DSPP Papers

Developmental Aspects of Marriage

"Marriage has nothing to do with happiness; it has everything to do with growing up." Joseph Campbell

"The child is father of the man" Wordsworth, 1802 "My Heart Leaps Up"

"You seek a great treasure, You'll find a great treasure. The treasure you find is not the treasure you seek." Tiresius prophecy in "O Brother Where Art Thou."


I think it's important to remember at the outset that development is layered; and that to the extent we can speak of progressing through developmental stages, for example, "achieving" object constancy, we are referring to emergent capacities in ego development that are layered on top of earlier ways of being. When we describe these earlier ways of being as regressed, primitive, infantile-there can be a danger of, in a near-literal sense, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In our attempt to be more mature, grown-up, or sophisticated, we don't want to lose our capacity to play, to allow some "regression in service of the ego." Our more visceral, somatic connection to life may be a source of excitement, joy, awe, and inspiration. At other times we might feel foolish, ashamed, or defeated. As we go about learning to live our embodied lives, we can think of it as learning to ride a horse, except for the fact that the horse is us as well...The point is that development is never simply a matter of what we think, just as it's never simply a matter of letting the horse run amok. It's more like the partnership between a horse and rider. And although this partnership can be a vision of beauty, power, and grace, the development of this partnership is often uneasy, inconvenient, and, at times, full of conflict. The conflicting fears and desires that come with being an embodied soul are most vividly apparent in our intimate relationships. But so, if we're lucky, can be the beauty, power, and grace resulting from a partnership that is aligned and attuned.

Whether we consider the tension inherent in the human condition a blessing or a curse; its unresolved paradoxes form the core of us in an ineffable way and it is what powers us through our developmental paths. We do what we can to understand and control and plan; to make some order out of chaos and to honor what we believe to be good. But we are embodied souls, a part of nature, constantly changing as we move through time and, hence, subject to an uncountable number of "unknown unknowns," to quote Donald Rumsfeld.

So, development has less to do with replacing earlier "inferior" modes of being than with integrating them in a different way, with gaining a kind of perspective on them that re-contextualizes them. (For example, even though we don't lose our infantile wishes or fears, we do develop the capacity to move beyond them, re-contextualize them and see them in a different light.) Development implies a movement toward ever more nuanced and complex "compromise formations" that enable us to interact with the external world in a relatively ordered and effective way so as to derive from it as much meaning and satisfaction as possible. To be functional, these compromise formations need to be adaptive and flexible, to allow for the impact of the "unknown unknowns."

Our less functional compromise formations are overly determined by defensive concerns and carry with them an air of rigidity, insecurity, and inhumanity. For example, when we are focused around the effort to avoid feelings of shame and embarrassment we tend to be overly sarcastic, rigid, very certain of our point of view, and often dismissive of others. When, on the other hand, we are seeking to be more fully engaged with others we are less likely to foreclose on the "unknown unknowns." We can afford to be more emotionally generous and much more capable of openness, humor, curiosity, humility, pleasure, gratitude, and intimacy.


Marriage is one of those social constructs that have changed a lot over time. A relative constant is that it is a social contract meant to provide security and stability with regard to raising kids and transferring property over generations. In this contractual sense, marriage has an objective rationale and purpose embedded in the existing social order. When we extend the idea of social order to include cultural ideas about the proper roles of men, women, and children, we can understand how threatening the idea of changing the rules and regulations surrounding marriage can feel to some people. It can provoke a kind of existential anxiety, a feeling that the whole social order is unraveling, resulting in a profound disorientation and dislocation of the self. From this perspective, one can understand the appeal of arranged marriages. Marriage is seen as just too important and too complex (both from a legal/property point of view and sociologically) to be left up to the people wanting to get married. And, although we moderns rebel at the notion of arranged marriages, there is still a general acceptance of the idea that civil society has the right to regulate marriages as well as an ongoing tradition of seeking the approval of parents, and of wanting to have the match deemed a "good one" by family elders.

At the opposite extreme from the objective "social order" point of view is the more modern, romantic, concern with finding and/or being "the one." This perspective is embedded in subjectivity and focuses on more ephemeral experiences like emotional intensity, spontaneity, and sexual chemistry. One seeks in the other not only someone in whom they may entrust their property, but also their "heart." In this realm we aspire not simply to be, objectively speaking, a proper husband or wife, but to be a "true love." The romantic ideal includes notions of transformation of character, of attaining a sort of nobility, purity and a capacity for self-sacrifice. Here the focus is on less precise but more emotionally charged struggles and personal attributes; for example, trust vs. betrayal, faithful vs. abandoning, loving vs. selfish. We might look at the anxiety surrounding these issues as fundamentally narcissistic. It's less about losing one's social role as it is about losing that special, "chosen" status. The danger is of emotional souring; of love transforming into hatred; of finding out that what was once sacred is now profane.

Between these two poles--the practical, objective, "social order" pole and the heroic, subjective romantic ideal pole--the couple is tasked with creating their marriage. It is in learning to operate in the tension between these two poles that development can be viewed as taking place. It all starts with--

Falling in Love:

For those of us who've had this experience, the exhilaration and fear, intoxication and chaos, it is easy to see its rooted-ness in early aspects of development. The radical shift in psychological perspective is hinted at in song lyrics like, "I've got the world on a string," that seem to promise fulfillment of barely conceived or acknowledged wishes. The inflated sense of having "found it" inevitably gives way to overwhelming feelings of vulnerability and need, like in the lyric from the song "Never Let Me Go," that goes, "what would I do without you, there's no good in me without you;" or in a more prosaic example, the flood of anxiety that sweeps us away when a loved one is unexpectedly late getting home and we can't locate them, and they haven't bothered to call...Whether the self is inflated or deflated, it's evident that the mode of rational, reality-based ego functioning has been trumped. To be "Like Someone in Love" means that our rational mode is, at best, relegated to being at the service of these more tidal shifts in emotion, purpose, and desire.

It's tempting to reduce the experience of falling in love to its constituent parts and to see it as a regressed way of functioning. We may, indeed, see in it the re-emergence of infantile wishes and attachment patterns. We may note the abundance of hormones and sexual excitement and join with Tina Turner in asking, "What's Love Got to Do With It?" But there's also a wistful envy or even vicarious celebration we can feel at the seemingly effortless emotional generosity, interest, excitement and spontaneity that can surround a couple in love. If we wanted to pathologize this state, we could call it Borderline, because of the prominence of projection, the instability of the sense of self and the relative diminution of the ego's reality based functioning. But do we really want to do that? What of the heroic, ennobling and revivifying aspects of falling in love; the readiness to "take the plunge," to commit oneself to be worthy of one's love? This sparking of interest in the other not only quickens our senses; it can provide a critical aspect of feeling organized, purposeful, and coherent.

Of course, this part of our lives can quickly become a landscape of slippery slopes, desperation and self-delusion. Suddenly, all's considered fair. A kind of infantile emotional greed and ruthlessness--along with breathtaking impulsivity--can take hold of us. The prospect of loss can become so catastrophic and real that life without that numinous other becomes unimaginable. Though, the numinosity of the other is, of course, famously unstable... As we live and learn about who and how we are, as we recover from some number of relationships that end up on the rocks, we may become a little less naïve about how these things work. We may be less prone to let ourselves be swept away on a sea of emotion, and more aware that, just because we may feel or want something very intensely, it doesn't mean that the other feels the same. Just because we may glimpse something in the other, perhaps even experience a sense of deep emotional intimacy with them, doesn't mean that we really understand them or even have a clue as to who they are.

Most of us manage at some point to be, as it were, tied to the mast, to not respond to every siren's call, every attraction or flirtation by promptly sailing our ships into the rocks. But that doesn't mean we do not respond at all, if only in fantasy. And even if we could choose not to respond, would that be desirable? We could become embittered and cynical and declare "I'm Through With Love." Or we could choose to put wax in our ears, like Odysseus's men, in the service of getting on about our business, maybe getting a little "Satisfaction" out of doing a good job. Why risk remaining open to that siren's call? Why bother to preserve or even develop that tropism towards what the siren seems to promise, i.e. a kind of complete fulfillment. Why even consider accepting that invitation into the land of the unknown unknowns? That place where we might encounter a mystery so profound and compelling that we could find ourselves lost in the other?

Getting Married

And what's marriage got to do with it? Is it the siren's call? or the mast that we tie ourselves to? Are we getting hitched? or have we finally found and laid claim to our soul mate? There's a finality evoked by the phrase "till death do us part," that can be a real buzz kill for some, or a real relief-if only in fantasy--to others. How we view the prospect of marriage depends a lot on what we saw in our parents' marriage--or divorce. As kids, we may envy and even compete with our parents' relationship, wanting to be part of that special bond, to stay up late, move to the grown ups' table. But there are also those aspects of how they relate that are less appealing. We see that they can be irritable, selfish, thoughtless, even deliberately cruel. As kids, we soak up these positive and negative examples of our parents' behaviors with each other, forming crucial identifications and "anti-identifications" that become part of our self-organization later on.

Our first romantic and intimate relationships may find us furiously working through these part objects and self-objects, almost like a director trying to make a rough cut of a movie; realizing that a lot of revisions, and re-castings may be necessary, or even that the story line is no longer as compelling as it once seemed. Through these experiences, over time our sense of self can stabilize and we can more fully separate from these earlier parental identifications (and anti-identifications) and we can be clearer about what it is we really value in ourselves, in others, and in relationships. We begin to be able to think about marriage in a more coherent, individuated, reality-oriented way...kind of...

Even as, relatively speaking, one's sense of self may be stabilizing, these earlier parental identifications re-emerge in the context of the couple's template for marriage. Even if the couple has been living together for a while, marriage changes things. All of a sudden, the unconscious determinants-the part objects, projections, and projective identifications-are re-potentiated. As the couple goes about creating the, as Ogden puts it, the "Third" of the marriage, i.e., the conscious and unconscious terms of engagement, these elements become like psychological Velcro, sticking to every little thing and setting the tone of the relationship in a more enhanced way.

The marriage ritual, whether sacramental or secular, moves the couple into a new kind of space such that their very individuality is in part defined by their marriedness. All of a sudden, friends and family are looking at them a little differently; and the couple becomes more or less aware of how they are perceived as a married couple. Are they a happy one? a sad one? an exciting one? a pedestrian one? What would People Magazine say? What do their parents say? What do their friends say? And, eventually, what will their kids say? One's individual persona is, thus, partially subsumed in marriage. Indeed, at least initially, it may be swamped.

"Marriedness" can be experienced as a threat to one's individuality in deeper ways as well. Through the process of sharing physical and psychological space we make our selves available to be better known and held more accountable by our spouses than by anyone else. At times this can be a source of great comfort, of compassionate understanding, of acts of kindness, forgiveness, and support that are humbling, ennobling and heroic. At other times this level of access can prompt levels of indignation, sadism, and venality that may be comedic in retrospect but in real time are excruciating.

The couple finds themselves in a world where money is never just money, sex is never just sex; and a mess left in the kitchen can provoke a surgically precise character analysis-but without the anesthetic... This co-created couple space, i.e., the "Third," is where the experience of emotional intimacy happens. It both heightens our subjective sense of being and trumps our individuality in the way that sacramental space is wont to do. It highlights certain aspects of the couple's experience and casts other aspects into shadow. When engagement is active and intimate, the "Third" is changing and dynamic, offering the couple a kaleidoscopic experience of themselves that can lead to healing and personal growth. When engagement is minimal or overly bound by routine the couple can feel static and stultified.

Regardless, as we live in this couple space we become part of the fabric of each other's lives. Aspects of our identity are experienced, enhanced, or neglected –for good or ill-in the context of the other's individual history. When things are going well, one may feel that this couple-space is like being in the army--it allows you to be all you can be, and maybe more. When things aren't going so well, it can be like you're being held hostage...The developmental task is to rediscover your individual voice in the context of the marriage. And for those couples who get some traction in this new environment and find themselves taking the next step, i.e., having a child, what they have co-created, so far, in terms of their capacity to create a psychologically safe and secure container for each other is now about to be taken to a brand new level.

Having a Child

That moment when two become three is a milestone both for the individual and for the couple. One's individuality is, again, re-contextualized, re-interpreted, and re-organized. Just as with entering into marriage, the experience of having a child brings forth a whole new crop of expectations, assumptions, ideas of fairness, and about a million unconscious wishes and fears. Right off the bat, going thru pregnancy and childbirth tests the "couple-ness" of the marriage. Is there going to be a sense in which both members of the couple can meaningfully say, "We are going to have a child."? Or will that couple space collapse when confronted with the new challenges they face? To what extent will they be able to acknowledge and accept the physical, psychological, and financial challenges and transformations that they will be facing? And what does it mean to "successfully" negotiate these challenges? Is success being able to get back into one's old dress size within a certain number of weeks or months? Is it to proudly pass around cigars to celebrate one's potency? While, of course, there's nothing wrong with either of these things, they perhaps hint at wishes to undue actual changes or to minimize the daunting developmental tasks that lay ahead.

The couple faces several questions immediately following the birth of their child. For example: to what extent will the new father make way for the new mom's "primary maternal preoccupation" with their newborn? To what extent will the new mom permit or encourage the new father's awareness of, and efforts to accommodate to, the physical and psychological transformations that she has just gone through during pregnancy and childbirth? And, for the new father, to what extent can he embrace these new realities, not merely supporting, but identifying with his wife's 9 month sojourn in the heart of nature and her visceral, single-minded focus on keeping their newborn alive and well. After the birth the father is famously "excluded" from the symbiotic quality of the mother/child dyad. But I think that most Dads would agree that's a gross oversimplification. The marriage provides the couple with the opportunity to co-create a psychological/fantasy space where dads can be very empathically connected with the infant, as well as identified with the primary maternal role of keeping the infant alive. This is--to a large extent--mediated by the Mom's actual frontline experiences with the infant. And--it should be noted--it is an act of faith and trust for the Mom to be psychologically "transparent" enough to permit Dad that kind of access.

The delicacy of these moments for the newborn and their significance is captured in Erik Erikson's labeling of the infant's developmental crisis as the struggle between basic trust and mistrust. We might extend that notion of trust vs. mistrust to the parents' experience of each other during this period. The question for the new parents is, "Can I trust my partner with the welfare of our newborn?" For most parents there will be ample opportunity to gather much relevant data regarding this question early on, many of these data points occurring between the hours of 12PM and 4AM. As the newborn and the parents strive to find and keep a biological rhythm regarding sleep/wake cycles, eating, playing, quiet time, etc, they are also in the process of co-creating a kind of symbiotic couple/child space. Ostensibly, everybody's focused on the child, but at a process level everyone, including the child, is constructing a picture of the others in their new-found roles as well. Among the questions to sort through: Is Dad willing and able to relax his typical adult perspective to enter into his own kind of reverie with the infant? Will Mom welcome Dad's visits to that 24/7 space where she has taken on the charge of keeping their infant alive? Can the parents psychologically "share" the child and admire, critique, and support each other as parents and as individuals with compassion and understanding?

Parents are fools for their kids; they talk funny and act silly. But all this regression is ok because it is in the service of meeting the child where the child is--to distract, delight, soothe or excite. Implicit in these efforts is a kind of acting out of that parent's theory (or mentalization) of the child and of how best to meet the child's needs at that moment. During this most vulnerable time in the child's development, parents observe each other's efforts to engage and be with the child. They get a feel for how easily (or not) they each can track the child's physical and psychological state and facilitate the child's transitions between sleep/wake, contentment/boredom, play/quiet, and (everyone's favorite) dirty diaper to clean. They get a feel for each other's relative strengths and weaknesses in dealing with their child, and a sense for what kind of relationship they are each trying to build with the child. When things go well, parents can function in a kind of partnership that recognizes the other's strengths and weaknesses, and welcomes the opportunity for the child to live "in stereo." That is, the child has the opportunity to interact at the level of reverie with both parents who, in turn, can value those aspects of their child's personality that emerge and develop with the other parent. And the parents' experience of emotional intimacy with each other can deepen as they witness each other's "inner child" seeking out their mutual child.

Things are never that simple though; and having a child is not really the equivalent of an endless playdate or a Hallmark birthday card. Co-parenting is more akin to tag team wrestling than to transcendental reverie. As parents we have our own transitions: from tenderness to tiredness, from delight to drudgery, from competence to collapse. At these points, perhaps our partner will tag us on the shoulder and say, "take a break." Here the couple is faced with several questions and another developmental hurdle. Will assistance be proffered in a compassionate or condemning way? Will the parent who's shoulder is being tapped interpret this as a blanket judgment that they are "unfit to parent?" Has the child –at least momentarily-morphed into an implacable enemy that has outflanked both parents, exposed their supposedly adult skills as laughably inadequate and handed them an ignominious defeat?

Throughout this period, the learning curve is steep and, as the new mom and dad partner up on this ultimate outward bound experience, the assessments and attributions will be flying. Will their partner turn out to be someone with whom they can share the joys and travails of getting a child to sleep at night? Or will they feel saddled with an inept slacker who won't or can't get focused on the urgent tasks at hand. To the extent that each partner can experience the other as helpful-even redemptive--in their efforts to be a good enough parent--the partnership has negotiated a huge developmental hurdle. It can thereby potentiate and amplify each little bit of hard won self-knowledge and occasional victory each parent experiences through the period of early infancy.

At the center of all this is, of course, the child. And the child isn't, ultimately, who the mother thinks she is, nor the father. Mom and dad will have their own particular guesses, insights and experiences of the child; and these theories, or mentalizations enrich the child, allowing her, as I mentioned, the opportunity to live "in stereo." But the child, being a sovereign, reserves the right to trump all these theories, to retain a pristine level of self that is ongoing, brand new, and in each moment. So parents are always confronted with the task of re-discovering the child. They are always having to work thru their hopes and fears about what it is they think they're seeing now-and always having to clear away at least some of their preconceptions to allow the child to emerge on the child's terms. An ongoing challenge for the couple takes shape. How will they handle these moments when their theories, their wishes and fears for the child, are trumped? Will they be intrigued? Defeated? And what "contains" the couple at those moments?

What contains the couple is their desire to rediscover and reconnect with that real child, the one they know exists beyond their theories and mentalizations. As the couple comes to grips with the fact of the child's sovereignty, they can either consider this an invitation to grow as parents in order to try to constantly rediscover their child or try to force the child to conform to their preconceptions, both positive and negative. The developmental hurdle for parents at this point is to support each other's efforts to stay interested and open to their child's ongoing development. To the extent that the couple can stay open and interested in their child, they grow in their own psychological maturity and in their capacity to be useful to their child's development. (Perhaps this can be yet another interpretation of Wordsworth's puzzling assertion that the child is father to the man.)

As the couple and the child mature they inhabit their new roles and their new roles inhabit them. And as the child matures, speaks, goes to school and the couple can no longer really remember what it was like to be a couple without kids...it's plain that both their individual and couple identities have been forever altered. Previously important aspects of identity are supplanted or recontextualized by the exigencies of living together as a family. As these earlier, more individualized dreams or goals are supplanted, a new developmental question/crisis for the couple begins to take shape: Will this "family" aesthetic be meaningful and rewarding enough to sustain one's sense of self in an organizing and potentiating way or will there be a diffuse sense of disappointment, disorganization and incoherence, aka "a mid-life crisis?"

Taking on the challenges and responsibilities of being a family can often be...inconvenient. So-why do it? What does the family aesthetic have to offer? Of course, in a general sense there are the usual benefits of attachment and social support. We have an expanded sense of being in the world and of exploring its richness. But, in a more particular sense, there is also the fact that, in dealing with the day-to-day details of family life, we find ourselves constantly confronted with new opportunities to resolve old dilemmas-to, as Joseph Campbell put it, grow up. And when we are able to mount more creative and generative responses to those old dilemmas we can feel a sense of satisfaction that sustains and supports us and allows us greater freedom to explore our own experience of being alive.

It is in the actual performance of our roles as spouses and parents that we are most immediately confronted with our old dilemmas, our often neurotic thoughts, wishes, fears, fantasies, and limits. And every couple and family has to face the question, "When we screw up, can we find ways to repair the damage?" Conflicting notions of accountability, fairness, and trust, will complicate matters. The couple is challenged to find enough common ground and common intention to afford itself the opportunity to reorganize and repair. Where these things can be found, there's hope that conflict may lead to greater understanding and growth. Where these things are in short supply, even relatively minor conflicts can create an embittered, highly toxic atmosphere. Couples stuck in this situation can appear to hold each other's sanity hostage and seem to threaten the complete psychological destruction of the other. Projection and projective identification begin to clutter the landscape to the point that each member of the couple paints the other, and often responds to the other, as caricatures. Over time the couple creates a split off bit of hell where hope is abandoned and condemnation rules. Children have a knack for finding-and internalizing--these dark areas, probably because that's where they have to go to find their parents when their parents are psychologically unavailable.

To the extent that the couple can communicate more or less directly about these issues--this is usually a good thing. It affords each member the opportunity to more accurately understand what their partner is going through and more actively define their own point of view. This is the stuff of healthy boundaries. It's never convenient, often frustrating, and occasionally requires frying pans. But it is essential to, as it were, police the area, the psychological commons, the couple-space where all this finding and re-finding can occur. Of course, there are couples that have waited so long to clear the air that their communication comes across more as a sort of recitation of last rites than an invitation to repair and reconnect. It's as if, having already disinvested in the outcome of the discussion, they can now afford to accurately address longstanding issues. But, assuming the discussion takes place in good faith, deliberately addressing the need for ongoing accommodations to life and to each other carries a very powerful message. The couple is thereby recognizing the fact of individual sovereignty and the necessity for respecting that fact among family members in order to promote that which they desire, i.e., emotional intimacy. And, by accepting the need for emotional intimacy, we are bound to accept the fact that disagreement, ambivalence, and, "I don't know," are sometimes correct answers. Back on the boat with Odysseus listening to the sirens, it's as if we have to tolerate our essential seperateness from the object of our desire in order to preserve the possibility of being with them in real life. Or, in Kleinian terms, welcome to the depressed position.

So during this period of raising kids and getting them through early and middle childhood, the couple is faced with the need to function efficiently to get the 5 million things that need to be done everyday done, while preserving a sense of openness and tolerance of ambiguity and ambivalence. To the extent that the couple can find or negotiate ways of continuing to explore these individual and couple avenues of development and interest, then the couple promotes and demonstrates healthy individual and generational boundaries. In turn, these allow for more sovereign, complex, and ultimately more humane relationships among all family members. To the extent that the couple fails to check in with each other about these issues they can become so mired in projections and projective identifications that they foreclose on their ongoing development together.

In our rhetoric of container/contained we may sometimes lose sight of how incomplete, conditional, and permeable all of this supposed "containment" really is, and how, finally, so much depends on our desire to be with each other. We constantly overlook the fact that what our theories-our mentalizations-are trying to contain is infinitely changing. There are moments, like when you're leaving your child at the college dorm, or watching her ride away from her wedding reception when the full force of change can really hit you. There are moments within the couple's relationship when the need to catch up, renew and re-find ways of understanding and dealing with each other asserts itself. Not only are our own bodies changing, but our roles in each other's lives are vastly different. Instead of accommodating to infants and children, we may find ourselves accommodating to our aging parents, or to our own physical limitations as they increasingly impinge themselves on us.

As we go through these developmental milestones we naturally check around for a sense of where we are and how we're doing. As the couple develops a greater and more intimate knowledge of themselves and of each other, this knowledge can deepen their sense of intimacy, appreciation, humility, humor, and regard for each other's individuality, and inform their decisions as to how to handle the next set of life challenges. Or, it can feel like a millstone dragging them down, paralyzing in advance any efforts toward generativity and creativity. When the couple can talk relatively openly about what's going on and how they're experiencing it, they afford themselves an opportunity to rediscover each other as individuals; which is, in a way, to rediscover that which can never be truly found, at least not once and for all. Which is to say, we get to have a marriage, but we don't get to have each other. Which is to say, even in the most committed, most intimate marriage we learn that we are "Alone Together." In working together to make the marriage we co-create a space where, at least ideally, we can most fully be ourselves. Yet, paradoxically, it is also a space where we are most fully accountable to that most intimate other.

What happens over time if we can hold that paradox without collapsing it by falling into our own subjectivity or losing ourselves in the demands and needs of the other(s)? I think that by having to get over ourselves on the one hand and yet be authentically involved with our partners on the other, we grow up and we grow better. Specifically, we grow in our capacity to hold open that space for that intimate other to be and we grow in our own capacity to appreciate and be in that space where that intimate other can find us. And, remembering that development is layered, this means that this most intimate other gets to know us as we bump our way through life on all levels, from the physical to the spiritual. And, while we don't get what we want exactly, certainly not in an indulgent or Oedipal way, we just might find that we get what we need: which is the opportunity to try really hard to be better than we typically, or conveniently, want to be for someone who, in fact, really appreciates it when we can step up. And, after a while we may come to understand what the blind prophet Tiresius meant when he said, "You seek a great treasure, You'll find a great treasure. The treasure you find is not the treasure you seek."

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