I agree with the great Harlod Bloom with regard to theory: When a theory can resonate with history and reach its meanings and implications back through the centuries, it is not a good theory; it is a great one. In the late '90s - through and introduction from the Draper Graduate Studies of New York University program on biographical literary critici sm - I had a chance to read the biographies of writers and thinkers such as Byron, Freud, Jung, Bronte, Nietzsche and Tennessee Williams, among others. My academic study in philosophy served as a useful analytical tool at that time. Yet I find that the Peakian dyad (eidolon/daemon) has retrospectively informed and enriched these analyses further. The dyad should not be underestimated in its power to aid critical reflection on this score. ( My essay on its influence with regard to the play, "Hamlet" makes this point strongly.)
I have a vivid memory of myself in 2007 - deep in the pit of despair which grief over the death of the beloved becomes - reading Anthony Peake's "Is There Life After Death?" with grim resignation, as I had read numerous texts on grieving and afterlife theories and found little of comfort in them, and far too much which irritated. But with this text, even though I felt almost catatonic with despair, I found myself making notations in the margins, as if my former self were somehow being prompted by this author. One such note was, "When better: explore a full semantic analysis and a teleological and ethical critique. This man is a philosopher!" 18 months later, this is precisely what I have begun to do. . .
In "The Varieties of Religious Experience", William James speaks of a crisis in the development of individuals which seems to be comprised by a stage of conflict, followed by collapse, and finally resolution phase, by way of a sort of "second self", which "takes over" and saves the "first" self which is "going to pieces in the wreckage". Reik also noticed this syndrome within psychoanalysis, and made much of it in his work on love and lust. There seems to be a "phase one" of the person which has become somehow outmoded; the "phase two" begins an invasion, so to speak, and ultimately - from this interplay of thesis and antithesis, and providing that the process unfolds unimpeded - a synthesis is born, and the new individual is integrated, robust, and productive. There is often a casting off of the parent with whom one identified in childhood and youth, and an enthronement in the psyche of the hitherto rejected parental influence. The American playwright, Tennessee Williams is a good example of this development when it has gone well. An example from the present which is striking is hip hop artist Eminem, whose suicide attempt as Marshall Mathers resulted in the "death" of the effeminate boy who identified with his mother and its replacement by a father-identified persona which bore a new and sinister name.
This division of human consciousness and persona has been characterized by Reik as being "primed" at certain stages of life; in particular, with men, the age of 36-38, and again in the early 50s. There is often a surge of creativity after the resolution phase. Nietzsche put into poetical form his own period of division and transition: "And then one became two, and Zarathustra came into my view. . . " . I have no doubt that our own KLLM has himself recently passed through this bifurcation process in which "the man within the man" struggles for its new autonomy and expression in the service of its ideals, and with the greatest success.
In terms of the Peakian Dyad, the concepts of "eidolon" and "daemon" applied to this process at once lend transcendence and scientific bolstering to this transition. That this process might be viewed as daemonic in origin, and that the invasion of the eidolonic sphere might have a purposive element in which future tendencies make an early appearance by some mechanism of the Bohmian IMAX , is nothing short of astonishing.
For if viewed in this light, these storms of the psyche and quasi-spiritual rebirths might contain a secret unity amidst the chaos and be authored by a Guardian which is conscious, given to precision, and above all, a person of order and prescience. That this second self, hinted at by James in his cognitive psychology, praised poetically by Nietzsche, and given natural supremacy in the domain of Christianity by St. Paul and Kierkegaard alike; which thunders throughout the stanzas of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and winds its way through the biographies of the most creative and original minds of Europe -- that this vague and nameless acting agent has now been localized, and with scientific precision and esoteric passion, by Peake within his dyad, is theory at its most sublime and magnificent, without doubt. But now it is my task to go back, to reveal the autobiographical subtext and confession which is threaded in Peake's first book, and which follows the form of similar subtexts in all works of originality and historical import ; in particular "The Interpretation of Dreams" by Sigmund Freud . . . ( the essay continues for several more pages, with an analysis of PK Dick as visionary precursor to Anthony Peake; the parallel to Freud's secret autobiography within TIOD; and the subtext - which I can have no doubt was authored by Peake's own daemon -- that I inadvertently discovered running like a fugitive golden thread within the pages of ITLAD in January 2008 . . . ) smk