Lipton’s Journal/February 1, 1955/424
Echoes and opposites. The child wishes to do something. It is forbidden. The child wished to express something. But, presto, as the words are on its tongue, it realizes that this too will be forbidden. So it requests a different object, less satisfactory but close to the original (an echo) or it requests the opposite. (The child wishes to strike its sister—it says instead, “I love my sister.”)
But the child like the psychopath lives in the enormous present, and living in the present is like being in the center of a giant drum—every whisper returns its sound, and it is difficult to separate the whisper from the reply. So the reply in time comes to seem more real to the child than its own whisper, and the child identifies with the reply, the reply is itself, the child is the mother or the father or the mother-father, and its own Self is banished to be persecuted later when the Self produces its own child. So to the psyche (which I use forvs. ) every attitude has its refraction (its echo) or its mirror (its opposite), and the problem of what is the Self remains for most people exactly the Mystery.
Which is why everything must be turned on its head—at least for experiment—before one may be certain it is understood. Again I repeat—one comes closer to finding the truth-in-its-circuits by the desire to be ridiculous than the fear of being ridiculous. And the extraordinary person is extraordinary because the unbearable question of the child—Who and what am I?—has never been frozen into answers, but demands instead that one voyage for answers. (Echo: Answereers for engineers.)