Henry Abramovitch is a Jungian analyst, clinical psychologist, anthropologist and medical educator. He is the founding President of Israel Institute of Jungian Psychotlogy, Past President of the Israel Anthropological Association, as well as Professor in Dept of Medical Education, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, where he has been Director of Behavioral Science in New York/American Program for over 30 years. His forthcoming books include:
Brothers and Sisters: Myth and Reality is now published by Texas A & M University Press 2014. Read a selection
Why Jesus Cursed and Socrates Forgot: Puzzling Moments in the Life of Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, Abraham, Moses and Odysseus
The Performance of Analysis: Clinical & Jewish Perspectives will be published in Russian
He conducts dream groups, workshops on professional ethics, siblings and does supervision for training candidates ("routers") in Russia and Poland. He is active in Interfaith Encounter Association.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now
seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually,
without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” - Rainer Maria Rilke
Analysis as Performance Art:
Inner Ways of Knowing in the Clinical Encounter 2
The Jungian Odyssey 2016
Active Imagination: Silence
Performance art, like analysis, places great value on silence: sitting in silence. Being in silence. [Words sometimes only get in the way.] To explore the performance of silence, I want to begin with an active imagination. Shut your eyes. A person is standing in front of you. In silence. You feel they are trying to tell you something extremely important. What is going on in your mind? What is going to happen? Then you see they are holding a flower…
This Active imagination is based on is Buddha’s famous, “Flower Sermon”. According to an ancient tradition, first recorded in medieval China, Gautama, the Enlightened One, gathered his disciples together for one final teaching.
He stood in front of them and they sat, waiting to receive his wisdom. He said nothing. They waited. His lips did not move. Only silence, and more silence. Finally, he bent down, and from the mud of adjacent pond, he plucked a lotus flower. Raising it just at shoulder height, He held in his hand.
Nothing was spoken: only silence with the lotus. The lotus in the silence. The disciples did not comprehend. Standing alone, in front of his closest devotees, Buddha himself despaired of being able to teach and could not hide his own disappointment, though he said nothing. Finally, finally, one of the students, smiled. Buddha realized that this disciple alone had understood him. Buddha smiled back. In Japanese, the flower sermon, is literally, “pick up flower, subtle smile” (nengemisho) a sort of haiku which captures this “now” moment.
How did Buddha know that his disciple really understood him. After all, the last thing he could do is to ask. The ambiguity of wordless communication is exquisitely expressed in the philosopher Gilbert Ryle’s paradox of a man in an auditorium, like this, winking. What is the meaning of my wink? Am I winking as a secret signal to Ursula? Or perhaps, I have a neurological disorder; or rather, I am only pretending to have a neurological disorder? Or am I simultaneously sending one signal to Ursula while secretly sending a different signal to my wife? Seeing the left eye open and close does not allow us to understand the meaning of a wink. We need context. Rather amazingly, once we know the context, we know the wink for what it is. As the Sufi mystic, Rumi, declared: silence is more eloquent than words.
In the Western tradition, words play such a dominant role that silence is rarely discussed. [A true philosophy of silence still awaits us.] Even the term, “nonverbal communication” implies that words are the default form of communication. “Nonverbal” is the “everything else”. It is true that many Western icons did praise the unspoken.
The great abstract expressionist painter, Mark Rothko claimed, “Silence is so accurate” and undoubtedly he is correct.
Simon & Garfunkel
asked us to listen to “the sounds of silence” and they can be sad and beautiful. Disraeli
argued that silence is the mother of truth. Yet, none of those lines compares to those who centered their spiritual life on wordlessness like Rumi
who said: “Let silence take you to the core of life…Live in silence.”
Or, Mother Teresa
who proposed: “In the silence of the heart, God speaks.”
There was one Western philosopher who did penetrate the divide between words and silence and his name, which I am sure you know, was Ludwig Wittgenstein.
He was a perfect example of the archetype of the tormented genius. Intense, original, overbearing, Wittgenstein demanded from others only what he only insisted from himself, a ruthless pursuit of clarity and truth.
Much of Wittgenstein’s work was written in silence, when he lived alone in remote coasts of Ireland or Norway, or as a Prisoner Of War where he completed his first masterpiece, Tractatus [Logicus Philosophocus] which has inspired novels, poetry, sculpture, drama, music, opera, film, video and yes, performance art. It ends with the famous line that draws the bold distinction between speaking and silence:
What can be said, can be said clearly. What cannot be said clearly, must be passed over in silence.
If you are going to speak, be precise and clear; if you cannot be so, then No vague, undefined abstractions. No “waffling”. No bullshit. Silence, for Wittgenstein, included the wonder that the world is, which he called the “mystical”. Perhaps the commemorative moments of silence (to which I will return) when we stop to remember the dead are the silences Wittgenstein was talking about. No words can adequately express the meaning of the disappearance of someone who you loved.
Silence seems to contain the feeling and its opposites, like archetypes do. American poet, Edgar Lee Masters,
author of Spoon River Anthology captures this tension between opposites in an extract of his poem, “Silence”:
…..There is the silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of a deep peace of mind,
And the silence of an embittered friendship,
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis…
The Hebrew poet, Avraham Ben-Yitzhak was famous for his silences. He published only eleven poems during his lifetime. Once, sitting silently with his comrades, one friend broke the silence saying, “Can we be silent about something else now!”
Analysts have to be “silence experts”, or to use a more musical metaphor, virtuosos of silence. Listening with their third ear, they try to listen to the symphony of what is not being said. Analyst have much to learn from the Japanese. Unlike most Westerners, Japanese are suspicious of words, and believe that silence keeps one safe. Japanese may be the most silence-rich society. Japanese dictionary lists at least twenty-one entries for what we squeeze into a single term. Couples, including analytical couples,are characterized by what can be understood without words (ittai). There is a word, ma, for the silent interval between music notes, which expresses an entire philosophy of life. chin-moku, a spiritual practice of sinking to the bottom of the self through silence; [jakumotu, dwelling in silence among ancestral graves;] shigima, a pure serene silence or moku, Absolute Silence. Japanese expect others to understand their silence
Because silence speaks in many shades, it is crucial for analysts to listen into the silence to know how to respond. One of the most common dilemmas every therapist faces is what to do when patient is silent or stops speaking. It is crucial to understand the silence: Is the patient in the midst of an authentic silence, a deepening of the connection with Self? Or is this silence a psychic barrier. “ To speak or not to speak” that is the question. When, as a young man, I was in Freudian treatment, my analyst would often interrupt my silence to ask me what was going through my mind, I think in a sincere effort to get at my free associations. I, however, found this very intrusive because it interfered with what I now know was my chin-moku, a spiritual practice of sinking to the bottom of the self through silence. Since I was a dutiful patient, I gave him what he asked for and never spoke about what I had no word for; nor how disruptive I found his technique.
My silence at the opening of a session is designed to allow the patient to set the agenda. The roots of this tradition, I believe, are in the traditional Jewish shiva, the time of mourning, when mourners sit for seven days and people come to comfort them. Hebrew tradition teaches that the comforter should enter but remain silent, letting the mourner be the one to speak first, as we often do in analysis. For Jews, it gives an opportunity for the comforter to respond to the mourning in the place where the mourner is at emotionally, and not to impose an alien emotional agenda
But for some, the opening silence is often excruciating. They require what Jung called a “rite d’entre”, a ritual of entry into the therapeutic space, as Michael did. Although silence is designed to provide maximum psychic space for the patient, but it can easily be felt as an abandoning – as one patient said, “I was drowning and you just sat there.” To speak is to engage, encounter, provide support and understanding but if mistimed, may be perceived as intrusive, narcissistic, even annihilating. Another patient cried out : “Every time you start to speak, I disappear.”
I react to silence of a patient using different strategies. I may break the silence and ask the patient what they are thinking. This standard ploy often works well when the patient tells what was going through his mind. But it falls flat when the patient remains silent. .
Stephen Grosz in his sensitive book of psychoanalytic vignettes,
The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves gives poignant example of how difficult it is to connect with an isolated patient. He tells of a very silent patient to whom he says:
“Peter, you have been silent a long time – can you tell me what you’ve been thinking about?”
To which Peter replies: “A holiday in Devon when I was a child.”
Grosz tries to facilitate: “Could you tell me more.”
Peter answers: “Nothing in particular. Just about being alone.”
He lapses back into silence.
Grosz tries again, interpreting the silence as reflecting transference situation: “You Want to be away from me, on holiday from analysis.” Peter replies, “Could be.”
Then more silence and finally only silence, a silence filled the space. In Japanese, there are specific words for shin, prolonged silence that cuts into a conversation bringing discomfort and interrupting flow. Shin is how Grosz felt.
Then Peter stopped coming. The analyst was left…in silence and with the silence.
Grosz also gives a very different account of another entirely silent patient. He tells of a gay man who contracted AIDS in the early days of the epidemic when there was no treatment. Patient Anthony came regularly for session after session staying silent for full 50 minutes. Once, at end of one such session, he did emit a phrase, “I feel so sad”. Grosz says difficult to convey feelings of overwhelming stillness and heaviness, he felt. Asking patient what he was thinking or feeling, felt like an intrusion (pp. 199-200). Then patient started falling into a deep sleep. like passing out (IJPsy) lost in his silences. Grosz continued as other analysts, Nina Colthart or the talented Jungians Catherine Crowther Victoria Fuller have. For Anthony, it seemed like he was rehearsing death. Silence was a sorrow to be close but separate. To be looked after. A desire to stop time.Anthony said what saved him in dark times before medication came out was the feeling To be alive because he was alive in the mind of an other. Then the miracle happened. Treatments were developed. He returned to words and is still alive today.
Winnicott (1963, p.188)
importantly reminds us that “there is something we must allow for in our work, the patient’s non-communicating as a positive contribution.” He writes: “We must ask ourselves, does our technique allow for the patient to communicate that he or she is not communicating? For this to happen we as analysts must be ready for the signal: ‘I am not communicating,’ and be able to distinguish it from the distress signal associated with a failure of communication.” Here Winnicott gives us the kind of balance by allowing for the psychoanalytic space of non communication to be one of positive solitude and privacy and for the action of withdrawal to serve as a basis for what he calls a “capacity for withdrawal” that underlies an ability for absorption in a task.
So Then what should the therapist do in the face of a patient’s silence? Often, if I feel I have inner knowledge of their silence, I may offer an interpretation about the silence, like Grosz did. A wise interpretation often opens up the well of speech, irrigating new psychic territory and deeper dialogue. But sometimes an interpretation, too, is followed by dead silence. This post-interpretation silence is difficult to read. When the interpretation is absolutely correct, the interpretation can leave patient literally speechless. A patient may need silent time to take all the implications of a penetrating insight.
In other cases, the silence may be defiant, “argumentative silence”. In those cases, patient feels so judged, misunderstood and angry that they will not even speak. We rarely share our wounded feelings with those who have most hurt us, because, to use the Israeli phrase, we feel, “There is nobody to talk to.” In case of defiance, the analyst can easily misread the patient, thinking the interpretation has penetrated when it was experienced as an intrusive attack.
Martin Buber, in his remarkable collection of autobiographical fragments
gives a painful example of misreading the silence. He relates an unusual morning of mystical awareness in which the veil of the surface was torn away to reveal the Beyond. Later, around noon, he received a young man, as was his custom. He listened to the young man and engaged him no less than others. But Buber failed to hear the question he did not ask. Only, later, when the young man was no longer alive, did Buber learn that the young man had not come casually, but for a decision. Every since I read of Buber’s mismeeting, I worry. Perhaps, I, too, am not hearing the ma, silence between the words and the questions that are not asked.
At the end of a deep and successful analysis, there is another, special silence: when everything that needs to be said, has been said. This analysis-ending silence has the fullness of ‘tranquil, quiet experience of harmony’ or ‘soothing place of solace’. It has a fullness that is just opposite of silence as absence. Now analyst and patient may sit in a silence of togetherness, a “silence for two”.
Patient silence is illuminated as one of the greatest barriers to, and one of the deepest moments in an analysis.
I want now to make an abrupt shift to another active imagination,
before I go on to my clinical presentation.
Think about a time when you stood in silence for any personal or collective memorial event, Memorial or Remembrance Day or some memorial. What went through your mind as you were in silence?
I want to begin with a quote:
Israel [and Palestine] are not only a place but an obsession. That makes total claim on those who live there. Israeli [and Palestinian] politics are saturated with mad intensity of victims and perpetrators…(Ullman 2013:98). 
I want to explore the theme of silence in analysis through an extraordinary session with a Palestinian analysand.
Mohammed, (the name he suggested I use when he gave permission to present his material) was a young man, in his late twenties. He was university graduate who worked as a teacher in high school. He had grown up in a traditional Arab town in Israel but lived in el kuds, which you now know is Arabic name for Jerusalem, meaning “the Holy”. The issues that brought him into analysis was his search for a loving, life partner, or in Jungian terms to heal his wounded anima. He had a deep fear of repeating, the deeply unsatisfying and abusive marriage relationship of his parents, governed by victim and victimizer archetype. His first memory was of his mother leaving – in Islam, the children belong to the Father and months later being forced back by her family. Instead, his anima sought out Jewish and Christian women from outside his Muslim cultural heritage. Never someone he could commit to, nor who could commit to him. Yet, he struggled to mobilize healthy aggression sufficiently to break off these relationships once and for all. He felt doomed never to marry.
Highly collective societies, like Mohammed’s are characterized by “ collective ego identity” in which the collective expectations dominate the individual’s ego. In these situations, the individual’s journey to individuation is blocked by cultural complexes and group norms that demand allegiance and submission (which is the meaning of the word, Islam) within an established hierarchy. The alternative is to face expulsion and psychological damnation, something Mohammed felt acutely in his own struggles.
This tension is expressed in Mohammed’s cultural, honor name, Abu Walid, “father of Walid”. Walid is the name he was expected to call his son, when he would be born. His identity and status is dependent upon having a son, Walid, when he would be born. This naming system stresses that culturally a person is not an adult until he has a son and is a father.
He brought an initial dream in which he is walking on a boardwalk with his parents walking somewhat behind him. He then looks down under the boardwalk and encounters a wounded child from whom he flees. The dream clarified the therapeutic task of both separating himself from his inner father and mother, while finding and healing his inner child.
In addition, he had underlying issues in self-esteem and vulnerability that clashed with the cultural construction of an Arab male as strong and impenetrable. He would often make a gesture of holding his thumb and pointer to define a tiny space, saying in silence, “ I feel this small.” That silence was deafening.
Cultures differ dramatically in how they express feelings, in their affective styles. Swiss tend to be rather reserved and value privacy. In contrast, Israelis prefer “dugri” or “straight talk” where one may speak freely, without too much regard for the feelings of the other. Outsiders may easily experience dugri as rude. But for insiders, it embodies a sense of solidarity as if we are all in the same family and relationship are robust and can contain conflict. In contrast, Palestinian culture, places great emphasis on politeness and deference to authority. Anyone who is superior in status, or age, even if only slightly, deserves great respect and should never be never directly challenged. From Israeli patients, I expect directness of dugri; from Palestinians, I understand that speaking their mind itself involves certain violation of a cultural code.
His silence was related to the cultural taboo of directly expressing negative emotions,
My patient explained that according to Islam, one may not express angry directly toward parents, something forbidden by Qu’ran; To anger parents, even staring angrily is as if you are angering Allah since parents are seen as carrying the imprint of the Self.
This cultural attitude expressed itself in analysis. It was very difficult for Mohammed to express anger directly toward me who carried a positive, paternal, deference transference. When he did feel angry in sessions, he often could not speak at all; rather, he felt an immediate intense urge to get up and leave the room abruptly in the middle of a session, to walk out on the analysis. He struggled to know/learn how to speak of his anger without offending me and his cultural codes. A few times, he got up to leave, but fortunately, the analytical temenos was able to contain him.
Then, synchronistically, something happened which forced us both to confront collective identities. It was session that took place on Israel’s National Day of Mourning or literally, Day of Memory, yom hazikaron. Israeli Memorial Day, a day taken very seriously as almost everyone knows someone who died. The collective marker is a siren that sounds for two minutes. People stop and stand in silent remembrance;
even people driving on highways, stop and stand next to their cars. It is a moment when the power of the Israeli collective is most strongly felt.
When I first realized that the Memorial Day siren would be going off in the middle of the session. I am ashamed to confess that I tried to reschedule the session to avoid facing my discomfort of hearing that siren together. However, we were unable to find an alternative time and it did not seem right to cancel, solely because of my discomfort. What should I do? I faced a dilemma of dealing with a situation I had never faced in analysis and needed inspiration and imagination
My anticipatory anxiety triggered “cultural countertransference” in the form that Jung called “recollectivization” : [… melting away of the individual in the collective]… in which an individual is swallowed up in collective identity.” (Jung, CW 7, para. 240). Recollectivization provides a profound sense of belonging and togetherness that the abdication of individual ego may bring about, as may occur during a moment of silence. In Israel, the entire nation symbolically becomes one, facing and in communion with those dead.
In my cultural counter-transference, I feared Mohammed and I would no longer meet as patient and healer, but as victim and victimizer. I would no longer be in his eyes a caring analyst, but one of “them”, an occupying oppressor, I feared that the temenos would not be able to contain our conflicted memory about the conflict or our clashing collective identities. Instead of working to create the space for memory and transformation, we would be fighting over the nature of memory, of how one nation’s victory, was another’s nakba, the Arabic word for the catastrophe of 1948.
Mohammed was not the first Palestinian I have treated. Elsewhere I have written about one of them, a woman who I call Jamilla (“beautiful” in Arabic), the daughter of a person held under laws of administrative detention as a suspected terrorist, who I saw during period of suicide bombings, doing – analysis in the shadow of terror. Immediately following each suicide bombing, I felt the intense force of recollectivization when my patient saw me as the “enemy”; in the countertransference, I struggled against a similar tendency in which perceived not as a human being struggle to individuate, but as embodiment of violence. I felt a silent impasse because I sensed there were things that she was not able say. Finally, the temenos was containing enough and Jamilla broke through that silence by exclaiming, “I hate all the Jews”, expressing to me, as her own analyst, the collective hatred between our collective identities. As her analyst, I could receive her hatred and see it as a positive development within the therapeutic process. Hating, as we know from Winnicott, can be vitalizing part of healing process.
Lets return to Mohammed. At the beginning of the session with Mohammed, I said the siren would sound in the middle of the session. I told him that I would stand while he should do what he felt most comfortable doing. When the siren came, I stood and he sat. I was standing, he was sitting. I was thinking of my dead and all those who had suffered from this land of two peoples and he was waiting unmoving for siren to end. His sitting, my standing was a intersubjective moment of being separate and separated, misunderstood and misunderstanding, included and excluded, and yet somehow together.
My experience was undoubtedly affected by a previous experience I had with my clinical supervisor, himself a survivor of Auschwitz . Once during one supervision, the siren commemorating the holocaust went off in the middle of the session. It caught both of us unprepared. We rose together and in an imaginative sense I was with him in Auschwitz during the silence of the siren. When the siren ended, we exchanged a brief word, but he wanted to quickly return to the supervision work and I felt his strong desire to seal the door that had opened during the silence. At that moving moment, I think I understood there are things which cannot be spoken about even in analysis – that there are things that must be passed over in silence – not because they are unimportant but because there are no words to contain the inexpressible: the doors to Auschwitz or the human suffering within Palestinian-Israeli conflict which had opened…and then closed. For Mohammed and me, one moment we were standing and sitting separately each in our collective identities and then we were together once more, doing the work of analysis..
After the siren ended, I asked if he had wanted to speak about how he felt. He said no. Later, when he did speak, he said His “no” embodied a personal and collective anger … of being too angry to speak of his anger. But it was also a protest about the setting of the agenda. I had wanted to talk about how the intrusion of the collective made him feel but he preferred to continue discussing important personal issues he had been talking about when the siren sounded. He had had his own nakhba. “setback”. When the siren had sounded, we had been talking about a crisis in his relationship with his fiancé. After considerable analytic work, Mohammed was able to begin a warm relationship with an archetypal “girl next door” that blossomed. Through their new, loving mutuality, the couple agreed to marry. In patriarchal, Palestinian society (where arranged marriages are still common). a man must still formally ask for the hand of his bride from her father. Normally, it is only a formal ritual act. With mystifying, negative synchronicity, the father had unexpectedly and without any explanation, refused Mohammed’s request. He was crushed. Mystified. Helpless. Victimized by Great Father, as he had been so often as a child. He begged his fiancé to elope. She could not. Even here, it was difficult to mobilize his rage at this rejection.
Synchronistically, I felt there was a symbolic connection between the Memorial siren and what Mohammed was going through. He also needed a memorial ritual– a memorial for the married life with his beloved he had believed he was about to begin. His personal and collective life was embedded in victim-victimized dynamic. Mohammed’s rejection by his fiance’s father reactivated the victim-victimizer complex which had dominated his psyche, especially his own fear of being a victimizer like his father. Within this dynamic, you are either too strong, or too weak, too aggressive or not aggressive enough – there is no middle ground, no third, not holding together of the opposites. Witnessing, memorialization, imaginative reflection, have the potential for creating that absent third perspective. Our very different experience of the memorial siren, of my standing and his sitting, close together but cultural apart, did help create new kind of space outside victim-victimizer complex and help him experience what had happened, in a new way. As a result, he was perhaps for the first time able to mobilize healthy aggression in order to truly end a relationship and then to mourn it. To symbolically move from Mourning to Independence, as Israel moves seamlessly from Memorial Day into the immediately following Independence Day. Ironically, the silent encounter during the siren allowed him to engage in a process of open-ended relationships that were open-ended, where he could be strong without the fear of being too forceful or abusive.
I feel that much of the work of analysis is to put the past into the past, so that a present may unfold that is not pre-determined by the past. To memorialize is to put the past in the past so that it does not dominate the present. We stand facing the past, feel their presence and remember. In that way, memorialization, is central to the process of analysis. Finding a place for the past in the present.
As clinicians, we need to learn better how to perform in the silence and with the silence. Performing in the silence is about how I react when both my patient and I are silent, when there are no words between us, but the performance art is at its peak.
There we need to be virtuosos of silence.
Performing with the silence is analogous to working with the transference; analyst reflects on the quality or meaning of the silence; doing so requires breaking the silence, so it is risky, if potentially transforming.
There is no experiment we can do because once you have spoken and you break the silence, there is no way we can know what would have happened had we not spoken…unless we are using simulated patients – with those specialized actors, we can explore the space of using performance art in the silence.
In the case of Mohammed, the silence was a silence forced upon us; it was not a silence that arose from within our relationship. Silent patients often feel they have silence forced upon them growing up in families constellations where the words were taken away even before they began to speak. Forced silence is one of the most powerful indicators of trauma and this collective silence was representation of a collective trauma. Some silences are silence that builds soul and builds relationship and further the healing process but other silences are destructive.
There are times when a patient has said something important and I do not know what to say. Sometimes I try to look wise and enigmatic, as if to say to them, you know the answer; I will be silent so you will speak and find your own answer.
But sometimes, I know that remaining silent is wrong. If I do not speak then the silence will be destructive and it may swallow them,; and if I do not reach out with my words to contain them, they will fall forever. I know I need to speak but by the time my thoughts are clarified and a response emerge, it is too late and the now kairos moment has passed. What comes out seems banal, a cliché. Or Worse. to speak or not to speak that is the analyst’s question.
Michael, whom I discussed yesterday, in one period was feeling very low and said he felt like a worthless piece of shit. I remember trying silently to receive his sense of being a victim, of being worthless, to extract this psychic poison, like a shaman. But he understood my silence as ultimate confirmation of his profound worthlessness. He felt so rejected by my silence that he said he was going to kill himself right now and stood up to go
How did you feel in this silence now?
How do you think I performed in that silence then?
I want to return to Mohammed. After the break up of his engagement, he descended to hell and there were silences of not finding words that could contain the depth of his despair. The depth of a silence is surely deeper than the depth of even the most terrible word. Sometimes we sat together in silence. I would hold my finger and thumb close together. He would nod and even cry. Grief, however, is like the weather. It starts as a tornado or hurricane that sweeps across the soul and there is no place to hide or hold onto. But then it may become a tropical storm, then perhaps a drenching storm, and then for a long time very overcast, gray, never changing, never ever…and then the clouds lighten and there is a sunny fragment quickly turning back to torrential and then another break of sun and gradually life is no longer a tornado or hurricane but cloudy with sunny periods and living becomes… possible again. And this is what happened to Mohammed, we spoke again; the silences were reduced and eventually he became engaged again; it was certainly not easy; there were deep difficulties; often he felt that it would be simpler, easier to be alone than not; but in the end, he persevered and did marry; with wordless synchronicity,
Just before I left Israel to come to Switzerland to speak with you, Mohammed came to his session and he told me that he is now the father of a baby boy. We sat there in silence. A silence for two.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1961. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Translated by D.F. Pears & B.F. McGuiness. London: RKP.
 “It may evidence agreement, disagreement, pleasure, displeasure, fear, anger or tranquillity. The silence could be a sign of contentment, mutual understanding, and compassion. Or it might indicate emptiness and complete lack of affect. Human silence can radiate warmth or cast a chill. At one moment it may be laudatory and accepting; in the next it can be cutting and contemptuous. Silence may express poise, smugness, snobbishness, taciturnity, or humility. Silence may mean yes or no. Silence may be giving or receiving, object directed or narcissistic. Silence may be the sign of defeat or the mark of mastery. Zeligs, M. A. (1961). The psychology of silence - its role in transference, countertransference and the psychoanalytic process. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 9, 7-43. p. 8.
 “Silence” Edgar Lee Masters, in Louis Untermeyer, ed. Modern American Poetry. 1919.
 For a poignant example, see Stephen Grosz, The Examined Life, p. 5
 Best Jungian article on silent patient is J Anal Psychol. 1998 Oct;43(4):523-43.
A dark talent: silence in analysis.
Miriam Elson SILENCE, ITS USE AND ABUSE: A VIEW FROM SELF PSYCHOLOGY. Clinical Social Work Journal, Vol. 29, No.4, Winter 2001 (©200l)
 Buber, Martin. (1973). Meetings. Edited and with an Introduction and bibliography by Maurice Friedman. LaSalle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company. Chapter 15: ”A Conversation”, pp. 45-6.
Balint 1955: 239
(Channa Ullman, On the subjectivity of an Israeli Psychoanalyst in Steven Kuchuck (Ed.) Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal becomes Professional. London: Routledge 2013, Ch. 8, p. 98.). (Margalit 1998, Views in Reviews: Politics and Culture in the land of the Jews. NY: FSG)
“And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed.” (Surah Mariyam Qu’ran 19:32. “One who displeases the parents, (it is as if) he has displeased Allah. One who angers both his parents (it is as if) he has angered Allah.” http://www.al-islam.org/greater-sins-volume-1-ayatullah-sayyid-abd-al-husayn-dastghayb-shirazi/sixth-greater-sin-āq-al
Jung introduced this term in the context of the dissolution of the persona, writing, “For the development of personality, then, strict differentiation from the collective psyche is absolutely necessary…through his identification with the collective psyche, he will inevitably try to force the demands of his unconscious upon others for identity with the collective psyche always brings with it a feeling of universal validity “godlikeness” – which completely ignores all differences in the personal psyche of his fellows…the suffocation of the single individual, as a consequence of which the element of differentiation is obliterated from the community.” (CW 7, para. 240).]
 The distinction derives from Jan Wiener’s seminar work, Transference and Countertransference that distinguish working in the transference and with the transference. She claims that we are always working in the transference but the question is when to work with the transference in the therapeutic process.
Maria Ritter Silence as the Voice of Trauma The American Journal of Psychoanalysis 74, 176-194 (June 2014).