The word Gestalt comes from a German term that generally means “whole” or “form.” It is an idea that every individual is a blend of the mind, emotions, body and soul with unique experiences and realities.
Many psychologists believe that the most important dreams are the recurrent ones which typically indicate that a “gestalt” has not been closed. These occur when individuals lack internal integration and therefore areas of conflict can't recede into the background. Sometimes a gestalt is not only disturbed for the patient but for the psychologist as well.
His name was Dr. Jack a pathologist who decided to embrace the issue of assisted suicide making it his own personal social agenda and persuading individuals suffering in pain or sickness to make a final decision about life and death. According to his own estimation, he assisted in the termination of more than 130 terminally ill individuals between 1990 and 1998. The public called him “Dr. Death”, those he consulted called him a hero, rescuer, and friend. In the psychologist's opinion, he was simply a narcissistic serial killer that quite literally scared the hell out of him and still does.
He liked publicity, collecting video trophies of his dying victims, and convinced himself that he was championing a social injustice much larger than himself. In fact, he believed he was securing his own place in medical history.
The psychologist only interviewed Dr. Death once while subbing at the Coldwater Correctional Facility in Southern Michigan. he was quick to confide in the psychologist believing he might never survive prison and needed to share his story. That interview continues to be an open gestalt for the psychologist to this day because it blurred the boundaries between good and evil, right, and wrong.
At the time of the interview, Dr. Death had only been recently incarcerated and was still attempting to manipulate the Michigan Department of Corrections by using hunger strikes for publicity. The psychologist's role was to assess his current mental status and determine if he was mentally incapacitated for such a decision. The psychologist met with him on the segregation unit where he was being housed. The room was approximately 10-foot square with only one small window mostly there for light, a door, a couple of chairs, and a bolted down table.
The psychologist recalled that despite Jack's 70-plus years, all the other inmates knew of him because of all the publicity he had received over the past eight years essentially murdering people and getting away with it. The following is what took place during that interview.
The psychologist looks him in the eyes and says, “Jack, what is your purpose for going on this hunger strike?”
Jack looks at the young psychologist intently, studying him, and then answers. “Curious, why don't you address me as doctor?”
The psychologist not breaking eye contact responds, “Well I believe you lost your license after you were sentenced 10 to 25 years on second degree murder.”
Jack taking a somewhat defensive posture stated, “That was the charges but all I really did was help those who were in pain from suffering.”
The psychologist thinking for a minute responded, “There are only two of us in the room so why not tell me your version of the story?”
Jack thought a moment and stated, "I'll tell it, but you have to wait at least ten years before repeating it because I'd like everyone to understand the gravity of the issue.”
The psychologist studying Jack asks his first question, “Do you ever dream about your victims?”
Jack pauses and answers, “Sometimes I feel like I am being chased because of my failure to accomplish more for the cause of assisted suicide."
The psychologist amazed by Jack’s self-superiority responds to his answer, “They say that more than half of your consults were not terminally ill at all but rather simply Physically ill from pain issues and that several might have recovered.”
Jack rejecting the statement responds, “We are all terminally ill and simply waiting for death to catch us.”
The psychologist changing his inquiry asks about his family background. Jack responds, “My parents were Armenian immigrants in 1928 and I have two sisters. My parents both worked very hard to pay for my studies and get me through medical school.”
The psychologist reestablishing the connection asks, “When did you develop such a preoccupation with death?”
He responds with a slight smirk, “Guess it was early in my residency when I asked to be moved to the night shift because more people die at night.”
The psychologist maintaining his composure then asks the question, “How did you get the nickname Dr. Death?"
Looking at the psychologist's eyes he answers, "My colleagues called me that because of my keen interest in filming people at the moment of death in order to study their eye movements. I once also had an inspired idea, why should we waste convicts in execution when they could be put mercilessly to sleep under general anesthetic, experiments done in vivisection, body organs harvested, and then if they had not died in the experiments, a lethal dose of anesthetic administered.”
The psychologist holding his composure asks, “How is this different from what the Nazis did during WWII?”
Jack answered not missing a beat, “It's completely different from what the Nazis did because they were indiscriminate in the choice of their victims. They used no anesthesia whereas all my subjects will be condemned convicts that are scheduled to die anyway, and my plan uses anesthesia start to finish.”
Later in his career, he also came up with another idea that newly deceased corpses would provide a good harvest of blood and even convinced one young medical technician into being transfused from a corpse. However, upon pitching his idea to the pentagon it was turned down. They had no interest because there was no shortage of blood so why use corpses in that manner.
The psychologist then asked his last question “How and where did you first use your Mercitron to assist people committing suicide?”
Jack answers coldly, “I built it out of parts obtained from a hardware store and attempted to try it out on a dog from the pound. However, I was unable to obtain an animal because of protections against their vivisection.” The psychologist screams in his head “You, narcissistic fuck the very thing you advocated for on condemned convicts!”
Thus, after Jack began running ads in the paper to locate a suicidal patient. She was a 54 year old woman with an early onset of dementia, and was not likely able to give informed consent, let alone agree to death by assisted suicide. She was simply depressed and the prospect of losing more of her cognitive capacity made her a victim of Dr. Death's persuasive abilities. The doctor filmed the whole thing as he would in the next 129 cases.
He always proclaimed his innocence when it came to the issue of murder but definitely liked to keep his trophies. An obsession that likely had its roots in what he called his grand rounds. He used to visit the room of every terminally ill patient in the hospitals where he worked just to watch them die and investigate at which point, they could no longer be resuscitated.
Dr. Death was a highly intelligent pathological narcissist with a twisted perspective preferring to see himself as a humanitarian rather than a murderer. Everyone that disagreed with his Macabre sense of right and wrong attributed it to their religious fanaticism, narrow-sightedness, or even stupidity.
In dreams, he interpreted the victims chasing him as manifestations of the failure to achieve his objectives for mankind. Indeed, in the only engagement he ever had, he broke it off because the young woman could not meet up with his discipline requirements. He said, “I always lamented my decision because I was unable to procreate and thus, I was immoral in denying the world, my progeny.
So now it's approximately 12 years later and I am still trapped in a horrific nightmare where all my interpretations have become blurry, and I am haunted by the deaths of his 130 victims. It is no longer easy for me to make determinations between good and evil because of the righteous insanity I heard during that interview. Am I scared? Fuck yes, that such monsters exist. Even the Bible tells us that Lucifer sometimes appears as an angel of light. What was it his victims and their families said, “He was our hero, rescuer, and best friend.”
Every dream contains all the material we will ever need to understand the concept of fragmentation. All its different parts are distributed throughout the dream and each part represents us. What I came to realize was that profound evil potentially exists within us all to a greater or lesser degree and that we all need to remain vigilant not allowing such darkness to overtake us.
Whereas Dr. Death simply mentioned he always dreamt about losing his eyes only to discover they were watching him within the dream itself. He said, “I always felt as if the world was looking at me.”
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