“No one can save you from the work you have to do on yourself”
By Micha Odenheimer | 06/01/2011
First, I read Michael Eigen. His writing was unlike any other I had yet encountered on the inner life of psychoanalytic thinkers. He writes about therapy from the perspective of a therapist participating fully, heart and soul, in the frustrating process of photo: Mark Berghersh
psychotherapy in which time flows forwards and backwards, until tiny points of transparency, incremental miracles, appear in the seemingly impenetrable armor of life
I have always been suspicious of psychoanalysis's reductive instincts – in English slang, therapists are called ”shrinks,” and for good reason. Analysts, it seemed to me, want to kiss us to turn us into frogs, reveal reality as a war of instinctual urges, in which every desire is also a naked grab for power, and every strategy conceals an erection.
In Eigen's writing, there is room for everything except reduction – or escape. In The Psychoanalytic Mystic he shows us the traces of mystical experience, like suspended particles of gold dust, which can be seen at the margins of the great psychoanalytic theories, as if out of the corners of our eye, at the place where language and subjectivity have collided. Understanding is always born of ecstasy, he says, an ecstasy of a yearning for something unnamable, towards which we are drawn like moths to a candle, like mystics to God.
Unnamable, and yet present, right here, right now, Eigen refuses to escape to anywhere else, is not interested in “other dimensions,” refuses to create hierarchies between worlds or impulses, to separate absolutely between ecstatic bliss and ecstatic rage. His commitment is to human beings, in all their degradation, vulnerability and squalor, because pulsing within them is life: unpredictable and evolving. The ultimate reality, says Eigen, is nowhere if not in the person sitting across from us— parent, child, friend or, in the examples he skillfully sears onto the pages of his books, those seeking psychological healing. The healing takes place, he tells us, when life meets life, the life of the therapist mingling with that of the patient, tiny beads of meaning condensing into dew drops small enough to be absorbed through a lifetime of defenses, pure enough to nourish new life.
I meet him in his office on Central Park West, facing the snow-covered park. In the outer room are messy piles of books – he has written 12, including Toxic Nourishment, Rage, Ecstasy, The Psychoanalytic Mystic, The Sensitive Self, and his latest, Emotional Storm. Eigen is one of the most prominent psychoanalysts in America today – an associate professor at New York University's postdoctoral program in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, and editor-in-chief of the Psychoanalytic Review, which has been published continuously since 1913.
The inner room, where his therapy sessions take place, is small and intimate. At 69, Eigen seems considerably younger. He is unobtrusively masculine, speaks with authority yet with respect for the listener, his voice textured with experience, with the roughness of the Jewish New York of a half century ago, tempered by a lifetime of fascination with far-away cultures and religions and close encounters with human suffering. Without the slightest air of analytic distance or superiority born of age, status or intellectual prowess, we begin to speak.
Micha: I'd like to hear about your history in terms of religion. I heard that as a young man you took an interest in Catholicism.
Eigen: When I was in my twenties. I think without quite verbalizing it, I felt God in the flesh, that if there is a spirit, it is a fairly embodied spirit, and when I came across Catholicism, it seemed to give expression to a spirituality that straddled body and flesh. The only problem is that when I was taking instruction, exploring it, I got very sick and while I was sick, I recovered by reading novels, Saroyan and Faulkner, and that nursed me back to health. And by the time I recovered, I had the feeling that Catholicism was not my path. What turned me off was that the priest that was giving the instruction emphasized that Catholicism was a very rational religion. I might have become a Catholic if that priest had been more of a mystic. My body rejected it, and I listened to my body.
Micha: And then you became interested in Buddhism?
Eigen: I've been interested in Buddhism and most religions I've come in contact with. I love religion, I have a real affinity for religions. I'm less doctrinaire then I was when I was young. I may be a Taoist now (laughs). I like Taoism a lot, I like Hinduism, perhaps more than Buddhism, I've spent less time with Buddhism than with Hinduism, probably, in terms of meditation. I've just always gravitated towards it.
I am a Jew. My father came from Austro Hungary. He wasn't religious here, nor was his father, nor my mother's parents. My mother's mother kept kosher, and my mother kept kosher when I was a child so that her mother could come visit us. But my father was mainly interested in making a living. He came here as a teenager, and his father opened up a candy store for a time, but they came here as immigrants off the boat, and he deliberately did not learn English until he came here, because he didn't want to have an accent, and he didn't have an accent. He picked up an accounting book, learned accounting and went up and down the street asking people if he could do their books. And he made enough money to go to law school and he became a lawyer.
Micha: How did you start making the connection between psychoanalysis and mysticism?
Eigen: I took a psychology course when I was in college, and it was terrible. It turned me off to psychology. But there were two paragraphs in the course that turned me on. One mentioned the unconscious, and one talked about how the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. When I was in college, they were mostly into some kind of mechanistic reflex psychology.
You asked me how to bring them together, and that is a hard question to answer, because I feel they were never really apart.
Micha: Well I guess most people would see the disjunction in Freud's view of religion as a projection of our wishes or fears. And his belief that what are really real are the instinctive drives.
Eigen: Freud is very complicated. I've never heard him tell a lie. As a therapist, I can say that what he says is there. It may be slanted, it may be biased, it may be reductive, but paranoids see truth. They see a certain sliver of truth, and the kind of Nietzschean or Schopenhauerian truth that Freud sees is really so. He is seeing the will to power in sexual form, all the drives, that we are driven, we are pressured, and we don't exactly know what to do with the whole thing.
Micha: Do you also see a different kind of subconscious, some kind of a super-conscious, a layer of spiritual impulses that we are not aware of?
Eigen: I am not much of a theoretician. I don't start from the place where there is a distinction between the spirit and the rest of life. What we are dealing with is social- psycho-spiritual-physical. We can't say here is the spirit part; here is the emotional part; here is the intellectual part. If there were a model, it would be like a tapestry. Even with our brain structure, we can't say: “Perception came first,” or “Memory came first,” or “This came first.” All the parts of the brain work together, they compensate, they nourish each other, they conflict with each other. It's very alive, so you could say everything is spirit, everything is emotion, everything is mind, everything is body, whatever your bias or sensibility is. All those things work together in a conspiratorial way all the time. Even the antagonistic elements need each other.
Micha: But could you say that there are certain kinds of impulses or even abilities or connections that are usually hidden, and a normal consciousness that you could call the workaday consciousness…?
Eigen: I see that as spiritual.
Micha: Ordinary consciousness is spiritual?
Eigen: Ordinary consciousness is tinged by spirit and formed by spirit. Whatever we do together affects our spirit. Someone could have a look that makes your spirit alive; someone else might have a look that throws a wet blanket on it – we transmit our affective attitudes. This makes a difference to our day, to our growth, to how we feel about life, how life tastes to us. There is no transaction between people that does not have an affective quality or a spirit tonality that will affect you physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally.
Micha: You don't want to create a hierarchy between spirit and other modes of being…
Eigen: I'm not a big hierarchy person, because I find that if I have to be a hierarchy person, I would say that high is low and low is high. Once you start attending to something, realms and more realms keep opening up ad infinitum. No matter where you start, it opens up to everything else.
Micha: Is there such a thing as spiritual development, spiritual evolution? Can one move towards a higher realization of who you are?
Eigen: I'm not that concerned with what is higher. It's hard enough trying to be a decent person here. I think our big job is to work with ourselves, on every level – socially, psychically, familially. It's not enough to be high in one way and beat your kids or scream at your kids or traumatize your kids on another plane. I've soon gurus and masters who are so high one way and are traumatizing people right and left in another way. There is a certain sensitivity – you can call it spiritual if you like or emotional if you like – which is sensitivity to another person and to yourself with another person. How are you affecting that other person? That is the realm of spirituality I am most interested in.
Micha: I remember reading in your book Ecstasies how you have found that the people who are striving for a spiritual life, who have an active prayer life, who meditate are often what you call “ragers” – people who carry with them and release great reserves of anger.
Eigen: Yes, people may be meditaters dedicated to the path, but get very impatient if something happens in real life that doesn't fit in with the calm and peace of the meditative state. I don't think that religious or spiritual people are immune to inflicting their personalities on others. This for me is the connection between psychoanalysis and spirituality. The issue is: How do we work on that? It's great to be in all kinds of spiritual states, but if you are in conflict with the guy next to you and you blow him away… Nothing is more traumatizing in personal relations than rage. I don't mind talking about spirituality, but any amount of spiritual realization is worthless if you do that to someone else. I see embodying spiritual feeling more in terms of an evolution in sensitivity towards yourself and others. Religion is a tool to an extent, psychoanalysis is a tool to an extent, and there is no way to do it except to find within yourself what you are doing to other people, to feel the block, to feel the spark that gets angry, the spark that gets fearful, the spark that gets pushed out on others, and to sit with it, pray with it, touch it, taste it.
Micha: On the collective level, when groups are pursuing some kind of intense religious agenda, do they also have the danger of flipping into some kind of violence or rage?
Eigen: Absolutely, I mean if you have a violent God, and all religions have some kind of a violent God, then that's a project, a challenge. To the extent that God is a projection of our personality, and He says I'm going to get so angry if you don't do what I want, then that's not a very good model for raising your children. You don't really have to do that with children. We don't have to do that with each other – to beat each other up and go to war with each other, I think institutional injustices and familial injustices and personal injustices all have to be worked on together. You can't just work on institutional injustices without the actual people who are involved working on themselves, and you can't just work on yourself without working on the injustices in society.
Micha: How would you describe that connection between spiritual intensity and rage? Why is God angry, and why do people become angry?
Eigen: I think on an elemental level, we humans are a pretty violent group. It would be funny if the scientists are right and the universe began with an explosion, and maybe started life with a scream. Then it's a scream that never stopped, an explosion that never stopped. And we are mediators of explosive capacity. One of the things that psychoanalysis has to offer is an awareness of how destructive we are. The great psychoanalyst W.R. Bion has a formulation that is devastating. He talks about a force that goes on working after it has destroyed time, space, personality and existence – just a pure destructive force that never stops. Now I don't know if such a force exists…
Micha: Shiva (the Hindu god of destruction).
Eigen: Yes, exactly. There are intimations of it in all religions in some way. Freud talks about a destructive force against recovery. Melanie Klein talks about a destructive force within. Whatever names you want to give it, human destructiveness exists, whether it is leftover from surviving in the wild, whether it is a predator-prey thing, a struggle for existence thing, or whether there is an inherent ecstasy in exercising one's power. We do destructive things. We're killers. We have killer psyches that we should feel guilty about. I think some of us have too little guilt, some of us have too much guilt, but we all have killer psyches, and we all injure each other and are injured. What do we do when we begin to realize that it is not just the other guys, that we all do it, and that we are in the middle of the sea of injury? We may also be in the middle of the sea of love, but we are also very dangerous and we do dangerous things to each other. The other guy is the bad guy, and I am the good guy. I am always the right one and you are always the wrong one, whether it is in a marriage, with kids, between groups, between nations. Destruction goes on and on and on, except that some of us are catching on that it is destruction and it has been with us organizing experience since the beginning. We are not going to get rid of it but we can become more aware of how it works. We can – I wouldn't say transcend it, because that is going way too far – but we can make room for it, we can realize oh my God I am now about to bop this guy on the head because obviously he's wrong.
I recently saw the movie The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino playing Shylock. Beautiful. You are brought up short, because you feel the gap between Shakespeare's days and ours. In those days, Shylock was supposed to be a comedian, a comic figure a joker…ha ha ha – look at the Jew with his stupid idea of justice as opposed to us beautiful, rich, privileged Christians who know mercy. And when you see the movie, the distance of four hundred years since it was written becomes so immense. The structure, for those who want to see it, is the beautiful people on the top paid for by the abjection of those on the bottom, by the black slaves, by the denigration of the Jews, the slaughter of the Jews, the denigration of one kind of Jews by other kinds of Jews, this hierarchical denigration in which a groups' ascendancy is always at the expense of someone else. That is a spiritual problem.
Micha: And there is no way to become enlightened, to evolve, to be transformed? Can't we get away from it?
Eigen: I think we can do something with it, but we have to sit with it, feel it, and taste it. We have to munch on it, we have to hold it back, use our eyes, our ears, our taste buds. We have to say “This doesn't taste good.” Shylock was in the dirt, and we said “Ha, ha,” the victory of the good guys, but now I see that it doesn't taste good for me to see a human being in the dirt, just as it wouldn't taste good for me to be in the dirt. I'm not dirt. It's an evolutionary challenge to begin to develop the sensitivity to see this structure, how we put ourselves up at someone else's expense. Just sitting with this is something psychoanalysis does well. I think it is very spiritual. It gives people time out it to sit with problems. Buddhism is good, Judaism is very good, all these things are good, but they don't rub your nose in what a shit you are to others, and yet maybe you are a shit this way because your parents were shitty too, or maybe it's just the way human beings are, because it's an explosive universe and we are explosive beings. And if you tell me my brain is programmed to be violent, well then fuck my brain, maybe I can change my brain. Maybe I can alter my brain chemistry. Through psychotherapy, brain chemistry is altered; we are finding out, there are shifts. I can say I don't like what I have been given in terms of my psychophysiology. I don't have to give in to it.
Micha: And do you feel that help sometimes comes along from another dimension?
Eigen: I feel that what you call that other dimension is here, I feel that it's never anything else. It's always here. There is no other place for it to be. Whatever you call God or the spiritual reality is never anywhere else except right here, except us, in our lives. We are in this profound center and we are creating it and it is creating us through the way we are with each other, how we make each other feel. Do our interactions make a more kindly world or a less kindly world? It reminds me of what Judaism says – that my words are creating angels and devils.
Micha: Wherever it is coming from, you must see miracles in people's lives in therapy.
Eigen: I believe in miracles, I think we are miracles. I didn't ask for it, but when I was a young boy the sense of the holy came to me. It was animated by two incidents that I remember. One was by seeing the stars for the first time, and one was by seeing a rabbi named Kellner who came to the house to ask for donations. I looked forward to his visits because his face had a light that glowed, and I didn't know exactly what it was but as I began to grow, I realized “That is the sense of the holy!” That we're sacred, that we are precious, that it is a precious gift to be alive, that we should try to do something deep with it. It's a sense that comes and goes, especially when you are tired, that animating sense to life. It doesn't take me outside of life. It brings more life, fuller life.
Micha: Have you met other people that you felt, like this Rabbi Kellner, somehow embodied, more than the usual, some kind of holiness?
Eigen: Well, almost, not quite, because I was young, that was my first hit. It's like your first love. But an approximation. I'll tell you about a funny incident that happened with three people—with Allen Ginsburg, with D.W. Winnicott and with Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, who I had borderline experiences with.
Micha: That's quite a combination of people. Can you tell me something about the experiences?
Eigen: I was not practicing Judaism, but I as a child, I was the only one in my family who would go to Shul. I would try to drag my father but I was the only one who went. In my teens this began to fade, and then when my father died, I went to say Kaddish, and I somehow ended up in Crown Heights, and met Rabbi Kastel. When he heard my story, he introduced me to Rabbi Kellner's two sons, who were now elderly men, living together in Crown Heights, and I studied with them for a short time. They took me to a ceremony when he gave out dollars for charity. I was there Yom Kippur too. The experience I had with Rabbi Schneerson and Allen Ginsburg and D.W. Winnicot was, I suppose, a somewhat psychotic experience, but I enjoyed it, I liked it. I have nothing against mad truths or mad experiences if we could integrate them better…
Micha: You saw some kind of light coming from them…
Eigen: No. I thought they were me. This was a different experience then with Kellner. It was not the sense of the holy that I got. It was an odd, funny experience. I felt that I was them and they were me. When I met Allen Ginsburg for the first time, I looked at him and said: “He's me.” I felt the same way when I met Winnicott for the first time. It wasn't like he could be me or I could be him, but “Oh my God, there I am.” And I saw Schneerson the same way. What I make of experiences like that is that these people are feeding you yourself, helping you access yourself, or a dimension of yourself. Someone else's being or face can somehow unconsciously give you support for who you are without necessarily saying a word, just by who they are. Things like that happen in therapy a lot. For instance there are people who are in and out of hospitals all their life, and deep down they are terribly self-hating people, they feel bad about themselves, have totally negative self images, which they may cover up. A major part of the therapy isn't interpreting the unconscious. The real work over the long haul is…what should we call it? So as not to be too spiritual let's call it affective transmission, emotional transmission. You're sitting there absorbing and seeing, not necessarily consciously but with your whole being, their vacuum, the bad feelings that have been in their family, maybe, for generations. Generations of bad feeling, generations of suffering. It's in the room, it's everywhere they go. It's like a cross, a black cloud, an agony that never lifts, a wound that never heals. You become that, you are that. Or you are making room for it; you are giving it a place to be. Some people unconsciously need to feel that someone sees how wounded they are, how bad off they are, how awful they are. And they don't want someone to say, you're really okay, it's not that bad. It is that bad. But over the course of time that bad feeling meets – I don't know what to call it – a good feeling? A nicer feeling? And however bad I am, at least some goodness gets transmitted through me into the other person so that some good affect is transferred into the other person. And that good affect begins to work on the bad feeling in the other person. It could be: Anything interesting happen on the way to the office? See any good movies? But the good feeling actually builds up and works on the negativity over time. The person begins to feel a little safer, a little less catastrophic.
Micha: But with those three people you mentioned, it just happened instantaneously?
Eigen: Yes, it just happened. With Allen Ginsburg, it was in North Beach, San Francisco. I was having a beer with some people, and this guy walked in and I said: “That's me!” I walked over to him and put my arms around him and he put his arms around me and we just looked at each other for a few seconds and then we parted. I saw him a number of times after that, and it never happened again.
Micha: What about W.R. Bion? You had a long term relationship with Bion?
Eigen: No. I was interested in Winnicot. I taught Melanie Klein, but I was more interested in Winnicot. I was the first person to write about Marianne Willner, and also the first to write about certain aspects of Winnicot. But then I also gravitated towards Bion, because he seemed to know more about the destructive aspects of madness than anyone I had ever read except [the poet] William Blake; Blake knew a lot about diabolic processes—I don't know if Bion knew more, but he knew more than anyone I had come in contact with in this world. So I began to get into his work, began teaching it. Then he came here, to New York. He gave a weeklong seminar for an institute here, and I had a couple of therapy sessions with him – that was the only personal contact with him. We talked about a lot of things, but one thing that he said – which I have never heard that he said to anyone else – he asked me if I knew anything about Kabbalah. I said, “A little,” and he said, “I also only know a little.” And then he said, “I use Kabbalah as a framework for [psychoanalytic] treatment.” Literally, he said that. Now it turns out that one of my contributions to Bion scholarship has been writing about Bion' relationship to catastrophe—I'm one of the first people to write about that aspect of Bion. When I looked back on his remark about using Kabbalah as a framework in which to situate psychoanalysis, and thought how to interpret it, one thing that became very clear is that his exploration of the dark realms and the descent into madness, into mad destruction, is really a spark redemption business. You have to understand that in his view of the catastrophic patterns of personality, or the effect of catastrophe on personality, there is a dialectic between faith and catastrophe. He always has one eye on destruction and one eye on something else that is hard to pin down – faith, faith in the face of destruction. So part of what he meant with his remark about Kabbalah was about redeeming sparks. That there is no place that you can't go. That you have to go everywhere. That wherever you find yourself with a person, you have to go. And that helped me a lot. Because there are certain patients whose truth is trauma, whose truth is that life is a lie, and that trauma happens. And you can't reassure them, you can't analyze it. They are just stuck with some awful happening that they can't get past, that just catastrophizes their personality. With Bion fortifying me, so to speak, I am able to sit with people like that and not make a false move. Not say its not there. Not say it's not so bad. Not say, let's look at it a little more closely. Because you have to see that it is what they say it is. That something awful has happened. That their personality has been deformed, and that for all intents and purposes it is unalterable. It's not going to snap back into shape. You can only go farther, you can't remake it.
Micha: What you are saying reminds me of something Reb Nachman of Bratzlav wrote, that the godless void created by the contraction of God's light is actually real on some level, and that there are certain tzaddikim who are able to look into that void—not to do anything, just to be able to look.
Eigen: That's exactly the case. There has been a massive alteration or deformation, and one experiences it and keeps on experiencing it. This would be my message to people in terms of helping the human race: Help people experience their experience, not to rush past it. Of course, you have to rush past it; you have to make a living and so on, but there also has to be just sitting with what is. I wish Judaism did it a little better, I wish prayer did it a little better. Psychoanalysis is trying to make some contribution to it. Here, I have this quote from a book of mine I want to read you. “There are cases in which deep minds, cut by trauma, provide access to depths that are otherwise unreachable. In such instances, nourishment follows trauma to new places. We wish things could be otherwise, could be easier, but we have little choice when illumination shines through injury.” I think that is a very Kabbalistic model.
Micha: Did you go on and study the Zohar or other Kabbalistic works?
Eigen: Well, a little. I'm a dabbler. I'm a spiritual dabbler in all these things. Sometimes I think that I'm some kind of idiot savant, tuned in to just this one thing – therapy.
Micha: What do you think is going on in America today?
Eigen: I'll tell you one thing—and this is not just about America. I talk about madness a lot, but I don't think this is merely an age of madness. That would be a blessing. I think that what we have is the psychopathic manipulation of psychotic anxieties – dread of annihilation, apocalyptic fears. There are people who have a knack for being able to manipulate that. “They have weapons of mass destruction.” “If you don't listen to us you will be doomed.” They use psychotic anxiety to get what they want. There are economic-political forces that can manipulate masses of people and can essentially control their minds by appealing to psychotic anxieties and structuring them in ways that will achieve what a certain political system wants. Who they are and what they want is grist for any good paranoid. This wedding of economic elitism and religious fundamentalism is absolutely bloodcurdling. It justifies almost everything. These people have no doubt about what they are doing, no guilt about the injury they are causing other human beings. They're right, and they're powerful. And this is an important thing to think about for everyone – how self-righteousness obliterates guilt, and obliterates your feeling for other people. I've seen this not just with this power elite now, which is frightening. It's in the Bible. It's in the Quran. The psycho-social-spiritual challenge, basically, is that we are not done evolving. I have a book called The Sensitive Self in which I call for an ethics of sensitivity, in which we sense each other as human beings. The Merchant of Venice used to be a comic figure. At least today, he is not a comic figure. It's a horror to see people treat one another that way. I think it's amazing that slavery exists, that it existed in this country so recently. That it was taken for granted in Shakespeare's times. It's mind boggling what we do to each other, but larger and larger parts of the population are saying we ought to live and let live, human beings are human beings, why are we doing this? I saw this movie Hotel Rwanda where the Tutsis and the Hutu are killing each other. The main segment of the population doesn't want to do that. But other segments are vying for power and manipulation, and doing it. We have a long way to go. Whether we will keep on evolving, I don't know. Can we face our destructive power or the high that power gives us that wipes out guilt and sensitivity?
Micha: A lot of people are on a spiritual search, in Israel as well as elsewhere. What should people be aware of when looking for a guru, so that they shouldn't get involved with someone who is manipulative and will hurt them in the final analysis?
Eigen: Well, all human beings are manipulative to a certain extent. I don't know what to do with gurus. I did stuff with Swami Muktananda [a renowned Indian guru] years ago, in the 1960s I believe. I read Muktanananda's autobiography, how he faced all the demons of the unconscious including erotic enticements. Today I learned how he was sleeping with all these different people too. There is no guru who is not a human being. There is no guru that is all that different from you. Maybe that experience I had with Rabbi Schneerson or with Allen Ginsburg brings us a little closer to the right question. What are they supporting in you? What are they helping more fully into life? We are all here to support each other into fuller life. Because in the end, it is you who you are going to be living with 24 hours a day, not with the guru and not with anyone else. Being with a guru is not going to save you from your job, which is to sit and feel what it feels like to be you, and to feel the impact that this man or this woman is having on you. Nobody likes any guru one hundred per cent for everything. The Dalai Lama is narrow-minded in a lot of ways; he doesn't understand a lot of things. I happen to like a lot of things about the Dalai Lama but he would not understand patients such as those I have been describing to you today. He hasn't reached that level of self-destruction; he doesn't know what that is or what to do with it. It's not something he grew up with or was schooled in. Being with the Dalai Lama can give you a lot, but you have to feel: What part of me is being left out? Because no one has everything for you and no one can save you from the work you have to do on yourself. You have to find your own way of being with yourself, working with yourself. Something I've never like about the mental health field is how they pathologize so many idiosyncratic things about people. There is no one way to be healthy. Your way is not going to be the same as the Dalai Lama's or Rabbi Schneerson's. But perhaps they can help set you free to some extent, so that you can find your own way of being healthy. It doesn't mean that you are not going to be warped, or you won't have this problem or that problem. You'll just have a better way of being a problematic being. It won't be your spouse's way, your children's way. It will be the particular touch, the particular taste you bring to life.