KNOTS
by R.D. Laing

 
 
 



 

I don’t respect myself

I can’t respect anyone who respects me.

I can only respect someone who does not respect me.

 

I respect Jack

because he does not respect me

 

I despise Tom

because he does not despise me

 

Only a despicable person

can respect someone as despicable as me

 

I cannot love someone I despise

 

Since I love Jack

I cannot believe he loves me

 

What proof can he give?

 


 

JILL I am frightened

JACK Don’t be frightened

JILL I am frightened to be frightened when you

tell me I ought not to feel frightened

 

frightened

frightened to be frightened

not frightened to be frightened

 

not frightened

frightened not to be frightened

not frightened to be not frightened

 


 

JILL I’m upset you are upset

JACK I’m not upset

JILL I’m upset that you’re not upset that I’m

upset you’re upset

JACK I’m upset that you’re upset that I’m not

upset that you’re upset that I’m upset,

when I’m not.

 

JILL You put me in the wrong

JACK I am not putting you in the wrong

JILL You put me in the wrong for thinking you

put me in the wrong.

 

JACK Forgive me

JILL No

JACK I’ll never forgive you for not forgiving me

 


 

She has started to drink

as a way to cope

that makes her less able to cope

 

the more she drinks

the more frightened she is of becoming a drunkard

 

the more drunk

the less frightened of being drunk

 

the more frightened of being drunk when not drunk

the more not frightened drunk

the more frightened not drunk

 

the more she destroys herself

the more frightened of being destroyed by him

 

the more frightened of destroying him

the more she destroys herself

 


 

JACK You are a pain in the neck

To stop you giving me a pain in the neck

I protect my neck by tightening my neck muscles,

which gives me the pain in the neck you are.

 

JILL My head aches through trying to stop you

giving me a headache.

 

BACK

 

 

Home | Ecology of Mind | Mind-ing Ecology | Co-ordination Page | Search 
Bateson | Kelly | Maturana | von Glasersfeld | Laing | Antipsychiatry | Links
Ecology in Politics | Eco-logising Psychology | Sustainability | Environment & Nature