Intellectualisation – the high price of denial
Saturday July 11, 2009
Dear Alice Miller,
With the help of your pioneering works, my personal
story as a survivor of a childhood abuse, and
currently my studies on complex systems
I have arrived at the following simple picture of
the engulfing process of intellectualization
due to childhood traumas.
I consider that our inner spirit moves in our complex
neuro-endocrine (body and soul) network just like the blood
flows in our vessels, or the ‘life juices’ flow
in the branches of the trees. Our senses, emotional and
intellectual abilities also grow just like trees until the
conditions are given for that.
However, when a storm hits a tree (i.e. a childhood trauma)
it can tear down some of its branches. As a consequence,
the tree will grow asymmetrically, in a one-sided way.
I find that a childhood/emotional trauma works just like
that. It blocks the flow of activities from
the emotional functioning and development.
On the other hand, due to this very blockade,
the flow of life energies is diverted into excessive
intellectual activities, given an inner plasticity (gift -AM)
being present in the intellectual domain.
Success, recognition, prestige, and the consequently gained
social power stabilize or even foster the pursuit of excessive
intellectual drives. Furthermore, the more time and energy
devoted to the intellectual processes, the bigger the
emotional barrier gets. The expanding gap (denial) between
the repressed emotional side and the dominating intellectual
haul creates further inner tension that fuels further
This creates a taugh, self-amplifying vicious circle…
Our hypocritic society values and promotes so much
this one-sided blind intelligence and thus creating
and maintaining intellectual ‘concentration camps’
of the wounded, helpless yet intelligent souls.
The consequences of childhood traumas that lead
to the denial of the truth [as a defensive mechanism/reacion]
and a complementary one sided intellectualization can be witnessed
in the life of scientific geniuses. One can mention here the
name of Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein,
the founders of classical and modern physics
who showed signs of autism; the Nobel Prize
winner Wolfgang Pauli who suffered in severe depression; or
John Nash, the co-founder of modern game theory who suffered
in severe personality disorder.
They are only a few examples of the many highly respected
scientists (and also many leading psychologists, psychoanalysts,
and politicians should be named here)
who endulge high ambitions and who are filled with pride and prestige.
They indeed live in their dark ivory towers created by their
emotional blindness. For most of them, even the walls of their
prisons remain invisible for their entire lives due to their excelled
intellectual/theoretical cementation abilities.
Their brain and their body tell stories that are in deep conflict
with each other. As you, dear Alice Miller pioneeringly revealed,
this conflict has a high price. The friction between the two
languages consumes a lot of energy and consequently lead
to bodily and/or mental malfunctions and deseases.
Driven by their dogmas and misbiliefs about the unlimited power
of the orthodox scientific approach lacking emotional components
blind intellects pursue a reckless crusade against those
who dare to feel and expose themselves who they really are.
They fiercely fight against the abused, the wounded, the exploited, the silenced
whose integrity and lines of self-defense were once [as children]
badly damaged or even fully demolished.
I thank you dear Alice Miller for your extraordinary work
and discoveries that enabled us to emotionally re-connect
by working though the thick walls of emotional denial and
surrounding intellectual hypocrisy.
AM: Yes, you are right but the CAUSE of the emotional disability is not the intellectualisation. The cause is the child’s FEAR of the parents that force him/her to fly from the truth. The intellect enables this flight into denial but as you rightly show: the price is the emotional invalidity in the adult`s life.