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I found the memorial quite moving. The idea that the study of the unconscious is an improved version of faith in the “spirit” (as in “Spiritualism”) was especially important to me. My mother and her parents believed in Spiritualism and had more or less dropped out of any standard Christian belief system. My father, whose mother was a Baptist and whose father was Dutch Reformed, became disillusioned with religious institutions because the one minister denounced the other in each church. (He would go with his dad one week and his mom the next.) So, my father was more or less a rationalist, and a survivor of almost four years as a P.O.W. in Thailand and Japan, a guest of the Emperor of Japan. He never expressed hatred against the Japanese and felt he had been caught up in a vortex of the clash of empires (i.e. Dutch-British-American-Australian versus Japanese). So the synthesis between his father’s Rationalism and his mother’s Spiritualism definitely strikes a chord. Freud’s rational study of the irrational has been of interest to me for a long time. Now I better understand why. Further: the comment by a Michael ? that Martin Bermann was not a non-judgmental, completely neutral psychoanlayst was important. Follow “the red thread” of what is loving rather than what is not loving! Of course. Strive for the best part of your self. “You have to decide whether you are going to frow!” – as Michael related with reference to the anecdote about Danny. Most important of all: Danny’s question: “I want you all to imagine” encountering Martin Bergmann “when your mind is just coming into being.” I really like that idea. It does not just apply to someone with Autism. In a sense, our minds are always “coming into being” (if we allow it). But, as Michael said most poignantly, “all good things must end”. I am sorry I never met Martin but I am glad to at least learn about him. I will seek out his books. Sincerely, J. I. (Hans) Bakker http://www.jihansbakker.com
I have never met anyone like Martin. His joy and enthusiasm made the world light up, It is quite unusual to meet someone when you’re already an adult who can give you a brand new way of approaching life. Martin was my teacher for many years and he became a friend who I could consult with at different times. His ability to draw me out, to give importance to my ideas made me begin to trust my ideas. He will always be inside my head – and I can call on him anytime. Also, he loved my husband Jim who he met several times, and he even came to his first nite club to hear Jim play. Seeing him enjoy his first visit to hear Jazz – and watching him take it in is a favorite memory. So many of us lucky people who have internalized parts of Martin will keep him busy for eternity.
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