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2022年6月 9日 (木)

Bin Kimura, Time and Self, 1982, Chuko Shinsho, "Afterword".

 The following is an afterword to "Time and the Self" by Bin Kimura, published by Chuko Shinsho in 1982. I am impressed by the concise and frank description by Kimura himself of the formation of his scholarship and the "behind-the-scenes" of his intellectual pursuits. We decided to republish it on our blog.

His books have already been translated and published in several languages.

 Strangely, however, there seems to be no English translation available. Therefore, an English version of this article (supported by DeepL) will be uploaded separately. I hope this will be a small clue that an English translation will be published.


Afterword (pp.186-193)

 I have apparently had the question of what time is in the back of my mind for quite some time. As I wrote in the introduction to "The Phenomenology of Schizophrenia," I have been hearing time in music and poetry since I was a student, and have felt it somehow connected to my own sense of existence. Of course, at that time, I could not yet express this in the form of a proper question, but I am sure that the issue of time was never far from my mind.

 After entering psychiatry and beginning to study Binswanger, and after reading some philosophy books, I found that Kitaro Nishida's idea of time as a discontinuous sequence and Heidegger's idea that the meaning of existence is time seemed to be closest to my own experience.

 It was in my first psychiatric dissertation on detachment that I began to formulate a somewhat coherent idea of the relationship between time and the self. It was a woman patient who made me clearly aware that the feeling of time passing and the feeling of being oneself are in fact one and the same thing. I am still deeply grateful to her.

 I was working on the experience of guilt in depressed patients for a while after that, and I was thinking about the "unresolved present tense" of patients' feelings of remorse for having done something irretrievable, and the "left behind" feeling of depression that Mr. Thelenbach, whom I had come to know at that time, had summarized in the form of "being left behind oneself. I felt as if I had opened a way to think about the temporal structure of psychosis. However, if that is all there is to it, it is not a step out of the depressed person's temporal structure that Gebsattel, Strauss, Minkowski, and others have been writing about for a long time. In order to complete the temporal theory of depression in my own way, it was necessary to discover the characteristics of the temporal structure of schizophrenia, which also emerges on the basis of a human reality different in every respect from that of depression, and to contrast this with the temporal structure of depression.

 However, the task of finding a characteristic time structure common to all schizophrenics was not an easy one. Although Minkowski, Binswanger, and many other psychopathologists have discussed the temporality of schizophrenia, none of them have exactly matched my intuitive impression from the large number of schizophrenics I have known in person. This dissatisfaction, it seemed to me, stemmed from the fact that the conventional temporal theory of schizophrenia, while it may have been a temporal theory of the pathological symptoms that schizophrenics exhibit after the onset of their illness, it was not a temporal theory of the underlying structure that lies behind those symptoms and truly reveals the uniqueness of schizophrenia.

 For me, the basic structure of schizophrenia has been, from the beginning, a matter of the establishment of one's individual selfhood. This basic structure does not manifest itself in the form of symptoms. This is because the symptoms of psychosis are not an external manifestation of the illness, but rather an expression of the patient's self in confrontation with the invisible illness. In other words, symptoms are nothing more than a patient's active response to a critical situation.

 From this perspective, clinical schizophrenic symptoms are not the only response to the underlying schizophrenic situation. There can be a more socially valid, or at least not invalid, response, which can be found in the lives of geniuses such as poets, artists, and scientists, as well as in the so-called schizophrenics around us.

 As my eyes widened from the schizophrenic to the healthy schizophrenic, I noticed something. As I broaden my gaze from schizophrenics to these healthy pro-schizophrenics, I notice one thing: their consciousness and behavior are disproportionately future-oriented. When they are in a difficult situation, they always try to run toward the future. No matter what the situation, they are always looking for the "next move. They try to anticipate two or three moves ahead. Depression-afflicted people are also concerned about the future and make their own way into the future, but schizophrenia-afflicted people's preoccupation with the future is somehow fundamentally different. If people in the depressive sphere try to look ahead in order to maintain the status quo, people in the schizophrenic sphere try to run ahead in order to escape from the status quo.

 I thought that this is one of the characteristics of the schizophrenic's time structure. The phrase "ante festum," which I happened to be reading in Gabel's book, seemed to me to be an apt description of this future-anticipatory structure of consciousness. Then, the structure of consciousness of the depressed person can be described by its counterpart, "post festum." Although I was embarrassed to create a post-operative term with a side letter, which has not been adopted even by Western psychiatry, even though I am Japanese, I thought it was easier to use than expressions such as "future-oriented" or "past-oriented," which are too easily misunderstood.

 By the way, it is not only schizophrenia and depression that I am interested in psychopathology. When I was much younger and studying epileptic EEG changes in atypical psychoses, I suspected that the discontinuity of consciousness that appears most dramatically in epilepsy may be an important component of many psychoses, and that to explore this issue, we must first know the structure of epilepsy itself. To investigate this problem, we must first understand the structure of epilepsy itself.

 Until now, the only coherent personality structure that could provide a clue for anthropological consideration of the mental structure of epileptic patients was a rather biased personality typology called "epileptic personality/epileptoid. Then a German epileptologist with whom I am also familiar, Janz, proposed a novel personality theory called the "waking epileptic personality," which greatly expanded my thinking. I immediately recognized that the arousal-epileptic personality type was essentially related to the personality traits found in patients with many psychoses characterized by fluctuating continuity of consciousness, such as atypical psychoses and bipolar manic-depressive illnesses.

 As I began to see epileptic patients on the basis of the waking epileptic personality, I came to realize that the most important temporal moment in the structure of their existence is the present moment. At the same time, I came to think that this present moment is the glorious moment when human beings face eternal death head-on and live in the fullness of their existence.

 When I was young and reading Heidegger under the guidance of Professor Koichi Tsujimura of Kyoto University, Mr. Tsujimura suddenly said to me, "The difference between Heidegger and Dr. Nishida is that Heidegger focuses on the future while Nishida focuses on the present. As I thought about "present" time in relation to epilepsy, I came to realize that Zen thinking is quite epileptic. It is impossible to have the structure of encountering the pre-parental self in a state of great death, the first step forward from the present, and the new state of being, except in an epileptic way of living in the present.

 I call such a structure of consciousness "intra-festum". This expression is a term that I created to match the terms "ante-festum" and "post-festum" that I had come up with, but behind the idea of creating a term that means "in the midst of a festival," I had hidden the idea of viewing epileptic seizures as a kind of festival. I am not a person who reads a lot of non-specialist books.

 I do not read many books outside of my field, and I am completely ignorant of cultural anthropology, but I knew that festivals are one of the major themes in current cultural anthropology, led by Yamaguchi Masao and his colleagues. Therefore, it seemed a bit much for me, an outsider with no knowledge of the subject, to express my opinion on the subject of festivals, but I decided to use the disgraceful stereotype that psychiatrists are too brazen to meddle in everything as a cover to conceive of epilepsy as a theory of festivals. I think it is the recent festivism that considers death as an integral part of the festivities that has given me the strength to do so.

 I have always believed that any speculation on human beings cannot be a speculation that captures the living reality unless it looks at death head-on. Of course, I do not mean death as the end of individual life, relative to the finite life of each person. I mean death as the source of life, death as the home to which life returns after a certain trajectory, death as the encompasser that gives our lives so much brilliance and at the same time so much gloom. Every moment of our lives is lived in constant relation to this great death.

 We think we are living our own lives in our own hands. But in reality, what we think of as our own life is a dream being watched by someone else. Just as a dreamer sometimes comes back to himself in a dream, we can sometimes come back to this "someone" in the midst of our lives. I am probably not the only one who has felt this way.

 At night, in foreign lands, at festivals, in madness, and in such extraordinary times, we feel this "someone" closer to us than usual. Between today and tomorrow, between yesterday and today, between this year and next year on New Year's Eve, between last year and this year. There will be a face that comes into view. When the owner of that face began to dream, I must have been born into this world. And when that "someone" wakes up from the dream, my life will have disappeared somewhere. Does not the master of this dream have a name: death?

 What we regard as scientific truths, what we call rational thought, are all nothing more than the delusions of a dream. Are not the things we speak of in the name of time and the self also just a mirage that does not exist anywhere except in our dreams?

 However, even if it is a fleeting dream or a blur, once we have appeared in someone else's dream, we must continue to live in this dream. To do so, we must also seek the logic of the dream. However, in order to be humble about the truth, we must know that there is another higher reality that exists right beside us, one that we dream of as a dream of this life that we usually think of as a certain reality.


 It must have been five years ago that I received an invitation from Mr. Nobuo Kano of Chuko Shinsho to compile a book on time theory. Since then, I have been thinking about time and writing about it in several papers, but I have not yet had the courage to compile them into a book. After much hesitation, I decided this summer that it was time to pay my dues, and I finished the book in one fell swoop. After starting to write the book, I realized once again that I had not prepared enough and had not studied enough, but it was too late, and I finished the book with only the feeling that if I missed this opportunity, I would not be able to write again for a while. But at any rate, I am sincerely grateful to Mr. Kano for giving me the opportunity to give form to my vague ideas.

Autumn, 1982 Kimura Bin

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« 木村敏『時間と自己』1982年中公新書「あとがき」 | トップページ | Akutagawa Ryunosuke "Rashomon" Taisho 4 years (1915) »