1970: Knots

R. D. Laing - Knots (1970)

A selection from R. D. Laing’s Knots (1970). Here is another:

Mother loves me
     because she is good
I am bad, to think she is bad
     therefore if I am good
          she is good
               and loves me
     because I am good
     to know she is good.

I am bad
     to doubt she punishes me for doubting
          she loves me by punishing me
     for doubting she loves me.

She says
     it must be her fault
     if I doubt she loves me.

She feels bad because
     I don't think she loves me because
          she feels bad when I don't think she loves me.

She feels
     it is her fault
     that I can be so cruel
     as to doubt she loves me
     when she makes me feel cruel,
     to think she tries to make me feel cruel.

Laing was a radical Scottish psychiatrist influenced by existential philosophy and the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960’s. Not immune himself to mental illness, he suffered from depression and alcoholism.

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