that one has much to say or to teach to the younger generation. It's a marvelous
fantasy when one is in the sixties to think that omniscience now. Is it inevitable. That a sceptical the benevolent self directed looked inward can help in this emergency. It takes only a quick look to show the older man that although he may have some real assets they have their limits and he knows that in reality age and experience may lead only to a larger dark pile of incorrect observation means and inference. He knows also it would take years of work going to experience may lead to lead to an increase in confusion as the result of accumulating a larger number. Of unclear observations. But he knows also that there are times when an older man or woman has some wisdom to pass on that it need not be wishful thinking altogether. He must look at the facts in short. You must try not to over evaluate or to wonder evaluate
what he might have to say to the younger generation. Going further with this it seems true. That all ages there are realities which may be exaggerated or distort the years an experience of an elder is a reality which may be exaggerated or distorted into great wisdom and statesmanship. But this is merely one example. Speaking more generally we can say that during the first third of our lives one of our major jobs is to avoid some of the excess the responses and the distortions which are based on our being relatively weak and dependent. Very much so at first then later much less so in the first third of our lives the status of. Being a child then. An adolescent. Then a young man a woman. A learner a student a beginner. Of being one over whom there are a thought are at a views may
lead to excessive responses which include feelings of great dependence weakness and shame of uncertainty. Then perhaps the anger and hostility of impatiens of ambition and competitiveness and perhaps of aggressiveness and guilt. But as we keep going and keep working and perhaps developing. Our roles in our problems our responses in our distortions change remarkably. In the second third of our lives and even more so in the third. Third I major job is the reverse in some ways of the major job of the first third of our lives. And the second third save from 25 to 50. We must learn that is it is just as difficult to avoid distortions as it was in the first third. But the distortions now from 25 to 50 are different. They are the result of becoming relatively strong and independent. And of gradually assuming a position of
authority of being a parent a teacher or a leader. There may be excessive responses of pride of exaggerated feelings of achievement. Of attitudes of domination and control. Then perhaps of guilt over being stronger. And out of guilt over success. Then. When one is passed because you're 16 and very often earlier of course there is the danger that others will not ask for words of wisdom for authoritarian answers. Then one may be tempted to have an unrealistic estimate of one's knowledge and experience and to talk with an upset Dixit authority and to have fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience. But. I would insist also. That the younger generation look at itself. And. The possibility that wishful thinking occurs at all ages in own generation. The
older generation may have a myth of the wisdom of the older generation. And the younger generation may have. A myth of the superiority of fresh blood and new idea. So there is a chance now that both generations hearing we talk this way will be angry at me as if I were accusing each group of twisting some facts to the light. But quite honestly that was not my motive in talking about the wise elder generation of the myth of the Sapir ERP of new blood and slash ideas. My motive was to express my profound conviction that in the conflict between the generations the first step the basic necessity is for each one or each group to do a good job of self scrutiny. Please note. That I am not recommending primary. That one group. First scrutinise the other group. Or the second group start by scrutinizing the first group that's being done all the time.
And if it is done correctly. They are in fact what I say without distortion. And not. As an attack. It has a drive. But stream here and. Honest self respecting self scrutiny this is not done or not done enough. And yet it is one of the most valuable processes in life. This approach which I talk about in connection with several other alliances of the past or possible alliances impact collectors. This approach of the stringent attempted self-scrutiny has worked where I like and three kinds of situations with which I'm personally familiar one is the therapeutic alliance in which we concentrated in the third lecture the second is the process of supervision which I have touched on like the shock times and the third is the special seminar which we have come to. Call. The non-job seminar. In these three situations and teasing us both to better spend conscious this time I do
it consciously pretty frequently but here I mentioned it a second time without telling you what it is and I see that I will be telling you. Do you know your mother pages. In these three. Situations and of the relation between the generations. There is one point which must be clarified before we go further in age. There is an apparent ambiguity. Something which seems to have a double meaning which must be faced openly if it isn't faced openly it may become a source of difference. In each of these situations as the relation between two groups or two individuals is one of equality. But at the same moment in each of these that we order in the younger generation and indeed the other is fundamentally the relationship is one of the quality. But at the same moment in each of the years there are certainly any qualities in the relation. And this is
in big US. We hate ambiguity we love simplicity but at times we must learn to live with ambiguity. And in fact in certain ways and to do it he provides an opening for favorable development. Yes this ambiguity business is of course a central factor in. Whole process of ethics in various way. For example in the relation between the generations. One starting point can be that there is in fact a far reaching state of equality between the older generation and the younger generation. But each one can see that there is something besides equality in their own nation. Which does make the situation and big Where's the relation is one of the inequality as well as equality. The inequality consists of the older group of the parents having greater experience a greater awareness of some of the facts of
life in terms of opportunities and dangers. Often a slightly greater maturity as where I live was very important to the government and tribal responsibilities of guidance and help. But the younger daughter the relatively mature ops of the older generation. Have a number of qualities which are greater than those of the adopters such as greater energy and enthusiasm. Perhaps a more acute awareness of current developments. Certainly a greater desire to learn even though they denied. And perhaps a greater emphasis on the problems of the future. And then I'm sad to say the younger generation has a greater pessimism. In this upside down world not out of this and the beauty in the relation between the generations.
Surely quality and partial inequality. There can develop a new integration. In which the two generations share and working toward the future. And working toward a greater joint responsibility in a partnership which were up for a while longer. Well consist of senior and junior members then a partnership in which none is senior or junior. And finally a partnership in which erstwhile seniors are juniors and erstwhile juniors active seniors and the erstwhile lecturer will have completed his series of hope really worthwhile. We turned. To the job seminar to find that the discussion starts with the fact that over the years I have found the process of. Growth in medical students in terms graduate students in the
Reston used to be a fast. One. It is more extraordinary than the process of learning and growth in a young child or in the older child a startling and fascinating though both processes are something almost unbelievable happens in a young man or woman in the middle of these medical school training with the limited knowledge experience and skill. Over the course of five or six or seven years at the end of that child may he has become my professional man or woman. In whose hands one often is willing to entrust a life unlike health of a member of one's own found or of one's self or of someone else toward whom one has an ethical commitment. The process of growth involves education in the usual sense but this time the process of growth and the process of growth means a great increase in responsibility
which in turn produces a great increase in anxiety and uncertainty. Responsibility then requires the development of a good method of coping not only with the problems the actual problems at hand. Diagnosis and treatment but also of coping with the anxiety that is part of the dealing with life and death problems problems of the health with serious problems in general. Now because of my interest in the process of the training of training and my involvement in supervision the relation between this group and me has been rather good. But our relation I had to do essentially with our joint interest in their training. Then several years ago a number of other issues arose which were primarily administrative or involving relations with other disciplines and especially relation with the fact that they handed ministry to people so the paths. Grew up of our having regular sun ours not to
discuss diagnosis and treatment but to discuss administrate even departmental issues of one sort or another. Not to the crowd. They one of my other major increase was in a period of exacerbation. I was deeply involved in the question of what types of ongoing work in other fields might be of direct or indirect via. Or. To the field of psychiatry and I had found a few unusual points as well as a broader understanding of a number the more usual Harry's discussion. One I knew it was a point I had to do with my coming on the mythology of the kid types. One of the earliest groups in the land of Kenya and you in this group. I found the extraordinary story. I didn't discover it I mean it. I discovered that only from my shop I came from the extraordinary story of the king who had a generation conflict with these orders.
He decided that he should have another son. Who would help. Here I'm against the older sons and that he wanted the new son to get rid of the old stuff. So the king fell in love with a slab. Of ground. Impregnated the ground. And eventually became the father of the monster who helped him get out the orders. Now I guess I guess here it's the first time you can't help but take it with the dead silent seriousness. Funniest thing I have one tries to wonder what it means about. What. Men thought of themselves in that culture or what women thought of what men thought of women or women got it themselves. Anyway he became the father of the stone monster the mother being the grand I had sad to say is abusing this sort of story as bride had done nice use of the story
about a business for the understanding of some very deep the hidden pattern in most human beings. Perhaps each man has a grand complex or a monster like us. But my thinking about the Hittite story so far has not led to the birth of a new theory monstrous or otherwise. The reason for this failure can be attributed I'm sure to the fact that day after my kids period I chanced to a small book by a British anthropologist Meyer for a house that bore TV as I spelled the name because I think some of these writings are what. The book is called to get a person and job in West African religion. In this book for his comments on the fact that in the folklore and in the mythology of several West African cultures there are figures which prior spawn to the Oedipus figure in the Hellenistic tradition. And others which correspond to the job or when I aspect at least of the Job
story as it appears in the Old Testament. For distress is the fact that the West African emphasis is extensively on both figures in many cultures there is a greater emphasis not an exclusive one of course on one or the other. The figure of a person is a one who persisted leaders driven to be independent. To break the laws to define his fate. To read out against the authority of the god was the figurative job it usually is the one who obeys the laws is accepting about. Ready may be critical to the degree of feeling unfairly treated but submitting to it even when he says he does not understand that because he is certain of the wisdom of the Justice and the essential goodness of the authority of the deer. In the Hellenistic tradition and that this was not the only figure who emphasized rebel again and define us. The Greek
word hubris which may be translated as arrogance or overweening pride expressed one of the dominant qualities of many of the figures of Greek mythology and represented one of the patterns of the culture of aggressive independence in the sense of being as strong as a guide. The Defiance was linked with the expectation of severe punishment and was related to a curse of the guards which may persist for generations. There are strong patterns of obedience and submission in the Greek tradition but the greater emphasis is clearly on the Bayu of independence and on the defiance of what seems to be unfair authority especially an unjust fate. In contrast in the Judaeo-Christian approach the upper sis is on the need for obedience to deity and to law and the need for an acceptance which glorified the thought. There are many rebellious figures structures that have been in the Old Testament and also in the New Testament. But the emphasis is on
the observation of the law and regarding the power and the wisdom of deity is preeminent. So without making this contrast into a pair of opposite story spring is the mistake I talked about in connection with a number of other issues in previous electors without making the contrast into a pair of opposites or extremes it seems true that one can say that there are two important contrast in the patterns among many others in the relation between man and deity in the relation between the members of a group and its authoritative leader and perhaps in the relation of a younger generation with an older generation. For this phrase is it in part in terms of two contrasting patterns which can appear in the process of becoming a member of the tribe. First being young and weak and learning the ways the tribe has a puncture and then becoming a part. And we can say that in the one part. That in the one pattern the young person is rebellious and defiant against authority against the patterns of the day.
The younger one stresses his individual needs his independence but eventually perhaps after a stormy period he becomes a member of the group of the culture in the other pattern. The young one behaves more or less in conformity with an acceptance of the patterns of the group. There is some expression of criticism in independence but a greater emphasis on group values and on identification with the authority of the group or of its leader. Each pattern may be exaggerated into an unworkable or destructive caricature of itself. The drive towards independence and individualization want you to be as powerful as the authorities or to surpass. He. May become like a severely rebellious unworkable define. Us all so the pattern of acceptance of authority of the leader of an identification with the group vibe. May become its own
character or of an extremely messy about. To. Also both approaches have many positive here. The edifice pattern seems to be linked with a presumed didn't need to know what the gods to know don't understand what is happening in the world to try to do or to see what is reserved for the guards or was forbidden to man. This can be dealing perhaps with the explainer of development of philosophy mathematics the sciences and the arts and the glory that was Greece and the great emphasis on the benevolence the righteousness and the wisdom of the authority seems to be linked with the enormously important values in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In my own thinking. I found the contrast between the end of this protein the job approach to be even more productive than some of the other important dichotomies which previously had been proposed. One was the Apollonian and Dionysian contrast of need she Another
- Frank Weil lectures
- Episode Number
- #4 (Reel 1)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-4-24 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: Frank Weil lectures; #4 (Reel 1). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rf5kfm5p